WoW emulator Nostalrius’ sunset renews calls for retro WoW servers

As we reported last night, Blizzard lawyers issued a legal threat against popular vanilla World of Warcraft emulator server Nostalrius, propelling its administrators to begin a sunset of the server. According to those administrators, the illegal emulator hosted 800,000 accounts and 150,000 active players, a swarm of whom can be seen in the video floating around Reddit today.

A petition started by the server admins yesterday nears 25,000 signatures as of press time; they appealed to Blizzard President Mike Morhaime, asking that the studio reconsider its decision and work with vanilla emulators, even offering to share its resources. “We don’t have the pretention to come up with a complete solution regarding legacy servers that you and your company didn’t already think about,” the admins write, “but we’d be glad and honored to share it with you if you’re interested, still on a volunteer basis.”

Blizzard isn’t likely to be amenable to such appeals. At BlizzCon 2015, studio reps answered a question about vanilla servers that seems rather on the nose. Said Tom Chilton,

“We do not plan to do that. There tends to be a lot of emotional desire for that although when other MMOs have tried that they don’t tend to survive for very long. There are a lot of complexities with that. Because kinda has to be a bundle, where you get the old hardware, the old code, because the old code is meant to run on the old hardware, the old data, the old bugs, all that kind of stuff. Of course the natural expectation is that well you would fix all that stuff. But kind of maintaining that many different versions of the game is just not really feasible. Particularly in a world where people that are playing right now really want more content, not less.”

The most current statement from Blizzard we appear to have as of press time — other than the legal complaint itself — came obliquely from EU Community Manager Aerythlea, who diverted fresh requests for vanilla servers today to a 2011 blue name post that reads,

“We realize that some of you feel that World of Warcraft was more fun in the past than it is today, and we also know that some of you would like nothing more than to go back and play the game as it was back then. The developers however prefer to see the game continuously evolve and progress, and as such we have no plans to open classic realms or limited expansion content realms.”

In stranger news, an e-sports attorney who plays on the emulator has claimed that the case presents “interesting copyright arguments to be made,” which certainly would have come in handy if the complaint had actually made it to a court.

A Reddit AMA with the Nostalrius administrators is planned for noon EDT today.

With thanks to Rohirrim and Oleg for additional sources.
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dragonherderx
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dragonherderx

Skyewauker dragonherderx BritoBruno johnwillo wjowski No it would require them to implement development of the client to be able to isolate the original content as well as the older server versions. It does not require them to “run two games” at all and frankly 15k concurrent would at least warrant a look into the development if you bring back a progression server. Also 15k concurrent is for a singular server in this case these weren’t people spread out across multiple servers and a medium > high popular server for WoW sits around 15 – 20 k marker… There is little to no reason they can’t develop the tech and rake in more money and at least test the waters to see how demand is instead of just saying “Nope” the ability to actually run just the core game isn’t that hard to develop and has been done by companies with much smaller budgets than Blizzard (Everquest has done it and that game has far far far far far more expansions than WoW has ever had) 

15k wouldn’t be good in your opinion is what you mean to say. 15k x 14.99 a month 449,700 dollars a month brought in and outside of initial development and server costs and upkeep for that you’d prolly look at around 420k a month in all likelihood bought in that  they otherwise wouldn’t have brought in and that’s more of a bare minimum on the potential here. 15k is what ONE singular server had that had a player base interested in a server like this, you start tossing in people and you me be looking at 50k+ that have interest and you are talking 1.5 – 2 mill a month potentially coming in that otherwise wouldn’t of. 

It isn’t realistically hard and while it’s not just “flip a switch” the ability exists to do it without running an “entirely separate game” as i have stated. Go load up everquest sometime and look at the method they do. They have a full on progression server there and it does not require a second “game” at all to run.. Then again you seem to want to kiss blizzard’s ass left and right or something. If blizzard were smart they’d embrace this community and try and bring back some of that player base that left, but then again they aren’t smart and will continue to treat their player base as if they were around the age of 5 – 7

dragonherderx
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dragonherderx

EvilCheshire Darwinism I think the problem isn’t so much lore/story. The story in WoD is fine, but they continually dumb down their systems (including class and skill systems) to try and attract a newer player base and end up pissing off their older player base in the process..

dragonherderx
Guest
dragonherderx

Jigawatts BrotherMaynard It started a downward trend before they cashed in to Activision and has just spiraled down hill since. They have continually done stupid shit in the name of accessibility and frankly I think even a large part of their player base is getting fed up. Warlords holds your hand to the point that it at times feels like it is targeting at little children as opposed to late teens or even adults…. 

