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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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      Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / YouTube
      You can also keep on top of everything Angels-related by checking out the players themselves on Twitter and Twitch:
      Divinefield (Tank): Twitch / Twitter
      Cirra (Healer): Twitch / Twitter
      Ashine (DPS): Twitch / Twitter
      Herudra (DPS): Twitch / Twitter
      Dorullkjell (DPS): Twitch / Twitter
      Looking to the future, we hope that you will all join us in cheering for exceL's Angels at the All-Stars event next month and cannot wait to showcase the new guides we will be working on together!
    • By Stan
      Tides of Vengeance is available for playtesting and our hub contains all the latest information!
      Welcome to our Tides of Vengeance hub. Here, you'll find all the latest information about Battle for Azeroth's first content patch 8.1. We will keep the hub updated throughout PTR testing with the latest coverage.
      Introduction
      Patch 8.1 called Tides of Vengeance was pushed to PTR on September 21. Players are still unable to log in to the game right now (September 26). The patch will be released later this year.
      Latest Coverage
      This section contains contains the most recent coverage. Whenever there's a new PTR build, we'll move the previous builds down to the "Datamining Archive [PH]" section.
      Patch 8.1 Build #28151
      Patch 8.1 Build 28151: Overview Patch 8.1 Build 28151: Blood Elf Heritage Armor Patch 8.1 Build 28151: Marksmanship Hunter Changes Patch 8.1 Build 28151: Restoration Shaman Changes Patch 8.1 Build 28151: Marsh Hopper Mounts The Story of Varok Saurfang in Patch 8.1 Orc Running Animation Updated Patch 8.1 Content
      Blizzard recently announced improvements to Azerite Armor acquisition from Mythic+. You can find more details here. Heritage Armor will be added for non-Allied Races; Blood Elves & Dwarves are first on the list. There's no reputation grind behind this. If you're at max level and Exalted with Ironforge/Blood Elves, you can start the quest and complete a scenario to get your Heritage Armor. Reputation Paragon for BfA factions is coming. Champions of Azeroth reputation will be made account-wide. Incursions are a new feature similar to Legion assaults. Darkshore Warfront (Night Elves vs Forsaken theme) The outdoor zone will be updated just like Arathi Highlands with new quests, rares, etc. War Campaign continues with the Alliance leading a direct strike at the Zandalari Fleet. We can expect two new raids in 8.1: Siege of Zuldazar is a nine-boss raid where the foe is the opposing faction. Alliance players will join Jaina and her forces to fight their way up to the pyramid to confront Rastakhan. Horde players will try to defend the pyramid, fighting Jaina in the High Seas as the final boss. Crucible of Storms is a two-boss raid located under Shrine of the Storm that hints at Queen Azshara. It's Battle for Azeroth's "Trial of Valor" raid. Allied Races: Kul Tirans and Zandalari Trolls will become available for gameplay after the Siege of Zuldazar raid. You can find more details about how to unlock them here. Two New Islands: Jorundall (Vrykul-themed Island) & Havenswood (Gilnean-themed Island) Gnomeregan Pet Battle Dungeon Profession Changes New Scenarios Tyrande's Ascension - players will unlok new Night Elf Warrior customization options with dark eyes. Cooking Scenario with Nomi Unknown Tol Dagor Scenario Heritage Armor Scenarios Vol'jin's Story Continues - The Shadow Hunter is looking for answers s in 8.1 as he tries to figure out why he appointed Sylvanas for Warchief. Allied Races
      You will be able to unlock Legion Allied Races faster in Patch 8.1.
      Class Changes
      Multiple Classes are subject to changes in Patch 8.1. These include Elemental Shamans, Shadow Priests, and Protection Warriors. So far, Blizzard outlined plans for Elemental Shamans. They haven't decided what to do with Protection Warriors just yet.
      Elemental Shaman Changes Model Updates
      Draenei totems received new models with a higher polygon count in 8.1.
      Draenei Shaman Totems Model Update Interviews/Livestreams
      Game Director Ion Hazzikostas unveiled Patch 8.1 on September 18.
      Tides of Vengeance Livestream with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas Tides of Vengeance Live Developer Q&A with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas Datamining Archive [PH]
      As with previous patches, there's going to be a new PTR build every week and to keep things organized, we're going to post build overviews below.
      Patch 8.1 Build #28048
      Patch 8.1 Build 28048 Overview Patch 8.1 Build #27985
      Patch 8.1 Build 27985 Overview Patch 8.1 Build 27985: New Creature Models Patch 8.1 Build 27985: New Paladin Animations Patch 8.1 Build 27985: Solo Queue for Legion Raids Enabled Patch 8.1 Build 27985: Dwarf Heritage Armor Preview Patch 8.1 Build 27985: Siege of Zuldazar Weapons Patch 8.1 Build #27826
      Patch 8.1 Build 27826 Overview (Datamined Broadcast Text, Zones, Strings, Scenarios) *Spoilers* Patch 8.1 Build 27286: Vol'jin's Story Continues (Datamined Broadcast Text Analysis) *Spoilers* Patch 8.1 Build 27826: New Creature Models Patch 8.1 Build 27286: New Night Elf Warrior Customization Options Patch 8.1 Build 27286: New Druid Forms (Highmountain Tauren/Kul Tiran Moonkin Forms, Zandalari Aquatic Form) Patch 8.1 Build 27286: Kul Tiran Horse Racial Mount Patch 8.1 Build 27286: Nightsaber Mounts Patch 8.1 Build 27286: The Hivemind Mount Returns Patch 8.1 Build 27286: Vicious PvP Mounts Tides of Vengeance is Battle for Azeroth's first major content patch and we created a hub to keep track of everything.
    • By Stan
      Here's a preview of two toad mounts added in Patch 8.1 Build 28151.
      Check out our Tides of Vengeance content hub for the latest Patch 8.1 information.
      Toad mounts are finally coming in Tides of Vengeance, as Blizzard added two tints in the latest 8.1 PTR build. At this time, it's hard to tell the exact source of both mounts, but they could come from Glory of the Battle of Dazar'alor Raider or reputation paragon caches.
      Blue Marsh Hopper

