Grab your popcorn, we haven't had a downgrade controversy in a long while. Warcraft 3: Reforged was released on Tuesday, and already fans are unhappy with the new remaster. Many are complaining the game has been downgraded from what Blizzard initially promised back in 2018.
At BlizzCon, Blizzard announced the new game would have “Visuals built from the ground up”, including “over 4 hours of reforged cutscenes”. Yet compared to the original footage from BlizzCon 2018, the newest remaster has taken a notable step back from what was originally announced.
Reddit user Macismyname made a handy comparison video, check it out to see the changes made for yourself:
As you can see, the entire camerawork has been scrapped in favour of more traditional camera angles like MMOs. Even the trailer on the official Warcraft 3: Reforged page shows the once-promised enhanced cinematics and animations, but the newest version is a far cry from what was shown before.
Not only that but players have also been complaining about poor performance, shaky online connectivity and a lack of support for custom maps and modes. Worst of all, if you don’t like the new changes and want to go back to the way it once was, unfortunately the online infrastructure has been updated for both the new and old games, meaning you're going to run into the exact same problems.
At the moment, Blizzard really doesn't have a bank of good will to fall back on. When a prominent developer puts a foot wrong, they can usually point toward a whole load of other things they did right. Blizzard cannot do that right now. The Blitzchung/China furore is still fresh, Diablo Immortal for mobiles is still inbound, and most of its core founders have now left. Blizzard is in a position where it needs to win back fans, not alienate more of them. A remaster of an 18-year-old game seems like a fairly straightforward process for a studio of Blizzard's size and stature. To see corners cut like this is a notable disappointment.