This web is just outlet for some of my photos and musings about my hoobies (Mainly petanque and computer games). © KoNO 2018
Games -> Warcraft III

Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne

In year 2002 Blizzard Entertainment published third installment of it's Warcraft series - Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and year later datadisc called The Frozen Throne was released. Even after ten years from its release, its still best real-time strategy game I played.

What's this all about

Warcraft has timeless cute fantasy graphic style, great character voices and other sounds, catchy music which makes great atmosphere for the game. It has one of the best campaigns in RTS ever - be it in story or gameplay. There are many twists in the story, characters are likable, player objectives are part of the story and are variable and fun to do. Missions are not long and not short and they are enjoyably hard. Campaign has also nice replayability value thanks to much much harder "hard" difficulty. The only RTS campaign I think is comparable in quality is campaign of World in Conflict.

Usually when RTS has good campaign it's multiplayer is lacking and vice versa. This is definitly not true for Warcraft III. It has one of the most varied, balanced and enjoyable multiplayer gameplay i know. Game offers four playable races. Each race is really distint from others - not only by graphics but by how they build structures, how they mine gold and wood, by what are they strong sides etc. All this creates completely different multiplayer tactics and strategies for all races. And when you play 2v2 it creates many more styles of play.

Warcraft III brings several groundbreaking innovations to the RTS genre. Most notably it brings an RPG feel into the game. Each race in the game has several heroes on its side - in multiplayer you can choose one from four heroes of your race for free (and you can train two more for gold). Heroes get experience by killing enemy or neutral units (or just by being near when your other units kill them). Heroes have spells which can be upgraded each time hero gets to new level. These spells make hero essential part of your army. Having level 6 hero in battle is worth as much as having there 5 normal units. When heroes die, you can revive them for a bargin price, but it takes time. Heroes make quiet the impact on gameplay. Because each unit you loose gives advantage to your enemy, you have to take care for your army. Warcraft 3 also enables you to heal your units in many ways - by unit abilities, hero's spells or items.

Heroes also have inventory in which they can carry up to 6 items. Items can upgrade hero or it can be usable item like health potion. One of the most important item in game is Scroll of Town Portal. It brings real nice change to gameplay. Its consumable item - so after use it disappears. You get one for free with first hero, but you can buy more for quiet steep price. I say steep price but it is still a good buy. When hero uses Scroll of Town Portal he becomes invulnerable for a few seconds and than teleports with all your surrounding units to your's or your ally's city hall. This is quiet game changing mechanic. It means you can in a few seconds travel with your army to defend your town. Or, if you run into your enemy in unfavorable conditions, you can easily retreat into your town. You just have to pay for the item.

One of the other things that made Warcraft III so popular was it's Map Editor. There are many custom maps that make it practically different game. There are tower defence maps, hero arena maps, classic rpgs and of course there is Defence of the Ancients (DotA).

Warcraft III and I

When warcraft III first hit the shelves I of course played campaign (and than again on hard difficulty). But soon after I started playing it with friends online. We played on official Battle.net server. Battle.net is Blizzard's server that comes with ladders and matchmaking system.

For the longest time I (I had nick DarkKoNO as KoNO was taken) played with my friends from highschool - Voidbringer, Muhe and Shitman. I played 2v2 mostly with Voidbringer - as human and undead combo or double undead. We were definitely not pros. But we were not bad players. We always had our win lose ratio on the win side. Even though we tried some crazy tactics like tower rush or tech with heroes only. Our battle net levels were about 35 which I think was above average. In Warcraft the best players played 1v1 but I never liked it. I always played 2v2, 3v3 or even 4v4. In ladders our best place in 3v3 was 26th and in 4v4 it was 3rd.

As you can see from the screenshot, I played mostly humans and undead. Both races had in common heavy dependence on heroes. While as orcs or elves it was common to have only one hero. Human and Undead players usually trained two or even three heroes. As human I really disliked first available unit - footman, and I had special building order which allowed me to start training my favorite unit riflemans right from the start.

Defence of the Ancients (DotA)

After playing Warcraft III for many years, we began to play many custom made maps. Most famous of those maps is Defence of the Ancients. Map that basicly started its own game genre. We still play it even now, although not as much as we used to. In last few months we are trying DotA 2 - stand alone sequel developed by Valve.