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Nostalrius to be Shut Down and Sued by Blizzard

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One of the most popular Vanilla private servers in recent years is to be shut down after Blizzard issued a formal court notice to the developers! Check out what's happening!

 

With over 80,000 members on their forums and a huge amount of players on their servers, it's difficult to dispute that a community was formed around Nostalrius. As a private server running an older version of WoW, its existence was unfortunately a conflict of Blizzard's legal rules. Time and again, smaller servers have been shut down, but it looks like it's finally going to be the turn of the Vanilla giant.

 

A letter to the community was posted on official site of Nostalrius, in which the team addresses what is happening. They confirmed that they have released the code, but it seems that the community are having troubled deciphering exactly what it all means. Whether or not the server will continue to be hosted elsewhere is a mystery as of now, but it seems Blizzard are ready to enforce their rules.

 

Dear community,

 
For over a year, you have been part of an extraordinary journey. A journey back in the early days of our beloved game. A journey in which hundreds of thousands of people took part in together. Something that we had never seen before, either on retail or private servers. Together, we built a strong community, sharing values and a commun genuine interest for this wonderful game created by Blizzard.
 
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.
As soon as we received this letter, we decided to inform the team and players about the future of Nostalrius, where we have all passionately committed our time and energy as volunteers.
Nostalrius Begins PvP, Nostalrius Begins PvE & Nostalrius TBC and 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. It feels kind of unreal, but we want to continue to serve our players as we did, and the best we can in the remaining time.
 
What will happen next? This time, we have no plan for the future, and will have to rely entirely on our community and/or the private server scene.
 
We know the time you spent here, the guilds you were part of, and these people with whom you have shared experiences with. We know the strength of these links, and we also know that they do not need a special WoW realm to survive. However, we will still be publicly providing everything needed in order to setup your own “Nostalrius” if you are willing to.
 
Today is also the day where Nostalrius will start being community-driven in the truest sense of the word, as we will be releasing the source code, and anonymized players data (encrypting personal account data), so the community as a whole will decide the form of the future of Nostalrius. We will still be there in the background if you want us to, but will no longer take the lead.
 
We also initiated an open letter addressed to Blizzard, that you can READ AND FORWARD if you want. It won’t bring Nostalrius back, but it is a way to express ourselves as a community.
Nostalrius was all about the nostalgia and memories of the glorious vanilla days. We don’t know if you truly felt like it was the glory days while playing here, but we hope that you will keep good memories of the time spent here. Once again, we can all be proud to have been part of the Nostalrius journey, no matter how much time was actually spent “in-game”.
 
With our best regards,
 
The whole Nostalrius team.
 
Administrators, Daemon & Viper.
Developers, Joan, Chakor, Etiakor & Cursive
GM Team, Tyrael, Abuthar, Akasso, Benevael, Cabotage, Eragon, Ithlien, Nalorious, Nathrizyr, Pottu, Quietist, Roffeal, Same, Seshinriyu, Vaelanor & Voltog. Testing team, Nano, Fenrir, Link, Stryg, Shahkar, Clank
Syrah in the communication team and all the other contributors who helped us during all this time, officially or unofficially.
 
Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.
Albert Einstein.

 

 

In their letter to the community, the team linked to an open letter to Blizzard, in which they appeal for the removal of restrictions in regards to private servers. I'd recommend reading it before casting your own judgement!

 

So, the real question at hand. Should private servers be allowed if they do not make money from them? Should Blizzard open up their own servers for older expansions?

 

Let us know what you think!

 

REMINDER: As of writing this article, playing on a private server is not permitted under Blizzard's rules. By reporting on this issue, I am by no means endorsing, nor suggesting, that any of you should play on the servers.

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This is kind of a dick move by blizzard.

Yes, it's their code/idea but its also over 10 years old now and it doesn't hurt blizzard in terms of money.. or do you really think any of their players will now play WoW on the live servers? haha, no.

 

I think as long as private server do not get monetized and the version is at least some years old (and vanilla is....) they should just let it be sad.png

80k+ members holy fck..

 

Even tho i myself don't play on Private servers currently, as a post cata player wotlk/tbc/vanilla servers where the only way for me to get into the "Old" experience and i can understand why people play on P. servers.

