BlizzCon virtual ticket includes a Classic WoW Demo!

This Blizzcon 2018 Virtual Ticket comes with a lot of goodies! Aside from your typical video streams, skins and in game loot the $50 ticket also comes with access to World of Warcraft: Classic!

After the BlizzCon opening ceremony on November 2, players will be able to download the same in-development WoW Classic Demo that will be played at Blizzcon on the show floor.
Players will be able to explore and enjoy a limited questing experience through a couple of classic low level zones. One being horde, one being alliance and see how the recreation of original Azeroth is going.

Once the demo begins, you will be able to play until November 8th where it will go down at 10am PST.

They begin discussing Classic World of Warcraft around the 2 minute mark.

(Bloodscalp) server blade sold for $3950.00 via Ebay

Server blade sells for four thousand dollars!

Check the sold listing out here. You will have to scroll down to see the listing since it has ended.

The original Bloodscalp server blade server blade recently sold for almost 4 thousand dollars on Ebay. Someone really wanted a piece of WoW history.

Blizzard Entertainment:
“Blizzard Entertainment has carefully preserved and archived our retired server blades, releasing only a limited number for a noble cause. To us, this server blade is more than just hardware: within the circuits and hard drive, a world of magic, adventure and friendship thrived. From fishing in quiet lakes to defeating Arthas in Icecrown Citadel, this blade was home to thousands of immersive experiences across the world of Azeroth and beyond. We thank you for the safekeeping of this important part of our history.”

Blizzard Details Entire WoW History

Ion Hazzikostas (Blizzard’s Game Director), Patrick Magruder (Lead Gameplay Engineer) and Jimmy Lo (Visual Development Supervisor) recap the history of World of Warcraft. They begin from when the game was launched and in this 50 minute video go all the way through the games latest expansion. The video was released by Wired.

Dev Watercooler: World of Wracraft Classic

Source: Official Forums

Blizzard Entertainment:

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.

WOW CLASSIC: FIRST PROTOTYPE

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.

Once we had our starting point, we began taking stock of what we had in the source code and what we could make available, which included restoring the original development database from archival backups. After stitching various key pieces together, we had a locally rebuilt version of Patch 1.12 running internally. The team could create characters and do basic questing and leveling—and dying, which we did many times. For testing purposes. Obviously.

Our initial runs exposed a few (expected) 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. Clearly we had a lot of work to do to make WoW Classic live up to the Blizzard standard of quality, and deliver the experience players want.

THE PATH FORWARD: SECOND PROTOTYPE

Speaking of engineering, World of Warcraft is a very data-driven game, which means the basic code is flexible and the specific way it behaves is controlled by information contained in databases. Things like quests, monsters, items, and the rules for how these all interact are defined by the designers and artists in data.

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.

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.

DIGGING IN

So what does it take to recreate an authentic classic experience with modern engineering? Let’s start by categorizing the different types of game data that make up WoW:

  • Table data: This kind of information is almost always represented as numbers. How many hit points a creature has, the amount of Strength an item grants, or where and when certain creatures spawn, are all examples of the numerical data we store in our databases. We can also store and enforce relationships between different pieces of data.
  • File data: This is often very dense data like 3D models, textures, animations and terrain. Our user interface is built up from XML and Lua files. Many of the art files do not use the same file formats that commercial art tools spit out. Our build pipeline takes these raw art files and translates them into something optimized for our game to read and process.
  • Lua scripts: Some features are driven by Lua scripts written by designers, allowing them to easily define custom behaviors for server-side logic without requiring deep engineering knowledge.
HOW ENGINEERING HAS CHANGED

One challenge we face is that all the classic data is in the original format used at launch, but that format has changed substantially in the intervening years. Major work needs to be done in this area to make the modern client compatible with the classic data.

For example, spells could originally only perform three actions on the spell’s target. In table form, that looked something like this:

As you can see, there is a lot of space taken up by ‘Nothing’. Over the course of WoW’s lifetime, we’ve improved our data design and normalized much of our database data. Today, that same data would be separated out like this:

In this form, there is much less wasted space and spells are no longer limited to three effects. But before we can load any database data, we need to transform the old data layout into the new one. This is not limited to spells, as almost every game system (including items, creatures, player characters, spawning, AI, and more) has had its database layout altered over the years.

