Deathwing’s Reputation Versus His Size: An Argument for a HUGE Character Model

As we all have seen both here at LoreHound and prolifically around the web in the last couple of weeks, the WoW Cataclysm Friends and Family Alpha has been launched, and subsequently leaked.

MMO-Champion led the frenzy by posting hundreds of screenshots from zones all over the post-cataclysmic Azeroth. Shortly thereafter, Blizzard ordered that the information be taken down — but not before it already had made its rounds all over the intertubes, and into the thirsty minds of players everywhere. And dominating right at the very top of that list was the model for Deathwing himself.

We’ve heard a ton of feedback, both here and elsewhere around the web, on what the WoW community feels about the model. One of the interesting aspects of reading through some of these comments is coming to the conclusion that people are really split on how they want this specific figurehead to be portrayed, and even to a certain degree idolized in-game.

From what Blizzard has released, we still know nothing about the final fight with Deathwing (and the raid probably is just in the idea phase of design, anyways). We know nothing of the mechanics involved, nor of what Deathwing’s model could mean during the final battle. But regardless, that doesn’t stop plenty of people from already speculating on what could come to be.

We have some fans, such as our own reader Barugaara, who said they would not enjoy tackling a colossal beast such as Deathwing, if his size was so huge that even Ragnaros is smaller than his pinkie toe. LoreHound writer Pixiestixy also chimed in her opinion in episode 5 of the LoreHound WoWCast, saying that that the fight may feel boring if Deathwing was huge to the point that fighting him would equate only to “clipping his nails.”

Here’s a thought, though: we’ve had instances of characters who were neither major aspects in the lore nor final bosses, but still quite large. Take Kologarn,for example. He was huge! You only saw his head and hands throughout the fight, because that’s what you were fighting. Why would we not have an uproar about him, a minor bonus in the giant mega-raid Ulduar, when Deathwing himself dwarfs the mountain that he sits upon in the image above?

In lore, Deathwing is supposed to be larger than Ysera, Malygos, and Nozdormu combined (I cannot recall where I read or saw that, but I swear I did), but almost rivaled by the size of Alexstrasza. Lore-junkies who’ve seen the Wrathgate event understand just how big Alexstrasza can be, once she leaves Wyrmrest Temple and her half-Dreanei, half-Highborne like mortal shell.

Once I saw her there, next to Krasus, I was shocked by her massive size. Other dragon models, such as Ysera, Onyxia, and other raid and dungeon bosses have been portrayed as about three to five times our height. In the World of Warcraft magazine, an image comparing Deathwing to a human model shows that he is about 13+ times larger in scale.

With the actual model from the Cataclysm Alpha, Deathwing was scaled to the statues in the Valley of Heroes, Stormwind. Walking next to those just about all the time, I’ve measured my character in comparison. A normal Human model is about five to seven times smaller than the top of the statues. It’s a good thing that this screenshot is not to scale, since Deathwing’s model could not come close to matching his depicted size.

Personally, I think that Deathwing should be as large as his name suggests. His spoken name instills fear — and his model should do the same. I cannot find myself agreeing with Pixiestixy on this one. Fighting a huge Deathwing — even just clipping his nails — would be appropriate. Not to mention epic.

I plan to continue on this topic and explain just how the fight could be laid out in a future post. Keep a watch out for it, and in the meantime I’d love to hear readers’ thoughts on this topic. What do you think would be an appropriate size for the mighty Deathwing?


  1. Ooo, a shiny new blogger! =P
    Anyway, onto the subject at hand. I believe it would be nice to have a huge Deathwing, but I wouldn’t want a Kologarn fight made out of it. It ruins the point of having him so huge if we’re just going to be fighting off a small part of him. That would be fine if it was just the first phase (he is going to be phased obviously), and then once you take him down enough he reveals himself fully.
    I’d like the idea, if he is huge though of seeing him fly around for a bit first. So maybe, in so open expanse of Grim Batol, for example a bridge over a canyon that Deathwing had created on his emergence, must be crossed. Your faction has made a small base of operations on the side you are on, and is equipped with several cannons. Your job is to work your way across the bridge killing off cultists, to allow your faction to set up cannons all along the bridge. It’s not as simple as that though, because every so often a bloody huge black dragon known as Deathwing flies over head and showers down balls of flame upon you to add a bit of extra spice. (This will probably just be a trash fight so that you don’t have to do it each wipe, or it could get boring)
    Once you clear your way across the bridge and have set up all the cannons, on his next fly by, your trusty allies open fire on the giant causing him to swerve and crash on the opposite side of the wall that the cultists had been defending, leaving an opening for you to pass to into get to him. It’ll probably be some big open hall so that DW can actually fit, but you can fight him face-to-face with some interesting mechanics, which I can’t be bothered thinking of right now.
    Then at the end of fight to continue with tradition, (Maiev on Illidan, and Tirion on Arthas) Alexstrasza will come and aid us maybe by pinning him down whilst we finish him off.

    Anyway, I think a huge Deathwing could be nice. I also don’t think it necessary, as long as they portray him as bigger than the other dragons, and make a good fight out of it. The whole world is out of proportion, so that it can work as a game; for the same reason I have no problem with Deathwing being smaller than the lore states, because it will probably allow them to make the fight much better than if he actually becomes 13 times bigger than a human. I look forward to seeing what your mechanics idea is.

  2. “I plan to continue on this topic and explain just how the fight could be laid out in a future post.”
    I think you eluded to it first.
    Or am I misunderstanding what you meant in your reply? Since I can’t see understand the relevance of the link.

  3. @Phanttas

    You should read over your own comment, and see where your thoughts meet up with the information in the link.

