Got A Package Here...
There are some things that we gaming editors love to hear. This phrase from the mouth of a FedEx or UPS employee is one of them. Being involved with a beta test conducted by Blizzard is like mingling with gods. They have created some of the most treasured and respected games the PC has ever seen. They've never delved into the first-person shooter market, but they don't need to. With each release, they re-define what a real-time strategy or role-playing game is. The original Warcraft: Orcs and Humans was among the first of the real-time strategy genre, followed by Warcraft II and its Battle.net edition. In Warcraft III, an even further emphasis is put on multiplayer through Battle.net, of which the beta consists. The single player campaign and LAN play have not been enabled. That was quite a disappointing blow for those lucky 5000 of us who were chosen to be part of the closed public testing.
Blizzard mailed CDs containing the beta application to all of the testers, who eagerly jammed them into their drives just as we did. Aside from in some cyber cafes in Korea and with international press members, the beta is taking place only in the United States and Canada. Since there are so few of us, this helps ensure that the majority of people play the game at the same time and multiplayer matchmaking is simple. There are two manners in which one can play a multiplayer game in the beta. Many of the options on the Battle.net screens are disabled, such as arranged teams for playing with pre-selected friends, daylong tournaments, and organized clans. It'll be interesting to find out with what frequency Blizzard is planning tournaments and what kind of bragging rights winners will receive. The first option for beta players is automated matchmaking based on your preferences of a one on one, two on two, or three on three game and map choices. The second is a custom game, but not much is customizable as of yet. For instance, the game speed for the beta is locked at fast.
When the news of Warcraft III first broke, the word was that six races would star in the masterpiece. The amount of playable races has dwindled to four, but that's still double the amount included in Warcraft II. A fifth race will be represented by the AI in the single player campaign. All we can tell you is that it will be known as The Burning Legion, and its appearance is the center of the storyline. The Orcs and Humans make their triumphant return, and are accompanied by the mystical Night Elves and the hideous Undead.