Blizzard Suggest They May Be Updating Warcraft I – 3

By John Walker on November 11th, 2013 at 3:00 pm.

This is a bit of an ambiguous one at this point, but it’s the way of these things that if they realise there’s enough desire out there, it’ll spur them to get on with it. The suggestion is, learned via a question from a fan at Blizzcon, that Blizzrd may well be working to get the classic Warcraft and Warcraft II to run on modern machines. In fact, production direct J. Allen Brack went so far as to say that there are a number of people in his team working on a “side project” to see that happen.

According to Polygon, a fan asked the bossman about the two games, and whether there was any chance that they could be fiddled with to run on a modern PC. Came the surprising reply,

“So, we actually have a guy on our team — actually several guys on our team — who are actually working on a side project to do something like that in some form or fashion. We’re fans of Warcraft 1, Warcraft 2, Warcraft 3, and we’d love to replay those games for sure.”

It’s hard to know how to read that one. A guy? Several guys? And indeed “some form or fashion”. Not quite the definitive statement it’s being reported as. However, hopefully a flurry of press attention at the mere suggestion should give Blizzard the indication that there’s money in those there hills, if they’ll only make the games possible to play once again.

Are you interested in going that far back?

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88 Comments »

  1. Sexy T-Rex says:

    Just let GoG go to town on it.

    • Cinek says:

      +1

    • Dana says:

      GOG.

    • Cytrom says:

      I’m sure Actiblizzard is embracing the idea of drm free games, but there’s a tiny bit higher chance for them being battle.net exclusives, infested with always online drm… like a 100% chance actually.

    • neolith says:

      I agree. GOG or GTFO.

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      I would prefer proper updated releases to just having the old games running on modern computers.

      I’m not scared of fiddling to get olden games to run so I’d rather see (in the case of WC2) a new UI that doesn’t suck out your soul, a zoomable camera, bigger maps and unit caps, better multiplayer fluff etc.

      But looking at the recent release of Blackhawkthorne I bet they will just get them working and be done with it.

      • Universal Quitter says:

        Whenever I hear people complain about the UI, I remember that I first played Warcraft II on my buddy’s PSX (the last really good console, IMO).

        Now THAT is a “Fuck U Interface.”

        • Press X to Gary Busey says:

          I have a copy for my PS1 and yeah, the UI in that version is absolutely atrocious. I’ve also got Command & Conquer and Red Alert for PS1 but they managed a little better. :P

          Being spoiled by almost two decades of RTS UI improvements since WC2, I can’t help to feel limited at everything I do in the game. Just my opinion though, I’ve got more than one friend who still regularly play all the old Blizzard games without any complaints.

          • Ringwraith says:

            The sidebar is the future man.
            At least it should be, instead it’s languishing in the past inexplicably, when it’s just so good.

    • nbringer says:

      GoG is the way. Ya hear me!?

  2. Poppis says:

    I revisited Warcraft 2 some months ago. Played through the Orc campaign. The nostalgia was strong in that one.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Yeah, I preferred it to Warcraft 3. I didn;t like how Warcraft 3 became less and RTS and more a RPG (with overpowered immortal hero units).

      • Kentauroi says:

        The problem I had with Warcraft 2 was the fact that both sides were completely identical except for the spellcasters and a passive or two on the upgraded base ranged unit. Playing the human campaign after playing the orc campaign was just a palette swap. Warcraft 3 felt more like Starcraft in that all the sides played pretty differently.

      • Drinking with Skeletons says:

        I never really felt they were overpowered. If anything, every unit felt a lot tougher than in the typical RTS. I honestly thought it was a great game, and one of only two RTS titles that I really got into on the multiplayer side of things (the other one being Battle for Middle Earth 2).

  3. mornegroth says:

    It’s as if you couldn’t play all these games on modern machines anyway.

    • Shadow says:

      Yeah. DOSBox can run WarCraft, and last time I checked, the Battle.net edition of WarCraft II ran just fine on Windows 7, with only minor hoop-jumping, I think. And WarCraft III works without hassles, as far as I can recall.

      • Giuseppe says:

        That’s pretty been my experience as well.

      • Hmm-Hmm. says:

        Not the case for MacOS, though. Although it may be my particular version, but I can only play Warcraft III because I ahd it installed prior to updating the system.

        • vivlo says:

          i think i remember successfully dosboxing warcraft 2 on macosx (10.6.8, maybe it’s not as easy when they removed Rosetta…)

  4. nimzy says:

    I still remember playing Warcraft II on heat.net back in the day. It seems funny to have nostalgia for a glorified LAN tunnel but that service still outshines battle.net to this day.

    Personally I feel they should keep the games buried, because it would remind fans, again, what they’re missing in World of Warcraft.

