J. Allen Brack talks about “tremendous operational challenges” for classic servers.
World of Warcraft developer Blizzard Entertainment found itself the target of much rage in the past few weeks following a cease and desist letter sent to Nostalrius, a community-run private server hosting legacy version of the MMO. J. Allen Brack, Executive Producer and Vice President for WoW, finally offered the company’s stance on the same through the game’s official forums.
Along with stating that the closure was to “protect against intellectual property infringement”, Beck noted that, “We have been discussing classic servers for years – it’s a topic every BlizzCon – and especially over the past few weeks. From active internal team discussions to after-hours meetings with leadership, this subject has been highly debated.
“While we’ve looked into the possibility [of supporting classic servers] there is not a clear legal path to protect Blizzard’s IP and grant an operating license to a pirate server.”
“We explored options for developing classic servers and none could be executed without great difficulty. If we could push a button and all of this would be created, we would. However, there are tremendous operational challenges to integrating classic servers, not to mention the ongoing support of multiple live versions for every aspect of WoW.”
Though Nostalrius would be closed, Brack said that creating a new realm that would function as a classic version of WoW is “still an open topic of discussion. So what can we do to capture that nostalgia of when WoW first launched? Over the years we have talked about a ‘pristine realm.’ In essence that would turn off all leveling acceleration including character transfers, heirloom gear, character boosts, Recruit-A-Friend bonuses, WoW Token, and access to cross realm zones, as well as group finder.
“We aren’t sure whether this version of a clean slate is something that would appeal to the community and it’s still an open topic of discussion.”
It was also noted about Nostalrius’ owners that “They obviously care deeply about the game, and we look forward to more conversations with them in the coming weeks” along with the fact that Blizzard’s silence on the issue “definitely doesn’t reflect our level of engagement and passion around this topic.” Check out the official forum post for more information – things are only getting more interesting.