September 28th, 2018

Nostalrius backpedal and sever ties with Elysium World of Warcraft legacy team

Nostalrius backpedal and sever ties with Elysium World of Warcraft legacy team

Last year the team behind the unofficial World of Warcraft legacy server,  Nostalrius, became frustrated with Blizzard’s lack of response to an announcement on legacy servers at BlizzCon. Enough was enough. They released their source code to the Elysium project (another unofficial server team) and offered character transfers from Nostalrius to the new Elysium legacy servers which launched in December.

This move was strange because Nostalrius had made it their main goal to have Blizzard onboard and work with them helping Blizzard create an official WoW legacy service. In deciding to pass on the source code to Elysium, and eventually make it public, it can be viewed as more of a tantrum in response to Blizzard’s lack of interest on the matter.

In our last major announcement, we shared our plan to honor our core values and reunite the Legacy WoW community once again. As we explained, the goal was to relieve pressure on Blizzard by providing a home for vanilla WoW in order to lower tensions and begin building a WoW community that includes Legacy WoW players.

However, when looking back to what happened, we have the feeling that the main objective was missed.

The following values that have always been at the heart of any of our actions:

  • Achieving official Blizzard Legacy servers
  • Helping as much as we can to unify the WoW community together

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.

The comments above are very strange, surely they realised that allowing Elysium to continue running unofficial World of Warcraft servers was not going to help their cause? The horse has now bolted, character transfers were made and the project was effectively handed over to Elysium. Nostalrius continue to explain why they think the transfer was a bad move.

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. 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.

Nostalrius are now making a bizarre request to Elysium and to players who transferred accounts.

We ask Elysium to join this effort for Legacy realms by stopping to use data that we provided. We know they aim at official legacy realms as we do. We have already stopped the account transfer process from our side as a first step.

We want to apologize to the former Nostalrius players who transferred their account. We understand that our decision to ask Elysium to stop using our data might bring you pain.

After meeting Blizzard last year, there was hope that Blizzard would eventually come around to working with Nostalrius and launch an official World of Warcraft legacy service for fans. That was their goal. Now they’ve realised their actions have done nothing to help their cause.

Nostalrius community is no longer about private servers, it is about official legacy realms.

In response, Elysium is complying with their request and will remoVe all Elysium code over the next two weeks and “all Nostalrius specific data will be wiped” and “all future Nostalrius related data will be denied”. Elysium has been working on their Anathema code which they say will be “equal to or superior to the Nostalrius core”.

The impatience and terrible decision making of Nostalrius have probably scuppered any plans of working with Blizzard.  Blizzard will have viewed the transfer of code and accounts to a new non-official service as unprofessional. After all, it was last May that Nostalrius announced they would not release the source code only to hand it over when it looked like they were at an impasse with Blizzard.

It would not be surprising if Blizzard ignored future requests from Nostalrius to help make legacy servers a reality, at least when it comes to working with them specifically. All the good work achieved prior to and after meeting Blizzard will likely have been undone.

If this whole episode tells us anything, Nostalrius has no idea how to handle the whole situation and the organisation is lacking professionalism.

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  • Paul Younger

    Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

    • Mark Laurence Piggott

      Author is an idiot. Blizzard (Activation) don’t give a fuck, and Nostalrius was forcing their hand by giving away their code in reaction to severe apathy and disrespect on Blizzard’s behalf. Elysium have copied Nostralrius code and refused to delete any successfully transferred Player Characters.

      Vanilla WoW is technically abandonware, so Blizzard needs to either use Vanilla WoW or give up their PR-damaging C&D demands

      • Paul Younger

        I think Blizzard do care. Hence the reason they asked Nostalrius to visit Blizzard. Blizzard may be apathetic, but throwing a hissy-fit is not the best way to push Blizzard towards official vanilla WoW servers.

        • jay jones

          Blizzard invited Nostalrius because of all the blowback they were receiving as a result of shutting them down. It was nothing more then a PR stunt for Blizzard since they have established time and time again that legacy servers are not something they want to pursue, and rightfully so since Blizzard running legacy servers would essentially be an admission that the game in its current form is no longer fun (which it isn’t), and they will never do that as long as they are still making money off of it.

        • Z.

          LOL are you really that blind? Blizzard DONT GIVE NO FUCKS.

        • Sam Peckinpah

          Someone has got to have a little backbone and stand up to these multi-billion dollar corporations that don’t give the slightest FUCK about the players. Bottom line is quarter profits. They deserve no respect for what they have done.

          • elefkay

            Blizzard doesn’t care, because the majority of people are happy with them.
            Now go outside and get some sun !!!!!

      • Viking Mana

        Demanding that people don’t pirate your product, and run a free version of your subscription-based game isn’t “PR-Damaging”. Blizzard has every right to shut down any unofficial World of Warcraft server, and they’d be silly not to. This wasn’t some pet-project with 10-1000 players, this was huge. I don’t think you understand the possible legal risks Blizzard would be running if they did *not* shut down Nostalrius.

        Either way, the fact that the Nostalrius team acted like a bunch of angry teens, sharing their code and encouraging their community to continue to pirate the product, was probably the nail in the coffin. They had a chance to get taken seriously, and they completely messed it up. Extremely unprofessional, outright childish behavior (Not to mention illegal).

