Warcraft Games I Want to See Made

Blizzard has a great property on their hands. Warcraft has been a RTS, a MMORPG, sort of a MOBA, and even a card game. I’d like to see Warcraft take shape into a few different/new spinoffs.

Warcraft classic adventure game

Warcraft the Classic Adventure Game

Did you know there was going to be a Warcraft adventure game? I did, and i was really looking forward to it! Lord of the Clans was set to release back in 1997, but due to communication issues and the competing Monkey Island, the project was cancelled — and it was pretty much finished!

I think a classic adventure game set in the Warcraft universe would be amazing. There’s so much lore and familiarity surrounding the characters and their world(s). A great story could be told with humor and familiar locales. Moorgard, can you get on this project asap?

The series would lend itself very well to point and click adventure, with puzzles and thought-provoking narrative. I imagine it would be a mix of Monkey Island and King’s Quest.

Warcraft RPG

Warcraft the Roleplaying Game

We have a massively multiplayer role-playing game in full 3d, but I think that Warcraft could be amazing as a Baldur’s Gate / NWN type of isometric RPG.

I would want the systems to be heavily based on D&D, and wouldn’t mind the combat being exactly the same. In fact, take almsot everything about Baldur’s Gate 2 or NWN and slap it into the Warcraft universe and I’m sold.

Everything is there: (1) Massive world, (2) Lore, (3) classes/races/abilities. The design doc pretty much writes itself.

 

Warcraft Action RPG

Warcraft the Action (RPG) Game

Any Champions of Norrath or Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance fans out there? Maybe some Gauntlet Legends? These games were loosely called “action role-playing games,” but they can pretty much be summed up as hack and slash adventures. You smash through mobs in dungeons while gathering loot and progressing your character. Dungeons were set in diverse areas, and could indoor and outdoor. Once again, Azeroth lends itself well.

All of these great action rpgs were somewhat isometric, but much less top-down than Baldur’s Gate. The camera is typically movable too. They featured ability trees, gear drops (typical green, blue, yellow stuff), and stat progression.

Characters were usually a set race, with an associated class. For example, a Night Elf Druid or a Gnome Hunter would be playable, and each have their own ability trees. Gear would be somewhat up to the player. For example, the Hunter would easily lend itself to melee and traps or ranged and pet usage. Once again, the design doc practically writes itself.

Warcraft the Fighting Game

Warcraft the Fighting Game

Now here’s a departure, but not as far as you might think. Imagine a Street Fighter or Tekken style fighter set in the Warcraft universe.

The characters could be generic “Undead Rogue” or could be famous characters like “Grom Hellscream” or “Sylvanas.” These characters would have their own combos and unique skills. Rogues could have a ‘vanish’ abilities that makes them appear behind the other player and stab them. Hunters could have “stampede” where they call a horde of animals. Shaman could summon lightning or frost shock to freeze then rock smash or something.

If you think about it, this style of fighting game wouldn’t be too far of a departure from arenas. Blizzard has already created a “fighting” feel, and once again the characters and their abilities are done as well as the world lending itself to maps like Gadgetzan’s cage, or Orgrimmar’s arena.

Warcraft Open-World RPG

Warcraft the Open-World RPG

Perhaps the most ambitious project of them all would be an open-world RPG like the Elder Scrolls franchise. An overall story could be told, but otherwise the player would be set loose in a single-player world full of interaction and exploration.

Once again I find myself thinking they could just lift Oblivion or Skyrim’s mechanics and set it all in a Warcraft universe and I’d be fine. Joining some sort of Ravenholdt (Assassin’s League) or interacting with the Bloodsail Buccaneer would be fantastic. There are hundreds of potential story arches to explore here.

Warcraft the Open-World RPG could explore a darker side of the universe, a more gritty and realistic tone. There could be lesser-told stories (again, Ravenholdt or even Northsea Pirates) and more of an untold story going on in the world. This could even all be set at a time before the events of WoW — that way there’s no conflict or crossover.

So Much Potential

There’s so much potential with the Warcraft universe. I hope that Blizzard is or will sometime soon devote serious thought toward branching out from their comfort zone.

As I wrap up this post, I can already think of a couple more. Did I miss any you’d want to see made?

 

Hands-On with Witanlore

I was first introduced to Witanlore by a long-time reader of our blog who works on the dev team at Druid Gameworks. Witanlore was successfully Kickstarted and Greenlit on Steam.

