Over the last few weeks, a popular World of Warcraft private server named "Nostralus" was shut down. It was a server that restored World of Warcraft back to it's "Vanilla" days. Basically, making the game how it was when it launched in 2004. There were 150,000 active accounts and 800,000 unique accounts made.
When it shut down, people were upset. So they got together and made their voices heard. After 230,000 signed petitions, support from various WoW Twitch streamers and thousands of angry emails, Blizzard finally responded. Wall of text ahead.
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.
J. Allen Brack
Now, its dope to see that they actually responded. What isn't dope? That they still don't understand what the purpose of those Vanilla servers were for. Insterad they give us this vague "Pristine Server" crap. The people who were on Nostralus wanted the good and bad from Vanilla. Even Mark Kern made a video:
There isn't anything i can say about this situation that hasn't been said already. I'm just here to see what happens. The ball is in blizzards court now.
Above, is a video I recorded yesterday of my Hero League gameplay. I've come to really enjoy Thrall's play-style even though I'm typically a better ranged fighter. His combo's can be devastating and he is a great combo player.
Great combo player? Well what I mean is, and you'll see in any of my game play is I love played with Jaina or Kael'thas. Both have very high burst damage and they can either slow or stun their opponents from range, which makes me the clean-up crew.
Lvl 1: Rolling Thunder - Increases Range of Chain Lightning Lvl 4:Envenom - DoT (Yes it was nerfed, but this combos well with "W" and "E") Lvl 7:Wind Sear - Reduces the Cooldown of Windfury (E) Lvl 10: Sundering - Most of the time you'll use this Lvl 10:Earthquake - Choose this with heavily objective maps (Sky Temple, Tributes) High burst damage is a must Lvl 13: Grace of Air - Double Direwolf resilience. Thrall has the ability to heal himself after 5 stacks of Direwolf Resilience. This gives 2 stacks per hit on Windfury (E). NO BRAINER Lvl 16:Tempest Fury - Final Strike of Windfury hits 3 times. At this point in the game, you get 5 hits for the price of one. Lvl 20:Nexus Blades - Grab the extra damage to your basic attacks and allow them to slow heroes. DUH
You have questions or comments? Let me know. I'm happy to help or if you have a hero you're looking to learn more about comment!
More and more we are seeing Early Access games pop up on our recommended games and more often than not we are making excuses to buy them. We've seen a plethora of new Early Access games come through steam all of which share a common theme, survival. Some sort of crafting system, along with some sort of killer NPC's (zombies usually), and KOS mechanics.
DayZ SA was a huge disappointment for all parties involved. It was supposed to take an already near perfect mod and update the engine and bring us a smoother experience. Almost 3 years later, we are still waiting for a finished product.
Then came H1Z1. This game hyped us all up and whispered sweet nothings in our ear. It stole our hearts and promised us everything that DayZ wasn't and more. Sweet NOTHINGS, is exactly what we got. Just before launch they announced in-game micro-transactions. Pay $20 for a game that is not done, and we are going to continue to change you for in-game content. Granted, it is mostly cosmetic. Now, at this point I was still defending Daybreak's for their new Zombie Horror Survival game. Suddenly, a new mode was introduced. Battle Royale. Join a lobby and fight, Thunder-dome style, until all are dead. BUT NO ZOMBIES. This game, for the longest time, was marketed as the next big MMO Zombie Survival. Professions, would play a role in how and who you survived along side. There was even a chance you'd contract the virus yourself. FeelsBadMan. None of this has come true. The survival servers for H1Z1 which were once, at launch, all HIGH and MEDIUM all now sit at LOW, with a few MEDIUM.
Flash forward, ARK: Survival Evolved blows us all out of the water and arguably causes rift between real friends. In a matter of a week most people had 90+ hours in-game. What's not to love about surviving along side your very own triceratops or riding the fiercest of predators, the T-Rex, into a battle with another tribe. Nothing, until once again, Battle Royale mod, excuse me, Survival of the Fittest was introduced.
I'm not saying its a bad idea, and I understand my money was spent at a risk of the game turning into something completely different, or nothing at all, but does this give game companies free reign to do with it as they please?
H1Z1 was supposed to be a game changer and expand to a map far greater than that of Chernaurus. Instead, 95% of the Twitch page for said game is people competing in Battle Royale's for rare crates and drops. At least do us the courtesy of changing the name of your game so it does not reflect our previous notion.
ARK does not yet have cosmetic items in it, the way that H1Z1 does, but is this the beginning of the end. Will there be more tournaments for these Battle Royale modes? As a gamer who loves survival games, I hope to god they don't. My gripes don't extend too far into ARK, because the developers have been very transparent about development. This doesn't mean that the attention to Survival of the Fittest won't be an issue.
The modding community has always done a fairly decent job at creating these on their own. Have a look at Arma 3. Its actually the same guy who later developed H1Z Battle Roya1e, PlayerUnkown. This does not mean, that the companies should have anything to do with it. Allow modding, and complete the core game for people to change as they see fit. That is why sandbox games like Arma and even Minecraft are so successful.
One should not simply make another battle royale mode....