        • Darth Digital

          Blizzard has abandoned the product that I purchased, the original World of Warcraft game, so I don’t consider it piracy at all. I consider it a betrayal by the company that took my money, not just for the original purchase, but all those monthly subscription payments too… and then forbade me to use that product.

          I’m more than willing to pay Blizzard a monthly subscription fee, even now, to get my game back. Blizzard won’t even take my money, regrettably, so I have to depend on a third party to reverse-engineer (not pirate) the product.

          So, you do you… but be aware that preaching from your pedestal won’t change anyone’s mind. Belittling those who have voluntarily given of their time and effort to make it possible for the rest of us to play the game we paid for doesn’t do much to support your opinion, either.

          • Viking Mana

            I’m really just one line into your reply, and I’m already going to have to stop you: It’s fine that you don’t personally consider it piracy – But the law does, and that’s all that matters. Laws aren’t a matter of opinion. You don’t get to rob a bank, and then go “Well, I figured that the money didn’t really belong to the bank anyway, so it was okay?” to get away with it.

            When you buy a game that’s built on and ever-changing formula, you have to expect that the base product, at some point, will not be available. I could say that I preferred Minecraft in the late beta, but that wouldn’t justify me pirating it, or me wailing at Mojang for years about releasing “Legacy Versions”.

            And you can try and use “Reverse-Engineer” as a clever substitute for piracy – But it’s still piracy. They’re still running an illegal version of a game they don’t own. And I’d hazard a guess and say that they started off using a premade server package. They didn’t build the game from scratch.

            Now, I’m not belittling anyone, but you could take any game that has changed, and say the exact same thing. “I thought Diablo 3 was better with the auction house – Give us legacy D3 servers!” – “I thought Hearthstone was better vanilla, give us vanilla hearthstone” etc. Fact is that Blizzard can’t please everyone. Another fact that remains is that a lot of Nostalrius players were only playing because it was free WoW, and not for the nostalgia.

            Here’s the kicker: I completely agree with you that legacy realms WOULD be awesome. Companies not archiving or providing access to old products is a problem. Blizzard is especially bad, given how it’s not only vanilla WoW that’s out of reach, but Diablo 1 and arguably Diablo 2, which doesn’t play well with modern systems, and neither of which is accessible through their client. Regardless of that, piracy isn’t really the solution here. Or maybe it is, but you can’t expect Blizzard not to fight it.

    • Tom Ryan

      Blizzard was literally not even returning their calls since day 2. They met, said it went well, and the line went dead for a year. Official vanilla servers were never going to happen.

      “After the meeting with Blizzard, we continued to reach out regarding the issues they raised in order to help them as much as possible and to speed up the process of an official release. Trust us, we were ready to work like hell on that, even more than before in order to help WoW team. But we never received any response to these questions, even after 4 months. Then, we tried to show our motivation to solve the issues from a different angle by working on mature proposals (studies, cost analysis, schedules, milestones, etc.), including a complete transfer of technology of our existing work, fixing the few remaining issues we had, official Battle.Net integration on Legacy to enhance community driven strategy and other more complex IT topics, all of this on a volunteer basis. Why? Our only goal was to nullify as much as possible the impact of Legacy on the WoW team so that everyone could be pleased with the result. We knew that having even a single person from the current WoW Team working on Legacy might not be seen in a positive light by the Legion community, something we understand. Sadly, we never received any answers to these proposals either.”

      • Paul Younger

        To put it in a proper timeline, it was actually about five months after meeting Blizzard they decided to release the code. Meanwhile, Blizzard were trying to get Legion launched so nobody expected anything from Blizzard until after Legion.

        An announcement by Blizzard would have been possible but it would mean Blizzard would have had to have worked out all the details to make such a big announcement and I doubt there would have been time to do that. Blizzard were slow to respond, but I have a feeling there is more to their decision not to respond than is actually known.

        • Z.

          what do you mean “slow to respond” THEY NEVER RESPONDED, EVER, TO ANY EMAIL OR CONTACT WHATSOEVER…. get your facts straight dude.

    • Vlud Bud

      Wow did nost screwed this up bad. At least elysium seem like they know what they are doing. Nost look like total chaos. Thanks for helping give us elysium at least. The movement rolls on without Nost.

    • Shaun Dreclin

      “In response, Elysium is complying with their request and will remore all Elysium code over the next two weeks”
      I think you meant *remove* all *Nostalrius* code, there.

      • notta

        Get a life. We all know what they meant. What a douche.

    • char

      Elysium is Nost IMO

      It was well established that Blizzard could easily go after the Nost team.

      They created another entity, all the devs went over, the code went over, the characters went over. Now Nost is cutting ties so they can’t be blamed for the current servers.

      I believe everything went as planned.

    • Darth Digital

      Nost is being played by Blizzard. Rest assured that Blizzard will never create legacy servers, and anyone who thinks so is delusional. Now, Blizzard has got to be laughing at how easily they managed to cause dissension within the legacy community and provide more reason for ridicule within the retail community.

    • Juan Carlos Solitario

      So, its safe to start playing on Elysium? It will not rollback or close, right?
      Vanilla wow is so hard and give me so many good memories… i wanna try it again.