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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.

  • 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.
    Reply
  • mouse24
    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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • ozchoz
    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.
    Reply
  • memadmax
    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.
    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    Elder Scrolls Online is live now, so who'd be silly enough to keep playing wow?
    Reply
  • athonline
    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.

    Elder Scrolls Online is live now, so who'd be silly enough to keep playing wow?
    8+ Million people. Different games, different gameplay.
    Reply
  • electrontau
    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?
    Reply
  • Revan1
    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.
    Reply
  • athonline
    13069454 said:
    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...
    Reply