Blizzard creates new gaming genre.
WARCRAFT crept unnoticed
The presence on the ECTS Blizzard unsuspected until then, until the hour of X. At one point, the exhibition was inverted upside down, and journalists chorus felt that obviously missed something, bypassing the first ever two huge exhibition halls. On the other hand, well, who could draw attention to the wretched little room the size of a typical Moscow kitchen with clean, without a single wall poster! After the press conference the corresponding ugly boxing ring took in a huge crowd of workers of the pen and keyboard. The object of desire was suddenly the only stand inside the computer stand. It Blizzard for the first time demonstrated a working version of the third part of WarCraft, undoubtedly, the best game ECTS ’99.
DIVE ten minutes
In this situation, Blizzard had to put the matter to the stream. Fifteen minutes for each group of visitors — ten minutes to demonstrate beta-candidate and a few minutes for questions. Then another pinch of the lucky crowd. And so to the end of the day, until you’re blue. Another minute — and another batch of fun anticipating the start of journalists into the world of WarCraft, Azeroth. For our guide Rob Pardo (Rob Pardo) is probably the hundredth adventure over the past den.Rovnye humps of hills, flying over head clouds. In a small village hidden valley, Town Hall (as it is not know!) And a few buildings around. In the foreground is a huge orc riding a wolf. In the center of the village a few grunts with a coarse animal face grunt’ov imposing axes.
Animation peerless creatures: they look, they were playing with a gun and occasionally snort, like a good thoroughbred horse. The models are recognizable at first glance, they are characteristic stamp of quality artists from Blizzard — better than these guys nobody does. Rob urge rider (Warlord) down to the village, and the soldiers immediately gather around him. Although at the moment the mouse obey all instructions of the army, in the corner of the screen you can see the only harsh muzzle equestrian orc. It is a leader, he’s a hero. The five units detachment (warlord, steam grunt’ov, minotaur, orc shaman) light goes trotting along the trail caught my eye. Grunt’y funny bounce in an attempt to maintain a predetermined pace of the leader, a little way off trailing a massive minotaur and slender shaman. Their movements are natural, relaxed and at the same time have a certain character for each unit type. Near another high hill scout found a troll. The camera angle of view changes at lightning speed, and we are seeing a few seconds scripted scenes: scout report to his commander about the discovery of a small camp of people. Troll joins the orc army, and with it climbs the hill. Indeed, nearby, huddled around a campfire, some tents are immersed in white milk shreds of mist creeping along the ground (yes, only on the ground!). Orcs cautious closer … And hear how unsuspecting people poison stories about his martial exploits in the recent war with the orcs. As soon as the trembling glow of the fire appears angry face saddled wolf, people, screaming wildly, rush helter-skelter. However, this is all that they are capable of at the moment. Blizzard did not even think about AI — so you have to manually Rob pitting troops. From somewhere comes up pompous march music, perfectly sets off the ringing of steel. Each unit (on the side of human paladin, a pair of ordinary soldiers and the gnome) is committed to demonstrate the whole range of strokes: top, side, stabbing, jumping, with a turn. What is happening looks like a good cartoon fighter. When the people’s resistance is broken, Rob Pardo takes control of Paladin and demonstrates a new ability of noble warriors. Above the nearest warrior ray of light appears — and that comes back to life. Not for long! Orc Shaman bouncing in place, and just recovered fighter dazzling lightning strikes. When the corpse again falls to the ground, around the small islands of smoldering fire. Zaboristye thing, the lightning! The Delegation of the orcs to move on, and soon the landscape changes dramatically. Place cheerful dark green meadows occupy land burned. At the feet (paws?) Flash black veins strange mist from one kind of shiver which already backs the assembled journalists. Very atmospheric. Impressive. Suddenly the party stumbles upon a group of skeletons and spiders fastened fight. After a convincing victory grunting and charming restarts small scripted scenes. Orcs get a second hero, healthy short stack with a katana in hand, whose face immediately appears next to a portrait sitting on a wolf citizen. Then the army is just Blademaster, Warlord and sent to his native village. Orcs are part of the northern region, the kingdom of snow and ice. Before detachment insurmountable barrier, the gap raised the bridge across which is located just on the other side of the cliff. In the short cutscene leader loud talks about ways that you can lower the bridge. Rob does not need his tips, he leads the Orcs straight up the mountain path, where it begins another scripting interlude conversation with an old elven mage. He alludes to the keyword to activate the bridge, followed by a fun mime, when unused in mind the efforts of the military leader tries to pick up the key: «Doom? Evil? Bad Evil? Mmmm. Bad Evil Winter? DarkWinter! «. Army briskly crossed the chasm and into the next eerie place. In the middle of the ice desert Orcs are abandoned altar. Within the circle of runes giant bones huge animal, around the ice statues of men and orcs. But Blademaster rushes to his goal, the crystalline artifact removal of which the trigger final cutscene. From the ashes on the altar revives frightening dimensions dragon gloomy pushes purely villainous speech and activates a powerful spell. Snowflakes cover the screen, and Blademaster appears in the original village. The circle is complete, the demonstration ended.