    I’ll try to be more clear in the future (^_^)

  4. Deathwing should be huge. Period.

    If one creature can nearly destroy Azeroth by ‘coming in the door’ (punching a hole through the tectonic plates), then it should be as large of a model as ever seen in the game.

    Sure this demands the question if Deathwing’s that huge in this one, how big will the villain be in the next expansion? I say ever bigger!

    By the time Blizz let’s it’s WoW players get to 100, the villain model should be as big as Azeroth and the players can practice the fight it in the new level 100 battleground called “Lost in Space”. The Goblins and Draenei will have spaceships built by then and the players will all be taking on the Old God’s God’s God in deep, incomprehensibly huge space wearing Starcraft-looking armor created in the bowels of the Old God’s God’s lair.

    Just a thought.


  5. Really, the easy fix would be to fight Deathwing in his human form once we get to that that point. But what fun would there be in that?!

  6. IMO, the other dragon aspects weve seen so far have been too small, the aspects should be larger like Deathwing.

  7. i think it should be phased. start out the fight with DW in his human guise. after he takes a walloping he changes into his aspect form. than the real fight begins. and Alexstraza(i can never remeber how to spell her name) comes in and holds his arse down, it would be pretty cool to fight ontop of him, like on his back as he flys around. but heck thats just my opinion.

  8. @Casy

    IMO, the other dragon aspects weve seen so far have been too small, the aspects should be larger like Deathwing.

    Another valid point.


    Quit ruining my thoughts! :P

    But on a serious note, why would they have a drawing of his “human” form for any reason but this? :O

  9. @ Saint…too much Star Wars/Andromida/Battlestar Galactica/Star Trek/Starcraft for you sir! lol but that would be one epic arse fight.

  10. They would probably have his human form for all the lore and stuff in quests, like with Arthas for WotLK, so we can half meet up with him on our levelling experience through out the expansion. The idea of fighting his human form could be pretty cool as a starting phase or something though. It makes me think of how you see Nefarion on his throne in black wing lair just before fighting him, and also earlier if you went through UBRS to get to the BWL.

  11. @ Phanttas

    Very true with the questing.

    I also would not put it past Deathwing to perhaps even have a bit of dialogue where he tempts us to help him. After all, in “Day of the Dragon” he ‘volunteered’ Rhonin into his service.

  12. There is a reason why Deathwing is much large then the rest. Hes as more power not to mention his flesh is tearing by the seems. He is held together by Adamantium placed on his body by the goblins. Deathwing cannot change into a perfect human anymore either. He cant only change into Half-human half-dragon-ish type.. His story is quite unique though. As powerful as he was back in the book “The Dark Portal”, hes much more powerful now… Hes been basking in the Maelstrom for years. I hope I didnt go too in depth with all of this, just thought I’d give a lil info. So itll most likely be his half form at first then full dragon form.. obviously the boss will be scaled not exactly the size on that wallpaper, But I’m sure he’ll make appearances throughout the game in humanish dragon form and his full dragon form. And Onyxia and Nefarian make a return as undead dragons and will be bosses in Cataclysm. You’ll have to fight both at the same time i believe. Should be interesting…

  13. Well, remembering from the Wrathgate quest chain, Alexstrasza IS pretty huge, and she is supposed to be the largest, at the point of Titan-y goodness. But you have to remember that Deathwing has changed a lot since then, and could very well as be as large as her. As long as he is bigger than Malygos, Nordomzu, and Ysera (which by the way, are still bland cut and paste dragons) I’d be happy.

    Like Amatera said, an easy fix would be to use Deathwing’s human form (which again, is not that human-y)….but, he would be much more powerful than us, and he could easily change back to his immense dragon form.

    IMO, If we were to have a 5-ish phase fight with him, where he transforms back and forth and we need to damage his limbs or something while he’s a dragon that’d be cool. I mean, we won’t really know how epic the fight will be until later.

    Finally, reading up on Deathwing, it makes me sad to know that Malygos was his best bud, the guy turns crazy and destroys his flight…wow D:

  14. Yea i agree completely. Im looking forward to see what Blizzard does with Deathwing. We can only hope Blizz really blows us away.

  15. For an impression of how awesomely epic a battle with incredibly sized foes can be, think about God of War III, and specifically the titanic battle during the first part of the game; it is a prime example of how a dynamic battle on / against incredibly massive creatures can be excecuted.

    Here’s a link to see what kind of epic scale I’m talking about:

    Now try imagining something of this scale in WoW: with Deathwing, Alextrasza, swarms of angry Black, Twilight and Red dragons – heck, let’s even throw some Twilight Cultists in the mix – and ofcourse the brave adventurers in the raid.
    Blizzard has gotten pretty good at creating exciting, dynamic phased encounters, and if they can pull of some GoW3-like grand-scale encounter with Deathwing, it would redefine the definition of the word epic.

  16. It would make sense from a design and play perspective to fight Deathwing as something other then a Dragon..since it’s mere emergence nearly destroyed the planet.

    Something that large and powerful also should not die IMO, but merely be put into a slumber with ancient “bane” type weapons and “watchers” or “wardens” to ensure the creature does not wake up again. Failing the whole “never wake up again” thing, that type of scripting can be used to provide viable lore for having to fight Deathwing every 7 days for another 2 years etc, awaiting the next expansion(or until you quit playing wow).

    Sort of a revised version of Everquest’s Kerafyrm-Sleeper’s Tomb..seeing as Azeroth looks remarkably similar to Norrath..3 expansions of land into it’s development, it may as well steal it’s storyline completely to follow along with what they’ve done with the geography.

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