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Instructions to play Warcraft 3

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For Saturday, I was going to attempt to play Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne with fans, since it recently got patched to support 24 people at a time.  Unfortunately, if you own Warcraft 3, the process is rather convoluted.   It used to be you installed the game, then installed the patch.  Not anymore.  I ran into so many problems trying to get the recent patch working, I almost thought I was going to have to cancel the event entirely.  I found Blizzard's instructions to be utterly wrong and refer to links that simply didn't exist.  I finally did figure out how to get it working, so if you own a copy of the game, the instructions are below.  I can't promise they'll work for you, but this is what finally worked for me after MANY dead ends.

This isn't an attempt to get people to buy the game, I just figured it was a popular game at the time and many people may still have a copy of it somewhere.  Definitely don't go and buy the game just to play in this, it's possible it'll just be this one time I try a 24 person game of this, depends on how it goes.  It should download automatically when we play, but if you want a head start, this is the map I was planning on us playing.


1. Do NOT install Warcraft 3 from the CDs (It may not impact anything, but it certainly won't help).  If you already have it installed this way, I advise uninstalling it and deleting the directory.

2. Download installer from here (it's for 1.30.2, but it will update).  Best I can tell, Blizzard does not host the installer / patches anymore, a brilliant move.

3. Unzip the installer and run it with Windows XP compatibility mode on (right click on it, properties, compatibility tab).  I couldn't get it to work properly without doing this.

4. Install the game. If it gives you trouble here, I may not have help for you aside from uninstalling it (if it lets you), deleting the directory it was installing to, and trying again.

5. After installing the game, don't launch it yet (you can if you want, but it will probably give you an error).  Instead, go to your installed directory,  make sure "Warcraft III.exe" is NOT in XP compatibility mode, then run it.

6. Enter in your CD keys for both Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos and Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne when prompted.

7. Launch the game, then click on Battle.net and create an account.  Best I can tell, this is DIFFERENT from the Battle.net launcher used for Blizzard-Activition games like Overwatch, Hearthstone, etc., you'll need to create a new account entirely I think.  So, yes, this is for battle.net, not battle.net.

8. After creating it, on the main menu, click on the magnifiying glass to change the gateway selection.  Since fans will be playing globally, I'm thinking we'll try USA East as a compromise to have the lowest average ping for USA West and European players.

9. Join the stream at 5PM UTC on February 16th at twitch.tv/rossbroadcast so we can coordinate starting the game.  You don't have to leave the stream running afterward if you don't want to.  We'll wait a few minutes to let latecomers join in, but unfortunately people are locked out once the game starts.

1. Beats me, you're on your own.  Steps 7 and onward are probably the same.

Everyone else is welcome to watch at 5PM UTC on February 16th at twitch.tv/rossbroadcast.

Blizzard's gaslighting me.  Apparently they've restored the option to download the official clients here:
That option was removed a week or two earlier.  Here's the wayback machine link to prove I'm not crazy:
This doesn't affect the instructions at all, just wanted to add that.

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Ross, you are influential enough that Blizzard is scared of your bad reviews... This is a good thing!

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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