The shutdown of the Nostalrius private server happened some time ago, but the debate it started hasn’t stopped, and today the World of Warcraft team has actually issued a statement in response to the server’s fans and others raising a clamor. If you were hoping for the announcement of a classic server, you will be disappointed, but the open letter from executive producer J. Allen Brack sheds light on both Blizzard’s thought process and what the company is both capable and willing to do for the classic crowd.
Why not just let Nostalrius continue the way it was? The honest answer is, failure to protect against intellectual property infringement would damage Blizzard’s rights. This applies to anything that uses WoW’s IP, including unofficial servers. And while we’ve looked into the possibility – there is not a clear legal path to protect Blizzard’s IP and grant an operating license to a pirate server.
Brack’s letter restates that running a classic server is not something that could be accomplished with any sort of ease, although the discussion is brought up repeatedly in the development team. “We explored options for developing classic servers and none could be executed without great difficulty. If we could push a button and all of this would be created, we would,” he writes. “However, there are tremendous operational challenges to integrating classic servers, not to mention the ongoing support of multiple live versions for every aspect of WoW.”
At the same time, the team has discussed having what the letter calls a “pristine” realm, a server without any leveling accelerations, cross-realm zones, or group finder functionality.
So what can we do to capture that nostalgia of when WoW first launched? Over the years we have talked about a “pristine realm”. In essence that would turn off all leveling acceleration including character transfers, heirloom gear, character boosts, Recruit-A-Friend bonuses, WoW Token, and access to cross realm zones, as well as group finder. We aren’t sure whether this version of a clean slate is something that would appeal to the community and it’s still an open topic of discussion.
Whether or not such a server will be launched is not being announced, but it’s still more of a response than most fans are likely to have expected, and it indicates that the debate is clearly reaching high-level ears.