World of Warcraft Felmyst Fan Server Shut Down 5 Hours After Launch

Blizzard still doesn't like servers running different versions of its game.

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Many World of Warcraft fans miss the old vanilla days of the game. This has spurred some die-hard players to recreate versions of the game that don't include all the expansions and updates, called legacy servers. Unfortunately, Blizzard is not a fan as it again has sent out a cease-and-desist to the user made Felmyst server team recreating the first expansion, The Burning Crusade. 

The launch of the Felmyst server, spearheaded by user Gummy52, had been highly anticipated in the legacy WoW community. While many other Burning Crusade servers exist, this had been the highest profile because of its adherence to the way Blizzard's first expansion had played. Several thousand players had logged on in anticipation of the server's launch late last week, but no sooner was the server up, a Blizzard cease-and-desist letter had forced the server down five hours later (via ArsTechnica).

The crux of the C&D was in Felmyst "allow[ing] users to play altered and/or illegitimate copies of WoW online, without the need for a legitimately purchased copy or subscription... As you know, Blizzard has never authorized and, in fact, expressly prohibits the forgoing activity," the letter said. "Our client's copyrights are extremely valuable and Blizzard takes this matter very seriously," the letter continues. "As you can appreciate, your activity causes serious and irreparable injury to the value and integrity of our client's products and intellectual property."

The Felmyst site has since been taken down, except for a heartfelt note from Gummy52 and a short video of the C&D letter. There is also a follow-up post on reddit. Gummy knew that Blizzard was cracking down on legacy servers, but said he had so much time and effort invested in the project that he kept plodding ahead. He also announced that he had muscular dystrophy, which kept him on his current course rather than changing to something that would invite less scrutiny.

"The warning signs to expect notice from Blizzard were there but receiving it that quickly was something I don't think many expected," he said, but he kept working on it anyway, a move he says he doesn't regret. 

"So why did I make this project? I love the game and community, especially the community," he said. "The old game was a great way to meet people and see new faces. It makes me happy, and programming makes me happy. Of course, I am sad that things didn't turn out the way I'd hoped but I don't think I'd change any of the decisions I made. I gambled that we could cap the servers at 3k and enjoy a close community. Sadly, I did not win that gamble, though on some level it was nice to see so many people eager to enjoy something I worked on. This project gave the last four years of my life a sense of purpose that I thoroughly enjoyed."

Fans have not been happy, but given the situation, you really can't blame Gummy, other than continuing to pursue a project that could have been shutdown at any time previous. Blizzard C&D'd the popular Nostalrius server in April of last year. Blizzard talked with the creators and even considered launching their own "pristine realm," but nothing came of it. The Nostalrius team eventually gave their code to the Elysium project, which has since launched a Nostalrius-style setup with as yet no repercussions from Blizzard. 

While the situation is indeed frustrating, Blizzard's track record means that these type projects are undertaken at the creator's peril. You never know what will bring the eyes of corporate big brother on to the project, complete with C&D letters ready-made to go out on a moment's notice. Truth is you can only be lucky for so long. Popularity brings scrutiny, and while Blizzard like a rabid fan base, don't expect it to ever be happy with projects using their IP and assets.

Contributing Editor

From The Chatty

  • reply
    July 25, 2017 8:45 AM

    John Keefer posted a new article, World of Warcraft Felmyst Fan Server Shut Down 5 Hours After Launch

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        July 25, 2017 10:05 AM

        You need a new dictionary, sir.

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          July 25, 2017 10:07 AM

          Lol yeah that is not the common/colloquial understanding of sans at all.

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          July 25, 2017 10:21 AM

          No that is the correct definition of Sans and it is used incorrectly in the aforementioned article because fuck words changing to mean their opposite it's the worst trend in language I blame all you fucking hipster children GET OFF MY LAWN!

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            July 25, 2017 10:27 AM

            Actually I'm having a hard time finding any dictionary using the word that way, even Urban Dictionary just states San/Sans as substituting "without" or "being an over-hyped skeleton" which is just talking about the character in Undertale.

