Mark Kern, Blizzard, and the Legacy (Servers) of World of Warcraft

Mark Kern, Blizzard, and the Legacy (Servers) of World of Warcraft

Mark Kern, former team lead for World of Warcraft, has thrown his weight behind the team that created Nostalrius, a fan-run server dedicated to hosting "vanilla" WoW that was shut down earlier this month.

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Isn't Mark Kern the guy who basically left Blizzard before the first expansion ever even released? Had worked on a single game since then with Red 5, Firefall, spend over 100 million dollars trying to promote the game, which turned out to be mediocre at best, only to be voted out as CEO from a company he basically started?

Sorry but I'm not inclined to listen to him, he may have been around Blizzard during some big games, maybe he was a "team leader" whatever that title actually comes with.For all we know that may just mean he steps out of his office every few hours to make sure programmers and artists were still alive and doing their job. But he hasn't exactly had much on his resume in almost 10 years.

I also get a vibe of arrogance with him that just rubs me the wrong way. Yes, 250 thousand people signed a petition. We don't know how accurate that is , but it can be allowed some leeway for duplicate signs, and for those who hadn't signed to begin with. The question is when the dust settles in the event Blizzard does indeed introduce "legacy servers" how many would actually be left standing? People assume it'll be in the millions. How many are already subscribed, and thus would make no difference? How many would try it out, and subsequently never play legacy servers again? How many left then? 250 thousand? 100 thousand? 50 thousand? How much of an actual pull would it be to justify pulling off programmers and buy server space and maintain it?

"You changed the games for the outcry of one fan" Where the hell does that come from? Since when, ever, in Blizzard's entire history, did they change something for one fan? I'm genuinely curious about this one. If thats just hyperbole or if he's just pulling that out of his ass.

Out of those 250k, how many of them would pay for subs who don't already have them? Then there's the question of nostalgia vs. reality. In all likelihood, people who miss the vanilla days aren't exactly remembering the truth. I've been a WoW player since beta, though my first account has been long banned by way of a poor choice incident that allowed a person to appropriate my account and use it to cheat by way of glitch/bug exploits that ended with a permaban. Lost a bunch of top level characters near the end of the Burning Crusade cycle, some who still had Naxx content that is now no longer attainable. (just backstory not relevant except to establish length of play).

However, from that perspective of having been part of WoW since the beginning I can recall the things that made the game fun back in the day prior to BC and post-BC. The community was a big part, the mechanics were not. It was wonky, tons of talents in the tree that were useless at best, shit at worst and a few viable builds, of which one had to subscribe to cookiecutter builds per class to be considered for a raid. Also some classes at certain points were absolutely useless. I recall when Paladins had to be overhauled because they had no viable specs that would make them necessary. I also recall one point where Shamans were so OP that Horde had a distinct advantage during PvP and only top-tier players could counter it unless said shamans were also top tier.

The fact is, the game itself wasn't better back then, the community was the glue that held an unbalanced game together. Once Blizzard started to mold the talent trees to a more viable state where multiple choices actually had merit, some people did complain. However those complaints did come from sources that might have been self-biased, meaning the changes wrought no longer gave certain folks an advantage and it pissed them off.

Raiding guilds during Vanilla and BC were also hell on wheels at times. It wasn't so much that the content was hard, it was poorly designed for inclusivity. Meaning that you had to have a certain makeup, that some classes were left by the wayside during certain raids because you couldn't substitute. It wasn't balanced.

Would I love to be able to play on a Vanilla or BC or Wrath era server? Yeah I would. Do I think that it would bring players back? Perhaps some, but not as many as people actually think would come back. The fact of the matter is that a lot of former players have lives that may no longer support WoW, others have just moved on and closed that chapter. The general base that made up the original WoW community is gone for the most part, and it isn't coming back.

It'd be wonderful if WoW had preserved era servers but I'm not going to feel wronged if they have chosen not to pursue that. Its not as easy as the private server folks make it sound and I'm certain that Blizzard would do it if they honestly felt the money was there. They aren't stupid.

This whole debacle is once again a case of gamers acting like they know how the process works when they literally know jack shit about it. Yet alone the business side of it. On top of that they think that simply having boat loads of money means they can spend it on whatever the fuck they want and it will work.

People keep toting around the 250k active users list, but by Blizzard standards that's absolute shit for them. Of the 250k how many of them are going to be willing to pay for the service? (Money doesn't grow on trees and teams NEED to be payed for the time they spent working on this.) how many of those 250k active users are going to pay for long enough periods of time to make it worth it?
What is the potential growth of the server? How many new players will this attract? And how many of those new players are going to stick around? How many programmers within Blizzard's team are going to WANT to pull their hair out over shit old code? Do you like working on Windows XP and below? Having to relearn all the bullshit rules that came with those outdated software? I sure don't.

What I'm trying to get at is that this is the most niche audience catering that Blizzard could ever do.
Most of those users don't support WoW anymore. I'm pretty sure most of those users wouldn't want to pay a dime for any of this. And it's failure shines through when you look at the financials and see that the server-despite it's popularity was on it's deathbed anyway. They literally couldn't keep up with the costs and they were going to shut down anyway. Blizzard just put the bullet in a dying dogs head to end it's suffering. People wanted this server bad and they couldn't even put their money where their mouth was to keep it running.

Okay, I'm seeing a lot of opinion of Mark being touted as proof against the idea of a Legacy server or Legacy servers period.

Let's establish some facts first and foremost.

Nostalrius lasted a little over a year.
Nostalrius had 800,000 accounts.
Nostalrius had 150,000 active users. (Meaning they regularly played.
Nostalrius was a private server for vanilla WoW that had a volunteer team of about 30 people.

Now, let's get into the speculative bits of my post here.

World of Warcraft is made up of dozens of servers. Each server has a pop cap when high population of around 15,000. Maybe a little more. This isn't concurrent login so much as accounts with characters on said server.

Now, even if only 10% of Nostalrius' active user base subbed back to WoW to play on a Legacy Server. That would fill said server. It is not at all unreasonable to expect a rate of 1 in 10 resubbing at least a month or two to play on an official legacy server. And the claims that this is just some passing novelty kind of fall flat in the face of the fact that Nostalrius grew over that year to those huge numbers.

There are professionally developed, released, and active MMOs that don't boast numbers that good. People want to argue that "Blizzard isn't made of money" and then act like another 15,000 people or more paying for a sub each month is demand that should be ignored. Which is it? Can they afford to leave money on the table or can they not afford to spend any?

I think I'd trust Mark Kern. The guy who was a team lead on vanilla WoW, and has dealt with modern game development, to at least give reasonably accurate ball park estimates over people with likely zero game development experience criticizing people for being presumptuous. The guy at least knows enough to give an idea of how feasible the idea is. He's also not wrong to criticize the official blizzard statement for its obvious contradictory sentiments.

"It's not feasible to support two versions of the game simultaneously"
But they offered the idea of a "Pristine Server" that's actually more of a headache than a final patch legacy server would be.

