Blizzard's Bill Roper interviewed (part one)

Qt3: How's the de-emphasis on the building looking at this point? Youíve been playing the game. How do you feel about this aspect?

Roper: Weíve mostly been bug hunting right now so we havenít looked at this as much as we will. However, everything we've played with so far feels really good. It's pretty neat to play. The real challenge will come over the next few months as more and more people play it.

I watched an interesting game not too long ago between Rob Pardo and another Blizzard employee that really said something to me about the depth of these units and gameplay. Rob decided to go with smaller units and the other person went the hero route. So Rob and he meet in battle and Rob has six knights and the other guy has a hero with some abilities and some peons. After a long battle the hero was dead and Rob had two knights left, so he headed towards the other playerís town. Turns out the other player had enough resources left that he was able to resurrect his hero in town and was able to successfully defend it against the two knights. It was fun to watch.

Qt3: Donít some players like these games for the base building? Will Warcraft 3ís limited base building appeal to them?

Roper: Yeah, some players like to build bases. We think that Warcraft 3 will offer new areas to micromanage that will appeal to these players, though. Thereís still plenty of resource management in this game. Players who like to think about where to put a second or third barracks will enjoy micromanaging the purchase of mercenaries and managing the inventories each hero has. Thereís still a lot of interesting detail. And of course there's still some base building.

Qt3: Did you play Myth? Warcraft 3ís battles strike us as possibly being a lot like Mythís with the emphasis on small unit tactics. Is there a comparison here?

Roper: I played hundreds of hours of Myth. I think in Myth, though, the challenge was to get really good with the camera. We have a fixed camera in Warcraft 3, so itís tough for me to draw a well thought-out comparison. If you liked that feel in Myth, that level of control, you definitely get that same kind of feeling in our game, however.

Qt3: Will the Warcraft 3 editor ship with the ability to create new graphics for the game?

Roper: Weíre still discussing that. We donít know yet, but weíre leaning towards supporting it. The editor will be full-featured and easy to use. We like to see our fans get extra value from our games.

Qt3: So would Blizzard be upset if fans make Warcraft 3 mods that are designed to replicate Warcraft and Warcraft 2?

Roper: If people want to make their own mods or total conversions, as long as it's the community doing it for the community, thatís great. We donít want someone to sell it, though. So yeah, if you want to go and make Warcraft 2, thatís great. We're happy with that. That's really helping the game along and really what it's all about. The editorís there so you can go have fun with other people who buy the game.

 

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