This year’s BlizzCon is sure full of pleasant surprises and unexpected revelations. In addition to Diablo Immortal, an upcoming action RPG for Android and iOS devices, the fans and admirers of classic – dare I say vintage – Blizzard titles were regaled with yet another piece of great news. On the opening ceremony, Blizzard announced that they will release a remastered version of their classic hit Warcraft 3, aptly named Warcraft 3: Reforged.
This is the title which consolidated the success of the previous two games in the series and ushered the franchise into the new century, laying the foundation for the phenomenal success of their celebrated MMO RPG World of Warcraft. By itself, it’s a remarkable title which reinforced RPG elements, improved gameplay from previous two games and introduced a host of legendary characters as well as the phenomenal storyline. In a nutshell, Warcraft 3 well deserves your attention in 2018 and beyond. However, although the original version of Warcraft 3 is still being played, especially in Korea where it’s extremely popular, because of somewhat outdated visuals, it wasn’t so appealing to the new generation of gamers.
In the Warcraft 3: Reforged, Blizzard will completely remedy this shortcoming. So, what new things Warcraft 3: Reforged will bring? Well, think of it as a revamped version of old Warcraft 3 who went through several radical face-lifting treatments, visited the best beauty salons in Paris and got a couple of elite university degrees. In short, you can expect the same game, but with more beautiful graphics than ever, more elaborated campaigns and a ton of new, previously unseen content.
As for the visual part, when we talk about remastered versions of old titles, we usually expect to see slightly updated graphics, with better resolution and some new visual effects. However, Warcraft 3: Reforged features completely new visuals. Graphics are done from the scratch with refashioned and modernized characters, structures and settings, of course, while staying true to that recognizable Blizzard’s trademark visual identity. Warcraft 3 stayed remembered as one of the games with truly great cinematics, even revolutionary for the time when the game originally appeared in 2002. As I can tell from what I saw so far, they remained conceptually unchanged. However, saying that, I must admit that I don’t remember them being so precise, crystal clear and sharp, so I have a sneaking suspicion that Blizzard dabbled with them also.
However, with Warcraft 3: Reforged, Blizzard wasn’t concerned exclusively with superficial things like visuals and artwork. They also invested much effort to improve all other essential aspects of the game. For instance, the story itself had undergone multiple subtle changes, in order to bring it up to date with all the changes and novelties in the lore, history, and backstory of the Warcraft franchise. For that purpose, Blizzard had involved the prolific and experienced writer Christie Golden who (among her many other projects including Star Wars, Star Trek, StarCraft, and Assasins Creed) wrote at least a dozen of books set in the Warcraft universe. She’s working on retconning the original storyline and script, giving the existing characters the additional depth and backstory, mending some plot holes and, generally, making everything even better.
In addition, thanks to the 16 years of experience, we now know what things in Warcraft 3 work and what don’t, what need a just little bit of tweaking and what need more radical adjustments. In its new version, Warcraft 3 had undergone a series of balance changes concerning heroes, units, structures, and their stats and mechanics, as wells as other parts of the gameplay. Also, by the special request of the fans that still enjoy Warcraft 3, Blizzard will implement the new multiplayer matchmaking system based on the advanced user interface and a bunch of other improvements. As you can see, after all these years, Warcraft 3 will have the opportunity to shine again and show these new real-time strategies how it’s really done, proving once and for all that true art never age.