Remastering Diablo II and Warcraft III is No Easy Task

Blizzard Entertainment senior producer Peter Stilwell took some time to chat with PCGamesN at this weekend's BlizzCon about their plans for the as-of-yet-unannounced remastered versions of Diablo II and Warcraft III. In short, Peter explains that remastering iconic games like these is not an easy task, with Diablo II in particular requiring a significant upgrade to its anti-botting and anti-spamming logic:
In essence, it’s taking lessons learned from 20 years of analysing StarCraft and learning how it got to a point of perfect balance. “That's the cool thing about StarCraft, the unit selections you make need to be scouted for them to be properly prepared for it, we want to try to achieve that level of balance for Warcraft III. That seems like most of what that competitive community cares about right now, so that's what we're dealing with directly. Matt Morris and our design guys are working on another pool, they've got it on a PTR, so that we can get some candid feedback before we say this is the official one. Hopefully very soon they'll be happy with that and then we can actually get those balance changes out on the PTR as well.”

Diablo 2 is different. There isn’t a tournament scene to worry about, but there are leaderboards and they are packed with hackers on a regular basis. “With Diablo [2] the big one is the botters and the spamming is out of control, [people asking] could we please fix that. Keep rolling seasons but maybe eventually be good enough at combating them that you see real names at the top of the leaderboard again.”

The simple truth is that developing a full remaster takes a long time, and can’t really be done alongside other major changes. Blizzard want people to be happy playing what they have while they semi-secretly make it even better.