General - Getting Started in the World Editor

Tutorial By Darthfett

This tutorial is about getting started in World Editor.

World Editor is a program created by Blizzard to
create new maps that can be hosted on To
open it, go to the folder in which you installed Warcraft.
(Default is C:/Program Files/Warcraft III or
Start --> All Programs --> Warcraft III --> Warcraft III World Editor).
Then click on the icon that shows a pen writing on a scroll, or map.

It should take about 5-10 seconds to start up. Once it has, a
new map will automatically be created, covered with dirt.


Sometimes this does not give you a large enough map size, or
any options to change it with (for now).

Let's start on our own new map.
Go to File --> Close map, or push Ctrl + W.


Then go to File --> New map, or push Ctrl + N.


This should come up with a new window, giving you a list of options to choose.


Width and Height determine the size of your map.

Tileset shows a picture of the tiles that you can use.
(You can use custom too, by going to Advanced -> Change Tileset).

Initial Cliff Level determines how high up your map will be
from the water. (If you don't want water, then pick
somewhere in the middle).

Initial Water Level determines if your map will start out
with land, shallow water, or deep water. Ground, and
Naval Units can both move on shallow water.

Random Height Field will give your map a more natural
look, with wavy ground. (If you don't like it, either start
over, or smooth it out/plateau it, with the smooth/plateau tool under Layers -> Terrain).

Select your options, and click ok.

Now World Editor will load your map. Once it has, you can
put in new things from the toolbar. This gives you a list of all the things in your map, organized by different filters. It opens by default,
but you can close it, and reopen it from Window --> Toolbar.


Now that you are in your map, you may be very disoriented from all of the different buttons, but I will explain them all to you.

(Image) Selection Button

The first button is the selection button, which allows you to select all of the things you have placed on the map. You won't be able to select anything, until you put the toolbar on the layer of the thing you are trying to select This can be done by going to Layers and selecting the type of object).

(Image) Terrain Editor

Next, you will see the Terrain Editor, which is not closeable, and is already open in front of you.

This editor allows you to change the ground's texture, and increase/decrease size, add cliffs and ramps, and create blight.

There are many tutorials for it, but here's a good basic one:

Here are some of the major buttons, located under the menu:

The first major button is the Trigger Editor.

(Image) Trigger Editor

The Trigger Editor contains all of the coding of your map. There are two things used in it, the GUI, a click and select tool which lets you create triggers by creating Events, Conditions, and Actions. An Event is what makes the trigger happen, a Condition is what has to be true in order for the trigger to run, and the actions are what the trigger does if the Conditions are met when the Event fires. JASS is the more advanced text based code, which the GUI is based off of. It is more efficient than the GUI, but it takes longer to understand and learn.

A Basic GUI Tutorial:

A Basic JASS Tutorial:

The next button you will see is the Sound Editor

(Image) Sound Editor

The Sound Editor allows you to modify the sounds units will use in the game (by replacing them with imported sounds), and will allow you to pick which sounds you will use in the Trigger Editor. It is basically just a list of sounds, and you will rarely use it. (Unless you want to listen to some of the hidden unit jokes, for fun). :P

The next button is the Object Editor.

(Image) Object Editor

The Object Editor allows you to edit all of the objects in the game. You again may be a little lost when you see it, because it has many tabs.


The first tab contains Units.

Units are the guys you control in game. They contain everything from Buildings and Heroes to Wisps and the Locusts from Locust Swarm.

An excellent unit editing tutorial:

The second tab contains Items.

Items are the things you pick up on the ground. Almost all of them look like a treasure chest on the ground, but a few of them look like a ?, a Shrub, a Rune, and other things. These are pretty simple to figure out, and they can even have Abilities on them, or be used as soon as they are picked up (Tomes are an example of use-on-pickup items).

The third tab contains Destructibles.

Destructibles are limited to very few categories, Trees/Destructibles, Pathing Blockers, and Bridges/Ramps. They are like units, but they have a few extra things that are possible. They can even be placed sideways. However, they cannot move or be controlled.

The fourth tab contains Doodads.

Doodads are only different in two ways from that of destructibles, and that is that they cannot be selected in any way, and they cannot be used in the trigger editor. They also can not be attacked, since they are not at all targettable. A few examples of Doodads are Flowers, Fire pits, Buildings, and Rowboats.

The fifth tab contains Abilities.

Abilities are many, many times. They are always located either in items, or they are the things you click on, in the black area in the bottom right hand corner. Even attack is an ability, but it cannot be changed without modifying the internal map files. They can be used to do all sorts of things, like shooting rockets, creating a pocket factory, or even increasing a unit's max hp. (Cluster Rockets, Pocket Factory, and Item Life Bonus).

The sixth tab contains Buffs and Effects.

Buffs and Effects are not used as often as Abilities, or Units, but they can come in handy sometimes. They create the visual effects that are attached to units during abilities. For example, Divine Shield creates a golden ring around the Paladin when it is used. This is because of a Buff. Effects are a little different. They create most of the special effects that are not attached to units. Their effects are mostly used in area effect abilities, like the meteors in the Rain of Fire spell.

The last tab contains Upgrades.

