Blizzard Officially Comments on Nostalrius, Hints at “Pristine Realms”
About three weeks ago, we reported that Blizzard legally forced the closure of the Vanilla World of Warcraft private server Nostalrius.
That action ignited a huge debate within the community. Even one of the original developers of World of Warcraft, Mark Kern, decided to bring the petition to Blizzard and stated that classic servers would bring back the feeling of community which was progressively lost through updates and expansions.
A few hours ago, Blizzard finally broke the silence through J. Allen Brack, Executive Producer and Senior Vice President at Blizzard Entertainment. He addressed the topic with the following post on the official World of Warcraft forums:
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.
It sounds like there's hope for these "pristine realms" at least, though there's no telling how long it will take the studio to reach a final decision on the subject - Blizzard is not exactly known for being quick.
Still, we'll be sure to report any developments on Wccftech. Would you be interested in playing on one of these pristine realms? Let us know below.