Warcraft III: Reforged Developer Update

WARCRAFT III: REFORGED DEVELOPER UPDATE

Blizzard said: blizzarrow.gif
May 19, 2020

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Hail, Warcraft III: Reforged players!

It’s been too long since we’ve shared an update on our team’s progress. After a challenging launch, we’ve been regrouping, listening to your feedback, prioritizing the things we need to do for the game, and building a plan to deliver on our next steps. While we’ve been quiet these past few months, know that there is a dedicated and passionate team that’s been hard at work on Warcraft III: Reforged behind the scenes. As our team works toward a roadmap that we can share in the near future; we’d like to start communicating more frequently and meaningfully about our plans, and what’s coming next for the game. Let’s kick that off right now, with the first in a series of articles diving into what the team is focused on.




Ongoing Updates: Bug and Desync Fix Patches

Since launch, we’ve delivered a series of patches in an ongoing effort to continue fixing bugs and making quality of life changes across Warcraft III. These updates have come at a rate of at least once a month, and include fixes and improvements to art, gameplay, systems, and features across the game, including Campaign, Custom Game, and Versus modes.

Some of our most impactful bugs since legacy Warcraft III involve desyncs which occur when two or more players’ game clients get out of sync and force their game to end prematurely. Due to how disruptive these desyncs can be, a heavy emphasis will continue to be on finding and resolving the most common issues that are causing desyncs. In addition to actively approaching desync issues from different angles, we’re also developing a tool that will better arm us against future desyncs.




Balance Updates

As with other Blizzard games, our team will also be releasing balance updates for Warcraft III. Our goal is to preserve classic strategies where possible while promoting increased strategic variety. Warcraft III is a hero-focused RTS (Real-Time Strategy game), and we want to celebrate that by providing opportunities for players to open with different Heroes while retaining the unique playstyles inherent to each race and the asymmetry between races.

Each of our balance patches will aim to ensure competitive integrity at the professional level while providing a variety of different strategies for new and returning players of all skill levels. Our first balance patch since launch will be coming to the Public Test Realm (PTR) for testing this week and will feature a bevy of updates. Check out the patch notes soon for all of the details, and don’t forget to provide your feedback once you’ve had a chance to play the changes on the PTR.




Upcoming Features

In parallel to these ongoing bug fixing efforts and balance updates, we’re also working to deliver features to the game, including Improved Matchmaking, Ranked Ladders, Profiles, Custom Campaigns, and Clans. While we’ve mentioned before that these features are in development, we wanted to start providing more details on the direction we’re taking with each, share some additional insights, and give players an opportunity to provide feedback. Up first, let’s talk about our ongoing improvements to Warcraft III’s matchmaking.




Matchmaking Reforged

Matchmaking is the system we use to find and match allies and opponents of similar skill. To support this, player skill is tracked using a numerical representation called a player’s Matchmaking Rating, or “MMR” for short. A higher MMR reflects a more skilled player, and matching players with others of comparable skill using their MMRs keeps games as fair and fun as possible.

A player's MMR gets updated at the conclusion of each match, with the amount of points received being dependent on several factors that serve to determine their predicted win chance and an internal value called “variance.” We use variance to represent how confident our system is that a player is rated at the right skill level. When starting out, variance is high because the system doesn’t have enough information yet. Over time, as more games are played, this number will decrease. Higher variance means that there are larger swings in how MMR is adjusted after each match, while lower variance results in smaller MMR changes. Initially, our system will make large changes to MMR to get a player near their proper rating and then refine over time with smaller changes as more games are played. Consistent performance over time will allow a player’s MMR to move up (or down) as they win or lose games.

In a departure from the legacy version of Warcraft III, Reforged now has a per-race MMR in all modes except Arranged Teams which allows for more competitive matchmaking while freeing players to play their favorite races or learn new races without fear of impacting their overall MMR.

