New World of Warcraft emulator project takes players back to The Burning Crusade era

The muddy waters of emulators and the contentious conversation around World of Warcraft legacy servers is getting a whole lot more crazy this summer, thanks to a new emulator project on the scene.

As the name implies, Burning Crusade doesn’t seek to just replicate the vanilla WoW experience but everything up through the MMO’s first expansion. The emulator promises to take players on a journey to level 70 and the Outlands, complete with raid attunement and factional warfare. The free PvP server that has been in development at least since 2012 and recently went into open beta testing.

“Development for Burning Crusade has spanned years behind closed doors and is designed to emulate a World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade private server up to retail standards,” the dev team posted. “Using publicly available data, we have tackled the fundamental issues that remind players that they aren’t playing on official servers. Our software is the product of closed source development around clean professional programming standards. The goal of the project is to produce a complete and satisfying experience.”

See what this server looks like after the break!

Source: Burning Crusade. Thanks CY!
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57 Comments on "New World of Warcraft emulator project takes players back to The Burning Crusade era"

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Weilan
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Weilan

I would say I support them, but I won’t play it, I’m a Vanilla player.

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GiantsBane

Have fun with all those obnoxiously tedious attunement processes. I had fun in the early days of WoW like everyone else, but as the games changed so have I, and I’ve learned long ago that nostalgia is one of the worst things people can chase in regards to gaming. We might have fond memories, but the funny thing about human memory is how people tend to remember things as being much better or worse then they actually were.

You’ll never recreate that nostalgia in a game you’ve already played, and in some cases (like if it was your first mmo) you’ll never recreate that nostalgia EVER unless you figure out how to wipe those memories from your mind.

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Lorgarn

Fortunately there isn’t really any need to recreate any nostalgia. If it’s a good game it’ll most likely stand on its own. Look at people still playing OSRS, EQ’s Project 1999, Vanilla WoW and other expansions. It wouldn’t last more than a couple of days, perhaps a week or two if there only were these “fond memories” at play. You might not be interested yourself but the nostalgia argument doesn’t hold up.

Nostalgia by itself can’t keep people interested in something old for weeks, months and even years.

Weilan
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Weilan

I’d rather play Vanilla for the rest of my life while you can go play your 2025 hi-def, hi-tech, ultra 4k, VR, SJW Shape Sorter MMORPG with super cool hipster graphics.

I’m not playing a 13 year old game, because of nostalgia, I started playing WoW in 2007, I just like the simplicity of Vanilla – simple and still appealing graphics, mounts are a luxury and only a few have them, not a starter item on level 1, no blue space goats, no pandas, no barbie edition elves, no werewolves, no spaceships and Disney graphics or dumbed-down gameplay and talents.

The only things I miss from the future versions of WoW are:

– barber shop
– transmogrification
– (a personal dream) to be able to play a goblin and like pandaren on level 10 to choose whether to join the horde or the alliance… and basically be an alliance goblin hunter in Vanilla who is level 60 and with transmogrification has his gear looking like he is level 30

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Dreema

Just because you dislike something doesn’t mean everyone else does. Don’t assume your own opinion applies to everyone.

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It Didn't Take

It never ceases to amaze me how there are so many emulators/private servers out there for classic WoW despite Blizz saying “it’s impossible to do”.

bladeddingo
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bladeddingo

I don’t think they’ve ever said it was impossible, but rather that the old code for those expansions is no longer the same beast it once was, it’s been built on and improved on and hacked at for over a decade now. they likely don’t have any old backups of just burning crusade or vanilla code laying around, and even if they did, the database hooks and calls would be completely different now too with all the improvements.

it’s not that it’s impossible to do, its that they don’t want to take the time to re-invent the wheel and basically backwards engineer their own tech and set up a server for a niche audience that in the end likely won’t be worth the cost of running the servers/paying the coders to re-do it all.

