I'm sure most of you are familiar with the concept of drafting, the pre-match ritual in which players negotiate the characters that will be in-play during a match. Typical drafting phases consist of an alternating sequence of picks and bans. I've listed the drafting sequence for several commercial games below. There's some variation, but they're all pretty similar:
Advent of the Zenith is comfortably one of the best-known AoS maps in Warcraft III. It stands out in many ways as a memorable experience, partly due to innovative hero design, and partly due to its immersive theme and custom graphics.
The game is played 6v6, and depicts the final battle between two old rivals: the Hallowed Order and The Bane of Eternity.
In light of last week's interview, I've decided to take a slight detour from our usual menu to review a concept AoS called Elemental Wars.
This was never made into a playable map, but is unique in several ways that I feel are worth discussing. The concept was originally posted here on wc3c.net, but I'll run through the main points below anyway.
MountainStruggle is one of those old maps where relatively simple scripting plus creative thinking produced some interesting results. The game is 5v5, and is themed around two opposing nations which are separated by a giant mountain. The lanes defy usual conventions by weaving their way over and under the mountain's ridge, resulting in a rather unique layout.
Arise, arise! Fighters of Terpentin! Lane-pushing games are best known as 5v5 matchups, but over the years there have been plenty of maps trying out different configurations.
Terpentin is one of the better-executed 3v3v3 maps: consisting of three AI teams, with 3 player-controlled heroes on each. While nothing special in terms of graphics or hero design, its offers a large variety of map objectives, which are tricky to prioritise.
In this article, I'd like to introduce a broad classification of gameplay elements which I find useful when describing a lane-pushing game.
As players progress through a match, they have the option of outfitting their hero with various long-term bonuses. I collectively refer to these bonuses as equipment. Each type of equipment has a maximum number of slots, and a variety of things which can be equipped to these slots.
Battle Tanks (N-a-z-g-u-l, aka Bob666, 2005) is a very interesting specimen of lane-pushing game. It's quite distinct from most AoS maps, and has enjoyed a large following for many years. The game is still being updated by Exodus and the Btanks team, and the most recent update was Feb 2014.
With the release of the Warcraft III expansion pack "The Frozen Throne" and its improved map editor, many budding developers began releasing their own versions of Eul's popular Defense of the Ancients. Eul too was working on a official sequel, under the name Thirst for Gamma (Eul and Song, 2004).