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The Heart of Storms Act I: Dusk of Draenor


Hosted Project: HoS
Level 19
Mar 31, 2004

We bet you didn't see this coming!

So, what is the Heart of Storms?

The Heart of Storms: Dusk of Draenor is the first part of a massive campaign set across past and present Draenor, Azeroth, Argus and other, more exotic worlds. Carefully recreated according to the Chronicles canon, it shows many well-known characters and events of the Rise of the Horde era. You will witness the sieges of Karabor and Shattrath, the war against the ogres, the final desolation of Gorgrond and the opening of the first Dark Portal. You will meet heroes and villains of this bloody age - Yrel and Velen, Gul'dan and Blackhand, Durotan, Orgrim Doomhammer and many, many more. But the protagonists are completely new characters - an orc blacksmith named Arnak Bladeweaver, a Mok'nathal pit fighter named Wulnar Steelskin, and a castaway half-draenei mystic known only as Rogaar. Each of them will have to face their own demons, sometimes - in a literal sense...

And what's the story behind it?

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy that hadn't even yet seen The Frozen Throne, a campaign concept was born with three things in mind: bringing back Warcraft II style and feel, centering the plot around an orc warlord name Arnak and a high elf sorceress named Dayoma, and introducing a completely new race, Stygians, half-machine warriors adept at fighting demons.
Well, to be honest, Stygians came a bit later, but that's not the point.

HoS was supposed to combine the best aspects of Warcraft III and take them to a new level. A total conversion changing most of the game assets - units, sounds, tilesets. A campaign introducing original mechanics and story twists. And, last but not the least, keeping it true to canon Warcraft lore, not inventing any alternate universes, but adding a lot to the existing one. We planned to recreate Humans (and Dwarves/Gnomes), Orcs (and Ogres/Goblins) and High Elves according to Warcraft I/II and corresponding lore, and add two new races - Old God-worshipping Shadow Elves, and the enigmatic Stygians.

Over years, HoS has progressed well and got quite a lot of attention, becoming one of the definitive mods of the early Warcraft III modding era. By 2006 the mod reached a closed beta status and it all was going fine for a while. We finished five races with all units, heroes and buildings and were working on the campaign.

Starting from 2008, sadly, it stagnated and eventually went downhill - we felt burnt out, StarCraft II was looming on the horizon, and though quite a lot had been finished, the team dissolved within a few years. It felt like a good attempt, but one of those that never get out of "we tried" status.

Well. Never say 'never'.

It's back, it's bigger than ever, it's redone nearly from scratch, and it has one of the four campaigns and more than a half models and tech content nearly complete as we write this.

To give an idea of the project's scale, at the moment HoS has 1099 models finished (and we're counting units, portraits and spell models used for playable races, not doodads and bonus stuff), 1667 sound files (only unit replies) and script is 283560 characters long (only for the prologue campaign). It's less than a third of what we have planned.

For a brief history of how HoS came back to life, check below. First we'll tell you what to expect from it, now that it's back to the world of the living.

  • The campaign itself, a 5-mission prologue and three 8-10 mission acts, in four major releases. The prologue, Dusk of Draenor, is nearly finished, requiring only some minor work on the last mission and the outro.
  • Character-driven arcs with tons of cameos and references. The story is centered around original characters, but many, many familiar faces will appear, and iconic events will be shown, though sometimes from an unexpected point of view.
  • We're taking the campaign quality at a new level, comparable to StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, with a huge variety of side objectives, subfaction units and gameplay twists. Campaign-wide codex and achievements are also implemented.
  • Story changes depending on choices made; including secret endings and alternate routes. We've implemented a karma and consequences system that affects the outcome of the whole campaign.
  • It is not a remake of Warcraft I/II or retelling of books but a new story with its own plot that explores uncharted areas of Warcraft universe, both literally and figuratively.
  • Loads and loads of action and intrigue, all wrapped up in polished visuals.
Who is responsible for this?
  • Med. MapGuy: maps, campaign triggers, doodads, editing, scaling, scripting, terrain
  • Dmitry Rommel et al: script, reskins, concept, story, characters, general idea, colors, visual style, additional model and skin editing
  • Stefan.K: unit models, animations, model fixes, custom geosets, animated conversions, special effect fixes
  • HandClaw: texture and icon art, unit icons, ability icons, custom skins and reskins, cursors
  • PrinceYaser: freehand icons for units and abilities
  • HerrDave: so many good bases for orcs and tons of model supplements and animations
  • Uraman: melee mode triggering, balance, adjustments and maps, model edits
  • Eldertitanfall / Feodor: melee AI, teamwork, resources
  • Kantarion: working with terrain and cliff textures
  • s3113r: melee and AI coding
  • stein123: collections of treasures we thought lost, and preservation of the most rare and valuable models
  • Brian Sink: modelling
  • Tarrasque: modelling
  • Sellenisko: additional model editing
  • Nexis: artwork and fine lining
  • ANDGIL: loading screen art
  • ISnopchenko: ideas, sounds, locales and support
  • Malmgrev: custom unit voices
  • Xelos (Michael32): stash or stunning models and contributions
  • Dreamkraft: collection of fine ports that saved our model bank
  • bakr: for his amazing building models and vision of architecture
Special thanks to:
  • General Frank for permission to edit his models, which were used for Draenei and Goblin vehicles
  • Blood Raven for permission to edit his weapon models, which were used for many, many units and heroes
  • Braderunner for her awesome title screen art
  • Kitt Rangers for his morale, financial and motivational support at the times of great need

Thanks to the community model authors whose work was used in HoS:

  • WILL THE ALMIGHTY for explosions of the buildings and units
  • Mythic (now Vinz) for visual and special effects, spells, missiles, Draenei buildings and animations
  • Hawkwing for custom geosets when we needed them most
  • Darkfang for skins and ability icons
  • Tauer for high quality named hero models and skins
  • PROXY for for doing what we were all too lazy to do with special models
  • Dreamkraft for the collection of fine ports that saved our model bank
  • I3lackDeath, Wildfire and FeelsGoodMan for the UI that gave birth to our UI
  • P3in for his stash of amazing special effects
  • Empyreal for his visual effects of brilliant design
  • Grey Knight, Deolrin and Red for rally point animations.
  • The_Warchief for his time indicators
  • johnwar for lots of reimagined orcs
  • Vulfar, HappyCockroach, Ujimasa Hojo, Remixer, Rangnar, Racziel, Deolrin, Red, doom_sheep, eubz, 8512590215848, xw1995327www, Эльрат, Mc !, Fingolfin, Ageron, Tamplier - for doodads.
  • NhazUl for autocast
  • ~Nightmare for his Move Mithril Spear 3
  • Spellbound for Lightning effects
  • Sin'dorei300 for his collection of icons and UI assets
  • Kenathorn for item models
  • Milan The Ripper for Torchlight icons
  • Loken Ironwolf for extracting Pale Orc sounds

