Warcraft III: The Frozen Bone

Are any of you guys currently reviewing Warcraft III: Frozen Bone? I’m about two thirds of the way through the game, and I am extremely impressed with the singleplayer portion of this expansion.

This expansion is far more unconventional than I expected.

Example. The “bonus” Orc campaign more or less recreates Diablo in the WC3 engine. That is, you run around a massive overworld map with two heroes, killing respawning groups of enemies, gaining money/exp/levels, and performing quests. You even have a “stash” and can hire helpers. It is totally unlike any standard RTS level.

Beyond that, even the regular campaigns are strange. There are very few levels where you do the standard “build a base, progressively conquer the map.”

  • you will encounter respawning enemy AI heroes who cast spells and ultimates sort of like real online players would.
  • lots of oddball scenarios, such as controlling two different forces on two different sides of the map at the same time, or protecting a convoy moving through a map.
  • you’ll take control of two unique new races with their own buildings, units, heroes, and even unique peons: the Naga (sea creatures) and the Blood Elves.
  • you will get to control multiple high level (9-10) heroes in small groups and take on much larger forces. Get used to casting ultimates every 2 minutes, which is fun!
  • much more hero-centric than build-centric, though there is plenty of building to be had-- you’ll find tons of multiplayer-style creep camps, shops, and plenty of cool unique items to equip your hero with across each campaign.

Anyway, it’s not at all what I was expecting. I guess I thought it would be more of the standard campaign stuff we saw in WC3.

It’s clear to me that Blizzard based this entire expansion on what was popular online. And I don’t mean just standard 1vs1 or 2vs2, but the many crazy user mods that people play such as Hero Arena. At no point is this more obvious than the bonus level*, where Blizzard recreated lock stock and barrel the uber-popular online tower attack mod. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

In tower attack, all you do is build endless towers (of various types) along the outside of a maze. While you’re doing this, progressively tougher and tougher enemies trawl through the maze, ignoring everything but the end of the maze, some object they’re trying to blow up. Blizzard did add one twist, you can still use your heroes. Most tower mods are build-only.

I’m not even covering the many significant changes to multiplayer. It is fair to say that the expansion plays like a totally rebalanced game, with a lot of new amenities that should have been there in the first place (eg, creeps show up as resource dots on the map, all build commands can be consistently queued, units set to follow will attack when the lead unit attacks, etc).

So, if you’ve written off WC3 for whatever reason, you might want to revisit the expansion. And if you liked WC3 at all, this is one of the best expansions I’ve ever played. It takes the game in really interesting new directions.

DISCLAIMER: I’ve played Warcraft III more than any human being should ever be allowed to. Like MMORPG type numbers. Which is scary.

  • it’s easy to unlock, just look for the sheep on the blood elf “break out of prison” level. I don’t want to say anything else to give it away, because it’s funny.

I respect Blizzard. May Blizzard be blessed. This expansion sounds good. Kudos to Blizzard!


Oh crap, I almost forgot to mention.

The elf workers (peons) are friggin’ hilarious. They are everything Bruce Geryk hypothesized, and more. If the things they say don’t make you laugh-- you may be a robot.

I won’t spoil it for you guys.

I wonder if Blizzard how much more of those missions would have existed if they had really made Warcraft III into a RTS RPG like they had wanted. I’m guessing that they realized they would kill their Diablo market if they had gone through with what they had wanted.

I just started another blood elf campaign mission, and I’m playing… CAPTURE THE FLAG. That’s right, capture the flag.

In this mission you only control your heroes. The friendly and enemy bases automatically construct a regular stream of AI units-- and they flow outward to duke it out in the middle of the map, where the “flag” is in contention. Once your heroes get close enough (and the enemy hero isn’t), you control the flag and slowly wheel it toward your base.

This is, again, unlike any other mission so far. It’s completely out of the blue-- but it is partially based on some multiplayer user mods I’ve played online.

I’m telling you guys, this expansion is amazing stuff!

Blizzard is king of expansions.

Starcraft Broodwar
Diablo 2 LoD (felt almost like a sequel to me!)
and now the wacky War 3 expansion!

