Archive for February, 2013

Warcraft 3 is a real time strategy game. The interface is pretty simple, the player just needs to use the mouse to control the actions of their units and select their buildings. When it comes to selecting an individual unit, the player clicks on it with a single left click on the mouse and then right clicks the mouse to move them or make them go to mine something like a tree or to enter the gold mine that is shown in the image above. The player can also make their units build structures by clicking on the little chest icon in the bottom right and choose the building that they want the unit to build, then they have to place the stencil of the structure onto the map and place it near their base and left click so that the unit will go and start to build the structure.

When it comes to using the structures, the player left clicks on the structure that they need to use. Each structure has a use, there is a structure for research that allows the units created in the barracks and specialist structures to be upgraded so that they are harder to kill and stronger so they can beat enemy units easier. The player can click on the mini map to fast travel the camera to that location, most of the map is blacked out with the “fog of war” but if it is revealed then the player is capable of seeing what is happening in that location.

When the player clicks on a unit, the unit responds with a short phrase that indicates that the player has clicked on the correct unit, and the character image shows up in the character image place on the HUD.

HUD

The HUD for Warcraft 3 is almost the same as that within League of Legends. There is a small screen section across the bottom of the screen that offers the mini map, the character picture and stats and a health and mana bar if the character is a special character.

The main things that set the Warcraft 3 HUD apart is that instead of having abilities as options within the HUD for the character, they will have one skill and several command actions that can be chosen for them. The skill can be clicked on to activate it and the command actions can be chosen to set characters to do something in a certain place. If the character is a builder unit, then they can be selected to bring up the option to go into the building options. Once the option for the building list has been clicked, the player can then look at the building list on the HUD and click on the building that they want to build, this will give the template that the builder will then go too once it has been placed and begin to build the building.

In the top right of the screen, there is a little window, this has three little icons in it, two of these show how much of a certain resource the player has, the third will show their bases population limit and current occupation size within that limit. In the top left corner will be a button that says “Options” this can be clicked on so that the game pauses and the options tab opens up, allowing the player to change the game and audio settings, save the game or close the game completely.

Each special character within the game will also have the inventory on them so that they can carry up to 6 items that offer them different buffs, kind of like the system that is in place within the game League of Legends. As can be seen in the image above, each unit has its own health bar. There are several icons next to the map as well, these are command actions that can be used on either the mini map or on the location where the player is at the time, alerting their allies to a position, letting them move their units and generally being able to issue other commands on the mini map.

The player interacts with the game through the use of point and click, placing the cursor in the area that they want the character to move too and then right clicking the mouse to make the character move to that location or attacking a minion or enemy champion. They can also use the mouse cursor on the mini map by moving the mouse over the map and right clicking on it to send their character long distances without having to click their button all the time.

When it comes to combat, the player can use pre-assigned keyboard shortcuts to use their characters abilities and items for boosts and additional attacks and they can use the left and right mouse buttons to use these abilities and attacks on enemy characters. When it comes to tracking the character, the camera can be fixed so that it instantly follows the character, or if the player prefers, they can have the camera changed so that they control it themselves, giving them the chance to look ahead in a lane for danger before locking the cam again to their character.

HUD:

The HUD is positioned around the edges of the screen, with the exception of the player names which are hovering above the player’s character. The display across the bottom of the screen shows the character information.

On the left is an image of the character along with their current statistics, next to that is a little box area that is broken down into six individual boxes, each one holding an item that the player has purchased for their character. When the player hovers over an item, a box will appear that shows the item buffs that are given to the character for having that item in their inventory.

Moving onto the middle of the display there is a green bar and a blue bar. The green bar is the characters life and the blue bar is the characters mana, as they use mana or take damage their bars will be depleted, once their bars are empty, they are either depleted completely of mana or they have died because their life has been depleted. Above the health bar are a set of images with cool down timers on them. Each of these images is an ability that the player can use to have their character deal bonus damage or heal themselves or their allies depending on the type of ability that it is. Whenever an ability is used there will be a small cool down time before they can use the ability again. To the right of the bars and abilities are four little boxes that are leads the player to the settings and other things that they can view, like the stats board within the game that shows the characters with their items, kills and deaths and the gold they have gained in the game. Then in the bottom right corner there is the mini map, this is used by the players so that they can see where their team mates are and whether they need help. On top of the mini map are a red and yellow button, these are called ping buttons. The player can use these buttons to alert their team mates as to whether they need help or whether they need to be careful of a certain area because there could be a high concentration of enemies there. In the top right corner is a little marker area that shows how long the game has been going on for along with the kills, deaths and assists that the player has accumulated along with the number of minions that they have killed. Underneath the timer and counters there is an FPS indicator, this shows the frames per second along with the strength of the lag that is taking place within the game. The higher the ping and the lower the frame rate, the slower the game reactions and the worse the player experience.

On the left hand side of the screen there are images in boxes. These are the indicators that your team mates are alive along with how much health and mana they have, if they are dead then their image will be blacked out and a timer will be shown to indicate how long they will be out of the game for. The player can click on one of their team mate’s images to bring up a window that shows their items, stats and their life and mana bars. If the player hovers the ping buttons over an image and then clicks, they can tell the team whether to help the player or tell the player to fall back from their current position in response to a looming threat.

