Vivendi Universal subsidiary
noted today that it’s bringing its World of Warcraft to the Mac OS X.
Blizzard Entertainment President and co-founder Mike Morhaime said that his company is dedicated to building a diverse gaming community around World of Warcraft. “Supporting the Mac platform has always been a priority for us,” he said. “… by bringing the game to Mac users, we hope to achieve that goal.”
A massively multiplayer online role playing game based on Blizzard’s legendary Warcraft series, the game was previewed at E3 today on a Power Mac G4. MacCentral sat down with Blizzard’s Justin Thavirat to get a demonstration of World of Warcraft running on the Mac.
The game features miles of terrain set in the world of Azeroth, where players can create characters based on five playable races revealed thus far: Humans, Orcs, Tauren, Dwarves and Night Elves. The game will also feature more races to be revealed too.
At E3 this week, Blizzard unveiled several new gameplay elements to World of Warcraft — new forms of transportation like ships, zeppelins, horses, wolves, gryphons and more; new lands; and a customizable interface which can be adjusted depending on your play style.
Players will be able to collect thousands of items, including rare and unique weapons and armor that actually customize your character’s appearance. There are numerous character classes each with multiple paths of development. Six classes of characters have thus far been revealed: mage, warrior, shaman, warlock, druid and hunter.
A secondary-skill system enables players to create original ability combinations too. Hunters, for example, can train pets that can assist them with combat. Characters can also develop skills in alchemy, herbalism and more. Some skill types are specific to the game’s individual races.
Thavirat explained that the World of Warcraft is divided into two continents, packed to the gills with monsters, quests to participate in and more. The game will sport regular content updates, as well. As with other massively multiplayer online role playing games, World of Warcraft will require users to pay a subscription fee after buying the actual game.
The game will be able to support about 3,000 players per server, with Mac and Windows gamers playing side-by-side.
World of Warcraft is currently in simultaneous development for Mac and Windows, and Blizzard hopes to ship the game simultaneously for both platforms too. Blizzard anticipates a beta release of the game in the third quarter of 2003.