Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Warcraft 3 Reminiscence: Teamline Tower Wars (TLTW)

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During the time I played Vampirism Revolution and Vampirism 7.5/7.9, I also was a regular player of several other maps. While some were similar to the format of Vampirism or spinoff maps, others were original works or derivatives of map formats I had yet to experience. Some of my fondest memories, especially since I played Warcraft III customs alongside my brother, were from Teamline Tower Wars (shortened as TLTW), specifically version 1.5.


Teamline Tower Wars is very similar to Tower Defense maps that require you to maze like Wintermaul. Each two-person team is given a long stretch of area to build their towers on and have to hold off waves of enemies sent by the preceding team which spawn in a small region at the top of the team's area. For each enemy that manages to leak through, the team loses a life and the team that sent the minions gains a life. The minion then goes on to challenge the next team's defenses. If a team runs out of lives and is defeated, minions sent will go to the team following it instead. To prevent blocking, anti-cheat NPCs that destroy towers that block waves patrol about the map.

As mentioned above, teams also control the flow of units that the following team will deal with. The team has to be able to afford to send the unit and enough time has to have passed in order to send stronger units (no sending tier 3 attacking units at the start, lol). Sending units will (usually) increase the team's income, though stronger units give less income per gold than weaker units. Income is given every 15 seconds or so and should be built up as much as possible to get access to stronger towers and units.

By the endgame, gold will reach the one million cap and can be spent in lots of 100,000 for a piece of lumber. Lumber can be used to research high tier towers (of which each player can research four of by default, meaning a team can potentially have eight different techs at the start) or to send endgame units.

Given the two objectives, players usually call either the role of sender or builder. The sender focuses on sending units from the beginning of the game to build the team's income while also trying to steal lives. Later on the sender typically assists in defending by building some support towers such as towers that provide a large splashing slow attack. The builder, which I personally favored, builds the defenses and uses excess income to send units later on. This is especially devastating since the builder can accumulate a lot of money and send a huge amount of units along with the sender's usual payload (or, if you're really coordinated and premake with your teammate, you can send even more by having the sender save up). The builder usually focuses on creating damage towers.

Units that could be sent sometimes had special abilities. For instance, some can fly, others have the ability to attack the towers, and the endgame creatures can have even more (regeneration aura, invisibility, etc). Towers also had special effects, mostly the tech ones. For instance, as mentioned before, there is a tower that specializes in slowing huge amounts of enemies with a ridiculous splash radius. Higher tier towers can also grant true sight.
Example of a (suboptimal) defense. Note that this is a later version.
Final Words

Teamline Tower Wars was a fun map to play. I enjoyed the strategy required to be the superior team and when me and my brother played, we were pretty much unmatched. Also, in some of the older maps there's a hilarious cheat that can give the Red player one million gold whenever they want which pretty much broke the game. There was also a single-player version called Line Tower Wars where people competed against either other and had to manage both defending and sending. Personally I never really liked that one as much because my ability to micro sucked and the tech levels are a lot lower in that map.

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