  5. Frosty840 says:

    I don’t care what they do to it, so long as the eventual result lets you zoom out far enough that you can’t count the pixels in the hat textures.

    I’m so goddamn sick of all these RTS games I essentially have to play via the minimap because the developers don’t want to make zoom work.

    • rusty5pork says:

      You’re gonna loooooooove Planetary Annihilation, then.

      • Solidstate89 says:

        As I’m sure he already currently loves playing Sins of a Solar Empire and Supreme Commander.

        • Press X to Gary Busey says:

          SupCom with dual monitors kicked every other RTS camera’s butt. I’d love to see more games embracing multi monitors, even if that’s just a fraction of gamers.
          Also, RTS games with way to close camera zoom is the great satan. I’m looking at you Battle for Middle-Earth! You used to be cool but you quickly got unplayable for me beacause of your camera…

      • BlueTemplar says:

        Or Zero-K, which on top of a unlimited zoom following your mouse, how-you-want resizable minimap and units having different icons on the minimap, also has an MMO component (Planet Wars) built on top of the individual battles (for an additional “zoom level” if you can call it that…)
        http://zero-k.info/

    • Skull says:

      I can’t believe how many people ask for the zoom out feature and not even consider why such a simple thing is omitted.

      To enlighten you, games like Warcraft and Starcraft are competitive games. This means it is paramount all players are on a equal footing and also it makes for an enjoyable spectator sport. With a zoom function you are essentially forcing pros to play at the most zoomed out they can get to get the biggest advantage and there would be no reason for them to zoom in unless they had won and wanted to admire stuff die.

      For a spectator this is boring as being that far above removes you from the action of the game and also makes it harder to tell what is going on for a casual observer. People with crappy rigs would also not be able to compete as a zoomed out view would mean more resources on screen = more stress on system and therefore more lag.

      If you are still not getting my point, ask any DotA or LoL fan if they think their game should have a zoom function and listen to what they have to say on the matter.

      • strangeloup says:

        It seems like it would be beyond the knowledge of mortal men to disable such a function in competitive matches.

        • Skull says:

          It is not just competitive matches though. I am by no means a pro but I enjoy a friendly match of Starcraft 2 every now and then, having this feature added in as an option before a match would significantly ruin the core of the game for me and many others. You might be thinking “at least the option is there” but that only leads to splitting the player base where speed of the match making and a large community are key to keeping these things going.

          Sure, I will grant you that you could have such a thing in the single player campaign but Blizzards strategy is to get people used to multiplayer by playing through the campaign first. Having mechanics in that aren’t actually in multiplayer is not helping unless you bought the game specifically for the single player (and I have to wonder who would pay £40 for a poorly written old school single player game).

      • durruti says:

        calm down, camera zoom was probably mostly a simple technical limitation or an afterthought, no need to “enlighten” anyone on the amendments of our golden age of e-sports.

        • Skull says:

          Sorry if my post came off as patronising but I see this criticism thrown around a lot and I wonder who could say it and be involved in the eSports scene. Blizzard did not choose to omit a zoom feature from Warcraft 3 or Starcraft 2 due to technical limitations, time, budget or laziness but because they knew it would genuinely hurt the game.

          If you want to sit back and admire pretty battles and admire a massive army on screen then Blizzard RTS’ are not for you! But it is OK, because there are plenty of great games that do cater to your desires, may I suggest any Total War or either Supreme Commander?

          • jrodman says:

            Your comments are relevant in the Starcraft 2 era. They’re not relevant in the Warcraft 1 and 2 era at all. It was definitely technical limitations that had them leave out the zoom, because providing that sort of thing on the computers of the time would have been a significant challenge.

            Also Esports wasn’t even a dream in that timeframe. People did play sort of seriously competitively but only a tiny minority, and only really at LAN events, and they could have just provided the hardware.

  6. LordNeidhart says:

    I, for one, am really interested in knowing how far this “updating” will go, if just something like Age of Empires 2 HD or an actual remake.
    It really wouldn’t be that hard to up the texture, shader and model quality in Warcraft III a bit [it still holds up quite well] and just remake both Warcraft I and II even with the bundled world editor. And personally, the finished product wouldn’t really be bad.

    • Lemming says:

      I would be very surprised it’s even at AoE2:HD level. I’m expecting it to be as is, with the relevant code to get it working on a modern system.

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        I would guess this too. Over-analyzing the re-release of Blackthorne.

  7. Bull0 says:

    Coming soon, exclusively for iPad!

  8. DarkFarmer says:

    War2Kali crew roll call!!! Where my people at? 96/97′ REPRESENT. I once played 30 minute long game on Nowhere 2 run with SHLONGLOR.

