Home / Software & Gaming / Blizzard shuts down vanilla WoW private server with 150k active players

Blizzard shuts down vanilla WoW private server with 150k active players

World of Warcraft has really left its mark on the MMO world but there are people out there who still prefer the ‘vanilla’ experience, back before Blizzard launched any expansions or made major changes to the game. For those people, there have been private servers available to get a nostalgia fix but one of the largest and most active servers is being shut down this week, following a cease and desist from Blizzard.

Nostalrius servers offered the vanilla WoW experience to 800,000 players since it first opened up and over 150,000 players have remained active to this day, according to a petition written by the Nostalrius team in an effort to get them to change their minds. The petition has managed to gather up close to 47,000 supporters at the time of writing.

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Nostalrius will be shutting down on the 10th of April unless Blizzard changes its mind, which may be unlikely as there is no requirement to own or subscribe to the game in order to play on these servers.

In an effort to save the servers though, an open letter to Blizzard has been published alongside the petition, which explains why the vanilla server exists and expresses how popular the project was: “For roughly one year, it was an amazing journey for all of us, and for the 800,000 players who registered an account, including the 150,000 players who were active. We passionately reproduced the original progression you created throughout patches and content releases. The mighty Ahn Qiraj raid was to be released next month”.

“However, the French provider hosting our server recently received a formal letter written by french and US lawyers asking to shutdown our services because of Copyright Infringement prior to a lawsuit. As soon as we received the information, we decided to schedule the final shutdown of our World of Warcraft realms, as requested.”

“This message is written in hopes that changes may be made possible in the 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.”

Blizzard has yet to respond to the petition or comment on the open letter.

KitGuru Says: Blizzard has turned a blind eye to private servers in the past but it looks like this one in particular gained a larger following than they were comfortable with. It will be interesting to see what Blizzard’s response to the open letter and petition is. Would you guys like to see Blizzard allow vanilla WoW servers to exist? As a fairly new player of the game (I started last year) I’d be intrigued to see what it was like back then. 

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  • I honestly don’t think there are as many players wanting Vanilla servers to justify the making of one and maintenance cost from Blizzard’s part.
    Sure, 150k active players is a huge amount, but one has to question how many of those are playing on Nostalrius because of the Vanilla experience, and how many are there just because it’s a way to play WoW without paying the monthly subscription + expansions packs. I would bet far more are among the second group.

  • Tomos Woolley

    unless blizzard are willing to give people the chance to play at different times of the game ie vannilla tb wotlk cata mop wod and soon to be legion i don’t see why they shouldn’t let the privet servers do there part to cater to the people who prefer a different time. wow was a lot slower and tougher back in the day and envolved a lot more grinding and saving of gold for different things you didnt get a mount until level 40 iirc you had to pay a huge sum of gold for dual speciality

  • Marc Keirle

    not enough players he says haha, and the vast majority of players who play on Nos actually have a active sub for retail also much like myself and if you check the nos forums you will see that people would be more than happy to pay blizz for legacy servers , everyone on nos is playing for the vanilla experiance :/ , else they would be playing on the later xpac’s private server for wotlk , cata, mop and wod …

  • Marc Keirle

    Pretty sad tbh ,the only reason Actiblizz closed it was because between the PVP and the PVE realm they had the current population of 3 to 4 of WOD’s EU realms combined on retail lol and was still growing stronger , they need to wake up and relise that there is a very strong want for these legacy servers outside of the sesspit that is the wow forums , most especially since new Xpacs these days are more like COD DLC’s ….

  • Erdrick

    Blizzard would bring back SO MANY PLAYERS making official ‘timewalking’ servers, to use their terminology.

  • Mike

    Yeah fair to say you are incorrect here. These players are very passionate about warcraft it isn’t about being cheap.

  • Mike

    Blizzard won’t do it because they know Vanilla and BC are the best versions of the game and will make the new expansion content packs obsolete quickly =D

  • Simona Draksaite

    there are all sorts of private servers including those for the newest expansions. Those are also free. Yet Vanilla and BC private servers are the most popular by far.

  • Florence Brigance

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  • Tyrann

    I only made it to lvl 33 on nastralious with a warrior, i can’t believe i was able to make it to 60 back when WoW launched. But then again i was in college and didnt have to worry about a wife and bills LOL. Too bad they shut it down, it was fun going through the tuff stuff again

  • Agreed, ended up on Kronos with Nost down. Wish there was a PVE realm though.

  • Kaycbowyer1

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