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

This bundle is marked as director's cut. It meets all expectations and excels in every regard.
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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 Undead have never before interfered directly in the matters of the mortals. Their great leader, Aridon the Watcher, always manipulated events from a great distance without being spotted.
But times change. Aridon has seen that manipulations won't be enough in this war. The Undead have to join the war in order to restore the balance
Take control of Aridon and his deadly armies to punish both the mortals and the Demons for their flaws. Only the Undead can bring back the balance to the continent and prevent absolute chaos.


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 Orc 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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Aridon the Watcher
Aridon is the most mysterious creature on all Arkain – also the most unknown. No one but the Demons even knows of Aridon's existance and the archlich intends to keep it that way as long as possible. It's unknown for how long he has existed, but he has always been there He's even older than all the oldest Demons together. It's also unknown who or what he used to be before – if he has ever been anything else before. He calls himself the humble Watcher of Arkain who ensures that the balance isn't disturbed by the other races. The Demons and the mortals alike often tend to threaten this balance with their actions and Aridon has often interfered in the actions of the mortals – but from the shadows without being noticed. He has seen the future and has known centuries ago that in this conflict, manipulations won't be enough and prepares for a full scale war. It's time for the Undead to fix the flaws of the other races.
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Largoth
The Dreadlord Largoth is one of the few Demons who don't belong to the Legions anymore. He abandoned his people a long time ago and for the other Demons, he's nothing but a traitorous renegade who has to be killed on sight. He joined Aridon for unknown reasons – most likely one reason was that Aridon had the power to hold the Demons off. In exchange for Aridon's mercy, the Dreadlord uses his powers to support the Undead's cause. They've been working together for a long time to fight the Demons because if the Demons win, both Largoth and Aridon are on their target list.
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Rahandir Drakeskull
Rahandir's history is legendary in the Kingdoms. There's no one who has never heard of the Dragon Slayer and Demon Hunter who died in battle a long time ago, but no one knows the truth of his death. No one knows that Rahandir and his men were betrayed by their mad king who sent them to their deaths. No one knows that Rahandir came back as a lich and killed the king before he joined Aridon out of free will. Rahandir is still as intelligent and sarcastic as he used to be in his living days but he became... cold. Still, he remains a powerful spellcaster, ready to hunt his old enemies again.
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Saphira Whisperwind
Saphira used to be a loyal servant of the Elven Kingdom. She has trained together with Salana Woodhunter, who is now the best diplomat of her people and the right hand of the Queen. Saphira was outmatched by Salana as a diplomat, but she was the better ranger of the two. However, when she was sent on a mission to acquire an artifact for the Queen, she and her allies were defeated by the Deathbreeze Clan. Saphira managed to escape, but was caught by Rahandir Drakeskull instead, who killed her easily and took her body with him to Aridon who wished to reanimate her for his cause. Now, being an Undead, Saphira has only two things in her mind: Serving her master and taking revenge.
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Krom the Immortal
Krom was among the first to serve Aridon. It's unknown who or what he was before, but now he serves as Aridon's merciless executor who kills everyone his master wishes to see dead. Krom can shoot better than any other living or dead creature and never misses his target. He doesn't care much for the fate of the other races, but is happy when he gets to kill someone. Still, Krom is no brainless brute, he has a cruel and cunning personality. He might prefer the forceful solution, but he often makes a malicious plan to make it most effective.


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- Initial release


General:
- Reworked Dark Arrow ability
- Fixed Fist of Ice tooltip
- Removed stun from Splitting and increased damage instead

Chapter Two:
- Improved terrain
- Wrath and Lust are classified as Undead now
- All player units' hit points have been reduced

Chapter Three:
- Added sky
- Made some of the walls invulnerable
- Improved dialogue

Chapter Four:
- Added trees


Chapter Six:
- Player can see enemy ships now

Chapter Seven:
- Portals got Resistant Skin
- Added some Runes of Healing

Chapter Nine:
- Destroyer can no longer be trained in the Slaughterhouse
- Fixed Fleshtearer issue
- Fixed issue that made the Souleater Legion look like they're just a few Dreadlords


