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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377 Comments on "WoW emulator Nostalrius’ sunset renews calls for retro WoW servers"

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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
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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
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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
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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.