yes, there is hundreds of thousands of people who’d no doubt flood their vanilla servers, but how many would throw on their rose colored glasses, play for a few weeks, decide they actually hated the vanilla grind and then go back to legion with all it’s 10 years + worth of improvements, how many would actually stay and play on a legacy server, and would the number of people/subscriptions justify the upkeep of the servers and the cost of building and maintaining it?

most likely not, they probably crunched the numbers and figured the cost outweighs the benefits, I know for sure I fall into the demographic I just described, I know I’d love to play on a vanilla server, but I also realize that I wouldn’t play on it for a long time because I’ve been there, I did that, she I literally have the tee-shirt.

I’d play a legacy server for about a month or two and then go back to live servers because that is where my guild mates are, that is where the new raids are, that is where the flying mounts and cool toys and improved features like transmog are, even if blizzard charged a separate subscription for vanilla, they’d only get one month out of me.

that one month sub fee from me wouldn’t even pay for an hours wage for a single engineer at blizzards server farm.

Ah-ha! you cry out! just hire the guys that hacked this server together! problem solved, so extra work!

maybe, but then they’d have to negotiate possible salary or consultation fees, they’d still have to hire engineers to develop and maintain the code and host the server shards, the cost will be less, but still substantial and again in the end the cost just isn’t worth it.

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Dreema

Actually, Blizzard have admitted they have the old code. It came up during the Mark Kern interview last year. And if the old code doesn’t exist any longer, just where do the people running the private servers get it from? They certainly don’t write it from scratch.

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Lorgarn

Actually, they kind of do. Private servers are not running off of official Blizzard code. They are being ran on homebrewed emulators doing their best to achieve an experience resembling the official one. It’s not like someone at Blizzard at one time leaked their server softwares. No, this has been years of effort by talented programmers sporting the rosiest glasses of the tinted variety.

Regarding this particular server, the developer used his years of experience developing on older emulators to basically build his own servercore from the ground-up. Which is one the reasons that its been in the cooker for so long and why there is a lot of hype around it.

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Paragon Lost

Good video with good information. I personally would love to play a Vanilla/BC time period setting of WoW. It’s over all still my favorite due to various factors. That said, this won’t go too far as Blizzard will come after them in the long run. So I won’t bother to get emotionally invested in something that won’t stay around for long.

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Dreema

There’s no guarantee it will get shut down. There are literally hundreds of private WoW servers out there – just Google them sometime if you like – and some have been running for years. Nostalrius only got shut down because of its success. If it hadn’t had that kind of success, it would still be running now.

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Paragon Lost

I tend to be skeptical and untrusting of private emus as well. :( I honestly wish Blizzard had opened up some BC servers.

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Guillaume Menut

Apparently, the website was just updated with a different domain name: it’s felmyst.com now i believe.

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Steve Fury

So like what do they do on these servers? Complete all the content then just sit around in cities and pat themselves on the back? Do they PvP? Even though PvP back then was even more unbalanced? Glad they can go there instead of complaining on the forums though…

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Dreema

I played for the entirety of TBC and never completed all the content. A good deal of it I didn’t get around to doing until well into the next expansion.

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Lorgarn

The thing with Burning Crusade as an expansion is that there is A TON of stuff to do. You wont complete all the content and sit on your ass at least for a couple of months. Even less so if you play in a semi-hardcore to casual guild.

Just take a look at this attunement chart; that is months of content right there, doing everything in TBC takes a fair bit of time, believe me. However, as with every server/expansion/game, given enough time most content will obviously be beaten. Having said that though, TBC is arguably one of the best expansions out there when it comes to having plenty of content and timesinks.

Bcattunement.jpg
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Danny Smith

inb4 dmca

hurbster
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hurbster

I watched this video and all my pies vanished.

