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Posts with tag rts

Warcraft as a whole: story balance between RTS and MMO

I was perusing the forums (like you do) when I came across this forum thread from poster Xewie, and I found it an interesting place to start thinking from. Xewie's points aren't entirely ones I agree with - I frankly found Mists of Pandaria one of the richest expansions in terms of lore and story and feel that anyone who dismisses it simply because there are pandaren in it is deliberately and willfully blinding themselves to an excellent ride with some astonishing highs and lows - but there's a certain truth in the points about the RTS vs. WoW itself. As others (including our own Michael Sacco) have pointed out, Garrosh Hellscream is really one of the first big lore characters we've had in World of Warcraft who was born in the MMO, evolved over its course and became a faction leader and finally an end villain.

I think part of the problem is that the RTS features these characters, so even when it kills a few (like Terenas Menethil) it offers up a few more. But the MMO features us, ultimately, so when we put down Lady Vashj or Arthas, there's no immediate replacement. To be sure, there have in fact been tons of new faces over the course of World of Warcraft - Ragnaros, C'thun, Nefarian were all first introduced in classic WoW, not the RTS. The problem is, we introduce these characters and then, well, we dispatch them. Sometimes, like Ragnaros, our first encounter with them isn't a final one, but even if we know they'll eventually be back, it's not like their luck will hold out forever. I called this the "Joker problem" once, and to a degree I think it is an issue for the MMO.

However, does it follow that we need an RTS to create stories? Since I think Mists of Pandaria did an amazing job of building up the story, and in fact I'm really much more of a Cataclysm booster than most, I don't agree with that idea. In fact, in many ways, WoW has done more to broaden and expand the Warcraft setting than the RTS ever did.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Waiting on StarCraft II? Blame WoW

Like many other Blizzard fans, you're probably super excited about the upcoming release of StarCraft II -- it was "about time" when we first heard about the game, and now, this close to actually having the game out, anticipation is higher than ever. So why have you been waiting so long? According to Eurogamer's latest interview with Rob Pardo, you can blame none other than World of Warcraft for the delay. He and StarCraft II's lead designer both confirm that quite a bit of the RTS team were called back in to working on Blizzard's MMO. Artists and class and map balance guys alike were put back on WoW, resulting in the StarCraft title's delay for more than a year. Taken at face value, they're saying you could have started playing the new RTS last November if it wasn't for the whole Azeroth thing.

It's worth noting, though, that when they say "working on WoW," they don't mean developing the Crusaders' Coliseum or even Outland -- they're talking about the original design of World of Warcraft for the release way back in 2004. Even though Blizzard didn't announce the next StarCraft until a few years ago in 2007, production actually started seriously (with multiplayer first, strangely enough) right after the launch of WoW, in 2005. Which makes the choice all the more intriguing: they decided to delay the RTS even before they knew WoW would be the runaway success that it is today.

Guess the choice paid off. The beta of StarCraft II should be kicking off any day now (you all got keys at last year's BlizzCon, remember?), so even though that year delay was caused by WoW way back at launch, we'll see if they've had the time since to make a game that'll meet players' expectations.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions

Wrath of the Lich King falls off the top sales spot (for now)


It only took four months, but a new title has knocked Wrath of the Lich King off the top of the PC sales charts, according to industry trackers NPD. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II, the much-awaited RTS title featuring that other fantasy universe with "war" in the title, has taken the top spot, knocking Wrath down to number two (and the original version of WoW and the Battle Chest hold their spots around six and seven).

We suppose it had to happen at some point -- with PTR interest kicking in this past week, and the game having sold so many copies already, there had to be a point where something else jumped up above Wrath. But don't count the award winning expansion out of the number one spot yet. While Dawn of War II is getting reviewed very favorably, this little bump is likely due to an audience of fans who wanted to get the sequel on day one. Once first-week sales for that game level off, it's entirely likely that we'll see WotLK back up on top. Not that Blizzard needs any more money, of course. But it is good to be the (Lich) King.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Making money

The Queue: New Year's Eve edition


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

New Year's Eve! Hooray! Are you doing anything special tonight? I totally am. I'm going to play an alt. Gasp! Shock! No seriously, I have no idea what I'll be doing. Right now though, I'm answering questions!

JLocke
asked...

I know the next big patch to hit will have Uldar raid in it, but are there any other cool things attached to it that we know of?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Factions, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements, The Queue

Gametrailers.com's Warcraft Retrospective continues

The second part of Gametrailers.com's Warcraft Retrospective has gone up, and it's no less fun and informative than the first. Picking up right where it left off, the second part starts with Warcraft III, following the ascension of some of the most well known Blizzard employees such as Rob Pardo, Chris Metzen, and Samwise Didier, not to mention the company and Warcraft series as a whole.

