I could never say this before but…
I had one dream, a game better than Warcraft II, such as say… WARCRAFT III built upon the success of Warcraft 2 and was a truly better game. That’s why I joined the game industry. Unfortunately, I never saw that. Some might argue that StarCraft was that, and you’re welcome to that opinion but it was a totally different game in another universe. I played a few hundred games of StarCraft/2 etc but didn’t find it all that appealing vs. War2. Saying that is of course an unpardonable sin. People love it.
I had hoped that World of Warcraft would be some War2, but it never was. Sea of Thieves is the closest thing I could find but it isn’t an RTS and doesn’t have air, subs, etc.
I believe that WarCraft II was a total fluke (building upon WarCraft I) and would never happen again even if people tried. The reasoning for this is by the time WarCraft II was completed, key people that made it left the company and different people took over. The main designer for StarCraft was different than Warcraft II. When the people making Warcraft II tried to make StarCraft they put out a version that was Orcs in Space. It was just a reskinned War2. So in a 3-month period, they completely redid it and you ended up with the StarCraft you have today.
Why was Warcraft 2 great?
- Unfairness. Red = dead. The spots were NOT fair. The game was fun because you’re put in some screwed-up location you have to overcome or you’re in a team game and have to win despite having a teammate in a bad spot. Once they were working on StarCraft 2, they decided to make every spot FAIR for ESPORTS reasons which made it super lame in my opinion. Fair is fucking boring. Fair removes all those amazing games you had because of the unfairness such as say a water map and you’re stuck on the middle spots instead of the spots in a corner or edge. Esports ruined everything but also led to its success across the world.
- Maps were better. The maps were way the fuck better for War2 than StarCraft. They were memorable because they were based on cool designs vs. fair starting points. You can argue that fairness is better and led to more success but it was so boring in my opinion. Cut-n-paste watered-down maps.
- The bugs – With StarCraft they went out of their way to fix bugs and remove anything unintended or bugs that were fun for balance reasons. While in Warcraft 2 they said, hey we’re done working on this game and the bugs are a part of the game. The bugs were the FUNNESS that made the game.
- Better audio dialog – Despite the same people working on it, the audio was way better for War2 and made the entire company and game based off of those great sounds that played when you clicked on units, single-player and such.
- As the place became more woke and professional the cool audio wasn’t allowed anymore when the company was literally built on it.
- Game speed. A woke dude put in FASTEST speed as a joke in StarCraft and said no one will ever pick it. But the spazzs picked it because (and I want to swear) people couldn’t handle the slow build-up period of War2. They wanted everything to be a spam the most units fest rather than the amazing strategic games of War2. Fastest became default. So that changed the game to these people who have high APM and not necessarily those who can think the best. So esports people are the ones that can both think/click the fastest., etc. Which is fucking lame in a strategy game IMO. It goes against all prior Strategy games including turn-based clickfest. The counterargument was always “click faster.” etc. That really turned me off to StarCraft, the game speed.
- Game design wasn’t catered toward esports
The only real sad thing was that we didn’t have screen recordings or game replays. All those epic games that we could slap on youtube today and watch 30 years later are lost. Sad times. Imagine watching the first smurfing game that spawned the word? Imagine watching the game that developed some strategy for the first time that then made its way into StarCraft, and other games?
When they got to Warcraft III, the people on that game did not understand why War2 was good or how important water was to the game. NO ONE THERE had played war2 water or was any good at it whatsoever. Most people were what you say “LAND LUBBERS” who only played Garden of War or land maps and didn’t understand that water was 50% of the game and had WAY MORE STRATEGIES than land. The first version of War3 was a ripoff of Apple’s Myth. The team revolted vs. that guy and he left the company then the game became how it is today.Heroes being added in WarCraft ruined things where you’d never get that same water game because “what happens if your hero is in a transport and it sinks?” etc. How could you argue make War2 water again when none of them had played it. Warcraft III was a very enjoyable game especially in 4v4 and I played 1500 ladder games. But it wasn’t any better than War2.
So we’ll never again have a better Warcraft II water game.