This week, Blizzard revealed a whole new batch of info regarding World of Warcraft Classic. In a "Dev Watercooler" blog post, information on the first and second prototypes of the anticipated classic revival was described in detail. The Software Engineering inclined will appreciate the technical details of the post, even if the rest of us just take away a general understanding of a much-improved backend client.
What is Drums of War?
The most pertinent information for eager vanillaphiles is news about patch 1.12, "the most complete version of the classic experience" according to Blizzard developers. Alongside huge balance changes for the classes (that are hard to grasp after 10+ years), the biggest note about Drums of War was the introduction of Cross-Realm Battlegrounds:
"For the first time in the history of World of Warcraft, you will be able to face off against players from other realms in the Battlegrounds. PvP Battlegrounds link Alterac Valley, Warsong Gulch, and Arathi Basin so that players from several realms will be combined into one huge matchmaking pool. Replenish your mana, sharpen your blades, and get ready for some brand-new challengers!"
Drums of War also brought on world PvP objectives in Silithus and Eastern Plaguelands. While the absolute die-hards may mourn the introduction of Cross Realm battlegrounds in their classic experience (after all, cross-realm battlegrounds was the first big move towards community play centered less around specific servers), the reduced queue times and stability it brought to PvP is a modern necessity.
Interestingly enough, this was also the patch where "floating combat text" was added into the game -- a visual quality of life improvement modern WoW players are sure to expect. Blizzard had a lot of time to think about which patch they choose to revive Classic Wow on and Drums of War seems like the ideal one.
Other interesting notes that Drums of War added to the game:
- A 3-minute cooldown was added for bind-on-acquire items on enemy corpses.
- Automatic Quest Tracking was added to the game and is turned on by default. This caused quest information to appear on a players screen for 5 minutes whenever a quest requirement was advanced.
- A dialogue confirming the deletion of a superior quality (blue) or better items
- Inspect distance was doubled, meaning players no longer had to be directly next to a player to inspect armor.
- interface options dialog is now full-screen and opaque meaning it can no longer be used while moving.
The next big challenge for Blizzard's Classic team is updated anti-cheat and botting protection that works with Classic Wow while also protecting against 2018 threats. No release date has been hinted at yet, but this developer update is a positive and exciting moment for all Warcraft fans looking to re-live the classic experience.
Warcraft 3 is my one true love and I will challenge anyone to a game of Super Smash Brothers Melee.