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First Orc Book of Arkain (Patch 1.29.2 or newer!)

This bundle is marked as director's cut. It exceeds all expectations and excels in every regard.
arkain_2020_x200-png.369838

! No longer updated !
Check out the
True Story of Arkain for updates!


full


A Campaign Series made by Shar Dundred

! Requires Version 1.29.2 or newer !
You are not allowed to publish any edited version of any Arkain map! This includes but is not limited to Reforged edits!

Story

The Orc Clans were crippled by the other races when they tried to conquer the continent long ago. Now the remaining clans fight both each other as well as the other races. They control only small areas and everytime they manage to conquer more, either the Imperial Army or Demon Legions come to take it away from them.
But now, a new generation of proud Orcs prepares to continue where their ancestors failed and take the land their people need.
Take control of Rangul, high ranking member of the Deathbreeze Clan, and his clan to unite the Orcs under one banner and fight everyone who stands between the Orcs and their wish to take the Kingdoms for themselves.


Campaign Series Info

The Legends of Arkain is a campaign series which takes place on the world Arkain.
The races of Arkain fight against the demon invaders, who try once again to enslave every being on Arkain. The Humans, the Orcs and the Undead will have to make a stand against them... or face complete annihilation or enslavement by the Demons.
This campaign series will consist of actually three different series. There will be a Human, an Orc and an Undead campaign series. They will all run in the same timeline but will present three different stories and outcomes. When they are all finished, it's completely up to you, who wins this conflict.
Those, who win the war, will write the history.

You like the campaign?
Click here to see the progress of the series!

Click here for the First Human Book!

Click here for the First Undead Book!

Click here for the Second Human Book!
Click here for the Second Orc Book!
Click here for the Second Undead Book!

Let's Play made by @Jayborino!

Features

- Three different storylines/campaign series
Take control of one of the three factions, the proud Humans of the Empire, the plundering and strong Orc Clans or the mysterious Undead Nexus and their endless army of the dead, and face the demonic invasion as well as other struggles that await you.
- New units
Command units, you already know, as well as completely new units with new upgrades and abilities.
- Decide the fate of Arkain
At some points of the campaigns, you'll have the opportunity to decide things, that affect the storyline, characters and sometimes even the chapters you play or how you have to play them. By doing or, well, not doing certain side quests, you can also affect the campaign.
- Three difficulties
You can play the campaign in either easy, normal oder hard difficulty, just like in the original WC3 campaigns. It will impact on the AI difficulty and scripting as well as other minor changes.
In easy version, for example, the AI won't rebuilt lost buildings.

- Full Jass AI
In this campaign series, every single AI is written in Jass instead of being created with the AI editor. This makes the AI more intelligent.
- Universal Hero hotkeys
All hero abilities use the QWER hotkeys.

Factions

The Human Empire
There have always been Humans on Arkain. The Human kingdoms and their allies, the Elves and Dwarves, have fought the Demons for centuries while also being attacked by orc pillagers. They had no chance against the demons and were already close to annihilation, when the Empire showed up.
They came over the Great Sea in the west and saved the kingdoms, who immediately joined the Empire in return. The Humans still fight the Demons and more and more of them join the fight against their old suppressors.
The Humans already tried to get rid of the Demons for good, but they failed. However, they continue fighting and won't stop until there are no humans or enemies of humanity anymore.
The current Emperor is Theodor the Second.

The Orcish Clans

Legends say that the Orcs hail from another continent and then spread all over the kingdoms. But not even the oldest Orcs can tell, if that's the true or the Orcs have been here all the time, just like the other races.
But it is known that the united clans attacking absolutely everything and everyone they met and conquered a large territory. It did work for a while, but not long. The other races, especially the Demons, who were very angry about that insult, brought the fight to them and massacred half of the green skins.
The Orcs had to retreat and lost much of their territory. The only reason, why half of them are still there, is that their enemies fought among each other as well.
The Orc Clans allied with the Trolls, to increase their strengh, but still didn't manage to gather an army, that was comparable to their old numbers. Since they weren't able to begin their another huge conquest, the clans stopped working together and some old rivalries amongst the clans became important again.
Still, they managed to raid the other races and remain an annoyance for the other factions. There are still many Orcs left, which could prove to be a strong force, if they'd be united under a strong leader.

The Undead Nexus

The Undead are the most mysterious race of Arkain. Of course, necromancers and necrolytes are not unknown and have always summoned some undead servants to do their bidding, but the Undead as a complete race are a mystery to all creatures.
Once, a group of mighty necromancers, who became insane because of their immense power, believed they could rule the world with an army of the Living Dead. However, only days after they began attacking the Human kingdoms, they simply vanished. Their armies were gone and only the remains of the corpses were proof, that they ever existed.
What no mortal and no Demon knows, is, that a powerful Archlich, Aridon the Watcher, self-proclaimed guardian of Arkain, took care of them. He has the ability to take control of every Undead, he wants to control. He uses this power only, to make sure, that besides him is no one, who can form a real army of Undead. He always made the Undead kill their masters and reanimated them as his loyal servants.
The only mighty Undead, not currently living on the Dead Mountain, are guarding old temples and ruins, which contain artifacts, not meant to fall in the hands of neither mortals nor Demons. Still, they all call Aridon their master.
Aridon and his Undead live on the so called Dead Mountain, which lies within the Human kingdoms. Every sent expedition on this mountain never returned, so the Humans decided to simply ignore it and built a garrison to watch over the only entrance to the mountain.
Aridon claims to be as old as the world itself and has seen the rise and fall of races and nations. His goal is to maintain the balance of the world - or at least, what he sees as balance. He stayed out of every conflict and only watched for millenia.
But recent events force Aridon to end his idleness and take action himself instead of only manipulating others. He'll have to make the world know about the Undead - and give reason to fear them.

The Demon Legions

If there are any creatures besides the Undead Lord Aridon, who are as old as Arkain itself, than it must be the Demons. These creatures have been the bane of Arkain for a long, long time. If their history contains anything else than attacking and enslaving other races, than only the Demons know about it.
Every Demon Legion is lead by its most powerful Dreadlord. Who is the one, who commands all Legions, is unknown to every non-demon.
The Demons' realm lies in the East of the continent and is seperated by a bottomless rift, the so called Void. No one, except for Demons and their slaves, has ever been on the other side of the Void. The Void is so heavy fortified by the Demons, that they managed to block every attack there. The Void is also the place where the Imperial Army was defeated during their Great Attack.
Now, the Demons seem to begin another great offensive against the other races. And this time, they are determined to be victorious and won't show any mercy.



Characters

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Rangul
Rangul grew up as a usual member of the Deathbreeze Clan. His abilities and dedication to his race along with his strength made him rise up the ranks quite fast. He now serves as the first and most trusted Lieutenant of the chieftain. He plans to form the Orcs from simple pillagers to a proud and strong army which would be strong enough to conquer the lands of the Humans. He's intelligent and always thinks before he acts since he knows that any mistake could ruin his plan.
171388-albums8729-picture106276.jpg
Rath Wolfscar
Rath Wolfscar is the leader of the Raiders from the Darkmind Clan. He lead some pillages against the Humans himself and earned much respect in his clan. However, one day his clan made a huge mistake and was destroyed by the Imperial armies. They killed many warriors - and also women and children since they wanted to destroy the clan completely. Rath's hatred for the Imperials knows no bounds and he'll take every opportunity to take revenge.
171388-albums8729-picture106277.jpg
Zairmak
Zairmak is one of the most powerful warlocks of the Orcs. No one knows how old he really is, but it's most likely that he's the oldest Orc who is still alive and knows secrets of the old times, he doesn't share with anyone. He gained control over the Ravaging Fire Clan years ago although only half of his clan supports him. He is feared among all clans and many respect him both for his age and his power. Underestimating him because of his age has proven to be a huge mistake in the past.
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Vanessa
Vanessa grew up as the daughter of a lesser noble in the Human Kingdoms. When she was five years old, the mansion of her father was raided by the Deathbreeze Clan. Due to the absence of her father, they managed to defeat the guards and take everything they could find. Somehow, the girl wasn't terrified by the strange creatures and didn't hide. She was found by the Orcs and their leader, the young Rangul, decided to take her with him instead of killing her. She grew up among the Orcs and was even accepted as a member of the clan - at least by the chieftain and half of the clan. Many dislike her for still being a Human instead of an Orc. Still, she dedicates her life towards Rangul and the Deathbreeze Clan.
171388-albums8729-picture106279.jpg
Sasrogarn
Sasrogarn is Rangul's eldest son and a strong spellcaster - like his father. He is Rangul's left hand and one of the few Orcs who already know of his plans and support him. Sasrogarn shares the dream of his father and has sworn that he'd carry on his dream in case his father dies. But he doesn't share the patience of his father and approves of taking a more direct and aggressive approach.


