Classic WoW, why it takes so long?

Classic Discussion
30/03/2018 12:22Posted by Vatko
You are right. That is roughly what they will need to do, reskin Legion's engine so that it looks and plays like classic WoW. Based on over a decade of experience in game development I will tell you that it will take roughly 2 years, give or take, if they start now.

So it takes Blizzard (at most) 2 years at the moment to make a completely new expansion from scratch and that includes new spells, modify mechanics, talents and most of all, create (and design) an entire new continent. Also often add a new race or entirely new class into the game.

All that have been handled in two years and you're saying that Classic, the doesn't require the creation of a new continent and a host of raids and dungeons will take the same amount of time? How does that make sense?!
30/03/2018 17:05Posted by Kheron
All that have been handled in two years and you're saying that Classic, the doesn't require the creation of a new continent and a host of raids and dungeons will take the same amount of time? How does that make sense?!

The game is ready and working in their office... the trick is it is working on old software infrastructure they don't support any more. The must move it to modern software and modern network infrastructure they use.
They need to sell BfA to all the plebs before they can start promoting Classic.
They won't let it interfere with the expansion so don't expect updates any time soon.
30/03/2018 23:49Posted by Gitmix
They need to sell BfA to all the plebs before they can start promoting Classic.
They won't let it interfere with the expansion so don't expect updates any time soon.


This.
I guess they're taking after $ony and $quareAnus
30/03/2018 23:49Posted by Gitmix
They need to sell BfA to all the plebs before they can start promoting Classic.
They won't let it interfere with the expansion so don't expect updates any time soon.


I agree. My most cynical guess is that Blizzard aren't actually going to do this until they've got a legal case to take down all the private servers. I don't know all the technicalities as I'm no lawyer nor do I have any experience in the practice of law, but I reckon that they'll want to ensure there's nowhere else you can go for Classic, like it or not.

The most optimistic I can be is that it'll be delivered when there's a content drought in BfA. The reasons why Blizzard haven't made their own private servers are numerous and oft inconsistent, varying from "you think you want it but you don't" to "the data no longer exists", which they've now proven to be false. What can they say now if Classic doesn't happen? "Whoops, we spilt coffee on the server and all the gigglebits got wet?"

Having said that, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to programming the data. If anyone here's a software/hardware/gameplay engineer could explain the process, I'd be willing to listen to how such a task would be handled. Otherwise, it's anyone's guess. ^^
30/03/2018 17:05Posted by Kheron
So it takes Blizzard (at most) 2 years at the moment to make a completely new expansion from scratch and that includes new spells, modify mechanics, talents and most of all, create (and design) an entire new continent. Also often add a new race or entirely new class into the game.

All that have been handled in two years and you're saying that Classic, the doesn't require the creation of a new continent and a host of raids and dungeons will take the same amount of time? How does that make sense?!


Not even as much as an armchair game dev, I can only imagine this:

Recreating pottery as close to the original as it was by finding just a few shards takes a lot more time than slapping some clay together and forming a new pot.

Well, depending on the amount of shards, the size of the shards and if you have to go to the store to buy glue or clay.

Would be great if they made a "coffee with the devs" for that sort of thing. But considering how snobistic the whole company likes to be towards people who like their original game I'm sure it's just a "give those peasants what the they want so they shut the hell up" and not a very passionate project.
30/03/2018 17:05Posted by Kheron

All that have been handled in two years and you're saying that Classic, the doesn't require the creation of a new continent and a host of raids and dungeons will take the same amount of time? How does that make sense?!


Doesnt require the creation of anything but requiere something that is in itself very complicate : migration to the current infraestructure.

In software a migration project takes time, they have the original software from 14 years ago but if they put that on the modern server infraestructures it wont work, is like trying to play a PS2 game in a PS3, it wont work. I work as software developer and in the past i have been in many project to make migration of the software, upgrade the databases to switch from one type of database to another (sql server to oracle), upgrade the database version, upgrade every application from x86 to x64, upgrade the language framework or the compiler version. None of this change is to switch a button and the old version just works in the new infraestructure, if takes months because always there is something that does not work, is not compatible, is not supported anymore or just is too slow in the new infraestructure after some testing.

Blizzard has to adapt a software from 14 years ago, that implies probably many changes, not only in the infraestructure but probably they had made over the years improvements in their internal software used for mainteinance, monitoring and GMs.

It seems easier to forget the original code and adapt the current code to work like the classic one, because the current code is already compatible with everything they have now and most of the things from vanilla should still work, you only need to do old raids or quest that are still the same since vanilla, it still works, if they put in the database of the server the data from vanilla maps, quest, items, npcs, loot and spells it will almost like the original one, and the few differences are the things they will need to change to work like vanilla, is less work to prepare a Legion server to have Vanilla talents and PVP system that adapt all the vanilla server to work in legion infraestructures
It's apparent they're not going to release it during current content drought.

