1. The keeper of the grove can turn trees into ents. As I tended to use them like cannon fodder, I am not sure if you can keep them, or if they have finite life. Mana potions are key . . . to keep cranking them out. Darn dwell . . . You can use this skill to reshape the battlefield, after a fashion.
Played a few pubbies last night. Man, I are sooooo rusty on real no fooling PvP RTS. Not an impressive showing.
Ents and Thorns are sort of useful, until air units waste your butt. (Yep, my little land force got creamed by some Gryphons and a Blizzard or two. Need to research that ultravision sooner . . .) Should have had more archers for support, or used TP scroll back to base immediately to get out of that mismatch. Bad Micro. All units are keyed to follow Keeper of the Grove, Huntress or Demon Slayer.
Ent creation can actualy cut a hole in the tree line to create new avenues of attack in the game. But that is only after you have made a heck of a lot of ents. You can do the same thing with Catapults while waiting to build your forces up . . . but it is micro intensive. I like Ballistas.
Thought: night tactics. Wonder if this would work. Get a Zepplin, put Keeper in in it, go quick near human base and start conveting trees to ents while armed with mana potions. Night time setting is hey. Peasants have have trouble harvesting lumber that is harvesting them. Down side: air units will pretty much whack that if concentrated using TP recall.
Did not try that last night, as my Keeper kept getting his arse whupped due to my poor micro skills in other areas. Bah. Need to use the two hero model, even though you then level up slower.
One game I played I kept making Ents as tanks. Archers behind. Made Hippogryphs. The Human guy was waaay better at speed rush building, and we were a bloody juggernaut. Ensnare versus or high value large melee units is most handy. Got carried a bit on his shoulders, but he did give me a smile and a GG when we were done.
Scouting with ents. Not a bad idea, during waiting periods, except that they are SLOW. Placed in certain avenues of approach, they are a free (except for mana cost) asset.
Have not used the Wisp healing yet, as my key stroke patterns are not fully developed.
Typical hot key assignment.
0 = initial tree of life
1 = next tree of life
9= first hero
8 = second hero
7 = Air force. Holdover from my Wraith Cav default key from Starcraft. Ya know, Custer and the Seventh Cavalry . . .
2-6: various units. I need to reconsider putting Hunter' Hall or other buildings on other hot keys. Might be screwing up my industrial production scheme by not using hot smarter hot key scheme.
Letter keys for critical functions: still stumbling through that. The time investment is gonna be severe for that.
I LOVE THE CAMERA ROTATION!!! During battle it is very neat to rotate the camera and get a worm's eye view.
Boy, is this game ever micro intensive.
The much-anticipated beta patch came out tonight, and there are tons of documented and undocumented changes. Here's a few noteworthy night elf changes-
-They now have to use workers to mine gold like the other races.
-Huntresses now start with 700 hitpoints (way more) but do less damage than archers (they used to do more than double the damage of archers)
-Druids of the Talon have been added, and they are trained (and upgraded) at the Ancient of Wind)
-Chimaeras now attack land and air units. I'm not sure if this is intentional or not; it's not documented anywhere and their description at the Chimaera Roost still just says attacks land.
-Keeper of the Grove is now a ranged attacker
-Keeper of the Grove's force of nature has been changed to summon a fixed number of treants per cast per level (though the area of effect circle comes up when casting, still).
-The bug that used to let Keeper of the Grove recast force of nature before cooldown started seems to have been fixed (not 100% sure since I never tried to do that before)
-pristess of the grove's wimpy "scout" spell has been given to huntresses, and the Priestess now has a better, but tougher, skill- Sentinel. This sends an own to illuminate any area surrounding any tree on the map. You can put your first point in it and maybe find your enemy's mine before you even have an army.
-you now can only put points to a skill every other level
-your hero starts with 1 skill point
-you have the option of beginning the game with a "random" hero from your race (either everyone does, or nobody does)
-there are less low level creeps, and creep AI is better- they will sometimes walk around your huntresses to attack your Hero, and they can cast net (maybe other things too) on you.
-formations are better- my hero wasn't getting ahead of my huntresses anymore
chat/game creation stuff
-we now have icons in the chatroom (though don't know if you guys get to see them. We can now see other games' icons, and even /whois by clicking on your name (how is that useful?)
-WC3 players can see each others' profiles which now include stuff like- "player level"- win loss record equates to a number that shows up right in your chat icon
-you can set stuff up at the beginning of the games like stopping people from switching sides, allow/disallow shared control of units, starting next to your allies, etc It looks like there's an observer button that's not quite functional yet.
Tons more, that's just stuff off the top of my head, and much of it isn't mentioned in the readme.