Blizzard's legal threat shuts down WoW emulator Nostalrius

Another World of Warcraft emulator bites the dust this week. Year-old "Progressive Vanilla" WoW emu Nostalrius announced on its official website that pursuant to a recent legal complaint from Blizzard, it will be shutting down its server, rendering 800,000 accounts and 150,000 active players homeless. The official site says,

"Yesterday, we received a letter of formal notice from US and french lawyers, acting on behalf of Blizzard Entertainment, preparing to stand trial against our hosting company OVH and ourselves in less than a week now. This means the de facto end of Nostalrius under its current form."

The server admins say they will shut down the server on April 10th, and while they have no specific "plan for the future," they do say they will make available the source code to other players to help them set up their own emu. They've also started a petition to ask that Blizzard's Mike Morhaime allow their server in the absence of official legacy servers. "It won't bring Nostalrius back," they write, "but it is a way to express ourselves as a community."

Given how notorious and persistent Blizzard is about shutting down illegal emus for its live games, we suspect that's true.

Source: Nostalrius site. Thanks, LazyLex, Ian, and Boom.
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400 comments
greywolfe_joystiq
greywolfe_joystiq

well, i think that's it for me and blizzard.

when standard/wild roll around for hearthstone and my current pet project mage hits sixty, i'm out of their games for good.  i've sort of been hanging around and playing off and on, but blizzard's business sense is getting the better of the way they feel about their actual player base - [though we knew that was coming:  witness the flying fiasco during warlords of draenor] - means that they don't really care about their players.  and that means that i don't care about them.

it's all been more-or-less downhill since diablo iii.

well done, blizzard.

Michael18
Michael18

For me, the only acceptable reason for doing this is if Blizzard wanted to open up official vanilla servers. But I can't imagine this to be the case.


Whether today's WoW is a good or bad game is subjective, but I think everyone will agree that today's WoW is a very different game than vanilla WoW. That's why I never had a bad conscience playing on private wow vanilla servers. I never got anything for free that Blizzard wanted to sell me.

For me it's either playing vanilla WoW (maybe TBC or WotLK) or no WoW at all. Actually, playing on a classic server would even increase the probability that I am becoming curious to see what a newly released expansion is like and buy it and hop in for a month on live servers.

RicharddeLeonIII
RicharddeLeonIII

@Michael18 Maybe if the emu's used entirely new art assets and lore it would be ok, but the fact they used Blizzard's copyrighted material makes Nost totally in the wrong regardless if it's a version Blizzard is 'no longer selling'.  All of these vanilla servers could probably get around Blizzard going after them if they made their own entire world even if they used WoW's actual game system's code, at least ethically if not legally imho.

Ghostmourn
Ghostmourn

@Michael18 I agree but they wont allow discussion of this on the WOW forums so I cant imagine that's the case, they are near instant-deleting any posts regarding these developments or the demand for a vanilla server.

Cosmic Cleric
Cosmic Cleric

@RicharddeLeonIII @Michael18 The problem with what you said though is that all of the art assets are on the client side, on the discs that we customers have already paid for to access, so its not the server coders guys problem if the art assets are not being used "correctly" or not, its the customer who's using the client to attach to a server that is not Blizzard's.  What we used to call "fair use" not so long ago.

Gankdolf
Gankdolf

Just seems silly .. Blizzard... why not just spin up a vanilla WoW server thats basically the same as Nostalrius and then ask all those people to start on that server even if they have to stsrt fresh and pay the sub fee ... More $$ for Blizzard not as much bad will

ManastuUtakata
ManastuUtakata

@Elf_Butts 

A symphony of flatulence? /eww

(I also have a suspicious feeling that schlag is behind this. No pun intended.)

BritoBruno
BritoBruno

Ok. I'll try to be a little more civil, since i'm getting #triggered as f*ck.

I'm a member of the subreddit https://www.reddit.com/r/wowservers/ which is a sub for the pserver community. I'm also a longlife pserver player, specially of WoW. I started playing on the end of TBC and joined Retail at Wrath. I'm a Vanilla player now in Kronos, and a Wrath player in Warmane, and like many, i'm a Blizz fan who doesn't play retail anymore. I don't like WoD, but i did like MoP and i'm excited for Legion.