Also new, Reforged now features Global Matchmaking for all modes, which allows players to test their mettle against the best Warcraft III players around the world. While this addition is an exciting feature, we are aware of community concerns surrounding latency with Global Matchmaking. In reaction to this feedback, the team has begun rolling out a series of server updates which have reduced the number of high-latency games by over 60% since the week of May 4th. We will continue working to further reduce the occurrence of these high-latency games by implementing additional fixes in the coming weeks, so please continue to give us feedback on your experience.

Warcraft III has three primary matchmaking modes: 1v1, Team Games (2v2, 3v3, 4v4), and Free-for-All (FFA). The goal for all modes is to match players in a way that provides the best games possible while doing so in a reasonable amount of time. To accomplish this, the system starts by looking for a perfect match and slowly loosens its requirements over time if it can’t make that match. The parameters for finding matches and the way these restrictions are relaxed are different for each of the matchmaking modes, so let’s dive into each of them.




1v1

Among the three matchmaking modes, 1v1 will have the most stringent matchmaking parameters as this game mode is all about individual performance. Reforged to further enable players to find the best and most competitive 1v1 matches. As part of these changes, the matchmaker will now adjust search parameters specifically for higher MMR players to find the most competitive matches, even in exchange for longer queue times. Regardless of MMR, the matchmaker will slowly loosen the search parameters as time goes on in order to find a match. This adjustment will take longer for higher MMR players in order to continue prioritizing finding the most competitive matches. We believe these changes will allow the most competitive 1v1 players to find the best matches that most closely mirror their skill.




Team Games (2v2, 3v3, 4v4)

For team games, the system is slightly different to account for the fact that the outcome of a team game is not solely tied to the performance of an individual. Team Game players who watch MMRs closely will notice that it takes more games before their MMR settles into its proper range, and they’ll see larger MMR adjustments per game—and for more games—than in 1v1. Since the outcome of the game is influenced by others on the team, the system takes longer to dial in on an individual player’s skill.

In recognition of this, Arranged Teams consisting of a full team of self-organized players are now tracked separately using the team’s MMR rather than a player’s individual rating. Playing games as an Arranged Team does not affect your individual MMR for that game mode or race, so you can switch races freely while within an Arranged Team and not worry about affecting your outside ratings. Since Arranged Teams are tracked separately, they will also have separate leaderboards once Ranked Play arrives to better gauge overall performance.

One of our goals is to provide as many options as possible to allow players to play alongside their friends, and this means minimizing restrictions for party size and MMR. In service of this, players of any MMR can party up together so that—no matter your skill—you can always bring along a friend to play with. Players can also group up as a partial team, allowing friends to queue up together while the matchmaker finds other players to fill the remaining slots to complete the team. Players assembling partial teams will be rated by their individual MMR rather than their team’s MMR.

For the first time, the system will allow Random Teams to be paired against Arranged Teams. This is a departure from the precedent set in the legacy version of Warcraft III, so we wanted to share our thoughts behind this change. Pairing Arranged Teams solely against other Arranged Teams often resulted in very long queue times, especially for highly rated teams. These extended queue times often led to poor quality games, since teams would be matched against any available opponent once enough time passed. This change will help make more closely matched games more often, and we’ll be keeping an eye on things to ensure the right balance of match quality versus queue time.




Free-for-All (FFA)

Free-for-All (FFA) has historically had the most unforgiving matchmaking system as there could only be one winner and three losing players. This system felt inaccurate given that the “losing”’ players are issued similar penalties despite some surviving longer than others during a match. Victories also resulted in a single player gaining a lot of MMR, but all opponents’ MMRs decreasing. This tended to cause a disparity in MMR ratings which made it more difficult to match players up and resulted in increased queue times for everyone. With these challenges in mind, we have completely redesigned the way MMR is calculated for FFA games.

Instead of having one winner and three losing players, Free-for-All games have shifted to a placements system of 1st through 4th places. At the conclusion of a game, multiple calculations are run to determine how each player’s MMR will change based on both placement and the MMR of the other players in the game. This results in a more nuanced change to each players’ Free-for-All MMR which should keep players of similar skill levels closer to one another in MMR. These updates help inform more accurate adjustments in MMRs and cut down on player queue times by keeping players grouped better with competitors of equal or similar skill.

