Starym

Update on Vanilla/Classic Server Status

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J. Allen Brack gives us an update on the Classic Server situation.

 

It would seem that among all the great news coming with patch 7.1, some bad news snuck in as well (at least for some players). After the big recent uproar over Classic Servers and whether Blizzard will ever make them available to players, it seems we'll have to wait for any news regarding their eventual availability (or lack thereof) until after Blizzcon.

Blizzard LogoJ. Allen Brack


Hey everyone,

We’ve seen some talk among the community that you might be expecting to hear some news on legacy servers at BlizzCon, and we just wanted to take a moment to let you know that while we’re still discussing the possibility, we won’t have any updates to share on that until after the show.

These past few months we’ve been laser-focused on the launch of Legion and getting Patch 7.1: Return to Karazhan ready to go (it’s almost here!), as well as prepping for BlizzCon—which is always a huge undertaking itself. You’ve heard us say that the launch of Legion was just the beginning of the story we want to tell in this expansion. What we will focus on at BlizzCon is how the team is committed to making sure we bring you a steady stream of content going forward, and we can’t wait to share what’s next for Legion.

Thanks for your patience, and we’ll see you at BlizzCon.

-J. Allen Brack and the World of Warcraft development team

In case you missed the whole story behind why this topic has been around so much recently, here's a quick summary:

It all started with Blizzard shutting down the Nostalrius "Private" server since it was illegal, but because it and others like it are the only way players can play in Vanilla conditions, there was an outcry from its fans.  Blizzard decided to meet with the Nostalrius team and talk about the issue, after a pretty large petition was signed in favor of Vanilla/Classic servers being made official options for WoW. Then former Wow lead developer Mark Kern also got involved, drafting a letter and personally delivering the printed out petition to Mike Morhaime and had a meeting on the subject.

The end result of all of that was a "we will see/we are looking into it" message from Blizzard, and more specifically a lot of mentions of "pristine" servers, aka servers with all the XP buffs that have accumulated throughout the expansions removed.  So, we'll have to wait a bit longer for any resolution on the matter, but the subject is always a controversial one, as any mention of "how good Vanilla was" gets interpreted as an attack on the game as it is now, camps form up and it starts getting ugly.

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11 hours ago, Starym said:

as any mention of "how good Vanilla was" gets interpreted as an attack on the game as it is now, camps form up and it starts getting ugly.

This is the pure and only reason I feel this article would get zero comments. People are horrified to discuss this topic simply because I have seen zero conversations that didn't turn into pissing matches and shouting competitions. If nothing else we can say it is a testament to blizzards work, that they created something that were over a decade and half later people still revere it and praise it. So, i applaud blizzard. While I myself would certainly play on the vanilla servers to derp around, I feel nostalgia would claim to many people and it wouldn't scratch that itch they have. I'll give an example as to why.

The original pokemon game for me was an adventure in ways I can't describe. A huge unknown world full of strange and amazing creatures with discoveries everywhere. It was amazing. However, going back and replaying the games its never the same, it can't be, the game may be as it was but i've changed and grown, plus I know where everything is. While I can play the game again in its original form, I can't experience it again in a pure form. I've already done it. You only taste cotton candy the first time once. Replciations of experiences are never as good as the first. So, while I think players would be happy to see the servers launched, in the end i'm not sure they would be happy with what they received, it wouldn't be the same, its impossible for it to be. There is an old saying

You can't go home again.

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Nostralius wasn't popular because it was Classic it was popular because it was free. Make classic servers of any kind in the real game and everyone will play for maybe a week or two max before dropping off and it will leave a very very small population playing the old game. There is no way it would ever make financial sense. And if they did something like it was 1-60 with the current versions of classic zones only and the current spell and talent systems it would be no fun for anyone. There isn't any possible outcome where classic servers are a good idea.

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5 hours ago, demonardvark said:

 People are horrified to discuss this topic simply because I have seen zero conversations that didn't turn into pissing matches and shouting competitions.

You're 100% right, and I honestly don't know why it has to be like that.  Why does the love for the old game foster animosity in people that prefer the new content?  In my opinion its comparing apples and extremely hostile oranges.  Having an opinion in this matter shouldn't be seen as an insult by someone on the other side.  Both current content and "pristine" servers can exist!  Everquest did it. EVERQUEST!!  I honestly loved the way they implemented it too.  I think that there would be a dedicated group of people that would definitely play on classic servers and pay for it.  They would probably be happy with the improved quality of life considering they would have actual Blizz support and security.  As for the rest of the player base its just business as usual.  Stop getting so bent out of shape guys :)

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13 hours ago, gurupak said:

Move forward guys.

