It has been quite a while since Blizzard’s RTS fans were given anything resembling a bone to chew on, but their starvation might soon be over.
Though the release of Warcraft 3 Reforged was pushed back from its initially expected 2019 date, it won’t be long now before we’re once again sending the armies of Azeroth crashing into each other for some good old fashioned strategic mayhem.
Here’s everything you need to know about the game before its imminent arrival.
Release Date and Pre-Orders
Though originally expected to release late last year, that initial launch window has obviously come and gone. Instead, expect Warcraft 3: Reforged to land on January 28.
The original plan, too, was to rewrite significant chunks of the WC3 campaign to pull it more in line with the current narrative in World of Warcraft. However, plans for that were scrapped, as confirmed by executive producer Robert Bridenbecker last November.
Pre-orders are available via the Blizzard shop for $29.99.
Rather than “merely” giving the game a facelift, there had been significant changes made to the game itself. Everything from unit rebalances, launched since 2018, to a smarter pathfinding AI, will be included in the update – and will even be applicable to owners of the original game, who will still retain crossplay capabilities with new players! The game has also been extensively patched since the beta, creating what should be a more balanced competitive experience.
Matchmaking has also been improved to modernized standards, most notably including the ability to make per-faction matchmaking as well. That minimizes how badly a career Orc player will be punished for trying out Night Elves or similar.
Some changes were deliberately not changed, however. Original voice-acting persists, even if the actors have since been replaced for a specific character in World of Warcraft.
There will also, of course, be more content than in the original launch of vanilla Warcraft 3. The Frozen Throne expansion will be included, bringing the full epic to players new and old, and will also come with the graphical overhaul seen with the base game.
Warcraft 3 was more than just a legendary RTS, of course. Thanks to its mod-friendly custom games, it was the progenitor for whole new genres of video games – especially Defense of the Ancients. In recognition of that legacy, Blizzard has strengthened custom games support using Lua, a more modern and better-supported scripting language.
On top of that, the expected graphical overhaul does more than making existing units look prettier. Cutscenes have been remodelled, as well as new ones added in -- and hero units will have greater variety as well, including models for both male and female units.
Granted, if you want the old school flavour, polygons and all, you don't need to play with the revamped aesthetic.
All of the overhaul features can be toggled off. And if you want things really old school, a copy of the original Warcraft 3 will be included with Reforged preorders.
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