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Blizzard Alpha Testing WoW: Warlords of Draenor

By - Source: Blizzard | B 16 comments

Blizzard is testing a new file format.

Blizzard updated the Battle.net site with news that it's currently alpha testing the next World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor. The post states that one of the goals is to test some new technology in the wild with employees and friends and family. The new technology includes a new file format called CASC.

"The expansion content available during this first phase will be quite limited—many of the expansion's major features, such as Garrisons, won't be available until a later point in the testing process," the update reads. "This early phase of testing will help us ramp up for our larger beta phase later on, when we'll be inviting more players."

As for the new file format, the blog explains that Blizzard has used the same file format to compress and store files for nearly 20 years: Mo'PaQ, or MPQ for short. During that time, Blizzard has introduced new technologies such as the streaming client, but the team has pushed the file format way beyond its intended use. Thus enter CASC, or rather Content Addressable Storage Container.

"We'll be using this new format in the Warlords of Draenor alpha and beta tests, and our intent is to convert everyone to the new format in a pre-expansion patch," the update reads. "As geeky as it may sound, we're extremely excited to be moving to this new file format. It provides a ton of benefits not only for us and our ability to support and patch the game, but also for players."

According to Blizzard, the new file format is expected to provide greater performance thanks to a non-redundant file structure. The file structure maintains itself, the post reads, which should help to prevent errors during installation. The new file format is even built to allow for easy integration of new technologies in the future.

"As we mentioned, the first big step in transitioning all WoW players over will be converting everyone's World of Warcraft installs to the new file format prior to the expansion," the update explains. "Our goal is to make sure that's as seamless and painless a changeover as possible, using as much of the existing installed data as possible to reduce additional downloads."

Additional info on the file conversion process will be revealed as Blizzard gets closer to the launch of Warlords of Draenor. To read the whole post, head here.

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Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    mouse24 , April 9, 2014 8:52 PM
    Quote:
    Oh, please...kill it already and move to next gen, Blizzard. Name it WoW next gen or anything i don't really care. If Blizzard continue to hog onto this old game, there will be no innovation coming from Blizzard again.


    I don't see how making "wow 2" would make it any different than what they are already doing. They have basically changed almost every single aspect of the game multiple times by now. Hell they even revamped old zones. Compare vanilla wow to nowadays wow and you'll see its basically wow 2.
Other Comments
  • -8 Hide
    ferooxidan , April 9, 2014 8:10 PM
    Oh, please...kill it already and move to next gen, Blizzard. Name it WoW next gen or anything i don't really care. If Blizzard continue to hog onto this old game, there will be no innovation coming from Blizzard again.
  • 10 Hide
    mouse24 , April 9, 2014 8:52 PM
    Quote:
    Oh, please...kill it already and move to next gen, Blizzard. Name it WoW next gen or anything i don't really care. If Blizzard continue to hog onto this old game, there will be no innovation coming from Blizzard again.


    I don't see how making "wow 2" would make it any different than what they are already doing. They have basically changed almost every single aspect of the game multiple times by now. Hell they even revamped old zones. Compare vanilla wow to nowadays wow and you'll see its basically wow 2.
  • -3 Hide
    pills161 , April 9, 2014 9:13 PM
    Even with the updates it's still the same ol steaming pile. it was fun when it first started, when running by foot and reaching a new zone was adventurous. Now it's just grind grind grind quest to go here quest to go get that. 5 years of my life wasted to wow, never again.
  • 7 Hide
    ozchoz , April 9, 2014 10:30 PM
    Quote:
    Even with the updates it's still the same ol steaming pile. it was fun when it first started, when running by foot and reaching a new zone was adventurous. Now it's just grind grind grind quest to go here quest to go get that. 5 years of my life wasted to wow, never again.


    I guess you were not prepared.

    The grind has long since been removed from leveling. Now the grind starts when you hit 90.
  • 0 Hide
    memadmax , April 9, 2014 11:46 PM
    Nah, that's ok.
    Played that game for so long that when I got the mists of pandera free trial I couldn't even stand looking at the UI...

    So long WoW, it was great while it lasted for a very long time.
  • -4 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , April 10, 2014 1:29 AM
    Elder Scrolls Online is live now, so who'd be silly enough to keep playing wow?
  • 2 Hide
    athonline , April 10, 2014 3:34 AM
    Quote:
    Nah, that's ok.
    Played that game for so long that when I got the mists of pandera free trial I couldn't even stand looking at the UI...

    So long WoW, it was great while it lasted for a very long time.

    The UI is literally the same as before. Only a few under the hood changes, that Blizz pretty much incorporate a few plugins into it.

    Quote:
    Elder Scrolls Online is live now, so who'd be silly enough to keep playing wow?

    8+ Million people. Different games, different gameplay.
  • 0 Hide
    electrontau , April 10, 2014 6:48 AM
    Quote:
    "Elder Scrolls Online is live now, so who'd be silly enough to keep playing wow? "

    Same thing was said about SW: KoR. What happened to it? Rift?

