What happened to naval warfare in WarCraft?


It existed in WC2. So why was it removed in WC3.

The concept of oil was also removed aswell.

I mean there is one ladder map called “Islands” that has transport ships but no frigate or battleship etc.

Why? Is Naval Warfare that bad of an idea?

I was thinking that it would add an interesting element to the game.

The current issues that I see with the Frigates and Battleships is the clunky movement and rotation.

Very easy to get stuck and slow movement and terrible rotation.

If they fixed that (which is prob easy) then it could be viable.

But how would the maps change to accommodate the addition? (Just the ships) (No returning of new Oil resource).

Though IMO (Would be cool to see Oil in water and how it affects unit builds and upgrades) And fights over it.


as a wc2 player from the 90s, I can tell you that ships were the least used unit in wc2, it was very frustrating to have to put your entire army into a transport in order to attack the enemy base, and it was always easier to just mass air

yea man totally, just like throw some maps together even though not a single (properly balanced) map has water or shorelines or oil, yea it will only take a few minutes to come up with all new maps

the only way it would be viable is if any of the maps with ships also used shallow water for terrain so both ships and units can walk together in the same area, but its just not worth it really… might be easier if they just gave us the units for the map editor and let fans make their own maps, which they already can


I see. Im just going to take a map from ladder and edit it and see how it works out.

Im going to do so on the classic game right now then ill provide some feedback.

Just going to add water and shipyards. With better rotational and movement frigates etc.


Well, the biggest factor is, I guess, heroes. All WC3 is centered around heroes and units the heroes support. How would the ships fit to this equation? Maybe if heroes could go into water as well (and they would get some kind of raft under their feet), but I don’t really see that working either.

And they did add ships in TFT and they even had a couple of maps with shipyards and transport ships, but the maps were so unpopular that they were eventually dropped out from the ladder list.

Adding ships would need a huge do-over to the whole meta, and it would be more sensible to just design a totally new game, that was planned to have both heroes and naval fights from the day one. So yeah, maybe in WC4, but I don’t see the need for ships in WC3.

Also, wc3tutor above also has a good point: ships would need to be made a lot easier to handle. Loading and unloading units can be a bit of a hassle, that it would indeed just push people to do air or something.


I played a lot of WC2 back in the days, and it’s just a different rts with different style of play. Naval warfare would be too slow for the faster pased WC3 competitive multiplayer. But hey WC2 is comming to GOG so why bother :wink:


It would be cool if Reforged opens up the possibility for fans to make a mod with 5 races that has water balance. Every race has a shipyard except for the Naga, who can swim


You can already make that… Only think lacking is the possibility to choose naga as a race in the game lobby, but that can be replaced with a dialog window at the start of the game. (Not that it wouldn’t be good idea to add the possibility to add extra races to the game lobby.)


People made custom maps with shipyard additions, it just was meh. I played a bit of them but it just didn’t feel right.

They’d need to determine how much food per ship and reconsider the upkeep system (if you’re forced to reduce your army to build a navy people will absolutely just mass air like in wc2).

Ships worked well in age of empires II but that was really the only game I think they worked well in. I like your enthusiasm but I don’t see it as something that would bring value to the experience other than playing on island maps for a couple games before you get bored of it.


wasn’t navy like horrible in C&C back in the day?

you gotta understand that lots of these blizz devs played other rts games…it didn’t feel right, and still wouldn’t with the vision they had for warcraft 3.

it has its place in campaign and customs…but this game is not going to have a navy…ever. and no - maps that have naval battle cheese wouldn’t be cool or fun imo either.


It does not fit the story at all. In all four Campaigns they are fighting straight over land. Human campaign is literally right up the gut of the eastern kingdoms. Undead it the exact same area only adding in silvermoon. Orc campaign is Kalamdor which you get to in the prolouge missions. Night Elf campaign is on Kalamdor with no water near by. In TFT the missions that are island based have ships there is atleast one or two where you can build ships in each campaign. The ships however are very clunky so thats why there are no ships in Warcraft 3 it does not fit the narrative. In Warcraft 2 it did because they were crossing the Great Sea to lorderon and fighting on the island around that area in the west as well as the islands in the east, it made more sense to have navel warfare going on then