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Warcraft III – The Winds Of Death In Azeroth [RETRO – 2002]

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The original Warcraft III was released in 2002, and its story is told through a series of cutscenes that are still some of the best-looking computer game cinematics ever created.

The world of warcraft is a multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that was released in the year 2002. It has received numerous awards and accolades, including being named Game of the Year for 2003 by PC Gamer and also won the BAFTA Award for Best Gameplay Innovation in 2004.

RETRO – In Warcraft III, the stinking, decaying undead came in the realm of Azeroth in 2002 after four years of “real time” waiting, much to our pleasure, to completely disturb the hard-won peace of orcs, humans, and elves. For all races, the demons and deities of the afterlife offer nothing but blood, sweat, and tears… Blizzard, on the other hand, promised innovative RTS gameplay, stunning 3D ‘orcishness,’ a fantastic fantasy tale, new heroes, new acquaintances, four distinct missions, and real multiplayer craziness. After all the delays, it’s time for the professionals in the “art of war” to deliver on their promises…

 

As with previous Blizzard games, I’ve had some odd encounters with Warcraft III… The intro, which has grown better and cooler over the years, usually gets me thrilled at first. Then there’s the game itself: at first glance, it’s a beverage, but I’m not typically swooned by it. (With the exception of the first Diablo…) Then I get more and more into it, until I realize it’s 5 a.m. and I haven’t slept a wink since I started.

It was similar with Warcraft III: after the first few maps, I explained to everyone that it wasn’t quite right; today, as I approach the game’s last objectives, I can’t help but want to share my impressions with you… What occurred in the time between these two occurrences? Continue reading, brave explorer…

On the downside, the AI is pretty poor: mechanical enemies tend to attack with

Being incorrect is a “human” trait…

After repeatedly resisting the horrible green-skinned and foul-mouthed orc armies, impoverished people believed they might live in peace and happiness once again, but they didn’t rely on the afterlife, whose wicked spirits are ready to transform even paradise on Earth into hell. At first look, this isn’t very unique (it reminds me of Warhammer: Dark Omen…), but I trusted Blizzard and was not disappointed: the narrative develops beautifully over the campaigns, with plenty of subplots, betrayals, unexpected alliances, and heroes turned bad.

Even Warcraft III’s superb narrative demonstrates that we’re dealing with professionals: we’re not getting a lame-o bedtime tale like Art of Magic… This should also satisfy those who want to go right into the orcish campaigns but can’t since, similar to Starcraft, we have to battle them one by one, beginning with the humans.

The difference is that, while in the sci-fi approach, the order was just “strongly suggested,” here it is required since the button for the next campaign isn’t visible until the previous one has been completed. Fortunately, the cinematic lessons make up for it: after finishing each successful race’s narrative, we’re given to a magnificent movie à la Diablo II, and then we’re back in the campaign menu, where we’re joined by a pillar of the next race.

On the downside, the AI is pretty poor: mechanical enemies tend to attack with

Warcraft III: Heroes of the Storm

These days, a multitude of excellent cartoons would be a quick way to salvation. Hardcore Warcraft fans, on the other hand, would have anticipated the arrival of heroes as the most significant new element in the third edition. (Those who missed it may read about Bitondo’s beta test in our February issue, when he gushed about it for pages.) Many people forget that many champions have previously appeared in the Warcraft series (and many other RTSs): the only difference this time is that they’ll develop into RPG characters and you’ll be able to equip them with various magical equipment.

It’s very amazing, and it’s a big step forward in an industry full of old, uninspired RTSs. It’s like Diablo in that you can patronize various heroes from track to track, see them grow, equip them with the finest magic gear, and use their more deadly spells. The only disappointment is that Blizzard did not follow Mike O’Brien’s lead (see box!) and emphasize the role-playing aspect further.

On the downside, the AI is pretty poor: machine enemies tend to attack with

Before the RTS fans and RPG haters chastise me (which I won’t), I don’t mean that they should have overcomplicated the characteristics, but they should have at least provided the option to improve the three primary skills (strength, agility, and intellect) ourselves. It’d also be great if the different magic objects didn’t all take up the same amount of space, and instead, as in RPGs, we got a “dressing dummy” on which rings could be slid on, swords could be held in hand, and so on. Not to mention the fact that the magical versions of conventional fighting instruments have been removed for some reason: magical weapons are seldom seen, while armour, shields, and helmets are absent entirely.

I realize that incorporating RPG aspects against making the game more digestible and enjoyable for hardcore RTS gamers was a trade-off, but I believe the fixes I mentioned should have been incorporated in this version… To return to calmer seas, the creation of heroic Diablo II-style magic has fortunately not been banned from Warcraft III, or at least has been left up to the player. (This allows us to pick and choose whatever spells we wish to cast at each level.) Another nice aspect is that we don’t get dull AD&D-style copycat magic; instead, each character may cast various types of magic, including ones specific to their race, which are fortunately very diverse.