Edited by Caprias

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Well, way I see it, Blizz is entirely within their rights to shut these guys down. They aren't making money off of it, sure, but they are still using someone else's property without paying for it and without having permission to do so. Quite simply, they stole the game and then shared with people. Even if they aren't profiting off of it, that doesn't make it ok any more than it would be to steal a game from your local gamestop and give it to someone else for free. You don't make money off of it, sure, but neither did Gamestop. Many people feel like because they care about the game so much and because they've played the game so much that those feelings make it their game. It doesn't. Warcraft is still Blizzard's until they decide to give it away or it's been around long enough to be public domain. Honestly, I don't care one way or another if Blizzard ever creates their own vanilla servers. If that's what they want to do, great, there is clearly a small group of people who would enjoy that, and that's understandable. It doesn't appeal to me at all, but if other people like it, great. But it should be Blizzard's choice what they do with their own game.

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I think Blizzard is right here. 

around 10 years ago I started playing WoW for the first time on a private server instead of the official, because I didn't know the game and didn't even know about the official server. But the amount of bad influence this private server had on my WoW skills and even gaming overall was unspeakable.

 

Bugs, Cheaters, Exploiters, Quests that never existed in the official server, Bosses that only auto attack, Fly Hacks in BGs, unnoticeable bugs in class talents which leads to big disasters in arenas. not only these servers hurt their community and players by giving them false experience, but they even hurt blizzard by giving a false image of the game,

 

imagine someone that never played wow before, friends invite him to play on this private server, now can you be 100% sure that this server has no bugs and it's just like the way it used to be on official servers? I highly doubt it. So not only that new player is not going to experience the real WoW (which hurts the player) but he will be dissapointed in the game because he thinks this is actually wow. (which is a bad image and hurts blizzard)

Edited by mnime

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Each player playing on private server could've been 1 subscriber, maybe they are hoping people will move from the private server to a official server.  The biggest reasons I could see people play on private servers are:

 

1. The Cost = Free To Play (F2P)

Even with Blizzard's F2P model this option is SERIOUSLY limited. The players won't have anything related to end-game experience, and it is limited to level 20. The only thing you can do at this level for progression is PvP, which is unbalanced at lower levels.

 

Possible solution: Increase the F2P level cap to 30 (next talent) or 60 (raids), and keep on increasing it every new expansion (or every 2/3 years).

 

2. Legacy talent systems. (Progression at early levels) 

For each level gained. you would gain 1 talent point to assign. I felt more character progression in Cataclysm, where every 10 levels was a breakthrough.

Currently if you would only feel more powerful every 15 levels when you gain a talent (which is sometime just useless) or when you learn a new core spell.

"You have gained a level" from 108 to 109. Reward: No talent. No spell. Response: ...

Most likely people will quit WoW before they reach max level.  Perks seem to be removed, so level 100 to 109 will be an depressing abyss.

 

In Legion there are 2 new progressive systems. The Artifact and PvP Honor System. But these are only available when you reach the required levels.

 

Its like when you watch a TV Series but it was so boring that you stopped watching after the first season, then someone comes and tells you "Wait until you get to Season 6, then it gets interesting!" .... sad.png

Edited by Archimage
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In Legion there are 2 new progressive systems. The Artifact and PvP Honor System. But these are only available when you reach the required levels.

 

Its like when you watch a TV Series but it was so boring that you stopped watching after the first season, then someone comes and tells you "Wait until you get to Season 6, then it gets interesting!" .... sad.png

Yeah, but the required level is 100, which they give you a free level 100 character when you buy legion so you can do that stuff immediately, even if you're playing the game for the first time.

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My deep condolences to Nostalrius team and the player base.

While Blizzard's decision can be justified legally, it can't be perceived as the right one from the point of common sense. Obvious problems of weak F2P system and overall game changes were mentioned already.

I started my own journey in Azeroth 8 years ago, also on private servers - and they were, in fact, what eventually drove me to buy a game, commit and play officially.

The point of no return that is justifying private servers' existence is Blizzard content policy. When Cataclysm was released, I moved to official server mostly to play it - and my experience was outstanding. A lot of things have changed, as we all know - game mechanics, balance, development axis etc. - but the biggest change was the change of Azeroth itself. Cataclysm brought us a lot of changes to common things - familiar locations have changed drastically.

