World of Warcraft emulators forge forward in a post-Classic announcement era

    
51

Curious about what’s going to happen to all of those World of Warcraft legacy emulators with WoW Classic on the way? It doesn’t look like any are feeling that they should pack up and leave, especially considering how long it might take for the notoriously slow Blizzard to get its version out the door.

The Elysium Project reported that it has a population hovering between 3.5k and 5.5k players and is preparing to release Patch 1.6 and Blackwing Lair on March 10th. Light’s Hope posted a schedule of server events and plans to merge its three shards together on June 6th, with a fresh PvP realm coming online soon thereafter.

Additionally, there’s a new legacy PvP server called Kronos III that should be coming online on March 31st. The server won’t allow multiboxing and has buffed XP in groups to encourage players to team up.

Meanwhile, hiring and design discussions are still ongoing for Blizzard’s team. The studio did post a short video clip this month for Europe’s anniversary that some are taking as a sneak peek into WoW Classic itself.

Source: Elysium Project, Kronos, Light’s Hope. Cheers to everyone who suggested this topic!
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
eboe

Yes, Light’s Hope might have a healthy population, but in merging their three servers into a “fresh” (a huge buzzword among the pserver community) PvP server, they are effectively killing off their support for basically the only option for PvE in the Vanilla server world. There is a new hope, symmetrywow, launching on 3/3 with a PvE server, but we shall see if it takes off enough to justify the existence. Light’s Hope’s Darrowshire server was seeing peaks of 700-1000 concurrent users which isn’t bad for a PvE server, so hopefully those who are upset about the closing of that server will migrate over to this new option.

And for those saying we play on these servers because it is free, I’m sure some choose that as their reasoning, but I had a retail subscription up until this month when it became unaffordable given my financial situation, and general lack of interest in retail in general. When Classic is finally released, I see myself resubscribing, as long as they stick true to the original vision of Classic, without making a host of changes by buckling to the pressure of the retail crowd who are asking for ridiculous changes to the classic experience like transmog, mounts at 20, even using their heirlooms so they can level faster… all of those things would simply wreck the experience of vanilla as it was. Something I never got to properly experience, having been a Wrath baby. And I want to experience, properly and Blizz-like.

Reader
Bruno Brito

I would be extremely skeptical of whatever Elysium reports. Shenna and Crogge already proven themselves to be, to put it mildly, undesirable admins. A huge part of Elysium pvp pop botted to high tiers of pvp rating.

Kronos 3 can be a reason for hype, but the scripting falls flat in some parts. Chero still wasn’t able to fix pet pathing and cave pathing. Naxxramas still has several bugs with pathing too.

LH and Felmyst, two of the most hyped servers, already gave their word they’ll close once classic launches.

Reader
Jason Lilli

I’ve always believed that the private servers are less about the vanilla gameplay and more about not paying to play the game. If Blizzard launches the vanilla server and charges for it, which they will, we’ll see if the players still want it…

Pepperzine
Reader
Pepperzine

With the amount of newer free to play titles that are similar to wow in many aspects this argument falls flat.

Reader
Akagi

Some people will still choose to play WoW on private servers over some cheapskate Asian garbage, like they always turn out to be. Since 2007, I’ve tried over 150 different MMOs, most of which Asian and I never played them long enough and always came back to WoW private servers.

Even if the servers aren’t perfectly scripted, the overall quality of the product is far superior, even if you put all the Asian games (and some Western ones for that matter) together. I know people that simply refuse to play any other MMO than WoW, because they deem it a waste of time and I’m with them, because those F2P MMOs really are a waste of time compared to WoW.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Jack Pipsam

I think they’re waiting to see how Blizzard actually does it and if they’re going to be honest about it.
The server i’ve been playing on (Nostralia) has said that…

Nostralia hopes to pass the baton onto Blizzard once they launch Classic WoW. We trust their intentions will be true, true Vanilla, and that the oceanic community is able to partake in a server with hundreds of thousand of players once and for all.

In other words.
A. Blizzard does what people are hoping they do.
B. Blizzard has local servers.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Phubarrh

I have to confess that I hold my breath and then breathe a sigh of relief every time one of these articles doesn’t mention the WotLK emulator that I occasionally putter about in.

