Tag Archives: Activision Blizzard

Blizzard pulls the plug on vanilla World of Warcraft server Nostalrius with a cease and desist letter

World of Warcraft is probably the biggest videogame ever created with millions of fans worldwide. Even if you are like me and have never played it, you still know how big the game is. Some of World of Warcraft's millions of fans don't want to play the game with any expansions, they want to play the game like it was back in the day when they started.

When World of Warcraft started getting expansions there were fans who still wanted the 'vanilla' experience they paid for, but could no longer access. That's when vanilla servers were created to let players experience the game like it was when it first came out without all the added features that made the game more casual and less hardcore.

Nostalrius was one of the biggest vanilla serves with PvP, PvE, and The Burning Crusade servers and many enjoyed playing on them. Blizzard was not enjoying that since the numbers of active paying players slowly but steadily dropped and the vanilla servers were private servers and the players didn't pay any subscription fees to Blizzard. So now they decided to shutdown one of the biggest servers.

The Nostalrius team are not going PvP Blizzard in court about this and they wrote "Yesterday, we received a letter of formal notice from US and French lawyers, acting on behalf of Blizzard Entertainment, preparing to stand trial against our hosting company OVH and ourselves in less than a week now. This means the de facto end of Nostalrius under its current form."

The servers are going down by the end of the week  "all related servers will be definitively shutdown at 23:00 server time on the 10th of April 2016, if our hosting company keeps the server online for that long."

With the server shutdown Nostalrius wrote an open letter to Blizzard to explain and show why the vanilla community exists and that all they wanted was to re-live the glory days of vanilla WoW. They are also urging the rest of their community to send this open letter to Blizzard. But if Blizzard really wanted a vanilla community then they could have created their own vanilla servers a long time ago, instead they are focusing on new updates and a Warcraft film. But who knows, maybe at BlizzCon 2016 they will address the vanilla community in some way.

So if you are a Nostalrius player you have until April 10 23:00 server time, this Sunday, to say goodbye to all of your server friends that you may never find again. After that, they will pull the plug on the servers.

Blizzard invites Mark Kern and the Nostalrius team to private meeting

The Blizzard legacy and vanilla server circus just keeps on going. The latest is that Blizzard has invited former World of Warcraft Team Lead Mark Kern and the Nostalrius team to a private meeting.

When Blizzard shutdown the private server Nostalrius the whole WoW community started rumbling, including former WoW Team Lead Mark Kern. The former Blizzard developer sent an open letter to Blizzard asking them to reconsider legacy servers aruging that they were a piece of gaming history. It seems like Mark Kern's open letter video got to Blizzard.

Mike Morhaime himself, one of Blizzard's co-founders, has invited Mark Kern and the Nostalrius team to Blizzard HQ, but what they are going to talk about is still a secret. Though talks about legacy WoW should be expected to be on the agenda.

The qustion is, will Blizzard try and convince both Kern and the Nostalrius team the their "Pristine Realms" are a better idea or will they try and get the Nostalrius guys to make legit legacy WoW?

The Nostalrius team has promised to keep us all updated on what goes down at Blizzard HQ. Until then we just have to wait and see what happens.

Lizard Squad claims responsibility Blizzard DDoS attack; employee personal information leaked, games offline

Blizzard recently experienced a DDoS attack that shutdown all of their games and servers. In addition to that, rumor has it that one of the employees got all of his personal information spread.

Blizzard went and made themselves enemies with the Vanilla community when they decided to shutdown one of the biggest private Vanilla serves, Nostalrius. It was well within Blizzards rights to do so and most of the players knew that the day would come when their servers would be no more. On the day of  the server shutdown many of the Nostalrius community decided to make in-game suicide pacts or to meet their faith together as a community. It looked like an honorable end for this particular Vanilla server, as well as a traditional way to mark the end of a servers life.

There are various Reddit threads showing exactly how many players were upset with the server shutdown.

Last night, Blizzard became the victim of a DDoS attack which took out all of Blizzards games and notorious hacker group, Lizard Squad, is claiming responsibility for the attack. Whether or not it was them has not been confirmed by external sources.

As if a DDoS attack wasn't enough, Lizard Squad also managed to get their hands on personal information for a few Blizzard employees which has begun to be spread across the internet (which we will not link to). From the looks of it, a Blizzard employee's Outlook account was hacked which lead to personal information and contact lists with information about other Blizzard employees being found.

