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I'm a medieval man! Let's Play WarCraft II: Battle.net Edition!

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
(Thread migrated from old forum, pardon our dust!)



There are a handful of games that I can say defined a major part of my life. In the list of games I have played and enjoyed, there is a very big one. But games that actually changed who I was, and sparked something deep inside me? That list is a lot shorter.

So let's try to set the scene a little, shall we? The first strategy game I played on the computer was WarCraft: Orcs & Humans, sometime in 1994. 11 year old Red loved the idea of building an army and fighting another army. Plus you had the denizens of Azeroth, the good humans and the evil Orcs, and you could even play at the bad guys! (Of course, in actual lore it gets a bit more complicated than that, even back then) It was a hard game, too, one I didn't get to beat back then because I didn't own the game.


Fortunately, right around when my siblings and I got a new PC, a new game came out: WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness. The original version was a DOS game, though it would launch in Windows. While Orcs & Humans was a good game, the sequel took everything good about the first game and made it better. The controls were less janky, the graphics popped better, and even the way the game felt just seemed better. Plus, the cast expanded a bit beyond just Orcs and Humans, as each side got new allies. Elves, Dwarves, and Gnomes joined the human side, while Trolls, Goblins, and Ogres joined the Orcs. All summed up in two 14 level campaigns following the two sides. All in all, a lot of points to make it a superior sequel to the original. But how did it really blow me away, you ask?


WarCraft II came with a map editor. You could recreate any level in the game, or build your own levels, known as PUDs. And you could play these levels against others. There were lots of third party CD's sold that were just collections of PUDs, though they were marketed as if they were additional games. But for me, the idea of being able to make my own levels for a beloved game was a game changer. Though for WarCraft II level making, that would turn out to be just the start. But I'll get into that a bit more later on.


The following year, an expansion pack came out, titled WarCraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal. Two new 12 level campaigns came out that carried on the story from the core game. A new focus on the Hero units helped drive the story in a new direction, and even added Draenor, the Orc homeworld, into the game for the first time.

Both these original discs were DOS discs, as I mentioned before, but eventually the games were remade as pure Windows format, and tweaked so that they could make use of the Battle.net service, which later Blizzard games like StarCraft and Diablo 2 made use of. There are other differences in the Battle.net version, but not stuff that most casual players of the game would notice.

Nowadays in this modern era, I am fortunate that even though the classic discs I have won't run, both Orcs & Humans and the Battle.net Edition are available on Good Old Games. This game really is special to me and I haven't even touched on parts of the history of the game that have really defined me, because I want to leave some things to talk about a bit down the road. But for now, I'm excited to take you all with me as I play though this classic from my past.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
Table of Contents

WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness

Orc Campaign - Complete!

Act I: Seas of Blood
I: Zul'Dare
II: Raid at Hillsbrad
III: Southshore (Video 1)
IV: Assault on Hillsbrad (Video 2)

Act II: Khaz Modan
V: Tol Barad (Video 3)
VI: The Badlands (Video 4)
VII: The Fall of Stromgarde (Video 5)

Act III: Quel'Thalas
VIII: The Runestone at Caer Darrow (Video 6)
IX: The Razing of Tyr's Hand (Video 7)
X: The Destruction of Stratholme (Video 8) (Video 9)
XI: The Dead Rise as Quel'thalas Falls (Video 10)

Act IV: Tides of Darkness
XII: The Tomb of Sargeras (Video 11)
XIII: The Siege of Dalaran (Video 12)
XIV: The Fall of Lordaeron (Video 13) (Video 14)



Human Campaign - Complete!

Act I: The Shores of Lordaeron
I: Hillsbrad
II: Ambush at Tarren Mill
III: Southshore (Video 15)
IV: Attack on Zul'dare (Video 16)

Act II: Khaz Modan
V: Tol Barad
VI: Dun Algaz (Video 17)
VII: Grim Batol (Video 18)

Act III: The Northlands
VIII: Tyr's Hand (Video 19)
IX: The Battle at Darrowmere
X: The Prisoners (Video 20)
XI: Betrayal and the Destruction of Alterac (Video 21)

Act IV: Return to Azeroth
XII: The Battle at Crestfall (Video 22)
XIII: Assault on Blackrock Spire (Video 23) (Video 24)
XIV: The Great Portal (Video 25)



WarCraft IIx: Beyond the Dark Portal
Orc Campaign

Act I: Draenor, The Red World
I: Slayer of the Shadowmoon
II: The Skull of Gul'dan (Video 1)
III: Thunderlord and Bonechewer (Video 2)

Act II: The Burning of Azeroth
IV: The Rift Awakens (Video 3)
V: Dragons of Blackrock Spire (Video 4)
VI: New Stormwind

Human Campaign
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
(Content posts from the old thread begin here.)

