Every now and then there is that big gaming
news report that everyone in the community notices.
I’m talking about a case so large that even people who do not play the game, see this
news. It was something big that happened, something not only game changing but changed
the community as well. In this case it was the termination of a community
I guess you could say, due to their association with a game or rather server, that has now
been removed. This big news I’m talking about is of course the elimination of Nostalrius.
For those who are unaware Nolstarlrius was a private World of Warcraft server run by
volunteers. It ran for roughly a year before being shut down just recently.
WoW is a constantly evolving game and is hardly recognisable to what it was when it first
came out. This private server allowed people to experience what WoW was like back in 2004,
commonly called Vanilla WoW or Classic WoW. Later on they also implemented servers dedicated
to the World of Warcraft expansion: The burning Crusade, once again, allowing people to experience
what WoW was like during that era of 2007. Nolstalrius is notorious for being the largest
private server. According to the information handed out by the volunteers that run the
server: roughly 800,000 accounts where made it its life time. And it had about 150,000
active players at any given time. It was a huge community that was pretty active
as witnessed with the attendance of people at the final hours of the server before being
removed permanently. It was a community of people who enjoyed Classic
World of Warcraft and/or the burning crusade and wanted to relive those memories, really
live in nostalgia per say. Alternatively people may have missed out on that era and wish to
live through the legend others speak of….Or people just played it coz hey it WoW and its
free why the hell not. Whatever the reason people participated in
the private server I’m sure most people are asking why it was shut down?
Well the company responsible for the shutdown is of course Blizzard Entertainment, the legal
owners and creators of the game. Giving them full ownership of the game, so if someone
Summed up: a team of US and French lawyers hired by Blizzard issued the staff of the
private/illegal server of Nolstalrius with an order of cease and desist which is a fancy
way of saying Stop it or we’ll sue. Nolstalrius obeyed and shut down the servers,
thus ending the legend. But something that has been overlooked is
why? We partially know the answer, which is that
it is illegal of course. But the servers have been going for about a year and blizzard didn’t
seem to really care up until now. Plus there are many other private servers out there,
my question is will blizzard pursue them as well, if they do then I think I know why.
But first let’s have a look at the conclusion most people have drawn from blizzard shutting
down private servers which is: That it is a threat to their subscribers thus their income.
Well I don’t really think this is the main reason. I found that most people who play
private servers play them because they want to play WoW how it was at that timeframe and
are completely disinterested in current day WoW.
So even if you did shut down the server that the people were playing on, it’s very unlikely
that they will just shrug it off and flock back to retail World of Warcraft.
Like I said before WoW classic and WoW we have today are 2 very different games.
So even if they did manage to shut down every single private server, their subscription
numbers would not see a boost due to that since those players are not interested in
Retail WoW, they will probably move on to some other MMORPG.
So what the real reason for shutting down Nolstalrius. Well I’d be lying if I said
I knew exactly why but I do have 3 theories that could make sense of the situation.
Keeping in mind these are just my theories, I don’t have much evidence to go off but
they are possible so let’s have a look. Theory 1: Time walker
If you play Retail WoW then you know that there is a monthly event known as timewalker
dungeons which allows players to queue for dungeons at a given expansion such as Wrath
of the lich king or Cataclysm. You and your group will be scaled down to the level of
the dungeon and your gear will also be scaled down.
You can then relive your old dungeons like before and get good loot that can help you
in the current expansion, as well as earn a currency that can earn you some treats at
the vendor. Now this is not the solution, this is just
how retail WoW is at the moment. However I think Blizzard may have taken action again
Nolstalrius because they may see Nolstalrius as a threat in a sense.
Timewalker dungeons are a good addition to the game however you can only play them during
certain weeks of the month and although you are experiencing the dungeon just like the
old days, the game itself has not reverted back to the way it was.
The interface, class abilities, talent trees, class balances and patches are not the same
as they were back in the era, so it still is not a perfect replica of the old days.
However Nolstalrius can offer this since it is the game from that era.
I think that blizzard are going to expand on the time walker dungeons to cover more
instances, expansions and even cover raids. They could even expand it further since the
technology now allows it. A hint to this is the addition of scaling
mobs in Legion. In legion you may traverse any zone you like and find mobs the same level
as you. With this sort of mechanic now available to blizzard they could use it to help people
relive their own instances and raids. Granted, like I said before, it won’t be
exactly the same due to talents and class balancing and stuff, but it can sort of offer
it. If blizzard are going down this path, it would make sense that they would remove
the competitor that is already doing it for free.
After all why would you bother going for a semi-realistic recreation of your nostalgia
when you can just find and use the real thing: being Nolstalrius, since it is the exact game
they remember. Now I’m not saying that this is the best
solution, far from it, it’s just a hypothesis I have gathered from the information that
blizzard has been releasing for the new expansions and the revelation of the shutdown of Nolstalrius
due to blizzard. It could be coincidental but it may not be,
I guess we’ll see soon. Theory 2: Legacy servers
This is the one I think most people wish for and are constantly begging blizzard for. However fans have reminded adamant about Legacy servers, so much so that they made their own
illegal ones. Now you may be thinking that because they
have said in the past we won’t be doing it, That well they won’t be doing it.
However blizzard have a track record of when they fuck up, they confess it and change.
This can be applied for this situation as well,
I can see why they said that at the time, I think they believed that if they did make
legacy servers it would divide the community too much, friends would not be able to play
with other friends because they have mains in different expansions or legacy servers.
And to a degree this is correct, many people probably would be divided by this however
I think blizzard has had a change of heart. It could be seen as a huge benefit for the
business if they did make the legacy servers now. Since it has now been established that
people who do play private servers will probably not return to retail WoW if the private servers
are taken away from them. Then by adding Legacy servers to the retail
game, each community would already be established and yes there would be a divide for a while
but once the servers have been out for a few months, the divide would dissipate.
All and all, the addition to legacy servers to the game at the moment would probably cause
a massive subscription spike, since the private server Nolstalrius has been shut down most
people have lost their way of accessing wow classic and The burning crusade.
A good marketing and business idea (I think) would be to open up these legacy servers in
wow pretty soon. And if blizzard pursues more private servers and shuts them down they would
probably open up more legacy servers once they know that the main private server of
that expansion has been removed, giving people no other option but to return to retail WoW.
I will probably cover more of this in a different video as I have much more info to go off.
I would still say it is unlikely that this will come true but it is still within the
realms of possibility. And now my last and final theory.
This theory may not have the best outcome, but I have researched for hours, piles and
piles of documents support this claim. None of my previous theories have been as
solid as this one. In fact I’m so certain on this theory, that I think it is the most
probable of all of them. So here it is. My third theory: The reason
why Blizzard entertainment shut down Nolstalrius is…..for shits and giggles.