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Thursday, March 22, 2001

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EuroGamer Previews Warcraft III
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

EuroGamer recently had the opportunity to chat with Bill Roper of Blizzard Entertainment and preview the latest build of Warcraft III, the next installment of Blizzard's highly popular real-time strategy (RTS) series.

There are currently several races that will be available for play, including humans, night elves, orcs and the undead. The undead in particular sound quite original in terms of RTS species, as their resource management will involve the harvesting of dead bodies for construction of new units and healing of damaged troops.

Another interesting addition to the mix will be random NPCs scattered throughout the game:

Although these are the main playable races, there are other people in the world. As well as the minor players that other races can recruit (such as dwarven troops for the human armies), there are also now non-player units in many of the maps, including everything from trolls to centaurs. These will attack anybody that strays near them, and as well as adding some colour to the game they should also act as a deterrent to base rushing in multiplayer games, forcing you to advance further before you can break out of your base and start searching for your opponents. They will also encourage the player to explore the map, as killing these neutral monsters will give your heroes experience and are also the only source of mana stones, one of the two resources in the game.
Increased focus will also be given to "heroes," which are singularly powerful warriors created and shaped by the player's actions. Though losing a hero late in gameplay might affect the overall balance of power against a player, a resurrection system is being put in place to mitigate this pitfall. Interestingly, one aspect of the Hero character has changed -- you no longer have to attach your units to a hero, and indeed can fight a battle without them. It is unlikely that anyone would be able to win a game without one, however, as they all wield extremely powerful spells.

The environment itself will also be fairly dynamic, with day and night cycles taking place. Not surprisingly, the time of day will affect certain variables in the game, such as spellcasting and the special abilities of certain races.

A solid release date has yet to be confirmed, with Roper's answer regarding the subject being a vague "we'll see." Most expect this game to be out in late 2001, with the Mac OS version close behind the PC release. For more information on Warcraft III, be sure to read the entire article; we're sure several more like it will be popping up soon.

Blizzard - Warcraft III Official Site
EuroGamer - Warcraft III Preview
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