Author: Warcraft 3 almost had six playable races

In our last two chats with David Craddock about his upcoming Blizzard book Stay Awhile and Listen, the author has given us stories about Diablo 2 hardcore mode and details on Blizzard North's early desire to create a sports division. Today, we get a bit more meat on the Warcraft series.

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In our last two chats with David Craddock about his upcoming Blizzard book Stay Awhile and Listen, the author has given us stories about Diablo 2 hardcore mode and details on Blizzard North's early desire to create a sports division. Today, we get a bit more meat on the Warcraft series. We know that Warcraft was meant to have a medieval setting, but what if the sequel had gone in a totally different direction? "After releasing WarCraft: Orcs & Humans, Blizzard Entertainment's parent company pressured Blizzard president Allen Adham to get another game on store shelves," Craddock said. "A sequel to WarCraft seemed a natural next step, but there was deliberation over the setting and time period. One camp wanted a direct sequel--another battle between Orcs and humans in a medieval time and place. But another camp wanted to do something different. They proposed pitting the Orcs against modern-day humans piloting jets and other advanced weaponry in a fantasy-versus-science showdown. Stu Rose and Ron Millar, two of Blizzard's designers, united their efforts and squashed that idea, arguing that a bigger and better WarCraft wouldn't be quite so jarring." We know how Warcraft 2 turned out when it was released in 1995, and after its success (and that of the expansion Beyond the Dark Portal in 1996), Blizzard focused on StarCraft. It wasn't until after StarCraft was released that work on Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos began.

WarCraft 3 ended up adding two new playable races. It almost added four.

"After shipping StarCraft, Blizzard's ace team of strategy game makers returned to WarCraft to devise another row between the Orcs and humans, plus two new factions: night elves, and the undead," Craddock said. "Originally, Blizzard conceived six races. The fifth was the Burning Legion, an ancient race of demons that invaded Azeroth early on in the game. Deciding on a sixth race was like a game of roulette, with the development ball stopping on various ideas. One such race was the goblins, a mischievous and devil-may-care band of green-skinned warriors who had thrown in with the Orc Horde during WarCraft II's events. Early plans for a fleshed-out race of goblins in WarCraft III played up the kamikaze mentality of the goblin with designs such as a catapult that flung units across the map. Ambition gave way to reality when six and even five races proved too difficult for Blizzard to balance. Goblins and the Burning Legion hung around in the game, but not in the form of fully playable factions." Future stories from Craddock will include behind-the-scenes details on the Diablo games, StarCraft, the Warcraft series and World of Warcraft. Craddock and Shacknews will also bring you a week of book coverage during the week of October 29, featuring an in-depth interview with the author and a full chapter from his book.
Author David Craddock has been working on his book about Blizzard Entertainment since mid-2008. Entitled Stay Awhile and Listen, the unauthorized book talks to nearly 80 former employees, including those who used to work at Blizzard, Condor (later Blizzard North), and Silicon & Synapse (Blizzard's original name when it was founded), as well as people who had regular dealings with Blizzard head honchos Mike Morhaime and Allen Adham. Shacknews is pleased to offer a steady stream of stories from the book each Monday leading up to October 29. The book launches early next year. and will be published by Digital Monument Press.
Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 17, 2012 9:00 AM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Author: Warcraft 3 almost had six playable races.

    In our last two chats with David Craddock about his upcoming Blizzard book Stay Awhile and Listen, the author has given us stories about Diablo 2 hardcore mode and details on Blizzard North's early desire to create a sports division. Today, we get a bit more meat on the Warcraft series.

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      September 17, 2012 9:08 AM

      Interested in the never-before-revealed 6th race in WarCraft 3's original six-faction lineup? Follow the link!

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        September 17, 2012 10:09 AM

        It couldn't be infernals! It couldn't be!

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        September 17, 2012 1:03 PM

        Stu Rose wasn't a designer in sense of job role, just FYI. He was an artist.

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          September 17, 2012 1:05 PM

          Artist was his official title, but in the early days of War2, everyone wore several hats. Blizzard hired guys who were willing to get involved up to their elbows in development; in essence, everyone was a designer. Stu contributed numerous design decisions to the early WarCraft titles, several of them key to the series' DNA.

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      September 17, 2012 9:46 AM

      This book could sell a million copies. Get it translated to Korean and launch it worldwide. Will you remember us, Craddock?

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      September 17, 2012 9:52 AM

      The demons and the Naga were both fully playable for a few missions in the campaign too, with buildings and everything. Balancing them for MP would have been a nightmare, but it was really fun playing them for a few missions in the campaign. I also loved the founding of Ogrimmar prelude to the campaign that they added later. WC3 and SC2 both had incredibly fun campaigns.

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        September 17, 2012 9:56 AM

        Indeed! I'm glad Blizzard's work didn't go to waste, and giving players little tastes of what might have been added to the races' mystique.

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      September 17, 2012 9:53 AM

      can't tease this too much longer :P time to release the KRAKEN entire book :D

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        September 17, 2012 10:00 AM

        oh damn we have to wait until the end of october?! >:(

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          September 17, 2012 10:01 AM

          errr the book doesn't even come out until next YEAR? holy TLDR

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            September 17, 2012 10:11 AM

            I enjoyed watching your downward spiral in this sub-thread. :P

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            September 17, 2012 11:16 PM

            Lol the Korean thing is a legit idea

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      September 17, 2012 10:36 AM

      the book isnt out for at least 5 months? why the press now?

