"Gamestar" Gaming Media calls out Blizzard over underdelivering on Reforged one year later


Gamestar is the 2nd biggest Gaming Media Outlet in Germany.


“One year ago Blizzard promised to save Warcraft 3: Reforged. They didn’t.”


major bugs were fixed, that made the game unplayable (like insta defeat campaigns), but no missing features were added. the only good thing about wc3 reforged is the campaign with new graphics for single players. everything else is missing or worse. returning to wc3 reforged after a year makes you feel like you should just pack your stuff and leave again.

the author is especially let down by the fact blizzard just didnt do anything to adress the shortcomings although it was promised to bring back cut features. disbanding the team behind wc3 after underdelivering on promises makes huge implications about other blizzard projects.
vicarious visions taking over some projects was seen as a plus, considering what blizzard delivered.

he talks briefly about w3champions and how its a disgrace for blizzard the community could do that in a few months while blizzard seems to be completely unable or unwilling to do it at all.

the video closes with “2020 was the year Blizzard pushed Reforged over the edge, and 2021 will be the year Blizzard buries Reforged for good.”


What will happen first, Blizzard fixes Reforged or the community learns how to post links without posting an x in front it ?

Find out 2021.


I don’t agree with that. The author may be a bit out of touch.

The developer updates showed fairly complete looking profile and ladder systems. I think the Classics team was well on their way to adding those features back in… until everything came to a screeching halt when the team was dissolved.

you dont know if these even exist. i can fiddle something together like that in an afternoon in photoshop. in fact, i have already done that.


Tbh the timeline on ranked will always be sketchy. They literally said in November/December of 2019 that Ranked was going to be in for launch. So were they 90% done there, or was that a lie and the screencaps we got months ago was all done from the ground up post launch? It’s hard to know just how far along they were and how far along the way there before they got taken off.

If course they don’t exist and they’re just design mockups. Everyone with a brain can see that within a second if you take a look at the numbers displayed in those mockups, they’re fantasy numbers and nothing out of an actual database.

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For sure. Timewise, it’s a jumbled mess. For all we know, those pics where just the beginnings of the features.

I just wanted to rebut that author’s claim that Bliz was compleyely unable or unwilling. It seemed they were both at one point.

That would be quite the mental gymnastic to believe Bliz posted all those updates as fakes.

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on what do you base your pro blizzard assumption? they promised 1000 things since release and have yet to deliver an “initial release” worthy version after one year. what makes you assume they actually worked on something but didnt get to release it? theres so much in reforged thats an easy fast fix for one developer. i can just assume literally no one is working on reforged at all because theres no progress at all.
they dropped reforged like a hot potato half a year ago and its easier to have one random graphics artist throw together a fake in 2 hours and put that out as “developer update” twice to shut up the crowd than have someone actually work on the UI and the backend.

campaign is still an unbalanced hackjob as they just imported roc balancing into tft ruleset - they just managed to fix it so you can actually finish it by playing and not by cheating. they fixed the desyncs, they fixed the soundloops, they introduced very basic MMR system for unranked matchmaking, they reenabled lan and singleplayer skirmish months after release and fixed the classic graphics back to original state and thats about it. oh and they fixed the cinematic in which the bridge just disappears tyrande glitches into the water. and footprints.

thats still less than what was to be expected in the release version.

its also very common for the games industry to put out “fake content” for advertisement - sometimes its alpha gameplay with cut content, sometimes its just completely made up. just recently cyberpunk2077 had early “gameplay” debunked as pure CGI.


What makes me assume they actually worked on something is that there would be no reason to lie. Not to mention having public, documented proof of a lie like those articles would be self incriminating.

It’s not like Bliz has a history of cheating customers, so there’s really no assumption needed. It’s just using deductive reasoning: they were working on what the community was crying out for, then they got the rug pulled out from under them.

Now that’s a statement worth of “on what do you base that assumption?” Are you one of Reforged’s programmers? Are you some internal personnel in the know? Are you privy in the least to what goes into coding Reforged not just on the front end but the back end as well? The networking? The hardware/infrastructure? It’s so easy to fix that it took a team to assemble what exists now. If you think it’s so simple, you need to get in contact with Bliz ASAP and school them; show them your know-how.

It’s surprising that you’d have the audacity to question an assumption that just uses the available information at hand, only to make a claim that you could know nothing about.

