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Warcraft: Orcs & Humans
Warcraft - Orcs & Humans CoverartThe box art for Warcraft: Orcs & Humans
Developer(s) Blizzard Entertainment[1]
Publisher(s)
Designer(s) Blizzard Entertainment[3]
Composer(s) Glenn Stafford, Gregory Alper, Rick Jackson, Chris Palmer
Series Warcraft
Version 1.21 (PC) / 1.06 (Mac)
Platform(s) MS-DOS, Mac OS[1]
Release date(s)
  • NA 23 November 1994[3]
  • EU 1995
Genre(s) Real-time strategy[3]
Mode(s) Single player,Multiplayer[3]
Media/distribution CD-ROM/4 "1.44 MB" Diskettes

Warcraft: Orcs and HumansEdit

Warcraft: Orcs & Humans is a real-time strategy game (RTS), developed by Blizzard Entertainment and published by Blizzard and Interplay Entertainment. The MS-DOS version was released in 23 November 1994 and the Macintosh version in late 1996. Sales were fairly high, reviewers were mostly impressed, and the game won three awards and was a finalist for three others. There was a CD re-release, namely version 1.21 (CD version), that didn't have the word-from-the-user-manual copy protection of prior versions. The sequel, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, became the main rival toWestwood Studios' Command & Conquer series, and this competition fostered an RTS boom in the mid to late 1990s.

Although Warcraft: Orcs & Humans was not the first RTS title to offer multiplayer games, Blizzard's game persuaded a wider audience that multiplayer facilities were essential for future RTS titles. The game introduced innovations in mission design and gameplay elements, which were adopted by other RTS developers.

Blizzards's main emphases in these games were on skillful management of relatively small forces and on development of characterization and storyline within and between games played in the same universe.

GameplayEdit

Warcraft: Orcs & Humans is a real time strategy game (RTS).[3][4][5] One player represents the Human inhabitants of Azeroth, and the other controls the invading Orcs.[6][7] Each side tries to destroy the other by collecting resources and creating an army.[3] In addition both sides have to ward off dangers from wild monsters, but sometimes can use some monsters as troops.[8][9][10] The game plays in a medieval setting with fantasy elements. Both sides have melee units and ranged units, and also spellcasters.[4]

[edit]ModesEdit

Warcraft: Orcs & Humans's gameplay expanded the Dune II "build base, build army, destroy enemy" paradigm to include other modes of game play.[3] These included several new mission types, such as conquering rebels of the player's race, rescuing and rebuilding besieged towns, rescuing friendly forces from an enemy camp and then destroying the main enemy base, and limited-forces missions, in which neither side could make further units, and making efficient use of one's platoon was a key strategy element.[11] In one mission, the gamer had to kill the Orc chief's daughter.[12]

The game also allows two players to compete in multiplayer contests by modem or local networks,[13] and enables gamers with the MS-DOS and Macintosh version to play each other.[12] Multiplayer and AI skirmishes that are not part of campaigns were supported by a random map generator.[3][12][13] The game also allowed spawn installations to be made.[12]

[edit]Economy and powerEdit

Warcraft requires players to collect resources, and to produce buildings and units in order to defeat an opponent in combat.[3] Non-combatant builders deliver the resources to the Town Center from mines, from which gold is dug, and forests, where wood is chopped.[4] As both are limited resources which become exhausted during the game, gamers must collect them efficiently, and must also retain forests as defensive walls in the early game when combat forces are small.[11]

The lower-level buildings for Humans and Orcs have the same functions, but different graphics.[3] The Town Hall stores resources and produces units that collect resources and construct buildings. Each Farm provides food for up to four units, and additional units cannot be produced until enough Farms are built.[14][15] The Barracks produces all non-magical combat units, including melee, ranged, mounted, and siege units. However all except the most basic also need assistance from other buildings,[14] some of which can also upgrade units.[12]

Each side can construct two types of magical buildings, each of which produces one type of spellcaster and researches more advanced spells for that type.[6] These advanced buildings can be constructed only with assistance from other buildings.[14][15][16][17] The Human Cleric and Orc Necrolyte can both defend themselves by magic and also see distant parts of the territory for short periods.[18][19] The Cleric's other spells are protective, healing the injured and making himself invisible,[18] while the Necrolyte raises skeletons as troops and can make other units temporarily invulnerable, at the cost of severely damaging them when the spell dissipates.[19] The Human Conjurer and Orc Warlock have energy blasts, wider-range destruction spells and the ability to summon small, venomous monsters. The Conjurer can summon a water elemental, while the Warlock can summon a demonic melee unit.[18][19]

[edit]User interfaceEdit

The main screen has three areas: the largest, to the right, is the part of the territory on which the gamer is currently operating; the top left is the minimap; and, if a building or unit(s) is selected, the bottom left shows their status and any upgrades and the actions that can be performed.[20] The status details include a building's or unit's health, including its progress if being constructed, and any upgrades the object has completed.[11] The Menu control, at the very bottom on the left, provides access to save game, load game and other menu functions.[20]

Initially most of the main map and minimap are blacked out, but the visible area expands as the gamer's units explore the map. The mini-map shows a summary of the whole territory, with blue dots for the gamer's buildings and units and red dots for enemy ones. The gamer can click in the main map or the minimap to scroll the main map around the territory.[20]

All functions can be invoked by the mouse. Keys can also invoke the game setup, some of the menu options and some gameplay functions including scrolling and pausing the game.[20] Gamers can select single units by clicking, and groups of up to four by shift-clicking or bandboxing.[12][20] To move units, gamers can shift the mouse to select units on the main map, move to the unit menu to select an action, and then back to the main map to specify the target area; but shortcut keys can eliminate the middle mouse action in this cycle.[11][20]

