Hello! As if you likely already know, the developers stated that they have turned down the level of changes that they are making to the campaign (we still don’t know all the details, but tldr: the reforging will happen, but not on the originally promised level). Their main argument was that it would make the game closer to the original and more pure:
“Blizzard got a lot of really great feedback where the community was like, ‘Hey, hold on. We love this story. Maybe don’t tinker with it too much.’ So we actually veered away from doing that as much. Fundamentally, it was an amazing story, and everybody agrees it was an amazing story we don’t need to break that.”
— Robert Bridenbecker, executive producer and vice president at Blizzard Entertainment, in his interview for Polygon (https://www.polygon.com/2019/11/1/20944518/warcraft-3-reforged-story-retcon-world-of-warcraft-wow)
Back2warcraft and wowpedia interviews, just as the Blizzcon 2019 panel follow the same notion. But sadly, this argument falls apart. Here’s three main reasons for that (and I won’t even mention giving the playerbase promises that they weren’t able to deliver, while having preorders open since day 1):
1. The original campaign won’t go anywhere
As you can see on the screenshot, the player can choose between the Original and the Reforged campaigns. So all the people, who actually despise every single lore change since 2003, can simply choose to play the classic version of the story with new graphics.
The new campaign wouldn’t have deleted the old one. That’s the main reason, why there was no need to cut anything from the updated single player game to appease the old fans.
2. The retcons had already happened
Retcons and Blizzard always go hand to hand. Even the original Warcraft 3 steamrolled over Warcraft 2 lore. For example, Kul Tiras had left the Alliance during the events of the Warcraft II campaign, but in Warcraft III Manual it was retconned to the kingdom never leaving the faction and remaining its supporter even after the Second War. So there was no surprise when World of Warcraft gave the same treatment to WC3 right from the get-go. It happens to all Blizzard franchises.
Even so, Reforged wasn’t supposed to “tarnish” the game with more retcons, the idea was to actually show existing lore developments from WoW in WC3 engine. Because some of these “old” retcons are, indeed, very old: 10 years and counting. And lots of players from both WoW and WC3 fandoms were actually intrigued to see the events of the Third War in the expanded setting and in accordance with the ongoing canon.
So, those retcons had already happened thanks to WoW, novels, comics, the Chronicle (a very good read, actually) etc. Not showing them in Reforged won’t change that.
3. Reforged is a walking retcon of WC3 even in this state
Indeed, Reforged have actually managed to retcon the old WC3 even in its current state. Look at the buildings and units: they weren’t merely “uprezed” to HD standards, they were redesigned to fit the WoW canon. Dragonhawks aren’t simple giant birds anymore. Nether dragons are “shark-dragons” now, instead of being blurry space ghosts. Draenei buildings aren’t mushroom tents anymore. Voidwalkers are buff bodybuilders. There are female demon hunters and death knights. Antonidas wields his staff from WoW. This list can go on and on…
So, one can compliment (or scold: depends on your point of view) Reforged for actually doing some retcons, despite the devs’ stance on the idea. And come to think of it, that makes this redesign a huge problem, because while the campaigns will be reforged, it won’t happen on the level that was promised a year ago. So, what’s the point of all the effort with the models? It’s like a half-measure now. While at the same time, the redesign simply doesn’t fit with the new purist approach to the game, since now it’s more of a “Remastered”, instead of “Reforged”.
Dear developers, with all respect, If the actual problems here are time constraints or lack of resources, feel free to say that and just postpone the release. While I know that it’s, probably, too late for that, I also know that many people, including myself, will prefer to wait another few months or even a year to getting a partially cut project instead.