All the updates were before the team was dissolved. And again, they faked it? To what end, to purposely set themselves up to be caught? I get that people are upset and for good reason. But… mental gymnastics.

No, Duskwalker, it’s not “very common”. It happens but you’re attempting to make it out to be some standard. And citing one example doesn’t support “very common”. Even if you find 10 examples, that’s nothing in the pool of developers and all the their games across any period of time. More of the mental gymnastics to create something… anything to make sure you stay as fervently mad at Bliz as possible.


Sorry but I totally disagree with that.

On an extent I understand that maybe it is not just a photoshopped image, but, the concept of mockup is not strictly related to images.
The probably did some html interface with some minimum of working stuff and then posted a screenshot of it.

To pretend that there is a full backend for it just because “they had no reason to lie” is ridiculous.

They had to feed something to the community hoping to get some more time and maybe 1 or 2 less refunds. That’s all.

If you see the post it’s all about how an elo system works, it’s not about what they were actually doing and even if they were actually going to do something it does not mean that they had done something.

It was just a mockup… they lied already, so why not lying once more?

Then, if an insider you know something more… like that the system was already done it’s different. Then you are right.

Let’s not just pretend they were working cause some random guys posted a couple of images…


Oh I didn’t mean to say it was definitely close to done. Just that it seemed (to me) that they had made good progress from Jan to August. In fact, I’d agree that the images likely weren’t screen shots of the completed systems all working together. Instead, like you said, just a local mockup to demonstrate what the real data would look like.

I’ll freely admit there’s nothing I know from behind the scenes, except some server/matchmaking stuff. Anything I said here was just based off what I’ve seen around: players rebelled, they claimed to be working on things with articles to showcase it, suddenly they when quiet, we find out they got nixed 4ish months ago, and so the whole thing stalled out.

The only info I ever knew about Reforged that wasn’t overly published was how the servers are selected for the Versus and Custom modes. And that was only because I had a contact with one of the leads of the networking teams. But, as you can guess, he’s not there anymore so that connection is gone. :frowning:

Well, probably they genuinely had the front end ready and were working on the back end…
In the end, it is not even fault of the x programmer or the y artist. It’s a total failure of communication and management…

alright, you forced me to do this. ill prove you the “profile screenshots” are fabricated and not ingame screenshots.

these are all the profile screens from the blizzard hosting:





zoom to 100%. now see how on the profile window buttons and especially fonts are 100% sharp, and the underlaying “main menu” and the chat arent. especially noticable on the chat font thats clearly lower res, but in fact fonts are vectors, especially in a modern web environment that the reforged menu is. that means the background image has been rasterized and sized beyond native screen capture resolution with the profiles put onto in native. also compare the “back” and “cancel” buttons on the “profile layer” vs the “main menu” layer.
i took screenshots myself and the sharpness drop exactly corresponds to 1080p being upscaled to 1440p with the profile menu being made in 1440p native.
Try it yourself so you cannot say i made this up. see it with your own eyes.
it also makes no sense the buttons themselves differ in resolution.

if you think “yea that might be concidence, doesnt proof anything”, then ill point out to you the warcraft 3 menu background is in fact animated - really big coincidence the raindrops are identical on all “screenshots”.

if you then assume they use a paused background, i wonder why the chains left and right bottom are blended out with a soft brushed layermask but somehow slipped. but wait, theres more. the top portion of the chains are actually in the “retail” position, while all screenshots show a lower position of the chains.

and you might assume “its their developer version background thats paused, glitched and lower resolution than the normal client” im very curious as to why this background from the dev update 1 month prior is 1. different and 2. without the double chains:

either all screens should be the same, or all different. but that pattern doesnt make much sense. how much work do you want to put into the background in 1 month just to make it worse and take a screenshot from a broken version?

well those chains can break in the work-client - sooo that doesnt prove anything. but what about that good ol nasty seam that runs from the slipped chains through the hole picture a few pixels pixels below the profile window? zoom to 300% and its evident.

and while you’re there you can look at the bottom right corner of the profile window and discover the scrollbar is hacked in. did i mention that the scroll bar in reforged scales with the amount of scrolling? long list to scroll: short. short list to scroll: long. really strange the scrollbar is always exactly the same although its kinda hard to imagine the amount of scroll is always the same. go up and you see the unfit stitching of the frame - its not even blended.