Even vanilla WoW was a step back for MMORPGs in general. While Blizzard was able to add a bunch of polish on top of certain systems they also completely and utterly half assed a load of other systems. As a for instance crafting felt shoe horned in (it was better in vanilla than it is now, but not by much), their flagging system was a step back and their overall method of delivery ended up requiring them to make server rule sets instead of the singular rule set that SWG could get away with… 

They held your hand a lot more than most MMORPGs of the past and while SWG was a big step forward for the RP part of the MMORPG stuff WoW basically spit in the face of that advancement and dumbed everything they could down. We now have mmorpgs with crafting that is in large part useless as all hell, focused almost purely on combat roles, and hold your hand so much because “end game” became a thing thanks to WoW. 

All of these moves for someone that has been playing MMORPGs for a long time like myself just make me shudder with each and every new expansion blizzard puts out for WoW and in large part the supposed AAA titles that repeat the same exact rather mundane formula without the same level of content of even vanilla WoW.

I think we are at a place where devs and publishers need to pull their collective heads from their asses and stop looking at WoW as anything other than WoW. WoW is literally not indicative of the MMORPG market at large and just because it has a large user base doesn’t mean the rest of the genre isn’t still largely a niche marketplace. Realistic growth patterns would put the most popular MMORPG at around 2 mill players at its overall peak user count and is likely to settle somewhere closer to 1.25 – 1.5 range at max.. Also why are these games seemingly going higher and higher and higher in budget without really providing anything fundamentally new or interesting? How much of that money is just blown on random shit that is wholly unnecessary? 

We need to move back to the days when mmorpgs felt like they were each their unique worlds and systems and find their own niche. We need to bring back the RP elements and get rid of the MASS amount of hand holdings. While we can make things accessible there are many further systems that are not explored anymore due to the stagnation that WoW has caused in the genre.

EvilCheshire
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EvilCheshire

Darwinism I liked WoD as well……the problem isn’t the direction they have taken the game, it’s that it’s not the game I fell in love with

EvilCheshire
Guest
EvilCheshire

I would pay for a Vanilla server and keep my sub active. Blizzard refusing to even entertain is this is perfectly within their rights, just like until they reverse course I will not be spending another penny on their products including the Warcraft movie this summer.

Savage87
Guest
Savage87

Skyewauker You are wrong…again. There’s more out there than what you think. There’s a reason that Subscribers started dropping off after Cata. WoW lost it’s feel. It no longer felt like World of Warcraft, and then they took away being able to choose different talents and dumbed it down!? I loved all of those choices and all other WoW players that I know did too (none of which play anymore and if they do it’s on private servers). I personally don’t like dealing with emulators and I know I’m not the only one out there.

Skyewauker
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Skyewauker

FreyrPrime Tethyss This pretty much.  Druid, Shaman, Paladin, Priest?  Better want to be a healer, because thats all you are good for.

Skyewauker
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Skyewauker

JayPower When they are spewing hyperbole as facts, its an issue.  The fookers need to be called out for it.

Skyewauker
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Skyewauker

dragonherderx BritoBruno Hounddog74 Still way more than vanilla ever had lol.

Skyewauker
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Skyewauker

Hounddog74 It made live servers look like shit?  You have to be kidding me right?  Nost, kronos, etc do NOT have 1:1 scripted servers, no matter what you think.  They are all buggier than shit compared to what a real vanilla server would be.  I am sorry you played on a horrible server in WoW, but nost nor any other private server can hold a candle to a populated wow server like tich, ilidan, etc. 

Please quit being so salty.  All 15,000 of you that want a retro server can go to kronos now, problem solved.  Enjoy playing til its shut down and you get salty as fuck when you lose your toon again.

Skyewauker
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Skyewauker

dragonherderx BritoBruno johnwillo wjowski 15k concurrent wouldnt be good for blizzard.  It wouldn’t be good at all.  15k is a drop in the bucket.  They would need 100s of thousands to justify running 2 separate games.  People think its as simple as hitting “X” button and bam, you got vanilla again.  The shit doesnt work like that.

Skyewauker
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Skyewauker

Ghostmourn CastagereShaikura TraylorAlan It still doesn’t take away from he fact that they are violating the Terms of Use lol.

