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06-22-2018

World of Warcraft

It has been roughly half a year since Blizzard announced it would be releasing a vanilla version of World of Warcraft. Dubbed "Classic," we only really knew that it was happening and not which version of the game it would be based on. Would this contain any of the expansions, or would it be the very first version of the game that launched back in 2004? Blizzard has finally set the record straight, stating that the classic iteration will be based on the final patch before Burning Crusade.

In a watercooler update on its official site, Blizzard writes, "As many of you have noted, the classic period was two years long and full of changes. Core features like Battlegrounds were introduced in patches after WoW’s original launch, and class design similarly changed over time. After careful consideration, we decided on Patch 1.12: Drums of War as our foundation, because it represents the most complete version of the classic experience."

That experience is so classic, it actually didn't run well for Blizzard. They note that there were issues with logging in, problems with getting modern hardware to recognize the old code and even a complete lack of sophisticated anti-cheat solutions. As the blog mentions, "The game sometimes crashed, didn’t recognize our modern video cards, and was incompatible with our current login system. That first pass also couldn’t support any of our modern security and anti-cheating capabilities. Clearly, we had a lot of work to do to make WoW Classic live up to the Blizzard standard of quality."

The rest of the post then goes into a lot of technical details that are beyond my comprehension. I've never been a big data guy, so I'm kind of lost on how statistics get encrypted and what determines specific numbers in games. Original WoW seems to have been very bloated, though, so Blizzard is looking to trim down some of the excess code.

At the very least, when World of Warcraft Classic does eventually release, it should be a much more stable version of the game than it originally was at launch. I can't say I remember much in the way of crashes back in the day, but I did have a pretty beefy PC in 2004.

Dev Watercooler: World of Warcraft Classic [World of Warcraft]

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