    • BurningPet says:

      Holy hell, shlonglor?! haven’t read that name for a long time.

      also, while i can’t really remember names from the modding scene, i was pretty strong in it.

      My nick is composed from one of the startup tips: “never pet a burning dog”.

      • DarkFarmer says:

        hah awesome! Was that a startup tip in Kali or War2? DarkFarmer was totally my handle on Kali. Remember Kali Christians? KC? The guy used to call everybody “Onan”. Hilarious.

        • BurningPet says:

          It was a wc2 tip.

          Cant remember that guy, i pretty much only remember shlonglor as he was kind of a legend… i was young and could barely speak english.

      • boats says:

        Damn that was a long time ago. I loved it when he wrote about food. When I wasn’t reading SHLONGLOR I was browsing the boards at Bob Rourke’s Squaresoft Land.

        This is completely unrelated but it just entered my mind. Anyone remember the UO beta guild called “Pirates of UO?” or something like that? They had a website with a black background and posted news updates about the havoc they caused in game. I wish I could remember the name or find the site. It was amazing reading at the time.

    • Thrippy says:

      Thrippy = (NWL)Thrasher or IWL or alternately I was sacrilegiously in both over time. Can’t find myself on Case’s.

    • Reapy says:

      Check Check! 10024 serial number! Is that sad I still remember it? I remember having a print out of shlong’s strategy page and reading it religiously while I waited for free time to use the phone and computer. War2 kali was basically 3 years of my life between high school, part time job, and that game. Whole swaths of my memories are just various games I played.

  9. AngusPrune says:

    I can see myself shelling out 10 quid for a Warcraft 2 with control groups and smart rally points. But I have a horrible suspicion that for Blizzard, where “priced as an expansion” means $40 , they may be tempted to make it full priced release.

    Also, I bet it won’t tell me if my sound card works perfectly.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Considering they give out old WoW expansions like small packs of chips/crisps, I doubt that. But I could be mistaken.

      I rather suspect they’ll make it a pack combining the three games (plus expansions) for the same price.

    • Xocrates says:

      Yet they’re giving away Blackthorne for free since last week

      Honestly, I would think it depends on how extensive the works on them. That said, I would be willing to pay good money for an “HD” version of Warcraft 2.

    • boats says:

      This is from Blizzard’s Warcraft 2 site.
      “You can assign a building or a group of up to 9 units to a single key. To do this, select what you want to assign, then hold down Control and select a number on the keyboard between 0-9. Then, when you want to select what you assigned, simply press the number of the group that you want. Pressing a group number twice will center the screen on the group. ”

      Now fire up that old copy of War2 and get in there, commander!

  10. GameCat says:

    Warcraft 1-3 reimagined as first person shooter?

  11. Chillz says:

    Defo, I love me some Warcraft, great RTS :)

  12. Williz says:

    I still play WC3 TFT Online because no other RTS has as decent custom maps with crazy as hell modes. I love me some TD.

    • BlueTemplar says:

      What about the Starcraft 2 Elements TD?

    • frenz0rz says:

      Me and my gaming chums regularly find ourselves drifting back into Legion TD and various other maps, and I’m always glad to see the community still going strong. One only has to look at Garena or one of the myriad hosting services like ENT to see how many people still play.

      If an official rerelease would introduce more people to this wonderful little slice of gaming history then so be it. It’s probably the closest thing we’ll ever get to Warcraft 4.

  13. HeroJez says:

    I hope they remake them using the Heroes of the Storm engine. 8-bit is cute and all, but it’s never great to go back to.

    At least a high-res, high-texture WCIII engine, please? The story and modes can be the same.

    While you’re at it, can you make D1 and D2 using D3 engine. I didn’t play the first two but would like to if they look half decent. :)

    /sacrelige?

    • Fattsanta says:

      The D2 engine is fine..

      • boats says:

        I fired up D2 after getting into D3 and POE. I lasted five minutes. Didn’t hold up. Hard as fuck to click on anything accurately.

      • Corrupt_Tiki says:

        I have to agree.

        I much rather D2 to D3, which is why the former is still installed, and the latter is gathering dust.

        Doing yourself a disservice not playing D2 because it ‘looks old’.

    • Lemming says:

      The Heroes of the Storm engine looks suspiciously like the WoW engine, which was the Warcraft 3 engine.

  14. RogB says:

    Wot?
    Wot iz it?

    • Unruly says:

      Okay…
      Back to work…

      • RedViv says:

        Join the army, they said. See the world, they said. I’d rather be sailing.

        • Unruly says:

          “Join the Navy!” they said. “See the world!” they said. I’d rather be marching.

          • dissentience says:

            this exact conversation happened irl yesterday.

            … except for the i’d rather be marching bit.