"It would be a lot of work to make Vanilla WoW work with our modern API and overlay setup."
But they've done so with Warcraft 3, Diablo 2, and other legacy products. Some of which are well over a decade old and wouldn't potentially bring in significant more income.

Much of the criticisms of the idea of a Legacy server are proven wrong simply by Nostalrius' year of growth and the clear success they were enjoying.

How many server racks are currently sitting on low pop servers for WoW right now? The game's seen a massive contraction of subs in the past year and a half. It wouldn't be nightmarishly difficult to combine the hardware from two low population servers into one physical server. Put aside one server's worth of hardware for a Legacy Server. Then work with the Nostalrius code and volunteers to get at least a feasible model working.

Remember, one single month of a full Legacy server would give blizzard 225,000 dollars in that single month. You're telling me that they can't spend a couple weeks doing software development with a small side team of 3-5 people to potentially bring in another quarter million dollars in a single month? And that's assuming a 10% Nostalrius active user number in subs. There's a solid chance it could be higher. Especially over time. It seems a small financial risk for a potentially big gain. And Kern's reiterated that there's a LOT of reasons to at least try to setup a legacy server.

It doesn't help that blizzards reasoning sounds more like excuses.

Blizzard South is so full of shit here, not that they weren't already a fucking disgrace with the all crap that followed after in the later expansions (like paying for mounts), but their piss poor excuses are just exactly that.

There has always been plenty of private vanilla servers open, and some of them expand over time (then attacked by Blizzard when they grow enough), but there are plenty still going, and many in other country's (especially that are not vanilla) so this makes no fucking sense!

A friend of mine even set up a private vanilla WoW server once, and he didn't find it difficult to adjust everything and welcome others to play either, so this talk about the cost and sustaining a legacy server seems like arbitrary bullshit too.

Also, isn't Blizzard South a billion dollar company now? You know, backed by Casthivision and they bought out Esports or something? Yeah, this behaviour doesn't surprise me from a bunch of sell-outs.

I don't want to Blizzard South to make vanilla servers though, since they're against it and they think so little of their customers. No, I just want them to fuck off! I'd rather play vanilla myself but I don't want to give money to that cancerous shithole.

Jirekianu:
Okay, I'm seeing a lot of opinion of Mark being touted as proof against the idea of a Legacy server or Legacy servers period.

Let's establish some facts first and foremost.

Nostalrius lasted a little over a year.
Nostalrius had 800,000 accounts.
Nostalrius had 150,000 active users. (Meaning they regularly played.
Nostalrius was a private server for vanilla WoW that had a volunteer team of about 30 people.

Now, let's get into the speculative bits of my post here.

World of Warcraft is made up of dozens of servers. Each server has a pop cap when high population of around 15,000. Maybe a little more. This isn't concurrent login so much as accounts with characters on said server.

Now, even if only 10% of Nostalrius' active user base subbed back to WoW to play on a Legacy Server. That would fill said server. It is not at all unreasonable to expect a rate of 1 in 10 resubbing at least a month or two to play on an official legacy server. And the claims that this is just some passing novelty kind of fall flat in the face of the fact that Nostalrius grew over that year to those huge numbers.

There are professionally developed, released, and active MMOs that don't boast numbers that good. People want to argue that "Blizzard isn't made of money" and then act like another 15,000 people or more paying for a sub each month is demand that should be ignored. Which is it? Can they afford to leave money on the table or can they not afford to spend any?

I think I'd trust Mark Kern. The guy who was a team lead on vanilla WoW, and has dealt with modern game development, to at least give reasonably accurate ball park estimates over people with likely zero game development experience criticizing people for being presumptuous. The guy at least knows enough to give an idea of how feasible the idea is. He's also not wrong to criticize the official blizzard statement for its obvious contradictory sentiments.

"It's not feasible to support two versions of the game simultaneously"
But they offered the idea of a "Pristine Server" that's actually more of a headache than a final patch legacy server would be.

"It would be a lot of work to make Vanilla WoW work with our modern API and overlay setup."
But they've done so with Warcraft 3, Diablo 2, and other legacy products. Some of which are well over a decade old and wouldn't potentially bring in significant more income.

Much of the criticisms of the idea of a Legacy server are proven wrong simply by Nostalrius' year of growth and the clear success they were enjoying.

How many server racks are currently sitting on low pop servers for WoW right now? The game's seen a massive contraction of subs in the past year and a half. It wouldn't be nightmarishly difficult to combine the hardware from two low population servers into one physical server. Put aside one server's worth of hardware for a Legacy Server. Then work with the Nostalrius code and volunteers to get at least a feasible model working.

Remember, one single month of a full Legacy server would give blizzard 225,000 dollars in that single month. You're telling me that they can't spend a couple weeks doing software development with a small side team of 3-5 people to potentially bring in another quarter million dollars in a single month? And that's assuming a 10% Nostalrius active user number in subs. There's a solid chance it could be higher. Especially over time. It seems a small financial risk for a potentially big gain. And Kern's reiterated that there's a LOT of reasons to at least try to setup a legacy server.

It doesn't help that blizzards reasoning sounds more like excuses.

225k is not a lot of money for a AAA company in a month. It costs Blizzard around 140 thousand dollars to maintain wow a day. A DAY. They would need more then 4 million dollars a month to maintain that. What is that equate to? 1/18th? Even at 5 million subscribers, they make 75 million a month.

It would probably cost a couple hundred thousand dollars just to get it up and running. You might be thinking "oh but these guys at Nost did it for free" Well guess what, Blizzard is a company, they would have to pay people living wages in order to get any work done. It isn't simply something that is free, by virtue that if someone in their company does something, they are paid to do it.

Let's say it takes a team of 30 people to get this up and running. And let's say for the sake of argument, each employee makes roughly 90 grand a year, or roughly 7,500 dollars a month. It would cost blizzard a total of... well I'll be damned, 225k. Roughly the amount suggested they would make in a month, just to get it functional. 225k would be just enough to pay the wage of 30 blizzard employees for a month, out of the 4000 currently employed across all projects.

As it stands, Legacy servers probably aren't very profitable.

dragongit:

225k is not a lot of money for a AAA company in a month. It costs Blizzard around 140 thousand dollars to maintain wow a day. A DAY. They would need more then 4 million dollars a month to maintain that. What is that equate to? 1/18th? Even at 5 million subscribers, they make 75 million a month.

It would probably cost a couple hundred thousand dollars just to get it up and running. You might be thinking "oh but these guys at Nost did it for free" Well guess what, Blizzard is a company, they would have to pay people living wages in order to get any work done. It isn't simply something that is free, by virtue that if someone in their company does something, they are paid to do it.

Let's say it takes a team of 30 people to get this up and running. And let's say for the sake of argument, each employee makes roughly 90 grand a year, or roughly 7,500 dollars a month. It would cost blizzard a total of... well I'll be damned, 225k. Roughly the amount suggested they would make in a month, just to get it functional. 225k would be just enough to pay the wage of 30 blizzard employees for a month, out of the 4000 currently employed across all projects.

As it stands, Legacy servers probably aren't very profitable.