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- Initial release


General:
- Minor fixes

Chapter Two:
- Added new ranged unit

Chapter Seven:
- Paladins inside the citadel no longer have Resurrection
- Made ally more useful

Chapter Eight:
- No more fights in the ending cinematic

Chapter Nine:
- Fixed AIs


Epilogue:
- Fixed Epilogue

General:
- AI heroes now gain additional levels on Hard difficulty when they are supposed to
- High level Demon units can no longer be charmed
- Demon units don't take any damage from Holy Light anymore
- Demon units now take damage from Death Coil
- Activated latest melee patch for all maps that were still not up to date
- Blen's Neccessary Meassures spell was replaced with Imperial Edict
- Nerfed Giant Skeleton Warrior by removing Resistant Skin and Hardened Skin
- Increased damage of Destructors by 3
- Changed Armor Type of Eredar Warriors, Eredar Wrathguards and Eredar Grandmasters from Medium to Large
- Several model changes
- Decreased range of Dragon Lancers from 800 to 700
- Decreased Warlord damage by 3
- Necrolytes no longer have full mana after being recruited

Chapter One:
- Removed one Footman from the mansion
- Added a few Footmen to the village
- Added a Pitlord

Chapter Two:
- Added more elven and dwarven units

Chapter Three:
- Added more enemy units to the bases

Chapter Five:
- Improved all Clans' defenses (except the players')
- Added a Goblin Merchant to the map

Chapter Six:
- All Demon units now belong to the Blooddrinker Legion
- Added Pit Lord

Chapter Seven:
- Paladins have been replaced with Knight Commanders which use Parry instead of Divine Shield
- The Knight Commanders inside the Fortress have Ressurrection again
- Empowered Theoden by giving him his Amulet of Discipline and a Necklace of Spell Immunity
- The Player starts with two additional Grunts
- Increased the gold from the player's first gold mine by 10,000

Chapter Eight:
- Players can no longer recruit Dragon Lancers
- Added new enemy AI
- Grey and Blue now fight each other actively
- Added Pitlord

Chapter Nine:
- Replaced Soul Burn of Progaderas with Mass Soul Burn
- Progaderas now has Spell Immunity
- Players can no longer recruit Dragon Lancers
- Changed some units that were spawned by destroying enemy buildings
- Added two Watch Towers for the player
- Added two big waves ordered by General Cleavehand himself
- Lerrig now retreats once his Castle is destroyed
- Added more dialogues
- Demons now all belong to Neutral Hostile and won't randomly attack
- The Main Quest and the Paladin side quest are now completed properly

Chapter Nine:
- Fixed Mass Soul Burn


General:
- Various fixes

General:
- The campaign no longer uses the latest melee patch due to several balance changes messing up things, a few unit changes still apply to the campaign however

Interlude One:
- Fixed an issue where the prologue would crash in version 1.30.1

General:
- Spirit Legionnaires no longer have the Curse ability

Chapter Seven:
- Slightly edited the ending cutscene (Vanessa will no longer fancy the idea of becoming "Empress of all mankind")

Chapter Nine:
- Added a few guards for the three main bases of the Imperials
- Removed two lines at the end of the chapter

General:
- Fixed the amount of passed years in the first two chapters to the correct value

Chapter Nine:
- Fixed the knight movement in the intro cinematic
- Players now start with Arcanite Weapons and Armor instead of Steel
- Increased food limit to 120 & upkeep from 50/80 to 80/100
- The Undead base is no longer invulnerable

General:
- Upkeep reworked: Low Upkeep now gives you 8 instead of 7 gold and High Upkeep now gives you 6 instead of 4 gold

General:
- Fixed Batrider model

Chapter Two:
- Due to some people still having issues with the Interlude: The Beginning due to bugs in some Blizzard patches, Chapter Two is now also unlocked upon finishing Chapter One

Chapter Five:
- Fixed handicap for Easy difficulty

General:
- Fixed triggers that would not be working anymore after loading in newer versions of the game
- Adjusted several Vanessa dialogues from Chapter Seven onwards

Chapter One:
- Changed player color to Emerald
- Renamed Fishbarn to Village of Fishbarn
- Renamed Salesbury to Salesbury Militia
- Renamed Guards to Mansion Guards

Interlude One:
- Changed player color to Emerald

Chapter Two:
- Changed player color to Emerald

Interlude Two:
- Changed player color to Emerald
- Changed the color of the Darkmind Clan to Navy

Chapter Three:
- Changed player color to Emerald
- Changed the color of the Darkmind Clan to Navy
- Changed the color of the Kasrkin to Dark Green
- Renamed the Imperial Rearguard to Phoenix Regiment
- Changed the color of the Phoenix Regiment to Red
- Adjusted the hero of the Phoenix Regiment accordingly

Chapter Four:
- Changed player color to Emerald

Chapter Five:
- Changed player color to Emerald
- Changed the color of the Darkmind Clan to Navy
- Increased the gold required to finish the Side Quest from 4000 to 6000

Chapter Six:
- Changed player color to Emerald
- Changed the color of the Knights of Kome to Peach
- Renamed the Imperial Army factions to Bull Regiment and Falcon Regiment

Chapter Seven:
- Changed player color to Emerald
- Changed the color of all Knights of Kome factions to Peach

Chapter Eight:
- Changed player color to Emerald
- Changed the color of the Imperial Army to Light Blue

Chapter Nine:
- Changed player color to Navy
- Changed the color of Lerrig's Soldiers to Light Blue
- Changed the color of the Deathbreeze Clan to Emerald
- Added Cleaving Attack for Selior
- Replaced Selior's Vengeance ability with Justice
- Renamed the Imperial Border Guard to Bear Regiment
- Several dialogue and trigger adjustments

Epilogue:
- Changed player color to Emerald





Models & Skins:
Blizzard Entertainment
67chrome
epsilon
Wandering Soul
infrenus
Tauer
AndrewOverload519
Mephestrial
Dojo
PrMosquito
Hawkwing
Em!
dickxunder
acagnip
Uncle Fester
Frankster
Mc !
IamMclovin
AhhFreshWeeD
Sin'dorei300
Elenai
Kuhneghetz
CloudWolf
alreadyused
Dark Hunter1357
Dmitry Rommel
Kitabatake
Shar Dundred
RazorClawX
Uljimasa Hojo
eXciTe
Sellenisko
frostwolf
-Grendel
Skipper
Deolrin
gookywooky
Callahan
BlinkBoy
Hueter
Coinblin
supertoinkz
eubz
Direfury
PROXY
Mechanical Man
DarkEvil
Infrisios


Icons:
Blizzard Entertainment
Uncle Fester
CloudWolf
xylign
SkriK
CRAZYRUSSIAN
Darkfang
GreyArchon
67chrome
Fjury
PrMosquito
INSEKT
Muoteck
dickxunder
Frankster
CloudWolf
Kuhneghetz
Elenai
Heinvers
Shar Dundred
Uljimasa Hojo
SinisterX
Darkfang
Hemske
Palaslayer
NFWar
Hellx-Magnus
Justicebringer
Sin'dorei300
sigelang
Mr.Goblin
Mythic
antihero
Sellenisko
Pins
Eagle XI


Campaign Preview Screen:
Heinvers

Campaign Logo:
Mythic

Campaign Chief Development Tester and Grammar Genius:
Kasrkin

Everything else made by:
Shar Dundred

First Supporters:
Theoden of KoMe
Chen
youness
Kasrkin
kakuzu
BandolXD
Heinvers
Imperator
Veritas 117
PlankingWolf



Please contact me via PM if I forgot to give you credit for your resource!



To Blizzard Entertainment for this great game.
To Turnro whose great campaigns inspired me to revive this old project.
To Jayborino for his enjoyable let's play projects of the Arkain series!
To all who supported this project.
And very many special thanks to Kasrkin, who supported the creation of this project in many ways!



Feel free to post your suggestions, opinions and questions!
Please report any bugs!


Here you can find the old 1.27 version of the campaign.
Keep in mind that it is no longer being maintained!

Keywords:
Arkain, Legends, Legends of Arkain, LoA, campaign, series
Contents

Legends of Arkain First Orc Book (Campaign)

Reviews
StoPCampinGn00b 21:25, 3rd Feb 2015 Map Name - Legends of Arkain First Orc Book (Version 1.00) Review Post - No Review[tr] Verdict - Approved, Not Rated

Pick your favorite character


  • Total voters
    201
Level 4
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Messages
30
I want to say that i love arkain for plot.units and etc.
Without second book of orc of course. This campaing is so unbalanced that i fill that at 3 chapter already.i not going to mention chapter 4.Humans everywere with goddamm paladin and tons of armor without posibility of healing for yourself and dont have time for fight back beacuse another grup will atack.for orcs human are complitly overpower.creator could at lest left trols
 
Level 2
Joined
Jun 6, 2020
Messages
13
Hi, I'm new to this forum and would try to play this campaign on my Warcraft TFT 1.27b. It works on it or there is any version i can get to try this?
 

