W a r C r a f t I I I n s i d e r 's G u i d e =======================================

by Florian Mueller In WarCraft II's popular Map Editor, Blizzard Entertainment discloses tons of information about its enormously popular game. However we've gone one step further, revealing facts not found in the game's documentation or in the Map Editor. In Part I of this Insider's Guide, we'll look at essential statistics and strategies for all land, sea, and air units. And in Part II, we'll reveal previously unknown facts about spells - for paladins and mages, and for ogre-mages and death knights. Packing these insider secrets, you'll be armed with the most deadly weapon of all: Knowledge. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- [PART I:The Insider Point of View] Good Vs. Evil Speed Demons Attack Power and Armor WarCraft's Internal Clock [PART II:The Magic of Azeroth] Availability of Spells Spells for Humans and Their Allies Spells for the Dead and the Horde ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- PART I: The Insider Point of View Good Vs. Evil [Knight] [Orcish] If you have commanded the Orcish Horde and the Alliance of Lordaeron, you may have noticed that each unit and building of one race has an equivalent unit and building on the enemy side. All characteristics of these corresponding units (building and training costs, strength, speed, etc.) are identical, except for the graphics, sound, and more important the spells. While an Alliance mage has the same function as a Horde death knight (paladins and ogre-mages have similar functions as well), the magic of the two races is different. Throughout this guide the term "unit" is used to refer to knights, ogres, dragons, and gryphon riders, as well as buildings, catapults and such. There is no difference between live units in terms of attack power, armor, and speed. PART I: The Insider Point of View [page 2 of 4] Speed Demons [Wounded Grunt] The selected grunt has already been seriously wounded. During the game, the impression of a unit's speed can be misleading. The numbers shown in the unit window for "speed", on the other hand, accurately reflect how fast the unit is moving. While the beefy ogres are hardly light on their toes, they are the quickest of the WarCraft ground units. Dragons, once in motion, are nearly as fast as zeppelins, except when you want them to change direction. Even so, a dragon can usually catch up with an escaping unit if that unit has not already covered a lot of ground in its retreat. Note: Except for skeletons and catapults, mages (and Orcish death knights) are outpaced by all other units. When engaging these units in battle, every second counts: Situate them a safe distance from the front line, and order them to run away immediately after casting a spell. Demolition squads are only marginally faster than grunts and archers, but this slight advantage is usually enough to ensure their escape from these enemies. Because demo squads are not well armored for one-on-one combat, keep them clear of duels. Table 1. Ground Unit Speed Ranking +------+---------------------------+--------------------------+-------+ | rank | unit | unit | speed | | | (Human) | (Orcish) | | +------+---------------------------+--------------------------+-------+ | 1. | paladin | ogre-mage | 13 | | | knight | ogre | 13 | +------+---------------------------+--------------------------+-------+ | 2. | dwarven demolition squad | goblin demolition squad | 11 | +------+---------------------------+--------------------------+-------+ | 3. | footman | grunt | 10 | | | peasant | peon | 10 | | | elven ranger | troll berserker | 10 | | | archer | axe thrower | 10 | +------+---------------------------+--------------------------+-------+ | 4. | mage | death knight | 8 | | | | skeleton | 8 | +------+---------------------------+--------------------------+-------+ | 5. | ballista | catapult | 5 | +------+---------------------------+--------------------------+-------+ Civilian oil tankers and weaponless transports cannot defend themselves, but their high speed ranking enables them to outdistance enemy warships in pursuit. Unarmed sea units are generally safe upon reaching their own war party's battleships, or when they return to shipyards protected by towers and/or catapults. Because they are faster than submarines, destroyers, transports and oil tankers are only slightly vulnerable to attacks by undersea units. This speed advantage makes pursuit by invisible submarines less of a problem. Only the sluggish battleships and ogre juggernauts will require defensive support. The best option here is to use an air unit to identify and destroy submarine attackers. Table 2. Sea Unit Speed Ranking +-------+----------------------+---------+ | rank | unit | speed | +-------+----------------------+---------+ | 1. | destroyer | 10 | | | transport | 10 | | | oil tanker | 10 | +-------+----------------------+---------+ | 2. | submarine | 7 | | | (turtle) | | +-------+----------------------+---------+ | 3. | battleship | 6 | | | (ogre juggernaut) | | +-------+----------------------+---------+ Table 3. Air Unit Speed Ranking +-------+-------------------------+-------------------+--------+ | rank | unit | unit | speed | | | (Human) | (Orcish) | | +-------+-------------------------+-------------------+--------+ | 1. | gnomish flying machine | goblin zeppelin | 17 | +-------+-------------------------+-------------------+--------+ | 2. | gryphon rider | dragon | 14* | +-------+-------------------------+-------------------+--------+ * But they (purposely) react slowly to all changes of direction PART I: The Insider Point of View [page 3 of 4] Attack Power and Armor [Repair Workers] The repair workers are industrious as their encampment goes down in flames. When one unit attacks another, both lose "hit points." Totals are reduced for the unit that strikes and for the unit that suffers a strike. All moving units begin with 30 (peasant) to 150 (battleship) hit points; buildings with 100 (watch tower) to 