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darkwulfv 08-02-2008 08:05 PM

The Warcraft III "Weird" Ability Guide
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No, this is not a ripoff of the famed Warcraft III Ability Guide. One could think of it as an extension.

This, rather, is a list of the "weird" side of Warcraft III abilities. As many of us know, Blizzard did some pretty weird things with their spells. This guide sets out to find and bring to light all the weird things they've done, be they helpful, hurtful, or just stupid/useless.

First, I want to thank everyone who contributed to the "Weird things with Blizzard Abilities" thread I started many months ago, and got this list started:
  • Midiway
  • Moyack
  • Tide-Arc Ephemera
  • Jazradel
  • Burning Rose
  • IgnitedStar (huge thanks!)
  • MCV
  • Hydrolisk
  • Burningice255

Special thanks to:
  • Anopob for insane amounts of testing regarding many abilities, including War Club, Dark Portal, and Rain of Chaos (Archimonde).
  • Kyrbi0 for lots of testing as well
  • PitzerMike for approving this tutorial and add his super-awesome smiley to the logo.
And now, onto the Carnival!

Requested Abilities
  • None right now

  • Add the rawcode ID's for all the spells (joy.)

Note: This list is for weird things with SPELLS/ABILITIES, and only oddities that can cause issues or are confusing (such as incorrect/weird fields). The Warcraft III Ability Guide is much like this, except it explains how to use the oddities of certain spells to your advantage. This list is so people know what spells can be troublesome. It also has some of the lesser-known fields/effects some spells have, be they good or bad.

General Oddities

This is for things that apply to most/all spells.
  • Many times, Targets Allowed is hardcoded into Wc3, so modifying them may do nothing.
  • Making a custom spell then setting its buff field(s) to nothing will make it default to the Blizzard buff.

Individual Spells

This little (not anymore!) section is for individual spells that have a lot of oddities.

Probably one of the weirdest spells Blizzard provides us.
Data - OptionsAbilities based on Channel will not show up unless this field has the "Visible" box checked off.
Channel - Follow Through Time The maximum amount of time the spell can be channeled for. Setting it to 0 makes it a normal spell; anything above it makes it a channeling spell.
Art - MissileDoes not work for Channel (big bummer!)
Data - Targeting OptionsChannel has multiple types of targeting options, as well as a "Targeting Image", which brings up a circle (like Flame Strike or Blizzard). Can be useful! (Thanks Themerion)

Shadow Strike
A simple ability but it has a few weird fields.
Decaying DamageHow much damage the target takes per interval after the initial damage.
Casting TimeNot actually the casting time. It's the interval for Decaying Damage.
Decaying PowerI don't know what it does yet does yet.

Thunder Clap, War Stomp, and Shockwave
Three spells that all deform terrain.
Data - Terrain DeformingWar Stomp (Neutral Hostile 1/2/3) has this field, which could come in handy. (Thanks Burning Rose
OtherThese spells will always cause the ground to warp when cast, even if you change the missile art, etc.
OtherThese spells can cause Desyncs (due to the deformed terrain) if you're checking for Z height in triggers.

