Goodness. This is frighteningly impressive. Sure, people dream up ambitious mod ideas every day, but rarely do they ever lock horns with Blizzard, dust themsleves off, and emerge with a product worthy of tears from most pros' ducts. StarCraft Universe – perhaps better remembered by its former name, “World of StarCraft” – is a mod that aims to transform StarCraft II into a fully featured multiplayer RPG. Earlier this year, the project was certainly coming along nicely, but now... damn. Can we give someone money for this? Or at least a slightly discounted hug? Gawk at the full thing yourself after the break.
After World of StarCraft Youtube videos the world over went dark a couple days ago, fans immediately began to bury the ambitious mod under proclamations of “six feet under.” Turns out, however, that Blizzard's rooting for this little MMO that could just as much as you are.
“We’re looking forward to seeing the continued development of this mod, and as part of our ongoing discussion, we’ve extended an offer to the developer to visit the Blizzard campus and meet with the StarCraft II development team,” said Blizzard in a statement to GameFront.
So then, why'd everyone need to believe that it was the end of the World of StarCraft as we knew it?
“With the name so closely resembling that of World of Warcraft, we wanted to discuss the title of the mod with the developer, and as part of our routine procedure, we contacted YouTube to request the video be removed while that discussion took place. We were also curious about the project and wanted to discuss with the developer what the mod entailed,” Blizzard continued.
In other words, it was a misunderstanding as big as Starbucks' new drink size – and equally unnecessary. Oh well, though; Blizzard's words of encouragement are better late than never. Hopefully, after a quick name change (we suggest something innocuous and lawsuit-free – how about “War of the Stars”?), the mod will be back and better than ever. Of course, that's assuming a certain job offer doesn't put the WOS dream to bed before it can even begin to become a reality.
A long, long time ago in a galaxy far away... wait, wrong “Star” series. Still though, it's a pretty fitting descriptor of the amount of time Blizzard fans have spent clamoring for a StarCraft MMO, but so far, no good. That, however, is where an old saying comes into play: If you build it, they will come. Here, though, it's more like “if you unknowingly give them the tools to build it, they'll get fed up with waiting and do it themselves.”
Using StarCraft II's suitably beefy editor, an intrepid (and undeniably gutsy) modding team has taken it upon itself to make World of StarCraft from not-quite-scratch. Currently, the mod's still in its infancy, and there's always the chance that Blizzard's waiting in the wings with a nuclear-strike-sized lawsuit to snuff out the whole thing. Granted, the World of StarCraft team has at least presented some pretty strong evidence in its favor.
“You created a tool that allowed us to do anything with your assets. You encouraged us to use your assets and were eager to see what we might come up with. You had to have seen this coming,” wrote Ryan Winzen in a forum post addressed to Blizzard.
We'll get in touch with Blizzard to see if WoS (which – at the very least – is no threat to WoW in a battle of acronyms) is in for a long and fruitful life or an immediate death sentence. In the meantime, why not check out World of StarCraft's first trailer?Edit: Well, that didn't take long. We'll keep you updated on this one, but the prognosis isn't good.