You're vastly over estimating the costs here and underestimating the interest. It cost blizzard 140k a day during it's height. Considering it's not even 1/3 of that anymore cost most certainly are less. Not to mention they have offline servers that are just sitting there. All it would take to bring back WOTLK is the old server files(which they have in archive)and a small team a few months to make the changes needed to get things running again. At most this server would cost 175k to start up. To break even it would require 35k people to play. I'd assume a good portion of people already playing wow would pay for a month to check it out, along with a fair number that will come back because they heard the wow they knew was coming back. I think it would be a safe bet to say people that would at least pay for the first month would be north of a million.
But the reason Blizzard won't do that is the same reason paramount won't allow anymore pre-reboot Star Trek. It would detract from whats currently in development. In Wows case, I think it would detract significantly. Almost to the point classic Wow WOTLK would have more subscribers than current Wow Legion.

Edit: The reason I use WOTLK instead of vanilla is because the original server OS to run vanilla and Burning Crusade is supposedly incompatible with current server software.

irish286:

Edit: The reason I use WOTLK instead of vanilla is because the original server OS to run vanilla and Burning Crusade is supposedly incompatible with current server software.

Wich rings hollow if you think about the fact that games like diablo 2 and warcraft 3 run and use the current version of battlenet without a problem.

What i like about these discussions is the arguments on the detractor side:

"You only speculate! So let me refute your speculation with my own speculation and that makes me somehow right!"

Its a certain lack of self awareness when people come out and try to put down the advocates for legacy servers by claiming they know better. Especialy if their guesswork is even lousier then that of the advocates.

As far as i know there is a REAL demand for this type of server, a significant enough demand actually. 150k active users? Thats the entire userbase of other mmos. And those run on profit.

Some people around here have forgotten that WoW subscriber numbers (wich btw have diminished MASSIVELY worldwide) arent somehow the norm. The truth is that most mmos get along just fine with 100 to 200k active users. Again: on profit

Also the question shouldnt be: "How many people would still play if it was a subscription legacy server" but "How many people would play if it was a official blizzard supported subscription server"

Alot of people will not play on private servers because of the questionable legal and somewhat risky (as in personal data) atmosphere around such servers.

WoW isnt the 300 pound gorilla it used to be anymore and as mark kern noted: Everyone who wanted to play wow at this point ALLREADY HAS. Blizzard should stop thinking about strategies on how to get new players... cause there arent any new players left... but how to REGAIN players that have given up on the game.

As jontron fittingly said: "This isnt business youre loosing, this is business you allready lost"

Oh and about people who are saying "they only play on private server cause its free"... yeah no, i dont buy that.. content providers like netflix pretty much showed that people are more then willing to pay for a product if their demands are met despite "free" (but legaly questionable) alternatives existing online. (or hell, the existance of TV.. wich is a "free" and secure alternative)

Bottom line: There is demand that other mmos wished they had, and blizzard is ignoring said demand.. be it out of arrogance (you think you do, but you dont) corporate politics (this is going to distract people from playing the new content) or simply being grossly out of touch with their playerbase (you wanted housing, we gave you a facebook game with no customisation!)

Karadalis:

irish286:

Edit: The reason I use WOTLK instead of vanilla is because the original server OS to run vanilla and Burning Crusade is supposedly incompatible with current server software.

Wich rings hollow if you think about the fact that games like diablo 2 and warcraft 3 run and use the current version of battlenet without a problem.

What i like about these discussions is the arguments on the detractor side:

"You only speculate! So let me refute your speculation with my own speculation and that makes me somehow right!"

Its a certain lack of self awareness when people come out and try to put down the advocates for legacy servers by claiming they know better. Especialy if their guesswork is even lousier then that of the advocates.

As far as i know there is a REAL demand for this type of server, a significant enough demand actually. 150k active users? Thats the entire userbase of other mmos. And those run on profit.

Some people around here have forgotten that WoW subscriber numbers (wich btw have diminished MASSIVELY worldwide) arent somehow the norm. The truth is that most mmos get along just fine with 100 to 200k active users. Again: on profit

Also the question shouldnt be: "How many people would still play if it was a subscription legacy server" but "How many people would play if it was a official blizzard supported subscription server"

Alot of people will not play on private servers because of the questionable legal and somewhat risky (as in personal data) atmosphere around such servers.

WoW isnt the 300 pound gorilla it used to be anymore and as mark kern noted: Everyone who wanted to play wow at this point ALLREADY HAS. Blizzard should stop thinking about strategies on how to get new players... cause there arent any new players left... but how to REGAIN players that have given up on the game.

As jontron fittingly said: "This isnt business youre loosing, this is business you allready lost"

Oh and about people who are saying "they only play on private server cause its free"... yeah no, i dont buy that.. content providers like netflix pretty much showed that people are more then willing to pay for a product if their demands are met despite "free" (but legaly questionable) alternatives existing online. (or hell, the existance of TV.. wich is a "free" and secure alternative)

Bottom line: There is demand that other mmos wished they had, and blizzard is ignoring said demand.. be it out of arrogance (you think you do, but you dont) corporate politics (this is going to distract people from playing the new content) or simply being grossly out of touch with their playerbase (you wanted housing, we gave you a facebook game with no customisation!)

Which is why I added the supposedly... Being a business major my expertise on the area of servers is limited to cost factors.
If people would like an example of how this can work check out Oldschool Runescape. General membership for Runescape is sitting between 850k-1.1m depending on who you ask with about 204k-260k attributed to oldschool. I'm fairly certain an official legacy wow server would do much better than that. Blizzard should do what Jagex did, send out a pole to all wow players. Current and previous, to see what kind of interest there is.

Jirekianu:

Now, even if only 10% of Nostalrius' active user base subbed back to WoW to play on a Legacy Server. That would fill said server. It is not at all unreasonable to expect a rate of 1 in 10 resubbing at least a month or two to play on an official legacy server. And the claims that this is just some passing novelty kind of fall flat in the face of the fact that Nostalrius grew over that year to those huge numbers.

If This is the big thing here. IF .When a company like Blizzard needs to make decisions on revamping an old code to integrate on a new server they can't go on 'what ifs'. At the very least they need a good enough definite to feel comfortable in investing in something like that.
You also chose to completely ignore the simple fact that Nostalrius had an entry point of zero fucking bucks. Of course something would grow when nobody is obligated to pay for it.
Unfortunately companies like Blizzard can't operate on free crap, and most of the people on that server were very vocal on how much they don't like new WoW anymore and are wholly disinterested in re subbing.
Do you honestly think these same people would pay $15 a month just to access a 10 year old version of the game when they could of done that for free?

There are professionally developed, released, and active MMOs that don't boast numbers that good. People want to argue that "Blizzard isn't made of money" and then act like another 15,000 people or more paying for a sub each month is demand that should be ignored. Which is it? Can they afford to leave money on the table or can they not afford to spend any?

You are under a very big assumption that these same people whining are actually going to put their money where their mouth is and re sub, and do it long enough to actually make it worth it. Servers are not a one time cost. They are a continous thing that requires paid mods, customer service, a debug team, etc.