Shar Dundred

Community Moderator
Level 73
Joined
May 6, 2009
Messages
5,889
Version 3.00 released!
This update is hopefully the last major update for this campaign for the time being.
It also includes some hints at some future changes in the "True Story of Arkain" which I will work on after the Second Books are all done.
More information on this can be found here.

General:
- Fixed triggers that would not be working anymore after loading in newer versions of the game
- Adjusted several Vanessa dialogues from Chapter Seven onwards

Chapter One:
- Changed player color to Emerald
- Renamed Fishbarn to Village of Fishbarn
- Renamed Salesbury to Salesbury Militia
- Renamed Guards to Mansion Guards

Interlude One:
- Changed player color to Emerald

Chapter Two:
- Changed player color to Emerald

Interlude Two:
- Changed player color to Emerald
- Changed the color of the Darkmind Clan to Navy

Chapter Three:
- Changed player color to Emerald
- Changed the color of the Darkmind Clan to Navy
- Changed the color of the Kasrkin to Dark Green
- Renamed the Imperial Rearguard to Phoenix Regiment
- Changed the color of the Phoenix Regiment to Red
- Adjusted the hero of the Phoenix Regiment accordingly

Chapter Four:
- Changed player color to Emerald

Chapter Five:
- Changed player color to Emerald
- Changed the color of the Darkmind Clan to Navy
- Increased the gold required to finish the Side Quest from 4000 to 6000

Chapter Six:
- Changed player color to Emerald
- Changed the color of the Knights of Kome to Peach
- Renamed the Imperial Army factions to Bull Regiment and Falcon Regiment

Chapter Seven:
- Changed player color to Emerald
- Changed the color of all Knights of Kome factions to Peach

Chapter Eight:
- Changed player color to Emerald
- Changed the color of the Imperial Army to Light Blue

Chapter Nine:
- Changed player color to Navy
- Changed the color of Lerrig's Soldiers to Light Blue
- Changed the color of the Deathbreeze Clan to Emerald
- Added Cleaving Attack for Selior
- Replaced Selior's Vengeance ability with Justice
- Renamed the Imperial Border Guard to Bear Regiment
- Several dialogue and trigger adjustments

Epilogue:
- Changed player color to Emerald
 
Level 1
Joined
Jun 26, 2020
Messages
4
I've finished the human campaign and now went to the first orc book, but i can't get past the chapter 2 because of a bug: I completely destroyed all of their bases, then i proceeded to the elf base, destroyed their castle and... nothing! the victory condition won't triggers. I tried to destroy also the last elf building and nothing happened, they got completely wiped out of the map and so the game continues normally. I also used the allyourbasearebelongtous cheat to achieve victory to get past this chapter but even with it i can't win because nothing happens. It doesn't matters if i try to complete the map again, from another save or a complete new beginning, i'm simply stuck. My wc3 has the 1.31.1 version. I want to play these campaigns more because i really liked them and i enjoy the knowledge that i have other 4 books to complete. Well, atleast for now i will be playing the first undead book :)
 
Last edited:
Level 1
Joined
Jun 26, 2020
Messages
4
Yes i downloaded it sunday, but to guarantee that it was the very last version i downloaded it yesterday again and placed it in my custom campaigns folder, tried with my save and it didn't triggered again. I dont know if it works with a save from other campaign patch (considering the chance of i downloading the campaign slightly before the last version was posted). Also, thank you for your epic campaigns, i was quite hungry wanting to play some good custom campaigns and then i found LoA which has 5 campaigns with complete new stories and this exotic choice system that makes things more interesting.
 
Level 1
Joined
Jun 26, 2020
Messages
4
Ty for the support, i will dl it and try again, also there's a bug in the prologue intro in both the campaign of the orcs and undeads that makes wc3 crash a little after the narrator says: "but hope returned for the then near lost kingdoms"
 
Level 4
Joined
Oct 6, 2018
Messages
44
Hello shar, after the newest update i can't see the batrider models, i am using patch 1.29.2, before the 3.0 update for the campaign i could see them but now i can't.
 
Last edited:
Level 4
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Messages
30
I want say that in orc book there somethin wrong with faction they are even in first chapter. The guard in mansion are goldaxe clan, orcs protecting ship are kasrkin, demons are bloodhand clan etc. I dont know if that issu is in other chapters and if only i have that problem.
 

deepstrasz

Map Reviewer
Level 71
Joined
Jun 4, 2009
Messages
19,259
I want say that in orc book there somethin wrong with faction they are even in first chapter. The guard in mansion are goldaxe clan, orcs protecting ship are kasrkin, demons are bloodhand clan etc. I dont know if that issu is in other chapters and if only i have that problem.
Are you running the maps through the editor?
 
Level 4
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
20
Just finished this campaign on Hard. "Siege of Kome" was very difficulty and incredibly long, but in the end it felt like an actual orc invasion, I liked it. And applause to the last mission, "Pride of the Empire", certainly the most difficult one I've seen so far in the series. Almost impossible to finish. Congratulations to Shar for creating this incredible universe. I will start the First Undead Book now.
P.S .: In both the First Orc Book and First Undead Book the cutscene "The Beginning" is crashing the game. A fix would be good.
 
Level 11
Joined
Jul 29, 2014
Messages
332
In chapter eight "Death's approach", after I destroyed a Teal Undead base, it triggered the Purple Undead forces. While I was making my way through the undead forces with those two Blademaster heroes, my "allies" were under attack. Now, we all know the "allies" are actually Rangul's base that I previously controlled. There was nothing I could do to protect them, since the heroes were isolated and were on the other side of the map. So maybe you could fix that bug by triggering the Purple attack waves after the cinematic with Aridon?
 
Level 2
Joined
Oct 11, 2017
Messages
11
Has anyone worked out a "Choices and results/consequences spoiler list" yet? I'be beaten every level of this campaign and most of the others excluding Pride of the empire on hard mode. That level.....geez. So hard. I'm wondering if there's different choices I could have made that would allow Sasrogarn or preferably Zairmak actually usable in this level. Or other heroes, different city placement, NO undead (which is a seriously annoying problem in this map). Just wondering if there's something else I could have done differently. I keep thinking about playing out the level Rise of the Deathbreeze differently. Making different ally choices. Like, not killing off the guys to your immediate right. Or, not killing the one hero to make his faction join. I guess I'm just mostly concerned about the last level. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm interested. Thanks!

Also, Shar Dundred, these campaigns are amazing. I love them. I just play them over and over. Too much fun. Something really minor you might be able to fix. If I load a level on Hard Mode and beat it, it will start the next level automatically on Normal. I have to end mission and go back to the campaign select screen to re-enable hard mode. Then choose the level etc. Not a huge deal, just something to fix if it's easy for you. I don't know. Also, maybe some better healing for when you don't have access to the healing staff. I have found myself killing my own units that are injured so I can retrain and keep my upkeep level since it takes 10 minutes at least for their HPs to regen on their own.
 
Last edited:
Level 2
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
27
I have just started playing it and I must say, it's a great campaign. But I found a bug. Whenever I play the first interlude, the game suddenly crashes in the middle of it. I have v1.30.4 of TFT.
 
Level 39
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
551
Great campaign. And in addition, orcish one. Simply great. Buut, you know Shar, maybe it is because I am a jackass that cannot be happy wth nothing, but I never liked in some case your model choose. For example, first Rangul as twilight hogrider or what it was, did not look according to me. So, by changing skins, I remade some models that would - according to me - looked better. For Rangul, I changed skins at Deoldrins Outrider, used Old Doomhamer by Krysis, Armored blademaster by HOoody, and in case of younger one Chaos blademaster by ExVenom.
Too, there was that guy from chapter 5, that felguard chieftain of red ones that musted be killed. Well, I thought, that if he is chieftain, he should be a more eccentric. Why that, I remade that epsilons model little bit, I changed blue felguard armor for felguard and changed to skin to chaos green grunt form this cool work Орк Берсеркер - WarCraft 3 Reforged / Моддинг - XGM. And in the end, I made a necrolyte skin for your necrolytes. Anyway, it is your choice if you used them or not
 

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Level 4
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
19
I have no plans to create a Reforged version.
I hear there's a Quenching version around somewhere for Reforged but I don't know anything regarding that.

No, no, I hate Reforge himself. Some maps made according to the version in the classic Warcraft work, and, of course, according to the Reforge version, they will not work. Like the REVAMP campaigns, they work in the latest version of the most original game, albeit it is not very convenient to move on to the next one after completing a chapter. So I hoped it would suddenly work.
But if the versions above really do not work (if you meant it), but only on the old classic Warcraft, then okay, let's try to download the pirate or the latest version of the pre-Reforge)
 
Level 29
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
1,146
No, no, I hate Reforge himself. Some maps made according to the version in the classic Warcraft work, and, of course, according to the Reforge version, they will not work. Like the REVAMP campaigns, they work in the latest version of the most original game, albeit it is not very convenient to move on to the next one after completing a chapter. So I hoped it would suddenly work.
But if the versions above really do not work (if you meant it), but only on the old classic Warcraft, then okay, let's try to download the pirate or the latest version of the pre-Reforge)
Some of the maps are only designed to work on older versions of WC3 or even Reforged, but with the Classic graphics.
Also, if you talk about getting the pre-Reforged versions, this link might be helpful. All latest versions of the pre-Reforged (1.21b+) don't require CD check.
 
