Last month, the popular private World of Warcraft server, Nostalrius, was handed a cease and desist letter from French and American lawyers on behalf of Blizzard Entertainment due to an infringement of intellectual property. If they did not comply with the order, they would have been taken to court. The server dedicated to the original (“vanilla”) version of World of Warcraft, which had 800,000 players over the entirety of its lifetime, officially shut down and since then, the team that ran the server as well as players from around the world have made their voices heard on the subject. From YouTube videos all the way to petitions, the players let Blizzard know exactly where they stood.
Blizzard Entertainment has been silent on the subject since then and many took that silence as Blizzard avoiding the issue; however, that was not the case. Today, Blizzard Entertainment released an official statement on the Nostalrius server issue. In that statement, they also addressed the possibility of pristine realms, but before you get excited about that, pristine realms are not exactly what you’re hoping for. Below is the official statement:
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”
So while Blizzard has, once again, stated that vanilla or progression realms would not happen, they did offer a compromise with the possibility of a pristine realm. Given what they have said about it, the question would be if whether or not people would play on a realm such as that. As a World of Warcraft player myself, I would not play on a realm like that. People are yearning for the classic experience, not something with current systems with a “hard mode” option, but that’s just me.
Would you play on a pristine realm? Let us know in the comments below.