Warcraft 3 gets aspect-correct widescreen, 24-player support and new modding features in a major update

Sit down, take a load off and chill a little

We might still be recovering from Starcraft’s 20th birthday bash, but Blizzard are still ready to party like it’s 2002. After a long and mostly uneventful trial period on their public test servers, Warcraft III has received probably it’s biggest update in the past decade, Patch 1.29, bringing the game far closer to modern spec, although it’s still not quite the HD upgrade or overhaul that some are still hoping for.

For casual players, the biggest upgrade is immediately visible: The game now supports aspect-correct, horizontally expanded widescreen, giving you both a larger field of view and a cleaner interface. Quite frankly this is something that should have been patched in a long time ago, but it’s nice to see now. More interestingly for the long-term is the addition of 12 new player colours and lobby support for up to 24 players, which you can see in action below, as captured by Youtube channel ToDGaming during the beta.

Naturally, custom maps will have to be made to support these new enormo-scale matches, but that should be easier than ever thanks to some major upgrades to the map editor. Almost all limits have been raised – a map can now support up to 30,000 objects, 2,000 neutral units and 4,300 player-owned units. A lot more stuff has been improved under the hood, and the addition of a slew of new scripting commands might just lead to a second wind for the mod scene that brought us the MOBA genre as we know it.

On top of all of this, Blizzard are making a serious push to make Warcraft 3 a competitive multiplayer game once again, and have brought an enormous number of balance tweaks and changes to just about every hero character in the game. Given my lack of experience with the game over the past 14 years or so, it would be a ridiculous undertaking to even try to summarize half of these, so I’ll just leave you with a link to the complete patch-notes here. Ominously, they mention that this will be ‘The last version to support Windows XP’, suggesting that an even more fundamental upgrade to the game is planned.

Sadly, I’ve long-since lost my original copies of the game and it’s expansion, The Frozen Throne. I also don’t think I ever got the chance to register them on Battle.net, so if I ever want to return to the land of the pointy polygonal orcs, I’m going to have to pay full price. Then again, I’ve still got a campaign and a half worth of Starcraft 2 to complete, so perhaps I’m best off not tapping into this rich new wellspring of RTS nostalgia.

Warcraft 3 version 1.29 is live now, and anyone with keys for the original game and it’s expansion can grab the game off Battle.net now.

29 Comments

  1. ThePeon26 says:

    Now if they could remake Warcraft orcs & humans with better controls and release Warcraft 2 so it works with win 7,8,10 much better. Then I may forgive them for not making Warcraft 4. It is nice to see Warcraft 3 get an update but to me Warcraft 1 and 2 is the far more fun rts games of all 3. I think the heroes in 3 was just bleh.

    • Wednesday says:

      I went back and played both after 3.

      They have not aged well.

      • MooseMuffin says:

        Agreed. I have very fond memories of playing Warcraft 2, but other than hearing unit the voices again, it doesn’t hold up. 3 is still pretty solid.

        • QSpec says:

          Do the controls feel alright? After modern “amenities” like smart unit-tabbing, older RTS sometimes suck.

  2. modzero says:

    Sheesh, is it impossible for a streamer to be a relatively decent person for more than seven minutes twenty-six seconds?

    • Jernau Gurgeh says:

      Welcome to the Internet. We hope you enjoy your stay.

      PS: Watch out for the toxic 14 year old boys. And the manchildren with the mindset of toxic 14 year old boys.

    • PseudoKnight says:

      In the casts in the past where I’ve listened to Tod, he’s been good, though I’ve never watched his personal stream. Based on that comment I probably wouldn’t last long, but I’m not going to hold it against him. That would feel hypocritical. But there’s plenty of streamers that meet your standards. It’s nowhere near impossible.

    • 65 says:

      Your line for not being “a relatively decent person” is using the word cancer?

    • Ur-Quan says:

      Is it impossible for RPS commenters to not be condescending towards people they don’t know and only watched for 10 minutes or so?

      • Wednesday says:

        Yes, expecting basic decency and ordinary personal skills is just so droll.

        • Ur-Quan says:

          Ohh yeah he said “cancer” once in a one hour stream and didn’t even write it in chat or anything. Clearly he is a terrible human being that should be shunned by society!

  3. Templar says:

    Blizzard a comapny with a fantastic track record and infinite potential. Its just a shame to see it choose to stagnate rich instead innovating with some risk.