  • Pheonix IV
  • Albiino-I
  • Garfield
  • Tufy
  • Stuffkikker
  • Xaran Alamas
  • Armel
  • Celestea
  • Gooi
  • VooDooO
  • Afronight76
  • Hueter
  • Punisher X
  • Mako_Deamon
  • Ragnar
  • Funkmaister
  • An Old Friend
  • Alyx
  • Edwyn
  • IskatuMesk
  • Kenbar
  • K.O.T.T.
  • Magic
  • Mink
  • Mpskydog
  • Spaces
  • Takaran

With the release, we will also publish a full list of authors whose assets were used for each specific unit or structure model.

So how did HoS come back to life?

Long story short, HoS relived several revivals. While by 2010 it was officially frozen and some of existing resources were put up for download (you can still find them here: Projects of old, gather ye' resources... [Mod Compendium]), as we believed Warcraft III is dead and is going to replaced with StarCraft II, the reality proved us wrong. In 2017, HoS was brought back to life and completely redesigned: the list of planned factions went up from 4 to 10, including the Burning Legion; visuals from 2006 were unearthed to be replaced; and overall a new team was formed.

It was not until 2021, however, that we actually began to work on it, revamping everything - and thanks to Med. MapGuy, who came up with the idea of bringing old campaign ideas back to live. This made the cogs spin at a reliable speed, as we now had a goal! All of the assets were updated; tons of new ported sounds, icons, special effects, WoW models, were included into the pool. The gameplay part was completely redesigned, keeping all the iconic unit ideas, but reinventing their abilities and characteristics from scratch.

We then started to recreate this design as object data and new models. Our biggest model-production improvement was the new Retera’s Model Studio that drastically increased the speed and quality of making new visuals. We invited the dream team of special people in every regard: Med. MapGuy the World Editor master, HandClaw the concept and icon artist, stein123 the keeper of lost models, Stefan.K the master animator, HerrDave the master model designer, Uraman the balance master, to make a gigantic leap in the hardest part: creating and using the HoS visuals. We literally did much more in 1 year than in the previous 17 years.

We then took time to rework the UI, the approach to tooltips and texts, redesigning and expanding all ingame text: for example, now every spell, unit and upgrade tooltip includes a lore quote. We have also compiled a huge Codex containing both canon lore and HoS-specific additions, and included its entries as unlockables in the campaign.
It was not too easy to adapt everything to the new concept, but we managed to do just enough for the prologue, to add the rest further on the way. We have also restored the original HoS voices recorded back for the 2006 version (we even forgot some of these sounds ever existed), but since they were not enough to cover the vastly expanded faction and unit roster, we decided to include sounds from WoW and some other games, edited and adjusted to blend in.

Streamlining the process came naturally; the models we spent many messy days creating at first, we could now create much faster. Even with all the challenges, we’re now moving onwards and at the moment of this writing, 4 out of 5 Prologue missions are more or less complete. Now, all that's left is to polish and release it… Only to improve upon the result later with updates and move on to the next chapter.

Which factions will be playable?

In the prologue, three of them: Draenei, Orcs and Ogres. In campaigns, Orcs will be available not only as the basic faction, but also as three additional clan-specific variants: Blackrock Clan, Twilight's Hammer Clan and Feral Clans (Thunderlords, Frostwolves and Whiteclaws using the same unit roster, all clad in furs and riding wolves). Some additional clan-specific units, such as Warsong and Shattered Hand ones, will also be included. And that's not to mention new creeps!

Next chapters will each include more playable factions:
  • Alliance: Humans, Dwarves, High Elves (in addition to Draenei)
  • Horde: Goblins, Forest Trolls (in addition to Orcs and Ogres)
  • The Burning Legion
  • The Aether Cult (Shadow Elves)
  • The Stygian Phalanx

There will also be additional playable subfactions in campaign (Kul Tiras and Stromgarde for humans, Dark Irons and Wildhammers for dwarves, etc), and there will be more factions in campaign that don't fit any of the above.


But the Draenei became a part of the Alliance only in The Burning Crusade era!
We know! They are listed among the Alliance races only for gameplay purposes, and to have an "Alliance" race in the opening campaign set during the Rise of the Horde. They are not connected to the Alliance story-wise in any way, and, true to lore, have almost no interaction with races of Azeroth in pre-WoW times.

Why release in packs / chapters?
The moment we knew the scale of the project, we were facing the same choice StarCraft II had:
  1. Condense the story into a single release and all factions into 4 of them, but release it all quickly, then add more side missions and units in future updates.
  2. Do not condense anything, and make all 10 factions, but release the content in packs of one campaign chapter + 1-3 factions.
  3. Prepare the tech data and assets, then release campaign missions one by one.
We chose option two. This way, we still have ample space for fixes and improvements, can include all we want, and produce the content packs in meaningful doses. It also gives more stuff to look forward to, but does not diminish the ambition to make HoS the single most epic WC3 classic mod, as it was always meant to be.

This is, of course, not without significant challenges… Which we overcame for the prologue chapter.

Will there be playable {insert another race name here}?

