HAA - OOH!
The Captain does his shout, and the Spartans ready for an inspired charge. Leonidas confirms this, and all "300" march forward, pushing and forging a path through all the Persians. Orders are yelled out, and every Spartan rush forward towards the Persian camps for a night time raid. It was one of the few times they could break through without threat of a deadly counter attack, and Leonidas grasped the chance and took it.
. . .
The host, Red, sends out a "gj" to everyone, and the 16 other players either reply back or nod behind their screens. It was a good tactic that went successfully thanks to the leadership of Red, granting the entire team about 1500 gold to each person, enough to upgrade any of their 5 main gears twice. The such is one of many tactics that is used in Mustang's 300 Resurrected map.
This custom map boasts three main things that you would want to see in a WC3 map, and is currently - and has been - a map I've been replaying over and over again. The community behind this map, located in the discord linked in the main thread, is also at a healthy size and is very active. If anything, I would say that 300 Resurrected is quite literally one of the few maps keeping the custom maps alive, alongside Helms Deep, Survival Chaos, and a few others.
Players, Roles, & Blessings
Mustang's 300 has three main roles, each with its own strengths and few weaknesses. Surprisingly, the two solo roles are not fought over. Rather, it is reserved for natural leaders in WC3. This is where the community shines, with several volunteering as Leonidas or as the Captain, and with the rest following without much question.
Leonidas' role is to lead the 16 other Spartans. He does not have anything unique to help him in that regard, such as bigger text or a tower to "command" all Spartans. Instead, it is through his natural charisma and skill through the player that he succeeds in leading everyone else. Whoever is Leonidas is entrusted to know how to play the game, have a few strategies in their head of how to do what and when, and, of course, lead in general, through pinging, pausing the game and explaining, and so on. Red, obviously, is supposed to be played by a very experienced player, as if he dies, all is lost.
Leonidas' only special ability is a chain heal, replacing a regular Spartan's Q, which is holy light. This is very important, as certain blessings enhances both Leonidas' and the Captain's abilities in a strong way. Aside from that, Leonidas' kit is the same, which is a good metaphor for him being like any other Spartan after taking his leadership role and his chain healing away.
Blue: The Captain / Artemis
The Captain, or Artemis', role is mostly support. Whenever Red is not available, whether that be through shopping or because they were split up in a failed execution of a strategy, players naturally look up to the next highest-in-command to see what to do. Blue is meant to be played by an experienced player, as every death of the captain means that the enemies become stronger.
The Captain's abilities are the most unique out of all the Spartans, a metaphor in which the captain is there, not to be the main fighter or fighter, but to be the secondary leader, and the support for the team. His Q is an inspire, giving every ally a HP regeneration and damage, while his E is "Shields Up," empowering allies armor and mana regeneration, perhaps the most important ability from the entirety of the team's kits, solely for the mana to heal others.
The 300 (15 Spartans)
Everyone else is a soldier, a needed cog in the machine in order to achieve victory in 300. Unlike Red and Blue, they are meant to follow and kill. Relying on mostly combat abilities, they are nothing alone. Each Spartan is expected to heal one another and coordinate their spears according to the current tactics involved.
Currently, there are over 30 unique blessings, each with its own playstyle and benefit to either the team or to the player. Blessings varies, from Achilles, which is throwing a very powerful spear when compared to a normal spear throw, from a 4 second CD to a regular spear's 8 CD, or to Zagreus blessing, which is 1000 bonus HP every level, up to 50000 at LVL 50. The three main roles can be summed up to Tank, Support, and Damage.
Strategies, Tactics, and Hell+
The map has several dozen different strategies and tactics, each depending on their own difficulty. The map is intended to played on hard mode, while Hell+ is meant to be more grindy and to make the players lose.
Generally, the main strategy in Hard, Normal, or Easy is generally easy. Hold in a line, ensure that the line is solid as a Greek Phalanx should be, then to push out. During daytime, Spartans should be out, while in nighttime Spartans should be near the camp fire, both for their respective bonuses regarding extra XP and Gold gained. Rinse, repeat, and get geared out in the meantime. After a certain amount of time, the general strategy is to push out and rush towards the towers, such as the scene at the start of this review. Afterwards comes variation in what you do. One leader wants to stand out in a circle for the full daytime bonus, while another has the strategy of staying at the Hot Gates, near the shops and tents.
Nearly everything changes, however, when the difficulty is meant to kill you. In Hell+, every soldier must be a veteran, their mindset akin to disciplined soldiers who can't be distracted, else a friend dies. Three seconds of looking away can mean a missed heal on a dying Spartan, or a spear that would have killed a beast that had trapped another Spartan. The strategies and tactics are ever changing around the Hell+ bosses, and would make this review far too long if I were to explain them all in detail.
Save / Load, Achievement Runs, & Prestige
The replayability of this map is amazing, especially so with the now fixed save/load in version 1.8. Kills, heals, and spears are now counted, and for every 1000, 3000, 6000, and so on gives benefits respectively. Finally winning a game of Hell+ is ever so rewarding with a skin that is special yet not so distracting to new players, and the achievements are meant only for the best of the best. The current 2 achievements required several games to determine which strategies worked, and players in the community pooled together to see how they could achieve such a feat, one of which was beating the game in 90 minutes or less on Hell+. One of the few things was a google charts to show how fast certain strategies worked, as if it was a speed run for a Zelda or any other A-tier game. Lastly comes the prestige, both in the reward and the respect it gives from the community, of the work that comes from grinding hours of Hell+ or Hard games and practicing the skills and blessings in Mustang's 300 Resurrected.