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MCV 04-03-2007 06:52 PM

Design Guide for a Fifth Race
The Definite Guide to the Fifth Race
NOTE: This is not, and I repeat not, a technical guide for how to make a Fifth Side. This is a guide for the construction and design of the Fifth Side, and is meant to help you discover Blizzard's "secret" design for WC3.

Open up your World Editor. If you haven't disabled the feature, a new map should be made on startup, and the Unit Palette should open. It will open up to Human Alliance units. Let's start here.

Count the number of units. (i.e. Not Heroes or Buildings)
There are 12.
Switch to Orc, and count the units.
Do the same with Undead and Night Elves.

If you know how to count, you will have arrived at the following results:
  • Human: 12
  • Orc: 12
  • Undead: 11
  • Night Elf: 12
Undead is the odd one out on first sight, but there is actually a harmony: If you look under Undead-Special, you will find the Destroyer, the other form of the Obsidian Statue. This makes 12 Undead units. Most of you will probably shout out "What about Druid of the Claw/Talon?" by now. This is partly right, but there are some differences:

Destroyer is a wildly different unit from Obsidian Statue. It costs money to upgrade to the Destroyer, and the effect is permanent. The Druid of the Claw/Talon, are capable of changing back, and it is a free change. You should therefore assume there are 12 units on each team.

So, here we have our first guideline: The new team should have 12 units.

A quick count will reveal to you that you should have 4 Heroes on each side, while buildings are very different from race to race.

Here the hard analysis begins.
NOTE: My type system is not perfect, but it works for this tutorial.

If you play some Melee, this is much simpler. But very important.

We will start by defining the Tiers:
  • Base Building (Town Hall, Great Hall, Necropolis, Tree of Life) not upgraded = Tier 1
  • Base Building upgraded once (Keep, Stronghold, Halls of the Dead, Tree of Ages) = Tier 2
  • Base Building upgraded twice (Castle, Fotress, Black Citadel, Tree of Eternity) = Tier 3
Next, go to the Barracks/Barracks/Crypt/Ancient of War, the first unit production building you can build. A quick cross-reference of the units it can produce, and you will see that two units can be built at Tier 1, and one more at a higher Tier.
The Tier 1 units are:
  • Human: Footman & Rifleman
  • Orc: Grunt & Headhunter
  • Undead: Ghoul & Crypt Fiend
  • Night Elf: Archer & Huntress
The last one for each race of these will require the Mill to built before you can produce it. (Blacksmith*, War Mill, Graveyard, Hunters Hall.)
In all cases this unit will be ranged. Notice that of these, Huntress and Crypt Fiend cannot attack air, this is done by Archers or Crypt Fiend's Web.

*(The Humans have two "Mills" the Blacksmith and the Lumber Mill, although the Lumber Mill is the only one that can recieve wood.)

The unit that you can build without the Mill, is usually a melee (close combat) unit, although the Archer is the exception. (More about this later)

So there we have our guidelines for the Barracks Building;
Tier 1: Melee & Ranged, Ranged requires Mill.

In order to speed this up a bit (You probaly don't want to sit her for too long?) I'll be more direct from now on, as you should have understood what I'm doing here. If you haven't, re-read the last sections.

These were the Tier 1 units; Melee[1] and Ranged[1] (The "[1]" specifies that this is a Tier 1 unit. It doesn't have to require Tier 1/2/3, but it's building of origin must.)

Normally, those are the only units you can build at Tier one, save the Builder.
For all sides, at least two new production buildings become avaliable at the next tier, Tier 2. These are the Magic Building (Arcane Sanctum, Spirit Lodge, Temple of the Damned, Ancient of Lore.) and the Factory (Workshop, Beastery, Slaughterhouse, Ancient of Wind)

The Magic Building will produce Caster units, while the Factory will produce other advanced units. (AdvUnits, (including but not limited to Melee[2-3] and Ranged[2-3]), Flyers, Support & Siege)
Here, there Night Elves get the exceptions:
Anciet of Wind produces the Druid of the Talon, a Caster/Flyer, while the Ancient of Lore produces the Dryad, a Ranged[2].

