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Overview

The four races of Warcraft III.
The four races of Warcraft III.

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos is a medieval-fantasy real-time strategy game developed and published by Blizzard for the PC and Mac on July 3, 2002.

The third installment of the Warcraft series, Warcraft III brings the series to 3D while adding new action RPG elements (with upgradable Hero units and inventory systems), greater disparity between the multiple races (in addition to two new races: the Undead scourge and the ancient Night Elves), new gameplay mechanics (including army upkeep, day-night cycles, and hostile creeps), and a progressive campaign (similar to StarCraft).

Set several years after the Alliance of Lordaeron (led by humans, dwarves, gnomes, and elves) repelled the invasion of the Orcish Horde (led by orcs, ogres, trolls, and goblins) and destroyed the Dark Portal, Reign of Chaos details the invasion of the demonic Burning Legion as foretold by a mysterious prophet. During the five-part campaign, players lead the armies of key protagonists (including human prince Arthas and orc warchief Thrall) as they unravel the story.

The game received an expansion pack on July 1, 2003, titled Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. In addition to a new four-part campaign and several new units (including the reintroduction of naval units), this expansion adds new neutral hero units that players can hire during games to aid them. In addition, custom scenario support has been significantly improved, adding custom campaign support and kick-starting popular mods (most prominently Defense of the Ancients).

Gameplay

Creeps

Creeps are the neutral enemy that every player in a competitive match must face and conquer before victory over their adversary. The creeps are design for players to kill so they obtain an advantage over the other player. For every creep killed the player will receive experience to level their hero, items for stats and ability bonues and gold for more items, troops and upgrades. Depending on the level of the creep will determine how the strength and amount of the gold, items, and experience obtained.

Campaign

The single player portion of the game is viewed through the eyes of the four unique races in the game, each telling part of their own story while still maintaining focus on the whole through four seperate campaigns. In most RTS games the player has to build an army and take out different enemy encampments within alotted timeframes. Warcraft's missions were a mix between these old-school mission styles, and quests much like those seen in World of Warcraft. The game's story unfolds by the characters of the game through both in-game cutscenes and Hollywood-level cinematics.

Prologue: Exodus of the Horde

The young Thrall awakes fom a strange vision, directing him to the prophet Medivh. Medivh tells him to rally the orcs from Lordaeron and travel to Kalimdor, where they shall meet their destiny. He frees the orcs from the remaining internment camps, including Grom Hellscream. The Horde steals the human fleet from Southshore and sail off. Near the Maelstrom, they are forced to land on a small island to repair their ships. There they are joined by the Darkspear Trolls, led by Sen'jin, but are soon ambushed and captured by a group of murlocs worshiping a Naga Sea Witch. Thrall and his people need to escape from their underworld prison together with the trolls and flee from the island before it is destroyed by an erupting volcano.

Human Campaign: The Scourge of Lordaeron

Arthas Menethil, Paladin
Arthas Menethil, Paladin

Prince Arthas, a paladin of the Silver Hand, The Captain and Jaina Proudmoore, Arthas' former lover and apprentice-ano.Archmage, are investigating a strange plague that is spreading across the lands of Lordaeron. To their horror, they find that the plague turns unsuspecting people into hideous Undead warriors, and must move to stop the undead's plans. After a string of hollow victories (many towns in the now Plaguelands being destroyed), Arthas decides that the best way to end the game was to destroy Mal'Ganis the (supposed) leader of the scourge. Mal'Ganis travels northward to the icy lands of Northrend, and Arthas follows him. There he aids an old friend, Muradin Bronzebeard, who tells him of a powerful weapon, a sword called Frostmourne. Arthas obtains Frostmourne, at the (supposed) cost of Muradin's life, and uses it to defeat Mal'Ganis. However, as a result, Frostmourne steals Arthas' soul and turns to ally the undead...

Undead Campaign: Path of the Damned

Arthas Menethil, Death Knight
Arthas Menethil, Death Knight

With their new leader, the undead must move to complete their purpose in Lordaeron, which is to destroy the remnants of the Alliance and pave the way for a new invasion. In a series of quests, Arthas succeeds in reviving a former adversary, Kel'Thuzad, as a Lich, and the two successfully open an inter-dimensional portal for the true masters of the Scourge, the Burning Legion, to enter the realm of Azeroth.

