The host code to use newer systems

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"It is technically infeasible to retrofit an older code-base to utilize an entirely different database design --the modern, efficient, scalable databases all require very different assumptions in your code," he says.

Esser also mentions that the way engineers have handled server maintenance has changed over the last ten years. "In 2003, when we desired to improve the amount of physical cases we were running on, we would call our publisher, wait three months to get the hardware to arrive, WoW Classic Gold have their own network operations team put things up, add the IP addresses to a lot of configuration files, and resume each of the shards," he states. "Now, it is a few lines of code speaking to an Amazon Web Services API, or something similar." Esser's fear is that when you've erased the older tech on the new systems, you'll still have to slog through all of the exacting, hands on management that was left behind when George Bush was still president.

"You really, really don't want to begin running a set of old applications that needs a ton of manual setup and maintenance and does not know the new systems--it will just rust and crack and require lots of manual upkeep," he states. "Presumably at some stage in WoW's evolution they shifted the host code to use newer systems, but it's probably not something readily portable to the old code-base, so they would just need to do it again from scratch. "So why don't they bypass all that hassle, take the community's path, and prop-up a reflection of vanilla Warcraft utilizing emulation? Esser says that there are.

"When the client says,'I moved here,' an emulated host will likely just say'Okay,' however a real host, assuming it had been built well and securely, will need to do a bunch of checks to be certain the customer isn't attempting to cheat" It gets even more harmful with player-to-player interactions such as trading or server-side microtransactions, which can be readily hacked on multiple servers without the proper protocol. "A nicely developed server is going to have a great deal of additional transactional logic to guarantee nothing gets lost or duplicated," he adds.

This is not to say you ought to be cynical about World of Warcraft Classic's future prospects. Mark Jacobs, the lead writer of Dark Age of Camelot and enormous World of Warcraft fan, has all of the confidence in the world that Blizzard will make it work, mostly because they happen to be one of the biggest and most successful video game companies in the world. When I requested Jacobs, (who's now working on a new MMO named Camelot Unchained) exactly what it'd take to get an old incarnation of DAoC on the internet, he said the biggest hurdle would simply be spelunking through historical hard drives to find the obsolete data.
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