I think I'd trust Mark Kern. The guy who was a team lead on vanilla WoW, and has dealt with modern game development, to at least give reasonably accurate ball park estimates over people with likely zero game development experience criticizing people for being presumptuous.

As people have already pointed out before in this thread, this dude worked on only one WoW expansion. His business ventures after Blizzard were utter dogshit and someone who couldn't even keep another company afloat for a fraction of the time of his previous employer shouldn't be 'tsking' and lecturing Blizzard on how to run a business.

"It's not feasible to support two versions of the game simultaneously"
But they offered the idea of a "Pristine Server" that's actually more of a headache than a final patch legacy server would be.

No it's not. From what they described it literally means all they have to do is remove all updates and settings to anything considered 'post' vanilla and slap it in a server. This is a much different ballgame than rising a corpse game out of the grave and trying to get it to work on 10 years advanced software and hardware.

"It would be a lot of work to make Vanilla WoW work with our modern API and overlay setup."
But they've done so with Warcraft 3, Diablo 2, and other legacy products. Some of which are well over a decade old and wouldn't potentially bring in significant more income.

Did you take into account that most of those people are still active paying members of those games? Or how they may still have the old codes to those games mostly intact? Or how they continuously updated the game unlike Vanilla WoW which saw a huge overhaul and abandonment? There are a lot of factors at play for them to be able to do things with one set of games, but not the other.

Much of the criticisms of the idea of a Legacy server are proven wrong simply by Nostalrius' year of growth and the clear success they were enjoying.

They only had growth. Not success. Financially they were in the red big time and they were slated to shut down anyway because they couldn't deal with server costs.

Remember, one single month of a full Legacy server would give blizzard 225,000 dollars in that single month.

And someone above you has stated that it costs that much just to upkeep one server A DAY in other words, it's garbage profits. In fact, that it's not a profit.

You're telling me that they can't spend a couple weeks doing software development with a small side team of 3-5 people to potentially bring in another quarter million dollars in a single month?

A couple weeks? With only 3-5 people? Are you kidding me dude? Those 5 fuckers must of really pissed off the boss if they got delegated to something like this.
Do you not take into consideration at all that Blizzard is working on multiple projects, have multiple live games up that need maintaining. Not to mention conceptualizing, creating, and launching assets for said current projects to keep people invested in subbing?
You cannot compare hobbyists who have free time to do this for free and no other game studio obligations to a company that has to keep the ball rolling on multiple fronts. These situations are not comparable at all.

And that's assuming a 10% Nostalrius active user number in subs.

A really big assumption.

There's a solid chance it could be higher.

No there isn't.

Especially over time. It seems a small financial risk for a potentially big gain. And Kern's reiterated that there's a LOT of reasons to at least try to setup a legacy server.

Unless you are in charge of and have in depth knowledge of Blizzards financial records and income you cannot assume this would be a 'small financial risk' for the company to do.
And fat change getting more users to play Vanilla WoW. At most it would be a cursory curiosity for the people who weren't still in their diapers in 2002 but most people won't give a shit or will probably hate how broken/grindy it is and go back to the current version.

It doesn't help that blizzards reasoning sounds more like excuses.

It doesn't help that most of the people 'calling them out' on it have no fucking clue what they are talking about.

Dragonbums:

You are under a very big assumption that these same people whining are actually going to put their money where their mouth is and re sub, and do it long enough to actually make it worth it. Servers are not a one time cost. They are a continous thing that requires paid mods, customer service, a debug team, etc.

This is a great point, and still doesn't take into account that after a while of playing on "vanilla" servers, players would either get bored with playing the same content over and over. Then they'd either quit, or start bugging Blizzard to "just do Burning Crusade again, you guys." You know, just like what happened when vanilla was actually out.

Either way, you're talking about either losing the tiny little bit of profit this was generating, or creating yet another sunk cost. The profit motive just isn't there, unfortunately.

dragongit:

"You changed the games for the outcry of one fan" Where the hell does that come from? Since when, ever, in Blizzard's entire history, did they change something for one fan? I'm genuinely curious about this one. If thats just hyperbole or if he's just pulling that out of his ass.

I'm making a mighty assumption here, but given how Kern has majorly immersed himself in GG's version of How Things Are, I think He's referring to Tracers victory pose being changed in Overwatch.

Could Blizzard do it? Easily.

Why wouldn't they? Apart from some obvious reasons that people have already posted here, because they would have to guarantee a certain standard of quality.

The average player would have to have two different copies of WoW installed (assuming they're still subscribed), Bnet wouldn't necessarily be compatible, customer care/moderators would have to be able to support and help players for both versions and how long would it take for people to get tired of replaying the old (although very good) content anyway?

It's not viable from that perspective.
What they should do, is give or sell the team a license to run the servers, along with a contract that states that blizzard is in no way responsible. Of course they're not interested in that either, when you could force half or so of that player base into paying for the "real thing", despite it being something different.

One thing I see mentioned is the nostalgia aspect, which is overused and too often critisized. You have an example of over a hundred thousand people who are just fine with playing the earlier versions. WoTLK was in my, and in many others opinion the climax of WoW, visually, raid and questwise as well as lorewise. It was when developers started prioritizing balance way too much, but somehow still managed to give players a fun experience, no matter their level of engagement.
Nostalgia has become a catch-all description of any thought of games being better back then, but many of them were and WoW is not an exception. While I don't think Vanilla was the best version, the two first expansions were fantastic in many ways and the bad things did not necessarily outweigh the good.

Dragonbums:

If This is the big thing here. IF .When a company like Blizzard needs to make decisions on revamping an old code to integrate on a new server they can't go on 'what ifs'. At the very least they need a good enough definite to feel comfortable in investing in something like that.
You also chose to completely ignore the simple fact that Nostalrius had an entry point of zero fucking bucks. Of course something would grow when nobody is obligated to pay for it.
Unfortunately companies like Blizzard can't operate on free crap, and most of the people on that server were very vocal on how much they don't like new WoW anymore and are wholly disinterested in re subbing.
Do you honestly think these same people would pay $15 a month just to access a 10 year old version of the game when they could of done that for free?

The fact remains that Blizzards claims of it being "too hard" fall flat in the face that a purely volunteer team managed to do it and do it for a year having to re-engineer and recreate the programming needed to get the server up and running and for quite a large number of people too. We're not talking about 5, 10, or 20 servers. We're talking about blizzard putting aside ONE server, just one. And the development time and costs can be looked into by putting aside a small team to look at the feasibility and work with the Nostalrius volunteers to see if there is a way to put a cost effective server together.

And if 800k people would look at it as a passing fancy, and 150k would play actively, and then 240k would sign a petition asking blizz to either come out with their own legacy servers or make some kind of provisional license for non-profit private servers... I'd say there's a clear demand there.

and who cares if they don't like modern WoW anymore. We're talking about a shitload of people interested in a legacy product. And apparently you're psychic with the way you're speaking for 800k accounts and 150k active players wishes contrary to the 240k signatures on that petition.

