Blizzard unveiled a remaster of its classic real-time strategy game, Warcraft 3, at BlizzCon 2018. At the time, the developer said it wasn’t just giving the game a technical and visual overhaul, it was also going to “reforge” portions of Warcraft 3’s story campaign to align it with the story of World of Warcraft.
That’s no longer the case. That light retcon for Warcraft 3: Reforged isn’t happening anymore, Robert Bridenbecker, executive producer and vice president at Blizzard Entertainment, told Polygon at BlizzCon.
Writer Christie Golden, who has worked with Blizzard on multiple novels set in the Warcraft universe, was originally tapped to help bring “parity” to the stories of Warcraft 3 and World of Warcraft. Some of those story changes would have given fan-favorite World of Warcraft characters — Jaina Proudmoore, Sylvanas Windrunner — more time in the spotlight in Warcraft 3 Reforged and tied their backstories into the RTS game.
Bridenbecker said that Blizzard “got a lot of really great feedback [post-BlizzCon] where the community was like, ‘Hey, hold on. We love this story. Maybe don’t tinker with it too much.’ So we actually veered away from doing that as much.
“Fundamentally, it was an amazing story, and everybody agrees it was an amazing story we don’t need to break that.”
Bridenbecker said the decision to walk back its retconning plans was “just a natural part of the development process,” and that Blizzard didn’t talk about that decision because “we just wanted to focus on making the game.” Bridenbecker said that adapting the original Warcraft 3’s artwork, updating “tens of thousands of individual assets” while also supporting custom mods and “millions” of custom maps, is a monumental challenge in itself.
Warcraft 3: Reforged is currently in beta, and players can try out battles between orcs versus humans in 1v1 and 2v2 maps. Another beta rollout, focusing on undead and night elves, is next in line as Blizzard tests its infrastructure.