I just finished making a list of completed campaigns that are actually worth playing. I posted it on GameFAQs (http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/589475-warcraft-iii-the-frozen-throne/55648085
), and a few hours later I stumbled upon this thread here while searching for more campaigns.
Of course, there are more complete campaigns than the ones I listed, but these are the good ones (in my opinion). Some of the best are found in the "Didn't Download" list: the reason I didn't download them was that since they had such an amazing reputation already, I didn't have to bother testing them myself.
Anyway, here's a repost of my guide. This is exactly what the original topic was asking for, and years later, it has been achieved. Sorry for any repeat maps...more than half of these have been mentioned already.
In the custom Warcraft 3 map world, there is a mysterious land feared and avoided by many map makers: the land of custom campaigns. Very few authors have dared journey here, and even fewer have emerged triumphant. As a result, the only custom campaign most gamers have is the puny little Orc demo that comes with The Frozen Throne.
Put simply, the following is a list of custom campaigns that are actually worth your time and system resources. Sure, you could head to a map website and search for campaigns there, but it would take a lot of time and effort to find all the jewels hidden among the trash. I've done it for you.
Installation: These maps are packed into a single .w3n file, which must be placed in the "campaigns" folder (NOT the "maps" folder). To play, select "Custom Campaign", not "Custom Map", from the single player main menu.
This topic's predecessor was made by Ner_Zhul, but he said he sucked at writing descriptions, so I checked out all the maps he listed (and some he didn't), wrote reviews, and organized them for your convenience. His compilation can be found at http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/589475-warcraft-iii-the-frozen-throne/55283115
If you have any comments, reviews, or campaign suggestions, don't hesitate to post.
***The Best of the Best***
Day of the Dragon
An elite campaign made by OutsiderXE that allows you to play through the events of a real Warcraft book. You play as a mage from Dalaran, sent on a dangerous and suicidal mission by the Kirin Tor. His masters almost hope that he doesn't come back alive. Did I mention the events are taken straight from an official Warcraft book? This makes it perfect for people who hate reading, and also makes it Blizzard-approved canon. As if that weren't enough, the campaign's sidequests employ a karma system, and there's an alternate ending for those who choose to follow the path of evil through the whole game.
This is a set of RPG maps. The Undead Scourge is poised to invade Khaz Modan, the Dwarven Kingdom. What will you find here? Well, I don't want to spoil all the surprises. You have the freedom of choice in many quests, and there are plenty of sidequests...or you can rush straight to the final goal. The plot and dialogue are top-notch, and the maps found here easily blow most other single-player RPGs out of the water. As long as you don't mind playing as bearded midgets, the only flaws here are that each map runs independently of the one before it (you won't be bringing any of your heroes or items from mission to mission), and that the final level needs a decent computer to avoid severe lag.
Lord of the Clans
Future Orc Chieftain Thrall came from humble beginnings; he was born into slavery. Lord of the Clans was actually going to be a real adventure game released by Blizzard, but even though development was completed, they cancelled it at the last minute, unsatisfied with the product. You can look at footage of the game on Youtube. Years later, they hired a writer to turn the game's events into a book, and now it finally comes to you in a fully-playable, Warcraft III form thanks to OutsiderXE.
The Last Guardian
The third and final book-based campaign made by OutsiderXE. You play as Khadgar, Medivh's apprentice, during the events of Warcraft 1. The gameplay is puzzles, puzzles, PUZZLES. There will be no standard RTS-battling here. If you think you're good at using your brain, I dare you to try making it past the second level of this campaign. Can get frustrating when you get stuck, but as its taken from an official Blizzard book, its full of intriguing plot and you want to keep playing to find out what happens next.
Wanderers of Sorceria
A massive campaign - features six full-length books. Something like this could be easily sold on store shelves as an RTS/RPG of its own if it wasn't built on WC3's engine. If you're looking for something on a scale as epic as the FInal Fantasy series, or perhaps an anime series that's 200+ episodes long, look no further. Has an a great custom soundtrack, memorable characters, and a plot that never gets dull and always keeps you drooling for more.
