Blizzard Responds to Nostalrius Server Closure Complaints

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Blizzard Responds to Nostalrius Server Closure Complaints

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Blizzard has responded to complaints over the closure of Nostalrius, an unofficial vanilla World of Warcraft server.

Earlier this month Blizzard issued a cease and desist order, demanding the closure of the World of Warcraft Nostalrius server, one of the most popular private World of Warcraft "vanilla" servers. The closure led to a petition calling for the reinstatement of the server, which has since gathered over 235,000 signatures.

World of Warcraft's executive producer, J. Allen Brack, responded on the official forum today, saying that the team has been "closely following the Nostalrius discussion," and that Blizzard's silence on the matter "definitely doesn't reflect our level of engagement and passion around this topic."

Brack says that while Blizzard has "looked into the possibility" of working with private servers, there is no "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," Brack wrote. "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."

"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 can read the statement, in full, below:

"We wanted to let you know that we've been closely following the Nostalrius discussion and we appreciate your constructive thoughts and suggestions.

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"

Permalink

Translation:

"Blah Blah PR PR Spin Spin Spin Fuck you it's our game."

At least that's what I got out of that statement. :3

I'm not sure the profits would be huge, but I can see vanilla, TBC and WotLK servers generating enough revenue to be worthwhile. Certainly plenty of veteran players would return for them. Would be interesting to see how they handled raid progression.

Fappy:
I'm not sure the profits would be huge, but I can see vanilla, TBC and WotLK servers generating enough revenue to be worthwhile. Certainly plenty of veteran players would return for them. Would be interesting to see how they handled raid progression.

I believe Blizzards argument is that an official server requires a lot in the way of maintenance, support, and patching to create keep it running up to the standards expected, plus development to ensure the accounts system could handle it.

Licensing out would lessen these issues (and remove the Blizzard accounts issues) but with Blizzard taking a cut, and imposing a minimum standard of service (after all Blizzard's official blessing signals they feel something is good enough to have their name) would it be possible.

I feel as though the profits could outweigh the hassle of setting these legacy servers up, I mean when they launched the official everquest legacy servers they saw a boom of re-subs.

"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."

I don't believe this for a minute. They let Nostralrius exist for an entire year and it didn't cause Blizzard to implode. They could have just ignored it completely and we wouldn't even be having this conversation. Hell, I worked on Elder Scrolls digital roleplaying content and not only did we not get a C&D from Zenimax, they told us they approved of our efforts. Blizzard's excuse is lame and almost certainly a lie.

Way to say a whole bunch of words with little to no meaning. I think Blizzard just need to sit down and accept that no matter what they do, they come out as nothing more than a greedy corporation that don't care what their fans want.

"We explored options for developing classic servers and none could be executed without great difficulty," Brack wrote.

Y'see, I don't buy this. Hobbyists could do this and they didn't even have access to Blizzard's actual IP, no first-hand access to their code, their financial resources and amount of technical expertise and familiarity with WoW's systems.

But this guy says it's too hard for Blizzard? I call bullshit.

I think that there is a high chance for this statement to be a honest answer. Don't dismiss everything as PR bullshit or you risk finding yourself in an uncompassionate echo-chamber.

http://www.blackweb20.com/2009/11/25/the-consequences-of-not-protecting-and-defending-your-trademarks/
"...failure to prosecute infringers usually is evidence of a weak mark.? As a result, challengers can petition the USPTO to cancel your trademark registration."

Shift the blame to your convoluted legal system, if anything.

Chronologist:
"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."

I don't believe this for a minute. They let Nostralrius exist for an entire year and it didn't cause Blizzard to implode. They could have just ignored it completely and we wouldn't even be having this conversation. Hell, I worked on Elder Scrolls digital roleplaying content and not only did we not get a C&D from Zenimax, they told us they approved of our efforts. Blizzard's excuse is lame and almost certainly a lie.

This actually /can/ cause some arcane legal issues if it goes unhandled.