Before getting to the video itself, I have to mention that many years ago, before I was known as Red Silvers, I actually went by the name Wyrnn Trollbane because I loved WarCraft II that much. I had an old AOL website dedicated to WarCraft II and was in a big AOL community for the game. That alias even went on to become my own character when I did my sprite comic and my RPG Maker stuff. So, yes, this game was a very big deal to me.

So, in anticipation of this Let's Play, I actually posted a poll on Twitter. Without context, I wanted to see which side was more popular before I started running the campaign. The more popular side was the Orcs, so we'll be starting Tides of Darkness with the Orc Campaign.

The Orc Campaign starts with Act I: Seas of Blood, home to the first four levels, which is basically like the tutorial of the game. They don't straight up hold your hand, but they do expect you to learn basic base building, exploration, and resource gathering before they throw you into a battle that you can actually lose. (It is possible to lose some of these early levels, but you almost have to sabotage yourself to actually do so, or lose critical units due to poor management.

Falselogic actually gets a shout-out for inspiring the name of the first video:

#1: Zug Zug.
Wherein Red doesn't know how to do tech, leaves a bunch of folks in prison, and doesn't babysit his lazybones.
 
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Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
So last time we started out the Orc Campaign and completed the first three levels. Moving on to Assault on Hillsbrad, the game steps up a little bit. Now the Humans have a base and we have to destroy everything to advance! So, the kid gloves are off, right?

Actually, even though the enemy has a base, there's a couple things to note. The AI isn't particularly aggressive to start out, and any level that includes naval limits the ease of attacking because you're forced to use your land units with Transports.

That said, what's it like storming an enemy base across the sea? Let's check it out.

#2: I got axe for you!
Wherein Red confuses some Elves, rambles about AI, and meets one very optimistic Peasant.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
So leaving behind Act I, the game takes us into Act II: Khaz Modan, centered around the Dwarven homelands, the middle area of the Eastern Kingdoms. Though it's named for the Dwarven lands, it will primarily be the Human Kingdom of Stromgarde that we will be dealing with.

This part of the game keeps up the focus on naval assaults with land troops as a secondary, though the Orc campaign has one major break to come.

#3: You're the captain!
Wherein Red talks about music from later games, explains how colors work, and the recording gets crashed by his nephew.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
So last time when we played in Tol Barad we started things off, but we left things unfinished. Fortunately, as I mentioned in the last update, Act II does have a break, so not only can we finish this mission, but the sixth mission is a pretty quick escort mission romp that we can power through.

Actually, the sixth mission is a good example of a level that you can't accurately recreate in the Map Editor than comes with the game! You can make a map with no main base and where you can lead units around, but the base objective is still to clear out the enemy bases. This is something you can't really do much about in the base game, even with some of the third party tools. But... there is one way around that... at least in the original DOS version of the game. We'll get into that when I go into more detail on the third party tools. But for now...

#4: We're not brainless anymore!
Wherein Red watches a Oil Platform destroy itself, plays around with little eyeballs, and is offended by the use of the color Teal.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
So, let's take a moment to talk a bit about some of the third party programs that made WarCraft II really pop for me back in the day. First of all, though, let's touch on the original WarCraft II Map Editor. Now, this doesn't actually count as third party, but it is an important starting step.



The Map Editor allowed you to make maps with the same terrain tools that the Blizzard level designers used. You could recreate anything you saw in the base game. It all followed the rules of the base game, of course, so you couldn't make a map where one color was both Human and Orc (though you could make those other units a color you could rescue, much like in the base game how Zul'jin was a Teal unit you could rescue, or how Cho'Gall was Purple).

When the expansion pack came out, originally the map editor wasn't updated to reflect the new changes that came in the expansion. There were new units and new tilesets, but you couldn't use them in the basic map editor (though this was later changed.)

