BlizzCon 2019: Hands-On with Warcraft 3: Reforged

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Warcraft 3: Reforged was announced at BlizzCon 2018. With all of the hype surrounding Diablo IV, Overwatch II, and World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, there clearly wasn’t as big of a focus on the remaster this year. That said, the game was available to be played at the new section of the event called the Blizzard Arcade. In the Blizzard Arcade, attendees were able to play the retro games of Blizzard’s infancy but also the newest additions to Starcraft II, Heroes of the Storm, and Warcraft 3: Reforged. In my predictions for BlizzCon 2019, I did not expect much by the way of announcements for the game. I just wanted to get my hands on it and try it for myself.

Attendees had the opportunity to go 1v1 with a friend or random player in an orc versus human match up with a 35-minute time limit for play. During my demo play of the game, I was instantly transported back to the early 2000s. The game plays largely in the same way that it did nearly 20 years ago. The only glaring difference is the update to the graphics. Blocky green cubes for orcs have made way for more detailed character models that fans of the franchise may be blown away by. The newer look also extends to cinematics.  The team working on the game insists that only the opening cinematic has changed, however, everything else will receive a facelift.

The gameplay reminds consistent. Building mechanics, scouting the map, and even the voice lines from the original game remain the same. Anyone who played Warcraft in the 90s and 2000s will not have any issue picking up the new and improved version. Through the Warcraft 3: Reforged Deep Dive Panel, attendees and virtual ticket holders received a little more information about the future game outside of what was mentioned above. PvP for the game will be based on a race-based matchmaker rating. This will allow players to experiment with other races outside of their main race without hurting their rank. For single players, the game will include a difficulty mode to allow players to play the game at their own pace. Further, there will be an increased emphasis on the creativity of the community. The community has already begun to make their own maps and will have the opportunity to make their own cinematics with the tools Blizzard provides.

Attendees, virtual ticket holders, and pre-purchasers can start playing Warcraft 3: Reforged‘s beta as soon as November 5th. The access will be limited with only the human and orcs available for 1v1 and 2v2 matchmaking. However, Blizzard looks to be adding to the game periodically with races and game modes.

If you played the original Warcraft series and are thinking about pulling the trigger on Warcraft 3: Reforged, go for it. The game seems as if it is keeping everything that players loved about the original game and giving it a 2019 update. At the end of the day, what more can you want in a remaster? If you are a purist who wants the original feel, Blizzard also has you covered. There will be an option to turn off the remaster much like Blizzard has done for World of Warcraft: Classic.