No, but minor races will be included where they fit, including as creeps.
  • Blood Elves - unfortunately, would be too similar to High Elves, not to mention they appeared pretty late in the game timeline, and HoS mainly focuses on Warcraft 1-2 era.
  • Arakkoa are part of the Draenei faction, because realistically it's the only way to give them proper aerial capabilities. Both flying and corrupted Arakkoa are also creeps on pre-Warcraft 1 Draenor.
  • Gnomes will be part of the Dwarves faction, and some will even come as mercenaries!
  • Jungle, Ice, Dark and Zandalari Trolls would be too similar to Forest Trolls, but some of their iconic traits are already planned for the Amani.
  • Night Elves don't really fit into the story, but there will be the original Highborne Kaldorei in the flashbacks.
  • Mag'har don't make sense from the story perspective as they played virtually no role until the Burning Crusade, but there will be uncorrupted brown-skinned orcs in the early Horde.
  • Only Orcs will have playable Dragons (or, to be precise, enslaved dragonlings and drakes), with more Dragon units moved to creeps; other factions will use their own dragon-like creatures.
  • Elementals are not playable, with the exception of some summonables and creeps.
  • The Broken and the Lost Ones don't really constitute a separate faction, and making them a part of Draenei faction would only be fit for post-WC3 era.
  • Titanforged will be reimagined and incorporated into the Stygian Phalanx.
  • We do have big, big plans for Old God and Void themed creatures (both as creeps and a part of Shadow Elves), but for the most part, they will not be related to those you've seen on Azeroth, such as Nerubians or Faceless Ones. We will, however, have the Twilight's Hammer in all its glory, including Pale Orcs, ogre magi, Void-touched mutants, lots and lots of tentacle horrors, and even human cultists later on.
Will Burning Legion reuse Scourge units from WC3?

Definitely not, because Scourge was a specific Warcraft 3 era project of the Nathrezim, and we're depicting the Burning Legion as a whole - a 100% demonic force. Some Scourge units will be moved to creeps, including heroes (Dreadlord and Pit Lord, but with updated graphics and tweaked abilities). Infernals are also present as summonable Legion units, but reworked visually and balance-wise.

The Legion will have a techtree made from scratch, based on their depiction in World of Warcraft: Legion. The goal is to give them distinct, cool and stylish forces, not reuse the assets with minimum effort.

What level of visual detail is expected?

Back in 2003, one of main ideas as HoS just started was improving Warcraft 3 visuals and taking graphics to a new level of detail. As of today, when Reforged and WoW-based mods are around, this is no longer a goal, but we're aiming at decently detailed models (with polycount somewhere at vanilla WoW level) all sharing a consistent and unique visual style.

Some models and their parts will surely have higher detail level than most: heroes and capital ships / buildings are definitely more detailed, and faces of characters are expected to have higher resolution textures and higher polycount than bodies.

We're also making graphics somewhat closer to WoW and Warcraft 1 and 2 in terms of proportions, gamma, and overall style and feel.

Will WoW assets be used?

While we have no objections against using WoW models for "purity" reasons, we avoid taking simple rips/converts (with original polycount, messed attachments and extents, missing footprints and team color, unaltered skins and geometry, no talk animations on portraits, etc). All WoW rips we use are modified, sometimes heavily, to fit HoS visual style and quality standards, and we always tinker with the model until it satisfies all the basic needs of gameplay. WoW animations are also avoided where a more fitting alternative exists. What we do use often is WoW textures and model parts where they fit the models.

Can you guys post your models on Hive?

Our models would not exist without the community and belong to everyone. Once we upload the version, all of the files will be fully available for use by anyone able and willing, please do with them what you will - provided, of course, you credit the original authors.

For that, we made a list of who authored each asset we used. If you don't find your name there, please tell us: that list is HUGE, and it's easy to miss an entry or two.

Note, however, that these models use a LOT of custom objects that will not work without supplementary files, and often are tied to unit settings to work correctly. In other words, some tuning will be required to use such a model in another campaign or map. But if we could make it, one can adapt it.

Why are all Decay animations missing?

Because decaying bones animation in Warcraft III is probably the single worst asset Blizzard has ever created, rivaled maybe only by Tyrande's low-poly face. Instead, when a unit dies in HoS, the whole corpse will lie there until it disappears. Or will explode. One of the two. Still, many models have this animation (it's just disabled), so they should still be usable elsewhere.
Oh, and we also don't use hero glow either, as it's breaking the immersion and overall looks bad. Instead we put effort into making heroes visually distinct to stand out against common units at first sight.

What exactly will be different between races within the same side (i.e. different Horde races)?

Pretty much everything. While we can't really change the hardcoded mechanics (like powerbuild being available to Alliance factions), everything else will differ. The prologue will show an example of it with Orcs vs Ogres:
  • Orcs rely on zerg rush with lots of cheap units, Ogres have more expensive and food-costly fighters;
  • Orcs have very little healing, Ogres have dedicated healers;
  • Orcs have no traditional summons, Ogres use them all the time;
  • Orcs have access to dispelling, Ogres do not;
  • Ogres have almost no aerial units, Orcs do;
  • Ogres have very few magic damage units, Orcs have them;
  • Orcs have mercenary mechanics (instant units), Ogres have additional temporary summons instead;
  • Orcs use stealth, Ogres don't;
  • Orcs have traditional anti-aerial defense, Ogres rely on indirect countermeasures;
  • Orc units mostly lack high armor and life, Ogres are all about toughness.
And here's a brief comparison of the basic melee infantry of the three factions:
  • Draenei get Peacekeeper, passively protected from piercing and magic damage, and increasing armor of nearby allies (but not self), yet this unit is relatively slow.
  • Orcs get Grunt, which is cheap and fast, and gets Blood Fury (self-cast Bloodlust for a few seconds), Pillage, and small speed boost for allies (but not self), but is also weakest of them all and has the worst armor.
  • Ogres get Basher, which has highest Life and damage of the three, but also costs most, consumes 2 Food instead of 1, can eat a corpse for healing, and may deliver an AoE attack on top of a normal blow.
Which is best? Depends on how you use them. Grunt is cost-efficient but will quickly die in battle, although to be fair, 4 Grunts are stronger than 3 Peacekeepers, and on a wide area, can be deadly to 2 Bashers. Peacekeepers don't do much by themselves, but they are perfect tarpit tanks for their ranged and healing allies. Bashers are heavy hitters and can be damaging against hordes of lesser foes, but they are not built for zerg rush - they are more suited for withering tactics.

This principle applies to every other remotely similar unit, with some not even having equivalents. While certain units may be similar or even borrowed by different factions, the differences are always there and are not just cosmetic or simply their costs. We aim at trying to make lore significantly affect the gameplay: that is, an ogre unit should definitely and logically be different from an orc, and stuff that is ogre-ish lore-wise should go to ogres first. Think StarCraft-level differences, with much inspiration from unit-building of Command and Conquer series, Dawn of War, Disciples and Heroes of Might and Magic.

Will all units from WC1 and WC2 reappear?