Moving to a placement system can raise concerns of potentially incentivizing players to prolong their play with unsportsmanlike tactics such as hiding buildings as an attempt to stay in the match longer. These problems have been inherent in Free-for-All since its inception and are challenging to directly address. Overall, we believe that by tying Free-for-All MMR changes to a placement system, we are actively encouraging players to finish off weaker ones, as each opponent defeated directly translates into higher MMR gains or reduced losses. As with all our other changes, we’ll continue to test and monitor these new systems to ensure that they work as intended and achieve our goals.





To Be Continued...

We’re excited to continue rolling out these matchmaking improvements, and moving forward, players can expect ongoing communications from us at regular intervals as we release patches. As part of those communications, we’ll have a series of feature deep dives and development updates like this one, as well as lighter looks at other aspects of the game and community. Our next feature deep dive will be focused on our upcoming Ranked Ladder system, so keep an eye out for the details on our plans in the coming weeks. We plan to provide a roadmap for our future releases as our work progresses, but in the meantime please continue sharing your feedback and know that our team is working hard to deliver features, bug fixes, improvements, and balance updates as we strive to make Warcraft III: Reforged better with each release.

Zug Zug,

The Warcraft III Team


 
Level 19
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I'm going to give them some credit for at least trying to communicate, but as someone who couldn't care less about melee multiplayer - this post does nothing for me.

Anyway, my biggest takeaway from this is that it appears that Custom Campaigns are still some way away as it appears their first priority is to continue replacing old bugs with new ones (because variety is the spice of life) and improve Matchmaking/Ladder. I hope this isn't some attempt to revive Reforged by trying to make it into a serious, mainstream e-sport, because that ship has long sailed.
 
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Level 13
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It's good to hear from them, hopefully Custom Campaigns will return sooner rather than later. I had hoped to hear about some new content, even if it was just new skins, but that was too much to hope for really.
 
Level 12
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Not as much on custom campaigns as id like but its still nice to see them taking a pro-active role. I feel a lot of people have been attacking the development team unnecessarily, thanks for the post!

I have been in the gutter of the most critical of Reforged, i don't think there is any level of personal developer attack as some people make it out to be.
Its usually directed as Blizzard, or at the team in general or at lead positions 95% of the time.

Anywho, in terms of communication they're taking their first babysteps so i hope this gets stronger. we all need solid information what are their plans without sugarcoating.
 

Kyrbi0

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Great news! I care not for multiplayer but I'm very glad to see them opening up about opening up. Lines of communication are always important.

...i don't think there is any level of personal developer attack as some people make it out to be.
Its usually directed as Blizzard, or at the team in general or at lead positions 95% of the time.
I don't know about you or your definition of "personal", but there's only so many "lead positions" & so invariably, attacking them is gonna get personal.

Regardless it's bad.
 
Level 16
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Bunch of nonsense PR meant for them to try to scam a different community again (diablo 2 remastered).


Original assets clearly aren't getting a good HD remake instead we're left with these souless looking high poly models.


I posted 4 bugs, 4, 3 months ago, all which are to a certain extent breaking SD, none, not 1, has been fixed yet.

meanwhile we get a blog post telling us that very basic features that should've been at launch are going to get released sometime in the future? (on Warcraft 3 reforged reforged?)


Sorry for being so negative but at this point I don't believe what they post anymore. Blizzard has certainly lost me as a customer in the future.
 
Level 8
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well, it looks more and more like someone misstyped 2019 in the official release date of reforged. The actual game should have come out a year later.

Anyway, its nice that they're finally starting to communicate. Even though I don't really care about matchmaking or melee game in general, good to see they're trying to "reforge" it.
 