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Dan

Hosting in the US is not so much the problem, the developer living in the US is. Blizzard does not sue servers – it sues people. It sends CD letters to the datacenter responsible for for hosting and the client of the datacenter responsible (more often it is the datacenter that passes the CD along). After the CD letter is ignored, the Bliz legal team makes a determination on the costs and logistics involved in a civil lawsuit. Gummy is making some huge mistakes. From the name of the project, the name of his website, to hosting in the US, to living in the US – I see a fair amount of doom coming this projects way.

I will have to say, that the scripting here is top notch. REALLY top-notch compared to any other vanilla/tbc server out there.

Also, why no end game level 60 content? Gummy and the developers have taken a great deal of pride, time and effort to have some really polished pre-tbc 1-50 open world content, yet they have completely ignored BRD, MC, Strat, scholo and all other 50-60 content. This is just another TBC server that could have taken the next step in the reiteration of private wow servers that will fall flat on its ass after just a few months.

If I were Gummy, I’d take a step back, lock the portal, finish vanilla content, implement a patching system, and turn the server into the first time-locked, or content locked progression server.

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zoward

I saw the Mangos logo appear during the video (Mangos is an open-source project on GitHub), so if their software is “the product of closed source development around clean professional programming standards”, I’m guessing they must have grabbed a copy of Mangos, closed the source, and then brought it up to par. I hope they returned at least some of the improvements back to the Mangos group and/or whomever they used as a base for the TBC database. It seems only fair. Beyond that, a diverse private server community benefits everyone in it, so I wish them the best. Oddly, I’ve never played on a TBC server because I’ve had trouble hunting down a TBC client.

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Lorgarn

Yea, he’s talking about how stuff works on MaNGOS and why he felt it necessary to build his engine/core from the ground-up to solve a lot of the issues seen on most private servers. Watch the video! :)

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zoward

Sigh, I did watch the video, to see what they were showcasing, but I had the PC’s headphones off as my wife was talking to me about something unrelated. I’ll give the video another look. Thanks. As a side note, I have my own private Lich King server running under CMaNGOS.

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Guillaume Menut

This one has an enormous amount of hype, no wonder they made an article about it.

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Dreema

I wish them all the best but… damn, a PVP server? If it was PVE, I’d be all over it but I won’t touch a PVP server even to replay WoW at its best. Hopefully it will be a roaring success and they’ll add a PVE server at some point.

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Don Nascimento

It sucks, most of the private servers are PVP. The one I like is called Primal WoW. It launched TBC recently, and is PVE progression x1 rates, using a 3.3.5 engine. Pretty nice.

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Bruno Brito

Well, this server is hyped as hell on the pserver community, but Gummy insists on opening in the US, saying that there is no issue.

He also closed two other servers before because of time constraints, so there’s that. In the end, people can vouch for his quality but not longevity.

I’ll wait and see.

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silverlock

TBC was when you could still use Vanilla spells on end game gear right?

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David Goodman

Yep – downranking, and it was janky.

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Iain B

Good job Massively, doing your part to bring more attention to it so it gets shut down that much more swiftly…

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Iain B

I made an account yesterday and re-created my original human warrior character.

Ugh, I forgot how painful this game was to play back then. It took me 30 minutes to do the first 2 quests, killing wolves for their meat and kobolds.

Why anyone would want to subject themselves to this is beyond me. No amount of “rose-colored glasses” makes me want to ever do that again.

EDIT: I will add that from a technical perspective, it all worked really well. The client was very polished and there wasn’t any lag.

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Oleg Chebeneev

The server is known as Gummy TBC in the name of its lead developer (who also worked on very popular PvP only server Arena-Tournament). It will be fully blizz-like without any compromises. It will also be hosted in US so americans will get better ping, and europeans – worse then on Warmane servers.

Hype for Gummy TBC lowered quite abit after Warmane released its 2 TBC servers: Outland and Medivh (Medivh being a real GUmmy TBC alternative with x1 rates, blizzlike experience and very high quality). But some fans are vigorous at defending “Burning-Cursade” and thinking GUmmy walks on water when it comes to private servers.

