Shutting down Nostalrius and other “vanilla” private servers was an unexpected and -somewhat- cruel action coming from the World of Warcraft developer Blizzard. There were hundreds of thousands players were committed to the vanilla version of the game after all, especially after the release of Cataclysm, which changed the Azeroth in great scale.
It seems that Blizzard is also upset about this situation and they’ve made a statement about the legal difficulties of letting private servers to continue existing. Apart from that, J. Allen Brack, the executive producer on WoW, mentions “Pristine Servers” in his statement, which is basically makes you level harder like in the old version of the game, turning of all leveling accelerations and bonuses. Whether it can be an alternative to the vanilla version of the game or not, Brack states that it is open for discussion.
Additively, Brack also says that they are “in contact” with the folks who were running the Nostalrius. What will these conversations lead, we will see. Here is the full statement:
We wanted to let you know that we’ve been closely following the Nostalrius discussion and we appreciate your constructive thoughts and suggestions.
Our silence on this subject definitely doesn’t reflect our level of engagement and passion around this topic. We hear you. Many of us across Blizzard and the WoW Dev team have been passionate players ever since classic WoW. In fact, I personally work at Blizzard because of my love for classic WoW.
We have been discussing classic servers for years – it’s a topic every BlizzCon – and especially over the past few weeks. From active internal team discussions to after-hours meetings with leadership, this subject has been highly debated. Some of our current thoughts:
Why not just let Nostalrius continue the way it was? The honest answer is, failure to protect against intellectual property infringement would damage Blizzard’s rights. This applies to anything that uses WoW’s IP, including unofficial servers. And while we’ve looked into the possibility – there is not a clear legal path to protect Blizzard’s IP and grant an operating license to a pirate server.
We explored options for developing classic servers and none could be executed without great difficulty. If we could push a button and all of this would be created, we would. However, there are tremendous operational challenges to integrating classic servers, not to mention the ongoing support of multiple live versions for every aspect of WoW.
So what can we do to capture that nostalgia of when WoW first launched? Over the years we have talked about a “pristine realm”. In essence that would turn off all leveling acceleration including character transfers, heirloom gear, character boosts, Recruit-A-Friend bonuses, WoW Token, and access to cross realm zones, as well as group finder. We aren’t sure whether this version of a clean slate is something that would appeal to the community and it’s still an open topic of discussion.
One other note – we’ve recently been in contact with some of the folks who operated Nostalrius. They obviously care deeply about the game, and we look forward to more conversations with them in the coming weeks.
You, the Blizzard community, are the most dedicated, passionate players out there. We thank you for your constructive thoughts and suggestions. We are listening.
J. Allen Brack
Not much to say, vanilla lovers (hint: I am with you), we certainly hope that the things will come out good for you.