Warcraft 3: Reforged’s story won’t be retconned by WoW after all

Blizzard Entertainment

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.


Given Blizzard’s track record in handling War3’s story after the fact… this is for the best.

I’m disappointed. Warcraft III is still beautiful to this day, if I want the original story, I can just replay that. While they probably wouldn’t have been improvement per se, the changes would have at least made the story fresh and given me a reason to re-do the campaign and be almost as excited for it as I’d be for a new game. Not sure I’ll buy this remastered now.

This is their reasoning? It sounds like something happened behind the scenes.. who was arguing against updated lore and better continuity, which potentially would lead to additional content to play?

Oh no, while I disagree with the change, they’re not lying about there being a loooooooot of people complaining loudly about the changes. This Blizzcon is basically an apology tour so it makes sense they’d do that. I’m mad about it, but it makes sense.

There was definitely a huge fan outcry about it.

well, WC3 is prequel to WoW so…

Well, they’ve changed a lot of things since then. A good example would be with how Arthus is handled in Warcraft 3 vs how he’s handled in Golden’s novel and Wrath.

In Warcraft 3 he was a paladin who knew what he was doing was wrong during the Culling, but he had to do it to save the rest of the kingdom. Even Uther agreed with him that it was the best course of action, but Uther didn’t want to be apart of it because even though it was right to do at the time, it was still a very bad thing to do.

In Golden’s novel and Wrath, it was changed that Arthus was always corrupted by the old god in Northrend and was already being lured to pick up the Frostmourne, and that his entire decision to do the Culling was to create more undead later, since you know, he knew he was gonna be the Lich King.

He went from being a very strict lawful good paladin with some character depth to being just a vaudeville villain with a twirling moustache who was just playing everyone from the beginning.

I could always do with more Jaina and Sylvanas, maybe they will find another way to get that content to us.

As if the original story was such a masterpiece and couldn’t have benefitted from some modernization.

Reworking the story would’ve given previous players a better reason to buy it. I’m not too interested in playing just a visual upgrade.

Visual and hopefully interface upgrade. That old interface, while serviceable, really shows its age. I’m still frustrated that with SC remastered they decided to leave all the old controls and issues the same. Hopefully they won’t make the same mistake with WC3 remaster.

Thanks internet /s

As much as I love that they’re "reforging" WC3, I would rather see a WC4 at this point

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