Netease, Future of Custom maps and proof of the remake!

Did you know about Netease before this?

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Level 4
May 18, 2018

I promised to this a lot earlier but was really busy with exams I forgot. sorry about that. I think its needed as most people including myself recently, do not know what Netease means and what its success means.
I know most of you are now thinking Blizzard does not care about the Custom map community with it's removal of Bot. And that melee community is the majority while the custom map one's are kinda expendable. That could not be further from the Truth.

This will be kind of a longer thread. These are 4 statements here that you most likely currently totally disagree but there is good chance you will agree with them after reading this thread.

- Warcraft 3 is kinda dead in comparison to other games.
- Custom map community is king and vast majority of Warcraft 3 community. Outnumbering melee and Dota 10 to 1.
- It will take a long time for Blizzard to figure out remake features such as proper hosting services for online maps, platform, reconnect system, spectating system, ladder and raking systems etc etc
- Warcraft remake is kinda unlikely and it's not gonna be profitable. If it happens it will be a trashy cash grab Remaster.

So Let's get started. What is Netease? Netease is a Chinese techonlogy company that has been in partnership with Blizzard for years. For Tax and other International business reasons Blizzard years ago decided to do a joint venture with Netease when introducing its games to China.

Warcraft 3 used to be just normal like our in China until 2015 I beleive where Blizzard and Netease decided to upgrade Warcraft 3 through a New platform. So they made the Netease Platform. Through you can play Warcraft 3 for Free multiplayer. (The campaign I believe you have to pay but I'm honestly not sure).

Here are its features and it might be seem like a dream but it's already here:

1- The game is Alive and it's peak is usually around 40,000 players playing or more daily (vs 3500 at very good days)

2- It's free to play and has micro-transaction model. Map makers who have popular maps can enter a deal with Netease and monetize their map and Skin models for example for sale and share profits.

3- Platform allows for great way of sharing custom maps. Instead of seeing a long list or Bots. You can browse through maps based on popularity, Genre, play rating and comments, freshness and whole bunch of other metrics. Netease also promotes new maps or maps with massive update as well to ensure each map gets a chance rather than just only the top map being played like Starcraft. You also see how many lobbies are made and being played with how many people in each map. Process of finding a game is much faster. There also tournaments and other stuff to promote a map.

4- Level based system to separate players by skill level. There is a XP system which shows you the level of each player for each map. It depends on the players Wins and games of a Certain custom map. This ensures for example you do not have a player with over 10000 games In Footmen Frenzy matches against a first timer and you can balance teams based on that.

5- Ranking system and ladder

If a game is popular and well balanced you can also choose to add a Ranking system and ladder where players can play competitive for ELO.

6- Better guild system and friend’s system

Much better and modernized guild system which allows you find clans based on your preferences and which custom maps you like. You can also check what games are your friends playing much better and invite them etc. What you would expect from a modern platform.

9- Measures against hacking and better lobbies

You do not have to worry one bit about hacked version anymore or constantly searching for official versions anymore. Say goodbye to that. Also say goodbye to copy cats as Netease takes down straight up copy cats of your map if you report it tho usually they won't climb the search engine anyways as everyone is playing official versions.

10- Reconnect system

Your trash internet got you out or Warcraft 3 Closed? no problem, reconnect to your game. The game does have a reconnect system and they found clever way to it without having to change the engines source code. However it's a bit weird and still takes sometime to reconnect. It doesn't have you from mass crash tho as if everyone crashes the lobby goes down so no you still have fix Desyncs and memory leaks in your map.

11- Voice Chat system and social systems

There is voice chat, keybinding system and bunch of other social system in the game.

12- Far better servers and connection, No problem anymore with ENT or dropping you anymore. Also download of any map is instant now so say goodbye to epicwar, you will not be forgotten.

14- Spectator system and Far better UI. Overall navigating is much easier than while also there is a system that let's you spectate anyone (as long as they allow it) with few minutes of delay obviously. Cool for casting. Only criticism I have of this one is not applying camera hack to it tho they have some other cool features.

16- Customer service Tutorials and support. They have an active support system for tickets, bugs and issues and constantly update the platform. Meanwhile for map making they sourcing are constantly active. Their Website easily Rivals and beats Hive specially at the current stage. I recommend checking out the resources tho it's hard as it's only viable in Chinese.

So Pretty damn good! What does this mean for Custom map community? Let's look the numbers:

When you go to check the games that are being played you get:


2628 Pages of games (26280 games total) being played. Now Let's check How many of them are RPG (custom maps).


Out of 2628 pages (26280 games total), 2566 pages (25660 games total) of them are custom map games. Meaning only 620 Games of all our Melee or Dota. (most are melee).

