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Warcraft III - Beta Update

by Thomas on April 23, 2002 @ 8:43 p.m. PDT

On the Warcraft III General Discussion Forum there is an beta update posted by Rob Pardo from Blizzard (thanks Blues).

We are nearing the final phase of the beta currently. Internally we are debugging the code, optimizing the game engine and making performance improvements, while also working on the single player campaigns. Within the beta, we are now going to focus on the balance of the game more then ever. It may be helpful to you testers to know the kinds of changes we will make or wont make from this point forward.. Check out full story below!!

Things we can change

1) Hit points, armor, damage, etc. Basically anything that is a “number” in our database, we can change to improve on the balance of the game. Number changes may not sound like a lot at first, but War3 is very “data driven”. Every spell and unit in the game has many data entries that determine the behavior of the unit/spell.
2) Maps. Sometimes I hear comments about items being too powerful or a neutral building being too powerful. This is commonly due to map imbalances and any feedback on specific maps would be appreciated. This feedback will also help the designers with the many more maps that will release with the full version
3) Scoring and Battle.net features polish. This week we will start working on the online web presence for the War3 ladder. We are very excited about the different ladders and the match making system for competing.

Things that are unlikely to change

1) Major features will not be added or removed any longer unless the reason is very compelling. Feel free to suggest them, but understand even excellent feature suggestions will be added to a wishlist for future expansions and/or products.
2) Spells and Tech Tree additions are also very unlikely to happen. With the development of a large project like War3, we need to finalize elements like the manual long before we finish the game. This is so it can be translated into other languages and can have plenty of time for the millions of copies to be printed. Again, if the only way we can fix is a problem is through a spell or tech tree change it can happen, but only after all other avenues have been exhausted.

To preemptively respond to some of our critics I have followed the forums at Battle.net and on many fan sites and do realize that there is a contingent of testers that feels that War3 is too large a departure from our previous RTS titles. I can understand the feeling and also see some very good reasoning in some of these criticisms, but we are committed to our direction with War3 and all the new elements. We feel that the addition of heroes, creeps, items, etc are very exciting and very fun for the majority of computer game players. We have also received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from the testers and gaming press. So, we will have to agree to disagree about this particular issue. Hopefully even the disgruntled testers can continue to help the beta process, since many of these critics are fantastic RTS players and have a great deal to contribute to the final balance process. However, it is really no longer productive to continue the arguments about the removal of the new features that make War3 different from its predecessors.

Lastly, I just want to say how much we appreciate the great number of fans we have and how passionate they are about trying to make WarCraft 3 a great game. I know it can be frustrating to post your ideas and suggestions and not get a response from Blizzard and therefore feel your effort was wasted, but let me assure you it was not. During the beta we have made several feature additions that were in direct response to suggestions on these forums. The beta testers have more definitely been part of the development of this game.

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