I had lots of good memories playing this game. Before WoW even became popular, I was a pretty big fan of the Warcraft franchise. Especially from playing Warcraft 2 on dial-up and tying up the phone line for hours so I could precariously play a multiplayer game with a friend.
By the time Warcraft 3 came out, I actually had no one to play online with, but I had lots of fun taking my time with the campaign. I don't care that the mission objectives weren't as diverse as SC2's. Sometimes I liked that the sole objective of the mission was to destroy every last building of the enemy base. Having four different campaigns was awesome. And then the expansion set was really fun too. Overall I just liked the pacing of the game and how each mission wasn't totally rushing you to do a thing before it was too late.
I even really liked the lore of the game. Nowadays I don't care at all for the Warcraft universe but back then I actually kind of cared about the Orcs and whatnot.
It was a pretty damn good game, I agree. Best campaign in any RTS game, ever. Yeah, sure, SC2 has varied missions but the story and settings are just dull. WC3 had some quality voice acting and a really good story to go with it.
Was pretty young when I started playing it, and I didn't even know what Battle.net was until The Frozen Throne was released. All those customs games, man.
Anyone remembers those SotDRP maps and the likes? I used to have a good time with a bunch of friends and Clan members just making campaigns in SotDRP.
Maps were indeed fun in Warcraft 3. A little more challenging to make than in the first Starcraft game with the 3D landscape, but still I loved even just adding trees to existing maps, creating additional barriers for the enemy to have to get through before they can attack you.
I actually thought the story in SC2 wasn't that bad. But the characters I was having some problems with. Mostly Jim Raynor's character actually. I didn't like so much the way he developed and his obsession with saving Kerrigan seemed illogical to me as she killed tons of people and many of his closest friends. And I hated that she turned human again at the end. Way too much plot convenience there.
But anyway, my favorite campaign in WC3 was definitely the Orc one. I was kind of sad by the Frozen Throne that the Orcs didn't have a full story campaign like the other three races did. And the Human campaign had too much to do with Elves, but overall Frozen Throne was awesome.
I actually played the campaign (RoC and TFT) for the first time just a few months ago. I didn't find the story that good, but I think that was because of the way it was presented. I already knew the story and found it quite interesting when I first read it, but not when it was told in the game. As for the gameplay it was quite interesting since it wasn't all RTS (I had actually never played the RTS part of Wc3 before that). Heroes are kewl The balancing (at least at the difficulty I chose - Normal) was a bit lacking. I found myself often being able to do just about every mistake there is while still being able to win, and then at the next map I lose after 10 minutes with much fewer mistakes. It felt like some maps could be completed with any strategy while some required very specific actions. It lacked consistency in its difficulty,
I enjoyed the bonus Founding of Durotar campaign from TFT more than the standard campaigns Not a big fan of stressed strategy gameplay.
As you might guess if you read what I just wrote I play custom games exclusively. Mostly hero games (Angel Arena, Gladiator, RPGs, DBZ Tribute, Hero Line Wars, Survival games, Defense games, etc) and those with more focus on armies (Footmen vs Grunts, Blood Tournament, etc, and Footman Frenzy back when it was balanced) with the two requirements that it isn't based on invading/capturing enemy territories (like Coming of the Horde). I used to play a lot of skill based games (I was great at Warlocks) and platformers/escape the X games, but after switching ISP I can't handle delay reduction anymore for some reason.
And I try to make a lot of World Editor stuff. Mostly refining completely useless GUI triggers for months to then lose all my work because I forget to backup and my hard drive decides to break/corrupt Windows. I worked together with one guy to make Illidan's Challenge (don't think it is called that anymore though) that ended up becoming quite popular for a few weeks. I made some horrible code that I just want to tear apart whenever I play the map now
Some of those technical things you're talking about I really don't know much about. And you're probably right about how imbalanced the difficulty was at times but I used a few cheat codes here and there like I can't help doing in most RTS games. But I always try and go back later and beat the mission without using any cheat codes at all.
The custom games sound really fun. More stuff that I never got into though cause I wasn't really good at creating maps or custom campaigns and stuff.
Other things though that I love about the game include even just the original menu screen. And somehow I didn't mind the cartoonish graphics at all. I thought I would, but the game was really colorful in a good way. I really strayed away from the Humans and the Night Elves though. Too many magical abilities and too much micromanagement to really enjoy them. Orcs and Undead were a bit more straightforward though.
I probably could never bring myself to start playing again. Still though, I have many fond memories playing it. Strange now to think that there was a time where things related to Warcraft didn't actually annoy me.
I've heard that about SC2. I'm not sure why things worked out that way. Maybe it's because so much emphasis was for SC2 was placed on competitive gaming that custom games were left out of the spotlight. SC2 lacked a lot of endearing qualities that I found in Warcraft 3. I did like that SC2 had less micromanagement to deal with though. At least with units anyway. When playing online against someone you still have to micromanage every other aspect of the game. This is probably true with most RTS games online though.
I definitely think that SC2 is more about official competitive maps. I downloaded the map editor during the beta but I simply couldn't understand anything except for the trigger editor (which was horribly buggy). Most people that I know that play SC2 don't touch the custom games even if they did the opposite in Wc3.
In the first Starcraft one of my all time favorite things was making maps my friends and I could play on. I would do some things with the triggers as far as I knew how. Then I'd spend a ton of time making the landscape look as random as possible with the doodads and raised terrain.
I was thrilled by wc3 and really liked the dimension of the heros that defined it apart from starcraft. TFT diminished that somewhat, but delivered a much-needed shot of unit-balance. Overall I thought it was a good experience as someone who held the RTS genre dear to his or her heart. Also, wc3 was a great progenitor of the MOBA genre (that I never got much out of, but it is massively popular these days).
I'm fairly disenchanted with sc2 so the warcraft rts family isn't something i'm hungering for at the moment. The first order of business for Blizzard should be putting down WoW in the most humane way possible and focusing their attention (and rediculous bank-roll) on innovation again. I think they'd be best served stepping outside of the box again.
Warcraft3 brough us a very cool combination of rpg and rts. WoW combined some of their great rts lore with a bog-standard mmo (not all that innovative, but at least compelling). Perhaps there is new ground to be broken in some yet-untapped genre and story-telling twists?
I'm thinking a sandbox style 3rd person mmo with a splash of rts resource management/exploitation brought to us in the compelling universe of Starcraft or a Diablo-like world (post-apocalyptic is a bit played-out though). Blizzard seems to be preening WoW in a manner that's avoiding the old traditional grinds so a sandbox platform makes the most sense. How they add their touch of imagination from that point would be interesting indeed.
I totally loved Warcraft 3. I remember the concept of Undead and Night elf was so mind blowing after coming off Warcraft 1 and 2. I've never really been that great at RTS games, so it was all about the custom maps for me. I easily played 10 x more DOTA matches than Warcraft 3 matches.