Warcraft II

From Academic Kids

Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness (usually simply called Warcraft II; sometimes abbreviated to WCII, WC2 or War2) is a sequel to the popular real-time strategy game Warcraft, published by Blizzard Entertainment in December 1995. Users play either orcs or humans in a fantasy medieval world full of magic and swords. It was originally written for the DOS operating system, though it had a MS Windows launch screen and played well under Windows 95. In addition, there was a Macintosh version of the game. Blizzard also released an expansion pack for Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness known as Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal. Blizzard made a new version of WarCraft II in 1999, called WarCraft II: Battle.net Edition. Changes made for this release included removing DOS code so that it would run on all Windows versions, fixing a few minor bugs, and enabling multiplayer support via Blizzard's online matchmaking service, Battle.net.

Warcraft 2
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Warcraft 2

Users may play each other online (via LAN or the Internet) using existing maps or ones they create. Users may also play the game solo, taking them through a story in which orcs and humans are at war.

Characters in the game, as in most Blizzard games, will say different things on being clicked repeatedly. (Clicking on a sheep long enough will cause it to blow up, yet another exploding sheep reference.)

Contents

Units

  • Civilian units
    • Peasants/Peon: The basic resource gathering/structure repairing unit is called the peasant (Human) or peon (Orc). They are capable or gathering the basic resources wood and gold, as well as building and repairing strucures.
    • Oil Tanker: Used to build oil rigs and gather oil from them.
  • Ground units
    • Foot Soldier/Grunt: The basic unit of fighting is the Foot Soldier for the humans and the Grunt for the Orcs.
    • Elven Archer/Troll Axethrower: The Elven Archer for the Humans and the Troll Axethrower for the Orcs are cabable of attacking units at a distance, either with an arrow or by throwing an axe. These units can be upgraded to Elven Rangers and Troll Berserkers
    • Knight/Ogre: Heavily armored and fast-moving units. Upgradable to Paladins and Ogre-Mages, which are also able to cast spells.
    • Ballista/Catapult: Slow-moving, slow-firing siege machines that are capable of dealing devastating damage to stationary targets, such as buildings or unmoving units.
    • Mage/Death Knight: Not good at combat, but capable of casting powerful spells.
    • Dwarven Demolition Squad/Goblin Sappers: A fast-moving unit, vulnerable to projectile weapons. It's able to explode itself, causing major damage to everything that happens to be nearby.
  • Air units
    • Gnomish Flying Machine/Dwarven Zeppelin: Unarmed reconnaissance aircraft.
    • Gryphon Rider/Dragon: A fast-moving, hard-to-kill unit, capable of causing heavy destruction on ground.
  • Naval units
    • Elven Destroyer/Troll Destroyer: Primary naval combat vessel.
    • Transport: Used to transport up to 6 land units across a body of water. Unarmed and unarmored.
    • Battleship/Ogre Juggernaut: Well-armed. heavily armored, slow ships.
    • Gnomish Submarine/Giant Turtle: Submarine that can often attack its targets without being seen. Can only be spotted from aerial units.

The units are essentially quite balanced, the only real differences can be found in the spells used by Paladins/Ogre-Mages and Mages/Death Knights. It is often argued that the Ogre-Mages have better spells than Paladins (the Bloodlust spell used on a large number of Ogre-Mages is very devastating, and makes people easily favor orcs, especially if they favor rush tactics), while Mages are better than Death Knights (Blizzard and Polymorph spells are extremely devastating if used correctly).

Utilities, modifications and conversions

Warcraft II was an unusual game for the time because a large number of third-party utilities were written for it. Among the first things, Daniel Lemberg reverse-engineered the Warcraft II map file (*.pud) format and created the first third-party map editor, War2xEd, which could do numerous things the bundled map editor could not do, such as editing unit attributes. Although Daniel Lemberg did not make the source code for War2xEd public, he did publish the complete Warcraft II map file format, which led to a wealth of new tools. More importantly, Blizzard began to use War2xEd internally, and it influenced them to bundle a feature-rich editor with their immensely popular game StarCraft.

The next important breakthrough came when Alexander Cech and Daniel Lemberg broke the encryption used in the base game data files. Alexander Cech went on to create a program called Wardraft, which allowed users to browse and modify the contents of the game data files, allowing comprehensive modifications. The spawn of extensive alterations became known as "Total Conversions", and a great many projects were in motion for a good long while. Some of the more prominent were "DeathCraft: Twilight of Demons" by Dirk "The Guardian" Richartz, "War of the Ring" by Gurthaur, "Editor's Total Conversion" by Fronzel Neekburn and the whole of the Warclan, and the noteworthy "Rituals of Rebirth" spearheaded by Kalindor, Kosmous, and Commoner.

There was also a free software game inspired by Warcraft II called Freecraft, which, while allowing users to import actual game data from Warcraft II, also contained their own artwork and scenarios. Although it used no art or code from Warcraft II, the project received a threatening cease-and-desist letter from Blizzard, apparently due to similarity to the Warcraft trademarks. Not willing to fight Blizzard, the maintainers cancelled the whole project. The project was later rekindled under name Stratagus.

Many of the utilities and conversions have faded into the depths of obscurity, but the appeal of feature-rich editors and total conversions has lived on.

Quotations

Template:Wikiquote One of the features of Warcraft II (and III) are the unit quotes. If a single unit was clicked several times in a row, the unit's voice samples would change. The unit would start getting angry at the player, or start saying silly things in reference to movies, games, or other things. For example, a peasant might say, "Help! Help! I'm being repressed!" — a quote from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

See also

External links

Template:Blizzardfr:Warcraft II

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