    Its always nice seeing support for old gems but the potential for new great experiences and pushing the franchise is so great and they just choose to milk out the legacy and play it safe.

    How about World of Starcraft =D

    • falcon2001 says:

      Overwatch represents a pretty significant and recent risk for them – an FPS from a company that doesn’t make FPS games, and a brand new franchise as well. Given how quickly Blizzard (doesn’t) move, I’d argue that they’re much more forward thinking as of late then they were in the WoW hayday years.

      • DatonKallandor says:

        Overwatch is Blizzard doing what Blizzard has almost always done – take something someone else did really well (TF2), rip it off wholesale and then polish it until it shines.

        With the possible exception of Diablo (a real time Roguelike where you don’t lose your progress?!), Blizzard has never been an innovator.

        They’re also activision blizzard, home of innumerable Calls of Duty, so the idea that they don’t know FPSes is a little far fetched. They have a legion of developers owned by their owner to ask for help.

        • falcon2001 says:

          I mean yeah, Blizzard has never really been a SUPER WILDCARD DEV in their modern incarnation. It’s always been ‘pick something, polish it’. But the comment I was referring to was talking about innovation with new franchises/etc, and I think Overwatch (and Titan that it was born from) is an excellent example of that.

          Insofar as Activision? I guess you’re probably right that they could ask for help, but it’s not like CoD isn’t a constant thing with deadlines either. Either way, it’s a totally valid point that they probably got SOME help with it.

        • dontnormally says:

          Overwatch was scavenged from Nova, a canceled 3rd person action/adventure game .

    • Crafter says:

      It is not just what they do.

      I am not even sure it would be wise for them to do so.

      Their whole thing is to take a great concept and polish it to a shine.

      It is a shame but it sounds very risky to have this level of polish on a totally innovative project.
      Real wildcards like Subversion often ends up just not working out.

  4. Lord_Santa says:

    [its], not [it’s], as in [its] biggest upgrade, the game and [its] expansion – hate to be that guy, but if you get it wrong more than once, it needs to be pointed out.

    • Excors says:

      I find it strange how almost nobody ever says “me’s”, “you’s”, “him’s”, “her’s”, “them’s”, yet so many people write “it’s”, when it’s exactly the same grammatical rule for all of them.

      • Rich says:

        Why would anyone say “me’s”? “me is” or “me has” isn’t English.

        • Excors says:

          Because of the rule that you add ‘s to indicate possession. If the hat belongs to the cat, it is the cat’s hat. If the hat belongs to me, it is me’s hat. Obviously that’s not right, which is because the rule doesn’t apply to pronouns, so it shouldn’t be applied to “it” either. It’s its hat, not it’s hat.

          (…Except for “one’s”, because there’s always another layer of exceptions.)

          • blankname says:

            A better analogy would be “mine’s, your’s, his’s, her’s”. None of which are actual words (except “mine’s” as in gold mine but that’s not a common scenario), while “it’s” is a legitimate contraction of “it is”. It’s more likely that people using it incorrectly just had a brain fart and didn’t notice rather than actually believing it to be correct.

            I’m more concerned when people add “‘s” to form a plural, like “I need to walk my dog’s”.

        • Blad the impaler says:

          Obviously you haven’t spent enough time in Newfoundland.

  5. Zaxwerks says:

    Woohoo! (does a little dance… you can’t see it, but trust me, it’s epic). Time to get my discs out and pray they haven’t disintegrated due to the passage of time.

    Anyone know if it supports ultra widescreen? Got a feeling if they want to make it competitive again then it’ll be like Starcraft 2 and only goes as wide as 16:9, a shame for singleplayer, but I’ll take anything over horizontal stretching of a 4:3 image.

    • Horg says:

      You don’t need the disks anymore, register your original key on battle.net and you have access to infinite free downloads.

  6. Zaxwerks says:

    I wonder if the developer conversation went something like this…

    “What you want? Something need doing?… Okidoki, I can do that, be happy to… work, work… job done!”

    • Wednesday says:

      “You’re the King!”

      “…well, I didn’t vote for you.”

      • Czrly says:

        Oh noes. Now you’ve triggered me!

        I’ll have to buy this forthwith. That’s nearly 20 EUR that your frivolity has cost me! (I… er… lost my discs.)