World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor begins Alpha testing

Technical upgrade should greatly improve the MMO’s performance overall.

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World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor has moved into the Alpha phase of testing, inviting employees, friends, and family to play a very limited version of the expansion, Blizzard has announced.

One of the biggest changes Warlords of Draenor will make is quite technical, but it sounds like it will fundamentally improve the performance of the massively multiplayer online game. Since it launched, World of Warcraft has used a file format called Mo’PaQ (MPQ for short), which Blizzard said it had pushed far beyond its limits. When Warlords of Draenor launches, all World of Warcarft players will reinstall game files in order to switch over to a new format called CASC (Content Addressable Storage Container).

CASC, which Blizzard is already using for Heroes of the Storm’s Technical Alpha test, improves real-world game performance, speeds up patching, allows Blizzard to hotfix problems that previously required patches, and much more.

If you want to dig into the other ways Warlords of Draenor will impact the game, Blizzard released lengthy patch notes for the Alpha that detail every little change and addition. Just some of the changes that are explained include Hit and Expertise removal, Garrisons, and level-100 talents and perks.

For more on Warlords of Draenor, check out our previous coverage.

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