Level 8
Joined
Oct 24, 2018
Messages
78
Mission 1: Surprisingly Hard for a introduction chapter, the macros have to be on point otherwise you will not have enough units for the end of missions fights. Good Starting Mission

Mission 2: Make sure you find the alternative route to the elven base, going around will take ages, I´ve made this mistake of not finding the easier path and spent too much time on this one.

Mission 3: I liked this one the spiders side quest was a nice touch plus the human encampment gave me a tough fight and plus if you like a challenge you can always face the Karskin.

Mission 4: I Tried both of the paths. In my opinion the mountains one is easier that the Imperials Camp. Simple but cool mission

Mission 5: Awesome mission. The Gold side quest projects the ideia of the yellow clan so nice detail. The fact that you have to cooperate with other clans made this one even better. Also liked the pressure and constant attacks from both Main and Purple enemies. The Level 10 heroes were a challenge too.
Tough Mission but a doable one!

Mission 6: The boat mission concept was interresting. Didnt like the Fact that an enemy Paladin can one shot almost you entire army and base with his R ability. Tough and Persistence Mission

Mission 7: This one is hard at the beginning but once you start getting some resources and take control of half the map is just a matter of time until you finish it. Sadly it is another test of persistence but some good tricks can be found. If you time the attack of the last base (Orange) and destroy the farms near the dwarfen base you can stop the production of the enemy.

Mission 8: Heroes can clear most of the Orange Encampments (Demon Slaves) for easy resources. Again Once you get control of 2/3 Goldmines is just a matter of time till you finish the Map.

Mission 9: Awesome mission, tough one and you gotta have a strategy and hold the inicial enemy attacks. Your allies will Cover you, Orange more than Green. Play around your allies take your time because Its a long one, once inside enemy encampment (brown) get your goldmine and defend it, again take your time and launch the final assault on the last base.
 
Level 1
Joined
Apr 5, 2014
Messages
2
I think I encountered a bug that is preventing me from passing mission 2. the objective says to destroy the elven castle to win and get the staff of healing, which suggest the staff should appear after destroying the castle, but that doesn't happen. I destroyed the whole elven base and didn't find a staff item anywhere, and the mission didn't end.
 
Level 29
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
1,146
I think I encountered a bug that is preventing me from passing mission 2. the objective says to destroy the elven castle to win and get the staff of healing, which suggest the staff should appear after destroying the castle, but that doesn't happen. I destroyed the whole elven base and didn't find a staff item anywhere, and the mission didn't end.
Read this: [1.31.1] Bug: Loading saved game breaks some unit events
Should you encounter this problem, please try playing this campaign on 1.29.2, which Shar Dundred recommends.
 
Level 29
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
1,146
The dialopgue during the game doesn't pop up on the screen.. what's the problem..?
I heard that this kind of issue mainly occurs because you are using the latest versions of WC3, especially 1.31 which can broke numerous triggers relating to "Unit Event" (dialogues count this). The only way to fix this problem is by playing the campaign on the older versions of WC3. This campaign works best on 1.29.2.
Or, if you are using the correct version (1.29.2) and still get this problem, try restarting the whole chapter.
 
Level 7
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
83
I heard that this kind of issue mainly occurs because you are using the latest versions of WC3, especially 1.31 which can broke numerous triggers relating to "Unit Event" (dialogues count this). The only way to fix this problem is by playing the campaign on the older versions of WC3. This campaign works best on 1.29.2.
Or, if you are using the correct version (1.29.2) and still get this problem, try restarting the whole chapter.
OHs
 
Level 29
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
1,146
OH, that's cool. I'm using 1.31, and I couldn't think I can play this with 1.29.2 version
Yes, this campaign only works best on 1.29.2.
If you want full working 1.29.2, please go to the link below (go to "Game Files" section):
 
Level 7
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
83
Yes, this campaign only works best on 1.29.2.
If you want full working 1.29.2, please go to the link below (go to "Game Files" section):
I tried 1.29.2 but, it still doesn't work... I guess I have to live with it...(Sad)
 
Level 9
Joined
Dec 1, 2021
Messages
62
So, I've recently been doing a playthrough of every campaign on hard, but with the twist of not being able to go above no upkeep, or 20/25 supply, if it was one of those missions where you can't build stuff. I've done this with the other two first books, so I've figured that I might complete this one before I switch away from Arkain for a while (I've got nothing against the campaign series, but I just don't feel like playing through all the material in one go). I specifically saved this for last


The story got a bit less attention than the story of the other two books, but I still think it holds up:
  • I feel like the reason why I haven't seen as much engagement about the orc story is that it's rather simple both in its premise and execution, while the undead have a more complex premise, and the humans have a more complex execution.
  • I don't think that's a problem, as there are many amazing simple stories out there, and the concept of ambitious people trying to desperately prevent the extinction of their race is a really good one to build a story on. And I definitely have a thing for stories that make it feel like the good guys are in an environment where they don't belong, which makes survival a pretty intense task for them.
  • The one thing that really seemed to bug people here is the hypocrisy of the orcs, which - as Jayborino pointed out once - has caused a weird kind of hatred for them in the fanbase. Upon closer inspection, I can definitely see where they're coming from, as the orcs were the ones that initiated their conflict with the humans, and Rangul is definitely wrong to call them xenophobic when they were the ones to start killing humans on sight from the moment they arrived on the continent (and btw, humans are cool with elves and dwarves, and eventually, with even weirder creatures too).
  • But to me, this seems like more of an intentional writing choice than a mistake, as Arkain really wants to make it abundantly clear that both the humans and the orcs are terrible in their own way, which is why I really just can't hate the green folk (and because of course, as Jayborino pointed out, they aren't real).
  • In my reviews, I tend to also go over the music here, but unlike most big campaigns, Arkain basically never uses anything other than the default human/orc/undead themes. This isn't a huge problem, as the original tracks are honestly quite good, but I do have to warn you that completing these campaigns take a while, so I generally recommend that you use a personal playlist for this one.


I've already went over my general thoughts regarding the gameplay of Arkain in my review of the Undead Book, but here's a bit of a refresher:
  • The thing about Arkain is that it has a pretty simplistic, but an iconic and well thought out design that either really appeals to you, or really doesn't (I'm in the former category, btw). LoA campaigns are a bit challenging and grindy, and take up quite a bit of time and energy, but they feel extremely rewarding when completed, and the process is still usually quite fun, even despite moments of tediousness.
  • Despite what some people might claim, I actually think they're really well balanced. They definitely started off a bit dumb (if you played the release versions of the second human and orc books, then you know exactly what I mean), but I think they're in a decently solid state right now. I do think there are some levels that go a tiny bit too hard on the player, while some others might go a tiny bit too easy on the player, but I've seen waaay worse.
  • I think a big appeal of these campaigns is the huge variety of new factions and units that got added. Unfortunately, the first books don't really go hard with them, and the undead and orc books are especially underwhelming with the new units (both of them give you a grand total of 2 new trainable units (and no, a reskinned and renamed tauren doesn't count)), but don't worry, the second books and the True Story go way harder with it, and this is only the tip of the iceberg.
  • In the undead review, I kind of went on a bit of a ramble about how the choices are underwhelming and meaningless there, but that doesn't apply to either the human or the orc books, because thankfully, you'll actually get to see the effects of your choices once you head into the second books. The orc storyline, in particular, has a very interesting idea with the human relationship building that I'm not going to spoil here. But I'm definitely very surprised that the orc books are the only campaigns that seem to be doing this, when it's such an obvious and excellent way to make a campaign more interesting.


The heroes weren't really anything groundbreaking, but they were all pretty good in the grand scheme of things:
  • In terms of gameplay, Rangul is probably the most underwhelming Arkain main character by default, but his utility becomes absolutely insane once he gets access to the Scepter of Healing. I actually really like this, because it shows that Rangul is someone who is not that exceptionally good at anything, but he still manages to gain power through his great achievements.
  • Rath is very much a brute force kind of guy, acting as the Grom to Rangul's Thrall. And his gameplay definitely lives up to it, as he doesn't really have a lot of fancy magical tricks, but instead has a ton of damage everywhere. Avenge is also a really cool ultimate, though waiting a lot to unleash his rage doesn't fit him that well, but I digress.
  • Sasrogarn has become somewhat of a meme character, which to this day, seems like something that came completely out of nowhere. I suppose that was partially due to how his character was handled later on, and his apparently... weak... kit? Guys, he's literally an upgraded Far Seer. He's Thrall, but better. How in the world did he become known as the weakest character, when there are plenty of characters with less power in the lore (Rath) or a less useful kit in game (Largoth)? I'll never be able to understand this :vw_unimpressed:
  • Zairmak's gameplay seems to be pretty well loved by the community, but I always found it just... fine. He's a single target disabler whose entire role is to shut down enemy heroes and other tough units, while zapping some buildings and supplying others with mana (thanks for allowing him to do that btw, it's an absolute game changer in CH7). He doesn't really do anything exciting, but he does his job well, which fits his character, I suppose.
  • Vanessa is absolutely amazing, and I find it shocking how nobody really talks about her. I don't know if this was the orc training, or if she was born that way, but this girl obliterates aoe fights. Having an ultimate that is basically Inferno but with a granite golem feels completely busted, but I guess it aligns well with Arkain's "if everything is OP, nothing is" design philosophy.
  • Gorthog and Dogran are only available for a short section in a single map (while being potential allies/enemies in another), so it's fine for their kits to not be that interesting. Though I gotta say, the idea to have these two team up and force the player to strategize around them was quite good.