            *sheep explodes in distance*

        • Skabooga says:

          Stop rocking the boat. You’re making me seasick. *Bleuuurrgghhhh*

  15. kud13 says:

    I never played WC1, but WC2 turned me into RTS junkie for about a decade. The Human campaign was the first “game” I ever played to completion.

    I would pay money for this, especially if they HD-fied it, and bundled Aztec’s Armory extra campaigns with it ( from the same guys that did StarCraft: insurrection)

  16. jacobyoung says:

    I have always wanted to play the Warcraft RTS games, but since I can’t play I & II on my current PC without DosBox I haven’t bothered. This is great news!

  17. Laurentius says:

    Even elder races get tired of waiting.

  18. Neurotic says:

    WC 1 and 2 with WC3 graphics = Here’s my money.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Warcarft 1 would be weird with updated graphics because it’s such a primitive game with pretty limited gameplay. Warcraft 2 was great and still holds up today, I think, but I don’t see why anyone would want to replay Warcraft 1 for any reasons other than nostalgia. It’s so generic, repetitive, and boring. Other RTS’s from that era like “Dune 2″ were better–still pretty limited in terms of what the genre would become, but Dune 2 had a bit more to its gameplay than WC1.

  19. dissentience says:

    i have tons of pipe dreams about games/mods i want to make. one of them is a Warcraft Mod (for starcraft? using WoW assets?! sound familiar!?) that recreates the WC3 campaign in the starcraft engine, and maybe also adapting WoW storylines into an RTS setting.

    … and WC2 was the reason my family bought a computer when i was kid.

    sigh… wc4 is so far away….

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      WoW’s storyline would fit really well in a RTS.
      Evil dude/monster 9834213 is doing evil and everything is in peril. Glittering prizes await.
      40 guys and gals of great diversity run screaming into his lair and beat on him/her/it for six hours.

      Outcome: Victory!
      Rank: Cheater! (That’s the best rank.).

      • dissentience says:

        i said storyline, not gameplay! adaptation! loosely based! the movie of the book!

        i’ll admit it wasn’t the greatest idea in the world, but where else will wc3.5 come from?

        side note… they should make a warcraft cartoon show.

        • Press X to Gary Busey says:

          Sorry, I didn’t intend to be mean or personal. And I know what you meant. :)
          I blame a lack of caffeine at the time with a little too much snarky sarcasm (snarcasm?).

  20. killmachine says:

    i only watched a good friend of mine play warcraft 2. i didn’t have a pc back then… so, i don’t have an opinion on warcraft 1+2. however, i played a lot of warcraft 3 and i still think that this is the evolution of what starcraft 2 should have been. you may argue that both are very different games but i think, mechanics wise, warcraft 3 is the superior game. blizzard should just patch the thing to allow 1080p resolution and maybe upgrade the graphics a bit, work some more on ai and pathfinding and it’s a total win.

  21. Oozo says:

    Surely I can’t be the only one who is slowly driven mad by the mix of Roman and Arab numbers in that title? Am I?

  22. particlese says:

    I must have run WC2′s setup dozens of times under WinXP just to hear the hilariously-garbled (in my case) sound test, as my first thought was that these games will be accompanied by a dubstep trailer with “your soundcard works peourhw” for a dropped intro. Or maybe I’ve just seen too many dubstep trailers. Maybe everyone has.

    My close-second, and more joyful thought was: “Oh, man, I used to play WC2 with my sister and friend for hours! That was fun as balls!” I had replaced a lot of the sounds, too, so you had things like peons chopping trees and building buildings with flatulent axes, a choral “Hallelujah!” to announce upgrades, and Death Knights spawning with “I’m aliiiive!” in a squeeky voice followed by a barrage of wind-breaking and a choice quote from Ghostbusters.

    If they go with GOG, as mentioned in the comments above, I will buy it in a heartbeat. Otherwise, we’ll see.

  23. BoZo says:

    Well it’s quite obvious who they have working on it if they’re confused how many people there are working on it.

    http://tinyurl.com/nvxvwfx

  24. Apocalypse says:

    New clean interface and boosting up the resolution would make warcraft 3 a fun game again.

  25. empyrion says:

    Well if this is anything like Blackthorne that was recently released on Battle.net, this is nothing more than a DOSBox bundled version of the original DOS games.

    However, I do wonder what their plan with WarCraft 3 is, which still runs fine on modern systems (except the limitation on resolution which can be fixed by editing the registry).

  26. Lurid says:

    Probably just some Android/iOS port that I couldn’t care less about.

  27. rocketman71 says:

    They are going to remove LAN support and put them in B.Net then.

  28. bar10dr says:

    I’d be willing to part with 40 bucks on Steam for an updated version of WarCraft 1 & 2.