MMOs change over the course of their lives, and World of Warcraft is no exception. While that evolution is necessary to keep the community coming back, it does mean that the original forms of these games slowly disappear over time. Nostalrius, a fan-built private server running a version of WoW as it launched back in 2004, was one effort to keep the original game alive. But not for much longer.
As reported by, Nostalrius will be shutting down on April 10 following a threat of legal action from Blizzard. The server had been running for over a year, and by some accounts had over 100,000 active users.
While Nostalrius is a good-faith community project built on a love for the original game, it’s still piracy, and an active form of piracy on a game that’s still trying to sell monthly subscriptions. Nostalrius is very much an alternative to the legal, paid game, so the only thing that’s surprising here is seeing Blizzard’s lawyers wait a full year to take action.
The Nostalrius team has reached out to Blizzard with anto see if it might be possible to continue the legacy servers as an officially sponsored volunteer effort. While a move like that would be basically unprecedented from a major publisher, I would love to see it. The need for developers to be protective of their copyright is often at odds with the preservation of classic games, and I desperately want to see more steps toward equitable solutions.