The Last Minutes Of World of Warcraft's Shuttered Fan Server

Illustration for article titled The Last Minutes Of World of Warcraft's Shuttered Fan Server

On Sunday night, thousands of World of Warcraft players gathered to say goodbye to Nostalrius, the fan-run server that hosted a vanilla version of the iconic MMORPG until Blizzard shut it down.


Nostalrius, which we profiled last year, used World of Warcraft v1.12, otherwise known as the game’s latest incarnation before 2006's Burning Crusade expansion. From Onyxia runs to 40-person Molten Core raids, Nostalrius had just about everything players might remember from 2005. According to Nostalrius’s creators, the server had around 800,000 registered users and 150,000 active players, some of whom showed up Sunday to pay their respects.

For hours before the server ended, fans formed big lines and mass gatherings across Azeroth. Here are a few different videos of the last minutes:

On Reddit last week, Nostalrius’s volunteer administrators took questions from fans and expressed sorrow about Blizzard’s decision to shut down the server.

“The heart behind all private servers, including Nostalrius, is to recreate a version of the game that many enjoyed and that Blizzard no longer provides,” wrote testing team leader Nano. “Our hope is that Blizzard someday embraces the idea of legacy servers and that is the reason for our petition addressed to Michael Morhaime. The dream of our community has always been to have Blizzard open legacy servers. Through this petition, we show our willingness to share our experience, knowledge, data, really anything at all that would help Blizzard consider opening legacy servers.”

The petition, which asks Morhaime and Blizzard to reconsider their decision, has 84,472 supporters as of this article’s publication.

“When I heard the news that Nostalrius was going to have to shutdown, I nearly cried,” Nano wrote. “I’ve never experienced as rich of a community, both as a player with my guild and working within the Core team. I have friends from retail vanilla WoW still 12 years later and I believe in 12 years from now I will still have friends from Nostalrius.”


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Hot take:

Blizzard won’t have legacy servers because they know the game in the current form is dying, and they’re rightly worried that legacy servers would cannibalize the hell out of their current server numbers and hasten its death. Because as much as jackassing halfway across the Eastern Kingdoms to get to Stratholme is a pain in the ass, it’s what makes the game a living world with world PvP and other such events. Sitting in your garrison with your thumb in your ass waiting for the dungeon finder just ups the speed on the loot treadmill and makes the endgame stagnate that much faster.