Warcraft: Orcs and Humans

I remember being told by a friend how awesome Warcraft was. He would play it almost daily in class, although, curiously, not Warcraft class. I think it was Physics. He’d tell me all about playing as the orcs and the humans, and pitting them against each other in epic struggles. Based on his recommendation, and the fact that I found the game for $9.99, I decided to pick it up. I installed it and invited him over to spend some time with the game, maybe show me some of the ins and outs of how to play. He came over and said, “That’s not the game we’re playing in class.”

Turns out he was playing Warcraft II.

So I settled in with Warcraft, learning the intricacies of the ongoing war between the different yet somehow identical factions. The game itself is Real Time Strategy. All that means is that there are no ‘turns’. Everyone playing has the ability to command all of their units all of the time, with the winner being the person that not only is the superior tactician, but also the speediest commander. Your goal is usually to gather enough resources to build a bigger, better army quicker than your opponent, and then to smite them.

Each side can decide to spend their accumulated resources on ‘units’ to flesh out their armies. Units on each side of the fray have corresponding units on the other side. This is a pretty crude but effective way of providing balance to the game, that is, no one side has an obvious advantage over the other. This is especially important in multiplayer.

I never played multiplayer.

The original Warcraft is not compatible with Blizzard’s matchmaking service Battle.net. No Warcraft game would be until Warcraft II:Battle.net edition (i.e. a sequel and a tweak later). So I spent considerable time losing at the single player mode. I would end up finishing the Human campaign, roughly half of the content, before I would shelve this game. I wouldn’t think any more about it until 2002 when Warcraft III was released.

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