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In WarCraft IV, the Alliance and Horde are back at war. The Forsaken have become independent, and the Legion has returned. Finally, the Illidari came from Outland for revenge. One difference you may notice right away from WCIII is races: a random race is chosen for some classes, between two and sometimes even three. For example, for the Alliance Defender, the race can be either a human, a dwarf or a draenei. This allows for interesting strategy, as racial abilities do come into play. For example, the Horde Grunt can be either an orc or a troll. If it is a troll, then they benefit from the Regeneration passive ability, while Orc grunts benefit from Blood Fury. As another example, if the Alliance Defender is a human, they have Perception, Dwarves have Stoneform and Draenei have heroic presence (Gift of the Naaru would be much too broken). So here is a short list of different racial abilities (note that there is none for the Burning Legion; demons frown upon diversity):
-Human: Perception. Detect stealth units in visual range for 10 sec.
-Dwarf: Stoneform. Raises armor to Fortified and makes immune to all debuffs for 8 sec.
-High Elf: Arcane torrent. Silences enemies in a 10 yard range for 3 sec.
-Night Elf: Shadowmeld. Immobile stealth. At night, when the elf isn't moving, Shadowmeld automatically triggers.
-Gnome: Escape artist. Removes any movement impairing effect (Web, Net, etc.).
-Orc: Blood Fury. Raises damage done by 50% but reduces healing done by 50% for 10 sec or until canceled.
-Troll: Regeneration. Regenerate 5% of total health every 5 sec.
-Tauren: War Stomp. Immobilize enemies in a 10 yard range for 3 sec.
-Ogre: Enrage. Raises attack speed by 40% and damage done by 20%.
-Forsaken: Cannibalize. eats a corpse to regenerate 10% of total health per 5 sec. Channeled (sort of--it cant move away from the corpse for the buff to remain). Note that Abominations also have this ability.
-Nerubian: Burrow. Nerubians can burrow underground for stealth and hit point regeneration.
-Blood Elf: Mana tap. Steals 20% of mana from target.
-Naga: Swim. Naga have increased speed in water and have hit point and faster mana regeneration.
Also, gender will be random. This is entirely cosmetic, and makes no difference in gameplay. However, sometimes different genders are not very common: for example, human males are most common for Footmen, while human females are most common for Mages. Again, this is just cosmetic.
The Forsaken withdrew from the Horde and declared war after the Scourge's defeat. After they withdrew, Forsaken assassins attempted a three-pronged attack on Thrall, Vol'jin and Cairne. They were unsuccessful, but managed to frame the Alliance. Meanwwhile, there are few, if any, Blood Elves remaining in the Horde. The High Elves found a permenant cure for magical addiction, and while most took the cure, some actually came to enjoy their addiction, and joined the Illidari in the promise of infinite arcane magic. With their numbers swelling, the Illidari have attacked Azeroth, and the Burning Legion, thirsting for revenge, have come back to destroy Azeroth forever.
Plunged back into war, every race of the Alliance now fights against the Forsaken, the Legion, the Illidari and, of course, the Horde.
-Footman: Basic Melee unit (human)
-Rifleman: Basic ranged (dwarf or draenei)
-Gnomish Rogue: Specialized stealh unit (gnome) (setback: very hard to click on)
-Defender: Medium melee unit (dwarf, human, draenei)
-Elf Ranger: Powerful ranged unit. Also can cast some minor spells, and has Trueshot Aura. (Night Elf or High Elf)
-Mage: Basic Caster (human or draenei)
-Priest: Healer (High elf or Night Elf)
-Druid: The all-around caster. Normal form has lesser healing, Bear form has the about power of a Dwarf warrior, and Cat form is similar to the Gnome Rogue. (Night elf)
-Ancient Protector: The Ancients have been called from the Night Elf lands to assist full-time in the war, and are the Alliance's heavy hitters. Heavy melee unit.
-Paladin: Special melee unit with power between that of the Dwarf Warrior and Ancient Protector. Also has lesser healing abilities. (human or draenei)
-Siege Engine: Basic siege unit
-Glaive Thrower: A siege unit with little area of effect, unlike the Siege Engine, but high focused damage.