Orcish Campaign: The Invasion of Kalimdor

Grom and Thrall, with Mannoroth
Grom and Thrall, with Mannoroth

After escaping Human captivity and fleeing to the shores of Kalimdor, orcish warchief Thrall must lead his brethren to safety and ensure their survival in this strange and hostile land. Help comes from the Tauren, a nomadic group of Kalimdor natives, and their leader, Cairne Bloodhoof. Unfortunately, fellow orc Grom Hellscream falls under demonic corruption, and Thrall is forced to ally himself with Jaina Proudmore, now leader of the survivors of Lordearon. He also discovers (courtesy of an oracle) that his fate is to help repel the Burning Legion, and he and Jaina accomplish this goal, and also to save Hellscream. Afterwards, Grom insists upon battling Mannoroth, the demon who cast him into the corruption. Thrall and Grom succeed in vanquishing Mannoroth, but Grom is slain in the process.

Night Elf Campaign: Eternity's End

Tyrande Whisperwind and the brothers Stormrage
Tyrande Whisperwind and the brothers Stormrage

With the coming of the undead and Burning Legion as well as the humans and orcs, Tyrande Whisperwind and her night elf Sentinels fight a desperate battle to save their beloved home of Kalimdor. She first reawakens her lover, Malfurion Stormrage, and then the Druids of the Talon and finally the Druids of the Claw. She also decides to free the great betrayer, Illidan Stormrage, and he is eventually instrumental in weakening the Legion. Finally, she and Furion join forces with Proudmoore and Thrall to delay the Legion's advance until a proper end can be arranged for their leader Archimonde (mirroring the final mission of Starcraft, in which the player commands a multi-racial force against a common foe).

Heroes

The basic strategy of all players focuses around their hero unit who can do a variety of tasks that regular units can not. The Hero unit can teleport to town if it is under attack (or needs to retreat), level and become more powerful, aid fellow units, or level armies of enemy units, it can use items and a player can only have 3 hero units at a time. All heroes have a max level of 10 on the Battle.net ladders and 4 skills, 3 of which have 3 levels, and one other spell known as their ultimate; players can also opt to ignore putting points into a skill and increase their heroes' base stats instead; spells/skills can only be upgraded at levels 3 and 5.

Human

Archmage

Primary Attribute: Intelligence

Notable in Campaign: Jaina Proudmoore (playable), Antonidas

Skills:

  • Blizzard (Active, key: B) - Rains down ice over designated area. Is channelled spell, as such, it can be interrupted by stuns. Can only hit up to 5 targets at a time. Damage increase per level. Can hit air units.
  • Summon Water Elemental (Active, key: W) - Summons a ranged Water Elemental to fight by the player's side. Water Elementals increase in damage and hit points each level. Useful for creeping and scouting early. Can be dispelled.
  • Brilliance Aura (Passive) - Increases the mana regeneration of both the Archmage and all nearby friendly units.
  • Mass Teleport (Ultimate, key: T) - Teleports 24 units to anywhere on the map the player has already discovered.

Mountain King

Primary Attribute: Strength

Notable in Campaign: Muradin Bronzebeard (playable)

Skills:

  • Storm Bolt (Active, key: T) - Single target attack that damages and temporarily stuns target. Great for focusing on enemy hero(es). Increase damage and stun time per level. Can hit organic air units as well
  • Thunder Clap (Active, key: C) - Area of Effect spell that slows movement and attack speed of units caught in its effect. Increases slow amount and damage per level. Excellent against fleeing units.
  • Bash (Passive) - Gives his basic attacks a 20-40% chance to both deal 25 additional damage and temporarily stun the target.
  • Avatar (Ultimate, key: V) - makes the Mountain King's character size increase temporarily and he turns metallic. His attack strength is increased while under its effect, he can not be harmed by spells and his armor is increased.

