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War Stories from Azeroth

Joseph Cochran (Sr. Software Engineer, Blizzard Entertainment)

Kurtis McCathern (Principal Software Engineer, Blizzard Entertainment)

Location: Room 2002, West Hall

Date: Thursday, March 19

Time: 5:30pm - 6:30pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core+Summits Pass, Core Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Programming

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: Intermediate

This talk celebrating World of Warcraft's 15 year history covers unexpected server challenges and lessons that can be applied to any live game. WoW has constantly evolved with every expansion and the server team has encountered different challenges at every turn. Through four examples, this talk will cover a cross-section of those issues. Using events players remember such as the opening of the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj and the launches of several expansions, it will cover topics including load balancing, performance monitoring, good development practices, and integrating new features into an existing code base. Take a look into the ongoing development of one of the most active and popular games of all time.


Attendees will learn about some of the specific incidents that challenged the WoW server team and discover strategies that they can use in their own projects to help avoid some of the same pitfalls. They will gain insight into the development processes of a long running AAA title over time.

Intended Audience

Programmers and engineers looking for valuable tips in server development, and developers from other disciplines who wish to understand the challenges live operations face.