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Friday, December 1, 2000

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WarCraft III Preview
11:34 AM | Charles George | Comment on this story

Yesterday Computer Games Online posted an extremely informative preview regarding Blizzard's upcoming "Role Playing Strategy" game WarCraft III. The preview features many quotes from Blizzard staff focusing on how they plan on balancing the game for smaller battles based on the use of magic and tactics, instead of Starcraft's gigantic battles of attrition. In fact, they even used an altered version of StarCraft to test this scenario:

Pardo says they want the combat to last longer, and that it's going to emphasize a lot more spellcasting. "We probably have three times as many spells in WarCraft III as we had in StarCraft," he points out, "so there's going to be a lot more combat where you're casting spells and counterspells. A lot of times in StarCraft the combat would be over in the time you could click on your spell and click on your target."

Blizzard tested this by building maps in StarCraft. "We used the map editor and gave everything three times as many hitpoints and made everything cost three times as much," explains Pardo. "Zealot rushing became four to five Zealots." With this kind of setup, they found that casting spells had a much bigger impact, and that's what they want to capture with WarCraft III.

You can create your own simple StarCraft map and triple the cost and hitpoints of each unit and building, and then play the AI or another player. Pardo does caution that doing this to StarCraft did "break" some aspects of the game, so it's not a viable way to play most of your StarCraft games. Still, it might give you just a little taste of what the combat might be like.

Whenever we look at Blizzard's track record, we at IMG grow even more sure that this game can live up to its ambitious design. WarCraft III should ship in late 2001/early 2002 with a projected simultaneous Mac and PC release.

Computer Games Online Warcraft III preview
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