Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne Patch 1.24b | 56 MB
Through the campaigns, you'll get to see all sides as usual, with chances to play each faction as the different sides of the story are told. Through the campaigns, you'll be introduced to the new units on each side as well as some extra races that aren't quite as rounded as the existing four, but come close enough to be pretty interesting. The Naga in particular are as close as we'll get to seeing a full fledged race without having it playable in the multiplayer. They can build, have their own advantages, such as being able to swim through deep water, and have a variety of units including their own spellcasting set. Not only that, but they just look cool when they move. It's just too bad they couldn't have been balanced enough to sit in multiplayer as well. Either way, they certainly make the campaigns, which are already very good, better for their existence.
Those that prefer normal RTSs should know is that these campaigns don't usually play like traditional RTSs. Yes, there are some of the "build base here and then conquer base there" types of missions, but a lot of them take out resource gathering altogether and even building at some points. As was the plan for the original, the game really focuses on smaller, well put together groups. Some of the missions can probably even be thought of as dungeon crawlers akin to Diablo, only with more units and tactics involved. In the past, well frankly, I found these kind of boring. But Blizzard kept enough of the production side in these missions to retain more strategy about unit types and groups rather than forcing you to use only units found while wandering the fairly linear dungeons. There were very few missions where there was no production at all, which I'm thankful for. And what do you know? I found them enjoyable.
Outside of the main three campaigns, which follow the Frozen Throne story arc, sits the Orc campaign. This is mainly because Blizzard just didn't feel that they had anything to do with that particular struggle. It works out well, not only because things weren't forced, but because we now get a good glimpse into the future of the Orcs as they begin to rebuild their civilization, this time without the yoke of the demons dragging them down. This campaign is definitely more RPG than the rest of them, almost too much so when enemies start to respawn. Regardless, I still had some good fun with the quests and campaign in general even if it was tiresome at times.
The campaigns also actually give rise to the new units instead of the new units just being there. Most of them are explained through one occurance in the world or another, and in the Blood Elves case, are an integral part of the equation. Regardless of how closely twined to the story they are, the new units certainly change the game quite a bit for the races. The Alliance (formerly known as the Humans and those other guys) have probably been changed the most with their new anti-magic stance. The Blood Elf units that round out the playing field are very important and will definitely give those players using a lot of buff spells (you shaman addicts know what I'm talking about) pause. The Spell Breaker unit may not be incredibly powerful as a unit by itself, but when and enemy using them starts transferring your Blood Lust off of your units and onto their own, you'll suddenly realize just how much a difference they can make.
Not all of the units are so ground breakingly new and cool for their sides, but they all add more gameplay and strategies. Take the Night Elves and their new Mountain Giants for example. Not only can they take a beating, but they can also taunt units into hitting them instead of other units. This can be a major boon in the middle of a melee where you have a lot of those glass jawed archers and not much else.
Almost more interesting than the regular units are the new heroes. Each faction gets one new one, each of which is interesting in its own way. They're well designed, artistically fun, and manage to balance the game out further. But along with the new faction specific heroes are the new mercenary heroes that can fill one of your slots in the multiplayer portion of the game. Many of them have roles in the single player campaigns as well so that you can get used to them a bit and will be scattered around the various maps for those on Battle.net. Not all of these heroes seems especially useful, but many of them will appeal to players that need a little fresh air in their line-up. If you look carefully, you'll find a Pandaran running around in there as well. That April Fool's joke turned out good enough to warrant an appearance by one of them in the actual game
As if all of this wasn't enough, Blizzard also went ahead and added new tile sets (which are very pretty by the way), items, spells, and buildable shops so players can load up on items before they leave base. Add to this new sounds for all of the new units and buildings, new interface improvements, new abilities of units like the necromancer being able to raise a skeletal mage, and you've got a full load of goodies.
Link checked on Fri May 13, 2011 1:38 am (GMT) [Linkchecker Bot]