[edit]StorylineEdit

The Orcs originated from another world, Draenor, where the majority were bloodthirsty warriors driven by strife. However, their Warlocks remained aloof, devoting their time to the research of magic. The Warlocks noticed a rift between the dimensions and, after many years, opened a small portal to another world. One Warlock explored and found a region, whose Human inhabitants called it "Azeroth", from which the Warlock returned with strange plants as evidence of his discovery.[21]

The Orcs enlarged the portal until they could transport seven warriors, who massacred a Human village. The platoon brought back samples of good food and fine workmanship, and a report that the Humans were defenseless. The Orcs' raiding parties grew larger and bolder, until they assaulted Azeroth's principal castle. However, the Humans had been training warriors of their own, especially the mounted, heavily-armed Knights. These, assisted by Human Sorcerors, gradually forced the Orcs to retreat through the portal, which the Humans had not discovered.[21]

For the next fifteen years, one faction of Orcs demanded that the portal be closed. However a chief of exceptional cunning realized that the Humans, although out-numbered, had prevailed through the use of superior tactics, organization, and by magic. He united the clans, imposed discipline on their army and sought new magics from the Warlocks and Necromancers. Their combined forces were ready to overthrow the Humans.[21]

Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness
Warcraft-2-Tides-Of-Darkness-PcBoxart
Developer(s) Blizzard Entertainment
Designer(s) Ron Millar
Composer(s) Glenn Stafford
Series Warcraft
Version 1.4, 2.02 (Battle.net Edition)
Platform(s) DOS, Linux, AmigaOS 4,Mac OS, Sega Saturn,PlayStation,Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) PC, Mac OS
  • NA December 9, 1995
  • EU 1996

Saturn, PlayStation

  • NA August 31, 1997
  • EU August 31, 1997
  • JP November 27, 1997
Genre(s) Real-time strategy
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Media/distribution CD-ROM

Warcraft II: The Tides of DarknessEdit

Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness is a fantasy-themed real-time strategy (RTS) game published by Blizzard Entertainment and first released for DOS in 1995 and for Mac OS in 1996. The main game,Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, earned enthusiastic reviews, won most of the major PC gaming awards in 1996, and sold over 2 million copies.[1]

Later in 1996 Blizzard released an expansion pack Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal for DOS and Mac OS, and a compilation Warcraft II: The Dark Saga for the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn. The Battle.net Edition, released in 1999, provided Blizzard's online gaming service, Battle.net, and replaced the MS-DOS version with a Windows one.

Players must collect resources, and produce buildings and units in order to defeat an opponent in combat on the ground, in the air and in some maps at sea. The more advanced combat units are produced at the same buildings as the basic units but also need the assistance of other buildings, or must be produced at buildings that have prerequisite buildings. The majority of the main screen shows the part of the territory on which the gamer is currently operating, and the minimap can select another location to appear in the larger display. The fog of war completely hides all territory which the gamer's has not explored, and shows only terrain but hides opponents' units and buildings if none of the gamer's units are present.

Warcraft II 's predecessor Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, released in 1994, gained good reviews, collected three awards and was a finalist for three others, and achieved solid commercial success. The game was the first typical RTS to be presented in a medieval setting and, by bringing multiplayer facilities to a wider audience, made this mode essential for future RTS titles. Warcraft: Orcs & Humanslaid the ground for Blizzard's style of RTS, which emphasized personality and storyline. Although Blizzard's very successful StarCraft, first released in 1998, was set in a different universe, it was very similar to Warcraft II in gameplay and in attention to personality and storyline. In 1996 Blizzard announced Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans, an adventure game in the Warcraft universe, but canceled the game in 1998. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, released in 2002, used parts of Warcraft Adventures' characters and storyline and extended the gameplay used in Warcraft II.

GameplayEdit

Warcraft II is a real-time strategy game.[2] In Warcraft II one side represents the human inhabitants of Lordaeron and allied races, and the other controls the invading orcs and their allied races.[3][4]Each side tries to destroy the other by collecting resources and creating an army.[5] The game is played in a medieval setting with fantasy elements, where both sides have melee, ranged, naval and aerial units, and spellcasters.[2][6][7]

[edit]ModesEdit

Warcraft II allows gamers to play AI opponents in separate Human and Orc campaigns, and in stand-alone scenarios.[6] Most of the campaign missions follow the pattern "collect resources, build buildings and units, destroy opponents". However, some have other objectives, such as rescuing troops or forts, or escorting important characters through enemy territory.[8]

The game's map editor allows gamers to develop scenarios for use in multiplayer contests and against AI opponents. The editor runs under the Mac and also under either Windows 95 or, if the WinGlibrary was installed, under Windows 3.[6][9]

The scenarios can be played against the AI or in multiplayer games with up to eight players participating. The DOS version initially provided multiplayer games by null modem cable, modem or IPX, and Mac gamers could also play via TCP/IP orAppleTalk.[10] Blizzard quickly released a facility to connect with Kali, which allows programs to access the Web by means of IPX.[2]

[edit]Economy and warEdit

Warcraft II requires players to collect resources, and to produce buildings and units in order to defeat an opponent in combat. The Human Town Hall and Orc Great Hall produce non-combatant builders that dig gold from mines and chop wood from forests and then deliver them to their Halls.[4] Both buildings can be upgraded twice, each increasing usable resources per load from the builders.[11] Players can also construct Shipyards, which can produce both combat ships and Oil Tankers. Tankers build construction offshore Oil Platforms and then deliver the oil to buildings on the shoreline. As all three resources become exhausted during the game, players must collect them efficiently,[11][12] and gamers must also retain forests as defensive walls in the early game when combat forces are small.[13]