Caster Units are units that cast magic a lot, like Priest or Necromancers. These use a special upgrade system, where the Caster can be upgraded twice, once at Tier 2 and once at Tier 3. Each time the Caster is upgraded, it recieves a new spell. When the Magic Building is built, 2 Casters can be made, when a Shop is made, a third becomes avaliable.

The ShopCaster
This unit is a caster, but can only be built after the Shop has been Built. The exception is the Mountain Giant which is an Melee[2]/Siege. This unit class is introduced with TFT.

The Factory is where the differences between the Races become more obvious:

[Units built from the factory (or Ancient of Lore)]
  • The Humans have no AdvUnits, only Siege (Mortar, Steam Tank) and Flyers (Gyrocopter).
  • The Undead have no Flyers, only Siege (Meat Wagon), Melee[3] (Abomination) and Support (O. Statue) (Destoyer is Flyer)
  • The Night Elves have no Siege or Support, only Flyer (Talon) and Ranged[2] (Dryad).
  • The Orcs have a Melee[2]/Siege (Rider) a Flyer (Wind Rider) and a Support (Kodobeast)

The ShopFlyer is a unit introduced with TFT. It is a flying unit that requires the shop to have been built, and it does not belong to any building in particular, which is very advantagous for us when making the Fifth Race:
  • Human: Gryphon Aiviary
  • Orc: Beastiry
  • Undead: Upgraded from Obsidian Statue
  • Night Elf: Chimera Roost

Ownage Device
This is the capital unit of all sides. It is so awsome it has a building all by itself (NOTE: In TFT the ShopFlyer is attached to the same building for the Humans and the Nigth Elves.)
It can be an form of unit, although it tends to be flying, as the exception is the Tauren. These units has one special upgrade, that only affects them, often reseached from the Ownage Devices' production building. (Frost Breath, Storm Hammers, Corrosive Breath, Pulverize) And they're allways built at Tier 3. (Actually, the building is Tier 3, the unit can be built as long as you have the building. This is slightly unfair for the Humans, who require the Castle for their Gryphon Riders as the Dragonhawk Riders makes the Gryphon Aiviary avaliable from Tier 2.)

The last unit I will describe in detail is the Melee[3] This is probalby the most diverse unit in the game. It is, as you probably guessed, a melee unit that can be built at Tier 3.
  • Human: Knight, built from Barracks.
  • Orc: Tauren, Ownage Device/Melee[3] combination
  • Undead: Abomination, built from Slaughterhouse.*
  • Night Elf: Bear, morphed into by Druid of the Claw (Bear Form is Tier 3 as it is the second level of upgrade for the Druid of the Claw)
*In an early version of WC3 Reign of Chaos, the Abomination was built by combining two Ghouls. You could use this for your Fifth Race.

Types Per Building in General
This is just how it is in general:
  • Base Building: Builder
  • Barracks: Melee[1], Ranged [1],
  • Magic: Caster, Caster, ShopCaster
  • Factory: Various
  • Special: Ownage Device
That's 7 units and how they're usually placed. You now have 5 left to place if you go by this system. This includes a Flyer, the ShopFlyer, Melee[3] and a Siege. You now have one unit left to play with. Rather little.

But that's not where it ends. You can go way further. Combine units into hybrids or make them morph back and forth. The following has never been used:
  • Caster built from Barracks?
  • Siege-Caster?
  • Caster[3]
And many more. I'll give you a few to kick off with:
  • Ownage device is a Goblin Nuke. It has it's own building, but it is totally unique.
  • The Zeppelin, fits nicely for ShopFlyer, but is not a combat unit.
  • A Support-Siege-Ownage Device.

If you remember what I said earlier, there's not a set amount of buildings. But there is some building types that are owned by all sides.

Base Building
This is the building that is allready constructed from the start. It can recieve resources, and be upgraded twice to reach new Tiers. Avaliable from the start, but the second upgrade requires the Altar. Builds Workers

The first production building you can make, since it is avaliable from the start. This building produces 3 units, Melee[1], Ranged[1], and one other unit. (Knight, Demolisher, Gargoyle, Glaive Thrower.)