Reader
styopa

WoW is a what, 14 year old game now?

For the devs to INSIST for years they cannot run a legacy server because the ‘dog ate our backups’ flies in the face of simple reason.

People who AREN’T the devs and have reverse-engineered the server code have been running the game quite robustly and successfully without the expertise, insight, nor most importantly, CODE that the devs would have access to.

That Blizz announced a “classic” server was a great step, but the fact that we’ve gone what, 6 months without substantial progress or really news of any substantial sort would lead a reasonable person to believe: the announcement probably wasn’t genuine.

I hope these emulation servers continue to grow and thrive.
I’ve said for a decade that I wish Blizzard would LET ME PAY THEM to play the vanilla game. They’ve decided they don’t want my $. That’s fine.

Reader
Minimalistway

I’m unreasonable person, i just think they’ll wait to Blizzcon to announce anything, in Blizzcon 2017 they only said they managed to make it work, a test at best, no code, no team, so they are hiring and working.

It is too early to be upset about Blizzard progress.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

Almost four months since the announcement.

Reader
Dwarf-Orc

It looks like WoW classic isn’t coming any time soon, could be years from now by the look of things and by Blizzard’s reputation, not surprising that private servers are still around.

Reader
Tamanous

To add (due to edit timer):

Anyone is free to love or hate the emulator culture but I merely view it as a reflection of the state of the industry and inevitable thus being something businesses must address. How Blizzard handles this will likely ultimately impact nearly every company moving forward as their IPs that built their businesses are grandfathered.

Reader
Tamanous

It’s interesting on the emulator front. The major projects have Naxx now and are starting up fresh servers soon with new content timelines developed more to befit a stand alone product than reflect historical progression which was bound to development times and mistakes.

Blizzard’s announcement of Classic was created by the popularity of emulators and both are currently benefiting each other. Private servers are having a large influx of new players wanting to try something at least similar to what Classic will be especially with recent fresh server launch announcements. Blizzard continues to see the hype grow for the concept and has effortless data and results to explore as the private community tries new things.

The last new “blizz-like” server launch (when speaking of the big 3) has an accelerated progression timeline shrunk to 1 year. It’s popular but many have issues with the speed of content additions. It’s their only server so it will be interesting to see what they do once Naxx rolls out and if Classic hasn’t launched.

All LH servers will have Naxx launched by June 6 and a fresh in the works later that month. No details on timeline and content plans atm. Kronos already has Naxx and will launch a fresh server with a 1.5 year time line I believe and some logical adjustments to content progression which actually really interest me. “K3” as they will call it starting end of March is packaged in a much more logical and functional way befitting a stand alone product ultimately destined to effectively end as most servers do without jumps to TBC. I’d expect LH’s new fresh server to ultimately have the largest audience as they are the biggest vanilla server atm.

It’s this cycle of fresh and old servers which I am sure Blizzard is interested in handling properly once Classic starts. Classic is a different sort of product when acknowledging servers will go through life span cycles and expected merges. With more control over their engine and server structure it leads me to ponder how much architectural change will impact Classic right at the start in preparation for this.

Reader
Randy Savage

Of course pirate servers aren’t going anywhere because no matter how much they like to posture and state otherwise, most pirate server players aren’t playing for some previous iteration of the game that doesn’t exist anymore; they’re playing because it’s free. I’m sure there are those who have been genuine in their expression about enjoying the classic WoW experience more but I bet the majority of pirate server players aren’t interested in paying for it. It’s why pirate servers for the game existed well before the game’s first expansion.

Reader
Tamanous

That certainly helps their accessibility but it not an accurate reflection of the interest for Classic. The majority playing on the big emulators discuss Classic as their ultimate destination. Likely the majority will gladly pay for a professional and official hosting of the game. Classic Wow will also draw a larger player base outside of the emulator crowd than within simply due to Blizzard’s popularity and ability to ACTUALLY promote an official mainstream product.

I hear this argument all the time but it’s conjecture and does not reflect discussions within the emulator community. Classic won’t wipe emulators off the map but money ultimately is a minor consideration within the community when weighed against the historical instability of private server hosting. Thinking the private server crowd is isolated is fallacy. It’s audience is made up of gamers no different than here.