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Guillaume Menut

Quoting you here:”Hype for Gummy TBC lowered quite abit after Warmane released its 2 TBC servers: Outland and Medivh (Medivh being a real GUmmy TBC alternative with x1 rates, blizzlike experience and very high quality)”

Completely untrue:
-Warmane’s scripting is extremely poor
-The server forces the players to pay for a fake queue
-it’s P2W most of the time
-the population is HEAVILY faked.

And i can go on for hours, Warmane is the antithesis of what projects like Nostalrius and this one represent at the end of the day.

Gummy’s is a hundred years ahead in terms of quality, all those who tried the open beta know that already, and more importantly, they’re not taking any money from anyone.

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Oleg Chebeneev

You can keep talking about fake pop rumors (which were never proved) all you want but please, spare me this bullshit about extremely poor scripting. I played on Lordaeron to cap and it felt like playing official server. Barely any bugs at all, everything working like a charm. And their TBC realms are as good. If anyone wants to play TBC without queues, with x1 rates, with no shop (so you can play “p2w” card), with great scripting and stability, there is always Medivh server. Which I KNOW is superb in quality because I tried it. What Gummy will bring us is yet uknown. Its mostly bold promises and hype from fans

gary_peterson
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gary_peterson

I’ve played both and you do know that you can play the open beta for gummy right now, right? I wouldn’t advise spending too much time as it will get wiped (unless you’re fully committed to play-testing and reporting) but it’s literally right there for you to see.

I won’t touch your claims about warmane, as it’s all been beaten to death in various other forums already – plus anyone that knows better is quite aware of the issues that warmane has whether they are ok with them or not.

However, the servers are night and day in terms of quality. I’m not sure or not if it’s something to get outrageously hyped for, as I’m not smart enough to understand the potential legal issues. But the server IS really that good, and it’s clear even from the starter areas how much it feels like retail did than any other tbc project yet.

You’d really have better traction on the wowservers subreddit if you’re intent on bringing up warmane here, to be honest. Heaps of folks there f5’ing the page and anxious to argue about it. I’m not sure most people here care too much about server rivalries or drama (even tho I’m sure it can be interesting in a lot of ways).

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Oleg Chebeneev

I read wowservers reddit and know how rabid Gummy fans can be at defending it. But as I said, its pointless to trashtalk Warmane with me since I played it alot and know its very high quality servers with great scripting. Shop and queues are fair arguments against it, but they have 1 TBC and 1 WoTLk server that are free of those, even if they are lower pop.
I dont think Gummy will beat warmane in quality, but we’ll see

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Guillaume Menut

This is not the place for a drama so let’s just agree to disagree.

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Dan

Warmane’s scripting is pretty horrible in comparison. Add to that the cash shop pay to win and I’ll never touch Warmane.

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thalendor

Now the only question left is how long until Blizzard sends a cease and desist letter…

Until then, I wish all those wanting experience TBC again the best of luck and good times.

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Bruno Brito

It’s in the US. It’ll be a shitshow.

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SirUrza

Between articles like this and big name streamers playing on it while streaming, it won’t take long at all.

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Alex Willis

I’ve never actually played WoW, so take my comment with a grain of salt, but I’ll be honest and say I have not a sweet clue why so many in the community is gripped with such nostalgia for previous iterations of the game. Is it a need to inhabit the game-world’s story at a particular point in time (before what I understand were radical changes to the map, factions, etc), or a more rose-coloured-glasses attempt to relive past glories during a particular era of the game? I can’t think of a single MMO I play — ESO, SWTOR, GW2, LOTRO, occasionally EVE — that would be improved by this type of approach to its world.

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Totakeke

You keep asking this question and people keep answering it. But I’ll break it down for you.

People want to play the old version of the game because it plays different from the current version.

It’s literally the same reason why people will go out and play Third Strike over Street Fighter V. It’s just that like that game more then they like the newer version of it. Just straight up cutting through the bull shit about nostalgia.

