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.

“Today, only 10% of the former Nostalrius players have generated a token to join Elysium, and we believe that we failed to satisfy this community entirely, as at the same time legacy fans acquired a reputation of ‘pirates’ on the official WoW community. Contrary to our expectations, our decision to release our source code and character database to Elysium actually made our 2 goals harder to achieve, implying a thought decision to make. […] We know that Nostalrius carries the hopes of the legacy community but moving from ‘fan server’ to ‘pirate server’ reputation makes it harder to convince that legacy fans have a place on the WoW community. Until this stigma is removed, it’s unlikely any true progress towards official legacy content can be achieved.”

Instead, it plans to return to agitating for official servers from Blizzard with the community’s help. To restore its legitimacy and reputation, it’s asked the Elysium devs to stop using all data Nostalrius had transferred to them. “Nostalrius community is no longer about private servers, it is about official legacy realms,” the group writes. “Now we need to continue convincing the World of Warcraft community that it would bring continued value to the entirety of World of Warcraft, something we missed to achieve so far because of our last announcement. […] Our community has always been the center of our actions, and we still need to find the proper solution to please WoW community as a whole.”

In other words, current Elysium players and devs are being asked to give up their new emulator and characters in a “tremendous sacrifice” for the greater emulator community.

Elysium tweeted that it was aware of the request but hasn’t commented on it yet. Its players have made their unhappiness loudly known, however.

That tweet has since been deleted, but it read:

We commend Nostalrius for its new demonstration of maturity, but it might be too late to repack this Pandora’s box.

Update: Our commenters have pointed out that in the interim, someone leaked what was allegedly an Elysium-written community letter acceding to Nostalrius’ request. Elysium has categorically denied that it is a legitimate draft and has updated its timeline.

Update: Elysium has now posted its letter to the community its in its entirety. (Note, comments under that link are very much NSFW.) While Elysium says its “loyalties remain with the community in all things,” it has announced that it will “discontinue use of the Nostalrius core” and replace it and the Nostalrius-based servers with new “equal to or superior” servers. Confusingly, the team says that “all characters that have existed in the game world since Elysium’s launch until now will be maintained and all Nostalrius specific data will be wiped,” meaning it’s not entirely clear whether Nostalrius-migrated characters will be affected in any way.

Interestingly, while Nostalrius downplayed the number of characters that had generated tokens (10% of former players), Elysium talked it up (52% of active players), claiming over 30,000 concurrent players.

The Elysium devs also ask the community to work together and not attack each other or Blizzard, closing by announcing that Nostalrius “has been fatally wounded.”

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