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Legacy servers have been a hot topic since the prominent fan-made server, Nostalrius, had received a cease and desist letter from Blizzard last year and was forced to close its doors. The server’s closure led to an uprising by its players and had some pretty big name supporters, such as Sodapoppin and former Blizzard employee, Mark Kern. A petition was created and went on to earn over 235,000 signatures in support of legacy servers, putting pressure on Blizzard regarding the topic.
“Our silence on this subject definitely doesn’t reflect our level of engagement and passion around this topic. We hear you. Many of us across Blizzard and the WoW Dev team have been passionate players ever since classic WoW.”
Executive World of Warcraft producer, J Allen Brack suggested the idea of a “pristine realm” to players in regards to an alternative to legacy servers:
“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. “
The Blizzard team went on to meet with the Nostalrius team, where they spoke extensively about the future of legacy servers. Supporters had hoped to hear more news regarding the issue at Blizzard’s annual convention, BlizzCon, in 2016, but the World of Warcraft development team instead emphasized that they were focusing on launching the Legion expansion and the Return to Karazhan patch and stressed that any information regarding classic servers would have to wait until after the convention.
Throughout the discussions revolving around the possibility of a Blizzard-backed legacy server, the Blizzard team had repeatedly stressed that it would just be far too great of a project to take on, and they felt they ultimately lacked the resources to really bring the project to life.
Fast forward to BlizzCon 2017, J Allen Brack enters the stage and begins walking the audience through all the conquests and victories the champions of Azeroth faced during the current expansion, Legion before seemingly going off on a tangent about ice cream. “Personally, I love chocolate and I love cookies and cream. Cookies and cream is actually my all time favorite dessert, but I understand that for some of you, your favorite flavor is vanilla”
“Fans of World of Warcraft around the world: we hear you. I am pleased, and also a little bit nervous to announce the development of a classic server option for World of Warcraft” said Brack. “This is a larger endeavor than you might imagine, but we are committed to making an authentic, Blizzard quality classic experience.” Brack also mentioned that Blizzard had auctioned off the game’s original server blades in a charity auction a few years ago, “we’re probably going to need those back.” he joked.
World of Warcraft Classic is still in development and does not currently have a projected release date.