1,600 (castle/fortress) hit points. The hit points bar is a gauge of a unit's deteriorating "health." The bar's color changes from green to yellow to red as the damage worsens. Buildings that have been hit start to burn, but the fire does not grow over time. Instead, more flames come with each additional hit. The game's mathematical program for "causing damage" weighs the attacker's strength and the strength of the defender's armor, then processes these figures with a random value to determine the total damage for a hit. While this formula is easy to understand, it is more complicated than the "damage" value displayed on screen might suggest. The damage value simply indicates the range of hit points within which the actual damage will fall. Here's how the math works: A unit's attacking strength is formed by two components: "basic damage" and "piercing damage." (These values can be found in the Map Editor under "unit properties.") Basic damage suffered is reduced if not completely blocked by a unit's armor. Piercing damage, however, is totally unaffected by a unit's armor. These two damage values are calculated, and a random value is then applied to this figure to determine the final cost, expressed in hit points. For example, say a normal (non-upgraded) grunt attacks a footman, his Human equivalent. The grunt has a basic damage value of 6 points, and the footman an armor value of 2 points. The basic damage of the attacker exceeds the armor value of the defender by 4 points. Add this number to the attacker's piercing damage (3), for a subtotal of 7 points. Next, 7 is divided by 2 and the result rounded up when necessary, as in this case equals 4 points. This figure is the rounded-up average of the two damage components (with the defender's armor value already subtracted from the basic damage). [Repair Workers] "Damage" is displayed as a range of numbers, as its value depends on the defending unit and is influenced by chance. With each subsequent strike, a minimum of 4 points is subtracted from the hit points of the unit under attack. The figure, however, is multiplied by a random value between 1 and 2, which means the total damage value can grow to twice the rounded-up average value. Therefore, in our example the damage per strike is between 4 and 8 points. Since an attacked footman begins with 60 hit points, it generally takes 9 to 10 strikes from a healthy grunt to slay the footman. Of course the unit under attack may strike back. If two equally healthy units of the same category (grunt/footman, archer/ax thrower etc.) go into battle, the one who lands the first strike almost always survives, albeit with only a few hit points remaining. Buildings all have an armor value of 20. Now let's say a grunt attacks a farm, which has an initial hit point total of 400 points. The basic damage that a grunt may inflict on the building (6 points) is completely blocked, which means a resulting basic damage figure of 0. (Figures, by the way, cannot be negative.) Our only concern in this case is the grunt's piercing damage 3 points. Add 0 (the blocked basic damage) and 3, divided by two equals 1.5 points, which rounds up to 2 points. Now multiply the score by the random value (of up to 2). The possible totals enable the grunt to inflict only 2 to 4 hit points of damage on the building for each strike. Assuming that the grunt inflicts an average of 3 damage points per strike, it would take more than 130 strikes to raze the farm. That campaign would take a lot of time, so you'd be better off enlisting several grunts and/or stronger units, such as catapults, if you're set on trashing the farm. For specific illustrations of these attack principles, look at Tables 4 through 7. Table 4 shows the attack power rankings when basic damage is your priority. Table 5 gives the same rundown with piercing damage as priority. Table 6 shows all possible duels of units and the average damage (hit points subtracted from defender) per strike. Taking that average damage per duel, and assuming the attacked unit or building is not already deficient in hit points, Table 7 shows the approximate average number of strikes or shots needed to vanquish a defender / enemy, or raze a building. These figures will help you determine which of your units will fare best against a particular enemy unit. PART I: The Insider Point of View [page 4 of 4] WarCraft's Internal Clock [Damage Values] The basic and piercing damage values for all units can be viewed in the Map Editor. These values can also be modified for custom scenarios. One unit of build time, as displayed here, corresponds to 12 program cycles (approximately one third of a second). WarCraft does not measure time in minutes and seconds, but in "program cycles." The length of a cycle varies from system to system and depends on game speed preferences as well. Running at normal speed on a Pentium 133 MHz, the game records about 40 program cycles in 1 second. Slower machines will run fewer cycles per second, but even a 486 system will complete no fewer than 30 cycles per second, as the program has reserves (idle times) that cause delays on the fastest machines and are skipped on the slower ones. The game program's internal timing also affects attack power. Some units can fire multiple shots or make multiple strikes in a given time (e.g. knights), others attack more slowly (dragons have to breathe before and after spitting fire). Table 8 ranks the attack power of various units. By the way, training time (for units) and construction time (for buildings), both displayed by the Map Editor, have program cycle values that are slightly different from those described above. To get the actual number of program cycles for training and construction, multiply the respective value by 12. Top of the list for construction time is town hall (Orcish: Great Hall) with 255 so 255 x 12 = 3,060 program cycles, which translates to about 80 seconds. Table 8. Attack Power Ranking of All Weapons +------+------------+------------+--------------+--------------+---------+ | rank | unit | unit | "cease-fire" | "cease-fire" | shots | | | (Human) | (Orcish) | (cycles) | (time)* | or | | | | | | | strikes | | | | | | | per | | | | | | | minute* | +------+------------+------------+--------------+--------------+---------+ | 1. | peasant | peon | 25 | 0.7 sec | 85 | | | footman | grunt | 25 | 0.7 sec | 85 | | | knight | ogre | 25 | 0.7 sec | 85 | +------+------------+------------+--------------+--------------+---------+ | 2. | - | skeleton | 35 | 0.9 sec | 67 | +------+------------+------------+--------------+--------------+---------+ | 3. | mage | death | 40 | 1.0 sec | 60 | | | | knight | | | | +------+------------+------------+--------------+--------------+---------+ | 4. | elven | axe | 65 | 1.7 sec | 35 | | | ranger | thrower | 65 | 1.7 sec | 35 | | | elven | troll | | | | | | archer | berserker | | | | +------+------------+------------+--------------+--------------+---------+ | 5. | gnomish | giant | 100 | 2.6 sec | 38 | | | submarine | turtle | | | | +------+------------+------------+--------------+--------------+---------+ | 6. | destroyer | destroyer | 120 | 3.2 sec | 19 | +------+------------+------------+--------------+--------------+---------+ | 7. | cannon | cannon | 150 | 3.9 sec | 15 | | | tower | tower | 150 | 3.9 sec | 15 | | | guard | guard | | | | | | tower | tower | | | | +------+------------+------------+--------------+--------------+---------+ | 8. | gryphon | dragon | 190 | 5.0 sec | 12 | | | rider | | | | | +------+------------+------------+--------------+--------------+---------+ | 9. | ballista | catapult | 200 | 5.3 sec | 11 | +------+------------+------------+--------------+--------------+---------+ | 10. | battleship | ogre | 230 | 6.1 sec | 10 | | | | juggernaut | | | | +------+------------+------------+--------------+--------------+---------+ * Pentium133 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- PART II: The Magic of Azeroth In advanced WarCraft II gameplay, whether you're taking on the computer or other players, spells make a world of difference. Spells are only vaguely documented in the game manual, but as Blizzard Entertainment's insider, we reveal all of the secrets of spells below. WarCraft is set in a medieval fantasy world where brave warriors fight with swords, arrows and bows. Also at your disposal, however, are 18 spells, which give you access to advanced "weapon technologies." Some spells perform functions similar to those of land mine or area bombing features of other strategy games. Other spells lead to whole new strategic options, allowing you to make units temporarily invisible or invincible. WarCraft's 18 spells will be covered first by a discussion of the 9 spells of the paladins and mages of Azeroth, followed by a description of the 9 curses of the Horde's ogre-mages and death knights. Availability of Spells WarCraft has a few prerequisites for casting spells. First you need the proper spellcaster. On the Human side, that means paladins or mages which won't be available to you until certain buildings are present. These buildings can only be constructed in the game's advanced stages after you've already built a castle. Once you've put the proper structure in place, you can upgrade any knight to a paladin by clicking on the church and selecting the upgrade command; mages are trained in the mage tower. [Tower, Church, Castle] There is no magic until you have either the mage tower (left) or church (center) or both. Either one requires a castle (right). Each spellcaster comes with one spell paladins have "Holy Vision" and mages get the "fireball." Mages also start out with "lightning", which is actually just a different name for their regular attack command. All spells beyond the initial one have to be researched in the church or mage tower, which costs time and money (gold, that is). Similar to role-playing games, every WarCraft spell consumes a bit of magic energy or "mana." The mana battery is recharged by one unit for every 40 program cycles (about 1 second). After (a/the/its) battery runs out, a mage or paladin needs at least four minutes of regeneration to reach its maximum mana reserve of 255 units. Using the cheat code "every little thing she does" you can activate all spells (of the respective scenario) and receive unlimited mana. Enter all cheat codes in the message window (hit Enter, type the code, then hit Enter again to confirm). PART II: The Magic of Azeroth [page 2 of 5] Spells for Humans and Their Allies Holy Vision [Icon] unit: paladins research: upgrade knights to paladins (1,000 gold) shortcut key: V mana consumption: 70 WarCraft II's tactical strength is enhanced by a "fog of war" concept: You can only see the area your own units have sight on, and you still remember the terrain and buildings of an area you have left, but do not see moving units and do not notice any changes until you revisit the previous areas. On the other hand, the holy men of Azeroth the paladins are visionary: They can look as far as they like, though only for short moments. To get a better look at a target area, select a paladin, click on the icon for "Holy Vision" (or hit the V key), then select a location on the map. For about 1 second, the area around your target location is unveiled, and you can see enemy units, if any are present. In the wink of an eye the area is again covered by the fog of war unless you still have units around. In order to maximize the benefit from that brief period of illuminated sight, proceed as follows: Select the paladin, cast the Holy Vision spell, and double-click the target location on the mini-map (upper left corner). The first click throws the spell, the second one immediately brings up your target area in the larger command map window. Pay attention to the signal that sounds when you cast the Holy Vision spell and all other spells. If you hear that sound while playing against the computer or other players and you haven't cast the spell yourself, assume that an enemy has taken a Holy Vision