Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Orc Campaign: Map 4

Warcraft is surprisingly easy to play on a laptop with a touchpad. I guess it makes sense because the game requires a mastery of hotkeys and the touchpad is located right under the keyboard. You don't have to move your hands as much you would with a separate keyboard/mouse combo.

After playing the later games, Warcraft's archaic gameplay mechanics can be difficult to adjust to. For example, in Warcraft II, moving the cursor to the edge of the screen automatically scrolls the map in that direction. Here, moving the cursor to the edge of the screen simply changes the cursor to a directional arrow. You have to actually click on the edge in order to scroll. When playing in windowed mode, this can be frustrating because you can accidentally click on the desktop and lose control of the window. So instead, I use the minimap to move.

Another gameplay feature I miss is the ability to hold down the mouse button and drag a box to select multiple units. In the original game, you have to press ctrl+click to drag a box. What this means is that your left pinky is constantly stretched across the keyboard and positioned above the ctrl button. One of these days, Blizzard should seriously consider re-releasing Warcraft with auto-scrolling, box dragging, and right-click commands.

Blackhand elite units of daughter-killers

And now, we come to our first indoor mission! Blackhand's daughter Griselda has run off with the ogres in some kind of teenage orc hissy fit. Blackhand is so angry that he sends scouts to wake you up in the middle of the night and tells you to kill his daughter. Father of the year!

You won't need to worry about building a town or harvesting resources. This mission tests your ability to manage and conserve your army's strength. Of course, this is easier said than done because you'll be hit hard in the opening minutes by a swarm of slimes.

Argh! Slimes!

The goal here is to make sure the slimes don't kill any of your troops. Try to keep the raiders and grunts in the front so they form a barrier to protect the spearmen and necrolytes.

The original game had a lot of these 'creatures of the land.' These neutral units (ogres, brigands, slimes, etc.) really fleshed out the world of Azeroth. Blizzard decided to remove them in the sequel and I never understood why. However, both indoor missions and creatures of the land (now known as 'creeps') returned in Warcraft III.

The last stand of the ogres.

You'll face a few ogres along the way but the majority are clustered in the top-left corner of the map.

Random sidenote: the ogres in the original game wore steel helmets, had a single head, and bashed people with clubs. In Warcraft II, ogres had two heads and punched people. Fans were like "Whoa! WTF happened?" Warcraft III attempted to explain this discrepancy by including both types of ogres.

Run, Griselda. Run!

Griselda is hiding in the final room. She basically acts like a peon and won't fight back. Kill her and the mission should end. If not, you've left an ogre or slime alive somewhere along the way.

Every single slime or ogre must fall. Blackhand shows no mercy; not even to slimes!