The early days of the Azeroth wars concerned the orcs and the humans, as documented in the games Warcraft®: Orcs and Humans, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, and the Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal expansion pack. Now, though, four races vie for supremacy. Roper says: We felt it was time to introduce some more major players into the Warcraft saga. Both of the new races bring with them new gameplay elements and serve to make the game a more diverse and strategic affair.
Humans live the briefest lives of the Azeroth races, and thus many of them aspire to greatness during the short amount of time allotted to them. Llane, king of Azeroth, led the human army against the orcs when they first appeared. He held them at bay, but the brutal leader Blackhand gathered hordes of his fellow orcs and led them into war against the humans. After Llane died, Sir Lothar took his place and forged an alliance with the elves and dwarves in his quest to rid Azeroth of the orcs once and for all.
Among the humans advantages are stronger buildings, cooperative building,
which allows multiple peasants to work on a structure and complete it
faster, and better lumber harvesting.
(In Warcraft III, the human race includes elves and dwarves who continue to help their cause.)
During their first war with the orcs, the humans discovered that the vile creatures had come to Azeroth through a portal from the world Draenor, where they had lived simple, shamanistic lives. They were corrupted, however, by the Burning Legion, which sent them to Azeroth to weaken the humans there and ready the world for conquest.
Orgrim Doomhammer took control of the orcs after Blackhand died, and Nerzhul succeeded him and attempted to open portals to other worlds in the hope that the humans would find themselves beset by new enemies. As the story of Warcraft III opens, however, Thrall leads the orcs and is determined to shake his race from the yoke of the Burning Legion and rediscover their shamanistic past. He still doesnt like humans, though.
Among the orcs advantages are spiked buildings, which damage enemy units
that try to attack them, and the ability to pillage enemy fortifications for
The nocturnal, reclusive night elves were the first race to exist in Azeroth. Ten thousand years before the events of the first game, they studied magic and used it extensively, which unfortunately drew the Burning Legion to the land. This event resulted in a full-scale war between the two races, a war that the elves won, but at a great cost: their homeland was destroyed. Resolved to never recklessly use magic again, the night elves sealed themselves in a mountain and have only recently become active again.
Among the night elves advantages are the ability of their buildings to move and even attack enemies, archers that are strong against air units, and night vision that allows them to see farther than other races.
Also known as the Scourge, the Undead are a legion of corpses of various races who were brought back to life by the Burning Legion to serve their purposes. Nerzhul, the Lich King, leads them and has created a plague of undeath that drains humans of their life force and adds them to his ever-growing army.
Among the Undeads advantages are the use of corpses to create new units
and restore health and their extremely tough defenses, which include the
Black Citadel, a super tower.
Other Denizens of Azeroth
Not all of the inhabitants of Azeroth are involved in the battle for supremacy. There are plenty of neutrals who live only for themselves.
This category covers a wide variety of monsters, from forest trolls to knolls to golems to wyrms (otherwise known as dragons). They will attack other races who come near them, although creeps will never attack other creeps. They are diurnal, so a good time to scout an area you know is full of creeps is during the night; they snore loudly, so theyre easy to find. If one of your heroes has a Crown of Command, he or she can control creeps and use them to your advantage.
Youll find such animals as pigs and sheep scattered around the game map, but they wont be of much use to you.
At neutral buildings throughout the game, you can hire such freelance thugs
as ogre maulers, shadow priests, and forest troll berserkers to enhance your
forces. Neutral buildings are structures placed on the map by the computer;
they arent owned by any of the races in the game.
Want to know more about Warcraft III and the strategies youll need to be successful? Visit Marn Thunderhorns Warcraft III Strategy Guide, at Battle.net.
Like any great fantasy world, Azeroth has a long, rich history. The Blizzard team has decided to not only chronicle it through the Warcraft games but also in a pair of novels published by Pocket Books and available through the companys web site. Blizzard also offers three electronic novels you can purchase and download.
Undead in flight.