[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/warcraftorcsvshumans_595.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:The drums of war thunder once again.]]

->''"Welcome to the VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft."''
-->-- '''Warcraft: Orcs and Humans''' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DhXUgrKK_s intro]]

[[MorePopularSpinoff Yes, the franchise did exist before]] ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''.

While ''VideoGame/DuneII'' was the TropeCodifier of the RealTimeStrategy genre, [[Creator/BlizzardEntertainment Blizzard's]] Warcraft series was one of the franchises that popularized it.

Taking place in the magical land of Azeroth, Warcraft chronicles the many fantastical wars between men and orcs ([[FantasyKitchenSink and elves, dwarves, undead, demons, Lovecraftian horrors...]]) often with greater political strife, betrayal and a healthy dose of moral ambiguity in the background. Most notably, its narrative led to the creation of [[OurOrcsAreDifferent Blizzard Orcs]].

On the game play front, its many innovative features really pushed the series ahead of its competitors in both game play and sales. Blizzard focused on online play and custom games, believing them to be an important part of the RealTimeStrategy experience. This ended up indirectly creating the MultiplayerOnlineBattleArena genre. If ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' didn't bring you here, then perhaps the ''Warcraft III'' custom game ''VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients'' did.

Warcraft's success eventually gave birth to the MMORPG monster ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' (2004), which retconned some of the backstory developed by the previous games. It also created the Franchise/WarcraftExpandedUniverse. A [[Film/WarCraft2016 feature film]] based on the original game was released in June 2016.

Games in this series include:

* ''Warcraft: Orcs and Humans'' (1994)
* ''Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness'' (1995)
** ''Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal'' (1996)
* ''Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos'' (2002)
** ''Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne'' (2003)
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' (2004)
** ''World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade'' (2007)
** ''World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King'' (2008)
** ''World of Warcraft: Cataclysm'' (2010)
** ''World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria'' (2012)
** ''World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor'' (2014)
** ''World of Warcraft: Legion'' (2016)

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!!This series provides examples of:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Tropes A - G]]
* AbnormalAmmo:
** Undead Meat Wagons fling diseased corpses by way of a catapult.
** Night Elf Glaive throwers launch a bladed Frisbee, despite looking very much like their ballistae predecessors.
* ACommanderIsYou: The first two games feature CosmeticallyDifferentSides, but ''Warcraft III'' featured far more diversity. The four sides were:
** Human Alliance: Balanced/Generalist. Humans get the broadest variety of defensive structures and an interesting combination of simplicity and complexity in their units -- as examples, Footmen can get an ability which reduces incoming ranged damage but makes them move more slowly, and in tier 3 Priests can choose between healing units and buffing their damage output. In terms of cost, they are also generally the most average.
** Orcish Horde: Elitist/Brute/Technical. Their structures and units cost more overall, but have more strength and stamina, hence Brute; many of their units also get useful but gimmicky abilities which require some micro to use properly, such as the Shaman's Purge (which nullifies status buffs and slows the target unit) and the Spirit Walker's Spirit Link (which allows four units to share 50% of the damage each unit takes), hence Technical.
** Undead Scourge: Spammer/Technical/Industrialist. Possessing cheaper but more fragile units and structures, they are different from the Orcs and Humans in how they gather resources -- {{Worker Unit}}s gather Gold from Gold Mines after they have been "haunted", but Ghouls, your basic infantry, are responsible for gathering lumber. This is ultimately to their advantage, since it means committing less of your [[ArbitraryHeadcountLimit food count]] to resource gathering than other races require. Replacing the Orcs as the faction who summon expendable skeleton {{Mooks}}, they also have nifty abilities obviously designed for dirty fighting. Also in their favour is that, uniquely, their buildings are [[strike:constructed]] summoned to the battlefield automatically, letting them build multiple structures simultaneously without tying up multiple workers.
** Night Elves: Balanced/Ranger/Technical/Economist. Their basic infantry units, Archers, are the only ranged attackers in the game who don't cost lumber, and as a rule they do great ranged damage but are squishier than the other three races. Their spellcasters possess even more gimmicky abilities than previously mentioned, up to and including shapeshifting, but considerable micromanagement is required to use them effectively. Uniquely, building certain structures (the Ancient-type ones, which comprise most of them) consumes their workers, [[WillOTheWisp Wisps]]; that said, Wisps gather Gold at a rate similar to that of the Undead and even more uniquely, they can gather Lumber from a tree without chopping it down, letting them gather indefinitely from the same tree.[[note]]For balance purposes, individual Wisps gather 5 lumber per trip, which is less than Peasants, Peons and Ghouls; the former two gather 10 per trip, the latter 20.[[/note]]
* ActionGirl:
** Tyrande Whisperwind, Jaina Proudmoore, Sylvanas Windrunner, Maiev Shadowsong... and there's even {{Mook}} style [[ActionGirl action girls]]: the Night Elf Archers and Huntresses, and High Elf Sorceresses.
** Alleria Windrunner from the [=WC2=] expansion, who also happens to be Sylvanas' older sister.
* ADayInTheLimelight: Every novel and comic released is technically there to provide the backstory of the side characters. Though since every campaign has a different set of main characters, each campaign is probably one itself, since there is no single 'main character' in the story.
* TheAgeless:
** Night elves used to have this form of immortality, before sacrificing it to save the world from the Burning Legion, after which they became merely LongLived and Really700YearsOld. Their high elven cousins made this switch long before this, when they were exiled from Kalimdor and the lands to which their immortality was tied.
*** The High Elves were also Ageless, just like the Night Elves, due to the Sun Well, however the Night Elves had EXTRA benefits due to a pact with the Dragon Aspects like complete immunity to diseases and such, where as the High Elves were JUST Ageless through magical foci of their own creation.
** Dragons, or at least the Aspects, seem to be undying as well. [[spoiler: Might no longer be true as they lost much of their power in WorldOfWarcraft's third expansion.]]
** Draenei can be positively ancient: certain characters, including High Prophet Velen, have been around ever since the exodus from Argus 10,000 years ago, and don't look much worse for the wear. Velen's only telling sign of age is a BadassBeard.
** Demons are this due to being infused with fel energy. Moreover, it grants them ResurrectiveImmortality, as their spirits return to the Nether when their body is destroyed, and may manifest in a new body with time (or much faster with assistance from the living).
* ALighterShadeofBlack: [[NominalHero Illidan, Garithos, and Sylvanas]] VS the Scourge and the Burning Legion.
* TheAlliance: [[CaptainObvious The Alliance]] in both the sequels, and the Horde in ''Warcraft 3''.
* AllThereInTheManual: Much of the games' story and set up is found in their manuals and novels.
* AllTrollsAreDifferent: In this case, a savage yet spiritual people with ties to the elves who happen to have Cuban and Jamaican accents.
** In fact, the possibility exists that [[http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/story/troll/trollsandnightelves.html trolls and night elves are related]].
*** This has since been [[http://www.scrollsoflore.com/forums/showthread.php?p=329308#post329308 confirmed]]. Night Elves are, indeed, evolved from Trolls -- specifically, a tribe of now-extinct Dark Trolls settled by a magical lake (which would later become the Well of Eternity), and the exposure to magic turned them into Night Elves. The Elves don't really like to talk about it.
** There seem to be several sub-species of trolls, mainly differing by skin color but sometimes with more pronounced differences. Desert and Jungle trolls, including the playable Darkspear tribe, are hunched and lanky. Forest and Ice trolls are notably larger and more muscular. The Zandalari trolls, being the civilized, pureblood ancestral race, look much less monstrous, and actually stand upright.
* AltarDiplomacy: It's mentioned in ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII's'' backstory that Arthas Menethil (crown prince of Lordaeron) and Jaina Proudmoore (the daughter of Kul Tiras' admiral and high up in the {{Magocracy}} of Dalaran)'s relationship was seen with a favorable eye by all, as this would surely bring about good relations between all nations involved. However, they drifted apart due to their duties, even before Arthas became the Lich King.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: [[strike: [[HeelFaceTurn The Horde]],]] [[CaptainObvious Demons]], and surprisingly few others. The [[SnakePeople naga]] and [[FaunsAndSatyrs satyr]] are both borderline examples, as both races are actually just evil night elven factions that were transformed by magic.
** Funnily enough, many of the races a player would expect to be AlwaysChaoticEvil from other works are anything but, whereas a lot of races that are portrayed as good elsewhere are actually pretty nasty in the ''Warcraft'' universe. Tauren are basically minotaurs, but deeply honorable and spiritual. As detailed in the description, the orcs made a HeelFaceTurn toward ProudWarriorRaceGuys. Meanwhile, centaurs are brutal savages--which is admittedly [[RealityIsUnrealistic true to their original depiction]] in Myth/ClassicalMythology - and satyrs are former night elves turned demon-worshippers. As for goblins, see OurGoblinsAreDifferent below.
* AnAesop / CentralTheme
-->'''Uther''': Vengeance cannot be a part of what we must do. If we allow our passions turn to bloodlust, [[HeWhoFightsMonsters we become as vile as the Orcs]].
** While this ''is'' a pretty solid theme throughout the entire Warcraft universe (from Sargeras to Arthas), Uther's line here is one of the only times it's made so explicit. Although more ironic when he follows it up almost immediately with:
-->Now, if you're feeling up to it. I want you to lead the attack. I'll remain here and ensure that none of the lothsome beasts threaten the camp.
* AncientTomb: The Tomb of Sargeras.
* AndIMustScream: What Kil'jaeden did to Ner'zhul to transform him into the Lich King.
* AnimalStampede: In ''Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne'', TheBeastmaster's ultimate skill, appropriately named "Stampede", summons Thunder Lizards to run in straight lines until they run into something and explode.
* AnimatedActors: The HilariousOuttakes in the closing credits for ''Reign of Chaos''.
* AnimateDead: The Scourge's entire modus operandi.
** Scourge Necromancers can make [[DemBones skeletons]] from corpses. The [[ClownCarGrave Graveyard and Meat Wagons]] provides infinite (if slowly spawned) corpses. Thus the only limiter is [[ManaMeter mana]]. Even that limit can be raised to an extent using [[TheMedic Obsidian Statues]].
** The Night Elf Avatar of Vengeance spams a variant of AnimateDead (on top of being huge).
** The Death Knight hero unit has for his ultimate move AnimateDead, which revives six nearby corpses to fight for him for 40 seconds. And they're invincible!
** Necrolytes in ''Warcraft'' and Death Knights in ''Warcraft 2'' could also create [[DemBones skeletons]] from corpses.
* AntiGravityClothing
* AntiHoarding: Heroes in ''Warcraft III'' have an inventory capacity for six items, and at most three heroes per game. The expansion's orc campaign gives you a persistent six-item stash.
* ArbitraryMinimumRange: Siege weapons all have minimum range, being completely defenseless against melee units.
* AristocratsAreEvil: In life, the Death Knights were, well, knights, so now you have Death Knights with names like [[NamesToRunAwayfromReallyFast Lord Darkscythe, Duke Ragereaver, Baron Frostfel...]] In addition, many evil units and heroes have 'lord' in their names.
* ArtifactMook: In one mission of ''III'', Malfurion and Tyrande discover spiders that have grown to [[GiantSpider gigantic size]] when they came into contact with demonic corruption. However, there are many more giant spiders in the world, both in this game and in ''[=WoW=]'', spiders that have never met any demons.
* ArtificialStupidity:
** Highly visible in [=WC2=], where melee units will happily stand still and get killed by a ranged attacker two spaces away.
** Visible as well in [=WC3=], where sometimes a computer opponent will just stop evolving at the second tier. Worse, if you choose to start with a random hero they sometimes ignore it completely and build up to second tier [[CantCatchUp before starting to explore and level their new hero.]]
** Taken to absurd heights by some Night Elf AIs, who will promptly box themselves in with various buildings. It gets worse: quite a few of those buildings they're trapped by? They can ''move''.
** On the topic of Night Elf AI, they generally use [[MagicKnight Druids of the Claw]] as overglorified Footmen, running them into battle in their Druid Form instead of making use of the much more powerful Bear Form, while also not realizing that said Druids can ''heal''. Computer-controlled Night Elf ground armies tend to have rather short lifespans compared to human-controlled ones as a result.
** In Frozen Throne, units can be really stupid when ordered to get on a transport ship, trying to get to it through a longer route instead of trying to go to the same spot the ship is heading to.
** Curiously enough, Frozen Throne's Normal AI tends to be dumber than the Easy AI, due to them [[FailedASpotCheck having the map awareness of a statue]]. It's not unheard of for them to sit in their teammate's base twiddling their figurative thumbs while their own base is being bulldozed, or to lose ''entire armies'' in transit due to not noticing that they've been ambushed by the enemy or are marching said army through creeps.
* AscendedExtra: Some of the major characters were initially just mentioned briefly in the early games. For example, [[BiggerBad Sargeras]] was nothing but a throw-away name for a demon whose sceptre Gul'dan was trying to steal.
** Ogres in Warcraft I were just random dungeon monsters, but took on a prominent role in Warcraft II.
* AscendedGlitch: In ''II'', it was possible to expedite a building's construction at extra resource cost by having spare peasants or peons "repair" it. In ''III'', this was made an explicit ability of the Human faction.
* AsteroidsMonster: Hydras. As there's no way to represent one hydra's head being replaced by more, a dying hydra will be replaced by two smaller and weaker hydras.
* AttackAttackAttack: While attacking hero units with [[ZergRush a horde of weak units]] is an effective tactic, you need enough {{Mooks}} to overwhelm the heroes. This is not the case with the small bandit gangs at the beginning of the Human Alliance campaign...''but they insist on making a beeline for paladin Arthas and his high defense stats and '''enormous smite-mallet''' anyway.'' It's common for him to one-shot *thock* them [[CatchPhrase (for honour)]]. Very entertaining, but the labour turnover for bandits has to be ridiculous.
