What Engine is WOW used on?

General Discussion
Tell me THAT ANIMATION IS SOOO LEGIT
The WoW engine is a souped-up version of the WC3 engine.
02/14/2017 07:25 PMPosted by Gormosh
The WoW engine is a souped-up version of the WC3 engine.
I guess they won't tell, I can respect it!
WoW uses a custom engine made and used solely for WoW.
02/14/2017 07:32 PMPosted by Phlynch
WoW uses a custom engine made and used solely for WoW.


Built on the WC3 engine.
I upboated you just for your enthusiasm, op.

Bravo.
A steam engine.
an engine made by gnomes and financed by goblins
A engine powered mainly by hamsters, that is why they have to do maintenance every tuesday, so they can replace the hamsters and send the old ones to a nice retirement home where they can peacefully live out the rest of their days.
02/14/2017 07:25 PMPosted by Gormosh
The WoW engine is a souped-up version of the WC3 engine.


No it's not. This is a misconception that will not die.

It stems from an early article where the devs discussed the early development. In the article they say the game started development on the WarCraft 3 engine.

And this is where everyone forgets the rest of the article, and just repeats it until it became the misconception it is today.

The rest of the line after that was but during development it was discovered the engine could not do what they wanted it to do. So they started from scratch and wrote a new one.

The fact that they reused a lot of icons from WarCraft 3 also confused a lot of people, who didn't understand the concept of assets.

WoW on WarCraft 3 engine:

http://imgur.com/a/J6yx2

The same thing happened with StarCraft. They originally tried reusing the WarCraft 2 engine, but it looked like crap, was heavily criticized (called "Orcs in Space" and "WarCraft meets purple") and had other technical issues. So they started from scratch and wrote a new engine.

StarCraft on WarCraft 2 engine:

http://www.codeofhonor.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Starcraft-orcs-in-space.png

02/14/2017 07:26 PMPosted by Therinity
02/14/2017 07:25 PMPosted by Gormosh
The WoW engine is a souped-up version of the WC3 engine.
I guess they won't tell, I can respect it!


WoW runs on its own custom-written engine. Not every company licenses engines from developers like Epic or id Software. There are hundreds of game engines in the world. Not just a handful used in the big-name titles. In fact the only game Blizzard has developed that used an existing, third-party engine was Hearthstone, which uses Unity.
02/14/2017 07:25 PMPosted by Gormosh
The WoW engine is a souped-up version of the WC3 engine.


No it's not. This is a misconception that will not die.

It stems from an early article where the devs discussed the early development. In the article they say the game started development on the WarCraft 3 engine.

And this is where everyone forgets the rest of the article, and just repeats it until it became the misconception it is today.

The rest of the line after that was but during development it was discovered the engine could not do what they wanted it to do. So they started from scratch and wrote a new one.

The fact that they reused a lot of icons from WarCraft 3 also confused a lot of people, who didn't understand the concept of assets.


Yes and no. Many bits of code were re-used during development to save time and money. The vanilla renderer for instance is exactly the same as it was in Warcraft 3, while the UI system was entirely rebuilt to allow both customization and room to build upon that the Warcraft 3 engine lacked. The file structures of the games is also extremely similar, although it has differed over the games development.

We know for a fact that there was shared code/functionality due to the alpha/beta leaks which lead to the first private server development projects.

On top of this the WorldEdit software Blizzard designed for Warcraft 3 was nearly entirely ported over to WoW on the "new" engine. The work-flow and system controls are nearly identical from everything thats ever been seen of "WoWEdit" or whatever Blizzard might call it internally.
Yes and no. Many bits of code were re-used during development to save time and money. The vanilla renderer for instance is exactly the same as it was in Warcraft 3, while the UI system was entirely rebuilt to allow both customization and room to build upon that the Warcraft 3 engine lacked. The file structures of the games is also extremely similar, although it has differed over the games development.

We know for a fact that there was shared code/functionality due to the alpha/beta leaks which lead to the first private server development projects.

On top of this the WorldEdit software Blizzard designed for Warcraft 3 was nearly entirely ported over to WoW on the "new" engine. The work-flow and system controls are nearly identical from everything thats ever been seen of "WoWEdit" or whatever Blizzard might call it internally.


Bits of code do not a whole engine make. Almost all developers reuse code. You can dig into the Source 2 engine and still find bits of Carmack's original Quake code, since the engine is the direct descendant from it. When Valve licensed it for Half-Life, they ended up rewriting 70% of it, and just kept improving it, reusing it for their games and over and with small improvements until we've got the modern Source 2 engine.