And now the facts. Compact. In WarCraft 3 Blizzard refuses top-down-projection and using an independent third-person camera. The player is transmitted only minimal control of the camera — all the work for you to do computer — will choose the best camera angle, do not miss any important event. The reason for this rigid system? The user has to play, not to mess around with the camera.
Hold on to the surrounding objects. You will no longer be able to control units on the battlefield. Provided that there is close to one of your leaders (heroes, leaders), the troops become unmanageable and act on your own risk. That is, stand still and defending. All the characters in each of the six (you have not fainted?) Races are unique and are not immediately apparent. Their leaders will be able to hire you, release from prison and to receive during numerous scripted scenes. But no more than six characters on each race! By the way, your leaders also immortal. In case of defeat the leader immediately appears near the nearest Town Hall’a — and the remaining unattended troops remain in place and wait for death or salvation. Each character is a full-fledged role-playing character (you water?) To my statistics, experience levels and even inventory (!!!). On receipt of new levels leader acquires new skills, blows, spells, and can also increase the maximum number of units under his command. By the way, every type of unit has a unique unique ability, whether the opportunity to go into a rage berserkerskuyu or «off» the enemy powerful stun. The game takes on an entirely different, tactical nature, when war is waged by a small mobile units and even to the individual units. Blizzard promises so powerful heroes, some of them will be able to replace an entire army! What is there water, pour whiskey … Because briefings also are gone, along with the term RTS. The campaign is one long, not chopped into small segments mission. Former briefings fed through numerous NPC. By the way, the same players are treated NPC quests. Completed task — get a new area to explore and capture. And so on until the bitter end! That’s right, the best whiskey without soda and smoking calms. Blizzard will bring you to the heart attack his brilliant ideas! The ratio of «War / construction» firmly fixed by developers as 70 to 30. The buildings and the base can still be built, but to do it consistently is not necessary. Guaranteed more reconnaissance, quest problems and cutscenes, whether they are scripted or animated. Actually, the old strategic style of play will not be applied simply because you will not be allowed freely to scroll the screen in any direction (cigarettes rather weak, try charged apple hookah tobacco). Now we have much to ponder over the most effective arrangement of the characters — in fact look back at the approaches to the base, you can only use them by switching from one kind to another. But the extraction of resources will be greatly facilitated. In addition to conventional means, the player will be able to carry out tasks for a price, to capture neutral (and enemy?), And even city to remove the gold from dead enemies (RPG!). In general, the ocean of new possibilities. Three of the six races already known: the orcs, humans and demons. In addition, Blizzard cares heart the promise of neutral monsters, creatures do not belong to the same race, and perhaps hostile to all. Next — better. During the development of the database you have to choose between the branches of the tree the process (as in Diablo 2). Take archers elves or gnomes strong? In the camp people hatred, so many useful upgrades are mutually exclusive.
THE BEGINNING OF THE WAY
So many interesting solutions, and WarCraft 3 only at the beginnings of the way! «Engine» of the game started to do last spring, and all the Blizzard joined the work until January 99. It is safe to say the birth of another legendary (at least under development) project. Read Game.EXE, we will keep abreast of WarCraft 3.
BETWEEN «Formula 1» and «Flying Fortress»
When OMX wrote his column about Majesty, the fate of the project has not yet been solved. Ripcord remarkably gave tips and spin off so no one was going. Actually, nothing is done and now — despite the fact that it has found an interesting strategy in the face of an official roof MicroProse and even acquired a personal website, whose address ends in «.com». In ECTS Majesty very badly hit between two serious simulator, Grand Prix 3 and B17 Flying Fortress 2. Shining happiness simfanatikov eyes slid across the screen with a typically strategic view without interest. Rare zealous journalists woke the sleeping man on duty from Cyberlore, who promptly gave exhaustive information about the project. Press confused, frightened and ran away. The man shrugged his shoulders sadly and again fell asleep.