If these events are connected to the Nostalrius shutdown or if the Lizard Squad are the ones responsible for the attacks is not yet confirmed, however the DDoS attack has been.

There is no solid proof that this had anything to do with the Nostalrius shutdown, something the community on Reddit are doing their best to convey.

Overwatch receives new short animated teaser trailer which explains the story

 

Overwatch has released a new teaser trailer bringing back everyone's favorite scientist gorilla — Winston to help give a little overview about the games story.

 

As you can watch the 2-minute trailer above, Overwatch was once a military organization of soldiers & mercenaries that help fend off the Omnics, however since then, the team has been disbanded and been grouped as 'criminals' by the public. But the time has come for our heroes to rejoin forces and make a difference in the world.

 

Soon enough players will able to jump into the game themselves as an open beta will be happening this weekend May 5-9. You check out Tracers new pose for yourself, try the mad scientist Winston out, or switch between the colorful cast of characters.

 

Overwatch launches on May 24 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Players jump off in-game cliff as Vanilla World of Warcraft server 'Nostalrius' officially shut down

It is done. The plug has been pulled. Nostalrius, one of the biggest World of Warcraft (WoW) Vanilla servers is officially dead.

Blizzard earlier sent a Cease and Desist letter to those behind the WoW vanilla server Nostalrius giving them until 23:00 April 10, server time, to shut down their servers. Otherwise, the server users would have to PvP Blizzard in court, something the Nostalrius team wasn't up to.

Some almost heartbreaking pictures and a videos of the final moments of Nostalrius have surfaced. The pictures shows how hundreds of players didn't want to wait for the inevitable demise of their beloved characters and friends so they made in-game suicide pacts. They went to on a march from Orgimmar to Thunderbluff to jump off a cliff and die.

Thousands of other players decided to die together, united as a community, when the servers got shutdown (of course, in-game). They met up and said their final words while fire was raining down. The silence that ensued when the servers got taken down was surely deafening.

More than a few Nostalrius players have voiced their opinions about the server shutdown and it is safe to say that the Vanilla community isn't happy with Blizzard.

Nostalrius is no more. About 800,000 accounts have been lost. It is the end of an era.

Source: FZ

Overwatch getting another PC beta this weekend

Overwatch is hosting yet another beta, and this time even more players will be allowed to participate. All of the 21 characters will be available as well as three different maps.

Blizzard's upcoming FPS game, Overwatch, has hosted a few closed betas in the past, but over the weekend even more players will get to try the game. The beta is from  9:00am PT (12:00PM ET) April 15 through 9:00pm PT April 16 (12:00AM ET April 17), and only PC players will get to participate.

This will beta will be used by Blizzard to stress test the servers and its hardware, they have also asked for feedback on how the game handles an increased amount players. Blizzard has warned beta participants that they will probably experience problems during  the test, after all, that is what betas are for.

Those who participated in previous betas and want to join in on this stress test beta can either reinstall their Overwatch launcher or log onto their Battle.net account and choose to opt-in for the beta. If you are selected to join the beta you will get an e-mail informing you, but an Overwatch license may appear in on your Battle.net account before the e-mail arrives. Just click the install button and Overwatch will be ready to play.

Overwatch will get a console beta later in May, before the game itself launches May 24.

With Blizzard hosting a beta for Overwatch and a Bonus XP event in Heroes of the Storm it almost looks like they are trying to draw away the attention from Battleborn's beta.

Source: VG247

Get 13 free Hearthstone packs Whispers of the Old Gods

The next big Hearthstone expansion, Whispers of the Old Gods, launches next week, and if you play during the launch week you have the chance to earn 13 FREE card packs from the new expansion!

According to VG24, Blizzard took to a livestream to reveal that along with Whispers of the Old Gods releasing next week players can get 10 packs from the new expansion through various quests during the release week.

Five packs can be obtained through a special launch quest. The quest has the player win two games in Standard mode, the new ranked mode where players can't use older cards. Players who complete another special launch quest by winning seven more games of Standard mode get five more Whispers of the Old Gods packs.

If winning turns out to be too hard, then Blizzard is also giving away three free packs just for logging in during the launch week.

That means players can get up to 13 free packs! 

Developers from Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 helped Blizzard create Overwatch

Overwatch will be Blizzard's first shooter and they have enlisted help from Treyarch to make the console version of the game as smooth as possible. Like 'Dirty' Harry Callahan said in Magnum Force, "A man's got to know his limitations."