look at your encampment. An opponent capable of doing so must have already disposed of a castle, i.e. a very advanced infrastructure. Healing [Icon] unit: paladins research: church; 1,000 Gold shortcut key: H mana consumption: 6 to 240 [Holy Water] Rather than laying hands on a patient, paladins heal by casting holy water. Paladins are capable of healing the wounds of the warriors of Azeroth. Healing restores a warrior's hit points, and allows the warrior to go back into battle and suffer more damage. To heal a warrior, select a paladin and cast the Healing spell on the patient. The paladin will throw a gallon of holy water over a distance of up to 6 matrices (50 percent farther than the bows of a non-upgraded archer go!). Paladins can heal all units of flesh and blood but not wooden units such as catapults, zeppelins or ships. If you accidentally click on the wrong target, you may give medical service to your enemies a humanitarian act but it doesn't pay off in WarCraft II. A paladin can't heal himself, but one paladin can cast the Healing spell on another. That means you can put together some very powerful squads of two or more paladins that heal each other in the midst of combat. (The tactic of having paladins fight and heal simultaneously was not a viable choice in WarCraft I. The clerics were just too weak to really be engaged at the front line.) The computer also uses such paladin crews against you, and it is has the advantage of being able to cast the Healing spell faster than any human player with the mouse or keyboard. You can watch that paladin crew tactic from the Orc campaign in scenario 8 if you land on the island at Caer Darrow to steal the Rune Stone. The Healing spell's strength is determined by units of mana. For every 6 units of mana, the damaged unit gets back 1 hit point. The paladin will use as much mana as necessary to heal the unit up to 240 mana points (healing by 40-hit points). The damaged unit may be restored to full health (all hit points intact), if the paladin's mana is sufficient. Dealing several healings in a row to a single unit (usually by different paladins) is certainly possible and often necessary. Exorcism [Icon] unit: paladins research: church; 2,000 Gold shortcut key: E mana consumption: 4 to 252 The tale of WarCraft says that the Orcs ally with various demonic powers against the Humans. Guldan the Warlock raises some fallen knights of Azeroth from the dead, conjures them to obey him, and gives them magic powers. Furthermore, these "undead" units can resurrect other units (directly upon their deaths) by turning them into skeletons. The Humans call for the help of God to send these evil creatures back to hell. To do that, they have to learn the Exorcism spell, which is an incredibly strong weapon if you use it right. Click on the Exorcism button and choose a relatively distant target (up to 10 matrices away from the paladin). It makes no difference whether or not you aim at a particular enemy unit. All "undead" enemies (death knights and skeletons) within 6 matrices of the target location in every direction are identified. One unlucky undead unit is picked at random and suffers 1 hit point of damage per 4 mana points of the paladin, a process that is repeated automatically until either the target unit is killed or the paladin runs out of mana. If there is mana left and a death knight and/or skeleton are still around, the next "victim" is automatically selected and starts taking damage. A "fully charged" paladin (255 mana points) can kill a "healthy" death knight (60 Treffer-Punkte) and still have 15 mana points left. More four-packs of the remaining mana points are immediately used against other undead units around. The Exorcism spell may sound more complicated than it actually is. Once you get the hang of it, you'll find the spell to be of particular relevance in scenarios 13 and 14 of the Human campaign, where Orcish death knights pester your land like the plague. In addition to the immediate damage it deals to your enemy, the Exorcism spell also has an interesting side effect: A unit attacked by the spell will immediately ignore all previous commands (except for "stand ground") and attack the spellcasting paladin. You can use that feature to your advantage by luring death knights and skeletons from the most secure encampments to defeat them in combat. One more note: Because the Exorcism spell only affects death knights (including the non-player character Guldan) and skeletons, it is completely useless against other armies of the Human race ("traitor" missions or multi-player battles). When you're facing these opponents, spending 2,000 units of gold on research is a pure waste. Fireball [Icon] unit: mage research: not necessary shortcut key: F mana consumption: 100 [Fireball] The fireball has a varying effect as it flies. The fireball is a fierce weapon and graphically among the best that WarCraft II has to offer. It can be launched as far as 10 matrices (!) from the mage that casts it. A fireball is most dangerous when it's exploding and blow-ups can happen several times during one flight. The explosion damage factor is 40 hit points (a factor not influenced by the defender's armor or by chance) 20 points to the left and 20 points to the right in matrices perpendicular to the fireball's path of travel. Between large explosions, the damage power is still equivalent to 20 (10 to the left and 10 to the right). The fireball hits ground, sea and air units. The fireball is an effective weapon against dragons; to do the trick, you need either three well-targeted fireballs, or 1 to 2 fireballs combined with other hits, e.g. by elven archers. Fireballs are most useful in situations where several enemy units/ buildings are closely aligned in one row. The effect of the fireball is the same whether it hits several targets or flies in open space there are always four equally strong explosions during its flight. PART II: The Magic of Azeroth [page 3 of 5] Spells For Humans and Their Allies