WoW Classic interview: Making the old new again

We speak with one of the lead engineers on Blizzard's WoW Classic to get the details on resurrecting fifteen year old code for a new release.

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The folks over at Blizzard made a lot of dreams come true last summer when they formally announced World of Warcraft Classic during the Blizzcon 2018 keynote. The world’s most popular MMO has been chugging along for fifteen years now, receiving various upgrades and expansions. While the game is inarguably as good as it ever was, longtime players had been yearning for a return to the early days of the game and Blizzard seemingly agreed with that sentiment.

Yesterday, Blizzard made the game’s release date official. August 26 will be the day that new and current subscribers will be able to kick it old school in the Warcraft MMO. Ahead of the launch, a beta session will be up and running to work out the final bugs and quirks. Players can sign up for the beta session beginning today, May 15. Details on the dates and times for the beta sessions can be found on the official Blizzard site.

Ahead of the big launch, the Shacknews video team got the opportunity to speak with Omar Gonzalez, Senior Engineer on the project. He goes into the meat and potatoes of resurrecting the older WoW code and the challenges associated with bringing a fifteen year old experience into the modern age.

Gonzalez touches on the process of how the team at Blizzard approached the project. Rather than start from scratch, the development team chose to start with the modern WoW codebase and then began testing out the older parameters and art. As the development and logging tools that the team uses for the modern WoW service have evolved and improved over time, the producers did not want the current staff to deal with the headache of going back to 2004-era interfaces and toolsets for product management. To the end-user, WoW Classic looks and feels like the old experience, but underneath the hood, the team at Blizzard has the benefit of 2019-era tools and software.


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Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

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