The mill can also be built from the start, and is a requirement for building Ranged[1]. It can recieve lumber, and it holds Armor and Weapons upgrades for that side. Usually four upgrades, two kinds of Armor and two kinds of Weapon upgrades. One of the Armor/Weapon upgrades affects Melee[1] and the other affects Ranged[1] These armor and weapons upgrades affect your whole army, half by the one that affected Melee[1] and the other half by the one that affects Ranged[1].

The Food Production Facility has the primary task of providing food, so your army can grow bigger.

Summons Heroes and Revives them. Is a requirement for upgrading the Base the second time to reach Tier 3.

Base Defence
A small building that can attack.

Sells and pawns Items. Is a requirement for the ShopFlyer and the ShopCaster.

Magic Tier 2
Produces the Casters and in most cases the ShopCaster. Also provides upgrades for those units.

Produces several unit types, although not specified by any traditions, as any type of unit can be produced here.

Special (Ownage Device Production Facility)
Tier 3 Building. Produces the Ownage Device, and holds the upgrade(s) for it.

Very quick, the upgrades for most of the units:
Key: Type: Research at, unit(s) affected, special
  • ArmorMelee: Mill, Melee[1] & Others, the name is very important, as it specifies which other units recieves this upgrade
  • ArmorRanged: Mill, Ranged[1] & Others, the name is very important, as it specifies which other units recieves this upgrade
  • WeaponMelee: Mill, Melee[1] & Others, the name is very important, as it specifies which other units recieves this upgrade
  • WeaponRanged: Mill, Ranged[1] & Others, the name is very important, as it specifies which other units recieves this upgrade
  • Melee[1]Upg: Barracks, Melee[1], often passive. (Defend is half-passive)
  • Ranged[1]Upg: Barracks, Ranged[1], often passive or non-combat (Burrow)
  • CasterTraining: Magic, Caster, two leves, each gives new spell & better stats. Applies to all Casters, including normal ShopCasters.
  • Melee[3]Upg: Melee[3]Building, Melee[3], improves Melee[3] and sometimes other units. (Animal War Training, Disease Cloud)
  • OwnageUpg: Special, Ownage Device, passive attack bonus.
  • Backpack: Base, Most Units, allows normal units to carry items.
All units can recieve upgrades, but these vary wildly from unit ot unit.

A quick summary of which units you will need:

Key: Type, Tier, (Produced by) Requirement
Worker, Tier 1 (Base)
Melee[1], Tier 1 (Barracks)
Ranged[1], Tier 1 (Barracks) Mill
Caster, Tier 2 (Magic)
Caster, Tier 2 (Magic)
ShopCaster, Tier 2 (Magic) Shop
Siege, Tier 2 (Barracks/Factory)
Flyer, Tier 2 (Barracks/Factory)
ShopFlyer, Tier 2 (Any One Building) Shop
Ownage Device, Tier 3 (Special)
Melee[3], Tier 3 (Any One Building)
These are the 11 units that are required for a team to be a team, but you can tinker around. You can combine two types to open more holes for your own units. But you must not upset the ballance! Although you may make a Siege/Melee[3] unit, you must still have a Siege unit at Tier 2.

An Analasys of Uniqueness
This ection will detail how you can make the Fifth Race unique, WC3-wise.

Building Construction
All Races build differently:
  • Humans can use several peasents.
  • Orcs protect their Peons inside the building while building.
  • Undead does not have to stay while building.
  • Night Elves somethimes turn into their buildings.
Last Resort Defence
Worker can protect the base in different ways.
  • Humans can arm their workers
  • Orcs can bunker them for an attack
  • Undead can flee the construction site, and Ghouls can attack.
  • Night Elf can Detonate for anti-magic fields.
All Food buildings can help defence.
  • Humans have a small, cheap building, for cannon fodder.
  • Orcs have a bunker for Workers.
  • Undead can upgrade theirs fo attack.
  • Night Elves have Recharge Health and Mana on theirs.
There are several Race-specific shop Items, but one of the most memorable is the Orb.
  • Humans have an Area of Effect orb.
  • Orcs have a Purge orb.
  • Undead has a Decrease Armor orb.
  • Night Elf has a Damage over Time orb.