This edition of the series focuses a lot more on one specific game than the first edition, and there's not necessarily anything wrong with that. Warcraft III changed a lot about the RTS genre and whether that's a good thing or not is up to the individual. It changed how you managed your units, your base, and your resources, making units more important than just canon fodder. That was especially true when it came to the hero units that now highlight World of Warcraft. This retrospective also goes into the infamous DOTA before it steps up to The Frozen Throne, so if you've no idea what that crazy Europop video is all about, you'll find out!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions

A Warcraft Retrospective from Gametrailers.com

The fine folk over at Gametrailers.com are preparing for Wrath of the Lich King in their own, fun little way. And by little, I mean totally awesome. They've posted the first part of their Warcraft Retrospective, looking back on the history of the Warcraft series of games. This first installment talks a little about Warcraft I, Warcraft II, and the adventure game Warcraft Adventures that ended up getting canned.

On top of the nostalgia-riddled look at past incarnations of Warcraft, the retrospective provides insight into the origins of things such as the RTS genre itself and perhaps one of the first map editors that ended up in user hands, setting the stage for just about every RTS to start providing one baseline. Entertaining and educational! Uh, sort of. I really do recommend watching it, though. It's only a click away, so go on! Hit play!

[ Thanks, Ray, James and Colyn! ]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Pardo says Warcraft IV is "one of the ideas on the table" after SC2

Our good friends at Gamedaily recently got a chance to sit down and talk with Rob Pardo, VP of Blizzard, and he dropped hints about yet another new game that they might be working on. No, not Starcraft II, or the rumored Diablo 3, or even the long-awaited (and unfortunately, probably never coming) Lost Vikings sequel. Nope -- he hinted that after the release of Starcraft II, whenever that happens, Blizzard's RTS team might be hard at work on... Warcraft IV.

Don't hold your breath, of course (this is Blizzard we're talking about) -- this would be after the current real-time strategy game is done, and Pardo says it would be "one of the the ideas on the table," so it's not exactly in the planning stages yet. But it's interesting to hear that Blizzard may still return to the Warcraft universe under the RTS banner -- we've seen such a different aspect of the world in the MMO, it would be very strange to go back to controlling these units from the top down.

Pardo also says that a console version of WoW is pretty much out of the question at this point -- if there is going to be a super-successful console MMO, it's not going to be World of Warcraft, as this game was designed for PC and has gone through so many iterations since that Blizzard isn't at all interested in trying a port. We are still waiting for that playable version of the Molten Core console game, though...

[via WorldofWar]

Update: Whoops, the interview is a bit old (Pardo said this last year). Still, news to me that Blizzard might bring RTS back into the Warcraft universe, but considering that Starcraft II doesn't even have a rumored release date yet, we're going to be waiting a long, long time.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Rumors

The Art of War(craft): DotA-style Battleground in WotLK?


My brothers are addicts. Actually, make that my brothers, my best friend, my brother-in-law, and more than a handful of other friends. Although most of them have played World of Warcraft at some point or the other, circumstances ranging from subscription fees and schedules have prohibited them from playing the game regularly. Instead, they get their Warcraft fix by playing DotA. A lot. For those unfamiliar with the term, DotA means Defense of the Ancients, a highly popular Warcraft III scenario developed by various independent authors. In the scenario, players control a single unit, a Hero -- one of about ninety as of version 6.52c -- that they use to combat waves of NPCs and take down enemy Heroes. They play DotA for hours on end every day, and if the rumors are true, it just might happen that their addiction just might become mine, as well.

Through one of the most thorough tips WoW Insider's ever gotten, reader Kevin breaks down some speculation that the new Battleground in Wrath of the Lich King will be DotA-inspired. In the slew of interviews that Blizzard granted in early May about the next expansion, Tom Chilton and Jeffrey Kaplan confirmed that they would be introducing a new Battleground in WotLK which "(is) set up as sort of an attack-defend scenario; features siege vehicles, and (has) destructible building components." Those nebulous answers are wide open for interpretation, but if I allow my Battleground-hungry self to dream, all those features can translate into a World of Warcraft DotA map.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Battlegrounds, Rumors

Due for more Polymorph options

Here's a good idea from the forums: more sheep choices! Polymorph was one of the most beloved spells in the Warcraft RTS games, and so players were thrilled to see it come to World of Warcraft, and even more thrilled when two other variations on the spell were learned: instead of sheeping, players can either polymorph pig or turtle with two learned spells from quests or drops in the game.