Blizzard can do no wrong. They are good as always (for now).


What the hell is Blizzard paying you guys?

I pay them for excellent games! But Total Annihilation I still like over Starcraft and Warcraft 1 and 2 and 3. So I’m not a complete fanboy! I wish Cavedog a phoenix like comeback (or at least TA2).

Plus Blizzard is spotless in terms of getting it right (for the most part) on release… lets see if this holds when WoW and SC Ghost is released!


The CTF mission was, as the kids say, “hella fun”.

The trick with any of those AI army + hero scenarios I’ve played online is not to get too greedy, eg, dont’ advance too far out in front of your AI support forces. Always fall back if you’ve got no support. Heroes are badass, but they aren’t badass enough to take on 12-15 units alone.

It also sucks that the enemy hero you’re facing in this CTF level is the level 10 warden. She just loves to cast shadow strike on you: 225 damage instant hit + 45 damage per second poison + slow. Tough to get away from that.

Since I completed all 30 levels of the bonus tower level, I got to use the Pandaren Brewmaster on this level. That’s in addition to the two other heroes you’d normally have. His ultimate, where he splits into three different units (earth, wind, fire) is so cool. It’s probably not a coincidence that all three heroes reach level 6 on this mission, either. Ultimates-a-gogo!

One final note. Hard difficulty is, like, really, really hard. Painfully, brutally, Bauman-shattering hard.

I thought I was a badass after playing so much online, and I picked hard. I’m tough, I thought. I’m manly, I thought. After restarting mission two for the seventh time, I went crying home to momma, and I reverted to “normal”.

Not recommended. Unfortunately “normal”, the only other difficulty offered, is rather easy for me. I think I’ve saved my game all of four times so far, and I have maybe 3 missions to go to complete the game?

I may go back and play a few of the missions on “hard” later. Part of the problem is you don’t truly understand the objectives-- what you have to do to finish the level, versus what is optional-- until you’ve completed the level.

This expansion pack sounds really cool; thanks for the impressions, wumpus! I’m confident that it’ll get me back into WC3, but I doubt that I’ll ever become active online as long as the quickmatch is so screwed up. I’m sick of getting my ass kicked by experts that start new accounts all the time.

Protecting a convoy? The last time I enjoyed one of those blasted “protect the convoy” missions was in Armor Alley. :roll:

I don’t suppose there’s a Rampart level or Space Invaders level, is there?

  • Alan

Mercy sakes alive, looks like we got us a convoy!

The convoy has a branch point, though-- you can choose left or right. And the convoy includes its own complement of AI hero and troops that you don’t control. Anyway, it’s fun and interesting, like the rest of the expansion.

I did not like WarCraft III at all. I have made numerous attempts at liking the game but simply can not.

Now hopefully Blizzard can work on Diablo III.

At least you actually tried, which is more than we can say for Tom Chick.

Yes please more of the same. More Warcraft, more Diablo, more Starcraft.

I have a better idea. Take that cash and try something new. Not sure why they would want to do that and mess up the waterfalls of cash they are awash in, but wouldn’t it be great to have some nicely financed innovation rather than an indie developer having to burst its balls (or the female equivalent, whatever it may be) and then 100 people playing it. Just my little perfect world scenario.

If that is too much of a risk, there is a certain TBS series that is languishing in limbo and can be picked up for a song. Put some money into that and resurrect a dying legend. A completely different genre is out there with fans longing to worship at the Blizzard altar.

One thing: no flight sims.

jesus christ, tyjenks.
you have at your finger tips, AOW2 and GalCiv. This summer you’ve got AOW2:SM, free GalCiv expansion, and Warlords 4. How the hell much TBS do you need?

I think you could be satisfied if you just bought all these games and scrawled on each box in red crayon “HOMM3:”. sort of a roll your own expansion trick.

p.s.: starcraft2!

I’m just wondering how wumpus is playing the game over a week before it’s official release date? Last time I checked he wasn’t among the people who get pre-release product around here.


Well congrats wumpus, you just sold me on this expansion! Blizzard would be proud.

BTW, what’s the good word on Shadows of Undrentide?

Remember folks, he only pirates music.