It was a good change for people like me - who already knew the world that was before. Comparing old and new was shocking and awesome. Old good Barrens ended out to be split in half, Southshore was ravaged by war, Loch Modan dam - a place to sightsee in the old days - crumbled to dust, and I really, really enjoyed a walk in Stormwind Park. Before it became a crater, of course.

But what about those who have never ever seen "the old world"? Who have never visited Stormwind Park? Who have never seen the Loch Modan dam? Who will remember Southshore only because of Caverns of Time TBC instance?

It is simply not a fair thing to do. When Cataclysm was released, we were not given a choice whether we want a new world or the old one. Neither are people who came into the game later.

Their only alternative is private server - the one that gives them not only a feeling of nostalgia and safety from balance team's atrocities, but a full fledged ability to play a whole different game if they weren't there for the past 10 years.

Until I'm given a legal alternative, I won't support Blizzard's decisions on "pirate servers". #GiveVanillaServers. I know you have money to do it.

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I do play on Nostalrius.

I started playing World of warcraft in march 2005, just after the first release in Europe. Throughout vanilla I have never even remotely considered to stop my subscription. The sheer size of Azeroth...the amount of effort it took to even level up, let alone getting into raids...the social aspect, being part of a community...making real life friends, I even met my girlfriend in wow and we have our second kid on the way now.

My feelings for the game changed a bit with the release of TBC and I took some long breaks, thinking how nice it would have been if Blizzard would have given us the opportunity to choose a server with either old content or one that is running the new expack. Heck, I wasn't even close to being "done" in vanilla.

Hence I hesitated to even buy Wotlk when it came out. I was not done with either Tbc OR vanilla. Eventually I did buy Wotlk and it was not a complete disaster right away. Come LFG this changed. Yet another great aspect of the game, the social bit, got wrecked.

The daily quests that became more and more "work" than "game" made me unsub.

My girlfriend and I did buy Cataclysm and played for a couple of months only to find out that it was still the same "get your dailies done or lose out". Unsubbed again.

Dito story goes for MoP.

WoD I regret spending money on.

BUT THEN: Nostalrius!!!!! OMG "my game" is back. A long lost friend had returned to me! The community, the hardness, the effort it took. All was the way it should have been left atleast a couple of years before releasing TBC. The game was the way I liked to play it. If this was Blizzard I'd pay my subscription in a heartbeat.

Offcourse not unexpected but yet really disappointing for me, my girlfriend and I believe something like 80.000 other people, the big bad blizzard is thundering over and takes away our good old friend. Well done Blizzard.

How about making a server for each of the expansions? Is it really that much to ask? I'd pay a monthly fee for that.

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All Blizzard did was shut the server down?  If I where those guys I would thank my lucky stars, because LEGALLY Blizzard could sue for all 80,000 subs if they made the claim.   I have seen a few people state that they where subbed to the game but then cancelled there sub and played this private server.  It would be a very easy case to go after these guys for money.  I think Blizzard did the right thing, in just having them shut down the servers... but for those of you saying "Blizzard is mean"  I don't think you really understand the situation these guys where in and the consequences of theft.  

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I see a lot of people just shitting all over private servers and their users. I don't think private servers are bad, and certainly not Nostalrius.

When I started playing WoW, I had no clue what is was and I certainly wasn't going to spend all the money it then required to get a sub running and buy all of the expansions. So, I started on a private server and eventually, I started to want more, bought the game, and subbed. Some years later, I created Icy Veins with Vlad (who also started with me on the same private server). Without private servers, there would have never been Icy Veins, that I'm certain of.

I think there's a lot more to the debate than jsut IP theft. In the grand scheme of things, it's important to consider whether private servers are actually detrimental to World of Warcraft. In some ways they are and in other ways they aren't, quite the contrary. In the case of Nostalrius, the player base seems to have been mostly made of disgruntled users who missed the old days (they are plenty of private servers running WoD). Now, they're just going to be more disgruntled and they'll bear a grudge against Blizzard for putting an end to the Vanilla server dream.

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Here is my 2 cents on the matter. When it come right down to it ( no matter what side you are in this debate) the law is the law. You would not steal from a store, you would not rob a bank, so why are you stealing from blizzard? 

 

I do understand why people play on private servers. (Wanting to relive the old days.. don't want to pay for a sub fee etc). And i understand that a lot of people don't like where this game is going. yes they had some bad mess up....

