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 are new to the Warcraft
mythos.[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.

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (often referred to as War3 or WC3 or RoC) is a real time strategy computer game released by Blizzard Entertainment on July 3, 2002 (US). It is the second sequel to Warcraft: Or[[ cs & 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).


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. The Mask is removed from areas that have been explored, but those that are no longer are 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. During a game, players must establish settlements to gain resources, defend against other players, and train units to explore the map and attack enemies (computer controlled foes). There are three main resources that are managed in Warcraft III: gold, lumber, and food. 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.

The game also introduces creeps, computer controlled units that are hostile to all players. 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. Warcraft III also introduced a day/night cycle to the series. 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.

In previous Warcraft games, there were only two playable races, Orcs and Humans, which had more similarities than differences. 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. 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 RPG elements to the series). 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. Often, the playing style of one's hero units (it is bound up to three at one time) decides who wins or loses the match/battle.


Warcraft III's campaign mode is broken up into five campaigns (Including 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, which are like missions. Unlike previous Blizzard titles, such as Warcraft II or StarCraft, 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." 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. For that, the player has to use the knowledge he acquired during the latest quests and also has to invent some war-strategies.


While campaign games can have many different objectives, the sole objective in melee 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.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. Like all previous Blizzard titles since Diablo, Warcraft III uses the 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 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. If players want to play with a friend in ranked matches, Warcraft III offers "Arranged Team Games", where a team joins a lobby and will search for another team; as with anonymous matchmaking, the enemy team is not known beforehand. 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. 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". 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

[1][2]A small Human army (red) attacking an Orcish base (blue).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, 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. 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 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, so she initially vows to destroy them. 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 delayed 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]

[edit] SoundEdit

Most of the music within Warcraft III was composed by Tracy W. Bush, Derek Duke, Jason Hayes, and Glenn Stafford.[26] The Limited Edition of Reign of Chaos came with much of the orchestral music on a separate soundtrack. Each of the four playable races has different music: monastic music for the humans; ambient and Native American-sounding music for the Night Elves; warlike African-sounding music for the Orcs; and fast, haunting music for the Undead. New musical themes were added in the expansion.

One of the signatures of Blizzard games are the unit quotes. If a single unit is clicked four or more times in a row, the unit's voice samples become increasingly comical. The unit may start getting angry at the player, or make allusions and references to other games, movies, or jokes. Movies quoted include Monty Python, Blade Runner, Star Wars Episodes IV & V: A New Hope & The Empire Strikes Back, Army Of Darkness, and Toy Story. Games like Mortal Kombat, Warhammer 40,000, Blizzard's own StarCraft, and Banjo-Kazooie are paid homage, in addition to shows such as Saturday Night Live, The Twilight Zone, and Beavis and Butthead and Austin Powers: Goldmember.

[edit] ModdingEdit

As did Warcraft II and StarCraft before it, Warcraft III ships with a "World Editor" program that allows players to create their own custom scenarios and maps. The World Editor has features such as unit editing and event triggers. Through, players can download and play peers' custom maps. To facilitate modding, third-party developers released tools for spell editing through SLK spreadsheets, customizing skins with .BLP converters, JASS editing, and a file importer that opened up .MPQs. The World Editor was expanded and improved for The Frozen Throne expansion. Though the editor has received updates through game patches, it is not officially supported as a product.[27]

Huge communities have also formed; one of the bigger ones is the Koei Elite Gaming, which is based on the Dynasty Warriors franchise. Some custom maps have enjoyed great success, particularly maps based on AoS (Aeon of Strife) such as DotA, which became a tournament item at Blizzcon 2005 and other tournaments around the world.[citation needed]. Various new types of games have been created included Role Playing and Tower Defense maps.[28]

[edit] DevelopmentEdit

The game was announced with a press conference inside the Henley-Suite at the European Computer Trade Show 1999 around 1:00 PM. The development started in early 1998 and the development stages were presented at ECTS 1999, 2000 and 2001, E3 2000, 2001 and 2002 and on a tour where Bill Roper visited computer game magazines.

