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.
In restoring World of Warcraft Classic, our guiding principle has been to provide an authentic experience. Things might run a bit smoother and the hardware is better, but the game should still look and feel like you’re playing World of Warcraft from 2006. Things like combat equations, original models, and hunter skills are certainly part of that—but things like social dynamics are a part of that too. The reliance on others, the effort it took to assemble a group, and how that impacted your journey into a dungeon—these were all part of the classic experience that we wanted to preserve.
The original animations have also been restored, but WoW’s animation system is tightly coupled with its gameplay code. We had to make changes to both data and code to get the animations back to the 1.12 look. We ran into a few bugs along the way, such as models that should appear prone instead appearing upright, but we were able to correct these with a few fixes.
Things like Tauren melee reach being bigger, which is something I experienced going away live during Black Temple Illidan progression (at least for that particular encounter), is confusing to players as it's a significant advantage over other races in some instances. No quest tracking is another apparently confusing issue, as many Mankirk's WIfe seekers well know, and there's a whole lot more where that came from:
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.
This Shadow Talent Build is the fastest for Leveling Up a Priest Class from 1-60 in WoW Classic patch 1.12. Spamming Shadow Damage DOTs while kite mobs will be the name of the game with this build, having the ability to sustain your health is just a bonus. You will just need to make sure you are stacking enough spirit so you don’t run out of mana often as that will slow down the levelling process drastically.
I’m used to either wanting to play a game or not wanting to play a game. But WoW Classic… WoW Classic is different. Maybe I’m just falling victim to nostalgia. Maybe I’m conflating the people I played with in 2004-2006 with the game I played in 2004-2006. Nostalgia is a hugely powerful motivator, after all, and even us jaded reporters are susceptible to it. I’m not sure how I’m going to feel about stepping back into a game that was genuinely slower, jankier, and less well-balanced than the WoW that exists today. I do know I’m looking forward to it more than any other launch I expect this year. Some friends of mine have already started planning for a return. I’m going to join them. It’s annoying to find myself pulled back to a game version I genuinely don’t think is as good, in many ways, as what exists today — and yet, here I am.
This is another one that will most likely be a boon rather than a bane to the player base, though time will tell just how 14years of experience will affect the economy of Classic WoW. There has been no concrete word on just how AddOns will work in Classic, but if the infrastructure of the game works the same as it does in retail, there is a good chance that most of the mods that work in retail will work in Classic. This means that quite a few people will be running around with a whole host of gathering, crafting, auctioning, and gold making mods. Now, those mods did exist back in Vanilla, but not in the same way they do now, and not as many people had them back then as will in Classic. This will drastically affect how effective the auction house will be, and hopefully will affect the economy as a whole in a positive way. Another thing that will most likely see a large increase in popularity is carry runs. These have steadily grown in popularity since Vanilla, and rest assured with the old 40 man raid size that there will be quite a few “Molten Core full carry master loot ON PST for prices GOLD ONLY” being spammed in trade chat. Whether tokens will be available in Classic has yet to be discussed, but if so it will have an enormous impact on the economy of Classic. This, in addition to the differences I will cover in the next section, will have a pretty large impact on the endgame of WoW Classic.
Finally, a clip of WoD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtKDmlNLVtE&t=5m26s This one I have petattack macroed to a button on the right-side action bar, 2nd from the top left side (icon looks like a bone bow). You can see my bird pet take off INSTANTLY when pressed. I realize this one doesn't prove much regarding Classic, but this is proof that it WAS functioning this fast until Legion. You can see the delay on Live yourself by logging into BFA.
Why Skinning? Skinning is incredibly easy to level up while you are leveling your character. The leather that you skin will almost always sell on the Auction House (albeit not for much, but hey– it’s free gold!). Even if you don’t want to take the effort to sell the skins on the Auction House, you can simply vendor them for a significant amount of extra gold.
After this past year of working on this project and forging our way through the various bugs and challenges, one consistent theme that’s emerged is that the difference between what we have and what we want is clearly visible. When we look at today’s World of Warcraft, we can see the differences between the modern game and the classic one. If we tried to update the reference client, we would have instead been tracking down a lot of “invisible” changes such as exploits waiting to be abused, crashes that don’t show up until you have millions of players online at once, and more. We chose to approach the problem in a way that makes our job clear and obvious instead of difficult and hard to see.
Some even more advanced gold makers might also attempt to monopolize the market. It’s fairly easy if you have quite a bit of gold – just buy out every single item on which you want to have a monopoly on and then reintroduce it to the auction house with your new (and higher) price. However, it’s worth mentioning that monopolization tactic is risky business practice. But where’s high risk – there’s high profit.
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.
There’s the reason why some players used to call the game World of Roguecraft. Rogue was one of the most popular classes in classic WoW and there’s a good reason for it. During vanilla, Rogues topped DPS meters in raids and dungeons, but their main strength was world PvP. Rogues could stealth through enemies avoiding unwanted engagements with the opposing faction. Additionally, a huge variety of crowd control abilities and high burst damage made them the worst nightmare for the cloth-wearing classes. However, Rogues were in a bit of disadvantage regarding end-game gearing since most of their gear pieces were useful to other in-game classes as well.