All that being said, i'm here to address one specific thing:

Blizzard has the right to shutdown ANYTHING that uses their product in a way they do not see fit.

If any of you wants to stop supporting Blizzard, or wants to call them names, or give their actions a dubious ethical atribution, by all means, do so. If that's what you need to let it go, then do it. Cry, weep, scream, beat the wall, i don't know. Release yourself from the anger of losing contact with friends, or your precious time.

It's in your right.

BUT STOP, THINKING WE HAVE THE MORAL COMPASS HERE. WE'RE AGAINST THE LAW. We're not WoW's owners. We're NOT Blizzard customers. We're NOT in the right. THEY are.

If anyone go check out the wowservers subreddit right now, they're mocking Blizzard at every possible stance or post. They're ridiculing the players and the company who MADE THE GAME THEY LOVE IN THE FIRST PLACE. They talk about breaking the servers with DDOS, or boycotting Blizzard.

It's really silly. We're all grown-ups, let's act like it, please.

There's a really old ongoing war with the retail community and the pserver community. It's not new, it's not really something any side is right on. It is simply there.

Yet, because of the emotions running here, a lot of people are claiming moral high ground. Saying that the pserver community is big enough to provide "millions" for Blizzard if they make legacy servers ( if they didn't, it isn't. Simple as that ). Or that Blizzard is a disgusting company ( it's a business, deal with it ).

Choose the best way of dealing with, and you're free to believe in what you want. But if you SPOUT what you believe, prepare to be corrected/disagreed upon.

And with the emotions running like this, i'm sure it's not the best course of action.

-------------------

Karl, hit me the top shelf, please. I want to forget this debacle already.

Rohirrim
Rohirrim

@BritoBruno Sure but I am not the one writting in CAPS, STOP THINKING WE ARE JACK SPARROW

Rohirrim
Rohirrim

@BritoBruno yes, but I am also not trying to change your opinion. I just said what I think...I dont said "dont you think that way", as you do... 

Rohirrim
Rohirrim

@BritoBruno It seems you really got it on a personal level... no need of 100000000 posts to tell us we are jack sparrow (s).. everyone has its own opinion and what he thinks is moral or not, is their own problem..morality is not subjective at all.

BritoBruno
BritoBruno

@Rohirrim @BritoBruno So do you. I got it on a personal level because the same players dissing Blizzard are the ones praying for them to release Legacy.

I hate double standards. I deeply hate it.

And yes. Morality is a COMPLETELY subjective issue. Just because something can be morally accepted or rejected by the majority, doesn't mean is objective. It isn't.

BritoBruno
BritoBruno

@Rohirrim @BritoBruno I'm using the caps just to increase the meaning of the message, or something like that.

And you, yourself, said you're feeling betrayed and battered. I'm not the one thinking that blizzard is a disgusting company with no compassion for the living things on the good earth.

And rationalize as you want, we ARE freeloaders, running on a older version of a game that's supposed to be paid. We ARE acting illegally.

Bullnoxx
Bullnoxx

@BritoBruno @Rohirrim  Blizzard made a 180 degrees turn years ago, I would say middle WOTLK, and treat their player base like cash cow. I like their games but hate their mentality.

BritoBruno
BritoBruno

@Rohirrim @BritoBruno So? I don't care. I like when people try to change my opinion. If i don't, it's because i'm knowledgeable enough to not do it. If i do, i've learned something.

I changed my opinion a lot of times with Mana, Karl, Estranged, and several others. This debacle, on the other hand, combined with my experience in pservers and the subreddit, only makes my forethought stronger: That the pserver community is the first to drop shit on Blizzard for anything, but they can't realize that they're pretty much living from Blizzard in the first place.

Sythalin
Sythalin

@BritoBruno So.... I'm assuming you're going to get to a point of ranting about something that people are not already aware of?

Emu players are not "in the wrong" legally, so your entire rant is misdirected.  See my post to Bree below for details.

Stating their reason of playing on an emu is due to lack of availability from the company and requesting a legit one is not "hypocrisy".  I, for one, hate KotiBlizz as a COMPANY.  They've become nothing but greed mongers today.  But if they released a legacy server, you're damned right I'd most likely pay to play on it.  Because I enjoy the PRODUCT.

