Blizzard announced World of Warcraft Classic at Blizzcon 2017, but the developers have been quiet about the project since then. In a new developer update, Blizzard announced that World of Warcraft Classic will be based on Patch 1.12, also known as “The Drums of War.”
“As we mentioned last BlizzCon, 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,” the developers said in a statement on Blizzard’s official website for World of Warcraft.
The devs chose Patch 1.12 “because it represents the most complete version of the classic experience,” they explained. The process of rebuilding classic Warcraft “included restoring the original development database from archival backups” as well as fighting a slew of issues. “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,” the devs explained.
Ultimately, devs resolved these issues by using modern code, “with all its back-end improvements and changes,” to process the Patch 1.12 game 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,” they stated.
By starting their journey from a “modern architecture—with all its security and stability changes,” the team is better able to pursue “an authentic classic experience.” The devs shared a few simplified technical examples of the difficulty in making “the modern client compatible with the classic data” for those interested.
While there is no date yet for the arrival of World of Warcraft Classic, the developer update is a great window into what it takes to recreate the vanilla World of Warcraft experience without losing the stability of the architecture that has taken World of Warcraft to the top of the MMORPG world.
Are you looking forward to playing World of Warcraft Classic? Do you think the vanilla experience offered by World of Warcraft Classic will be superior to that offered by private servers? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.