General:
- Fixed Splitting ability
- Fixed Spirit Legionnaire's Resistant Skin


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
- Replaced Largoth's Death Pact with Dark Spirits (new spell)
- Since Largoth doesn't have access to his full powers (or simply doesn't want to use them), he no longer has any ultimate spell

Chapter One:
- Replaced the models of all Orc buildings to something fitting the map theme

Chapter Two:
- Added new dialogue

Chapter Three:
- Added Defend for the Footmen attacking the base
- Footmen attacking the base get upgrades once Krom arrives
- The Iron Gate in the outpost can no be destroyed
- Increased the defense of the outpost
- The Firemage is now gone after the Prologue

Chapter Four:
- Added four new Pitlords
- Added attacking wave from Saphira

Chapter Six:
- All Demon units now belong to the Blooddrinker Legion
- Added Pitlord
- Added dialogue
- Dialogues are no longer triggered by Shades
- Added another scene to the epilogue

Chapter Eight:
- Koridun the Overseer is now level 9

Chapter Nine:
- Replaced Soul Burn of Progaderas with Mass Soul Burn
- Progaderas now has Spell Immunity
- Fixed the Imperial lines
- Added two more Pitlords
- Increased the power of Ornasions Rain of Chaos
- Increased the number of Orcs attacking the Imperials


General:
- The Skeletons raised by Aridon are now permanent, but have a limit of 5
- Increased Aridon's stats to make him fit his position as ultimate leader of the Undead


General:
- Various fixes


General:
- Various fixes

Chapter Nine:
- Players can now see the Imperial Border Guard
- Fixed Orc attack waves
- Added an initial orc assault on the Imperials

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

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

Chapter Six:
- Changed the name of the mission to A Rotten Breeze

General:
- Upkeep reworked: Low Upkeep now gives you 8 instead of 7 gold and High Upkeep now gives you 6 instead of 4 gold
- Furbolgs are now correctly named Bearmen

General:
- New model for Duke Redfist (courtesy of @Rhapsodie)

General:
- Fixed triggers that would not be working anymore after loading in newer versions of the game

Chapter One:
- Renamed the Inactive Nexus factions to:
* Inactive Zirr Nexus
* Inactive Rohir Nexus
* Inactive Scarec Nexus
* Inactive Ardoz Nexus
- Changed the color of the Inactive Zirr Nexus to Blue
- Changed the color of the Inactive Rohir Nexus to Teal
- Changed the color of the Inactive Scarec Nexus to Snow
- Gave the Nerubian Overlord his proper name: Haran'tel-kazor

Chapter Two:
- Added a black fog effect

Chapter Three:
- Changed the color of the Imperial Elite to Dark Green
- Renamed the Imperial Army to Bull Regiment
- Changed the color of the Bull Regiment to Teal
- Changed the color of the Royal Defenders to Blue
- Changed the color of the Imperial Garrison to Grey

Chapter Four:
- Changed the color of the Demon Slaves factions to Peanut

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

Chapter Eight:
- Renamed the Stonebreaker Dwarves to Stonelord Dwarves
- Changed the color of the Stonelord Dwarves to Brown
- Renamed Bor Stonebreaker to Bor Stonelord

Chapter Nine:
- Changed the color of the Darkmind Clan to Navy
- Increased the number of Darkmind Clan units attacking the Humans
- Added Wyvern spawns for the Darkmind Clan to attack the Humans until the quest is completed
- Minor dialogue adjustments
- Renamed the Imperial Border Guard to Bear Regiment


Models & Skins:
Blizzard Entertainment
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Wandering Soul
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Mephestrial
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Em!
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Frankster
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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
SuPa-
Tarrasque
Power
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Direfury
PROXY
Mechanical Man
DarkEvil
Infrisios
Hueter