So, we will have to wait when Bfa will be finally over, and only then we will get classic

31/03/2018 06:36Posted by Johnwanne
Blizzard aren't actually going to do this until they've got a legal case to take down all the private servers.

That means never. Simply because wow private servers are hosted in so many countries with different law systems
30/03/2018 23:49Posted by Gitmix
They need to sell BfA to all the plebs before they can start promoting Classic.
They won't let it interfere with the expansion so don't expect updates any time soon.


And the reason behind this decision is crystal clear : Classic will dwarf BfA in sub numbers.

Thinking otherwise is plain wrong.
What I don't get is that can't they reprogram Legion into Classic?

...

I mean the vanilla world and dungeons all exist in Legion. Even private servers modify WotLK into TBC so why can't Blizz mod Legion into Classic?


Vanilla world doesn't exist in current wow. The zones were changed in cata, remember? So they also have to port in the whole world. Same with dungeons that were changed, like UBRS, Scholo and wailing caverns. So yeah, they just have to take Legion, and change EVERYTHING xD
31/03/2018 11:48Posted by Jadzía
It seems easier to forget the original code and adapt the current code to work like the classic one, because the current code is already compatible with everything they have now and most of the things from vanilla should still work

This. This is what I meant, people seem to have a very time understanding my question.

Every pseudo-programmer just goes off spouting how hard it is to port the old Vanilla to modern servers. NEWSFLASH: Forget that! Just edit Legion into classic.

31/03/2018 13:14Posted by Disaya
Vanilla world doesn't exist in current wow. The zones were changed in cata, remember? So they also have to port in the whole world. Same with dungeons that were changed, like UBRS, Scholo and wailing caverns. So yeah, they just have to take Legion, and change EVERYTHING xD

You have any idea how EASY and FAST it is to modify an existing map for Blizzard? Like check this youtuber out, he modifies wow maps for fun and he is just one guy who has to reverse engineer/datamine all this stuff. How fast you think Blizzard could do this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xI_kApAxWyI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_D_MxuuS6M

And here he recreated original (not-vanilla) Azhara:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHKpGyxgRtM

So undoing Cata changes should take Blizzard a couple of weeks.
31/03/2018 13:14Posted by Disaya
What I don't get is that can't they reprogram Legion into Classic?

...

I mean the vanilla world and dungeons all exist in Legion. Even private servers modify WotLK into TBC so why can't Blizz mod Legion into Classic?


Vanilla world doesn't exist in current wow. The zones were changed in cata, remember? So they also have to port in the whole world. Same with dungeons that were changed, like UBRS, Scholo and wailing caverns. So yeah, they just have to take Legion, and change EVERYTHING xD


They dont need to change anything, to have one quest or another, to have one NPC there or another, to have one version of the map or another, does not imply to change anything on the server, the only need to fill the database of the server with the data of classic, there is nothing to port.

At the end the server have the quest, items, npcs, loots and maps defined on the database, and the client use the ones the server choose, they only need to add again the original map to the game files as an aditional map and make BfA servers to use Cataclysm map and Classic server use Pre-Cataclysm, just like WOD Draenor map is stored as a different map, is not Outland map modified, but in this case the map used will be based on the server type.

You should not think about having Old Azeroth as changing Cataclysm Azeroth, it is more like Outland and Draenor maps, and for that there is no need to change anything, don't touch Cataclysm Azeroth at all, add to the client and server the original map to have both versions. The same for the dungeons, at the end maps will be duplicated, there is no problem, a map is only a few KB in size. It is less work than port all the server and all the client to modern infraestructures.

30/03/2018 10:52Posted by Kheron

What I don't get is that can't they reprogram Legion into Classic?

Actually based on the interviews given about the work they are doing this is the more plaussible scenario for Classic. I bet what they are doing is exactly that, reprogram Legion into Classic, or more exactly, make the server and client adapted to work for multiple expansions

30/03/2018 10:52Posted by Kheron

What's this hogwash about "server side issues"? Is it really so hard to reprogram Legion's talent system back to Vanilla's. Maybe some small combat mechanic tweaks, but nothing that sounds like it has to do with server operations.

More than reprogram Legion's talent system back to Vanilla's the most efficient option is to reprogram the talents system on the server to have two talents modules, one for Classic server and another for Legion/Bfa servers. Is more efficient to have an unified server prepared to be a Classic server or Legion/Bfa server based on parameters from the database. They also will need to have some combat formulas and tweaks reintroduced like weapon skills and keyrings and make those features enabled or disabled based on the type of server, not only to not have weapon skills on Legion but also to not have mounts, pets, toys and transmog collection, lfr,lfg, battle pets, etc on Classic server.

