In Depth WC3 Reforged Feedback

General Discussion
Hello there,

I watched Grubby's Gameplay and Q&A with you guys and since Grubby mentioned one or two times that we should provide feedback on anything, I kinda felt like it could be helpful to provide feedback on anything.

I've started playing WC3 casually in 2003, but then got into it more and more since it was a very popular game among friends. We got into playing this competitively in the ESL and some other leagues like WC3 Clan League and Lan Tournaments. I've spent ALOT of time in this game, and I know that game for a long time now and I've been into the esport/pro scene and I also have a pretty good understanding of the game. I mostly played 1on1 matches (training and ladder), and quite some custom games. I've not played alot of AT games, and almost no RT games.
I just wanted to state that, so it's easier to sort in my statements to my user-profile.

Okay, lets begin:

1. The Battle.net

In my opinion the WC3 Battle.net Interface is the best of all. SC2 (Bnet 2.0) was a huge disappointment for me, because it lacked all great social features.

Must have features:

Chat Channels - like they exist in WC3, except for some minor tweaks, they are near perfect. Maybe some more tools for moderation. Even if we didn't play, we still met our friends and clans in those channels and just talked for a few hours.

Battle.net Clans - without these I would have never gotten into real competitive WC3. It's a window to the world. For me as a teen there wasn't anything greater than meeting one of the pros in their clan's channel. Clans are 50% of my WC3 experience.

You cannot overstate the importance of chat channels and clans in WC3. It's insane, how much value these two things gave to WC3, and ultimately, I believe this is one of the bigger reasons SC2 struggled so much.

With this out of the way, this is my wishlist for improvements for the battle.net:

- Ability to set standard channel to be placed in after logging into battle.net. (Options= Standard, Own)
- Add a "follow friend" function to follow a friend into a custom game or introduce "Parties" to join custom games together.
- Bigger list for custom games and better filtering options, aswell as game/map name type in filter, so you can search for one specific game/map, e.g. "Footmen Frenzy" or "Vampirism" or "Legion TD" - also add a Filter for available slots, so parties can search for games with enough slots. (partly introduced with current PTR)
- Reintroduce hosting tools to compensate for the loss of hostbots (partly introduced with current PTR)
- Further decrease Bnet Base Delay.
- Because loading times are short, and search time can be high enough to tab out, in ranked matchmaking there should be a 5 second countdown before the game starts, so ppl can get tabbed in, see the map, the opponent and ready themselves.
- Option to automatically display own / opponent stats when the game starts. (not for FFA of course)
- more accessible list for all /commands for new players, or maybe autofill.
- Reduce Member requirements to form a Clan.
- Have In-Client WC3 Ladder and Tournament pages.

2. The Reforge

The moment I saw some ingame footage, the difference in artistic style is quite striking. Wc3 ingame has a very cartoony style appearance. Your new art style is more based around the cinematics. I guess you took these as reference, since the original 3D models are so low poly and low res textured, its hard to pull more information out of these. Although its possible to do "art style friendly" high quality remakes here, like "armies of azeroth" has proven.

At first I was slightly put off by that. I somehow wanted more exagerrated colors and shapes, but now that I looked at it over and over again I realise this fits the cinematics so much.
One must ask the question, why wasn't that brought up back in the day, when the cinematics and the ingame graphics didn't match at all?
Presentation wise the cinematics is what causes goose bumps - the ingame graphics would rather qualify as "functional" then, i guess?

Since I'm a 2D/3D game artist myself, I know how much work it is to model, unwrap, bake, texture, rig and animate such high quality models.
At that point its clear to me you won't redo all the models for a more cartoony overall style, maybe some slight changes. Now is that bad? Actually, no, absolutely not. In fact, most of the new models look insanely good - like the cinematics.
But it will be a change in appearance.

That said I want to give feedback for the new assets:

Arthas:

Overall I'm very pleased with him. The dimensions of his head, his shoulder armor and his neck have slight hints towards "ben swolo" meme, but i don't think its too bad. what i'd really appreciate is some more "age" (beard) in the face, like in this wc3 render:

https://abload.de/img/arthas-buffed_b2articibf8y.jpg

Uther

No complaints. It's Uther!

Footman

While I think the model itself is very pleasing to look at and represents the exact depiction of a human footman in the cinematics, ingame footmen look too small/thin. They're hard to make out and don't exactly represent the hitbox they're supposed to fill. I'd increase the shield in diameter to make it more substantial, also shield block is an essential ability for footmen, and i'd increase the overall size of the whole footman. Even compared to ghouls footmen like kinda small.

Rifleman

AWESOME. But slightly too big. Could be the small Footman next to him. I think a slight decrease in size would do the trick here or a bigger Footman might fix it. He's still huge for a dwarf though, but the WC3 Hitboxes/Boundaries should be normative.

Knight

Love him.

Peasant

They seem too ripped, too V shaped, too high. Peasants, to me, always had that "silly farmer/grower" flair - the voicelines massively add to that - the new model depicts a different physique for a different character. I think they could use some sort of a beer belly, more peasantry for these peasants. The bad thing is, the militia looks extremely nice, which would then be inconsistent.
On the other hand, I only got some bad stream quality to judge that. Maybe some high res screenshots or video would help.

I don't really like the way the gold bags look. It looks stretched / elongated, i think a more round/baggy visual would be more aesthetically appealing.

