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Wowhead Interview with Warcraft III Reforged Team at BlizzCon 2018
03.11.2018 um 11:13
With all the excitement about Warcraft III Reforged, today we had an exclusive interview with their Dev team. We interviewed Rob Bridenbecker, Executive Producer, and Michael Scipione, Systems Game Designer, from Blizzard's Classic Games division.
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Warcraft III Reforged is being made by the same team that released Starcraft Remastered.
The main focus of the team is laser-cut fidelity with the original Warcraft III experience.
The team wants to have all custom maps from Frozen Throne working with Reforged.
More tools should arrive for the Map Editor feature, to help creators with some unnecessary roadblocks.
The team values a lot the community that kept Warcraft III alive for 13 years without much support and is looking to have a lot of dialogue with them to make Reforge into the best experience possible.
Improvements to gameplay will be carefully analyzed. The main focus is to preserve the Warcraft III experience.
Lore retcons that happened after Warcraft III came out will likely be adapted to their new version, but again it is an area that there will be a lot of dialogue with the community.
Currently, the team has no plans to expand the Warcraft III (RoC and TFT) campaigns or add content from Warcraft I or II to the game.
The game uses the same base engine as the original Warcraft III, including the same AI. Everything to preserve the experience.
There will be options to use old Warcraft III models in the game, for those looking to retain the classic experience.
The game will be fully voiced and translated into multiple languages, more than it was originally.
The interview was also recorded. There will be a video version of it early next week.
: To begin, why Warcraft III over other classic games such as Warcraft I, II, or Diablo?
: When we started classic (Starcraft), we actually started after we remastered that, and we really cut our teeth on what was involved in remastering RTS's so it felt like a logical extension to immediately go and start work on Warcraft 3, there's just so many opportunities that exist in the game itself and then we can take all those learnings from what we did with Starcraft remastered and directly apply them to WC
: Another point a lot of people are excited about is will this be the same experience or will it be expanded content like an extra campaign?
: So right now, we are laser-focused on bringing Warcraft 3 forward into today's graphical state, gameplay state, and that is a pretty monumental task, we didn't too much into the details the presentation this morning, but one of the things that folks would be interested to know is that the original version of Warcraft 3 is still basically compatible with the reforged version, and that includes also the maps, custom mods, the idea there is that we're starting from the original version of Warcraft 3, and we're evolving, we're adding on all the graphics we're adding in new mechanics from a campaign standpoint, from a gameplay standpoint, but we're rooted in what made Warcraft 3 great, to begin with.
: And we're also looking at certain systems around the game, so for multiplayer we're exploring how to do ranked, because the old one had a few different ways of doing ranking, and it was basically just sheer levels, you have a level and it goes up! And we're currently exploring how some of the more modern ones have done it, what kind of ranking would that work, we wanna maintain parity with some of the old systems so we're looking at like automated tournaments, which was a big part, I used to play those all the time. And so we're looking at those and seeing like, are there ways we can modernize, but we also want to make sure we don't take away what makes it special because there is a feeling you get when you play on the old system - this is a Warcraft 3 tournament.
: That ties into the third most asked topic which is the map editor - can I import Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne maps into Reforged?
: So the way it's supposed to work... we're not done yet, but for the most part, the way it should work is that if the maps existed before, they'll just automatically load up. Now, on a caveat, there's a LOT of maps out there, like there's a lot, so we're going to get hopefully all of them and if we don't get all of them, we're going to get a whole bunch of them. The other things we're doing is we are invested more and more in the world editor, we actually have hired some folks from the community, that are very familiar with making extra content and actually actively evolving it through addons and so forth, so we brought them in to help us build this, with the intent of their going back out and giving that world editor and its enhancements back to the community, and we've been working on that over the past couple of years with some people with access to Warcraft 3, but as we go further with reforged, more tools are going to be available.
: We're trying to locate areas where we had roadblocks, places we ran into, and where we can unblock it with this whole reforged thing. And part of that is asking them, flat asking: what's going on? as well as observations.
: The first thing people were asking as the presentation ended was "am I going to be able to play tower defense, or orcs vs humans?"
: there's a lot of cool subgenres that came out and full genres that spawned from it, and why would we start from this place is that we don't want to lose any of that. we have 15-16 years of new ways to engage as a player and you've got all these great tools that you know and you know how to use, and we're going to evolve those as well so that you can create new experiences.
: So, a question about gameplay; you said a thing about laser focus on recreating Warcraft 3 experience, but we've had a lot of improvements in StarCraft, like select all units, that weren't in Warcraft 3. Will those make an appearance in reforged or?
: I think those are going to be the kinds of things that we're going to have a lot of dialogue on, because as we saw in StarCraft Remastered, a lot of it was "this is what makes the game great, this is how it is, we accept it, it works, don't break it, it's the same, don't break it." And so with WC3, we've already reached out a bit to the high-level players, who've been playing all this time. They're receptive to balance changes. That's different from full-on gameplay, so it's still up in the air.
: It's very much tread cautiously. We're interested in evolving the game, but we need to make sure we're very deliberate about any actual changes, and that we have an active dialogue.
