WoW Classic Launches August 27th, Beta May 15th

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Tips Out Interview - Layering Over Sharding in Classic
Tips Out sat down with John Hight and Omar Gonzalez on Classic.


  • The beta will only have a small number of players, but there will also be the stress test weekend in which larger pools of players can log in.
  • A new technology called Layering will be used to smooth the launch. It allows them to have multiple versions of each of the two continents running as needed. They are not cross realm and are only used so that an entire realm population isn't competing in one area at a time and to lessen login ques. The only way you can shift into a different layer is through party invites from others on your server who are in a different layer.
  • The technology tries to sticky you to a layer so that you see familiar names often. It also only exists to control population at launch and will not continue once numbers are stable.
  • The Classic servers will have new names to avoid confusion.
  • They don't have an exact server number yet, but are flexible.
  • In-game items from the Collector's Edition will be for retail only. They want to preserve Classic as it was.
  • If you have the original Collector's Edition of Vanilla WoW on your account, you can re-access the pet rewards, but they are not re-releasing them to those who don't.
  • There will not be tokens in classic WoW, but they will support realm transfer in Classic through the current in game service structure.
  • They are going to take community feedback and how the community is progressing to figure out when to proceed with the content phases.
  • Cross-realm PvP battlegrounds are included when they launch in Phase 3.
  • You cannot add a person of the opposing faction to your B.Net friend's list by right clicking them in-game in Classic.
  • If Classic is successful and the community wants it, other classic expansions could be on the table.


Forbes Interview with J. Allen Brack
Forbes sat down with J. Allen Brack to discuss Blizzard as a company and what is coming.


  • Blizzard Changes and Leadership
    • J. Allen Brack wants fans to know that the company has more in development than at any point in its history and their commitment to quality remains.
    • Mike Morhaime stayed on in an advisory role to Brack and told him all the things he was doing wrong.
    • They want the company to outlive all of them, and so it is only natural that at some point other people have to take over.
    • Mike Morhaime continues to be very supportive of J. Allen Brack and the company.
    • J. Allen Brack says the fact that two veteran Blizzard developers are now leading Blizzard should ease concerns that development has been overwhelmed by financial concerns in recent years.
    • Their core mission of creating amazing games for players with a commitment to quality has not changed with leadership.
  • Future Projects and Mobile
    • There are core games in development for PC and console in addition to mobile initiatives.
    • Skepticism of releasing games outside of PC has also occurred for titles such as Diablo III. It stems from people having pride in what their gaming platform is because they feel like the best games are on that particular platform.
    • The desire to have a Blizzard-quality mobile experience has continued to increase in both Blizzard and fan's minds depending on age and how long you've had a mobile phone.
    • Hearthstone on mobile was step one and this is step two. There will be other steps because they believe in mobile as a platform for gaming in the future.
    • This does not mean that they don't believe in console gaming and PC gaming as a platform for the future. They do.
    • Blizzard has been partnered with NetEase in China for almost 10 years, starting with World of Warcraft. They picked NetEase because the company is passionate for Blizzard IPs and shares the development-type culture. Diablo Immortal will be a Blizzard game and will use Blizzard values in monetization.
    • There is a team of developers helping NetEase with the game. It's a partnership. They are not just having NetEase develop it in China and slapping the Blizzard name on it.
    • Out-of-house outsourcing is not a strategic priority for Blizzard, but they have utilized it for other games such as StarCraft: Remastered.
    • Blizzard's goal is to creature something great, whether it's with a current IP or an entirely new one.
    • Something to work on is figuring out the challenges of having many different kinds of games in development to make intelligent decisions on the next steps for each project.


DenofGeek Impressions - No Unarmored Mounts in Classic
DenofGeek also got to attend the Classic Event and shared their impressions along with some information from Brian Birmingham, Lead Software Engineer, and Patrick Dawson, Production Director.

  • The Blood Plague bug from Zul'Gurub has been brought up by the team and it would be interesting and funny to bring it back when Zul'Gurub launches in Phase 4.
  • The original unarmored mounts from Classic were discussed, but ultimately it was decided not to bring them back in Classic because they didn't want to give players the incentive to rush through the leveling experience.
  • In game reporting will be in the game, but there will be a human element to it and not just automatic bans based on an algorithm.
  • The team felt it was important to make it easy to report abusive players, but understand the drawbacks of this system. If you feel you have been actioned inappropriately, you can reach out to customer service.
  • When asked if new level 60 content after Naxxramas could be developed, such as new 40 man raids, the team said anything is on the table and this is a love letter to fans. If the fans desire it, it will be considered. There are no plans as of now, but that bridge will be crossed when they get there. (*Note that in the GameReactor Interview, Ion says new content is out of the question for Classic)


USGamer Interview
USGamer also interviewed Brian Birmingham and Patrick Dawson. They had a small amount of new information.