Mal'Ganis:

Though the flesh coloring on the wings looks really cool, i think overall Mal'Ganis turned out too pink. I did a recolor the way I'd do it:

https://abload.de/img/malganis1kddjx.jpg

otherwise outstanding!

Skeleton Warrior:

This is one of the units I don't like too much. This one looks bare to the bone, with only a wooden shield and an ordinary sword, also again rather bad visibility/hard to spot/make out. The WC3 Skeletons have armor, a skull decorated shield and a falchion like sword, and this is pretty badass. that increases visibility and readability on the battlefield.

The other things I didnt mention either look really nice, or I couldnt make out something to complain about, because I lack proper source material.

3. The new UI

This is something I'm not happy with.

Apart from the unit portraits this is a step back in visuals and functionality - from what I can see.

I really like the race themed overlays and i think it would be very unfortunate to drop these.
I agree on the point the old UI is quite clunky, but its also beautiful and we're used to it.
On the other hand I see the benefits of the new UI - it uses less space, it has a more convenient layout and it can be modular.
I've rewatched some more "The Culling" and found the new UI less horrible than i thought it was at first glance.

Still, I put together an UI which i thought would be a good compromise of "new, streamlined" and "usabilty".

these are the main problems i have with the new UI:

https://abload.de/img/uiproblemsfsi8g.jpg

I've increased the minimap size, improved the health and manabar visibility, increased the unit/selection window size, rearranged inventory and action window, added group selector buttons, which show, which groups are in use (similiar to SC2) and can be mouse selected.

and this is before / after:

https://abload.de/img/uioldl2i32.jpg

https://abload.de/img/ui36c2c.jpg

As you might have noticed, there are 16 units in the group selection window.

Which brings me to my next point.

4. Miscellaneous

Unit Selection Limit: Now this has been up for discussion a while now and I've met a conclusion for myself about that as stated above. Some want bigger groups, some dont want bigger groups.

Let's see the arguments for both sides.

"12 Unit Groups"

- Wc3 has always had 12 units, so has Starcraft (likely because of 4:3 monitors)
- Increasing that number lowers skill requirement
- "all in one group is noob"
- More units in one group are more confusing to select in the group selection window

14/16/18 Unit Groups

- Even pro players in 1v1 need to group units in the wrong groups from time to time, because the right group is full, or have several groups of one unit type.
- I, for example, use groups 1,2,3 for units, which is split in melee, range, caster and heroes in 2 of these groups. 4,5,6,7 are buildings and 0 are wood ghouls/peons/militia or scout workers. If one group gets too big (more than usual melee with triple hero, more than usual range, or mass casters) one unit type will bleed into the wrong group, which basically just lowers that wrongly grouped units efficiency. the way supply and army compositions work, 12 per group is sufficient most of the time, but often enough is artificially limiting usability. 14 or 16 unit groups would solve that problem, because thats were most late game armies or special unit compositions and strats top out.
- Slightly more units per group doesnt lower the skill requirement, its making the game more accessible; its a quality of life change.
- you cannot perform well in a ranked match, when you dont group properly anyway.
- todays monitors / resolutions offer more space for bigger group selection. we all know how much unused space in a 16:9 ratio sits right and left from the main UI.
- 12 Units is barely or barely not enough to select all workers in the main base in a standard 1v1 match - add an expo and more wood workers in your main and that silly unit cap will keep you from selecting all workers in your base at once.

I might have overlooked something, but in my book thats a clear win for slightly bigger groups. Except for some overemphasized elitism, there is no striking reason that cancels out all the benefits from 14/16/18 unit groups in favor of exactly just that number 12.

Not being able to select more than 12 units puts off new players, that are not used to that. And we as a WC3 community should put everything we have into making WC3 as noob-friendly as possible. Life in Northrend is hard enough anyway.

The Audio

I'm a HUGE fan of the original voice acting, and i'd really prefer to remaster the original voice lines and not do rerecordings, except the new are optional. this is nostalgia.

I wouldn't mind some new additional music though *hint* - I'll just assume the awesome original soundtrack will be remastered aswell. Oh and by the way, would you consider selling high resolution audio files of the new soundtrack? Something around 24 Bit 192000 hz - for the audio enthusiasts among us.

The Microtransactions / Skins

I actually like the idea of customization. Now this could be ingame unlocks through achievements or paid or part/part - i'd actually be okay with both.

BUT BUT BUT please hear me out on that one. Make reasonable prices.

I'd love supporting the game, and because the Starcraft 1 remaster was so good, I actually preordered WC3 Reforged instantly - I'd "donate" a few € here and there for some nice skins, but only if this doesnt get insanely crazy like "Jaina Archmage" for 25€ or the likes, which is very possible when considering the past of Blizzard "Micro"transactions. It's really not micro anymore, lol.

I probably forgot one thing or the other. Maybe we'll get some more viewing material to comment on soon.
This is a great and very in depth review. I mostly agree with the things said and I am also in awe that this remaster is finally being made. I thing that Mal'Ganis's fleshy tone is perfectly fitting for a vile demon, despite his pallor in the original.
I completely agree that peasants should be less sculpted as that would fit their role and complement their silly voice lines very well.
Thanks for the well thought out post. Seems you made it over a week ago...I'm shocked this feel through the cracks. All your points are made clearly and effectively.
Unit selection limit unlimited or no purchase.

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