* AuthorAppeal: Character Designer Samwise Didier's love of [[PandaingToTheAudience pandas]] led to the creation of the Pandaren, though it was the fans' affection for the notion that finally made them canon. You have to squint to see it, but Illidan also has tiny pictures of panda faces on the hilts of his weapons (which also appear on certain gates). And there's somebody in the Blizzard staff (probably several) who really, really likes Creator/MontyPython.
* AutobotsRockOut: ''' ''The Power of the HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRDDEEEE!!!'' '''.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: ''A lot.'' Most characters from all the races, right down to the generic hero units in multiplayer, get surnames that are just two cool-sounding words squashed together.
* TheBackwardsR: In Warcraft II, the book in the human campaign briefings is written in plain English, but with Cyrillic letters substituted for the Latin ones. One example of such substitution is "Лордаерон", or "Lordaeron."
** It's done rather inaccurately, for example "the" is transliterated as "тче". Ч reads "ch" like "chest", not "h" or either form of "th".
* BadassBookworm: Jaina Proudmoore. "All I wanted is to study."
* BadassBeard: Every dwarf unit and paladins.
* BadassMustache: Footmen, Archers and Knights in ''I''. Knights in ''WC III' and units with similar models (Bandit Lords, Garithos).
* BagOfSpilling: Happens to Arthas between the Human and Undead campaigns of ''Warcraft III'', but the game goes to some effort to avert this within the campaigns themselves, as a Hero unit that departs for story reasons leaves all their items behind.
* BalanceBuff: Several things in ''Warcraft III''.
** The Steam Tank in the original game was, for all intents and purposes, a battering ram, a mobile building that could only attack buildings at short range. In the expansion, it was replaced by the Siege Engine, which serves the same purpose but has a multitarget anti-air attack.
** Archers in the first game could permanently mount a Hippogryph, which combined a ground ranged unit and a melee air unit into a flying ranged unit. The expansion made it reversible, allowing the archer to dismount and suddenly deal more than twice the damage against flyers.
** Catapults were replaced by Demolishers, which set the ground on fire with every attack.
** The Undead make heavy use of corpses for theirs units: Abominations (heavy melee units) gained the ability to regenerate health by eating corpses, while Meat Wagons (plague-spreading catapults and corpse carriers) gained the ability to generate corpses, making Meat Wagon / Necromancer combos self-sustaining.
** Each race's WorkerUnit was given the ability to defend itself against attack: Peasants can become Militia (a slightly weaker version of a Footman), Peons can bunker down in Burrows, Ghouls are the Undead's lumber harvesters and basic melee unit, and Wisps can self-destruct to cause damage to summoned units and remove magic buffs in an area (and also rob the enemy of the experience from killing them).
* BalancePowerSkillGimmick: In ''III'', the four playable races were Humans, Orcs, Undead, and Night Elves. Orcs emphasized the brute force of their units, while the Undead emphasized strength in numbers. Humans struck a balance between these two, and the Night Elves were different from all three in that they emphasized magic and ranged combat.
* BalefulPolymorph:
** Sorceress' "Polymorph" and Shadow Hunter's "Hex" spells can turn opponents into critters for a short while. Quite a few mobs and bosses have access to these spells as well.
** In [=WC2=], the wizard's polymorph is a permanent instakill move, which simply turns any hostile (or friendly if it has disappointed you somehow) unit into the tileset-appropriate critter. There's a reason it's one of the most expensive abilities to both research and cast.
--> '''Archmage''': You'd better watch your tone with me, or I'll turn you into a mindless sheep.
* BaselessMission:
** In the first game, the human side has the rescue of Sir Lothar and an expedition to kill Medivh. A mission at Sunnyglade was for all effects baseless due to a bug with the rescue of the peasants, a BerserkButton for the entire enemy orc camp. The orc campaign has the death of Griselda at The Dead Mines and the rescue of Garona from Northshire Abbey.
** Nine missions in ''Warcraft II'' and its expansions, including escort missions for Cho'gall and Uther Lightbringer. Some missions have peasants who can't build any new structures.
** Frequent in ''Warcraft III'' where you usually get to play as a main hero of the current campaign, aided by a handful of units. In ''Frozen Throne'' the whole Orc campaign is RPG-style (though one mission gives you a base).
* BearsAreBadNews: Druids of the Claw, Furbolgs, the Beastmaster's summoned bear, Pandaren and the Largest Panda Ever.
* TheBeastmaster: The, uh, [[CaptainObvious Beastmaster hero]]. However, gameplay-wise, he's closer to SummonMagic; every one of his abilities involves summoning an animal companion to fight at his side from nowhere.
** In ''[=WC1=]'' each side's high-end caster could summon weaker mooks and a single powerful summon, the orcs having the warlock summoning spiders and Daemons, and the human Conjurer creating scorpions and water elementals.
* BenevolentMageRuler:
** The High Elves of Quel'Thalas were ruled by the Sunstrider dynasty, all powerful mages, until Kael'Thas went off the deep end.
** Jaina Proudmoore while she was the ruler of Theramore.
* TheBerserker: [[LeeroyJenkins Grom Hellscream]]. And, of course, Troll Berserkers.
* BestServedCold: Ner'zhul thinks this way. His brilliant plan to [[spoiler: destroy the Legion and install the Scourge (with himself as head) as the dominant power in Azeroth]] is one of the finest examples of this trope. Also given his powers, it works as a good pun.
* BigBad: Blackhand and Gul'dan in ''Warcraft I'', Orgrim Doomhammer in ''Warcraft II'', Ner'zhul in the expansion ''Beyond the Dark Portal'', Archimonde in ''Warcraft III''. ''Frozen Throne'' didn't have a single BigBad, but the main campaign sequence was driven by the EvilVersusEvil conflict between Kil'Jaeden and the Lich King, while Admiral Proudmoore was BigBad for the Orc bonus campaign. Sargeras for the whole series.
** [[spoiler: The Void Lords.]]
* BigNo:
** "You... did this... to our people... ''knowingly!?'' ''' '' GGRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH!!! '' '''"
** "No, old friend, you freed us all... RRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHH!!"
** "Within your heart, you know, we are the same!" "NUUUUUUUUUUURGH!" (It's actually a "NO", but Grom's yell sounds almost inarticulate.)
* BigRedDevil: Kil'jaeden is the most famous example. Several other demons including the Succubi, the Eredar and especially the Doomguard also qualify.
* BilingualBonus: In ''The Frozen Throne's'' Orc campaign, there's a bear called Misha, which is a name often given to bears in Russian fairy tales (due to its resemblance to 'medved' meaning 'bear' in Russian).
* BigBadDuumvirate: Balnazzar and Detheroc in the "Legacy of the Damned". Used to be a triumvirate before Varimathras joined Sylvanas.
* BlackMagic: According to {{Canon}}, most types of magic in the Warcraft universe are this. Although [[DarkIsEdgy Shadow]] magic (used by Shadow Priests, Death Knights and the Undead) and [[DealWithTheDevil Fel]] magic (used by Demons and Warlocks) are explicitly derived from TheDarkSide, even [[PureEnergy Arcane]] magic (used by Mages) has the twin drawbacks of being [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity extremely addictive]] and acting as a beacon to attract demons to Azeroth -- as the High Elves found out long ago. Also see WhiteMagic, below.
* BlackMagicianGirl: Jaina.
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: The Orcs vs. Humans setup in the first two games, where the orcs are alien invaders driven to conquer, kill and destroy for the hell of it, while the humans are just defending themselves.
** GreyAndGrayMorality: Orcs vs. Humans in ''III'' becomes this, with the humans having forced orcs into internment camps after they defeated them and the orcs being revealed as having been a race corrupted from their original peaceful roots by demons and now trying to return to those roots.
** BlackAndGrayMorality: The Horde and the Alliance versus the Scourge and the Burning Legion. The flawed but justifiable mortals versus the omnicidal legions of the undead and their equally monstrous demonic creators/masters.
* BreakoutCharacter: Yes, Uther gets KilledOffForReal in this game, but afterwards, he pretty much solidifies himself as Azeroth's model Paladin and if there's any Warcraft spinoff that needs a Paladin, that role always goes to Uther, in spite of his long dead presence. Way to go.
* BodyHorror:
** Along with everything else the Undead do, one notable example is in Warcraft 3, where Necromancers (and Rods of Necromancy) raise two Skeletal Warriors [[FridgeHorror from one body...]]
** Also, the aptly-named Abominations, which are monstrosities made entirely out of random anonymous stitched-together body parts (who, by the way, get consciousnesses of their own), all have gaping holes in their chests, leaving their stomachs hanging wide open for everybody to see. Or, whatever else is in there, at least...
** From ''The Frozen Throne'', the Crypt Lord can create, from just about any body, some kind of ''giant beetle''.
* BonsaiForest: The forests seem to be very thick compared to how short the trees are.
* BoozeFlamethrower: Pandaren Brewmasters in ''Warcraft 3'' have both a "throw booze" and "spit fire" abilities, which can be combo'ed to deal considerable additional afterburn damage.
* BossBattle:
** Kathuulon, Ra'Adoom, Xaxion Drak'eem from "Warchasers" are explicit bosses.
** ''Beyond the Dark Portal'' has some, most notably Deathwing in the human campaign. In the final orc mission you also have to kill all human hero units bunched together. But they still die like everything else to a catapult or death and decay.
* BossInMookClothing: Admiral's Elite Guard, They look like average footmen (the basic infantry in the human army), but they are much stronger than a Knight or a Tauren.
* BurningTheShips: In ''Warcraft III'', Arthas Menethil leads his troops to Northrend to capture Mal'Ganis. While Arthas is out of the basecamp, a messenger from King Terenas arrives with orders for the men to retreat. When Arthas returns to find his men preparing to leave, he has their boats burnt, thus forcing them to go on while blaming it on the mercenaries he hired for the job.
* ButtMonkey: Alterac, during the Second War and before the Syndicate. Lore keeps reminding us that they were "the weakest of the Human nations" and "only a minor contributor of troops and equipment to the Alliance" before their betrayal. The Orc campaign in ''Beyond the Dark Portal'' has a mission in which you aid the survivors of Alterac and one of their mages. Its mission briefing reminds you how weak the nation is, and an accompanying cutscene in the Playstation version shows Orcs killing the Alterac mage's bodyguards, just because they ''can'', while the Alterac mage helplessly dips his head ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gs-hjD5lHE skip to 3:09]]).
* BuzzingTheTower: Invoked in a StopPokingMe, where the Dragonhawk Rider asks for permission to buzz the tower.
* CameBackWrong: Downplayed in gameplay terms: resurrecting a dead hero at a tavern is instantaneous (and a lot more expensive), but they only have half health.
* CannibalTribe: The Bonechewer Clan and various Troll tribes.
* CaptainErsatz:
** Between his undead pallor in lieu of albinism, his soul-drinking runeblade, and his being monarch of a kingdom he eventually turns against and destroys, Arthas has a ''lot'' in common with [[Literature/TheElricSaga Elric of Melnibone]]. Even the naming and art of the swords is similar.
** While not exactly a CaptainErsatz the similarities between Arthas Menethil and Anakin Skywalker are obvious. [[LoveMakesYouEvil Driven to the dark side by what they love]] (Padmé/Lorderon), killing the thing they love, exchanging their good weapon for an evil one, and eventually killing their old mentor. And don't forget the angst.
** Sylvanas is [[VideoGame/StarCraftI Sarah Kerrigan]] with the serial numbers filed off.
** In fact, a large portion of the game's plot is suspiciously similar to that of ''Starcraft'' and its expansion ''Brood War''.
* CapitalLettersAreMagic: The Forsaken and the Scourge
* ChainLightning: The Far Seer can use this. The Sea Witch has a variant called Forked Lightning, which hits less targets simultaneously.
* TheChessmaster: A fair few: Ner'zhul, Tichondrius, Kel'Thuzad, Sylvanas and Mal'Ganis being prime examples.
* ChewToy: Malygos... until ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder:
* CivilWarcraft: The TropeNamer.
* ConservationOfNinjutsu: In "Old Hatreds" there is only one Elite Guard. While in "A Blaze of Glory" there are several elite guards, but are weaker than the first.
* ClassicCheatCode: AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs gives instant win, and SomebodySetUpUsTheBomb gives instant failure.
* ColorCodedArmies: In the entire series.
* CombatMedic: Druids of the Claw are the rare melee-oriented spellcaster, capable of turning into a rampaging bear as well as being able to heal their allies. They're even pretty beefy when not in bear form. Paladins in Warcraft 2 and 3 are also melee-oriented healing spellcasters.
* CombatTentacles
* CombinedEnergyAttack: The Wisps' combined energy is what killed Archimonde.
* CommandAndConquerEconomy
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: It sees the full map, needs no resources, and can control more units at once than you can. [[GangUpOnTheHuman And prioritizes players over other AI opponents.]]
* TheComputerShallTauntYou: In a cutscene preceding one mission in ''Warcraft III'' where you are controlling the undead Scourge, the orc leading a charge against you opines that killing a bunch of weak, mindless undead like you guys should be no problem.
** Three words: Computer Ogre Mages. You don't know pain until you've seen the AI cast Blood Lust on ''its entire army'' at once. ''Instantly''.
* ConstructAdditionalPylons: Farms for both sides in the first two games. The orcs switched from farms to burrows in ''III'', while the two new factions had similar buildings of their own: moonwells for the night elves and ziggurats for the undead.
* CooldownManipulation: ''Warcraft III'': The Tauren Chieftain's Reincarnation ability brings him back to life every 4 minutes. The expansion's campaign gives Cairne Bloodhoof an improved version that lowers it to 2 minutes (if you felt it worthwhile instead of his other, equally empowered abilities).
* CosmeticallyDifferentSides:
** In the first two games, the two factions were identical, save for the range and damage of their archers/spearmen (archers have greater range, spearmen do more damage), the firing and reloading rates of ballistas/catapults (catapults fire faster, but ballistas reload faster), their spellcasters, and some upgrades. The Human nations/Orcish clans are only different in game by their color.
