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Old 12-12-2014, 06:31 PM   #1
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Default Reminiscing on Mapping

Firstly, this will probably be extremely incoherent

Been thinking back on my "career" in the wc3 mapping scene (although calling it career is laughable :D) and wondering why I felt compelled to start custom mapping in the first place.

Initially, I came into wc3 without the intention of doing custom games or full conversion mods. Though admittedly, the idea of creating custom maps has always been personally appealing.
The editor was mostly just there, something to toy with after the campaigns had been completed.

What sold me I guess was how well suited the editor was for creating "personal stories". Just random maps featuring characters you made up, in plots and settings you really wanted.
The art assets were mostly taken care of, characters could be symbolically represented by a close enough model.
The time spent to create anything alike in another game's mod or as a standalone game would be massive.

I also sometimes wonder why SC2 and prospects of modding anything else never seemed to catch my eye.
Besides obviously having to re-learn a new editor, I somehow feel that alot of users, myself included saw the "potential" of wc3 mods.
Thus looked to SC2 with the intentions of fame and a continuation of what we'd been doing all these years.
That's probably where it lost me, when thoughts and issues of fame, monetization clouded the reaons of why I started mapping I the first place.

TLDR: I started and stuck with wc3 mapping because it was very suited to people who enjoy world-building. Id like to think RDZ can attest to that.

So yeah, go ahead and share your stories of wc3 mapping.
Be it highlights, low points or just general rambling.
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Old 12-13-2014, 12:25 PM   #2
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True words. The genius of it was the accessibility. You could just do some doodling around and still end up feeling that you achieved something. Be it just for your own fun or because your friends at LAN-parties were impressed because you could actually create a map.

"This is my map. It's shitty and there are many like it, but this is mine."

As for sc2, I'm sure a lot of people consider it their first outlet for creativity. But due to how it is much less beginner friendly, the change of the gaming scene as a whole and some other unfortunate decisions it could be considered a fail on a grand scheme.
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:29 AM   #3
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SC2 dropped the ball. I think WC3 worked so well because Blizzard just threw the editor out there and let it flow; SC2 tried to exert control with the region-locking and the arcade and it backfired massively.

I mean, even during the WC3 beta there were map sites everywhere. Whereas with SC2 they all sprung up and immediately died when we discovered the only way to actually play a custom map you didn't get from Battle.Net is by loading it in the editor. Maybe that was the biggest foot-shot of all; WC3's Custom Game menu is the real key to our hearts.

Maybe WC3 was just the right game at the right time. The right level of accessibility against flexibiliy, the right graphical level that allowed even amateurs to have a good shot at custom models...

Whatever the case, you can't fault the years of entertainment it's given all of us, players and modders alike. We will probably never see its like again.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:01 AM   #4
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The largest problems with StarCraft 2 modding, in my opinion are as follows:

1) General accessibility
2) Battle.net required for any map, in any way, shape or form.

Number 1 is quite obvious. Warcraft 3 simply had a much lower entry requirement. It was so easy to just load up the WE, hop in, and go to town. You were able to test it easily, you could distribute it to all of your friends with ease, and it was just all-around easy to use. The object editor was simple, triggers (while often an individuals first experience with any sort of programming "language" or simple logic) were fairly easy. Modelling didn't require multiple different textures/maps (diffuse, specular, normal, bump, emissive, etc.). However, once you mastered the basics, you still had room to grow and move into more complex projects.

Number 2 is simply a result of the move to the always-on Battle.net junk. I was in the very first round of invites to the Beta, and I was so disappointed that I had to always be logged into Battle.net, even if I just wanted to play with bots. I almost lost all interest after a week because I just wanted to mess around with bots and see what the game had to offer. My internet connection at the time was spotty at best, and downright horrid at times.

Maybe there's hope of someone developing a more simple platform dedicated to simply modding? I mean, a sort of happy medium between more mature, stand-alone development kits such as Unity, UDK, UE3, CryEngine, etc. Something that allows users to get their creative juices flowing and create something interesting and fun in a rather easy manner, but still complex enough to drive long-term use and scalability/flexibility. The learning curve for jumping into development with any of the above packages is often steep enough that is scares away most would-be developers. Warcraft 3's learning curve was relatively easy, and let's be honest, we all started as noobs at one point.

