Warcraft III

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Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
Missing image
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos cover

Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Release date: 2002
Genre: Real-time_strategy
Game modes: Single-player and Multi-player
ESRB rating: Teen
Platform: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and Mac OS X
Media: 1 CDs
Input: Keyboard and Mouse

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, released by Blizzard Entertainment in 2002, is a real-time strategy computer game and the second sequel to Warcraft. It is the third game set in the Warcraft Universe.



Missing image
An in-game screenshot of humans (blue) fighting orcs (red).

Warcraft III features an innovation over the previous games in the series: more powerful units called heroes. For instance, heroes within the game can find or trade items to increase skills, defense, etc. With each kill of an enemy of a certain level the heroes gain experience points, eventually resulting in increased levels of their own, and new spell options (thus introducing role-playing game elements to the series). Heroes also can apply beneficial auras to allied units.

Another new innovation is the addition of creeps, which are computer controlled characters the player fights even in multiplayer. They guard key areas or neutral buildings and are designed to act as a resource for the players to kill to provide experience points to a player's hero and to provide hero items. The idea is to force the player to be aggressive instead of turtling up.

Within the game there are four races at war: the Humans and the Orcs, who also appeared in Warcraft and Warcraft II, along with two new character teams, the Night Elves and the Undead. As an April Fool's joke before the game was released, Blizzard announced that the Pandaren would be the fourth race. The company didn't reveal the Night Elves until a month later, and pandas are a running gag in Warcraft now (to the point that a Pandaren Hero -- called the Brewmaster -- was available in the expansion pack, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne). A fifth playable race, the Burning Legion, was changed during playtesting to a set of non-player characters and monsters (with a playable "cameo" on the last level of the Undead campaign, as Kel'Thuzad summons Archimonde).

Players meet other players over the Internet to set up multiplayer games via Blizzard's free Battle.net service, or may play against the computer.

Warcraft III also includes a very thorough scenario editor. It uses a scripting language similar to the trigger system used in StarCraft. As well as providing the ability to edit any aspect of the units, buildings and spells, it has such advanced features as custom tilesets, custom cinematic scenes, dialog boxes, variables, and weather effects. Many custom maps, featuring a large variety of gametypes continue to be developed, and together with the expansion pack have contributed to the longevity of the game.

The game was developed by Blizzard Entertainment, a subsidiary of Vivendi Universal, and released in July 2002. Warcraft III proved to be one of the most anticipated and popular video game releases ever, with 4.5 million units pre-ordered and over 1 million additional units sold during its first two weeks.


Similar to how Starcraft was told, the story in Warcraft III is told through all four races in a progressive manner. The order is Humans, Undead, Orc, and Night Elf.

Human Alliance: Prince Arthas, a paladin of the Silver Hand, and Jaina Proudmoore, Arthas' former lover and apprentice-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. Arthas, proceeds to hunt down the plague's originator: Mal'Ganis. Mal'Ganis travels northward to the icy lands of Northerend, and Arthas follows him. There he aids a former friend, Muradin Bronzebeard, who tells him of a power weapon called Frostmourne. Arthas obtains Frostmourne and uses it to defeat Mal'Ganis. However, as a result, Frostmourne steals Arthas' soul and turns to ally the undead...

Undead Scourge: With their new leader, the Undead must move to complete their purpose in Lordaeron, which is to destroy the remnants of the Alliance, and to 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 interdimensional portal for the true masters of the Scourge, the Burning Legion, to enter the realm of Azeroth (see the article on Arthas for a more detailed description).

Orcish Horde: After escaping Human captivity and fleeing to the shores of Kalimdor, Orcish warchief Thrall must lead his bretheren 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 go to great lengths to save him. He also discovers (courtesy of an oracle) that his fate is to help repel the Burning Legion, and he and human leader Jaina Proudmoore ally to accomplish this goal, and also to save Hellscream.

Night Elf Sentinels: 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 Claw and the Druids of the Talon. 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).

