Using the WC3 Engine was a Mistake

Blizzard listened to the purists and developed Reforged on the original engine. The WC3 engine is nearly 20 years old and gives a clunky, poor experience to modern standards. Maybe Blizzard did this intentionally so that people go back to playing WoW once they’re done with the campaign. Personally, I think using the WC3 engine was a colossal mistake, one of the worst in the company’s history. This decision has me looking past this game, and hoping for WC4.

We all know the game was great back in 2002, but updating a 20 year old engine is almost harder than creating a new one from scratch. Blizzard would’ve had a very easy time using the SC2 engine and downgrading parts of gameplay such as pathing and collision to create a similar feeling game with great lighting, networking, skin swapping, performance, etc. It is much easier to delete lines of code than to add new code.

When Resident Evil 2 was remastered, the devs started with the RE7 engine. This of course upset the purists, but the result was totally worth it and was a huge success. When Ocarina of Time was remastered, the devs didn’t force players to use an N64 controller or a CRT TV. Dota 2? Same thing, toxic purists claimed doom and gloom because the game wasn’t using the WC3 engine, and were proven totally wrong. The remasters that kept their original engine have gone largely unnoticed.

The way Blizzard is handling this remake is criminally incompetent. They listened to old players like Grubby, who know nothing about business, game development, or programming. Those purists (who will realistically make up an insignificant portion of players) demanded the same game engine be used. But for what purpose? So that they can maintain a small competitive advantage, and don’t have to re-learn parts of the game. Or, maybe for the satisfaction of subjecting others to the unadulterated gameplay they mastered, despite its obvious deficiencies. You would really sacrifice the rest of the player base and the game itself for their selfish reasons?

I’m tired of hearing people say that they needed to do this to preserve gameplay and for balance purposes because:

  1. The original gameplay is NOT very well balanced.
  2. Altering pathing, hitboxes, selection limitations, or networking delays does not detract from the gameplay experience in any meaningful way and only works to improve the gameplay experience.
  3. The only reason people are opposed to these changes is because they don’t want to re-learn parts of the game, and are afraid of losing their 20-year competitive advantage at using the engine. (this is in fact a valid argument, but is not what they’ll admit is their motivation).

I understand the game is in beta, but for God’s sake, we can’t even easily bind items to hotkeys in-game. Grubby isn’t even playing Reforged, and probably never will. Why on earth would Blizzard cater their game for a very much dead playerbase that would resist even the greatest of changes? They let several man babies with no money decide this game’s future. Before they started patching WC3 again, you couldn’t even find a game on Battle Net. Nobody cares about 20 year old custom maps anymore, and those maps could have been easily recreated in a modern engine.

People don’t seem to understand just how difficult a task it is to try to modernize an engine that was developed for Windows 98 machines. Even the task of getting it to run on modern hardware without using a wrapper is enough to make most game studios give up. Nevermind the difficulty in modernizing the networking, interface, lighting, asset handling, etc. AND they want it to be backwards compatible? Simply insane. The WC3 engine isn’t even backwards compatible with previous versions of itself.

The same job that took 2 years to do in the WC3 engine could have been done in less than a month on a modern engine. Sure, they’d have to recreate the campaign missions and maps (which actually has major benefits), but brute forcing those with the SC2 editor isn’t such an overwhelming task and only requires cheap, low-skilled labour. All these extra resources could have been used to improve the game and add new features, but as it stands the game probably won’t have any sort of long-lasting success when it still plays like something from a previous generation.


Old engine is so custom games will work, they’re kind of a big deal. Pros are temporarily not playing it cause ranked match making isn’t quite in yet.


Dude what the heck? :rofl: Again blaming us “purists”, when Reforged was from the VERY BEGINNING made with the original game engine, you idiot! This wasnt something that anyone got to say anything about, THAT was already decided BEFORE Reforged was even announced…yet here you are blaming others :joy:

And again they did it because they wanted the gameplay to feel EXACTLY the same as with the original game AND to have ALL the custom games made with Game Editor (without outside tools/mods) compatible with Reforged. It was the best and ONLY choice they could make and Im glad they made it, cause otherwise ALL those custom game maps would have had to be done from scratch AND its the custom game/multiplayer community that kept Warcraft III alive for so many years…

So you honestly dont have the slightest freaking clue what you are talking about, just like so many other clueless people in these forums it seems…

And again its clear you wanted a remake, but Reforged AT NO FREAKING POINT was going to be remake with entirely new engine like RE2 or FF VII Remake…

You have only YOURSELF to blame for having COMPLETELY and utterly unrealistic expectations about Reforged and wanting a complete remake out of it, when it was from the BEGINNING leaning more towards visual remaster than a remake.

Again if you want entirely new experience, new game engine, new campaings, etc, Keep requesting WC IV…its clear that Reforged is not for you and it NEVER was.So stop your whining when its clear that you didnt even bother to keep attention to what Reforged was all about to begin with.

I personally have NO problem whatsoever how the game looks or plays, as long as they just use their time well to polish it out. Again I and many other Warcraft III fans actually WANTED fateful recreation of the original with just improved visuals. Sometimes you just cant please everyone and you should just learn to live with fact that Blizzard/Reforged team chose to fatefully remaster WC3 instead of completely remaking it. And btw they would have NEVER gotten the acceptance/ funds/team to do that anyway from their higher ups at Activision-Blizzard who ultimately gets to have the final word what gets greenlighted and what doesnt.

