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Fan does Blizzard’s job, releases remastered WarCraft III campaign files

A cinematic intro to the WC3 human campaign? That's cool. Too bad fans had to step in to create this, since Blizzard doesn't appear poised to add anything substantial to WC3R ever again.
Enlarge / A cinematic intro to the WC3 human campaign? That’s cool. Too bad fans had to step in to create this, since Blizzard doesn’t appear poised to add anything substantial to WC3R ever again.

WarCraft III: Reforged has not received a patch or official announcement since April 2021, and the game’s handlers at Blizzard have remained eerily quiet about anything previously announced for this so-called “remaster” of an RTS classic. Official matchmaking ladders, leaderboards, and user profiles never came to pass, prompting the game’s remaining community to cobble together its own solution—and that’s on top of the re-release’s utter lack of single-player updates. (To date, custom WC3 campaign files still aren’t formally supported.)

Thus, just as fans previously built their own online gameplay updates in the form of WC3Champions, so too has the game’s remaining community stepped up to make the single-player campaign better resemble Blizzard’s initial pitch for the project.

WarCraft III: Re-Reforged 2022 update.

WarCraft III: Re-Reforged is a fan-made project apparently led by a single designer who goes by the handle InsaneMonster. It received its second substantial update on Saturday, following its original January 2021 launch as a downloadable pack of WC3R campaign files. The project is now up to 10 in-game chapters: the five chapters of WC3‘s Horde-specific prologue, which already launched last year, and the first five chapters of its human-focused first act. You can now access both parts of Re-Reforged as free downloads at Hive Workshop (part one, part two).

Like the prologue portion, this week’s fan-made patch includes custom camera angles for cinematic in-game content, not only between missions but also for important mid-campaign conversations. These shots much better resemble the originally teased version of WC3R, and they include pauses and careful camera framing to better showcase Blizzard’s original campaign content. Additionally, InsaneMonster has remixed the affected campaign maps without changing their primary objectives or flow. Some changes emphasize a cinematic moment, while others reflect lessons learned from the campaigns in Blizzard’s StarCraft II and guide brand-new players more nimbly through how the game works.

The patches also add instructions and lore as new, front-and-center on-screen text between objectives. These popups are handy, especially since WC3 laid the groundwork for years of lore and character-based plotlines in World of WarCraft. If you’re a WC3 novice who wants to see how this game connects to the WarCraft universe at large, InsaneMonster’s patches take considerable steps toward delivering that information.

In a 2021 interview, InsaneMonster expressed his surprise and dismay at discovering how much proper lip sync was applied to WC3R‘s full cast of characters—yet, for some reason, it was hidden from obvious player view. He didn’t have to rig any brand-new animations with his patch; instead, he simply coded custom camera angles and timings. InsaneMonster does add custom visual files to his patches, to be clear, though these revolve around colors and textures that better resemble the clearer paths and battlefields found in the original game than in the retouched WC3R versions.

The project may very well continue beyond these 10 campaign levels, though its creator says that future progress is contingent on Patreon support. You’ll need to mind InsaneMonster’s instructions to get the patched campaign to load properly—and make your peace with prerendered cut scenes not playing at their expected times, since Re-Reforged is working outside of the game’s intended mod ecosystem.

Today’s news follows a Twitter outcry over Blizzard Classic’s other recent major release, Diablo II: Resurrected, as more users are running into one of its more curious restrictions. The game’s console versions require an online check-in with Activision’s service every 30 days, even if you play the game exclusively offline.

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