IP law being what it is, if a company doesn't take clear steps on a regular basis to protect their ownership, they risk losing legal control of it. If Nostralrius had gone on long enough, and someone could prove Blizzard knew about it and had not taken steps to shut it down, they could argue that Blizzard had allowed Warcraft to lapse into the public domain.

This would allow pretty much anyone to do whatever they wanted with the IP...another 'Warcraft' MMO, spinoff RTS', whatever, completely outside Blizzard's control and without having to pay for the privilege the same way Konami and Hammer Films don't have to pay Bram Stoker or Mary Shelly's estate when they use 'Dracula' or 'Frankenstein' in their works.

Blizzard would still retain /copyright/ on the games (Warcraft 1 through 3, WoW, etc.) and assets themselves, which would still allow them to attack private WoW servers and so on (so long as they were running on proprietary software/using proprietary assets), but they would no longer be able to stop someone else from making their own 'Warcraft' media using that name and those characters.

It gets messy. Roleplay, fanfiction, fanart and so forth are one thing...what amounts to competing products is another.

Chronologist:
They let Nostralrius exist for an entire year and it didn't cause Blizzard to implode. They could have just ignored it completely and we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

The argument is that if somebody is playing on a private server, they aren't paying Blizzard a subscription, and so it is harming Blizzard. Of course, the counter argument is that not every download/player = a missed purchase or subscription. Regardless, however, I am fairly certain that private servers are against Blizzard's TOS and are against the EULA, so it isn't really a question of morality, and is more a question of legality.

As to why they have to squash it: You can't squash one case of copyright infringement, and then let another one go. It is either black of white, otherwise, (don't quote me on it) it can be used against Blizzard in court, if it gets contested.

Senare:
I think that there is a high chance for this statement to be a honest answer. Don't dismiss everything as PR bullshit or you risk finding yourself in an uncompassionate echo-chamber.

http://www.blackweb20.com/2009/11/25/the-consequences-of-not-protecting-and-defending-your-trademarks/
"...failure to prosecute infringers usually is evidence of a weak mark.? As a result, challengers can petition the USPTO to cancel your trademark registration."

Shift the blame to your convoluted legal system, if anything.

Pretty sure Blizzard can just say something legal-ese amounting to "We will license you to the rights to operate the Nostralrius server in return for one dollar per day. We retain the rights to renegotiate this price in the future." Protects their I.P. without shutting down the servers, and to be honest 365$ a year is nothing, some fan sites cost more than that to maintain.

In addition, the text you quoted Senare indicates that "...failure to prosecute infringers usually is evidence of a weak mark." I don't think there's a court of law in the U.S. that would consider World of Warcraft a weak trademark. Blizzard isn't going to lose their trademark rights because some fans set up a server using an outdated version of their own game.

Chronologist:
"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."

I don't believe this for a minute. They let Nostralrius exist for an entire year and it didn't cause Blizzard to implode. They could have just ignored it completely and we wouldn't even be having this conversation. Hell, I worked on Elder Scrolls digital roleplaying content and not only did we not get a C&D from Zenimax, they told us they approved of our efforts. Blizzard's excuse is lame and almost certainly a lie.

It takes time to set up legal preceding's a year is a short time in law firm land.

It's hard to say this but Blizzard did the right thing when closing those servers from my perspective. It's their right to protect their work and if they were to start their own server instead, they would have to control it by their own standards. You need people working on it and I don't believe they would gain much of a profit from it.

Still, it's sad for those people who enjoyed the vanilla content.
Cheers.

RJ 17:
Translation:

"Blah Blah PR PR Spin Spin Spin Fuck you it's our game."

At least that's what I got out of that statement. :3

Sounds about right. Crushing private servers are where the money's at.

You know, I understand why Blizzard did this. They have every right to shut down a "pirate" server. That doesn't mean I like it though. I'm hoping their just sort of covering their butts by saying implementing classic servers is too much of a hassle, and someday down the road they will add them. I love Vanilla or BC WoW way more than current day WoW or "retail". Here's hoping Blizzard now realizes the mass amount of love for older WoW, and can make a profit off of dealing with Vanilla servers.