LOOKING AHEAD

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.

We are looking forward to the challenges ahead and share your passion for the classic game; every code check-in data conversion we make brings WoW Classic closer to providing that authentic experience you—and we—want. Thanks for joining us on this journey.


Source: Official Forums

Streams page back

By popular request the Legacy Streams feature is back!


I’m giving the Streams page https://legacy-wow.com/streams/ a second chance.
This is a feature I created about a year ago that was well received.
The page makes it easy to find Vanilla/TBC/Wrath streams that are currently live.

I previously had a pretty large list of streams with additional streamers asking me to add them every day.
Alas, shortly after creating the page Blizzard began cracking down on legacy streams.
This was around the time the community was making a lot of noise, right before we got our big announcement.

I’ve been told that Blizzard has been a little more relaxed with streamers.
Due to that and since this feature was a hit previously, I’m giving it another chance.

Let me know what you guys think!

Also, send me emails if you would like your personal stream (or a stream you enjoy watching) added.
Note: Streams only appear when they are live, so if your stream is added it will only appear while you are streaming.

Blizzard Announces – World of Warcraft Classic!

We did it boys and girls.
Blizzard is finally releasing official Vanilla World of Warcraft servers!

This is a sentence that, I never thought I would ever get the chance to write.

After Blizzard’s silence post Nostalrius, I didn’t believe we would ever get here.
I believe Nostalrius really paved the way for this reality and we are finally here guys. The game we love will be back!

They also said that these new classic servers will take some time to develop. So… be patient.
This is great news for our community though because… multiple vanilla projects out there have been on some pretty shaky ground lately….
Finally we get a great ping on a server that’s (most likely) not going to be over crowded.

The announcement was cleverly delivered:

J Allen Brack:
“Before I get to the big news today, I want to talk about ice cream,”
“I understand that for some of you, your favorite flavor is vanilla.”

“We’re committed to making an authentic, Blizzard-quality classic experience,” Blizzard said today during its Blizzcon.

Blizzcon


Twitter post:


Ascension releasing DoomHammer – a no-risk classless realm

Project Ascension has a pretty unique realm concept with their class-less system.
The project has seen a large influx of new players and according to them just continues to grow.
I personally think it’s a really cool concept and am interested in their no-risk realm.

Project Ascension:
Heroes,

The population of Ascension continues to skyrocket. Players are not only joining the classless experience,
they’re staying. More accounts have been created on Ascension this week than any week prior, and with
the launch of our new no-risk realm, Cenarius, we have seen queue times drop approximately 0
minutes–players just keep coming. We’re working tirelessly to manage this influx, and we’d like to
give you an update regarding our plans to manage this population growth.

At the time of writing, there are over 1000 people in queue across all realms, despite exponential
increases to individual server player caps over the past two weeks. To mitigate extraneous queue times,
we will be opening a third No-Risk realm, Doomhammer, to allow players additional options when playing
on Ascension. As always, we leaving all the cards on the table and are open to merging some or all of these
no-risk realms if the population on any one drops too low.

This is only one small part of our bigger plans to manage the growth of Ascension. As most of you know,
we’re actively modifying our software to boost our playercap. Additionally, we’ll be conducting a bit of
maintenance next week to migrate all realms to a new infrastructure; this move is intended to help us better
manage the population growth. We’ll let you know when we have a time for that sorted out, so keep an eye
open here, and on social media.

We are still absolutely working to expand the player capacity of each individual realm. At this time,
almost all of the work to be done is coding–not hardware–based. The last thing we want to do is let a flood
of people in only for the server to lag terribly. Our goal is to have as many players per realm as we possibly
can while still offering the quality, lag-free experience that you deserve. Keep an eye open for updates
regarding the player capacity of our realms!

Thank you, honestly, for your patience, Heroes. We know you’re aching to play without queue times, and
we’re working hard to get you there. We hope you enjoy our newest realm, Doomhammer, which
launches at 4:00pm on Sunday, January 14th, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

The Ascension official announcement can be seen here: https://project-ascension.com/news/