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        September 17, 2012 10:44 AM

        Fair question, one I'll answer in full after I finish my lunch!

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          September 17, 2012 11:02 AM

          F5 F5 F5

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            September 17, 2012 12:46 PM

            this

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            September 17, 2012 12:52 PM

            Refresh: it's like magic!

            Last October, I announced "Stay Awhile and Listen" and expected it to be ready for a summer 2012 release. The truth is, I'm one guy researching, interviewing, transcribing those interviews, organizing info, writing, fact-checking, editing, and rewriting this monster of a book. My dream is to do nothing all day, every day, but write these books. Until that happens, I've got to roll with financial punches, and there have been many since last fall.

            I didn't want a year to pass with nothing to show those interested in the book, and there are thousands. Seriously. It's pretty intimidating and exciting. Over the 48-hour window when we announced the book, our website (www.dm-press.com) had hits from every major country in the world, and lots of little ones, too. So, I decided to start the press train a little early as a sign of good faith. So many companies and products rise up with lots of hoopla, then fade away quietly. I wanted to make sure people knew the book was coming, and that it's going well, albeit slowly.

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              September 17, 2012 1:17 PM

              Sorry to hear about the financial ups and downs, but now you have time to make sure it's on Kindle!

              (Also- many more congrats. This sounds like a labor of love and also a giant bitch, so good on you for making it happen)

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                September 17, 2012 1:56 PM

                Thanks, man. :) It'll definitely be on Kindle. We're going e-book out of the gate; look for SAAL on Kindle, iBooks, and Nook.

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                  September 17, 2012 5:27 PM

                  Well I only ask because I want you to shut up and take my money! ;-)

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      September 17, 2012 10:56 AM

      Is it true that no more warcraft RTS games will be produced? I really loved WC2 and WC3, they were such great games.

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        September 17, 2012 12:24 PM

        I don't think they'll do more warcraft RTS games as long as they're doing Starcraft RTS. Why compete with yourself?

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        September 17, 2012 12:26 PM

        There has been no talk of Warcraft IV. The rumor mill churns with Warcraft IV rumors, but that's about it. I think they're trying to finish off a lot of the main plot lines from earlier games. Burning Crusade finished off Illidan and the Blood Elven lore from Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, Wrath finished off Arthas' plot lines from Warcraft 3 and Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, and Cataclysm finished off Deathwing's reign of terror from Warcraft II.

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          September 17, 2012 12:33 PM

          And mists finishes off the lore about panda....

          wait. Its almost as if it has no place in the fucking game lols (yes I know they were a hero in WC3, the entire expac looks stupid still though)

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            September 17, 2012 12:46 PM

            Based on what we know of the end boss of Mists, signs point to the whole expansion being a set-up for the return of Sargeras in the next expansion. Which will be sweet, but it's lame to wait an entire expansion cycle to see it.

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              September 17, 2012 12:57 PM

              The end boss of Mists is Garrosh. How Garrosh gets corrupted by the Sha we have no idea.

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                September 17, 2012 1:20 PM

                Yea. Sargeras sort of has a history of corrupting people. Also, Garrosh is an orc, they get corrupt all the time

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        September 17, 2012 12:57 PM

        I have no insight to provide, unfortunately, though my gut says no--at least not until WoW ends. WoW picks up where War3 left off (roughly), so creating a WarCraft 4 or any non-WoW entry in the series would disrupt the story, or split it at best, which I don't think Blizzard wants to do.

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        September 17, 2012 1:03 PM

        I am confident they'll make another. Warcraft 3's style was very different from Starcrafts.

        • Zek
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          September 17, 2012 1:30 PM

          I expect Warcraft 4 to eventually be released and be even more RPG than WC3 was. I think a game like that could be really cool.

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            September 17, 2012 2:45 PM

            That would be nice, but I don't think they're willing to halt WoW's in-progress story to insert another RTS game into the mix.

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              September 17, 2012 5:15 PM

              They could take it further out or maybe create a quest line that involves side stories to everything that's happened in WoW from the beginning to where its at today.

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                September 17, 2012 8:39 PM

                They would never make it but I would love a fleshed-out retelling of everything that has happened in WoW only in RTS format.

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      September 17, 2012 11:31 AM

      Wow... damn young'in's. This isn't a question. This is fact.

      The development of Warcraft 3 was big news in the 90's. They had lots of things planned such as a large persistent world, an experience system for all units, and a crap ton of races.

      They obviously backed out on that and made Starcraft with heroes. They likely recycled many of these ideas for World of Warcraft.

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      September 17, 2012 12:45 PM

      WarCraft IV Dammit!

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      September 17, 2012 4:45 PM

      For people who followed W3 development, yeah the 6 races thing was known and promoted from the beginning.

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        September 17, 2012 5:28 PM

        True. I don't believe the sixth race was ever revealed, though. And the goblins were only one idea. There were others...

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          September 18, 2012 10:57 AM

          Nope not revealed.

          But that's cus they didn't know what it'd be themselves.

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      September 17, 2012 11:53 PM

      yes, Bombay Sapphire + ice.