Basically, money talks, and Blizzard loves money. If Vanilla servers ever do become profitable, you better believe they will invest in one when they need to.

I understand why they closed the server, but I think that a classic server would be a really good idea. I've wanted to get back into MMOs for a while and WOW is one of the few I used to play still around, but the amount of expansions and that I wouldn't have anyone to play with really until I got the the current level cap put me off.

Okay let me break this down for you guys who don't understand why Blizzard bothered to shut down a private server.

It boils down to copyright law. Blizzard owns the Warcraft IP and in order to maintain the copyright err...rights on that IP, they must aggressively prevent other entities from using it. Thus they had to order the shut down of this private server, even if they personally didn't care that much. The reason behind it is that if they let this server exist for several years, then they run the risk of losing any right to claim their IP. Meaning that someone could, later on, remake and resell World of Warcraft Vanilla, and Blizzard couldn't stop it, because they hadn't defended the IP over such a length of time that legally it becomes "open source" and other people can then copy and sell it as if it was their own...to a certain extent.

Thus Blizzard is simply protecting it's ownership. They do not have a choice, they either use it or lose it. Basically.

Now that isn't the exact wording of how the law works, but it is a very very very basic summary of why they had to shut down Nostarius.

All that being said, will Blizzard ever make Vanilla servers available through their own cilent?

Short answer: Probably not.

Long Answer: By releasing "progression servers", or simply a pure "vanilla" server, they run into a couple of problems. Number one, will enough people actually sub and play on the old school servers to support development and maintenance costs? Well Nostarius had 850,000 registered users, so clearly at 15 bucks a month it would easily support a server. EXCEPT Nostarius only had 150,000 active users, let's call them subs. That while probably could still support the cost of a server might not be enough for Blizzard to care. Now I'm sure with an "Official" Vanilla server, more people would probably try it and play it on a regular basis, with the more advanced version of the game a mere click away how many people do you really think would stick around on it? Sure some people would come back for that experience alone, but wouldn't you rather Blizzard put more effort in trying to make the next expansion the best one ever?

Of course some would say no, Wow has gone to shit in many many ways and certainly it will never capture the playerbase like it once did ever again.

That brings me to Number two, taking development from Legion (or whatever the next expansion or patch will be by the time they decide to do this, IF they decided to do this) risks hurting further progress in WoW as a whole. If a huge chunk of people fall back in love with WoW playing on a Vanilla, what does that mean for future expansions and patches. Say they get a million or more players back, but those players only play on the Vanilla servers, why would they bother continuing development of future patches and expansions?

Ultimately it hurts their business model by doing Vanilla servers. Quite frankly there is not enough proof that people would now only RE-sub to WoW but also stick around to play Vanilla to really justify doing it. I hate Ion Hostakosis, but he does have a point when he says, "You think you want it....but you really don't." Sure a lot of people would log on and make a character just to see the world from a Vanilla perspective. But people also like to forget the colossal grind old school leveling was, how weak you were, how broken many of the game's areas were with quests you literally couldn't do until you grinding mobs and gains a few levels to unlock them, only to not gain enough experience for the next set of quests and forcing you to grind mobs to level again!

Vanilla 40-man leveling was great. But I seriously do not think that many people now could go back with a fresh start and grind their asses off for weeks or months to get to 60, just to experience that raiding again. I just seriously don't.

You think you want it....but you don't....not enough of you to justify it. Sorry. It sucks but that's the fucking truth and many of you know it.

They were right to close down the private server but very wrong for not making their own vanilla/classic server. Right now vanilla servers are a bit like abandonware, no one is offering the service and people are willing to pay or even go play dodgy private servers. Also, if it really was so difficult to do, how come a small group of fucking enthusiasts can do it and a massive corporation can't?

I can understand that they had to close down the server. I'm no expert in copyright laws, but I can see how it could be problematic for a copyright holder if they don't do something about things like Nostalrius.