Cluster Rockets
(Thanks so much IgnitedStar!!)
A spell that is known to have quite the array of weird fields and abnormalties.
Damage AmountAmount of damage that is dealt per Damage Interval.
Damage Interval Amount of time per when Damage Amount is applied.
Effect Duration The amount of time Damage Interval is accounted for before it stops checking every X seconds, X coming from Damage Interval. Or... This might also be the amount of damage any one Damage Interval can deal to all units within the Area of Effect.
Max Damage The maximum amount of damage any one unit can take from a single casting of the spell. Or... This might also be the amount of damage any one Damage Invertal can deal.
Missle CountEyecandy only. Determines how many missiles are shown, so if there are more missiles than the duration lasts, missiles will be shown w/o damage, and vice versa. The only way to determine the right timing is by guess + check.
Area of EffectThis goes hand in hand with Missle Count. Even if I extended the Range, I wasn't able to change where the missles landed or how they landed. A test with a large area showed that the missle art is truly just for effect: Even if you use an area of a thousand, the missles will only cover a small area of that thousand, but all units within the Area of Effect will still get hit.
Spell Duration Hero/Unit This specifies the amount of stun dealt as units get hit according to Damage Interval. This only happens once, as if the unit is hit at any Damage Interval. So, even if a unit gets hit by Cluster Rockets late, it will still be stunned for this amount of time. The same holds true for units that are hit within the area. Blizzard made it so that the stun ended just as the Effect Duration ended.
CooldownI feel a need to put Cooldown in here. Cluster Rockets is a channeling spell; if the Effect Duration surpasses the Cooldown, then Cluster Rockets can literally run forever with sufficient mana.
(Thanks Burning Rose:)
BuffsI've found that if you give the Buff field for Cluster Rockets (Which normally has 'Cluster Rockets', not 'Stunned') the 'Stunned' buff, it doesn't work; the stun doesn't go off. If you, instead, give it a buff based off Cluster Rockets, the stun works, but the damage doesn't. However, the Cluster Rockets buff looks just like the stunned buff, so it doesn't matter as long as you leave it that way.
(Thanks TKF:)
Art - Projectile SpeedDoes not affect Cluster Rockets.
OtherRockets take approx. .75-.79 seconds to reach their target, regardless of speed or distance. (So if the range is really long, the rockets will go insanely fast, and vice versa)

Flame Strike
Flame Strike's fields are very simple. However, because of the way Blizzard made Flame Strike's default fields, it can be very confusing (For example; the spell's default tooltip says "45 damage per second", but the Full Damage field for level 1 is 15.)
Thanks IgnitedStar for Flame Strike's fields!
Full Damage DealtThis is the amount of damage dealt per Full Damage Interval.
Full Damage IntervalThis is the amount of time Full Damage Dealt deals its damage. (It's .33 by default.)
Half Damage DealtThis is the amount of damage the leftover fires deal.
Half Damage IntervalThis one is the amount of time Half Damage Dealt deals is damage. (It's 1 by default)
Maximum Damage I'm 75% sure that this is the maximum amount of damage any unit can sustain from Full Damage. This might also count for Half Damage, but I doubt it.
Casting TimeFor Flame Strike, this is the amount of time it takes for the whole spell to fire off.
(Thanks TKF:)
Duration Hero/UnitHero determines how long the main blaze burns, Unit determines the length of the afterburn.
OtherFlame Strikes do not stack damage; the first will always do the damaging, even if the second does more damage.

Gold Mines
Apparently there's some stuff with Gold mines...
Note: At times, and seemingly randomly, units who enter/leave gold mines (eg: Peasants + Orcs) will suddenly move extremely slowly. This is because if your town hall is very close to the gold mine, it attempts to "balance" this by slowing the peasants. Re-ordering them will fix this temporarily. (Thanks Anopob for that)

Thanks MCV for testing Undead (Blighted) Gold Mines.
Building MinesThe unit that builds a Blighted Gold Mine must be Undead
TargetsOnly works on Undead structures and anything else will make it contain 0 gold.
Gather Gold (Acolyte)The unit that has the this ability must be Undead
Thanks TKF for testing the Gold Mine Ability.
Gold Mine (Ability)By adding the Gold Mine ability to a unit...:
  • It will appear as a big yellow dot on the map
  • Damage and Gold amount will clash on the UI, so only Gold amount will be shown. Using a second attack will show the second attack.
  • The unit can be harvested from, and will die indefinitely when it runs out of gold.
Thanks to Anopob for testing Entangled Gold mines. (may need some clarification)
GoldSpawns an empty gold mine. Gold cannot be gathered unless added first (by triggers) and then harvested from. Removing gold via triggers will display "-(amount)". It will collapse after one gathering afterwards.
Transformation]The skill can be used to transform a gold mine into another unit after X time (Casting Time). Build Time of the unit to transform into determines how long it takes for the mine to transform.
Enatangle Gold Mine (Ability)The Entangle Gold Mine Ability is used by the Entangled Gold Mine itself, and whenever a unit is inside it takes 10 gold at the interval of 10.

