World Of Warcraft Classic Raises A Lot Of Questions
A separate sub-team will be focused on the WoW legacy server.
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World of Warcraft got a host of huge updates at Blizzcon 2017. A new expansion is on the way, and we even got a first look at the new cinematic. But Blizzard also made a surprise announcement with very few details: World of Warcraft Classic will bring back the Vanilla experience.
The news raises a lot of questions, and we talked with World of Warcraft production director John Hight to try and answer some of them. While we didn't get firm details for everything, the biggest takeaway is that the team is approaching the upcoming Classic server carefully. There's going to be a separate sub-team made up of WoW veterans working on this version of the game, but how players will access the content isn't quite clear.
You can read the breakout excerpt from our larger World of Warcraft interview below. And for even more Blizzcon news, catch up on the biggest announcements and more interviews from the show here.
The transcript below has been edited for content and clarity.
GameSpot: World of Warcraft Classic was definitely a surprise. What's the overall feeling on the team to go back to creating something like that?
John Hight: Super exciting. We have members on the World of Warcraft team that have been on the game since the very beginning. That in itself is awesome because not many people can say they worked on a game for 13, 14, and in couple cases, 20 years. Luckily enough, some of those are in key engineering areas that are super helpful for us to unravel the differences in the database and the way the game functioned back then.
When was the decision made to work on this?
This has been an ongoing internal debate. I'm sure that this has happened off and on throughout the years, right? But last year this reached a fever pitch, and we really had a lot of internal discussions because we want to make sure that we provide a great experience for our players. And I think our concern was gonna be our ability to execute Blizzard quality going back so many years. You don't want to ruin the experience. It has to be an authentic experience. But by the same token, people don't want some of the funky bugs that we had back then.
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Are you working at all with the teams who were trying to create their own classic servers or is this separate?
No, this is all internal. As I said, we're fortunate that a lot of people that worked on the original WoW are on the team right now, and they're super jazzed. We actually have set up a separate, sub- Steam within our main World of Warcraft team to focus just on this so that we're not trying to share resources. And that's always been the challenge for us: there's so many great things that we can do in WoW. Do we go back and do this or do we add this new feature to World of Warcraft? And that was the big decision for us. So we decided we're gonna set up a special team for it. Everybody that is interested, we're gonna have them volunteer or apply or try to get on the team. And we're gonna safeguard that so that they can be successful.
So is this also something that will be separate from main player experience in the game? It's not like an instance or something where your kind of experiencing that as part of your main World of Warcraft journey?
It's its own realm. Now how we're gonna make that available, we haven't announced anything there. We certainly are gonna make it available to our players, but exactly how we're gonna roll it out, how you're gonna end up going to the old Azeroth...those details we haven't completely aired out and we haven't released that information yet.
Do you see this as being something that's part of a main WoW sub? Would this be a separate add on?
That's the part that we haven't really talked about it. We certainly have opinions on it. As all things Blizzard, we go through extensive internal debate before we commit and then announce.