Reader
BDJ

Its conjecture to sit here and say that there arent free loaders by the boat load. After Classic launches, emulators will still have players due to the sole fact that it is free.

You are extremely naive if you think there arent a ton of players playing private servers due to how free it is.

Reader
styopa

Of course there ARE freeloaders. There are always people who want something for free. What Tamanous said, if you read closely, is that characterizing people playing private servers as mostly freeloaders is not an accurate reflection of their interest in Classic.

Neither you, nor I, know how many people playing private servers will still be interested in playing when there’s a legit version that they have to pay for.

People who for some reason despise the idea tend to exaggerate the number of freeloaders. People who genuinely want to play vanilla tend to exaggerate the number of people willing to pay.

I will guarantee you that the number of people willing to pay is between those estimates. All I can tell you is that N=1 (my own case) willing to pay for multiple accounts on vanilla because my wife would play it, she is uninterested in the current iteration.

amkosh
Reader
amkosh

I, too, don’t buy the “We want classic WoW argument” from most. This is simply an opinion. I’m guessing that once Classic does come out from Activision, that you’ll see the same or similar player count still on private servers. They won’t say they’re staying because of price, but because “Blizzard didn’t properly bring back the spirit of Classic.”

Feel free to agree/disagree, but my opinion is that for most of the people who really play on these emulators that it is a cost/value reason.

Reader
Loopy

You are probably right. The freeloaders will be around no matter what, and i think it’s safe to say that majority of players from private servers only play there because it’s free.

That being said, whether directly or indirectly, the private server mania has somehow persuaded Blizzard that opening up official classic servers is a good idea. And the rest of the population that isn’t simply freeloading but genuinely wanted to play vanilla again are overjoyed, myself included.

Reader
Avalon Alduin

I don’t play WoW anymore, mainly because I don’t like the current iteration, and I haven’t gotten into these free shards. I do play free shards of other games like Ultima Online, and many of these vanilla servers actually do very well on donations. While they aren’t a subscription base, the players on those servers, while they may be attracted by the free to play idea, often they are willing to put some money into the game they love regardless if it’s ‘Free to Play’.

Consider that a 15 year old game like WoW, has a player base playing Vanilla averaging around 25+ years old. There is disposable income there, they are often playing there because they like the game in that era, not because they don’t want to pay for the game. There are hundreds of free games out there, they are choosing to play this particular older game over many newer ones.

Calling them all free-loaders is just wrong.

Reader
Tamanous

I try only to comment from 1st hand experience. I use words like “majority” as an accurate descriptor because it only means as little 51% of the player base isn’t drawn to emulators merely because it’s free.

I have participated in near countless discussions in game, on forum and on Discord with the private server player base on every server I have played on. You can easily see the where the majority stand on vanilla reddits as well. Since Classic announcement this occurs often and it is easy to see where the majority stand on the subject.

You would do yourself a favor to try and understand what people are saying before blithering out responses not reflecting the point that is being made. I’m not suggesting a possibility … I am flat out telling you what is fact. There is no debate.

Reader
BDJ

It’s no where close to fact. You talk to the vocal minority. I guess there are 3k players on the discord. Or maybe a mil on discord. You’ve spoken and polled everyone. Oh wait. You haven’t. You haven’t came close. You haven’t spoken to 20% of the player base much less “51”. There are supposedly over a million. You’ve spoke. To 500,001 of them? Just stahp bro.

There are statistics that show that the vast majority of accounts never even get past level 10. I guess you spoke to them to right?

The bottom line is you cannot possibly know how many people are freeloading, just like we don’t. So please don’t ty and spout shit as “fact” just because it supports your bias towards private servers.

Reader
eboe

And YOU also don’t have fact on your side, and simply spout your shitty bias AGAINST private servers. What’s your point, buddy?

Reader
Bruno Brito

You’re using anedoctal “evidence” as fact. This is exactly what a debate is. And i have a rule in my life:

“If i have to debate with someone who don’t understand what a debate is, and who can’t understand empyrical evidence, i just will dismiss him as a subpar intellect and won’t bother.”

You speaking with 5 imbeciles on discord out of 7, is NOT an accurate representation of nothing, actually.