  • They start from Patch 1.12 because it was the most complete version of the game. Bugs that are not gameplay affecting exploits are back in the game. There's no reason to take UI conveniences out and make things inconvenient just for the sake of inconvenience as long as they're capturing those core gameplay features: spells and abilities, old quests, and that aesthetic feel of the game.
  • The developers also stated that there are no plans for a content loop, with the Classic reverting to the first content phase after some time at the sixth phase. What happens after Naxxramas is unknown.


GameReactor WoW Classic Interview
GameReactor also got to ask a few questions while at the WoW Summit.

  • Ion Hazzikostas and Calia Shie both explained how changes to the overall concept and the addition of new content were out of the question since once altered that would make a Classic server something else entirely. (*Note that the DenofGeek interview says new content could be possible if the fans want it.)
This article was originally published in forum thread: WoW Classic Summit Fan Site Interviews started by Stoy View original post
Comments 57 Comments
  1. Ealyssa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by cretos87 View Post
    I miss the days before Activision merger and Michael Morhaime was still CEO, the golden years of Blizzard
    Yeah right ? The good old days when they were owned by Vivendi...
  1. Thetruth1400's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by BoltBlaster View Post
    So they didn't learn anything.

    Its not about platform pride, its about different types of game. Can't have game with more than couple of buttons on mobile. People who like dumb games already play on mobile. People who prefer more advanced games play on PC. Announcing mobile game in room full of PC gamers has nothing to do with platform pride, it has everything to do with Blizzard speaking to wrong audience.

    Platform pride is when people talk about playing WoW on Windows vs Mac. That nonsense is real platform pride because game itself is identical.
    This. They're either sticking their heads in the sand or they're purposely ignoring the actual issue people had with it. It wasn't about a mobile game, it was advertising a mobile game to PC gamers. It be like going to an Xbox convention and advertising a Playstation exclusive; you're going to have a bad time.


    My biggest issue with the interviews though was this line: Diablo Immortal will be a Blizzard game and will use Blizzard values in monetization.

    Hasn't it already come to light that this was just a reskin of another game or were those just rumors? Haven't there been leaked screen shots that show the extremely aggressive monetization they're going for with the Chinese market?

    Here, they're claiming it to be a Blizzard game with Blizzard values in mind towards monetization. Frankly, I can't wait to see just what their current values are when it comes to said monetization, because I can't see them being good. We'll know for sure if Blizzard is still a company that leans towards it's old values of customers first or if the new leadership has moved towards stock holders first, consumers second. Time will tell, and Diablo will be a major contributor in telling that story.
  1. Darknessvamp's Avatar
    The desire to have a Blizzard-quality mobile experience has continued to increase in both Blizzard and fan's minds depending on age and how long you've had a mobile phone.
    Ha don't make me laugh, people wanted Hearthstone on Mobile because it fit as well as a quick way to deal with their Garrison and that was it. No one has been clamoring for Starcraft, Overwatch or Diablo on a phone and even less WoW in it's entirety.

    Hearthstone on mobile was step one and this is step two. There will be other steps because they believe in mobile as a platform for gaming in the future.
    Oh wait let me laugh even harder. HAHAHAHA
  1. Tatakau's Avatar
    It's a mess already.
  1. Explicit Teemo Nudes's Avatar
    Not that I personally care, but they could've just had the mounts that got removed not getting removed at all. They're always thinking so backwards -.-
  1. Z a v i u s's Avatar
    LOL Layering.. Same Shit as Phasing. plan yo be layered on your own server not seeing anyone until you walk into the Cities... JOKE!!! let a server be a server if it gets overwhelmed or too many people farming something.. WHO CARES!!! that's a living world! where with that Layering Bullshit.. you phase when a lot of people are farming stuff (So people cant farm and not have to wait around) oh so make it more Single player..
  1. The Stormbringer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Darknessvamp View Post
    Ha don't make me laugh, people wanted Hearthstone on Mobile because it fit as well as a quick way to deal with their Garrison and that was it. No one has been clamoring for Starcraft, Overwatch or Diablo on a phone and even less WoW in it's entirety.

    Oh wait let me laugh even harder. HAHAHAHA
    I wouldn't laugh if we had like, holographic interfaces and haptic feedback systems that are projected from your phone, so you can have a 'full' gaming experience. As it is, with a touch screen that has very limited inputs, and is blocked partially by you doing things? I don't see it as a very good platform at all. The Nintendo DS is more of a gaming platform than phones.
  1. Sigxy the Lemming's Avatar
    "Skepticism of releasing games outside of PC has also occurred for titles such as Diablo III. It stems from people having pride in what their gaming platform is because they feel like the best games are on that particular platform."

    Oh you don't wanna go there, Blizzard, trust me. x_x
  1. The Stormbringer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sigxy the Lemming View Post
    "Skepticism of releasing games outside of PC has also occurred for titles such as Diablo III. It stems from people having pride in what their gaming platform is because they feel like the best games are on that particular platform."

    Oh you don't wanna go there, Blizzard, trust me. x_x
    In this case, it's not just "releasing games outside of PC", it's "releasing games not on PC at all". They don't seem to understand that fact.
  1. bigfatdan's Avatar
    "Their core mission of creating amazing games for players with a commitment to quality has not changed with leadership." Well, it sure as hell changed with something.
  1. ryanmahaffe's Avatar
    J.Allen Brack reaks of corporate speak
  1. Manhands's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by BoltBlaster View Post
    So they didn't learn anything.