Most of them will, but they will be different in terms of gameplay. It's not a literal remake, after all. Most iconic traits of these units have to be kept, however, like Bloodlust of Ogre Magi, Death and Decay of Death Knights, Water Elementals summoned by Conjurers (and, true to Warcraft 1, these elementals will look like graceful women rather than shapeless blobs), Daemons summoned by Warlocks, Exorcism of Paladins, and many others. Many significant differences will be there, though: for example, Knight/Paladin and Ogre/Ogre Mage will be separate units with different abilities and roles, not upgrades.

We believe other projects do a very good job at transferring pixel era units and buildings into polygons literally, so we chose to follow the visual canon loosely, instead aiming at "what would be both cool and iconic". For example, orc buildings' architecture is very similar to their Warcraft 2 counterparts, but they are constructed from dark stone and blackened iron for a more sinister look. We even drew inspiration from combining lore and minor obscure details - for example, Warcraft 2 manual had the Paladin pictured without a mount, which gave us the idea to expand on the canon idea of them being former Clerics and result in making the Knight and the Paladin completely different units, as stated above - while the Knight is a mounted noble horseman armed with the iconic flail, crushing all opposition in melee, the Paladin is essentially a warrior priest with a hammer and a prayer book, designed to counter summoned creatures and Shadow units.

Some units are even included for nostalgic reasons even if they are not really needed in the gameplay: the army would not feel “complete” without them, as simple as that. This is reminiscent of how Protoss Carrier was carried into StarCraft II no matter how many people said it’s obsolete. In these cases, we tried to give these units something unique to distinguish them: a good example would be Death Knight that, in WC2, was pretty much all casters condensed into one, while here we decided to make it an offensive tier 3 unit as opposed to “supporting” tier 2 Warlocks and Necrolytes.

What’s the approach to balance?

Think more StarCraft II levels, where units are mechanically different and can be devastating if used correctly. We want every single entity to feel and sound cool: unless it sounds immediately awesome, it does not matter what it actually does. If everything is awesome, nothing is too imbalanced.

One of the key aspects we're borrowing from StarCraft II is variety. With an abundance of factions and sub-factions, campaign-specific units and varied mission mechanics, each mission will feel different from the other.

A lot of units will be difficult to use, but worth the trouble: like, for example, summoning Daemons of Warlocks, that is sure hard to do, but the results are spectacular.

Will naval units return?

Yes, each faction will get their own 3 ships (transport, frigate and battleship) with their own abilities, strengths and weaknesses. Ships are very powerful at sea, although only battleships can fire far enough to really harm units on dry land.

This is still a great simplification from WC2, though. There won't be an Oil resource (in some campaign missions there will be actual oil rigs, refineries and tankers, but they'll be harvesting gold instead), and not all maps will even have enough water. It's more of a fun addition than a core mechanic.

Because WC3 was not coded with this in mind really, the shipyard will be moved to the faction's shop, and any Hero can buy it as an item and build it on a shallow or deep water as long as they have prerequisite buildings. AI will not use ships at all unless scripted in campaign maps.

Do factions get transports for traveling over impassable terrain?

All factions will have transport ships to cross the sea if needed, but only a few will have aerial transports, and some will circumvent it in other ways (such as teleportation or summonables). We want, however, to avoid having maps where the only way to the enemy is by air.

What about in-game items?

We tried to expand it. All factions get their own shop with 8 unique items not found among other factions', and different from neutral items available from creeps or merchants. Some of these items can be really powerful (and expensive), while others are upgrades over the neutral equivalents.

Neutral items are much more condensed and universalized, though, since most truly unique abilities have been moved to units instead.

Will there be a larger army size?

The army cap remains at 100, but most units will cost much less food: for example, all simple infantry will cost 1 food, with the exception of Ogres (whose units, as a rule of thumb, all cost +1 food compared to equivalents of other races). Heroes’ food cost will be removed altogether since they are limited to 3 anyway. Most quasi-units (like semi-mobile towers of Draenei) and most summonables will cost no food either, resulting in a potentially larger army.

Will there be superweapons?

No. Gameplay-wise, superweapons in Command and Conquer series served as a motivator for the player to spread out and decentralize their expansion, plus speed up the game. WC3 does not really have such a playstyle, and this motivation is excessive. So while there are some abilities in HoS with the exact premise of "if you do build it, it's powerful enough to justify the cost", there are no superweapons per se.

In return, however, battleships, ultimate hero abilities and certain high-level units and creeps may have stats that pretty much make them superweapons.

In the 2006 version we considered giving each faction a unique super unit with a build limit of 1 (such as Avatar of Shial for the Shadow Elves and Doombringer Beast for the Horde), but we'll likely make them campaign-specific units instead.

What are new mechanics to look out for?

Undead classification is not of much use anymore - since undead units are only a handful of creeps now, and literally two Orc units. Instead, two new ones are introduced:
  • Bulky and Mounted units - these are one and the same, just different names; used for large creatures and, well, mounted units (all forms of cavalry). They are usually unaffected by abilities that would significantly harm a smaller unit, but in return, take more damage from others (such as units armed with spears and lances).
  • Shadow units - for simplicity, all units tied to Void, darkness, undeath and Fel, are classified as Shadow. A lot of abilities will only affect Shadow units (allied or enemy), or will affect only non-Shadow ones. Shadow Elves and Legion will get most units classified this way, and Orcs and Trolls will have a high share of them in their army. In some aspects it's similar to the old Undead type, but is applied to a larger variety of units.

In addition, Resistant units are much more common now, each side having some, largely immune to effects that don't harm heroes. Orcs (and later other factions) will also get some Ethereal units that are unable to attack directly, but are also immune to physical harm. Some of the trainable units are classified as Summoned, making them vulnerable to dispels.

Speaking of which, dispelling is more rare now - some factions have it abundant (Orcs being first), others have it limited (like, only on Heroes), and some won’t have it at all. This felt a better system than “everyone gets the dedicated caster who can do AoE dispel”.

Levels are now much more condensed: while Heroes remain at levels 1-10, units are now on same level as their tier (1-2-3, rarely 4), creeps scaled accordingly (level 1 roughly equivalents to tier 1 units, 2 to 2, 3 to 3, 4 and 5 being more powerful than player units, and 6+ are basically mini-bosses). This also means heroes are harder to level up, but their abilities are scaled up to compensate.