In short, hating a COMPANY =/= hating a PRODUCT.

I hope you were prepared to "be corrected/disagreed upon".

#triggerBritoBruno

EvilCheshire
EvilCheshire

@BritoBruno @Rohirrim So why don't they release a Vanilla or BC server we can give them money for? The only logical reason I can think of is their pride, because they could simply sub-contract the team running Nos, give them there blessing and no resources spent.

deekay_zero
deekay_zero

saw a gif of this server's waning hours this morning which i posted to twitter. what struck me immidiately that there was too many players on screen for it to be retail. if it were retail the servers would be crashing with far less players on screen than was evident in the gif.


someone pointed out that in modern retail wow they'd be phasing in and out every 10m as well.



:D


i'll drink to your heroic deeds tonight while testing (redacted) nostralus bros!

JakeBoller
JakeBoller

I'm disgusted by Blizzard's actions. I will no longer support them. I've cancelled my Legion pre-order. I'll continue playing Vanilla. 


www.ClassicWarcraft.com is the next upcoming Vanilla server, which I will be rolling on. 

Bullnoxx
Bullnoxx

@Oleg Chebeneev  Hero of the Day <3 American Crime Story Season 2??? Pls hire the same lawyer team!

ItsLorgarn
ItsLorgarn

@Oleg Chebeneev I saw that too. Even though I'm all for discussing every facet of this... discussion. I don't think that arguing copyright claims is the right way to go, we're not going to win any ground by having that discussion. Although it could certainly prove to be an interesting topic to properly research and investigate.

Kass40
Kass40

Blizzard would have us flocking back if they gave us an official Progression server, Vanilla WoW in it's prime.

BritoBruno
BritoBruno

@Kass40 With the way that the pserver community been dissing them for years, i highly doubt they want those players back.

Bullnoxx
Bullnoxx

@Kass40  back to 8 millions + subs with a progression server

Bluetouchpaper
Bluetouchpaper

@BritoBruno @Kass40 They don't want tens of millions in extra profit ? 


You really should never go into business mate you'll lose the shirt off your back . 

ItsLorgarn
ItsLorgarn

@Bluetouchpaper I think "tens of million" is being a bit too optimistic.

I'm certain that we would land in the millions though. Let's pretend for a second that with 150k active players, half of those would subscribe towards an official legacy server.

Let's do some armchair addition.

75,000 * 15 = 1,125,000

I'm certain that with Blizzards marketing capabilities, a few fancy trailers to hype people up. We would most likely see a number well beyond what any private community that is acting semi-behind the curtains would ever achieve.

Now is that a lot of money for someone like Blizzard? Nope, probably not. The question you have to ask ourselves; what do they have to loose. Do you think someone would stop their current subscription because they introduced legacy servers? Highly unlikely.

BritoBruno
BritoBruno

@ItsLorgarn @Bluetouchpaper "Do you think someone would stop their current subscription because they introduced legacy servers? Highly unlikely."

If the sub didn't allow you for the Legacy? Yes. I think they would. And that's the whole issue.

Not only that, but since they would be the ones running, the playerbase would cry for fixes and improvements on the game, to which they already said they wouldn't be able to fix. They probably prefer to avoid the headache.

ItsLorgarn
ItsLorgarn

@BritoBruno Wouldn't be an issue if they gave the players access to both retail and legacy under the same, current subscription model, $15/month.

Having two seperate subs would be stupid, completely unecessary and I'm certain that if legacy ever was on the table having two seperate subs wouldn't even be part of the discussion. It just doesn't make sense. (In my opinion)

I don't think that would be such an issue. If they want fixes and improvements? Well guess what, they have access to retail which has 10-something years of development and improvements behind it. They should make their players aware that everyone needs to take legacy as it is, otherwise it wouldn't exactly be legacy now would it?

wjowski
wjowski

@Bluetouchpaper @BritoBruno @Kass40 

There's such a thing as customers so toxic they're not worth dealing with.  The average Vanilla [insult removed by mod] fits that category quite nicely.