Warcraft III: Reforged Developer Update – Ranked Play
July 22, 2020
Greetings Warcraft III: Reforged players!
Since our last update, we’ve released a variety of changes to Warcraft III: Reforged with our 1.32.6 PTR and patch. From a major balance update, to more bug and desync fixes as well as additional matchmaking improvements, our quest to make Reforged ever better continues.
As we mentioned in our last Developer Update, we’d like to continue sharing details and insights on our ongoing development plans for Warcraft III: Reforged alongside each patch. For this installment, we wanted to give you a look at the changes we have in store for our highest-priority feature addition currently under development: Ranked Play.
When revisiting our designs for Ranked Play, we established a set of primary goals to guide our decision-making. Fundamentally, Ranked Play should provide a clear and trustworthy way for players to gauge their level of skill, as well as the skill of other players. In support of this, we’ve opted to make players’ ranks linked directly to their MMRs, rather than using a more detached, progression-based system. Additionally, while Ranked Play is the most competitive way to play Warcraft III: Reforged, it’s also important for us to ensure that this experience will be friendly for new players and veteran alike.
As we continue building this next generation of Ranked Play, we want to deliver an experience where the features and functionality build upon the original Warcraft III Ranked mode, while also considering the community-driven variants that have emerged in both legacy Warcraft III and Reforged.
A LOOK AT RANKED PLAY
As with the legacy version of Warcraft III, all five of the game modes in Reforged (1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4, FFA) will have their own ranked ladders. In keeping with legacy Warcraft III’s spirit, we also wanted to ensure that there are no requirements for moving up or down in rank beyond your raw point value. This means we will not institute systems like promotion or demotion matches.
Work in Progress: 1v1 Leaderboard
However, we have made some changes from the legacy version that we believe will lead to a better Ranked Play experience for players. We will be moving from the previous levels system to a more distinct medal system. Those familiar with StarCraft II ranked ladders will recognize the Bronze through Grandmaster ranking system, which we are bringing to Reforged.
The Grandmaster division will now be the highest rank and will only comprise the top 300 players with the highest MMR globally. When players jump into Ranked matches, they will be able to see their rank badge next to each player’s name on the loading screen. Those in Master and Grandmaster will additionally have their MMR displayed to all players as well. In another change from the legacy Ranked system, we will now be displaying a player’s own MMR directly to them in the main menu and in their in-game profiles as well.
Additionally, we wanted to address the aggressive experience decay that was in place in the legacy Ranked Ladder for Warcraft III. The original intent behind such an aggressive decay was to retain active players so that they could maintain their ranks. We believe that this was too punishing and have now decided to remove experience decay from Reforged for all ranks. We may decide to implement experience decay for Grandmaster in the future, but we’ll continue to monitor the data and see what would make the most sense for our top competitive players.
To determine their Rank in the new system, players will now need to complete a series of five placement matches. These placement matches will only be required for any game mode or race combination where a player has not yet received a rank. For those who do have a rank, only one placement match will be needed after each season roll for any mode or race combination where a player has been placed.
Alongside the improvements coming to the Ranked Ladder, we are also going to be bringing Ranked Seasons to Warcraft III for the first time. Seasons will offer an opportunity to roll in balance updates, fresh map rotations, and other adjustments, as well as give players rewards for participating (and seeing how high up the ladder they can climb) in each new Season.
Work in Progress: Season 1 Unranked Status
Work in Progress: Season 1 Ranked Play Placement in Progress
We will adjust player MMR and divisions between Seasons to maintain rank division sizes and prevent MMR drift to keep matchmaking times down. We think Seasons will provide structure for Ranked updates and give players the time to mentally reset and get excited for the new Season and new seasonal rewards.
Work in Progress: Season 1 Ranked Play in Versus - Placed Status
Speaking of seasonal rewards—we plan to award a portrait for each division and players will earn new portraits as they rank up. Portraits will unlock for all divisions earned at and below a player’s rank. With each new Season, players can expect fresh new portraits to showcase their achievements for that season.
Work in progress Ranked Silver and Gold badges.
While Seasons are brand new to the Warcraft III community, we’re excited about the benefits this framework will bring to the game.
SHARPENING SKILLS IN UNRANKED MODE
In addition to improving the Ranked experience for Reforged, we also want to expand upon it by adding an Unranked mode to the game. Unranked will be coming soon after Ranked mode is added to the game, for those players that would like to practice new races, tactics, and more in a competitive setting without the same stakes as formal Ranked matches.
