Honest Game Trailers Hits Warcraft III Reforged Hard

I mentioned at the end of January that Warcraft III Reforged had finally been released by Blizzard, linking out to some of the early problems with the work that people were complaining about.  I had pre-ordered it back after BlizzCon 2018 and was going to wait a while before tackling it because I figured Blizzard might have a plan to fix things.

Meanwhile, the heat on the game just kept getting hotter, and now it is the turn of Honest Game Trailers.

Honest Game Trailers has a tradition at hitting at the weak spots of titles in a way that is often light and doesn’t make you feel bad if you’re a fan.  For example, every video about a Pokemon game reminds us how close to the path GameFreak stays.  But we like it that way and can laugh at ourselves for our devotion.

And then there is their new video about Warcraft III Reforged… but I suspect that it might be tough to find fans of the remake give the tally of issues that have been discovered since it launched.  Have you seen its score on Metacritic?

I was surprised the user score dropped below 1

Ouch.  So instead of a self-deprecating chuckle that fans can have at their own expense, this episode runs more like an indictment.

Compare to that, the look back to the Warcraft RTS franchise they did about four years back is practically a love letter.

I don’t want to say that Warcraft III Reforged necessarily should have been a slam dunk for Blizz… though they still had a lot of goodwill and nostalgia going for them… but they set expectations back at BlizzCon 2018 that they not only didn’t meet, but features that were kind of expected were removed.  Oh, and to keep everything in sync, they were also removed from that copy of Warcraft III you own if you updated it to play online.  Not a good look for what SynCaine is calling the “New Blizzard.”

As for a plan, as reported elsewhere, Blizzard is offering “no questions asked refunds.”

That is less of a plan and more or a mea culpa I suppose, but it is something I guess.  And since this apparently being my month for disillusionment and refunds, I applied for the latter (having experience the former) and it was approved within a few minutes.  There are a series of options to choose from when you request a refund, but for this one “Regret” seemed to be pretty much on the nose.  I am sure that applies to Blizzard’s feelings as well at this point.

My credit card hasn’t been reimbursed yet.  The messaging is a bit muddled, with various responses telling me I’ll have my refund in 3, 7, or possibly 15 days.  But I expect it will come through eventually. (Edit: Just checked and I have been refunded within the 3 day estimate, so high marks for Blizz on that I guess.)

Maybe I should stop pining for a Diablo II remaster and just keep hoping they don’t mess up WoW Classic.  I am still enjoying that.

6 thoughts on “Honest Game Trailers Hits Warcraft III Reforged Hard

  1. Mailvaltar

    Yep. Technically I’m still waiting and longing for that Diablo II remaster too, but right now I wouldn’t buy it (or anything else Blizz is selling) even if it seemed to be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

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  2. Kronick

    Watched the video, and I have always said blizzard took a dive right after the acquisition… it’s such a shame.

    Also I am wrong to enjoy the era of remakes/remasters?

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  3. Pallais

    I’d really like a Diablo 2 remaster, but after all the mistakes of the WC3 Reforged release, I’d rather them not do a remaster if this is what we’d get. :/ Assuming they can do a remaster given the story about all the assets being lost.

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  4. SynCaine

    ‘Making’ a remake should be the easiest thing in the world. The starting baseline is you change nothing gameplay wise, and upscale graphics/sound like a basic mod; higher res for the textures, more polygons, support for modern resolutions and modern frame rates, upscale the existing sound. That’s it. You do that and people will pay for it.

    If you want to go beyond that, everything else should be an option. You want to remake the cut-scenes? Checkbox option between original and new. New unit models/sound? Checkbox. Balance changes or altered campaign? Checkbox.

    None of that is hard. At least not compared to making the original game and getting it right. Old Blizzard would have gotten a remaster done and exceeded expectations as a side project. New Blizzard… well they release Reforged.

    Can’t wait to see them screw Classic once the original content of Vanilla has been released.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    It is interesting to compare how they did with the StarCraft remaster and WoW Classic with how Warcraft III Reforged went.

    StarCraft seemed to go pretty well, with pretty much the routine as described by SynCaine; you can have the new stuff or the old stuff and everything pretty much works.

    WC3… the features they removed, they were working in the original game right up until they got patched out in preparation for the launch of the remaster. Why they felt that was a good idea is inexplicable.

    With WoW Classic I think they had an advantage in that a lot of the team that made WoW, the line members who were hired on to bulk up the company for that project, are still around and often doing more senior tasks in the same areas. At least you get that sense from the dev videos they did.

    But with WC3, that was sort of the end of the RTS generation at Blizz. The people who made that were the senior team when making WoW and many have left. StarCraft II came later, but it strayed so little from the StarCraft mold that it is almost a remake, so the RTS thread seems to have been lost.

    Which gets me back to a Diablo II remake. I like Diablo III, but it isn’t Diablo II and I don’t think there is anybody left at Blizz that had a hand in Diablo II. The Blizzard North team all left and have all made it clear that there was bad blood in that. Brevik and the Schaefer brothers, the original Condor team, have rarely missed a chance to piss on Blizzard over the last fifteen years, which looked a lot like sour grapes when WoW was making a billion dollars a year. If you read some of the histories, there was resentment that the Blizz founders got to cash in back in 94 while the early staff got squat. But there is no doubt some seed of truth in their bile. I think the best hope is that the thread about the source code being unavailable is wrong and we get a GoG.com release of Diablo II. Otherwise I suspect that we’ll never see it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Redbeard

    The WC3 remake was all about the benjamins, and preventative medicine (in Activision/Blizzard’s eyes) by trying to keep all of the money and intellectual property in-house. It reminded me of the difference between D&D 3.x with its fairly broad OGL and D&D 4e with it’s very limited OGL. Well, and then you throw in the stuff designed to cripple the original WC3 still out there….

    Still, I doubt Blizz really truly cares about the uproar; most of the people who would have cared in the past have already left the company, and Allen Brack has become a master of Corporate American Doublespeak, which is appearing to say something when in fact you’re saying something completely different. (Source: been in Corporate America for 30 years, and a winner of Buzzword Bingo countless times over.)

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