Guild Wars 2 The march towards Jormag continues as this season takes another step into the wilderness
The initial plans for Warcraft 3: Reforged would have brought the community an ambitious new game, steeped in the classic gameplay and story of TFT & RoC. However, little by little the team started scaling back, starting with the story. Unfortunately, the finished product ended up being not much of an upgrade over the classic version of the game. When I first launched WarCraft 3: Reforged, a wave of nostalgia washed over me. The blocky interface, the music, the colorful stocky units – everything felt like coming home. You see, I am a huge WarCraft nerd, and getting a chance to relive the adventures of Arthas, the forming of Orgrimmar and the first steps of Kalimdor Horde and other original campaigns seemed like a dream come true. The times were simpler during the period of WarCraft 3: The Frozen Throne & WarCraft 3: Reign of Chaos – there has been no BfA or WoD, no Cata, and TBC didn’t yet do my boy Kael’thas dirty. The new unit models are gorgeous, done in that over-the-top way that is so uniquely WarCraft. The Orcish Grunt and Human Footman look like they sprang forth from BlizzCon’s action figures! Below you can find the comparison video of some the old models to the Reforged versions.
I enthusiastically threw my armies (12 units at a time!) into the real battle for Azeroth. In a few hours, I’ve found that I have completely forgotten that Reforged is technically a new game, zoomed out to the max as I was. The game sounds like WC3, plays like WC3, and if the technology allowed, I’m sure it would smell like WC3, too. It simply looks better with a fresh coat of paint that you can only see up close. Is it bad in and of itself? Not really, but it does turn out to be a problem coupled with other issues faced by the remaster. In its very core, Reforged is still WarCraft 3 so it simply can not be awful. The base gameplay, the story – all of it had been winning the hearts and minds of players for the last two decades. The question, however, becomes “did WarCraft 3 even need a remaster? And if so, then for whom?” Speaking in very broad terms, you could split Reforged’s audience into new players, longtime fans, multiplayer fighters and content creators who give us new custom maps and campaigns. The game’s problems start here. I have a relatively large number of friends who play World of Warcraft, about a half of them have never played WarCraft 3, overwhelmed at the idea of playing 20 years old game to catch up on lore that exists in books, comics, etc. as well as within WoW itself. Reforged could have been the perfect opportunity for some of them to check out what they were missing out on. In trying to preserve the classic feel of WC3: TFT & RoC, Reforged did nothing to update the game to today’s standards: the cumbersome UI still takes over half of your screen, the units still have their 2002 AI and crowd a chest or get stuck in a bottleneck, you can’t control more than 12 characters at a time, maps are incredibly linear, etc. Except for a more polished look, playing Reforged feels almost exactly like playing its legendary predecessor. I am not sure new players will be drawn in by the game when there are other, newer and more welcoming RTS. Look no further than SpellForce 3 (and its DLC Soul Harvest) and A Year of Rain that feels like WarCraft as much as Reforged does. In a word, it does not feel like Reforged is aimed at introducing the RTS world of Azeroth to the new players. What about long-time fans of WoW, though? I will start with myself, thank you very much. The initial BlizzCon 2018 announcement mostly excited me with the promise of Reforging the original campaigns to reflect the (very different) canon of current Azeroth, represented in Blizzard’s MMORPG. That included adding more dialogue lines as well as giving more attention to certain WC3 characters such as Sylvanas Windrunner and Jaina Proudmoore. Even Arthas’ noble steed Invincible, introduced in Christie Golden’s book “Arthas: Rise of the Lich King”, was promised to be featured in the game. I knew of Blizzard’s decision to move away from their initial plans due to players’ outcry from the interviews following BlizzCon, but I will not pretend the finished product did not disappoint me. I am thankful for the Exodus of the Horde campaign being available in the game, as I have largely forgotten about it. However, Reforging of the campaigns started and ended with slightly altered geography of Stratholme, Silvermoon and Dalaran. There are a few more named NPCs, such as Anasterian Sunstrider, father of Kael’thas, but the game does nothing to highlight the presence of the High Elven King, treating him like a silent named mini-boss. To sum it up, the game misses the audience interested in the lore – everything that exists in Reforged was already available through the WarCraft 3: TFT & RoC. Granted, I loved the new models of units and buildings and want to see them represented in WoW (especially as transmog!), but it is simply not enough to warrant being called Reforged over Remastered. The fandom will be able to create amazing new experiences using the World Editor tools Blizzard generously gives them, right? Well, yes… and no.
Sure, the new layer of paint and updated World Editor will allow the creative fans – and WarCraft is blessed with a large creative community! – to come up with something amazing. However, just in case it is a new DOTA, Blizzard updated the EULA of the World Editor to claim the ownership of everything created in-game. Custom Games are and shall remain the sole and exclusive property of Blizzard. Without limiting the foregoing, you hereby assign to Blizzard all of your rights, title, and interest in and to all Custom Games, including but not limited to any copyrights in the content of any Custom Games. If for any reason you are prevented or restricted from assigning any rights in the Custom Games to Blizzard, you grant to Blizzard an exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, unconditional, royalty free, irrevocable license enabling Blizzard to fully exploit the Custom Games (or any component thereof) for any purpose and in any manner whatsoever. Use of Third Party Content in Custom Games. You represent and warrant that neither the content you use to create or incorporate into any Custom Games, nor the compilation, arrangement or display of such content (collectively, the “User Content”), infringes or will infringe any copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret or other intellectual property right of any third party. In addition to that, the Custom Campaigns have been disabled in WarCraft 3: Reforged, hopefully, temporarily. Nevertheless, so far Reforged does not look too good for content creators compared to its legendary classic version.
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