Basic Colours: The basic colours on the colour chart are Blue, Red and Yellow. By mixing these colours together in various quantities, you can create secondary colours.

Secondary Colours: The secondary colours are created by mixing the Primary Colours together, as can be seen in the image above, Red and Blue mixed together make Magenta, Red and Yellow make Orange, Blue and Yellow make Green. These are the secondary colours.

Tertiary Colours: The Tertiary Colours are the colours that are made by mixing a secondary and a primary colour together in varying quantities. Some examples are shown in the image below.

Colours and their meanings:

Colours can be associated with several things, examples are listed below.

Red:

Red can be used to symbolize danger if it is on a sign, it can be shown to be a high priority action or task on a check list, in emotions Red is often associated with anger and aggression. An example of the emotion used can be seen in this video from the comedy series Friends, with Ross Geller trying to convince people that he can lose his temper by going “Red Ross”

By going “Red Ross” Ross is able to use his anger to play Rugby a lot better. However, anger is usually represented in Red as a negative emotion.

Blue:

Blue is a neutral colour, often associated with calm, the sea and the sky. Signs often use blue, as can be seen in the examples below

As can be seen, blue is used in a neutral way in these shop signs. It stands out so that people notice them and then shows them where they can go, without using an aggressive colour like Red.

Yellow:

Yellow is used within signs to offer a warning, such as with the Danger sign that is often seen in work places, along with other signs that offer some kind of warning. Because of the brightness of Yellow, these signs stand out and people take notice of them. These signs are often found in places where there is a high risk of injury, such as construction sites.

Born to a Dragon Kin and a Human, Steven is human in appearance like the rest of his kin, and he can take dragon form at will like the rest of his kin, but unlike them, he stands apart, unbound by their laws because he is a hybrid.

Trained in the ways of his ancestors, he has mastered his powers and learnt to read the energy of portals, granting him the ability to travel between Dunkora and the Human World. He cares little for the world of Dunkora, instead preferring to travel the Human World, learning about its histories and cultures. He has created a home there for himself, taking his time, working and travelling and learning. He earned his clan tattoos at the age of 18 like all the others of his kin, yet he covers them up when possible, in case he meets someone from the world of Dunkora and they see him for what he is.

The Dragon Kin are extremely proud, fancying themselves above the other races, this attitude disgusted Steven and when the Dragon Kin entered an alliance with the Dark Elves under the persuasion of the Dark Lady, he left, vowing that one day he would return and bring down the clan if they did not separate from the Dark Elves and preserve their people from the death and destruction that was assuredly going to come and consume them.

After living in the human world for so long, he decided to stop hiding his tattoos, recent shifts within the Human World brought a new awe for ink and he gained a group of followers in his area because of the high detailed tattoos he had on his left arm, opting to wear vest tops so that he could show off his muscles and ink. This was because of the Dragon Kin side of him, worshippers were common place in Dunkora and now it was no different for him in the Human World. Sometimes he would wonder what his people were doing, but he would dismiss the urge to travel to them.

One day, he was walking down the street, just minding his own business when a man younger than him bumped into his side. The man apologized profusely but Steven had a short temper and took a swing at the stranger to teach him a lesson for bumping into him. He was caught off guard when the stranger caught his fist and flipped him over onto his back. The man then introduced himself as Hunter Phoenix, a hybrid like himself. Hunter talked Steven into going for a drink with him and there Hunter laid down his plan to put a stop to the Dark Elves foolish notions of invasion, the end of the Dark Lady and the freedom of the Dragon Kin from their alliance with the Dark Forces. Steven saw this as a sign from the Dragon Gods that his time had come to return to Dunkora, to either free or end his people. Agreeing to side with Hunter, he travelled with the High Elf Hybrid and an Elemental Hybrid called Annie, as well as a human known as Sam Elite and Hunters High Elf sister Katrina, hunting and killing Dark Elves and any other forces that stood in their way.

Sam Elite is a human that stumbled through a portal one day when he was a teenager. The portal promptly closed and left him stranded in the strange new world to fend for himself or die. He wandered for a long time, looking for any hint of civilization. Wandering to the Outlands, he soon came into a human settlement there, met with suspicion and hostility; he was thrown into one of the human prisons and made to fight in a gladiator style arena. After winning several fights, Sam eventually won himself a place within the human society, albeit he was forced into the small fighting force that was set up there.

One day he was out with a scouting party and he came across a Dark Elf detachment that seemed to be heading towards his new home. Following them from a distance, he soon found himself alone, separated from his party. He didn’t care though as he preferred to work alone, it meant that he wasn’t slowed down by people trying to tell him what to do. Following the Dark Elves close to his home, he was ready to strike out and defend when all of a sudden, two people came out of nowhere and charged the Dark Elf ranks, taking them by surprise and killing several before they could gather their wits to counter attack. Sam watched from his hiding place, observing the stranger wearing strange robes and his young female assistant, who also wore strange robes that were different to the males.

