For the Horde! Warcraft 3: Reforged Out Now on PC

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Blizzard Entertainment has released the HD remaster of seminal real-time strategy game Warcraft 3, Warcraft 3: Reforged. It’s available now through the official Blizzard shop (and playable on Battle.net) on PC for $29.99.

“Warcraft III is one of our proudest achievements as a company, and we’re honored that so many players around the world still hold it up as a paragon of the RTS genre,” said J. Allen Brack, president, Blizzard Entertainment. “With Warcraft III: Reforgedour biggest goal was to modernize the game while retaining everything that players have loved about it, and we hope everyone agrees that we’ve done it justice.”

The remaster includes both the original 2002 Reign of Chaos and the 2o03 expansion, The Frozen Throne. The single-player story spans seven campaigns with over 60 missions and four factions, including Orcs, Humans, Night Elves, and the Undead. Every unit, building, and environment has been given a graphical upgrade, as well as remastered audio and improved voice-overs.

The World Editor, which famously gave rise to the entire MOBA genre with the original Defense of the Ancients mod, has also been given a robust upgrade with added tools, and more enhancements planned in the future. Warcraft 3: Reforged is also fully integrated with Battle.net’s multiplayer suite, including voice chat and auto-patching. And in case anyone is still playing the nearly two-decades old original, you’ll be able to play with them online using Reforged.

In addition to the Standard Edition, Warcraft 3: Reforged also has a Spoils of War Edition for $39.99. This special edition features new skins for heroes like Arthas and Jaina, as well as several digital bonuses for other Blizzard games, such as a card back for Hearthstone and a pet for Diablo 3.

Warcraft 3: Reforged is available now on PC (Battle.net). It’s rated T for Teen.

Warcraft 3: Reforged Releasing January 2020

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War never changes, but occasionally gets remastered. We’ve known since BlizzCon 2018 that Blizzard’s 2002 real time strategy magnum opus Warcraft 3 is getting the HD remaster treatment. Today we finally got an official release date for Warcraft 3: Reforged – January 28, 2020 on PC.

Aside from a full HD graphical overhaul to every unit, structure, and animation, Warcraft 3: Reforged will feature cross-play multiplayer support with the original game, and full integration with Battle.net’s social and match-making features, as well as auto-patching.

Reforged will retain all the original voice recording, but feature a new, expanded World Editor with more tools to create unique scenarios and mods. The entire MOBA genre started with the Defense of the Ancients (DOTA), which was a mod built out of the original Warcraft 3 editor.

In addition to multiplayer support, Reforged features both the original Reign of Chaos campaign and Frozen Throne expansion content. That’s seven single-player campaigns spread over 60 missions. Blizzard has previously confirmed that they’re updating and changing some of Warcraft 3’s story based on World of Warcraft’s retcons, as well as increasing the role of heroes who became more prominent in the series, such as Jaina and Sylvanus.

Warcraft 3: Reforged is available now for pre-purchase from the Blizzard digital shop, for $29.99. A Spoils of War edition is available for $39.99, and features digital goodies for Warcaft, as well as skins, pets, and mounts for other Blizzard games such as World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Hearthstone.

Warcraft 3: Reforged will release on January 28, 2020 on PC (Battle.net).  It’s rated T for Teen.

Blizzard Bans Pro Hearthstone Player for Political Message About China

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Last week professional Hearthstone player Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai, who is from Hong Kong, said, “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time,” following a tournament win in Taiwan. The phrase is associated with the current ongoing protests in Hong Kong, and Blitzchung wore a gas mask similar to the types of masks worn by protesters.

The live feed was swiftly cut off (with casters ducking their heads), and the video was pulled. Within days Blizzard announced that Blitzchung violated the rules. They stripped him of his tournament winnings and banned him for a year. The casters were also fired.

The following was included in Blizzard’s official statement: “While we stand by one’s right to express individual thoughts and opinions, players and other participants that elect to participate in our esports competitions must abide by the official competition rules.”

The result has been a public relations disaster for Blizzard Entertainment. Many critics view it as bowing down to the censure-happy Chinese government, and the fact that Chinese media conglomerate Tencent owns a sizable 5% stake in the company. Fans, players, and even professional casters have performed protests or severed ties with Blizzard in response.

To try and put out the fires, J. Allen Brack, President of Blizzard Entertainment, issued another statement last Friday afternoon, attempting to clarify their position. Blizzard shortened Blitzchung’s ban from one year to six months, returned his prize money, and gave the casters a six month ban.

“Moving forward, we will continue to apply tournament rules to ensure our official broadcasts remain focused on the game and are not a platform for divisive social or political views.

One of our goals at Blizzard is to make sure that every player, everywhere in the world, regardless of political views, religious beliefs, race, gender, or any other consideration always feels safe and welcome both competing in and playing our games.”

Blitzchung also put out a statement, which included the following: “Thank you for your attention in the past week […]. I’m grateful for Blizzard reconsidering their position about my ban. I told media that I knew I might have penalty or consequence for my act, because I understand that my act could take the convention away from the purpose of the event. In the future I will be more careful on that and express my opinion s or show my support to Hong Kong on my personal platforms.”

The PR fallout for Blizzard continues, as well as a wider discussion of how much the Chinese government influences many major companies around the world.