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Blizzard Shuts down private legacy server
Michael Burns 4/26/2016
Nostalrius, a fan-made private server that hosted the original Vanilla World of Warcraft experince was shut down by Blizzard Entertainment on April 10th 2016. This server gave player a way to get back to the roots of what World of Warcraft was back in 2004 when it launched.
While I never personally played on this server, I can understand the desire to get back to the roots of the game. I remember having to feed my pet food on my hunter or he would be unhappy. I remember having to do long quest chains to unlock each of my totems as a shaman. I remember AV games that would start when I got home from school and still be going on the next morning. Some people loved this so much they wanted to preserve that feeling and those challenges. So, from that standpoint I totally understand why this server was created and why so many people hate to see it go.
Blizzard had this to say in regards to shutting down the server:
" ...Why not just let Nostalrius continue the way it was? The honest answer is, failure to protect against intellectual property infringement would damage Blizzard’s rights. This applies to anything that uses WoW’s IP, including unofficial servers. And while we’ve looked into the possibility – there is not a clear legal path to protect Blizzard’s IP and grant an operating license to a pirate server.
We explored options for developing classic servers and none could be executed without great difficulty. If we could push a button and all of this would be created, we would. However, there are tremendous operational challenges to integrating classic servers, not to mention the ongoing support of multiple live versions for every aspect of WoW..."
Basically they want to protect their intellectual property and can not make exceptions for anyone regardless of how popular they are. The more popular they become, the more attention they get from the community, the more attention they get then the more people leave World of Warcraft. In the end it comes down to the fact that players were leaving World of Warcraft to go play on the free server and Blizzard Entertainment was losing subscriptions, thus losing revenue. While many of us gamers see World of Warcraft as a fun game, they have to look at it like a business. They have responsibilities to pay their employees salaries, invest in development of World of Warcraft and other games and to their shareholders.
As a player I understand the frustration of those who played on Nostalrius. I do feel for them in that they lose a great server and lost the hours they put into getting it up and running and then the players who enjoyed the server losing their characters and investment. I also understand Blizzard Entertainments point of view in that they do not want to open themselves up to free servers getting created and drawing membership away and hurting their revenue stream. I doubt that the guys at Blizzard made this decision easily. From what they said about how they came to this decision:
"...We hear you. Many of us across Blizzard and the WoW Dev team have been passionate players ever since classic WoW. In fact, I personally work at Blizzard because of my love for classic WoW.
We have been discussing classic servers for years - it’s a topic every BlizzCon - and especially over the past few weeks. From active internal team discussions to after-hours meetings with leadership, this subject has been highly debated..."
From what they state in their post to the public, they loved classic World of Warcraft and it is the reason many of them came to work at Blizzard. I doubt the choice was an easy one to make.
While the argument could be made that there are plenty of free servers, why single this one out? I can only guess, but I would think it was to make an example that to play World of Warcraft you need to play on the official servers and pay the subscription fee. More to make a very loud P.R. statement to the Private Servers that they can be and will be shut down.
Blizzard went on to say:
"...We explored options for developing classic servers and none could be executed without great difficulty. If we could push a button and all of this would be created, we would. However, there are tremendous operational challenges to integrating classic servers, not to mention the ongoing support of multiple live versions for every aspect of WoW.
So what can we do to capture that nostalgia of when WoW first launched? Over the years we have talked about a “pristine realm”. In essence that would turn off all leveling acceleration including character transfers, heirloom gear, character boosts, Recruit-A-Friend bonuses, WoW Token, and access to cross realm zones, as well as group finder. We aren’t sure whether this version of a clean slate is something that would appeal to the community and it’s still an open topic of discussion.
One other note - we’ve recently been in contact with some of the folks who operated Nostalrius. They obviously care deeply about the game, and we look forward to more conversations with them in the coming weeks.
You, the Blizzard community, are the most dedicated, passionate players out there. We thank you for your constructive thoughts and suggestions. We are listening..."
Which should bring a bit of hope to those vanilla players like myself that we could be getting what we've been asking for, some sort of a legacy server! I honestly believe that if Blizzard listens to the fans and gives us the option to play on legacy servers, regular servers and gives us more control and options to our play style then their subscriptions would shoot back up. I think the players who complain all the time, "It was so much better back in the day," will have a place to go play and get that old feeling they loved so much while still having the option to progress in the new World of Warcraft that we have now.