** Thoroughly averted in ''Warcraft III'', where each of the four factions (including the formerly identical humans and orcs) have very different units and play styles.
* CrateExpectations: In ''Warcraft III''.
* CreativeClosingCredits
* CriticalHitClass: The GlassCannon Blademaster from ''Warcraft III''. His three non-ultimate abilities are a CriticalHit for double, triple and quadruple damage depending on level; a sneak attack that makes him move faster, turn invisible, and deal extra damage on his next attack; and creating illusions of himself to take damage. Inverted with the Mountain King, a MightyGlacier whose CriticalHit has a chance of stunning the target and doing a little extra damage, but his attack speed is much lower (he has active abilities to stun and slow units, however).
** Just about any unit with a passive ability (such as heroes with certain orbs or items) turns into this if their attack speed is high enough.
* CutAndPasteTranslation: The official Russian translation of ''Warcraft III'' is replete with these. Some of the more {{egregious}} examples:
** Grom Hellscream is translated as Grom the (Young) Bully.
** Maiev Shadowsong (the name itself transliterated as "Mev") is said to come from the "Nightgazer Clan", with her character class, Warden, translated as "Nightgazer". The translators obviously weren't above creating new pieces of lore from whole cloth.
** Chen Stormstout became "Raivo of Pandaria", with Raivo being an ''Estonian'' given name of all things.
** Then there are myriad other, more minor examples, such as Cairne's tribe being named "Blood'''horn'''" rather than "Blood'''hoof'''" in the translation (Grok Bloodhorn, a random Tauren Chieftain hero, is called "Grok the Merciless" instead). The tauren themselves are named "minotaurs". Some of the characters' names are anglicized even further than they are in the original, such as Tyrande transliterated as "Tirend" as if it was pronounced /tɪ'rænd/ in English.
* CutscenePowerToTheMax:
** One of ''Warcraft 2'''s cutscenes shows a human using a stolen Catapult to destroy a Goblin Zeppelin, despite the fact that catapults cannot attack flying units in actual gameplay.
** The cinematic ending of the orc campaign has Thrall throwing his hammer at Mannoroth (a move that does exist... but it's used by the dwarf Mountain King), while Grom kills him in one hit (admittedly, Grom does have a CriticalHit ability).
** In 3, Cairne's war stomp can cause an avalanche and Tyrande's Starfall can destroy bridges. Neither is possible in the game.
** The ending to the entire campaign of Warcraft III. The wisps do a [[CombinedEnergyAttack mass detonate]] on Archimonde as he climbs up the world tree, [[FantasticNuke destroying him, half the forest, and the World Tree.]] In reality, detonate... drains mana. Which would do '''something''' ... except Archimonde is [[NoSell completely immune to magic.]]
*** [[FridgeBrilliance Unless you remember]] that almost all magic is of demonic origin, according to the lore. Naturally, then, magic is useless against demons, but wisps' Detonate is an anti-magic ability, consistent with them being spirits of the Night Elves, an anti-magic race. It makes sense, then, that their sacrifice not only damages summoned creatures and drains mana, but can damage the origin of the magic, the demons, as well, if used en masse.
* DamageIncreasingDebuff: Several examples in ''Warcraft III''.
** The Berserk status allows to user to attack much faster, but it takes a lot more damage (in %).
** Faerie Fire, an autocast move, removes some armor from the target and allows the user to see that unit until the effect fades.
** One armor-boosting magic aura is often modified in custom maps to decrease nearby enemies' armor.
** Using Banish on a unit makes it immune to physical attacks, but greatly reduces its resistance to Magic-type attacks and spells. As it also slows the target considerably, it's risky to use it on your own units.
** Let's not forget ''Warcraft II'' 's own Bloodlust, which doubled both the normal damage and the armor-ignoring damage of the target. In some cases this can mean triple damage or even more.
* DamageIsFire
* DancingMookCredits: ''III'' has a concert with all the character models. They're all enemies if you're played all the different races' campaigns (and you did, because that's at the end of the last campaign).
* DarkActionGirl: Sylvanas Windrunner
* DarkIsNotEvil:
** The Night Elf race.
** The Orcs after their HeelFaceTurn in ''III''.
* DecoyProtagonist: Maiev Shadowsong starts out as a protagonist of Night Elf campaign in the Warcraft III TFT, but then ends up sidetracked by original night elf heroes - Malfurion and Tyrande, and the final mission of the campaign does not feature her at all.
* DegradedBoss: The Elite Guard in the orc bonus campaign. In "Old Hatreds" the elite guard plays the role of boss, but in "A Blaze of Glory" they're degraded to EliteMooks.
* DemotedToExtra:
** Ogres had a major role in ''Warcraft II'' but were neutral creeps and mercenaries in ''Warcraft III''. Ditto for Goblins (mostly as merchants.)
** Gnomes were cut from ''[=WC3=]'' entirely.
** The human campaign in the ''Frozen Throne'' expansion focused largely on the plight of Kael'thas and his Blood Elf remnants... for about two and a half missions. Then they became more or less OutOfFocus as the story importance shifted to Illidan and his Naga (made worse by the Blood Elf forces being completely irrelevant alongside the much stronger Naga). By the middle of the Undead campaign, the Blood Elves were out-and-out {{Mook}}s with the exception of [[TheDragon Kael'thas]] himself.
* DigAttack: ''III'': The Frozen Throne gave Crypt Fiends a burrow ability that increased their regeneration but prevented them from moving or attacking. Crypt Lords have the animation, but it goes unused save for certain cutscenes.
* DivergentCharacterEvolution: The Alliance and Horde were pretty much identical until the sequels.
** The Alliance has sturdier buildings, advanced technology and mo better healing magic.
** The Horde had expensive infantry (being a ProudWarriorRace) and their magic was geared to the offensive.
* DividedWeFall: In spite of the previous two campaigns establishing that the undead and their demon masters were the real threat of ''Warcraft III'', the orc campaign is devoted almost entirely to fighting humans and night elves. They're fighting humans because Grom is a bloodthirsty idiot that can't follow orders and the night elves because they're as crazy as Grom and can't be bothered to say "Hey, could you quit cutting the trees down? We kinda like 'em" before attempting to wipe them off the face of the planet.
* TheDragon: Just to name a few:
** Kil'jaeden and Archimonde for Sargeras.
** Tichondrius for Kil'jaeden
** Anetheron and Azgalor for Archimonde
** Orgrim Doomhammer was the Dragon and TheStarscream for Blackhand
** Cho'gall was the Dragon for Gul'dan ([=WC2=])
** Dentarg was the Dragon for Ner'zhul ([=WC2=] Expansion)
** Both Arthas and Kel'thuzad for the Lich King
** Kael'thas and Lady Vashj for Illidan
** Varimathras for Lady Sylvanas
** Master of Pain and Mistress of torment for Magtheridon.
** Chief of Chaplains and Chief Petty Officer for Admiral Proudmoore.
** Morbent Fell and Ras Splinterspine for Balnazzar.
* DevourTheDragon: Or the Mook, anyway - Death Knights can eat minions for a health boost. Liches can do the same to get mana. Om nom nom.
** One could theoretically devour a frost wyrm in this fashion, making this more literal - and a massive waste of a good unit.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything
-->Shade: "I'm invisible...gaseous...and ''deadly''."
* DrawAggro:
** The Taunt ability forces all nearby enemies to attack the caster, used by the StoneWall Mountain Giants.
** The Shadow Hunter's Big Bad Voodoo turns all other units around invulnerable ''except'' the caster, meaning the enemy has no choice but to attack the SquishyWizard casting the spell.
* DreamIntro: ''III'' starts with a cinematic of the orcs and humans going to war (again), before it cuts to Thrall waking from his CatapultNightmare.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: Dagren the Orcslayer.
* DuelBoss: Rexxar Vs Kor'gall.
* DumbMuscle: Specifically Ogres and Abominations. Some Orcs fall into this, but [[GeniusBruiser not the Orc Shamans.]]
-->'''Ogre(s)''' [[HulkSpeak "Kill!"]]
-->'''Abomination''' [[HulkSpeak "We done waiting!"]]
-->'''Orc Peon''' [[HulkSpeak "Me not that kind of Orc!"]]
* DyingAsYourself: [[spoiler:Grom.]]
* EatingTheEnemy: Kodo beasts and some high-level monsters like dragons can devour an enemy whole, slowly digesting it (unless killed, in which case the unit is returned slightly harmed). The ability is based on levels, so it's entirely possible for the kodo to eat something its own size.
* ElementalShapeshifter: ''Warcraft 3's'' Pandaren Brewmaster's "Storm, Earth, and Fire" ability splits the hero into three different beings, each themed after the particular element.
* EliteArmy: The army of Kul Tiras and Fel orcs. They are equal to units of humans and orcs, but with increased statistics.
* EnemyCivilWar: The Forsaken against the Dreadlords' enslaved undead forces (starts out as a three way war with Undead still loyal to Arthas, but he took off to Northrend); Thrall's orcs against fallen orcs under a corrupted Grom.
* EnemyMine:
** The Horde team up the remnants of The Alliance to defeat Mannoroth. They then both team up with the Night Elves at the Battle of Mount Hyjal.
** The Night Elves and Naga team up to rescue Tyrande from the Undead. Later, the Naga help Kael'thas out, but unfortunately Garithos considers it treason and has the Blood Elves imprisoned.
** The Forsaken strike an unholy alliance with Alliance forces to defeat the Undead force holding Lordaeron.
** In one mission in the human campaign of Beyond the Dark Portal, you command an orc tribe that wants you to crush their enemies. They give you the book of Medivh for your trouble.
* EntropyAndChaosMagic: The burning legion, and associated warlocks, demons, and mages, often use a highly destructive form of magic, including many spells with "chaos" in the name, and Chaos damage being a strong damage type in Warcraft 3.
* EscortMission / BadassInDistress Nearly every HeroUnit who appears before ''Beyond the Dark Portal''. Lothar, Garona, Zul'jin, Cho'gall, and Uther Lightbringer are all either escorted or rescued-then-escorted. Of those, only Cho'gall is of any special use in the mission.
** There were also some of escort missions with normal units. The Alterac [=PoW's=] spring to mind.
* EverythingFades: Eventually, the corpses disappear.
* EvilCounterpart:
** Warcraft III plays this ''perfectly'' straight in the form of Death Knights and Paladins (the Death Knight's description even reads "evil counterpart to the Paladin"). Paladins have a spell that heals the living and [[ReviveKillsZombie hurts the dead,]] Death Knights have a spell that does exactly the opposite. Paladins can improve their lifespan with a spell that makes them invulnerable, Death Knights can improve their lifespan by [[DevourTheDragon sacrificing minions for hitpoints.]] Paladins have a defensive aura that improves armor, and Death Knights have an offensive aura that boosts hitpoint regeneration and movespeed for hit-and-run attacks. Paladins have a spell that resurrects the six strongest dead friendly units near him permanently, while the Death Knight can animate the corpses of the six strongest units of any sort near him to fight for 40 seconds before [[LudicrousGibs exploding in a shower of gore]].
** Subverted in Warcraft II, where Paladins and Death Knights are actually counterparts to the Ogre Mage, and Human Mage respectively. This rears itself in Warcraft III to an extent, with Liches being something of the the scourge counterpart to the Arch-mage.
** In a similar vein, due to all units being essentially Faction PalletSwaps of each other in the first 2 games, most units on the Alliance side has an evil counterpart on the Horde side. The most interesting one is the Troll and Elf, who both function as the range unit in Warcraft II. It's not until World of Warcraft that we learn they are both descendents of the same species, which would make them textbook counterparts.
** Some creep units are just sprite swaps with playable units.
*** Jungle Troll = Dark Troll
*** Knight = Bandit Lord
*** Acolyte = Heretic
*** Archmage = Wizard
*** Ent = Corrupted Ent
*** Crypt Fiend = Nerubian
*** Banshee = Wraith
* EvilIsDeathlyCold: The Scourge.
* EvilIsBurningHot: The Burning Legion.
* EvilPlan: HOLY CRAP, [[spoiler: Ner'zhul]] the Lich King. Everything he does leads up to the end result he gets (although it does fall apart on him very very slightly at the final stages, as he didn't count on his host being such a stubborn punkass). Actually kind of terrifying when you stop to think on it. Even Illidan playing roflstomp-the-glacier ultimately works to his benefit...
* EvilPrince: Arthas Menethil.
* EvilSoundsDeep: Illidan's voice gets quite a bit deeper after he absorbs the Skull of Gul'dan and becomes half demon.
* EvilVersusEvil: The battles between the Scourge and the Burning Legion in ''The Frozen Throne''. Also, Illidan versus Magtheridon.
** There's quite a lot of infighting in the Horde in the first two games.
* ExpandedUniverse: Specifically, the WarcraftExpandedUniverse.
* FaceHeelTurn: Arthas, Sargeras in the backstory.
** The Nation of Alterac turns against the Alliance in Warcraft II.
* FactionCalculus
** In ''Warcraft: Orcs and Humans'': Humans (Powerhouse -- they can heal units and make them invisible, ergo preserving existing units over creating new ones) and Orcs (Subversive -- they can use TheUndead as CannonFodder and halve a unit's health to make them temporarily invincible, which suggests they should always have units to spare). This is a weak example because CosmeticallyDifferentSides was at its strongest in the first game.
** In ''Warcraft II'': Humans (Subversive -- they rely on incredibly useful [[SwissArmyWeapon Swiss Army-Mages]]) vs. Orcs (Powerhouse -- their casters are actually better at buffing, [[ThePowerOfAnger Bloodlust]] being the most powerful buff, but [[NoCureForEvil they still can't heal]]).
** In ''Warcraft III'': Humans (Balanced), Orcs (Powerhouse), Undead (Subversive) and Night Elves (Cannons).
* FactionSpecificEndings: In ''Warcraft: Orcs and Humans'', the Orcish Horde and the kingdom of Azeroth both have an ending where they defeat the other one. Same thing in ''Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness'' and its expansion ''Beyond the Dark Portal'' for the Alliance of Lordaeron and the Horde. The sequels reveal that the Orc ending is canon for Warcraft, and the Human ending is canon for Warcraft II.