Witanlore is an open-world RPG with the goal of cutting the fluffy fat found in modern RPGs, and hoping to deliver a pure gameplay experience where every minute is spent on immersion. I like their pitch so far.

You assume the role of a young Ursine warrior seeking to determine your destiny. All we know thus far is that something nefarious happens, as it always does. The concept of Witanlore is intriguing. What I like most about the setting and lore is that I don’t have to be another human, or viking, or dwarf, or Elder Scrolls-esque race. I’m a Bear-guy, or Ursine, and that’s cool!

Witanlore Conversation Tree

I was given the opportunity to jump in and explore the demo. I’ll be upfront and honest here and say that it’s more of a proof of concept than a demo of much gameplay. I was able to run around an obstacle course, talk to an NPC to go through some story dialog, kill a pig, and scavenger hunt for some items. Conveniently, these each showed a glimpse of different game systems that will be used throughout Witanlore.

Witanlore graphics

The world is quite pretty. Unreal 4 is put to good use here, and the art assets shine (sometimes quite literally with sun rays).

Witanlore isn’t optimized yet — at least I hope not! There’s definitely slowdown for me when the settings are on turned up, but the slowdown isn’t in the form of being skippy. When I crank my settings anywhere above medium, I get a sense of moving through something thick. Almost like molasses. 

The voice acting is a bit awkward. When one of the NPCs spoke to me for the first time, it was as human as a voice could possibly get. The bear looked big, tough, and … ursine warrior-y… but then sounded not so ursine warrior-y. I hope they’ll improve the voice acting.

The combat I experienced was basic, click to swing and right click to block kind of stuff. I’m eager to try out the magic and totem abilities/systems.

Witanlore Episode 1

Witanlore has the potential to be a solid rpg. It’s conventional in the sense that it reminds me of Elder Scrolls. Pick things up in the world, active combat, text trees, and story-driven open-worldliness. 

I believe they’re still a ways off from a completed and polished game, but the foundation appears to be there. I’m looking forward to playing Witanlore when it comes out on Steam (also GoG – great place too). Episode 1 is only $6.99 which seems like a great price, as long as the content is there.

Having a Blast in Portal Knights

Portal Knights

Portal Knights is awesome. It’s a sandbox RPG that reminds me a lot of Minecraft meets action RPG. The trailer will do a far better job than I come at showcasing the breadth of the game’s capabilities. Let’s watch and then I’ll fill you in on a bit of what we’ve experienced thus far.

Think Minecraft where you can break blocks. The “world” is broken up into fractured islands must be rebuilt with portal blocks. Traveling between them leads to different biomes with different monsters, items, resources, etc.

You can build bases/homes/whatever you want. There’s crafting for weapons, spells, armor, etc., too. Classes are Warrior, Mage, or Ranger with their own abilities and gear. Combat is real time but fairly simple.

So far Graev and I have reached level 5. We’re a couple of hours in and have established a little makeshift workshops/home in a level 3 world. We use that as our home and return after adventuring out through other portals. We gather up all our loot then come back to drop it off.

With the worlds each having different resources, we find ourselves bouncing around to gather up enough copper ore and coal. Certain monsters are only on certain worlds too so things like Scales (which are used in lots of weapons we can currently craft) become a hot commodity.

I’m taking some video that I’ll highlight for you guys. Graev and I are really having a lot of fun playing — it’s up to 4-player co-op Local or steam friends.

Portal Knights is available on Steam in early access. They are patching the game fairly often, including adding controller support and soon larger worlds. Totally worth the $14.99 I paid and really shining as a sleeper hit for me. I’m really looking forward to the bigger worlds and upcoming patches.

Nintendo Treehouse: Live at E3

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild – Beautiful art style. I loved when Link had that full suit of armor on. All of the various interactive parts of the world like chopping trees, raising ice out of the water, etc. “Hyrule will be a resource,” hopefully means that we’ll be able to utilize more of the world for things like crafting [Pure speculation]. Supposedly the world is huge. I’m hyped.

Pokemon Sun & Moon – Looks like the usual Pokemon (which is great), and by usual I mean the new pseudo-3D world. Alola looks like a great region, Formes appear to be a nice way to upgrade Pokemon, and Battle Royals should ad a new fun element to the battles. Looks fun. Their presentation was pretty boring, though. I don’t think Pokemon warrants a sit-down dev discussion. The Pokemon chat lasted 45+ minutes and was absolutely dull. We could have had one nice video with these details in under 3 minutes.

