Vanilla World of Warcraft was a wonderful thing. I think all WoW players will agree. As Blizzard developed their mighty MMORPG and added more expansions, WoW lost that special magic something.
Since the launch of WoW communities have worked hard at creating private servers, it took some time for the first ones to appear but eventually it became possible. One of the most popular and successful private servers in recent times is called Nostalrius, and unlike Blizzard’s own service, was completely free to use.
Blizzard’s legal team has now stepped in and ordered the service to shut down which has prompted a closure announcement from the team behind Nostalrius.
“Yesterday, we received a letter of formal notice from US and french lawyers, acting on behalf of Blizzard Entertainment, preparing to stand trial against our hosting company OVH and ourselves in less than a week now. This means the de facto end of Nostalrius under its current form.
“As soon as we received this letter, we decided to inform the team and players about the future of Nostalrius, where we have all passionately committed our time and energy as volunteers.
“Nostalrius Begins PvP, Nostalrius Begins PvE & Nostalrius TBC and all related servers will be definitively shutdown at 23:00 server time on the 10th of April 2016, if our hosting company keeps the server online for that long. It feels kind of unreal, but we want to continue to serve our players as we did, and the best we can in the remaining time.”
Nostalrius wasn’t a small community, there were 800,000 registered accounts with the servers reaching an online peak of 10,000. Requests for a Vanilla server have fallen on deaf ears at Blizzard but there’s obviously a demand for these early version servers as Nostalrius demonstrates.
In response to the Blizzard legal letter, the Nostalrius team has launched a petition asking for Blizzard to “link between Blizzard and volunteer based legacy servers”.
“We never saw our community as a threat for Blizzard. It sounds more like a transverse place where players can continue to enjoy old World of Warcraft’s games no longer available, maybe until a new expansion appears; a huge and powerful community of fans that remains attached to future Blizzard games, as we have in no other gaming company. We don’t have the pretention to come up with a complete solution regarding legacy servers that you and your company didn’t already think about, but we’d be glad and honored to share it with you if you’re interested, still on a volunteer basis.”
The petition is proving popular but it’s unlikely to make waves at Blizzard who will staunchly protect World of Warcraft and rightly so.