Upgrades are the things that buildings research. They can be used as a requirement to use an ability, train/construct a unit, or to increase a unit-type's stats. These are like abilities in that they can increase a units max hp, or max damage, but they cannot only apply to one single unit. They must apply to all units of one type. Note that there is a problem with upgrades, in that they cannot be downgraded to remove the effect.

That is the end of the Object Editor.

The next button you will see is the Campaign Editor.

(Image) Campaign Editor

The Campaign Editor allows you to link multiple maps together, and create a Campaign. These are single-player only maps, since multiple linked maps cannot be hosted on B.Net.

Here is a tutorial to help you with it:

The next button you will see is the AI Editor.

(Image) AI Editor

This allows you to import custom Computers, change the existing ones, change how they will act. The AI editor is only made for melee maps, and for that reason, they will only work properly in Melee and modified melee maps (Custom units, but same victory conditions).

The next button you will see is the Object Manager.

(Image) Object Manager

The Object Manager is an excellent tool for viewing all of the stats of your map. It can tell you how many units, and destructibles you have preplaced on your map, and what the maximum amount is, as well as what variables you have used in the trigger editor. It will even list the triggers you used the variables in, and how many times.

The next button you will see is the Import Manager.

(Image) Import Manager

The Import Manager allows you to import your own files into your map, and change the custom path of them. This is how you get custom models, skins, AI Scripts, Icons, and other things.

The very last button is the Test Map Button.

(Image) Test Map

This will automatically open warcraft with your map, without you having to go through the hassle of finding your map, and opening it. If you have the Preference option "Use Fixed Random Seed" Checked, then whenever a random number is picked, it will be used every time, so you can check to see if a trigger is working properly. Note that if your game has a (Random number between ...) trigger, it will have the same numbers each time the map is tested, and you may want to uncheck this option.

Now that you have a basic grasp of the layout of the Editor, take a look around it yourself. You may also want to look up other tutorials for more information on the subjects, if the tutorials provided are not enough.


Speeding up the Object editor - One thing you may want to turn off is Window --> Brush List, as it makes things take more than twice as long to load when you change an object in the object editor. Don't worry, I've never used it, and never missed it, or needed it.

Allowing Negative Numbers in the Object Editor - Ever change a value in the object editor to a negative number, only to have it reverted back to a non-negative number? There are two ways to get past this. One is to go to File -> Preferences and check the box that says "Allow negative real values in the Object Editor". The other way is to hold shift when you double click on a value to change it. Holding shift while you double click on a value to change it can also go past some of the maximum/minimum limits (like Line of Sight). Try it out!

Random Number always giving the same number - Ever test a map, only to find out that randomness is always the same (the random hero is always the same, or the random chance is always the same)? This can easily be fixed by going into File -> Preferences -> Test Map, and unchecking the "Use Fixed Random Seed" box.

Zooming out makes the Screen black - Ever tried to view a large area and have the entire screen turn black? This is because of some of the camera options in the editor. Simply hold control, and scroll down (or hit page down on the keyboard), and the blackness should go away. Alternatively, you can click Advanced -> View Entire Map, which gets rid of it. Just note that it changes the camera angle and position. Be aware that every time to click the "Snap to game camera", you will have to do this again.

How to create a floating object - Have you seen some of the terrain people have made, and wondered how they make the objects floating in the air? It's quite simple. Simply create a doodad, and select it. Hold control, and press page-up or page-down to make it go underground or up in the air. As a side note, if you move the object while it is floating, it will go back down to the ground. You can change this by unchecking the "Reset Fixed Objects Heights" option in the Advanced dropdown menu (or press CTRL + SHIFT + H).

Copying a trigger makes some of the functions disabled - Ever tried to import a cool GUI spell made by someone else only to have tons of errors and disabled functions when you save? This can easily be fixed in the preferences. Go to File -> Preferences -> Test Map, and check the "Automatically create unknown variables while pasting trigger data" box. It makes sure your map won't have invalid variables, which causes a lot of problems when you copy a trigger.

Unlimited raise/lower depth/height - If you do not like the limitations on the Raise and Lower tool, you can disable it. First go into the Warcraft III directory (by default it is C:\Program Files\Warcraft III\), and create a folder called "UI". Then put the attached file (MiscData.txt) into the folder. Restart the World editor, and you should be able to raise and lower the terrain 90 degrees.

Using tiles from different Tilesets - Ever needed to use a tile from Ashenvale in your Lordaeron Winter tileset? Probably not, but if you ever need to switch out tiles, you can go to Advanced -> Modify Tileset to add, remove, and replace tiles. Keep in mind that there's a limit on how many different types you can have, and that cliffs are very picky.


Tileset - The tiles you use to "tile" your map. You place them
on the ground. A few examples are: Ice, Snow, Dirt, Grass,
and Stone. Some of them are also used as cliffs, to
make things on higher levels.

GUI - The acronym referring to the Events, Conditions, and Actions layout of the trigger editor, as well as the click-and-pick style of creating the functions.

JASS - The text based, free form coding language of Warcraft III.

Triggers - A term used to describe the combination of an event(s), conditions, and actions that will start when the event happens, check whether conditions are true, and run the actions if they are.

Good Luck with your maps, and I hope this tutorial helped you! :)

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