I feel like this is one of those things where I don't mind looking back, as long as it's not "moving forward is bad, we need to go back". I'm fine with both happening!

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10 hours ago, ghostdeini said:

Why does the love for the old game foster animosity in people that prefer the new content? 

It happens on both sides, for sure. The entire discussion is so marred with animosity that you could never see an actual discussion by most of the community. It's basically just, let's see how much we can shout and swear!

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11 hours ago, Mistmoore said:

Nostralius wasn't popular because it was Classic it was popular because it was free. Make classic servers of any kind in the real game and everyone will play for maybe a week or two max before dropping off and it will leave a very very small population playing the old game. There is no way it would ever make financial sense. And if they did something like it was 1-60 with the current versions of classic zones only and the current spell and talent systems it would be no fun for anyone. There isn't any possible outcome where classic servers are a good idea.

I believe the main "possibility" that people are hoping for currently is basically, start at Vanilla, play through the game as you would have 10 years ago. Remove the content drought and release things as required. 

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37 minutes ago, Blainie said:

I believe the main "possibility" that people are hoping for currently is basically, start at Vanilla, play through the game as you would have 10 years ago. Remove the content drought and release things as required. 

Classic and TBC are NOT fun by 2016 standards. They're grindy grindy grinds. I get the rose colored glasses about the first run through MC or fighting Kael'thas for the first time or when you got Thunderfury and were god tank for your guild but the reality is each class had one viable spec. Bosses dropped a very low amount of loot and everything was itemized like shit. Would they still follow the same buff and nerf patterns? Would you unlock each patch over time or just drop it at the final patch and let it sit for 6mo and then add the next expansion? It wouldn't work, it wouldn't be fun, the playerbase for that server would be pitifully small with maybe a small spike at each expansion release. How fun is it going to be when say it gets to Wrath and you LOOOOOOVE wrath and you're farming for your arp and shit trying to min max for ulduar and toc and then icc drops and it all goes bananas and then its Cata and the game you liked is gone again? Would they have individual servers for each expansion? Each patch?

 

The whole idea is really dumb and Blizzard knows it. They remember the reality of the situation. Also it would cost them a lot of money, having to go back and make the classic build work on their modern equipment would take so much time. It's akin to asking a modern website to support IE6.

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11 hours ago, Mistmoore said:

Classic and TBC are NOT fun by 2016 standards. They're grindy grindy grinds. I get the rose colored glasses about the first run through MC or fighting Kael'thas for the first time or when you got Thunderfury and were god tank for your guild but the reality is each class had one viable spec. Bosses dropped a very low amount of loot and everything was itemized like shit. Would they still follow the same buff and nerf patterns? Would you unlock each patch over time or just drop it at the final patch and let it sit for 6mo and then add the next expansion? It wouldn't work, it wouldn't be fun, the playerbase for that server would be pitifully small with maybe a small spike at each expansion release. How fun is it going to be when say it gets to Wrath and you LOOOOOOVE wrath and you're farming for your arp and shit trying to min max for ulduar and toc and then icc drops and it all goes bananas and then its Cata and the game you liked is gone again? Would they have individual servers for each expansion? Each patch?

 

The whole idea is really dumb and Blizzard knows it. They remember the reality of the situation. Also it would cost them a lot of money, having to go back and make the classic build work on their modern equipment would take so much time. It's akin to asking a modern website to support IE6.

You're overlooking one thing here, and its that this has been done before.  Everquest started two servers back on the release version of the game and people that had paid subscriptions were allowed to play on them.  Every so many months, they put out npc's in the capital city and for 2 weeks to a month you are able to interact with them.  Their purpose is a voting system on whether the server wants to move to the next expansion.  It is left up to the majority of the community to decide if they are ready to progress to the next version of the game or not.  In fact at one point in time the two legacy servers were on completely different expansions because of the voting community.  I understand that you don't think this would be fun, but tons of people flocked to these servers and absolutely love this setup.  Their subscription base went back up significantly with this new type of server.

So this sort of thing actually does work.  It can be done.  I personally wouldn't want to do it with WoW, but I can assure you that with the size of WoW's player base there will be plenty of people willing to pay for this.  If Everquest, one of the oldest and grindiest MMOs, can do this then I guarantee that Blizzard can do it as well.  They would even manage to make a profit from it more than likely.

This does unfortunately bring back what I said in my earlier post.  This topic creates such a huge argument, because for some reason people can't seem to fathom someone else liking or disliking this idea relative to their own position.