Icons:
Blizzard Entertainment
Uncle Fester
CloudWolf
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SkriK
CRAZYRUSSIAN
Darkfang
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Fjury
PrMosquito
INSEKT
Muoteck
dickxunder
Frankster
CloudWolf
Kuhneghetz
Elenai
Heinvers
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Uljimasa Hojo
SinisterX
Darkfang
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Hellx-Magnus
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Mythic
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Pins
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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 Undead Book (Campaign)

Reviews
StoPCampinGn00b 22:13, 9th May 2015 Map Moderated - Legends of Arkain First Undead Book Comment - Imperator's Review Verdict - Approved, 4/5 Other [TR]Map Submission Rules Staff Contact The Hive's StaffMap Reviewers Description Tutorials

Pick your favorite character


  • Total voters
    200
Level 2
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
5
Where can i download Warcraft 3 version 1.29.2? i downloaded mine from oldgamesdownload but im not sure what version fo the game it is. Any help is appreciated !
 

Shar Dundred

Hosted Project: LoA
Level 60
Joined
May 6, 2009
Messages
5,393
 
Level 2
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
9
There seems to be a bug on Chapter 8 of not winning when you kill the base. I don't know the trigger but I left the dwarven base time to recuperate and I didn't win the quest.
Also what's with the Hood of Cunning fetish?
 
Level 20
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
577
There seems to be a bug on Chapter 8 of not winning when you kill the base. I don't know the trigger but I left the dwarven base time to recuperate and I didn't win the quest.
Also what's with the Hood of Cunning fetish?
It's probably due to the game version higher than the recommended one. 1.29.2 is the only choice for playing Arkain campaigns without problems.
 
Level 2
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
3
In chapter 8 as soon as dark green attacks with upgraded footmans (first attack of the map) after i killed one with Krom's ultimate the sidequest autmatically checks out. Game seems to think that regular footman is the captain.

Compared to Orc and Human books I finally like the difficulty level. It has way less stuff that makes me throw my poor mouse with rage all around my room. Of course it still have some becuase we can't have nice things in Arkain. We absolutely have to include small ramps, narrow passages and catapults in every attack wave. Still it was less of nightmare and much more doable on normal level.

There were more micro map and I really had fun with one when i could possess creeps on micro map. I remember cheesing early with not killing both Elder Bear Shamans and mind controlling them which gave me decent heal.

The macro map also were huge improvement. Finally I didn't had to destroy everything on the map, targeting leaders of Demon Slaves, choosing only to kill navy or going mass Spirits in chapter 8 felt fun and not masochistic.

Gameplay wise from what i played (Human 1+2, Orc 1+2 and now Undead 1) i liked this the most. Storywise still Human 2 is most engaging but for once I had fun playing this game instead of suffering only to get to know what happens after.
 
Level 9
Joined
Dec 1, 2021
Messages
61
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 went through a lot of the more popular campaigns, so I now feel a bit more comfortable trying to get through all of the first books of Arkain. And this was the second one I played through, since I remembered it being harder than the Human Book, but easier than the Orc Book (and now, I can confirm that I remembered correctly).


The story was very interesting and decently well made:
  • While the storyline of the undead books isn't as iconic as the one from the human books, I still think it's enjoyable for different reasons. The undead in the human and orc books played a pretty weird part in the narrative, as they were wild cards that could show up anytime and achieve seemingly anything they wanted, but a lot about them was shrouded in mystery. They also seemed like an extreme powerhouse that could seemingly conquer the entirety of Arkain if they wanted to, so their presence is always very unsettling.
  • So what happens if we flip the switch and make this weird, manipulate and overpowered faction the protagonist race that the player follows? Well, it makes writing a bit risky, as there are many potential mistakes that could be made here on accident. I think Shar avoided them quite decently here, as he did keep the creepy vibe of the undead, and they still felt very powerful and intelligent, but absolutely not indestructible or perfect. Turning the three books into the three alternate universes was also a smart call, as it means that Shar no longer has to worry about all the revelations creating enormous plotholes, or the plans of the undead turning out to be completely nonsensical.
  • I don't think the story of this campaign is as broadly appealing as the human story about sorting out inner conflicts while still trying to save Arkain from the demons, or the orc story about passionate, but (mostly) clever individuals trying to figure out how to prevent their race from going extinct. The tension here feels much lower, as it's kind of traded for a lot of world building that serves to complement the other two campaigns, offering insight, and a lot of new details that make us reevaluate some things, while seeing certain events and characters in a completely new light. I think using the campaign like this was a good choice, especially because it would have been boring to make it about heroic savior like Blen/Gardon/Rangul/Amari (I've got nothing against these characters, but storytelling is at its best when we're using new ideas, and aren't just repeating a formula).
  • 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.


