WarCraft III Thoughts
Twenty Days After…
Having spent considerable time with WarCraft since the review, has my opinion changed? Many times, dear readers – many times. As early, crude attacks were replaced with fast, textbook rushes, my homebrew strategies failed. Adaptation to these quick attacks found me disillusioned, as the number of potential strategies I might employ were now limited by the opening moves I was forced to take. This disappointment faded as newer, more creative tactics were developed even with the limited openings afforded me. Still, in the end the conclusion was clear – WarCraft III isn’t as deep as StarCraft/Brood War.
Part of this problem is the racial variety. The differences between the races aren’t that great. Each has two tier 1 combat units – an expensive one and a cheaper one. For Orc and Night Elves, the expensive one is a melee unit while the cheaper unit is ranged. The opposite is true for Humans and Undead. Each race also has two support casters available at tier 2, but they usually aren’t truly useful until tier 3. Unlike Brood War, all three races define their tiers clearly – by the upgrade level of the town center. All the siege weapons are essentially the same, as are most of the “ultimate” units – flyers. The heavy, tier 3 ground units are variations on a theme – some are stronger and more expensive, some are faster, but all work from the same template. No radical differences like Reaver vs. Ultralisk vs. Siege Tank.
One would think that makes balancing easier, but WarCraft III’s balance is surprisingly tricky. The problem comes with Blizzard’s official support for team ladders. So there are some units have limited usefulness in 1v1 or even 2v2 situations, but are devastating in larger engagements.
Orcs are easily the race I have the most experience with. Whether it’s the old school “zug zug” charm or the relative simplicity of the boys in green, the Horde has captured my imagination. Along with Humans, they are the two original races from the previous games and the ones most familiar to WarCraft II players.
But rather than do a unit-by-unit article and give a list of basic counters (which can be found on Marn Thunderhorn’s page), we’ll go over the strengths and weaknesses of the Horde, and the strategies that evolve from those. Before we go there however, we’d like to make sure our readers are clear on certain aspects of the game like hero killers, armor and weapon types and other basics available on Marn’s guide.