Popular World of Warcraft Legacy Community Shutting Down Again To Avoid Being A 'Pirate Server'

Illustration for article titled Popular World of Warcraft Legacy Community Shutting Down Again To Avoid Being A 'Pirate Server'

What goes up must come down. This indelible law of nature applies to precisely two things: gravity, which you may have heard of, and World of Warcraft legacy community Nostalrius. While the servers that hosted the new Nostalrius remain, all Nostalrius data is being removed from them.


After Blizzard dropped the hammer on Nostalrius earlier this year, the server—which recreates World of Warcraft before crusades, cataclysms, and pandas reshaped it—reemerged in partnership with another legacy project called Elysium. Early this month, Nostalrius returned, and fans who’d turned it into something of a folk legend in the WoW community were stoked.

Cue a funeral dirge made up of sad trombone noises. Nostalrius is pulling the plug once again, but this time it’s not because of anything Blizzard said. Rather, they’re not happy about how the project is perceived, and they think it runs counter to their ultimate goal of getting official legacy servers from Blizzard.

“Today, only 10% of the former Nostalrius players have generated a token to join Elysium, and we believe that we failed to satisfy this community entirely, as at the same time legacy fans acquired a reputation of ‘pirates’ on the official WoW community,” wrote Nostalrius’ project manager, who goes by the handle Viper.

“We know that Nostalrius carries the hopes of the legacy community but moving from ‘fan server’ to ‘pirate server’ reputation makes it harder to convince that legacy fans have a place on the WoW community,” they added. “Until this stigma is removed, it’s unlikely any true progress towards official legacy content can be achieved.”

They’ve requested that Elysium stop using their source code and data, and they’ve already ceased the account transfer process on their end. Elysium says they plan to comply.

“It is with sadness that we must act under such circumstances,” wrote an Elysium admin named Shenna. “However, rest assured that our loyalties remain with the community in all things. All characters that have existed in the game world since Elysium’s launch until now will be maintained and all Nostalrius specific data will be wiped. Nostalrius realms will be renamed to Anathema PvP and Darrowshire PvE... All future Nostalrius related data will be denied. The new realms will not be affected, and Elysium will not disclose any Nostalrius’ data such as the databases and core.”


They revealed, however, that they recently peaked at 30,500 players simultaneously online over four realms, which is no small feat for a fan server. And so, Elysium plans to continue with new and improved databases and cores of their own. “Nostalrius handed us the torch, we have no intention of putting it out,” the admin said.

As for Nostalrius, they plan to approach the problem from a different angle. They just aren’t quite sure what the angle is yet.


“For us, Legacy fans can still be part of a broader and stronger WoW community,” wrote Viper. “The original versions of WoW deserve preservation and there should be an opportunity for veterans and newcomers alike to experience the game in it’s original forms. World of Warcraft is as important to the larger gaming community as some of the most iconic video games in history, like Mario or Zelda, and the versions of the game that originally created that significance should be able to be experienced by anyone at anytime.”

“From our side, we keep on working on multiple ideas which may go in the right direction,” they added. “We want to apologize to the former Nostalrius players who transferred their account. We understand that our decision to ask Elysium to stop using our data might bring you pain. Our community has always been the center of our actions, and we still need to find the proper solution to please WoW community as a whole.”

Kotaku senior reporter. Beats: Twitch, streaming, PC gaming. Writing a book about streamers tentatively titled "STREAMERS" to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in the future.



I, for one, am shocked. Shocked I say!

Maybe they really were concerned about the light their actions were painting throwback server fans in, or MAYBE they were able to hear Blizzard’s lawyers cackling with glee all the way in Irvine, but hey. The great experiment is dead or whatever. (Kind of undercuts their high-minded rhetoric when their chosen successor reassures everyone that THEY’RE still going to be running their pirate server so no worries, but eh. Not worth getting worked up about.)

For what it’s worth, I do think Blizzard ought to figure out some way for legacy server(s) to exist (though I doubt I’d be interested, personally), maybe by running it or them in seasons, but I’m not responisible for making payroll there, so what do I know.