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          July 25, 2017 10:42 AM

          You all need to read more. Sans means without. It's crazy to suggest the meaning of a word should change because enough people who are ignorant of its meaning misuse use it.

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            July 25, 2017 10:44 AM

            We just had this discussion and apparently a fair number of people actually think enough misuse of a word should change it's definition. I dunno, people are fucking weird.

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              July 25, 2017 10:59 AM

              It does; words mean what people use them to mean. They have no inherent meaning, only what we use them as symbols for.

              Yes, it annoys me to no end, too, but it's how language works.

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              July 25, 2017 11:00 AM

              It's a word that's not even in the language they're using. They're trying to unilaterally alter other languages, lol.

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          July 25, 2017 2:29 PM

          Yeah, using a tautology as an example seems kind of sketchy.

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        July 25, 2017 10:51 AM

        I used it the wrong way, which is frustrating as i know it means without, not except for. It has been changed. I know better and stand corrected.

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          July 25, 2017 10:53 AM

          Sorry for the kerfuffle

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            July 25, 2017 10:55 AM

            don't you mean keefuffle

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            July 25, 2017 10:56 AM

            Not at all. I prefer to be corrected when i make stupid mistakes. I even looked at this thread saying "What are they talking about? It means without." Then i checked the story and realize I meant save not sans.

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              July 25, 2017 11:01 AM

              On the plus side, it does mean at least one chatty member read the article.

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                July 25, 2017 11:07 AM

                That is true. A step in the right direction ;)

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          July 25, 2017 11:07 AM

          Don't worry about it Keefinator. I'm just in a rare mood today and this one set me off on another one of my stupid, pedantic, and ultimately doomed tirades against the evolution of the worst global language.

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            July 25, 2017 11:08 AM

            Dude, I'm old-school newspaper. Journalist for 35 years. When i screw up a word, it pisses me off, so i deserve to be called out. Thanks.

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              July 25, 2017 11:09 AM

              Although I must admit i am frustrated that my faux pas caused more commentary than the story itself.

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                July 25, 2017 11:11 AM

                To be fair I started reading the comments before I got to your story and I'm like a third of this thread.... I'll see myself out now.

                It does suck though. Any community attempt to bring back a game that is effectively no longer available is getting shut down hard.

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                July 25, 2017 5:08 PM

                It's a tradition.

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      July 25, 2017 10:32 AM

      oh ya, also.. come on blizzard. let the kids have their fun.

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      July 25, 2017 11:23 AM

      I would love for official WoW shards of different xpacs, but it will never happen.

      Coincidentally, my friends and I stopped playing TBC on Hellfire for reasons other than server performance and uptime, and I'm now seeing they've had some problems and population is really bad now, I'm okay with it.

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      July 25, 2017 12:08 PM

      they shut down the server and fired the composer. Did he run the server?

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      July 25, 2017 2:41 PM

      I've been playing on private servers for about half a year. I played the beta of Gummy's server and it was by far the closest thing to an actual blizzard experience from 2007. It's a shame it got shut down but nobody playing was surprised at all. He made many mistakes and wasted 4 years time on the project. Really hope he gives up his core code and tools to the community.

      To be honest I enjoy the older versions of wow more then the current retail version. It has zero to do with fees I would gladly pay Blizzard for a vanilla or TBC server but i doubt it will happen.

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        July 25, 2017 2:43 PM

        I am playing on Truewow.org's primal server. Which is small and weird and a bit buggy but I still really enjoy it.

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      July 25, 2017 4:00 PM

      Someone needs to get a law in their country setup so you can play on legacy servers if you legally obtained the game. Then just run servers out of that country.

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        July 25, 2017 4:44 PM

        It's pretty easy to not get shut down. Step one is to not post about your shiny new server on Reddit.

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        July 25, 2017 5:07 PM

        How would you verify that?

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        July 25, 2017 9:53 PM

        There already is a server that does that