Over a decade has passed since Blizzard released Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. In the intervening years, the Warcraft franchise has turned away from real-time strategy titles and settled into the MMORPG and Collectible Card Game genres. But a group of Russian mod makers is resurrecting Blizzard's original RTS franchise using StarCraft II's editing suite.

On Wednesday, the team behind Warcraft: Armies Of Azeroth released a short gameplay video on moddb.com, an online stomping ground for amateur developers.

Check it out:



When it's completed, Warcraft: Armies of Azeroth will look and act very much like Warcraft III. In fact, if you look closely at the video, you might notice that the graphics are already slightly more impressive than the original. Last month, Blizzard released Warcraft III's assets, allowing StarCraft II modders to gobble them up for future projects. But the Armies Of Azeroth crew opted to created its own.

"We plan to use sounds and effects," they said in a post on moddb, "but [Warcraft's] models are quite ugly" (via Eurogamer).

Armies of Azeroth will remain faithful to the original title, only improving the graphics and user interface. According to the team, the mod will even include "Upkeep," which has always been one of the community's least-favorite features. Plus, it will allow other mod makers to create their own Warcraft-themed maps and mods.

Here's how the developer describes the project:
Warcraft: Armies of Azeroth is the Starcraft II based remake of Warcraft III, which adds some new gameplay features, but saves original balance and graphical design with massive use of resources from other games created by Blizzard Entertainment.

Features of the mod:
  1. Better graphics engine
  2. New models of units, heroes, buildings, doodads and etc.
  3. Opportunity for modmakers to create their own mods and maps in Warcraft style
  4. Better control system and interface
  5. Warcraft III original balance
  6. No StarCraft II purchase required

Obviously, we don't know when the mod will officially hit the net. Since this is being constructed by a volunteer development team, the timeline could be lengthy. But Blizzard's timelines have never been short, and they're usually quite flexible. So Armies of Azeroth is in good company.

Now, if you're hoping this project encourages Blizzard to begin development on Warcraft IV, I wouldn't get excited. Right now, Blizzard has more irons in the fire than it's ever had before. HearthStone, World of Warcraft, and Diablo III are already devouring the developer's resources, and Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch haven't even hit the market. So, Blizzard's hands are full at the moment.

For now, you'll just have to enjoy Armies of Azeroth and cross your fingers for another Warcraft sequel. Hopefully that'll happen before we all die of old age.

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