Armor and weapon mechanics are now closer to vanilla WC3, with more intuitive relation.
  • Divine armor is not so uncommon now, but still rare; while resistant to most forms of damage, it is vulnerable to Chaos.
  • Chaos damage is all-rounder, and is much more prevalent.
  • Piercing damage is mostly useful against Unarmed units now, making shooters particularly effective against casters, but is of much less use against Fortified and Heavy armor.
  • Magic damage is much more potent, allowing casters to defend themselves, but is mostly effective against Heavy armor.
  • Siege damage, while strong against Fortified armor, will be weaker against everything else.
  • Normal damage is most useful against Light and Unarmored units.
  • Fortified armor is less vulnerable to non-Siege damage, and structures are more durable than before.
We also try to factor the unit's logic into these things; i.e. thrown axes will count as Normal, and spears as Piercing, giving some units unorthodox roles like melee caster-killers, aerial artillery or backline anti-shooters.

In addition to casters able to support units with buffs, there will also be casters with direct damage spells (like Mage in WC2) and dedicated aura units (like Kodo in WC3) who boost other units while alive, often only a certain type of them (like aura that gives speed, but only to non-Shadow allies). Combining several unit types is never a bad thing.

It will also be much harder to drown your opponent in similar units; a swarm of Grunts, while effective against light units, will not be of much use against enemy base, and needs their Catapults, casters and buffing / aura units to be brought along, otherwise a few well-placed towers can halt them. A pack of Dragons is a nightmare of any base, but can be stopped by anti-air units. A squad of stealth assassins will decimate enemy workers and casters, but will be nearly powerless against Mechanical units and base defenses.

In the campaign, an Achievements mechanic is added, earning credit for going out of your way to certain tasks and even unlocking new plot branches, saved between missions.

All multi-tiered campaign missions (that are, effectively, 2-3 missions condensed into one) will get an auto-save feature.

The techtree size is larger than vanilla, but obeys the same limits per faction:
  • Up to 11 buildings + shipyard
  • Up to 4 units per building, plus summonables
  • Up to 3 stages of upgrades
  • 4 heroes with 10 skill points each
  • 8 unique items

How hard will it be to learn?

Harder than vanilla; in prologue, we don’t have enough missions to introduce units one by one per faction, but we tried to make the curve smoother.

For convenience, all units, including heroes, have detailed descriptions of what their intended role is:
  • Attack units focus on dealing damage and fighting in front lines
  • Defense units are better in controlling the enemy and absorbing their attacks
  • Healing units are there to restore life and mana of allies and resurrect them
  • Support units are all sorts of buffers, debuffers, summoners and synergetics
  • Siege units are long-range attackers not intended for front lines
  • Scout units are focused on stealth and/or speed, but not fit for direct combat
We also added lore-friendly descriptions and specified RPG classes where able, which may help with learning too, so that a unit does what you would think it’s supposed to do.

Will there be melee maps?

As much as the game engine allows it. We will make a few maps for Reforged (with classic graphics) that can be played in non-story mode, just for fun, against your friends or against an AI. These maps will only be playable with local files (see below).

These are also a good way to familiarize yourself with the new mechanics, units and tech trees. The melee maps will work by allowing you to choose a faction before battle (once you choose the Alliance or Horde). In the prologue, this will only work for the Horde (Orcs or Ogres).

Note that in earlier releases, Undead and Night Elf players will not get to choose to play; if you choose them, the map will count it as a defeat.

Does your AI do good with the new techtrees?

AI in WC3 is limited in terms of customization, so it does... okay. It cannot use the complex spell combos, but that's exactly what gives the player an advantage. AI will get the economy boost to make it more challenging, though.

If you know how your units and their abilities work, the brute zerg rush of AI has no chances. In fact, the Karabor chapters in the campaign show it.

Why no trigger-based spells and abilities?

Unless we are bypassing a hardcoded error/limit from 2003, nothing is made using triggers in the tech tree itself. There's a lot of reasons for that, from importing issues to keeping the system stability. Instead, we try to squeeze as much as possible out of the existing mechanics. It is, however, likely that as the development progresses, we will need more and more trigger-based fixes that remedy the two decade old limits.

Will there be a voiceover?

All units' and heroes' ingame replies will be new (with very few exceptions such as Peon or Footman, but even the Grunt got a new voice). We originally recorded lines for the main characters and some units back in 2000's, but as many more were added since then, we borrow their voices from other games. For example, Orgrim's replies were carefully cut from his obscure dialogue in Warlords of Draenor.

Cutscenes and campaign dialogue, however, will not be voiced; we lack a big cast of professional actors to do that, as the script is huge, with dozens of chars.

Note that due to limits imposed by the engine, to use the custom voiceover, you will need to download a separate MPQ archive that contains the necessary files, and upload it to your Warcraft III folder.

Is the plotline set in Main Universe or Alternate Universe?

It’s intended as main universe, but the events of WC1-WC3 are not shown directly, focus is on what was left out. From the canon standpoint, we take Chronicles as the reference, but follow the principle of “If it’s not stated as non-canon, then it may or may not be one”.

We also try to make the campaign slightly non-linear, changing subsequent missions based on decisions made in previous chapters, with choices being meaningful to both the story and the endings. It’s all still within the MU canon, but we want the story to feel “living” within the universe, not just mimicking it.

Events of World of Warcraft are regarded as canon up until and including WoW: Legion. Everything past that is deliberately omitted.

Alternate universe is referenced, but the events are told from the MU standpoint.

For the tone of the story, we wish to focus more on the darker side of Warcraft universe. It is not meant to be funny or lighthearted.

Is the story finalized?

Yes and no. We have the general plot and major story turns set in stone, but lots of additional detail is added along the way. It’s dynamic and we’re glad we can make it change as needed, and even make it non-linear. Can’t wait to see everyone’s ideas and suggestions.

In fact, it has already changed much from the original concept based on originally insignificant plotlines and cameos getting development.

So the story is different from the 2006 version?

Yes, though major plot elements remained intact. We incorporated all related lore written by Blizzard since then, though we do use the Chronicles as the main source of canon, since WoW and novels are often a mess in terms of consistency. Notable changes include the Shadow Elves no longer being related to Emerald Nightmare (but we came up with an even cooler story based on Void lore) and the Stygians being not just an alien race but a variant of the Titanforged, closely linked to the Pantheon and Sargeras' betrayal.