Builders can also construct Farms, each of which provides food for up to four units, and additional units cannot be produced until enough Farms are built.[11] Farms are also the toughest perimeter defense.[13]

Humans and Orcs have sets of buildings with similar functions, but different names and graphics, for producing ground, naval, and air units.[2] All but basic combat units require the assistance of other buildings, or must be produced at buildings that have prerequisite buildings, or both.[11][14] Many buildings can upgrade combat units.[8] When advanced units appear, the Orcs have a strong advantage in ground combat, while the Humans have the more powerful fleet and spellcasters.[15] The most advanced ground combatants on each side can be upgraded and taught some spells, which are different for the two sides.[16] Some campaign missions feature hero units, which are more powerful than normal units of the same type, have unique pictures and names, and must not die, as that causes the failure of the mission.[17]

[edit]User interfaceEdit

The main screen has five areas:[18]


  • Along the top are the menu button and counts of the gamer's resources and Farm capacity.
  • The largest area of the screen, to the right, shows the part of the territory on which the gamer is currently operating. This enables the gamer to select friendly units and buildings.
  • The top left is the minimap, which shows the whole territory at smaller scale and highlights the part on which the gamer is currently operating. By clicking or dragging in the minimap, the gamer can select another location to appear in the larger display.
  • The unit descriptions in the area in middle on the left shows the units and/or buildings. If units of the same type are selected, this area have an icon for each unit, showing the unit's vital statistics including the unit's health.
  • If a single unit or building is selected, the area at the bottom left shows the actions the object can perform and all completed upgrades that apply to this type of unit or building.

Initially most of the main map and minimap are blacked out, but the visible area expands as the gamer's units explore the map. The fog of war completely hides all territory which the gamer's has not explored, and shows only terrain but hides opponents units and buildings if none of the gamer's units are present.[18] All functions can be invoked by both the mouse and shortcut keys, including game setup, the menu options and some gameplay functions including scrolling and pausing the game. Units and buildings can be selected by clicking or bandboxing, and then their actions can be controlled by the mouse or keys.[18]

[edit]StorylineEdit

[edit]The Second WarEdit

The First War brought the Fall of Azeroth, following the Orc campaign in Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. The survivors of Azeroth have fled by sea to the Human kingdom of Lordaeron, and the Orcs have decided to conquer Lordaeron, in what is known as the Second War. Both sides have acquired allies and new capabilities, including naval and air units, and more powerful spellcasters.[4]

In the Second War the Orcs are successful at first, but the Humans and allies take the initiative,[19] helped by two civil wars among the Orcs.[20] At the final battle round the Dark Portal in Azeroth,[19] the Alliance exterminates one Orc clan and captures the Orc supreme commander and the remnants of his forces. Hoping to avoid further invasions, the Alliance destroys the Portal.[20]

[edit]Through the PortalEdit

After the Second War the Alliance lost the allegiance of the Elves, who thought the Alliance had not done enough to defend the Elves' home, and of two Human kingdoms, which advocated exterminating the remaining Orcs rather than keeping them in captivity. One Orc clan that had fought in the Second War's final battle was unaccounted for. Although the Dark Portal had been destroyed, a tear in reality hovered over the ruin.[20] A few years later,[21] the Portal and rift were hidden by a strange darkness, and there were the sounds of hundreds warriors rushing away through the rift, followed by shrieking Dragons, and finally by the repeating phrase, "We will return..." When the darkness lifted, Alliance scouts found the ground around the Portal trampled to mud – apparently the elusive Orc clan had escaped to their race's homeworld, Draenor.[20]

The greatest Orc shaman led an army from Draenor into Azeroth, apparently hoping to steal magical artifacts with which to create further Portals. The Alliance, expecting an attack, sent through the Portal an army led by the Alliance's supreme commander, its greatest heroes and the mage who had destroyed the Azeroth Portal. It seems they destroyed the counterpart of the Azeroth Portal, but it was not known whether the force escaped from Draenor.[19]

Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal
256px-Warcraftii-beyond-the-dark-portal-cover-art
Developer(s) Cyberlore Studios
Publisher(s) Blizzard Entertainment
Distributor(s) Ubisoft
Series Warcraft
Version 1.50
Platform(s) Macintosh, MS-DOS,PlayStation, Sega Saturn,Windows
Release date(s)
  • NA April 30, 1996
  • EU 1997
Genre(s) Real-time strategy
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
System requirements

Windows 95, Pentium 60 MHz, 16MB RAM, 2xCD-ROM Drive for Gameplay
(4xCD-ROM for Cinematics), Local Bus SVGAVideo Card (DirectX Compatible), MicrosoftCompatible Mouse, DirectX Compatible Sound Card (For Audio)

Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark PortalEdit

Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal is an expansion pack developed by Cyberlore Studios, released in 1996 by Blizzard Entertainment for their award winning real-time strategy computer gameWarcraft II: Tides of Darkness. As with most computer game expansion packs, Beyond the Dark Portal requires a full version of the original game to run.

StoryEdit

The plot of Beyond the Dark Portal takes place after the events of Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. The Orcs, now under the leadership of Ner'zhul, staged a new invasion of Azeroth and overwhelmed the citadel of Nethergarde, which guarded the remnants of the portal. The Alliance itself had been splintered after the Second War and Gilneas and Stromgarde had withdrawn their support. The arch-mage Khadgar summoned heroes of Azeroth, Alleria Windrunner, Danath Trollbane, Turalyon and Kurdran Wildhammer to rally the forces of the Alliance. The Horde was beaten back and Khadgar decided to take the initiative to push through the Portal into the Orcs' homeland. Before being pushed back, Ner'zhul managed to steal the spellbook of Medivh which was needed to create new Portals.

