Blizzard are still updating Warcraft III after 15 years

warcraft iii

Warcraft III [official site] may have launched 15 years ago but that doesn’t mean Blizzard is done perfecting it. The developers have launched a new patch for the RTS’s multiplayer onto test servers so players can try out tweaked maps and new map pools before they make it into the full game.

You can find the full patch notes here. Perhaps the most significant changes are the altered player starting location to give equal distance to resources and choke points. But the most interesting thing about it is that the game’s “first official PTR” (which I don’t think is true – Blizzard used to test patches on the Westfall server) will be used to test other future changes to the game. The road map includes a revamped matchmaking system, automated tournaments and improved latency to meet modern standards.

That suggests that the update to the game last year, which brought it up to date for modern OSs, was the start of a trend rather than a one-off.

You can download the PTR client here for Windows and here for Mac.

Multiplayer is what’s being targeted, of course, but it’s worth remembering that Warcraft III was Blizzard’s last truly campaign-led strategy game. Stick on your slippers and click here and here to reminisce about why it was so great.

17 Comments

  1. automatic says:

    If they keep following this trend eventually they’ll update it so the game doesn’t work on the machines it work right now. You know, upgrade your hardware, because protocols and stuff.

    • Uncle Fass says:

      Unlikely unless they change the core game engine itself – it should still work on all systems.

      • automatic says:

        Intended exageration.

      • Dextro says:

        Actually it’s not really that hard to do: they just need to compile the game with some extra compiler flags and presto: the game stops running in certain older systems where it worked before.

        • nottorp says:

          AFAIK the “new” versions of Warcraft III and Diablo II don’t work on retro PowerPC Macs any more. So they already dropped some platforms.

          It’s not that the old macs are useful any more, but I do own one for nostalgia reasons. Fortunately I have old builds stashed :)

  2. cospinol says:

    Those custom maps on battle.net were some of the best gaming i’ve ever had. the only reason i don’t rebuy is i’m rather worried to find it’s not as active as it was back in the day.

    • Daymare says:

      I know, right?

      I had a lot of fun with that Defense of the Ancients map, for instance.

      Man if somebody’d come out and made their own game just about that map, they’d probably made a fortune!

  3. dylan says:

    Still not as good as Battle Realms.

    • fuggles says:

      Battle realms deserved better. I think the recruitment idea would work well for a colonisation or eldar craftworld game. The units were interesting, shale lord stands out.

      Wc3s campaign though was just on another level. Probably the best RTS campaign I’ve played since when the c&c games were good.

  4. Mokinokaro says:

    I really expect us to hear about a Warcraft 2 or 3 Remastered to follow SC.

    I’d love to see the 2nd game updated. I mean you can still even play it online.

    • automatic says:

      I expected more from SC remastered. The high res is pretty good but they could have improved animation as well increasing the number of frames per sequence.

    • Asurmen says:

      War 2 no, but War 3 has basically been confirmed already, as well as D2.

      • Xzi says:

        For real? Damn I’m probably gonna end up buying both of those if they get remasters…

  5. racccoon says:

    That’s great! Its good to hear.
    off topic in a way:
    Its a shame they aren’t looking after Ultima Online, Can’t see why a game that held the power of online gaming circa’97, can be so stubborn, stuck in time, silence, & not looked upward making changes to help encourage new players.
    Matter of fact the basics, basics of this game, UO, would fit snuggly into the mass mobile market. I’d use my mobile emulator for the pc to play it on if it ever happened. lol

    • Pure_Insanity says:

      What EA did to Ultima Online was a disgrace. It is still my favourite mmo. I wish they had finished Ultima Online 2, maybe the franchise would still be going strong now

  6. Chaoslord AJ says:

    What about WC4? This used to be such a promising franchise a fantasy parallel to Starcraft.
    Did they think it would hurt the WoW hypetrain or rival SC in the RTS genre?

    • dontnormally says:

      WHERE THE FUCK IS WARCRAFT 4? IT HAS BEEN WELL OVER A DECADE

      WHERE THE FUCK IS WARCRAFT 4???????