This means Custom maps are King and Life blood of Blizzard in China. This is what happens they the custom map community is offered proper support. Breaking them would be a heresy. So in there usually they operate a patch behind and give their map makers a bunch of time, support and cash grants to make their maps compatible with new patches.

So what does all this mean? 40,000 peak Daily is pretty good for a 2003 game I believe, specially since all the content is being created by players not Netease. You can compare it to this but I need someone to get data for Games in China to compare and see if 40,000 is a good when compared to this for example:
Steam: Game and Player Statistics

So what does all this mean? We all know Warcraft 3 is in Laggard stage and have barley made any sales for years. Why doesn't Blizzard just translate Netease platform, Make the game free to play, add in bunch of cosmetic Micro-transactions and make bunch of money while also giving players Quality Warcraft 3? It is easy money and an easy update! Activision Blizzard does not say no to money.

So there can be only one answer. Warcraft 3 remake to make more money! Tho players will like a proper updated version of Warcraft like Netease and it being Free to play as well will bring a bunch of hype, editors, nostalgia and players back. It won't as much since people will not like the look and quality of 2003 graphics and engines despite all the utility updates. So simply just add in a graphic and engine update, Charge upfront and add in Micro-transaction and monetize maps. Also ownership issues will handle much more smoothly with HD graphics as Blizzard can now keep track of who made what and which map. Allowing the process of Map making monetization to go much more smoothly. It's the gold mine business model. While in the past it was best to just make game, hype hard and get sales then leave game to die and work on next game. Today with Mirc-transaction model proving to be king by games like Fornite or Dota 2. It is much better to keep adding content and keeping the game alive. And what better way to keep the game alive than having players make and update the content for you in pursuit of profit!

I know there are issues that come with monetizing maps but there are solveable issues we can deal with it. It is certaintly better than doing nothing and comparison of Netease against proves it.

Now should I go and play on Netease now? Well you will have like 200-300 ping and might have trouble communicating sometimes. Should be fine for TD maps tho. However what I highly recommend is to check out the platform and see its features and what's possible. I'm sure I missed some stuff as I don't understand Chinese myself. Specially check out their maps as they have made lot cool ones we never heard of or thought would be possible. A lot of nice models too.

Here is how you can make an account. It's kinda hard as the platform was never meant for Non-Chinese people to join but It should not take long to sign up

Guide: How to play on Netease

Here are also links to Netease website to check it out. Also check T&C regards to maps as it's much better than imo.


WoW. This went quite long. Feel free to message about things you are not sure and What you think of Netease. I'm still new to platform myself so If someone here is Chinese they can direct you better. I think this is necessary as lot of people think Custom maps have fallen which as Netease shows is absolutely not true.


Dr Super Good

Spell Reviewer
Level 62
Jan 18, 2005
A lot of the features mentioned above will eventually come to standard Warcraft III.

For example integration with BattleNet 2.0 so you have a shared friend list between Warcraft III, Heroes of the Storm, etc. Anti hack tools to ban maphackers and other third party cheaters. Removal of robots with Blizzard hosting the maps for better QoS than most robots provide.

Even map monetization is a possibility, with Blizzard trialling the idea in StarCraft II at the moment. Be aware that although netease is able to do it in China, chances are such relaxed approach to monetization is not viable in the EU, USA, etc due to stricter regulations, hence why it took SC2 so long for the first monetized maps to show up.
I have been a fan of Netease's Warcraft III for a couple years. I have only played a few sessions on there but they have some awesome features that make the current western version look like trash.

I actually managed to port over some Netease maps using my hostbot system. Many Netease maps rely on data from their servers to function properly. I replicated this functionality with HTTP requests. This system could even support monetization of your map as well as in-map item purchases. Of course it will no longer work in the west as Blizzard is killing off hostbots. Not to mention you would get 100% of the profits whereas I'm sure Blizzard will take a cut if they offer official monetization. However maybe Blizzard will offer similar functionality to Netease. Namely DzAPI_Map_SaveServerValue and DzAPI_Map_GetServerValue which you can almost think of as multiplayer game caches.

Anyway, good post. Maybe it can help spread awareness of what is possible for Warcraft III.
Level 1
Nov 11, 2015
It is kind of fascinating how they manage to have such low quality maps with that amount of players, some of their most popular maps legit reminded me of RoC custom maps back in the days. If you need to be reminded of occidental superiority just take a look at this shithole, or if you enjoy playing bad maps with people you can't communicate with. I guess it is decent if you want to play classic war3 but even then you have the ping to deal with.
It is kind of fascinating how they manage to have such low quality maps with that amount of players, some of their most popular maps legit reminded me of RoC custom maps back in the days. If you need to be reminded of occidental superiority just take a look at this shithole, or if you enjoy playing bad maps with people you can't communicate with. I guess it is decent if you want to play classic war3 but even then you have the ping to deal with.

