Client File Documentation

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Ico info.png These pages contain (to the best of my knowledge) the way the client loads, uses, purpose of files, and entries in the files. I go by assumption, trial and error. Some of the documentation within may be incorrect.


Client File Tree


Contains various files related to textures, models, dbcs, and other misc data used by the interface. Only the top priority of data (MPQ) archives are worth mentioning in this document. Other files include helpsheets, credits, troubleshooting, and tos/eula form storage in these directories.

common-2.MPQ // contains models and animations
common.MPQ // contains textures
expansion.MPQ // contains models, textures (for expansion TBC)
lichking.MPQ // contains models, textures (for expansion wotlk)
patch.MPQ // contains sounds(ambient, music), patch data, maps

In order of loading, patch-2.MPQ if present would overwrite patch.MPQ and so fourth. This is majorly how blizzard patches the game when new content is released (and causes heaps of garbage) as of 3.3.5 the base client when compacted(enUS) into the above base patches is 12.5GBs, down from 16.6GBs.


enUS, enGB, etc values (built per user language for various reasons)
expansion-locale-enUS.MPQ // contains interface textures, build per locale because some languages force the frames to expand or contract in width/height
expansion-speech-enUS.MPQ // contains creature aggro/run, event, etc sounds (voices) built per locale because they are translated per locale
lichking-locale-enUS.MPQ // contains interface textures for wotlk
lichking-speech-enUS.MPQ // contains creature aggro/run, event, etc sounds (voices) built per locale because they are translated per locale (for wotlk)
locale-enUS.MPQ // contains interface files, DBC(DataBase Client) files, and fonts
patch-enUS.MPQ // contains interface files, DBC(DataBase Client) files, and fonts - built this way as patch.MPQ is made for incremental patch overwriting
(can contain all locale files but UI base)
speech-enUS.MPQ // contains speech, music, and "exploration music" Depreciated, however this contains or contained the patchlist, and realmlist values. It has been replaced by the main


Files placed in this folder will be loaded and will replace the client's default fonts.

These are the 4 fonts (I am aware of) that are possible to be overwritten by this directory. You can load your own with addons.
This folder can be better explained by locale-.MPQ - all files in this directory can overwrite MPQ archive files, and will be renamed
to (filename)"%.old" unless you patch against the security/md5/and signature checks.


Contains "caches of received packets" structures are listed on the file's pages.

Ico info.png Some of these files are present in the code but depreciated (because the code isn't public, was never finished, or was deemed as not needed?)






namecache.wdb ~~ Seems redundant, unless this was meant to cache player names.

guildcache.wdb ~~ Guild cache, not used



petnamecache.wdb ~~ Not used, name is obvious to its use

petitioncache.wdb ~~ Guild petitions, not used



arenateamcache.wdb ~~ Arena team cache, not used

dancecache.wdb ~~ Dance studio cache, not used


Contains logs of the client's sounds, cpu values, configurations, interface coding errors, sound initialization logs and more.



explains itself


Contains the following: // Ran one time at client launch and merged with -- no reason to use unless you have a patch value that needs applying(so you don't wipe people's custom settings). Please note you can name RunOnce anything after RunOnce, so "" is a valid file name. // Contains Lua globals that are accessed by various parts of the interface, client, frame and glue "XML".


contains the user's varibles and interface saved varibles on a global realm level and character level.

Additional Notes

Wowwiki has some nice information on cache files.

More documentation on structures and fields compared by build numbers can be found here.

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