Blizzard realized their limitations and enlisted fellow Activision studio Treyarch, developers of the Call of Duty: Black Ops series, to help with things like their aim assist and other features and mechanics.

Overwatch's assistant game director Aaron Keller told Gamesradar that "We actually worked with some of the Treyarch guys to make sure our aim assist [on controllers] felt really good".

This isn't the first time that Blizzard has collaborated with other Activision studios, in fact, there has been quite a lot of intellectual exchange, both when it comes to creative ideas and practical things like engines or gameplay mechanics.

"We collaborated with the Destiny team, when they were building Destiny they wanted to talk to some of the people at World of Warcraft to see how they made some of their content. And we've gone to Treyarch a number of times and talked to them, whether it's about some of their guts of the engine features, or whether it's about tuning changes. And they've come out and looked at some of our stuff, too."

Keller also said that the bigger Overwatch updates, not bug fixes and such, will roll out fairly close on all platforms, so there is no reason to worry that Blizzard will give PC all the cool stuff while the consoles are stuck with an older version of the game, like Valve did with Team Fortress 2. But like Blizzard has mentioned before, the game will be balanced separately on PC and consoles, making Overwatch the best game it can be on every platform it is released on.

Overwatch launches on May 24.

New Warcraft movie clip shows off the rebel

The hype for the Warcraft movie is real. Legendary's epic movie releases on June 10 and now they have started releasing short character trailers. First up is Durotan from the Frostwolves.

"The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home."

This is where it all began, this is before Warcraft and World of Warcraft. These are the events that forever changed Azeroth.

There will surely be more of these character trailer before the release of the Warcraft movie.

Blizzard is 'dead wrong' on Nostalrius shutdown reasoning, says former WoW Team Lead

The World of Warcraft vanilla and legacy server circus keeps on going. Former WoW Team Lead Mark Kern called Blizzard out on there being no "clear legal path to […] grant an operating license to a pirate server." 

A few days ago Blizzard broke the silence after the Nostalrius shutdown and one of the things they said was that there is no 'clear legal path' to privately operated servers, something that former World of Warcraft developer Mark Kern called them out to be false. "I don’t know where he’s getting his advice from, but from a legal perspective he’s dead wrong," said Kern. "Let’s say ‘He thinks he knows license agreements, but he doesn’t.'"

In a video directed to Blizzard Kern sat down and explained his view on the matter. With him he had, just like he promised, the printed signatures of over 230,000 people who wanted Blizzard supported legacy servers, the signatures made up of over 10,000 pages.

Blizzard earlier basically said that making legacy servers will be hard to do since they don't really know how and they aren't sure that the community would like it, an excuse Kern indirectly called them out on. Kern views legacy servers as an opportunity for WoW, not a competition to it and that it is what the community wants.

"By now, every gamer who has ever wanted to try WoW has already done so, WoW is simply so big that there are no huge swaths of untapped gamers to attract to the franchise. But, there are veterans. Millions of them. And they miss their home and their community.”

Mark Kern worked on WoW for many years, he knows the game and its fans. The latest report on WoW subscribers said numbers were around 5 million and Kern knows that it is much lower today. He wants WoW to prosper and he wants the people to experience the piece of gaming history that is the original World of Warcraft, the way it was when it first came out. Making legacy servers would bring back the veterans to play both the old and new content, according to Kern. If a fan server like Nostalrius could muster up close to 1,000,000 accounts in a year, then imagine how man players would come back to WoW if legal legacy servers were created. "Why not add another one or two million subscribers?"

On the topic of it being difficult to give private servers the legal rights to run legacy servers Kern in an interview with Escapeist Magazine brings up the fact that he was involved in the process of writing the TOS and EULA

"I also helped draft Blizzard’s TOS and EULA, so I know quite a bit about this stuff,” he added. “[Beck’s] just…wrong. I don’t know where he’s getting his advice from, but from a legal perspective he’s dead wrong. Let’s say ‘He thinks he knows license agreements, but he doesn’t.'"

Kern further said that Blizzard has already converted legacy games to be able to run on Battle.net and that he doesn't understand why Blizzard can't do the same to WoW, why it would be so hard for them

"They've done this for Diablo 2, Starcraft and Warcraft III. It's even right on their web page. So yes, I do not understand this answer from Blizzard. It makes no sense when they've done it for their other legacy games"

Who knows what Kern's subtle message to Blizzard will bring, but one thing is for sure, the legacy server debate is far from over.