Before I even kick-off my OP piece I just want to make it very clear that I have been a fan of Blizzard and their games ever since the “The Lost Vikings” days (a game which I started to play by the end of 1992). With that said, I´m not much of a fan of the 2016 edition of Blizzard. In the matter of fact, I lost my faith in them once “Diablo 3” launched (which it did back in 2012). And not only because the game itself was half-broken on release (it took me two weeks before I could actually login and play the game…), no. I´m also talking about the fact that “Diablo 3” felt and looked nothing like the past “Diablo” titles. Well, let´s just say that I (and many other Diablo players) got really disappointed in D3 (I also thought that the game was too colorful and World of warcraft:ish for my taste).
So I can very much relate to those who felt like Blizzard had turned their back on them in the case with “World of Warcraft”, because the original release of Wow (the vanilla version) was extremely loved by the fans and the players. However, over time Wow got transformed into…Ehrm, something “else”. And that is probably why a lot of players started to leave the world of Wow after the “Cataclysm” expansion. As the fans simply thought that Wow wasn´t Wow anymore.
And that brings us to the actual topic of this OP piece, because earlier today O.J (my brother and a former Wow player) informed me about The Nostalrius private Wow server and JonTron´s “Blizzard” rant video“. Well, for those who aren´t a Wow player. Nostalrius basically offers Wow players a chance to play the Vanilla version of Wow (the Wow that people knew and loved back in the days). And it was a truly popular server too, as Nostalrius had over 150,000 active players and +800K registered players. However, you might have noticed that I wrote “was really popular”? As in “used to be”? Well, that´s correct. Because Blizzard forced Nostalrius to close down their server due to legal reasons (copy rights):
“Dear community, For over a year, you have been part of an extraordinary journey. A journey back in the early days of our beloved game. A journey in which hundreds of thousands of people took part in together. Something that we had never seen before, either on retail or private servers. Together, we built a strong community, sharing values and a common genuine interest for this wonderful game created by Blizzard.” – Nostalrius Begins
Yes, I´m more than aware of the fact that Blizzard owns the Wow IP. Even so, Blizzard sure could have handled this situation with a little more “grace” and elegance than they did. I mean, couldn´t they have done some kind of deal with the Nostalrius team? Especially since it´s quite obvious that those who play on that server really, love´s the 2004 edition of Wow (the players simply play on Nostalrius server because they don´t like the 2016 edition of Wow). And funny enough, this whole situation wouldn´t even have happened if Blizzard had simply listened to their own Wow community in the first place (“No. And you don’t want that either. You think you do, but you don’t.”, seriously Blizzard?). Nevertheless, it did. And now we have a situation where Nostalrius World of Warcraft vanilla server is down, and thus the creation of the “Legacy server among World of Warcraft community” petition via change.org:
“Dear Mr. Morhaime,
We are the team of Nostalrius Begins, a community dedicated to World of Warcraft’s first version, also known as “Vanilla”. We were a team of about thirty volunteers, and used to host an international legacy server for this version of WoW. For roughly one year, it was an amazing journey for all of us, and for the 800,000 players who registered an account, including the 150,000 players who were active. We passionately reproduced the original progression you created throughout patches and content releases. The mighty Ahn Qiraj raid was to be released next month.
However, the french provider hosting our server recently received a formal letter written by french and US lawyers asking to shut down our services because of Copyright Infringement prior to a lawsuit. As soon as we received the information, we decided to schedule the final shutdown of our World of Warcraft realms, as requested.”
And so far the petition is doing really great, as the Nostalrius team (and its supporters) have already collected +73,000 signs out of their 150K goal. And once that 150K petition goal is reached, then the idea would be to send the petition letter (and all the petition signs) to Blizzard Entertainment´s CEO Mike Morhaime. That´s a great goal indeed, but will Morhaime and Blizzard care at all? Because let´s be honest, the 2016 edition of Blizzard isn´t anything like the 2004 (or 1994) edition of Blizzard. Simply put, they don´t care all that much about their players anymore. It´s all about the money. And as for Wow, the game is just a shadow of its former self nowadays. And speaking of which, JonTron had the following to say about Nostalrius (Jon loves the 2004 edition of Wow):
“When I was playing Nostalrius, I honestly felt like I was playing the World of Warcraft that I loved” – JonTron
And in all honesty, I don´t get what Blizzard gains from having Nostalrius pulling the plug on their Vanilla Wow server? Because it won´t earn them any money, nor will it help them to earn back the trust from their former Wow players (most of the Wow fans see this as a “big fu** you” on the behalf of Blizzard). Personally, I think that Blizzard has messed up big time. Because not only did they kill off a perfectly good fan creation and Wow community and piss people off in the process. Blizzard also lost a potential business opportunity as well (maybe Blizzard could have worked something out with the Nostalrius team?). And due to the fact that Wow is bleeding players like crazy (Wow had 5.5 million subscribers back in November last year). I think it´s safe to say that Blizzard made a really bad move by pulling off a copyright legal brawl with the Nostalrius team. As it´s just going to make matters even worse for Wow…
With that said. What do you think about all of this? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
Robin “V-Act” Ek
The Gaming Ground
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