Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness is a fantasy-themed real-time strategy (RTS) game published by Blizzard Entertainment and first released for MS-DOS in 1995 and for Mac OS in 1996. The main game, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, earned enthusiastic reviews, won most of the major PC gaming awards in 1996, and sold millions of copies. The rivalry between Blizzard's series and Westwood Studios's Command & Conquer series fueled the RTS boom of the late 1990s.
Later in 1996 Blizzard released an expansion pack Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal for MS-DOS and Mac OS, and a compilation Warcraft II: The Dark Saga for the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn. The Battle.net Edition, released in 1999, provided Blizzard's online gaming service, Battle.net, and replaced the MS-DOS version with aWindows one.
Players must collect resources, and produce buildings and units in order to defeat an opponent in combat on the ground, in the air and in some maps at sea. The more advanced combat units are produced at the same buildings as the basic units but also need the assistance of other buildings, or must be produced at buildings that have prerequisite buildings. The majority of the main screen shows the part of the territory on which the gamer is currently operating, and the minimap can select another location to appear in the larger display. The fog of warcompletely hides all territory which the gamer's has not explored, and shows only terrain but hides opponents' units and buildings if none of the gamer's units are present.
Warcraft II's predecessor Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, released in 1994, gained good reviews, collected three awards and was a finalist for three others, and achieved solid commercial success. The game was the first typical RTS to be presented in a medieval setting and, by bringing multiplayer facilities to a wider audience, made this mode essential for future RTS titles. Warcraft: Orcs & Humans laid the ground for Blizzard's style of RTS, which emphasized personality and storyline. Although Blizzard's very successful Starcraft, first released in 1998, was set in a different universe, it was very similar to Warcraft II in gameplay and in attention to personality and storyline. In 1996 Blizzard announced Warcraft Adventures, a RPG (role-playing game) in the Warcraft universe, but canceled the game in 1998. Warcraft III, released in 2002, used parts of Warcraft Adventures's characters and storyline and extended the gameplay used in Warcraft II
Warcraft II is a real time strategy game (RTS),in other words the contenders play at the same time and continuously, so that players have to move quickly rather than taking turns.In Warcraft II one side represents the Human inhabitants of Lordaeron and allied races, and the other controls the invading Orcs and their allied races.Each side tries to destroy the other by collecting resources and creating an army.The game is played in a medieval setting with fantasy elements, where both sides have melee, ranged, naval and aerial units, and spellcasters
Warcraft II allows gamers to play AI opponents in separate Human and Orc campaigns, and in stand-alone scenarios.Most of the campaign missions follow the pattern "collect resources, build buildings and units, destroy opponents". However, some have other objectives, such as rescuing troops or forts, or escorting important characters through enemy territory
The game's map editor allows gamers to develop scenarios for use in multiplayer contests and against AI opponents. The editor runs under the Mac and also under either Windows 95 or, if the WinG library was installed, under Windows 3.
The scenarios can be played against the AI or in multiplayer contests against up to seven other gamers. The DOS version initially provided multiplayer games bynull modem cable, modem or IPX, and Mac gamers could also play via TCP/IP or AppleTalk.Blizzard quickly released a facility to connect with Kali, which allows programs to access the Web by means of IPX
Warcraft II requires players to collect resources, and to produce buildings and units in order to defeat an opponent in combat. The Human Town Hall and Orc Great Hall produce non-combatant builders that dig gold from mines and chop wood from forests and then deliver them to their Halls.Both buildings can be upgraded twice, each increasing usable resources per load from the builders. Players can also construct Shipyards, which can produce both combat ships and Oil Tankers. Tankers build construction offshore Oil Platforms and then deliver the oil to buildings on the shoreline. As all three resources become exhausted during the game, players must collect them efficiently, and gamers must also retain forests as defensive walls in the early game when combat forces are small.
Builders can also construct Farms, each of which provides food for up to four units, and additional units cannot be produced until enough Farms are built. Farms are also the toughest perimeter defense.
Humans and Orcs have sets of buildings with similar functions, but different names and graphics, for producing ground, naval, and air units.All but basic combat units require the assistance of other buildings, or must be produced at buildings that have prerequisite buildings, or both.Many buildings can upgrade combat units.When advanced units appear, the Orcs have a strong advantage in ground combat, while the Humans have the more powerful fleet and spellcasters.The most advanced ground combatants on each side can be upgraded and taught some spells, which are different for the two sides. Some campaign missions feature hero units, which are more powerful than normal units of the same type, have unique pictures and names, and must not die, as that causes the failure of the mission.