Time flies. I already forgot this game was even a thing, as Warcraft 3: Reforged hasn’t crossed my mind in weeks.
But to punctuate the game’s immediate descent to something best forgotten, here’s a brand new Honest Game Trailer that should help remind people of all the stuff they shouldn’t actually forget going forward.
Two lines early on really hit home with me and why I had decided to refund it despite the fact I enjoyed it (clearly) more than most, and it had nothing to do with the Remastering of the game. “Play as a hero in an age where every game features levels and items so there is nothing interesting about this” and “Play one of two types of matches; one where you start with units you can’t lose or build an army up to the cap and attack-move the enemy base”.
Basically, Warcraft 3 wasn’t as much “fun” as I remembered, because of stuff like Total War: Warhammer 1 & 2 and other great strategy games I’ve played in the last 18 years.
Yeah, even at the time I was disappointed in WC3. I’ve come to see it just a primordial stepping stone to MOBAs. The heroes + traditional RTS units never fit together well. DotA rightfully saw that the entire focus should have been on a hero.
I never understood the excitement for a remake to that.
That’s just nonsense.
Lots of games used the hero + RTS approach and it worked swimmingly. Some even went much deeper than the really simple hero units of WC3 and mixed way more RPG in.
Why do you think WC3 still had such a following? We’ll see how much of that remains after Blizzard basically killed their own game, but still, until that point there was a following.
Or take the SC2 campaign with its hero focus. Or DoW, or …
All MOBAs did was remove all the complexity of an RTS and only kept a single unit. It’s way easier to manage a single unit than an army - that’s why they are so successful.
I think his point is the intensive micromanagement dilutes or even eliminates the strategic/tactical aspect of the game. Micro makes or breaks a WC3 game so he is correct that the next step in the evolution was to get rid of the units and keep the hero, which streamlined the gameplay whilst not sacrificing much.
That’s why I found WC3 so disappointing. Warlords Battlecry 2 and 3 had already done RPG + RTS approach so well, with persistence in progress between battles. So Warcraft 3 felt like a step backward, having to level up your hero from scratch in each skirmish, and losing all that progress again at the end of every battle.
While I really enjoyed the heroes in WC3 (and yeah, WBC2 and 3, which I also played,) I always kinda liked Warcraft 2 better. Maybe I was just better at it, I dunno. I enjoyed having 4 races vs. 2, and some of the mechanics of that (Night Elves, particularly) were really unique, but for some reason I just always liked 2. I really, really loved having an army of mages. Blizzard and Polymorph were just an awesome combination. Maybe too powerful, and maybe that’s why they scaled them back in 3, but I had a lot of fun with both of those.
But that is simply not true.
You don’t win or lose a WC3 game with fast clicking and microing only.
You have to do all the typical strategies, map control, scouting, counters, resource management, etc. on top of it all. Same with SC2 really - only SC2 might be even more intense overall despite not sporting hero units (outside of the campaign).
Which is why I suck so much at those games, I cannot keep up with doing it all at once, game is too fast for me (for competitive play, I mean, I’m fine against the AI or in co-op). I’m much better in slower games like Northgard, where I have time to do all the clicking and hotkeying on top of the rest.
Same here. I really wish someone had picked up the WBC formula and improved it (and I’m not talking about The Protectors, although that is a cool standalone mod)…
In addition to the great hero/race synergies, I also loved the smaller QoL features like giving your units a proper AI setting right at the barracks.
Meanwhile, the original devs are seemingly stuck or swamped with that Gems Of War thing.
In terms of sheer on the fly tactical richness and masterfully crafted counters, I still think no RTS has surpassed Brood War.
WC3- battles just felt like you were managing an MMO raid. Line of meatshields, autocasting buffs/debuffs, switch targets, pop off those cooldowns. The tactical possibilities were drastically reduced from Starcraft. All the faction units were roughly just copies of each other. Warcraft 3 also marked the moment when I realized that I hated traditional RTS campaigns: glorified tutorial, glacially unlocking tech tree, surprise triggers, fixed unit missions. It also marked the turning point where Blizzard went from some great game stories to their tired “Corrupted goth hero + the good guys are really evil and the evil guys are just mind-controlled noble savages” formula (I remember making the joke that SC2 would make it so the Zerg were really the good guys being mind controlled by space demons, and holy cow they actually did it).
SC2- All the micro was shifted away from the battles and onto the economy (would it have killed them to make inject larvae an autocast?). They wanted to speed up the game by throwing in a ton of economy boosters, but I feel it demanded too much attention. They also did away with the battle-deciding spells of Brood War and mostly replaced them with the WC3 style buff/debuff system.
The one groundbreaking area I give WC3 credit for was a quantum leap forward in ease of online play and options (and modding). Compared to previous RTS games, it was similar to the leap forward in pre and post-Quake for online FPS matches.
I’m just surprised there’s outrage over a lot of the lack of improvements Reforged made that were also present in SC Remastered. They made no effort to improve the SC interface, and kept in all the most ridiculously archaic elements like unit limit selection and the black shroud for skirmish/multiplayer. I not only didn’t hear any flack for that, but I saw purists praising it in the forums, saying that “true fans” wanted nothing more than improved graphics and that any interface changes whatsoever would detract from the original game.
I just want Brood War with an overhauled interface and modern Bnet matchmaking (which they also skimped on for Remastered). Hell, there’s a bunch of old RTS games I’d kill to see revived with active online support and a new pool of players: C&C Generals, Battle for Middle Earth 2, Act of War. Those games are still a blast to play. It’s just frustrating seeing that treatment being given to WC3 instead of…a game that actually deserves it :\
My favorite Blizzard RTS thing is the how they force you to play zoomed in super tight, even though all the observer modes show that this isn’t an engine limitation. They just like you to have to be incredibly zoomed in. So that’s how you have to play it. Even though there’s no earthly reason I shouldn’t be able to zoom out more. I can’t even play the games anymore, they give me claustrophobia.
I would easily pay $60 for a remaster of Myth with a robust online match service.
Few things were more fun than a 4 way melee rush for king of the hill as the counter timed down, and hitting the suicide button for the explosive wight you had managed to sneak into the middle of the fray.
I certainly preferred the simple story of 2 to 3, which marked the beginning of Metzen mess.
Gameplay…there’s definitely more to 3, but I’m not sure if it’s more fun. It’s not so much a direct comparison between 2 and 3, as it is the genre in 1995 and 2002. Starcraft and others had already raised the bar for unit tactics, Battlezone/Sacrifice had already raised the bar for “hero supported by units”, Age of Empires had raised the bar for economic complexity, Homeworld the bar on graphics and music, and Ground Control the bar for fixed unit missions. WC3 was playing Twister with one foot on tactics, one hand on heroes, and the stretch between the two was too much while not even bothering to innovate on economy or other areas.