Here’s a look at how this new game mode will work:
Unranked will have its own MMR attributed per race and per game mode, and is separate from the Ranked MMR system. Unranked MMR will never be displayed or reset, and the only way it will change is through the player’s progression as they play. We expect that there will likely be some MMR drift between Ranked and Unranked, but we feel this is acceptable as the Ranked and Unranked players are approaching each game mode with different mindsets.
Work in Progress: Profile Match History
As is the case in StarCraft II, Unranked players will be matched against Ranked players in 1v1 games. Wins and Losses will count as normal for Ranked players to ensure that players still try their best and continue to play to win. Ranked players will also be able to rank up by defeating an Unranked player as well.
When playing in Team games, we will only matchmake teams of all Ranked or all Unranked players onto the same team to ensure the fairest matches. That means Unranked players will only be paired with other Unranked players, and vice versa. For those players playing Unranked in Arranged Teams, the matchmaker will average player MMR and treat you like any other Arranged Team. However, at the conclusion of each match, team history is not tracked like ordinary Arranged teams.
Seasons will also have no bearing on Unranked mode. This means that there will be no Ladder resets for Unranked mode; however, wins in Unranked will count toward unlocking existing win-based portraits.
We know that this is just part of the complete Ranked play experience you’re expecting—we will be detailing our approach to Profiles and more in our next developer update. While we’re aiming to release Ranked Play in the coming months, it’s important that we take the time needed to deliver a combination of features that best serves our players and the Warcraft III community. We’re looking forward to seeing the community discussion around our current plans for Ranked, Seasons, and Unranked modes, and we’ll provide updates on our progress as development continues.
- The Warcraft III Team
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Created by Archian
STARCRAFT II 4.13.0 PTR PATCH NOTES
- Jul 15, 2020
We’re excited to announce a major update to the StarCraft II Map Editor!
Since Wings of Liberty, your feedback has been consistent: The Editor should be easier to use. This patch aims to address this feedback without losing depth of customization. As such, we’ve absorbed elements from the Warcraft III editor designed for ease of use without sacrificing existing capability of the StarCraft II Editor. We have also expanded the SCII Editor’s capability even further.
We encourage map makers and mod makers to jump in, explore, and send us your feedback as we’re always interested in adding more exciting changes in the future. This is the largest Editor update we've ever made, and we're excited to hear what you think! Below is an overview of some of the exciting new features. It is critical for us to get feedback about how your maps are behaving with these changes. So please try publishing your custom maps to the PTR and let us know if you run into any issues or strange behavior on our PTR forum.
Before you start: Please do not to forget to backup your maps before you try them on PTR as PTR is meant to be experimental.
Also: Please keep in mind that while War Chest XP can be earned on the PTR, progress will not carry over onto the other regions, and most rewards from the War Chest will not carry over from the PTR.
Read the full article: StarCraft II Official Game Site
Created by Mythic
1.32.7 PATCH NOTES
- Jun 30, 2020
June 29, 2020 - PTR
July 7, 2020 - LIVE
- The score screen for campaign missions now accurately displays time elapsed during that mission.
- Fixed an issue that was causing default loading screen text to display on custom loading screens.
- Fixed an issue in the user interface during Custom Games creation that caused the IME indicator to not display.
- Fixed a desync that occurred when a player in Classic mode and a player in Reforged mode were in a game with a unit that is both bloodlusted and hexed or polymorphed.
- Fixed an issue where Anasterian Sunstrider would sometimes use Death Knight Arthas’s model in Reforged mode.
- Frost Wyrm illusion auto attacks no longer apply the frost breath passive.
- Developers’ notes: Having illusions apply a slowing effect on auto attack was unintentionally added recently. This fix shouldn’t have much effect on balance overall.
- Music on the score screen now only plays once.
Created by Mythic
With a concept that's been in development for 11 years, the fourth rendition of Bosses of Warcraft is here! Constant development ensures rapid updates -- including new dungeons, graphics, user interfaces, and other exciting features you won't find anywhere else.
- Jun 22, 2020
"Whether or not you have already played our Warcraft III map, Bosses of Warcraft is an expansive project created to combine the elements of Professions, Dungeons and raid-style Bosses with the highly adaptable Warcraft III engine to create a unique user experience."
Bosses of Warcraft features epic 24-Player bossfights inspired by the map Impossible Bosses, made by Psyris. It uses a save/load system to enable players to store their progress as they advance through the map.
• Inventory System
• Quests & Dialog System
• Fullscreen Looting
• Custom HDR Settings
• Weather System
• Multiboard showing statistics
• Over 600 items
• Over 100 Custom Abilities
- A spell caster without peer, the Magician is able to both aid his allies and unleash magical havoc upon his foes. Magicians are not to be underestimated; their balance of offense and defense makes them an ally like no other. While their single target damage is not the greatest, when it comes to vanquishing multiple enemies, no class does the job as efficiently as the Magician.