Warcraft: The Saga of Azeroth
This takes place before and during Warcraft 1. It strictly adheres to real game lore, and is perfect for those who want to play the events that started it all in a relatively modern engine. The campaign was first developed in 2003, before The Frozen Throne even came out, but has since undergone several updates and now it stands tall and proud. It is marketed as episode 1 of an ongoing saga that retells the events of Warcraft 1 and 2, but no further episodes were ever released. Still, since it takes place in Warcraft's game universe, if you finish the campaign and want to know what happens next, simply grab a copy of Warcraft 2 or replay Warcraft 3.
One of the rare campaigns that takes place 10,000 years before the start of Warcraft 3, during the War of the Ancients. That's when the Burning Legion is invading Azeroth, and the Night Elves beat them back. Epic times. As we know, Illidan betrays his brother and tries to stop the plan to destroy the Queen Azshara, her followers (present-day Naga), and the source of the world's magic, Well of Eternity. That's where you come in...you play as Deandra, a female Demon Hunter that has an obsessive crush on Illidan. The campaign is extremely well-developed and has plenty of humor mixed in with its serious setting. MedMapGuy created this campaign, and his unique style of humor didn't bring the quality of this one down - if anything, it adds to the experience. The levels are immersive and the maps and triggers are done on an elite level.
Fall of the Lion
This puts a fun and exciting spin on retelling the events of Warcraft 1. It's not mind-numbingly boring like the exact replica remakes, but it's also not nearly as long, as detailed, or as advanced as as the Saga of Azeroth campaign. It's just a short, fun campaign that you could probably finish in one or two sittings, and a great example of how simple things can sometimes be more fun than projects that took years to complete.
Rise of the Lich King
Not to be confused with the upcoming movie of the same name, this campaign is an alternate-history sequel to The Frozen Throne in which Admiral Proudmoore survives. Could be good for people who want to ignore World of Warcraft. It has most of the characters you know and love, but the Night Elves and the Orcs are completely absent. You alternate between playing as the forces of the Lich King and a very unlikely alliance (I don't want to spoil anything). The plot isn't too bad, and, combined with the gameplay challenging enough to hand even careless veterans a crushing defeat, it kept kept me interested and playing until the very end. I was disappointed with a certain part of the finale and wished things ended differently, but I can't give any more details than that without spoiling the campaign.
Star Wars - A Master's Prejudice
This one is great for Star Wars fans, and the opening cutscene alone is unbelievably impressive. You could tell someone you bought a new Star Wars game, show them the game, and they wouldn't even realize you were playing Warcraft.
Shiny graphics and total conversions aside, the game's plot is absurd: You play as Darth Revan, from Knights of the Old Republic. (Cool!) It is the height of the Clone Wars, and Yoda has a mission for you... (Wait, what?) And Yoda says you have to bring your apprentice with you, a teenage girl. (Now we're talking) This is a problem, because Revan is openly sexist, never missing a chance to take a stab at women. (...)
After discovering all that, I wasn't too surprised when I realized that this campaign was created by the same deranged mind that pumped out the Joe's Quest series and Deandra's Tale, MedMapGuy. Star Wars fans will definitely want to try it out if they don't mind the bad attempt at humor and the downright insulting portrayal of Darth Revan's character.
The Last Druid
This is more of a multi-map RPG than a campaign, similar to the Frozen Throne bonus campaign with the Beastmaster. It occurs shortly before Warcraft 3, when a solitary High Elf embarks on a mission to restore the Isle of Darrow. The island was once the home of High Elf druids, but during the events of Warcraft 2, the island was raided, the sacred Runestone shattered, and the inhabitants slaughtered. Now, a mysterious force urges him to return to the island. Has decent gameplay and challenging quests.
The events of this campaign don't happen in game lore, but it could have, since its backstory about the Orcs, the extinct High Elf Druids, and their Runestone are all canon. You can also travel to the island from these maps in World of Warcraft.
English wasn't this map creator's first language, so you'll see some grammar errors. That aside, the intro alone to this campaign is three maps long. That's right, a three-map intro cutscene. If that wasn't long enough for you, there's another 7 minutes of drawn-out cutscene after starting the first mission. The only thing longer than the cinematics here are the maps themselves - they're huge and full of enemies. That aside, Forgotten War takes place in another world, and has completely custom-built races. You start off as a race of underground lizards trying to break through to the surface. Unfortunately, I never found out if they succeeded, because I deleted the campaign shortly after installing it. It's too long - and not in a good way.