The gameplay's enjoyability is somewhat subjective:
  • 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.
  • Arkain has another really appealing factor, which is the ability to make player choices that impact both the future story and the future gameplay.... theoretically. You see, while the human choices are amazing, and the orc choices are great, the undead ones are just kind of meaningless. I really hope that once Shar is finished with the True Story, he will return to update the Second Undead Book, because right now, most of the choices that you make are completely irrelevant and have no impact whatsoever. I understand why the second book was shortened, and I don't want to be a jerk that whines about some random choices. But such a core part of the campaign series with such a huge potential being completely wasted is something that should probably be acknowledged and potentially addressed in some way.


The heroes weren't that interesting, but most of them were fine:
  • I feel like Aridon's kit should have probably been a bit more wild than just: modified Carrion Beetles - modified Storm Bolt - Dark Ritual - modified Doom (and I mean, one of these spells is literally used by Cora, a random human mage). Although a more glaring flaw that he has, is how he blows up if he positions just a tiny bit too forward, and a few enemies look at him a bit funny. Yeah, an intelligence hero probably shouldn't outtank The Fleshtearer, but he was immersion-breakingly squishy here, and I'm glad the True Story addressed that.
  • Krom was probably the most interesting hero of the campaign. I liked how he was designed as a supportive spellcaster agility hero that still has a solid attack speed boost to keep his auto attacks relevant (which also sets him apart from the Shadow Hunter, who is basically an int hero in disguise). I'm not sure if his kit really does a good job at presenting him as a master assassin/hunter, but he's still fun, and he can give people the Crack!
  • Largoth is the only hero that straight up disappointed me. His kit is boring and underwhelming, and doesn't live up to his overly boastful nature in the slightest. And if I'm not sure if this is intentional, but he apparently doesn't have an ultimate either (which is weird, because I have a distinct memory of Animate Dead being available on him in CH6). Thankfully, that was acknowledged on the True Story, and he got a great rework there.
  • Rahandir is basically a Lich that got enormous buffs, and I love it. I honestly find it weird how Shar never actually nerfed Fist of Ice, or changed it to be his ultimate, but I guess if you're known for constantly throwing overpowered enemies at the player, then you might as well give the player something overpowered for once too. It also fits Raha, since he's basically the second most powerful undead, and the most arrogant of them all.
  • The Fleshtearer is a pretty cool concept. We've seen a lot of demi heroes in many Warcraft campaigns, but we've never seen a demi unit (I don't think anybody has used that term before, but I think it fits). I like that it was added, because otherwise, the player wouldn't have a strength hero on the big final map. It also makes sense that its kit is very simplistic, though I wish it focused a bit less on damage, and a bit more on survivability and sustain (I think it should have Cannibalize as a bonus ability, or it could be its E that you could level up, and Disease Cloud would be the bonus).
  • Veringar and Saphira are mostly just default heroes, so there's not much I could say about them. I feel like they were a bit too important to be stuck with a default kit, but Salomar wasn't exactly unimportant either, and if I was fine with him, then I'll be fine with these two as well.