But since the introduction of Zul'Gurub, we haven't seen any other options for mages in game. And there are plenty to choose from by now-- Polymorph: Ravager, Polymorph: Clefthoof, or Polymorph: Elekk would all work great. Polymorph: Willy would even be lots of fun. Oh, and yes, as players in the thread say, since we're headed to Northrend, Polymorph: Penguin would not be out of order in the next expansion.

Blizzard has done a pretty good job of taking mounts, both flying and ground-based, towards a little horizontal progress-- giving more options on one level instead of setting up a few options over multiple levels. But hopefully Polymorph will get a little love, too-- even though mages are the only ones who benefit directly, my guild has always had fun making sure our mages have all the Polymorph options possible.

Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances

Breakfast Topic: Whar be the naval battles, matey?

Arr mateys! For those that be not in the know, today be International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and we be dedicatin' much a' today to those seafarin' scallywags, the pirates! That said, writing like that for any length of time makes my brain twitch, so you'll have to pardon me while I simply keep with the overall theme and instead wish you all a happy Talk Like a Pirate Day. Yarr!

Warming up for Wrath of the Pirate King, err Lich King, I've been revisiting my old copies of the Warcraft RTS games. One of the things that I always enjoyed from Warcraft II was the fact that I got to build boats, load my Orcs and Trolls up and go pounce on the unsuspecting Alliance. (My friends seemed to enjoy doing much the same by pouncing on my little Horde villages in return when we'd play together.) In replaying the games now, I've gotten to once again load up those boats and sail around, torching oil platforms and raiding towns. With the talk of the buildings that will be destroyable in WotLK, I can't help but wonder -- where are our naval skirmishes? In WoW, you can ride the same boats with the opposite faction from Booty Bay to Ratchet. But at no point do you get to jump on a boat and attack the other faction's boats or take out shipyards.

I can't be the only one who liked the ship battles from days of Warcraft yore. So for today's Breakfast Topic -- If they offered ship-based PvP, would you play it? How about if you were helping your side to cut the other side off from "resources" kind of like a ship-based version of AB? Did you like the sailing action in the previous RTS games too? How would you like to see ship battles enacted, were Blizzard to do them in the future?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics

It's Starcraft 2


Yup. Apparently Blizzard makes RTS games now, because they just announced Starcraft 2 in Korea.

Prepare to be zerged, protossed, and maybe even terraned, plus who knows what else they'll come up with. More to come. Lots more.

Get all your Starcraft 2 info right here.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Rumor: Blizzard announces Starcraft 2 in May

Multiple sources, including our buddies at Joystiq, are reporting that Blizzard is bringing a big surprise to their World Wide Invitational event, held in South Korea on May 19. And the rumors say that the surprise is none other than Starcraft 2. As in a new race, lots of changes to existing units, and a glorious return to Blizzard's RTS brilliance.

It may not be, of course. Blizzard hasn't confirmed anything yet (of course they haven't), except to say that they will be making a big announcement then. They have talked about Starcraft 2 before, and if they're going to release a new Starcraft anywhere, it might as well be in South Korea. But of course the next WoW expansion has to be announced sometime, and Diablo 3 has been going through the rumor mills for a long time, too.

No matter what Blizzard announces, you can bet it'll be seen in some form (hopefully playable... drool) at Blizzcon in August. And then whatever it is, considering Blizzard is making it, we'll probably see it on store shelves in early 2015.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items

Blizzard Working on Multiple Games, Including Another RTS?

Maybe it's the fact that Blue only releases games seemingly once a millenia (I think we're almost finally approaching Starcraft: Ghost's original release date), but it seems like there's nothing Blizzard's fans love more than rampant speculation about what they're up to next.

In that vein, we present the news that Blizzard has updated their Employment Opportunity board once again this past weekend, this time looking for "a talented level designer with experience building levels using any popular 3D Real-Time Strategy game toolset." Did you hear that? "3D Real-Time Strategy"? That almost sounds like it could be Starcra-- nah. Or maybe the next round of Warcra-- nahhhh. Or you never know, Blizzard could even be working on a completely new type of genre, something that combines its success with WoW with its strategic past. Could you imagine a Blizzard MMORTS? It could be anything! Isn't speculation fun?

Adding to the fun is another press release that Blizzard dropped today stating that the company will "strengthen its current development efforts by refocusing key members of its console team on other projects within the company." They didn't say much more than that, but I'm guessing it means Starcraft: Ghost is taking even more of a back seat than it had before. The only good news is that the press release also stated that the company will eventually tell us everything we need to know, about all future projects, at a future time. And when it comes to speculation fuel, it doesn't get much more vague than that.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

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