Welcome to Reforged, hope you stay awhile.
Much conversation has been caused by the release of WarCraft III: Reforged, the remaster to the classic RTS title, WarCraft III by Blizzard Entertainment with much of them not leaning towards the pleasant realm. Riddled with changes that differ from what was in the trailers and teasers and as well as a few quirks that are still being ironed out post-release, the game, in a way, has been struggling to get the attention that many hoped it deserved.
Still, if you were not able to play the original and got curious as to what the fuss was all about and is planning to go out of your way and grab the game with the fixes continuously being deployed, then here’s a quick and casual intro into what you’ll be getting into. Also, take note that we will not directly tackle movement, unit selection, production basics, special abilities and the like as they are given huge emphasis already on the in-game tutorial.
The Real-Time Strategy Genre
WarCraft III falls under the strategy line of games but without the tedious turn waiting and every action happening simultaneously and is spread over multiple units and locations. In addition, the gameplay also introduces resource and unit management as one of the core features and you will be finding yourself trying to maintain your cash flow while at the same time producing more units, upgrading defenses, and expanding your reach on the map as with the ultimate goal being the conquest of your foes.
Choose your race
WarCraft III: Reforged is a tale of factions, factions that are further divided into different fantasy races 4 of which are playable in-game; Humans, Orcs, Night Elves and the Undead. Humans are described to be a more defensive race with quick to build units allowing for fast expansions, they are also the only race in the game that allows you to assign more than one builder unit to a structure resulting in faster build times. Orcs would be the first race that you would take hold of when you take the path of the tutorial and are commonly preferred by aggressive players due to their hard-hitting grunts. The Night Elf race offers a lot of utility and flexibility in gameplay albeit they would feel a little too fragile once engaged early while the Undead is for those who want to walk the slow(ish) path to victory. It’s also worth noting that in terms of expansion, both the Night Elf and Undead would first need to capture certain resource points by building directly on it adding an extra layer of mechanic to how they expand.
There are 2 main resources in WarCraft III: Reforged that being Gold and Lumber. Gold is extracted from Gold Mines by worker units (duh) while Lumber is extracted from trees (also duh). Each player will have a dedicated gold mine inside their base to start with and, depending on the map, will also have additional gold mines to expand to as the game progresses. Just like their base or de facto descriptions, each race in WarCraft III: Reforged has their own approach in resource gathering. Both the Human and the Orc races can place as many units as they want on a gold mine and on tree gathering, whereas Night Elves and the Undead will first need to build special buildings to capture or control Gold Mines with every Gold Mine to only accommodate up to 5 worker Night Elf and Undead units.
Gathering lumber is also handled differently by each race. While Humans and Orcs somewhat share the same lumber gathering mechanic and destroy trees once a certain limit is reached, the Undead will require you to have a separate lumber gathering unit, the Ghoul while the Night Elf would be the only playable race in the game to not destroy trees when gathering lumber which means that space management within your initial base location could be a bit of a challenge.
Of course, in a strategy game, you are not just confined within the safety of your base and the finite amount of resources available in WarCraft III: Reforged’s multiplayer map would have the player expanding towards new fronts. Expansion requires resource capture and control and securing resource points will not be that easy as sending builders to build a Town Hall or a Tree of Life nearby. Gold Mines are usually secured guarded by Neutral creatures, each that require more than one unit to take down, and also give gold when killed.
Expansion not only grants extra resources but at the same time helps close the distance gap between you and your enemies and even allies in the map.
Each army needs a captain to lead them to battle and in WarCraft III: Reforged they would be the hero units that you can summon from each race’s own Altar. Hero units come with a unique set of abilities that are set to deal damage, support grunts, and even lay siege to enemies in battle. Once active, Heroes can gain experience in battle allowing them to level up and unlock more abilities, most especially their ultimate ability. In addition to abilities, Hero units can also wield items to further augment their attributes and even provide more support to allies during a skirmish. Items are commonly dropped by neutral monsters although they can also be acquired by item shops, another point of interest in the map guarded by some high-level monsters.
Hero Units have become WarCraft III’s most unique addition and a mechanic that led to what has become one of the biggest video game genres of the modern-day, the MOBA.