Blizzard’s J. Allen Brack responds to legacy servers and Nostalrius
Well, if you’ve been waiting for Blizzard to address the issue of Legacy Servers, wait no longer. CM Nethaera made a post on the forums today, placing J. Allen Brack’s response to the community on the issue front and center for us all to read. The Executive Producer and Vice President for World of Warcraft went into some detail on why Blizzard doesn’t just flip a switch and turn a server with an older version of World of Warcraft on, as well as going into detail on ideas Blizzard has considered to satisfy people who are nostalgic for days of WoW past.
Our silence on this subject definitely doesn’t reflect our level of engagement and passion around this topic. We hear you. Many of us across Blizzard and the WoW Dev team have been passionate players ever since classic WoW. In fact, I personally work at Blizzard because of my love for classic WoW.
We have been discussing classic servers for years – it’s a topic every BlizzCon – and especially over the past few weeks. From active internal team discussions to after-hours meetings with leadership, this subject has been highly debated. Some of our current thoughts:
Why not just let Nostalrius continue the way it was? The honest answer is, failure to protect against intellectual property infringement would damage Blizzard’s rights. This applies to anything that uses WoW’s IP, including unofficial servers. And while we’ve looked into the possibility – there is not a clear legal path to protect Blizzard’s IP and grant an operating license to a pirate server.
We explored options for developing classic servers and none could be executed without great difficulty. 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.
So what can we do to capture that nostalgia of when WoW first launched? Over the years we have talked about a “pristine realm”. In essence that would turn off all leveling acceleration including character transfers, heirloom gear, character boosts, Recruit-A-Friend bonuses, WoW Token, and access to cross realm zones, as well as group finder. We aren’t sure whether this version of a clean slate is something that would appeal to the community and it’s still an open topic of discussion.
One other note – we’ve recently been in contact with some of the folks who operated Nostalrius. They obviously care deeply about the game, and we look forward to more conversations with them in the coming weeks.
You, the Blizzard community, are the most dedicated, passionate players out there. We thank you for your constructive thoughts and suggestions. We are listening.
J. Allen Brack
It’s interesting to see pristine realms mentioned as a way to give players some of the feeling of Vanilla WoW back without having to actually bring back decades old code designed to work on computers that have been outdated for just as long. I don’t know if it would be enough for the truly nostalgic players out there — it would still be the post-Cataclysm update world, just a version of it where you couldn’t heirloom or RAF or otherwise boost your way to max level, and conveniences like LFD would be disabled. Is that sufficient for people who play on private servers to get their ‘old time WoW‘ fix? I honestly couldn’t say, but it’s an intriguing notion.
At any rate, we’ll see what comes from the discussion the post mentions. I suspect Brack and the rest of Blizzard will be answering those questions again this BlizzCon as well.
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