Paladin

Primary Attribute: Strength

Notable in Campaign: Arthas Menthil (playable), Uther the Lightbringer

Skills:

  • Holy Light (Active, key: T) - Heals target friendly unit or damages target undead unit. Increases amount healed/damaged per level.
  • Divine Shield (Active, key: D) - Renders the paladin invulnerable from attacks temporarily. Active spell time is increased per level.
  • Devotion Aura (Passive) - Grants additional armor to all nearby friendly units.
  • Resurrection (Ultimate, key: R) - Resurrection revives up to 6 fallen (user owned) units.

Orcs

Blademaster

Primary Attribute: Agility

Notable in Campaign: Grom Hellscream (playable)

Skills:

  • Wind Walk (Active, key: W) - Renders the Blademaster invisible, increases movement speed and guarentees a critical strike on his first strike. Attacking reveals the Blademaster. Useful for rushing opponents and causing economic damage early game. Excellent for picking off fleeing units and highly effective at killing heroes. Movement speed and duration increase with each level.
  • Mirror Image (Active, key: R) - Creates a harmless duplicate of the Blademaster. Useful for scouting or causing diversions.
  • Critical Strike (Passive) - Gives his basic attacks a 15% chance to perform a critical hit against enemy units, dealing 2x-4x damage.
  • Bladestorm (Ultimate, key: B) - Blademaster begins spinning causing damage to all units and buildings caught in his flurry. He cannot be targeted by spells during this time. Great for taking out weaker buildings such as food support buildings, which most players build near one another.

Far Seer

Primary Attribute: Intelligence

Notable in Campaign: Thrall (playable)

Skills:

  • Chain Lightning (Active, key: C) - Direct damage spell that bounces from target to target, weakening as it hits each subsequent target. Can hit air units. Hits more units each level as well as causing more damage each level.
  • Far Sight (Active, key: F) - Allows user to reveal any part of the map. Reveals invisible units. At higher levels it reveals gigantic portions of the map. Effective in team games for plotting and mounting an attack.
  • Feral Spirit (Active, key: T) - Summons 2 spirit wolves. Great for rushing. Excellent support in battles to increase the Horde's melee supremecy. At level 3 they become invisible and are fantastic for invading an enemy's base and taking out their economy.
  • Earthquake (Ultimate, key: E) - Causes damage to buildings on designated area. Disorients units caught in the spell, causing them to move and attack extremely slow. Great for leveling enemy bases.

Tauren Chieftain

Primary Attribute: Strength

Notable in Campaign: Cairne Bloodhoof (playable)

Skills:

  • Shockwave (Active, Key: W) - Damages all units and buildings in a line. Effective against ranged units. Has a relatively short cooldown.
  • War Stomp (Active, Key: T) - Stuns all units caught in the stomp temporarily. This spell combined with the Chieftan's Endurance Aura can wreak havoc on unsuspecting armies. A good tactic is to send the Chieftan in alone to a group of ranged units to stomp and stun them, while melee units hold the line, the Chieftan is more than capable of taking out a group of ranged units on his own with War Stomp Endurance Aura (not to mention his huge amount of health.) Stun time increases per level.
  • Endurance Aura (Passive) - Increases the attack rate and movement speed of both the Tauren Chieftain and nearby friendly units.
  • Reincarnation (Ultimate, Key: R) - If the Chieftan dies while Reincarnation is active he will respawn where he died with full health and mana and all items before he died.

Undead

Death Knight

Primary Attribute: Strength

Notable in Campaign: Arthas Menethil (playable)

Skills:

  • Death Coil (Active, key: C) - Can be used to heal friendly undead units, or damage any non-undead units. Works much like Paladin's Holy Light but in reverse.
  • Death Pact (Active, key: E) - Kills player owned unit and transfers health to Death Knight. Great against players whose tactic is largely based around focusing on hero units.
  • Unholy Aura (Passive) - Increases the health regeneration and movement speed of nearby friendly units.
  • Animate Dead (Ultimate, key: D) - Temporarily revives any 6 dead units, player, friendly or enemy owned. Once timer expires, the units explode.