-Griffon Rider: Basic flyer.
-Red Dragon: Alextraza's Dragons have joined the Alliance in the Great War, and are devastating units. They have a deadly area of effect fire attack.
After an assassination attempt on the Horde leaders and the withdrawl of the Forsaken, the Horde has been plunged back into total war.
-Grunt: Basic melee unit (Orc or Troll).
-Hunter: Basic Ranged (Troll or Orc).
-Troll Rogue: Specialized Stealth unit.
-Enforcer: Medium melee unit (Tauren or Ogre).
-Headhunter: Specialized Heavy Ranged unit.
-Shaman: Basic caster (Orc, Troll or Tauren).
-Troll Priest: Healing Caster.
-Ogre Mage: Specialized caster.
-Kodo Rider: A Tauren and its Kodo companion. They have the same abilities they did in WCIII, Devour and War Drums, but they are now the Heavy Melee Unit.
-Orc Blademaster: Specialized caster/warrior.
-Devastator: Basic siege unit.
-Fire Thrower: Essentially the same as the Devastator but less powerful, with a wider area of effect and fire DoT.
-Wind Rider: Basic flyer.
-Great Wyrm: A sort of serpentine dragon that serves the Darkspear trolls traditionally. Heavy Flyer.
After the Scourge's final defeat, Sylvanas and the Forsaken have broken from the Horde and declared themselves an independent faction.
-Forsaken Deathguard: Basic Melee unit.
-Forsaken Archer: Basic ranged.
-Assassin: Specialized Stealth warrior.
-Champion of the Shadow: Medium melee unit (Forsaken or Nerubian).
-Dark Ranger: Evil counterpart of the Elf Ranger.
-Forsaken Apothecary: Basic caster.
-Shadow Priest: Healing Caster.
-Forsaken Warlock: Warlock who summons--familiar--minions to assist in battle.
-Abomination: Heavy melee unit.
-Nerubian Warrior: The Nerubians also joined the Forsaken after the campaign in Northrend. They are combined melee and ranged warriors.
-Meat Wagon: Basic siege unit.
-Plagued mortal: a mindless human who failed to succumb completely to the New Plague. They carry barrels filled with volatile liquids for a powerful suicide attack (Human, Orc or Night Elf).
-Batrider: Basic air unit.
-Frost Wyrm: Heavy air unit.
Through the Portal left unclosed in Dalaran, the Burning Legion returned to Azeroth for its final revenge.
-Felguard: Basic melee unit.
-Satyr Bowcaster: Basic ranged.
-Succubus: Specialized Stealth Warrior.
-Wrathguard: Medium melee unit.
-Satyr Felhunter: Stealth ranged warrior.
-Imp: Basic caster.
-Eredar Priest: Healing caster.
-Eredar Necromancer: DPS caster.
-Pit Lord: Heavy melee unit.
-Dreadlord: Melee warrior/caster
-Infernal Contraption: Basic Siege unit.
-Deathbringer: Battering ram with incredible damage against Gates.
-Gargoyle: Light Flyer.
-Destroyer: Huge flying demon capable of high damage. Steals mana from enemies. Destroyers have evolved beyond the need to morph from Obsidian Statues.
-Fel Orc Grunt: Basic melee
-Blood Elf Archer: Basic ranged.
-Blood Elf Rogue: Specialized stealth warrior.
-Myrmidon: Medium Melee unit,
-Arcane Hunter: Ranged warrior/caster (Blood Elf or Naga).
-Blood Mage: Basic caster
-Naga Oracle: Healing caaster
-Naga Sea Witch: Specialized caster.
-Royal Guard: Heavy melee unit (Blood Elf, Fel Orc or Naga).
-Blood Knight: Very similar to the Paladin.
-Ballista: Basic Siege Unit.
-Spear Thrower: Specialized siege unit adept against large units.
-Nether Drake: Some unscrupulous members of the Netherwing have joined the Illidari. Basic flyer.
-Nether Dragon: Heavy flyer.