Hear Ye! Since 1998.
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Mar 02

Warcraft III

After easily blowing a few hours playing the beta of War3, I’m still trying to get used to it. Blizzard began developing War3 as an “RPS” (marketing speak standing for role-playing strategy). Since Blizzard’s reputation is such that they’ve yet to produce a game that’s any less than dazzling, they’ve been pretty much forced to innovate to get out of the traditional RTS groove which is becoming stale. War3 still is an RTS, but it has a much different feel to it. The two main things that change gameplay seem to be the low unit cap (90 food units) and relatively low availability of gold which can only be collected at a constant rate. The focus indeed has been moved off pumping out peons and collecting resources at astronomical rates. Due to this, it is not possible to raise multiple mass armies and the importance of single units, and upgrades, is amplified. I found myself going around the map with, at most, one or two groups of men led by a hero. The hero has a town portal spell so if someone attacks your town while your band of merry men is away, they can get back quickly to defend.

All this forces games to be quite quick – you’ll find hour long games are a rarity. I haven’t decided whether I like this new gaming style. It’s definitely different and will require getting used to. War3 unfortunately lacks the magic of War2 (what happened to walling-in?) but, well, we haven’t seen the finished product yet. The collector’s edition looks like a nice package to pick up.