You are under a very big assumption that these same people whining are actually going to put their money where their mouth is and re sub, and do it long enough to actually make it worth it. Servers are not a one time cost. They are a continous thing that requires paid mods, customer service, a debug team, etc.

How much do you think a server costs to set up and run? We're not talking about WoW sinking half a million dollars and two dozen people into this. 2004-2008. Blizzard has spent 200million total on their upkeep for WoW. That's through growth, setup, and their absolute peak of 12-13 million subs. If you do some quick math that's around 120k a month on a per server basis. If you do some basic cost cutting measures like consolidating a single pair of low pop servers. You've now essentially removed the server hardware cost, one of the biggest costs, from the initial money sinks. Then add on the fact that server costs and setup has gone down over the years.

As people have already pointed out before in this thread, this dude worked on only one WoW expansion. His business ventures after Blizzard were utter dogshit and someone who couldn't even keep another company afloat for a fraction of the time of his previous employer shouldn't be 'tsking' and lecturing Blizzard on how to run a business.

He worked on WoW, in vanilla, and has flat out said that server costs, setup, and maint have only gotten orders of magnitude easier compared to the old days. So the man is speaking from personal experience with the exact state of the game he helped create in the first place. To somehow cite he's unqualified to comment on modern WoW is irrelevant. Because we're not talking about modern WoW. And if you look at the situation with Firefall that was immense meddling from corporate and internal conflict hampering development of the game. If Mark Kern was the reason Firefall failed, the game would have improved when he left the company. Guess what? The game bombed twice as hard, twice as fast, and really sunk into a spiral of pure shit after he was no longer at that company. So that kind of shoots the "Mark Kern is a bad developer" argument in the foot.

No it's not. From what they described it literally means all they have to do is remove all updates and settings to anything considered 'post' vanilla and slap it in a server. This is a much different ballgame than rising a corpse game out of the grave and trying to get it to work on 10 years advanced software and hardware.

You keep arguing like getting a working Legacy server is some impossible feat. Nostalrius running as well as it did for as long as it did proves that argument false. The game was growing, about to release Ahn'Qiraj, and only shut down because Blizzard exercised their legal rights to shut down an infringement of their IP.

Their Pristine server idea isn't to revert the game to a Legacy setting or update. It's leaving the gameplay as is (which wouldn't be legacy) and stripping out all the exp boosts, returning the exp needed to level to its original point, and removing the time saving/catch up mechanics from the current retail game. This is not only not satisfying a Legacy experience, it's also breaking their own current game design. If they reverted the game to a state like that it would take as much or more work than a Legacy server would. And if they just would do one stable patch of that, and then abandon it as is? well guess what, that's what a Legacy server would be. If they didn't abandon it and kept having to update and tweak it? Guess what, they're now supporting two versions. The thing they're complaining about.

Did you take into account that most of those people are still active paying members of those games?

Active paying members? From a pure business standpoint any non-sub model game has already got all the money it will get out of those people. A game that's 15+ years old is not bringing in new income. It's costing Blizzard money to support it. Don't get me wrong. I very much appreciate and applaud blizzard for taking the time and money to support those legacy products. I'm merely pointing out that perhaps developing and offering another legacy product could earn them NEW income. Rather than good will on income long since spent and done.

Or how they may still have the old codes to those games mostly intact? Or how they continuously updated the game unlike Vanilla WoW which saw a huge overhaul and abandonment? There are a lot of factors at play for them to be able to do things with one set of games, but not the other.

And yet again, Nostalrius worked well, it has functional code and was running pretty stable at a relatively huge number of active players. If Volunteer programmers can get a private server running Blizzard should be able to. Especially since Nostalrius has said multiple times they're more than willing to work with and help Blizzard set up their own Legacy server. And then what about the fact it ran stable for ten times the number of players on a high pop server for retail WoW?

Let's be honest. The argument against how feasible or possible setting up the server has been time and again been proven to one of two conclusions. Either modern day blizzards staff are incompetent and less skilled that multiple private servers volunteer staff. Or from a coding/hardware standpoint it IS doable. And it's a matter of how financially feasible the idea is. Of which I'd point you at the large number of players playing on Nostalrius alone and then if you factor in every other private server with no mods it gets pretty big.

They only had growth. Not success. Financially they were in the red big time and they were slated to shut down anyway because they couldn't deal with server costs.

Yes, server costs for hosting 10 times the normal high pop server count of active players. Around 20-30 servers worth of accounts. And this is an irrelevant point because no one who signed that petition and no one that I've seen are arguing that blizzard should run their server for free. If nothing else this could be argued in support of it being financially feasible for blizzard to do it. They already have staff, hardware, and professional programmers/developers in house to put together a working Legacy server or more if it's more profitable. Once again, no one is asking blizzard to do this at a loss or to offer these servers for free. Just to offer them or at least make an honest attempt to try.

Remember, one single month of a full Legacy server would give blizzard 225,000 dollars in that single month.

And someone above you has stated that it costs that much just to upkeep one server A DAY in other words, it's garbage profits. In fact, that it's not a profit.

Fucking WHAT? Okay now you're talking out of your ass. Blizzards own financial reporting states they've spent 200 million on all their maint costs, hardware, staff, servers etc. over the 4 most populated years of the game, 2004-2008. If you do some quick math that works out to around 120k a MONTH per server. And mind you that's including WoW at its peak. If it was one server a day for 225k that wouldn't work at all. That would bankrupt the game even at it's peak. There's no way a $15 a month sub would support that. Come on, man. Actually read what you're posting.

A couple weeks? With only 3-5 people? Are you kidding me dude? Those 5 fuckers must of really pissed off the boss if they got delegated to something like this.

Kern and others in software development have stated that you could get a working model of what it would cost, and the time it would take by having a group of 3-5 people take a weekend. And that likely, even without support, they can get something like this working on a back-end. Where the front end, blizzard ui/overlay integration might add another week or two to the project.

So tell me, what's your background in programming and game development that contradicts the opinion of multiple professionals who've said its very doable?

Do you not take into consideration at all that Blizzard is working on multiple projects, have multiple live games up that need maintaining. Not to mention conceptualizing, creating, and launching assets for said current projects to keep people invested in subbing?
You cannot compare hobbyists who have free time to do this for free and no other game studio obligations to a company that has to keep the ball rolling on multiple fronts. These situations are not comparable at all.

And do you think hobbyists have all the time in the world? They're not hermits who have nothing but passion and free time. Many of these people have full time jobs, school, families, and social lives. If THEY can do it, but Blizzard can't with professionals on a payroll who would be putting 8 hours a day into the job can't. Then this either shows Blizzard's got incompetent staff, or Nostalrius' volunteers should have been hired yesterday because they're rock star coordinators and developers.

and no one's telling them to develop a whole new game. The proof of concept is already done. Dozens of private servers work on modern server hardware with modern computer systems. The hard work would be integrating the legacy server on the back end into blizzards hardware and on the front-end with their UI/overlay setup with their launcher. You're talking about polish/post-beta programming. And WoW already has a staff of over 100 people. You're telling me they couldn't shave off half a dozen people or less? Legion is releasing on August 30th. Even with a break neck development pace the team could be parsed down a very small margin of half a dozen or less to at least prototype a legacy server after the launch of Legion.