Essentially the need to make the server multiexpansions. The good thing is that once they have made the server multiexpansions it should be trivial to add in the future other expansion servers like TBC or WOTLK, the code will be ready.

Just think about it for a moment. The Classic talent system was the same used in TBC and WOTLK. The talents itself changed but that does not imply changing nothing on the server code, only to have in the database the information of the talents for that expansion/patch. On the other hand PVP system changed in TBC, but if they have already the server prepared for multiple modules they only need a third PVP module for the system used from TBC onwards. And every other change just imply to enable or disable things that are already in legion, like achievements, pets and mount collections only enabled in WOTLK servers, even if the account wide part is disabled on those servers.

30/03/2018 10:52Posted by Kheron

Same with graphic models, just replace one with another.

Graphic models have nothing to do with the server, this is just resources, they can make the client have stored the models from Legion and Classic and the server will tell the client what file it should use, the decision is made based on data stored on the database.

30/03/2018 10:52Posted by Kheron

I mean the vanilla world and dungeons all exist in Legion. Even private servers modify WotLK into TBC so why can't Blizz mod Legion into Classic?

Not exactly, vanilla world does not exits anymore, and most of the dungeons were changed over the years, but i dont think there is any problem to add the original maps and have both versions on the server and the client, one for Classic server and the other for Legion/BfA server.
At first glance it would look like its so easy to put together, but compared to making new expansions its a much different project. They probably have very good templates for new expansions at this point and they just patch it on top of existing stuff. Classic is alot more like a new game compared to new expansions, its also more fresh, but thats just my opinion.
Classic in 2020? are you having a laugh... you cant drop a bombshell on us like that then make us wait 2 years
If you EVER ask why it takes so long for a big company to do ANYTHING, it's because big companies take forever to get organised about EVERYTHING, and then they have the sense of urgency of an Orc Peon who knows his supervisor has been called to Orgrimmar for a month.
just my 2 cents why do do we need the new server for old WoW can't they just use the original hardware and go online won't that just be enough or is that not a viable option ?????
31/03/2018 13:14Posted by Disaya
...

Vanilla world doesn't exist in current wow. The zones were changed in cata, remember? So they also have to port in the whole world. Same with dungeons that were changed, like UBRS, Scholo and wailing caverns. So yeah, they just have to take Legion, and change EVERYTHING xD


They dont need to change anything, to have one quest or another, to have one NPC there or another, to have one version of the map or another, does not imply to change anything on the server, the only need to fill the database of the server with the data of classic, there is nothing to port.

At the end the server have the quest, items, npcs, loots and maps defined on the database, and the client use the ones the server choose, they only need to add again the original map to the game files as an aditional map and make BfA servers to use Cataclysm map and Classic server use Pre-Cataclysm, just like WOD Draenor map is stored as a different map, is not Outland map modified, but in this case the map used will be based on the server type.

You should not think about having Old Azeroth as changing Cataclysm Azeroth, it is more like Outland and Draenor maps, and for that there is no need to change anything, don't touch Cataclysm Azeroth at all, add to the client and server the original map to have both versions. The same for the dungeons, at the end maps will be duplicated, there is no problem, a map is only a few KB in size. It is less work than port all the server and all the client to modern infraestructures.


Aye, this seems like a way to do this. Could also be what Blizzard meant with that they found a way to do this, which was previously not possible? If the old "maps" for some reason not compatible with current infrastructure I mean.

My earlier answer was if they're going to "reprogram legion to classic" they would have to change basically everything, since everything has changed since 2007 in wow. If you can access the world some of the work has already been made :) As you point out, then you need a database with all NPCs, items, quests etc. Going to be interesting if they stick to similar UI as in Legion, back to vanilla UI, or something different...
01/04/2018 15:39Posted by Disaya

Aye, this seems like a way to do this. Could also be what Blizzard meant with that they found a way to do this, which was previously not possible? If the old "maps" for some reason not compatible with current infrastructure I mean.

I dont think the old map should be incompatible, just look at Outlads, it is the same map since it was released in 2007 and since then nothing has changed, nothing, and it still works. Also some of the vanilla dungeons are stil the exact same dungeon with the exact same map since the begining, and it still works.

Of course the original Azeroth map is not compatible with flyting but that is not a problem, in Classic server it wont be flying available for anyone.

01/04/2018 15:39Posted by Disaya

My earlier answer was if they're going to "reprogram legion to classic" they would have to change basically everything, since everything has changed since 2007 in wow.