Level 8
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You know there is a lot of things Blizzard needs to fix. They need to fix the missing models in Classic. They need to fix the annoying reactionless responses when you select units and remove the horrid desync you get from reforged graphics. there is so much they need to work on. Melee isn't going to get better unless they fix these stupid bugs. But at least they're trying to "come out" and get more feedback. even though they should've been listening to feedback since day 1. this shows how stupid blizzard can be from time to time.
 
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I really would liked it they communicate like this from the beginning. It would have mitigated some of this mess. So this update is definetly a positive thing.

I don't really care for most features promised there (although it is good for the melee community) , but having bug fixes as higher priority is very good.
 
Level 3
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The online gameplay system is poor, full of bugs & unbalanced. the warcraft team should focus on this point in particular, and the rest will be resolved over time i guess.
 
Level 13
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All too little too late. It's going to take a miracle to fix the massive damage incurred to the WC3 reputation after this fiasco.

Seeing all these melee-related promises and all is wonderful, but as a modder I'm severely disappointed by the lack of any kind of acknowledgement of any modder-centric features being developed. Nevermind the fact that Blizzard so far has broken one too many a promise already, so all of this might as well be empty talk as far as I'm concerned.

I was skeptical, I am skeptical, and I will continue to remain skeptical and advise everyone else to be skeptical too.

EDIT: How about more detailed changelogs too, instead of "we fixed bugs" ?
 
Level 12
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Sadly, all the stuff that happened with Refunded by now thought me not to trust a single word they say anymore.

This is just talk, and until I see some results (something done) I won't be holding any hopes about this game, which was largely forgotten by the general public at this point. This is just talk, and "talk is cheap".
 
Level 18
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Not saying you are wrong but people flame devs that do not communicate.
Never satisfied.
yeaaaah what an awful community this game got. so toxic and ungrateful
just look at the progress! Look at all the wonderful footprints, each race has it's own!
Forget about custom campaings, tons of desync and many other disruptive issues. Forget about dead MM and dead online when an EU guy connected with ab Australian guy on NA server just because noone else is playing this. FOrget all of that - developers just said "blah blah your call is very important for us"!

What everyone waited for is "MM patches - this june, custom campaigns - semptember, another shot at fixing desyncs - never this month".
You've got a shovel of promises in you face the same way as every time before with no actual statements which can be used (lets say at court). Remember this game is sold for $30.

 

Chaosy

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@DracoL1ch
... you missed the whole point.

If they communicate:
"It's just words, blah, blah blah. Cant trust etc"

If they dont:
"OMG they dont even inform us of their plans, it would be much easier to wait if we knew they were working on it. HAVE YOU ABANDONED THE GAME?!"
(yes, I have seen this sentiment in other game communities)

It's not about being grateful I just think it's a shitty situation to be in.
 
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@DracoL1ch
... you missed the whole point.

If the communicate:
"It's just words, blah, blah blah. Cant trust etc"

If they dont:
"OMG they dont even inform us of their plans, it would be much easier to wait if we knew they were working on it"

It's not about being grateful.

@Chaosy For god's sake man, they said they'd talk about every 'feature' in detail and stopped middway with a to be continued?
 
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@knight26
And?

I am not saying the community should get down on their knees and thank blizzard.
I was just pointing out that no matter what they would do they would not satisfy everyone. This does not mean I am a big fan of their statement.

It did sound like you were however saying they did a good enough job releasing that statement, when in fact it's still just more empty words. I'm all for coherent communication with substance, but this is lacking both. Just like the game itself, this statement is unfinished.
 
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@DracoL1ch
... you missed the whole point.

If they communicate:
"It's just words, blah, blah blah. Cant trust etc"

If they dont:
"OMG they dont even inform us of their plans, it would be much easier to wait if we knew they were working on it. HAVE YOU ABANDONED THE GAME?!"
(yes, I have seen this sentiment in other game communities)

It's not about being grateful I just think it's a shitty situation to be in.
Honestly, the question we have to ask our selves is what's the point in all of this.

