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Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the story unfolds, 8 July 2003
This review is from: Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne Expansion Pack (CD-ROM)
there are two basic reasons why people buy Warcraft games:
1. single player campaigns
2. multiplayer online playing
I will try and point out the changes, modifications and developments in TFT (The Frozen Throne) compared to RoC (Reign of Chaos)
1. the single player campaigns further develop the story of the Warcraft universe, starting in the aftermath of where RoC ended - ie, the great battle where Humans, Orcs and Night Elf Sentinels united against the Undead Scourge and the Burning Legion. The focus of the story is on two main characters whose fate we didnt discover in RoC, Undead hero Arthas and Night Elf DemonHunter Illidan.
The plot of TFT sets them against each other, as was previously implied in RoC - and the high point of the expansion set is their clash, but as I do not want to post any spoilers, I will just leave it at that.
Playing the sinlge player campaign is meant to gradually introduce the player to new units (2 new units per race), new heroes (9 in all) and modifications made to the existing ones, which is more than necessary for those players that later wanna play custom map games and online games.
You can play the campaign in NORMAL or HARD mode. For the relatively new player (I say relatively because as TFT requires RoC to be installed, I suppose noone can really be completely new to the game) NORMAL is the mode to begin with, as the HARD mode is REALLY HARD (AI attacks are more frequent, with more units that are upgraded, stronger creeps that get in your way, etc).
Important thing is the campaigns are very diverse (although there are some, not many) tasks that are repeated from RoC, and are, in fact quite challenging, sometimes even very hard, to complete (and this is for NORMAL mode).
There are many campaigns where you have to protect your hero from dying, then there are timed tasks (you have to finish something in a specific timeframe), there are classic SEARCH and DESTORY EVERYTHING IN SIGHT type of tasks - and also, some chapters of the campaigns are 'solve the puzzle' types.
Also, there is a hidden level campaign, based on a very much liked and played TOWER DEFENCE type of map. Also, we see a kind of comeback of use of ships, which was used in Warcraft II campaigns a lot.
The Warcraft Universe is developed further: the player meets many completely new races and landscapes, and also finds out history of the known races. The order of the campaigns is: 1. Night Elf Sentinels, 2. Alliance (Human) and 3. Undead Scourge.
The Orc campaign (and the Orc story) is separate from the main plot of TFT, but it follows up on the Orcs and their new homeland. It is made more as an RPG type of game than classic RTS, where, instead of massing an army of units, you only control heroes, and you have many tasks to finish using just them. The Orc scenario is very fun, and a real refreshment. It is also quite long, which is not a bad thing. Since the Orc campaign which is featured on the cd is just act 1, Blizzard has announced acts 2 and 3, which I suppose will be free to dowload from, but dont take my word for it.
2. the online aspect of playing has been almost radically changed: the intorduction of 4 new heroes (each race gets one) + 5 neutral heroes changes the gameplay a great deal. The limit is still 3 heroes per player, so choosing from 9 (4 race ones and 5 neutral) makes the game strategically more challenging.
One of the big changes is also in the treatment of creeps - the money that a player gets is significantly smaller, so the purpose of creeping has been changed from creeping to get gold to creeping to level up the hero. Also, leveling of the hero(es) is much faster, so you can get high level heroes pretty fast.
a big intoduction is the fact that players can now build their own, race-unique shops, in ther own bases, which stock various items (potions, scrolls, weapon-inducing items, town portals, etc).
there are also taverns, where you can choose from 5 different neutral heroes to balance and improve the race you're playing with (most of the neutral heroes you get to use in the single player campaigns).
A big change is also that the food limit is upped from 80 to 100 food, meaning you can produce a much more varied armies.
Also, the emphasis on resources has been moved from gold to wood (ie. buildings and upgrades take MUCH more wood than in RoC)
there are many changes, these are just a few of them. Blizzard's tradition is to introduce patches to the original form of the game, balancing out the gameplay on bnet, based mostly on reactions of the players, so I expect that TFT will have its own patches which will influence the small but important details of gameplay.
In the end, to everyone who has followed the Warcaft series TFT will not be a disappointment. I found that TFT served it's purpose very well, being a well-tought, well-made extension pack, with many surprises on top of that.
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