Play details

The four warring races have different advantages, most of them similar to the racial attributes of the Terrans, Zerg, and Protoss from StarCraft, another popular RTS from Blizzard. The different stratically significant traits of the races in Starcraft have been combined in new ways to form the Warcraft III races. The Warcraft III Night Elves, for instance, resemble the Terrans in that their buildings can move and their base fighting unit has a missile attack, but like the Zerg, their worker units are consumed when they create most buildings. The Undead have the Protoss's ability to summon buildings rather than constructing them, so a worker unit is not tied up in construction; also like the Protoss, they have a dedicated invisible spy unit, but their buildings have to be constructed upon dedicated infested terrain called Blight (like the Zerg Creep), and their army line-up is strategically similar to that of the Zerg.

However, unlike other RTS games, Warcraft III has introduced a new element of game play, special units called Heroes. Heroes are super units that have special abilities that expand as the game progresses (as they gain experience). For example, a Human Archmage hero can acquire the ability to (temporarily) summon water-elementals, increase the mana regeneration rate of surrounding magic casting units, create a blizzard over enemy units, and teleport friendly units to other parts of the map. In the course of a game a maximum of up to three heroes can be built, but if they die, they can be revived at an altar.

Between Heroes and a low food cap it is difficult to win through sheer numbers, and Micromanagement becomes more important. The upkeep concept also keeps armies small as it penalizes anyone who gets too big too fast. As a result gameplay is more tactical than strategic.

There are strong distinctions in the game between melee and ranged units; between air and ground units; and (particularly in The Frozen Throne) between mundane, magical, and antimagic units. Antimagic units, such as the Humans' Elven Spell-Breaker (only in the expansion pack) and the Night Elves' Dryad, have the ability to cancel the effects of magic spells cast on other units.

Expansion set

On May 29, 2003, Blizzard announced that the expansion set, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne had "gone gold" (release version sent to presses). It was released in stores worldwide in multiple languages beginning on July 1, 2003. It includes an additional hero for each race and three to four new units per race, four campaigns, eight neutral heroes, the ability to build a shop and various other improvements such as queueable upgrades. It requires the ownership of Reign of Chaos. Blizzard regularly patches both the original game and the more popular 'expanded' version to fix bugs, add new features, and balance multiplayer play. The latter is the reason Blizzard games remain popular long after their initial release.


Set a number of months after the events of Warcraft III, the Frozen Throne continues some of the loose ends of the original game, as well as spins off some new plots of its own and paves way for the new conflict of World of Warcraft.

Night Elf Campaign

The Warden Maiev Shadowsong pursues the former prisoner Illidan Stormrage across Azeroth. Illidan has gained the allegiance of the Naga, former Night Elves who adapted to underwater life, but they do not stop Maiev, who pursues Illidan from Kalimdor to the Tomb of Sargeras, then all the way to Lordaeron. During her chase, she asks the assistance of Malfurion Stormrage and Tyrande Whisperwind, but Maiev holds a grudge against Tyrande for her actions in releasing Illidan in the first place, culminating in her lying about Tyrande's death to Furion. Furion and Maiev successfully prevent Illidan from using the Eye of Sargeras, but in the process, Maiev's treachery comes out, and the brothers Stormrage join forces to save their mutual beloved. Furion then pardons Illidan, though he does not revoke his exile, and Illidan departs... With Maiev still dogging his heels.

Human Campaign

The Human Campaign follows the adventures of Prince Kael'thas, leader of the Blood Elves, a group of High Elves that survived the invasion of Quel'Thalas by the Scourge. Originally helping the Alliance, the Blood Elves are imprisoned by a racist Human knight, and eventually rescued by Lady Vashj and her Naga. Vashj then takes Kael'thas to the Outland, the remnants of the Orc realm Draenor, to meet (and free) their master, Illidan. After fending off Maiev (again) and gaining the allegiance of the native Draenei, Illidan is able to conquer the Outland, where he hopes he will be safe from his failure to use the Eye of Sargeras to destroy the Frozen Throne. But his master, the Warlock Kil'jaeden, catches them nonetheless, and the episode ends with Illidan renewing his vow to destroy the Lich King.