And that was the starting point for a program named War2Xed, also called WarCraft IIx Map Editor. This program was written by Daniel Lemburg when he reverse engineered the PUD format.



As a basic map editor, War2xed was a bit awkward. It wasn't meant to build a map from scratch. But once you had your basic map, you could do so much with it. Change the projectiles that units used, like making an Axethrower toss Lightning or make a Mage fire Dragon Breath! Giving an Axethrower the Gryphon's hammer made it look like your Axethrowers were all beefed up! One of my personal favorites was giving an Ogre-Mage a ranged lightning attack. You could also change several things about how they worked.

You could also change how the terrain was treated, like make it so swallow water tiles could be walked on by land units while also be sailed on by ships. Make mountains that your flying units couldn't fly over (How very Final Fantasy) Or make secret passages. One example I remember was making a bridge out of wall tiles that you could walk over.

I've mentioned this in a couple of videos now, but the game actually had a bunch of special AIs that were normally only used in the single player campaigns. Almost each level had a unique AI, and later levels with multiple enemies might have several. War2xed had these all available, and the author even researched them to see how they'd behave. This program went on to inspire Blizzard to include more features in the StarCraft Map Editor. In the WarCraft II community, the release of the PUD map documentation allowed others to make other tools. Some of these were tools like Puddle or Pud Browser for making map images, or UDTAed, the WarCraft II Unit Data Editor, which let you change the unit's properties. (A bit simplified version of what you could do in WAr2xed).

The next major breakthrough in the third party front would really sink me in, though. But that is a tale for another time.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
So, let's finish off the first half of the Orc Campaign, and finish off Act II. Let's take the 'You don't stand with a base' of Level 5, combine it with the gameplay of both Levels 4 and 5, and add in a couple stronger units... It's not a drastic difference, but having Ogres will help us out a bit.

#5: Who wants to sing?

Wherein Red tears down some walls, is bad at resource management, and clearly had high hopes for his strategy.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
Sometimes the game starts you with a big base, but that doesn't mean your work is all done and there isn't a lot of preparations to be made.

The game throws a new loop at us, as the Humans are now equipped with both Gnomish Submarines and Paladins! If only there was some sort of magical relic we could use to even the sides.

We made a first bang in the northlands of Quel'Thalas with this push into Caer Darrow!

#6: We're ready master... I'm not ready!
Wherein Red makes his videos look more spiffy, makes questionable decisions about base building, and points out the biggest plothole.

Also, I tried something different with the video, tweaking the borders. Let me know what you think!
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
You know, it really makes sense that the intro video to WarCraft II is a big Orc fleet sailing after a Human base because it really does seem like that is the strategy a lot! Not that I mind playing the levels where you don't need to decimate every single building.

The Razing of Tyr's Hand is basically "What if we took the last level... and flipped it?"

But how much of a difference can a different AI make?

#7: They're destroying our city!
Wherein Red discusses possible future projects, engages in an epic battle for a tiny island, and references a popular board game.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
We're starting to get to a point in the game where some levels are going to be split into a couple videos, it seems! After Tyr's Hand we'll move on to Stratholme, which turns out to be an incredibly important location in the sequel... but for now, Stratholme is the Alliance's main naval base... So shall we use the same naval assault strategy this time? Huh? What do you mean, 'no'?

#8: Kaboom!
Wherein Red shoots over a river, takes a long frozen walk, and builds on some rubble.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
We continue our assault on Stratholme. How do you harvest lumber when the enemy has it all guarded with Ballista? Also, how dangerous is an enemy when they have several Barracks and have no barriers stopping them from marching into our base? The answers might surprise you.

As a bonus, find out what happens when the enemy attacks you the moment the level starts.

Apparently I need to get some more good quotes for video titles.

#9: Dabu
Wherein Red tiptoes around Ballista, destroys the local economy, and can't seem to find the giant horde of Battleships.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
So, the game has finally done something new and different to us... We've got a level here with no naval combat at all! In fact, there's not even a single oil patch.

...oh wait, that means the enemy can just walk into our base.

Act III of the Orc Campaign ends with a big push for the home of the Elves of Silvermoon.

