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World of StarCraft MMO mod is now playable but needs your help

Or StarCraft Universe as it's now known.

Cover image for YouTube video

Remember World of StarCraft, the mod that turned StarCraft 2 into an MMO?

You can play it.

A single-player introduction, a Prologue, is available on Battle.net now. Oh and it's now called StarCraft Universe because its old name trod on Blizzard's copyright toes.

The reason why only a Prologue has been released is because the developer, Upheaval, hasn't got enough money to see the project through. The original plan was to make money through the Blizzard Arcade StarCraft 2 mod shop, but that was held back for Heart of the Swarm.

"These reasons are why we're now coming to the fanbase, asking for help," Upheaval explained on Facebook. "We didn't want to ask for anything until we proved that we could make this.

"So please, play our Prologue, enjoy yourself, and if you believe we have what it takes to make this game happen and have the extra cash, support us by donating at UpheavalArts.com/StarCraftUniverse. We want to make this game a reality!"

There are a handful of donation tiers available, ranging from $5 up to $1000.

World of StarCraft/StarCraft Universe began life two years ago and quickly gained not only the attention of the community but also Blizzard's lawyers, who slapped the YouTube demonstration video with a cease and desist demand. But Blizzard's beef ended with the name, apparently, and the StarCraft 2-maker even considered hiring the modder.

When complete, StarCraft Universe will offer a PVP (3v3 for now) arena and a PVE world compete with five-man instances, raids, loot, XP, persistent character classes and all that MMO-style stuff.

The multiplayer content has apparently been in development for "a while" and updates on it are planned for the coming months. "This project is a massive undertaking," cautioned Upheaval, "which completely alters the way the SC2 engine operates, and we're a very small team without a big QA department.

"You guys will be our quality assurance!"