I usually make some extra comments about campaigns in this section, but I really don't have many specific things to say about the First Orc Book in particular, so I'll just copy over some of my comments from the First Undead Book review that still apply here, along with some weird stuff I noticed:
  • This is an extremely minor thing, but the Arkain campaigns like to use a lot of random melee map hero names on the enemy heroes. Which is perfectly fine, as many campaigns (including the ones made by Blizzard) have done this too, but the problem is that some of those hero names belong to characters from Warcraft's canon lore, like Samuro, Nazgrel or Azgalor. Since these campaigns take place in a completely different universe, I feel like those names should be removed.
  • I feel like the terrain here is basically the perfect representation of alright. I don't think it's really that spectacular or interesting, but it does its job fairly well. A lot of the different locations have different kinds of terrain design choices that do a pretty good job at portraying the locations the maps are supposed to take place in. I like how this campaign actually uses huge open battlefields. Some people might call it lazy design, but I think it's great, especially because if you imagine a medieval battlefield, you would imagine something that is open and somewhat barren. I specifically like them here, because the Arkain campaigns use them sparingly, and because they're much more pleasant than those dumb tiny choke points. (Which are used even more sparingly. Thankfully.)
  • I'm not the biggest fan of the default difficulty selection, as it's kind of weird, and is pretty annoying to use. It's a very minor thing that doesn't really have an effect on a a campaign's quality, but changing it to work like in Tunro's and OutsiderXE's campaigns would be a pretty nice QoL change.
  • Just like with the undead campaign, Shar seems to have gotten indecisive about the name of a chapter again, while also somehow getting the number of the chapter wrong (it's supposed to be the sixth, not the seventh mission).
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  • There were two other weird inconsistencies I've noticed here. The first is that the tooltip of the Berserker Strength upgrade doesn't mention the fact that warlords also benefit from the upgrade, despite the fact that in reality, they do receive the bonus health and damage that a grunt would.
  • And the second one is this cutscene. I know that most people don't care about this, but what the hell are those Darkmind and Imperial units doing, fighting on the barren looking Orc Islands? Aren't they supposed to be in the grassy forests of Lor? Because this area doesn't look like a forest to me.
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And so, it's time to talk about about the chapters. I will be going over individual choices, so here's your spoiler warning. I'm not sure if these maps are going to get updates at all (since Shar is probably focusing on the True Story), but that won't stop me from talking about them:

CHAPTER 1 - A fairly normal, short and easy micro mission with multiple sections. It's a pretty standard, but decent way to start off a campaign, and there's a reason why it's being used a lot in both official and custom campaigns. What I really like about this map is that despite the fact that it sounds kind of generic in theory, it actually still has its own unique flavor, due to its first section where you have to obliterate a village, and due to the fact that there isn't a lot of rescuable units, so good micro and resource management is much more important than in other starting micro missions (like in Landfall or Rise of the Naga). The only weird thing about this mission of some of the English usage, like the "he himself leads one of the assaults himself", or Ephrog's sentence that should probably be switched to "We can still blame and kill each other later..." because, well, let's just say that the current one means something completely different than what Shar had intended :eekani:
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CHAPTER 2 - I'm going to be completely honest, I'm not a huge fan of this map. I don't really have many complaints when it comes to the quality and creativity of the level, but the early game restraint that I've praised the First Human and Undead Books for is not exactly present here. Does this map go as hard as a lategame massacre like Siege of Kome, Green Wave or Possession? No, of course not. But I don't feel like Shar really acknowledged the fact that there's a huge lack of tools (especially healing ones) that players will have to deal with. Though I could imagine that the map was intentionally designed this way, to make the Scepter of Healing feel more important, while also preventing people from brute forcing their way through the 3 bases, and making them sneak through the tunnel instead. I personally disagree with this choice, and I feel like the map would be more fun if hunters would have access to some kind of healing mechanic (Maybe make them heal the nearby friendly unit with the lowest current health when they kill an enemy?), and/or if the captains would loose the ability to cast Defend in this mission. There were also two weird bugs that I've found on this map: one is that enemy heroes don't have a cap on their experience, and can get all the way to level 10, while the other is that the granary on the bottom right corner of the map apparently provides no bonus resources from Pillage.
Though to be fair, a lot of my complains could just be due to me playing the map on a challenge run, and due to the map coming up right after an interlude (meaning that it got auto switched to hard).

CHAPTER 3 - This one feels a bit more tame than the previous one (possibly because you have two heroes instead of one, the Scepter of Healing, more available units, rescuable units on the map, an allied base and less enemy bases that send attacks), which is nice. This map also feels a bit more cohesive and well thought out as well. I really like the design of the broodmother choice, as it allows the player to either gain benefits in this campaign killing her or in the Second Book by leaving her alive, meaning that you don't really have a "right choice", but instead, you need to think about what you yourself would prefer. This unfortunately doesn't apply to the Kasrkin choice, as you don't really get benefits for failing that quest (other than some gold mines), but it's probably fine, since you have to go out of your way to fail it, and most people wouldn't do that either way. My only complaint about this map is that I feel like the preplaced fights have a trigger radius that is too large, and players can often end up accidentally starting them off and not realizing it, because the units are all out of vision, which can result in them unknowingly leaving the units behind to die. The two grunts in the top left part of the map also instantly join the player, instead of waiting for the pre placed enemies to die, which seems unintentional.

CHAPTER 4 - This is one of the levels that was completely cut from the True Story. I imagine it was because the map is kind of generic, and it doesn't really bring anything new for either gameplay or lore. Now, just like Fists and Claws, this is also a mission with a choice, but I'm not as sad about this map not making it in, simply because The Second Orc Book has actually shown what the effect of the choice is (which is admittedly pretty minor), so we aren't left hanging, like we were with the undead tunnel. As a concept though, I think it's pretty neat to split up the mission into effectively two different maps, and then allow the player to pick the map that he wants to play through. And for my money, it works wonderfully well here. Just one thing... why runes of healing? You... do realize we have a walking Fountain of Health, right? :hohum:

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CHAPTER 5 - I'm honestly glad that the True Story got a new heavily reworked version of this map, because while I think that the original is fine, it definitely didn't go as crazy as it could have with its awesome concept. Working together with allies was always one of my favorite things to do in Warcraft 3 campaigns, so I definitely have a bit of a bias here, but I still think this mission works, on a design standpoint. It doesn't really give you that many allies for free (you only get Rath and Zairmak by default), which makes sense, because orcs aren't exactly the kinds of people that would just join upon hearing some promises of success. An orc's loyalty is something you have to earn, which is shown by the fact that 3 of your 5 allies will need you to do something to gain their support, while the Ironthunder just refuses alliance altogether. (Which always felt weird to me. Since the shaman brags about being smart, you'd think that they would join once all the clans support you, but I guess Shar just didn't want your forces to go too crazy.) Destroying the mogthar base is a bit of a grind, but I always found it an enjoyable one. Though if I could have one wish, I would take some power away from the red dragons, and make the enemy ground army a bit stronger. And in terms of issues, Gorthog apparently doesn't have a level cap if the Skullblade clan is hostile, and there's a typo here (the letter 'e' is missing from 'something').
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CHAPTER 6 - The human breeze map provides an easy main quest, the undead breeze map provides a lot of free stuff to start the player off, while this one provides neither, which would make this the hardest breeze... in theory. Now, I'm not sure if this was intentional, but the fact that the enemy uses zeppelins to send attacks through all that water is kind of abusable, as it allows you to easily neutralize most enemy attack waves, by finding the spots that they send zeppelins through, and having some frigates camp there (which sounds easy, but is admittedly tricky once you get the big island, since the humans like to mix up their routes a lot). Merlon's base is also surprisingly easy to destroy, though I wouldn't recommend focusing him out and ignoring everything else on the mainland, since there are plenty of item drops there, and you'll really need them in the near future. But overall, I really liked the design of this map, as it has a really good flow with its early, mid and late game, and despite Warcraft 3's annoying and janky ship mechanics, I still think this one is honestly really enjoyable, and quite a breeze indeed.