They are saying that they'll deliver and are "hard at work" on Custom Campaigns, MM patches, Ladder etc.... That would all be good if all of these features weren't already there on 27th of January. All these features should've already been there at release. Things get worse considering the fact that Refunded is essentially a graphical update with not that many, if any, new things. So, there is really no excuse for all of these features they're "hardly working to deliver" not being there three months ago.

To make matters worse, at the state that Refunded was released, all of these patches we got up until now should've been released a week after release. Other gaming companies release these patches daily, let alone weekly. And considering the fact that Activision-Blizzard is the most powerful gaming company in the world, yeah you get what I mean.

TL;DR: What I'm getting at here, they weren't talking when they were supposed to. They should've been talking and advertising during the Beta, not now. At this point when the game is ruined beyond repair(to be franc I don't know what's keeping me following the game even today), at this point we should be seeing patches and fixes(even though it might be too late even for that) all of this bug fixing and bringing back old features should've been done three weeks post release at worst. They certainly should't be just talking cause "talk is cheap".
 
Level 22
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It's not much,but I'm glad they posted this. Honestly I would be surprised if Custom Campaigns were reintroduced before December; I don't think it's as much of a priority fo them as matchmaking, ladder and multiplayer custom games. But I also hope they will introduce new features for campaign makers - like shared triggers across maps or multiplayer campaigns.
 
Level 17
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It has been shown before that Blizzard's playerbase has a high crossover between different blizzard games, i.e people who play 1 blizzard game end up playing a variety of them. All Reforged needs to do is be another distraction for those players who play Blizzard's main money maker games (WoW, HearthStone, etc.) Games like SC: Remastered and Wc Reforged just need to keep those players who need a break from the main blizzard games, and then they have already served their purpose, since instead of straying away from Blizzard games/the Blizzard launcher, they end up staying in the Blizzard "family", and then can assimilate back into the main Bliz games easier, as compared to if they went to play another company's games.

As long as Reforged provides that kind of a distraction (which is a low bar requirement, they just need to fix things up a bit), then they have no reason to remove Wc3.
 
Level 13
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I was just pointing out that no matter what they would do they would not satisfy everyone.

That's right. The damage has already been done. There's no undoing that fact, and the community is rightfully pissed. We can ruminate about what should've been done, but that's just as well wasted time.

The only thing they can really do is allocate more resources to this game and get on delivering their promises ASAP, but we all know this isn't going to happen.
 
Level 12
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have you heard of this thing called the "internet"? I hear you can find just about anything on there
anyway, it's installed on my computer too so yeah
I think the whole point was that you can't get it legally and officially. Not many people actually like torrents and pirates, they are mostly a necessity. Take for example Starcraft. You can download and play Starcraft from your Battle.net app anytime you like, it will probably look a bit silly, but it'll work. And at the next button, you can purchase Starcraft Remaster. I really don't see why couldn't they do the same thing with Warcraft 3.
 
Level 12
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Reforged isn't a different game than before you though... you can still play WC3 without buying Reforged. The new stuff is just new patches as far as the base game is concerned.
Yeah, except the fact that you have to download some extra 25Gbs of data that you need for absolutely nothing, and that you don't have access to features you used to have, and that you loose nerves on an incredibly laggy main menu, and you have a lot of new bugs appear out of nowhere. :p
 
Level 6
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More than 1900 words and they have said anything... empty words, promises and more promises... Absolute zero... They must live in an alternative reality

In real life, where facts matter, on January 28 we were forced to: download 30 GB of pure fat and having a permanent Internet connection to enjoy constant crashes, many less options than the original game, elimination of the original dubbing, menus... etc.

Developers collect a salary every month, right? So they are participants and guilty of this barbarism... I guess the truth hurts.
 
Level 12
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The post is just about being arrogant and trying to justify the hated features they have added to melee, like seriously melee community is beging for removal of at vs rt and global matchmaking, and post says 'It is a new approach we want players to face people with similar skills from other parts of the world and uh mix at vs rt because erm reasons :)'.

Also at the start of the article they are saying 'since launch we made....... art changes' yeah art changes were really made in the format of footprints, as proven right before, never trust a Blizzard dev.
 
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