 

My question is do you think that if blizzard started making old server( val,bc, lk) would you pay the monthly sub fee to play on them?

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the point is moot for reasons why Blizzard acted upon the rights, however as a WOW player since 2006 that stopped prescription to retail after WoD because the game isn't anything I want to play now, and a privet server player on vanilla Wow,

I would be in very high hopes that Blizzard would see a nitch here and strongly look into franchiseing a vanilla Wow server.

I and my son would pay a sub fee for it.

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Here's the thing... People are misconstruing Nostalrius as a business loss for Blizzard. This is actually, in most cases, not true. I myself played on Nostalrius. I'm not ashamed of it. However, I do also maintain an active retail subscription, unlike most players. Most players I have interacted with on this topic (200-300 at least) say that they do NOT hold an active subscription, and HAVE NOT for a long time. Although one might look at it in a light that makes it seem like it's a lost subscriber and someone who just wants to play for free, it is not in most cases. There might be the odd few people here and there, but people played on Nostalrius for what retail WoW lacks. Common examples of this might be: pre-max-level content, scale and grandeur, world content, and most of all, community. These people who want to experience this would most likely not be subscribed to retail wow in its current condition, even if there were no private servers. People are upset with the state of the game currently, there is no doubt. And these people are among them. Most of them are in the category of people who have already unsubscribed are were looking for something new to do. Because they are not interested in retail WoW at all, there is no definitive justification that it is a loss of profit to Blizzard. 

Does this mean that they shouldn't have shut down the servers? No, they had every right to. However, people need to realize that this was not harming Blizzard in any relevant way. out of the 150,000 active accounts, how many would actually sub to retail wow if it were not for private servers? I would argue very few, based on my experience. The only thing that this could potentially transform into is MORE business for Blizzard, if they went back on their decision and brought in those 150,000 players with what they wanted. A completely vanilla, no cash-shop or boosted 60's, 2005 version of the game. My guess if while they wouldn't subscribe to retail WoW, they DEFINITELY would pay a subscription for legacy vanilla servers hosted by Blizzard.

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As a lot of players said, LEGALLY speaking it was their right to do it. They have the copyrights, it's their game and so on.. BUT, was it really necesarry? It's kind of a Dickmove. Speaking of money, no one was profiting from this server, neither Nostalrius nor Blizzard. All people said it were 80k players.. let me correct you: There were 800K registered accounts and 150k active ones. I took up and played for 2 weeks but i can really understand the pain that caused this one because there are ones who play from the begining and 1 year playing in vain it's a big deal.

 

Blizzard saw this server as a threath.. IF private servers are illegal.. why didn't they closed all of them? Because they have maximum 50k players each and it's nothing to worry about. Blizzard pissed off a lot of people by doing this and the consequences will soon be visible. This were my 2 cents on the problem.

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It seems like, in this discussion, one of the big things people ask for is Blizzard to open their own servers. At the heart of this, how many people played on private servers to avoid paying a subscription? I'd love to see projections for how many new subscribers Blizzard would get if they introduced the vanilla servers.

 

Would players expect them to be free? Would they expect reduced subscription rates since no new content is being added? Of course you'd get players coming over from live to play on the servers, but they're already paying subscriptions. 

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Comparing Nostalrius to stealing from a game store is not a great example. I own the original WoW should I not be allowed to play it? Nostalrius only gives people the ability to run the original version of WoW, They don't go down to the local game store and steal a copy to run there servers.

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Comparing Nostalrius to stealing from a game store is not a great example. I own the original WoW should I not be allowed to play it? Nostalrius only gives people the ability to run the original version of WoW, They don't go down to the local game store and steal a copy to run there servers.

 

You don't 'own' the original wow.  You own the right to connect to blizzards servers that host the current version of the game and access the 'current content' up to your expansion level.

 

I think this is a key thing MANY people miss with persistently updated games like WoW.  You own the right to connect to blizzards servers, and blizzard quite literally does whatever they want with them. Blizzard has no responsibility to any player on what that server changes or keeps since it belongs to Blizzard themselves.

 

I'm on the fence about private servers, while I see why blizzard would want to take these measures to make sure they keep their business going, I am going to side with Damien and say I don't think it was a major cause for concern in regards to their IP being stolen.  Its not like they actually made any money off the server.