And that's assuming a 10% Nostalrius active user number in subs.

A really big assumption.

You think a rate of 1/10 is unreasonable high? The fuck?

There's a solid chance it could be higher.

No there isn't.

Nice opinion there.

Especially over time. It seems a small financial risk for a potentially big gain. And Kern's reiterated that there's a LOT of reasons to at least try to setup a legacy server.

Unless you are in charge of and have in depth knowledge of Blizzards financial records and income you cannot assume this would be a 'small financial risk' for the company to do.
And fat change getting more users to play Vanilla WoW. At most it would be a cursory curiosity for the people who weren't still in their diapers in 2002 but most people won't give a shit or will probably hate how broken/grindy it is and go back to the current version.

Look at blizzards own reported numbers and from the people who've worked at the god damn company and in game development. I can't make speculation about the game because I'm not a current employee or developer. But that doesn't stop you from contradicting and shutting down the statements made by a game developer and Blizzard vet who worked on the fucking game.

And there we go back to the same old excuse, "People would get tired of it and quit!" Look, I get that it's a favorite of people who hate the idea of Legacy servers. But the simple fact remains that a SINGLE private server had almost a million accounts and nearly 10 full servers worth of active players. There's demand there and interest. The "they'd get tired of it and quit" argument is flying in the face of that clear and present demand. Would they all pay for it? Probably not. Would a significant number of them? Well if you take every single vanilla/legacy server out there, added their numbers together, and then lets say... 5% which is 1/20th, would add up to several full servers worth of players who would be paying a sub.

If you're going to tell me, with a straight face, that 5% is too high to assume for global demand then I don't know what to tell you. Because literally nothing will convince you then. Even suggesting fractions of a single percentage point is like suggesting a miracle will happen to you.

It doesn't help that blizzards reasoning sounds more like excuses.

It doesn't help that most of the people 'calling them out' on it have no fucking clue what they are talking about.

Says the person who is talking over a former developer, and who won't even reference officially reported income and costs. Where's your evidence? Because I have a lot of speculation, but I'm also backing it up with numbers and the statements from professionals not only in the game industry, but who've worked on the game in question.

ffronw:

Dragonbums:

You are under a very big assumption that these same people whining are actually going to put their money where their mouth is and re sub, and do it long enough to actually make it worth it. Servers are not a one time cost. They are a continous thing that requires paid mods, customer service, a debug team, etc.

This is a great point, and still doesn't take into account that after a while of playing on "vanilla" servers, players would either get bored with playing the same content over and over. Then they'd either quit, or start bugging Blizzard to "just do Burning Crusade again, you guys." You know, just like what happened when vanilla was actually out.

Either way, you're talking about either losing the tiny little bit of profit this was generating, or creating yet another sunk cost. The profit motive just isn't there, unfortunately.

You're forgetting that Nostalrius had 800,000 accounts, and 150,000 active users. That almost ten full servers worth of active players. Over about 14 months of time. The server wouldn't have been nearly so successful if what you two are saying is true. And if the Legacy Vanilla server was profitable. Then why wouldn't Blizzard do the same for each expansions final patch? As long as its making money there's no reason for them not to do it. If it wouldn't then they don't.

The point is that the speculations and arguments against the mere feasibility of the idea are being contradicted by objective reality and hard numbers. ONE private server disproved this point tremendously. Then add in all the other private servers with unmodded legacy or vanilla as their focus.

Jirekianu:

ffronw:

Dragonbums:

You are under a very big assumption that these same people whining are actually going to put their money where their mouth is and re sub, and do it long enough to actually make it worth it. Servers are not a one time cost. They are a continous thing that requires paid mods, customer service, a debug team, etc.

This is a great point, and still doesn't take into account that after a while of playing on "vanilla" servers, players would either get bored with playing the same content over and over. Then they'd either quit, or start bugging Blizzard to "just do Burning Crusade again, you guys." You know, just like what happened when vanilla was actually out.

Either way, you're talking about either losing the tiny little bit of profit this was generating, or creating yet another sunk cost. The profit motive just isn't there, unfortunately.

You're forgetting that Nostalrius had 800,000 accounts, and 150,000 active users. That almost ten full servers worth of active players. Over about 14 months of time. The server wouldn't have been nearly so successful if what you two are saying is true. And if the Legacy Vanilla server was profitable. Then why wouldn't Blizzard do the same for each expansions final patch? As long as its making money there's no reason for them not to do it. If it wouldn't then they don't.

The point is that the speculations and arguments against the mere feasibility of the idea are being contradicted by objective reality and hard numbers. ONE private server disproved this point tremendously. Then add in all the other private servers with unmodded legacy or vanilla as their focus.

...except the thing is, of those 150,000 players, how many of them would have stuck around if they'd been forced to pay 15 bucks a month?

Nostalrius was operating in the red for some time, to the point they were about to shut down anyway (Blizzard just got there first). Sure, it might be speculation that this wouldn't make a profit, but it's just as speculative to assume that 150,000 people would be 100% ok with paying subscription fees for something they'd previously been receiving for free.

...except the thing is, of those 150,000 players, how many of them would have stuck around if they'd been forced to pay 15 bucks a month?

Nostalrius was operating in the red for some time, to the point they were about to shut down anyway (Blizzard just got there first). Sure, it might be speculation that this wouldn't make a profit, but it's just as speculative to assume that 150,000 people would be 100% ok with paying subscription fees for something they'd previously been receiving for free.

A high pop/full server are 15,000-18,000 players.

What would you think is a reasonable percentage on Nostalrius' 150k active users coming through on a paying sub? 10%? 8%? 5%? How low does that number get before it seems likely?

Because 10% would mean you have a nearly full server of active players. And 1 in 10 is not entirely unreasonable. Now, think about all of the private servers out there. All the legacy and unmodded vanilla servers that have come and gone and are still running? The number of active users that could pay for a sub goes up. Then consider former players who may sub for even just a month to see if they want to play on a Legacy server.

So, even at a 1% rate of active vanilla private server players joining an official legacy wow server. There's likely enough to pay and fill up a single server. To say there's no chance is unbelievable. To say the chance isn't even good, let alone mediocre? That's nuts.

ffronw:

Dragonbums:

You are under a very big assumption that these same people whining are actually going to put their money where their mouth is and re sub, and do it long enough to actually make it worth it. Servers are not a one time cost. They are a continous thing that requires paid mods, customer service, a debug team, etc.

This is a great point, and still doesn't take into account that after a while of playing on "vanilla" servers, players would either get bored with playing the same content over and over. Then they'd either quit, or start bugging Blizzard to "just do Burning Crusade again, you guys." You know, just like what happened when vanilla was actually out.

Either way, you're talking about either losing the tiny little bit of profit this was generating, or creating yet another sunk cost. The profit motive just isn't there, unfortunately.

