Call me a naysayer, but the Warcraft "world" has to be the most uninspired thing ever. I can do much, much more with, say, the FR campaign book. The depth and detail far surpasses anything in any of the Warcraft games.
Okay: you're a naysayer.
At this point, I really don't think you can compare the as-of-yet unreleased Warcraft RPG
with the Forgotten Realms. It's kind of like you're asking the new kid to have the same experience, depth, and detail as the 20-year veteran. The scales are vastly different, so to speak. Moreover, there's only so much "depth and detail" you can communicate in an RTS compared to 20-plus years of published supplements -- yet I would say that a good portion of Warcraft's
success as an RTS relies upon the "depth and detail" that the game does present and communicate.
So, effectively, you're not giving Warcraft
a chance before it's even released as a roleplaying game
, which, one would assume, is a much different expression of world building and development than a computer game.
The translation of the RTS to a pen-and-paper game, I think, has been done beautifully, precisely because Deirdre Brooks (the developer) specifically attempted to make Warcraft
a roleplaying game as opposed to a direct "simulation" of the computer game. And, no, they're not paying me to say that.
In Warcraft, you have elves, orcs, humans, and undead. D&D has all that. In Warcraft, you have a handful of spells. D&D has hundreds of spells. In Warcraft, goblins are limited in scope. In D&D, goblins can be wizards, or clerics if you want them to be.
I'm going to type this bit again: the official title (and focus) of the game is the Dungeons & Dragons Warcraft Roleplaying Game
What this means is that the Warcraft RPG
is effectively a D&D game, but in a particular setting -- much like, as it happens, the Forgotten Realms (or Greyhawk, or Kalamar, or Oriental Adventures).
You can use all the D&D spells, plus the new spells in the Warcraft
core book (and future supplements). You can play goblins as a PC race, which means they're not limited at all; they can be rogues, fighters, barbarians, healers, scouts, tinkers, and so on. You can also play orcs and tauren as PC races (in fact, one might say, orcs are probably next to humans as one of the "core" races). Once the Manual of Monsters
comes out, you'll be able to play several other creatures as PC races.
If you're basing your assumptions on the RTS, I guess that's all you can do at this point. Yet don't limit the possibilities of the RPG to the computer game medium and format. Azeroth as interpreted in the RPG will be just as rich as any campaign world, and certainly as distinct.
I just don't see why anyone would need the Warcraft books to recreate the two-dimensional world that is Warcraft. I mean, all you have to do is eliminate all the monsters, and populate the world with a few interesting creatures here and there (maybe a few giants, or some wolves), and then create cities of Orcs, cities of undead, cities of elves, and then cities of humans.
This is, to be blunt, awfully reductionist and simplistic. "Two-dimensionsal" is your opinion, but the picture you develop in the above paragraph is nothing like what the RPG does. Suffice to say, the authors and developers (including Bob Fitch and Chris Metzen of Blizzard, who have contributed a TON of material so far) have created an RPG campaign world that's far from two-dimensional. Just the core book material on Kalimdor alone will demonstrate why your picture barely does justice to the setting or the RPG.
Well, you are entitled to your opinion.
What's coming out, though, is far from boring.