When I first logged into “World of Warcraft” with my classmates in 2005 I played it 12 hours straight, with my night elf warrior whose name I sadly already forgot. I never got that far, I think hardly to level 40, but it was this new digital world full of secrets and treasures and discoveries. When I tried to get back into the game a couple of years ago, everything, even the world, had changed.
A couple of fans wanted to preserve the feeling of the classic “World of Warcraft”, without the expansions which, according to those fans, destroyed their game for good, with a private (and, yes, illegal) server called Nostalrius, where nearly 150.000 active players were logged in on a regular basis. But Blizzard shut it down a couple of weeks ago. Fans were furious and tried to change the decision.
The whole thing about private and official servers started a huge debate on the Internet, where the one side said it’s okay to have those private servers because those people wouldn’t pay for a “World of Warcraft” subscription anyway, and the other side was adamant that those kinds of servers are illegal and shouldn’t be allowed under any circumstances.
Now the people over at Blizzard broke their silence about the idea of bringing official vanilla servers to “World of Warcraft.” “We wanted to let you know that we’ve been closely following the Nostalrius discussion and we appreciate your constructive thoughts and suggestions”, executive producer J. Allen Brack wrote on the game’s forum page. “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.”
So, will there be an official vanilla server? “We have been discussing classic servers for years and especially over the past few weeks”, he adds. “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.”
Why not just bring the people over at Nostalrius to Blizzard? “We’ve recently been in contact with some of the folks who operated Nostalrius”, J. Allen Brack says. “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.”
Would I go back to “World of Warcraft”, when there was an official vanilla server? I don’t know, maybe. I like the idea of a small but passionate community to play a game together. Although I’m not the biggest fans of massively multiplayer online role-playing games, I would definitively try it. Because I like and kinda miss the old WoW which I played with my classmates, back in 2005.
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