History of Sandbox RP Maps

From Titan Land LoP Wiki

The history of roleplaying sandbox maps in Warcraft III is almost as old as the game itself, dating back to MRP, released before The Frozen Throne. This map spawned an entire line of sandbox maps, which would be the only ones to exist until a new line of maps, Titan Land. The first Titan Land map, created by Metalwarrior in 2008, was a variation of the popular altered melee map God's Land. Eventually, after 2010, other creators would take the derivative maps in a different direction, leading to the roleplaying sandbox Titan Land maps.


MRP/DoBRP Line

This is the orignal line of popular sandbox RP maps, marked by the usage of a custom in-game chat and the presence of Spawners. This line would also eventually birth the series of roleplaying maps which is played to this day in Starcraft II.

2000s

The first truly popular sandbox map to be released was Miyog's RP (MRP), which was a map made for Reign of Chaos. The exact date that the map was released is unclear, but by late 2003 the project had already been abandoned and made open source for the community[1]. This map was later succeeded by Demise of the Brotherhood RP (DoBRP), which was authored by multiple sandbox-map makers, including Draike, Baron, and Diagas[2].

The year 2008 saw the release of SotDRP, which would become the most popular map in the genre for a long time.

2010s

This decade was marked by very few new entries to the sandbox RP map scene. As Warcraft III's popularity declined, so did the number of map makers willing to devote their time to creating new maps. Popular maps that were created in 2010 are RotRP and XRP.

In the 2010s, the most popular maps in this line were SotDRP and RoTRP. However, they were quikcly overtaken in popularity by Titan Land maps, which offered a more beginner-friendly experience, around 2011 or 2012. Lord-Anarki, one of the authors of SotDRP, would begin but never finish a project that promised to bring WC3 maps closer to the capabilities of SC2 sandboxes, WoFRP[3]. The project was made open source, but never picked up by another developer. Had it been completed, it would have been the first WC3 sandbox to feature a save system.

No new releases in the MRP would become popular until 2017, when the currently most advanced map in that line was released: YARP. YARP was made from scratch, so a few niche features from older maps, such as attachments or some specific models, were missing. However, the map's unprecedented save system, along with many QoL improvements, were enough to win over many old players. YARP2 was in development for a few months, using a fan-made scripting language for WC3: WurstScript. This project was later halted, and YARP2 been cancelled in favor of YARP3.

Titan Land Line

The first Titan Land map which was dedicated to roleplaying was Titan Land Improved RP Edition, by Vhalyr, released in 2010[4]. This version appears to be the first to include Deco Builders, though it would still be a while before Titan Land featured modification commands like the ones found in MRP. Even though work on Improve RPE would continue until at least 2013[5], the map was soon overtaken in popularity by Titan Land Rise of Kingdoms, released in 2011[6] by King_Katanova.

First Generation

Rise of Kingdoms could be seen as the first roleplaying Titan Land map which was as popular as the MRP line of maps. It is the only map in the First Generation of the current Titan Land map line. While it did not release with commands like sizing and coloring, those were later added by GHH, who was trusted with the map after King_Katanova moved on to his sequel project: Titan Land Fall of Kingdoms. With these new commands, Titan Land was now much closer in building capabilities to MRP maps than even before, though still some features would not be present for many years, such as terrain height manipulation or attachments.

With the popularity achieved by RoK, King_Katanova would establish himself as a household name in the community and be credited as the forefather of the current line of Titan Land maps. GHH would also go on to extend the RoK mold into further sequels and become a popular creator.

Second Generation

With the coming of GHH, Titan Land maps would split into two lines. GHH followed up with Titan Land Rise of Deva, which was mostly a name change to accommodate new lore, without great changes to the map's terrain design or races. King_Katanova's Fall of Kingdoms, while still frequently hosted on Battle.net, failed to reach the same audience as its predecessor, and was considered a let down[7]. The map had a unique terrain layout, and would be a sign of Katanova being more willing to experiment with the map's terrain, while GHH's entries would remain pretty close to Rise of Kingdom's original geography.

Third Generation

The 3rd generation of RoK sequels, released in 2013, was marked by GHH's Titan Land Fall of Deva and King_Katanova's Titan Land Kingdoms of Terfall. The latter saw a complete redesign of FoK's terrain, returning to a layout similar to classic RoK, but with multiple changes that made it unique. The former was merely an extension of RoK's terrain, without many alterations to the previous layout. While FoD would remain the most popular map for some time, it was eventually overtaken by KoT, which continued to receive upgrades long after development on FoD ceased somewhere around 2013[8].

References

  1. Internet Archive of the original MRP website [1]
  2. A blogpost from Diaga detailing the development of DoBRP from 2010 [2]
  3. Hiveworkshop thread on WoFRP by Lord-Anarki [3]
  4. Earliest version of Improved RPE that can be found on EpicWar [4]
  5. 2013 Hive Workshop thread by Vhalyr asking for help on the final version of Improved RPE [5]
  6. Hive Workshop resource thread for Titan Land RoK [6]
  7. Kingdoms of Terfall Wiki article on Fall of Kingdoms [7]
  8. Latest FoD map that can be found on EpicWar [8]