nostalrius

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!

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Global Chat: Getting a hit of that EverQuest nostalgia

Ahh… smell that? Smells like a new batch of EverQuest nostalgia, served up to us as a fresh progression server. For some of the faithful, the chance to get a hit of that nostalgia is absolutely irresistible.

“I love EverQuest,” blogger Stargrace writes. “I love the excitement that comes with playing on a progression server. I love how busy they are, and watching chat channels fly by. I love the community and the fuzzy feelings I get when I think about that time in my life.”

Kaozz explained why this server was in such high demand: “My son was baffled how many people want to play on this type of server. I’ve been waiting on one for years and keep up with the requests in the forums I have seen for so many years.”

And The Ancient Gaming Noob finds it baffling that Blizzard isn’t cashing in on these kinds of servers with World of Warcraft. “Nostalgia sells, these servers are popular, they offer something people want and, more importantly, something people are willing to pay for,” he said.

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Massively Overthinking: Are MMORPG players a minority in their own genre?

Deep in the comments of the MMOs-vs.-survival-sandboxes thread from last week, reader miol_ produced a beautiful comment about how MMO players have become a minority in their own genre, which he then expounded upon for us in this provocative email.

“I’ve reached the opinion, that since the launch of WoW and its clones, the ‘original’ MMO-playerbase became a minority in their own genre. Before, we were but hundreds of thousands of MMO players, but then came Blizzard with WoW and its legions of fans in the dozen of millions at its peak, starting to dictate what the new success of MMOs should look like. Even if we others tried to vote with our wallet and feet, we became a minority, having only a fraction of our initial influence, while many devs tried desperately time and again to find ways to get at least a portion of the new Blizzard playerbase.

“Am I wrong with that perception of history? Am I totally missing something? Or are ‘we’ are slowly becoming a majority again, now that WoW and its clones are seeing steadily declining numbers (instead of us winning more players to ‘our side’)? How do we lobby better for ‘our cause’? Or can we only wait and see, until the genre is small enough again? Or is it too late? Have we ourselves grown too far apart into our even more niche corners of personal taste since SWG, while production costs and our demands for production value have skyrocketed at the same time? How could we come closer again?”

Let’s tackle miol_’s questions in this week’s Massively Overthinking.

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The Elysium WoW emulator community is in total meltdown

The Elysium World of Warcraft private server community is in total meltdown, so popcorn at the ready.

Most MMORPG players would probably have never heard of Elysium but for Nostalrius, the WoW emulator that was C&D’d by Blizzard last year and then went on to agitate for official vanilla servers, blowing its momentum after BlizzCon by handing its source code and characters over to Elysium to run from the Ukraine, only to then change its mind last month and ask for the code back.

Elysium agreed to Nostalrius’ requests, but things have gone south for its own game this past week when an emu YouTuber and concomitant agitators accused the top echelons of the Elysium team of everything from manipulating loot tables and unbanning hackers for under-the-table cash to participating in Chinese gold selling and botting schemes and being shadow-run by (former) network partner Crestfall. They probably also did Watergate, I don’t know.

(Incidentally, Crestfall has already cut ties with Elysium as of this afternoon, citing “strong evidence of corruption in high-ranking members of [Elysium’s] staff.”)

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WoW emu Elysium suffers serious ‘database compromise’

One of the downsides of grey-market game emulators for the end-user is that security isn’t always a priority. Case in point? Elysium suffered a database compromise yesterday.

Elysium, you’ll recall, is one of many illegal overseas World of Warcraft emulators, this one in the news of late particularly because the infamous Nostalrius server code and characters were rehomed there following the Nostalrius meltdown after BlizzCon. More recently, Elysium agreed to remove all traces of Nostalrius following the latter group’s expressed desire to put its days of piracy behind it and embrace more legitimate legacy WoW community activism.

Elysium’s devs pulled the game and the official website last night, citing a gold hacking incicent on one of the PvP servers.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 100: The nesting instinct in Elder Scrolls Online

Grab a glass of bubbly and celebrate with us: Today the Massively OP Podcast turns 100… 100 episodes, that is. For this grand event, Larry’s prepared a robust review of Elder Scrolls Online’s housing and Justin’s brushed off his tap-dancing skills. Also, the two review some of the most far-fetched MMO news from this past week… and boy, did it get nutty.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

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Nostalrius has decided handing its WoW emu code to Elysium wasn’t such a good idea after all

So here’s a twist in the Nostalrius saga that we didn’t see coming: The group has changed its mind about supporting its code on the Elysium servers and in fact has asked Elysium to stop using it, which would effectively shut down the new legacy servers.

