Second-hand embarrassment is as vivid and at times cringy as experiencing it yourself, and the launch of Warcraft 3 reforged has plenty of second-hand embarrassment to go around.
Who should be embarrassed?
Wait you think I mean Blizzard should be embarrassed? No, I refer to the Reddit hivemind once again showing itself to be immature, entitled, infantile and suffering from a very diverse and serious range of emotional disorders.
The review bombing campaign of Warcraft 3 Reforged shows exactly why Metacritic is a poor source of review data.
This is why user reviews should be a thing of the past, it’s bad enough we have click-baiting YouTubers to deal with when you toss in the Reddit hivemind rabble, its no wonder most storefronts are ditching user reviews, and for a good reason, in the age of the incel/racist/entitled hivemind, there is no room for user reviews without far greater moderation and punishment for clear review bombers.
Not Without Fault.
Warcraft 3: Reforged is not without fault, some elements of the Reforge are baffling at best, and while 2 of those major baffling elements are the fault of listening to the Warcraft 3 subreddit/forum, the third is embarrassing for a AAA developer to have missed.
Where is the Janitor? We need a Paladin.
Keeping the original voice lines ( a passionate request of the Warcraft 3 Reddit/forum community), was a huge mistake, most of them are awful, except for a few meme-worthy Orc peon lines, most of them should have been scrapped and never seen again, all the characters sound as if they were voiced by office staff, and Jaina sounds like the teenage daughter of the CEO begged daddy to have a part in the game.
The Orc secondary characters are especially bad, and all sound like the same guy with a sore throat.
The Reddit hivemind like to say this was a budgetary constraint, yeah… a multi-billion dollar company that owns the best performing MMORPG, with thousands of prerecorded voice lines, and contracts with major voice-over artists, including almost the entire main character VO cast of Warcraft 3 couldn’t afford to spend a few extra bucks on VO by the very voice actors who are already recording for Shadowlands…
If we ever have a shortage of tinfoil, we can always borrow the hivemind’s hat, I guess.
A Small Course Correction.
There is a slight but noticeable lore disconnect between Warcraft 3 and World of Warcraft as well as some appearance changes, Reforged gave developers the chance to bring Warcraft 3 inline with the MMORPG, but alas, the Warcraft 3 Reddit/forum community would hear none of it, and wanted the game to remain the same, we have bad dye job blonde Jaina and demon-possessed Thrall as a result.
Walking in Father’s Shoes.
Now this one is entirely on Blizzard, the character all stomp around like they have their father’s too large boots on, not even Warcraft 3 Reddit/forum community would request massive weasel stomping boots, the fps is too low for walking animations, and it looks comical when compared to the original Warcraft 3, this, however, is necessary evil to allow crossplay with those on the original client. I would have just given original client players reforged for free, and unlocked the FPS for animations/effects.
Things Warcraft 3 Got Right.
The unit models look gorgeous, and with a few exceptions (such as the laggy walk) the animations are fantastic, the entire world looks like playing World of Warcraft as God himself, with units and races immediately recognisable, and often better looking than their MMO counterparts.
The gameplay is smooth, and I have experienced no lag or CTD, despite running it alongside the WoW client, and even the Doom (2016) client.
I am in love with the high time to kill (ttk) in Warcraft 3 Reforged, units are not glass cannons, battles feel messy, and seeing a squad of orcs is enough to worry you even in late game, the skill-based hero powers are a fun addition to the genre, its an aspect of RTS that I wish didn’t die out with the 000s, like its original incarnation Warcraft 3 Reforged utilises Items and powers perfectly to complement gameplay.
As a fan of MMORPG, the trinity is very recognisable, with Tanks, Dps and healers all making an appearance in unit types, and functioning the same as their player-controlled MMORPG counterparts.
Some people were disappointed that all the cutscenes were not remade in Blizzard’s current cinematic engine, despite Blizzard saying they would not be remade, only rerendered in HD, somehow the hivemind couldn’t read this plain English statement, and instead decided to rage at Blizzard due to their poor reading comprehension.
I like Blizzard’s new cinematics, they look gorgeous, and I would love a film made in the same engine, that being said I prefer Warcraft 3 to have its original cutscenes, weird models and all, as they were a huge part of Warcraft 3, and while they are not cutting edge, in HD they are both gorgeous and authentic to the era.
Another issue is the in-game cutscenes, the 2018 demo did look better graphically, but I found it distracting, an RTS needs the somewhat dated look of talking portraits, its something very much authentic to the 90s/00s, and I am glad Warcraft 3 Reforged kept it in.
Who Gets the Baby?
Custom maps and the TOS changes have also angered the hivemind, in this case, both of Blizzards changes make perfect sense, 1) why should Blizzard allow a Custom map maker to use their game engine to develop a commercial product (like we saw happen with original Warcraft 3 and DOTA), and forbidding the use of copyright-infringing elements in maps is not just common sense, its sheer foolishness to have it any other way.
This is just another example of the hivemind refusing to be told no, like a spoiled child the current review bombing campaign is a tantrum.
Cut Content Controversy
Originally Blizzard said that sometime in future AFTER the game’s launch and depending on user feedback additional DLC/campaigns would be CONSIDERED, somehow the hivemind took that to mean the game would launch with new campaigns, yes that feeling you have right now is second-hand embarrassment for the hivemind.
Worth a buy?
Warcraft 3 Reforged is a wonderful homage to the original, and while not perfect its one of the best RTS available in 2020., The price is madness for the amount of content over 40 hours of campaign content alone make this a steal for fans of narrative RTS games, The online aspect is fantastic with friends, but right now the overall community is acting spoiled, so are not the most welcoming.
I must say not all members of the community are part of the Reddit hivemind, and finding a great group of people to play with is still very possible.