WoW Classic Sharding Not Confirmed; Won’t Feature Phasing or Cross-Realm Zones; No Plans for Class Balance Changes & Content Past Patch 1.12
At Blizzcon 2018, WoW Classic developers Brian Birmingham and John Hight answered some questions about Blizzard’s upcoming Vanilla server option.
The two developers sat down with website Wowhead to talk about Classic’s development, features, and future plans. We suggest reading the full interview on Wowhead, but we’ve included the most interesting tidbits from the interview below.
While some players have already reported that WoW Classic will feature Sharding following the release of the Classic Demo, this hasn’t been officially confirmed yet. Hight and Birmingham did state that sharding in Classic is a likely possibility as a way to control server populations, but as said, this has yet to be officially confirmed. Sharding allows multiple populations of players to be in the same geographic area (zone), without being able to see or interact with each other.
Phasing, a technique that makes a certain area look different to different characters, won’t be present in Classic. The same applies to Cross-realm zones - a feature in which certain zones are populated with players from multiple realms.
Those hoping for an authentic Vanilla experience will be happy to learn that the Classic team currently has no plans for changes to class balance and 40-man raids. At the moment of writing, the team has no plans for character services, but Realm Transfers could be a possibility in the future. If these transfers are being enabled at some point, these transfers will be limited to Classic only.
We already knew that Classic will run on patch 1.12 ‘Drums of War, and Birmingham and Hight confirmed that the team has no plans for additional content past this patch.
As far as development goes, the Classic demo build is close to the internal development versions of the game, but the lighting is still being adjusted to look closer to the original game.
World of Warcraft Classic is slated for a release in summer 2019. For a comparison between Classic's orginal and enhanced visuals, check out this post right here.