Greetings! Development of World of Warcraft Classic is underway, and we’re very excited to share some of the challenges and solutions we’re working on. 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. Rest assured: The WoW Classic team is hard at work making it a reality, and we’re at a point in development where we’re ready to share some of the things we’ve been working on. 

The first—and among the most important—decision we had to make was which version of the game to focus on. 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.
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.
Rogue combo points posed another challenge, because the game’s modern resource system knows how to gain and spend combo points, but not how to lose them when changing targets. There are also the older combat formulas to consider, so we had to bring back the code for the prior combat formulas including critical hits and crushing blows. Their chance to occur is also modified by the difference between the defender’s defense and the attacker’s weapon skill. Yes—weapon skill is back. We had the data for this aspect of the classic game, but we also needed to restore the code that increased your skills when you used them and made your skill level affect your chance to hit or get a glancing blow.

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 was a good start, but there were issues with how the developers used to handle updates to the database data. Unlike the source code, for which Blizzard had archives for multiple branches of the game that could be worked on and developed as separate pieces, early database data was overwritten with each commensurate update. Thankfully, that problem was fixed very quickly after launch, and when we looked, we found data going back to version 1.12—and even earlier.
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.
The priest was considered the best overall healer in vanilla WoW. Priests had the biggest selection of healing and defensive spells which could be used in various different situations. Due to this fact, Priests had an easy time finding groups and guilds. If you’ll embark on leveling priest, expect some random whispers from other players inviting you to join their group as a healer. Shadow Priests were also considered as one of the best duelists in the game boasting with serious damage and healing.

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. 

So even though you can play a WoW Classic demo today, we’re not done quite yet. We have lots of capital city features to look at, such as banks and auction houses. We need to test our dungeons and raids to make sure the bosses’ abilities all still work correctly. We need to examine all of our PvP systems. But we’re committed to taking a close look at all of these and more as continue bring the classic game back to life.

In OSRS, before bonds (their equivalent of tokens) were released, there was a strong gold industry, but most people who bought gold did so by buying bonds on the main game, then finding a dedicated 'swapper' who'd exchange their RS3 gold for an appropriate amount of OSRS gold (taking a cut for themselves, of course). I wonder if a similar system will pop up in classic wow


Kaivax, a WoW forum community manager, revealed that WoW Classic's class design, battleground mechanics and stats on existing items will be set to their 1.12 state, despite the game releasing content that expands beyond that. This removes "progressive itemization," so if the stats on a specific piece of equipment was changed during the original updates, that won't take effect in this version.
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