: Since Warcraft 3 was launched, there were a lot of retcons; for example, the Draenei and lost ones. Will those be implemented in Reforged, or be kept as the same as Warcraft 3?
: Another area we're looking for a lot of dialogue right now, but in general we do want to be more in mind of WoW, but there are parts of what makes Warcraft 3, Warcraft 3.
: I think a great example of where it's been ok, is like in the demo build for folks at BlizzCon today - the Culling of Stratholme, that's not the Stratholme that you recognize, right? There was a zoo and you actually started the mission in the upper right-hand corner and entered from the back. Folks on the team said no no, we need to make this like you're going in to raze the city, you want to take the town, start from the front of it, have people walk up and over the bridge to make it feel like Strathome. We had to get rid of some things, there is no zoo, but the mission itself still feels like Stratholme, there's nothing significantly divorced from the original experience.
: I think it was one of the first maps I failed in the campaign, which made it really memorable, when I discovered that that was the demo I was really excited.
: When you have a chance to play don't play it on normal, play it on hard.
: It's noticeably harder!
: It's not easy, but it's worth it!
: Were there any AI improvements or plans to add better AI?
: We'll take a look at stuff like that, again that falls into the category of not wanting to change the things that made the game great. So as we start peeling back the layers of the onion so to speak, we want to tread cautiously. First rule, don't break the game and so every decision that we make is rooted in that principle - we don't wanna break this game.
: Way in the future, is the team willing to add more DLC or Expansions or different campaigns once everything else is done?
: How far in the future are we thinking?
: Well people are asking about Warcraft 1 or Warcraft 2? I think people just want to know how far will Reforged go?
: I think its fair to say we have our hands full right now just getting everything that we want in from Warcraft 3, for our community, for our fans. I can't tell you what the future is going to look like, but I do know that WC 3 is an amazing game, with a ton of additional content, because of the great community that has developed all of these wonderful maps and all these great new ways to engage with each other.
: On the site, it mentioned that Frozen Throne would be included. I imagine the Horde campaign would also be fully included?
: Oh yeah, the Founding of Durotar; yeah the way it worked was you downloaded them through a patch. I was just talking about this the other day.
: You know that's funny because it's one of the things that's so joyous about having the opportunity to go back, not just the process of Reforging, but the journey for the team. We all came from different places, you were saying earlier you were in high school.
: Yeah I was in high school when I played all the ranked ladders after beating the campaigns.
: And Pete--he was saying he came to the industry because of the game, his real mission in life was to become a game developer, all because of Warcraft 3. Our goal with the campaign missions is really to bring the entire WC3 experience in one place. We want to preserve that compatibility with existing versions of the game, whether you have the old or new, we want to make sure individuals have the capability to come along with their friends.
: So there will still be updates for the original game, after remastered?
: In many ways, the original game is the foundation. The engine itself, the way units behave, the AI, all of that is the original. Then we add onto it, making again deliberate decisions on the graphics, UI and so forth, those have all been Reforged. That compatibility with the original game is our lodestone, that's what helps keep us in check in terms of changes. Really what we've been doing for the last 18 months to 2 years is adding in incremental patches for balance updates.
: Using the same engine for reforged and frozen throne, how do you think this 16-year-old engine, with all the new battle.net support and graphics, how does it hold up?
: Well its quite a big task for our heroic engineers, but it's been coming along. We've been doing these new patches, bringing things into the game already, and looking for areas to improve the editor, because with the new engine it'll carry through into Reforged.
: And examples--like our more recent patches, we added widescreen support, so there's no longer stretched proportions. Those are modern conveniences we can add in, and it's helping our engineers get comfortable with working on some of this stuff. Remember this is 16-year-old tech that we're modernizing and bringing into 2018 technology. It's almost 2 different generations of engineering philosophy and design. We're fortunate that Blizzard has a lot of amazing engineering talent and some of the folks have been with us since the beginning. One of our lead engineers was the original developer for the engine for WC3, so we said yep, we're bringing that guy on, because he knows where all the bodies are hidden!
: I know Warcraft 3 was one of my first games, so when I heard about this remaster, I got really excited.
: We thought it was a fantastic way to help showcase some of the backstory behind a lot of things, as well as the level design, but also remember that Warcraft 3 had a lot of great in-game cinematics, and we're recutting all of those to change the camera angles to give a lot more definition, because these models are so much more detailed now. We're in a position to really tell the story the way we would have wanted to 16 years ago. I forget how many hours, but its many many many hours of in-game footage telling the origin story and now with the visual fidelity amped up, it helps to link back into the amazing story.
: one example I'd like to point out is that whenever a character back in the day would point at something, they'd use their whole fist. Now they have fingers! So they can point! That's HD.
: About cinematics, what about voice overs? Will you use the same existing ones, or will you make new ones?
: We're going to make a few updates. You know again, with StarCraft Remastered, we learned a lot about the importance of player choice. This is your game, just as much as ours, we don't want to take that away how you enjoy your game. We want to add to it. These are things we aren't just going to drop. We're adding new languages, additional support for regions around the world, so there's a lot of cool stuff that'll get packaged with this.
: Really excited to hear that! Well, that's it, you gave us a lot of things to write about, really excited about remastered.
: Awesome man
: That's good
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