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.
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.