Warcraft 3 gets a major new update for public testing

Warcraft 3

There’s been rumors circulating for some time that after the success of their Starcraft remaster, Blizzard were looking at giving a similar treatment to Warcraft 3, their massively popular and immensely modded RTS, birth-place of the MOBA genre as we know it.

Whether or not it’s part of remastering plans, we’ve certainly reason to celebrate: Blizzard rolled out a new public test build of Warcraft 3 yesterday, featuring native widescreen support, 24-player servers and a lifting of restrictions from the scenario editor on top of a slew of balance changes – the first of many, say Blizzard.

The first and most obvious improvement in this new version is proper widescreen support, explained here. This is something which has been conspicuously absent from the game for 16 years. For the first time ever, your UI won’t be stretched out horizontally, and you’ll get a good chunk more viewable screen-space, although I wish they’d maybe cut down on some of the extraneous status-bar greebles to free up even more visible space.

Expanding is the name of the game with this update, as Warcraft 3 now supports up to 24 players in a single match. To accommodate for this, restrictions have been lifted on the editor, as detailed here.  Larger, more complex environments can now be built with up to 16 tile-sets used in a single battlefield. They’ve also expanded the scripting system, meaning that existing Warcraft 3 modding wizards will be able to do even more with the tools.

For active and competitive players, you’ll probably want to take a look at the balance and map-pool change list here. It’s an extensive collection of nerfs and buffs, but apparently only the start of something larger. The patch-notes mention that Blizzard have ‘larger ideas in the works long term’, but aren’t quite ready to roll those out yet.

Capping all of this off, Blizzard are clearly trying to drum up interest in Warcraft 3 as a whole, because next week they’ll be streaming the first ever Warcraft 3 invitational tourney. Better late than never, eh? Starting on February 27th, they’ve managed to get together some of the old big names in competitive WC3 for an encore performance. Even if they don’t follow this update up with an official visual upgrade, I’d be more than happy to see Warcraft 3 left in this state, all buffed up and friendly for modern machines.

While these changes will undoubtedly be making it over to the regular Battle.net version of Warcraft 3, you can grab the public test build for PC & Mac here. You will, of course, still require CD keys for both the base game and the expansion.

19 Comments

  1. Stirbelwurm says:

    I’m biased because I used t be a map maker too, but the changes to the editor are by far the most interesting in this patch!

    You can now do stuff that wasn’t possible or as easy before. I think we’ll be seeing a lot of cool new stuff there, since the community is still alive.

    • BockoPower says:

      I have played probably about thousand different maps and mods. Had 2 or 3 GB maps folder. From all kind of Pudge Wars, Footman Frenzy, all kinds of Hero and Tower Defences, Naruto, Ragnarok and other kind of RPG’s, some cool Resident Evil wave survival maps, Real Life RPG or something like that, fun small arenas like Hungry Hungry Felhounds etc.

      But the most impressive one I will never forget was called Vindicator’s Quest RPG. It turned the whole game into something similar to Pokemon’s combat and had new spell effects made by the map creator. As far as I know it was only released in Beta state and never got finished. I also can’t find it anywhere anymore. It’s like I was dreaming about this map, haha. But I am sure it was real!

  2. c-Row says:

    Would love to give this a go but I lost my CD key at some point.

    • njury says:

      Check you Blizzard account. Chances are it’s registered and you can just download and play it easy peasy.

  3. Xzi says:

    Oh fuck yes, please revive WC3. Best RTS of all time and I want more custom maps too.

    • KFee says:

      definitely, those are good news and I would sell my kids to have a WC4 along the line :)

      • Captain Narol says:

        We INDEED need a Warcraft 4. It’s been too long, you owe it to us, Blizzard !

        PS : And tell Valve to release the HL3 they have been preparing in secret for 10 years, while we are at it !

  4. skyturnedred says:

    I just can’t play RTS games anymore without Supreme Commander levels of zoom out.

    • Asurmen says:

      Even when the game doesn’t require it?

      • DatonKallandor says:

        There is no RTS game that is improved by forcing the player to play like someone is holding their face 3 inches off the ground.

  5. Nosebeggar says:

    Someone from Blizzard: “No, we won’t renaster, W3 is just not fun anymore.”
    Source:
    link to kotaku.com

    • zulnam says:

      They were talking ablut 1 & 2.

      Still sore about it though; 2 is my favorite in the series.

      • oyog says:

        “He did it! No he did it!”

        “I wish I had a weapon.”

        “Cease that infernal clicking.”

        I think it might be time to go listen to the soundtrack for the first time in 20 years and see if it’s as good as I remember.

  6. upupup says:

    Warcraft 3 had a great modding scene and it would be nice if this made it so that those old maps would resurface. DotA is the most famous, but there was lots of other stuff as well, such as Tower Defence getting popularised by it.

  7. Carra says:

    Remasters are fun but what we really want is Warcraft 4. Come on Blizzard, you know you can do it.

  8. dontnormally says:

    IS WARCRAFT 4 FINALLY COMING?????