Developed by: Blizzard
Warcraft 3 official page: http://www.blizzard.com/war3/
Estimated Release (based on peon torture and peasant bribery): Q4 2001
Many of us were worried when we heard that Blizzard was developing Warcraft 3 as a "Role-playing Strategy" (RPS) game. The RPS incorporates role-playing features into the Real-time Strategy (RTS) genre. Why move away from the RTS model that worked so well in Starcraft and the previous Warcraft games? Will this new game genre survive the test of time and allow Warcraft 3 to last as long as Warcraft 2 and Starcraft?
You can take any skepticism you have about Warcraft 3 not living up to its predecessors and throw it in the trash. Calbear and I visited Blizzard last week, and we were happy with what we saw. There isn't a simple way to describe Warcraft 3, so we'll simply refer to as the "ultimate Blizzard Real Time Strategy game." Blizzard has incorporated the best parts of all of its previous games into Warcraft 3. Remember the way that Warcraft 1, Warcraft 2, Diablo, and Starcraft blew you away? That probably won't help prepare you for what's to come.
Heroes and such
For those three people in this world that haven't been keeping track of Warcraft 3's general information, we can tell you that the game is still an RTS at heart. You collect resources, build your town, and create armies to attack the enemy. The view screen is free scroll like Warcraft 2 and Starcraft.
The biggest change, besides the switch to 3D graphics, will be the new hero system (this is where the role-playing part comes in) The game will feature new characters and Non Playable Characters (NPCs) from past Warcraft titles as playable heroes in Warcraft 3. These heroes have the ability to gain experience and level up in battle. In addition to gaining attribute points, Heroes can learn new spells and abilities with each level.
The game will also feature five different races - Humans, Orcs, Undead, Demons and the Zerg. Just kidding about the Zerg. The 5th race will be announced in Computer Games Magazine's January issue, which means it should be hitting the stores in late December.
The story takes place a few years after Thrall's return to the Orcish camps at the end of Warcraft Adventures. It's revealed that the Orcs are not truly evil. Apparently, the Orcs were actually possessed by the demons (the Burning Legion) in the first two warcraft games. While the Orcs are savage, they aren't the evil merciless creatures that we thought they were.