A popular World of Warcraft private server known as Nostalrius was issued a cease & desist order by Blizzard Entertainment, effective April 10.
World of Warcraft is a beloved game, as one might expect – it has, after all, garnered several million players in the nearly-twelve years it’s been running. But it would appear that many players miss the feel of the classic WoW experience, often termed “vanilla.”
Nostalrius offered a chance to revisit that vanilla gameplay, and people loved it; according to their website, they had accrued “hundreds of thousands” of players. Needless to say, fans of the server are not taking this lying down.
According to a NeoGAF post, retail WoW servers have fallen victim to DDoS attacks. Meanwhile, Blizzard’s official forums are aflame with threads begging Blizzard for an official way to get the vanilla experience they crave.
NeoGAF user Timeless states in the aforementioned thread that this is akin to “robbery of history” on Blizzard’s part, while Giant Bomb user utamaru suggests that the server exists “in the same sort of grey area as video game emulation does,” as well as questioning if Blizzard is “considering their own legacy servers.”
While WoW never got its hooks into me personally, I certainly understand the desire for a way to revisit old times in such an influential game. One could even argue that Nostalrius wasn’t ‘stealing players’ from the official servers – and hence, not stealing money from Blizzard – since there are no official vanilla servers to ‘steal’ from. That said, the fact remains that World of Warcraft is Blizzard’s intellectual property, and what it gets used for is ultimately up to their discretion.