If you’ve been playing World of Warcraft for any length of time you’re probably laser focused on when the beta for the Warlords of Draenor expansion will become available. It’s getting close as Blizzard has just announced the expansion is entering the alpha phase. But it seems the development team’s excitement isn’t focused on gameplay right now. No, they are more excited about a new file format.For as long as World of Warcraft has been available to purchase and play, it has relied on a file format called Mo’PaQ. Players will recognize the .MPQ file extension that represents it. But the aging format is apparently no longer adequate for Blizzard’s and its MMO’s needs. So a change is being made to a new format called CASC.A new file format may on the face of it be nothing to get excited about, but players should be because of the benefits it will bring to their WoW experience. CASC stands for “Content Addressable Storage Container.” It is being used in the Warlords of Draenor alpha before being rolled out to all players in a patch just before the expansion launches. Heroes of the Storm is also using it in its technical alpha.The biggest advantages of the switch to CASC are speed and resilience. CASC allows WoW to locate the assets it needs more quickly, which means a faster loading game as well as faster content streaming. This also has a knock-on effect for patching, which will also be faster and more reliable because of the way data is handled. You also won’t experience file corruption anymore as CASC is self-maintaining. It’s also expandable, meaning if there’s some new tech or feature Blizzard wants to add, it’s now a simple task rather than trying to hack Mo’PaQ to make it work.If you want to be one of the first players to experience the impact CASC has on WoW, then you need to sign up for the Warlords of Draenor beta. This can be done by logging into your Battle.net account, accessing the Beta Profile Settings, and downloading the System Check tool. Submit the results to Blizzard, tick “Warcraft” on the Beta Profile menu, and cross your fingers.