Earlier this month, Blizzard shut down Nostalrius, a popular (though unofficial) private World of Warcraft server that enabled people to play the game as it was back in 2004.
Fans did not respond well. A lot of people seemed to understand that Blizzard had every right to protect their IP, but most of the frustrations stemmed from the fact that this private server was offering something Blizzard just weren’t – a chance to play classic World of Warcraft.
Well, Blizzard has finally broken its silence on the matter and addressed the community directly.
WOW executive producer J. Allen Brack wrote on the game’s forum:
We explored options for developing classic servers and none could be executed without great difficulty he added. “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.
Apparently, Blizzard have been discussing the concept of a pristine realm, and seem to be gauging interest for such a thing in the above thread.
Brack described the pristine realm as something that would turn off all levelling 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.
Referring directly to the closure of Nostalrius, Brack went on to say that Blizzard had to protect the company’s intellectual property, and that failure to do so would damage Blizzard’s rights.
Still, there’s a small glimmer of hope on the horizon. Brack revealed that he and Blizzard had been in touch with the operators of Nostalrius, and looked forward to “more conversations” with them in the future.
Perhaps this slight change of heart has something to do with the Change.org petition that has more than 235,000 signatures. Let’s hope something great from this in the end.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.