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!

Source: Burning Crusade. Thanks CY!
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Weilan

I would say I support them, but I won’t play it, I’m a Vanilla player.

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GiantsBane

Have fun with all those obnoxiously tedious attunement processes. I had fun in the early days of WoW like everyone else, but as the games changed so have I, and I’ve learned long ago that nostalgia is one of the worst things people can chase in regards to gaming. We might have fond memories, but the funny thing about human memory is how people tend to remember things as being much better or worse then they actually were.

You’ll never recreate that nostalgia in a game you’ve already played, and in some cases (like if it was your first mmo) you’ll never recreate that nostalgia EVER unless you figure out how to wipe those memories from your mind.

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Dreema

Just because you dislike something doesn’t mean everyone else does. Don’t assume your own opinion applies to everyone.

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Weilan

I’d rather play Vanilla for the rest of my life while you can go play your 2025 hi-def, hi-tech, ultra 4k, VR, SJW Shape Sorter MMORPG with super cool hipster graphics.

I’m not playing a 13 year old game, because of nostalgia, I started playing WoW in 2007, I just like the simplicity of Vanilla – simple and still appealing graphics, mounts are a luxury and only a few have them, not a starter item on level 1, no blue space goats, no pandas, no barbie edition elves, no werewolves, no spaceships and Disney graphics or dumbed-down gameplay and talents.

The only things I miss from the future versions of WoW are:

– barber shop
– transmogrification
– (a personal dream) to be able to play a goblin and like pandaren on level 10 to choose whether to join the horde or the alliance… and basically be an alliance goblin hunter in Vanilla who is level 60 and with transmogrification has his gear looking like he is level 30

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Lorgarn

Fortunately there isn’t really any need to recreate any nostalgia. If it’s a good game it’ll most likely stand on its own. Look at people still playing OSRS, EQ’s Project 1999, Vanilla WoW and other expansions. It wouldn’t last more than a couple of days, perhaps a week or two if there only were these “fond memories” at play. You might not be interested yourself but the nostalgia argument doesn’t hold up.

Nostalgia by itself can’t keep people interested in something old for weeks, months and even years.

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It Didn't Take

It never ceases to amaze me how there are so many emulators/private servers out there for classic WoW despite Blizz saying “it’s impossible to do”.

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bladeddingo

I don’t think they’ve ever said it was impossible, but rather that the old code for those expansions is no longer the same beast it once was, it’s been built on and improved on and hacked at for over a decade now. they likely don’t have any old backups of just burning crusade or vanilla code laying around, and even if they did, the database hooks and calls would be completely different now too with all the improvements.

it’s not that it’s impossible to do, its that they don’t want to take the time to re-invent the wheel and basically backwards engineer their own tech and set up a server for a niche audience that in the end likely won’t be worth the cost of running the servers/paying the coders to re-do it all.

yes, there is hundreds of thousands of people who’d no doubt flood their vanilla servers, but how many would throw on their rose colored glasses, play for a few weeks, decide they actually hated the vanilla grind and then go back to legion with all it’s 10 years + worth of improvements, how many would actually stay and play on a legacy server, and would the number of people/subscriptions justify the upkeep of the servers and the cost of building and maintaining it?

most likely not, they probably crunched the numbers and figured the cost outweighs the benefits, I know for sure I fall into the demographic I just described, I know I’d love to play on a vanilla server, but I also realize that I wouldn’t play on it for a long time because I’ve been there, I did that, she I literally have the tee-shirt.

I’d play a legacy server for about a month or two and then go back to live servers because that is where my guild mates are, that is where the new raids are, that is where the flying mounts and cool toys and improved features like transmog are, even if blizzard charged a separate subscription for vanilla, they’d only get one month out of me.

that one month sub fee from me wouldn’t even pay for an hours wage for a single engineer at blizzards server farm.

Ah-ha! you cry out! just hire the guys that hacked this server together! problem solved, so extra work!

maybe, but then they’d have to negotiate possible salary or consultation fees, they’d still have to hire engineers to develop and maintain the code and host the server shards, the cost will be less, but still substantial and again in the end the cost just isn’t worth it.

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Dreema

Actually, Blizzard have admitted they have the old code. It came up during the Mark Kern interview last year. And if the old code doesn’t exist any longer, just where do the people running the private servers get it from? They certainly don’t write it from scratch.