A Goblin Fifth Side, an Example
The Fifth Race many people try to include is the Goblins. While hard to do well, they are excellent to start off with, as they have defined tech, there are many nice models for them, and they can easily use Orc Building as placeholder buildings.

The following is my take on the Goblins, you may have a totally different take on the Goblins, or maybe not event want to do Goblins, but this will be an example of how a Fifth Race can be made unique.

Outpost-Base-Command Centre (Base Building)
Armory (Barracks)
Chemistry Lab (Magic)
Factory (Factory)
Goblin Sheep Processor (Food)
Defender (Base Defence)
Weapons Factory (Special)
Ammo Depot (Mill)
Merchant (Shop)
Altar of BOOM! (Altar)

Noteworthy Units
Normal Sapper, Tier 2, built from Armory. No other team has a suicide bomber, (and most people would look oddly at you if you didn't have Sappers for your Goblins.)

Tier 2 resource collector, built from Factory. No other team has a super-collector, (And don't forget the odd look)

ShopFlyer, carries units. No other team has that either.

Forest Mower
Melee[3]/Siege Unit. Normaly attacks with melee attack, but can pick up a tree and throw it,(one throw per tree) dealing siege damage. No other team has a mechanical Melee[3], nor a Siege/Melee[3].

Dragon War Turtle
An Ownage Device, this unit has a Siege main attack, and has a bunker on it's back to carry Grenadiers around, while they fire out at nearby units. It can also devour enemy units and it is amphibious. An Siege-Support-Ownage Device, built from Weapons Factory (Special)

Most Goblin Buildings
As their special construction ability, the Goblins will be able to reconstruct their buildings. The Building can be turned into a construction site, that can turn into most other Goblin buildings, but with half cost and half buildtime. The Construction Site can also be destroyed to provide the Goblins with more build space.

Napalm (Upgrade)
In adition to the normal Armor and Weapons upgrades, the Goblins will be able to research Napalm, that will provide several units with bonuses, like Sappers that leave Burning Napalm on the ground when they kill themselves.

The Shop
In the Shop, one of the Goblin specialities will be to purchase artillery shells, which can be fired anywhere on the map Each shell must be purchased, and the Shells will benefit from the Napalm Upgrade.

The Goblin base defence will benefit from two seperate upgrades, which can be built in any order. The first gives it an AA attack while the other will give it self-repair.

Other ideas that I don't like, but you are totally free to use:
  • All Goblin Buildings can explode on command, to fend off enemies.
  • All Goblin Buildings can lay mines around themselves to fend of enemies.
  • Some Goblin Buildings can build Addons (Starcraft) that will provide upgrades or other abilities.

Let your mind loose when making the Racial Uniquenesses. Think outside the box. I have seen a unit that make the trees alive and makes them walk into the Lumber Mill. Or what about a Base Building that sucks the gold out of the gold mines, and can be upgraded four times, so in the end you have 5"workers" mining the Gold Mine? The mind boggles.

Overdoing it
Race Uniqueness can be overdone to the level at which it becomes stupid; If my Goblins could build addons, lay mines around their buildings, reconstruct them and detonate them they would have way to many racial traits, and I actually planned this only for buildigs. I had not yet touched the units.

If you have a really great idea that you cannot make the race without, then exchange it for something less important, don't just add more.

Beyond the Fifth Race
Lies the Sixth Race, which can incorporate the features that you didn't include in the Fifth Race. I am planning a Gnome Race that will have addons for their buildings for example.


PitzerMike 04-28-2007 09:40 AM

Heh, that's some nice facts you've collected there.

rage321 06-21-2007 03:50 PM

very nice, but quick question: How would we add this fifth race? It would need its own custom everything, and it would neeed to be available for selection when you make the map.

Also, it would need to have its own starting location beacon thing.

Whitehorn 06-21-2007 04:07 PM

Only doable with a mod, not a map.

MCV 06-23-2007 08:48 AM

Well, you can't avoid the 4GUI limitation or the map-based side-select system, but you can give the map a dialog button that selects the race for you.