The Human forces in this campaign are very different than the ones used in the multiplayer game. Instead of the full Alliance, only the High Elven units are available, with the addition of a few new units and a Blood Elf hero added to the expansion pack. The Draenei and the Naga, with their lone heroes, are also eventually playable.

Undead Campaign

In the blighted lands of Lordaeron, now known as the Plaguelands, a civil war is taking place within the Scourge. The Undead forces splinter into three major factions: Arthas and Kel'Thuzad, who are loyal to the Lich King; the Forsaken, led by the Banshee Queen Sylvanas Windrunner; and a third group still loyal to the Burning Legion, led by the Dreadlords (Nathrezim) who are unaware of the Legion's defeat on Mt. Hyjal. The campaign switches between Arthas' journey to Northrend to assist the Lich King, and Sylvanas' war against the Dreadlords for control of the Plaguelands. In the end, Sylvanas emerges as the nominal ruler of the Plaguelands, while Arthas travels to Northrend to defend the Lich King, meeting the subterranean Nerubian race, and eventually defeating Illidan in a one-on-one duel. He then ascends to the Frozen Throne and becomes one with the Lich King. What will become of this unholy meeting will presumably be addressed in World of Warcraft.

Orc Mini-Campaign

The Orc Mini-Campaign is a departure from the rest of the game. It has features more like an RPG similar to Diablo, featuring a Beastmaster named Rexxar as he helps the Orcs defend and develop their new home of Durotar from various enemies. The Orc Mini-Campaign is probably meant as a bridge between the traditional Warcraft Real-time Strategy genre to the latest release of Blizzard, the MMORPG of the World of Warcraft. It was also created because the games designers were having trouble getting the Orcs involved in the main plot of Frozen Throne.

The player controls a group of two to four heroes, primarily Rexxar and a Troll Shadow Hunter named Rokhan. The player can also gain permanent control of a Pandaren Brewmaster named Chen Stormstout, or temporary control of Jaina Proudmoore, Tauren Chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof, and his son, Baine Bloodhoof. Maps are interconnected, with each one being set up as various areas of Kalimdor, such as the Orc fortress city of Orgrimmar, and a Human city on the Theramore Isles.


A massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in the WarCraft universe, entitled World of Warcraft, is the fourth WarCraft game in a series produced by Blizzard. It picks up the WarCraft storyline four years after the events of The Frozen Throne.

Custom maps

There are many player made multiplayer maps(with the World Editor tool, that comes with the game) available for download and play on Battle.net as well as many fansites, among the popular maps are:

Other adaptations

The strategy board game Warcraft: The Board Game was released in 2003 by Fantasy Flight Games, and is based on Warcraft III. It uses a modular game board, which allows many different scenarios to be played with the same set of components.

Race advantages & disadvantages

Race Advantages Disadvantages
Humancooperative building; Peasant Militia; strongest buildings/towers after upgrading; area of effect attacks; best magic and anti-magic abilities; early expansionslargest tech tree; least effective supply building; weakest large units compared to other races
Orcworkers can garrison into burrows to defend base; spiked barricades on buildings return melee damage; most powerful ground units; strong army early on; fast movementweak ranged units; weak against air units if not prepared; very slow lumber harvesting.
Night Elfmoon wells heal units; many buildings may attack and move; some ground units may become invisible at night; earliest siege capability; workers protected inside gold mine; units may see farther; easy expansions; buildings regain health fast by eating trees; potential to gain infinite amounts of wood because wisps do not destroy trees they harvestfragile units; normal units and moon wells have no regeneration during daytime; early base defense requires skillful micromanagement; wisps harvest lumber more slowly than other workers; lose wisps when constructing certain buildings
Undead"summon" buildings without needing worker to stay; sheer numbers; effective area healing units; fast hp regeneration on blight; dedicated scouting unit; supply buildings may double as towersworkers exposed while mining; fragile early game units; blight-restricted building construction; relatively weak expansions; base easily detected because the presence of blighted grounds

See also

External links

Template:Blizzardfr:WarCraft 3 de:WarCraft III pl:Warcraft III pt:Warcraft III zh:魔兽争霸III


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