Warcraft III: Reforged – Better Graphics, Rebalanced Gameplay, But Hostile To Mods

Warcraft 3: Reforged by Blizzard Entertainment

Warcraft III: Reforged was released on January 28, the latest release from Blizzard Entertainment, and a re-release of the real-time strategy game Warcraft III, which sold 1 million units within the first month of its release in 2002. Announced by Blizzard in November 2018, the remake aimed to recapture previous Warcraft III players as well as attract new players to the real-time strategy franchise.

However, real-time strategy games aren’t as popular as they were back in 2002, with many preferring to play autobattler games like Auto Chess or battle royale games like Fortnite. Still, Warcraft III: Reforged offers a solid graphic overhaul of the original, and fans of the campaign can re-enjoy the journey with better graphics and video. It is still yet to be seen how the multiplayer community will grow and if it will attract professional talent the same way Starcraft has.

Warcraft 3: Reforged by Blizzard Entertainment

But the most dramatic change with this edition actually comes in the Terms of Use, which states that any custom games produced on the Reforged platform become the intellectual property of Blizzard, and that any custom games cannot use any material that violates third party content copyright protections. One of the most popular features of Warcraft III (and Starcraft 2) was its World Editor, which allowed independent developers to build game mods to create new game modes and mini games on top of the platform. One of the most popular was Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) a hero-based game mode that spawned whole genre of multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games such as League of Legends, Vainglory, and DOTA2. Blizzard, while it featured DOTA competitions at its events, never released a standalone MOBA, and Valve Software was able to acquire the intellectual property for DOTA and create DOTA2.

Defense of the Ancients 2 by Valve

Determined not to miss out on the profits this time, Blizzard implemented new policies in Reforged, but so far the community response has been overwhelmingly negative. The permissive nature of the World Editor in the original Warcraft III allowed for creative content creation that resulted in the creation of DOTA, as well as entertaining mini games that involved third party content such as Mario from Nintendo. However, with the new policies, many independent developers seem uninterested in using the new platform to create any games, which may affect the popularity of the game itself. Still, fans of the original campaign may find the a replay of the new version to be entertaining on its own.