World of Warcraft Classic Will Be Running Patch 1.12, Devs Talk About The Technical Side Of Development

world of warcraft classic gryphon dwarfHow hard is it to release a new game based on “classic” systems and mechanics while still using modern coding architecture? Apparently, it took weeks of research before Blizzard Entertainment figured out how to pull it off for their “new” World of Warcraft Classic game.

“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 dev team has decided to roll with version 1.12 “Drums of War” for WoW Classic. Drums of War is the last patch before the release of The Burning Crusade expansion. After that, there’s the matter of reverse engineering the modern World of Warcraft code to work with classic systems.

“So we asked ourselves, would it still be possible to deliver an authentic classic experience if we took our modern code, with all its back-end improvements and changes, and used it to process the Patch 1.12 game data? While that might seem counterintuitive, this would inherently include classic systems like skill ranks, old quests and terrain, talents, and so on, while later features like Transmog and Achievements would effectively not exist because they were entirely absent from the 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.”

The lengthy dev update further goes into detail on the more technical aspects of the game including compatibility with modern hardware and software as well as how coding and development has changed over the past decade. You’ll find the entire thing on the World of Warcraft official site.

Meanwhile, here’s the official trailer for Drums of War from 2011 just in case you’re in the mood for a trip down memory lane.