Under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t expect an extensive update for a game that is 16 years old — much less one that is developed by a company that already has several other games its paying attention to. However, that is exactly what has happened with Blizzard and Warcraft 3, and its hard not to question why.
Warcraft 3’s age can’t be overstated. Debuting back in 2002 (I was in middle school!), WC 3 was the latest entry in the long-running Warcraft series and the next real-time strategy to come after the immensely-popular Starcraft. It was a time when World of Warcraft wasn’t a thing, nor was Starcraft 2 and a game like Overwatch was practically inconceivable. And though the game has been getting a stream of steady updates since then, it hasn’t seen a significant one on this scale in quite some time. In fact, the last time such an update occurred was in 2011 with the arrival of 1.25b.
So what has been updated? Practically everything. From widescreen support to balance changes, if you stopped playing Warcraft 3 in the early 2000’s, then this game would probably be unrecognizable to you now.
Here is a sample to get you started (the rest can be found here):
Specific Changes & Improvements
Widescreen support added. To prevent stretching there have been changes to the interfaces:
- Added bookends to the in-game interface
- Added black pillars in menus
Game lobbies expanded to support 24 players. We’ve added 12 new team colors. Thanks to Erkan and others for contributing to the new palette:
- Player 13 – Maroon
- Player 14 – Navy
- Player 15 – Turquoise
- Player 16 – Violet
- Player 17 – Wheat
- Player 18 – Peach
- Player 19 – Mint
- Player 20 – Lavender
- Player 21 – Coal
- Player 22 – Snow
- Player 23 – Emerald
- Player 24 – Peanut
Hero Balance Changes
- Increased base speed from 270 to 290
- Level 2: Reduce damage from 225 to 210
- Level 3: Reduce damage from 350 to 325
- Level 1: Increased damage from 60 to 65; Increased area of effect from 25 to 30
- Level 2: Increased damage from 100 to 125; Increased area of effect from 30 to 35
- Level 3: Increased damage from 140 to 175; Increased area of effect from 35 to 40
This update marks the latest incident in a string of events related to Warcraft 3 that has occurred in recent months and its hard not to question why. For a game that is nearing 16 years of age, it’s practically unheard of for it to get an extensive update (announced back in February), a new installer or invitational tournament (held in Feb. 27-28). Yet, this game got all three.
At this point, the most likely explanation for the attempts to modernize Warcraft 3 is a remaster similar to what Blizzard did with Starcraft in 2017. Granted, Starcraft didn’t get a heap of updates prior to the remastered version arriving. Though far less likely, it could also mean that Blizzard could be looking to revisit the Warcraft series. Yes, World of Warcraft is still going strong, but with everything going on in the lore, it wouldn’t be weird to have an RTS run alongside it.
In either event, this patch is more than welcome news for fans of Warcraft 3; and though the game still has an audience, an update on this level will definitely bring a reasonable amount of players back into the fold.