Creep is a term from Warcraft III to designate non-affiliated (but aggressive) packs of monsters which guard certain areas from players' armies. Creeps vary depending on the current map tileset, though it is possible for creeps to appear on other tilesets than the ones they were designed for.
The lands of Lordaeron are not safe. Even the indigenous creatures of the wild hold peril for the unwary wanderer. Numerous monsters called creeps camp in strategic locations on the map. Creeps, unlike the harmless critters on the map, are intelligent creatures with the means and disposition to attack all players. Creeps range in power, or level, much like Heroes. Low-level creeps are simple beasts that can be easily defeated by a few Human Footmen. However, powerful creeps are formidable adversaries capable of laying low Heroes, and some are even immune to magic. Such powerful monsters are not to be trifled with. Luckily, they are as rare as they are mighty.
All creeps are indiscriminate in their hostilities and are ready to attack the units of any player on sight. However, these monsters will only pursue your units a limited distance. You can usually outrun them if you wish to avoid confrontation. Most Creeps can be found guarding Gold Mines or neutral buildings. You can always assume that Creeps defend neutral buildings or Gold Mines unless other players have cleared them. Some positions are defended by very powerful Creeps depending on the map. Creeps are an RPG element of the game that make the game maps feel more alive and add additional options and strategy elements early and then later in the game. It also adds a method for players that are outmatched by another player to try to get back into a game by killing creeps for items and levels.
Creeps give different amounts of experience, gold, and have different chances of dropping items and have a better possibility of dropping better items. Generally the tougher the Creep is, the greater the reward.
Creeps with Envenomed Weapons will prioritize every unit in their attack range in order to spread poison damage, regardless of their level.
Creep Camp Behavior
Creep camps act as one unit. When one attacks, they all attack. It is possible to pull creeps apart via spells such as Entangling Roots and Sleep or blocking their movement. All Creeps will rejoin an attack if any one of them is hit. Creeps that are not in combat will ignore flying units if they have not been instructed to "attack move", unless the unit stops directly above the creep camp, causing any of them with anti-air capabilities to begin attacking, while ground attackers remain idle. The minimap has a special ability to show Creep Camps on the map.
Level 6+ Creeps also have Hero Magic Resistance
As special units, Level 6+ Creeps and Heroes enjoy a limited magic resistance against enemy spells. Negative spells cast on a 6+ creep will last shorter compared to lower levels.
Level 7+ Creeps
Level 7+ Creeps are smarter than level 1-6 Creeps. The "smart" Creeps behave like melee AI units. In particular, these Creeps:
Generally have high damage and/or health, with increased armor.
Tend to attack injured units before healthy ones, although summoned units generally take higher priority.
Creeps will run from towers as they drop below 60% life. Creeps are very aggressive with towers.
The presence of creeps makes it more difficult to scout the map or execute early attacks against other players during the day. Nearly all creeps sleep at night, and during this time can be avoided with ease. It is wise to use the cover of twilight to scout when the creeps leave wanderers undisturbed. You can recognize sleeping creeps by the animated Z over their heads and the sound of their snores. If attacked, sleeping creeps will wake to defend themselves.
They will be neutral to you. While a unit is sleeping your units will not auto-acquire them, so at night you can freely scout the map.
Some Creeps do not sleep, and will not have ZZZs above their heads. These creeps include golems, sea elementals, Outland creeps, adult dragons, along with some demonic and undead units. Be wary if you get too close to them, as they will cause sleeping Creeps to attack if provoked.
Creeps, despite their ability to attack and even kill your troops, are a boon to any player. Every Creep you kill gives you gold. The amount of gold is displayed as a golden number floating above the Creep's corpse immediately after it dies. Some Creeps also leave treasure chests behind. Inside the treasure chests are magic items, special objects that only Heroes and units with the Backpack upgrade can carry. Despite the presence of the Goblin Merchant, killing Creeps is the easiest means of acquiring treasure for your Heroes. The treasure dropped is random, but the relative power of the dropped treasure is commensurate with the level of the Creep. A level one creature will drop much less potent treasure than a level nine Creep. The corpses left behind by dead Creeps are also a treasure of sorts for the Undead commander, for these can be used by Scourge units and spells.
Creeps are not only good for treasure. They give your Heroes experience as well. Every creep killed bestows a certain amount of experience points to your Heroes. Thus, in multiplayer games, killing creeps is an effective way of leveling up your Hero without confronting other players in the early portion of the game. Lower-level monsters, like Gnolls, give less experience than higher-level monsters, like Dragons. Fighting other players does give your Hero more experience, but early in the game, defeating creeps is the best way of quickly advancing your Heroes. Once a Hero is level 5 they will not receive any experience from killing Creeps.
Creeps are level 1-10. There are some spells and items that do not work on Creeps level 6 and above. Select a Creep and read the information panel to see a Creep's level. Creeps do not level up; they are a fixed level.
Creeps are pre-placed on the map when it is created. The same Creeps will always be in the same locations on each map. Creeps do not "respawn" when killed. However, Centaur Khans, Ancient Wendigos and Sasquatches come with Reincarnation, reviving themselves, but will permanently die if they are killed before their Reincarnation is reset.
Creeps attack new buildings if you attempt to build next to them. But they will not seek out and destroy completed buildings if they come upon them.
Some Creeps can be purchased at the Mercenary Camp. The Creeps or Mercenaries available depends on the Mercenary Camp's base tileset, although they are generally the same as the map's tileset.
Creeps do not attack other Creeps.
If you mouse your cursor over a Creep, it will display the Creep's name and level to make it easier to see their power.
Creeps are divided up by the tilesets they are allowed on, although some maps may have Creeps from other tilesets.
Creeps will only follow you a certain distance away from their "camp." If you do not wish to fight a group of Creeps attacking you, run away. Eventually, they will stop chasing and return to their camp.
Sometimes you want to use a Neutral Building but don't want to clear out the Creeps. Run in with your Hero or unit, use the building, then run away. You can also use Neutral Buildings at night to avoid the Creeps guarding them.
Some creeps have spells and abilities they will use on you. These are often abilities already used by heroes and normal military units, although generally weaker. They may or may not use some spells depending on the amount of units they are in combat with.