Craftwar: StarCraft 2 Editor Adding Warcraft III Assets

The remade Sentinel lineup.

Warcraft III‘s mod scene is grossly underrated, I’ve muttered into many a pint glass. Yes, yes, we know it was where MOBAs and tower defense games really took off, but so many more inventive and interesting and weird games bounced around, types of game I haven’t seen since. I always thought this was helped a lot by WC3 having a huge range of units and wildlife and odd art assets folks could repurpose, making mods about more than soldiers. Delightfully, loads of those WC3 bits are now coming to StarCraft II‘s editor, Blizzard have announced. The main Hero units are getting modern makeovers too.

Warcraft bits are now in the test client and will soon come to the main game, Blizzard explained in a blog post yesterday.

“This brings over three thousand new materials for the amazing Arcade development community to work with, including new hero models for the 4 primary races, all of the original Warcraft III models including neutral creatures and their sounds as well as doodads, structures, spell effects, ambient sounds, music and custom user interfaces for each race.”

While models and textures might suffer from being a decade old, they’re still handy, and the sounds, music, and particles will age a lot better. The new hero units are up to SC2’s art standards, but are also weirdly Liefeldian. The Demon Hunter and Keeper of the Grove are rippling with muscles I never knew existed, while the Priestess of the Moon gets a tiny head and huge bazongas. Here, check the before/after comparisons for the Sentinel and Scourge heroes.

I imagine we’ll soon see (even more) projects remaking ye olde Warcraft III and DotA in SC2, but hopefully lots will simply delight in this wider pool of assets with different styles. How very exciting. And because SC2’s custom game Arcade is accessible through the free Starter Edition, all and sundry will get to play these new things. Lovely lovely.

I suspect this is what Blizzard meant when they hinted at a side-project updating Warcraft.


  1. rustybroomhandle says:

    Those are certainly rather forward-facing.

  2. PedroTheHutt says:

    The sure gave the Priestess of the Moon considerable, er… assets… (whyyyyyyy?)

  3. Stirbelwurm says:

    Aw man, and again I am experiencing a moment of “I should really start working with the SC II editor again, to remake my Wc3 map there”.

    If I only had the time … oh well, I just need to sit down for a while and it’ll go away.

  4. Rao Dao Zao says:

    If only the SC2 editor was as easy to work with as the WC3 editor… There’s more than just an art asset barrier to entry, unless they’ve improved it a lot since the last time I gave it a test drive.

    • Moraven says:

      Never touched it myself, but creators have built some pretty amazing custom mods with it.

      • Rao Dao Zao says:

        Oh, I’m not denying it’s infinitely more flexible and powerful, just that all of that power comes at a cost to accessibility. A bit of farting in the general direction of WC3’s editor could produce viable results, while SC2 took… just a bit more effort… Like I say, though, haven’t touched SC2’s editor since the beginning. Maybe they’ve made it better since then.

  5. shoptroll says:

    I would not be surprised if we see an announcement for a Warcraft III HD running on the SCII engine in the coming months. Or they decided to drop a War3 HD project and turn the art assets to the community instead.

    • rabbit says:

      That’d be all I personally needed to push me over the edge into finally getting SC2.

      For all you lovely RPS types out there — I don’t know if this question is answerable really, but how do SC2 and WCIII compare? I looooooooooooooved WCIII single player (didn’t have a fancy net connection back in them days to play MP) – have always been a bit mixed on RTS games though. Skirmish matches on the original Dawn of War I also loved, and low-level multiplayer on Company of Heroes plus expansions I loved (til it got to require a level of micro + even macro that I just could never muster). Loved the campaign of WCIII though. Starcraft I think I liked a lot back in the day but it’s been a long time since I played it properly to remember.

      • kael13 says:

        SC2’s campaign is awesome in terms of mechanics and just having a fun time. Allow the story’s cheese to wash over you like a tempestuous nacho sea and you’ll find it enjoyable.

