Blizzard has just announced that they will be updating Warcraft III‘s public test servers with a surprise patch.
Based on the patch notes the studio released, it seems that most of the updates concern Warcraft III‘s multiplayer mode. It seems that nearly every hero in the game has received a series of buffs, nerfs, and minor alterations designed to bring balance to the almost 16-year-old RTS classic. On top of those extensive alterations, Blizzard has also altered the way that competitive map rotations work.
That’s not all, though. In a somewhat shocking move, this update ups the number of people who can participate in custom matches from 12 to 24. Additionally, Warcraft III now supports a widescreen mode and features a far more extensive in-game editor used to create custom maps and games.
Why would Blizzard release such a series of updates to a game that is well past its competitive prime? Well, there are a few possibilities.
The most obvious answer is that Blizzard has just announced an invitational Warcraft III tournament and likely wants to make sure that the game meets all modern standards in terms of competitive balance and technical support. However, that doesn’t quite explain why they decided to improve the in-game editor so much or why they’re seemingly preparing for a public release of these updates when they could just reserve them for tournament servers.
That has led some fans to believe that this is all part of Blizzard’s plan to release a remaster of Warcraft III similar to the one they released for StarCraft not long ago. There’s no conclusive evidence that is the case, but it’s not that absurd of a possibility.
What is slightly more absurd is the theory that Blizzard is trying to get us hyped for Warcraft IV. We wouldn’t hold your breath for that one.