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Tycho / on Mon, Jul 8 2002 at 6:14 am

The very moment winners were been announced at the Cartoonist’s Choice Awards, we immediately regretted having rejected our nominations.  Then we remembered that, wait, we were Cartoonists, right?  Why couldn’t we Choose?  An award, I mean?

The more I think about whether Warcraft III is a worthy successor the less I care if it is or not.  The unit limits that keep everything skirmishy are very much to my liking, I prefer it for real-time games, but it’s clear that’s going to be a sticking point for many people - as far as I’m concerned, Warcraft is dead, long live Warcraft.  I’ve never been happier with it, especially since they’ve dropped the pretense and virtually made a Warhammer Fantasy RTS.  I don’t need to go into the particulars, like I was going to - you either know what I’m talking about or don’t care.  Either way, let’s evolve this shit.  Blizzard, listen up.  You have the license and the power to do this.  Warcraft Legions.  Stay with me, here.  I’m talking about Turn-Based strategy.  Since Games Workshop is making some kind of Massively Multiplayer thing with their tabletop wargame, you might as well swoop in and eat their lunch. 

Come on!  I know you’ve got it in you!  Balance armies online with the resource system you have in place, or try a “slots” system, akin to the inventory in your Diablo games, where units of differing potency take up more virtual “room.”  You could also use a point system as Warhammer or Bungie’s brilliant Myth did, I could honestly care less - that’s really not the focus.  Utilize a “shot clock” to keep the pace up, like Moonbase Commander.  Move Turn-Based combat forward by allowing the group selections, teaming, and powerful interfaces that have been pioneered in RTS.  Add gigantic units, strange and wond’rous to behold, devices that could never be balanced properly in real time but could serve a host of fascinating functions.  Warcraft III is largely the correct technology already, and the ability to construct compelling battlegrounds is a perfect fit for Warhammer fans, for whom terrain is a critical part of the experience.  Create unique win conditions and cooperative multiplayer experiences that go beyond existing (God help me) paradigms.  Anybody could do it, but you could do it right.

Human beings frequently write in with interesting commentary on x, where x equals the things we have on the site.  Ordinarily I secret these rare moments of personal interaction away and appreciate them at my leisure, but I thought you might enjoy a couple of these recent ones.  I commented Monday last how the world seemed to be constructed of tiny OICWs, suggesting that this terrible weapon would ignite Armageddon.  Interesting mails from a Marine in support of it and Joe Rusek taking the con side decorated my mind’s foyer.  On Friday’s spiders, goats, and horrors from the lab discussion, one Deborah Lonrau wrote in to soothe my fears, and maybe yours. 

So, Monkey and I are up in our local E to the B, trying to get some credit for shit, when I see a bunch of games I’ve never heard of before all released and on the cheap.  What the fuck is Zoocube?  How about Rock Manager, which seems really intriguing, thanks a lot Sweden?  Or Hero X, which I had heard about, but I had no idea it was out already?  The last two I mentioned there are twenty bucks per, so it’s not like it would take some big investment to find out, but between Neverwinter, Warcraft, and Army: Operations I don’t have the time even at a price that sweet.  Yeah, I know Army: Ops was pretty rough out the gate.  I’ll talk about it Wednesday if they haven’t figured it out by then. 

(CW)TB out.

the creatures jumped the barricades

Tycho / on Fri, Jul 5 2002 at 3:20 pm

Still not Talking

Because Batjew said not to, and I respect that.


anon / on Fri, Jul 5 2002 at 12:59 pm

Do I Have To Shut Up?

Gosh, I sure hope I don’t… better get everything out now before Batjew sees.

As much as I appreciate Tycho’s casual dismissal of the validity of my opinion on this matter, I beg to differ regarding a few things here.  Before we get into it, I should point out that he’s absolutely right regarding my “history” with Warcraft.  Nobody starts out a hardcore gamer, something has to bring them into the fold.  My gateway game was Warcraft II.  Before WC2, I would like, PLAY games, you know, but I wasn’t a PLAYER, man.  You would hand me a game and I’d play it, but there’s still a line between a guy who plays games and a GAMER.  Guys who just play games don’t stay up till 3 in the morning with Neverwinter Nights, nor do they write comic strips focused on games, for that matter.  I played Warcraft II day-in and day-out until Starcraft arrived, by which time I was so totally burnt out I could scarcely play it.  In fact, I’d say Warcraft is responsible for the bond I share with my best friend, whom I used to play competitively with.  So do you think I’m going to pay a teeny bit of scrutiny to the sequel of the game that changed my entire life?  Yeah… maybe just a bit.

Does that make my opinion on the game more or less valid?  Well… truth be told, probably neither.  The game is going to rock or not rock totally independent of anything I say or think about it.  I can understand why one might say that gamers are the worst sort of person to ask about the validity of X (where X is equal to sequels, in this case)... but who else are you going to ask, if indeed you MUST ask?  The trick is asking the right question.  If you ask me, or any Warcraft II fanatic for that matter, if Warcraft III is a “worthy successor”, I’m going to hem and haw and give you a comparative analysis.  If you ask me if Warcraft III is a good game, I’d say “Oh… well, yeah.  Duh.”  In just a second here, I’m going to talk about WC3 for a bit, but you need to understand that just because I’m saying something negative, it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the game.  It just means I’m trying to hold it up to impossibly high standards, and I’m not sure yet how well it holds up.

Having said all that… I like WC3, but the jury is still out on how much I like it.  The graphics and sound are flawless, as could be expected.  The choice between 4 different races is kind of overwhelming, and unlike Starcraft it’s not immediately obvious what the differences are going to be in the general racial strategies.  I’m sure it’s something I’ll pick up over time, but it’s not immediately leaping out at me.  I’m also not convinced yet that the more races is equal to more fun, if you follow me.  The focus here is definitely more on micromanaging your units and their special abilities in combat, which is something I’m not used to.  I think there’s a lot of potential where this is concerned, though, and there are a few things I like to try out but haven’t had the time yet.  For example, I’d like to try playing a 2v2 where the teammates are sharing control of their units.  It seems like there’s a lot of potential for a partnership where one player focuses on base management/defense/expansion, and the other focuses on going out and kicking some ass.

Give me a few days with my baby, and I’ll come back and write you a very pretty review.  In the meantime, go pick it up and figure it out for yourself.  If you like RTS in general, you won’t be disappointed… that much is certain.

(CW)Safety Monkey

Tycho / on Fri, Jul 5 2002 at 12:07 pm

Not A Peep

No Sir.


Tycho / on Fri, Jul 5 2002 at 12:06 pm

Shutting Up Now

You won’t hear another word out of me.


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