It's always a sad day when you have to say goodbye to a much-loved community, and none know that more than fans of the Vanilla Warcraft server, Nostalrius.
Since its release in 2004, World of Warcraft has been well-known as one of the most beloved and popular MMORPGs of all time. Now, 12 years on, the game has made some extreme changes but some players preferred the title as it was before the updates.
Fan server Nostalrius was built for such players, allowing gamers to experience a vanilla World of Warcraft experience as it was before some of the most recent expansions. On Sunday night, thousands of players gathered together in-game to say goodbye to the server which was taken down by a cease and desist order from developer Blizzard. Nostalrius, though completely unofficial, hosted 800,000 registered players with 150,000 of those accounts still being active, and did not charge a subscription fee. Hours before the server came to a close, fans formed large gatherings around Azeroth to show their support and experience the game for one last time.
In a recent reddit thread, the server hosts ran a 'Ask Me Anything' session regarding the closure of Nostalrius, commenting:
"The heart behind all private servers, including Nostalrius, is to recreate a version of the game that many enjoyed and that Blizzard no longer provides. Our hope is that Blizzard someday embraces the idea of legacy servers and that is the reason for our petition addressed to Michael Morhaime. The dream of our community has always been to have Blizzard open legacy servers."
The petition to Morhaime mentioned asks Blizzard to make a policy change regarding fan-hosted legacy servers like Nostalrius and, at the time of this article being written, has over 92,000 supporters behind it. While many people still enjoy the modern Warcraft experience, there's no doubt that the game used to be more of a challenge and it would be a great deal more effort to reach the level cap with only your feet back in the vanilla version of the title.
The game's subscription rates reached their peak before the later expansions released, suggesting that players were unhappy with the changes made, however World of Warcraft: Legion is still likely to be a highly-profitable development for Blizzard, especially given that it releases around the same time as this year's Warcraft movie. The film, which has had several official trailers revealed, is sure to bring in a range of new players as well as attract a lot of the nostalgic fans that played the game in the past, back to the fantasy-themed world.
World of Warcraft is currently available for PC.