And I mean look at the other stuff this team has been responsible off…with WoW Classic and SC: Remaster ,they ALSO set out to do fateful remaster or recreation of the original game, NOT to remake them completely. So WC3: Reforged goes just in line with those projects, and I honestly cant understand how you were somehow after those expecting WC3: Reforged to complete remake rather than a remaster


It’s okay the next time they make a mainline RTS entry (instead of a remake/remaster) I’m sure it will be on a new engine because that’s the most appropriate way to do that.


ocarina of time did the same as warcraft 3 reforged, it used an old engine with new graphics. blizzard could have created a new engine but, that would have taken more time. warcraft 3 also have an extreme player limit which is difficult to handle.


The biggest worthless wall of text I’ve ever seen.


Blizzard is doing it on the original engine so they can facilitate crossplay between Reforged and Classic. Plus it saves money.

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Just here to say i completely agree with this post. Grubby at some point even said something like (can’t remember exact words) : “The engine is old, pathfinding and unit AI is not as smart as Sc2 etc. but that’s the BEAUTY of wc3” (BEAUTY WTF???)
This game won’t succeed that much (Altough i hope i’m wrong cause i like Wc3 so much)

I’ve been a mapmaker for so many years, but i just gave up eventually due to clunky mechanics of Wc3.

EDIT: Just a quick reminder. To see how you do a true remake of a game, check Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition. It’s a NEW game with insane content, lots of quality of life additions, and new features. If you compare Reforged (which is literally nothing but a reskin) to that, you can have a good laugh.


An engine can be developed and enhanced, it just takes time. For example FO4 is still using morrowind’s old engine yet they were able to provide it with modern graphics to a certain extent. They just need more time to do everything at once, one year is not enough. Even AOE2 DE took about two years or more to develop.


I agree. I think the game looks and feels clunky when you have these shiny, beautiful unit models, but they move like idiots. I think that could’ve been altered with the current engine, though. So it’s not technically the game engine that makes WC3R awkward, but I see what you’re getting at. Blizzard put a hilarious imbalanced amount of energy into reskinning the game without making any effort to add to the actual overall visual effect and sense of immersion. I think it was an internally flawed decision and many of the developers know it.


This game has been in development for at least 2 years now, not 1 year. It’s true they used the WC3 engine so that the game would feel exactly the same. But to what benefit? They had to rewrite the graphics engine from scratch to make this work. This was not a cost-saving decision. It cost them far more time and money to do all this than to just use the Galaxy Editor.

They did approach members of the community before the game was announced. Grubby himself said that he knew about the development prior, and talked about how passionate he was with them about preserving the core gameplay. I’m not going to reply to each of your points because it’s obvious you didn’t even read my original post.

And while, yes, I do want WC4, I did want WC3: Reforged. I can throw your same logic back at you by saying that YOU never wanted Reforged, and clearly only want Classic. So go back to Classic. At least you can. WC4 doesn’t exist for me to turn to.

I can enjoy this game, but I know that it’ll be only a shadow of what it could have been if the proper decisions were made early on and resources were allocated responsibly.


I honestly have no clue why they focused on this niche “backward compatibility” for 4 years. Should have just created a next-gen engine and mopped the floor with other fantasy games like with the upcoming TESVI which I have low expectations for.

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Stopped reading here. They chose the engine from the very beginning to make it compatible to the original game.


As others have pointed out, what you really wanted was WC4.

If they’re going to make everything from scratch, in a new engine, with new gameplay systems, that’s what they’d be doing to justify the development time/cost. Slapping Warcraft III’s 15+ year old story on an entirely new game doesn’t really make any sense.


tbh, I think they should just invest the human resource into making WC4 instead of WC3.

Nice post O.P. thanks for write it.

And you guys asking for war4 need to understand two things:
-WoW is war4, at least in lore perspective.
-This new lore is pure garbage.

Being the devils lawyer, Gruby can not be responsible for this fiasco, sure, he gave his suggestion, but the ultimately decision was made by blizzard, therefore, this is all blizzard fault.


My dude listen I get what you are saying but all that is great for a WC4. Everything you said was the truth except that one little detail. Also you underestimate how many people want those 20 year old maps. Not to mention all the HIVE workshop creators who would get shafted if their maps(mainly custom campaigns) could not be imported to Reforged straight away. Examples: Legends of Arkain, Curse of the Forsaken, Rise of the Blood Elves… I mean here take a look.
These are years of hard work gone. I think it would be very disrespectful of blizzard to make the game in a new engine to bring in new players etc but at the same time shafting the people who kept the game alive.

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We need to stop to this “crossplay” thing. You Have only reforged in the ending product. RoC and TBC have their shut down and we all play in the reforged client. Is not about crossplay is a damn On/Off switch of the grafich. The porting of you old account is for that because you can’t play in the old client and in the old battle net when reforged is release. Reforged is not a separated game. Is an upgrade of Warcraft 3


He preordered and has played many Beta matches WITH Blizzard employees and at Blizzcon he’s interviewed the team. He’s provided a lot of feedback on the Beta and has a lot of content on his channel regarding it. Did you even look up an ounce of what you’re saying in this entire post?

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I appreciate your passion, but could you elaborate on this? What particularly is defining the clunk?

I believe the point of keeping the engine was to keep it as true to the original as possible. Changing the engine completely would change some core mechanics of the game. I am quite certain they did the same thing with SC, but you can correct me on that if I am wrong.

Grubby plays reforge and streams it. He plays classic more often than not, because the player skill base in classic is a lot more competitive at the moment than in Reforged, where you’re going to face a lot of noobs. Once there is a true rollout of matchmaking and everything stabilizes, you’ll see him playing it full time. I personally did the same thing with DotA2 because of the fact that DotA2 attracted a lot of new players, and it wasn’t as competitive as Clan TDA games, so I stayed for another year. It had nothing to do with the game itself though.

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