Wrath of the Betrayer mission crashing

Every time I try to play it crashes the game completely. What do I do?

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Right, so the problem here is a multiple authors problem. I don’t have to actually download or play Reforged to guess at what is going wrong.

Reforged needed to have shiny particles in the game as quickly as possible, while putting in as little money as possible. So rather than to engineer a 3D particle emitter system for high fidelity graphics, Reforged opted to purchase the immensely complex system from popcornfx.com because Activision probably already had licenses with that company and the particles look very good visually.

However, Warcraft III is a C++ program primary made from 1999-2002. It was made by a couple of guys – according to some reports – in about 3 months in those years while in a big hurry to repurpose the render engine from the scrapped “Warcraft Legacies” Role-Playing Strategy game or whatever it was. Their goal was to flip a render engine into an RTS on par with Starcraft while under extreme deadline pressure. A couple of smart guys hacked it together in a short time, and they kept everything simple as much as possible.

The DirectX8 render pipeline from back then was ancient, so the Reforged guys from 2017-2019 ported the whole engine to DirectX11 and DirectX12, while also maintaining a bunch of branches in the code that could flip back to DirectX8 if the user needed it for backwards compatibility. After doing that, by 2019 it got to a point where they could shovel in the proprietary code from popcornfx.com but you have to understand, even the guys at Activision who buy the license for the popcornfx.com render pipeline aren’t going to have legal permission to read that code. They are only allowed to run it without reading it, so that Popcorn Company gets their money. Problem is, the PopcornFX render engine is designed to be a plugin to Unreal or Unity or maybe Amazon Lumberyard (O3DE) or whatever.

So, the Reforged guys in 2019-2020 had to hack what almost amounts to an Unreal plugin to render in the DIY engine of Warcraft III’s 2002 code, now ported to run on DirectX12. Meanwhile, their managers are standing over their shoulders like bloodsuckers. You know, there aren’t really that many game engines that make it off the ground – Unreal, Unity, Godot, LibGDX, etc. These are very large projects that require a team of people to maintain. The sane use of technology is for a developer to reuse an existing engine to save time and money, and sell assets and an experience – i.e. a “game” – to the customer for some easy profit.

With the Reforged, the developer has to work as efficiently as someone using a 2020 engine like Unity or Unreal in order to please his boss, while also doing tasks as technologically complex as the people who created Unity or Unreal because of what this spaghetti code is under the hood.

It gets worse. The use case for Popcorn Company graphics is developers selling you a game. But Warcraft III is a game of games. There are many custom games that try to live within the Reforged. It turns out, some of these custom games use the Popcorn Company emitters of their own, embedded inside their custom game maps on the Reforged.

For 20 years, Warcraft III (being its own system) had a history of backwards compatibility. The maps you make today are playable for you tomorrow. But that means that Warcraft III now needs to be able to render Popcorn FX emitters from the Popcorn Company that were imported in a custom map even if the emitters were made in last year’s format.

It’s simply not possible. Backwards compatibility is not a supported feature for the Popcorn FX integration. Instead, the emitter file version must match the render engine version. So we drop support for the custom games. Or don’t we? Summer 2022 when it became evident that somebody at Activision who doesn’t give a hoot upgraded the Reforged PopcornFX engine version, the custom game developers started crying foul on twitter. Why do classic graphics with tiny single-structure hacked-together particles from 2002 still run on Reforged, but now all Reforged Graphics custom maps crash? That’s ludicrous! There was little time. In a hurry, an under-appreciated Activision programmer had only to find a way to hack into the spaghetti of many engines so that it would identify Popcorn Emitter binary file structures in an out of date format and at least skip over them, so that the Custom Games did not crash!

In the ensuing hurry, the 2022 programmer’s finger slipped. Reforged engine started to identify good, valid, and necessary Popcorn Emitter nodes in the world editor as invalid. The emitters started to crash in-game whenever the camera panned too quickly over the high fidelity particles, in ways that had previously been fine on Reforged in 2020 and 2021. But compiling the game to have a look, to just give it a quick test to see, took hours. It wasn’t fair. Map developers can just click test and instantly see the result. They have no idea. Why does recompiling the entire game of Warcraft III take so long? Why does it have so many compiler optimizations enabled? Is it all a waste?

The boss was on the line. The programmer had to pretend as if he finished “fixing the Popcorn Emitters” and checking off the box before the code even finished compiling. The boss needed him to go work on another game. Surely, surely he wouldn’t make a mistake. He tagged his “ticket” in the online bug tracking system as complete and joined the call with the boss.

Now, Jared, your computer is crashing because of when the programmer’s finger slipped. So, you don’t do anything, Jared. You don’t do anything at all. You just pray to Lord Bob Kotick that he would decide to send one of his underpaid programmer henchmen to resolve your bug, despite it being totally outside the scope of any of their schooling or training, which he would clearly only do if he decided to do so out of the generosity of the hollow void of his heart. Because society didn’t put anything in place that would cause you to financially reward anyone for fixing it, and therefore they have no incentive to.

You could try to spread truth online. You could try to research how PopcornFX works yourself. You could try to patch over your Warcraft III: Reforged install to use the classic emitter nodes while otherwise operating on the Reforged graphics mode. But most likely, you don’t do anything. You can’t. Because this is a society governance problem --where power is given to those who do not solve the problem – and not a technology problem.

I’m having the same problem. Usually when I scroll the screen to the very bottom.

The cause of these crashes is most likely HD weather effects - they need to be re-baked.

Only Blizzard can fix this.

Referring to the information on PCGamingWiki, try use D3D12 mode (open Blizzard App, click the gear icon on the right side of “Play”, choose “Game Settings”, check “Additional command line arguments”, input “-graphicsapi Direct3D12” without quotes and click “Done”) and do not click on the mini-map to see if it relieves.