Skyewauker
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Skyewauker

Savage87 Skyewauker Ghostmourn arcticrider I’m not “wrong”.  You act like you talk for every old school WoW player in the world.  You, like most everyone else, would level, do a raid or two, and be done.  People have these rose colored glasses about every game that has a period of nostalgia.  I played on nost.  Ive played on kronos and molten.  The stuff is fun for about a week, then its boring as fuck.  You can’t ever capture that first time you played a MMO feeling like you had when you picked up WoW or whatever MMO gave you that feeling.  If EVERY old school WoW player wanted to experience old content, there would be 100s of 1000s playing emu servers.  There aren’t.  Period.  Please don’t try to speak for all of us.

dragonherderx
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dragonherderx

BritoBruno Hounddog74 Those numbers are like 5 -6 mill now :-P

dragonherderx
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dragonherderx

BritoBruno johnwillo wjowski 15k concurrent for a single server would be good for blizzard but they don’t want to put in the extra work. They’d get back people if they did a gradual progression server or well just stopped treating their player base as if they were mentally handicapped children… 

Also to the original question here… WoW’s success is never something anyone can repeat for numerous reasons. WoW was many people’s first MMORPG and most of WoW’s player base is quite literally only WoW’s player base. Most people currently playing World of Warcraft are not the crowd that want to move into the realm of a new game and we have publishers that are trying to make a quick buck trying to more or less recreate the same game with changes to story and visuals.

Many of the crowd that moves is like “ehh same old same old” and will just return if a game feels the same. MMORPGs used to feel unique to one another. It didn’t used to be this game felt like that game which felt like that one and that other one. You carved out your niche and all that. We have publishers looking at a very unrealistic number and calling a game a failure when they don’t put in work in development of content etc. 

WoW has lost 4 – 5 million players in recent years and folks seem to never ask where did those players go? Would they come back if they could play a non dumbed down version of WoW ? There is the potential that Blizzard could bring back a large swath of their player base.

dragonherderx
Guest
dragonherderx

CastagereShaikura TraylorAlan Yes and no. The major problem is this particular server wasn’t even running the “live” version of the game. They were running old vanilla version of the game which blizzard no longer operates at all period. There are people that prefer WoW back when it had more substance and wasn’t dulled down to the point that only a true dullard could enjoy it for extended periods. The game has literally started targeting the lowest common denominator and comes off like they are trying to attract facebook gamers with the attention span of a gold fish at times… 

Warlords and many of the other expansions to me are abominations and while they advanced the warcraft lore and story further they have also continually dumbed the game down and have effectively dragged the entire genre down with them short of the indie titles that are now slowly starting to spring up… In their effort to have “broader” appeal they have ended up losing half their player base that don’t like to be treated as if they were infants…

dragonherderx
Guest
dragonherderx

arcticrider Ghostmourn You seem far more unable to read. He was suggesting that they make a server that is Vanilla progression servers. Vanilla progression servers are clearly something a lot of people want. The problem with blizzard has always been they only listen to the very vocal lowest common denominator crowd with WoW and keep simplifying the game and saying “no”. They don’t want to have to run another version of the game and potentially patch old exploits that the newer versions took care of and put in the extra work even if the demand is there.

Savage87
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Savage87

Skyewauker Ghostmourn arcticrider Actually you’re wrong. The thing about WoW players (those of us who played up until Cata came out) is that we WOULD pay to have a server where we can play the old game, the game we remember. It’s in our DNA otherwise we wouldn’t have paid for it to begin with. That’s WHY we paid for it, because it was fun, it was hard. I would subscribe again if I could go back to the days where I, as a warlock, had to do quests to get each of my pets, where I didn’t get a mount until I was level 40, where quests weren’t so stinking easy! There’s a quest in the starting area for Nightelves where you have to go in the cave and kill this certain thing (sorry I can’t remember the exact details), but then once you finished the quest you had to go back to the quest giver (like all quests), now post Cata once you get what you need in the cave, IT TELEPORTS YOU BACK TO THE QUEST GIVER!!! Once that happened it took me out of the game and I was done. That may seem like a small thing but it shows how far they’ve gotten away from what they used to be.

Skyewauker
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Skyewauker

Ghostmourn arcticrider You say “huge ” demand.  There would have to be 100s of 1000s of players ( at least 1 mil) wanting vanilla servers.  There aren’t that many people.  Even if there were, the minute they were told they would have to pay a sub, the interest would wane and it would wane fast.  Kids are throwing a fit because their free game is now shut down.

Serra2
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Serra2

Ghostmourn arcticrider The conversation already happened. It has happened many times before. They said No.  Dealwithit.jpg

Yangers
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Yangers

To be fair, they’ll probs be long dead before the game isnt live anymore. So, if they dont play it now, they never will.

cookerpl
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cookerpl

arcticrider

FFS and people like http://www.livefyre.com/profile/104495687/ have right to vote…

Ghostmourn
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Ghostmourn

arcticrider Ghostmourn Its not my “Drama” I was trying to suggest the Blizzard should consider opening a server along the lines of what EverQuest has done with the ‘Vanilla Progression Server’ to meet this hueg demand.
I was not allowed to do so on the Blizzard forums in fact the only place any conversation is happening is here and on Redit and that is unfortunate.