What is somewhat confusing to me is their statement that there isn't a way to grant an operating license to a pirate server. Couldn't they just give some kind of license to host a private server of vanilla wow, as long as they don't do it commercially.
Or sell a server application of vanilla wow that is only to be used unchanged and non commercially.

Fappy:
I'm not sure the profits would be huge, but I can see vanilla, TBC and WotLK servers generating enough revenue to be worthwhile. Certainly plenty of veteran players would return for them. Would be interesting to see how they handled raid progression.

You, and others who support Classic/TBC/Wraith servers don't understand how quickly the situation spirals for Blizzard.

Unlike Nostralius, who if question could just go "Well, we're doing this for fun and out of the goodness of our hearts" and be done with it, Blizzard would have legal obligations for these servers. Namely, they would have to be on-par with functionality and service to current live servers, meaning;

- You need a server for each region - NA, LAN, WEU, EEU, AF, ME, CN, KR, JP, OCE
- A PvP version of each server - so 2x
- Tech support for these servers
- Integration and functionality with Battle.net App
- Where to draw the line? Is an OL server? An AQ40 server?

And that is just for a Classic server. Once you give that, people are going to expect other servers too - a TBC server, a Wraith Server, a Cata server and even a MoP server.

With even a cursory look at the situation, you've gone from one server to a minimum of 10, and maybe even a hundred.

CritialGaming:
Stuff

VaporWare:
Stuff

Senare:
Stuff

The idea that you have to defend your IP is a common myth but untrue, this only applies to trademarks even there it doesn't go quite as far as some people seem to think (https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/trademark-law-does-not-require-companies-tirelessly-censor-internet).

As far as your claim to an IP it doesn't apply at all, See http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-1315_f20h.pdf where the supreme court confirmed there was no time limit on when you had to sue.

Paragon Fury:

Fappy:
I'm not sure the profits would be huge, but I can see vanilla, TBC and WotLK servers generating enough revenue to be worthwhile. Certainly plenty of veteran players would return for them. Would be interesting to see how they handled raid progression.

You, and others who support Classic/TBC/Wraith servers don't understand how quickly the situation spirals for Blizzard.

Unlike Nostralius, who if question could just go "Well, we're doing this for fun and out of the goodness of our hearts" and be done with it, Blizzard would have legal obligations for these servers. Namely, they would have to be on-par with functionality and service to current live servers, meaning;

- You need a server for each region - NA, LAN, WEU, EEU, AF, ME, CN, KR, JP, OCE
- A PvP version of each server - so 2x
- Tech support for these servers
- Integration and functionality with Battle.net App
- Where to draw the line? Is an OL server? An AQ40 server?

And that is just for a Classic server. Once you give that, people are going to expect other servers too - a TBC server, a Wraith Server, a Cata server and even a MoP server.

With even a cursory look at the situation, you've gone from one server to a minimum of 10, and maybe even a hundred.

Not only that, but there are possible compatibility issues. Wow vanilla was made to run on windows XP. We are 4 operating systems later on that. If a pirate server/client is buggy everyone just says "oh well, it's free, they are doing the best they can." But if Blizzard is running the show then they ave to bring it up to a standard of functionality that is acceptable.

It is possible it is worth doing but it is a massive effort. And how long until the novelty wears off for people?

All they had to do is to allow usage of certain software for certain purposes: noncommercial entertainment without any obligation from Blizzard. Licenses are given by Blizzard on basis of requests.

I'd just like to point out the silver lining for all the people who are interested in the Legacy servers idea:

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.

There is presumably a reason they are still in talks with these folks; If they can figure out a way to make Legacy servers work these folks can be brought on board as official Blizzard employees to handle it. It's far from a promise but it's a ray of hope in this murky pool of legalese.