      Yellow Marsh Hopper

      Mount Animations
      The toad mount jumps while running and has a cool /mountspecial animation!

      Game files also contain a green tint of the toad mount with no source indicated yet [PH].
      Spawn of Krag'wa

    • By Stan
      Bellular's video series of guides for new and returning players comes to an end with the final installment about abbreviations and terminology used in World of Warcraft.
      If you're new to the game and don't understand abbreviations used in chat or the game's terminology, check out the final video which covers most of them.
      New and Returning Player Guides
      Part One: What is World of Warcraft? Part Two: Character Creation Part Three: Movement & User Interface (UI) Part Four: Leveling Up & Mounts Part Five: Social Features & Communities Part Six: PvE Content Part Seven: PvP Content Part Eight: Additional Features Part Nine: Gearing Up & The Endgame
    • By Stan
      Blizzard agrees that earning Azerite Armor in Mythic+ feels overly based on luck and in Tides of Vengeance, players will have more control over the Azerite gear they earn through Mythic+.
      Blizzard is adding a new currency in Patch 8.1, which you'll earn from your weekly Mythic+ chest and from scrapping and disenchanting epic-quality Azerite Armor. The weekly chest will no longer reward Azerite Armor. Thaumaturge Vashreen will be selling caches that reward a random dungeon Azerite Armor piece for a given slot that will be separated by item level.
      To give players even more control over Azerite Armor, Vashreen will also offer ilvl 385 versions of the specific dungeon Azerite Armor pieces for each class, sold at premium.
      Only Azerite Armor scrapped in 8.1 will yield the new currency. Vashreen's wares will increase accordingly when the second Mythic+ season starts.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Couple quick clarifications based on feedback so far: Only Azerite Armor that drops after Tides of Vengeance is released will scrap/disenchant into the new currency. Don't worry about hoarding the Azerite pieces you're earning now. When the next Mythic+ season starts, and item levels increase, the item levels of Thaumaturge Vashreen's wares will increase accordingly. We recognize that PvPers want more options and choice too. We're talking about that separately. Check out our Tides of Vengeance content hub for the latest Patch 8.1 information.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Throughout the discussions regarding Azerite Armor, there’s been a lot of talk about how you earn Azerite pieces from Mythic+ dungeons. Players have told us – and we agree – that the process of earning Azerite Armor through Mythic+ feels overly based on luck, and that there isn’t enough control in the players’ hands. Even with our bad luck protection systems in place, the sheer number of potential Azerite pieces you can get from the weekly chest means that trying to get ahold of a specific piece feels hopeless. That’s a problem we want to solve, and give you some control over the Azerite gear you earn through Mythic+. So here’s what we’re working on for Tides of Vengeance:
      First, we’re adding a new (as yet unnamed) currency, which you’ll earn from your weekly Mythic+ chest as well as from scrapping (or disenchanting) epic-quality Azerite Armor. This currency is rewarded in addition to the item in the chest (which can no longer be an Azerite piece), and the amount you earn will scale up exponentially based on the highest level Keystone you’ve completed. For example, completing a level 10 Keystone will reward you with about three times as much as clearing a level 7. Similarly, scrapping higher-item-level Azerite pieces will give you significantly higher amounts of this currency than lower-level pieces.

      To spend that currency, we’re bringing back an old friend: Thaumaturge Vashreen. He’ll have two main types of items for sale. The first are caches that reward a random dungeon Azerite Armor piece for a given slot (helm, shoulders, or chest). They’ll be separated out by item level as well (at 355, 370, and 385), with higher item level caches requiring significantly more currency to purchase. But we recognize that with six or more options per slot, this may still not be enough control for high-end players who want to be able to work towards a specific piece that perfectly complements their build. Thus, Vashreen will also offer Item Level 385 versions of the specific dungeon Azerite Armor pieces for each class, sold at a premium.
      We’re still nailing down the exact numbers, but our goal for tuning this new currency is that you’ll be able to purchase one of the Azerite caches that lines up roughly with the item level of the gear you’re getting from your Mythic+ runs every two or three weeks, with the specific 385 pieces as long-term goals for top players.
      Overall, we believe that this change will improve things in a lot of different ways:
      Mythic+ players of all skill levels will now have a clear path to upgrading their Azerite slots High-end Mythic+ players will have a way to target specific Azerite pieces to optimize their setups Duplicate or unwanted Azerite pieces from other sources (such as raiding) now have some additional value The piece of gear in your weekly chest will have a more reliable item level You should see all of this hitting the Tides of Vengeance PTR sometime in the next week or so. We really do appreciate your feedback, and believe that this, in addition to the new traits and other improvements coming to the Azerite system in Tides of Vengeance, will help ease a lot of the concerns about Azerite Armor in Mythic+ and as a whole.