The Alliance gained a foothold and made preparations to seal the rift forever while the Orcs reorganized. Khadgar needed the spellbook of Medivh and the Skull of Gul'dan to accomplish it. They razed the Shadowmoon Citadel, seat of Ner'zhul's Shadow Council. While the Alliance army and navy only barely held out, Khadgar managed to acquire the items with help from the Laughing Skull Clan. Ner'zhul managed to open portals to the Twisting Nether and escaped through one of the new Portals. The violent energies began to destroy Draenor and also threatened Azeroth. Khadgar destroyed the Portal on the side of Draenor to prevent harm to Azeroth, trapping the remaining Alliance forces beyond the Dark Portal in the dying land of Draenor. Khadgar and the warriors of Azeroth then entered one of the portals not knowing where it would lead to avoid being killed by the violent rifts tearing the planet apart. With the release of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, it is revealed that the Alliance forces actually remained on Draenor rather than escaping through a portal as said in Beyond the Dark Portal's ending. They are still alive and are currently fighting to prevent another invasion of Azeroth.

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
250px-WarcraftIIINorth American box art
Developer(s) Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher(s) Blizzard Entertainment(North America)Sierra Entertainment(Europe)Capcom (Japan)
Designer(s) Rob Pardo
Series Warcraft
Version 1.26.0.6401 (March 24, 2011)
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows,Mac OS, Mac OS X
Release date(s)
  • NA July 3, 2002
  • EU July 5, 2002
  • JP 2003
Genre(s) Real-time strategy
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Media/distribution CD (1), Digital Download
System requirements

Minimum:
400 MHz Pentium II or equivalent, 128 MB of RAM, 8 MB 3D video card with DirectX 8.1 support, DirectX 8.1 compatible sound card, Windows 98 or newer Recommended:
600 MHz processor, 256 MB of RAM, 32 MB 3D video card, DirectX 8.1 compatible sound card, Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7

Warcraft III: Reign of ChaosEdit

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (often referred to as War3 or WC3 or RoC) is a real time strategy video game released by Blizzard Entertainment on July 3, 2002 (US). It is the second sequel to Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, and it is the third game set in the Warcraft Universe. An expansion pack, The Frozen Throne, was released on July 1, 2003 (US).

Warcraft III contains four playable races:[1] Humans and Orcs, which had previously appeared in Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, and the Night Elves and Undead, which were introduced to the Warcraft mythos in this installment.[2] Warcraft III's single-player campaign is laid out similarly to that of StarCraft (another Blizzard game), being told through all four of the game's races in a progressive manner. In the expansion there are two additional races: the Draenei, a race of eredar who are cursed to be abominations, and the Naga, a race of vile serpents and other creatures that come from the depths of the sea. Multiplayer mode allows for play against other people, via the internet, instead of playing against computer-controlled characters as is done in the single-player custom game mode. Due to the dual storylines of the previous Warcraft games, the story can only be understood if using the proper storylines of one of the campaigns in the previous games, being the Orc Campaign on Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and the Human Campaigns on both the Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness and Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal.

The game proved to be a best seller and one of the most anticipated and popular computer game releases ever, with 4.5 million units shipped to retail stores and over one million units sold within a month.[3] Warcraft III won many awards including "Game of the Year" from more than six different publications.[4]

GameplayEdit

A game of Warcraft III takes place on a map of varying size, such as large plains and fields, with terrain features like rivers, mountains, seas, or cliffs. In Campaign mode, the map is initially covered with the Black Mask, an impenetrable covering.[5] The Mask is removed from areas that have been explored, but those that are no longer within sight range of an allied unit or building are instead covered with the Fog of war; though terrain remains visible, changes such as enemy troop movements and building construction are unseen.[5] During a game, players must establish settlements to gain resources, defend against other players, and train units to explore the map and attack computer controlled foes. There are three main resources that are managed in Warcraft III: gold, lumber, and food.[6] The first two are required to construct units and buildings, while food restricts the maximum number of units the player may control at one time.[7]

The game also introduces creeps, computer controlled units that are hostile to all players.[8] Creeps guard key areas such as gold mines or neutral buildings and, when killed, provide experience points, gold, and special items to a player's hero.[8] Warcraft III also introduced a day/night cycle to the series.[9] Besides having advantages or disadvantages for certain races, at night most creeps fall asleep, making nighttime scouting safer; however, the line of sight for most units is also reduced. Other minor changes to the gameplay were due to the 3D terrain. For instance, units on a cliff have an attack bonus when attacking units at lower elevations.[2]

In previous Warcraft games, there were only two playable races, Orcs and Humans. Barring cosmetic changes, most Orc units were identical to their Human counterparts. In Warcraft III, the Night Elves and the Undead are added as playable races.[1] Additionally, as in StarCraft, each race has a unique set of units, structures, technologies, and base-building methodology.

In addition, Warcraft III adds powerful new units called heroes. For each enemy unit killed, a hero will gain experience points, which allow the hero to level-up to a maximum level of 10. Progressing up a level increases the heroes attributes and also allows the hero to gain new spell options (bringing role-playing video game elements to the series).[10] Certain hero abilities can apply beneficial auras to allied units. All heroes can equip items to increase skills, defense, and other abilities. At level six, the hero can obtain an "ultimate" skill that is more powerful than the three other spells that the hero possesses. Heroes can also utilize the various natural resources found throughout the map, such as controllable non-player characters, and markets in which the hero can purchase usable items.[11]Often, hero units become the deciding factor in determining a winner.

