Blizzard added widescreen support, 24-player support, made hero balance changes, and introduced experimental modes.
Last year, Blizzard decided that it was not only going to re-release StarCraft in remastered form, but also update the original game and offer it completely free. Yesterday, Blizzard released a major patch for Warcraft III, and it has gamers crossing their fingers the developer is getting ready to announce a similar remastering.
The patch takes the game to version 1.29 and is for Warcraft III PTR (Public Test Realm). As the patch notes explain, the update includes widescreen support for testing, a number of hero balance changes, experimental support for 24 players, World Editor upgrades, and updates to the Map Pools including 1’s, 2’s, 3’s, 4’s and Free-for-All. There’s a couple of bug fixes including the ability to create clans and the Mac client adding support for 10.11 and beyond. Blizzard also wrote dedicated posts covering the Map Pools and game balance updates and World Editor improvements in detail.
Blizzard treated the patch release yesterday as an opportunity to announce a new Warcraft III Invitational to help celebrate. It will take place across Feb. 27-28 and includes “a slew of special events, including Free-for-All, 4v4’s, and other friendly competitions. Well-known Warcraft III competitors from around the world will be getting together live at Blizzard HQ to showcase their talents in friendly competition!” You’ll be able to watch the whole thing on Twitch.
With the patch out and the Invitational planned, talk will now inevitably turn to whether a remaster of the game is imminent. In November last year, Blizzard co-founder Frank Pearce said they wouldn’t remaster the original Warcraft or Warcraft II because those games are “not that fun any more.” I’m sure many gamers disagree. However, the third game is another matter and Blizzard’s continued support and work on it suggest a 4K update just like StarCraft received could happen, and happen soon. There was even a Blizzard job listing last year that confirmed it was probably going to happen.