Alas, poor Nostalrius

I am bitterly disappointed that Blizzard has chosen to order a shutdown of the Nostalrius World of Warcraft server. I would be even if I didn’t have a level 60 on that server. The disappointment is double considering that the only other (to my knowledge) decent vanilla WoW realm was Emerald Dream, which declined heavily in population because Nostalrius was so good, and then got merged. There isn’t going to be a proper vanilla private server left. Maybe another will come along, who knows.

But I did have a level 60 on Nostalrius, and it was a damn good server. No BS with donating for gear, no BS with donating for any other kind of advantage, no BS with an abusive or negligent mod/dev team. Just a community run by people who wanted nothing more than to have WoW, as they knew it, back. As far as private servers go, it was a smooth experience. There were problems, of course, but to my knowledge they were sorted. I mean, which private server with any kind of popularity hasn’t faced constant DDOS attacks? The Nostalrius team came down hard on hackers and botters, far harder, in fact, than Blizzard ever did while they were running the vanilla game. The economy was kept stable. There was progression, and the content was coming along smoothly. There was a community.

And it’ll be gone in a few days.

I’m disappointed, as well, because barring a stickiness for the letter of the law of intellectual property, I don’t know why Blizzard have chosen to shut it down. I could speculate that it has something to do with the fact that Nostalrius had around a million registered users, and Blizzard were anxious to have some of them back in the fold considering the impending release of Legion, but that is purely speculation. For whatever reason, Blizzard have shut down private servers in the past, and will surely do so again, considering that the Nostalrius team have decided to open source their very, very professional work.

And it was professional work. It was a service I would gladly have paid for. It was a service I still, gladly, would pay for. The Nostalrius team didn’t want you to pay for it, and for that I salute them. Instead, they had a hidden donation link that you could use if you wanted to help support running costs. That was it.

But Blizzard, look at the million registered users. I can’t speak for them, but I can speak for myself. It is a service I will pay for. I am sure some of them would, too.

I have little to no interest in WoW in the state it is. I tried Warlords of Draenor and it lost me very quickly. I have no intention whatsoever of buying or playing Legion. I am a fan of your games, and continue to play Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, but WoW to me is, for all intents and purposes, dead. There is nothing you can do to get me to pay for the game in its current state. I understand I might no longer be the intended audience, and that’s fair, but at the base of the matter, I am someone who used to pay their sub, who no longer does. I gather that there are a fair number of people like me.

There is, however, a service I would pay for.

I want legacy servers. A million other users want legacy servers. I would still be paying my WoW sub if you hosted legacy servers. You don’t, so I have to go to places like Nostalrius. I would rather be playing my WoW on Blizzard servers, where I can be sure of official support and rest easy knowing my character isn’t just going to disappear someday because your lawyers said so. I would rather be giving you money every month, paying for a service that I love and want to continue enjoying.

But I can’t. Because you don’t, and it appears, won’t, host legacy servers.

And if it’s a matter of inability, well. The Nostalrius team can. And they’re a phone call away. Get the number from your lawyers.

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