This is by the same author as Deandra's Tale, MedMapGuy, but the tone, plot, and setting of this campaign is much less serious...instead of partially being a big joke, that's all it is. The campaign is short and features characters such as "Joe" and "Timmy"...It seemed stupid to me, but some people might get enjoyment out of this sort of thing.
This is the sequel to Joe's Quest. Naturally, you can expect more of the same foolishness as in Joe's Quest. Might be good for a quick time-waster, as its only a few maps long. There's a sequel to this somewhere to complete the Joe's Quest trilogy, but I don't have the link...a quick Google search would get it for you.
Nature's Call - The Spiderqueen
The concept here is that you play a Spider granted extra powers by Medivh, and grow into the Queen of the Spider Race. It gets off to an awesome start, but even though units and buildings were created for the spider race and its army, only two maps even make use of them. The campaign quickly takes a turn for the worse when map after map is the same: you have no base and objective is to slaughter the enemy with your heroes.
The Spiderqueen is supposed to tie in directly with the official Warcraft campaigns, but that's hard to believe when you and your allies (including a Crypt Fiend that morphs into into a Dragon) accidentally free Ner'zhul, the Lich King, from his prison...inside a fire cavern. Even though the gameplay and plot gets progressively worse, custom voice-acting plays for every line of dialogue. The voices were done by professionals and they don't sound cheesy or embarrassing. This campaign spawned a sequel called Return of the Dragon (see below).
Nature's Call - Return of the Dragon
This is the sequel to Nature's Call - The Spiderqueen. Now, this campaign was infamous and notorious for its horrible bugs, rendering many maps completely unplayable, corrupting save games, etc. However, someone took it upon themselves to fix a few errors and make it playable with the patched version of Warcraft.
The plot picks up directly after The Spiderqueen, which was nice, since that campaign ended on a cliffhanger. You play as a crypt fiend whose genetics are now permanently fused with a Dragon. Strange premise, but the custom interface, unit sounds, and fully-recorded, professional-sounding voice acting make this campaign worth a try. I suggest playing the Spiderqueen campaign first, but its not really necessary.
Shards of Resistance: The Raiders (Platinum Edition)
It is actually a total remake of a very old campaign. The original was created by Lord Soze. This "Platinum Edition" was created by MedMapGuy, the man responsible for Joe's Quest. However, since this is a remake of a pre-existing campaign, it doesn't have as much humor or stupidity as his other maps. As for the actual plot, it revolves around...Orc Raiders, of course. I'm not too interested in the Orcs, especially not Orcs that wish nothing more than to bathe in the blood of humanity, so I quit playing after the second level. It actually wasn't that bad, the story just didn't captivate me personally.
***Didn't Download*** (But they look nice)
Black Company Campaign Beta v1.5
This one is based off Glen Cook's novel, The Black Company. The book is about a group of anti-heros, many of whom have an evil background, and the larger battle against good and evil. This campaign is still in beta and hasn't been updated in 4 years, and some people have complained that the final map is missing, so I didn't download it.
The Adventures of Rowan the Wise
This offers an alternate history - a "what if" version of how things in Warcraft 3 could have happened. It's quite a large project, coming in at 86 MB, and has custom sounds, great reviews, the works...I just didn't download it because the campaign's plot didn't appeal to me.
The Chosen Ones
The story starts in a human kingdom called Balgaron, and revolves around Dragon Slayers. Dragons seem to be the enemy, as the humans won a huge war against them 12 years ago. I didn't play this because it doesn't take place in the Warcraft game-universe and I don't like the concept of randomly killing Dragons, but it has good reviews.
The Return of Alisia Dragoon
Draws inspiration from/a sequel to the Genesis game, Alisia Dragoon...as the description says, "This campaign has many different kinds of gameplay, including traditional RTS, 3rd person shooting, rail shooting, Click defense, AoS and so forth."...but once again, I didn't download it.
War of Corruption
From the map description: "This mod is a total conversion for Warcraft III. This is the campaign of the Elves from the magical unverse of Aethra. Included here are new animations, a custom soundtrack, new sounds and an original storyline." If I wanted to save yet another medieval fantasy world, I'd be playing my copy of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, so I didn't download this one. It's definitely an epic project though, and thousands of people love it.