Breath of the Wild

More of Breath of the Wild

[Presented in a live blogging style]

Really bizarre start to the game where Link has “technology” (looks like an iPad or a Wii U Gamepad). Extremely odd juxtaposition between the typical Fantasy setting to now introduce Scifi elements. It’s like Link has been reincarnated to save the world again or something.

Link can jump! There’s also Itemization — link can now collect gear!

Wow, that world is gorgeous. It looks so open and inviting to explore — so much character. I truly hope we have an Elder Scrolls style world at our disposal.

They’re showcasing Link chopping trees and collecting wood! Graev is like “This doesn’t feel like Zelda,” but I think this is exactly everything Zelda should become. Zelda needs to evolve into a deeper RPG experience because Nintendo NEEDS that deeper RPG experience for their IP.

Gear BREAKS! Holy smokes. Graev interjects, “Why is Link right handed?”

To refill health Link now has to EAT rather than find hearts in the grass. Link eats items that have the heart icons on them. That’s great. The creator (whose name escapes me) is saying it plays a lot like a survival game where you have to collect gear. Interesting.

I’m going to stop there as they’ve dragged this on a bit and will continue to showcase Zelda throughout the day. If Nintendo announces anything big, I’ll update this post with snippets of other games.

Zelda Breath of the Wild is probably my #2 most anticipated game out of E3. This looks like a great departure from the current Zelda formula. For Graev it seems weird and foreign, but for me it’s what I want and what I need to embrace the IP more fully.

Overall, Nintendo’s E3 presence was kinda sad. Compared to what the other big names brought to the show, Nintendo looks like they’re off in their own land where the conventional rules of having a strategy, direction, or plan (or even a clue), do not exist. They’re doing their own thing, but that’s starting to become their mantra.

As E3 wraps up this year, here’s now I’ll rank the big presentations:

Microsoft: A
Sony: B+
Nintendo: B-
Bethesda: C+
EA: D

First Look at Kings and Heroes

I took my first look at Kings and Heroes tonight. I guess I should say this is my second look because over a year ago I was invited out to the Industry Games HQ to meet the team and see a very, very early version of Kings and Heroes while it was still in a much earlier phase of development. I was able to see the direction they were going, give my feedback, and hopefully influence in some small minuscule way the final product that Industry Games is working towards delivering.

I decided to record the entire first look for you guys to watch alongside my thoughts here. I tend to launch into random thoughts throughout the video that will hopefully translate well into writing.

An Large Enormous World with Enormous Potential that’s…
Enormously Empty

The world of Sundaria is huge. Enormous. Even the starting city of Everdale eclipses the modern RPG or MMO town. I love that so much. The only problem being the unfortunate fact that it’s mostly empty and requires breathing life into what’s otherwise a very empty (yet pretty) shell. I love the possibility for exploration.

I’m curious to figure out this odd juxtaposition between Kings and Heroes being a dungeon crawler loot adventure and this enormous world. There’s potential for an Elder Scrolls RPG-type world here, but the gameplay thus far is being conveyed as queuing up for dungeons.

Exploring around Everdale, which you’ll see in the video, I found tons of awesome opportunities to create player housing, guild housing, amazing shops, etc. If they leave entirely for NPCs…. that’s really an incredible amount of space to fill with seemingly not enough stuff actually need.

Adventures Await in Dungeon Dives

The core of Kings and Heroes gameplay is (currently) found in their dungeon dives. The whole point being for players to run dungeons, get loot, and do it again to continually advance. Diablo is proof enough that people like the concept of continually running the same thing over and over. What I like about this concept is the first-person almost roguelike nature of the dungeons. They’re really hard. You can see in the video that I dive into one solo on the easiest difficulty. Not only is it larger than I thought, but I get creamed. Obviously it’s meant to be a group experience.

With traps, bosses, and having to cooperatively negotiate the dangerous mobs, I think there’s plenty of fun. One key point is that the dungeons are procedurally generated. For the uninitiated, that means the dungeons are random and they’ll vary in size, difficulty, layout, etc. That’s pretty cool for a 3D world.

More to come….

That’s really just my first look at Kings and Heroes in its early-access Steam launch state. As I mention in the video, I would like to get a Q&A from the dev team at Industry Games. I have lots of questions about where Kings and Heroes is going. Lots of potential here; I think that’s what lures me in most.