The World of Warcraft vanilla emulator team Nostalrius, which undertook a mission into the depths of Blizzard’s HQ this past weekend, has returned and posted a report on its adventures. The gaming company had invited five members of the player modders to present a talk on the emulator, community data, volunteer plans, and the tech behind the emu’s anti-cheat system. Combined with the Q&A afterward, the entire meeting apparently lasted the better part of a work day.
“When Blizzard initially proposed this discussion several weeks ago, we were anxious that it would be a simple PR / damage mitigation move,” writes the team’s admin and project manager Viper in a forum post to gamers today. “It is now clear to us that this wasn’t the case.”
Viper says that Blizzard’s representatives didn’t force the attendees into an NDA and seemed well prepared to discuss the desire for vanilla servers — even expressing their own desire to go back. “[O]ne of the game developers said at a point that WoW belongs to gaming history and agreed that it should be playable again, at least for the sake of game preservation, and he would definitely enjoy playing again,” the Nostalrius team posted. “After this meeting, we can affirm that these guys WANT to have legacy WoW servers, that is for sure. We did everything we could to make this presentation & discussion as professional as possible, which was something that clearly was a pleasant unexpected surprise for the whole Blizzard team, Mike Morhaime included.”
Blizzard hasn’t actually committed to legacy servers, however. Viper writes that Blizzard does indeed possess the source code for vanilla WoW and reiterates that recreating, polishing, and implementing such a build is not an easy or quick task for Blizzard, which echoes remarks Mark Kern made following his own meeting with Blizzard back in May.
The real good news out of all of this, Viper says, is that “Blizzard is now well aware of the amount of players willing to play legacy servers, something which wasn’t the case until Nostalrius shut down.”