Continued Slow [Icon] unit: mage research: mage tower; 500 gold shortcut key: O mana consumption: 50 [Slow] The knight and the two elven archers are slowed down, and the mage can get away. The Slow spell reduces the speed of all actions of an enemy unit for a duration of 1,000 program cycles (approximately 25 seconds). The movements as well as the attack speed (number of shots / strikes per time) is set to about half of the normal values. This makes it easier to escape or, depending on your position, to corner and defeat an enemy. The Slow spell uses 50 mana points to slow one enemy unit. The effect of the spell, while it lasts, is shown by a skeleton hand next to the unit: You can slow down several units at the same time, but applying the same spell twice on the same unit does not double the time the spell lasts. The time is just reset to 1,000 cycles (25 seconds), but can never assume a higher value. The Slow spell has a reach of 10 matrices (25 percent farther than a catapult) and affects all units. Flame Shield [Icon] unit: mage research: mage tower; 1,000 gold shortcut key: L mana consumption: 80 [Flame Shield] Not only does the flame shield protect you, but it also injures all adjacent attackers. Even such harmless units as the peasants become powerful when affected by this spell. A flame shield lasts about 15 seconds and consists of five flames rotating in a circle around the unit. Three times per second, each flame causes 1 hit point of damage to the unit under it, regardless of that unit's armor. So a unit that is under or adjacent to the flame shield will continually loses one point after another until it escapes. When the effect of the flame shield ceases after its relatively short duration, the temporarily dangerous unit is no longer protected and can only escape in a few cases. So the flame shield is, more often than not, a kamikaze weapon. It is especially useful when you have already harvested all resources and need to make good use of your remaining peasants in the final phase of a battle. Another intriguing option is to put the flame shield on an enemy unit. If the affected unit is surrounded by other units (or is moving towards them), the shielded unit will cause damage without any of your own fighters having to risk their lives. The flame shield is only applicable to organic ground units, not to zeppelins. The dwarven demolition squads are too fragile for most spells, but the flame shield is one they can live with. Invisibility [Icon] unit: mage research: mage tower; 2,500 gold shortcut key: I mana consumption: 200 [Invisibility] The knight is now invisible to the enemies until he attacks someone, or 50 seconds have passed. If you've always dreamed about making your way behind the enemy front line without being seen the most costly spell (2,500 gold) Invisibility makes it come true. For up to 2,000 program cycles (approximately 50 seconds), every moving unit can be made invisible. An eye next to the unit indicates its position and lets you know that your enemy can't see it. As soon as an invisible unit begins to attack another one, the effect of the spell ceases. Another restriction: The dwarven demolition squads fall apart under the pressure of this spell. Why? These units already have the greatest damage power (400!). The added advantage of invisibility would make for an unwieldy combo. Polymorph [Icon] unit: mage research: mage tower; 2,000 gold shortcut key: V mana consumption: 200 The Polymorph spell is the fastest and safest method for getting rid of all enemy units except wooden ones. Simply turn any foe into a critter (or a seal on winter maps). The unit can continue to exist as a creature but it has no chance to participate in the battle anymore. You can go slaughter that harmless animal but you don't have to (even if the mission objective is to kill all enemies). The reach of the spell is 10 matrices, so it can be cast from a safe distance. The polymorphed unit is unable to defend itself, and even the enemy units standing nearby will only attack the mage if he makes the mistake of moving close enough to be spotted by them. If you miss your target, you can accidentally polymorph your own units, which is an absolutely irreversible mistake. Blizzard [Icon] unit: mage research: mage tower; 2,000 gold shortcut key: B mana consumption: 25 to 250 [Blizzard] The poor castle suffers an area bombing by the Texas-size hail shards of a Blizzard. The company namesake, the Blizzard spell, is a special display of creative programming. This spell allows you to send some nasty weather to a target location up to 12 matrices away (50 percent more than the reach of a catapult). Every Blizzard costs 25 mana points, and the mage auto-repeats that spell at the same location until it runs out of mana or gets a different order. Each Blizzard consists of 50 "hail shards", meaning you get two shards per mana point (not a bad deal). Ten shards hit each of the 5 target points, which are selected at random from around your target location. Each shard causes continuous damage of 10 hit points where it hits the ground. Note that 5 new shard target points are selected when the spell is auto-repeated. The points will, however, always be in the proximity of the target location you selected. Buildings are sufficiently large enough to be hit by almost any shard; moving units better escape when they're in for a Blizzard. In the great showdown of the Human campaign (level 14), the best way to destroy the Dark Portal is with the help of the Blizzard spell. Here you can also try catapult shots, but you need about 70 of those to burn the Portal down. Just send a few mages over and let them cast the Blizzard spell; that's faster. Even the units that guard the Portal can quickly be defeated with the Blizzard. With their reach exceeding that of catapults, the Blizzards are perfectly suited for razing the dangerous guard and cannon towers. Nearby enemy units will attack immediately when the shards fly, so protect your mages with some ground