* FallenHero: Arthas, Illidan, Kael'Thas Sunstrider and Grom Hellscream. A few others might be considered this as well.
** RedemptionEqualsDeath: Grom.
* FanSequel: ''[[http://www.moddb.com/mods/warcraft-a-new-dawn Warcraft: A New Dawn]]'', using the toolset for ''VideoGame/StarCraftIIWingsOfLiberty''.
* FantasyAxisOfEvil: Almost literally in ''Warcraft II''. The Horde consists of Orcs, Ogres, Trolls, Goblins, the Undead, Daemons, and Dragons (children of the enslaved Dragon Queen in the first, willing allies in the expansion). Pretty egalitarian, too. If they weren't TheHorde, they'd be TheAlliance.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: Lordaeron is quite obviously [[MedievalEuropeanFantasy European]]. The Jungle Trolls are Jamaican-like. The Taurens seem to be the native peoples of America's Great Plains, but with their cultural ties to buffalo herds brought to extremes - they actually ''are'' [[PettingZooPeople Buffalo Men]].
** The Tauren are Cow-men; their cousins, the Taunka, ''are'' the actual Buffalo-men, but they're Inuit.
** The Pandaren are a race of anthropromorphised [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin pandas]]. Nevermind being the mascot of Chinese culture, the Pandarens also believe in a religion similar to Daoism, practise similar style martial arts, wear stereotypical Asian clothing and have an equally stereotypical accent.
* FantasticRacism: A lot of races in Warcraft '''''really''''' don't like each other. The most prominent example is the Humans and Night Elves viewing Orcs as murderous war-like savages [[BloodKnight (while having some basis in fact,]] [[DarkIsNotEvil this isn't completely true)]]. Then there's [[GeneralRipper Grand Marshal Garithos]], who hates '''other Alliance races'''. The trolls of the Eastern continent also hate the elves of Quel'thalas, and joined the orcs in the second war mostly so they could fight their ancient enemies. Warcraft loves this trope.
* FateWorseThanDeath: Being turned into an undead is generally regarded as this, belying Medivh's claim that Arthas would find "only death in the cold north."
* FaunsAndSatyrs: Satyrs in the Warcraft universe are half-demonic corrupted night elves, and Fauns are half-daughters of the Demigod Cenarius.
* FirewoodResources: though the Lumber Mills show them as actual planks, worker units carry them as fireplace-sized logs.
* FireKeepsItDead: Several factions in the franchise do this when fighting the Scourge, both to their own dead and to the undead they just killed again. It's enough to prevent lesser necromancers from raising the bodies, but not the Lich King. This is first seen in a cutscene in ''III'' after Arthas has an entire city purged to stop the Scourge, then made common practice in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''.
* FishPeople: The mur'guls and the murlocs.
* FiveManBand:
** The Heroes of Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal.
*** TheHero: General Turalyon
*** TheLancer: Captain Danath Trollbane
*** TheSmartGuy: Archwizard Khadgar
*** TheBigGuy: Kurdran Wildhammer
*** TheChick: Alleria Windrunner, though she's a real ActionGirl.
* FiveBadBand:
** The Burning Legion:
*** [[BigBad The Big Bad]]: Sargeras
*** TheDragon: Kil'jaeden and Archimonde
*** TheBrute: Mannoroth the Destructor
*** [[EvilGenius The Evil Genius]]: Kil'jaeden himself, also Tichondrius and Gul'dan
*** [[DarkChick The Dark Chick]]: Queen Ashzara
** The Horde leadership in ''Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal'':
*** [[BigBad The Big Bad]]: Ner'zhul
*** TheDragon: Dentarg the Ogre-Mage
*** TheBrute: Both Kargath Bladefist and Grom Hellscream
*** [[EvilGenius The Evil Genius]]: Teron Gorefiend, the Death Knight
*** SixthRangerTraitor: Mogor the Ogre-Mage, who allies himself with the Alliance Expedition
* FlamingSword: Doomguards wield them.
* FleshGolem: The abominations through necromancy, and in TFT you get actual flesh golems.
* FogFeet: The Firelord hero from ''Warcraft 3''.
* ForgedByTheGods: Frostmourne... well it was forged by ''something'' pretty powerful, anyway.
** Implied to be Kil'jaeden, or his underlings.
* ForgottenPhlebotinum: The Alliance and The Horde went to war over oil in part 2. Not so in part 3.
* ForWantOfANail: One of the tie-in manga brought up an interesting question: What if Jaina didn't leave Arthas at Stratholme? [[spoiler:Well, Arthas wouldn't have become the Lich King. There'd be a Lich ''Queen'', though.]]
** [[spoiler:That was AllJustADream though.]]
* FriendlyFireproof: [[Downplayed|Trope]]. While many abilities cannot be used to harm allies (such as the Mountain King's Storm Bolt and the Tauren Chieftain's Shockwave), there are just as many that aren't as selective (such as the Archmage's Blizzard and the Blood Mage's Flame Strike). Similarly, units with SplashDamage can and ''will'' deal damage to your own frontline units, and there's nothing stopping you from manually ordering your own units to attack an allied unit ([[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness or your own units]], if you need to clear up your food count).
* FromBadToWorse: The Human Alliance ''Scourge of Lordaeron'' campaign is just a perfect example of this. What starts out as a few isolated cases of mysterious, scary illness quickly escalates into a full-blown disaster, and as all hell breaks loose Arthas starts to gradually lose it. This is, of course, all part of the Lich King's colossal bloody EvilPlan.
* FungusHumongous: Giant mushrooms that can be substituted for lumber first appear in ''Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal'', on the orcish homeworld of Draenor. Similar mushrooms appear in ''Warcraft III'' in underground levels, where they can also be used for healing Ancients or summoning Treants, and as we revisit Draenor (now Outland) in ''The Frozen Throne'', we see the same giant mushrooms there once again, filling the same role.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: In Jaina's first appearance. Two sorceresses duel and one of them gets turned into a sheep.
* GameLobby: The series works this way. They're strategy games, so drop-in/drop-out would be disastrous. Fortunately, the games are very popular, and matches are relatively short.
* GameplayAndStorySegregation:
** In the Horde campaign in ''The Frozen Throne'', Rexxar challenges the leader of an ogre tribe for his position. Before the fight, the ogre says that they'll use no tricks or magic toys, just muscle and skill. Despite that, you're free to use Rexxar's special abilities in the fight (they temporarily remove your inventory, however).
** In ''Reign of Chaos'', the old Horde (not affiliated with Thrall) has Darkspear troll units and Far Seer orc heroes, which is unlikely story-wise. Story-wise, they're actually meant to represent Forest trolls and Warlocks
* GeneralRipper: The bigoted Garithos, who planned to get Kael and the Blood Elves killed by the Undead. And Jaina's father Daelin Proudmoore who wants to continue fighting the orcs, despite their peace treaty with Jaina's forces.
* GentleGiant: The Tauren. Don't piss them off, though.
* GiveChaseWithAngryNatives: It's (sometimes) possible to pull this off in ''III'', which contains monsters equally hostile to all players. However, it requires good timing so they don't attack you, and if your enemy is strong enough, fighting them merely [[NiceJobBreakingItHero gets him more money, experience, and items]]. In fact, trying to steal kills from other players to get the experience is a fairly typical tactic, one that some builds and heroes (such as the Blademaster) depend on.
* GladiatorRevolt: Thrall, the warchief of the Horde, was raised as a gladiator by humans.
** The comic photocopied this (however narmily): After the king of Stormwind washed up on the shores of Durotar after escaping his imprisonment, some orc found him and made him fight as a gladiator.
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: The only Queen known by name in the series is Aszhara, a narcissistic egomaniacal Nightelf Highborne largely responsible for bringing the Burning Legion to Azeroth the first time. After the plan was foiled and the Well of Eternity consumed itself, she was lost in the deep sea along with her servants... only to remerge as the Naga.
** The speculative [[spoiler:Lich Queen Jaina]] nightmare in one of the manga sure fits this too.
* GoingThroughTheMotions:
** It really kills the mood when Illidan, in the middle of a dramatic speech, starts flipping out and going through his idle poses. How exactly does standing on one foot and throwing your hands in the air help your case, great demon hunter?
** The Blood Mage has one where he puts his hands on his hips, thrusts his chest out, and laughs. It pops up during Kael'thas' story at some very unfortunately timed moments.
** ''Warcraft III'' indulges in the voice equivalent, if such a thing exists - unit or hero quotes are sometimes inserted into {{cutscene}}s, especially in ''Frozen Throne''.
** The portraits can be guilty of this. It ruins the drama when after his serious dialog, Thrall turns to the camera and does this weird half-smile.
** Footmen have an animation where they sheathe their sword and take a swig, ending up looking like TheSnackIsMoreInteresting.
* GoodWeaponEvilWeapon: The knights in ''Warcraft 1'' are a rare aversion of this trope: they wield nasty-looking flails even though they're the good guys.
* GovernmentInExile: Azeroth in ''Warcraft 2'' has lost both its homeland and its king, but it remains one of the most powerful human nations and is leader of TheAlliance.
* GreaterScopeVillain: Sargeras is the ultimate evil in the setting, but as he's usually [[OrcusOnHisThrone on his throne]] and/or out of commission, this is the role he takes in most of the games and novels, rather than direct BigBad.
* GrumpyOldMan: Archmagi.
-->'''Archmage''': Whatever.
-->'''Archmage''': This had better be worth it.
-->'''Archmage''': ''*bitter sarcasm*'' I can hardly wait.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tropes H - Z]]
* HairRaisingHare: The Easter-egg hunt themed map includes horrifying bunnies.
* HardCodedHostility: By necessity, the creeps in ''III'' (since they're there to provide experience and items, they're even called the Neutral hostile faction). However, in the campaign they're often set to being allied with your enemies (to prevent them from being killed).
* HateSink: Garithos was basically a minor lord who only became relevant because of his ability to rally the living survivors of Lordaeron and is forever known as "the racist who exiled the High Elves" and maybe the one who helped the freed undead take back part of Lordaeron but rarely is it remembered how Sylvanas quickly pulled a YouHaveOutLivedYourUsefulness. This only really accomplishes the exile of High Elves, the FaceHeelTurn of some and for Sylvanas' murder of him to look less like a KickTheDog moment.
* HappilyMarried: [[BattleCouple Malfurion Stormrage and Tyrande.]]
* HeelFaceTurn: Again, ''sort of'' Sylvanas at the end of the ''Frozen Throne'' expansion, though she remains quite ruthlessly hostile to any possible threats against her new people.
** Don't forget the Orcs and Night Elves in ''III''.
* HerdHittingAttack: Many of the hero skills, the Tauren's Pulverize ability.
* HeroicNeutral: The Night Elves... [[NeutralNoLonger at first anyway.]]
* HeroMustSurvive: Present whenever a hero is involved in ''Warcraft II'' (''Beyond the Dark Portal'' is the TropeNamer, where plot-important heroes first started to appear in non-escort missions, and this exact line is displayed in the mission objectives). In ''III'' it's a condition in the limited-forces campaign levels and it's averted in the base-building campaign levels, in which an altar can be built to resurrect fallen heroes.
* HeroUnit:
** ''Warcraft 2'' started the prototype "Blizzard hero", almost identical to other units of the same kind (with greater hit points and the exception of Zul'Jin's slightly higher range) at first, these type of units grew more unique over the course of subsequent Blizzard games.
** A core concept in ''Warcraft 3''. Heroes level up, collect equipment and can be resurrected for a fee if they die.
** Heroes actually go all the way back to ''Warcraft 1''. They included Lothar (roughly as strong as a knight, but he appeared before you got to build them in the campaign), Medivh (far more powerful than any normal unit - and you had to kill him) and Garona and Griselda (both defenseless units with Peon stats).
* HindenburgIncendiaryPrinciple: ''2'': [[CutscenePowerToTheMax In a cutscene]], a footman uses an Orc catapult to destroy a goblin zeppelin ([[GameplayAndStorySegregation catapults can't hit air units in-game]]). This scene is replayed for a CreditsGag in ''Warcraft 3''.
* HolyHandGrenade: Paladins and Priests.
--> '''Elf Priest''': By the power of the Light, ''Burn!''
* HookHand: The Shattered Hand Clan and its leader Korgath Bladefist.
* TheHorde: The titular example, though only in the first two games. The Scourge and the Legion take over in the third.
* HornedHumanoid: Illidan, Dreadlords, Kil'jaeden, and - well, Malfurion is more antlered, but still.
* HungryWeapon: Frostmourne, which consumes the souls of those slain upon it. This actually leads to Athas' CatchPhrase, "Frostmourne hungers!"
* IceMagicIsWater: ''III'': The Archmage can summon water elementals and bring down shards of ice from the sky. The naga (underwater snakemen) also use both: the Siren can create frost armor, the Sea Witch can use cold arrows, and the Royal Guard can throw huge iceballs and summon a sea elemental.
* IdleAnimation: Most consist of the unit looking around, but there are a few interesting ones, like the footman taking a swig, hydra heads snapping at each other, blademasters sitting down and meditating...
* IgnoredEpiphany: Before becoming the Lich King, Arthas remembers the voices of his friends and teachers telling him what a bad idea all the other things were that he's done to get this far. This doesn't stop him.
* IgnoredExpert: The Dalaran Ambassador from "The Warning" counts as this; when he warns the council that "The orcs are not our primary concern here... this plague that has gripped the northlands could have dire ramifications", another ambassador laughs him down: "Plague? You wizards are just being paranoid!"
* ImmuneToMindControl: The CharmPerson spell doesn't work on heroes, spell-immune units or neutral creatures above a certain level.
