Warcraft rather console gamers are not too familiar, although they have certainly heard of it ... But despite this, I decided to introduce you to the most popular series of games on PC. I invite you to read!
Warcraft: Orcs & Humans
Who does not know this story? A small group of American developers, working in an unknown company Blizzard decided to create a game in the realities of Warhammer. The production was in full swing, the title was supposed to be a representative of the then fresh RTS genre, but there appeared a small obstacle. Games Workshop, the owners of the rights to Warhammer, weren't sure about the quality of the emerging game and decided not to give its creators the rights to create a game in their universe. How big mistake it was they found out many years later, when Warcraft brand was hailed as the most profitable in the history of the industry. The creators did not break down after this obstacle and decided that they will call their title Warcraft, and it will take place in their own universe. This is how the game Warcraft: Orcs & Humans was released in America on November 23, 1994. The title received very high ratings (around 90%) and crowds rushed to it right away (final sales are 2 million, which at the time was a difficult result to achieve). The plot told the story of a continent called Azeroth, which was attacked by green creatures coming from another dimension called orcs. The player could choose between 2 sides of the conflict (alliance and horde), which differed only in models, and fight against artificial intelligence or another player. The phenomenon that the game turned out to be surprised everyone, from the unfortunate Games Workshop to Blizzard, which took to work on the sequel.
Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness
Blizzard didn't rest on their laurels and got to work on the sequel as soon as possible, which resulted in the release of a game called Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness on December 4, 1995. The storyline returned to the conflict between the horde (which in addition to orcs had Ogres, Goblins and Dragons in their ranks) and the Alliance (humans along with Elves and Dwarves). This time, Blizz decided to focus even more on the storyline and talked about the divisions resulting from the mix of races in the garrisons. In addition to the engaging storyline, the strength of the game was the brilliant multiplayer (over the network, which was still a novelty at the time), which became the strength of the series. Ratings oscillated around 95%, and the game sold 4 million copies. On April 30, 1996 Warcraft 2 received an addition (such a very, very large DLC) called Beyond the Dark Portal. The biggest novelty was the appearance of heroes, stronger units that were given their own lines of dialogue and names. This is where characters as canonical to the series as Deathwing appeared. The plot was about the final blow to the horde, which was to be the assault on Draenor (orc dimension). The supplement was received very warmly, with ratings in the 90%-100% range.
Finally, it's worth mentioning the omnibus edition of Warcraft 2: Battle.net Edition (1999), which included Warcraft 2 as well as the expansion pack and added support for Blizzard's Battle.net platform for multiplayer quality and functionality to both games.
Interesting fact: In 1997 Warcraft 2 and the expansion pack were released on Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn.
Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans
Apart from the strategy, at the same time Blizzard was creating a spin-off of the series. The game was supposed to be an adventure title, focusing on the story of Thrall, an orc raised by humans. Unfortunately, the project was suspended in 1996 and the story from the game, after several modifications was published as a book Warcraft: Lord of the Clans.
Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos
For the next part of the great Blizzard series we had to wait a very long time, because as many as 6 years from the premiere of its predecessor. Warcraft 3 had its premiere on July 1, 2002 and, of course, was received very warmly. The average rating was 93%, and the game sold 2 million copies (according to vgchartz, which doesn't count digital copies sold, which are probably the same number). The title continued the path taken by its predecessor and put even more emphasis on RPG elements. In addition to the introduction of two new races, which gave the number of 4 completely different and preferring completely different techniques (Covenant, Horde, Night Elves and Undead), the title introduced such revelations as experience gained by the heroes, equipment, new types of missions (defend the position for a specified period of time, perform certain conditions to win), and side missions that were not required, but allowed you to gain interesting bonuses. The phenomenon of the game was a perfect combination of the two most important factors in games and so on the one hand we had a brilliant storyline, and on the other hand perfect multiplayer, which was refined in every detail and all 4 races perfectly balanced. There's a reason why W3 became the official competition of the most important e-sports events. The game's story focused on the upcoming demon invasion of Azeroth, a seemingly trite topic, but thanks to the way Blizz stuffed the game with side plots from each side of the conflict, the story wasn't boring at all.