I am a loyal wow subscriber and have been for many years.

Now I understand if Blizzard does not want to attempt this but the conversation should happen, why not?

arcticrider
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arcticrider

Ghostmourn arcticrider You’re unable to understand what you’re reading. The official game forum is for the current live version of the game and subbed customers of that particular game. Your private server drama does not belong there, send them an email.

Ghostmourn
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Ghostmourn

arcticrider Ghostmourn
 You should try reading the comment I wrote before accusing me of supporting copyright infringement, but then again you don’t really exist do you? You made this account yesterday and have done nothing but ‘get blizzards back’ against these damn Pirates…but your comments dont even make sense in the relation to the posts you answer. Until you prove otherwise You are the mechanical turk buddy.

dragonherderx
Guest
dragonherderx

arcticrider Ghostmourn You are out of touch with reality and seemingly have no reading comprehension skills. He made a post about a demand for a vanilla WoW server. It has nothing to do with pirating their work directly…

arcticrider
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arcticrider

Ghostmourn Send them an email, what has the live game forums has got to do with a private server? I’d delete it if I was mod as well. You’re not even talking about the game that’s being discussed on official WoW forums. Call me mad but you guys are absolutely out of touch with reality.

Ghostmourn
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Ghostmourn

CastagereShaikura TraylorAlan Not at all, specific to MMOs players cant revisit experiences as the game is patched and changed over the years.
Its undeniable that Vanilla WOW is a completely different game from the current release and in this specific case, the game happens to be a bit of cultural phenomenon.

Ghostmourn
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Ghostmourn

Blizzard is censoring this whole topic off their community forums completely :(
So I saw the article on Motherboard about this 
‘http://motherboard.vice.com/read/world-of-warcraft-legacy-server-shut-down?trk_source=homepage-lede”
I
wrote a well though out comment on the Wow general discussion forum
about the apparent demand for a Vanilla server and Blizzard deleted my
post in about 30 seconds, I though it was a bug becasue I was not
critical of Blizzards behavior here so I posted again with the same
result.
This could be an opportunity for Blizzard becasue this server had 800k accounts and hovered @ 10k concurrent players within one year.By not being able to talk about this with Blizzard or even discus the
issue on WOW forums Blizzard are creating a situation where pressure is
building in the wrong direction, not a good move on their part imo. I
have never known them to censor a whole topic so rabidly but you will
see no mention of this on WOW forums, I have seen them go up and come
down in like 20 seconds, they are VERY VERY touchy about these
developments.

LordSolarMacharius
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LordSolarMacharius

JudgeDavid101 I cancelled my Legion pre-order. Not for this BS but for other reasons. I’m glad I did.

LordSolarMacharius
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LordSolarMacharius

BritoBruno Estranged Yes. Bobby Kotick is a the money-grubbing soulless automaton that shouldn’t be running a gaming company.  He’s been behind the yearly releases of a “new” Call of Duty” and is responsible for milking other franchises, killing them in the process.

DPandaren
Guest
DPandaren

Jigawatts They do now. But Project 1999 has been in the works for a much longer time then that agreement. The sentiment before it was always never to mention it on the forums, because ban, but as SoE, they never chased them down. Project 1999 has been running for more then 6 years up until then.

DPandaren
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DPandaren

mourneuk Not really. EQ has a long history of making progression servers for their players. Ragefire wasn’t the first time they’ve done it.

DPandaren
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DPandaren

BritoBruno Hounddog74 At launch though. With the recent WoD and MoP, those numbers dwindled vastly.

DPandaren
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DPandaren

Rohirrim It’s Illidan though. We all know he’s going to do something dumb and betray someone. That’s like, his shtick.

DPandaren
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DPandaren

wjowski Because when the market was filling them with copies of it, Vanilla WoW was still around.

CastagereShaikura
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CastagereShaikura

TraylorAlan I agree. Kind of stupid playing on an emu when the game is still live.

TraylorAlan
Guest
TraylorAlan

This just in…

Hipsters Violate Game’s Terms of Use, React With Outrage and Surprise When Inevitable Happens

Dreema
Guest
Dreema

BritoBruno Dreema Rohirrim breetoplay ManastuUtakata schlag sweetleaf You make it sound like 1.2 million (and I suspect it’s a lot more) people playing an unofficial version of the game via private servers is a trivial amount. There are plenty of MMOs out there that would kill to have 1.2 million people playing them.
As for no replayability factor? You do realise some private servers have been running for years, right? If there’s zero replayabilty, explain why they keep going.

