Backpack

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Fill me!

The backpack is the initial 16-slot storage container for carrying items that all Player characters get at the start of the game. It occupies the right-most bag slot on the interface bar.

The amount of money (Gold.png, Silver.png, or Copper.png) the character possesses is shown at the bottom right of the backpack window. Several additional currencies, such as Darkmoon Prize Tickets and Timewarped Badges, can be set to be displayed at the currency window.

It can be expanded with 4 extra slots, for a total of 20 slots, by adding an authenticator to the account.

Technical difficulties

When asked in the 2011 Ask the Devs about increasing the size of the backpack or replacing it, the answer given was that it was technically challenging due to the manner in which the slot was coded and could cause major breaks in the game (such as loss of players' gear).[1] This is because the backpack is "hard-coded" into the game, making any modification a very risky proposition. This was later expounded upon during the BlizzCon 2015 Engineering Community Amphitheater Discussion:

2015-11-07 00:00 | Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment

The original WoW developers decided that there would be an array to hold your inventory. The first several entries are things that end up on the paper doll, your head and leg slots and such. After that comes your inventory. At some point they wanted to add a bank to the game, so they added that to the end of the array. Players shouldn't be able to access their bank anywhere in the world, as it would break the code. This was handled by adding lots of statements in different places in the code, defining what the array position was where the inventory ended and where the bank begins. This value was hardcoded all over the place, but it isn't just a simple search to find them all. Some math logic may rely on it being constant. If you want to add slots to the backpack, who knows what you are going to break? It becomes very buggy and error prone, and likely that you are going to make a mistake. This mistake would break the game in a way you don't like. As a result, they would have to put amazing engineers that could be working on new features on a task to look through thousands of lines of code to find all of those cases, as well as the QA department testing every edge case in the world to ensure the change doesn't break anything. This is how we ended up with a fixed size backpack.

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This was directly contradicted the following BlizzCon 2016 during the World of Warcraft Q&A panel. According to Lead Game Designer Matt Goss, the difficulty of upgrading the backpack had been "almost a myth" that even the design team themselves had believed. The reality is that it actually isn't nearly as difficult and hopefully will be "Soon".[2]

During BlizzCon 2017, it was announced that the number of slots could be increased by adding an authenticator to one's account. How many slots would be added was not mentioned at that time but, when the first PTR build for Patch 7.3.5 became available, it would turn out to be four.

Additional notes

  • By default, you can press 'Shift-B' to open and close your backpack. While 'B' opens all your bags.
  • You can also close all open bag windows, including the backpack, by clicking its icon.
  • You cannot move, delete, replace, or store your backpack.

References

  1. ^ Bashiok 2011-03-28. Ask the Devs - Answers #3 "UI". Blizzard Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2014-12-16. Retrieved on 2014-12-16.
  2. ^ Icon-youtube-22x22.png Did you miss the wow Q&A 2016 panel? Check this out!, 19:42 - 20:40