Warcraft III Future - What is our plan?

The future of Warcraft 3 seems rather uncertain, and often I find people do not agree on what they want for this game. But to be honest, when I look at Patch 1.33 and the extensive amount of work it needs to eliminate all bugs that it would otherwise introduce, I just have a sense of foreboding. I do not know anything about the people who are touching the code of this game now, so I could be wrong about this, but I know that I have felt for years that Activision Blizzard King corporate's agenda and my own personal interests have not always aligned. Their company requires a constant revenue stream in order to function, versus me where I just wanted to mod Warcraft III for some fun.

And as time has gone on in the past few years I feel like I have gotten further from the Warcraft III game itself and more into the Warcraft III communication channels and social media tech like Hive and Discord, and I am probably the worse for it. It may be that even the very fabric of how my brain works has changed. Perhaps I am now less helpful and more toxic towards the people who are doing the actual and legitimate Warcraft III modding.

But I think this... feeling and sense of "foreboding" are why I wanted to ask if we have any collective plan here at Hive Workshop. If Blizzard pushes the Patch 1.33 live as-is, with all of its new bugs, I think that would signal that we should begin to consider acting on some kind of collective plan to be able to continue our creativity and the feeling of artsy RTS fantasy modding without requiring the support of Activision Blizzard King. I reckon we can ask no more of ABK. The state of Reforged in the public eye is terrible, but as far as its support for past custom maps it was actually doing rather well. These good times when it was that way... I fear they may not last forever. I know this is an unpopular opinion in our private social circles of Warcraft III modding, but I believe that from the perspective of ABK the support of past WC3 maps built into Warcraft III: Reforged was a form of charity. And, it simply would not surprise me if they decided to be less charitable in the future.

And yet I am not here to ask your opinion on ABK and their workforce. Please do not bother to offer opinions on that. I am wondering what we will do, collectively, when they stop being as charitable to us as they are today. Hive has thousands, or maybe tens of thousands, of custom 3D model files. Surely we are just one patch away from ABK's Reforged service no longer supporting these models. It looks like on Patch 1.33, any of the custom "HD Reforged models" that use custom particle effects will probably no longer be supported and will crash the game any time that they are used in a custom map. Maybe dropping support for the "SD Classic models" might come in the patch after it. This is not, and does not have to be an intentional act of sabotage by ABK -- it's merely a matter of apathy. Their job is to come together as a company, collectively, and obtain a revenue stream. It is not a job to make us happy.

So, perhaps the best future personally that I can imagine for my own uses of this kind of technology would be a fully open-source game experience using:
  • HiveWE as an open source map editor tool to draw maps
  • Retera Model Studio as an open source tool to create 3D art
  • Warsmash mod engine as an open source client to play the maps
However, all three of these tools despite being open source solutions for interacting with this creative space currently depend on proprietary ABK art assets even though these are otherwise open source tools that use their own code. So, possibly the biggest gain for us would be if we could:
  1. Obtain a set of game data and assets that are not proprietary ABK property but that fulfill the formats necessary to run the above listed tools. I would want them to be public domain, specifically
  2. Learn from a legal professional if these tools are and will continue to be immune to any lawsuit regarding their current code (as it pertains to having originally been inspired by proprietary ABK software)

Is anybody able to help on either of these points? I think that getting a set of public domain or "open source" art assets to fulfill the need(s) for running these tools is probably the biggest and most challenging of these two possible future goals. But it would be really cool to make progress on this front, I think. At least, this idea would interest me. Would it interest you? Or, do you believe the costs would simply outweigh the benefits? Please let me know.
 
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Maybe this stuff can be of use for your cause:

Fingolfin might know how to import assets from 0 A.D. to WC3.
( Modding_Guide – Wildfire Games )
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I think it will be difficult to overcome the sentimentality for the old art in some sense, though. I wonder if I might enjoy trying to make my own art, even though it's technically less reasonable for me to do that than to just port 0 AD
 
The future of Warcraft 3 seems rather uncertain, and often I find people do not agree on what they want for this game.
Blizzard wants money. Melee players want old graphics and balance patches. Warcraft campaign players want shiny graphics to tell a story. And you want the old graphics but more editor functionality.
Their company requires a constant revenue stream in order to function, versus me where I just wanted to mod Warcraft III for some fun.
As you know, many of Blizzard's updates since version 1.27 turned DZAPI into BLZAPI. I think this might be a hint that Blizzard tends to upgrade the map editor only when custom maps can make extra money.

