BlizzCon 2018: Warcraft 3: Reforged announced, but it’s not just a remaster

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During BlizzCon 2018’s opening showcase, Blizzard revealed Warcraft III: Reforged isn’t just a remaster of the RTS classic, but also an evolution of the classic game with a ton of added features.

In the big reveal during BlizzCon 2018, Blizzard took to the stage in their opening ceremony, revealing new games, features, and heroes for some of their biggest titles; they also surprised the world with Warcraft III: Reforged, a complete reimagining of the 2002 classic RTS.

Fans looking to dive back into Warcraft III may actually find a nifty little surprise with this latest version.  The team revealed that the game is only a part remaster as it will also have some rebalancing, retcon to the story, and will also allow for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and Warcraft III: Frozen Thone fans behind.

During their showcase, Brian Souza and Pete Stillwell revealed that players who own the original Warcraft III won’t be left behind. Instead, they will be able to play with their friends who opt to purchase Warcraft III: Reforged. Maps and other community created content will carry over with Warcraft III: Reforged when it launches exclusively for PC users.

When we went to Korea (Starcraft Remastered) and talked with pros and people still playing in game rooms, the overwhelming feedback was ‘Please don’t change the game. ‘Make it pretty, give us a modern matchmaker and then quietly step away, Blizzard.’ Getting those marching orders made the endeavor not just easier but more focused.”

Stillwell continued by saying that fans from both Europe and China have stated that they feel there was plenty left to be done with Warcraft III. He continued to by stating that they don’t want to just give it a new coat of paint, but rather, they want to do more with it and in turn expand upon what they had previously done.

Let’s push it. Let’s get it to be as perfectly balanced as StarCraft. Let’s add more to the editor, because it’s already powerful. And like a good Blizzard game, it’s easy to learn, difficult to master, but let’s also make it even deeper.

Because of this approach, Stillwell has confirmed that Warcraft III: Reforged will feature hundreds of balance changes to heroes such as Arthas and Jaina, units and even buildings. As part of their goal, Blizzard is working to modernize Warcraft III: Reforged and will be using Warcraft III‘s updates over the past year to help prepare for the remastering when it launches.

Among many of the changes is an improvement to the game’s cinematic’s and even portions of the game’s story that was re-established with World of Warcraft that has continually expanded the lore of the franchise since its founding. To help with these changes, Blizzard has confirmed that World of Warcraft novel writer, Christie Golden (Arthas, Before the Storm) has been enlisted to help merge the stories from Warcraft III and World of Warcraft, which means they have retconned some of the story for Reforged when it launches.

Golden’s efforts will help bring “renewed focus to a few central characters that we thought deserved a little bit more time in the limelight,” Stillwell explains during his time on stage, “there’s been 16 years of evolution of this franchise outside of this game,” Stillwell explained. “Some of that, especially central characters like Jayna and Sylvanas, these people who mean so much more to the world now who didn’t get as much focus in Warcraft 3 because we just didn’t know where they were going to be.

Stillwell also revealed that Warcraft III: Reforged will also update the layout of the world as well as its locations. Among the changes will come updated character models for heroes, texture files and yes… Even the Murlocs. They’re getting updated too for the love of all things mrglglglgl.

But Brian Souza, one of the lead artists working on Warcraft III: Reforged even explained that missions themselves are being revamped as well. Missions such as Arthas’ Culling – something we experienced in Wrath of the Lich King – will also be improved across the board in 2019 when Reforged launches. Tileset pieces and even some of Stratholme’s location will be updated to match that of what we saw in World of Warcraft’s Stratholme dungeon, which took place during the Culling of Stratholme during the undead invasion.

We’re recreating (Stratholme) that people know, rather than one that was in the original Warcraft 3, which if you looked at it really didn’t make much sense — it had Greek columns, and these whale statues and this river going through it. So where we can make those changes where it brings parity with World of Warcraft which has done so much with the characters, with the lore, and the locations,” explained Souza while he was on stage.

And a lot of stuff in Warcraft 3 was just kind of put in as ‘Hey, isn’t this awesome? This is cool.’ Like the Murlocs for instance. One of the artists back in the day, he came in over the weekend because he felt that there needed to be more creeps on the maps … so he just retextured what the ghoul was and he made a Murloc. That was how the Murloc was born. Just this guy [being] really passionate wanting more stuff. Then in World of Warcraft, Murlocs are everywhere — they’ve gotten a society, they’ve got heroes — so we want to make sure that  (The Murlocs in Warcraft III: Reforged) Murlocs, are those Murlocs.

Blizzard has confirmed that Warcraft III: Reforged is scheduled to launch in 2019 for PC and MAC. They haven’t given an exact window, but you can expect some major patches to make way to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne ahead of its launch.

Stay tuned as we’ll keep you up to date regarding more information as its released ahead of its launch.


About the Writer(s):

dustin_batgr_prof

Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.

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