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- Warcraft 3: Reforged
Blizzard recently released the much-delayed Warcraft 3: Reforged, and initial players aren’t extremely happy with the final result. The initial Blizzcon reveal for the game included redone cutscenes and improved UI when compared to the 2002 original. The final game forgoes most of that for a brushed-up texture pack. It’s still an upgrade, but it’s also far from the overhaul many were expecting upon the game’s first announcement, leading many to claim that there was a downgrade.
This all doesn’t entirely come out of left field. Talking with several outlets in the months leading up to release, senior game designer Matt Morris and others on the team confirmed that their more ambitious story plans fell to the wayside after fans expressed interest in keeping the game’s original voice acting intact. That means that the game’s story no longer changes to fit better with World of Warcraft, and it could mean that the redone cutscenes no longer made financial sense.
Elsewhere on the Blizzard forums, long time Warcraft 3 players are complaining about new Reforged updates overwriting the classic client. This means that features like classic chat commands, browser-friendly server listings, clans and classic player profiles are all gone. Custom games in Reforged are under new scrutiny, with the combined problems of a new ELUA that limits creative freedom and the removal of certain matchmaking tools. The new game also lacks 1v1 matchmaking as of release, which is something the old game still ran without a problem.
Blizzard as a whole has been under plenty of scrutiny from longtime fans. It’s clear that these Warcraft 3 Reforged downgrades will not help matters. While the idea of preserving old games with modern rereleases is a good one, it serves no one if veterans who still care deeply about the releases hate the new updates. The troubled development of Reforged speaks to the hard balance between modern game releases and pleasing longtime fans, and we’ll have to see if Blizzard can make some of their diehards happy with future updates.