My mission crashes!

Please tell us what were you doing and where it happened. We can use all your feedback and advice to make it better. It's a big project, but together we will patch it all out.

If you experienced a memory crash, please attach the respective log file from the Errors/ folder in your Warcraft III root.

Are local files mandatory?

Read here on how to enable local files: it's easy, quick and safe for your system, and it's reversible at any time.

We will make a standalone version that should not require them, but that locks you out of some hard-coded things like new team colors, and will only allow you to play the campaign, not the custom maps, plus introduces some non-critical bugs.

Download the new MPQ archive that fits your version, which contains the necessary files, as a simpler and more reliable method. This requires no extra steps beyond copying it into the game directory.

Which game version will the project use?

We currently use 1.27B, which can be acquired easily here, and we can be sure it works as intended there. It did lock us out of a few mechanics, but that was not critical.

Version 1.29 is partially supported, with some minor bugs, and will be fully supported in future.

Cannot guarantee that it will work on any higher version of classic WC3, and it will definitely NOT work on anything below 1.26. Results in Reforged are... unpredictable, to say the least.

Should it become technically possible to shift the campaign to a more stable version of the game without a loss in quality, we will gladly do so.

What will the system requirements be?

Higher than vanilla WC3, that's for sure. Do not set the game settings below high quality, because most modern models and particles will simply crash the game if it tries to tone them down.

The heavily-customized abilities data does take its toll on CPU (loading time, mostly, not the game performance itself), be prepared, and the visuals are much heavier than WC3 was. Since there’s little we can do to optimize the engine itself, you are better off having more RAM and processing power.

However, it's not that dramatic, at least in our tests, and in fact seems acceptable. We really hope to optimize it in the future, one way or another. Advice, feedback and help are most welcome.

Will you move to Reforged (with classic graphic settings)?

Melee maps will be done to work in Reforged, with classic graphics.

The campaign is more nuanced:

Porting is not possible in the game's current state. While this may give us some additional possibilities, the risks are currently not worth it. Time will tell.

Can promise that we will prioritize the stability and performance, thus we will try to adapt the mod for Reforged if it proves to work better there.

A most likely event to kickstart the Reforged migration would be the campaign support enabled in game. Should that happen in foreseeable future, we will develop the Chapter 1 of the campaign, and the future releases, for the Reforged from the start, but Prologue Chapter was done for 1.27/1.29 with no easy way (currently, at least) to simply adapt it.

How quickly is development going? / How long until release? / When open beta?

Now that it’s more or less mass-produced and everything, pretty quickly. On average, each model takes a day, for example. Missions, of course, require much more time: it usually took us a week or so to write the script for each, and a month to complete it, excluding pauses taken. But we can and we should accelerate it all.

Team HoS wants YOU to help us make it all faster!

Do you need help?

Yes, and always. Will be thankful for any of it, every little bit helps - both professional commissions and enthusiastic aid.
  • Melee maps - campaign is the most iconic part of the mod, but we wish to add maps for multiplayer game as well. We already have all the art assets and mechanics - now just to put them together.
  • Optimization - if you have experience with this, we could use help of all kinds: load times, performance, and many more.
  • Animations - we always have something to commission to fix the animations, or add new ones.
  • Skins - if you can aid us in editing the textures to make them better, and are accepting commissions, awesome!
  • Icons - there are loads and loads of units so any help here would be most welcome!
  • Mesh editing - if you have rare models that you would like to be used as base for something nice, or want to create / improve our meshes, you are welcome.
  • Special effects - never a bad thing to commission or improve one, if you know a thing or two about making them, be our guest!
  • AI scripts for melee. We did some, and they work, but if you are an expert, you are most welcome.
  • Advice on game balance is welcome. You can’t reach perfection, but it’s always better to know the opinion of players.
  • All the bugs you can find and report, obviously. And the features too.
  • Voice acting - while HoS is not planned as a fully voiced campaign due to the sheer amount of dialogue and a huge number of characters involved, we aim to give every unit a custom voice set, so all help here is very welcome! This applies both to actually recording the voices and to advising of “have you tried using this set from that game for this unit?”.
  • Artwork - why not add more good images to the mod for promotional or flavor purposes?
  • And of course ideas on what you want to see in the future, including new units, visuals, mechanics, abilities and characters, in addition to what we already have planned!

Please join us on our Discord channel


And remember
Dusk of Draenor is only the beginning. There's much, much more to come...
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Level 7
Mar 12, 2016
I don't think you will be able to pull it off giving the sheer size of the project.
  1. Condense the story into a single release and all factions into 4 of them, but release it all quickly, then add more side missions and units in future updates.
That was the better option. Episodic model reeks of Half-Life 2.
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Level 21
Dec 4, 2007
Hefty announcement and it looks good!
Very interesting, how there are so many quality custom campaigns coming out/being worked on.

Just gotta find the time to play them:peasant-work-work:
Level 17
Dec 24, 2018
This looks better that i exept, i remember some years back when HoS and there was black elfs(lots of black elfs models) like main protagonist and now you show as many others race + upcoming races and models, wow, speaking of models i got few models with classic animations that can be good for those rice that your models can insired or retexutres or used like is necessery
like skeletonlord
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Level 17
Dec 24, 2018
Thanks! Is there a way to see your collection?
Many designs for future races are still pending, so we're always on lookout for more animation/mesh bases.
shure for those years i got few models all with classic animations, who represents classic models, i made picture of some cuz when i creating custom race (now almost imposible working on long project) or joining to techtree contest to inspired what should i made 8D, nevermind i post link with pictures
Level 12
Jun 19, 2016
Not in Dusk of Draenor (though there are some Shattered Hand units), but they may yet appear in following chapters set during Warcraft I, II and BtDP. We actually have a Kilrogg skin in game now but parts of it are used for other units)
Can you please share Kil'rogg skin?


Arena Moderator
Level 45
Jul 29, 2008
Holy smokes... What a pleasant surprise!

I've been avidly following HoS since the late 'Oughts, and have been excited to see each time it was Resurrected. It's definitely looking different (haven't even finishd reading the MASSIVE first post), but I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys do now.