Before I start talking about the chapters, there are a few things I would like to go over, such as:
  • The rating. Something weird that I've noticed is how the First Undead Book seemed to have not performed as well as the other two. And I definitely see why someone might think that it's the weakest first book, but I still think they're relatively the same in terms of quality, which is why I found this weird. I suppose the other two first books just got more people that were passionate enough to give them 5 stars?
  • 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.
  • Demons are apparently pretty indecisive about being counted as living or undead units. Most of them are living, but I've still found a Pit Lord in CH4 that isn't. Is he perhaps an impostor? (Please ignore the horrible state that fight was in. I most likely reloaded here xd)
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  • 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.)
  • When I completed Fists and Claws (the fifth chapter) and pressed the "Quit Mission" button after the end cinematic was over, the next mission, A Rotten Breeze, didn't become available in the campaign screen (though it was still accessible if I selected "Continue" in CH5, and it was available after I completed it and unlocked CH7).
  • On the campaign screen, chapter 8 is called "Possessed", while it's called "Possession" everywhere else. Please, make up your mind, Shar.
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  • Haran'tel-kazor's Cripple and Carrion Swarm abilities have overlapping hotkeys, as they both use "C". I don't remember which ones takes priority, though.
  • 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.


And now, we get to the chapters. I'm giving out a spoiler warning, as I will be going over individual choices here. 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 - For how much people talk about Arkain's macro missions being insane, Shar sure does know to have restraint when it comes to maps that could be your first experiences with the campaign series. Both this one and Clash in the Forest are maps that are fairly big, have multiple parts to them, and immediately have the tier 3 town hall unlocked. Yet they're still fairly simplistic in practice, and not that difficult or grindy. Tough, I think I like the undead first mission a bit more, as it's a perfect introduction to the narrative and the nexuses, while also having a few secrets, and a much more important choice. Speaking of the choice, the wiki says that "Not killing him results in him beginning at level 4 instead of 3 in the Second Undead Book", and I'd like to know if that affect his level cap, because I think that's actually quite impactful. The one part of the map that I'm not a fan of is the big swirly pathway on the crypt fiend nexus (I think it was the Rohir), which is an early sign of the annoyances that you could expect from Arkain. But at least if you save that nexus it for last, then it's kind of manageable. Oh, and btw, is there a chance that the enemy Chieftain hero uses Tauren Chieftain names? Because "Dusthoof" as a last name feels very off on an orc.
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CHAPTER 2 - Just like most people who have played Arkain, I also really adore this map. The concept is extremely unique, and trying to figure how to fully utilize all the sins is just fun. The sins also have this 6 man MMO/RPG group feel to them, which I really like. My only real complaints with the map are that it's a bit too short, there's not enough item drops, and the first fight shouldn't be so much harder than all the other ones (or the other ones shouldn't be so much easier than the first, I suppose). It also doesn't go as crazy with its concept as it potentially could, but the True Story did add some of Selior's memories as cutscenes, which was nice. (Even though I would have just made them play out on the side of the road without them interrupting the gameplay, while being blocked off with a force wall. Although now that I say this out loud, I think it would be better if this was done with the restrained thoughts, no?)

CHAPTER 3 - I don't really have much to say about this one, as it's kind of an unexciting, but really well made and balanced map. I liked the little enemy base behind the trees, and how it used a way gate that you yourself could then utilize after finding and destroying the base (I don't think the True Story changes on it were necessary, but they certainly made it more interesting). If there's one thing I didn't really like, it was the layout, as I feel like this map should have probably been a bit smaller, and Krom being completely walled off from the player's main base makes it very annoying/difficult to properly set up and utilize his side, and I'd like it if we had at least one tiny passageway to him, that wasn't blocked by an enemy base (and it could be blocked off by invulnerable rocks, until Krom arrives). But overall, this was just a great map that was made even better by the True Story.

