Blizzard finally discusses shutting down vanilla World of Warcraft server Nostalrius

Protecting its IP rights is paramount, but Blizzard understands the need.

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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, 

Contributing Editor

From The Chatty

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      April 26, 2016 7:46 AM

      A+ deflection, interested to see if they bring those guys onto the team officially or something

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        April 26, 2016 8:42 AM

        That's what I was thinking. Since that already exists, vs Blizz trying to re-invent the wheel (which they're known to do *cough*Heroes*cough*) I could see spinning off a small side-company to manage vanilla WoW. However, I get what he's saying about trying to offer on-going support, even if it's just account level stuff like getting locked out, subscription issues, connection issues, etc. It would still have to fit into their operational tools. That's probably the real challenge they're facing. They wouldn't be able to offer it as-is. It would still have to be connected to bnet.

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      April 26, 2016 7:51 AM

      some quick typos: "thatthe" "compnay" "wih"

      does the shack platform disable the browser's spell checker?

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        April 26, 2016 7:57 AM

        Those are to catch copiers. If the same typo shows up somewhere else we know who to sue

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      April 26, 2016 7:52 AM

      I do like their direct answer, but their reticence hints to me that they have some plans in the works.

      Meanwhile I started back on Excalibur last night :-p I honestly don't know if I would be willing to resub for it though l.

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      April 26, 2016 8:52 AM

      I assume by "in touch" with the other developers they mean the C&D letters.

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      April 26, 2016 12:26 PM

      "We explored options for developing classic servers and none could be executed without great difficulty"

      Yet a group of people who didn't even get paid to do it, were able to do it.

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        April 26, 2016 12:44 PM

        Yeah, precisely because they weren't getting paid to do it.

        "Great difficulty" means "would have cost more money than we expect it would earn."

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          April 26, 2016 12:58 PM

          True, but that still suck. it's not like they are cash strapped.

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        April 26, 2016 1:06 PM

        This is short-sighted. Blizz doing this in an official capacity would require a much larger scope than the emulator path.

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          April 26, 2016 1:14 PM

          Yeah, for one thing, they'd have to reimplement all of the changes that have gone into their login and account infrastructure in the last 10 years, like supporting the Battle.net app, RealID, authenticators, etc. None of that stuff is in the vanilla codebase, and there's no way to not implement it without leaving Battle.net accounts vulnerable.

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            April 26, 2016 1:20 PM

            Also, this is why no developer, anywhere, ever wants to deploy old code to fix a problem. You never know what shit has changed that it won't work with anymore. I suspect that for them to release vanilla WoW, they'd have to rewrite a huge chunk of the game anyway.