Yeah all I hear are a bunch of excuses and empty promises Blizzard, instead of giving vague statements like "Its difficult to protect our IP" or "We've looked into it but its not as simple as pushing a button" why don't you actually fucking do it? You should be hiring the team that made that server and just put them in charge, simple solution, they'll be part of your company so you won't be licensing anything and their is clearly a demand for it. For once in like a decade Blizzard, actually do something good for your old fanbase

That Guy Ya Know:

CritialGaming:
Stuff

VaporWare:
Stuff

Senare:
Stuff

The idea that you have to defend your IP is a common myth but untrue, this only applies to trademarks even there it doesn't go quite as far as some people seem to think (https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/trademark-law-does-not-require-companies-tirelessly-censor-internet).

As far as your claim to an IP it doesn't apply at all, See http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-1315_f20h.pdf where the supreme court confirmed there was no time limit on when you had to sue.

Thank you for the clarification. Losing their biggest trademark would still be a hell of a thing for a company like Blizzard.

I come back to 'it's messy'.

thewatergamer:
Yeah all I hear are a bunch of excuses and empty promises Blizzard, instead of giving vague statements like "Its difficult to protect our IP" or "We've looked into it but its not as simple as pushing a button" why don't you actually fucking do it? You should be hiring the team that made that server and just put them in charge, simple solution, they'll be part of your company so you won't be licensing anything and their is clearly a demand for it. For once in like a decade Blizzard, actually do something good for your old fanbase

Things cost money. And their is no evidence that their "old fanbase" will pay and play long enough to warrent all the extra overhead of a project like this.

A vanilla server isn't a button they can push. They have to re-work the entire game in order to make it work properly on modern systems, which have changed drastically in the 12 years since Vanilla launched. Everyone likes to assume it's laziness or not giving a shit, but it is far more complicated than that.

VaporWare:

That Guy Ya Know:

CritialGaming:
Stuff

VaporWare:
Stuff

Senare:
Stuff

The idea that you have to defend your IP is a common myth but untrue, this only applies to trademarks even there it doesn't go quite as far as some people seem to think (https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/trademark-law-does-not-require-companies-tirelessly-censor-internet).

As far as your claim to an IP it doesn't apply at all, See http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-1315_f20h.pdf where the supreme court confirmed there was no time limit on when you had to sue.

Thank you for the clarification. Losing their biggest trademark would still be a hell of a thing for a company like Blizzard.

I come back to 'it's messy'.

Sure but there's a big leap from you can't use our trademarks to you must shut down the server so they can't really claim the shutdown was necessary to defend their IP.

Look if Blizzard want to shutdown a private server that is their right and I would never argue against that, but could they please not lie to us and spread a potentially harmful myth. (How many IP owners have shutdown projects they would rather not have due to this myth?)

"We explored options of doing this thing that has literally already been done in the server we just shut down and determined nah, 2 difficult 4 us. Also we had to do it because its the law even though ignoring it for over a year somehow didn't make us implode by creating a legal precedent, kthx".

Yeah, no.

Looks like Blizzard is hedging their bets that Legion won't be a WOD level disaster... sucks to be them.

IamGamer41:

CritialGaming:

You think you want it....but you don't....not enough of you to justify it. Sorry. It sucks but that's the fucking truth and many of you know it.

1 million subs to that vanilla only server proves you wrong. Its really funny that you think it took months to lvl up in vanilla. Maybe for you but I can see you're one of those scrubs who uses LFR. I'll tell you why Blizzard does not want to do this. Its really simple if you got a brain. Besides the legal stuff it's simply pride. That's all it is. Pride. They made all this cool shit and all everyone wants to do is play the old shit most of them had no hand in making. Sure there a few of the old guys around but not as many as they once was. How would that make you feel if you work 2 years on Warlords of Draenor (might have been less time considering there is no content) only to have every other person you talk to say they want vanilla only servers? You would be like 'Fuck you play my shit because I worked on it.'
That is the bottom line. Those assholes in charge at Blizzard do not want to admit they can't make stuff as good as it was 10 years ago. Why do you think it took them this long to put in demon hunters and bring back Illidan or give players the Ashbringer?