Although commercialization may seem like a violation to people who come to play the world editor just for fun, it seems that only commercialization will allow Blizzard to update the world editor.

By the way, how much do you know about what happened to NetEase and Blizzard in China?
Perhaps I am now less helpful and more toxic towards the people who are doing the actual and legitimate Warcraft III modding.
Still useful, helpful. You are not alone. I think a lot of people have had the idea of rewriting the game themselves and pushing the limits of the engine, you are the only one left to do so actively and publicly. There was even a person in the Chinese community who took the Warcraft material to Unreal Engine to make his own RTS game, and mocked Blizzard in the title of the public video. He said that if he had the Warcraft IP, he could do better than Blizzard. I think he's more deserving of a lawyer's letter.

Honestly, I think you know your RMS is very popular in HD graphics right now. Even more popular after you launched the RMS introductory video. You have done a lot for the community. No one will think you are toxic to the community. We respect you. My dear Retera, your pursuit of technology and passion for Warcraft inspires me.
If Blizzard pushes the Patch 1.33 live as-is, with all of its new bugs, I think that would signal that we should begin to consider acting on some kind of collective plan to be able to continue our creativity and the feeling of artsy RTS fantasy modding without requiring the support of Activision Blizzard King.
I don't know why you're so negative. It's not 2020, and I think they have plenty of time to choose to do something good, or choose not to do anything.
Is anybody able to help on either of these points? I think that getting a set of public domain or "open source" art assets to fulfill the need(s) for running these tools is probably the biggest and most challenging of these two possible future goals.
You're doing this just so the community can continue to play for fun, you're not even trying to get a position at some Valve company. It's interesting.

However, this is still consistent with the DOTA thing, you think you don't use ABK material so you won't get a lawyer's letter. But I think in practice you get a lawyer's letter whenever there is an obvious conflict of interest.
 
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Rui

Rui

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Jan 7, 2005
Messages
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It may be that even the very fabric of how my brain works has changed
I love it when you put it like this. 😄

So, possibly the biggest gain for us would be if we could:
  1. Obtain a set of game data and assets (...)
Obtain, or... produce, as a project in its own right, accepting and gathering contributions from a shifting array of talented people. Which is the Hive does have: see @Triceron's Wc3 model recreations for SC2 or the models for Chronicles of the Second War. It does not even need to just copy Warcraft III art. Why not create a model of a soldier that resembles and can be used as either a Lordaeron Footman, or a Gondor Soldier, or an Age of Empires Man-at-Arms? Those are my two cents. ;)

EDIT:
My dear Retera, your pursuit of technology and passion for Warcraft inspires me.
Aw, quoted for truth :cute:
 
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Seeing how so many people are getting agitated by the cease and desist, I felt it was important to show why I have doubts about the whole thing and maybe you should too.



Here is the letter in question.
A few things are quite odd:
- "Hi RETERA" is not what I would expect from a legal letter but maybe they couldn't get his real credentials.

- Overall how short and unprofessional the mail read compared to other cease and desists from Blizzard. Here is a picture of one made by Blizzard towards a WoW private server:
So when I read "WarsmashModEngine" without a single mention of where it is hosted or distributed and what type of specific infringements they claim it's making - it makes me very suspicious on the veracity of this letter.

- "Replies to this message are undeliverable. Please do not replies to this message. [...]" Which is typically something attached to promotional mails and not cease and desist letters that actually want you to answer them. Maybe because Retera used one of those promotional mail as the base of this mail?

- The fact that he received it on the day of the 20th anniversary of ROC. Very dramatic!

- Finally, if you type "cease and desist example" on google, one of the first thing you would get is this:
Notice how this is very similar to the mail that Retera apparently received?



If you still aren't convinced I recommend you search around to see what real cease and desist issued by Blizzard-like corporations look like. They certainly don't look like the templates you can find around the web or the one received by Retera.

Anybody familiar with Retera should have been conscious of this possibility right away since he is quite the pranker. Maybe some of you were already aware what I just shared, but I haven't seen it being discussed anywhere.
To me this video was just him vanishing with the "ring" (Warsmash), the cease and desist being an excuse he created.
Don't think he has to defend against himself though @Dr Super Good
 
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