Fan-Made StarCraft MMO Deploys to Battle.Net

Fan-Made StarCraft MMO Deploys to Battle.Net

There may not be a canonical StarCraft MMO, but this is pretty darn close.

In January of 2011, Ryan Winzen unveiled a StarCraft 2 mod that transformed the popular strategy game into a respectable MMORPG. The mod, titled World of StarCraft, aimed to mirror the gameplay of Blizzard's own World of Warcraft in the StarCraft 2 game engine. Now, a full two years later, the ambitious mod is available for download through as a series of custom maps called StarCraft Universe: Chronicles of Fate.

Winzen and his team have been busy turning their mod into something that could easily be mistaken for a standalone game. Players can choose from eight character classes based on Terran and Protoss units from the RTS. Characters will level up, earn new abilities, and even take part in vehicular combat on "mounts." However, due to the fact that the StarCraft 2 engine is unable to support massive persistent world-style servers, only five to ten players will be able to group together in one instance.

Knowing that the traditional scale of MMOs would not be possible to achieve on an RTS engine, the developers of SCU focused on squad-sized raids. The smallish party size is more reminiscent of Diablo than WoW - not that that's a bad thing. The high-action gameplay is backed by a custom-built physics engine created by the mod team. Some professional voice actors have lent their talent to the project, as well as composer David Orr (of Castle Crashers fame), who supplied the game's soundtrack. Not bad for a core development team of five dedicated fans who have never met in person.

The current version of StarCraft Universe: Chronicles of Fate is a beta build with support for only single-player gameplay; Winzen says that multiplayer functionality will be coming once the team is sure that "all the core systems work properly." Despite its drastic changes and polish, it is still a StarCraft 2 mod, so you'll need a copy of the core game if you want to try your hand at the MMO.

Even in beta, StarCraft Universe is an impressive testament to what a few talented people can do with a game engine. The StarCraft 2 editor has already been used to make a handful of other genres, including kart racers and survival horror games, but nothing quite this ambitious. The works of these modders serve as proof that gamers are capable of constructing a lot more than just pylons.

Source: StarCraft Universe, via Kotaku


The clash of WOW and SC communitiesh ave begun. run for your lives, the doomsday was not fake, just late.

It warms my heart to see the dedication and love fans show for their favorite games.

I've always been super fascinated with the SC modding community. These people work for free (some take donations, others outright refuse them), all the time, and make ridiculously high quality stuff. I mean, its not all top notch of course, but they do it either way.

In WC3 people started outright creatin models for characters in game. Completely and fully customized models with textures, skeletons, and animations. They made huge worlds in those map makers that could quite easily have been their own stand alone games (in some cases like DoTA they actually did become stand alone games in their own right). And they never demand to be paid for it.

Glad to see the trend continue. Hats off to everyone involved in this project.

I wonder why they need a custom physics engine. Maybe it has something to do with scale given I do not believe that true friction and suspension based physics for vehicles are possible in the engine.

This is actually pretty damn amazing. The modding community across all games has astounding talent and drive to do things the developers could/would not.

I think I might give this a go.

Take one boring Blizzard game and use it to emulate the gameplay style of another boring Blizzard game. BRILLIANT! that Peter Cullen's voice in the trailer? It sounds like a higher octave version of Optimus Prime!

I love modders, they make PC gaming so much more... Alive :)

I played through it yesterday. It has a ton of customized models and impressive voice acting. Actually the whole experience was very impressive... impressive, but not fun. The combat is very awkward, and it is obvious that SC2 was not built to be played like a 3rd person MMO. Still my hat's off for these guys and hopefully there will be tools in the future to overcome the original game's limitations.

This looks great! And it's awesome that it hasn't drawn the Aiur of copywrite lawyers.

Oh wow, that looks really good. I might have to update my copy of StarCraft to give this a play. I'll need to find four or five friends to play it with though. It looks like something that would be a heap of fun to play while chatting over vent.

This looks... meh?
I don't feel like SC2 ever had the thing needed to be played in zoomed third person. It just looks awkward, and a lot of the models end up looking like jelly.
Also, unless something tremendous has been done, controls for SC2 in any mode such as this have always been hilariously awkward, so I doubt this is going to be as impressive as the work that has gone into it. Hats off to the dudes who made the map/mod, but I'm probably going to avoid it.

Miss WC3...


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