    So many MMOs people claimed to be WoW-killer have come and gone quietly. How many games do you know that is 10-years old and still have 7 millions subscribers?
  • 3 Hide
    Revan1 , April 10, 2014 7:00 AM
    Some people just enjoy playing MMO's. Who cares about the way you level up thats completely irrelevant. All of your play time comes from endgame, go play SWOTOR, Rift, ESO's endgame and you will see why WoW is still the most popular game in the genre. Everything else either has no content or is set up so poorly theres is no point to continue on once you hit max level.
  • 1 Hide
    athonline , April 10, 2014 7:44 AM
    Quote:
    Some people just enjoy playing MMO's. Who cares about the way you level up thats completely irrelevant. All of your play time comes from endgame, go play SWOTOR, Rift, ESO's endgame and you will see why WoW is still the most popular game in the genre. Everything else either has no content or is set up so poorly theres is no point to continue on once you hit max level.


    Exactly! Can't talk about ESO and Rift, but most of the other MMOs got little to not end-game.

    Warhammer Online was great up to the final levels -aka a month after launch. SWOTOR is good as a single player game, not an MMO. Age of Conan was really fun, but other than buggy and repetitive PvP, the end-game was none (heard it got better however).

    WoW has a backlog of things to do, frequent events (with annual updates for older player), PvE and PvP updates...

    Plus in my book the best lore out there. You don't "just kill" Arthas or Deathwing, there is a reason and story behind it.

    Maybe TESO will turn out (hopefully) to have frequent updates, solid end-game and expand on the TES lore... Maybe not...
  • -2 Hide
    wiinippongamer , April 10, 2014 8:01 AM
    Neckbeards of draenor.
  • -1 Hide
    wildkitten , April 10, 2014 8:28 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Some people just enjoy playing MMO's. Who cares about the way you level up thats completely irrelevant. All of your play time comes from endgame, go play SWOTOR, Rift, ESO's endgame and you will see why WoW is still the most popular game in the genre. Everything else either has no content or is set up so poorly theres is no point to continue on once you hit max level.


    Exactly! Can't talk about ESO and Rift, but most of the other MMOs got little to not end-game.

    Warhammer Online was great up to the final levels -aka a month after launch. SWOTOR is good as a single player game, not an MMO. Age of Conan was really fun, but other than buggy and repetitive PvP, the end-game was none (heard it got better however).

    WoW has a backlog of things to do, frequent events (with annual updates for older player), PvE and PvP updates...

    Plus in my book the best lore out there. You don't "just kill" Arthas or Deathwing, there is a reason and story behind it.

    Maybe TESO will turn out (hopefully) to have frequent updates, solid end-game and expand on the TES lore... Maybe not...


    The lore was one of the things Blizzard messed up. There has been so many retcons to the story that the lore may as well not exist. And this new expansion basically renders WC2 pointless.
  • 1 Hide
    Bondfc11 , April 10, 2014 10:08 AM
    Hi my name is Bondfc and I was addicted to World of Warcrack for years. My addiction led to many all night binges, fights with my spouse, I even missed 4 of my kids' birthday partys for crack raids. I am happy to say I have been WoWcrack free for 3 years now and will never make another click in anger in that world. I think the federal government needs to step in and stop Blizzard from continuing to add new, interesting content to the game making young and old alike (who also are WoWcrack free) feel a need to "just try it one more time." Luckily, I know where that can lead and I promised myself, my family, and my God to never do that again.

    Hi, my name is Bondfc and today I am WoWcrack free.
  • -1 Hide
    rulejunior , April 10, 2014 7:35 PM
    Hi, I'm rulejunior and I was addicted to World of Warcraft for a year, the year before the worst expansion of all time came out, Cataclysm. I quit playing for several reasons, grades, family, girlfriend, but also because I hit the end of the Cata expansion and lost interest since I had nothing to do. No matter how many expansions they add, I will never return unless the game goes free to play and they remove the dumbing down they did. That is all I have to say.
  • -1 Hide
    Achaios , April 11, 2014 5:48 AM
    Well, I first started playin in Dec 2005, played continuously through Vanilla, TBC and WOTLK, then stopped playing for several months at a time after Catafail. Now, although WoW is a stupid travesty dealing with Kung Fu Pandas, Pokemon and even Transformers which they have introduced recently making the game completely different to epic Warcraft III, I still maintain a sub but only because I make money through WoW. Ofc I don't even play the game anymore, I just make money through WoW. WoW died together with Arthas, the Lich King at the end of WOTLK, IMHO. After WOTLK, the game called "WoW" just isn't Warcraft. So long as there are stupid fanbois who keep dumping cash on this stupid game, I will keep paying a sub just to get their money, but the moment WoW stops being as popular as it is now I will stop paying a sub, and I imagine other pros will do the same.
  • 0 Hide
    hythos , April 12, 2014 11:54 PM
    $10 says a WoW expansion will bring Mercenaries/companions like many other games out there.
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