#10: I'm Alive!
Wherein Red isn't worried about the forest, marvels at a rainbow of elves, and can't figure out why the level hasn't ended.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
This level. Oh my gosh, this level.

So, this video was my fourth attempt. The start of this level is brutal. See, you start with no base and have to go claim a gold mine and get up and running. And while you're doing that? The two enemy Orc clans are building up Juggernauts to come and wreck your face. So, you take too long to get your own navy up and they will wreck you. Build in the wrong way, and they will wreck you.

Even on the attempt in the video, I wasn't necessarily as efficient as I could have been. See, I could use extra Peons to build the Great Hall a little faster, which would help get my Lumber Mill and Shipyard up.

But once things are up and running, it gets a lot more manageable.

#11: Of course, master...
Wherein Red is afraid of the navy, finally gets around to making Trolls useful, and talks about a WoW dungeon he designed.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
So now the game isn't playing around anymore. The mission intro to this level brags about the awesome power we've been granted, the power of Dragons. That's the final step in the Orc tech tree. We have everything to play with now.

...that also means that the Humans have their full tech tree. Gryphon Riders, the Human equivalent, can and will harass you, and suddenly units like Troll Berserkers and Guard Towers are more useful than they've been.

Speaking of towers, Dalaran is absolutely covered in Towers placed in strategic places and using walls to great effect, and our attack is going to have to work around this and make similar use of the terrain.

I do feel like I don't remember a Gold shortage being such a big deal when I played this back in the day.

#12: We've got explosives!
Wherein Red loves blowing up goblins, builds on the enemy island, and has a fear of magic.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
The Orc Campaign ends with an assault on Lordaeron, the head of the Alliance. Aside from the Lordaeron defenders, we have the remains of the Kingdom of Azeroth and the navy of Kul Tiras to deal with. We also have an aggressive AI that doesn't want us to keep the base we started with!

The previous map gave us Dragons, but the map itself was designed in a way that made using Dragons not very useful. By contrast, this map seems designed around the idea of using them, since a full naval attack like we've used before would be very costly.

#13: Baa Ram Ewe
Wherein Red messes with the computer AI, gets greedy with mines, and finally gives Dragons a chance to shine.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
We've already gotten a pretty good start on the final Orc level, so we might as well push through and finish off Lordaeron! The dragons were a good start, but it'll take some ground units to pierce our way past the Towers, Elves and Mages guarding things. Once we get a good strike, we can finally finish off the Orc Campaign!

Did you know? According to World of Warcraft, Lok'tar Ogar means Victory or Death. So with that context, I assume that Lok'tar on it's own is a cry similar to "For victory!"

#14: Lok'tar!
Wherein Red has dragons on reserve, establishes a beachhead, and has time to watch a video.


Pour one out for the Horde, everyone. Next time, they'll be the opponent, as we start the Human Campaign.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
So, the Horde has destroyed Lordaeron! The war is over. Humanity lost, and the defenders of humanity are all dead.

... What if that didn't happen? I mean, the Orcs already got to win the First War and destroy the Kingdom of Azeroth (Later known as just the kingdom of Stormwind, to differentiate it from the world itself). What if the refuges, led by Anduin Lothar, were able to rally and bring their allies into the fold, not only to defend Lordaeron and repel the Orcish invasion, but strike back? Welcome to the Human Campaign.

Things start out simple enough, in a direct mirror of Act I of the Orc Campaign. The Shores of Lordaeron focuses on building up defenses in the Hillsbrad and Southshore region before attacking the Orc base at Zul'dare. The kid gloves are back on, which might be refreshing after some of the later Orc levels.

#15: More work?
Wherein Red uses ludicrous speed, explains how the DOS version differs from this version, and rambles about Super Talking Time Bros.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
So, it's kinda refreshing to be at a point where you can just spam Footmen to win. Zul'dare isn't much of a challenge, as it's still part of that tutorial area of the game.

Which leads to Tol Barad. In an interesting design choice, Human level 5 and Orc level 5 use the same map layout, just on opposing sides. Each of them had a gimmick at the start too, as Orc 5 required decimating a Human base to set up their own base in it's place. The Human equivalent here instead requires swooping in to save a base that could be wiped out by the Orcs if you're not fast enough.

