World of Warcraft Vanilla Nostalrius servers are back

World of Warcraft Vanilla fans are excited to find out the release date of the Elysium Project – Nostalrius PvE and PvP servers. The release of the server is an early Christmas present for Nostalrius PvE and PvP players. But fresh players will have to wait another month before playing on the vanilla servers. The initial server release date was announced recently on Elysium Project website and forums as December 17th at 18:00 GMT 1 / 12pm EST.

World of Warcraft players are now counting down the days until they receive that sweet nostalgia blast of the 2004 version of the game. Elysium’s vanilla version of World of Warcraft will begin at the last patch before World of Warcraft’s first expansion. World of Warcraft’s first expansion, The Burning Crusade released in January 2007.

Nostalrius servers were shut down earlier this year. Receiving a cease-and-desist order from Blizzard due to private servers being illegal. Blizzard’s action bring into question the laws surrounding MMORPGs and MOBAs. This is especially relevant to the kind of games which were initially subscription based but have since become free-to-play. If players paid for the game originally, followed by a monthly subscription and most likely multiple store purchases. Should players be withheld from playing versions of a game other than the versions that are currently released?

What if the same standard applied to other games? You couldn’t play The Sims 3 anymore because The Sims 4 is out now. No more enjoying Oblivion because Elder Scrolls Online is here. 90,000 vanilla World of Warcraft fans who signed a petition over the server’s closure may disagree. Today the petition has over 270,000 signatures.

Original Nostalrius players gather in the last moments of life for the server.

What does Blizzard think about Legacy servers like Nostalrius?

Blizzard Game Director Tim Chilton revealed Blizzard love the idea of legacy servers! Blizzard employees have even met with the Nostalrius project team and had fun wiping in 5-man vanilla Stratholme on Nostalrius server. However, Chilton reminds us that executing legacy servers is not as simple as it may seem. World of Warcraft databases process live data and although developers can ‘version’ that data now, they didn’t have that technology in 2004.

Viper, Nostalrius project manager, attended a meeting with developers. Clarifying that World of Warcraft developers do have the source code for vanilla World of Warcraft. Unfortunately, implementing vanilla game data and bringing that data to live versions of the game is a complicated process. Reverse engineering and combining data would take hours of Blizzard developer’s time. It would also take extensive reverse engineering, similar to work done by Nostalrius and Elysium server teams.

An official legacy Blizzard server would have to be polished to perfection and withstand millions of players. Elysium’s Nostalrius servers were recently stress tested for 100,000 players but we could expect to see more players than that. 100,000 is an impressive number of players but it’s not enough capacity to sustain larger numbers that Blizzard would expect.

After waiting months without response to questions and offers of help, Nostalrius server administrators released the source code. These actions lead to the current release of the Elysium Project, Nostalrius PvE and PvP servers. It is uncertain if the December 17th release of Nostalrius servers will be allowed to operate for very long. What is certain, vanilla World of Warcraft fans are calling RIP on their social lives and stocking up for release. Expect to see announcements of details about the upcoming transfer and release next week.


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