Legacy World of Warcraft Server Nostalrius Retracts Source Code

Published: January 18, 2017 3:59 PM /


Vanilla WoW

With the shutdown of the Legacy World of Warcraft project Nostalrius last year, and the subsequent discussion between Blizzard and the Nostalrius admins, hopes were high that official Legacy World of Warcraft servers would be brought online. Eventually, the talks ended between both parties, and Nostalrius announced the potential for a new Legacy World of Warcraft server being brought to life, as it seemed that there was little chance for official Legacy servers.

In October, the Nostalrius admins announced they would be releasing their Vanilla WoW server's source code, in partnership with an already-running Vanilla World of Warcraft private server. This server, named Elysium, is based in Russia, which makes serving a cease and desist order difficult, should Blizzard try and shut the server down - and is likely why the Nostalrius admins decided to partner with them. The Nostalrius admins' plan was to work hand in hand with Elysium to get them up and running with their code, then release it fully to the public so that would-be game developers could learn about server architecture from it.

It seems that the partnership between Nostalrius and Elysium may be coming to close after one of the admins, Viper, posted an update on the Nostalrius forums. The main objective of their cooperation, Viper believes, was missed, and, citing the petition that generated over 300,000 signatures, he reiterated that those goals were to do the following:

The following values that have always been at the heart of any of our actions:
  • Achieving official Blizzard Legacy servers
  • Helping as much as we can to unify the WoW community together
From all accounts, Elysium's servers recently hit 30,000 players online across 4 realms, so it seemed that everything was going well for the Vanilla World of Warcraft servers. In his forum post this week, Viper states the following as part of the reason for retracting the data that they had given to the Elysium team to run their private server on:
Today, only 10% of the former Nostalrius players have generated a token to join Elysium, and we believe that we failed to satisfy this community entirely, as at the same time legacy fans acquired a reputation of “pirates” on the official WoW community.
Nostalrius had a pretty large user-base when it was up and running (800,000 total accounts created, with 125,000 active users), so 10% of that number is significant - but it's the statement about reputation that Viper is more concerned about. The Nostalrius team believe that, if any progress is to be made on official Legacy servers being created, the stigma of 'pirate' must be removed from the community first. In his own words:
We know that Nostalrius carries the hopes of the legacy community but moving from “fan server” to "pirate server" reputation makes it harder to convince that legacy fans have a place on the WoW community. Until this stigma is removed, it's unlikely any true progress towards official legacy content can be achieved.
Viper goes on to ask the community, and Elysium, to "make a tremendous" sacrifice - saying that Nostalrius is no longer about private servers, and is now concerned with getting official Legacy realms. Thanking big name YouTubers and others that made videos highlighting Legacy World of Warcraft and the rich lore around it, Viper states how important that the original versions of World of Warcraft are to both the larger community around the game, as well as the gaming community itself.

Apologizing for any pain caused to community members that transferred their characters, the post goes on to state that they will continue searching for a way to make official Legacy servers a reality for fans and players. Despite that, much of the community took to the comments to voice their displeasure at the decision.

You'd think that Elysium would be upset by the decision as well, but as it stands they plan to continue moving forward. They've removed over 1,000,000 Nostalrius specific characters, and are beginning to discontinue the use of the Nostalrius core as they are already in the process of implementing their own by the name of Anathema - which they say should give players a more quality experience. In addition, the admins had the following data to give their community:

Nostalrius handed us the torch, we have no intention of putting it out.


-We are using this opportunity to communicate the first numbers of the project:

-52% of Nostalrius active accounts transferred over 16 days(token generator uptime)

-155% increase of active accounts compared to Nostalrius.

-50% of total accounts were active in the last 7 days

-17,000 players simultaneously online on re-launch

-30,500 players simultaneously online over 4 realms

-62 volunteers

The growth of Elysium is promising for their community, and the creation of their own server core proves that they have the chops to build on what Nostalrius created. Still, because Nostalrius represents the largest portion of the Legacy World of Warcraft community, and they are pulling support for Private Servers - it could cast a shadow on future projects. If they are serious about finding a way to get official servers, however, we're sure to hear from them again soon - and players looking to play Legacy World of Warcraft can turn to Elysium to scratch that itch.

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