#16: Are you still touching me?
Wherein Red is under the weather, greets a troll, and doesn't save the Barracks.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
I swear, I lose track of time making these videos sometimes. Here we finish off Tol Barad and then move into Dun Algaz. I talk for a bit about the World of Warcraft equivalent of Dun Algaz before we get ready to head into Grim Batol.

In an interesting note, Tol Barad and Grim Batol were both locations not found in World of Warcraft when I played (though aside from Dun Algaz, Dun Modr was)

#17: Stop rocking the boat!
Wherein Red is surprised by Ogres, is way far from the gold mine, and remembers the right land bridge.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
Grim Batol tasks us with a specific target. Rather that eliminate an entire map, we just have a handful of buildings to take out. Of course, it's not that simple, since the map starts out with no base and a bit of an undertaking to get it. You can go right for the Orc base that has your gold mine... and you'll get wiped out. So instead, you get to use their own weapons against them.

As a kid I thought it was odd that you used Orc Catapults in this stage instead of finding some waiting Ballista, but of course it makes sense if you think that these are Orc weapons you are stealing.

This video might have a record for silliness. ...I'm afraid of what the subtitles are gonna say now.

#18: I've got a flying machine!
Wherein Red has problems with micromanagement, launches the silliest attack, and briefly becomes a Red Vs. Blue character.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
Tyr's Hand is interesting because, I've looked, and we didn't have to deal with a triple base level before.

Oh sure, we've had stages with three opponent before. When the Orcs attacked Quel'thalas there were Elves of multiple colors... but they only had one main base. Even the assault on Lordaeron was a major base with secondary colors acting as support.

So here, we have three Orc clans working together. In a bit of irony, there's the 'main' Blackrock clan working with the two Orc clans that were defeated for being traitors: Stormweavers and Twilight's Hammer. Add in that the level is a land based one instead of naval... and we have a fairly new twist!

#19: Ready to serve, milord!
Wherein Red needs that lumber mill, spots lots of Orc teamwork, and meets the most persistent Peons ever.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
Tyr's Hand started with a minor mystery, but it gets explored a bit more here as we head to Caer Darrow and then Stratholme. All in the process of moving toward the big revelation at the start of the eleventh level.

Anyway, the name of the game here is tactics involving Transports, and how to handle obstacles in your way. I joke that this is where the inspiration for "Tower Defense" maps in WarCraft III started.

20: Hello, sonny!
Wherein Red has to lure out Destroyers, has to learn his boundaries, and speeds up a trip down the river.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
So throughout the Human campaign they've been slowly building up the story of Alterac, starting way back in the second mission where they caused the Elves to be captured at Tarren Mill, though it wasn't until the Third Act that this really came to light. Now is time to end this treachery.

Canonically, the Alliance learning about Alterac and taking them out, as well as Gul'dan forcing Orgrim Doomhammer to divert his forces to the Tomb of Sargeras, both caused the Orcs to not have the army necessary to march on Lordaeron. I can't say if the attack on Dalaran occurs or not, but after this point the Horde is more on the retreat, moving to defend the lands they captured during the first game.

Of course, before we can worry about the Horde, we have to deal with the traitors!

#21: Deo gratias
Wherein Red leads a prison break, talks about streaming, and is a major pain in the ass.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
With the Orcs on the run, their forces are making a big retreat to the south to guard their base at Blackrock Spire. One last push to take out their navy is all that remains before that final strike.

So, this level I had to repeat, due to the video issue, which gave me an insight into how differently it played out with a more thought out opening. The method in the lost video was successful, but this video got up and running much faster despite pursuing resources further away from our base.

Then we get a sneak peak at the fate of Anduin Lothar, hero of the Kingdom of Azeroth.

#22: You're making me seasick!
Wherein Red has issues with turtles, doesn't care if he's hit by catapults, and drops some F's in chat.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
So, The Assault on Blackrock Spire starts with an in-game cutscene... at least as well as in-game cutscenes work in this engine. An attack that takes out Anduin Lothar (Poor guy got a unique Knight unit in the editor just for this?) and also serves to immediately aggro the Orc AI.

This level is really good about the two computer teams working together. I didn't show it off too well because I defended well against it, but the two teams will coordinate attacks on your base, red transports unloading one attack while the orange transports will unload a second one immediately afterward. Fortunately I managed to sink a transport early on that was full of Ogres to help cut that off right at the start.