* InUniverseGameClock:
** In ''Warcraft III'', the in-game timer affects the Night Elves the most, as they can [[InvisibilityCloak shadowmeld]] only at night, can [[YouHaveResearchedBreathing research night vision]] and their Moon Wells only recharge at night. It also affects healing rates for humans, orcs and Undead. Finally, it affects all races via NPC behavior: Most NPC monsters (not CPU-controlled armies, scattered enemies to kill for money and hero XP) fall asleep at night, meaning they would do nothing until you actively attack them. Some campaign maps lock the time, usually for plot purposes (a StealthBasedMission where you can't, y'know, stealth does not make for good ratings) or for atmosphere (an underground tomb haunted by demons and ghosts looks a lot better without bright sunlight everywhere).
** In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', the day-night cycle occurs in real time. There is, however, next to no effect on gameplay; monster spawns remain constant, visibility remains the same, and NPC shopkeepers remain open for business at all hours. The only change is that certain fish can only be caught at certain times, but since those fish have no special abilities and the recipes that can be cooked with them aren't particularly useful, this is trivial.
* IncreasinglyLethalEnemy:
** High-level paladins in '' Warcraft III'' have a shield that makes them invulnerable and a mass resurrection ability. If not neutralized quickly, they spend the fight unable to take damage and bring back half a dozen dead units at full health.
** The Firelord's Incinerate ability deals ever-increasing damage with every attack.
* InertialImpalement: In ''Warcraft III'', Orc buildings can be outfitted with spikes that damage melee attackers, implied to be this trope. Some units (Crypt Lords, turtles) have an ability that does the same (and in the Crypt Lord's case, gives it extra armour).
* InfantImmortality: Averted, children can be killed. However, the first Undead level has you looking for cultists without getting too near villagers. While adult villagers become marked as hostile, allowing your units to auto-attack them, children remain neutral, meaning they won't be attacked unless specifically ordered to. YouMonster.
* InformedAbility: The warsong is supposed to be an EliteArmy, but have the same stats as other orcs. Well, until they drank Mannoroth's blood, at least.
* InstantGravestone: Units with the Reincarnation ability leave a large cross/ankh-shaped marker on death. PlayedWith, as the unit comes back to life a few seconds later.
* InstantWinCondition: Destroy all buildings, it doesn't matter if your opponent has an unstoppable army compared to yours, if you trash ''all'' of your opponent's buildings before he trashes yours, you win. Several parts of the campaign, particularly HoldTheLine missions, do this as well.
* ItemAmplifier: ''III'' hero units can carry items that improve the damage dealt by their weaponry, such as Orbs of various types (fire, lightning, venom...) and Claws of Attack.
* {{Jerkass}}: Lord Garithos is nigh insufferable.
* JustEatHim: Kodo Beasts and Dragons have an ability that does this. Dryads have a spell immunity, that somehow results in them being indigestible.
** In the story, Alexstrasza also did this to Nekros Skullcrusher.
* KlingonPromotion:
-->'''King Terenas''': What are you doing, my son?
-->'''Arthas''': Succeeding you, ''father''.
** It's also how Warchief Doomhammer got his job.
* KnightTemplar: The [[LightIsNotGood Silver Hand under Arthas]], during his StartOfDarkness. Later, you get the Argent Dawn, and the templars-in-name-only (definitely NOT in attitude) Scarlet Crusade.
* KnightTemplarParent: Daelin Proudmoore.
* LargeAndInCharge: The hero units, and by extension the "leader" units in the campaigns, are much larger than the other units...[[UnitsNotToScale and sometimes the buildings]].
* LargeHam: ''Bill'' '''Ro'''per, THE narr-A-''tor'' for '''War'''craft II is a bomb'''bas'''tic joy, especially when proNOUNcing names like Org''rim'' '''''Doom'''''hammer and Lord '''Lo'''''thar''.
** He also does the voice for the Orc mission briefings. One word: '''''DRAGONS!'''''
** He also does the voice work for footmen, grunts, peons, elven archers, Danath and Grom Hellscream.
** For a taste [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpEXhNjEeHY click here]].
** Kael'thas to an extent, most apparently when he's promising loyalty to Illidan at the end of the Black Citadel battle. Illidan gets in on the fun, too, when he's taunting Magtheridon.
** Let's not forget the Paladin. "[[ForGreatJustice STRIKE with great VENGEANCE!]]" and "In Lightbringer's name, HAVE AT THEE!"
** [[PungeonMaster Chen Stormstout]]: "''I will bring'' '''PANDA'''-''MONIUM''"
* LadyOfWar: Tyrande and Maiev.
* LawfulStupid: Again, Tyrande and Maiev. Tyrande grows out of it eventually, though. Maiev doesn't.
* TheLawOfPowerProportionateToEffort: The most powerful spells often require channeling, which puts the caster at risk. Some very powerful spells like summoning a demon lord or breaking the earth's crust under the northern continent took several in-game days to complete, with the summoners completely dependant on others for protection.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: Arthas: "It's time to finish the game."
* LeeroyJenkins: Grom pulls this off in the third Orc mission; when Thrall is about to move on past the humans, Grom goes along to ''attack'' some human bases.
* LeftForDead: What Arthas did to Muradin after claiming Frostmourne in ''Reign of Chaos''. Maiev did this to Tyrande as well in ''The Frozen Throne''.
* LegacyBossBattle: ''Warcraft III'' has an optional fight against an enormous monster called the Butcher, a boss from the ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'' series.
* LegendaryWeapon: Frostmourne (among others).
* LesCollaborateurs: The human nation/city-state of Alterac.
* [[LetsPlay Let's Play]]: [[http://brokenforum.com/index.php?threads/uncle-lothar-wants-you-to-rally-the-horde-let-us-play-warcraft-iii.8563/ One of Warcraft 3]] by [[WebVideo/BarockEntertainment Barock]] [[MeaningfulName Entertainment]].
* LightIsNotGood: [[SanitySlippage Arthas]], and Grand Marshal Garithos.
* [[LightningBruiser Lightning Bruiser Spellcasters:]] The Ogre-Magi and Paladins in ''Warcraft 2''. They are the fastest land units, hit hard, and have three spells to boot.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfRaces: There are only 4 playable species in the RTS series, but there are tons of sapient races in existence: orcs, humans, demons, draenei, dwarves, high elves, night elves, gnolls, gnomes, goblins, naga, ogres, tauren, trolls, etc..
* LooksLikeOrlok: Dreadlords.
* LoveTriangle: We have the old Malfurion-Tyrande-Illidan triangle in ''Reign of Chaos''. In ''Frozen Throne'', we get hints that there ''was'' a triangle between Arthas-Jaina-Kael, which is confirmed in Rise of the Lich King.
* MagicIsAMonsterMagnet: Attracts demons and other things.
* MagicKnight: The Paladin in Warcraft 2 and 3, the Ogre-Mage in Warcraft 2, and the Paladin, Death Knight, and Priestess of the Moon in Warcraft 3.
* MakeThemRot: Death Knights in ''II'' have the Death And Decay ability, which does devastating amounts of damage in a huge area as long as they have mana. In ''III'', the ability is now the Lich's ultimate ability, has a much smaller area, does percentage-of-maximum-health as continuous damage, and [[MundaneUtility kills trees.]]
* TheManBehindTheMan: Gul'dan for Blackhand. [[ExaggeratedTrope Mal'ganis for Kel'Thuzad, then the Lich King for Mal'ganis, then the Burning Legion for the Lich King.]]
* {{Mayincatec}}: The [[AllTrollsAreDifferent Trolls]]. They live in jungles, have ziggurats, and have been known to practice human(oid) sacrifice.
* MeaningfulName: Arthas/Arthur, Medivh/Merlin, Sylvanas (ForestRanger), Uther (Uther Pendragon, [[WellDoneSonGuy Arthur's father]])...
** Grom Hellscream, at least in his first appearance. He had a remarkably high and screamish voice in Beyond the Dark Portal, and one of his responses when selecting him was simply screaming "'''EEEEEEEEEEEEEEHHHHH!!!'''"
** Thrall, who was a, well, slave for most of his young life.
* MedicalMonarch: Arthas Menethil, crown prince of Lordaeron, starts the game as a paladin and a strong healing spell. Even after his FaceHeelTurn to Death Knight, he still has a healing spell (though it now heals undead and hurts the living).
* MightyGlacier: Dragons/Gryphon Riders in Warcraft 2 are a variation. They're extremely powerful and actually move pretty fast, but they react very slowly to commands.
** The Tauren Chieftain is slowest in movement and attack speed, though fortunately he gets an aura that increases both but has the highest Strength of all the original heroes.
* MirroredConfrontationShot: Box art for the first two games.
* MisplacedWildlife: In an underground cave in Kalimdor, Thrall runs into a bunch of sheep, remarking he'd never seen them on that continent. Which is the signal for the BalefulPolymorph to wear off and leave you facing a bunch of footmen.
* MistakenForGranite: At one point in the third game there's a hallway with statues of armored men on either side. Further down the hallway are robotic golems which activate when you reach them (complete with "The statues are coming to life!" in case you missed the point). The golems and the statues look nothing like each other, but that might be GameplayAndStorySegregation.
** In the same game certain treasures are seemingly out in the open, only for the nearby rocks to crumble and turn into golems. This is done better than the statue example, as the game script actually destroys said rocks (which are normal, destroyable doodads that would otherwise yield additional loot) and spawns golems almost instantly after the rocks are "destroyed". The animation of the rocks crumbling and the golems being summoned (which they are formed from rocks coming out of the ground) blend together well. A variant of this happens with a pile of bones and flesh turning into skeletons.
* {{Mook}}
** EliteMooks:
*** The naga royal guards for Illidan.
*** Doomguards and Infernals for the Burning legion.
*** Abominations for the Scourge.
** GiantMook or KingMook: Some creeps.
** KingMook: Bloodfeast, Lord Talendar and the Butcher.
** MookCommander ''III'':
*** The Kodo Beast unit has a passive ability called "War Drums", which is essentially an aura that makes surrounding orc units deal more damage to their opponents.
*** Many {{Hero Unit}}s have some kind of passive ability that works like this. The Tauren Chieftain's Endurance Aura increases movement and attack speed, the Paladin's Devotion Aura increases armor, etc.
** MookLieutenant: Captain Thornby and some heroes.
** PraetorianGuard: Admiral's Elite Guard, the Chief Petty officer and the Chief of chaplains.
* MoneyMultiplier: In II, you can get up to 25% more oil and wood with each load, and 20% more gold, but in III it works the opposite way with upkeep, and you bring in less and less if you have over a certain food load. The Humans have an upgrade that allows them to increase the amount of lumber their peasants bring in.
* MonsterMash: The Scourge.
* MovingBuildings: Some of the Sentinal Buildings in the series do this as well, since they are sort of building / walking-tree hybrids.
* MsFanservice: [[ImpossiblyLowNeckline The]] [[OfCorsetsSexy Sorceress]], and she's painfully aware of this.
--> '''Sorceress''': [[StopPokingMe You don't get out much,]] [[YouNeedToGetLaid do you?]]
* MultiplayerDifficultySpike: The campaign AI is quite blatantly railroaded into the same attack patterns over and over again and protected only by [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard cheating]]. Online AI, on the other hand, is intended to emulate how human players will act.
* MultiplayerOnlyItem:
** The Night Elf campaign denies you the use of Chimaeras, their most powerful air unit, for FakeDifficulty. The expansion allows you to use them during the penultimate level, but only due to a case of ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaman.
** The expansion's Blood Elf campaign removes all human and dwarven units (though some have elven equivalents). However, it also gives you GameBreaker Naga units to compensate.
** Many missions have only one or two neutral structures (and even then tend to be watered-down versions), while Multiplayer can have many more.
* MultipleHeadCase: Ogres. At least the Ogre magi varieties are more focused, and don't argue with themselves.
** Hydras are three-headed, and when killed split into two smaller three-headed hydras (and one animation actually has the heads snapping at each other).
* MyDeathIsJustTheBeginning: Kel'Thuzad. It helps that Arthas later has to help him get better after initially killing him.
--> '''Kel'Thuzad's Ghost''': [[IToldYouSo Told you my death would mean little.]]
* MysticalPlague: The plague of undeath that turns people into zombies, preparing the way for a demonic invasion. [[spoiler:Well, that was the original intention, anyhow. Ner'zhul had other ideas.]]
* TheNameIsBondJamesBond: One of the Druid of the Talon's quotes:
-->'''Druid of the Talon:''' Talon. Druid of the Talon.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Rend and Maim Blackhand, Grom Hellscream, Archimonde the Destroyer, Orgrim Doomhammer... The list goes on and on.
** The Death Knights have charming names like Lord Darkhallow, Lord Lightstalker, Baron Bloodbane, Baron Felblade, Duke Wintermaul...
** Terrordar, Nerothos, Bleakill, Necros, Fearoth (Dreadlords), Rage Winterchill, Ras Splinterspine, Venim Iceblade, Rak Coldskull, [[XtremeKoolLetterz Kryptikk]] Soulslayer (Liches), Destromath and Brutillus (Pit Lords), Ragepyre, Hatespark, Blazefury (Firelords).
* {{Nerf}}: Due to the online-play aspect of the later games in the series, this happened quite frequently to units and abilities. More details are available on the trope page.
* NeverASelfMadeWoman: Gets used to a greater or lesser degree with Tyrande Whisperwind and Alleria Windrunner.
* NoArcInArchery: Somewhat subverted by Night Elf Archers firing at a (fixed) angle, but other projectiles don't arc.
* NoCanonForTheWicked: Averted in the first game, where the orc campaign was {{canon}}. Used in the second game, though parts of the orc campaign ''did'' take place despite their eventual loss.
* NoCureForEvil:
** In ''Warcraft I'' and ''II'', the Orcish Horde had no healing spells (although Berserkers in Warcraft II had the ability to slowly regain lost health, and Death Knights could heal themselves with Death Coil). In the expansion for 2, the Orc heroes (whose deaths meant mission failure) had way more HP then their human counterparts to make up for this. Even after their HeelFaceTurn in ''Warcraft III'', the orcish Horde only had healing ward till the expansion added the Shadow Hunter.