Why would you need a mod?

revolve 07-04-2007 07:01 AM

Very, very good tutorial!!! BUT: Aswell as i know, there is already a fifth race. Nagas...

Pheonix-IV 07-04-2007 10:39 AM

There is no 's' in the plural for 'Naga'. Learn English.
And the Naga are only a half-race, they lack the full complement of units.

moyack 07-04-2007 03:18 PM

Half race?? How dare you!!! kidding :p

I invite you to make a test. Play the Naga race as is, with lady Vashj as hero, enable the training of Royal Naga Guards (maximum two per player like the campaign) and try to play against any WC3 standard race, you will notice that they can put serious stress to any normal race, and very probably, the nagas win easily.

The Naga race is IMO a race with a quite different approach, and for that reason they are interesting too.

revolve 07-05-2007 07:46 PM

Ok then sry, but i still think they are a whole race cause in campaigns you play as them as normal races and they aren't hard. Anyway. i thought it was an "s" in Naga(s), i mean, naga sounds absolutely like 1.

MCV 07-07-2007 11:25 PM

The Naga are not a full race. If you compared them to my tutorial they are quite different from the layout used by all other races.

The Naga have too few units, too few buildings, and too few heroes. I suspect they at one point were planned as a fifth race, but Blizzard cancelled it either because:
a) It would shift the release date backwards
b) It became too much work to ballance

This would not supprise me, it has happened before (C&C Tiberian Sun: Firestorm supposedly would have a third side, CABAL, for example, and you were supposed to be able to play as Corrino in Dune 2000.)

The nice thing aboutthe Naga however, is that due to the allready existing assets, they can easily be made into a full side.

revolve 07-08-2007 10:18 AM

Ok, you're right. Anyway, i have started using your tutorial to make a fifth race, trolls.

The Druidinator 05-23-2008 12:19 PM

Nice collection of information. I've been thinking on making 2 new races for a very long time now (i've thought up lore, heroes, units, areas and important characters, but im not finished with thinking up buildings). I don't really have any experience in modding, though, so I was unsure if i'd ever get my little ¨mind project¨of its feet. I've been doing a little research and tool- helpsearching lately, so maybe i'll get it live, sometime.
My ideas contain a race of underworldish creatures (molelike beings, living and sentient roots and shadow-worshipping humanoids), who use ambush techniques and assault-tunnels. My other idea is a race based on crystaline beings (they have creatures made out of ice, perfected animals turned into a glasslike substance and humanoids made out of crystals), being superb on defence and using few, gigantic units.
I've also been looking for different forums to post my ideas for the 2 races, but been unsure of where to post.

Kyrbi0 04-12-2009 05:46 AM

This is an amazing tutorial, just so everyone knows. This is a great analytical look at stuff that took me a couple years of Object Editing to become familiar with (I learned it the hard way >_<...)

I feel like there's something missing, though, something to add. Not sure what it is. Like, more emphasis on how the Theme of the race interacts, and making sure things fit that way? Definitely something about moyack's "handicap race selection method", which is incredibly useful... Stuff like that.

Maybe someone should work on updating this tutorial to be even more user-friendly, with tabs and stuff. Dunno, I think I'd like to, if I find the time.


Anyway, just wanted to say, awexome work MCV.

Alevice 04-12-2009 05:53 AM

It indeed is a handy tutorial. I still used a few notes from here for my custom race entry. Archmage Owenalacaster and I have been working (okay, moar like he has been working) on setting up a framework to make additional race creation and implementation as easy as possible, at least trigger wise.

I really wish this tutorial could be extended to a indepth document that specifies guidelines, support resources and stuff (including minor-yet-crucial stuff like icon layout, tootltip format, etc) to make your race as blizzard-like as possible.

Obviously, the designers/developers would bend a little of the rules and such to fit with the theme/style/behaviour/mechanics of their races, to still keep the required flavour for it.

Kyrbi0 04-12-2009 05:57 AM

Exactly. Race coordination, and little bits of knowledge like how the X and Y's work for icon-placement, that I've committed to memory, but just requires a little picture to help. Tooltip stuff, if we wanna get really in-depth (although that begins to get into perspective and opinion and writing styles).

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