Not actually, everything has been changed, but if they have the data from classic it should work. In comparison with Legion the things in Vanilla were very simple, i do not think Legion server can not replicate talents, spells, encounters and quest from vanilla with the data from back them.

Of course the way to learn talent must be adapted to work like in Vanilla, but talents itself should not be a problem. To learn skills from trainers should not be a problem, actually that and learning profession from trainers it is exactly the same, internally both are "spells" for the game.

The PVP system should be enterely redone, but better than upgrade all the game.

Some combat formulas like hit and miss must be adapted but i do not think those kind of calculations are duplicated on more than one place of the code. They only need to made in those places to use one formula or another based on the type of server.

01/04/2018 15:39Posted by Disaya

If you can access the world some of the work has already been made :) As you point out, then you need a database with all NPCs, items, quests etc.

That part requiere some work just yo research to check they have all the data with the right values. They must done some documentation to be sure they dont miss anything. And then test everything to check all works, that requieres some time. In comparison most of the private servers are launched without completing that documentation part, you can check in github for current servers like Light's Hope, there are issues because some quest does not have the right text or it is missing some scene after completing the quest. That is one of the reason why Blizzard has not launched yet, to have Blizzard's Quality means it is not aceptable to launch the server with missing things.

01/04/2018 15:39Posted by Disaya

Going to be interesting if they stick to similar UI as in Legion, back to vanilla UI, or something different...

Well, probably they use the same lua version for both servers or even the same UI for both making the UI change based on the type of server. Probably no matter what they do someone will make an addon to make the UI look like the original Classic UI or look like Legion UI.

01/04/2018 15:09Posted by Soeliah
just my 2 cents why do do we need the new server for old WoW can't they just use the original hardware and go online won't that just be enough or is that not a viable option ?????

Because probably they dont have the old hardware anymore, and even if they have some of this old hardware it is based on technology not supported anymore by the providers. For example Oracle is currently in version 12c, back in 2006 the Oracle version was 9i and currently Oracle only supports versions 11 and 12. A big company like Blizzard can make their business depend on a database that is not supported by the provider. Also, they are a company, they make this for money, they have upgraded the infraestructure to be more efficient and reduce the cost, if the upgrade does not have benefics they would not made them. They will make Classic, but that doesnt means unlimited budget to make it.
31/03/2018 14:12Posted by Kheron
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xI_kApAxWyI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_D_MxuuS6M

And here he recreated original (not-vanilla) Azhara:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHKpGyxgRtM

So undoing Cata changes should take Blizzard a couple of weeks.


Hm, interesting.

But well, that's just the maps. What about the quests? The storylines, the items that are in the background, the interactable items, etc. I'm pretty sure that is most of the work to recreate. And the gear, stats, talents, spells... even if they can just look that up it would still be a lot of checking.

I don't know, I want to believe that it doesn't have to take as long as creating something from the ground up, but then I have to wonder how difficult they made it for themselves for wanting to push that whole thing onto their newest material instead of using an emulator.
02/04/2018 08:45Posted by Vunde
What about the quests? The storylines, the items that are in the background, the interactable items, etc. I'm pretty sure that is most of the work to recreate. And the gear, stats, talents, spells... even if they can just look that up it would still be a lot of checking.


Quests and NPCs require scripting. All major pservers like Nostalrius had to do this from scratch anyway no-one had the server client that contained this information. Yes, making a quality pserver requires more than to click "install". :D

Same applies to all spells, talents and items. Pservers had to script them from scratch. And not only that, there's something called "Pathing" which means scripting how the mobs move on the map, this too all the pservers have to script themselves and from what I read that is the most difficult part of all.

Items in the background are just objects and part of the map, takes two seconds to place an extra bookshelf or a tree on the map.

Also note that 99% of vanilla items still exist in Legion. All you have to do is to EDIT their stats and modify the scripts that govern combat.

This some guy wrote here that Blizzard should make wow client into multi-expansion program where Blizzard can just toggle certain features on and off like old/new talent system etc.. That sounds smart to me, especially in the long run if they choose to add new expansions like TBC in the future. Found it, here it is below from Jadzia.

More than reprogram Legion's talent system back to Vanilla's the most efficient option is to reprogram the talents system on the server to have two talents modules, one for Classic server and another for Legion/Bfa servers. Is more efficient to have an unified server prepared to be a Classic server or Legion/Bfa server based on parameters from the database. They also will need to have some combat formulas and tweaks reintroduced like weapon skills and keyrings and make those features enabled or disabled based on the type of server, not only to not have weapon skills on Legion but also to not have mounts, pets, toys and transmog collection, lfr,lfg, battle pets, etc on Classic server.

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