A year later, an expansion pack was released called The Frozen Throne. The main changes it introduced were the ability to hire heroes in Inns, new units for each race and a completely new story. This time we could see how the invasion-ravaged Azeroth is coping after the war, and the plot revolved around two fallen half-demon heroes - Ilidan and undead Arthas. The mass of storylines again made getting to know the story from several different perspectives not boring at all and the whole thing was perfectly closed with the duel on the frozen continent of Northland. Addition was received very warmly giving it an average rating of 90%.
World of Warcraft
However, the history of the series does not end with the brilliant trilogy, because already during the creation of the W3 add-on, Blizzard was working on a completely new project, which was an MMORPG set in Azeroth. This is how the world got to know World of Warcraft on November 23, 2004. The title instantly became a hit, gained immense popularity and earned itself a lot of millions. What was the phenomenon about? It is believed to be the extraordinary universe created by Blizzard. The player had the opportunity to choose a representative of one of 8 races (Orcs, Tauren, Trolls and Undead in the Horde, and Humans, Night Elves, Dwarves and Gnomes in the Alliance) becoming a part of this world and getting to know it from the level of an ordinary infantryman, not the epic battles known from the strategy. The game has sold a massive 12 million copies, and the number of active (regularly paying) players currently stands at 7.8 million. The problem with MMOs is that you don't put them down once you've played them, which is why Blizzard continues to develop the universe.
The first addition to the game was called World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade and was released on January 15, 2007. The most important new features were the addition of two brand new races (Blood Elves for the Horde, and Draenei for the Alliance), an increase in the experience limit to level 70, and a brand new land to explore, which was Outland, and a new story focusing on the return of the Burning Legion.
Almost two years later (November 13, 2008), the world of Warcraft expanded with another expansion. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King this time focused on the character of the Lord of the Undead, the Lich King. The addition expanded the game world, the frigid continent of Northland, a new class of Death Knight, which was unlocked after reaching level 55, and the limit was raised to 80. The more important change was also the introduction of a completely new tasks, which focused on an interesting story, instead of the boring killing of creatures.
After defeating the Fox King in Azeroth there was supposed to be peace at last, but utopia lasted only for a while... World of Warcraft: Cataclysm focused on the awakening of the Black Dragon Deathwing, which shook all of Azeroth. Literally, the add-on carried with it a complete overhaul of most locations from the base game, bringing them up to add-on standards (new quests, pvp focus). In addition to the destroyed world, Cataclysm brought a brand new storyline in which we fought the Black Dragon, the maximum experience level was increased to 85, and two new races were added - the Worgens on the Covenant side and the Goblins on the Horde side.
After defeating yet another threat, Blizzard didn't let the inhabitants of their world get bored and gave them another expansion on September 25, 2012. World of Warcraft: Mist of Pandaria told the story of the arrival of a brand new continent in the game world, which was Chinese-inspired Pandaria, and its inhabitants - the Pandaren. The Pandaren became the first race that did not have a predetermined affiliation to one of the sides of the conflict and the player could choose the affiliation himself. In addition, a new class appeared in the game (Monk - melee), the limit of experience increased to 90 levels, and the Pet Battle System appeared - the ability to fight previously collected only for decoration pet, along with their leveling. Addition is considered the most controversial among players, because Pandareni, as well as the whole Pandaria appeared in Warcraft 3 only in the form of Easter-Egg.
Despite the dwindling number of active players, Blizzard has no plans to kill its greatest creation. That year it announced another expansion called World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor. This time, players are to go on a journey through time, to Draenor, the homeland of orcs, before this world was destroyed and turned into Outland. We'll meet in it a lot of important characters for the universe, the player will get to manage his own fortress, and the experience level will increase to a mythical 100. The release of the supplement is scheduled for autumn 2014.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
The latest production in the universe, so far, is Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. The title is based on World of Warcraft TCG and is a transfer of the idea of a card game in the Warcraft universe to computers. It's a f2p game focusing on duels between players. Hearthstone features the series' signature characters, and heroes, in the form of playing cards. The title premiered on March 11, 2014, but those willing to play could get acquainted with it earlier, during open beta tests.