Warcraft III: Reforged launches to negative fan reception, and Blizzard isn’t helping.

    After months of controversy, Blizzard seems to keep digging their own grave.

    Warcraft III: Reforged launched on Tuesday to the disappointment of fans who were anticipating the remaster of the classic RTS that acted as the backbone to the Warcraft franchise as we know it today.

    While the game actually looks quite nice, introducing more detailed character models and buildings along with some slightly touched-up environment tweaks, it’s nowhere near the scope of what Blizzard originally had planned for the remaster. Check out the differences between these two cutscenes from the mission “The Culling,” the first one is from Blizzcon 2018 and the second is from the release build.

    See how the first trailer looks way better than the second one? The character animations are more fluid and the camera is zoomed in closer, giving it a cinematic feel. Instead, the end result just feels like the original game with a fresh coat of paint, which wasn’t the original plan for the game. Granted, it looks pretty, but since Warcraft III is also played from a zoomed-out top-down perspective, most of these changes won’t really go noticed by most fans, which begs the question “what’s the point?” Only fueling this fire is the fact that most of the cutscenes in the game only got slightly touched-up, and the voice acting and soundtrack remain unchanged.

    However, the thing that has fans the most upset is the fact that custom-made maps and scenarios are now owned by Blizzard themselves. Per their Acceptable Use Policy,

    “Custom Games are and shall remain the sole and exclusive property of Blizzard. Without limiting the foregoing, you hereby assign to Blizzard all of your rights, title, and interest in and to all Custom Games, including but not limited to any copyrights in the content of any Custom Games. If for any reason you are prevented or restricted from assigning any rights in the Custom Games to Blizzard, you grant to Blizzard an exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, unconditional, royalty free, irrevocable license enabling Blizzard to fully exploit the Custom Games (or any component thereof) for any purpose and in any manner whatsoever. You further agree that should Blizzard decide that it is necessary, you will execute any future assignments and/or related documents promptly upon receiving such a request from Blizzard in order to effectuate the intent of this paragraph. To the extent you are prohibited from transferring or assigning your moral rights to Blizzard by applicable laws, to the utmost extent legally permitted, you waive any moral rights or similar rights you may have in all such Custom Games, without any remuneration. Without limiting Blizzard’s rights or ownership in the Custom Games, Blizzard reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to remove Custom Games from its systems and/or require that a Custom Game developer cease any and/or all development and distribution of a Custom Game. Please note that your Blizzard account can be subject to disciplinary action in event that you do not comply with Blizzard’s request or this Policy.”

    This basically means that Blizzard can do whatever they want with player creations, and something that’s recreated outside of Reforged (such as, if someone ends up making the next DOTA) can be easily taken down. This is slightly ironic, considering the fact that Reforged lead designer Matt Morris, who was a designer on the original Warcraft III, said that Blizzard wanted to “give more power to the user who wants to make these maps and continue to push that custom mode forward.”

    The game’s woes don’t just stop there. Players have been complaining about bugs, crashes, and connectivity issues along with missing features, which this reddit post outlines.

    The connectivity issues don’t just stem from Reforged, either. Blizzard now utilizes the same servers for both Reforged and the original Warcraft III, meaning that if something goes wrong on Reforged’s end, it’s likely happen with the original game as well.

    All of these problems and changes have fans (rightfully) upset, however just to add icing on the cake, those that are requesting refunds or helping others get refunds on Blizzard’s forums have allegedly been getting banned, according to Multiplayer First and other accounts on reddit.

    This reception to Warcraft III: Reforged has only been one of Blizzard’s various blunders over the past few months, with their handling of Blitzchung’s ban being criticized by virtually everyone, and tepid responses to their announcements of Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV at Blizzcon 2020 in the wake of it. Blizzard has the ability to right their wrongs, but it looks like the only thing standing in front of that is themselves.

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