***WALL OF SHAME: DOWNLOAD AT YOUR OWN PERIL***
Creeps Let Loose
It had a decent enough premise: the neutral races of Azeroth are sick of being massacred by the Humans, Orc, Undead, and Night Elves, and resolve to rise up against their oppressors. Starts off slow, picks up momentum , then becomes nothing but garbage. The creator dropped the project for a while, and during his break, it seems he forgot how to make/test maps. The last level manages to be both horrible and full of bugs at the same time. The campaign was incomplete, but I took it upon myself to finish it by creating a special ending in which your heros and their armies are all massacred. It was satisfying, especially since I made the map in no more than 60 seconds.
Other memorable grievances include:
- Transcontinental waygates. Having one portal from Northrend to Lordaeron is ok; having 20 of them that criss-cross all of Azeroth like an interstate highway is just spitting all over Blizzard.
- The neutral races refer to themselves as "Creeps".
- A mission where, at the end, you must defeat a computer that's been spawning three Tauren every 30 seconds since the beginning of the map. There was no way to reinforce or rebuild your army. A few centaur against 200 Tauren would've been impossible for most people, but I managed it.
A troubled soul named Buster_Blader created a series of incoherent maps and called it a "champaign". These maps, downloaded from epicwar.com, were the worst maps I have ever played in my entire Warcraft career. They were so unbelievably bad that I felt the need to gather them into one place. I wasted an afternoon searching for each map, figured out what order they were supposed to go in, and created a campaign file out. The result is, by far, the most horrible Warcraft custom campaign you will ever play. Ever. Most of the levels can't even be completed. These maps will make all the other failed maps you've ever downloaded look like fun.
*The campaign was originally split into "NagaBloodelf Journey Champaign", and its sequel, "Lord of Outland Champaign". I gave this horrible "champaign" a shiny new name to commemerate its conversion to a .w3n file, but its contents are still as rotten as ever.
The original Mathias Chronicles had at least 50 missions, probably more. MedMapGuy's once again attempted to remake a "classic", just as he did with Shards of Resistance: The Raiders. Perhaps Mathias Chronicles was too stupid even by MedMapGuy's standards, because he gave up on the project. The campaign is supposed to be a side-story that occurs during Blizzard's official campaigns.
Here were my thoughts on the original campaign: "It has a horrible plot, bad grammar, and terrain that looks like it was drawn with a blindfold. The fact that they kept spamming the word "Orcen" in every other dialogue sequence (instead of "Orcish") was the last straw and made it unplayable for me. This campaign almost ruined all of Warcraft 3 for me, because I kept having nightmare visions of Mathias Chronicles, even while replaying the official in-game campaigns. I was hallucinating Thrall talking about his "Orcen" allies...ugh"
Original Part 1 of 5: http://www.hiveworkshop.com/forums/maps-564/mathias-part-i-pursuit-80454
Remake (incomplete): http://staff.samods.org/medmapguy/NewGenWarcraft/Mathias%20Chronicles%20Redux%20Demo.w3n
Warcraft: Orcs and Humans Remake
I played through the Human campaign to the end. It's less of a remake and more like an exact replica of Warcraft 1. Unfortunately, this is not a good thing. The original Warcraft was revolutionary for its time, but anyone that tries playing it after playing WC3 will be horrified. This campaign, staying true to its function as a replica, is no different. Where do I start? The utterly barren terrain, unnecessarily large map sizes, total lack of dialogue and plot, only being able to select 4 units at a time...it's all exactly like Warcraft 1, except the graphics engine.
The map creator did an excellent job copying Warcraft 1, so this campaign's problems aren't with the author, they're with WC1 itself. All this is great for people who played WC1 when it first came out and are looking for nostalgia, but not much else. If you're thinking this campaign will help you understand Warcraft 1's plot, it won't, because most of the original Warcraft's plot was contained *in the game manual*. You'd have more fun reading information from a fansite, or better yet, playing The Saga of Azeroth campaign.
Download (Orc): http://www.hiveworkshop.com/forums/maps-564/warcraft-orcs-157703
Download (Human): http://www.hiveworkshop.com/forums/maps-564/warcraft-humans-157714
I hope that this topic helps people find their destiny. Remember, if you think you know a great campaign that's not listed here, post a reply so that I- and everyone else- can become aware of its existence.