In my first article, I laid down some background information and the main gameplay points for Warcraft Co-op concept. This time, we’re going to talk about how the story could be, what commanders and villains we could face and some very rough commander concepts.
In Starcraft2 Co-op (sc2co), we face the forces of Amon. Amon is an enemy to all, who has used all three races to fight for him through manipulation, coercion or outright mind control. This way, it “makes sense” that all these commanders fight together and versus armies of all kinds. That being said, it’s obvious that these aren’t canon fights, so there is no need to worry about how Arcturus Mengsk and Kerrigan fight together.
Warcraft is full of enemies of varying sizes that the mortal races banded together. The first one that would come to mind considering Warcraft 3 is definitely the Legion. However, I think the forces of the void is a better choice. They were introduced with World of Warcraft in the shape of Old Gods, but in the end this is Warcraft Co-op, not necessarily Warcraft 3 Co-op. Plus, cults dedicated to the void forces encompass all races, they do mind-control stuff as well and basically justify any kind of enemy army, not to mention any kind of commander fighting against them. Even warlocks who summon monsters of the void or the ren’dorei who are literally infused with void are enemies to the void powers, as SUSPICIOUSLY SIMILAR to Amon’s VOID forces, they are just against everyone and all life and everything. Seriously, why did they do this to Starcraft 2? Argh. Anyway.
So, this part is done. Easy. Now comes the fun part: Who will be the commanders and what will be their deal?
The original playable races of Warcraft 3 are Human (Alliance), Orc, Undead and Night Elf, with the surprise mini Naga faction from expansion. If you haven’t played it or need reminders, you can check the classic Warcraft 3 site. Naga structures and units can be found in Wowpedia. There will be unique features, but these will set a basis upon which we’ll build several commanders. Here are my raw notes, followed by a summary of the more concrete commanders and notes (plus readable!)
Please note that the following are the first thoughts that come to mind and I might change them as I write them in detail.
Kel’Thuzad: Most similar to Warcraft 3 Undead, spreads blight and uses a number of undead units. Starts with a Necropolis like Naxxramas, of which he activates wings as the tiers up. Each wing comes up with exclusive upgrades, unique unit(s) and a unique Hero/VIP/Elite unit.
Sylvanas: Has banshees, of course. There are two options I see: One is Sylvanas from the W3 campaign where the idea is more banshees and taking over enemies (possibly with special creep mechanics) and the other is setting her as the Queen of Forsaken, adding the Blight, Alchemists etc.
Anub’arak: Undead Nerubian, including but not limited to crypt fiends, crypt lords, nerubian viziers, flyers etc.
Arthas/Lich King: Saved the best for the last! Arthas appears as the leader of the mighty Death Knights. Each Death Knight is a formidable opponent that utilize Frost, Blood or Unholy powers, and grow in power as Arthas does. Later, Arthas can empower 4 of them to be the riders of death. Last but not least, Arthas can command two powerful Frostwyrms Sapphiron and Sindragosa. Arthas will likely be the first article following this one!
Thrall: Most similar to Warcraft 3 Orc. An idea would be to add representations of the “WoW Horde” races, such making one of the troll units zandalari, one of the orcs mag’har, maybe adding a blood elf unit etc.
Grom Hellscream: Warcraft 3 orcs, but just orcs, maybe with a couple of goblin and ogre options. The pillage ability from W3Orc could be amplified into a side-gimmick (like HnH from SC2CO). There could be mechanics regarding rage and/or demon corruption.
Orgrim Doomhammer (or another leader of the Horde): Another orc only faction, possibly with ogres. There would be mechanics regarding different orc clans. Maybe the wolf riders are Frostwolf clan and you empower Frostwolves, the wolf riders are better etc.
Cairne Bloodhoof: Obvious, Tauren faction. High pop, highly resilient units. Maybe they get some bonuses with numbers (as they are a very communal race). They could set forward camps to get some bonuses as well. Also, Tauren “subspecies” could be represented.
Vol’jin: Darkspear Tribe. All troll units, berserker as a separate unit, dire troll as a front liner and some interesting spells/calldowns with Witch Doctors/Vol’jin.
King Rasthakan: Zandalari! Focus on dinosaurs, elite troll units and loa powers. Could be like Age of Mythology where you choose powers of a Loa each tier.
