Blizzard Alpha Testing WoW: Warlords of Draenor

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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  • mouse24
    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
  • ferooxidan
    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.
  • mouse24
    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.
  • pills161
    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.