Why you didn't update this thread with all this info. Missed out on all this for almost a week! :O

And there's been too much info to post in the old thread. My bad, however, that I didn't post at least a link there)
Hi Rommel, your project looks great. I am glad cartoonish tileset i created long ago back in wcu days doesnt bother you. Cartoon fits with wow the best
They are kinda very outdated, its just if you want preserved quality i suggest use taptalk old site (not rebirth mod,they are decreased quality)

If you however wants ones from rebirth with preserved quality for classic version i can pass them to you.

Or maybe i got better idea. Leave this as it is. And if you update versions ill get you all ?
Level 5
Jul 21, 2017
This is looking really cool, always been a Draenei fan so I'm really looking forward to their bit.
I'm bloody hyped.
Level 7
Mar 11, 2020
holy sheit this is massive when we get to test it probably will be the best thing on the hive if u can truly complete it


Hosted Project: HoS
Level 19
Mar 31, 2004
We're often asked how true to Warcraft/WoW canon HoS is being made. Decided to roll out a bit of clarification here.

1) There's no such thing as "Warcraft canon" opposing "WoW canon" as each strategy game did not just expand on the previous one but retcon it heavily, and we're not even talking about the novels. So it's either one universe, or a separate universe for every single game. We believe the Warcraft Chronicles (three Blizzard-published official history books, not the Chronicles of the Second War project) did a good job at fixing most inconsistencies, and therefore are using them as the base reference, however, even they have some errors - like having Khadgar based off his Legion model, missing the beard he had in Warcraft 2, or placing Tol Barad southwest of Gilneas like in WoW, even though it was situated in Baradin Bay prior to the Cataclysm.

2) We're mainly using both Warcraft 2 and WoW as a reference for geography and visuals. WoW is definitely the most detailed Warcraft game and in fact it was originally created with lots of attention to existing lore (back in 2004, we were impressed how faithfully it recreated Warcraft 1 map of the Kingdom of Stormwind, or that it included remains of dragon carrying wagons from the Day of the Dragon finale) and it did provide a lot of inspiration for the original HoS. The geography in the game itself is somewhat "compressed", being somewhat of a "smaller scale model" of the "real" Azeroth, so we're not recreating it literally, but generally adapt it for RTS needs. However, we're trying to keep true to WoW style of environments - in Dusk of Draenor, we have Bloodmaul Slag Mines, Frostfire Ridge, Karabor and Gorgrond areas, and it was an interesting challenge to recreate them on Warcraft 3 engine true to their depictions in WoW: Warlords of Draenor.

3) Story-wise, we're not using either of these games as a reference, instead sticking to Chronicles lore only. That also means we're not using any post-Chronicles additions, as we believe new lore introduced in Shadowlands is extremely subpar and contradicts established worldbuilding heavily, so while we don't outright proclaim it non-canon, we avoid making any references to it (though there may be a little nod or two, check the Death Knights closely...). We also chose to ignore the new Sayaad lore, mainly because succubi and their homeworld play an important part in HoS story and changing it to a fresh retcon would mean wasting a lot of work.

4) On canon heroes and units, we always ask ourselves "what would be iconic and recognisable?" as their depictions vary a lot between various games and additional material. Thus our Blackhand is a combination of his Warcraft 1/2 art and the film version that was adapted for Chronicles illustration: he has the antlered helmet, raptor skulls on his shoulders, the four-bladed axe and a hammer! Teron Gorefiend in his Death Knight form (who appears in a small cutscene set in Beyond the Dark Portal era) was an even bigger challenge as we dug through a lot of art and played with combining various bits before we came up with a form that suited him best, complete with the famous dark yellow cape, but slightly reimagined!

5) We prefer thinking of HoS as of a historical novel, only set in Warcraft world rather than real one - a story with original characters who are involved in well-known events and interact with well-known figures. We're taking some creative liberties but generally stick true to the canon lore, so the "historical" scenes will be pretty accurate, and mains characters' involvement in them will be limited. Instead, they have their own arcs, though expect them to intertwine with the canon story. "Historical" heroes and villains are written as close to Chronicles as possible, though have their roles heavily expanded. One notable exception is Yrel - her Main Universe counterpart is virtually non-existent in canon so we had to write her nearly from scratch, taking inspiration in her AU version but placing her in a darker MU story.

6) The Stygian Phalanx and the Shadow Elves have been redesigned with existing lore in mind, and are based on WoW/Chronicles concepts, but they do not overlap with canon story. HoS will shift towards them heavily in later campaigns, but expect a few bits of their lore and general foreshadowing in Dusk of Draenor.

Level 15
Sep 24, 2009
Looks amazing, but I will believe it when I see it.

I have to add that I am not a big fan of adding Arrakoa to Draenei tech-tree. It makes no sense at all. I also disagree with your justification why you have decided to add them with them, because Draeneis on Draenor were using Fey Dragons as their flying mounts. Also Nether Rays are an option or even some arcane flying construct.

Also not a fan of Saberon in the Ogre tech-tree at all. Makes no sense.

Overall, positively scepctical.


Hosted Project: HoS
Level 19
Mar 31, 2004
Arakkoa did ally with the Draenei during the defense of Karabor. Since Dusk of Draenor basically has them together only in this short period, this is all lore-friendly.

Draenei also have arcane flying constructs.

Riding Nether Rays apparently exist only on Outland, those on Draenor were small and feral. Fey Dragons are essentially 'civilian' flying mounts and, let's be frank, appeared in WoD mainly because Blizz had a cool model of an oversized Kalimdor creature and wanted to stick it somewhere. Since there's no mention of them in the MU, we chose to ignore them.

Saberon make a lot of sense given there are many Saberon gladiators in Highmaul who, unlike orcs and other slaves, are quite happy with their status.
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Level 15
Sep 24, 2009
Oke, still I would do it differently, but I get your point.

Any plans to share tech-trees of the playable races with us? Like unit list, spells, abilities, heroes, build order?


Arena Moderator
Level 45
Jul 29, 2008
Now the Draenei.

Lovely showcase you've put together; looks beautiful (especially the blue crystal theme). However the naming is... quite interesting. I'll admit I know next-to-nothing about Draenei beyond what Wc3 presented, but "Arkonite" & "Argunite" seems confusing, as well as two different buildings named "___ Forge"? I don't know what a "Tier" is when used as a noun like 'Barracks", and it almost feels like the Town Hall names could all be swapped (Nexus -> Seat of Light -> Praetorium).