On the downside, the AI is pretty poor: machine enemies tend to attack

In general, our champions can use five types of spells: simple attackers (for example, lightning, fireballs), enchantment (slowing down, weakening, infecting enemies), healing (to keep the game light, this can only be used on our companions, not our heroes), “boosting” our men (soldiers near us can hit harder, shoot harder, take more hits, etc. ), and summoning (for example, summoning our heroes) (summoning undead, animals, and other creatures to fight alongside us for a while).

I found several great ideas among the spells, the best of which was Malfurion Stormrage’s druid spell to animate basic trees to break through opposing lines and drive them to our side. Per level, there’s more and more upgradable magic to select from, so don’t despair if anything is still greyed off; it’s not a game glitch, it’s simply something you can level up.

Aside from the creative, elegant magic, the authors have avoided using templates while naming the heroes’ professions. Finally, we are faced with characters such as “blademaster,” “far seer,” and “demon hunter,” among others, in addition to the well-known “warrior,” “mage,” “barbarian,” and “knight” characters. Although this is hardly a groundbreaking invention, it is admirable that the designers attempted to be creative in this area as well.

On the downside, the AI is rather poor: the machine enemies tend to attack with

War is an art form.

Of course, at its finest, Warcraft III is mainly a real-time strategy game. The fundamentals remain the same as before, and are even more simple when compared to the second part or other more modern RTS, since you just need to gather wood and money this time, rather than stones or oil as in Warcraft II or ores as in Age of Kings. To be honest, I believe this is another instance of “slimming down” that is unnecessary: even the most successful WC2 or AOK fans could swallow these “complications,” and I don’t believe a player of ordinary intelligence would stop developing as a result…

But don’t be alarmed: this isn’t going to be a “Warcraft RTS Lite” in terms of gameplay; there are also new features. “Upkeep,” which technically translates to “maintenance fee,” but we’re actually talking about our troops’ pay, is one of the most brilliant new systems.

On the downside, the AI is pretty poor: mechanical enemies tend to attack with

Yes, someone finally realized that our army is made up of mindless, obedient zombies (save for the undead, but I’m being metaphorical here) who fight for free, for His Majesty’s two beautiful eyes, but they also have to be paid. Some of the gold mined therefore ends up in the wallets of our brave warriors, so it’s worth thinking whether it’s better to feed them first and train them afterwards, or if it’s better to have a ‘large’ army from the start, while they’re simply stationed someplace.

I included quotation quotes around the term “massive” since we can’t have an army of more than 90 soldiers because… “we can’t sustain any more.” I’m not sure why the designers permitted this amount or why it’s so low (maybe to balance multiplayer or remove latency), but it seemed a little low for single player objectives.

It’s also true that it’s more difficult, since I can march into any enemy city with a 200-man army at full strength, while with a 50-70-man army (90 including peasants), I have to think three times about what tactics to employ to prevent too much bloodshed.

This is also true for the single portion, but Blizzard may have intended to prevent the “rush” in multi, which occurs when you overwhelm a still-developing, nursing opponent with a large number of fairly powerful, readily produced troops. The “downsizing” hasn’t only impacted the amount of people you have, but you’ll also notice fewer structures than in past episodes and rival RTS games – which isn’t always a bad thing since the gameplay has been improved.

The negatives include a rather poor AI: mechanical enemies tend to attack

“A man plots, a demon seduces, and spits in the soup.” (Siamese)

Fortunately, the limited unit and building kinds are balanced out by the vast variety in people’s appearances and personalities, as well as the best strategies to use. Humans are the most conventional of all species, which is why the first few missions were so dull…. Because of their superior technology, our Homo sapiens have the upper hand with their rifle, mortar, and steam tank troops.

We also welcome back the griffin-riding dwarves, who seemed to be a bit more efficient than in the last installment. The mages have been replaced by elven sorceresses, but fortunately, they, too, are acquainted with the polymorph, a hilarious spell that transforms the unfortunate adversary into a barking sheep for a short time. (Back in Warcraft II, during a lengthy multi-party game, I almost drove my opponent insane by barricading his first guy, who got trapped, and then I simply licked the rest.)

The negatives include rather poor AI: the machine enemy tends to attack

Foot troops now have the ability to adopt defensive positions, making them slower but more difficult to overcome. The priests may assist them if they get overwhelmed. Humans are the simplest to heal of all the races: our courageous scavengers can pour healing energy into wounded units on their own. Knights, among human heroes, utilize divine light to perform protective spells that may also be used as extremely devastating assaults against the undead.

