Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The Past and Times of Yore: WC3, The Founding of Durotar‏

For completion’s sake I have recently finished the Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne expansion bonus Orc campaign named “The Founding of Durotar”

The Founding of Durotar, Campaign Menu showing Rexxar and Misha
This decision basically came from questing and exploring in World of Warcraft specifically where I was either thinking about the new areas that had come in cataclysm and/or thinking about the events that occurred between Warcraft III (WC3) and World of Warcraft (WOW). The Orc campaign in WC3 was mainly about them landing on the continent of Kalimdor in the area which would soon be known as Durotar with both their alliance with the Tauren and Darkspear trolls and continued struggle with the humans. Speaking of the Darkspear Trolls, there was a custom campaign that Blizzard made to show off that part of the WC3 Map Editor. It detailed how Thrall met Sen’jin (and Vol’jin) when the Horde reached the Broken isles on the way to Kalimdor, however this campaign although being ‘bonus’as well was only selectable from the ‘skirmish’ game screen as it was not an actual campaign . 

Rexxar and Thrall in an in-game cinematic in the first chapter
 The Founding of Durotar, takes a different approach from the usual WC3 RTS style, instead of commanding a whole army, you played as a small group of heroes, the most prominent being Rexxar, who is a half orc/ogre hybrid of the Moknathaal and is also a BeastMaster which in turn is one of the neutral heroes available from the Tavern. Rexxar by chance runs into the Orc Leader Thrall while he is building a new nation for his people and eventually leads the horde army against the bulk of the human Kul Tiras forces led by the staunch hero of the second war Admiral Daelin Proudmoore. During his quest he meets various other characters who are also able to be played some hero units some not. One of the purposes of this campaign was to let you play the existing predominately horde related heroes and units again as well as introduce you to the new horde hero and units as well as some new neutral heroes as well, as shown below.

Rexxar, Rokhan and Cairne Bloodhoof in the final chapter of The founding of Durotar
 Heroes
Units
(Taken from WoWWiki)

Playing through levels in control of a single hero is something really wanted to do pretty much throughout the whole of WC3, I even went so far as to customise multiplayer maps via the WC3 World Editor so I could play alongside the computer with a single hero unit, this idea was also picked up by the makers of the custom map Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) which became wildly popular. Basically what Blizzard were trying to do with this type of gameplay was to use the Orc Campaign in the expansion as a player introduction to the single unit questing adventure style of play in WoW as the Orcs didn’t exactly have a huge part to play in the Frozen Throne storyline anyway. Going back and finishing this campaign also answers a lot of questions and gives some insight of what actually happened between the finish of the Orc campaign in WC3 and the start of WoW, for example it explained who Rexxar was, how Durotar was claimed and Orgrimmar built and how Ogres and Tauren and many main characters appear in the WoW today, also it explains about Admiral Daelin Proudmoore and where Kul Tiras had been this whole time, though technically their island home is yet to be added to WoW.

Admiral Daelin Proudmoore, as he appeared in WC3 in the final chapter
Anyway It was a good experience, even though I got a bit impatient at the end and just wanted to see what happened, I played almost the entire Warcraft series of games from start to finish and have accumulated a broad knowledge of the Warcraft universe. I do like informing people of lore they may have missed out on especially when they may not have played any of the previous Warcraft games as it is a lot to learn by having WoW as your first ever Warcraft game. Saying that though a lot of people never bothered playing the singeplayer of many of the previous Warcraft titles, sometimes this can get annoying like for example people who ask things like where the Dark Portal goes to even after The Burning Crusade expansion had come out.

Anyhow, It was great to finally finish off this last bit of Warcraft 3 as I for one enjoy lore a lot and finding out more about the Warcraft universe is exciting to me whether it’s reading a book, the internet or playing an old game. 

Until we meet again, know your lore,

JD

Rexxar, Misha and his Quillboar and Hawk as they appear in World of Warcraft

this land cannot be tamed….

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