Because some people apparently loved the idea that Melee Classes didn’t do anything but Auto Attack till their 41 talent.

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Alex Willis

As far as I know this is my first time commenting on it, but thanks for the sass!

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

Let’s say it’s all about nostalgia, is there any thing wrong with that? more and more i see people talk about nostalgia like it is a wrong thing, and i don’t agree with that, people are still playing 30 years old video games, so why not 10 years old MMO?

People still enjoy playing pen and paper games and these older than video games, a new generation of players discovering paper games, nostalgia does not live for long, but when you go back to an old game and you still enjoy it, then why not keep playing?

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Alex Willis

Nothing strictly wrong with it, though I am suspicious of it as a general disposition. Nostalgia can interfere with good judgment, and sometimes is just a little sad. We all have that friend who only tells stories about your high school glories, right? Even though you graduated 25 years ago, and have moved on in your life?

I’m as skeptical of the idea of a “golden age” as I am about the notion that progressive change is always for the better. I think what confuses me the most about movements like this one mentioned in the article are that people will fight so hard for what they see as a “definitive” version of something, rather than simply appreciating their memories for what they were (nobody can ever tell you that something was not “the best” if you feel that way about it), and moving on and discovering new things. If a person felt the nostalgic way about, say, books as they did about the community surrounding these projects, they might only ever go back to the books they had read before or already knew they loved.

All this sounds harsh, but it’s just coming from the perspective of someone (me!) who finds the fight for nostalgia to be a bit misplaced. At the very least (as I’ve said before), I really do not understand it.

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Lorgarn

Fortunately there is no real need for you to understand it. Some play due to nostalgia, some play due to them really enjoying this version of the game. A lot of people play because of both of these factors.

I would say I’m probably somewhere around 20/80, sure there is some nostalgia there I’m not going to deny that but primarily it’s because I very much enjoyed this expansion in particular. If I just played for nostalgia only I might as well play retail, because nostalgia is there as well.

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Don Nascimento

Out of all those games you listed none of them have changed over time as dramatically as WoW has. WoW came out during a time where many were first introduced to MMOs. It also happened to be the most popular. With all that in mind it should be easy to see why the nostalgia is so huge here. Some of the MMOs you listed are very new (ESO), have gear levels that dont change (GW2), and have old zones that were not revamped and are still great (LOTRO).

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Dreema

The short answer: it was a much better game back then.

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silverlock

To me it was a bigger game back then, the expansions that came later actually made the game smaller and simpler. You had a large variety of spells, gear, and builds that you could use to make your character. Now builds are vastly simplified you have just a few spells to enchant your gear with and everyone is basically going for the same gear, spells, and build. They added the transmog system to at least make the characters look different.

Also no heirloom gear and no flying. Heirloom gear trashed the games economy.

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johnwillo

The game has changed a lot. To me, most of the changes have been about making the game more “approachable,” and many of the changes have not been to my liking. In particular, since most active development takes place at the end game, players are rushed through the leveling experience to get them to the end game. For me, Burning Crusade was when the game hit its peak. Others will tell you that vanilla was best, or Wrath of the Lich King. Many, of course, like the game as it is now and there is nothing wrong with that.

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Don Nascimento

I agree 100%. TBC was my favorite expansion. I think it was WoW’s peak creatively. Now dont get me wrong, I loved Wrath…a lot! However we started to see cracks in the armor during Wrath…

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Targeter

This’ll end well!

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Don Nascimento

Gummy!

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Totakeke

What’s special about this one? There’s been TBC emulators in the past. Not to mention Wrath ones too.

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Don Nascimento

The Dev (Gummy) is supposed to be amazing and the hype on this one is insane.

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Phubarrh

The insane part seems to be openly advertising it…

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Don Nascimento

What makes that insane? And how is an article advertising it? Its funny when people like something it is a good article, but when its something you dont like, it is advertising..

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