If it seems like World of Warcraft Classic would be an easy project, you may not have spent as much time thinking about it as the developers. Heck, according to the latest development watercooler, it took some time for the team to decide what classic World of Warcraft should even be. The decision ultimately settled on patch 1.12, the last patch before the launch of The Burning Crusade, but that didn’t mean just loading it up and going.
It turns out that the classic code not only doesn’t like to play nice with modern video cards and anti-cheating software (because it’s more than a decade old) but has a lot of really inefficient ways of storing spell and ability data. So the developers have to also go through, piece by piece, to store everything in better formats and improve the experience across the board. Check out the full article to see the work going into making the classic experience work.
There was a great thread on the official World of Warcraft forums the other day about the game’s upcoming Classic servers talking about the many, many elements of the game that have changed over the years. After all, even once you settle on the core idea of a classic server before the first expansion, you’re still left with a whole lot of questions of what the server will actually include. For example: Meeting stones providing summons to a dungeon entrance didn’t actually exist until the first patch of The Burning Crusade, but should it be included in a classic server? Should bugs be fixed (including ones frequently used to bypass certain mechanics)? Should players still have only one viable spec?
Obviously, RIFT is going to have to answer these questions in practice a bit sooner with its Prime server, but the questions remain. Personally, I’m of the mind that if you’re asking for classic servers you should get one with all the undesirable warts retained and unchanged, but that’s hardly a universal law. So what do you say, dear readers? Should classic servers for MMOs recreate the classic experience as it was, the good and the bad alike? Or should designers fix the extant issues that don’t detract from the overall feel?
I think it’s safe to say, after all the Nostalrius and legacy server drama from last year, that Blizzard has surprised a lot of people by actually keeping its word to build out some form of classic servers, as announced at BlizzCon last weekend. And the English-language WoW world lost its collective minds, if the 10K-word, 54K-upvote thread that rocketed to the top slot across the entirety of Reddit last Friday is any guide.
The thing is, the studio didn’t actually talk much about the servers other than to say they’re happening, they won’t take resources from WoW, and they’re operating under a separate team – there’s not much to talk about, just basic infrastructure. That probably means we’re a long way off. On the other hand, Blizzard seems serious about making a commitment to the community on this one, which makes it really enticing to me at least, way more than I expected.
How about you? Will you be playing World of Warcraft’s Classic servers? Or are you in wait-and-see mode until we know much more?
World of Warcraft delivered a jaw-dropping surprise to its loyal community with an amazing announcement at this weekend’s BlizzCon. Blizzard took to the stage with a surprise reveal of World of Warcraft Classic, which will take players back to the “vanilla” setting.
“We think we have a way to run the Classic servers on the modern technical infrastructure,” J. Allen Brack told PC Gamer. “The infrastructure is how we spin up instances and continents, how the database works. It’s those core fundamental pieces, and running two MMOs of that size is a daunting problem. But now we think we have a way to have the old WoW version work on the modern infrastructure and feel really good.”
Blizzard is forming a separate team to tackle this project and has yet to commit to any sort of timetable or release window.
It looks like it’s not just cult classic Diablo II that’s getting a lick of fresh paint this week, as Blizzard has now released a compatibility patch for its classic strategy game Warcraft III. Patch 1.27a is the first update to the game in over four years and contains mostly fixes to make the game run properly on Windows 7, 8.1 and 10, and a new installer for Mac OS 10.10 and 10.11. Older versions of the Mac OS are not supported and are causing crashes, but the patch has been otherwise well received.
Blizzard has been responding to questions and comments on the Warcraft III forum and has promised that more patches will follow. The team won’t be limiting itself to just bug-fixes and compatibility improvements either, with “a balance change and new map pool” still to come.
As promised, Knight Online has officially landed on Steam this week. The classic Korean MMO originally launched in 2004, the same year that World of Warcraft drove a wrecking ball through the US industry.
NTTGame has addressed a number of player questions about the Steam launch on the platform forums. For starters, if you already have a character in the US version of the game, there it will stay — you can’t transfer characters to the Steam version as it’s a separate server and client. You also can’t link your existing game account to your Steam account, though you can use Steam Wallet to buy stuff in the new client.
There are zero IP restrictions on this version of the game, and yes, it is F2P with a cash shop. You can check out new screenies and the video below.
Lineage II formally launched on Steam this week, complete with a fresh-start server, Zaken. There are even server firsts rewards, mostly pirate-themed goodies, for those who zip their way through content on Zaken, both in PvE and PvP.
More intriguingly, at least if you play Lineage II in Europe, is the fact that the game’s EU handlers are finally launching the classic Lineage II server players voted for last spring, lining themselves up to compete with some of the illegal emulators floating around the internet. “Lineage 2 Classic” will cost 10 euros a month — yes, it’s a subscription-funded service — and feature a hardcore ruleset. “Intense and hardcore levelling in Lineage 2 Classic will make every level a real achievement,” declares the website. “Incomparable fun for all the fans of classic hardcore!”
Pre-orders are open now; we’ve included info on the two pre-order packs below.
The latest update to Lineage II is pushing beyond all of the its various limitations. Tired of the level cap? It’s gone. No, not expanded, just… gone, apparently. Players can also push onward to a new tier of advancement past Noblesse, becoming Exalted and gaining access to new exclusive skills and the like. There are also two new zones, a powerful new raid boss, and plenty of story to go along with the update.
This all coincides with the game’s 11th anniversary celebrations, which mean new items in the game’s cash shop and a special Veteran Pack for players who have been with the game for an extended period of time.
With that much history, it’s possible that some players would rather start back at the beginning and move forward in a more measured fashion. An official classic server is possible at this point, but the developers behind the server are gauging interest first, asking players who are interested to register with a target threshold of 15,000 signatures. If you’re a bit more interested in looking backward than forward, you should check that out.