The group originally ran a large vanilla World of Warcraft emulator under the name Nostalrius, which shut down last year following a C&D letter from the IP owner, Blizzard. Its admins sought to turn the voluntary closure into a catalyst for eliciting official legacy servers from Blizzard itself, drafting a 276,000-signature petition and meeting with Blizzard’s top brass in an attempt to convince the studio to serve that fanbase.

But as BlizzCon drew near after the launch of Legion, the Nostalrius admins turned to threats. “If Blizzard doesn’t make an announcement to honour their own core values, be sure that we will,” they famously wrote. Blizzard didn’t talk legacy at BlizzCon, so Nostalrius announced it would release its code to the community and allow the (much more legally inaccessible) Ukraine-based Elysium group to restart a PvE and PvP Nostalrius emu under its banner, which is precisely what started up in December, with the most recent server launching this past week.

Now Nostalrius says that it believes its actions ran contrary to its goals.

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Elysium opens up yet another Nostalrius server

The pro-vanilla World of Warcraft community is fond of flinging Blizzard’s “you think you do, but you don’t” around as a defense for the existence of illegal emulators. But how big is the demand out there for such servers when you get past the noise and bluster of the most passionate fans?

Last weekend, the Elysium Project turned on a new vanilla World of Warcraft PvP server, and apparently it’s already getting slammed, with queues causing hour-long waits to access the game. This marks the third emulator shard for returning Nostalrius players, and now it looks as though there is to be a fourth.

The team apologized for the long queue times and announced that it will be opening up a new PvP server today called Zeth’kur. See how bad the queue has gotten in the following short video.

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New Nostalrius PvP server goes live this weekend

Just when you thought you were going to get through the new year without a single mention of Nostalrius, January 2017 kicks you in the face and hauls the World of Warcraft vanilla emulator back into the headlines.

Apparently the two revitalized Nostalrius servers over at the Elysium Project are doing quite well for themselves, enough so that the community is preparing to bring online a third server this Saturday, January 7th. The brand-new shard will use the PvP ruleset and offer players a chance to start from scratch together.

Elysium mods are warning players to use unique passwords for their Nostalrius accounts, as a rival vanilla WoW server was hacked and its user info stolen.

Nostalrius, its shutdown by Blizzard, and its subsequent resurrection on the Elysium Project sparked some of the most verbose and heated comment discussions on the site last year.

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The most popular MMORPG conversations of 2016

Last week, we posted a rundown of the most popular MMORPG articles of 2016, calculated strictly by the number of pageviews they got. Today, we’re going to take a look at the most popular articles of 2016 as measured by comments, which provides an entirely different overview of the year and the genre. The other list was stuff you clicked on, but this? This is the stuff you cared enough about to comment on — and boy did you ever.

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MMO Year in Review: Turbine gave the ring to the eagles (December 2016)

This year, we’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2017.

Ah, December: The month of endless annual awards… and end-year studio catastrophes. This round, all eyes were on venerable MMO studio Turbine as it announced it had spun out a new indie studio to take over Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online, as published by none other than Daybreak. Lost in the shuffle? The Asheron’s Call franchise, which will sunset in January 2017.

Meanwhile, gamers paid tribute to Carrie Fisher, Hero’s Song went belly up, Star Citizen launched Star Marine, Elder Scrolls Online teased housing, and Nostalrius relaunched.

And we rolled out our annual MMORPG awards, plus our blooper awards, weirdest stories, and other meta roundups.

Read on for the whole list!

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MMO Year in Review: New Eden free-for-all (November 2016)

This year, we’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2017.

Early in November, EVE Online’s Ascension expansion ushered in a new free-to-play chapter for the sci-fi sandbox (no matter how much they tried to get us to use “clone state”!) and boosted its concurrent numbers back over 50k.

Meanwhile, BlizzCon gave us a clearer picture of Blizzard’s anemic-but-better-than-usual plans for Diablo III and its relatively rapid cadence plans for World of Warcraft in the post-Legion era. The Nostalrius saga reared its head again too as the emulator made plans for a relaunch. RIFT’s Starfall Prophecy expansion also rolled out to players.

Read on for the whole list!

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MMO Year in Review: WoW’s legacy server snarl (April 2016)

This year, we’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2017.

There’s nothing for it: The legacy server debate consumed the month of April, at least in MMORPG land. Beginning with the cease-and-desist-prompted sunset of the popular World of Warcraft vanilla emulator Nostalrius server, we were dragged along from petitions and meetings to “pristine servers” and even Mark Kern in a saga that continues still in December.

EVE Online was also beset by World War Bee, which actually began back in March but had all but played out by the end of April.

Read on for the month’s whole review!

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