This past weekend at BlizzCon the new version of Warcraft III, Warcraft III: Reforged, was announced by Blizzard and shown off for the very first time. Just after its announcement we stepped "backstage" for a chat with production director Timothy Morten and art lead Brian Sousa from the Blizzard Classic team to learn more about what's gone into this new version and what sort of changes are being made.
Warcraft III: Reforged is taking the original game of Warcraft III and not just remastering it, but really reforging it," says Morten. "Everything from graphics to sound to network connectivity has been redone to bring the game into the modern era."
"We're also looking at the story, we're looking at the campaigns," adds Sousa. "We're actually bringing up anything that might have been introductory in Warcraft III but that World of Warcraft has expanded upon and has brought lore into and has brought so much story into. We're actually looking at World of Warcraft for a lot of the updates that we're doing to Warcraft III, not necessarily retconning anything but just smoothing out the stories a little bit."
Brian Sousa also talked about the art direction and the more mature look of the new game and how the cinematic from Mists of Pandaria informed the art style in Warcraft III: Reforged.
One area where things have changed since the original is the maps and their layouts.
"There's a visual consistency but also a layout consistency with World of Warcraft that needed to be updated," explains Morten. "And so with the map that's being shown here at the show, Stratholme, has been rearranged to make it more consistent with World of Warcraft."
Blizzard are currently looking at balance changes to improve the game, and these will be reflected in both the SD version and Reforged as they will be compatible in multiplayer. Warcraft III: Reforged will launch next year.