A statement from World of Warcraft executive producer and vice president J. Allen Brack has been posted on the Battle.net forums in which Blizzard addresses the WoW community regarding Nostalrius, the privately run classic WoW server which was recently shut down amid a storm of controversy.
The statement explains some of the internal discussion going on at Blizzard regarding classic servers; “We have been discussing classic servers for years,” Brack states. He goes on to elaborate on the current elephant in the room, the issue of Nostralius; “Why not just let Nostalrius continue the way it was? The honest answer is, failure to protect against intellectual property infringement would damage Blizzard’s rights… there is not a clear legal path to protect Blizzard’s IP and grant an operating license to a pirate (sic) server.” Brack also touches on the idea of Blizzard-run classic servers, but says “…there are tremendous operational challenges to integrating classic servers, not to mention the ongoing support of multiple live versions for every aspect of Wow.”
He concludes the discussion of classic servers by mentioning discussion of a different sort of classic server; “Over the years we have talked about a “pristine realm”. In essence that would turn off all leveling acceleration… We aren’t sure whether this version of a clean slate is something that would appeal to the community and it’s still an open topic of discussion.” He does not, however, mention whether such a server would be level capped and/or have equipment level limitations in line with the original version of the game. Lastly, he adds that Blizzard has “…beein in contact with some of the folks who operated Nostalrius”, though he does not elaborate over the topic of said discussions.
Kudos to Blizzard for writing a rather open post to the community here. This whole thing is a mess; a big, legal, PR nightmare mess, for everyone involved. We can completely get behind Blizzard’s desire to protect their IP, and respect that they have every right to do so. However, there is obviously a big demand for a classic server based on vanilla, and the “pristine server” alluded to in the post does not appear in any way to be a “classic” server in a true sense. The best case scenario would be working out something with Nostalrius, with some sort of contractual and/or franchise agreement; we shall see what develops.
Source: Battle.net ForumsRelated: Blizzard Entertainment, Financials, News, World of Warcraft