Last year, Blizzard added a Public Test Realm (PTR) for Warcraft III, and the studio is now using it to its full potential. In addition to more balance changes, the studio is testing some new features that could bring back veterans to the real-time strategy game that debuted in 2002.
When Warcraft III was released, monitors used the 4:3 screen ratio. One of the ways Blizzard is attempting to modernize the game is by testing widescreen support. Specifically, it will add black vertical bars in menus to prevent stretching as well as bookends for the game’s interface. You can see the change for yourself, but be warned that you might have some issues with changing the resolution when playing in fullscreen mode.
In the past, you could play custom games with a maximum of 12 people. Blizzard is testing the ability to double that amount so that matches can hold up to 24 players. This also means that those who want to create their own maps can create larger areas. The game’s World Editor has new limits to map size, objects, and resources so that you can build massive arenas. Warcraft III is bound to feel much bigger after these changes.
For now, this latest version of the PTR is available only for the English version of the game. Blizzard also mentioned that this might be the final iteration of Warcraft III to support the Windows XP OS. You can check out the full details of the update on the game’s forum page.
These changes come in tandem with Blizzard’s announcement of the first Warcraft III Invitational tournament. Fourteen players from around the world will gather at the studio’s headquarters in Irvine, California from February 27 - 28. All of the updates to the game might be a sign of Blizzard’s intention to reveal some information on a potential remaster or sequel, and we’re bound to find out more at the upcoming tournament.