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Comments on Wednesday 24 November 2004:
I played the World of Warcraft beta. It was essentially Everquest with nicer graphics. The real Warcraft people, the ones responsible for Warcraft 2, Diablo, and Battle.net, left Blizzard and went and made Guild Wars instead. Blizzard are now "the people who make money off the good name of Warcraft 2".

The upcoming game from Blizzard looks fantastic, though. It's named Warcraft Warcraft: Warcrafty Warcraft, and has such a great opening video that it can't possibly fail to be the best game this century, because opening videos reveal everything about a game's quality, as all true gamers know. I'm on the secret beta team for it, and have sneaked a screenshot:
And when you get a power-pill, the cutscene is awesome. It's the best Warcraft game yet! Blizzard have done it again! Also, the death cutscene is so realistic - there's little yellow sparkles and everything, just like when a yellow circle dies in real life. But you can turn off the yellow sparkles with the anti-gore setting, for children.

You will probably need a new graphics card when it comes out, as most graphics cards of today don't support the innovative required "tall-screen" setting, which is much better than wide-screen. They might be adding an option for playing it on a wide-screen turned sideways (or tilting your head), if the ATI-TS doesn't take off.

Level 5 has Night Elves!

Seriously though, World of Warcraft is a bag of arse. Like most such games, it's a fetch-and-carry chore-fest. On the up-side, you don't have to spend a lot of time killing rabbits to level up - there is always a quest you can be trying to do. On the down-side, the quest is always "kill ten rabbits". No, wait, it's worse than that - it's "run over there for five minutes, then kill ten rabbits, then run back again for five minutes to get a prize of a piece of paper armour or something. Ooh, now that you've done that, actually, could you run all the way over there again and kill ten slightly bigger rabbits and bring me their feet? Cheers. Oh, by the way, I say ten, but most of the rabbits won't actually have feet so you'll need to kill about a hundred, okay? Great." The one thing I enjoyed about it was the ridiculous inventory system, which had me happily fighting tigers while carrying 6 rotting bear carcasses in my backpack. And those weren't small bears.

Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War, on the other hand, despite the excess of war in its title, is quite fun. I'm still not sure whether it's actually good, but it's enough fun to begin with that it kicks the pants off Warcraft Warcraft: Warcrafty Warcraft And Friends (note: still not as good as Warcraft 2 though). Pleasingly it sticks to the proper Warhammer 40000 character archetypes - the space marines are the insane religious zealots they're supposed to be, and so forth. Insanely, the game has a cut scene at the beginning and end of every level, as well as the mission briefing between levels (which is to say, between level 1 and 2 you get a cut scene, a briefing, then another cut-scene). The opening video is excellent quality, in contrast to the between-level cutscenes which are fantastically atrocious, akin to Thunderbirds in the animation quality, which if anything makes the game better. What they've done in game-design to minimise resource-gathering is quite good - you essentially just 'claim' a resource-spot, and then get resources from it. No 'worker-units' required, thus reducing some of the irritating micro-management common to many wargames. It also seems unlikely, as a result, to have an "optimum upgrade curve", so it won't just be a game of who can click the fastest. Good stuff. [09:28]

SpasmodicMonk
Did you find Warcraft 3 to be particularly poor?

Having not played it since the days you pounded me to death with lifelong trauma inducing regularity, I cannot remember it particularly well.

I do, however, find Warcraft 3 to be fairly fun, even if it does get to be somewhat samey after the first, oh, two missions.

SpasmodicMonk
Erm, there should have been mention of Warcraft 2 between 'played' and 'since'.

RavenBlack
Warcraft 3 wasn't *awful*, but nor was it good. Less well-balanced and more annoying interface than Warcraft 2, and less fun than Myth 1 or 2. Unnecessary and irrelevant 3D gets on my nerves - it just makes the game less playable.

Digi
I've glimpsed Dawn of War, but I dismissed it as a "Warcraft III mod", though Google won't confirm this.

Certainly seemed very similar.

Thorkhas
I loved your article ! even though it's was written two years ago and i'm a wow fan. There's a lot of humor here and it's clear that the grinding spree is not the best part of the game (personally i prefer the skills required off-game to manage a guild).

Thanks for the laugh !

Gene
Hilarious stuff mate. Even I didn't like WOW 3 as much as it's predecessors but it was enough to keep me occupied for the greater part of the day.
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