- Highest area burst damage
- Can buff allies and disorient enemies, as well as recover mana
- Magical barriers for teammates
- A master of divine arts, protecting his allies as they defeat the forces of evil. On his own he isn't able to do much, but together with his group, he can make them unstoppable. The Healer can keep your allies up, healthy and full of fighting spirit, and is thus essential to any group.
- Recovery magic
- Buffs and areas that significantly reduce damage taken
- Specializes in single-target or area healing, and self-defense
- The cornerstone of any good party. The Tank absorbs damage from enemies, standing as a guardian between friend and foe. While not able to do as much direct damage to enemies as the other classes, they are able to harm stronger opponents by weakening them and breaking their battle rhythm.
- Great disruption
- High sustain, and can protect others
- Causes more threat than other classes
- A hero that strives in danger, the Duelist is able to deal the highest amount of single target damage and destruction upon enemies. Though the Duelist needs to be covered by a tank whom is able to keep threat, when that need is met -- there is no class as swift and lethal.
- Can be built both ability based and basic attack based
- Highest single target damage
- Can increase attack speed and attack damage for allies
- A master of the bow and the gun, the Ranger utilizes physical damage from long distances consistently -- especially when focusing down a lone prey. The Ranger is able to outmaneuver his opponents, dealing damage and dodging enemy attacks before making his retreat. When you need damage you can depend on, the Ranger is ready to hunt down your foes.
- Mixed mastery of area and single target damage
- Consistent long-range damage
- Can dodge attacks while attacking
- Dedicated guilds, staff members, and players ensure a welcoming experience.
Created by Mythic
1.32.6 PTR PATCH NOTES
- May 21, 2020
Warcraft III: Reforged PTR Patch Notes
21 May, 2020
Please note: These PTR Patch Notes are a work in progress and will be updated with further changes before the release of Patch 1.32.6.
This balance patch has a few different goals in mind. For heroes in general, we’re looking at the costs and sometimes the functionality of hero ultimate abilities, to make them a bit more competitive with a hero’s base line abilities and mana pool.
Items are another big area of this patch. Charged levels 5 and 6 are getting a shake-up to see if we can encourage more usage of these categories going forward.
Additionally, we want to support map makers’ future endeavors by doing a balance pass on the units provided by Mercenary Camps. Finally, in 1v1 matchups, we want to address rifle pushes in Human vs. Night Elf and slightly alter the early game in Human vs. Undead.
There will also be a map pool rotation in this patch. One map per game mode will be rotated out and a new one rotated in. This time around, all of the maps are made by our wonderful community map makers.
- Raccoons no longer fade away unnaturally during their death animation in Reforged mode.
- Fixed an issue with the Northrend Tree Wall Doodad where they appeared white on the minimap.
- Resolved an issue with walking animation speed in certain campaign maps.
- Fixed a legacy issue where the Summoned Damage data field for Feedback abilities was capped at 10. This did not affect competitive multiplayer, but was inconvenient for custom map makers.
- Thunderclap cooldown increased from 6 seconds to 7 seconds across all levels.
- Developers’ notes: Over the past year, the Mountain King’s Thunderclap has been slightly overperforming. While meta changes in 1v1 have seen its usage reduced, it remains a very strong ability in team games. We want to reduce its uptime, which should also allow players to better micro against the Mountain King by giving them more time to reposition between casts.
- Attack delay increased from 1.35 to 1.4.
- Developers’ notes: This change is focused around the Human vs. Night Elf rifleman push. We don’t inherently want the rifle push to completely disappear nor for riflemen to fall too far in power, but rather for the push to be slightly more equal between the attacker and defender. We’re adjusting the power on both sides, with this being the Human side of the change.
- Resurrection mana cost reduced from 200 to 150.
- Developers’ notes: Resurrection already has the restriction of waiting for a player’s army to be dead before being cast. At the same time, Paladins often spend much of their mana casting Holy Light to keep units alive in the first place. Reducing the mana cost should help boost the desirability of this ultimate by reducing mana tension.
- Big Bad Voodoo mana cost reduced from 200 to 150.
- Developers’ notes: We’re reducing the mana cost to help with mana tension. The ultimate itself was not altered at this time, as we want to keep the unique identity of how it works, and instead see if we can push it to be a bit higher of a pick through increasing availability of the spell.
- Earthquake duration reduced from 25 to 20 seconds. Building damage per second increased from 50 to 60. Mana cost reduced from 150 to 125. Earthquake no longer affects friendly units/structures.