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16 hours ago, Mistmoore said:

Classic and TBC are NOT fun by 2016 standards. They're grindy grindy grinds. I get the rose colored glasses about the first run through MC or fighting Kael'thas for the first time or when you got Thunderfury and were god tank for your guild but the reality is each class had one viable spec. Bosses dropped a very low amount of loot and everything was itemized like shit. Would they still follow the same buff and nerf patterns? Would you unlock each patch over time or just drop it at the final patch and let it sit for 6mo and then add the next expansion? It wouldn't work, it wouldn't be fun, the playerbase for that server would be pitifully small with maybe a small spike at each expansion release. How fun is it going to be when say it gets to Wrath and you LOOOOOOVE wrath and you're farming for your arp and shit trying to min max for ulduar and toc and then icc drops and it all goes bananas and then its Cata and the game you liked is gone again? Would they have individual servers for each expansion? Each patch?

 

The whole idea is really dumb and Blizzard knows it. They remember the reality of the situation. Also it would cost them a lot of money, having to go back and make the classic build work on their modern equipment would take so much time. It's akin to asking a modern website to support IE6.

Opinions, everyone thinks they're facts. For me, for example, playing Vanilla again would be fun for a couple days then I'd instaquit. But I know people that have played on some of these Vanilla servers (and no, it's NOT because they're free, they were also paying for regular WoW at the time) and they enjoyed it and played for months. Shockingly, different people like different things, but I guess that's really not something that everyone can accept.

Oh and your theory about Nost only being popular cos it's free also falls apart when you consider that there are plenty of other private servers that are free and run later expansions as well.

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On 10/25/2016 at 10:12 PM, Blainie said:

I believe the main "possibility" that people are hoping for currently is basically, start at Vanilla, play through the game as you would have 10 years ago. Remove the content drought and release things as required. 

kind of like the way Everquest and Everquest 2 handled it. Both have legacy servers, you can only access them if you have a subscription. The servers start off as the base game as it originally launched, after certain milestones are met the players on each server get to vote on if they want their server to stay classic or  implement the first expansion, If they vote no it stays classic untill more milestones are met then they get to vote again, until eventually they are voting every month or they implement the first expansion, then they repeat the process for each expansion until the server is up to date with the most current version of the game, also they get none of the special perks subscribers have gotten over the years, no special goodies from collector's editions and no QoL changes.

 Btw most of those servers are dead with everyone that cried for them going back to private servers or returning to the regular servers.

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17 hours ago, ghostdeini said:

You're overlooking one thing here, and its that this has been done before.  Everquest started two servers back on the release version of the game and people that had paid subscriptions were allowed to play on them.  Every so many months, they put out npc's in the capital city and for 2 weeks to a month you are able to interact with them.  Their purpose is a voting system on whether the server wants to move to the next expansion.  It is left up to the majority of the community to decide if they are ready to progress to the next version of the game or not.  In fact at one point in time the two legacy servers were on completely different expansions because of the voting community.  I understand that you don't think this would be fun, but tons of people flocked to these servers and absolutely love this setup.  Their subscription base went back up significantly with this new type of server.

So this sort of thing actually does work.  It can be done.  I personally wouldn't want to do it with WoW, but I can assure you that with the size of WoW's player base there will be plenty of people willing to pay for this.  If Everquest, one of the oldest and grindiest MMOs, can do this then I guarantee that Blizzard can do it as well.  They would even manage to make a profit from it more than likely.

This does unfortunately bring back what I said in my earlier post.  This topic creates such a huge argument, because for some reason people can't seem to fathom someone else liking or disliking this idea relative to their own position.

i was playing on one of thoe EQ and EQ 2 legacy servers, they had about 5 going when it launched, and most of them pretty much became empty after about 4 months when i was playing.

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4 hours ago, Darsch said:

Both have legacy servers, you can only access them if you have a subscription. 

That's the only way it would ever financially work. There's no way they could separate the two, because putting a price on it would just be too tough. There's no income from expansion sales etc. 

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On 10/27/2016 at 4:24 AM, Darsch said:

i was playing on one of thoe EQ and EQ 2 legacy servers, they had about 5 going when it launched, and most of them pretty much became empty after about 4 months when i was playing.

That's interesting to know.  When I started playing on them there were only two, but had decent sized populations.  I think this definitely shows that its a niche style of play.

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On 11/3/2016 at 11:13 AM, ghostdeini said:

That's interesting to know.  When I started playing on them there were only two, but had decent sized populations.  I think this definitely shows that its a niche style of play.

it definitely is, though I could be mistaken on the number of servers , it has been a while and it is possible I mistakenly counted temporary event servers as legacy. They are still supporting them though and it is still popular enough for them to actively be working on it, but, day break is also desperate enough to do anything to keep players good will and a steady supply of money after the stunt they pulled with H1Z1 and EQ Next being cancelled.

Edited by Darsch

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