Warcraft III: Reforged is coming, and it’s easily one of the most exciting announcements BlizzCon has had in years. Fans have been waiting years for this particular reveal, to the extent that some began creating mods for Starcraft II that would allow them to play out their Warcraft III fantasies to their hearts content.
However, the announcement raises several questions — will the campaign be a direct remaster or will it use the opportunity to give the venerable RTS series a soft reboot? Will there be a greater degree of in-universe lore introduced in order to better align with the long-running World of Warcraft? Will the game receive ongoing support, like Old-School Runescape and last year’s Starcraft Remastered (created by the Classic team now responsible for War3)?
Of all the questions, one takes precedence over any other — will that one god-forsaken fight sequence between Illidan and Arthas finally get the beautifully rendered cinematic it always deserved?
So that one’s probably got our vote. But of all the content within Warcraft III and its expansion, The Frozen Throne, what would we be most excited for in a remaster?
This writer would be looking forward to Rexxar’s campaign from The Frozen Throne, a Diablo-esque dungeon crawl through the land of Durotar, completing various objectives along the way.
The Rexxar campaign can be considered a hallmark in Blizzard’s history — being a player-based dungeon crawler through a massive map, it’s possible to see Blizzard toying with the very mechanics that would go on to shape its world-conquering MMORPG World of Warcraft.
What would also prove exciting to see is how the MOBA community respond. Warcraft III is famous for giving birth to a popular mod called Defense of the Ancients. The mod made clever use of Warcraft III‘s hero characters, creating a whole new genre of online games. It was famously co-opted by Valve, who released a sequel to the mod as an official, fully fledged product. Dota 2 continues to be a huge hit for the studio. Given that Blizzard have already tackled the MOBA genre in Heroes of the Storm, we can’t see them taking an official swing at any MOBA-centric content for War3, but that won’t stop the modders.
Above most things from this Remaster, I’m looking forward to the campaign being remastered – I was absolutely enthralled (wink) by the campaign when I played it for the first time. Fortunately, Blizzard has given us an early look at one of Reign Of Chaos’ most iconic story beats, The Culling, a mission in which you take control of the Alliance’s Prince Arthas and purge an entire city in an effort to curtail an undead menace. It’s a move that seems obvious to him in the moment but, in time, costs Arthas everything.
It looks as if even the interactions between heroes are being overhauled, which is a welcome addition. It will be interesting to see the poison arrow scene between Arthas and Sylvanas from the Frozen Throne campaign should this be the case. The corruption of Gromm Hellscream, brother of Thrall, during the Horde campaign will be another one to watch.
It would be insanely great if this returning support of Warcraft III meant the addition of new units, buildings, official maps and potentially, campaigns, at some point. One could say we’re being far too optimistic for our own good, but if Starcraft II gets it, why can’t one of our favourite games get a bit of extra love too?
Our excitement is immeasurable.
Warcraft III Reforged is coming Windows PC and Mac OS X via Battle.Net in 2019.