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Tranquil Paths - A Warcraft 3 Report
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Author:Serious
IP:h24-86-1XXXX
Date: 02/24/02 02:02
Game Type: Warcraft 3
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Report Rating: 8.3, # of Ratings: 3, Max: 9, Min: 7
Lifetime Rating for Serious: 8.0833




Um. I don't see what's the big hype about Warcraft III. I mean, sure it's highly anticipated, and sure all the graphics look great.. Maybe being a girl dulls the effects of this testosterone rush that most guys get when they think about the game, but I just wasn't that excited about it.

Nevertheless, I found a way to grab the beta. Yes, Warcraft III is pretty, and the sounds are great and the gameplay is okay. Katome (and many of my other friends) is ecstatic about it, though, so maybe it's just me. Anyways, after a day or two of playing the game, I've gotten semi-decent at it, and now I will grace you with a Warcraft III battle report.

 




Welcome To



 

 




First of all, Blizzard did a great job of the menu systems in Warcraft III, and they should be commended. Everything is available at a few clicks, and when you join games (although there are a few glitches still), you can see a plethora of information. A very good addition was the preview of the minimap in the join screen.

Katome and I join a game to play a 2v2. We select our colours and our race (right now, if you select your team before the game starts, it crashes), and the game is started.




The game appears, and I quickly ally up with Katome. A great addition to the game are the added features for allies. In addition to the Ally and Shared Vision options, there is now a Share-Units option (you can use each other's units, but not buildings), and Share-Resources, ie. Age of Empires/Kings. There is now also a chat history box.

You start out with enough gold to produce plenty of buildings and peons, so I send my second-built peon to build a farm, and the third to build a barracks, starting a second rax soon after.             
 

My hero, a Tauren chieftan (big bad dude with a club) emerges from my Town Hall just as the first barracks completes. Your first hero is free, giving you the chance to build them up early. You gain access to the second and third heroes each time you upgrade your 'Town Center. I glance over at Katome to see what he's doing. He's built a farm and a barracks, and started a lumber mill. I think to myself, "Wow, Katome's so much better than me.. I don't even know how building a lumber mill so early in the game would help (but it must, seeing how it's katome)." A moment later, the chat channel activates:



hehe. gj Katome.

The sun's rays disappear beneath the horizon as night begins to fall on my base. Taking my two newly-built grunts, and my Hero 'Kel Stonebull', I send them northwards.

In Warcraft III, a big part of the game is focused on heroes. While they are not strong enough to win every battle by themselves (and most likely, all the enemy units will focus-fire on your hero, forcing him to flee), they can turn the tides of battles very easily. In order for them to do so, though, you need to get them into battles to gain experience. Thus, every game I play I try to have a few support units with my hero by the time night falls, and then I send them out to find creeps (neutral units) to fight. The reason the night is so important is that the creeps fall asleep at night, letting your units travel safely across the map. Thus, the creeps outside my base and my natural expansion meet their doom.


Tranquil Paths is a very interesting, and fun map. IMO it's much better than the WC3 version of LT, which lost a bit of its flavour in the conversion from Starcraft. The 'natural' expansion is quite a bit always from your main base, but you can still watch over both bases with your army by placing it on the spot marked on the map with a
blue circle. The red circle shows a passage that leads into my base from the side, but I never even noticed it. There are creeps 'guarding' that pathway, though, so I'll have a bit of a warning if someone tries attacking through that side.


I start a new expansion at my natural, using my meager forces to protect it while I glance over at Katome's base. His base is looking a lot more cluttered than mine, and he also has a larger army than me. t.t Taking a peek at his hero, I see that he's also been creep hunting, since he's level 2 as well. His forces consist of Riflemen, and I expect him to mass a lot more of them. In conjunction with his spell-caster hero, I've seen him take out tons of units with just that one unit en masse (They aren't unbalanced, though).





I take my hero and creep-killing forces and send them eastwards now, to see if my opponent has expanded yet. I come across his hero and a ghoul (think zergling). The unit on the very right is an acolyte, which is the undead builder. Looking back, I realize that I probably could take out his hero and whatever few units he had with my own hero and 4 grunts, but at the time I figured it best to pull back and build up some more. By this time, I've already upgraded my Great Hall to a Stronghold, and constructed a Bestiary, so now Wolf Riders are present in my army, as well as one of my favourite units; The Kodo Beast. Not ONLY can he eat other units, but the orc on his back that beats the drums gives your units an attack bonus. I love Kodo Beasts just for the fact that they make killing strong creeps very very easy.


Suddenly, an assemblage of foot and riflemen appear at the northern part of my expansion, and undead ghouls and spider-thingies from the east. My forces aren't strong enough to hold off both armies, and I quickly call for help. Taking my Kodo Beast, I hit 'devour' and click on one of the footmen (unfortunately, heroes can't be devoured). My beast is already under heavy attack, though, and I run him away while my grunts engage the enemy. Katome's forces arrive too late, and before they reach my expansion, an unfortunate thing happens to my hero.



The spiders leave very green and gooey piles of blood on the floor as Katome's riflemen engage the enemy. Unlike me, he has some semblance of unit micro (and macro ._.), dancing his riflemen away from the attacking melee'ers. The enemy heroes manage to escape with their lives after destroying my Great Hall, while the remaining forces fall to the mass-rifleman strategy employed by Katome. By now, I've gathered quite a lot of gold, and quickly rebuild my expansion, massing more units at home. My hero is also resurrected, and taking my forces, I meet with Katome just outside of Red's base (top right).