The game was announced as role-playing-strategy game (RPS) with a flexible camera movement. The first version shown at ECTS 1999 had no interface, except portraits for the heroes. In articles from that time you can find that abilities and items were used via right-click on a unit and an appearing icon collar.

Around January 24, 2000 a video from Korea appeared on the Internet; it showed some gameplay and in the background Rob Pardo explained some things. This version already had an interface concept, but the most part of the interface were placeholders, it had map with some kind of 3D look, icons for abilities and orders and an eye-shaped display for gold.

Around April 19. 2000 Blizzard released some new screenshots of the game, these were completely without interface. These screenshots showed many heroes and some abilities and had a fixed but zoomable camera.

The next screenshots came around May 10. 2000. These screenshots showed the new interface of the game. It looks a little bit like the human interface of the release version, but has little cannons above the minimap and the command button space. The gold display is still eye-shaped, but the last screenshot before E3 2000 shows a rectangle-shaped gold display. Most models, icons, textures and abilities that you can find on these screenshots never appeared in the retail version.

Then from E3 2000 around May 12, 2000 to ECTS 2000 the game didn't change very much. The next big changes came between ECTS 2000 and E3 2001, when a different interface and the Nightelf race were revealed.

The next interesting change came at ECTS 2001, when the interface became almost what it is today. The biggest changes of this version are, that lumber became a resource and heroes got an inventory, though in a video from April 2001, you could already see an item on the ground.

After ECTS 2001 Blizzard experimented with different resources and had version of the game with gold, lumber, mana stones and upkeep or a race depending resource that represented the population, like the needed food in newer versions.

In the middle of January 2002, Blizzard shipped out 5000 beta versions of Warcraft III to randomly selected testers in order to help improve it before being released in stores, the beta release had all the game’s units and races, however was only playable over Single player games and LAN play were not playable on the beta version of the game.[29]

[edit] Other versionsEdit

[4][5]The Battle Chest box and contentsIn addition to the regular game, there also exists a limited Collector's Edition Warcraft III bundle.[30] The collector's edition box contained a Warcraft III cinematic DVD, including behind-the-scenes features and the cinematics of all prior Warcraft games; a Collector's Edition Soundtrack; a Collector's Edition instruction manual; The Art of Warcraft book; and lithographic prints.

Blizzard Entertainment also released the Warcraft Battle Chest, which contains Reign of Chaos bundled with The Frozen Throne in one box, along with guides from BradyGames.

Another version, the Exclusive Gift Set, came bundled with the cinematic DVD, official BradyGames strategy guide, and Warcraft II: Edition.

Warcraft III is also available in the Best Sellers Series along side StarCraft, StarCraft: Brood War, Diablo, Diablo 2, and World of Warcraft. Also, a selection of games from other companies other than Blizzard have been included in the Best Sellers Series.

[edit] ReceptionEdit

Publication Score Notes
IGN 9.3/10[31] "Outstanding"
GamePro 4.6/5[32] Editor's Choice
GameSpot 9.3/10[33] Editor's Choice
Game Rankings 93.1% (average of 58 reviews)[34] [None]
PC Gamer 94% Editor's Choice

Reception of Warcraft III was extremely positive; the game averages a 93.09% at,[34] and "Universal Acclaim" at MetaCritic, based on dozens of reviews.[35] While GamePro noted that "WarCraft III doesn’t revolutionize the RTS genre", they still praised Blizzard for delivering a title with "a well-executed story, drum-tight game-play and a long shelf life as a multi-player title."[32] GameSpot noted that as with StarCraft, the ability to experience the action from all sides "is of great appeal." The reviewer also noted that Warcraft III made the early stages of the game more interesting and less formulaic; in most RTS games, he noted, "the initial build-up period in such games is merely a race to get to the best units first."[33] Most reviewers noted that Blizzard had finally fleshed out the storyline of the first two Warcraft titles, finally giving each side its own motivations and differences beyond cosmetics.[36] IGN noted that "There's not a ton that's new to RTS buffs out there, but it's done well enough that you either won't notice or won't care."[31]

However, reviewers noted that the character models were of mediocre quality, especially when viewed up close during in-game cinematics.[33

ce 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 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]

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