First Warcraft 3 Map – Planning pt. 1

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At first I was doing a bit of planning on the roguelike, trying to figure out a basic class hierarchy even though I told myself I would simply follow a tutorial. But after deciding on Warcraft as the other project I started doing “research” on existing Warcraft RPG maps & now I’m riding the Warcraft 3 wave again, but this time actually doing more productive work. I’ve started making a plan for my first proper Warcraft 3 map & have a basic idea of what the map will be like, though there are several details I’ll need to sort out first.

Since this map will be based on Talisman I’ll give a basic outline of the board game. Talisman is a fantasy adventure board game where you play as an RPG arch-type in a fantasy land, competing with other players to acquire the Crown of Command. Much of the game has the players traveling the outer & middle regions acquiring experience & searching for a Talisman in order to access the inner region where the Crown of Command is located. Gameplay is pretty simple: the players roll a dice, move that many spaces around the board, & follow the instructions written on the space they land on. Typically the instruction is to draw a card which can either be a monster, item, or some other event. There are also expansion packs that add new regions to the game. Much of the map will be directly influenced by this game.

So far the planned features are:

  • A large open world map divided into three main regions + several sub regions. At first I was simply going to follow what Talisman did & have the first two regions be like onion layers surrounding the final region, but since I won’t have the same limitations as the board I could try out a different layout. I could have the regions ordered from left to right, or make them separate islands or “dimensions”. I’m so far liking the later one.
  • Randomly placed encounters in the form of creeps, items, NPCs, & places of interest. Both Talisman & Warcraft have given me plenty of ideas for encounters that I’ll save for a later post.
  • 16 available heroes divided into four “alignments”. Alignments have an effect on certain aspects of the map, e.g. how encounters react. Alignments can be changed under certain conditions, most likely by visiting an altar or talking to an NPC. Heroes of the same alignment are not necessarily on the same team.
  • 4-6 total players. I want to allow players the choice of cooperating or competing with each other so other players would be regarded as “neutral”.

Map progression would go something like this:

  1. Choose a hero to play as
  2. Start at a place of interest within Region 1 relating to your chosen hero
  3. Explore the map, kill creeps, gain experience
  4. Acquire the MacGuffin that lets you enter Region 3, or Final Dungeon
  5. Reach the Final Dungeon located in Region 2
  6. Enter using the MacGuffin
  7. Kill final boss to get MacGuffin #2

To simplify things, I’m sticking to the default units of Warcraft 3; I’ll likely change the model for a few heroes & use buildings differently but the unit stats will be the same as vanilla Warcraft. This is to speed up development & allow me to concentrate on learning the editor itself & what I can do using triggers. I’m still trying to figure out a name though it’ll probably be named after one of the two MacGuffins (wouldn’t it be funny playing a map called MacGuffin). If the map turns out great I may do an expanded “campaign” version where the regions are separate maps the players can freely move between, similar to The Founding of Durotar campaign, though I imagine this would be singleplayer or cooperative due to technical limitations.

I’ll probably have something closer to a design document next week. Farewell.

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