On April 10th at 11 p.m. “server time”, World of Warcraft‘s largest private server, Nostalrius, which ran vanilla WoW, was terminated after a cease-and-desist order from Blizzard stating that it was copyright infringement. 150,000 active users believed to be forever finished with vanilla. Some, in the server’s last few hours, even ceremonially participated in an over hour long suicide march from Orgimmar to Thunder Bluff where they jumped to their death.
This was followed by a heavy outcry for a WoW Legacy server and sparked a petition with over a quarter of a million signatures with that request. The team behind the server noted, “The heart behind all private servers, including Nostalrius, is to recreate a version of the game that many enjoyed and that Blizzard no longer provides”.
In an interview with IGN, the game’s director, Ion Hazzikostas, said:
“If we could just flip a switch and make it happen we already would have done that, the project is basically akin to launching a new game. It’s about the pre-Cataclysm world, It’s about level-capping, the old skills being what they were, etc. A lot of it is about nostalgia. A lot of it is about literally trying to re-experience what you remember from 2005-2006. Nostalgia is powerful.”
After that, Blizzard invited Nostalrius’ core development team to its Irvine, California campus for a meeting with CEO Mike Morhaim and other World of Warcraft executives. And according to the project creator, Blizzard was “very interested, curious, attentive, and asked a lot of questions.” He proceeded to state that while they do want to have legacy WoW servers and have the original source code, Blizzard felt there would be problems gathering the server and that to properly set one up would take time. Now, it looks like Nostalrius will be back up on December 17th. Blizzard has made no official announcements related to this and fans are left wondering how quickly it will be shut down again, if at all.