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Thursday, March 14, 2002

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Updated Look at WarCraft III Beta
8:22 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Blizzard recently made some drastic changes to the (PC-only) small public beta of WarCraft III. GameSpot has posted a new article in which they highlight the differences from the older version of the game and chat with Blizzard's Bill Roper about the title's progress.

The article highlights a number of changes, especially within the race of Orcs. Both their housing and units have been tweaked to distinguish them from the Humans. Here's an excerpt explaining more:

Perhaps an even bigger switch for the orcs is the disappearance of the pig farm. That basic structure from the days of Warcraft II was too much like the human farm. The orcs now build orc burrows to expand their population limit, and these sunken buildings also double as defensive bunkers. Burrows were in the initial beta release, but they weren't used much since Warcraft III's relatively low maximum population limit is just 90, much lower than Starcraft, and this makes it hard to permanently garrison bunkers. Now that any orc player needs burrows in any case, it's easy enough to just place them at base entrances for when an opponent attacks. The orcs also now have a separate defensive structure, the watch tower, which can hit air or ground targets.
Along with major changes to the Orcs, spellcasters and Heros in general also received updates to help elongate melees of combat and make them more useful.

Later in the piece, Roper answers questions on a variety of topics. They talk about the strategies being used in the beta among the testers, the difficulties in balancing four races, and even some about the packaging for the game.

While Roper thinks they are still on track for June release, no promises are given yet. He does have some information to share on the singleplayer campaign of the game:

We are working day and night on making our single player campaign our best yet, especially in terms of what kind of story based experience a strategy game can deliver. We have the majority of the Human campaigns laid out, several from the other races in the same state, have finished our scripting and have recorded a good amount of the voice-over. We are looking forward to the single player campaign being not only a great tool for learning the basic strategies of the game and the functionality of every unit, but also as a way to really grow the Warcraft universe.
If you've been following the game's progress closely, be sure to head over and check out GameSpot for all of these latest details. For a more general overview of WarCraft III, have a read through IMG's preview of the game.

IMG Preview: WarCraft III Multiplayer Beta
GameSpot: WarCraft III Beta Update
WarCraft III
Buy WarCraft III

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