The feared “Blizzard” (ice storm) from Warcraft II is worth mentioning among the archmages’ magics (I suppose the name isn’t a coincidence), with which you may completely cripple a big opposing army. Water elementals may also be summoned, which are very strong at higher levels. The “Storm Bolt” is the “coolest” spell of the “mountain king” heroes: it not only wounds but also stuns the opponent. In multi, such a champion is unquestionably worth beginning, but Muradin Bronzebeard, one of these heroes, is sadly underutilized in single.

On the downside, the AI is pretty poor: machine enemies tend to attack

From the graveyard

Let’s go on to the undead, commonly known as the “flaming army.” They are headed by the “Lich King,” who was an orc shaman named Ner’zhul “in life” before being transformed into a powerful lich by the archdemon Kil’jaeden’s hex. Kil’jaeden’s goal, like that of any wicked masterminds worth their salt, is to drive Azeroth to ruin, but after his run-in with the orcs, he is wary of the Lich King, who is already hesitant to play the complete format.

The only way for the fleshless humans and elves (the role of the orcs is unclear at first…) to form a grand alliance is to take advantage of the demons’ and undead monarchs’ war… Raise Dead, which may be used to create skeleton soldiers from the opponent’s rotting corpses, is undoubtedly one of the most creative and efficient spells for commanding the armies of the dead.

On the downside, the AI is rather poor: mechanical enemies tend to attack with

True, one or two of them won’t win a battle, but during a bloodier conflict, you may unleash a swarm of armed thugs on unsuspecting humans, orcs, or elves. Furthermore, the “fish knights,” the undead heroes, no longer create skeleton troops from the dead, but rather bring them back in their original form to fight with them for a while. The “flaming army” has a few fewer structures than the humans, but the “ziggurat” (roughly the equivalent of a “house” for the living) can be topped with a dark diamond structure that constantly damages attackers with otherworldly light, eliminating the need for a separate defense tower, for example.

It’s also convenient that the zombie “peasants,” the acolytes, don’t have to transport the gold from the mine to the town hall; instead, they may worship around the “corrupted” cave while the money continues pouring. (It’s not terrible, is it?)

On the downside, the AI is pretty poor: the machine enemies tend to attack

It’s big, green, and stinky.

Even though Tolkien’s orcs are nasty, wicked creatures, and our green-skinned companions didn’t exactly reveal their “human-friendly” faces (or rather, their drooling, hideous features) in the first two Warcraft games, they aren’t as evil anymore. For example, Thrall, who would have been the protagonist of Warcraft Adventure if it had ever been created, is one of the game’s major characters. The compassionate young orc shaman was raised by humans and has become a hero in his people’s eyes after successfully uniting the green-skinned people suffering from lethargy after war failure, not to enslave everyone in Azeroth, but to liberate his people from the power of demons.

On the downside, the AI is rather weak: the machine enemies tend to attack

However, this often puts him at odds with his ferocious orc pal Grom Hellscream, who symbolizes the orcs’ “hard line.” This makes the orc campaign considerably more complicated than the previous episodes: we’ll just be fighting humans at first, then we’ll have to battle night elves, undead, and our own insane friends. Despite the fact that the orc campaign is rather short, aficionados of the green-skinned may be really pleased, since it was probably the finest done in Warcraft III.

The “kodo beast,” a familiar image from the trailers, like a gigantic rhinoceros that the orcs ride, is probably the only one worth mentioning. The voracity of these creatures may be used in a big (almost childish…) joke: the beasts can be taught to rush towards opponents on foot and, hamm! Unless the beast hooves you to death, the poor delinquent is then allowed to fester in there till he dies.

On the downside, the AI is pretty poor: mechanical enemies tend to attack with

Drizzt Do’Urden is almost here…

The reason it’s only “nearly” is because these elves were given the “night” label instead of the “dark” classification in Warcraft III. I’m not sure why, because they have a similar personality to R. A. Salvatore’s favorite creatures: they despise humans, orcs, and anyone who treads on their land; they live in a matriarchy, with female leaders ruling (in fact, the “commoners” in the game are female, with only the druids being male); and they thrive in darkness.

On the downside, the AI is rather poor: mechanical enemies tend to attack

(Perhaps the only distinction is that the dark elves in Salvatore’s books are said to dwell underground, while the wacraft “night” version is said to live in the woods.) Because our long-eared species detest everyone and their old foes attack their territories, we frequently have to battle all of the races at the same time in this campaign. When you see the undead battling humans or orcs, it’s recommended waiting for one to kill the other out before executing the weaker survivor (much as when you play a multis…).

The elves are mainly an archer race, thus the majority of their regulars are bowmen, but horses do appear later on. The fact that the “buildings” that generate units, one of the development “factories,” and the “town hall” are really live trees that are “rooted” in the ground but can move and fight is a big joke. They’re well-protected and strong, but they move so quickly that we won’t be able to utilize them to launch the final assault. The aforementioned “tree raising” is the most spectacular of the elven heroes’ spells, although Illian Stormrage’s demonization is also included.

