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.”)
Approximately half a million possibly-real-and-or-fake pastebins and ‘shop jobs and hot-take videos later, one of the administrators of the project blasted the original YouTuber, calling it a witch hunt and then saying Elysium had been “forced to re-open donations to continue funding and operating our servers” (two servers are paid only through May; Elysium itself is paid through August). Last night, however, a different administrator went on an expletive-laden Reddit rant (NSFW) in the service of “transparency,” seemingly copping to (some?) of the accusations while basically telling off the naysayers because running an illegal emulator is soul-crushing work, you haters.
“From this moment on I’m done grovelling and making excuses for every misstep we make. You either trust us or **** off. Have some respect for people who spend their free time on the game you play. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be a single server you could play on. I’ve put so much effort into this project it matters more to me than anything else, but I won’t put you gossiping ****s before my partner. It’s sad for me to see our dream of an LGN being torn apart before we could accomplish anything. We wanted to change the private emulation scene, but you’ve ruined everything. Now, reap what you’ve sown.”
“Legacy that, Legacy this, **** you,” she concludes. “We will keep this ****ing project running till the end of the world so you could play and enjoy the game I love so much.”
The weird thing is? A lot of players apparently don’t care. “Go back to retail and stop trying to ruin this for those of us who actually enjoy playing,” one dude told people allegedly trying to ferret out corruption. Turns out if you were OK playing on a shadowy and illicit version of a game whose emulators are persistently pursued across the world by their rightful copyright holder, you’re probably not going to expect absolute ethical behavior out of the people running that show. At some point, you figure it’s a virtual black market gang war and you’re probably better off just ducking and playing the game while it lasts. If you’ve been in an emu community long enough, you already know that few last long.