While this level does give the Orcs access to build Dragons, they aren't too big of a threat for us in this stage, since we can assault their Roost very easily. It'll be the final land push that's going to give us the most trouble.

#23: For the king!
Wherein Red is annoyed by transports, finds the mythical Ogre island, and questions the Shipyard's priorities.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
Blackrock Spire still stands in our way. Funny how taking a week off for holidays can help change your mindset on what to do, though... I had planned to attack the red Orc base from one direction, but when I loaded the level for this playthrough I realized there was less contested route. Ultimately, both ways could have worked but I liked coming at things from this other angle. Like all "Destory everything" stages there's a lot of mopping up that has to happen.

That leaves a sneak peek of the start of Human 14: The Great Portal (I'll probably call it the Dark Portal by mistake at least once during the level itself, for good reason). It's very much a start where you need to know how to not aggro the Orcs too soon.

#24: In Your Name
Wherein Red is scared of Death Knights, hogs all the gold, and shows why you should sneak up on Ogres.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
So at the end of the last video, we showed out a bad start at Human 14: The Great Portal. Why the terms Great Portal and Dark Portal are apparently interchangeable here, I don't know, but our objective is labeled as Dark Portal in the actual game, in the expansion's title, and in World of Warcraft, so I'll probably just use that name.

There's a lot to deal with at the start of the level. Comparing it to something in the Orc Campaign, the nearest comparison I can think of would be Orc 12: The Tomb of Sargeras, where if we didn't get a good start on the stage then Juggernauts would come and wreck us. Only here, it's Dragons and the occasional Death Knight to be more worried about.

I've played this level a few ways, but the basic start is "Get a secure landing, despite the Cannon Towers and Catapults in the way." followed by "Protect yourself from dragons ASAP." Once you get that out of the way, you can chose to assault land bases to secure more resources, build up a naval fleet for a long attack, or go for the costly aerial attack. Whatever you do, it's a rough start but it gets easier once you get settled... or you'll get wiped out and need to start over.

Including the little bit at the end of the last video, I'd say this level took 12 tries, a good chunk of which would be losing the beach landing. One particularly silly attempt had my Transport with all my Archers shot down by a Catapult.

#25: Do you need assistance?
Wherein Red goes on the offensive too early, leaves orange dragons to nap, and marvels at the wonders of caffeine.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran


So, following the success of WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness, Blizzard was working on a few things coming down the pipeline. Already they were focused on their next major real-time strategy project, a simple game called StarCraft. So they contracted an expansion pack for their game from Cyberlore Studios. But during a check-in, they decided the work was sub-par, and instead they developed their expansion in-house. I'm not sure how much, if any, of the Cyberlore content is in the final game.

As a kid, this was my first experience with an expansion pack to a game. Maybe the closest thing I knew about at the time would be Sonic & Knuckles connecting to Sonic the Hedgehog 3 to make a longer game. I'm sure the idea was around long before hand, but to me seeing a familiar, yet different WarCraft II box with a title and artwork hinting at going to see a strange new place? That blew me away.

True to it's promise, Beyond the Dark Portal indeed takes the story past the Dark Portal of the main game and into the Orc homeworld of Draenor. Here, Orc clans that didn't go into Azeroth are here, making their own plans. And when the newly formed Alliance base of Nethergarde, formed to guard the remnants of the portal, is attacked, it's time for the Alliance to send forces of their own into this world.

I've mentioned before how the expansion released with features not compatible with the built in Map Editor, and how that inspired the development of tools like War2xEd, and later WarDraft.

Have you figured out the treat that is awaiting you, yet? Something that has been missing for a bit? No? Well, get ready, because... We're playing as the Orcs again.

So, let's see here...

The Orc Campaign opens with Act I: Draenor, the Red World. The role, or character we play as is the Slayer of the Shadowmoon Clan, in charge of leading the armies for our Shaman Warchief, Ner'zhul. The other Orc Warchiefs in lore at this point have been Blackhand the Destroyer, and Orgrim Doomhammer, mighty warriors! Silly Blizzard, who would ever believe a Shaman could lead the Horde?

#1: I am Iron Man!
Wherein Red watches an Orc run home, can't get enough of Grom, and confounds the computer with a single tower.

Please note that the expansion set videos are using separate numbering.
 
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