Dreema
Guest
Dreema

BritoBruno Dreema You seem to have a big misunderstanding when it comes to what is meant by concurrent players and active players. Let me explain.

Nostalrius has 15,000 concurrent players at peak times – meaning at peak times it has 15,000 players online. Not 15,000 players in total, just 15,000 online during peak times. 

It has 150,000 active players, meaning that on an average day it has 150,000 players logging on to play it. Not 150,000 at any specific time, but 150,000 throughout the whole day.

Understand? Good. Maybe NEXT TIME YOU GO OFF ON A RANT AND START TYPING EVERYTHING IN CAPITALS, YOU’LL HAVE A FEW FACTS TO BACK YOU UP.

arcticrider
Guest
arcticrider

Nice job on shutting down private servers, they were indeed getting popular and Blizz saved tons of people from sinking their time into a server which was eventually going to be shut down. If not due to being illegal, due to the owners getting bored etc.
If this was your first private server experience, I somewhat understand your frustration. But older people who have experienced private servers in games like UO,SWG etc. we all know what happens in those servers behind the scenes. Character editing, duping, secret sales of such services by betraying team members etc.
So all in all, it saved a lot of people the headache on the long run. Good riddance.

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

Dreema Rohirrim BritoBruno breetoplay ManastuUtakata schlag sweetleaf I’m sorry for you, and i don’t like current wow as much as i liked Wrath either, but these are anedoctal experiences.
Wow still gets peaks of 8m-10m with xpac launches. Pservers tops get 2million and i’m being generous with all the hacks and scams in the community. I would be actually surprised if we got to the 1.2million players. And remember that pservers have NO replayability factor. You don’t keep playing because nothing holds you. It’s a free game without holds on the player.
So, while i applaud those who gave us the opportunity to play Vanilla, i have also to understand that not even half of those would play on Blizz servers for several reasons, making the “demographic that can pay those servers” extremely small.

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

Bluxy BritoBruno I’m not going to conceptualize a concept that has nothing to do with the case at hand. It was a terrible example. Make one better.

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

Fenryr BritoBruno sray155 Sythalin It skewes completely the thought of “Legacy viable servers”. Remember that we’re talking about a server that will put the quality of their core game in question. They’re literally taxing their business model ( that allowed them money for games like Overwatch and Hots, that are great games ), to a dubious model because people here claim that their Nostalgia can see further than Blizzard marketing HQ.
It’s funny, really.

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

Rohirrim Estranged 4Million compared to the 15k? heh.
Anyway. Speculations. And fun is subjective. I had a crapload of fun in Pandaria, and like eveyother xpac, it was “THE END OF WOWVANILLAISBETTERTBCBETTERXPACMAKEWOWGREATAGAIN”.
Ugh.

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

Estranged Lol. So, this is like…a insult or something?

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

Dreema You talk like i don’t know how many there are. I just listed you the most popular, and they rack at most, 15k concurrent players ( nost ). Warmane can’t really be taken seriously since it had the Hermes and botting issue.
I play pservers and watch the scene since i started playing WoW. I’m not buying the community bullshit. Millions my ass, gaming nowadays is completely casual, and the hardcore community is niche at best. I love Vanilla WoW, but i don’t need to lie to make my point across.
Hundreds of hack servers. The best ones get to the hundreds on pop ( rebirth, primal ), and only a few get to the thousands. These are the ones that go down in history of the emulation scene.
Nostalrius had FIFTEEN THOUSAND daily. This is, for the emulation scene, big. But for MMOs? If GW2 had 15k people playing daily, they would have closed by now. Look at Wildstar. Look where the hardcore, grindy, vanilla bullshit philosophy got them.
Don’t make your nostalgia sound objective. It isn’t. I’m saying it isn’t, and BLIZZARD IS SAYING IT ISN’T.
Move on already.

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

Estranged I’m extremely pragmatic, to the point where showing my inner feelings ( besides anger and irritation ) are things i leave to my gf, or closest friends.
That being said, i’m extremely prone to believe in a short friendship, and i treat my friends as equals. It gave me a lot of problems, but i quite like this philosophy. Helps me go through my hate of…everything, pretty much =P

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

SeedEve Blizzard doesn’t care about non-customers, you got that right.
They don’t care much about their customers either, but we, as pserver players, are NOT their audience. Stop fooling yourself.

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

Hounddog74 Yeah. 150k people want.
While retail racks between 8M-10M each xpac launched.
Is this a joke?

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