units when casting the spell. You can create an apocalyptic scenario for your opponent by having several mages cast Blizzards at the same time. With tons of shards hitting next to each other all at different times your enemy may be overwhelmed. PART II: The Magic of Azeroth [page 4 of 5] Spells for the Dead and the Horde When the Orcish Horde mobilizes, even the dead have to join the army! In the second part of the description of all WarCraft II spells, we give you all the details on the ogre-mage and death knight spells. Once again, the Blizzard programmers have provided a variety of insider secrets. Some say that most WarCraft players prefer the part of the Orcish War Chief. That we can't verify, but if you are in that group, then read closely to learn about the evil spells you need to conquer Lordaeron. If you command the Alliance troops, you should at least know which demonic forces undermine your efforts to proudly defend humanity against the Horde. Dark Forces The ogre-mages may not be able to count to three, but they know three (out of nine) Orcish spells. It's funny to watch two-headed sumo wrestlers snap their graceful fingers every time they cast a spell. In order to give them magic abilities, you have to construct an "Altar of the Storms", where you can upgrade the regular ogres into ogre-mages for 1,000 units of gold. The Altar of Storms can only be constructed after you have upgraded the Great Hall twice (first to a stronghold, then to a fortress). The fortress is also required to build the Temple of the Damned, where death knights are summoned. Death knights take care of the other six Orcish spells. Those are, as we will see here, at least as powerful as the ones available to the Humans have available. On the other hand, the death knights "live" a dangerous life: they are quite susceptible to the Exorcism spell of the paladins (as previously in the Human spells section). [] The fortress (bottom) is needed to build the Altar of the Storms (left) and the Temple of the Damned (right), if you want to turn the ogres into ogre-mages (upper left) and train death knights (upper right). Every ogre-mage is initially given a spell called "Eye of Kilrogg"; the death knights start out with the "death coil." The "Touch of Darkness", however, is another name for the regular attack function of the death knight (comparable to the "lightning attack" of the mages). Like their Human counterparts, the warlocks of the Orcish Horde also need some regeneration time to get their magic batteries recharged. They can have up to 255 mana points at a time, which takes about 1 second (40 program cycles) per point (up to four minutes for a complete recharge (0 to 255). The previously described cheat code "every little thing she does" affects the Orcs and the Humans in the same way. That cheat makes all spells available (as though they had been researched) and resets the mana points of all magic units to 255. If the cheat code is entered again, mana becomes a limited resource again, but all the spells remain available. Eye of Kilrogg [Icon] unit: ogre-mage research: upgrade ogres to ogre-mages (1,000 gold) shortcut key: E mana consumption: 70 [] The Eye of Kilrogg has flown diagonally across the map to watch the enemy's encampment. While the Holy Vision of the paladins is heaven-sent, the Orcish ability to explore enemy territory is provided by a long died warlock named Kilrogg. The Eye of Kilrogg that results from the spell is an "air unit" and is controlled as such. You can summon several Eyes of Kilrogg at the same time. Every Eye of Kilrogg has a limited lifespan. Unless previously eliminated by the guard towers and arrows of the archers, it lasts 765 program cycles, which is about 20 seconds. It disappears just as quickly as appears when summoned. Twenty seconds may seems brief for all there is to explore. The Eye of Kilrogg unit, however, can cover a lot of territory in that time. It's the fastest of all WarCraft II units (2.5 times as fast as the "second-ranked" zeppelin). As figure 22 shows, it can easily cross the map from one corner to another. Be sure to move the Command Map along with the Eye of Kilrogg so you really get a full view. Bloodlust [Icon] unit: ogre-mage research: Altar of the Storms; 1,000 gold shortcut key: B mana consumption: 50 Rage gives a fighter strength at least in WarCraft II and for 50 mana points, you can let one unit lose its mind. When the Bloodlust spell is active you'll see a blood symbol next to the unit; you can also hear the affected unit crack out with rage. Be careful, though if you miss your target, you may end up strengthening your enemy. [] A group of crazy Orcs under the Bloodlust spell. The spell cannot be used on non-organic units (catapults or ships). An ogre-mage can't enter the Bloodlust state, but several ogre-mages can turn each other into raging monsters. The Bloodlust spell can be cast up to 6 matrices (three quarters of the distance of a catapult shot). Its effect is to double of the attack power of a unit for a duration of 1,000 program cycles (approximately 25 seconds). The damage calculation for this spell is similar to that described in Part I ("WarCraft's Inner Workings"),but the basic and piercing damage are both doubled. Here's an example of the doubling effect: Let's say a grunt with Bloodlust attacks a footman. Under the spell, the basic damage increases from 6 to 12 hit points and the piercing damage from 3 to 6 hit points. Actual damage is calculated as such: From the basic damage subtract the armor of the defender (2 in this case), which now results in 10 (instead of 6-2=4 when Bloodlust is not active). Now add the piercing damage (6 instead of 3). The subtotal of those values is 16, half of which is 8. So the attacked units loses between 8 and 16 hit points with every strike (as opposed to the normal 4 to 8) as long as the attacker is under Bloodlust. Everything may sound different, but [a unit's] speed and attack are not affected by the Bloodlust spell. Runes [Icon] unit: ogre-mage research: Altar of the Storms; 1,000 gold shortcut key: R mana consumption: 200 [] The Runes only show up once in awhile. [] Our own axe thrower stepped into a Rune he didn't see. [] Be careful, oil tanker! These runes are hidden in the sea. Runes are kind of like land mines. Cast into the ground five at a time by ogre-mages, runes will explode once any unit (your own or those of an enemy) runs into them. Like land mines Runes are hard to spot and only show up intermittently (figure 26) as red symbols. Furthermore, you can place them across a relatively long distance (10 matrices farther than the towers can see) from the casting ogre-mage. An exploding rune causes a damage of 50 hit points to the unit that touches it. That damage is independent from armor and chance. Some ground units (particularly injured ones) can die from one rune, but a second one means the end for any unit. In the heat of battle, especially when fighting on various fronts, you can't always react fast enough and save a unit after the explosion of the first rune before it's already stepped on the next one. The five runes are always arranged in the same pattern. Each rune has a damage power of 50 but can only explode once. The Rune spell can be active for up to 2,048 program cycles (about 50 seconds), after which the runes themselves disappear. Runes can also be used as water mines (figure 28). Only air units are not vulnerable to the Rune spell. Runes are somewhat useful in single-player games against the computer, but they are most fun when you engage in multi-player battles. Some incorrect information on the Runes has been (and still is) circulating on the Internet. There were descriptions of cheat codes that were said to deactivate the Runes, and others, which activate them once again. All untrue, according to Blizzard and they would know. Death Coil [Icon] unit: death knight research: construct Temple of the Damned shortcut key: C mana consumption: 100 The Death Coil spell is a powerful weapon, and beyond that has a "bloodsucking" function: The death knight that casts it increases its own health (hit points left) at the expense of the victim. On the screen, the Death Coil is displayed in a yellowish color. The reach of the spell is up to 10 matrices (one fourth farther than a catapult). [] The knight hit by a death coil has no chance of escape. The death coil only affects organic units, including the gryphon riders. The damage caused by the death coil amounts to 50 hit points. With two death coils, you can kill any gryphon rider, even a healthy one. Every hit point that the Death Coil takes away from the enemy is credited to the attacking death knight. The unit restores its health at the expense of the defender's vitality. So if you have a wounded death knight, let it cast the Death Coil from a safe distance on some healthy opponents. Even after the death knight has all of its hit points restored, the death coil continues to cause damage. The Death Coil optimizes its effect in a manner comparable to that of the Exorcism spell of the paladins but this spell is more powerful. When you cast the spell, you select a target location (reach: 10). In an area of 5 by 5 matrices, which is centered around your selected target location, all organic enemy units are identified. The complete damage power of 50 (independent of armor and chance) is allocated among all units so it always kills the most damaged unit first. If there is still damage power left, it goes on to the next unit theoretically, there could be 25 units with 2 hit points left each, and one death coil would drain all their lives! On screen, it may sometimes look as though a quickly moving unit could escape the death coil. Not true. The death coil will find its target no matter how fast it's moving. PART II: The Magic of Azeroth [page 5 of 5] Spells for the Dead and the Horde Continued Haste [Icon] unit: death knight research: Temple of the Damned; 500 gold shortcut key: H mana consumption: 50 This spell has an effect almost opposite to that of the mage Slow spell: Every unit it hits will move like greased lightning for 1,000 program cycles (25 seconds). In fact you'll see a little lightning symbol while the effect of the spell lasts. This spell is pure dope it could have been named after some sprinter. [] Lightning-fast Orcs: doping for 25 seconds. Acceleration under the Haste spell is different for each unit most have their normal speed doubled. Units that are already fast (ogres) are relatively unaffected. The spell works on all moving units, including catapults and ships, but unlike the Slow spell, it does not increase attack speed (number of shots/strikes over time). The spell's reach is 6 matrices (that's midway between the reach of archers and catapults). Again unlike the Slow spell, Haste is not for use by enemy units. So step a bit closer if you want to rev up your units with this spell. Raise Dead [Icon] unit: death knight research: Temple of the Damned; 1,500 gold shortcut key: R mana consumption: 50 per skeleton Death knights are undead creatures who have the power to conjure other dead ones. The Raise Dead spell, first cast by the necrolytes in WarCraft I, gives you the opportunity to add some skeletons to your army. This spell is useful in every phase of the game but particularly in what chess players refer to as the "Endspiel" when a few remaining units from both sides face each other for the final showdown. Here Raise Dead can spell that little difference between victory and defeat if you conjure two or more recently-expired war heroes. [] Just fallen, but ready to battle again. The reach of the Raise Dead spell is about 6 matrices. Sufficient mana (50 points per skeleton) provided, one or more corpses at the target location and nearby are raised from the dead. They join your army as skeleton units. Control a skeleton as you would any other ground unit. It costs no gold or lumber, doesn't eat, and if it hasn't been defeated in combat before, its "life" ends after 25,500 