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.
The information dam seems to have broken with World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, and we are all about to be swept away in the flood. At a press event at the studio this week, Blizzard disclosed many more details about the upcoming expansion including its plans leading up to it.
The expansion beta should be starting soon. Blizzard said that the expansion “pre-patch” will hit the game a few weeks before Battle for Azeroth’s August 14th release. It’ll contain quests and scenarios leading up to the main expansion, including the Burning of Teldrassil and the Battle for Lordaeron.
As for allied races, each side will have six emissaries planned, although some of those races will be shared. Mag’har Orcs and Dark Iron Dwarves will be unlocked after going through the war campaign, with Kul Tiran Humans and Zandalari Trolls to be unlocked later in the expansion cycle. Blizzard said that it liked the pacing of Legion’s content rollout and will be using that as a template for Battle for Azeroth.
Curious about what’s going to happen to all of those World of Warcraft legacy emulators with WoW Classic on the way? It doesn’t look like any are feeling that they should pack up and leave, especially considering how long it might take for the notoriously slow Blizzard to get its version out the door.
The Elysium Project reported that it has a population hovering between 3.5k and 5.5k players and is preparing to release Patch 1.6 and Blackwing Lair on March 10th. Light’s Hope posted a schedule of server events and plans to merge its three shards together on June 6th, with a fresh PvP realm coming online soon thereafter.
Additionally, there’s a new legacy PvP server called Kronos III that should be coming online on March 31st. The server won’t allow multiboxing and has buffed XP in groups to encourage players to team up.
Desperate for some World of Warcraft Classic news now that the BlizzCon high has faded? Forbes has an interview up with Blizzard Executive Producer J. Allen Brack and Senior Game Designer Jeremy Feasel that at least touches on the challenges that lay ahead in bringing a legacy server to the gaming population.
The two don’t mince words about the technical challenge, but say that there is a plan to minimize the complexity of such a project and move forward. The studio said that “lots of decisions to make” and many things to do, such as to partner with the community and get feedback about the formation of Classic.
Brack emphasized that Blizzard wants to structure this so that it will not be managing two MMOs at the same time. He said that headaches aside, it’s a project worth pursuing: “We’re convinced, through the desire of those folks, the desire of our internal folks, and the desire to preserve what WoW was, that this is the right decision.”
As the World of Warcraft community grapples with the surprise BlizzCon announcement of a classic server, one subset of players in particular are feeling the impact of this statement more than anyone else. The WoW emulators that have been the center of the vanilla movement find themselves at a crossroads of what to do now that Blizzard is getting ready to officially deliver what they are already illegally doing.
Overwhelmingly, there was rejoicing among several of the emulator communities at the announcement. The Elysium Project said that it will continue to run its servers even after Classic’s release, saying, “We will continue to provide whatever services the community desires should Blizzard not meet expectations.” On the other hand, the newly formed Light’s Hope team announced that it plans to shut down its server when WoW Classic launches.
In the process of picking yourself up off of the floor following Friday’s announcement of World of Warcraft Classic at BlizzCon 2017? As your mind grapples with Blizzard’s surprise revelation of a legacy server project that will take players back to the vanilla era of World of Warcraft, you probably share the same questions and concerns that Eurogamer voiced in an interview at the convention.
Executive Producer J. Allen Brack was reluctant to give the publication any specifics on a timetable, saying that the project was just announced, only basic infrastructure is in place, and that the team is forming. He did confirm that Classic won’t be taking away any people or resources from the main MMO, as Blizzard is treating this as a separate game with its own dedicated team.
“Our goal is to recreate that classic 1-60 gameplay,” Brack said. “Some things changed as time went on, with different patches. How does that get manifested? That’s one of the outstanding questions. But yeah, the goal is to recreate that exact experience, for better or for worse.”
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.
True confession time: The original version of this post was just the lyrics to Lindsey Buckingham’s “Holiday Road” with a poor phonetic transcription of the song’s guitar riffs. But apparently this post should actually talk about BlizzCon 2017, just because that’s what we’re actually here for. And it’s true! We are totally here for our annual liveblog of the convention’s opening ceremonies and all the associated revelations.