Tornado Stuff
Further testing is required, however this is really just a summoning spell. It's the abilities the Tornado unit has that makes this seem weird. (Thanks to Anopob for testing this)
Note: (Thanks to Kyrbi0) Anything summoned by Tornado will be invulnerable.

Tornado Wander
Area of EffectIf the Tornado goes out of this range, it automatically dies. If it's a small AOE (eg. 250) it WILL eventually go out unless you use your manual control to keep it in range.
Cast RangeBasically, if you summon it on X spot, it will get a random point that is Cast Range away from the summoning spot. Therefore, if this value is 1000, it will get a spot (let's say, Y) that is 1000 range away from X. After it goes there, it repeats itself (eg. Z, which is also 1000 range away from X). It will keep doing that until it dies or you control it manually.
Duration - Hero/NormalAt first I thought it was the interval it did random checks of the range, but 2.00 wasn't much different from 5.00.

Tornado Spin
Minimum Hit Interval (seconds)The interval that the tornado can hit. So if you summon it in a middle of a bunch of enemy units with 0.01, it probably will go like ZOOM and fly them up high right away. If, however, it's something like 5 seconds, then it hits one or so units, 5 seconds later and then it does it again.
Area of EffectIf a unit is within the AOE, it's qualified to go flying.
Duration - Hero/NormalThe length of flying time for hit targets.

Rain of Chaos (Archimonde)
What is Rain of Chaos? Think: Inferno, but with more infernals and in random spots. What makes RoC special?
You can define ANY summon ability to summon.
However!! They don't always work.
Thanks to Anopob for insane amounts of testing of this ability!!!

First, data fields.
DataA# / Ability for Un...The ability Rain of Chaos will use to summon your unit(s).
DataB# / Number of...The number of unit types that is to be summoned.
Dur# / Duration - Normal The amount of time the caster will stand there, channeling. It is also the amount of time between each unit (so 2 seconds in this value and 4 units mean you have to stand there for approx 8 seconds).

And now for the what does/does not work with Rain of Chaos!

The following works perfectly, are not effected in any way whatsoever.
  • Infernal (Neutral Hostile) [default] - Whatever unit you put inside that value, this IS GOING TO WORK with the desired effect of units, AOE stun and damage.
  • Pocket Factory - They look awkward because facing a different angle, and they don't summon Clockwerk Goblins, but they don't have any expiration timer. All levels work FYI.
  • Phoenix - Perfect.
  • Serpent Ward - Not timed. Same with Rokhan's.
  • Spawn Tentacle - Not timed.
  • Scout - Not timed.
  • Force of Nature - Shows animation for cool-factor. Not timed.
THE PS (Perma-Stun) LIST
The following works great, however the units are perma-stunned (until removed buffs via triggers). Please keep in mind that this is easily countered by adding spell immunity before-hand on the unit, then removing it if you do not wish to keep it on the unit.
  • Summon Bear
  • Summon Quillbeast - And Rexxar's.
  • Summon Hawk
  • Summon Prawns
  • Tornado - These tornados are destructible.
  • Summon Water Elemental
The following works...sadly, they're near-fail because they have a timer. Do not fear, some timers are longer than others. Please note that the times are APPROXIMATE. If something is timered as well as perma-stunned, it will be here.
  • Robo-Goblin - 3 seconds, PS
  • Spirit Beast - 3 seconds, PS
  • Raise Dead - 3 seconds. First time worked perfectly, second not so much. Have no idea.
  • Feral Spirit - 3 seconds, PS
  • Summon Misha (Rexxar) - 3 seconds, PS
  • Metamorphosis - 3 seconds,PS, ALL forms of this are the same.
The following DOES NOT work at all, though may seem like it.
  • Summon Hydra
  • Summon Hydra Hatchling
  • Rain of Chaos - both of them don't work
  • Spawn Skeleton (Probably Black Arrow)
  • Spawn Spiderlings (Neutral Hostile)
  • Spawn Spiders (Neutral Hostile)
  • Animate Dead
  • Storm, Earth, and Fire - same with Chen's
  • Carrion Beetles - have NO idea why this doesn't work
  • Doom
  • Summon Lava Spawn
  • Dark Portal

Builders (and some abilities affecting Buildings) have some pretty weird things associated with them as well.
Human BuildWill only work on Buildings classified as the human race. (The same might apply to the other repairs)
Racial BuildsEach "Build" (Undead, Orc, Human, Naga, Night Elf, Neutral) will only work on a unit of that race. Each ability also has extra effects:
  • Undead build summons the buildings
  • Orc build garrisons the worker (worker cannot be hurt unless building dies during construction)
  • Human build allows power-building (multiple workers)
  • Naga build is the same as Orc build
  • Night Elf build kills the worker if the building is classified as "Ancient"
  • Neutral build doesn't seem to be anything special.