We meet with a mixed group of footmen and towers, and, my forces being melee, they are the ones to die first. The attack is a complete and utter failure on my part, which is emphasized by yet another friendly message:



I try to observe the battle, but unfortunately my computer is much too slow for the game, and I find myself staring at the fog of war for most of it. Thus, no screenshots, and no micro. t.t . Katome retreats his units after a while, though I do not see what forced him back.

Once again, I resurrect my Tauren Chieftan and rebuild my army (now financed by my main and my rebuilt expansion). Upgrades and Unit-building doesn't take long at all, which allows for a very fast-paced game. Unlike Starcraft, you'll most likely have a 3rd-level HQ within a few minutes. Blizzard did a good job of making sure lower-tech units don't become obsolete, though.

Out of the blue, I hear "You forces are under attack", and I follow the red minimap ping to my main's gold line, where several flying creatures are hovering over it and slaying all my gold carriers. I quickly select all my units and attack-move them to the gold mine, but it's too late, and the fliers are gone, as well as my chance to take a screenshot of them. Screenshots in WC3 annoy me, since they take forever to take. Mid-battle SS's are nigh impossible (and there's no replay feature yet).

He's retreated his forces, and I quickly queue up a few headhunters (spearmen) in my base before running the rest of my units away from red. But wait! the fliers return. They're gargoyles, which are the undead air unit. But all I have is a wolfrider and a grunt, and headhunters are being trained. A lost battle? No! Fortunately I had researched Ensnare for my Wolf Riders, and I quickly use it on one of the offending beasts. A net closes around one of the offending fliers, and lo and behold, it falls to the ground! My rider and grunt quickly eat it up, and the second gargoyle is chased away by my newly-trained headhunters. Go orcs!



My mine once again busy with peons, I send my hero northwards to a mercenary camp just cleared by Katome. This neutral building is probably my favourite of all, just because of it's name. I mean, is it not brilliant? I purchase a Zeppelin (flying transport) and fly it over to my base.

Another double-attack is made against my expansion, and I quickly send my forces to defend it. They die once again, but Katome's forces are nearby, and his riflemen turn the opposing soldiers into chunky kibbles before I can take a screenshot. Using their victory as another morale raiser, Katome sends his forces towards Red again, while I build an orcish burrow in my expansion to discourage further attempts against my base. An orcish burrow, btw, is exactly like a Starcraft bunker, but melee units can attack from inside too. My hero joins Katome's riflemen just as they come upon a few assorted human units.



The battle was far too short for me to lag the game with my screenshots again, but let me just say that the enemy forces resembled a wholesale package of Swiss cheese when Kat was done with them. Katome's scouting gryphon sets off into Red's base, and manages to wipe out the enemy minera- I mean, gold-line before it is chased away by a newly built guard tower.

Already at 59/60 (one unit away from high upkeep), and still needing to use my zeppelin, I wake up my hero and a few ragtag units around my base and send them west to the island expansion at the bottom left corner of the map. If I can secure a third expansion, I can make up for the gold I'll lose during the high-upkeep phase. My units reach just at the break of dawn, and are fortunate enough to be ready to fight when the trollish NPCs awaken. The four creeps are dispatched with ease and ground into the dirt by my Tauren chieftan, and the soldiers settle down for a nice pot of troll soup as my peon begins working on a new Great Hall.


Meanwhile, Katome has attacked again with his many riflemen, and uses his hero to cast a spell that all of you Warcraft fanatics will remember - Blizzard. Unfortunately, I did not catch a screenshot of it, but this spell probably won the battle, as it decimated the opposing forces stationed outside of Red's base. Katome makes a very interesting observation.



My forces and my Hero (who was transported back to the mainland) reach the Red base just as Katome breaches the wall. Yes, a wall. Farm walls are alive and happy! :)  But unfortunately, they don't stand up too well to a bajillion rifle shells. Despite many losses; mostly on my side, the fate of the enemy human kingdom is sealed. Victorious, Our soldiers walk over red and green blood as we march triumphantly into Red's base.



With the fall of his ally, our good undead opponent awakens to say a few words before he leaves the game.



Haha! Run you undead pansy!

The battle lasts for one day and one night, and all of the defending units are slaughtered by the time it is dawn, and the Red castle gains one last glimpse of the sun before it's stone walls crumble and it is no more.
 


~~
 

How UPKEEP works

There are three 'modes' of upkeep. None, Low and High. Upkeep is affected by supply, and reduces the amount of gold your workers harvest per 'run'.

Level of Upkeep

Supply Count

Gold Harvested

None

0-29

10

Low

30-59

6

High

60+

4

Basically, it regulates your gold flow depending on how big your army is, and balances the game. People with smaller armies have the funds to make bigger ones, and bigger ones have smaller funds.

~~


Lessons Learned



Massing Low-Tech units in WC3 is very effective, both army and money wise.

Choosing the right hero is essential to your success. Katome's hero did great, while mine did extremely poor, as was demonstrated by my Tauren's many deaths.

Don't make more than 10 peons for resource gathering, per base. It wastes supply (for upkeep) and costs you money. This took a while for me to learn, since Starcraft needs about 20 SCVs per base for a good mining force.

WC3 is fun! But the beta is buggy ._.

Blizzard should REALLY put the replay feature in WC3. I only have screenshots and my memory to go by to make this report, which makes it not-so good. Especially since screenshots lag the game tremendously.

Warcraft III has a very different feel to it than SC. Battles are a lot more common and a lot more confusing. Mass expanding is also pretty difficult, since you have to exterminate the various creeps at each expansion point, and since armies are generally a lot smaller (and expansions a lot farther away), it's hard to defend more than one with adequate forces.

For now, I think I'll stick with Starcraft, until I can get a better, less-laggy comp... That is, if Katome will play with me ._.



This has been a Serious |2eport



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