program cycles (well over 10 minutes) when it bursts into pieces as if it had been killed by the Exorcism spell of the enemy's paladins (against which it is extremely vulnerable). By the way, skeletons placed on the map with the Map Editor in your own custom scenarios don't have that automatic lifespan limitation. Except for the limited lifespan and the susceptibility to the Exorcism spell, don't underestimate the value of the skeletons for your army. The have as many hit points to start with as the regular axe throwers (not berserkers), and the same attack power as a grunt (basic damage 6, piercing damage 3, reach 1). They will win most duels against opponents without armor (mages, goblin demo squads, peasants and archers); against all others, they always inflict some injury, making it easier for the next attacker to kill them. A skeleton's sight value is limited to 3, which is 1 less than that of grunts and peasants. Skeletons don't have any particular armor (just like the peons and axe throwers), and their speed value of 8 (like the death knights) is lower than that of all other ground units (10 and more) except for the catapults (5). Skeletons are particularly useful for dangerous (if not kamikaze) missions against approaching catapults. True WarCraft experts use one or more spells (particularly Bloodlust, Haste, Unholy Armor) on the skeletons, which then become supernatural elite soldiers for a short time. [] The ogre is dead but can't get up yet as a skeleton. [] Units in these "states" can become skeletons. Generally speaking, any dead unit's corpse can be turned into a skeleton your own nation's victims of war as well as those of your former enemies both will then execute your commands. The cause of death, whether combat or spell, is not relevant. A death knight can first kill an enemy with the Death Coil and later turn the corpse into a skeleton double or nothing. Only ground units leave a decaying corpse that can be raised from dead air and sea units do not. Catapults or units that are already undead (skeletons and death knights) don't either. As the Human mages are the corresponding unit type to the Orcish death knights, they also disappear once killed and are not "recyclable" with the Raise Dead spell. Also, you can't raise just any corpse! Some are still wrestling with death and not yet qualified for skeleton status. You must wait three or more seconds before attempting the Raise Dead spell. Afterwards, there are still about 1,000 program cycles (25 seconds) left, in which the spell is applicable. Figure 36 shows the decaying phases of an ogre that is dead but not yet ready to be raised. Figure 37 shows the decaying phases for the ogre (and all other creatures), in which the Raise Dead spell does work. After that, the remnants of the corpse disappear completely and it's too late to raise the dead. Whirlwind [Icon] unit: death knight research: Temple of the Damned; 1,500 gold shortcut key: W mana consumption: 100 per whirlwind [] A whirlwind brings panic to the Human town. [] The gryphon is flying through an area of turbulence. The Orcish death knights are capable of causing a true natural catastrophe with whirlwinds. These units can cause twisters to appear up to 12 matrices away from their own location, which is three times the distance across which a peon can see. The whirlwinds affect all enemy units (ground, sea, submarine, air) they touch. They move in totally random patterns, are not attracted by nearby units, and make no effort to go around them. Each whirlwind lasts 800 program cycles (20 seconds) plenty of time for disaster-making. A unit that stands in the whirlwind's center will lose 4 hit points every 4 cycles. But because the whirlwind is in constant motion, getting your unit out of the twister is not difficult. Most units caught by a whirlwind are not at its center (where most damage happens) but are only touched on its periphery that costs only 1 hit point every tenth of a second. Unholy Armor [Icon] unit: death knight research: Temple of the Damned; 2,500 gold shortcut key: U mana consumption: 100 per armor [] Some units are protected by the Unholy Armor. [] An ogre is blinded by all the magic. The most costly Orc spell (2,500 gold) is a true pact with the devil. A unit affected by the Unholy Armor spell is absolutely invulnerable for 500 program cycles (about 13 seconds). Unholy Armor works, on all moving units including ships and flying ones, as shown above. The goblin demolition squads, however, burst under the high pressure of this spell. The attack power or speed of units is not increased by the Unholy Armor, but the spell can definitely be combined with others. Death and Decay [Icon] unit: death knight research: Temple of the Damned; 2,000 gold shortcut key: D mana consumption: 25 to 250 The application and function of the Death and Decay spell is identical to the Blizzard spell of the Human mages but has a different appearance: It looks and sounds like a smoldering fire. In a way, that feels even more scary than the Blizzard. [] A smoldering fire burns buildings and units, no warning given. The Death and Decay spell is already causing damage when you see it, unlike the Blizzard spell's fraction of a second delay before the shards hit the ground. If a Human general is attacked by the opponent's Death and Decay, the most effective cure is the Exorcism spell. Exorcism doesn't stop D & D immediately, but it helps you get rid of the death knight quickly and from a safe distance so he can no longer use the spell. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is text rendering of GameSpot features article about WarCraft. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Use of GameSpot is subject to certain Terms & Conditions. part in any form or in any medium without express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited. The GameSpot logo and GameSpot are trademarks of GameSpot. Copyright (c) ZDNet -----------------------------------------------------------------------------