Hello, Warcraft 3 forum. I'm not sure I'll get many or any replies here seeing as we're in 2012, but I've just started playing Warcraft 3 for the first time since 2005, and would like some help getting started. I'm probably gonna play Warcraft 3 battle.net melee matches a lot this summer, seeing as my main computer with stuff like Skyrim, SC2 and the Witcher 2 is in my student apartment while I'll be spending time in my hometown with my wooden 2006 PC.
As mentioned I've played Warcraft 3 before, but that was mostly just completing the campaigns on normal, playing custom games like Dota and Angel Arena and the like, and I never got any good at laddering (I was like, not using hotkeys bad). I've watched like 30-40 pro WC3 casts rcently though, mostly by BlizzShouter/Crota, and have learned most hotkeys in the game as well as some passable micro I believe, mostly by fighting "AMAI" computer opponents.
Firstly, as the subject reads, I'd like some advice on what race to choose. I really like the real "fighter" heroes in the game, which to my knowledge is limited to BM and DH.
NE and Orc however, seem like fairly "stale" races, in terms of unit use. With the exception of a rare use of Wind Riders, Bats, TC to counter casters and FS, I've yet to see any other orc build than BM + grunts into Raiders, Kodo, SWs and SH. I've never seen shamans or tauren used in a pro game, much less troll witchdoctors or berserkers. Also, BM seems like the most powerful hero in the game, with excellent survability (high armor + wind walk + spirit link), the highest dps from lvl 1 to 10 and access to items like healing salve and speed scroll.
NE seems to be just about pumping bears and dryads, or going full talon druids + Beast master vs orcs, and I've yet to see hyppo riders, mountain giants or chimaeras, or a archer+huntress with talon druid backup.
HU and UD seem to use more diverse units, but I kinda dislike the UD heroes since DK can't really fight vs the super.common early BM/DH, and DL+CL seem completely useless. Atm I'm only practicing with HU, but knights seem very weak compared to bears, abos or tauren, and I kinda feel the common HU tactics of tower rushing or using steamtanks (lame unit imo) is cheap and unsatisfying.
Based on this, can anyone recommend what race I should specialize in?
Lastly, I have some bonus questions about minor things I'm unsure of. Firstly, do spells in WC3 do the damage they say they do, or is there a hidden magic armor rating like there is in Dota/hon? In those games, spells with say 300 magic dmg only deal like 250 because all heroes have 5 base magic armor.
Secondly, how important are upgrades in WC3? Many/most pros I've watched seem to mostly ignore upgrades, esp. UD players, but in SC/SC2, upgrades are very well worth it.
Lastly, I've noticed lots of pro games end when players quite frankly lose their gold mine and don't have enough gold to expand, and seemingly don't even try to expand. Are WC3 pros simply terrible at macro, or should you avoid expanding because "wasting" five more food (or even ten) on workers isn't worth it in WC3 unlike SC2 because of the upkeep system and the max 100 food system?
EDIT: Almost forgot my most important question: is the magical dmg type that casters and some air units have in WC3, identical to the dmg caused by most hero spells? In other words; does talon druids not benefit from their own debuff because they deal magic, not physical dmg, and does Runed Bracers lessen the dmg a hero takes from chimaeras and frost wyrms etc by 33%?