Other Abilities

This is for any other spells that only have 1-2 weird things associated with them.
MetamorphosisThe Duration - Normal field determines how long the user "holds" until the morph takes place.
Carrion Swarm/Crushing WaveThere will always be a black/blue plume effect on units hit by the wave, regardless of the effects or buffs you use. However, if you change the Art - Special field on the STANDARD Carrion Swarm (the one you used to make a custom spell, not the custom spell itself), then this can be changed. (Thanks Midiway for the clarification)
DevourDoes NOT work on "Demon" class units. (Thanks Moyack)
Locust SwarmOnly units with the 'Locust' ability will move around. (Thanks Jazradel)
EarthquakeSetting Data - Final Area to a really high number can crash the game.
CannibalizeSetting the Cast Range to anything above/below the default will cause the ability to bug, making it only work on rare occasions when the caster is DIRECTLY over a corpse. (When normally they would seek out a corpse)
Chain LightningArt - Missile field doesn't work. This is a huge nuisance since with it, Chain Lightning would be the perfect 1-hit damage spell (No buff, no side effects, just damage).
Attack manipulation abilitiesPulverize, Critical Strike and Cleaving Strike can be used to show a unit's Slam animation whenever they attack (assuming they have one).
SleepIf the caster uses it on itself (if you make it able to do so), it will cause it to loop; every time sleep ends, your unit will automatically recast it on itself.
Spiked CarapaceHas a Damage Taken field that allows you to make units take % of damage (for example, setting it to .90 would make units take 90% of attack damage).
Unholy AuraIf you set Percent Bonus to True, make sure you modify the Life Regen fields to something low, like .05, or else your units will heal at an insane rate. (% of their health per second, or so.)
Summon Spirit of VengeanceOne of the few (if not only) summoning spells with a missile art. However, it can only be used on corpses (Dummy corpses anyone?)
KaboomWill only work with smart orders (right clicking a unit) if the unit has the "Suicidal" tag.
War ClubDisables attack 1 and turns on attack 2 for the specified number of attacks, then automatically switches back. (Thanks Anopob for testing that)
Dark PortalSummons a random array (customizable) of permanent summons; only summon that does this. (Thanks Kyrbi0)
Poison ArrowsWill not work on a unit based on a melee unit (eg: Given to a Paladin, or given to a Paladin made into a range unit) (Thanks Av3n)
Dark ConversionThis ability targets any unit from Data - Race to Convert (default: Commoner, i.e. Undead, Creep, Human, etc), and permanently transforms it into Data - Conversion Unit (default: Zombie, i.e. single unit-type). However, the newly-transformed unit will not have any abilities as a result of this transformation. (Thanks Kyrbi0 for testing)
Soul PreservationDoes nothing but remove the target unit (must be a specific unit-type, as specified by the field Unit to Preserve) from the game, permanently. It has cool sfx, and has a nice fading effect as it does so, but does nothing else. (Thanks Kyrbi0)
SentinelThe Effects field determines what hovers above (or in, if you modify the Hover Height field) the tree. If the model is not permanent, it will only show for one animation cycle. The sentinel itself remains (you still have vision), you just won't see art. (Thanks Anopob)
Burrow/Perm. InvisibilityCombined, these two cause super-permanent invisibility; it never breaks, even if removed. (Confirmed by Rising_Dusk)
Dark RitualIf the "Kill unit" option is unchecked (aka Dark Ritual will only damage, not kill the unit), then no mana will be transfered, even though everything else happens. (Found by holyadvocate)

If anyone has any ability oddities they find, you're welcome to post them, and I will add them in. You may also request abilities, so people can do research on them.


