"Warcraft III" has undergone a lot of changes since it was first announced at the ECTS '99 trade show in London sixteen months ago, and today new details of the game were released by Blizzard, including a new name - "Warcraft III : Reign of Chaos™". Confirmation also came that the six playable races originally planned have now been reduced to just four, with the demonic "Burning Legion" that figured prominently in the game's first presentation being relegated to a non-playable race which will pop up throughout the single player game to further the storyline.
The four races which made the cut are humans ("noble defenders .. [who] continue to fight for survival in a world plagued by darkness and war"), orcs (who "have rallied once again and stand ready to face the terrible demons who corrupted their society long ago"), night elves ("mysterious, shadowy beings [who] have emerged from their centuries-long seclusion to defend the world from the coming apocalypse") and the undead ("the Scourge from the frozen wastelands of the north").
"As Warcraft III evolved, we were able to hone in on the elements in the game that will provide the best playing experience", explained team leader Frank Pearce. "After months of design, we have in place the game's final races as well as the non-playing and neutral units. We will now focus our efforts on finalizing each race's units, the AI and the campaigns." In other words, making the game.
Blizzard is still saying that the game will be out at some stage this year, with a Mac version early in 2002. With the ever-popular Warcraft series clocking up an impressive five million sales over the last seven years though, we can be fairly sure that whenever the latest installment finally sees the light of day it will prove to be one of the year's biggest hits .. whichever year that happens to be.