a novelty from Blizzard
For computer-game lovers, the Blizzard Company, one of the founders of the computer-game industry, is very well known. You will hardly be able to find someone who has not heard of the famous War Craft, War Craft 2, Diablo, Star Craft and Diablo 2. Every one of them had been the absolute hit of its time and they still remain among the most popular computer game entertainments.
Here we will introduce our readers to the company's new products, namely
the third version of the legendary War Craft series, dubbed the “Reign
of Chaos”. It is
true that its launch has been put off twice already, but the creators are reassuring us that the 25th of June is the final deadline.
Let us start with a brief review of the novelties in the game:
The first thing that catches one's eye is the variety of the rival races. Now four races, instead of two will feature in War Craft 3. Initially, there was even talk about having six of them, but four is already a lot. These races are:
Alliance - where human-beings and dwarves fight side by side to defend themselves against the enemy. True that this race is not particularly strong in terms of physical might, but they achieve success thanks to sophisticated technology and the diversity of magic charms.
Urdo - these are the already well-known Orks and goblins. Their power is unlimited, their attack - destructive, their tactics unpredictable, and their magic all-powerful.
Dark Elves - a new race in the War Craft world. Their major power lies in the guerrilla war fare. The elves are the children of nature and they can manage the elements. The night and the forest are their allies. They are excellent archers and those who fight them pay a high price for it. They draw their power from a huge tree which absorbs precious metals through its roots and thus strengthens this race.
Risen from the dead - this is one of the most mysterious races. According to the scarce information that we were able to collect from the Internet labyrinths, the following sketch can be drawn: the dead have come back from the other world; they have been given a chance to live in this world and they are struggling desperately not to miss their chance. Among the warriors are walking skeletons, vampires, all kinds of zombies, black shamans, necromancers and the lords of horror. Their opponents who die in the battle become allies on their side.
Each race will have three unique heroes, endowed with magic powers and qualities that distinguish them from all the others. Each one of them is going to have two basic data that will develop and strengthen as more experience is gained. As the player moves to each new stage, he must make a choice to study a new charm or strengthen the old one. The ability-tree of the hero has five stages of which the first four can be strengthened three times each. The fifth stage is the ultimate level which does not require any more strengthening. In addition, each hero has an individual storage section where he collects various artifacts which, for their part, alter the hero's data base. Some augment his capacity for physical endurance and his swiftness, others boost his magic energy and so forth. Apart from all this, it is also possible to redistribute the experience among the heroes. The player makes his own choice and decides what is more preferable for him: to have several heroes at his disposal possessing an average strength or only one, but the invincible hero.
Changing the game strategy depends on the player's choice of the first hero and the type of a magic tree. Some like aggressive offensives, others prefer to carefully collect intelligence or pursue a guerrilla war, and some others are in favour of fortifying themselves against the enemy and strengthening their defenses.
The resources. Blizzard has not betrayed the old tradition and has provided only two resources in the game: gold and timber. It has, however, made key changes in the methods of obtaining these resources. The preservation of populations has been split into three stages. The first is the so-called “No Upkeep”, when the population of the race does not exceed 30 units and each worker can bring along 10 units of the resource at a time; the second stage is the “Low Upkeep” when the number of the population varies between 30 and 60. In this case, the worker brings only 7 units of the resources. When the population exceeds 60, the “High Upkeep” - the third and conclusive stage begins. In this case, the maximum income provided by the workers at one time is 4 units. As you can see, the more forces the player accumulates, the more difficult it becomes to obtain resources and, accordingly, to expand the army. The creators of the game explained that they have done this to prevent the accumulation of increasingly large forces and to encourage strategic thinking instead. For the same reason, the game abounds in the so-called “uneconomical” missions when the task should be accomplished with a restricted number of forces.
The weather factor, as well as the day-night alternation takes on a crucial role because in the game night falls not merely by darkening the screen. In War Craft 3, everything changes at dusk For some, the visibility zone shrinks and, for others, it is just the opposite. It becomes necessary to make a fire and build lighthouses to prevent the advance of the partisan groups from the rear, to be able to patrol the entire territory and to use magic charms. From the strategic standpoint, this presents many exciting challenges.
The game is quite complex and, therefore, it is impossible to describe
all the nuances of the game in this brief article. Of course, it is impossible
to make any definitive judgements before the appearance of War Craft 3
on the computer-game market. One thing is already certain, though. There
is no doubt that War Craft 3 will become a hit and will remain a favourite
entertainment for strategic-game fans for many years. All we can do now,
though, is wait patiently for June 25 to arrive.