Some of you may have not known, but I am a fan of old-school Warcraft 3. Specifically, the custom map scene or better known as “Battle.Net”. With the hype for Warcraft 3: Reforged, I figured I’d drop by and see how the scene is still doing after all these years.
Out of every community that has consistently survived the droughts of WC3. It is the strategy community, these pockets of individuals have time and time again survived the one thing that plagues WC3. Playerbase. With the arrival of Warcraft 3: Reforged, I wanted to take a deeper look at the current playerbase and gage expectations, hopes, and the future. Today I’m joined with Hawkr, a senior member of Warhaven.
Squishy: Hawk, the current state of WC3 is apparently dismal. At least in the custom map scene, particularly the strategy genre. In your opinion, what attributed to this? Do you believe there’s not enough new strategy maps to kind of revolutionize the scene?
Hawkr: I think the main issue is no more new people in the custom maps scene particularly new map makers. There is old (map makers) ones coming back from inacitivy now with Reforged coming up, and they want to bring their classical maps up to date with the new models and limitations the new map editor brings to the table. But there lies in the problem I see a lot of fuss and news ‘oh hey guys I’m making this x map work in Reforged’, and that’s cool and all but the main issue is as you said no new maps. The Reforged maps will give the community a boost in terms of activity once Reforged officaly launches, but I fear it will be a short lived boost. All in all the warhaven staff main goal is to help the new guy come out and boost their chances of getting their new map seen. While we obviously continue to support our old but gold map makers with their projects.
Squishy: Lordaeron: The Aftermath, is probably one of the most iconic modern strategy maps in WC3. However, most of the strategy players I speak too prefer older maps such as Glory of the Horde, which is unquestionably dated. Why is that?
Hawkr: Lordaeron the aftermath definitely was the most defining map on the Warcraft scene that was a product of our dear Marshmalo. That said I think why GotH and other well known maps in the custom game playerbase are still played is because of their consistency, now that happens for a few reasons, either they haven’t been updated for a long time or the map maker is satisfied or is too afraid to have drastic changes of a map that’s currently in a good state. The main reason because of this is the playerbase of those maps, and with an inconsistent playerbase you get a consistent and static map in the long run. All the reasons listed above are exactly opposite of what Marsh and our other map makers have done with their maps, with the help of our staff. Good relations with the community that’s healthy and welcoming to changes which is what made Marsh’s maps expand and have ever lasting changes, which in turn made her maps be one of the most played per days from version release than any other map on the MakeMeHost bots. That said this constant changes will always have a group of conservatives dislike them. That combined with a map makers will to update a map that’s 4 years old at least, if I remember correctly, you’ll have the map maker move and make new maps, Lordaeron the foremath, Kalimdor the foremath and the newest one from Marsh LotR: Conquest. With the community that’s used to change opposed to the older maps and their playerbases, they will just move to the newer maps and enjoy them. All in all we try and create a community that’s loyal to itself and the map maker which is what makes it active, as we saw what splintering AWLR did to its community.
Squishy: With the end of hosted bot websites such as Makemehost.com and giving players more freedom to host their own games via cloud. Is it easier for players and communities to organize “pre-games” or organized tournaments?
Hawkr: From my personal experience it was never easier or harder to host and organize tournaments, as the community we always had a private bot for those occasions and pre made games too. 😂 For others yeah pre made games are way easier to do since you don’t have to wait on MakeMeHost to give you a free spot, I think we all who used to host via mmh remember those horrendous waiting queues. But as everything has its up sides I think the removal of bots made the whole warcraft community disconnect from each other, yeah there are public games but not as many as it used to be. And I was talking about the time right as the bots were killed. Now the number of public games is even less with less people playing wc3.
Squishy: As you may have been aware, Blizzard is increasingly under political scrutiny. So much so that a US Congressman has in fact called for more “Moderation” following a racist demonstration. WC3 is known for anti-Semitism and racial remarks, either of them can be found through a number of public games. Do you believe Blizzard should cater to political pressure and effectively increase “Moderation” specifically in the WC3 area, especially as a global appeal for E-sports in the WC3 Market increases?
Hawkr: No, every game has them and it never made my playing experience feel less. Though I do agree a report button should be introduced so you could report users that are we stepping over that line of human decency.
Squishy: What is your personal opinion on the future outlook for Wacraft 3: Reforged. Do you personally believe it will revitalize the community and usher in a golden age of map-making?
Hawkr: It may. I think it depends on the current communities that are preparing for the release date. If you can accommodate and help the newcomers along it could spark the new golden age of warcraft 3 activity. Again I guess only time and the communities preping will tell.
Squishy: Do you believe Map Makers should be compensated for their maps through an affiliate program? There has been an increasing number of individuals that believe they should be compensated for their maps. Critics are even weighing in on this proposal. It’s no question that WC3 is an excellent platform. Games such as Dota, League of Legends, and more have spawned off of their success in WC3.
Hawkr: No, I think the reason any map maker does what they do is for the love of the game, map and their community which is why so many good maps are made. If you think you should get paid for what you do, everyone is free to open a patreon, donation page or make their own game as Dota did. =)
Thanks again Hawkr. It’s always been a pleasure. Check out Warclave here.