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The first Diablo and Warcraft games just appeared on Battle.net

 Diablo key art.
Diablo key art.

Blizzard has announced that Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, Diablo, and Warcraft 2 are now available on Battle.net, though it was news to me that they weren't on there already. The games have been available on GOG for the last 3-4 years, and it seems that when Blizzard committed to remastering certain of its older titles itself it handed the more straightforward re-releases to the CD Projekt-owned store (these are the original games, not remasters).

The games do however come in a feature-packed state, including their original multiplayer modes and any expansions. The first Warcraft game, and its slightly silly subtitle, includes:

  • Two dozen missions across two separate campaigns: Help the humans defend their home world against the orcish invaders, or lead the Horde in their relentless conquest.

  • Custom games to hone your skills: Select from 21 bonus maps and play against a computer-controlled opponent to learn how to lead your forces more effectively.

  • Two-player versus mode: Go head-to-head with another human and prove who is the master strategist in highly customizable multiplayer matches.

  • Command the battlefield, outflank your enemies, and gain victory, or suffer crushing defeat and be forgotten forever.

The original Diablo, which I haven't played in decades but remember as an absolute blast, features three classes, multiplayer, and 16 levels of -old-school randomly generated dungeons to hoover up the loot in. Maybe if Diablo 4's live service shenanigans aren't your speed, this could be just the tonic. Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness is also a classic of its time, though understandably somewhat overshadowed by the all-conquering Warcraft 3 and its incredible afterlife

These were far from Blizzard's first games but, given what the company has become, are arguably where it started for many of the company's fans. The early years of Blizzard really were lightning in a bottle. Something like Orcs and Humans may feel quite rudimentary now, and indeed co-founder Frank Pearce said these games were "just not that fun anymore" in 2016, but I'm one of those maniacs that every so often goes back to play the original UFO: Enemy Unknown (you should see my framerate).

Either way, as minor as it is, this feels like a small homecoming of some sort: and given the reaction to its new leadership and cancellation of a long-in-development survival game, Blizzard needs all the warm fuzzies it can get right now.