** Averted with the Scourge in ''Warcraft III'' who had several effective skills to heal their units like Deathcoil and Vampiric aura.
* NonEntityGeneral: Sometimes given a name and face in the sequels, such as Doomhammer for the Horde and Turalyon for the Alliance.
* NonHumanUndead: The Scourge in ''Warcraft III'' includes undead spider-men called Crypt Fiends, undead elves called banshees, and a super flying undead dragon with ice breath. Plus, generic human skeletons can be made with the corpses of any species.
* NonindicativeName: "Infernal" literally means "from below." Given that, you'd expect Infernals to erupt from the ground rather than rain down from the sky. Though of course, if you interpret it as "from hell", a giant golem made of hatred and fire is pretty appropriate...
* OminousFloatingCastle: The Undead necropolis.
* OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness: The Shadow Council.
* OneManArmy: High-level heros can often handle maps by himself, especially if you've been giving all the stat upgrades to one guy. But in the campaigns would include:
** Uther in the mission "Blackrock & Roll"
** Cenarius
** Archimonde
** The Admiral Proudmoore in Frozen Throne.
** Rexxar, Chen, Rokhan and Cairne in the bonus campaign.
* OneSteveLimit: For the most part it is very unlikely to have more heroes than there are names for them. If it does happen, the game just slaps a roman numeral after the name (Samuro III, Destromath II, etc.)
* OnlyTheChosenMayWield: Frostmourne in ''Warcraft III'', encased in a floating block of ice.
* OurMonstersAreDifferent:
** AllTrollsAreDifferent: Tall, thin {{Mayincatec}} barbarians with Jamaican accents, some of them cannibalistic.
** OurCentaursAreDifferent: Pretty much the same as the Greek version (barbaric and violent), except they have a Mongol-inspired society. Said to be the cursed offspring of Cenarius (a night elf/stag god), whose daughters are the much nicer Dryads (night elf/doe).
*** There are also Magnataurs, a much larger polar creature that are a mix of human and mammoth.
*** Dragonspawn are draconian versions, following the same body layout as a centaur.
*** Nerubians, Crypt fiends (undead Nerubians), and Crypt Lords are centauroid versions of spiders and beetles respectively: a large abdomen supported by four legs, a vertical humanoid torso (head, arms and shoulders) and the thorax joining the two together. Apparently a pre-release version of the Crypt Fiend was a drider-like unit, rather than the mutated spider it is now.
** OurDragonsAreDifferent: The Dragons of Azeroth take a lot of cues from other fantasy stories, though there are some differences. There are 5 main "Dragonflights", each headed by an "Aspect" of a particular part of Azeroth.
*** Red: Life. Led by Alexstraza the Life-Binder, who also happens to be the queen of all the dragons. (Except for Black, and more recently Blue). They were enslaved by the orcs during Warcraft II to be used as mounts, a feat only possible with the Dragon/Demon Soul.
*** Blue: Magic, led by Malygos the Spellweaver. Nearly wiped out in the past which threw Malygos into a {{Heroic BSOD}} for a several millenia. When he snapped out of it, he decided that Magic was being over used, and that he should get rid of it... by killing all Mortal Magic users and their allies, i.e. pretty much ''everyone,'' and trying to redirect the planet's {{ley line}}s to a central point, and direct the energy into space, which could result in an EarthShatteringKaboom.
*** Green: Nature/Dream, led by Ysera the Dreamer. This Flight mostly resides in the Emerald Dream, protecting nature. They're also responsible for the introduction of Druidism to the mortal races, through Cenarius. Recently, the Emerald Dream has been corrupted by a strange force called the Nightmare, and there are rumors of powerful Green Dragons being corrupted by it, including (possibly) Ysera herself. [[spoiler: Solved in a tie in novel.]]
*** Bronze: Time, led by Nozdormu The Timeless One. These dragons have the power to travel through time, ensuring history isn't altered. Recently, a strange flight known as the Infinite Dragonflight has been attempting to derail history, keeping the Bronze Dragons very busy. [[spoiler:There are rumors that the Infinite Dragonflight is actually a future version of the Bronze Flight, as indicated by quests in Dragonblight and a timed event in the Caverns of Time)]]
*** Black: Earth. This Flight is led by Neltharion the Earth-Warder, now known as Deathwing. Once charged with shaping the earth, this Dragonflight now seeks to subvert all of Azeroth to it's masters will.
*** There are also some other dragonflights that seem to have mutated from these five, such as the Infinite, Chromatic, and Twilight Dragonflights. You can also find the ancestors of the Dragons, known as Proto-Drakes, throughout Northrend. Also Nether Drakes of Draenor/Outland, black dragons warped by the Twisting Nether.
** [[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame Our Dwarves Have the Funniest Unit Quotes.]]
** OurGargoylesRock: Flying undead bats that can turn into statues to regenerate health.
** OurGoblinsAreDifferent: ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' goblins are smaller than orcs, but also have some knowledge of technology, particularly [[StuffBlowingUp that which explodes]]. They first showed up in ''[=WarCraft=] II'' as the inventors of the Horde, and in ''DefenseOfTheAncients'' they make up the Techies squad. They were characterized by their suicidal insanity and seem to be fighting for [[ForTheEvulz kicks]]. In ''[=WarCraft=] III'' goblins left the Horde, becoming a neutral force, but they still aren't exactly good. They've [[CharacterDevelopment become]] a bunch of greedy industrialists with a ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney attitude, a taste in clothes that would shock Paris Hilton, a deep belief that people from other cultures are inferior to them, and a mercantile ruthlessness that would be horrible if it wasn't PlayedForLaughs.
** OurManticoresAreSpinier: lion head and body, bat wings and scorpion tail, and are [[CallAPegasusAHippogryph called wyverns.]]
** OurOgresAreHungrier: For starters, they have two heads, and are capable of magic. Except Stonemaul Ogres, who have only one head.
** OurOrcsAreDifferent: At first they appear to be (and pretty much are) [[TheHorde traditional orcs]], but then ''Literature/LordOfTheClans'' and ''Warcraft III'' reveals them to have been [[DarkIsNotEvil actually fairly decent folks]] in the past, and now, under their new visionary leader, they are reverting to that state again. The world, however, continues to [[FantasticRacism revile them]] [[NeverLiveItDown for their past deeds]].
** OurTitansAreDifferent: There seem to be two flavors of this trope within ''Warcraft''. The humanoid and semi-benevolent creator race of [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Titans]], and the [[EldritchAbomination Old Gods]].
* PantheraAwesome: The panthers ridden by Night Elf Huntresses and the white tigers ridden by Priestesses of the Moon.
* TheParagonAlwaysRebels: In the BackStory, Sargeras had a bad [[HeWhoFightsMonsters experience]] with demons.
* PeltsOfTheBarbarian: Beastmasters in ''III'' wear animal skin loincloths and hoods... and that's it, really. Orc shamans wear wolfskins as well.
* ThePennyfarthingEffect: ''Warcraft 1'' is pretty bad with this, being one of the first [[RealTimeStrategy RTS]] games ever made. You can't drag a box around a group of units without holding Ctrl down. For no readily apparent reason.
* PinballProjectile: Happens with projectiles with the Missile(Bounce) attribute.
* {{Plaguemaster}}: The Lich King spends much of ''Warcraft III'' spreading his Plague of Undeath across Lordaeron, and the Scourge's units have a few disease-related abilities on the battlefield.
* PlanetaryParasite: The Old Gods are planetary parasites that merge themselves to a planet and slowly corrupt it. Whether this would eventually destroy the planet is unknown, as the Old Gods on Azeroth were sealed away by the Titans (they could not be killed, having already corrupted the planet to such a degree that removing them would've required the destruction of Azeroth).
* PowerGlows: Hero units have a team-colored glow to help with identification.
* PoorlyDisguisedPilot: ''The Frozen Throne's'' "The Founding Of Durotar" campaign with its shift from real-time strategy to RPG gameplay is a preview for ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''.
* PragmaticVillainy:
** In ''Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal'', Mogor the Ogre and his clan, the Laughing Skull, decide to ask the Alliance to help them get rid of rival clans near their village and take over the Blade's Edge Mountains, offering as incentive the [[TomeOfEldritchLore Book of Medivh]], which they stole from Ner'zhul.
** In ''The Frozen Throne'', Balnazzar mentions that he doesn't trust Sylvanas, because [[TheUnfettered she would never bow to them]], and is only [[EnemyMine working with them against Arthas]] because she wants {{revenge}}. Varimathras reassures him that they only stand to benefit from her [[{{Pun}} undying]] hatred for Arthas.
* PrecisionFStrike: Done a few times.
-->'''Uther the Lightbringer:''' This urn contains the ashes of your father, Arthas! What, were you hoping to piss on them one last time before leaving this kingdom to rot?
-->'''Sylvanas Windrunner:''' Give my regards to hell, you son of a bitch.
-->'''Kael'thas Sunstrider:''' Insolent [[CurseCutShort son of a...]] let's get this over with.
-->'''Dwarf Rifleman:''' They don't pay us enough to put up with that ''asshole.''[[note]]Garithos[[/note]]
** Oddly enough, the dwarf units seem to get a pass on this: "Take this, you bastard!" for both the Mortar Team and Muradin, though with different word emphasis.
--> '''Mortar Team:''' Move yer ''arse!''
* PreInsanityReveal: Drek'thar mentored future Warchief Thrall in the ways of the shaman, and serves as the chieftain of the Frostwolf Clan. Despite his blindness, he was an extremely powerful shaman, fierce fighter, and wise leader. However, he became senile with age, and now his rare moments of lucidity are indications that something is about to go very, very wrong.
* PropheticFallacy: "Your young prince will find only death in the cold north." What he actually found was a FateWorseThanDeath, at least until the second expansion of ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''.
* ProudMerchantRace: Kul Tiras was known for its merchant fleet before the Second War. The Goblins are a more violent example.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy:
** The Orcs. Maybe the [[NobleSavage Tauren]] as well, but they don't [[GentleGiant actively seek battles]].
** The human nation of Stromgarde, led by a family named ''Trollbane''. Guess how they became famous.
* PsychoRangers; Illidan's Blood Elf, Naga and Draenei forces are similar to Alliance, Orcs and Night Elves.
* {{Pun}}: Warcraft III Began to let puns drift into the mix in addition to jacking the pop-culture references UpToEleven. Mostly {{Visual Pun}}s, but a few others exist.
** '''Dryad:''' I'm game. ([[DontExplainTheJoke she's half-deer]])
** '''Pit Lord:''' You know what burns my ass? A flame about this high.
** '''Death Knight:''' I'm a Death Series/KnightRider!
** '''Several people [[DropTheHammer wielding hammers]]:''' It's hammer time!
** '''Druid of the Claw:''' Quit clicking on my ''bear'' ass!
* PurpleIsPowerful: The nation of Dalaran, home to many of the Alliance's most powerful mages, was represented by the color purple (or violet) in Warcraft 2. The Warsong Clan, the strongest warriors in Thrall's Horde in Warcraft 3, were also represented by purple, as was Balnazzar (the strongest of the Dreadlords in ''The Frozen Throne'').
* PutOnABus: Gnomes disappeared entirely in ''Warcraft III'', their role having been taken over by the dwarves. They were eventually brought back for ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''. Also the Beyond the Dark Portal heroes excluding Grom Hellscream. Probably justified by them being trapped on Draenor when it blew up.
* RecurringExtra: Thornby, Timmy, Captain Falric and Dagren the Orcslayer.
* RedHerring: The ''Warcraft 2'' manual has a few. Gilneas thinks its army is powerful enough to face the Horde alone? Well, no need to find out. The Black Tooth Grin Clan is led by the sons of Blackhand, who was killed by the current Horde leader Doomhammer, and now they're secretly plotting revenge? And the Dragonmaw Clan has close ties to them? Well, no worries; you won't hear anything about them, ever.
** However, these storylines have been developed further in WoW.
* RedHerringShirt: Captain Thornby.
* RemixedLevel:
** The first and last Murloc island maps in the demo's Prologue campaign.
** Andorhal is visited twice in Reign of Chaos ("The Cult of Damned" and "Digging Up the Dead" respectively), during different seasons and for literally opposite reasons.
** "The Siege of Dalaran" in Reign of Chaos becomes "The Ruins of Dalaran" in The Frozen Throne.
** The Tomb of Sargeras makes another appearance in Frozen Throne.
* ReplayMode: In the third game, interlude cutscenes in between levels can be selected from the screen.
* {{Retcon}}: The third game changed the orcs from TheHorde into a brainwashed [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy proud warrior race]] and Medivh from an EvilSorcerer into a FallenHero. The demons were coined into the overall villains of the series.
** For the rest, too many to list.
* RedemptionDemotion: Inverted in Warcraft III. Arthas goes from a level 10 Paladin with awesome gear to a level 1 Death Knight [[BagOfSpilling with no items]].
* RidiculouslyFastConstruction: Sometimes justified, like buildings summoned by the Undead in ''Warcraft III''.
* RoarBeforeBeating: Infernals in teaser trailer, and Grom in his battle with Mannoroth.
** Justified with units that have Roar or Howl of Terror, as it increases/decreases your allies'/enemies' damage.
* RunningGag: The Demon Hunter, the Dreadlord, Tichondrius, and Arthas have a running gag based on the line "Darkness called." Darkness attempts to call them but can't because of his mediocre phone service.
--> '''Demon Hunter''': "Darkness called… But I was on the phone, so I missed him. I tried to *69-Darkness, but his machine picked up. I yelled "Pick up the phone, Darkness!," but he ignored me. Darkness must have been screening his calls."
--> '''Dreadlord:''' (phone rings) "Yes? Darkness, hey, what's up? The Demon Hunter left you a message? No I don't have his number."
--> '''Tichondrius:''' "Darkness… needs to get DSL. His line is always busy."
--> '''Arthas''': "Who is this 'darkness' anyway?"
