World of Warcraft Classic is coming; we may not know exactly when, but we are getting a better idea of some of the challenges and achievements of the developers trying to make it happen. In a “Dev Watercooler” blog post, Blizzard revealed more details about the prototyping of the game, and reassured excited fans that the re-creation would do the vanilla version of the game justice.
“The process of restoring the classic game is not straightforward, and it’s important to us to take the time and effort to get it right–this includes poring over numerous game versions, data, and code; meticulously scrutinizing all the changes we’ve made over the years,” Blizzard’s dev team wrote.
“All the work we’re doing will ultimately allow us to recreate an authentic classic experience on a platform that is much more optimized and stable, helping us avoid latency and stability issues. Additional improvements will include modern anti-cheat/botting detection, customer service and Battle.net integration, and similar conveniences that do not affect the core gameplay experience.”
Blizzard shares that the initial WoW Classic prototype essentially rebuilt Patch 1.12: Drums of War from various archives and source code. This revealed some substantial problems: game crashes, issues with modern video cards, incompatibility with Blizzard’s current login system, and more. The developers said they’ve built a second prototype, using the game’s modern code with all its structural enhancements, which will allow them to build a 1.12 version of the game that is stable on modern machines and compatible with Blizzard’s current infrastructure. You can read more about the developments in the full blog post.
Blizzard first announced World of Warcraft Classic at Blizzcon 2017, where it revealed the trailer above. GameSpot interviewed production director John Hight about the ambitious project, where he shared more details about how the game will work. “[Making World of Warcraft Classic] has been an ongoing internal debate. I’m sure that this has happened off and on throughout the years, right? But last year this reached a fever pitch, and we really had a lot of internal discussions because we want to make sure that we provide a great experience for our players,” he said.
“I think our concern was gonna be our ability to execute Blizzard quality going back so many years. You don’t want to ruin the experience. It has to be an authentic experience. But by the same token, people don’t want some of the funky bugs that we had back then,” he added. You can read the full interview here.