Hosted Project: HoS
Level 19
Mar 31, 2004
Lovely showcase you've put together; looks beautiful (especially the blue crystal theme). However the naming is... quite interesting. I'll admit I know next-to-nothing about Draenei beyond what Wc3 presented, but "Arkonite" & "Argunite" seems confusing, as well as two different buildings named "___ Forge"? I don't know what a "Tier" is when used as a noun like 'Barracks", and it almost feels like the Town Hall names could all be swapped (Nexus -> Seat of Light -> Praetorium).
Yeah, thematic naming can always be confusing compared to the traditional "Orc Barracks" vs. "Human Barracks". Problems were, we needed all names to be strictly unique (as much as possible) and, if able to, react to lore so that they are meaningful.

Arkonite Crystals is a Pylon-like type of structure Draenei use extensively in WoD: it's just that, an arcane power crystal that can also be used as a defensive tower. Here, since we are limited by the 12 buttons on build panel, we had to put all towers as upgrades for it, even though it makes little sense.

Argunite weapons are, lore-wise, what Draenei brought with them from Argus (so it's a mineral with magical properties mined on their homeworld), and come in all shapes and sizes; we took 5.5 tank-like things and named them according to role. The 5-th is the ballista often seen in WoW: Legion.

Mana Forge is a building used in Outland, which pumps raw nether energy into usable form; we instead made it an upgrade structure. While technically Mana Forges were made by Blood Elves (from salvaged Tempest Keep parts), it's nice to think that once this technology had a much more nuanced purpose.

Crystal Forge has no special meaning, just, a different forge... Maybe it could have used a slightly different name.

Warriors' Tier is named after Shattrath region where Aldor reside, we just liked the idea of city quarters called "Tiers" and put it on an elevation to reflect it.

The 3 main structures, which are most definitely not just an Auchindoun in low resolution, are named pretty much as "as long as sounds like something the Protoss of Warcraft would build". Although to be fair, there is a location in Warcraft, "Terrace/Sanctum of Light", at the center of Shattrath. Praetorium, turns out, is a part of the Conservatory of the Arcane where Archimonde once resided.

It's not impossible, however, to add/change the names to be even more lore-friendly, if there is an actual design and special names for Draenei structures. Problem is, most of their buildings in the lore are strictly civilian, and the few that are not are generic enough. For example, the aforementioned Conservatory - which was an important structure - is visually shown as a slightly taller normal home, with a backyard under open sky.
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Hosted Project: HoS
Level 19
Mar 31, 2004
Good news everyone!
So, the Dusk of Draenor campaign is complete, fully playable and works just like we intended. What's being done now is testing, testing and more testing - while all triggers and cutscenes work correctly and it's possible to complete everything now, it turned out that task might be a bit hard for a person unfamiliar with details of its functionality and/or having an insane APM (or simply cheating). In other words, the difficulty is a bit too high for even experienced players, and since we believe HoS is not Dark Souls after all, we decided to tune it and tone down a bit. We're also revisiting visuals a bit, fixing some issues and updating models where old ones have already aged poorly. Meanwhile, we have finished all Goblin units' graphics, which means 6 races are complete now! Stay tuned.







Oh, and here's the Ogre tech tree.
Level 4
Mar 27, 2022
Good news everyone!
So, the Dusk of Draenor campaign is complete, fully playable and works just like we intended. What's being done now is testing, testing and more testing - while all triggers and cutscenes work correctly and it's possible to complete everything now, it turned out that task might be a bit hard for a person unfamiliar with details of its functionality and/or having an insane APM (or simply cheating). In other words, the difficulty is a bit too high for even experienced players, and since we believe HoS is not Dark Souls after all, we decided to tune it and tone down a bit. We're also revisiting visuals a bit, fixing some issues and updating models where old ones have already aged poorly. Meanwhile, we have finished all Goblin units' graphics, which means 6 races are complete now! Stay tuned.







Oh, and here's the Ogre tech tree.
what patch will this use?


Hosted Project: HoS
Level 19
Mar 31, 2004
Dusk of Draenor is 1.26 and 1.29 compatible. There will be also a standalone Reforged version, but w/o the campaign (it may be ported later, but currently it's not a priority due to the amount of work required), only a 3 melee races mod.
Campaigns after DoD will be probably made for Reforged (1.33+), but it largely depends on Blizzard adding campaign support.
Level 15
Sep 24, 2009
And why on Earth am I not getting notifications for this thread?

Really amazing, if you ask me, but I would like to see which abilities each of the units have. While this is really nice eyecandy, only after seeing the abilities we can make clearer picture in our mind what to expect.

Also, I see that there are so few Arrakkoa and Saberon units that I think it would be easy to replace them with some other lore-friendly units that would fit better theme of the race. But maybe that is just me..

Also, are those Forest Trolls with the Orcs?


Hosted Project: HoS
Level 19
Mar 31, 2004
Also, are those Forest Trolls with the Orcs?
Thank you!

The zeppelins, trolls, dragons and DK are not in the Draenor story, only for melee mode. Trolls specifically are supposed to be mercenaries (as a mechanic of hiring instant but expensive units), being slightly altered versions of planned troll units. Same for the gronnling and zeppelin in that building.
Level 49
Apr 18, 2008
Good to see an old project make a return such as this. It is clear that a lot of effort went into making everything here - I wish you all the best of luck in making it to the finish line.
I found it a little bit amusing that "Jigrael" is listed as a former/historical contributor, but his modern alias, Tarrasque, is in the current team credits. Maybe want to rectify that. :thumbs_up:
I'm also a little sad that Xaran Alamas is not around for this reimagining. His name was as legendary as yours, Rommel.
All in all, while the project is not entirely my cup of tea due to the abundance of creative liberties taken and (in my opinion) slightly inconsistent art style (though understandable with the sheer number of assets required), I do support your work and I applaud how difficult it is to pull this off.
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Level 17
Nov 12, 2016
I have a simpler question, where is the big giant Download Here button:grin:

Seriously though after reading the information and links on the thread there isn't a single simple quick access button allowing me to start my journey on the required patch, and this is someone who has many old versions of war3 on standby.
Level 9
Oct 1, 2015
I have a simpler question, where is the big giant Download Here button:grin:

Seriously though after reading the information and links on the thread there isn't a single simple quick access button allowing me to start my journey on the required patch, and this is someone who has many old versions of war3 on standby.
Same question! Read the whole thread and frantically looking for the download button lol
Hope Rommel is done with testing