* SavagePiercings: In ''Warcraft III'', trolls have bone piercings.
* SaveTheWorldClimax: It starts with Thrall leaving the continent to find another one where [[OurOrcsAreDifferent his people]] can find a place to leave in peace, while Arthas investigates an epidemic. He then fights against a growing army of undead that threatens his kingdom. The climax has every faction of the world making a LastStand against TheLegionsOfHell who want to destroy all life in the universe.
* ScarabPower: Spiderlords, and their undead counterparts, Crypt Lords are heavily based on scarabs in Egyptian mythology, being mummified and reanimated beetle-mantis-spider mashups. Their names are all vaguely related to Egyptian mythology (Anub'arak, Thebis-Ra, Pharoh-moth...), one of their abilities generates a huge beetle from a corpse, and their faces have a spike invoking the false beards on royal funerary masks.
* SchizoTech: Thanks to the gnomes, dwarves, and goblins. [[FantasyGunControl Bows, crossbows and thrown weapons are still used alongside guns, though.]]
* SchmuckBait: Frostmourne. "Just as the blade rends flesh, so must power scar the spirit." Arthas falls for it.
** One of the Sorceress' pissed quotes:
--> '''Sorceress''': "For the 'End Of The World' spell, press Control, Alt. Delete."
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: The original games and [[Literature/DayOfTheDragon early lore]] described the Second War as a conflict of attrition, lasting several years. However, '''current''' lore implies that the Second War lasted only about one year, or perhaps just a few months. [[note]]For those of you keeping track, that's a year for the formation of the Alliance with seven human nations and four nonhuman nations, the uniting of the Horde with three native species (one of them being enslaved), the very conception of the death knights and paladins and ogre-magi, the invasion of Khaz Modan and building of the Horde fleet, then the campaigns through southern Lordaeron and Aerie Peak, then the burning of Quel'thalas, then the march west through Alterac's mountains and the siege of Capital City, then the sending of troops across the sea to the Tomb of Sargeras to punish the traitorous Gul'dan, then the destruction of the Horde fleet, then the march from Capital City first south then east across the continent then south again across Khaz Modan, then the lifting of the siege at Ironforge, then the Battle of Blackrock Spire and destruction of the Dark Portal.[[/note]] Busiest. Year. Ever.
* SelectiveObliviousness: ''Warcraft 2''. Level 8: There's been a peasant revolt by guys wearing Alterac colors - how strange. Level 9: Uther Lightbringer was almost killed by Alliance ships sailing with Alterac colors - how strange. Level 10: Let's interrogate these traitors who were wearing Alterac colors when they were caught. Level 11: [[CaptainObvious Alterac has betrayed us!]] So ''that's'' why their national banner has a [[http://www.wowpedia.org/File:Alterac.jpg?c=1 Horde emblem on it]].
* SerratedBladeOfPain: Frostmourne has a barbed blade.
** And the whole 'scarring the spirit' warning on its plinth isn't for show. It rips souls out.
* SharedLifeMeter: ''III'' has the Spirit Link ability, which spreads damage across multiple units.
* ShockwaveStomp: The Tauren Chieftain does it for his Shockwave and War Stomp abilities.
* ShoutOut:
** '''Naga Royal Guard:''' [[Film/LordOfTheRings I come to you now, at the turn of the]] [[{{Pun}} tide]].
*** '''Naga Royal Guard:''' I'll [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration make it so]].
*** '''Naga Royal Guard:''' In the depths, [[Film/{{Alien}} no one can hear you scream...]] well, they ''can'', but it's, really muffled.
** The cheat code in ''Warcraft III'' for infinite mana is [[Film/TheMatrix "there is no spoon"]].
** The final mission in the ''Warcraft III'' expansion is called "A Symphony of Frost and Flame", referencing George R. R. Martin's ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''.
** Multiple ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail'' references.
*** '''Footman:''' Tis only a flesh wound!
*** '''Knight:''' My favourite colour is blue. No! Yelloooooooooo.../Victory for (helmet falls shut) Lordaeron!/By the gods you're annoying!/I never say 'Ni'!
*** '''Paladin:''' Let me face the peril./Touch me not -- I am chaste!
*** '''Peasant:''' You're the king? Well, I didn't vote for you./We found a witch! May we burn her?/Help! Help! I'm being repressed!/A horse kicked me once. It hurt.
** '''Peasant:''' [[Series/TheSimpsons D'oh!]]
** '''Mortar Team:''' [[VideoGame/StarCraftI Clearly, Tassadar has failed us. You must not.]]
** '''Acolyte:''' [[VideoGame/StarCraftI My life for Aiur!]] Uh, I mean... for Ner'zhul.
** '''Illidan:''' Wings, Horns, Hooves, what should I say, is this ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}?''
** '''Gryphon Rider:''' [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} This warhammer cost me 40K!]]
** '''Bandit:''' [[CoolHandLuke What we have here is a failure to communicate.]]
** '''Crypt Lord:''' ''(in a sudden British accent)'' [[Music/TheBeatles I'm the fifth Beetle.]]
** '''Druid of the Claw:''' Only you can prevent forest fires!
*** '''Firelord:''' ...Why is that bear with the forest ranger hat following me?
** Blizzard likes using shoutouts for cheat codes, such as [[Film/TheMatrix thereisnospoon]], [[Film/TheUsualSuspects keysersoze]], [[Film/WallStreet greedisgood]] and [[VideoGame/ZeroWing allyourbasearebelongtous]].
** When a Mortar Team is constructed, their announcement line is [[Franchise/MortalKombat "MORTAAAAAAAR KOOOOOOMBAAAAAT!"]]
** The spirits that orbit around Fountains of Health look exactly like the fairies from ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'': winged orbs of blue light.
** Two villagers called [[Film/FightClub Robert and Tyler]] are seen boxing in the first mission of the undead campaign.
** '''Grunt:''' ''(singing)'' [[Series/SesameStreet It not easy, being green!]]
** '''Forest Troll:''' [[Film/{{Scarface 1983}} Say hello to my little friend!]]
** '''Ogre:''' [[ComicBook/FantasticFour It's clobberin' time!]]
** '''Bandit:''' Film/{{Smokey| and the Bandit}}.
*** '''Bandit:''' [[Film/OBrotherWhereArtThou I don't want Fop, I'm a Dapper Dan man, damn it!]]
*** '''Bandit:''' [[Film/AmericanPie And this one time, at bandit camp...]]
** '''Muradin Bronzebeard'''/'''Gryphon Rider'''/'''Paladin:''' [[Music/MCHammer It's hammer time!]]
** '''Goblin Zeppelin:''' [[Disney/TheLionKing I laugh in the face of danger. Hahahahaha!]]
** '''Spell Breaker:''' [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings I stole your precious.]]
** '''Goblin Tinker:''' [[Franchise/{{Transformers}} I'm more than meets the eye.]]
** '''Uther:''' [[Film/LethalWeapon I'm getting too old for this.]]
** Among other story elements, this stands out: In ''The Frozen Throne'', Arthas and company must reach the Lich King through a mountain. Instead of climbing the mountain (which they couldn't, because the enormous enemy army was doing just that) they decide to pass through a fallen underground kingdom full of enemies, including an EldritchAbomination which has crawled from even deeper beneath the ground. [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Now why does that sound familiar]]?
** '''Priest''': [[WesternAnimation/ToyStory I have been choosen! By big metal hand in the sky!]] (also doubles as BreakingTheFourthWall because your cursor while playing Human/Alliance is a metal glove)
** '''Crypt Fiend''': [[Franchise/SpiderMan Spider sense... tingling.]]
* SideEffectsInclude: The Priest's "Stop Poking Me" quote:
-->'''Priest:''' Side effects may include: Dry mouth, nausea, water retention, painful rectal itch, hallucinations, psychosis, coma, death, and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking halitosis]][[note]]Bad breath[[/note]]. Magic is not for everyone; consult your doctor before use.
* SimpletonVoice: Peasants and Ogres in ''Warcraft II'' and ''III''. Averted with the orcish peons, who are supposedly just as dumb as human peasants, though you can still hear some HulkSpeak from them.
* SingleUseShield: The Amulet of Spell Shield item, automatically blocks one negative spell before requiring a 40-second cooldown. Savvier enemies will hit the hero carrying it with a weak spell first, then pull out the harder-hitting attacks.
* ASinisterClue:
** Arthas begins a right-handed paladin, but switches to his left after he changes class, though the cinematic at the end of the Human campaign does show him wielding Frostmourne in his right.
** Left-handedness seems to be incredibly common in the world of ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}''. All human Footmen and orcish Grunts are left-handed as well, along with the Priestess of the Moon.
* SinisterScimitar:
** ''Warcraft III'' Skeletons are equipped with scimitars, no matter what weapon the creature they were created from was holding.
** The then evil Raiders used scimitars in ''Warcraft I''. Daemons have used flaming scimitars throughout the series.
* SlippySlideyIceWorld: Northrend.
* SnakePeople: The Naga
* SoLastSeason: Heavy units suffer this, in the bonus campaign. To the extent that the heroes, treat them as Mooks.
* SomeDexterityRequired: The first ''Warcraft'' game required much more clicks to move a single unit than most of the modern RTS games.
* SongParody: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TknF4UODXCc "I'm a medieval man"]], a bonus track from ''Warcraft II'' OST, makes fun of the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-nNchLkej0 "Mechanical Man"]] tune from ''Videogame/CommandAndConquer'', a [[DuelingGames friendly rival]].
* SpaceIsMagic: The Twisting Nether.
* SpiderSwarm: Nerubians in ''Warcraft III'' are spider-men with a social structure, with Queens and Spider Lords as the most powerful units. Though [[MixAndMatchCritter they're more of a mishmash of various arthropods including spiders, beetles and mantids]].
* SpikeShooter: ''Warcraft 3'' has quillboars, a race of {{Pig M|an}}en who can throw their quills at enemies. The quilbeast, a warthog-like creature summoned by the Beastmaster, does the same.
** Harpies are said to shoot razor-sharp pinfeathers.
* StagedPopulistUprising: During a mission in ''Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness'', a peasant revolt erupts in the township of Tyr's Hand while the Alliance is still fighting the Horde. It's later revealed that it was started by spies from Alterac, whose king had been working with the Horde the whole time. And in that game, peasant attacks were almost as strong as that of a footman!
* StandardFantasySetting: Averted as most races, including humans, have 20th century technology but have for the most part been blown back into the dark ages by infrastructure loss resulting from cataclysm and war.
* TheStarscream: The Horde has had several. Orgrim Doomhammer (read as: you) in the original game. Gul'dan in the second game. Ner'zhul himself.
%%* StillTheLeader
* StompyMooks: The heavier units in ''III'' make loud thuds when moving.
* StopPokingMe: Featured in ''Warcraft II'', the "annoyed" messages for the various units were the inspiration for all games afterwards.
** At least some versions of the original ''Warcraft: Orcs and Humans'' featured this; in fact, this game was the TropeNamer.
* StormingTheCastle:
** The Blood Elf/Naga/Lost One Draenei coalition storming the Black [[strike:Citadel]] Temple.
** The final missions of both sides in the original. The siege of Dalaran for a notable one from the second.
* StoryAndGameplaySegregation: Combined with CutscenePowerToTheMax in the last level of ''Warcraft 3'', when Thrall defiantly tells Archimonde that the orcs are now free, hitting him with a lightning spell before teleporting away. In-game, Archimonde is immune to magic, meaning not only would the spell do no damage, you wouldn't even be able to target him with it.
** There's a beautiful subversion of this in ''The Frozen Throne'' - Arthas LOSES LEVELS as the Lich King loses power.
* StuffBlowingUp: [[EasterEgg Click on a sheep]] enough times.
** Demolition Squads and Goblin Saboteurs in WC2.
** Goblin Sappers and Clockwork Goblins in 3.
* SuckingInLines: It's hard to see, but the demonic machine do this before they attack.
* SummonMagic: Many heros or magic caster units can temporarily create other units to fight in your army. Hero-summoned units are usually pretty tough, however, dispelling effects damage or destroy the summoned creature (a Tauren spirit walker can wipe out a squadron of skeletons).
** In ''Warcraft: Orcs and Humans'' the summoning spell was the most powerful and expensive for each side, summoning for a limited time ranged water elementals and huge blade-wielding daemons for the humans and orcs respectively.
%%* SuperEmpowering
* SuspiciouslySmallArmy
* TacticalRockPaperScissors: In general, melee units beat artillery, artillery beats towers, and towers beat melee units. In Warcraft II, destroyers beat gryphons, gryphons beat battleships and submarines, and battleships and submarines beat destroyers.
* TankGoodness: Dwarven [[SteamPunk siege engines]] in ''Warcraft III''.
* TatteredFlag: Orc(and the Horde in general) flags are generally in tatters but are still proudly flown to symbolize how much of a beating they are willing to take in order to achieve victory.
* TechnicolorToxin: Mainly green, seen with the Orb of Venom, the Scourge's Plague cloud and the attacks of Dryads, Chimaeras and Assassins. There's also a purple Orb which "slows enemies down" which could fit as toxin.
* ThemedCursor: The cursor is the hand of whatever race you're currently playing as (or a metal gauntlet for humans, which is also how the Order of the Silver Hand got its name).
--> '''Priest:''' [[StopPokingMe I have been]] [[WesternAnimation/ToyStory chosen by]] [[MediumAwareness the big metal hand in the sky!]]
* ThreeStatSystem: The {{Hero Unit}}s in ''Warcraft III'' use either Strength, Agility, or Intellect as their core stats, and increases to the core stat increases your attack damage as well. Regardless of which type you are, Strength boosts health, agility boosts attack speed and (slightly) armor, and intelligence boosts mana.
* TieredByName: In ''Warcraft III'', most neutral creeps of a line use different suffixes (but there's no universal "this suffix means this type" effect) in addition to the usual size, model and hue differences. For example, Bandit/Salamander/Ogre Lord, Forest/Ice/Dark Troll Trapper/Priest/Warlord, Ancient Sasquatch/Wendigo/Hydra, etc.
