Warcraft 3 like terrain

Hey guys.
I have to implement a terrain similar to the one used in Warcraft 3. I guess you all played that at least for a bit so you know what I’m talking about. Thing is that I’m qutie sure heightmaps are not the way to go thinking I have to have cliffs and tiles around. Also I have to think of a way that will enable me to do raycast acurate picking on that terrain. I know it’s not so much a OpenGL question and more of a general 3D question but it will be implemented using OpenGL.
Do you have any ideea on this?

Why would height maps not work with cliffs and tiles?

I think the trick of warcraft 3 vs old school heightmap engines is that they used tiling textures, perhaps the size of a quad at their current res?

The biggest problem with heightmaps with a single color texture is the uv (or lack of uv mapping) causing smearing on cliffs or dramatic shifts.