    Its not about platform pride, its about different types of game. Can't have game with more than couple of buttons on mobile. People who like dumb games already play on mobile. People who prefer more advanced games play on PC. Announcing mobile game in room full of PC gamers has nothing to do with platform pride, it has everything to do with Blizzard speaking to wrong audience.

    Platform pride is when people talk about playing WoW on Windows vs Mac. That nonsense is real platform pride because game itself is identical.
    This scared me. No one can look at keyboard/mouse+ 3840x2160 monitor and claim it's somehow comparable to small, touch-screen mobile interface. Add the ability to update your hardware and the freedom of controlling your OS more, and PC gaming is in another league.

    I'd be totally placated if he had said, "Mobile is another platform that can have amazing games, and we have some great ideas that are specific to mobile." That makes sense. But his actual answer means he's either delusional or he's being fed a line from The Board to justify mobile gaming.
  1. Sigxy the Lemming's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Stormbringer View Post
    In this case, it's not just "releasing games outside of PC", it's "releasing games not on PC at all". They don't seem to understand that fact.
    I really hope they don't seriously ask each other "I wonder why we are losing our audience?" because that would just make me lose hope for humanity knowing I'm the same specie as them. ;_:
  1. The Stormbringer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sigxy the Lemming View Post
    I really hope they don't seriously ask each other "I wonder why we are losing our audience?" because that would just make me lose hope for humanity knowing I'm the same specie as them. ;_:
    You'd think the amount of feedback and people posting on forums and the like would tell them exactly why they're losing their audience. @[email protected]
  1. apelsinjuice's Avatar
    People need to accept that blizzard will be a mobile-focused developer soon going forward, targeting younger kids all over the world and bigger focus on the asian market
  1. bullseyed's Avatar
    Hearthstone on mobile was step one and this is step two. There will be other steps because they believe in mobile as a platform for gaming in the future. This does not mean that they don't believe in console gaming and PC gaming as a platform for the future. They do.
    I mean, they shouldn't. 10 years ago people didn't believe you'd be web-browsing on a phone instead of a computer.

    It won't be long until your phone is as powerful as a gaming desktop and you can just connect to monitors and a keyboard and play games. Not to mention the whole game streaming thing which keeps getting better. Consoles are just off the shelf PCs already.

    I'm reasonably sure I could play WoW on my Galaxy S10+ if it had the proper support and I could connect the peripherals I need.
  1. HealingPants's Avatar
    This is Jason Gallagher, the writer of the Den of Geek article. Some quick thoughts regarding the two guys I talked to saying more level 60 content is possible and Ion saying the opposite.

    1. Ion is the lead dev and I suspect he's probably focused on keeping the player base focused on the current version of Classic instead of what may or may not happen two or more years from now.
    2. The devs I spoke with, Brian and Patrick, did seem very sincere about the option being on the table, but they didn't say anything like "we're definitely going to do it." It's just a long-term possibility, just like BC or Lich King servers.
    3. As someone else already pointed out, I could see both stories being accurate in the long-run. Blizzard will never make changes to the Classic servers that are going live in August, but could release an updated server that you can copy your character to and that one will get new level 60 content, etc.

    Just my two cents.
  1. elistar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bullseyed View Post
    I mean, they shouldn't. 10 years ago people didn't believe you'd be web-browsing on a phone instead of a computer.

    It won't be long until your phone is as powerful as a gaming desktop and you can just connect to monitors and a keyboard and play games. Not to mention the whole game streaming thing which keeps getting better. Consoles are just off the shelf PCs already.

    I'm reasonably sure I could play WoW on my Galaxy S10+ if it had the proper support and I could connect the peripherals I need.
    When I have the choice I always prefer to browse the web on my PC though. It's much faster and easier to read. I avoid using my phone to browse whenever possible.
  1. GMZohar1's Avatar
    "They picked NetEase because the company is passionate(money) for Blizzard IPs (Money) and shares the development-type culture(money). Diablo Immortal will be a Blizzard game and will use Blizzard values in monetization."
  1. MoanaLisa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Azgarde View Post
    Den of Geek interview:
    When asked if new level 60 content after Naxxramas could be developed, such as new 40 man raids, the team said anything is on the table and this is a love letter to fans. If the fans desire it, it will be considered. There are no plans as of now, but that bridge will be crossed when they get there.

    GameReactor interview:
    Ion Hazzikostas and Calia Shie both explained how changes to the overall concept and the addition of new content were out of the question since once altered that would make a Classic server something else entirely.


    Small indy company. I would assume they don't talk to each other in there. No wonder WoW is now a massive cluster*** if their own developer can't publicly agree towards each other. Amazing !
    It's not really a contradiction. They can release B.C. or Wrath servers and leave Classic servers alone. There's no law that says that additional content releases have to directly connect to vanilla.

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