People are actually demanding "progression" servers. Heck Nostramus was actually suposed to be a so called "progression" server. Now if i understand that correctly a progression server is pretty much just a rewind of the last 10 or so years of WoW expansion.

Meaning they start at vanilla, let it run for a while, then go over to burning crusade and then stop at WOTLK

Also as i said before:

The fact that netflix exists and is raking in the cash besides TV and illegal and easaly accesible alternatives is reason enough to think that people would actually pay for it in large enough numbers to warrant one or two servers.

Furthermore it was mark kern i believe who said that the ENTIRE WoW game would be paying for itselfe with subscriber numbers somewhere around 300 kish

There is an untapped market here that blizzard ignores mostly due to their own arrogance, oh and about those servercosts: Yeah no, it does not cost 140.000 dollars a day to run a single server if the game is suposed to be self sufficient and profitable at around 300k subscribers. Not to mention that OTHER games like RIFT, DC universe, elder scrolls online, guild wars and the secret world can run their games just fine on these numbers.

Wich is kinda amazing given the numbers in this thread considering most of them have NO SUBSCRIPTIONS! You heard that right... these mmos that most often are of comparable quality as WoW can run on such low numbers and still have a couple of servers up. And theres still content being created for these games, allbeit on a smaller scale ofcourse but RIFT just added a whole bunch of new player classes... when you can be lucky to get a new class OR a new race in a WoW expansion.

If running a server a day would cost 140k like was claimed earlier... and these mmos have player numbers below 1 mil... WITHOUT subscriptions mind you...

How is it that they are still around and their companies not bankrupt? Can someone explain to me this quantum space science that aparantly leads to people believing that this would not add to Blizzards profit despite competition being able to make profit without employing subscriptions?

Furthermore: These numbers would ADD to the ALLREADY PLAYING userbase... it would not drain the current user base. So really it all boils down to blizzards own arrogance and.

Also this would suggest that blizard would not add a server for a number as large as 150k... wich is ridiculus... they would actually have to add more then one server to handle that large a number. Infact all the games i named above run multiple servers while having user bases of comparable activity and still turn out profitable.

Unless Blizzard has their servers made out of gold and decorated with expensive gemstones i dont see why blizzard pays more for their servers then these companies while offering the same stability and quality of customer service.

Jirekianu:

...except the thing is, of those 150,000 players, how many of them would have stuck around if they'd been forced to pay 15 bucks a month?

Nostalrius was operating in the red for some time, to the point they were about to shut down anyway (Blizzard just got there first). Sure, it might be speculation that this wouldn't make a profit, but it's just as speculative to assume that 150,000 people would be 100% ok with paying subscription fees for something they'd previously been receiving for free.

A high pop/full server are 15,000-18,000 players.

What would you think is a reasonable percentage on Nostalrius' 150k active users coming through on a paying sub? 10%? 8%? 5%? How low does that number get before it seems likely?

Because 10% would mean you have a nearly full server of active players. And 1 in 10 is not entirely unreasonable. Now, think about all of the private servers out there. All the legacy and unmodded vanilla servers that have come and gone and are still running? The number of active users that could pay for a sub goes up. Then consider former players who may sub for even just a month to see if they want to play on a Legacy server.

So, even at a 1% rate of active vanilla private server players joining an official legacy wow server. There's likely enough to pay and fill up a single server. To say there's no chance is unbelievable. To say the chance isn't even good, let alone mediocre? That's nuts.

I wouldn't have a clue of what is a reasonable percentage of Nostalrius' population paying the sub. To say otherwise is pure speculation on my behalf.

Like, this is my thing with this whole discussion. We don't have the data. We haven't a fucking clue what numbers Blizzard has looked at that's made them go 'this isn't viable'. Maybe they looked at the projections and the data and whatever else they have and gone '10% just won't cut it', '1% just won't cut it', 'whatever% just won't cut it'. Given they're still having internal discussions about the whole thing, it's entirely possible they've looked at what we don't have and gone 'It's not feasible, but what if we can make it so'. We're not privy to those discussions though, so we're all just out here shouting 'You bastards' or 'Good decision'.

I, personally, am totally down with Legacy servers (I hate Vanilla WoW with a fiery passion, but good on anyone still wanting to play it for whatever reason) and would like to see Blizzard figure out a way to get them working on some official level. It's just that, at this point in time for whatever reason, they've gone 'it's not viable'. They've looked at all the numbers and the costs and subscribers and legalities, and somewhere along the line they just went 'nope'. Not a definite nope, but it's a nope, and sitting around talking about the 'numbers' is pure speculation unless we have access to the same data they're operating with.

Wrex Brogan:

I wouldn't have a clue of what is a reasonable percentage of Nostalrius' population paying the sub. To say otherwise is pure speculation on my behalf.

Like, this is my thing with this whole discussion. We don't have the data. We haven't a fucking clue what numbers Blizzard has looked at that's made them go 'this isn't viable'. Maybe they looked at the projections and the data and whatever else they have and gone '10% just won't cut it', '1% just won't cut it', 'whatever% just won't cut it'. Given they're still having internal discussions about the whole thing, it's entirely possible they've looked at what we don't have and gone 'It's not feasible, but what if we can make it so'. We're not privy to those discussions though, so we're all just out here shouting 'You bastards' or 'Good decision'.

I, personally, am totally down with Legacy servers (I hate Vanilla WoW with a fiery passion, but good on anyone still wanting to play it for whatever reason) and would like to see Blizzard figure out a way to get them working on some official level. It's just that, at this point in time for whatever reason, they've gone 'it's not viable'. They've looked at all the numbers and the costs and subscribers and legalities, and somewhere along the line they just went 'nope'. Not a definite nope, but it's a nope, and sitting around talking about the 'numbers' is pure speculation unless we have access to the same data they're operating with.

One would think that Blizzard has done those calculations. I would assume that they've looked at it (and probably have looked again, in light of this uproar). If they don't think it's worthwhile, then they're not going to do it. As you say, we can speculate all we want, but the truth is that they have the only numbers that matter. We don't know what the costs would be, and we don't know what kind of money they would expect to rake in from it.

I feel like I can safely assume that if there was an untapped market worth a lot of money out there, they'd be willing to capitalize on it. The fact that they haven't is at the very least persuasive to me that they don't believe such a market exists.

ffronw:

Dragonbums:

You are under a very big assumption that these same people whining are actually going to put their money where their mouth is and re sub, and do it long enough to actually make it worth it. Servers are not a one time cost. They are a continous thing that requires paid mods, customer service, a debug team, etc.

This is a great point, and still doesn't take into account that after a while of playing on "vanilla" servers, players would either get bored with playing the same content over and over. Then they'd either quit, or start bugging Blizzard to "just do Burning Crusade again, you guys." You know, just like what happened when vanilla was actually out.

Either way, you're talking about either losing the tiny little bit of profit this was generating, or creating yet another sunk cost. The profit motive just isn't there, unfortunately.