CHAPTER 4 - I find it a bit weird that people don't really talk about this one a lot, as I feel like it is among the hardest maps of Arkain (though admittedly, most of the maps from the second books are worse). Not only do you have to complete this map with a tech disadvantage and two weak low level heroes with no starting items, but you also have to fight off against powerful attacks from 3 bases that are kind of difficult to destroy. Although, some early maps are generally pretty rough if you cap yourself at 50 supply, so I'm not blaming Shar, especially because the player is not even supposed to destroy the bases to begin with (though it does make me wonder why they give items, if that is the case). What I am blaming him for, however, is the fact that Saphira's frost wyrm attack is basically useless. Because for some reason, she sends the wyrms to attack a base that you can't really get access to by that time, and even if you're fast and you reach it in time, the couple of demonlords near the entrance might have something to say about you trying to kill their slaves. I don't want to come off as whiny, but it would make an enormous difference if Saphira attacked the base in the north instead. Oh, and using a Scroll of Town Portal on the starting black citadel can apparently get you stuck.
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CHAPTER 5 - The fact that this map didn't make it into the True Story makes me a bit sad, as now, we'll never know what the impact of the tunnel choice actually was :sad:. I definitely understand why it wasn't present though, since outside the choice, it didn't add much to the story (except for giving Veringar more screentime before he dies, but that isn't something the True Story needs to do), and the gameplay is basically a slightly less interesting Turnro micro map. But I still appreciate it, mainly because it serves as a nice break from the previous map (though the following two maps could fulfill that role too), and the balance feels really solid too. I liked the way a lot of the guardians and secrets were put into the map, and I wonder if this ranger hero is a reference to something, as her name kind of reminds me of Valeera or Alleria.
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Also, for some reason, Cannibalize is greyed out. I get why you wouldn't want us to have it (since Veringar's sustain is already good), but don't tease us like that. :angry:
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CHAPTER 6 - First of all, I'm really happy that you've renamed this chapter. It does fit the undead, even if a rotten breeze sounds kind of unpleasant (I suppose you get it when there's wind blowing near the dead body of an animal... which is indeed rather unpleasant). As for the map, its difficulty is pretty much between the other two breeze maps, but it leans a bit more on the easier side. The choice is interesting, but if I remember correctly, it's not something that you can do in the True Story, so I suppose we'll never get to see how Merlon's and Sasrogarn's passing would affect things. This also means that there's pretty much no downside to just taking the easier path and picking off some pre placed ships and vulnerable shipyards, meaning that players can just breeze through this without a consequence. The one thing that I really liked about the map is how the player gets so many production structures, but he also loses the ability to build them, which in turn gives them a much greater value. Having the buildings on three different islands also means that defending the structures is a bit more tricky than just camping in one area with a boatload of frigates and towers. Overall, this map would be great, if not for one thing... green Blooddrinker Legion? Seriously, green Blooddrinker Legion?!?!? :eekani:
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Abelhawk would be disappointed.

CHAPTER 7 -
Ah, a micro map 4 with heroes. It's unfortunate that not a lot of Warcraft 3 campaigns have micro maps with a lot of heroes, as I find it really fun to demolish enemies with a constant barrage of different spells. Also, I just love how crazy the skeleton spam becomes when you have Aridon, Saphira and a bunch of necromancers on the same group. I really like how the Ironfist fight was designed, and in case some of you were worrying about it being a choice (the dialogue kind of frames it like that), don't worry, not even the Wiki lists it as one. The idea with the Fleshtearer is also great, and the only thing that would have made it better is if it would have shown up in the second book in some way (as long as he survived, of course). The boss fight was a tad annoying, and the boss' ability to get rid of squishy units is quite rough, but for a late mission boss fight, his power is pretty much around where it should be. Overall, this is just a really fun map with some really good ideas. The only thing that I'd change is that I would make the boss fight initiate upon the player getting close to him, and upon not killing the big faceless one guarding him (would make it a little less annoying to farm both paths for items).