CHAPTER 7 - Well well well, if it isn't Siege of Kome itself! This level is quite infamous due to the sheer amount of enemies that you'll have to deal with in very tiny chokepoints, and due to the fact that it takes an eternity to complete, because you'll have to destroy 7 bases (though one of them can get instakilled, but I digress) with a ton of buildings that have a maxed out human building protection upgrade. Though I find it kind of funny how outdated the whole notion of Siege of Kome being the biggest and hardest macro map has gotten over the years, considering the kinds of things mapmakers have bombarded us with (though most of the maps that beat this one are from the second books, like Lord of Shadows or A Dish Best Served Cold). And while trying to beat this mission without going above no upkeep was definitely something, it still wouldn't make it into my top 5 hardest maps, despite the difficulties I've had with perfectly fair magic immune Theoden's base (and despite the fact that it took me over 3 hours). Though let's be honest, the impact that this map has had on Arkain is enormous, and I'm honestly kind of glad, because it allowed the campaign series to gain a very special identity, even if it's a rather annoying one. As for things that need to fixed, the color of my ally is the same as mine, which can sometimes get confusing. Bear riders didn't get their hitboxes updated to be fixed like in The First Undead Book. And this area should become a little bit wider, because units with big hitboxes can get seriously stuck there.
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Otherwise, this is very memorable map, with a nicely designed choice at the end as a reward.

CHAPTER 8 - When it comes ramping difficulty, Arkain generally does an ok job (and by "ok" I mean "about as good as Blizzard did with the official campaigns"), but it always felt weird when an "easy to medium" difficulty map like this one is placed right between two extremely challenging and long maps like Siege of Kome and Pride of the Empire, though I suppose this makes sense, considering the story of those maps and the campaign (and don't forget that the undead are loosing on purpose here). It did seem like Shar acknowledged the fact that this level goes easy on the player, because he proceeded to add another enemy base that launches attacks in the True Story, but I'm glad that he didn't do it here, because players will really need a bit of a break at this point. The map itself felt somewhat forgettable but still pretty good, as there are a lot of things that you can do here, and there's a small choice, too. One issue that I noticed is that the mechanics of the allied Deathbreeze Clan during the double Blademaster section seemed kind of funky, and it used up my Inferno Stone that I was planning to keep until the next chapter :sad:. So I'd like it if Shar would take a look at it, while also allowing the player to have vision over them to see if they're getting destroyed and he needs to hurry. As for lore nitpicks, Aridon showing up and killing two random chieftains sounds a bit out of character, and the grunt at the end forgot to mention that Lokar is alive too. (He was still the chieftain of the Ironthunder clan there, wasn't he?) Oh, and seeing Lera was quite nice, especially because this lets us know what happens to her if the player kills her in The First Human Book.
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CHAPTER 9 - The last time I played this map was quite a few years ago, and I honestly wasn't a huge fan of it then, but it seems like Shar did some big changes to it since then, and this time, I actually had a lot of fun. The events that happen with the humans sounds like something that would make the map an absolute hell, but honestly, they felt very fair and rather simple to counter, and they added a lot to the overall feel of the map, without being as crazy as the "Open the gates and CHAAAARGE!!!" moment from Siege of Kome . The events weren't the only changes that the map received, as Shar has also increased the player's supply limit, removed the invulnerability from the undead buildings and toned down the enemy attacks while also allowing them to be directed at the player's allies a bit more (which was especially noticeable with Salomar's base), all of which are amazing changes that I wholeheartedly agree with. The Bloddrinker Legion attacks on the humans were also removed, probably to keep things consistent with the First Undead Book, but for some reason, their buildings were still kept around in the bottom right corner of the map, which is just... weird. Another weird thing is that the humans send cyan peasants to rebuild the outer base, which doesn't really make sense, due to cyan being the color of the Elven Army (and the Rohir Nexus... wait a second, does that mean that this guy is... a spy? :nw: If this was intentional, then this is an amazing Easter Egg!).
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But overall, this mission is now perfect finale, as it's a huge intense battle with a lot of things happening, which makes it very fun and memorable. The Salomar choice is also great, and I love it when Arkain offers long term benefits for not doing what you would normally do by instinct.


And that's it for my review of the First Orc Book of Arkain. Thankfully, Hive seems to have fixed the issue where refreshing the page deletes what I've written, so I gotta give some props to whoever is managing this site, since it makes writing these quite a bit easier :smile:
The things I've written at the end of the Undead Book review pretty much apply here too, so here's a shortened refresher on that:
I'd say that this campaign is between 8/10 and 9/10, but it leans a bit more towards a nine for me. It could just be because I have a bias for Arkain, but I think that this campaign is pretty well polished, as there aren't many bugs, mistakes, imbalanced things, and grammatical errors. Sure there are some (Oh hello there, Theoden!), but they're very few and far between. If you're looking for a campaign with a tough, but satisfying gameplay, and a really interesting narrative to follow, then the Arkain campaigns are perfect for you.

Now, I did technically interrupt my playthrough of the campaign with a vacation, so I certainly hope I'm not misremembering anything, because it's been weeks since I've played through chapters 1 to 7 :bored: (though thankfully, I've got loads of screenshots to help refresh my memory).
But anyhow, thanks to all of you who read this far, and big thanks to Shar for still working on this series even after so many years! Wish you all a great day and night!
 
Level 11
Joined
Jul 29, 2014
Messages
332
So, I've recently been doing a playthrough of every campaign on hard, but with the twist of not being able to go above no upkeep, or 20/25 supply, if it was one of those missions where you can't build stuff. I've done this with the other two first books, so I've figured that I might complete this one before I switch away from Arkain for a while (I've got nothing against the campaign series, but I just don't feel like playing through all the material in one go). I specifically saved this for last


The story got a bit less attention than the story of the other two books, but I still think it holds up:
  • I feel like the reason why I haven't seen as much engagement about the orc story is that it's rather simple both in its premise and execution, while the undead have a more complex premise, and the humans have a more complex execution.
  • I don't think that's a problem, as there are many amazing simple stories out there, and the concept of ambitious people trying to desperately prevent the extinction of their race is a really good one to build a story on. And I definitely have a thing for stories that make it feel like the good guys are in an environment where they don't belong, which makes survival a pretty intense task for them.
  • The one thing that really seemed to bug people here is the hypocrisy of the orcs, which - as Jayborino pointed out once - has caused a weird kind of hatred for them in the fanbase. Upon closer inspection, I can definitely see where they're coming from, as the orcs were the ones that initiated their conflict with the humans, and Rangul is definitely wrong to call them xenophobic when they were the ones to start killing humans on sight from the moment they arrived on the continent (and btw, humans are cool with elves and dwarves, and eventually, with even weirder creatures too).
  • But to me, this seems like more of an intentional writing choice than a mistake, as Arkain really wants to make it abundantly clear that both the humans and the orcs are terrible in their own way, which is why I really just can't hate the green folk (and because of course, as Jayborino pointed out, they aren't real).
  • In my reviews, I tend to also go over the music here, but unlike most big campaigns, Arkain basically never uses anything other than the default human/orc/undead themes. This isn't a huge problem, as the original tracks are honestly quite good, but I do have to warn you that completing these campaigns take a while, so I generally recommend that you use a personal playlist for this one.


I've already went over my general thoughts regarding the gameplay of Arkain in my review of the Undead Book, but here's a bit of a refresher:
  • The thing about Arkain is that it has a pretty simplistic, but an iconic and well thought out design that either really appeals to you, or really doesn't (I'm in the former category, btw). LoA campaigns are a bit challenging and grindy, and take up quite a bit of time and energy, but they feel extremely rewarding when completed, and the process is still usually quite fun, even despite moments of tediousness.
  • Despite what some people might claim, I actually think they're really well balanced. They definitely started off a bit dumb (if you played the release versions of the second human and orc books, then you know exactly what I mean), but I think they're in a decently solid state right now. I do think there are some levels that go a tiny bit too hard on the player, while some others might go a tiny bit too easy on the player, but I've seen waaay worse.
  • I think a big appeal of these campaigns is the huge variety of new factions and units that got added. Unfortunately, the first books don't really go hard with them, and the undead and orc books are especially underwhelming with the new units (both of them give you a grand total of 2 new trainable units (and no, a reskinned and renamed tauren doesn't count)), but don't worry, the second books and the True Story go way harder with it, and this is only the tip of the iceberg.
  • In the undead review, I kind of went on a bit of a ramble about how the choices are underwhelming and meaningless there, but that doesn't apply to either the human or the orc books, because thankfully, you'll actually get to see the effects of your choices once you head into the second books. The orc storyline, in particular, has a very interesting idea with the human relationship building that I'm not going to spoil here. But I'm definitely very surprised that the orc books are the only campaigns that seem to be doing this, when it's such an obvious and excellent way to make a campaign more interesting.