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I'm on the fence about private servers, while I see why blizzard would want to take these measures to make sure they keep their business going, I am going to side with Damien and say I don't think it was a major cause for concern in regards to their IP being stolen.  Its not like they actually made any money off the server.

 

I'm 100% open to being corrected on this, but from what I have read, they received a number of donations for their work on the server. I don't know whether this is something that Blizzard would have been bothered by, since it's a donation rather than payment for services.

 

I know that some of the private servers would add special bonuses to people that paid real money, such as special equipment, overpowered items, etc., but a straight donation to the team is different.

 

I guess at the heart of it all, Blizzard can do with their property as they wish. The community may be disgruntled, upset, angry, whatever, but at the end of the day they don't really have a leg to stand on. 

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As far as I know, any money they made was to offset server costs. In their public statements they said they have outright refused donations and directed people to links to pay for the server. 

 

That's just what I read on their reddit AMA

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A lot of people are talking about money. So let get down to brass tax.Nostalrius stated they have 800,000 players who registered an account.(go fund me post) so that being said 800k x 15 buck a month is 12 million in lost sub fees( not counting buying the game, expansion etc) That is a lot of money..... Ok now not all of them are active... In the same go fund me post...they have stated "150,000 players who were active" so 150k x 15 is 2.25 million... again still a lot of money. I thing that blizzard need to think about bringing new " old world servers"

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A lot of people are talking about money. So let get down to brass tax.Nostalrius stated they have 800,000 players who registered an account.(go fund me post) so that being said 800k x 15 buck a month is 12 million in lost sub fees( not counting buying the game, expansion etc) That is a lot of money..... Ok now not all of them are active... In the same go fund me post...they have stated "150,000 players who were active" so 150k x 15 is 2.25 million... again still a lot of money. I thing that blizzard need to think about bringing new " old world servers"

A lot of players play on that server because it's free, not because it's oldschool. So, there is no way it's over 2 mil. 

As a player of runescape, where Jagex (game dev) decided to make oldschool servers (from 2007), the community split up and became extremely toxic (mainly the oldschool community). Maybe Blizzard doesn't want similar thing to happen and won't launch oldschool servers.

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A lot of people are talking about money. So let get down to brass tax.Nostalrius stated they have 800,000 players who registered an account.(go fund me post) so that being said 800k x 15 buck a month is 12 million in lost sub fees( not counting buying the game, expansion etc) That is a lot of money..... Ok now not all of them are active... In the same go fund me post...they have stated "150,000 players who were active" so 150k x 15 is 2.25 million... again still a lot of money. I thing that blizzard need to think about bringing new " old world servers"

A lot of players play on that server because it's free, not because it's oldschool. So, there is no way it's over 2 mil. 

As a player of runescape, where Jagex (game dev) decided to make oldschool servers (from 2007), the community split up and became extremely toxic (mainly the oldschool community). Maybe Blizzard doesn't want similar thing to happen and won't launch oldschool ser

never said it was just because it" old school". i'm saying that the 2.25 million is if all of them were sub to wow... the fact that it free is a huge reason people make/ play this type of server..

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Anyone who is saying this is dickish by blizzard is incredibly short sighted when it comes to businesses and regulations. WoW is blizzard's intellectual property, and unless they explicitly said so, using it to host your own private server and thereby hindering their customer numbers on the official servers is 100% illegal, so it's in their legit right to pursue legal action against you. The reason they usually don't is because most private servers have such a low player count anyway compared to their servers that the time, money and effort involved wouldn't be worth it. In the case of nostalrius, it's clear that it did.

 

Don't get me wrong, I have played my fair amount of WoW on private servers, and I would definitely do so again over playing in the official one's current, crappy state. But this doesn't change the fact that blizzard was perfectly in the right with this decision and you're a fool if you think otherwise.

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Comparing Nostalrius to stealing from a game store is not a great example. I own the original WoW should I not be allowed to play it? Nostalrius only gives people the ability to run the original version of WoW, They don't go down to the local game store and steal a copy to run there servers.

 

You don't 'own' the original wow.  You own the right to connect to blizzards servers that host the current version of the game and access the 'current content' up to your expansion level.