They actually have more advanced maps than the west, by far. They have tons of low quality maps as well but so does everyone else.

Level 8
Mar 19, 2017
Sadly, that's a chinese market for chinese people. Call me prejudiced if you want, but i really think that west and east are very different on simply too many levels. On China you will note that ie. there is a very flexible culture rounding intellectual property.
My conclusion here is that this Netease wc3 modding service (that actually works) can't be used by Blizzard as experiment or water testing (so they minimize the risk of failure). But this is obvious. Just take the risk Blizzard time is fleeting.

I'm pretty sure the joint venture between these companies sealed, either directly or at sole internal motivations, a market share (Activision Blizz on the West/Netease on the East), because for Blizzard it would be extremely difficult to adapt to such different general idiosyncrasy as the chinese.
Given the fact that Blizzard influence in China is heavily mediated by Netease (ie. is no other than Netease that distributes WoW on China) my bet is that Blizzard resigned a direct and agressive campaign on that country (this would also recquire hiring chinese analysts, literal china watchers, and having a Chinese Blizzard Division) and opted to form a very romantic relation with a trusted partner.
This was and is currently the best mehcanism to expand the horizons of a company beyond the wall (distribution, or "don't touch MY consumers"), ie. Redbull, unless of course you are just to fucking big for the world and you can brute force yourself out of any place, ie. Coca-Cola.

Here's the End User License (Netease): 帮助中心
The license or franchise contract between Netease and Blizzard is most likely confidential and expression of the negotiations and the joint venture itself (another contract, maybe lots of contracts in fact). I can only expect high professionality between these titans so no real worries here.
Overall, this EUL contract is much more clear (i used 3 different traductions), and less abusive than Blizzard's EULA/CGAUP (they're a middleman afterall).
Ie. 1. Clause 4.4. grants Netease the faculty to force the registration of an intellectual property right or any other related right -what about an "interest" as right?- on their favour/or in favour of the person they design, most likely Blizzard itself (Blizzard can do this directly too, CGAUP, 3.2, so i suppose there is an agreement with Netease, otherwise these faculties could collide or atleast annoy both), in the mean time, the author can't transfer such rights, or any interests or "related rights" regarding the account the author creates to operate the Netease platform, without consulting Netease first (3.2.5/5.2.6).
Ie. 2. Clause 2.2, do you guys remember when i ranted vehemently (i was drunk also, but lucid), on some post, that the Blizzard EULA/CGAUP contracts were redactated and configurated on such a way that the contract no longer apperead as a license, but rather as a...working/laboral contract?.
These dudes are much more clearer. And prepared.

Wonder how everyone over at Netease handles content made by others being used without permission by authors while still in Blizzard format, also how is the ping for anyone not near China?
3.1.2 on the Netease EUL talks about the proof of the property (only those that show that proof, their identity, etc are eligible), also you must remember that China has a rather flexible approach to intellectual property. If this happens i would ventilate the issue on their forums, because if i understood the clause 6.4 correctly there could be a compensation (charging the author's account, not Netease's) for "the platform users" (this clause talks about disputes between the author and the users of the platform, thinking maybe precisely on an ownership dispute, but maybe that's too much).
In general, relations between a non-chinese and Netease will be ruled by international private law, but clause 12.1 redirects everything to chinese law (that's the fist rule on contractual IPL afterall, "what's on the contract"). I would say that supletory international private law, especially CISG -signed by China-, that is applied by analogy here as a sale is the matrix of all onerous contracts has some basic insight and principles (so you don't have to read Chinese contractual law). Basically there is no real limitation here (the contract also doesn't say anything regarding nationality as recquisite, i'm pretty sure chinese law, and pretty much any legal system, treats foreign people as legal subjects), maybe except the legal capacity, that is also reafirmed on clause 3.1.1 (for China my research showed: general; >= 18 years, with some greyzones in favour of certain >= 16 year olds; and some exceptional >= 10 year olds).

But this is the legal aspect, the material aspect dictates that the real barrier is in fact language and ethos.
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Level 3
Feb 25, 2018
Level 4
May 26, 2011
Level 8
Jul 7, 2011
I read the English text and was impressed. I really found it very interresting features. However, I believe that Blizzard will make its own improvement in Warcraft 3 instead of outsourcing.

About monetizing. I am in favor of this, however without illegality. This makes having more high quality custom mod.
Dota 2 already has that. And some monetized mods are very up to date, and old.