UPDATE 2: We did not emphasize enough how the original Warcraft 3 was affected. This has been updated in the original article.
UPDATE: We have heard claims that users are being denied refunds, and getting banned on Blizzard forums for advising others how to get a refund. While we could not confirm the latter (and have seen other posts advising others how to get a refund), we did find this post, where a user claimed they could not get a refund due to “too much playtime,” despite the game not loading.
We will keep you informed as this story develops.
The reception of Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft III: Reforged has been an utter disaster, with fans revolting less than 24 hours after launch.
Fans have discussed how the game’s earlier demos and trailers had better quality graphics than the final game. In addition, the cinematic cutscenes shown in earlier demonstrations are not in the game, instead resembling the original on-game cutscenes more.
You can find that below by YouTuber GyLala (footage starts at 0:08).
Animations have also been criticized, particularly many unit types have less varied attack and idle animations.
Warcraft III: Reforged has also been criticized for its lack of features compared to the original Warcraft 3, along with other disappointments. Cataloged by two users across r/Warcraft 3 and r/PC Gaming, these include:
- No automated Tournaments
- No Clans
- No Profiles
- No Ladder
- No 3D animated campaign backgrounds
- No 3D animated portraits in Battle.net
- No /slash commands in Battle.net chat
- No Communal channels listing
- No Custom Campaigns (and therefore no custom game lobbies)
- No Battle.net News section
- Reign of Chaos campaign uses The Frozen Throne campaign balance
- No new campaigns
- No new interface
- Accusations of bad translations for non-English languages.
- Criticizing the bonuses in the Spoils of War Edition as “charging money for models.”
One fan on Blizzard’s forum also pointed out the game’s world editor EULA has changed, stating that maps users create belong to Blizzard, and that they do not need to compensate the user if they use them.
In addition, maps cannot use copy-written material, and any content deemed otherwise inappropriate by Blizzard can be removed at their discretion.
The new terms are sure to be devastating, as fans have created a rich custom game and map community around Warcraft 3, including the creation of the original Defence of the Ancients mod, better known as DOTA.
Even more devastating is how even Warcraft 3 players are affected. As PCGamesN reports, even those who have not purchased Reforged have had a forced update to Warcraft 3 through Battle.net to convert the old client into the new one.
While players of Reforged can toggle between old a new graphics, players of Warcraft 3 have lost many online options (as aforementioned above), custom campaigns, and many custom maps that now violate the new EULA.
It should be noted the outcry is so great, the User Score for Warcraft III: Reforged on Metacritic is currently 2.1 out of 563 ratings. For comparison, Fallout 76 (which suffered devastating bugs and other issues during its November 2018 launch and to this day) has a user score of 2.7 out of 6094 ratings.
Back in November 2019, Blizzard stated they would not be retconning any of the game’s lore, as World of Warcraft had grown and altered many things over the years since the original Warcraft 3. It seems to have made small difference now.
Blizzard were probably hoping for a better 2020 after how 2019 went for them. Blizzard Entertainment had been denounced by many gamers over their suspension of pro-Hearthstone player Blitzchung for his support of the Hong Kong protests, firing the casters, and their overall handing of the entire debacle. Even US Senators wrote to Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, condemning the decision.