The heroes weren't really anything groundbreaking, but they were all pretty good in the grand scheme of things:
  • In terms of gameplay, Rangul is probably the most underwhelming Arkain main character by default, but his utility becomes absolutely insane once he gets access to the Scepter of Healing. I actually really like this, because it shows that Rangul is someone who is not that exceptionally good at anything, but he still manages to gain power through his great achievements.
  • Rath is very much a brute force kind of guy, acting as the Grom to Rangul's Thrall. And his gameplay definitely lives up to it, as he doesn't really have a lot of fancy magical tricks, but instead has a ton of damage everywhere. Avenge is also a really cool ultimate, though waiting a lot to unleash his rage doesn't fit him that well, but I digress.
  • Sasrogarn has become somewhat of a meme character, which to this day, seems like something that came completely out of nowhere. I suppose that was partially due to how his character was handled later on, and his apparently... weak... kit? Guys, he's literally an upgraded Far Seer. He's Thrall, but better. How in the world did he become known as the weakest character, when there are plenty of characters with less power in the lore (Rath) or a less useful kit in game (Largoth)? I'll never be able to understand this :vw_unimpressed:
  • Zairmak's gameplay seems to be pretty well loved by the community, but I always found it just... fine. He's a single target disabler whose entire role is to shut down enemy heroes and other tough units, while zapping some buildings and supplying others with mana (thanks for allowing him to do that btw, it's an absolute game changer in CH7). He doesn't really do anything exciting, but he does his job well, which fits his character, I suppose.
  • Vanessa is absolutely amazing, and I find it shocking how nobody really talks about her. I don't know if this was the orc training, or if she was born that way, but this girl obliterates aoe fights. Having an ultimate that is basically Inferno but with a granite golem feels completely busted, but I guess it aligns well with Arkain's "if everything is OP, nothing is" design philosophy.
  • Gorthog and Dogran are only available for a short section in a single map (while being potential allies/enemies in another), so it's fine for their kits to not be that interesting. Though I gotta say, the idea to have these two team up and force the player to strategize around them was quite good.

I usually make some extra comments about campaigns in this section, but I really don't have many specific things to say about the First Orc Book in particular, so I'll just copy over some of my comments from the First Undead Book review that still apply here, along with some weird stuff I noticed:
  • This is an extremely minor thing, but the Arkain campaigns like to use a lot of random melee map hero names on the enemy heroes. Which is perfectly fine, as many campaigns (including the ones made by Blizzard) have done this too, but the problem is that some of those hero names belong to characters from Warcraft's canon lore, like Samuro, Nazgrel or Azgalor. Since these campaigns take place in a completely different universe, I feel like those names should be removed.
  • I feel like the terrain here is basically the perfect representation of alright. I don't think it's really that spectacular or interesting, but it does its job fairly well. A lot of the different locations have different kinds of terrain design choices that do a pretty good job at portraying the locations the maps are supposed to take place in. I like how this campaign actually uses huge open battlefields. Some people might call it lazy design, but I think it's great, especially because if you imagine a medieval battlefield, you would imagine something that is open and somewhat barren. I specifically like them here, because the Arkain campaigns use them sparingly, and because they're much more pleasant than those dumb tiny choke points. (Which are used even more sparingly. Thankfully.)
  • I'm not the biggest fan of the default difficulty selection, as it's kind of weird, and is pretty annoying to use. It's a very minor thing that doesn't really have an effect on a a campaign's quality, but changing it to work like in Tunro's and OutsiderXE's campaigns would be a pretty nice QoL change.
  • Just like with the undead campaign, Shar seems to have gotten indecisive about the name of a chapter again, while also somehow getting the number of the chapter wrong (it's supposed to be the sixth, not the seventh mission). View attachment 405884 View attachment 405999
  • There were two other weird inconsistencies I've noticed here. The first is that the tooltip of the Berserker Strength upgrade doesn't mention the fact that warlords also benefit from the upgrade, despite the fact that in reality, they do receive the bonus health and damage that a grunt would.
  • And the second one is this cutscene. I know that most people don't care about this, but what the hell are those Darkmind and Imperial units doing, fighting on the barren looking Orc Islands? Aren't they supposed to be in the grassy forests of Lor? Because this area doesn't look like a forest to me.View attachment 405705


And so, it's time to talk about about the chapters. I will be going over individual choices, so here's your spoiler warning. I'm not sure if these maps are going to get updates at all (since Shar is probably focusing on the True Story), but that won't stop me from talking about them:

CHAPTER 1 - A fairly normal, short and easy micro mission with multiple sections. It's a pretty standard, but decent way to start off a campaign, and there's a reason why it's being used a lot in both official and custom campaigns. What I really like about this map is that despite the fact that it sounds kind of generic in theory, it actually still has its own unique flavor, due to its first section where you have to obliterate a village, and due to the fact that there isn't a lot of rescuable units, so good micro and resource management is much more important than in other starting micro missions (like in Landfall or Rise of the Naga). The only weird thing about this mission of some of the English usage, like the "he himself leads one of the assaults himself", or Ephrog's sentence that should probably be switched to "We can still blame and kill each other later..." because, well, let's just say that the current one means something completely different than what Shar had intended :eekani:
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CHAPTER 2 - I'm going to be completely honest, I'm not a huge fan of this map. I don't really have many complaints when it comes to the quality and creativity of the level, but the early game restraint that I've praised the First Human and Undead Books for is not exactly present here. Does this map go as hard as a lategame massacre like Siege of Kome, Green Wave or Possession? No, of course not. But I don't feel like Shar really acknowledged the fact that there's a huge lack of tools (especially healing ones) that players will have to deal with. Though I could imagine that the map was intentionally designed this way, to make the Scepter of Healing feel more important, while also preventing people from brute forcing their way through the 3 bases, and making them sneak through the tunnel instead. I personally disagree with this choice, and I feel like the map would be more fun if hunters would have access to some kind of healing mechanic (Maybe make them heal the nearby friendly unit with the lowest current health when they kill an enemy?), and/or if the captains would loose the ability to cast Defend in this mission. There were also two weird bugs that I've found on this map: one is that enemy heroes don't have a cap on their experience, and can get all the way to level 10, while the other is that the granary on the bottom right corner of the map apparently provides no bonus resources from Pillage.
Though to be fair, a lot of my complains could just be due to me playing the map on a challenge run, and due to the map coming up right after an interlude (meaning that it got auto switched to hard).

CHAPTER 3 - This one feels a bit more tame than the previous one (possibly because you have two heroes instead of one, the Scepter of Healing, more available units, rescuable units on the map, an allied base and less enemy bases that send attacks), which is nice. This map also feels a bit more cohesive and well thought out as well. I really like the design of the broodmother choice, as it allows the player to either gain benefits in this campaign killing her or in the Second Book by leaving her alive, meaning that you don't really have a "right choice", but instead, you need to think about what you yourself would prefer. This unfortunately doesn't apply to the Kasrkin choice, as you don't really get benefits for failing that quest (other than some gold mines), but it's probably fine, since you have to go out of your way to fail it, and most people wouldn't do that either way. My only complaint about this map is that I feel like the preplaced fights have a trigger radius that is too large, and players can often end up accidentally starting them off and not realizing it, because the units are all out of vision, which can result in them unknowingly leaving the units behind to die. The two grunts in the top left part of the map also instantly join the player, instead of waiting for the pre placed enemies to die, which seems unintentional.

CHAPTER 4 - This is one of the levels that was completely cut from the True Story. I imagine it was because the map is kind of generic, and it doesn't really bring anything new for either gameplay or lore. Now, just like Fists and Claws, this is also a mission with a choice, but I'm not as sad about this map not making it in, simply because The Second Orc Book has actually shown what the effect of the choice is (which is admittedly pretty minor), so we aren't left hanging, like we were with the undead tunnel. As a concept though, I think it's pretty neat to split up the mission into effectively two different maps, and then allow the player to pick the map that he wants to play through. And for my money, it works wonderfully well here. Just one thing... why runes of healing? You... do realize we have a walking Fountain of Health, right? :hohum:

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CHAPTER 5 - I'm honestly glad that the True Story got a new heavily reworked version of this map, because while I think that the original is fine, it definitely didn't go as crazy as it could have with its awesome concept. Working together with allies was always one of my favorite things to do in Warcraft 3 campaigns, so I definitely have a bit of a bias here, but I still think this mission works, on a design standpoint. It doesn't really give you that many allies for free (you only get Rath and Zairmak by default), which makes sense, because orcs aren't exactly the kinds of people that would just join upon hearing some promises of success. An orc's loyalty is something you have to earn, which is shown by the fact that 3 of your 5 allies will need you to do something to gain their support, while the Ironthunder just refuses alliance altogether. (Which always felt weird to me. Since the shaman brags about being smart, you'd think that they would join once all the clans support you, but I guess Shar just didn't want your forces to go too crazy.) Destroying the mogthar base is a bit of a grind, but I always found it an enjoyable one. Though if I could have one wish, I would take some power away from the red dragons, and make the enemy ground army a bit stronger. And in terms of issues, Gorthog apparently doesn't have a level cap if the Skullblade clan is hostile, and there's a typo here (the letter 'e' is missing from 'something').
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CHAPTER 6 - The human breeze map provides an easy main quest, the undead breeze map provides a lot of free stuff to start the player off, while this one provides neither, which would make this the hardest breeze... in theory. Now, I'm not sure if this was intentional, but the fact that the enemy uses zeppelins to send attacks through all that water is kind of abusable, as it allows you to easily neutralize most enemy attack waves, by finding the spots that they send zeppelins through, and having some frigates camp there (which sounds easy, but is admittedly tricky once you get the big island, since the humans like to mix up their routes a lot). Merlon's base is also surprisingly easy to destroy, though I wouldn't recommend focusing him out and ignoring everything else on the mainland, since there are plenty of item drops there, and you'll really need them in the near future. But overall, I really liked the design of this map, as it has a really good flow with its early, mid and late game, and despite Warcraft 3's annoying and janky ship mechanics, I still think this one is honestly really enjoyable, and quite a breeze indeed.