      • Drinking with Skeletons says:

        Probably the closest thing to Warcraft III’s campaign that I’ve played is Dawn of War II and its expansions. They play very similarly to the Orc campaign from Frozen Throne or the hero-centric missions from the other campaigns.

  6. Zankman says:

    Pretty cool news. Still not gonna get me to play SC2 though.

    Also: Why the hell does POTM have ridiculously large breasts?

    • Moraven says:

      Why not? Custom maps and modes are free to play right now. There are a ton of great games to play.

  7. jrodman says:

    It will be interesting to see if the SC2 custom maps will become a serious draw for the game. Currently the editor is a big meh, and pricewall seems to be working against significant numbers of players.

    The obvious competitor I see on the horizon is Dota 2 custom game modes.

    • Moraven says:

      How is the pricewall of being free a barrier?

      The entire Arcade and custom maps and modes are free to play, right now. And have been for awhile.

      A purchase gets you access to the SC2 campaign and multiplayer matchmaking.

  8. apocraphyn says:

    Screw the bazongas on the Priestess of the Moon, what the hell’s up with Arthas’s jaw? Or the Nathrezim’s jaw, for that matter? (Kel’thuzad and Anub’Rekhan both look pretty, mind you)

  9. Premium User Badge

    Qazinsky says:

    This takes me back! I always saw Warcraft 3 as I did Half-Life 1, a pretty bland core game (“Heresy!”) that have some AMAZING mods that made the box price worth it.

    In WC3s case, it was mostly different RPG and tower defence mods, but I also remember a nice Jurassic Park mod where everyone started as survivors spread out in a forest. You tried to meet up and gathering resources to build a shelter to be able to outlast the dinosaurs while waiting for a rescue helicopter to save you. It was fantastic!

  10. Moraven says:

    There have been various Warcraft III remakes in SC2 already, before any official assets.

    Warcraft: Alliance and Horde (WAH) – Been around since 2013.
    link to

    Warcraft: Armies of Azeroth. – revealed in Dec, 2014.

    • Moraven says:

      Starcraft: Mass Recall
      Recreation of Starcraft 1 campaigns in SC2.
      link to

      Mod for multiplayer that mix Brood War and SC2 mechanics and units

      More closer replica of Brood War multiplayer

  11. Moraven says:

    Heroes of the Storm is built on the SC2 engine.

    Anub’arak SC2 asset
    link to

    Anub’arak HotS
    link to

    Seems close to the same model/detail. Less in SC2 since the game is meant for many more units to be on the screen at the same time.

    • Nevard says:

      Illidan, Tyrande, Malfurion, Arthas, Uther, and Muradin are all characters in that game too though, and don’t look particularly identical to those models.
      I think this was meant to be an HD upgrade “warts and all” to the old models, leaving any bizarre anatomy they may have had due to their low-poly frames intact.

  12. sicbanana says:

    Hm, this reminded me: Blizz should finally complete this stupid Starcraft 2 trilogy now, and finally start working on their MAIN IP again: WAR-CRAFT(4)!
    Really, I’ve been looking for this quite a while, since I found the economic fiddeling/macro of SC2 to be QUITE a hassle… Always preferred the low-macro/high-micro approach of Warcraft III: “5 Peons in Mine, 5-7 in Forest, done! Let’s go dance with this invisible Blademaster now!” ;)

    • Premium User Badge

      Qazinsky says:

      I suspect that they might not want to touch anything new Warcraft since that could potentially do something to upset the continued cash flow of World of Warcraft

  13. LionsPhil says:

    There’s some weird backwards steps in that art refresh beyond the HURR TITS. Taur dude has gone from having ragged tufts over his hooves to a weirdly cropped flat boundary, for example, and the poses they’ve used for the Scourge lot at least for this comparison are stiffer and less dynamic—the guy on horseback has lost his sinister lean forward.