"I was very surprised by how much stuff hadn't been done," he recalls, laughing. "I arrived and I was like, oh my god! We have to do how much more? We have how long to do it?!"
Not only was the game lacking in content - the level cap at this time was level 15, with little more than unfinished artwork existing for the higher-level zones - but decisions still had to be made about major game systems. "It was still very rough and nebulous about what a lot of the [character] classes would do," Chilton remembers. "A lot of classes were being redesigned, and our entire combat system got redesigned some time after I came on board.
"Huge numbers of game systems didn't exist. The talent system didn't exist, so there wasn't a lot of distinction between characters of the same class, other than what hair or moustache you'd picked. The auction house and the mail system didn't exist. PvP [player-versus-player combat] didn't exist and none of the endgame ideas had been evolved - we knew that we wanted to have raids, but that's all we knew. There was still a ton of WOW that hadn't been built and wasn't really known."
The final twelve months, then, were defined not only by frantic work to get the game into a complete state - but also by a succession of "eureka" moments, as the team hit upon the ideas and solutions that would turn World of Warcraft into the game it is today.