Eve of the Apocalypse: Twilight

An Aeon of Strife map for Warcraft 3
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PostPosted: January 2nd, 2013, 8:22 pm 
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Location: The Sewers of Manhattan
My friends and I had a lan over the holidays and we finally beat Exodus on normal mode after trying it sporadically over the last four years. It took a little skill and a little luck, and while three of us (Blue, Teal, Yellow) were pretty serious WC3 players back in the day, Red was kind of a journeyman player who was familiar with Exodus and Purple had never played Exodus bar three or four games before this one. So, my point is that it is doable even without a team of elite Exo/WC3 brass. I'd also like to point out that we beat the game without exploiting anything.

Heroes
Crag Lord- Total beefcake with tanky summons and a vicious ult. He usually spent his time holding the center against the Creeps with the Astral Mage.

High Cleric- The designated healer. His ult is a lifesaver, which is good because his combat skills start off poor and nose dive into nearly non-existant towards the end. He usually held the undead gate until it was lost, but often shuffled as needed.

Forsaken Sentinel- THE boss slayer. The ethereal spell is useful when paired with mages and the crit damage chews apart just about anyone. Her sole responisbility for most of the game was killing orc heroes.

Astral Mage- So much damage. Everything about this hero is incredible, save his durability. He usually held the center with the Crag Lord, but moved about as needed on occasion.

Frost Wizard- Our guy thought this hero was kind of meh, but she paired well with Forsaken Sentinel and the ult has a massive radius. She moved from gate to gate quite a bit, but usually stuck close to the orc gate.

Other heroes we could have used were the Knight Commander, Voodoo Master, Naga Sorceress, and Harrowing Slayer. We found that having the High Cleric, Forsaken Sentinel, and Astral Mage were pretty indispensable to the group's success.

Items
These trinkets were pretty invaluable to us. There are a lot of good items out there, and so its important to sell the items that aren't so good (I'm looking at you, Murloc Scale) so that you can get a cash boost. Make room for the essentials, then pimp out your character however you see fit.

Goblin Landmines- This was the single very first thing that we got as a team, even before units. We used them to mine the orc path to keep their heroes low, but they lose their effectiveness in the late game.

Ankh- Possibly the most important item. These come into the shop around mid-game and saved our asses many times. Everyone should try to have one at all times once they're available.

Scroll of Resurrection- The other really clutch item besides the ankh. This revives twelve units and isn't available until later in the game, but it saved us two or three times after battles where are forces were nearly wiped.

Sobi Mask/Ethereal Pendant- Abilities are essential for most characters, especially in the late game. The importance of mana regen can't be understated.

Hydra Essence/Shell Armor- Great items for tanks. The health regen given by the first is incredible, and the second provides a very nice armor bonus.

Veil of Shadows, or whatever its called- The perma-invis this grants is really important late game for sneaking around and destroying tainted wells, obelisks, etc.

Golem Helm/Bloodfeather's Heart/Spider Ring- These give very nice stat bonuses for strength, agility, and intelligence respectively.

Orbs- Important for melee characters so they can kill those harpies and netherdrakes.

Units
I'm sure there are many unit combinations that can get the job done; this is just what we did. The important thing is to have your damage types covered.

Red massed Knights. These units have the best armor in the game and are pretty meaty with the war animal upgrade. These were split with the majority staying in the middle to hold the line (love isn't always on time) against the Creep waves. A small detachment was also kept at the Undead gate. He also ended up getting a few d-hawks.

Blue was in a sort of utility role. Gun powder units were the order of the day, but it was a good mix of riflemen and mortar teams with a few siege tanks near the end (siege damage is ultra important for when the iron golems show up.) He also got a group of raiders with the net skill for dealing with the nuclear bat and some shamans for bloodlust. Some of the riflemen helped hold the undead gate for a time, the rest stuck with fighting the Creep waves in the center.

Teal focused on upgrading his hero, the Forsaken Sentinel.

Purple massed Chimaeras. These things are just monstrous, but they have a hefty price tag attached to them. They were kept at center.

Yellow spent his resources on towers. I know many say towers lose their function in the late-game, but glaive towers still chew up the undead and can help hold the orcs at bay for a very long time.

Overall Strategy
We tried to keep the orcs, creeps, and undead seperated from each other so they couldn't wreck havoc together in the middle. We tried to hold the orcs and undead at their gates to allow resources to flow freely into our base, but we let the creeps come up to the central ramp of the inner castle since we would be closer to our fountains, shops, and unit production. Keeping on top of the random crisis events (gruntapult, undead navy, poisoned river, etc.) was high priority, because the weight of those things can become incredibly burdensome as time passes. Most units were kept at center with the Crag Lord and Astral Mage, with a fair amount devoted to the undead gate with the High Cleric. Units were kept away from the orc gate so that the orc heroes couldn't get experience from them; instead Forsaken Sentinel and Frost Mage mined the shit out of it.

We pooled gold fairly regularly, especially early on so we could get our facilities up and running. I would put the importance of pooling gold on par with a strong hero selection, diversifying damage/armor types, ankhs, and scrolls of resurrection. Pooling allowed us to get land mines within a few minutes, units sooner, and more upgrades.

Well, that about covers it. I know this is more of an AAR than a true strategy guide, but from my own experience of vain searches for consolidated information about Exodus across the interwebs, I hope this can be found by someone who needs a little help or direction with the game. We haven't beaten it on hard (give us a few more years,) but I have attached our replay. Please don't mind the name of the replay; I named it that in my euphoria of the nail-biting win. If you do watch it please take notice of my clutch High Cleric ult to save us from a nuclear bat when we have 80 survivors remaining :) .


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SteveMikeWadeJoelBrian WIN EXODUS.w3g [903.42 KiB]
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