The group of modders that got impatient with Blizzard and decided to create World of StarCraft are still at it. The project has simply been reborn under the name StarCraft Universe (SCU). The focus is still the same: recreating multiplayer raid battle experiences similar to World of Warcraft. SCU will be released as a series of Starcraft II custom maps and published officially on Battle.net.
The project, which does not yet have an official release date, had to be renamed because Activision Blizzard sent a cease and desist notice to YouTube to remove the pre-alpha trailer showing off the mod. Blizzard's intention was not to stop the project itself, but to protect their trademarks. The company insisted that it wants to see the continued development of the mod and even extended an offer to the developer to visit the Blizzard campus and meet with the StarCraft II development team.
The original creator, Ryan Winzen, is now back from his tour and is once again working on using StarCraft II's powerful map editor to develop the newly renamed StarCraft Universe. Here is what is being promised for the game:
- A wide variety of monsters, bosses, and character classes. SCU classes include: Infantry, Special-Ops, Demolition, and many others.
- A game save system. These maps will allows players to create, save, and load existing characters (a unique function uncommon to custom StarCraft maps).
- Hundreds of customizable weapons, runes, and equipment to choose from. They can be acquired as loot or bought in shops.
- Multiplayer experience. These maps allow (and encourage) up to twelve players in one match.
Although there are multiple custom maps being promised, the team plans on creating one solid polished map first before starting on more SCU maps. The custom maps will not have an original storyline: SCU is designed to reincarnate past battles from the original StarCraft, StarCraft II, and StarCraft fictional books.
Due to the limitations of custom maps in StarCraft II (remember, this is not a standalone game), SCU will not be able to allow more than 12 players in the same match, joining a specific match once it has already started, nor have a leveling system. Due to the last one, character progression will not occur by gaining experience from battle, but players will gain loot (items dropped by defeated enemies), minerals (for purchasing items and weapons from several shops), allocation points (granted from killing bosses, used to permanently boost a stat of your choice), and rank (attained by killing raid bosses, unlocks the ability to purchase higher grade equipment). These will help players in customizing and boosting their character stats.
A StarCraft version of Blizzard's World of Warcraft has been rumored and begged for by thousands of people. At every BlizzCon, gamers ask to see the massively multiplayer online success of World of Warcraft ported to the Starcraft universe. Although Blizzard protected its trademark in this case, it still doesn't mean the company is working on a "World of StarCraft" game, though we can still hope. In the meantime, SCU will have to do.