Vanilla World of Warcraft holds a lot of fond memories for many players. I know I hit rank 12 in PvP before they nuked it for arenas and I wear my Marshal title with pride. But when it comes to running the original game on unauthorized servers, Blizzard says it had to put its proverbial foot down.
Blizzard is finally talking about the reasoning behind it's cease & desist order it sent to the owners of the vanilla WoW server Nostalrius earlier this month. Executive producer J. Allen Brack said that Blizzard needs to protect its IP rights or risk losing them, but he says the company understands that the game in its original form has an allure for a lot of players.
"We explored options for developing classic servers and none could be executed without great difficulty," Brack said in its forum post. "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."
Brack said the company has even looked into creating what it called a "pristine realm" where everything would be turned off. No leveling acceleration or character transfers, no heirloom gear, character boosts, Recruit-A-Friend bonuses, WoW Tokens, or access to cross realm zones, as well as group finder. He said they are still exploring that option.
Finally, he said the company has been in touch with the people that ran Nostalrius. "They obviously care deeply about the game, and we look forward to more conversations with them in the coming weeks." Whether Blizzard is just gaining feedback on other options or actively talking about letting Nostalrius reopen in a different format is unclear, but at least they are talking.
If they ever did find a way to bring vanilla WoW back, I'd probably try that server even for a little while. I can really understand why nostalgia in games is so popular right now,