World of Warcraft has evolved dramatically since it first burst onto the MMO scene back in November of 2004. Plenty of people seek to recapture its glory days, and private servers have given those people a possible avenue. Nostalrius was one of the largest, and now Blizzard is suing them.
It’s not really too surprising. Even though Nostalrius wasn’t profiting from the private server, World of Warcraft is still Blizzard’s game. The mammoth developer lets most private servers operate, but most of them aren’t nearly as large as Nostalrius. It was peaking at upwards of 15,000 players online at once, between both Alliance and Horde. I guess Blizzard is only okay with private servers as long as you don’t get too big, then they have to do something about it.
The shutting down of Nostalrius is causing quite the kerfuffle, and is gaining a lot of traction. Fans are crying out. Maybe the reaction will cause Blizzard to rethink their stance on opening up their own legacy servers. Blizzard have said a few times that they don’t think the interest is really there to warrant the resources it would take to get one up and running. Maybe with this outcry, and with Nostalrius’s popularity, they’ll see there is a reason to, and that it might actually be profitable for them.
As World of Warcraft evolves farther away from what it was, more veteran players will want to grow nostalgic for what what once. The game lacks the sense of community it once had, when servers weren’t cross-realm, and you had to go to dungeons manually. It’s nice to take a step back and look at how far WoW has come, but it’s no lie that many players haven’t enjoyed the game as much as they did back then, and there are countless more players who have no idea. Legacy servers might attract both crowds. People longing for nostalgia, and people wanting to see what all the fuss was about.
Nostalrius says that, if they can find a way, they’ll be releasing the source code for their private server. Part of the reason private servers probably aren’t more popular is how difficult they are to get up and running, that and few of them are a completely authentic experience. A lot of private servers featured increased XP rates, or gear for donations. Nostalrius wasn’t just the largest, it was also one of the most polished and most authentic.
If Blizzard isn’t careful, they’re gonna be playing whack-a-mole as Nostalrius clones start popping up by the droves.