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Lorgarn

Actually, they kind of do. Private servers are not running off of official Blizzard code. They are being ran on homebrewed emulators doing their best to achieve an experience resembling the official one. It’s not like someone at Blizzard at one time leaked their server softwares. No, this has been years of effort by talented programmers sporting the rosiest glasses of the tinted variety.

Regarding this particular server, the developer used his years of experience developing on older emulators to basically build his own servercore from the ground-up. Which is one the reasons that its been in the cooker for so long and why there is a lot of hype around it.

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Paragon Lost

Good video with good information. I personally would love to play a Vanilla/BC time period setting of WoW. It’s over all still my favorite due to various factors. That said, this won’t go too far as Blizzard will come after them in the long run. So I won’t bother to get emotionally invested in something that won’t stay around for long.

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Dreema

There’s no guarantee it will get shut down. There are literally hundreds of private WoW servers out there – just Google them sometime if you like – and some have been running for years. Nostalrius only got shut down because of its success. If it hadn’t had that kind of success, it would still be running now.

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Paragon Lost

I tend to be skeptical and untrusting of private emus as well. :( I honestly wish Blizzard had opened up some BC servers.

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Guillaume Menut

Apparently, the website was just updated with a different domain name: it’s felmyst.com now i believe.

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Steve Fury

So like what do they do on these servers? Complete all the content then just sit around in cities and pat themselves on the back? Do they PvP? Even though PvP back then was even more unbalanced? Glad they can go there instead of complaining on the forums though…

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Lorgarn

The thing with Burning Crusade as an expansion is that there is A TON of stuff to do. You wont complete all the content and sit on your ass at least for a couple of months. Even less so if you play in a semi-hardcore to casual guild.

Just take a look at this attunement chart; that is months of content right there, doing everything in TBC takes a fair bit of time, believe me. However, as with every server/expansion/game, given enough time most content will obviously be beaten. Having said that though, TBC is arguably one of the best expansions out there when it comes to having plenty of content and timesinks.

Bcattunement.jpg
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Dreema

I played for the entirety of TBC and never completed all the content. A good deal of it I didn’t get around to doing until well into the next expansion.

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Danny Smith

inb4 dmca

hurbster
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hurbster

I watched this video and all my pies vanished.

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Dan

Hosting in the US is not so much the problem, the developer living in the US is. Blizzard does not sue servers – it sues people. It sends CD letters to the datacenter responsible for for hosting and the client of the datacenter responsible (more often it is the datacenter that passes the CD along). After the CD letter is ignored, the Bliz legal team makes a determination on the costs and logistics involved in a civil lawsuit. Gummy is making some huge mistakes. From the name of the project, the name of his website, to hosting in the US, to living in the US – I see a fair amount of doom coming this projects way.

I will have to say, that the scripting here is top notch. REALLY top-notch compared to any other vanilla/tbc server out there.

Also, why no end game level 60 content? Gummy and the developers have taken a great deal of pride, time and effort to have some really polished pre-tbc 1-50 open world content, yet they have completely ignored BRD, MC, Strat, scholo and all other 50-60 content. This is just another TBC server that could have taken the next step in the reiteration of private wow servers that will fall flat on its ass after just a few months.

If I were Gummy, I’d take a step back, lock the portal, finish vanilla content, implement a patching system, and turn the server into the first time-locked, or content locked progression server.

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zoward

I saw the Mangos logo appear during the video (Mangos is an open-source project on GitHub), so if their software is “the product of closed source development around clean professional programming standards”, I’m guessing they must have grabbed a copy of Mangos, closed the source, and then brought it up to par. I hope they returned at least some of the improvements back to the Mangos group and/or whomever they used as a base for the TBC database. It seems only fair. Beyond that, a diverse private server community benefits everyone in it, so I wish them the best. Oddly, I’ve never played on a TBC server because I’ve had trouble hunting down a TBC client.

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Lorgarn

Yea, he’s talking about how stuff works on MaNGOS and why he felt it necessary to build his engine/core from the ground-up to solve a lot of the issues seen on most private servers. Watch the video! :)

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zoward

Sigh, I did watch the video, to see what they were showcasing, but I had the PC’s headphones off as my wife was talking to me about something unrelated. I’ll give the video another look. Thanks. As a side note, I have my own private Lich King server running under CMaNGOS.

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Guillaume Menut

This one has an enormous amount of hype, no wonder they made an article about it.