Dreadlord

Primary Attribute: Strength

Notable in Campaign: Tichondrius, Mal'Ganis

Skills:

  • Carrion Swarm (Active, key: C) - Damages units within a line.
  • Sleep (Active, key: E) - Causes the targeted unit to fall asleep. Great for surrounding enemy units.
  • Vampiric Aura (Passive) - All nearby friendly melee units gain 15-45% of all damage given as health.
  • Inferno (Ultimate, key: N) - Summons an Infernal from the sky. He comes in as a comet, causing damage and stunning units in the designated area. He then turns into a commandable, melee unit that has a weaker version of Demon Hunter's immolation, does chaos damage, has a high number of hit points, and is a temporary unit that expires upon his timer's completion.

Lich

Primary Attribute: Intelligence

Notable in Campaign: Kel'Thuzad (playable)

Skills:

  • Frost Nova (Active, key: N) - Direct damage attack with splash mixed in. Slows units temporarily. Increases damage and slow time per level.
  • Frost Armor (Active, key: F) - Autocast. It shrouds units in frozen armor causing any melee attackers to move and attack slower. Increases armor of target.
  • Dark Ritual (Active, key: R) - Sacrafices friendly unit and converts its health into the Lich's mana. Effective for keeping those Novas coming.
  • Death and Decay (Ultimate, key: D) - Area of Effect targeted spell that does 4% of units' base health as damage per second. Also affects buildings.

Night Elves

Demon Hunter

Primary Attribute: Agility

Notable in Campaign: Illidan Stormrage (playable)

Skills:

  • Mana Burn (Active, key: B) - Turns enemy caster/hero's mana against them. Takes 50/100/150 mana from enemy (based on level of spell) and causes equal amount of damage to target unit and removes the same amount of mana. Great way to keep heroes in check.
  • Immolation (Active, key: L) - Creates a firery ring around the Demon Hunter that causes damage to any units that come in range of him.
  • Evasion (Passive) - Gives him a 10-30% chance to completely avoid enemy attacks.
  • Metamorphosis (Active, key: T) - Causes the Demon Hunter to transform into a Demon himself temporarily, giving him a range attack, increased health regeneration and chaos damage.

Keeper of the Grove

Primary Attribute: Intelligence

Notable in Campaign: Malfurion Stormrage (playable), Cenarius

Skills:

  • Entangling Roots (Active, key: E) - Causes target unit to be immobilized. Causes damage over time. Great for picking off fleeing units, disabling late game units, and for focusing on enemy heroes.
  • Force of Nature (Active, key: F) - Summons Treants to aid army. Can only be cast on trees. Can be used to breach through enemy's treeline to catch them off-guard and undefended.
  • Thorns Aura (Passive) - Adds a special shield to all nearby friendly units, reflecting 10-30% of all melee damage.
  • Tranquility (Ultimate, key: T) - Channelled spell that quickly heals all friendly units within range of the Keeper of the Grove.

Priestess of the Moon

Primary Attribute: Agility

Notable in Campaign: Tyrande Whisperwind, Sylvanas Windrunner (as High Elf Ranger)

Skills:

  • Scout (Active, key: C) - Summons an invulnerable owl that... well... scouts. Can reveal hidden enemies. Lasts longer each level.
  • Searing Arrows (Active, key: R) - Searing Arrows can be autocast, which will make them be used every shot the Priestess uses. This will drain mana fast, however, it will increase the damage of her attacks substantially. Increases damage per level.
  • Trueshot Aura (Passive) - Increases ranged attack damage of all nearby friendly units.
  • Starfall (Ultimate, key: F) - Causes stars to fall from the sky and hit enemies and buildings for big damage. Is channelled and can be interrupted. Great base cleaner.

Custom Maps

The most commonly played game types on Warcraft III online. Custom games generally have nothing to do with actual Warcraft, but are standalone games created by users with the map editor. The depth of some of these games has lead to constant rereleases and patches, or in the case of DOTA, it spawned multiple commercial releases. Due to the fact that anyone can go in their map editor, which comes on the disc, and create a map and host it online. There are hundreds of thousands of maps that have been played on the Warcraft III servers. When a player joins a lobby for a game or a map they have never played, they take time to download it. Those maps are stored in the Downloads folder in the Maps folder for Warcraft III. Once a map is downloaded the player will never have to load it again on the starting screen.