They ran into trouble, the ranks of Dark Elves recovering swiftly and managing to surround the Human looking male and the obviously Elemental female. Sam pondered leaving them to their fate; he had heard tales of what the Dark Elves did to those that they captured, torturing them for information before either killing them or forcing them into slavery. He almost walked away to leave them to the whims of the Dark Elves, but something told him not too, that the male and female could help him and in turn he help them. Waiting for the correct moment to strike, he hefted his double pointed spear and waited for the optimum time to strike.

When the Dark Elves turned their backs on his position, he snuck up, silent as a shadow to the nearest Elf and with a swift swing of his spear, decapitated the being of Darkness. He launched into an assault on the nearest Elves, causing confusion to break out amongst the ranks, they then rallied to engage him, giving the captors the chance to break free and attack from their position.

Many wounds were acquired from the fight, but eventually the trio stood near a mound of Dark Elf corpses, breathing heavily and bleeding from numerous lacerations. Sam nodded silently to the duo and made to leave, but the man placed a hand on his shoulder and told him that he was looking for people with his skill set, that they could help one another. This is how Sam Elite fell into the company of Hunter Phoenix.

The High Elf sister of Hunter Phoenix, she is a pureblood High Elf, thus unable to travel the worlds like her brother. It is not known why she was born a pureblood High Elf but she takes it in her stride, living within the High Elf Citadel within Thankora.

As a child, she studied with Hunter, learning the High Elf histories and ways of fighting and how to control her High Elf magic so that she could become a healer within the High Elf community. Being two years older than her brother, she feels that she should be travelling with Hunter, helping him and healing whoever needs help while on their travels, but because she has been forbidden from ever travelling to the strange and alien like Human World, she stays in Thankora, looking after her people.

One time when Hunter was sent on a small mission as part of his training, Katrina tried to follow him, to spy and possibly help him if it was required. All that happened was that she interfered and caused much harm, almost killing Hunter in the process. She was then prohibited from training with him as she was prone to not thinking things through when her brother was sent off on assignments and training missions. She resented the attention that was lavished on her brother, but she learnt to look past that and eventually was able to take it in her stride, instead focusing on her own life and what she wanted to get out of it. Learning the ways of a healer, she soon became proficient and was hired by one of the local healing corps, where she learnt extensive healing magic.

When her brother disappeared into the Human World for a number of years, Katrina wondered and then began to worry that something had happened to her brother; that he was never going to return. Yet one day he did, bringing dark news of the Dark Elf incursions into the Light Lands. No one knew how he had come by this information, only that it was true when his mind was read for traces of a lie. She feared that it could be the end of the Light Lands if the High Elves did not take up arms against their cousins once again. Hunter called for war, but the High Elf Council declined, so Hunter then called for volunteers. Katrina instantly took him up on the offer, leaping to his side and offering her healing powers to his cause. She could also act as a scout, learning of Dark Elf movements and reporting back to Hunter when he returned from the missions that he had in mind. Also being an able fighter, Katrina would be able to take to the battlefield with him and his team if the need arose, using her medical knowledge to the best effect, healing the people around her while dealing harm to their enemies.

Annie was born to an elemental and a human. Her elemental mother met her human father when he was swept through a portal in the human world and wound up wandering half dead into the Elemental settlement in the Flash Plains, realm of the elemental race. Nursing him back to health, her mother fell in love and shortly after Annie came into the world, one of the newly fabled Hybrids, able to see the portals and traverse the web ways between worlds.

It took her a long time to learn her powers and how to travel between realms. Her mother taught her how to control her elemental powers, granting her the power to control the weather. Her father taught her about the human world and its history. Sometimes Annie would wander to a portal when one formed nearby, but being unable to read them, she would walk through and find herself in a place that she didn’t know, ducking back through before the portal closed, Annie gleaned that she would not like the human world, opting to stay in the Flash Plains on Dunkora instead.

It wasn’t until she was older that she had mastered her powers and was able to read the portals, she would sit for hours looking at a portal when one formed near her and she would focus on it, learning the portals energy and tapping into it, thus giving her a reading technique where she could use the energy of the portal to see where it would lead her. She still didn’t venture through them though to explore the human world.

One day a portal opened nearby and she sat down in her usual place so that she could study it. Then she got the shock of her life when a person stepped through it calm as anything. She was scared so she ran back to her parents and reported the crossing. Weapons were instantly drawn, elementals fearing that it was the start of an invasion from the human’s world. However, the man that had stepped through the portal soon showed up in the city, identifying himself as a High Elf hybrid that wanted to discuss the possibility of a treaty between the High Elves and the Elementals.

Being taken to the Elemental Presidents chamber, he was granted an audience and an alliance was soon struck up, one of the terms being that the High Elf would take with him the Elemental hybrid to become a member of the team he was putting together to stop the recent Dark Elf incursions into the Light Lands. This is how Annie came into contact with the strange but powerful man known as Hunter Phoenix. She was taken from her home and taught more things than she knew existed. She also travelled to the human world and settled there for the first time, living with her new teacher. Now she traverses the worlds with her mentor, keeping the peace and trying to end a war that could lead both worlds into darkness.