TKF 08-02-2008 10:36 PM


Originally Posted by darkwulfv
If anyone has any ability oddities they find, you're welcome to post them, and I will add them in. You may also request abilities, so people can do research on them.

I'm always open to suggestions on how to clean this list (make it look easier on the eyes).


There is 3 things which you could add

Cluster Rocket:
1: Setting the projectile speed doesn't work. It will travel from A to B using 0.75sec no matter what!
2: The projectiles uses about 0.75s to hit target area, no matter what the range it. If you target from 1 map side to another, it will travel fast as hell, using only about 0.75 sec! It's a constant (Not stable though, it may rarely sometimes vary from 0.72-0.79s) Angle doesn't affect this.

Flame Strike:

1: Multiple flame strikes cannot stack damage in the same area. The first flame strike will always apply it's damage, even if it's lower than other flame strikes.
2: Hero duration determines full damage duration
3: Normal duration determines minor damage duration

Also you can add:

Gold Mine ability:
1: Makes a unit appear as a big yellow dot on the minimap
2: Damage and gold amount crash with each other on the units UI if it has a attack, visually hiding the first damage unit do from the naked eye. You can still see the second attack, if the unit have 2 attacks.
3: Can be harvested for gold. When gold reaches 0, it dies nomatter what!

darkwulfv 08-02-2008 10:48 PM

All added.

Themerion 08-03-2008 08:47 AM

You could also mention Channel's Targeting Image-option, which gives you an AOE-target circle if an area of effect is specified.

darkwulfv 08-03-2008 08:55 AM

Good point. Added.

Fireeye 08-03-2008 09:26 AM

I think it would be also useful to know, that a custom effect/buff won't work for the most stuns(didn't test it for all stuns), e.g. stasis traps.
However you can change it when you manipulate the standart effect/buff used for it, there's no other way (if someone find out the opposite tell it).

darkwulfv 08-03-2008 09:28 AM

Actually, I usually just copy "Stunned (Pause)" buff and manipulate that, and it works fine everytime.

Make sure you're using "Stunned (Pause)", as that's what freezes the unit.

Fireeye 08-03-2008 10:42 AM

Ok, maybe not every ability, but there are quite some hardcoded with the standart stun.
I've made some test now and it looks like that the following abilities uses the standart buffs.
- Stasis Trap
- Vulcano
- Chaos Rain / Inferno
- Cluster Rockets (you already said so)

Vulcano got another thing you've to consider, if you set the damage to 0 the stun will not fire.

darkwulfv 08-03-2008 12:45 PM

What, you mean they won't work if you change the stun buff to any other buff, be it based off of Stun or not?

Szythe 08-03-2008 09:43 PM

You should mention adding passive abilities with no icon by sticking them in a disabled spellbook skill.

Also, you should add that channel's orderstring can be changed so that multiple instances of abilities based off of channel, with different orderstrings, won't clash if they're on the same unit.

darkwulfv 08-04-2008 12:54 AM

Both of those are already mentioned in the Warcraft III Ability Guide, so I shouldn't put them in here.

TKF 08-04-2008 08:35 PM

I'm quite sure there is more weird abilities to be added, but sry I don't know any more to add. You forgot to add that flamestrikes doesn't stack with other flamestrikes (if that count as a weirdness).

Also i didn't knew these specials about the haunted gold mine. Very useful thread for people, so rep bonus. :emote_thumbup:

darkwulfv 08-04-2008 08:53 PM

I forgot to add that, will do.

Sophismata 08-10-2008 12:10 PM

Incinerate (ANic) only works properly if you use the default ability.

The Autocast (ANia) version's damage values cannot be changed from the Melee defaults.

Creating a custom ability based on (ANic) will allow you to explode attacked units, but damage stacking won't work. You must use (ANic) for that to work.

The unit's explosion is determined by the buff that Incinerate uses.

Incinerate takes priority over all other Orb effects, including Lifesteal (except against targets that are immune, of course).

Anopob 08-14-2008 04:48 AM

I'm not 100% sure about this, but I think that if you use War Club on a unit that isn't mountain giant it disables their attack.

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