CHAPTER 7 - Well well well, if it isn't Siege of Kome itself! This level is quite infamous due to the sheer amount of enemies that you'll have to deal with in very tiny chokepoints, and due to the fact that it takes an eternity to complete, because you'll have to destroy 7 bases (though one of them can get instakilled, but I digress) with a ton of buildings that have a maxed out human building protection upgrade. Though I find it kind of funny how outdated the whole notion of Siege of Kome being the biggest and hardest macro map has gotten over the years, considering the kinds of things mapmakers have bombarded us with (though most of the maps that beat this one are from the second books, like Lord of Shadows or A Dish Best Served Cold). And while trying to beat this mission without going above no upkeep was definitely something, it still wouldn't make it into my top 5 hardest maps, despite the difficulties I've had with perfectly fair magic immune Theoden's base (and despite the fact that it took me over 3 hours). Though let's be honest, the impact that this map has had on Arkain is enormous, and I'm honestly kind of glad, because it allowed the campaign series to gain a very special identity, even if it's a rather annoying one. As for things that need to fixed, the color of my ally is the same as mine, which can sometimes get confusing. Bear riders didn't get their hitboxes updated to be fixed like in The First Undead Book. And this area should become a little bit wider, because units with big hitboxes can get seriously stuck there.
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Otherwise, this is very memorable map, with a nicely designed choice at the end as a reward.

CHAPTER 8 - When it comes ramping difficulty, Arkain generally does an ok job (and by "ok" I mean "about as good as Blizzard did with the official campaigns"), but it always felt weird when an "easy to medium" difficulty map like this one is placed right between two extremely challenging and long maps like Siege of Kome and Pride of the Empire, though I suppose this makes sense, considering the story of those maps and the campaign (and don't forget that the undead are loosing on purpose here). It did seem like Shar acknowledged the fact that this level goes easy on the player, because he proceeded to add another enemy base that launches attacks in the True Story, but I'm glad that he didn't do it here, because players will really need a bit of a break at this point. The map itself felt somewhat forgettable but still pretty good, as there are a lot of things that you can do here, and there's a small choice, too. One issue that I noticed is that the mechanics of the allied Deathbreeze Clan during the double Blademaster section seemed kind of funky, and it used up my Inferno Stone that I was planning to keep until the next chapter :sad:. So I'd like it if Shar would take a look at it, while also allowing the player to have vision over them to see if they're getting destroyed and he needs to hurry. As for lore nitpicks, Aridon showing up and killing two random chieftains sounds a bit out of character, and the grunt at the end forgot to mention that Lokar is alive too. (He was still the chieftain of the Ironthunder clan there, wasn't he?) Oh, and seeing Lera was quite nice, especially because this lets us know what happens to her if the player kills her in The First Human Book.
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CHAPTER 9 - The last time I played this map was quite a few years ago, and I honestly wasn't a huge fan of it then, but it seems like Shar did some big changes to it since then, and this time, I actually had a lot of fun. The events that happen with the humans sounds like something that would make the map an absolute hell, but honestly, they felt very fair and rather simple to counter, and they added a lot to the overall feel of the map, without being as crazy as the "Open the gates and CHAAAARGE!!!" moment from Siege of Kome . The events weren't the only changes that the map received, as Shar has also increased the player's supply limit, removed the invulnerability from the undead buildings and toned down the enemy attacks while also allowing them to be directed at the player's allies a bit more (which was especially noticeable with Salomar's base), all of which are amazing changes that I wholeheartedly agree with. The Bloddrinker Legion attacks on the humans were also removed, probably to keep things consistent with the First Undead Book, but for some reason, their buildings were still kept around in the bottom right corner of the map, which is just... weird. Another weird thing is that the humans send cyan peasants to rebuild the outer base, which doesn't really make sense, due to cyan being the color of the Elven Army (and the Rohir Nexus... wait a second, does that mean that this guy is... a spy? :nw: If this was intentional, then this is an amazing Easter Egg!).
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But overall, this mission is now perfect finale, as it's a huge intense battle with a lot of things happening, which makes it very fun and memorable. The Salomar choice is also great, and I love it when Arkain offers long term benefits for not doing what you would normally do by instinct.


And that's it for my review of the First Orc Book of Arkain. Thankfully, Hive seems to have fixed the issue where refreshing the page deletes what I've written, so I gotta give some props to whoever is managing this site, since it makes writing these quite a bit easier :smile:
The things I've written at the end of the Undead Book review pretty much apply here too, so here's a shortened refresher on that:
I'd say that this campaign is between 8/10 and 9/10, but it leans a bit more towards a nine for me. It could just be because I have a bias for Arkain, but I think that this campaign is pretty well polished, as there aren't many bugs, mistakes, imbalanced things, and grammatical errors. Sure there are some (Oh hello there, Theoden!), but they're very few and far between. If you're looking for a campaign with a tough, but satisfying gameplay, and a really interesting narrative to follow, then the Arkain campaigns are perfect for you.

Now, I did technically interrupt my playthrough of the campaign with a vacation, so I certainly hope I'm not misremembering anything, because it's been weeks since I've played through chapters 1 to 7 :bored: (though thankfully, I've got loads of screenshots to help refresh my memory).
But anyhow, thanks to all of you who read this far, and big thanks to Shar for still working on this series even after so many years! Wish you all a great day and night!
Now, that's what is called a review. Good job!
 
Level 5
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Messages
17
Quite the nice campaign, once again I was enthralled the whole way through.

I'm not exactly sure on the chronology of the books, I believe they are all their own separate slightly altered story, where the 'main character' so to speak is the faction on the title. It is nice to decide separate stories in his way, since it doesn't limit anything based on the other campaigns.

The amount of siege you have to do during this campaign is astonishing, and I still enjoyed it the whole way through, breaking through stronger and stronger defensive emplacements provided a significant challenge to overcome, and with wave after wave of soldiers, it really did feel like a long siege experience each time.

Once again I was compelled to make interesting decisions for the future of the story, and I am excited to see it unfold. Onto the next I go!
 
Level 5
Joined
Dec 7, 2022
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14
Here is my review of Legends of Arkain first book: (review may contain spoilers)

Global enjoyment: Is it a fortress? a colossal tower? no, it's a stack of 20 farms!
It was at some point enjoyable and in the long term I only saw pain during my playthrough.
The campaign doesn't bring something new to borrow except the choices made (one of the 2 being in the script),
and I don't know if it's the age of the campaign that made things look disappointing for me, I hope it doesn't when I'll play
the other books and their second part. 0

Scenario: This is the strongest part of the campaign, a new universe that gives good plots overall and that is well written.
We can easily enter into the universe and understand it. The most enjoyable part for me being the eventual dialogues between the characters.
The cinematics length are enough for what they say, that's enjoyable. +1

Terrain: Vast and empty areas that kinda hurts to see, there are too many of them. The terrain doesn't give any vibe for me.
The map should be way smaller and more straight forward to where you should go with more expression in the terrain. The building's placement
is a true pain, so many of them, just why? The joke with the farm was real, I don't see any harmony within the building's placement. 0

Techtree: The one used is very classic I don't have any objection to make except that more could've been done, like not only reskin a tauren and name it champion.
Same goes for Witch Doctor. The true fun is inside the casters with the combination of both bloodlust and unholy frenzy or full light chain.
For a campaign's concept that resides in factions, I don't see much diversity. +0.25

Heroes: Very classical aswell, this type of campaign isn't made to make a spotlight on a particular character I don't mind having normal stats characters.
The spells are different for each heroes (except Sas and Rangul), nothing bad, nothing exceptional. +0.5

Difficulty: I don't know if it's me, but this campaign ask you to cheat for 3 missions, I tried to lower on normal but it doesn't change
anything to the difficulty, even the last mission why is there an undead base harassing you, this is terribly lame to accomplish so many buildings
and troops going, I understand why there is 100k gold in every gold mine now, it's literally there to test your patience which is terrible, lowering
the amount of everything would be so much appreciated and would've prolly made this experience a 3/5 instead of a 1.75/5. 0

I hope others will enjoy this campaign, because for me it wasn't a very enjoyable experience 2/5.
 
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