As someone who grew up playing PC games since my childhood, Warcraft is certainly one of those games I am grateful of growing up with. I vaguely remembered playing Warcraft II at a local PC store that I used to go, and I remembered it being an interesting game to play because it was one of my earliest real-time strategy experiences. This whole idea of controlling an army and base was so cool, and there were two factions that played somewhat differently from each other.
Despite never having access to actually own the game when I was still a preteen, I was able to play Warcraft III religiously during my teenage years and it was majestic. The campaign was by far the best campaign I’ve ever played out of any strategy games. I generally beat these campaigns once and then I basically just play the skirmish mode as my main mode for these types of games. The skirmish game types are my favorite ways to play real-time strategy games because of the sense of freedom can approach your within your build, and it is also the mode that’s going to help you get better at playing these games too.
Warcraft III’s Special Charm
Warcraft III was special because of its world building, characters, and great mission design that made me want to play it repeatedly. I still remember replaying the final mission of the Night Elf campaign because the whole premise of the mission was just that epic. It’s basically a survival mission where the player needs to survive against an insanely threatening Undead force for a certain amount of time. The Undead force can chew through your units if you are aren’t prepared for its composition, and it’s also one of the harder missions for sure too which is why I always liked replaying it because it was always thrilling to play.
On top of that, the game was just unique for the time for having this interesting blend of strategy and role playing games. The custom map selection was cool because it allowed players to take advantage of the game’s sandbox and make up their own unique experiences. There was so much to do in Warcraft III and it easily was a game I spent massive amount of hours on. Even to this day, there are many games that don’t quite give me that same feeling when compared to Warcraft III.
For example, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War was a cool game and it did have its Warcraft III influences, but just that power fantasy that the heroes from Warcraft III can deliver is not there in Dawn of War. For example, a high level Mountain King with at least a level 2 Thunder Clap can absolutely change the tides of battles. There’s also the level six Demon Hunter which he is easily the most feared hero to fight when reached at that level. His ultimate ability allows him to take on groups of units with ease and it also makes him harder to kill.
World of Warcraft Dilemma
As much I loved Warcraft III during my teenage years, I did get my hands on World of Warcraft which is another big title from Blizzard. I certainly remember it being a massive seller, and I had friends that were also hooked onto the game. But believe it or not, I was the complete opposite of them. I didn’t find the game that interesting to play, and it just didn’t feel like a Warcraft title at all. If I wanted to play a role playing game by Blizzard, I always had my beloved Diablo II to fall back on. But then again, I was patient at the time. I was wondering when Blizzard will finally release a strategy Warcraft title for me to play, and I thought it was eventually going to happen. I was completely wrong in hindsight.
If we look throughout the years, World of Warcraft had many expansion add-ons to its base game, but a true follow up to Warcraft III was nonexistent. Of course, there was the Reforged remake which was supposed to revive the popularity of Warcraft III, but it certainly didn’t. Thanks to its massive amount of technical issues and broken promises, it was a letdown to many avid Warcraft III fans. I can’t help it, but just feel jealous towards World of Warcraft players because Blizzard is obviously focusing on pleasing on the massively multiplayer online Warcraft fans rather than the real-time strategy fans.
The Issue With Real-Time Strategy Games
To this day, there is a part of me that wish I could play a proper follow up to the Warcraft real-time strategy titles, but I honestly don’t know if that will ever happen in today’s times. There’s no doubt that real-time strategy games are generally something the big game company names like Bethesda or Infinity Ward wouldn’t do because it is certainly niche compared to other genres like first-person shooters. I can’t even recall a strategy game that had a similar budget compared to a Skyrim or Doom Eternal in the last 10 years, but I do know there are some developers that are aware of this issue.
Since I grew up being a PC gamer for a good amount of my life, real-time strategy games are near and dear to me. I am currently keeping my eyes on the highly anticipated Stormgate; to see if the game will make strategy games be as relevant like it used to back in the ‘90s to early 2000s. Since Stormgate is trying to be the game that wants to make the real-time strategy genre more accessible and popular like action role playing games or first-person shooters, I’d like to see Warcraft come back to its roots and give Stormgate some healthy competition.
Return of Chris Metzen
Recently, Chris Metzen, who was one of the veteran designers for the Warcraft series, has returned to Blizzard as an Executive Creative Director. Time will tell what Metzen will do for the franchise, but I believe it is time for Warcraft to come back to its roots. The World of Warcraft fans already got their attention for so many years. I think it’s time to show love and support to those who got into the Warcraft series when it was a strategy game; where you can control a base and army.
It’ll also be nice to see Blizzard just retell the Warcraft universe from start to keep things fresh compared to what the World of Warcraft has done to continue the story since the original game. I believe taking this route will make it easier for people to get into the Warcraft universe without playing the previous games and the many World of Warcraft expansions. Also, it means it will allow the designers to introduce new characters to get players engaged to.
As we progress through the year of 2024, there will definitely be big news related to the Warcraft games, and if I do see a brand new strategy Warcraft game being made, it’ll make me feel like a kid again.