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    Warcraft III: Reign Of Chaos
    Author: Drew Lanclos   Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment   Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
    Date Posted: August 1st, 2002
    SLRating: SLRating: 9.5/10
    Bottom Line: It's a marriage from heaven: Something old, something new, something borrowed, and

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    Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
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    Gameplay (cont.)

    Now, moving on to some of the retooling that Blizzard has done to the RTS world...

    The biggest difference to note is rather widely encompassing. Blizzard has added more keyboard/interface controls to help simplify the logistics battle. You can instantly select your Town Hall(s) using the backspace key. Idle worker units have an onscreen indicator to notify you when you've got peons sitting around doing nothing. Clicking the indicator will take you to the idle worker(s) so that you can easily assign them new duties. Also, rally points can now be set directly to resources so that newly generated workers will immediately go to a particular target for harvesting. You can also hit the space bar to immediately jump to a message notification (Empty mine, building complete, etc.). All this goes toward managing units with a greater level of ease.

    Individual unit management is much more flexible now as well. In Starcraft, due to the varying physical sizes of units, the space they occupied in transports was relative. In Warcraft III, however, each unit occupies the same amount of "space" in a carrier. When group-selecting units including a hero, the hero is automatically designated the "leader", and the control panel functions are based on his skills. However, clicking on an individual unit portrait in the console will select the control functions of that unit, while still leaving the group selected. Let's say you have a raiding party of four knight captains and a healer, all selected. You can direct the whole party to attack a target, then select the healer and ready a healing spell if you need it, or simply cancel the command and right-click on a new target to attack.

    Alternatively, you can now use "auto-casting" options on some characters. For

    instance, the primary function of a healer is...surprisingly...healing units. You can toggle that particular spell to cast whenever it's needed, and the unit has sufficient mana. Naturally, it only works on some defensive/support spells, but it's still a great help, especially for units with functions that are only useful in high-tension battle situations. It'd be nice if auto-use were available for hero items as well, like health and mana potions too.

    While there's been plenty of innovation in the new features, a couple have been somewhat neglected, or dropped altogether. Waypoints are still functional, and you can assign movements as well as attack orders, but they're not visually depicted as units move, similarly to how Westwood's RTS titles show. It would also be nice to be able to select a moving unit, and see where his destination is. And finally, map bookmarks don't seem to be available anymore. Then again, it's not likely that many people still use them, and the need to use them is almost eliminated, with unit group bookmarking and town-hall instant jump.

    Gameplay (cont.) Go the the next page
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    Article Navigation

    1. Introduction/Background
    2. Gameplay
    3. Gameplay (cont.)
    4. Gameplay (cont.)
    5. Graphics & Sound
    6. Multiplayer
    7. Conclusion/Rating Breakdown

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