On the downside, the AI is rather weak: mechanical enemies tend to attack

What shouldn’t have been entrusted to the Orcs in the first place…

I debated it for a long time, but in the end, I decided to give the graphics a B. In any event, there are some amazing visual effects in Warcraft III: the flowing river, for example, or the sunlight following the shadows of the blown leaves in the elf march are both breathtaking. Unfortunately, the lengthy development process has taken its toll: the overall number of units and buildings might have been absolutely acceptable two years ago, but by today’s standards, this is an antiquated appearance.

The figures seem to have been cut with an axe up close, and the designers, as in Empire Earth, made the error of employing a large-scale approach to the main characters in the transitions, resulting in a low polygon count that is painfully apparent. (However, it’s not as “pinocchio” as Empire Earth, which is why I was so concerned about the grade.)

The negatives include a rather poor AI: mechanical enemies tend to attack

In terms of landmarks, the representation of buildings is usually acceptable, with some particularly lovely (elves) or even deeply entrenched (elves) examples (humans). The trees, on the other hand, are especially unsightly and might have been improved… Why couldn’t they have included some Settlers III greenery, at the very least? It’s true that Blizzard is primarily concerned with playability and ensuring that their program runs on as many computers as possible, but, as with Diablo II, I get the impression that the developers have gone too far…

And what irritated me the most was the shoddy 90-degree camera rotation: it was feasible in games like Warhammer: Dark Omen, Dark Reign II, and last year’s Dune Emperor (to name a few…), and it doesn’t induce harakiri on a lesser system, so I don’t see why they couldn’t do it here. Furthermore, if you don’t keep your finger on the key, the perspective “pulls back” (why did you have to do that? ), so it’s a bit of a failure…

On the downside, the AI is pretty poor: the machine enemies tend to attack

Warcraft III has several flaws, such as a bad AI: mechanical opponents prefer to attack “by force” and aren’t particularly tactical, while our own troops often gaze into space while killing their close counterparts. Finally, it’s frustrating because you can only pick a few troops at a time: the rest of the team continues to post there, requiring you to click three times as many times as if this fundamental feature had been implemented correctly. Okay, I get that this is a purposefully left-in restriction, but I still believe it’s dumb.

-BadSector-(2002)

Pro:

+ missions that are well-developed and diverse + a first-rate fantasy narrative + a fantastic environment

Against:

– Inadequate AI – poor camerawork – small team assignment


Blizzard Entertainment is the publisher.

Blizzard Entertainment is the game’s creator.

RTS (Real Time Strategy)

The film was released in 2002.

RETRO – In Warcraft III, the stinking, decaying undead came in the realm of Azeroth in 2002 after four years of “real time” waiting, much to our pleasure, to completely disturb the hard-won peace of orcs, humans, and elves. For all races, the demons and gods of the afterlife offer nothing but blood, sweat, and tears… Blizzard, on the other hand, promised innovative RTS gameplay, stunning 3D ‘orcishness,’ a fantastic fantasy tale, new heroes, new acquaintances, four distinct missions, and real multiplayer craziness. Now is the moment for the “art of war” specialists to follow through on their pledges…

[RETRO – 2002] Warcraft III – The Winds Of Death In Azeroth

[RETRO – 2002] Warcraft III – The Winds Of Death In Azeroth

2021-10-08

Gergely Herpai (BadSector)

You know me: congrats after the reprimand, as usual… The Blizzard crew has done an excellent job once again, and although there are some small and significant faults in the work, the Warcraft series’ massive following (which, of course, includes me) will forgive them. The fantasy-style ambiance, gorgeous graphics (Blizzard could create a full-length film out of it), and well-developed heroes and objectives are additional bonuses that Dune: Emperor, which is technically better, cannot match. All they have to do now is fulfill their manufacturing deadlines…

9.5 for gameplay
8.5 for graphics
Story – 9
9 – Music/Audio
9 out of 10 for atmosphere

9

AWESOME

You know me: congrats after the reprimand, as usual… The Blizzard crew has done an excellent job once again, and although there are some small and significant faults in the work, the Warcraft series’ massive following (which, of course, includes me) will forgive them. The fantasy-style ambiance, gorgeous graphics (Blizzard could create a full-length film out of it), and well-developed heroes and objectives are additional bonuses that Dune: Emperor, which is technically better, cannot match. All they have to do now is fulfill their manufacturing deadlines…

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The warcraft story is a retro 2002 video game that takes place in the Warcraft universe. In this particular game, players must fight against the forces of darkness and nature as they battle to save Azeroth from destruction.

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