Blizzard Entertainment announced the release of an official classic-style “vanilla” server, named World of Warcraft Classic, during the opening ceremony of this BlizzCon 2017 event.
“We want to reproduce the game experience that we all enjoyed from the original, classic WOW,” said executive producer J. Allen Brack, during the opening ceremony of BlizzCon 2018.
No release date was provided by Blizzard. They were clear to mention that a Classic server release will not impact development of Battle of Azeroth. To ensure this, Blizzard have began hiring a completely separate team to work on Classic development. However, the biggest challenge appears to be running old code on new hardware.
“We think we have a way to run the Classic servers on the modern technical infrastructure,” Brack says. “The infrastructure is how we spin up instances and continents, how the database works. It’s those core fundamental pieces, and running two MMOs of that size is a daunting problem. But now we think we have a way to have the old WoW version work on the modern infrastructure and feel really good.”
No doubt Blizzard will be learning lessons from Nostalrius team, who successfully ported Patch 1.12 code on modern technical infrastructure. Many other vanilla servers exist so while challenging it is not impossible for the talent at Blizzard.