Who knows, I'm probably just dreaming at this point.
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Old 12-16-2014, 12:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
it's given all of us
It still does but not to that volume as it used to.
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2) Battle.net required for any map, in any way, shape or form.
That's one of the dumbest part that Blizzard could've made.
DotA 2 would be much more easier to mod tbh. Besides it's free to download, just saying.
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Old 12-18-2014, 05:58 PM   #6
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I love reminiscing.

But I don't have time quite now, so I'll just subscribe for later.

Thanks, Kino. : )
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Old 01-02-2015, 10:35 AM   #7
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I think the great thing about the wc3 editor is that we kept discovering more things that before were thought to be impossible. There were (edit: are!) so many "tricks" or "hacks" that we kept impressing ourselves with, which was a big inspiration to keep going.

If everything is possible in an editor then you're just using a programming language, which would be less fun, I imagine.
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:59 AM   #8
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I think what fucked SC2 editing for me is that creating a unit is a long, drawn out, complicated and confusing procedure.

I could slap together a working prototype WC3 map in an afternoon. SC2? Nope.
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Griffen
I could slap together a working prototype WC3 map in an afternoon. SC2? Nope.
I think the same goes for artwork too. Disparage MDL edits all you want, but anybody can slap together a well-turned and fitting unit in an afternoon in the same way by stapling the right bits together (okay, people don't often staple the right bits, but that's another story). So WC3's already varied artwork was very easy to build upon, but SC2 with all its normal maps and specular maps and IK dangly bits... Throw that on top of SC2's generally reduced unit variety because there are no creeps and it's completely hamstrung.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:32 PM   #10
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WC3 had such a huge variety of unit models.
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Griffen
I could slap together a working prototype WC3 map in an afternoon. SC2? Nope.
You must have had so many prototypes! ;-)
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:43 PM   #12
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Yes. So so many.

I think Warlords had at least 3 playable prototypes before it got into the map it was.

Hell, I think I once slung together a full turn based combat system complete with movement and LoS detection in one day.
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:01 PM   #13
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Maps, or it didn't happen!
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infrane
I think the great thing about the wc3 editor is that we kept discovering more things that before were thought to be impossible. There were (edit: are!) so many "tricks" or "hacks" that we kept impressing ourselves with, which was a big inspiration to keep going.
That is seriously one of my favorite things about Wc3 Modding (even today). While I consistently gripe about the weird idiosyncrasies, it's just amazing what one can accomplish. Just the other day I found that the Phoenix's "rebirth" ability works for Heroes (making a special "battle reincarnation" ability I'd been theory-crafting more than possible)... And in trying to avoid JASS triggers, found that a modified (greatly expanded & focused) Storm-Earth-Fire could create a (relatively-)straight 'wall' of a given unit, thus enabling a "Wall of Zombies" ability I'd previously required vJass help with... And even just recently, when I needed a unit that wouldn't accidentally be selected in combat (but was still 'partially selectable'), I remembered my training & threw on a neutered "Neutral - Factory". Bam!

It's just amazing what all can be done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by infrane
If everything is possible in an editor then you're just using a programming language, which would be less fun, I imagine.
Meh... I suppose. I must admit, despite the above, I would love to have a lot more control over things. There are just some things that are hard-coded in that make the mind boggle.

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WC3 had such a huge variety of unit models.
True.dat... I have always been so enamored by all the possibilities presented in the game through it's artistic resources... It's a big part of what fails to appeal to me about Starcraft 2. I'm not a guy who likes making new kinds of games, so much as additions & enhancements to the original (new factions, new heroes, etc)... And that's just really not very viable in Sc2.
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyrbi0
And even just recently, when I needed a unit that wouldn't accidentally be selected in combat (but was still 'partially selectable'), I remembered my training & threw on a neutered "Neutral - Factory". Bam!
So... what does this actually do? I'm unfamiliar :)
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