 

He does own the orginal wow and as such he has every right to play the game he bought for as long as he want. Nowhere on box does it say ''you now bought the right to connect to blizzard servers''. By buying game time you own the right to connect to blizzard servers. 

 

It is unfair to force people into buying new expansions by making their current game undesirable and pointless. If you don't buy new expansion you wont have no one to raid with, even some raids you bought are now deleted and undoable with your expansion, most proffesions became usless and so on. Look at starcraft 1 for example it has separate servers for original and expansion and who doesnt wont to buy starcarft xpack isnt forced because game he bought is not obsolete. By forcing players to buy new xpacks takes away their rights to play the game they payed for. 

 

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You don't 'own' the original wow.  You own the right to connect to blizzards servers that host the current version of the game and access the 'current content' up to your expansion level.

 

 

He does own the orginal wow and as such he has every right to play the game he bought for as long as he want. Nowhere on box does it say ''you now bought the right to connect to blizzard servers''. By buying game time you own the right to connect to blizzard servers. 
 
It is unfair to force people into buying new expansions by making their current game undesirable and pointless. If you don't buy new expansion you wont have no one to raid with, even some raids you bought are now deleted and undoable with your expansion, most proffesions became usless and so on. Look at starcraft 1 for example it has separate servers for original and expansion and who doesnt wont to buy starcarft xpack isnt forced because game he bought is not obsolete. By forcing players to buy new xpacks takes away their rights to play the game they payed for. 

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    • By Stan

      Game Director Ion Hazzikostas will be answering your Battle for Azeroth questions on Thursday, April 26 at 11:00 a.m. PDT.
      You can submit questions by posting in this thread or via Twitter using the hashtag #WarcraftQA. We will be back with a roundup after the Q/A has ended.
      Blizzard (Source)
      The Battle for Azeroth beta has begun! Join us live on Twitch Thursday, April 26, as we sit down with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas for our next live developer Q&A where he’ll be answering your World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth beta questions.
      Feel free to submit questions by posting in this forum thread or via Twitter using the hashtag #WarcraftQA.
      We’re really looking forward to getting the chance to dive in and answer as much as we can, so we hope to see you Thursday at 11:00 a.m. PDT!
    • By Stan

      Our Battle for Azeroth content hub is filled to brim with useful information to get you started with WoW's latest expansion!
      Your source of the latest Battle for Azeroth news!
      Release Date
      World of Warcraft's latest expansion will be released on August 14, 2018. You can find out more information in this post.
      Pre-Purchase Battle for Azeroth
      If you pre-purchase the expansion, you'll get a level 110 boost and gain early access to four Allied Races. The Digital Deluxe Edition comes with various goodies in all Blizzard games except Diablo. Collector's Edition from local retailers also comes with two novellas and you can read excerpts here.
      Game Version Pricing Buy Link Standard Edition $49.99 // 44.99 EUR EU / US Digital Deluxe Edition $69.99 // 59.99 EUR EU / US Pre-Purchase Deal [More Details]
      New players that pre-order Battle for Azeroth will get Legion bundled with it for 49.99 USD // 44.99 EUR.
      Allied Races
      Highmountain Tauren, Lightforged Draenei, Nightborne and Void Elves are four Allied Races that can be unlocked before Battle for Azeroth goes live. Pre-purchasing the expansion won't unlock them though. They're gated behind Exalted reputation standing with Legion factions and achievements.
      If you boost an Allied Race character to level 110, you won't be able to receive Heritage armor.
      It's very likely that Blizzard removes the gating at some point before Battle for Azeroth launch. It would not make much sense having them gated behind old content.
      Allied Races Unlock Requirements
      Allied Race Requirements Highmountain Tauren Ain't No Mountain High Enough + Exalted with Highmountain Tribe  Lightforged Draenei You Are Now Prepared! + Exalted with Army of the Light Nightborne Insurrection + Exalted with the Nightfallen Void Elf You Are Now Prepared! + Exalted with Argussian Reach Allied Races in Battle for Azeroth
      Four Allied Races have been confirmed in Battle for Azeroth so far. The Alliance will be able to unlock Dark Iron Dwarves and Kul Tirans, whereas the Horde can convince Mag'har Orcs and Zandalari Trolls to join the faction. The aforementioned Allied Races will be gated behind Battle for Azeroth content and can't be unlocked before launch. We learned that Dark Iron Dwarves and Mag'har Orcs will be available first and both Allied Races are now available for playtesting on Alpha.
      Dark Iron Dwarf & Mag'har Orcs Overview *NEW* Kul Tiran & Mag'har Orc Heritage Armor Kul Tiran Customization Options Kul Tiran Druid Bear Forms Kul Tiran Druid Cat Forms Zandalari Troll Druid Forms Zandalari Troll Druid Forms Animations Zandalari Troll Shaman Totems Azerite Armor
      Set bonuses are gone in Battle for Azeroth and the legendary amulet is used to unlock Azerite traits on Azerite Armor. The plan is to introduce three pieces of Azerite Armor to the game - Head, Shoulders & Chest. In this section, you can find a list of Azerite traits that have been added to the game so far.
      Azerite Traits Overview (Alpha Build 26476) *NEW* Azerite Traits Overview (Alpha Build 26433) Azerite Traits on Battle for Azeroth Alpha (Chest Piece) Azerite Traits Overview (Alpha Build 26231) Blue Posts
      A collection of blue posts dealing with a variety of subjects in Battle for Azeroth.
      Blue Posts Roundup: April 12 Changes to Block in Battle for Azeroth DPS & HPS Cooldowns on Battle for Azeroth Alpha (Experimental Change) Build Highlights
      Battle for Azeroth is currently in Alpha. We have overviews with creature models, items and latest changes:
      Battle for Azeroth Alpha 26310 Highlights Battle for Azeroth Alpha Build 26287 Highlights Battle for Azeroth Alpha Build 26231 Highlights Battle for Azeroth Alpha Build 26175 Highlights Battle for Azeroth Alpha Build 26131 Highlights Battle for Azeroth Alpha Build 26095 Highlights Battle for Azeroth Alpha Build 25976 Highlights Battle for Azeroth Alpha Build 26287 Creature Models Battle for Azeroth Alpha Build 26032 Creature Models Class Changes

