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warcraft arclight rumble
warcraft arclight rumble

Warcraft Arclight Rumble – We Have Played It!

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NOTE – Thanks to Blizzard Entertainment for providing access to the closed beta preview.

Warcraft Arclight Rumble is the next big upcoming mobile game from Blizzard Entertainment alongside the recently released Diablo Immortal. The game was revealed on May 3, 2022, and is currently in a closed beta preview. We had a chance to play it over the past week and are ready to give you our in-depth impressions of what we think so far.

What is WAR?

So what is Warcraft Arclight Rumble (WAR)? Well, WAR combines strategic elements of the tower defense genre but takes place in the Warcraft universe. You have your gnomes, goblins, orcs, humans, dwarves, undead, and so on as miniature figures that are deployed on the map to push against the enemy boss or defend against their units. Fans of the Warcraft franchise will easily recognize the characters and mobs from the RTS games and the World of Warcraft MMORPG. If you are new to the franchise, this is another way to get introduced to the universe. Although, if I am being honest, I think World of Warcraft would be a far better introduction than a mobile game.

The Strategic Gameplay Loop

The goal of the game is very plain and simple. The player must deploy a variety of units and defeat the enemy boss before the timer runs out. If time runs out and both parties are still alive, then the game goes into overtime with another countdown clock. If the second countdown ends and the enemy or the player is not dead, then the game will end in a draw. However, if the player gets defeated first, then obviously the game will result in a loss. Those are the basic rules of the game. While they may be simple, the game is quite challenging as you progress further along.

The beginning starts with tutorials that accustom you to the touch controls and fundamentals. As time goes on, both the CPU and the player generate gold coins. You must buy units and spells with these gold coins and, of course, each are a different cost. Some units also hard-counter other units.

For example, a range unit will always counter an air unit. Meanwhile, a melee-only unit will get countered by a flying unit, because they can’t hit them from the ground. However, the melee unit will counter the range unit since the melee units, for the most part, are much tankier and hit hard when up-close. Then there are also siege units that can land devasting AoE attacks on a group of units and enemy towers.

warcraft arclight rumble

The gameplay design is smart. It has a rock, paper, scissors element with how the units interact with each other while also throwing in strategic elements such as gold generation over time and unit placement. In WAR, you can only place units near your structures, although there is an exception with some units, such as the S.A.F.E Pilot. The S.A.F.E Pilot can be placed anywhere on the map at all times as long as you have them in your hand and the gold to deploy one of them. Units that have no limitation to where they can be placed are considered to be Unbound, meaning they are not bound to any rules as far as the map placement goes.

The beginning stages of the games are quite easy. They usually only have 1 or 2 pathways to place your units and reach the boss. As you progress further, the map design starts to shift and change into a more challenging landscape where you must think what’s the best way to outsmart your opponent and which direction to hit them from. There are also more towers placed and summoning stones. Having a unit walk by a summoning stone will grant you the ability to deploy units next to the stone and the same for the opposing player or CPU. Destroying a tower will create a tower for you instead, not only does the tower defend against upcoming units, but it also lets you deploy next to it.

I’ve lost many times against both players and CPUs. There are also a ton of figurines to collect, each with specific bonuses. Some tank units are faster than others, some are designed to cause more AoE, and others exist to be meatshields and protect other units.

Another important gameplay element is the leaders. There is a wide range of factions in the Warcraft universe, including the Undead Scourge, Night Elves, Horde, Alliance, and so on. In the game, you can obtain faction leaders such as Jaina or Sneed, who’s a well-known Goblin tinkerer. As leaders, they are more powerful and have unique abilities that a regular unit does not possess. This throws in another strategic element into the gameplay loop.

In conclusion, you have to figure out what’s the best team to have against certain map layouts, opposing units, and bosses. It’s a game that will require you to do a lot of experimenting. If you are into that, then you are most likely going to be having fun. Think of building your army as if you were building a deck of cards against other decks of cards.

The Monetization Game

We can’t talk about Warcraft Arclight Rumble without discussing its monetization system. As this is a free-to-play game, it’s only fair that we give you our full opinion of what we think of the monetization system in this game. Most mobile games make their money from people who are either addicted to the gameplay or feel okay with investing in a product that they enjoy toying with daily.

As you can imagine, the shop offers things such as gold currency. Gold currency can also be earned in-game by doing quests, completing new levels, and even redoing levels you’ve done before with new faction leaders. On average, a regular unit will run you around 350 gold. Leaders usually float around 400 gold, and for 50 gold you can buy XP buffs/potions for specific characters. You will always know which character you are buying for, but the character in the shop will change after a certain amount of time.

Thankfully, quests in WAR are infinite and reward you with XP for units you already have unlocked. Completing the quests will give you a large amount of XP shards, and as you level up, you will get higher XP rewards than when you started playing. I never really felt like I was forced to spend money so far, and I finished roughly 5-6 maps with two different leaders. Granted, there was a lot of trial and error, but that is part of the game.

While spending money may help you boost your progress, it doesn’t feel like it’s necessary compared to other mobile games. If you are worried about PvP, then don’t be so concerned because the nice thing is that all of your units are scaled to level 1 even if they are level 10, so everyone is on the same playing field. The only difference is the units that the opposing player may or may not have at their disposal compared to you, but that is to be expected.

In Conclusion So far

The game, for the most part, is fun. However, it did feel a bit repetitive at one point, and I am not sure why it felt that way. It might have been the fact that I am still running with a lot of the same units and trying to figure out what’s the best army to go with or the fact that I am just plain dumb and not very good at the game.

Sometimes the game also felt overly difficult, but maybe it’s just me not getting used to this type of gameplay. This is an easy game to pick up and play but very difficult to master as there are a lot of different elements to understand on a fundamental level. Strategic thinking also has to be done on the fly.

In a nutshell, if you are a tower defense fan and enjoy those kinds of games and you like Warcraft, then this game will most likely be right up your alley. If you are looking for your traditional Warcraft real-time strategy game, then you need to look elsewhere. This is a fresh take on the universe and genre in a mobile format.

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