[edit]CampaignEdit

Warcraft III's campaign mode is broken up into five campaigns (Including an optional prologue), each featuring a different race which the player controls (2 Orc campaigns, 1 Human, 1 Undead, and 1 Night Elf). Each campaign is itself divided into chapters. Unlike previous Blizzard titles, such as Warcraft II orStarCraft, players are not directed to mission briefings in which plot exposition occurs and objectives are announced; rather, Warcraft III uses a system of "seamless quests."[12] Some plot development happens in an occasional cinematic, but most occurs in-game with cutscenes. Objectives, known as quests, are revealed to the player during the progress of the map. Main quests are those that the player must complete to proceed to the next chapter, but there are also optional quests which are not initially revealed, but can be discovered and completed alongside the main objectives.

Through each race's campaign, the player retains control of one or more heroes, which slowly grow in experience as the levels progress. This experience is carried over to subsequent missions, allowing the hero to grow throughout the course of the campaign.

While different in terms of storyline and precise gameplay, all of the different races' campaigns are structured similarly. Each begins with a level involving simple mechanics to introduce the player to the race and the basic elements of their hero and units. After one or two such levels the player's first "building mission" occurs, requiring them to build and maintain a base while competing with one or more enemy forces. The only campaign that breaks this pattern is the Night Elf campaign, whose first mission involves building a limited base. The last level of each race's campaign is an "epic battle" which means that the player has to strike down a large number of enemy foes and finally destroy their main base.

[edit]MultiplayerEdit

While campaign games can have many different objectives, the sole objective in multiplayer games is to destroy all the buildings of the opposition. In default melee matches, players can pick their own heroes, and losing one will not end the game. To make the game proceed more quickly, by default the map is covered in fog of war instead of the Black Mask.[2] Warcraft III, like Blizzard's previous title StarCraft, allows for single and multiplayer replays to be recorded and viewed, allowing a game to be played at slower and faster speeds and viewed from the perspective of all players.[13] Like all previous Blizzard titles since Diablo, Warcraft III uses the Battle.net multiplayer network. Players can create free accounts in regional "gateways," which helps reduce lag; these are Azeroth (U.S. East), Lordaeron (U.S. West), Northrend (Europe), and Kalimdor (Asia).[14] Unlike previous Battle.net-enabled games, Warcraft III introduced anonymous matchmaking, automatically pairing players for games based on their skill level and game type preferences, preventing players from cheating and inflating their records artificially.[15] If players want to play with a friend in ranked matches, Warcraft III offers "Arranged Team Games", where a team joins a lobby and Battle.net will search for another team; as with anonymous matchmaking, the enemy team is not known beforehand.[15] Players can also host custom games, using maps either created in the Warcraft III World Editor, or the default multiplayer scenarios. The game also offers Friends Lists and Channels for chatting, where players can create custom channels or join Blizzard-approved ones.[16] Warcraft III also allows players to band together to form "clans", which can participate in tournaments or offer a recreational aspect to Warcraft III. Global scores and standings in matchmaking games are kept on a "ladder".[17] These rankings can be checked online without the need of the game.

Due to the version 1.24 patch, many third-party programs have been rendered unusable. Several third-party programs that reveal the entire map, commonly known as maphacks, have been released for the update. It also disabled collided maps, which would make modified custom maps appear to be the same as the original. Another effect of the patch, which is not included in the release notes, is that custom maps with large filenames will not appear in the game. The limit is believed to be 20 characters, but this has not yet been tested.[18] This patch also rendered many custom maps unplayable due to custom map scripts. Even some versions of the famous Defense of the Ancients were no longer functioning.

[edit]SynopsisEdit

[edit]SettingEdit

Warcraft III takes place in the fictional world of Azeroth. Several years before the events of the games, a demon army known as the Burning Legion intent on Azeroth's destruction corrupted a race called the Orcs, and sent them through a portal to attack Azeroth. After many years of fighting, the Orcs were defeated by a coalition of humans, dwarves and elves known as the Alliance; the surviving combatants were herded into internment camps, where they seemed to lose their lust for battle. With no common enemy, a period of peace followed, but the Alliance began to fracture. The events of Warcraft III occur after a timeskip from Warcraft II. This period was originally intended to have been documented in Warcraft Adventures, but that game was canceled in mid-development.[19]

[edit]PlotEdit

The game's plot is told entirely through cinematics and cutscenes, with additional information found in the Warcraft III manual. The campaign itself is divided into five sections, with the first acting as a tutorial, and the others telling the story from the point of view of the humans of Lordaeron, the Undead Scourge, the Orcs, and the Night Elves, in that order.

