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Warcraft 3 test realm overhauls visuals and matchmaking system

Warcraft 3
Following an upcoming HD remaster of the original real-time strategy classic Starcraft and its Brood War expansion, Blizzard is looking to give Warcraft 3 a new coat of paint, too. While it may not be a strict remaster, new features are looking inbound now that Blizzard has added a new public test realm to the game, which opens up the door for new features and perhaps a modernized multiplayer experience.

Of all of the big-name game developers out there who have been around for decades, Blizzard is arguably the most dedicated to maintaining its classic titles. While some developers shut down servers or let bugs and cheats gradually destroy their long-forgotten multiplayer games, Blizzard has proved time and again that it is happy to invest time and resources in maintaining games that are far from profitable at this stage in their lives.

Warcraft 3, released in 2002, is simply the latest example of that, and although we don’t know to what extent this latest effort will overhaul its gameplay, we do know it has the potential to lead to big changes. As Eurogamer reports, the test realm is currently holding trials for new map pools for 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4 multiplayer games. We’re also told that an update will soon fix slow matchmaking and in-game lag.

More specific balance changes have also been introduced in the public test realms. Blizzard is said to have balanced creep camp difficulty progression throughout the game, changed drop tables for better item progression, and improved the balancing of starting locations, so players are never far from what they need early in the game.

Blizzard has also made a few visual changes in its first test realm update. It has decluttered a number of points of interest to make them more clear visually and cleared back trees that obscured certain areas of particular focus. Edges of the map now feature cliffs or water to give a more solid visual clue as to why they cannot be traversed, and many of the maps have been retextured for better visual clarity.

Another update coming down the pike will introduce automated tournaments, which will likely make it easier to play consecutive competitive games with other players. A new ladder system will also let you compare your classic RTS skills with those of other retro gamers.

Although none of this means that a remastered Warcraft 3 is in the works, it will certainly increase the hype and hope among players for it. One game we know Blizzard won’t be remastering: the original Warcraft.

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