Blizzard Comments On Nostalrius And Legacy Servers

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Blizzard Comments On Nostalrius And Legacy Servers

A Blizzard employee who goes by the online handle of Nethaera made a post on the official World of Warcraft forums with a message from J. Allen Brack, executive producer and Vice President for WoW, regarding the topic of old school WoW servers or "Pristine Servers" as they are calling them.

Brack stated that their "silence of this subject definitely doesn’t reflect our level of engagement and passion around this topic," and the discussion of classic servers has been going on for years as "it’s a topic every BlizzCon - and especially over the past few weeks."

Here is the post:

We wanted to let you know that we’ve been closely following the Nostalrius discussion and we appreciate your constructive thoughts and suggestions.

Our silence on this subject definitely doesn’t reflect our level of engagement and passion around this topic. 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. Some of our current thoughts:

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.

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.

J. Allen Brack

Nostalrius, one of the most popular private servers for WoW, was shut down back at the beginning of April. The idea of private servers is to allow people to play previous iterations of a video game, in this case World of Warcraft before any of its expansions of changes. These servers are unofficial and count as intellectual property infringement, they are considered illegal and often end up being issued cease and desist letters.

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  • Alice

    So a bunch of random guys can manage to provide a classic server setup but a 25 year old computer games company with over a billion in revenue a year from this one game alone who actually wrote the software can't manage it? The truth is Blizzard badly messed up with their policy of 'everything you spent months or years trying to achieve will be eradicated shortly' and 'someone complained the game takes too long, so we'll make it so you don't have to bother playing to win'. It would have been easy to maintain peoples achievements, build on them even, and keep the previous expansions as content for new people to enjoy instead of slowly turning the game into an arcade shoot 'em up. Sadly, millions can attest that although Blizzard made the greatest game ever, they are a bunch of monkeys when it comes to maintaining it. And 'just a random bunch of guys' can apparently do that far better.

  • Alice

    Perhaps Blizzards approach can be best put by saying 'lost sight of the wood for the trees.'