      In the latest dev watercooler, Blizzard talked about Class design philosophy in Battle for Azeroth. There's a new BfA build every week and we keep track of all talent changes here. A detailed overview for every build can be found below:
      Alpha Build 26476 Talent Changes *NEW* Alpha Build 26433 Talent Changes Alpha Build 26367 Talent Changes Alpha Build 26310 Talent Changes Alpha Build 26287 Talent Changes Alpha Build 26231 Talent Changes Alpha Build 26175 Talent Changes Alpha Build 26131 Talent Changes Alpha Build 26095 Talent Changes Alpha Build 26032 Talent Changes Alpha Build 25976 Talent Changes In addition to that, Hunters can no longer change a Pet's specialization in Battle for Azeroth.
      Customization Options
      Articles here deal with additional customization options for existing races.
      Change Skin Color in the Barber Shop *NEW* Golden Eyes Customization Option for Blood Elves How to Create Upright Orcs Upright Orcs Overview Dungeons
      Ten new dungeons will be added to the game in BfA. We looked at Dungeon Journal entries and compared item levels of loot rewards after the squish.
      Heart of Azeroth
      With the removal of Artifact weapons and traits, all players will receive a Legendary neckpiece called Heart of Azeroth. The main goal is to collect Azerite (Artifact power) and empower it in order to unlock Azerite armor traits. The first set of traits is now available for testing on Battle for Azeroth Alpha.
      Heart of Azeroth Explained Interviews
      Several community websites had the chance to sit down with WoW devs at PAX East 2018 to talk about Battle for Azeroth and we have roundups of their interviews:
      Battle for Azeroth Community Interviews Part I Battle for Azeroth Community Interviews Part II InvenGlobal Developer Interview The Starting Zone Interview Island Expeditions
      Plunder uncharted Islands in Battle for Azeroth. The new 3-player dynamic Scenarios come in four difficulties and the goal is to collect 6,000 Azerite before the opposing faction!
      Island Expeditions Preview - Un'gol Ruins Island Expeditions (Official Preview) Legacy Loot Mode
      Personal Loot used in dungeons since Patch 7.3.5 was not well received by transmog collectors. Blizzard is trying to fix it with the introduction of Legacy Loot mode.
      Legendary Items in Battle for Azeroth
      Nothing has been officially confirmed yet, but there may be at least one Legendary item in Battle for Azeroth. The Legion Legendary system will be abandoned and their effects will no longer work past level 115.
      Lore
      This section contains various articles about lore characters, scenarios and gameplay previews.
      Battle for Lordaeron Scenario (Alliance & Horde PoV) *NEW* The Burning of Teldrassil Intro  *NEW* The Stormwind Extraction Scenario (Horde Intro)  *NEW* Zandalar Forever Scenario  *NEW* Mounts
      If you're an avid mount collector, Battle for Azeroth will most definitely not disappoint you. Plenty of cool mounts are coming and we covered the following flying/ground mounts so far:
      Basilisk PvP Mounts Battle for Lordaeron Faction Mounts Bee Mounts Bloodfeaster Mounts Brutosaur Mount Clefthoof PvP Mount Crawg Mounts Darkhound Mount Frog Mounts Goblin Hovercraft Mounts Hyena Mounts Parrot Mounts Proto-drake Mounts Raptor Mounts Vulture Mounts Vicious War Hippo Mount Mythic Keystone Changes
