The LOTR Movie Site
February 14, 2000New LOTR Game in the Works
For some time now, Gurthaur and some friends have been
working on a total modification to the Blizzard game Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. What
they are attempting to do is transform it into a LOTR-type game, with familiar characters
and specific quests for each of the characters to fulfill.
Recently, Gurthaur was kind enough to answer a few of my
questions. Here they are, in no particular order. If you want more info on WotR, click here.
1. What exactly is the WotR game and how is
it being created?
We are using "WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness" and
the expansion pack "Beyond the Dark Portal" as a base for our conversion. Using
various "hacking" programs and editing programs we can replace unit graphics,
sounds and icons. We can also change in-game text, as mission briefings and unit names.
Visually, the only thing we can't change is the buttons. We have also found some unused
slots for 4 units in the datafiles, and the ships have been converted into land units as
well, So expect a much bigger land army than you are used to.
2. Are you going to follow the original plot
of Tolkien in the game?
Mainly. I have done some research and picked out as many
battles I can from LotR and the following appendixes, everything from a small fight in
Ithilien, to defending Gondor in the battle of the Pellenor fields. The perspective will
be completely different, not showing the War of the Ring from a little hobbit's point of
view, but from the armies doing the fighting. It could somehow feel like you are Sauron or
Manwë hovering over the battlefield, directing the little people to and fro in battle.
3. Are the modifications you're making to
Warcraft II legal?
Yes, Blizzard has acknowledged and allowed the making of
total conversions of the games WarCraft and StarCraft, as long as we don't attempt to make
profit on it and keep it free for download.
4. When is WotR due to be released?
The release date is very close, it will probably be finished
after Diablo II, but before WarCraft III. Hopefully we will release a beta very soon, only
containing new units. This is so people can help us finding errors in the game, so they
won't appear in the final version. Ther will not be any new Single Player missions in the
beta, but you will be able to open a costum scenario, and play with other people who has
the beta. The final release date is relying on how fast the graphics will be done, and as
we try to make them as good-looking as possible, this may take a while. Especially those
we have to make from scratch.
5. Are you going to charge anything for WotR?
No, the War of the Ring is completely free of charge and will
be downloadable as a patch once it is finished.
6. How many people do you have working on the
At the present we are seven, with ages going from about
fourteen to around thirty. The whole project started off with only me, but lately on more
and more people have joined in mostly from the WarClan, a group of WarCraft editors. The
first one to join was Fronzel Neekburn from Austria, he had never read LotR before, but is
now reading LotR for the n'th time just to find out what color Legolas' hair was. He and I
do most of the unit graphics in addition to testing the beta versions. He is also a member
of the WarClan along with Vickhan, Ratt and Ringwraith, another beta tester. The one
who makes the units move properly is Vickhan Qaranoyan, also known as Melkor, he is the
one who found out how to make buldings animate. RAtt is the one who digs out the unused
units and makes them trainable. Two newcomers are Riven, who just finished the new human
Castle, and Tom Scorsch, a voice actor. He will be the name behind the new unit sounds.
7. What types of units and buildings will be
available to the player?
There will mainly be land and air units. The only water based
unit will be a transport. We have included almost all the units described in LotR, except
from Orcish archers. Most buildings will mostly stay the same, but Orthanc, Dol Guldur and
Orodruin will appear.