Blizzard Entertainment has been quiet since the launch of Warcraft 3: Reforged. Reforged is mired in controversy and the community was wondering when the studio was planning to address any of the issues surrounding the game. The answer to "when" is apparently "today," as Blizzard have released a formal statement.
The statement released on the official Warcraft 3 forums, with a post from Warcraft community manager Randy "Kaivax" Jordan. One thing is clear though: Blizzard will not simply be reverting back to the original Warcraft 3 client, or leaving Reforged to die. The studio will continue to support the game.
"The team is excited that Warcraft 3: Reforged is finally upon us and we're fully committed to supporting the game for a long time to come. The next few patches and updates we'll discuss below are just part of our ongoing plans. This game is an integral part of the Blizzard DNA, with a team that loves Warcraft 3, and we're looking forward to pouring our hearts into Reforged and the Warcraft 3 community for the long term," says Blizzard.
The post then addresses some of the problems the community has with Reforged. The problem that has stoked most of the fires is Blizzard backtracking on the more extensive remake, which was supposed to offer new story cutscenes, new voice acting, and a more cinematic presentation. The studio backtracked on this idea during BlizzCon 2019, but didn't aptly communicate the shift in focus to everyone. In today's statement, the company reiterates its comments made during BlizzCon 2019.
"As we talked about last year at BlizzCon, we did not want the in-game cutscenes to steer too far from the original game," says the team. "We went a little deeper into the thought process behind that at the show, but the main takeaway is that the campaigns tell one of the classic stories in Warcraft history, and we want to preserve the true spirit of Warcraft 3 and allow players to relive these unforgettable moments as they were (albeit rebuilt with new animations and the higher fidelity art)."
Long-time players have noted that when switching the graphics back in Classic Mode, the visuals look slightly off. This is a problem, because Reforged has scrubbed the original client from existence, so this is the only way to play Warcraft 3 as it was. Blizzard says it has identified a bug causing some of those problems, and will have a patch fixing the issue later this week. That same patch will also include other bug fixes, like portrait animations and audio bugs.
Warcraft 3 players have mentioned that Reforged also did away with certain online features like leaderboards and clans. "At BlizzCon we talked a lot about how the team is actively working on standing up the back-end to ensure a smooth transition to this new MMR system, much like we did with StarCraft: Remastered," says Blizzard. Those will be returning in a major patch for Reforged, though no date has been set for that release.
However, some features won't be returning at all. Currently, Warcraft 3: Reforged is balanced starting from the Frozen Throne expansion, with several other tweaks. Some players have been asking for a way to use the Reign of Chaos ruleset again, but Blizzard says that ruleset isn't coming back. Instead, the studio urges players to find custom games with similar rulesets. Likewise, online tournaments had low usage, so Blizzard removed them from the original Warcraft 3 client in 2019 and sees no reason to bring them back for Reforged.
What's surprising is how many issues aren't addressed in the statement. There's nothing about the overall look of Warcraft 3: Reforged, which has drawn some criticism after a change in the visuals from the Blizzcon 2018 demo to release. There's nothing on the change in the Terms of Service for custom games. And Blizzard hasn't really tackled those players who didn't buy Reforged and simply wanted to keep the original Warcraft 3 client.