CHAPTER 8 - If I'd have to name the mission that gave me the most trouble, it would absolutely be this one. Not only am I have to play with a single hero, and with a major tech disadvantage, but I was also lucky enough to get an interlude before the map. (If you didn't know, watching an interlude before a map will automatically put it to hard difficulty if the campaign uses the default difficulty system. I know I could have fixed it do be normal, but I'm somewhat of a masochist, and it was still much easer than Disobeying Orders from Resurrection of the Scourge). Horribly tough difficulty aside, I actually kind of dig this map. The main idea is certainly very similar to the one seen in The Dark Lady (chapter 3 from Legacy of the Damned), but there are enough neat differences to prevent it from feeling like it was stolen. Having a weak human base rather than a weak undead one, being able to get Sir Ross' base as an ally by possessing him, and being able to upgrade the weapons and armor of my units by reaching a building inside an enemy base are the most notable ones. If I'd have to name some things that I'd change, it would be the following: Make the allied base attack the brown dwarves before the two main quest bases, because you pretty much have to destroy it. Give the hidden Paladin a level 2 Divine Shield instead of a level 3 one because he has enough guards, and he ain't Bubblerino (but I guess you could keep it if you really like annoying us xd). And there's a bug with the Kasrkin leader quest, where it gets marked as complete after the player defeats the wave at the start, despite the leader still being alive at a corner of the map. That one should probably be fixed.

CHAPTER 9 - Apparently, a lot of people think of this map as one of the big and hard Arkain missions, but honestly, if you just survive the first few minutes, spam spells consistently, and retreat when needed, then it should be about as easy as Payback was from the First Human Book. It definitely feels like a more intense version of that map, but being used as the final map instead of as an early one changes a lot about how it feels. It also has quite a few choices. It's nice how killing Progaderas actually has a consequence, especially because coming back for revenge and getting killed over and over again is his thing. But unfortunately, outside of getting item drops, destroying the orc bases achieves absolutely nothing, which again, is a bit of a waste. But as a final mission, I think this one works well. The stakes don't feel as crazy high as with the human and orc final missions, but the level does do a great at showing what the plans and moves of the undead have really led up to, and if you somehow loose Aridon, then the Second Book is going to waste no time punishing you for your failure. Also, possessing those overbuffed orcs is a lot of fun, and it's nice that we can actually see Grennan this time (I don't remember him being there in older versions).


And that's it for my review of the First Undead Book of Arkain. Thankfully, I was smart enough to keep the things I've written down saved in a Notepad, since Hive has recently started deleting messages upon the use of the refresh feature. So this analysis ain't getting deleted like the one about the First Human Book (I got all the way to CH7 with it, and yeah, I'm still salty about it), but the undead are my favorite race, so I'm thankful that I at least didn't loose this one. 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 and cold arrogant masterminds, but I'd say that this campaign is pretty well polished, as there aren't many bugs, mistakes, imbalanced things, and grammatical errors. Sure there are some (...green Bloodrinker Legion), 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.

I'm already getting kind of close to finishing the First Orc Book with this challenge, and I'll eventually review that too, but I'm heading for vacation soon, so don't be surprised if that one will take a while.
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! :smile:
 
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Level 6
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Oct 24, 2018
Messages
44
Just finished the walkthrough of this campaing, gotta say these first books of the arkain series is the reason why I play this game. Hard difficulty but doable and constant map pressure aswell as presence of the AI, never got a dull moment in each of the book witch I love.


If you wanna check out how my channel improved over the past few months or If you wanna follow the stream, I´m currently doing Revenge of Malganis so hoop on and have a good time.

Thank you Shar Drunded for another awesome campaign, excited to be playing the second books.
 
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Level 4
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Apr 29, 2017
Messages
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At last, the last of the first books I have successfully completed.

This campaign plays just a little differently to the others for the most part. Due to the nature of the Undead as a 'behind the scenes' race, the missions involved a lot more sabotage than siege, and sometimes even had other races fighting amongst each other while you slip under the radar. Although there is the fair share of straight up conflict, which the player is equipped fairly well to handle.

Having so many heroes in the one instance is fun, since I do like to play around with heroes and their rpg mechanics a lot. Rahandir I liked playing around with the most because of the power of Ice Fist, and I liked his character too, so it's a win/win.

This one was a little harder to manage at times, but still was plenty fun, so it's time I go discover the consequences of my actions as I start the second books!
 
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