The game opens with the Orc leader, Thrall, waking from a nightmare warning him of the return of the Burning Legion.[20] After a brief encounter with a man who is known only as "the Prophet", and, fearing that his dream was more of a vision than a nightmare, he leads his forces in an exodus from Lordaeron to the forgotten lands of Kalimdor.[21]

Meanwhile, the Paladin and prince of Lordaeron, Arthas, defends the village of Strahnbrad from demon-controlled Orcs.[22] He then joins Archmage Jaina Proudmoore, who aids him in investigating a rapidly-spreading plague, which kills and turns human victims into the undead. Arthas kills the plague's originator, Kel'Thuzad, and then purges the infected city of Stratholme. Jaina parts ways with him, unwilling to commit genocide, or even watch him do so. The Prophet, after previously trying to convince other human leaders to flee west, begs Jaina to go to Kalimdor as well.[23] Arthas pursues the dreadlord, Mal'Ganis, who was the leader behind Kel'Thuzad, to the icy continent of Northrend, where he helps his old friend, Muradin Bronzebeard, find a powerful sword called Frostmourne. Meanwhile, Arthas begins to lose his sanity after hearing his forces been recalled by the Emissary, burning his ships to prevent retreat, even when given an order to leave. Fortunately, Arthas and Muradin find Frostmourne. Muradin, however, learns that the sword is cursed.[24] Arthas disregards the warning, and offers his soul to gain the sword. By doing so, Muradin was struck down by a shard of ice when Frostmourne is released, and is presumably killed. Arthas supposedly kills Mal'Ganis, and abandons his men in the frozen north as his soul is stolen by the blade, which was later revealed to be forged by the Lich King. Some time later, Arthas returns to Lordaeron and kills his father, King Terenas.

Now a Death Knight, Arthas meets with the leader of the dreadlords, Tichondrius, who assigns him a series of "tests". Arthas first exhumes the remains of Kel'Thuzad, contains it in a magic urn of the ashes of his father, which was protected by Uther the Lightbringer, head paladin of The Order of the Silver Hand as well as Arthas' former mentor and close friend. Arthas kills him too, then sets off to Quel'thalas, kingdom of the high elves. He then later attacks the gates and destroys their capital of Silvermoon. He kills Sylvanas Windrunner, the Ranger General of Silvermoon (only to resurrect her as a banshee), corrupts their sacred Sunwell and revives Kel'Thuzad as a Lich. The Lich informs him of the Burning Legion; a vast demonic army who are coming to consume the world. Kel'Thuzad's true master is the Lich King, who was created to aid the Legion with his Undead Scourge, but in truth he wishes for the Legion to be destroyed. Arthas and Kel'Thuzad open a dimensional portal and summon the demon Archimonde and the Burning Legion, who begins his purging of Lordaeron with the destruction of Dalaran. Arthas and Kel'Thuzad were cast aside by Archimonde, and Kel'Thuzad reveals to Arthas the Lich King has already foreseen it and is planning to overthrow the Burning Legion.

Thrall the warchief arrives on Kalimdor, meeting Cairne Bloodhoof and the tauren, and clashes with a human expedition on the way to find an Oracle. Meanwhile, the Warsong Clan are left behind in Ashenvale to build a permanent settlement, but anger the Night Elves and their demigod Cenarius by cutting down the forests for resources. To defeat them, the Warsong leader Grom Hellscream drinks from a corrupted fountain of health contaminated with the blood of the Legion's pit lord commander Mannoroth, successfully killing Cenarius, but binding his clan to the Legion's control. Thrall manages to reach the Oracle, in fact the Prophet, who tells him of Grom's doings. Following the Prophet's directions, Thrall and Jaina join forces to purge both Grom and the world of demonic influence. They succeed in capturing Grom and healing him of Mannoroth's corruption. Thrall and Grom begin to hunt Mannoroth and Grom kills him, dying in the process, but in doing so freeing the orcs from the demonic control of Mannoroth at last.

Tyrande Whisperwind, leader of the Night Elves, is outraged to find the Humans and Orcs violating the forests and blames them for Cenarius' death, so she initially vows to destroy both. However, she soon finds out that the Burning Legion has arrived on Kalimdor. In order to oppose the Burning Legion, Tyrande reawakens the sleeping Elf Druids, starting with her lover, Malfurion Stormrage, and frees his brother Illidan Stormrage from prison, against Malfurion's will. Illidan meets Arthas, who tells him about the powerful "Skull of Gul'dan". Consuming the Skull and becoming a demon-elf hybrid, Illidan uses its power to kill Tichondrius. He is however banished from the forest by his brother as he is now part demon. Meanwhile, the Prophet summons Thrall, Jaina, Tyrande and Malfurion, and reveals that he used to be Medivh, the Last Guardian and the betrayer from Warcraft: Orcs & Humans... much to Tyrande's shock. The Humans, Orcs, and Night Elves form a reluctant alliance to spring a trap on the Burning Legion, and delay it long enough for many ancestral spirits to destroy Archimonde at Mount Hyjal. Peace once again comes to Kalimdor as the Burning Legion's forces wither away in defeat.[25]

Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
Warcraftiii-frozen-throne-boxcover
Developer(s) Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher(s) Blizzard Entertainment(North America)Sierra Entertainment(Europe)Capcom(Japan)

Sonokong (South Korea)

Designer(s) Rob Pardo
Series Warcraft
Version 1.26.0.6401 (March 24, 2011)
Platform(s) Windows, Mac OS,Mac OS X (Intel andPowerPC)
Release date(s)
  • NA July 1, 2003

KOR July 1, 2003

  • EU July 4, 2003
  • JP February 27, 2004
Genre(s) Real-time strategy
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Media/distribution CD (1), Digital Download

Warcraft III: The Frozen ThroneEdit

Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne is a real-time strategy computer game developed for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and Mac OS X by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the official expansion pack to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos,[1] requiring Reign of Chaos to play. Released in stores worldwide in multiple languages beginning on July 1, 2003,[2] it includes new units for each race, two new auxiliary races, four campaigns, five neutral heroes (an additional neutral hero was added April 2004 and two more were added in August 2004),[3] the ability to build a shop and various other improvements such as the ability to queue upgrades. Sea units were reintroduced; they had been present in Warcraft II but were absent in Reign of Chaos. Blizzard Entertainment has released patches for the game to fix bugs, add new features, and balance multiplayer.

