When the Freedom Slips Away is almost half as old as me — I finished it in 2006, making it 14. I was 16. I was still in school!
Time makes fools of us all, and much as I don’t like what Blizzard have done with Warcraft III: Reforged, I have to concede that it is now the “official” way to play maps and, since I’m still alive enough to deal with the situation, I feel compelled to do what I can to keep my seminal works in good order.
So I give to you: When the Freedom Slips Away Gold, a huge raft of bug fixes, a few compatibility tweaks, and some Known Issues that I can’t touch.
Head over to the download page to get it!
Every time I play “the Rexxar campaign”, or as it’s properly called, “OrcX”– uh, I mean, The Founding of Durotar, I want to write about it. It is the about most exquisite implementation of the Warcraft III RPG format you’ll ever see — perhaps not as inventive or bombastic or narratively compelling as anything the community ever produced, but compensating for any deficiencies with production values that are completely off the charts. This is by far the best thing Blizzard ever made, a sumptuous tour-de-force that exercises the full breadth of the engine in a way the base melee game never dares.
Today: The Founding of Durotar, by Blizzard Entertainment
Okay, now I am taking liberties. NEHZ’s MountainStruggle AoS is, as the name suggests, an “Aeon of Strife” type map, where two teams of up to five heroes assist waves of spawned units as they battle down lanes to destroy the opposing base. Ever since I first played it with NEHZ and the rest of the Clan WCM crowd, this take on the AoS genre captured my heart more than any other with its tight, multi-layered landscape and Soulstone system.
Most importantly, however, it has bots — so while everyone else moved on with their lives, I could keep playing alone. And the AoS genre is about controlling a single hero against the world, as they gain experience and use abilities, so technically it’s still an RPG…
Today: the inimitable MountainStruggle AoS by NEHZ
This one is going to be controversial, because this map is not a dedicated singleplayer map: it’s co-op, for up to 7 players (odd number, but who am I to complain?). However, it can be played quite happily alone, and I do, with potentially shocking regularity. Why? Because it’s procedurally generated, that’s why! Every play-through is different!
So while this does not strictly qualify for the SPRPG Diaries by being a dedicated singleplayer map, it is a map that’s stayed with me and that occupies much more of my brain than it should. I think, therefore, it deserves some attention and discussion.
Today: the endlessly varied Warcraft Rogue by Polaris0082.
It’s amazing what you can do with only global state and one-dimensional arrays, when you really put your mind to it. What was supposed to be a quick fart in the general direction of a Warcraft project has grown into something quite incredible.
Well, incredible on the technical side. The game itself is no more or no less than a streamlined version of my standard WC3 RPG formula. You may or may not want this.
When it comes to modding, I have to admit to a masochistic streak. I could use the 3rd party pre-processor to get structs and pseudo-object-orientated syntax that would make this a whole heap easier, but no, I’ve got to use the bare metal to feel alive.
So, that procedurally generated Warcraft III side project I’ve been fiddling with during lunch hour is a whole barrel of laughs. This episode’s consternation surrounds creature spawning.
We’ve been through the cellular automata algorithm before. I said some things back then that were mostly theory — things I’ve now been able to test in the wild.
So how does one take a grid of noise and turn it into a functional RPG? Well, lucky for you, I’m getting close…