below the seam the background has very obvious dithering artifacts if you pull up the gradiation curve. now how can it be that the top part has only jpeg compression artifacts and color banding while below the seam the background has dithering artifacts.

lets uncover the solution to the chains and the seam - layer the july and august screenshots over each other and you’ll find the august “player profiles” use the bottom part of the “july” ladder “screenshot”. see how the grass blades actually fit into each other and the august “screenshot” cuts a grass blade on the right side with the seam upwards.



also notice how the pictures use different formats indicating that its not the same person making (not taking, making!) the “screenshot”. no one randomly rolls out the file format to save today. if you prefer quality, you pick png. if you prefer filesize, pick jpg. how can you not care about quality, but then suddenly do? also, jpg is perfectly sufficient for that matter.

another neat thing is that they include a cursor in this:

but none for clicking and highlighting the dropdown menu here:

and in fact its impossible to highlight a dropdown menu in reforged without actually having a cursor ontop of it and the text color doesnt change neither, unlike the “screenshot”.

nothing they show in those screenshots is “real” - its all a photoshop hackjob composed of multiple sources, and a pretty bad one to add insult to injury.

oh and im not “assuming” anything - i was a 2D/3D game artist myself. i know my way around in photoshop and 3dsmax and game engines - not wc3, but goldsource and source engine. i did the whole asset pipeline from scratch. concept -> modeling -> uv mapping -> texturing -> hand made shader maps -> ao baking -> phys models and hitbox models -> rigging & animation -> sound effect frame alignment and engine import / compiling & .vmt shader setup. i didnt do coding, but pretty much everything else.

no ones gonna come around and tell me “you dont know how game development works” when i did exactly that for almost a decade. and if i say that texture touchups, hitbox models, shader maps and in engine lighting setup are not a big deal you can either believe it or put your head in the sand and act like those blizzard devs are doing highest art of rocket science - its not - especially not with such an old engine like the war3 engine. w3 champions proves exactly that - not with ingame graphics, but the coding, ui, webintegration and networking you claim to be so ridiculously hard that its almost impossible to do - until some weekend coders happen to do it “accidentally”? i dont wanna play down the huge achievement w3champions is, but you’d guess the studio that actually made the game should be capable of about the same.

if i was working alone on w3 reforged, i could have fixed most graphic/model/readability issues within that year, probably with spare time to rebalance the campaign - the secret to reforged is: no one is actually working on it. its impossible to have a team work on that thing and get so little progress. its like taking 4 months to change tires on 10 cars. ridiculous. its utterly ridiculous to assume a studio couldnt do more work than blizzard does. blizzard just does bloody nothing. thats their secret.


“That would be quite the mental gymnastic to believe Bliz can do the exact same lies it already did on this project.”

Well. No. It’s the logical assumption.


The only thing I can think is maybe they put a stop on it to prioritize during the pandemic. Hopefully we will get some news during blizzcon and after they return back to HQ we can get some real meaningful updates.

Dusk you should start considering a career in forensics… not joking… you would have some real challenges.

You mean the 2018 pandemic or the 2019?


Of course, not when based off nothing. However, what does exist…

… that at least is a concrete, verifiable basis to draw logical conclusions on what happened.

That was a lot for nothing. I never said the screen shots were of finished products. In fact, all your efforts to show that the various elements don’t match each other or match what we see in game is exactly what you’d expect with a work in progress. It’s showcasing an upcoming product.

When I showcase upcoming software to clients/employees, I have to add elements, such as text and data to the demonstration so that the audience can get an idea of what the final product will look like. And in no way, DustStalker, does that mean the images are fake or that the software doesn’t exist.

For Blizzard? You must mean for Blizzard or else you’d know nothing of their processes, policies and procedures. If not, then your experience in developing isn’t relevant to an organization you have no insight into.

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Man the images of the bliscon were a lie and it was a demo.
What makes you feel like it is that it did not show signs of life in half a year and it is done in a month, is it true?

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Which Blizzcon? 2018 when it was announced? I played the floor demo and it represented exactly what they had been advertising.

2019? They overtly announced that they changed their minds about a huge chunk of their plan, which is allowed during development. Thus anything that wasn’t in the release, that they told us wasn’t going to be there, isn’t a lie.

Well they just said they fired the team that was doing that.