Gazlowe: Goblins! Tinker, Alchemist, Shredders, Zeppelins returning with new units like the Trike Gang (goblins riding trikes and getting some wolf pack style bonuses) and many E X P L O S I V E S. I feel the calldowns will be named as Big Red Button, Bigger Red Button, Biggest Red Button. I leave it to you to imagine what they do…
Night Elf Commanders:
Tyrande: Closest to Warcraft 3 Night elves but more sentinel focus. Add priests as a unit and some very powerful cooldowns including Warriors of Night that buffs all night elves.
Maiev: Could be a niche Sentinel faction. Could be added to Tyrande or for a crazy idea she could be paired with, wait for it, ILLIDAN for a demon hunter faction.
Furion: Druids and nature units. Could be that you spread some kind of raw nature that has glimpses of the Emerald Dream which empowers Furion.
Three Hammers: Main Dwarf faction (starting with dwarves and gnomes since they are the most important human/alliance race of course). They have a regular “dwarf warrior” unit. Every time you produce one, it’s from a different clan (Bronzebeard, Dark Iron and Wildhammer). You have some special clan units and upgrades that benefit dwarfs of a certain clan. Led by Muradin, Moira and Falstad.
Brann&Magni: TITAN STUFF! We do excavations, we unearth titan artefacts and call upon titan keepers and constructs to help us. Could be room for Harrison Jones and the crew here as well.
Mekkatorque: Gnome and mechagnome faction. Gadgets, mechs, fun calldowns and units. Maybe some way to manufacture customized mechs?
Kael’thas: Blood elves from W3FT with maybe some kind of mana hunger mechanic? How about high elves? Should they be a faction? Sylvanas had a partial elf race from W3 campaign, could work on that.
Varian — Crazy Idea: As Logosh, he fights with Rehgar, Broll and Valeera, with a few more names from their gladiator days in a Tychus-ish faction.
Varian — Expected idea, ruler of the Stormwind Army, close to W3 human, probably just without elf units — maybe even with them. Alternatively, this could be the Lordaeron alliance led by Terenas Menethil, would probably more fitting to W3 era.
Another Crazy Idea: Lord Garithos in a pure, glorious human faction where you have calldowns to send unworthy dwarf and elf scum brigades to their deserved deaths.
Alonsus Faol? A Knights of the Silver Hand faction of Knights, priests and the like with Uther, Tirion and Turalyon. Could also be an army of Light faction, which then will have calldowns similar to Protoss. Oh also, how about adding pre-Northrend ARTHAS here?
Defias Brotherhood: A martial faction with stealth and guile mechanics. Could be branded “Outlaws” and combined with some names from stockades such as HOGGER.
Genn: Gilneas faction with focus on Worgen and that funky architecture.
Jaina: Theramore and Kul Tiras. Big navy faction if ships return. Proudmoore Flagship appears as a cooldown akin to Hyperion.
Velen: Draenei and Lightforged Dranei? Maybe the latter is in the army of light faction.
Lady Vashj: W3FT had almost a fully fleshed out Naga, built on that.
MURKY! Murlocs, Gorlocs, Deep murlocs! Mechanics about numbers for sure. King Mrgl Mrgl could be there too?
Rexxar could lead an army composed of other Mok’nathal and Ogres. All sturdy race.
Chen, potentially with Li Li, Ji and Aysa and Taran Zhu, could lead a Pandaren faction. They could build villages on the map that recruit Shado-Pan units on their own or so and you have to make them feel peaceful, which increases the harmony rating, which gives you bonuses and increase the rate of Shado-Pan.
An alternative faction of Rexxar, Rokhan, Chen and Li Li as an adventuring party (maybe with a few more additions).
Kirin Tor, led by Antonidas, could employ mages via their moving citadel Dalaran and choose to empower one or few mages as the Tirisfal Council empowered the Guardian.
Dragon Flights could be led by Alexstrazsa, where they build shrines and recruit powerful units.
Ethereals could be a separate race but who would lead them?
Some Nathrezim or otherwise Legion forces could also appear as “heroes” fighting together against the forces of the void. You can read more about my take on that here.
What do you think? Which ones do you like the most? Any commanders you’d like to be expanded or added?