Blizzard’s upcoming vanilla server option for World of Warcraft, WoW Classic, will use patch 1.12 as the foundation for the game.
That’s what the developers confirmed in a recent developer post on the official World of Warcraft blog. World of Warcraft Classic was officially announced last year, but details about the vanilla server option have been scarce.
“The first—and among the most important—decision we had to make was which version of the game to focus on”, the team wrote. “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.”
Not only did the team decide on which version of Classic WoW to use, it appears that they also managed to locally rebuilt version 1.12 for testing. “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”, the team continued. “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.”
Interestingly, while the team aims to deliver an authentic classic experience with WoW Classic, it appears that modern changes and improvements to the game’s back-end will also be implemented.
“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?”, the blog reads. “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.”
A release date for World of Warcraft Classic hasn’t been announced, but it’s likely will hear more about the game later this year.