- Developers’ notes: With Earthquake no longer affecting friendly units, Far Seer players should now have a new slowing option available to them for combat usage. Reducing the duration while keeping the overall damage roughly the same makes responding to a Far Seer casting Earthquake more important and gives a bit more consistency to how much damage it can inflict.
- War Stomp cooldown increased per level from 6/6/6 to 7/7/7.
- Developers’ notes: War Stomp has shown to be quite powerful in recent months. We believe this is more due to Tauren Chieftain’s ability to more consistently deliver stuns, rather than the damage increase to War Stomp. Simply reducing its damage would be less likely to lower the power of War Stomp. This change doubles the downtime of the ability at level 3, giving opponents more time to counter micro. Additionally, this weakens the Tauren Chieftain’s early game allowing opponents to better push for map control.
- Stasis Trap activation delay decreased from 10 to 9 seconds. Detection radius reduced from 250 to 175. Activation time reduced from 1.0 to 0.5.
- New data variable in map editor: Detonation Delay.
- Developers’ notes: Witch Doctors are still fairly rare in high-level play. We want to tune up its Stasis Trap ability, and to do that we looked into how it could trap more units. A smaller detonation ring combined with a shorter delay means that units will have less time to move through the area of effect before getting trapped and will have less time to attack the totem when it reveals itself.
KEEPER OF THE GROVE
- Entangling Roots cast range on level 3 increased from 600 to 800.
- Developers’ notes: While we like where the Keeper of the Grove’s early game power is, we want to give this ability a little boost in the late game. Since armies grow in size, especially in team games, reinstating its old range should give the Keeper a little more ease of use in late game scenarios.
- Tranquility Invulnerability time removed. Duration reduced from 15 to 12. Healing increased from 40 to 48.
- Developers’ notes: In the past we tried an experiment with Tranquility where we would give invulnerability to heroes when casting channeled spells. After testing it, we’re moving away from this, as we feel it dampens the personality of channeled abilities. Ideally, a channeled ability is very powerful with the drawback of being interruptible. This weakness is also what gives the abilities their character, as finding the right time and place to maximize its power is the main gameplay of using them. Adding invulnerability clouds this, as it now acts more like a normal “cast and forget” spell, but with a little extra bonus on the end. It also acted as anti-debuff mechanic, which was undesirable. While it could be made to not remove debuffs, that would act as a new special case that’s different from regular invulnerability and it would add new complexity for players to memorize. Instead, we want to further reduce the duration of the spell but increase its power of the effect, giving greater benefit even when shut down by opponents, but also encouraging opponents to react quickly to the channeled ability.
DRUID OF THE CLAW
- Base damage in bear from increased from 23 to 24.
- Developers’ notes: We think bears could use a bit more power in the mid-to-late game in general, especially against Undead. Additionally, with Human vs. Night Elf rifle pushes often occurring right when only a few bears are out, we felt that a slight bear buff would help defenders just that little bit more to keep them in the game.
DRUID OF THE TALON
- Gold cost reduced from 145 to 135.
- Developers’ notes: Previously Druids of the Talon had their gold cost increased due to balance concerns with them in the Orc vs. Night Elf matchup. The meta has changed quite a bit since then, and so we would like to reduce their cost back to its old value to better encourage their usage.
- Impale can no longer be interrupted. Units knocked airborne can now take damage and be attacked.
- Two new data variables in map editor: Airborne Units Vulnerable, Uninterruptible.
- Carrion Beetles mana cost increased from 30 to 45. Now spawns 2 beetles at a time, up from 1. Maximum beetles increased from 5 to 6.
- Developers’ notes: The being whose might cannot be matched is getting a tune-up in this patch. Previously the Impale ability was hardcoded to be interruptible and make units hit by it invulnerable while airborne. Unlike other channeled abilities, giving a move order to a command group containing a Crypt Lord casting Impale would cause it to move and cancel the ability. This change removes this annoyance. Additionally, making airborne units vulnerable no longer causes units to lose auto attack focus on Impaled units. Airborne units are still untargetable by spells though. This was left in place out of an abundance of caution for introducing unintended bugs.
- More developers’ notes: Speaking of bugs, our buff to Carrion Beetles should greatly encourage some new experimentation with this rather rarely picked ability. Now the Crypt Lord can bring about a swarm of summons much earlier and with less mana invested to either scout opponents or make early game pushes. We will be monitoring if this proves to be too much of an issue in the early game, but we feel these changes overall give the ability a much stronger personality.
- Animate Dead mana cost reduced from 175 to 125.
- Developers’ notes: We hear rather frequent feedback that this ability is one of the lower tier ones. Directly buffing it too much at this time seemed unwise, as the Death Knight itself is quite core to Undead’s best strategies, and buffing it further...
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