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15 years after its release, ‘Warcraft III’ finally gets widescreen support

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Nowadays when people think of Warcraft, they think of World of Warcraft, the most successful MMO of all-time. But it seems Blizzard doesn’t want fans to forget about its fantasy world’s original identity as a real-time strategy (RTS) game. Blizzard has just released the largest Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos patch in years, one that finally adds widescreen support to the classic RTS.

Patch 1.29 is a hefty update that both adds new elements to the nearly 16-year-old game and contains many gameplay balances. While widescreen support may not sound like a big deal, for a game as old as Warcraft III, it’s pretty darn neat. To mitigate screen stretching when in widescreen, Blizzard placed bookends in the in-game interface and pillars in the menu systems. Warcraft III launched right before widescreen monitors became the norm. Sadly, the game retained the quickly dated 4:3 screen ratio all these years.

Additionally, it appears Blizzard wants to draw more players back into the online battle. Game lobbies can now hold 24 players, double the original 12 player limit. We knew Blizzard was dabbling with the increased player count back in February, but now it has officially arrived. New team colors include some common hues such as maroon and turquoise alongside more novel ones like peanut and wheat.

The game’s ladder standings have been reset to give players something to work toward again, and its automated tournaments will start back up again next week to help players enjoy the grind.

If you’re somehow still on Windows XP, you might want to update soon, as 1.29 is the last version that will support the dated operating system.

The patch also includes some map-making changes for World Editors. Most notably, the object limit has been increased to 30,000. Standard patch features like hero balances and bug fixes have also been implemented.

The latest patch comes on the heels of the first Warcraft III invitational in February. With Warcraft III getting some peculiar love from Blizzard recently, it’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for the franchise. World of Warcraft has kept the world of Azeroth alive and well for many years, but fans of the original RTS format would undoubtedly love a new iteration in the series. If Blizzard does indeed have more substantial plans for Warcraft, it’s a safe bet we’ll hear about them at Blizzcon in November.

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Steven Petite
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Steven is a writer from Northeast Ohio currently based in Louisiana. He writes about video games and books, and consumes…
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