Tag Archives: world of warcraft
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.
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.
I'm pleased to tell you that Mike has replied, and we are meeting in the next couple weeks when our schedules align! @NostalBegins
— Mark Kern (@Grummz) 29 april 2016
@Blizzard_Ent is willing to meet us in their campus! An announcement is coming this weekend! pic.twitter.com/TnddNoSm3N
— NostalriusBegins (@NostalBegins) 29 april 2016
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.
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.
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.
Blizzard has revealed the release date for World of Warcraft's next big expansion, Legion.
It's been a while since some good news about World of Warcraft got out, it's a nice change.
Legion was shown at BlizzCon 2015 and a beta was available for a while, but now the release date for the expansion is out, and Legion rolls out August 30, 2016, just in time for the long summer break to end for everyone in school.
Legion picks up where Warlords of Draenor left off; The Burning Legion is invading Azeroth and it's an all around not a good time for anyone. The new expansion ups the level cap to 110, adds a new class, a whole new story, and much more.
The Standard Edition will cost $50 while the Digital Deluxe edition will cost $70, the Standard will be available in both digital and physical stores and an option to upgrade to Digital Deluxe later on. A Collectors Edition will also be released with items like a hardcover art book, behind the scenes Blu-ray/ DVD, a soundtrack CD, and a Legion mouse pad.
Those who pre-purchases Legion get the following:
- Early access to the new Demon Hunter class before the expansions release
- A level 100 boost
- The "Illidari Felstalker" mount
- The "Nibbles" pet
- A Heroes of the Storm "Felstalker" Mount
- Starcraft II portraits
- Diablo III wings and helm
After Blizzard decided to shutdown the private vanilla World of Warcraft server Nostalrius there has been some rumbling in the WoW community. Blizzard has broken their silence on the server shutdown.
Many viewed private WoW servers as a harmless thing that could coexist with the full WoW game, so when Blizzard shut it down it started a whole lot of commotion.
During the shutdown the community had in-game suicide pacts and met their fate in a rain of fire. After that the Lizard Squad DDoSed all of Blizzard's games, hacked some employees and leaked their personal information in attempt to make a point. Following that, former WoW Team Lead Mark Kern said thet he would personally hand over a petition to Blizzard on creating legitimate Legacy Servers.
Finally, Blizzard has opened up to speak on this somewhat infected matter.
After the Nostalrius shutdown they have been monitoring the situation closely and have been listening to what the community really wants. They have not been ignoring the fans in this matter.
J. Allen Brack, Executive Producer and Senior Vice President at Blizzard Entertainment, took the Blizzard forums and said "Our silence on this subject definitely doesn’t reflect our level of engagement and passion around this topic. We hear you."
Brack went on to explain that they have had many and long internal discussions on the matter of vanilla servers and on how to implement them in a way that the community would enjoy. Vanilla servers would take a long time and a lot of work for Blizzard, unfortunately, the developers cannot punch a button to get a vanilla server started.
When it comes to the Nostalrius shutdown, Brack said that they did it to protect their rights. Whenever a company fails to do what it can to protect its rights the harder it will be to protect them in the future. As a company and business they had to do it.
"Failure to protect against intellectual property infringement would damage Blizzard’s rights […] 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. "
The internal talks about vanilla servers have lead to something they call "Pristine Realms" which would be similar to what Nostalrius had. Blizzard even has a concept for these "Pristine Realms":
"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."
As a further sign that Blizzard is listening to their fans is that they have been talking with "the folks who operated Nostalrius" and they are looking "forward to more conversations with them in the coming weeks". What they are talking about has not been revealed, but there still is a sliver of hope for official vanilla servers.
Brack ended by saying " We thank you for your constructive thoughts and suggestions. We are listening."
Developer Blizzard and publishing house Scholastic recently announced World of Warcraft: Traveler, a series of children’s novels set in the WoW universe’s Azeroth.
Penned by comic book author and animation writer Greg Weisman (Young Justice, Star Wars Rebels), Traveler stars twelve-year-old protagonist Aramar Thorne, the artistic and adventurous son of one of Azeroth’s greatest adventurers. Unfortunate circumstances lead Aram to the ends of Azeroth, from which he must return using only his sketchbook and spirit, and the friends he makes along the way.
“World of Warcraft is a captivating fantasy universe that lends itself to many imaginative and innovative storytelling possibilities,” said Scholastic Vice President Debra Dorfman. “When Blizzard initially approached us about creating an original series for kids, we were not only intrigued but immediately mesmerized. This has truly been a fantastic collaboration and we look forward to sharing this thrilling adventure with boys and girls everywhere.”
The first Traveler book will release in November 2016, with a follow-up due in November 2017. Featuring full-page sketches and cover art by Blizzard artists Samwise Didier and Stephane Belin, the series retains the canon and continuity of WoW and introduces its world to a younger generation.
“What if we crafted a story that was younger, a story from a kid’s point of view?” Blizzard’s James Waugh asked in a promotional video (above). “How would they see the world of Azeroth? That led us to coming up with the Traveler.”
“Traveler teaches me things about Warcraft that I did not see before,” said Blizzard’s Chris Metzen. “It opens me up to Warcraft in a way a single video game doesn’t by itself. So, I’m very thankful for Traveler.”
Fans of vanilla World of Warcraft have started a petition to get Blizzard to add vanilla servers to World of Warcraft. If the petition gets 200,000 signatures the former WoW Team Lead, Mark Kern, will personally deliver the petition to Blizzard's CEO Mike Morhaime.
To recap: The whole vanilla WoW circus started when one of the biggest private servers, Nostalrius, got shut down via a Cease and Desist letter from Blizzard. When the servers died many players made in-game suicide pacts and met their fate together. After that, someone decided to DDoS all of Blizzards games and servers, making them unusable while also leaking some employees personal information. Lizard Squad claimed to have initiated the DDoS attack and hack, but no external sources has confirmed it.
The latest news in the vanilla server world is that the main team behind Nostalrius have started a petition to show how many people love vanilla WoW and want to play the game prior to all the game changing expansions.
The goal of this petition is to get Blizzard to create "real" vanilla servers that are legal and supported by Blizzard. Mark Kern, former Team Lead for WoW, will personally hand the petition over to Blizzard if it reaches 200,000 signatures. At the time of writing, it has already reached 159,419 signatures.
In an alleged message from Mark Kern on the petition page he said "Mike, I helped build this game for you, I hope you'll hear me out. Support these fans and dedicated gamers."
Maybe someday a real, legit, and Blizzard supported vanilla WoW server will exist. Starting a petition is a way better method to get Blizzard's attention than hacking and DDoSing them.