Agree. I did take that into account but I was more rebuffing the comment I responded to. In short most of the people on those servers were simply doing it for nostalgia purposes and 'shooting the shit' with old friends. But I'd be damned if a server like that would last two years at most.
They aren't going to grab new people with this. They are simply going to get old nostalgia people to play and it will only last as long as they get their fix and drop the game again. And once again, it was free.
Nostalgia is just that. Nostalgia. People harping about how great it is ironically enough bring up how absolutely broken it is as well. And the only thing keeping it together was community. That's fucking it.

It's the same eye rolling attitude I have when people talk about how good the original Pokemon games were. My dude, you like the nostalgia and community of it with fellow players like yourself. The games themselves were broken garbage on a mechanical level that only got a pass because it was good broken garbage in a sea of otherwise broken games at the time.

Jirekianu:

You're forgetting that Nostalrius had 800,000 accounts, and 150,000 active users.

800k dud accounts means absolutely squat for Blizzard.

Over about 14 months of time.

And none of those people payed a single dime. That's not going to work for Blizzard

The server wouldn't have been nearly so successful if what you two are saying is true. And if the Legacy Vanilla server was profitable.

The legacy server wasn't profitable. It was bloated and bleeding money left and right. It was slated to shut down sometime soon anyway because they couldn't keep up with the costs. Blizzard just ended it's misery with a C&D order.

As long as its making money there's no reason for them not to do it. If it wouldn't then they don't.

They would of made money, but the money wouldn't be nearly enough to justify paying the teams to integrate the code, fix the bugs caused by integration, fix the bugs Vanilla had in general, upkeep customer support, upkeep the servers, upkeep mod overwatch, etc, etc.
That's every reason for them not to do it. No business runs on negative/or petty profits if they aren't making relatively big bank on a project they are going to axe it.
That kind of crap is only reserved for Microsoft who have so much money that they can afford to throw it at anything.

The point is that the speculations and arguments against the mere feasibility of the idea are being contradicted by objective reality and hard numbers.

Reality and hard numbers of what? Twitch streamer fan tears and an empty number of registered accounts that ignore all context of reality and situation?

ONE private server disproved this point tremendously. Then add in all the other private servers with unmodded legacy or vanilla as their focus.

One of the biggest legacy servers and it was financially in the red long before Blizzard did anything to it because they couldn't up keep the costs. paired with a bunch of other servers that ran like garbage and were chockfull of bugs and exploits that would NEVER pass a baseline quality test but people let slide because it's from a bunch of pirates.
Yeah, no. Blizzard isn't stupid. That's not a good business venture.

See below post as this one has glitched out.

Dragonbums:

Jirekianu:

You're forgetting that Nostalrius had 800,000 accounts, and 150,000 active users.

800k dud accounts means absolutely squat for Blizzard.

Over about 14 months of time.

And none of those people payed a single dime. That's not going to work for Blizzard

The server wouldn't have been nearly so successful if what you two are saying is true. And if the Legacy Vanilla server was profitable.

The legacy server wasn't profitable. It was bloated and bleeding money left and right. It was slated to shut down sometime soon anyway because they couldn't keep up with the costs. Blizzard just ended it's misery with a C&D order.

As long as its making money there's no reason for them not to do it. If it wouldn't then they don't.

They would of made money, but the money wouldn't be nearly enough to justify paying the teams to integrate the code, fix the bugs caused by integration, fix the bugs Vanilla had in general, upkeep customer support, upkeep the servers, upkeep mod overwatch, etc, etc.
That's every reason for them not to do it. No business runs on negative/or petty profits if they aren't making relatively big bank on a project they are going to axe it.
That kind of crap is only reserved for Microsoft who have so much money that they can afford to throw it at anything.

The point is that the speculations and arguments against the mere feasibility of the idea are being contradicted by objective reality and hard numbers.

Reality and hard numbers of what? Twitch streamer fan tears and an empty number of registered accounts that ignore all context of reality and situation?

ONE private server disproved this point tremendously. Then add in all the other private servers with unmodded legacy or vanilla as their focus.

One of the biggest legacy servers and it was financially in the red long before Blizzard did anything to it because they couldn't up keep the costs. paired with a bunch of other servers that ran like garbage and were chockfull of bugs and exploits that would NEVER pass a baseline quality test but people let slide because it's from a bunch of pirates.
Yeah, no. Blizzard isn't stupid. That's not a good business venture.

You keep arguing against things I've never said. Over and over and over again. I never said Nostalrius was profitable. I didn't even imply it.

I bring up Nostalrius numbers so much in my argument because those numbers are HUGE and show a clear demand for a Legacy WoW experience. Which can be leveraged into an officially supported and potentially profitable product.

You're so ready to point out peoples arguments are speculation when it suits your aim to disprove them. But then your speculation doesn't even have a remote reference to server costs or the costs of the game itself.

You seem to be making a lot of presumptions with what I have been arguing and you seem to like to only address what is objectively known about Nostalrius' popularity in a way that supports your argument. Conveniently ignoring objective numbers when it doesn't.

I'm going to try and parse down my argument to it's core so that it's hard for you to put words in my mouth.

-Nostalrius' server numbers show a clear demand for a Legacy WoW server.
-Blizzard can and has supported a number of legacy products older and more out of date than Vanilla WoW successfully. I.e. Diablo 2, Warcraft 3, etc. These products are not bringing in new money. They are a good will gesture to support loyal customers and fans.
-Nostalrius' volunteer teams and their successful deployment of Vanilla WoW shows that its possible from a technical level to not only reproduce Vanilla WoW on modern servers and modern end user systems, but to do so on a large scale. (The arguably biggest technical hurdle in all of this.)
-Nostalrius did this with 30 people who volunteered in their spare time. 6 of which were actually people with programming experience.
-Mark Kern has announced that he's gotten a response from Mike Morhaime and there's a meeting scheduled in a couple weeks when they can conveniently meet to discuss Legacy servers in person and Nostalrius team members will be involved in some capacity.

So, suffice to say. All of our back and forth and arguing is going to come to some kind of conclusion that hopefully answers the wishes of a sizable number of their fans and customers.

Right now, Blizzard needs the legacy servers as a base to build a better WoW. The whole population problem is a game design issue because they built a game for casual players when the core players just wanted more accessible systems like what FFXIV ARR offered. Have the hard content, break it up into bite sized chunks, let people tackle them how they want, and keep the crafting and gathering relevant by making recipes people can use that make BoE gear.

Also, they got to slow down the whirlwind the game has become. Way too much focus on rapidashing to end game via the one viable path there is when the game was about leveling the different jobs and picking your own path through the world. Not everyone wants to be the god child lackey of thrall, and in fact the original no one was. We helped minor characters throughout the game world and dealt with the lore of the world rather than the major cast of WC3. When the major cast of Warcraft did show up to do something, it was a spectacle for everyone to witness, not a linear story path.

Well, I could go on forever, but they really effed up their game for a lot of people.

I'd love it if they put up some legacy Vanilla servers, maybe then all these rose tinted whiners will finally shut up.

I played WoW back in Vanilla, I definitely for sure, like the state of the game now a hell of a lot more.

 

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