But in that case the engines are descendant from one another. WoW's contains quite a bit of original code. And then had its own line with its own improvements over the years, including realtime shadows, better flame and water shader effects, higher texture resolution support. Just tons and tons of small upgrades over the years.
The animation looks so good for two major reasons: Firstly, they know how to properly clip animations to keep the gameplay responsive to user input. Secondly, they didn't animate them to be rapid/quick jerky movements like the other MMORPGs. This results in animations that look smooth even when your FPS drops. A lot of the engines that go for more of a realism look have horridly jerky animations that look horrid without flawless/buttery FPS and they don't clip the animations properly so the game always feels less responsive.
02/15/2017 03:39 AMPosted by Emeldavî
The file structures of the games is also extremely similar, although it has differed over the games development.


Not anymore. It was completely changed at the beginning of Warlords.
02/15/2017 03:32 AMPosted by Hunteryx
WoW runs on its own custom-written engine. Not every company licenses engines from developers like Epic or id Software.


Which we can all be thankful for, while there are many great looking games built upon them, there are also a lot of terrible/unstable games built upon those engines.

We can especially be thankful they aren't using the hero engine almost every game built upon that one is crap.
Surely isn't a "turbo" engine.

Rock on!
02/15/2017 03:39 AMPosted by Emeldavî
Yes and no. Many bits of code were re-used during development to save time and money. The vanilla renderer for instance is exactly the same as it was in Warcraft 3, while the UI system was entirely rebuilt to allow both customization and room to build upon that the Warcraft 3 engine lacked.

So if I take a wheel off of a volkswagen and put it on a ford, does that make the ford a volkswagen?
No it's not. This is a misconception that will not die.

It stems from an early article where the devs discussed the early development. In the article they say the game started development on the WarCraft 3 engine.

And this is where everyone forgets the rest of the article, and just repeats it until it became the misconception it is today.

The rest of the line after that was but during development it was discovered the engine could not do what they wanted it to do. So they started from scratch and wrote a new one.


Here's the problem: Nobody seems to be able to confirm what you are claiming. Specifically, the part about them "starting from scratch." Yet details like WC3 utilities porting over to work with WoW (before the WoD file system changes) and internal references to game engine code definitely make it look like W3 was used as the base.

Yes, the graphics engine was drastically overhauled (and continues to get upgrades). I'm 99% sure the network code was improved for scale. But there's nothing to support any claims that they literally "started from scratch."

If you have something documented where they say otherwise, by all means link it. I'd love to have that for historical purposes. I just don't see anything that actually supports your information beyond the obvious visual upgrades that happened during development.
02/15/2017 04:47 AMPosted by Magdermor
So if I take a wheel off of a volkswagen and put it on a ford, does that make the ford a volkswagen?


If you receive a heart transplant, does that mean you cease to exist and you're now the donor? Code is a hell of a lot more complicated than that.

02/15/2017 02:56 PMPosted by Rainsinger
Here's the problem: Nobody seems to be able to confirm what you are claiming. Specifically, the part about them "starting from scratch." Yet details like WC3 utilities porting over to work with WoW (before the WoD file system changes) and internal references to game engine code definitely make it look like W3 was used as the base.

Yes, the graphics engine was drastically overhauled (and continues to get upgrades). I'm 99% sure the network code was improved for scale. But there's nothing to support any claims that they literally "started from scratch."

If you have something documented where they say otherwise, by all means link it. I'd love to have that for historical purposes. I just don't see anything that actually supports your information beyond the obvious visual upgrades that happened during development.


"Started from scratch" was used for emphasis. I said above they reused some bits from the WC3 code. There's also the little fact that WC3 itself wasn't even finished before they started work on WoW. WC3 was released in 2002. WoW started development in 1999. It's not like they had a finished and complete engine they could just port over and work with, wholesale.

The problem with what you are asking me is that the interview was in a magazine article literally almost 15 years old now. It was available at one time on the company's site, but they've long since deleted the article. So you can either trust a complete stranger's word (which I understand is hard) or you can continue to spout inaccuracies. I frankly don't care. I'm just tired of people acting like they took the WarCraft 3 engine, shoved an MMO inside it, and called it done.
All I know is that pic of the early SC "orcs in space" looked so bad I nearly spit out my water.

I can't believe how far these iconic games have come.

And I remember a cover story on Computer Gaming Monthly (rip) in that 99'ish era that showed something like that early WoW-on-the-WC3 engine. And they talked about an upcoming title that was going to be a "massively multiplayer game." The shocking thing was them talking about how it still needed 4 or more YEARS of development.

Still blows my mind.

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