Some of the more popular game types, which have spawned tons of remakes and copy cats:

  • Sheep tag
  • DOTA
  • Hero Wars (Which in itself is Dota inspired)
  • Tower Defense
  • Wintermaul (with hundreds of different offshoots: South Park Maul, Simpsons Maul, Techmaulogy, Dynasty Warriors Maul, etc.)
  • Line Tower Wars
  • Hero Line Wars (a combination of Hero Wars and Line Tower Wars, Characters use heroes and summon enemies to other team's side to increase their income.)
  • Vampire Hell (Standalone Sheep Tag variant)
  • Risk
  • Murder at the Mansion
  • Escape From Titanic/ Polar Escape

Footmen Wars

Footmen wars is a very popular custom map game that was created in Warcraft: 3 Reign of Chaos and has become even more popular with Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne with more updated versions. Footmen wars is a game that puts 4 teams of three or in some versions 2 teams of six against one another. The goal is to destroy the other opponent's base or command center before he/she destroys the player's. Every players gets 1 hero and Tier 1 footmen soldiers, as the game progresses players will receive more exp and gold for stronger heroes and troops. Depending on the version, the heroes and troops will differ but the main idea is still the same.

Defense of The Ancients

Defense of the Ancients in progress.
Defense of the Ancients in progress.

Defense of the Ancients (or DotA) is a free downloadable custom game mode for Warcraft 3 and its expansion pack Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne. Initially released in 2003, the goal of DotA is to destroy the enemy's heavily guarded base before they destroy the player's. Each player controls one hero, while the other units are computer controlled. Waves of units will constantly assault the other team automatically. Defensive structures are along the lanes to the other team's base. Each hero is vastly different from the others, including varied abilities. As the player kills the AI-controlled units they receive gold and experience to level up and learn new abilities. Gold is used to purchase other units, upgrades, and items to benefit the hero and team. Defense of the Ancients is Warcraft 3's most popular custom map and is played across the world. It has sparked many games directly inspired by the Defense of the Ancients mod, like Demigod and League of Legends.

Soundtrack

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos features an original soundtrack composed by Glenn Stafford, Derek Duke, Jason Hayes, and Tracy Bush.

Warcraft III Soundtrack
Warcraft III Soundtrack

Track Listings:

  1. Arcane Echoes (Duke)
  2. Arrival at Kalimdor (Bush)
  3. Awakening (Bush)
  4. Blackrock & Roll (Stafford)
  5. Blight (Duke)
  6. Bloodlust (Duke)
  7. Carrion Waves (Duke)
  8. Cinematic Suite (Hayes)
  9. Doomhammer's Legacy (Bush)
  10. Frostmourne (Stafford)
  11. Lordaeron Fall (Stafford)
  12. Reign Of Chaos (Duke)
  13. Rise of the Ancients (Bush)
  14. Temporary Alliances (Bush)
  15. The Calm (Bush)

System Requirements

Windows® 98/ME/2000/XP:

  • 400 MHz Pentium II or equivalent
  • 128 MB of RAM
  • 8 MB 3D video card (TNT, i810, Voodoo 3, Rage 128 equivalent or better) with DirectX® 8.1 support
  • 700 MB HD space
  • 4X CD-ROM drive

Macintosh® OS 9.0 or higher/ Mac OS X 10.1.3. or higher:

  • 400 MHz G3 processor
  • 128 MB of RAM
  • 16 MB ATI Technologies or nVidia chipset 3D video card
  • 700 MB HD space
  • 4X CD-ROM drive

Recommended:

  • 600 MHz processor
  • 256 MB of RAM
  • 32 MB 3D video card
  • DirectX® 8.1 compatible sound card

Multiplayer:

  • Low-latency, active Internet connection rated at 28.8 Kbps or faster. LAN play requires TCP/IP connection.
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