PlotEdit

As in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, the single-player campaign of the Frozen Throne follows each of the main races in sequence. In this game, that is Night Elves (Maiev Shadowsong tracks the escaped Illidan Stormrage), Human (or Blood Elves, following the struggles of the last High Elves in Lordaeron after it was destroyed by the Scourge and the Burning Legion), and Undead (following Arthas' return from Kalimdor to Lordaeron, and his subsequent journey to find the Lich King of the Scourge). The Orc campaign is separate from the other three being a stand-alone story and using more role playing game mechanics over real time strategy game mechanics. The campaign chronicles the early days of the Orc Horde's establishment in Kalimdor.

In the first campaign of the game, Illidan's former warden, Maiev Shadowsong, hunts for Illidan and finds the serpent-like Naga who vow to "retake the surface world" from the Night Elves. Maiev later follows Illidan to a recently erected island and to a vault located within. It is revealed that Illidan Stormrage has gained the allegiance of the Naga, former night elves mutated by The Sundering, and obtained an artifact called the Eye of Sargeras from his tomb (in chapter 3 of the campaign), which grants him extraordinary power. Maiev Shadowsong, calls for the aid of Malfurion Stormrage and Tyrande Whisperwind to capture Illidan. Partway through the pursuit, Tyrande is swept away by a river while helping a group of blood elves to retaliate against the undead. Maiev convinces Malfurion that she died at the hands of the undead. When they finally capture Illidan, he explains that he planned to use the Eye to destroy the Lich King, ruler of the undead... much to Maiev's dismay. At this point Illidan's Naga Scouts discovers that Tyrande may still be alive. She was surrounded by water and undead settlements. Only Illidan and his naga can reach her (By water). The brothers Stormrage work together in order to rescue her. Malfurion then pardons Illidan for his actions done with the Eye, but reminds him that he is still exiled. Illidan then flees to Outland (only know after the cutscene where blood elves met Illidan at Outland where he speaks of how he came to be).

The second campaign follows the blood elves, the last of the High Elves, led by their prince Kael'thas. They are given the job to fix watchtowers and defend them by a human leader named Garithos, who despises non-humans. He later discovers that Kael'thas was helped by the Naga and imprisons the blood elves for this. They are rescued by Lady Vashj, leader of the Naga, who leads them all to Outland. Once there they join forces with Illidan and conquer Outland, with promises of claiming magical energy to satisfy the Blood Elves' addiction to the arcane.[4] Once Outland is conquered, Illidan's master - the warlock Kil'jaeden the Deceiver - finds Illidan and prepares to punish him for his failure to destroy the Lich King. However, Illidan convinces Kil'jaeden to give him one more chance, claiming that he was gathering more forces to assault the Lich King's Frozen Throne. The Deceiver lets Illidan's failure go, but warns him to kill Ner'zhul or face his 'eternal wrath.' The blood elf campaign is the shortest in Warcraft III, with only six chapters (seven including the secret mission).

The third campaign follows the undead, who have split into three factions. One is led by Arthas and is loyal to the Lich King and accompanied by the necromancers of the Lich, Kel'thuzad; another is led by the banshee Sylvanas Windrunner; and the third is led by three dreadlords and are loyal to the Burning Legion. The player controls Arthas' and Sylvanas' factions in the different chapters, opposed to the dreadlords' faction. The brothers are complaining that they haven't heard from Archimonde the Defiler, who was killed just about a week ago. Sylvanas asks Kel'Thuzad what happened to the Legion. The Summoner states that the Burning Legion took off after Archimonde was slain. The conversation is interrupted when Arthas [mounted on his prized horse Invincible] bursts through the gates and thanks the brothers for looking after Lordaeron while he was gone. One of the brothers, Balnazar, says the Scourge is owned by the Legion. Arthas cleverly states that Archimonde's death was announced. The brothers retreat. After emptying the kingdom of the remnants of the Alliance, Arthas prepares to travel to Northrend for an expedition there, but the 3 brothers trap him inside the castle, much to Kel'Thuzad's shock. Kel'Thuzad has no choice but to turn around and run away. Arthas manages to escape and is taken to a spot for rest by some banshees. Arthas is shot in the leg by Sylvanas for turning her and her people into banshees. Fortunately, Kel'Thuzad appears from the shadows and drive Sylvanas away. The poison wears off, and Arthas leaves for Northrend. When he and his forces get there, Arthas learns that he needs to defend the Lich King from Illidan, the Naga, and the Blood Elves' combined assault after having painful attacks and visions of the Lich King commanding him to the Frozen Throne. First they are given help by Anub'arak, the Ancient King of Azjol-Nerub. He knows the kingdom will be a shortcut to Icecrown Citadel. As they travel, they recruit the ancient blue wyrm, Sapphiron of the Blue Dragonflight (servant of Malygos the Spell-Weaver), into the undead Scourge. They then use the giant wyrm to smash other enemy forces that might counterattack.

Meanwhile, back in the subcontinent of Lordaeron, Sylvanas is lamenting over her being an undead, although she and her forces are permanently freed of Ner'zhul's grasp. Later, a demonic portal appears. Emerging through it is one of the Nathrezim, Varimathras. He offers Sylvanas to join the Burning Legion and rule the subcontinent and the Kingdom of Lordaeron. She refuses, much to Varimathras' displeasure. However, Sylvanas and her forces attack and corner him. He begs for mercy and joins Sylvanas's force, now known as The Forsaken. They then approach a stronghold held in the grasp of Detheroc, the oldest of the 3 brothers. They brainwash what's left of Garithos' forces, besiege the stronghold and free Garithos by killing Detheroc. Although Garithos knows Sylvanas might be one of the Scourge, she reassures him that she is free. Varimathras and Garithos argue over something out of subject until Sylvanas calms them. They then besiege the kingdom and corner Balnazaar. Sylvanas orders Varimathras to slaughter him. He at first refuses, but is forced to attack. Garithos, driven by racism, orders them to leave, but Varimathras cuts his neck, causing him to bleed to death. Lordaeron is now the home of the Forsaken, who then join the Horde after learning Thrall's shamistic powers.