* TookALevelInBadass: Captain Thornby. In "The Defense of Strahnbrad" he was a regular Footman, while in "Old Hatreds" he qualifies as a mini-boss at the very least.
* TornadoMove: In ''Warcraft II'', the Whirlwind spell moves slowly and randomly within a certain range of its target, damaging everything it touches. In ''Warcraft III'', the Cyclone spell creates a tornado under a unit that propels it into the air, unable to move, attack or be attacked. The Tornado spell channels a large, slow moving tornado that does large amounts of damage to buildings it passes over, and randomly casts the aforementioned Cyclone on units [[DoNotTouchTheFunnelCloud that get too close]].
* TrickArrow: Several hero units can shoot magic arrows, such as the Priestess of the Moon's [[ArrowsOnFire Searing Arrows]] and the Dark Ranger's [[SpawnBroodling Dark Arrow]].
* UnexpectedGenreChange: In ''The Frozen Throne'', the Orc campaign is an RPG and later a [=DOTA AOS=].
** The Human campaign has a Tower Defense secret mission.
** The multiplayer counts as well, as it is played less as the intended RTS [[DefenseOfTheAncientsAllStars and more as]] the TropeCodifier for [=MOBA=].
* TheUnfought: Gilneas is the only faction that never appears in an official campaign mission in ''Warcraft II'', in either the original or the expansion.
* UnholyGround: In ''Warcraft III'', undead buildings spread a corruption called Blight, which turns ordinary ground into a black, fog-emitting morass with bones sticking out, and makes undead units regenerate health while on it. Undead buildings (save for the Necropolis) can only be built on blight, while non-undead buildings dispel it in a large radius when built. It can also be removed by area-of-effect dispel-magic spells, a good way to infuriate an Undead opponent since it prevents them from building until they put down some more blight. In ''The Frozen Throne'' expansion, the Undead can buy an item to create a circle of Blight at a location without needing to wait for a slooow-building Necropolis.
* UnholyHolySword: [[spoiler:Frostmourne]] when you first encounter it, though it's not too long before TheReveal.
* UnitsNotToScale: Very obvious. The Tauren Chieftain in ''Warcraft III'' is as tall as the barracks!
** ''Frozen Throne'''s bonus campaign gives buildings somewhat more reasonable proportions, but they are generally still smaller than they should be.
* UnwinnableJokeGame: ''Warcraft II'' includes a joke custom map in which the player only controls a single peasant surrounded by dozens of AI enemy controlled units. Predictedly, it ends with a defeat after a couple of seconds. The unwinnable status of the mission is even lampshaded in its file name ("Suicide") and ingame description ("If you win, you are a ''Warcraft'' god" or something like that).
** It ''is'' possible to win it if you can enter the invincibility cheat quickly enough.
* UpdatedRerelease: ''Warcraft II: Battle.net edition'', released three years after ''Tides of Darkness'', upgraded the game to support the eponymous Battle.net online service and added several improvements such as hotkeys for groups and full Windows 9X compatibility.
* VestigialEmpire: The trolls controlled most off the world until they were defeated and overthrown by the night elves, and the Sundering and consequent conflicts with humans, elves and their own people have reduced the once proud people to borderline barbarism. The night elves used to control most of Kalimdor until they too fell victim in the Sundering, and decided to retreat into the forests. The human kingdom of Lordaeron has been reduced to practically nothing as of the ZombieApocalypse of ''WCIII''. However, the absolute king of this is the nerubians; [[http://www.wowpedia.org/Kilix_the_Unraveler Kilix the Unraveler]] and his two bodyguards are the only non-undead nerubians players have encountered so far. He speaks of rebuilding the old nerubian empire (with the PlayerCharacter helping to clear out Scourged nerubian strongholds), so either there's a meaningful number of well-hidden nerubian refugees who have not appeared so far, or more likely, he's very deluded about his prospects.
* VengeanceFeelsEmpty: Maiev Shadowsong of ''Warcraft III'' 's expansion pack ''The Frozen Throne'' and ''WorldOfWarcraft''; she pursued Illidan Stormrage for a long time, and realised this after she (along with a large set of adventurers) killed Illidan.
* VideoGame3DLeap: ''Warcraft III''.
* VillainBeatingArtifact: Not a specific weapon, but a [[TacticalRockPaperScissors damage type]]. In ''Warcraft III'', [[PhysicalGod Divine armor]] is only affected by Chaos damage, which is mostly reserved for the LegionsOfHell or extremely strong monsters. In order to defeat the [[PhysicalGod otherwise invulnerable demigod Cenarius]], Grom Hellscream's orcs reactivate a demonic pact, allowing them to defeat him ([[GameplayAndStoryIntegration by giving them Chaos damage]]).
** Also, Illidan devours the Skull of Guldan which the Legion was using to spread corruption throughout the Night Elves' forests. This transforms him into a half-demon, and gives him the ability to defeat the demon Tichondrius.
*** He tries this again in ''Frozen Throne'' by trying to use the Eye of Sargeras to destroy the Lich King (along with most of the continent of Northrend). This time, however, Maiev and Malfurion aren't having any of it, especially given that Illidan [[PoorCommunicationKills neglected to mention what exactly what he was planning to do with the Eye]] and that he [[DidntThinkThisThrough didn't exactly consider the consequences]].
** Arthas ''[[WrongGenreSavvy expected]]'' [[EvilWeapon Frostmourne]] to be this. [[HeWhoFightsMonsters We all know how that turned out.]][[note]]To be fair, though, it ''did'' let him defeat Mal'Ganis, the villain he was hunting.[[/note]]
* VillainShoes: A quarter of the story mode, an entire campaign, has the player lay waste to innocent civilizations, massacre innocents wholesale, and summon forth TheLegionsOfHell as the Undead Scourge.
* WeaponizedOffspring: In ''III''.
** Nerubians and Hydras spawn two smaller Nerubians / Hydras on death (the Ancient Hydra spawns two normal Hydras and they in turn each spawn two smaller ones). In the Nerubian's case it's explained as their carrying their young into battle.
** Crypt Fiends and Nerubians attack with what seems to be tiny, floating spiderlings. You can also notice that said spiders will float back to the user after being cast. Furthermore, the description of the Nerubian unit implies this.
* WeHaveReserves: Despite the CommandAndConquerEconomy, this is indirectly discouraged in ''III'' by the presence of heroes, as each unit the enemy kills gives their hero that much more experience. God help you if you have to face a level 6 hero with a level 3 because you let him kill way too many of your early units.
* WeirdWeather: ''III''.
** This exchange in the final level of the orc campaign:
--> '''Jaina:''' Thrall, the sky is... burning!
--> '''Thrall:''' Blessed ancestors... This is no natural storm!
::: Shortly followed by giant burning demons attacking your base from all sides in addition to the fel orcs.
** In the expansion, the final level of the Blood Elf campaign has what looks like a firestorm rapidly approaching the just-captured Black Citadel, only to reveal itself as Illidan's pissed-off boss Kil'jaeden, who's approximately twice the size of the battlements.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Arthas, Grom, Tyrande and Illidan.
* WhatTheHellHero: Uther, Jaina, and Muradin all call out Arthas on his morally questionable tactics against the Blackrock orcs and the Scourge. And he hears it all again as he climbs up the Frozen Throne, though it doesn't stop him from making another big mistake...
* WhenTreesAttack: Treants and Ancients.
* WhiteHairBlackHeart: Arthas, as a Death Knight.
* WhiteMagic: Consists of [[LightEmUp Holy]] magic (used by Paladins and Priests) and [[GreenThumb Nature]] magic (used by Druids and Shamans). In [[{{Canon}} lore]], these are the ''only'' pure sources of power; all other types are either corrupt to begin with or inevitably lead there. See BlackMagic, above.
* WillOTheWisp: In ''III'', Wisps are {{Nature Spirit}}s that act as the WorkerUnit for the [[OurElvesAreBetter Night Elves]]. Their duties include mining gold from entangled mines, harvesting lumber without killing trees, creating buildings or being consumed to make [[WhenTreesAttack Ancients]]. They also have the Detonate ability that [[ActionBomb blows the wisp up]] to [[ManaDrain drain mana]], damage [[SummonMagic summoned]] units and dispel [[StatusBuff buffs]]. \\
\\
Wisps also show up as a LethalJokeCharacter in the final level, where the goal is to prevent the demon lord Archimonde from reaching the WorldTree as more Wisps gather around it. When the level ends, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpklIrmfxWA the ending cinematic has the titanic demon lord start scaling the tree... then the Wisps start rushing him and use a mass Detonate,]] killing him with a WorldWreckingWave (also a major case of CutscenePowerToTheMax, since Archimonde is immune to magic in gameplay, the Detonate spell wouldn't affect him, much less deal damage).
* WingsDoNothing: Demonic Dreadlords, Illidan Stormrage and other Demon Hunters in ''Warcraft III'' have huge bat wings, but can't fly. One of the Dreadlord's vocalizations if clicked has him saying, [[LampshadeHanging "If I have wings, why am I always walking?"]] Most ridiculous are the Pit Lords, enormous scaled demonic centaur things with a set of woefully inadequate wings sprouting from their humanoid torso. Although the Pit Lords can use their wings as shields.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Arthas, very shortly after claiming the Frostmourne.
* WizardBeard: The Archmage hero (and, by extension, Antonidas) sports a classic one. Night Elf Druids also have rather impressive beards; it helps that they probably haven't shaved in goodness knows how long.
* WizardsLiveLonger: Many of them are elves to begin with, but the human Guardians of Tirisfal gain longevity rivaling that of the elves along with their power.
* WorkerUnit: Human Peasants, Orc Peons, Acolytes and Ghouls for the Undead, and [[WillOTheWisp Wisps]] for the Night Elves.
* WorldOfMuscleMen: For example, [[http://www.wowwiki.com/File:Male_villager.jpg the standard villager's arms are about as thick as his head.]] Even elf units like the Worker and [[SquishyWizard Druid of the Talon]] have highly defined muscles.
* WreathedInFlames: The Immolate ability, the Cloak of Flames item, Infernals, Demon Illidan's footprints in ''Frozen Throne''.
* YouHaveFailedMe: Reign of Chaos. At the start of the 2nd Night Elf mission, Archimonde and two doomguards corner Tyrande but she uses her invisibility to make them think she got away. Archimonde was so pissed, he killed one of the doomguards.
** This is one of Archimonde's favorite lines, and preferred method of dealing with minions.
** Kil'jaeden drops this on Illidan, but gives him another chance.
* YouHaveResearchedBreathing:
** [[OurGhoulsAreCreepier Ghouls]] have to research the ability to eat the dead.
** Night Elves, [[CaptainObvious who are nocturnal]] have to learn Ultravision, the ability to see well at night.
** Crypt Fiends (spider people) don't know they can burrow into the ground, or for that matter [[HowDoIShotWeb shoot webs]].
** Only the most elite Druids of the Claw can roar in bear form.
** Huntresses' attacks bounce once, but need training to bounce twice.
** Chimaeras haven't figured out that their second head spits [[HollywoodAcid acid]].
** Footmen require training to stick their shields in front of themselves.
** You need to research a special upgrade to make your Abominations (which are sewn together corpses) rot. Likewise for the corpses the meat wagons launch.
** [[ALoadOfBull Tauren]] need training to smash their big sticks on the ground.
** Gyrocopters pilots need training to realise that those things they're flying have bombs strapped under them. No it's not "add bombs to it" they literally don't realise they have bombs equipped.
** Frost Wyrms need to be trained to breathe ice to freeze buildings.
* YouHaveToBelieveMe: The Prophet might have had more success in getting people to go to Kalimdor if he warned them in a calmer tone.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: [[DarkActionGirl Sylvanas Windrunner]] promises to give the Capital to Grand Marshall Garithos if he aids her in destroying the Dread Lord Balnazzar. After a two-pronged attack, [[OutGambitted their joint forces overwhelm those of Balnazzar]], and he is (seemingly) killed. [[BadassMustache Garithos]] then demands that Sylvanas leave his city, and she has no problem [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness commanding her lieutenant, Varimathras,]] [[KickTheSonofABitch to kill him]].
* YouRequireMoreVespeneGas: Gold and Lumber are your resources here. Also oil in ''Warcraft II'' for naval units.
* ZergRush:
** Undead players can pull off an ''exponential'' Zerg Rush using cheap, expendable Ghouls backed up by Necromancers with the "Raise Dead" ability. As the Ghouls die, the Necromancer can summon ''two'' skeletons from its corpse to continue the attack. All of the units in question are rather weak, but it is possible to simply overwhelm the enemy with numbers.
*** The Undead in general tends to be good at Zerg Rushing, as the Ghoul serves both as their lumber harvester and their basic attack unit. This lets them devote less of their [[ArbitraryHeadcountLimit food count]] to WorkerUnits as they can simply train up a bunch of Ghouls, stockpile enough lumber to last them awhile, and then march those same Ghouls into battle. It also helps that Ghouls are more efficient at harvesting lumber than the workers of other races.
** Before a patch eliminated this ability, Human players could create an army of [[WorkerUnit Peasants]], have them hastily build a Town Hall outside of an opponent's base, and then convert the Peasants into Militia to storm the enemy base with sheer numbers. Human players are still known to bring Peasants unto battle... in order to Zerg Rush the enemy with ''towers'', as they tend to be dirt-cheap and very quick to build.
* ZombifyTheLiving:
** During the undead campaign in ''Reign of Chaos'' Arthas turns Sylvanas Windrunner into the first banshee while she's still alive. This was retconned in the ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' novel ''Arthas: The Rise of the Lich King'', however.
** There's also Arthas himself. By the time he returns to Lordaeron from Northrend he's officially considered undead, but there has been no point in the canon showing him actually dying to become as such. He simply picks up Frostmourne, and its influence strips away his humanity.
** In gameplay the Dark Ranger's Black Arrow transforms those hit by it into giant skeletons on death.
[[/folder]]
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