This past BlizzCon, Blizzard announced thatWoW Classic would be coming out in the Summer of 2019. Along with it came a demo of the early leveling zones and several panels worth of information that assured the eager public that Classic would indeed be as faithful and ‘blizzlike’ as possible. Having played through the entire demo I can agree that the game is almost exactly as I remember Vanilla being 14 years ago. The only difference in design being the implementation of ‘sharding’, a process which splits up the player base in different instances of the same zone to alleviate some of the overcrowding in early zones. Blizzard has also gone on the record to say that sharding would only be in the game for the first couple weeks after the launch of Classic and that they would then disable it once the player base had spread out more. However, sharding isn’t the only thing thatVanilla players might find different about their experience. In this article, I am going to go through each of the aspects that will most likely change inClassic WoW, whether Blizzard likes it or not.
So we asked ourselves, would it still be possible to deliver an authentic classic experience if we took our modern code, with all its back-end improvements and changes, and used it to process the Patch 1.12 game data? While that might seem counterintuitive, this would inherently include classic systems like skill ranks, old quests and terrain, talents, and so on, while later features like Transmog and Achievements would effectively not exist because they were entirely absent from the data. After weeks of R&D, experimentation, and prototyping, we were confident we could deliver the classic WoW content and gameplay without sacrificing the literally millions of hours put in to back-end development over the past 13 years.
While our initial effort helped us determine the experience we wanted to provide, this second prototype really defined how we’d get there. Starting from a modern architecture—with all its security and stability changes—means the team’s efforts can be focused on pursuing an authentic classic experience. Any differences in behavior between our development builds and the patch 1.12 reference can be systematically cataloged and corrected, while still operating from a foundation that’s stable and secure.
World of Warcraft: Classic might be just around the corner, so it’s about time to start preparing. We’ve already published a class selection guide, and today we’re focusing on the most important resource of the game, of course, it is gold. Many players who played World of Warcraft back in the day might remember the times when you needed to count every spent penny and the times when gold farmers roamed the Azeroth on their super expensive epic mounts. In vanilla WoW, gold was everything. And we’re here to help you save as much of it as possible. So, without further due, let’s dive in our World of Warcraft: Classic gold making guide.
At BlizzCon 2018, the WoW community got their first chance to experience World of Warcraft Classic for themselves. To help players understand what goes into bringing a Blizzard-quality experience like this to life, software engineers Brian Birmingham and Omar Gonzalez along with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas took the stage Saturday afternoon to share their insights.
To get past these hurdles, the team looked at what we liked (art and data) of what we had and what we didn’t like (the code). We wanted to see if we could utilize classic art assets and data within our modern code and get things to play nicely together. Things didn’t quite work right out of the gate, but with some trial and error, we were able to pull together a proof of concept of how to get things to work together and have something playable. This built our confidence that we could deliver a Blizzard-quality experience with the modern platform.