Back in April, Blizzard shut down Nostalrius, an immensely popular (though definitely illegal) World of Warcraft server that enabled people to play a 2004 version of the game.
The fan outcry was staggering, and it seems that Blizzard has actually sat up and taken notice.
See, it’s not just that Blizzard shut down the server, it’s that they have never even tried to offer the fans a legacy server, despite the fact they’ve been asking for years. Blizzard took away the only place that delivered what a huge amount of gamers actually wanted from WoW.
Not long after the closure of Nostalrius, Blizzard responded. It turned out they understood why fans wanted a legacy server, and agreed to meet with the team behind the private server.
So amazingly, a group of people that essentially pirated World of Warcraft recently got to sit down with some of Blizzard’s elite, including Mike Morhaime (CEO), J. Allen Brack (WoW executive producer), Tom Chilton (game director), Ion Hazzikostas (assistant game director) and Marco Koegler (technical director).
A meeting that was meant to last for two hours ended up going on for five – and the team were actually allowed to talk about it afterwards!
So how did it go? A summary of their big day out over at Blizzard HQ was shared on the Nostalrius forum, but I’ll sum up the major points here.
The most important thing is that Team Nostalrius now seem to think that Blizzard definitely want to have legacy WoW servers, and that “they DO have the source code for Vanilla WoW“.
Of course, the reality seems to be more complicated. Blizzard would need everything from the source code, through to data, models, maps and more – the problem is that some of this might not actually exist anymore.
Still, the Nostalrius team summed their day up on an optimistic note
The good surprise of the meeting was the level of engagement of all these Blizzard people toward making legacy servers a reality. The downside is the technical difficulty it will take to reach our objective. Blizzard is now well aware of the amount of players willing to play legacy servers, something which wasn’t the case until Nostalrius shutdown.
So there’s still no official word on when, or if, we’ll ever see a proper Legacy server – but this is definitely progress.