Arthas, Anub'arak and the undead forces are at the right place: Azjol-Nerub. However, a small group of dwarves have the front gates shut. Arthas orders Sapphiron to attack. He flies in and spits a bolt of frost at the gates, which fall to pieces. Arthas wishes to take Sapphiron with them, but can't because the confines of the dark earth isn't a place for Sapphiron, who flies to the other side. They then meet with Bealgun, who tells Arthas and his forces of the horrors that dwell deep within the kingdom, that they be careful. Anub'arak realizes Bealgun's stories are true. They then encounter a gigantic Forgotten One and rip it to pieces... but more Faceless ones show up and chase them off. Arthas senses the ceiling is about to cave in and darts to the other side just in time... Anub'arak simply smashes through the boulders with his massive bulk. They eventually find the exit and get some rest before going on.

After a fierce battle between Arthas' undead forces and Illidan's, Illidan appears to be slain and Arthas is able to reach the Lich King's Frozen Throne. Once there, Arthas shatters the ice-prison that held the Lich Kings remains, releasing him. Arthas dons the Lich King's helmet, joining their souls into one ultra-powerful being: Arthas, the new Lich King.

The separate RPG-style campaign follows the Horde defending their land and building up a new kingdom called Durotar by Thrall in the name of his father Durotan. The main characters of the campaign are Rexxar, the beastmaster/adventurer - he admires the orc art of war - the private shadow hunter Rokhan, Cairne Bloodhoof, the tauren Chieftain and, optionally, Chen Stormstout, the Pandaren brewmaster. After defending Durotar from a series of lesser threats, Rexxar learns that a force of humans from the island of Theramore, led by Admiral Daelin Proudmoore, plans to invade Durotar. Admiral Proudmoore is unwilling or unable to accept a truce between the Horde and the Alliance despite their combined armies having defended the World Tree in Reign of Chaos. The orcs invade Theramore (aided by a guilty Jaina Proudmoore) and slay the Admiral, replacing him with his daughter, Jaina.

[edit]Plot Retroactive ContinuityEdit

During the final cinematic of the Scourge campaign, Illidan was depicted as being killed or "mortally wounded" by Arthas. This was later retconned by Blizzard Entertainment, and changed to "injured" (similar to Muradin) or unconscious, which allowed him to be alive for World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. The final Scourge cinematic also gives the impression that Arthas and Ner'zul combined, but there is no reference during later plot to Ner'zul still existing - when Arthas is finally killed, there is no Ner'zul.

Maiev was shown during the Alliance campaign as escaping Illidan, though this was later retconned and changed to her being captured and handed over to Akama and the draenai, allowing her to later deliver the killing blow to Illidan during World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.[5]

[edit]AdditionsEdit

For each race, The Frozen Throne adds several new units and buildings, including a player-controlled shop, and one new hero per race. Two new auxiliary races, the Naga and Draenei, have also been added. The Naga feature in all three campaigns, and as playable units, allies, and enemies; while the Draenei, which are actually more sophisticated creeps, are found only in the Blood Elf missions. Both can be put in custom maps if their worker units (the Naga Mur'gul Slave or the Draenei worker) are added via the World Editor. The old siege engines of the Humans, Orcs and Night Elves have been renamed and remodeled, receiving new upgrades in the process. The food limit has been increased from 90 to 100, and the upkeep requirements have been relaxed by 10 food units each, leading to the ability to mobilize somewhat larger and more powerful forces.

The weapon and armor type system has been completely revamped and a lot of units have had their weapon or armor types changed, and the weapon types are effective and ineffective against different armour types compared to Reign of Chaos. Because of this, battles and strategies are slightly different than the ones in The Reign of Chaos.

The expansion and its subsequent patches made the addition of neutral Hero units, which appear in the single player campaigns. Neutral heroes can be used in melee maps via the Tavern, a neutral building used to hire them. The tavern can also instantly revive any fallen hero, with an increased resource cost, and reduced health and mana of the revived hero. A nearby unit is needed to access the tavern.

In addition, The Frozen Throne re-introduces naval battles, which were almost completely absent in Warcraft 3. Although generally only available in the campaign, naval units can be placed using the World Editor and can be purchased from certain buildings in melee maps such as the Goblin Shipyard. To date, there haven't been any half-popular naval battle custom maps.

The Warcraft III Map Editor program now allows the user to do more custom work with regards to editing skills, providing more functions in the triggers, new units, more global map settings, and new tilesets to work with.

CreditsEdit

Warcraft - Orcs and Humans Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warcraft:_Orcs_%26_Humans

Warcraft II - Tides of Darkness Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warcraft_II:_Tides_of_Darkness

Warcraft II - Beyond the Dark Portal Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warcraft_II:_Beyond_the_Dark_Portal

Warcraft III - Reign of Chaos Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warcraft_III:_Reign_of_Chaos

Warcraft III - The Frozen Throne Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warcraft_III:_The_Frozen_Throne

WoWWiki: http://www.wowwiki.com/Portal:Main

All information, citation, and reference can be found on these Wiki's.

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