We’ve been receiving great detailed blue posts clarifying what will and won't change in the last few months. What were some difficult decisions you had to make in preserving or changing vanilla WoW?
They weren't really that difficult. If it affects gameplay, we want to make it like it was in Vanilla. If it doesn't affect gameplay, then it's not as important.
The other guiding principle is aesthetics, the look of the art, and making sure it reflects how everything looked back then and that it looks good together.
We really want to serve people's memories of Classic, which we agreed on pretty early. If it affects anything about how you can play the game, it was there. However certain convenience things like auto-complete for mail doesn't affect your gameplay experience.
I remember as a Mage, I blinked through the world plenty of times..but that doesn't affect gameplay. However, two mages could polymorph each other, which isn't present in modern WoW but was present in Classic WoW, so we want to restore that.
What goes into researching details like Summoning Demon Behavior
and trying to replicate old bugs as part of WoW Classic development?
We have a stand-alone reference build of the game, with old code and old data, so we can look at that and run it. As we're running through the game, or get reports that something is broken, we can stand them up side-by-side and try to observe the behavior in both clients for differences.
We rely on feedback from the community. We have avid fans, not just players from the community but Blizzard itself. With the beta, we expect people to call us out on things we missed. We try to be extremely thorough in researching things to get it right, and when we do miss something, we'll find it and deal with it there.
I can tell you already, that with our internal alpha testing, the amount of time people are putting into this and what they're finding is pretty spectacular. Getting that feedback is a good way for us to verify that we're hitting the mark on what that experience was like in Classic.Anything that stands out from feedback as a detail you can't believe was missed?
We're shocked every day at how good Brian's team is at hitting that mark. Other than minor bugs here and there, like the grass-cutting thing, we've mostly heard excitement and nostalgia and hunger to have this live.
I want to add to that it's very helpful for people to point out what we've missed. We can usually figure it out once we've put our eyes on it, but there are things we miss because the game is so big. There's so much to do, there's so many different spell abilities, so many zones to explore, that sometimes there are little things we miss.
For example, every time you hit a mining node, it guaranteed gave you a skill up, and we were like 'oh, that's not right!'What topics are you most looking for feedback for during the beta?
Anything we feel like we missed. It's a really big game and while we can usually figure the authentic behavior out, it's a big game to make sure everything os covered.
Everyone knows what Classic is, and the payoff will be in the details. What do you remember? What is the story that only you had in Classic, and how do we recreate that? And was there something special about the data or the code that we missed for some reason?
As we go through the feedback process, we want to make sure we're hitting those marks and delivering the most perfect Classic experience that we can.