Unit: Do not touch!
The first innocent question «and not indirect control it?" Representative Cyberlore was woken up once and for all. After an hour of lively conversation, he took out of the breech exclusive mouse pad with a splash Majesty and presented it to the author of these lines, and also promised to constantly feed the latest information on the progress of cases. From a distance (say, from a skull simulyatorschika) Majesty seems common strategy. Given the beautiful graphics and distinctive fantasy story, you can even assume that it is a sequel to Master of Magic. There is a huge city, piles of peasants, guards, knights and, of course, sweeping everything in its path monsters. On the menu there with images of heroes and their belongings, we are informed about the number of gold in their pockets, level and experience points. But the thing you did not manage to pick up any of these mouse! It turns out that MKO was not kidding when he promised a completely independent NPC in the strategic game. You start the game with a castle and a small amount of red metal. The best you can only build a few houses, lay the foundation for the future capital of the Kingdom. In addition to bringing forges money, markets, farms offer a very simple to create a guild. What for? To have at least an indirect effect on the boiling life on the screen. Noticing ordered guilds, farmers themselves run together and quickly erected right building. Only now you can «order» your character. Coming out of the guild adventurers are hardly your only connection with the kingdom. Each of them — a specialist in their field. Dwarves skillfully handle iron in the forge of battle and, rogues own sling, and always in the money, priestess and wizard have deadly arsenal of destructive magic. What guilds — as heroes: barbarians, cultisits, healers, paladins, and many others. All united by the desire to save more money for a rainy day. Ask who they give? You.
GREED IS NOT FUN
Authors Majesty prepared a couple of powerful levers to control separate characters. One of these «intelligence», another «attack». To explore unknown areas, use first. Putting it, do not forget to assign a reward to the first hero who reaches the target site. By varying the size of the monetary compensation, you will immediately receive a message about the number of adventurers who decided to respond to your call. Further not in your hands — you can only watch helplessly as the courageous rangers way through before you are completely hidden from the territory, fighting a counter monstrovem, find treasures, artifacts, weapons, and — gaining experience. AI extremely good. Heroes’s assessment of the balance of forces in the battle, and in accordance with the situation, make a decision — to continue the fight or retreat to the guild. Monsters are not far behind. Some of them get in packs and pursue a fleeing hero, others return for the protection of his lair. Most scouts can come across a huge crowd of goblins, who have decided to arrange a get-together right at the edge of the area invisible to you. For what? They hoard forces to attack the city. Monsters stronger, like dragons or golems do not need support. They boldly invade the urban area, where they are greeted by the guards. The peasants are hiding, and the characters contemplating whether to risk his life for the sake of free (not counting the experience) monster. Suddenly the monarch and wakes up a reward? As you may have guessed, the attacker flag is set on the building and on the hairy head of the opponent. Your main villa for freestyle-mode during the game is in the extermination of all enemy burrows, where they are born nasty monsters. Well, that was not boring, the authors prepared for the player a number of interesting missions where you have to save the hero and free the slaves to produce artifacts, take the whole city of monsters. By the way, direct participation in combat is still possible. Many guild can be completed before the temples and then provide you with a series of terrible spells. Of course, the activation of each of them is certain finance. But you have the money, the dragon roasts your favorite hero!
Together having fun
Cyberlore, like Everquest developer 989, a soft spot for the game sharing mode. And, you know, it should be really interesting! Several players, each has its own coffers, but all together to build a common city. Heroes of the single player easily look into brothels neighbor and despise money there. Then, in the establishment visited by a neighbor’s tax collector and removes some of the gold to the treasury ally. The trick is that all the characters respond to any of the flags of the Allies — so you have to worry about that, having received the award out of your hands, Knight did not buy a new sword in the store neighbor. It turns out to you to take the money twice! If the alleged partner brings you too much damage, do not hesitate to decorate the roof of his castle «attack» flag. Miser pays blood.
P.S. By the way, did you know that the authors Majesty took an active part in the creation of two small strategic games — WarCraft 2 and Heroes of Might and Magic 2?