      No huge changes are planned for the Mythic Keystone system. It has been received well in Legion. We datamined some spells related to Mythic Keystone customization and a new (possibly level 10) affix.  Tyrannical & Fortified affixes will be moved to level 2 Keystones to avoid awkward power spikes.
      Mythic Keystone Customization New Mythic Affixes Profession Changes
      Most First Aid recipes have been moved to Tailoring and achievements are now Feats of Strength, hinting at a possible removal of First Aid. An early look at Profession changes and new recipes can be found here.
      Racial Nerfs
      Every Man for Himself and Arcane Torrent will be nerfed in Battle for Azeroth. You can find more information here.
      Q/A
      Game Director Ion Hazzikostas is periodically answering your Battle for Azeroth questions. The latest Q/A was conducted last week.
      Battle for Azeroth Live Developer Q/A (March 15) Battle for Azeroth Live Developer Q/A (January 30) Raids
      Uldir will be the first raid of the expansion. We previewed early Dungeon Journal entries and found out that Blood God G'huun is the final boss of the raid. In a future raid (probably a Gul'dan equivalent in BfA), we're going to fight Azshara. 
      Uldir Raid Encounters Uldir Zone Preview & Zek'voz, Herald of N'zoth (Heroic) Testing Timewalking
      Mists of Pandaria is receiving its first Timewalking raid in Battle for Azeroth.
      Siege of Orgrimmar Timewalking Warfronts
      Warfronts are 20-player PvE scenarios coming in Battle for Azeroth. The first Warfront was recently enabled for testing on Alpha.
      Battle of Stromgarde Warfront Preview *NEW* Visuals
      Hunters and Warlocks received new spell animations.
      Hunter Spell Animations Warlock Spell Animations Zone Previews
      This section contains zone previews of Kul Tiras and Zandalar.
      High-Resolution Maps of Kul Tiras & Zandalar *NEW* Vol'dun Zone Preview Changelog
      April 24
      The hub has been updated with new links to our latest news and previews and Battle for Azeroth Beta is now live!
      April 5
      Blizzard revealed the release date of Battle for Azeroth. We also added the latest information to the hub, including Dark Iron Dwarf & Mag'har Orc playable classes, latest talent updates, Azerite traits, and more!
      March 26
      The hub got updated with a bunch of new articles including new customization options for Blood Elves, talent updates for Alpha Build 26287, new creature models and a post dealing with global cooldowns in BfA.
      March 22
      A new Alpha Build arrived on Battle for Azeroth Alpha realms. Blizzard added the Dark Iron Dwarf racial mount, two Dwarf Paladin Ram mounts and more!
      March 21
      We added our preview of Island Expeditions to the website.
    • By Stan

      Don't forget to check out your Beta Profile Settings to make sure you opt in for Battle for Azeroth Beta.
      How to Opt-In for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Beta
      Visit the official Battle for Azeroth website Navigate to "Beta Opt-In" Log in to your Battle.net account Make sure that Warcraft is selected under Beta Profile Settings. On a relatively fresh account, all future betas were selected automatically, but it's never a bad idea to verify that everything has been set up correctly before testing starts. That's it. You now have a chance to be selected for upcoming Warcraft Betas and potentially other Blizzard games of your choice! Screenshots