First off, it wasn't 1 million subs. It was 850,000 REGISTERED, only 150,000 of which was active. Which by my count is approximately 18% for their total account-base. And those numbers don't cut it for a real project like this from a Billion dollar business. Because as much as people like to deny it, Blizzard is a business and their #1 is to make money. They will do whatever it takes to make their fans happy and keep them playing and paying, so long as that investment yields ultimate profits in the end.

Server hardware, computer hardware, operating systems, and tools have all changed. Which means that the code for Vanilla WoW needs to be overhauled in order to work correctly on these systems.

Secondly, the current game. Do you really think anyone over at Blizzard is trying to make WoW suck? They are trying to find ways to appeal to an incredibly huge market. Even at only 3.5-4million players, that market is huge. They can by no means make everyone happy. Crazy as it sounds, some people liked Garrisons and like LFR. I don't know why, and I don't understand it, but for whatever reason they love that shit. Then there are the WoW verterans, these people typically hate new WoW. They hate seeing their content become so accessible to so many more people.

I was a raider in TBC, I ran Sunwell, and Black Temple. I raided Lich King too, taking him down ICC felt awesome. But to do all of that, was a lot of work. And part of me hated people for a long time that could just come into the game, hit the LFR button and go do the content. I saw it as my work was squandered for this new casual and quick audience.

But then a crazy thing happened to me. I grew up, got a job, and saw my free time all but vanish. Suddenly in Mists, I became that casual shit-brick in LFR. I became the guy who couldn't put down the time to farm cooking and elixir mats throughout the week so that I was prepared for the raid. I became.......a....a...a.....CASUAL!

You have to realize that the game changing, becoming more welcoming to a new audience, doesn't make the game bad. It makes it different and people fucking hate change. Gear doesn't mean the same thing anymore, mounts don't mean shit because there are over 400 of the things now, everyone gets flying and epic riding and all that shit we used to have to grind out for.

Yet we have an experience that people will never get to have in WoW again. We have those nights grinding mobs with our friends for rep. Or wiping with our 40-man raid in Molten Core. We remember gearing up new guildies in TBC, running them through stuff to get them attuned. We have all these awesome experiences in our memories. And that's the thing.....they are OUR memories. No amount of changes will ever take that away from us.

Those memories are what make us look back on Vanilla days with such fondness. But ask yourself something. Really think about it too.

Would releasing a Vanilla server bring any of those memories back? Sure you might be able to recall those memories. But it wont recreate them. In fact I bet that most people would log onto a Vanilla server with their friends and spend a few hours telling stories and old jokes, but they wouldn't stay for long.

And if they did release a Vanilla server, would you have the time to invest in such a game anymore? Even the youngest WoW players at the time have to at least be in college, have jobs, families even. Could you realistically put that much effort into a game you've already played for years after the fact? A game in which you have probably progress far beyond the limits of Vanilla WoW. How long could you seriously see yourself playing, how much time a week?

Come on.....be realistic.

Sounds like a load of bullshit to me. The mere fact a "pirate" server was able to operate as it did literally proves all the claims blizzard has made of it being difficult to be complete and utter nonsense. Difficult for a small group with limited funds sure, but for a multi-billion company with nigh infinite resources? yeah they're full of shit if they're claiming they can't do it too.

And we all know why they won't; fear. They're afraid if they cater to a specific niche crowd that only wants an old game that doesn't sell anymore they'll lose more people from their new products and those will sell less. Its all marketing business crap. They want big bucks and catering to the people that want old wow support would mean admitting they've failed to properly evolve the game and keep it highly successful. Which they absolutely have. WoW could have lived for forever and after countless idiotic decisions whether they be gameplay or even writing related, people are just sick of what they've been doing. Lich was the peak of the game, and its only gotten worse ever since and the insane drop in subscribers showcases that perfectly.

Amateurs can send up a multitude of private servers but somehow The WoW devs are absolutely unable to do it?

Is this guy taking the piss?

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