Blizzard Shuts Down Pirate WoW Server That Doesn't Use Expansion Packs

Popular unauthorized servers hosting the vanilla version of World of Warcraft have been shut down by Blizzard.

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Some World of Warcraft players long for the original game, so instead of settling for the expansion-laden world of Azeroth we know today, they join an unauthorized pirate server like Nostalrius. However, they won't be able to do that much longer as it appears that the developer, Blizzard, has ordered the aforementioned servers to be shut down.

The Nostalrius Begins team posted the news to its website, saying lawyers have ordered their hosting company, OVH, to cease and desist on behalf of Blizzard (via Eurogamer). They have less than a week to take the servers offline.

"As soon as we received this letter, we decided to inform the team and players about the future of Nostalrius, where we have all passionately committed our time and energy as volunteers," the team wrote.

Nostalrius Begins PVP, Nostalrius Begins PVE, Nostalrius TBC, and the rest of its servers will be taken offline at 11 PM server time on April 10--that is, if the team's hosting company keeps them up until then.

The team behind Nostalrius will release the source code and anonymized players data to the community, in order for them to decide its future. They say that they'll still provide "everything needed in order to setup your own 'Nostalrius,'" they just won't be leading the charge any longer.

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The post says that the servers were "all about the nostalgia and memories of the glorious vanilla days."

"We don't know if you truly felt like it was the glory days while playing here, but we hope that you will keep good memories of the time spent here," it reads. "Once again, we can all be proud to have been part of the Nostalrius journey, no matter how much time was actually spent 'in-game.'"

Nostalrius was up-and-running for roughly one year, in which it attracted 800,000 registered accounts and 150,000 active players. The Nostalrius Begins team has created a petition as a plea to Blizzard to support legacy servers in the World of Warcraft community. At the time of publishing, the petition had 33,856 signatures.

In other news, World of Warcraft gets a new expansion this year called Legion. You'll also see the game's characters in the Warcraft movie this June.

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ArchoNils2

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I don't understand why Blizzard doesn't offer legacy servers, where you can play Vanilla WoW and stuff like that. They would have many fans of the old version playing and paying for it

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Evenios

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I really dont undertand why bilzzard doesnt further crack down on private servers. the server emulator for wow came out just MONTHS after the games release ....and since that time there has been dozens of "private servers" most which charge "donations" for special perks would seem to me that they would want to crack down on that more......

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XDeathClawX

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@Evenios: Who cares. The game is too big to be affected.

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Kelemhuma

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I think the main problem is that Blizzard made the game way too casual. For a lot of peoples tastes. Vanilla wow was my favorite computer game of all time. I still have yet to down AQ 40 and Naxx at level 60. Vanilla Wow was special. I remember getting attuned for Onyxia and being there for the first time getting chills. Danger in the main game was around every corner.

I remember doing Uldaman for the first time and feeling the same way. Riding out the the dungeon for the first time. Before it was nerfed. Elites wandering menacingly on the outside. One wrong move and you were dead. In the main game as well. They should make a separate server for hardcore players. Players that want to have there balls handed to them. Complete with skill trees Hard dungeons. Elites wandering the landscape. Bring back meaningful world questing attunements. So these legendary places feel well legendary. Make epics rare again. Screw dungeon and raid finder. That's what mounts are for. Use warlock skills for summoning. Makes game feel lived in. Makes spells seem useful. There is a dangerous world to explore.

Not anymore the game is full of noob cry babies. That want epics handed to them. Dungeons that you can farm with your eyes closed. Even on heroic. Give hardcore players there own server to play on with there own version of the game. Minus all the noob stuff.

If noob players try this server and don't like it then let them copy the characters back to the noob server and let them cry there. Instead of ruining the game for the rest of of the community that started playing a non dumbed down noob game. That was amazing!! I log into Wow now for a couple hours now and find myself board out of my mind from lack of depth and challenge. Please Blizzard at least bring back Legacy Servers so I can play my favorite game of all time again!

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Gojomez

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@Kelemhuma: I literally charge around and half health killing 8 mobs at a time. On Nos, I couldn't handle more than 2-3 mobs my level if I was at FULL health/mana

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Deano

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if blizzard didn't regularly go 6 months to nearly a year between expansions with no new content added then people probably wouldn't feel the need to make servers like this. Disappointing blizzard acts just like a multi-billion dollar megacorporation and not a gaming company anymore, people want vanilla servers and obviously the technology is there to do it, they just don't want to and will sue anyone that tries.

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ToadstoolPeach

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Nostalrius proves that fans want legacy servers.

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Timmeh1333

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That's 150,000 players who are getting to enjoy entertainment without paying for it. 150,000 x $15 = $2,250,000 a month in potentially lost revenue to Blizzard. It's piracy, no matter how much your heart bleeds for those people who want a different experience than what World of Warcraft currently offers. I'm surprised Blizzard isn't also filing a lawsuit for lost revenue.

The people that started this should be thankful that they're only being shut down.

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Gojomez

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@timmeh1333: I stayed subbed the whole time. They cant sue me for not paying

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Soarlozer

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@timmeh1333: It really isn't about the money to them especially since these are essentially 150k people that have no desire to ever play current wow. It is about their brand, doesn't matter if players think/know it is seperate from blizzard, Blizzard doesn't want vanilla servers at all.

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Akires

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Edited By Akires

@timmeh1333: I think "potentially" is the key word there. Most of the people on that server don't like what WoW is now and won't sub. They'll either stop playing or find a different server.

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gutworm

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i play retail WoW for more than 8 years now, i only tried some private servers for a very short time in that time but never really played for more than a week or so but.. i think this is really low and greedy of Activision (Blizzard) to chase these guys. REALLY LOW ACTIVISION, YOU HEAR?! shame on you!

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maitkarro

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@gutworm: Well it's greedy of you to want to play the game for free, they only took measures against vanilla server, there are many expansions out there, so yeah, no biggy there, also there are many more private servers out there. Also it's their game, they didn't sell the property or made a free source code for peeps to put up their own servers, peeps had to "hack" the server info to make the private server run properly.

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Akires

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@maitkarro: I guarantee most of the people that played on that server would have paid Blizzard $15 a month to play on it. Plus, people made friendships on that server, so it isn't just a matter of going somewhere else or being "no biggy."

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XDeathClawX

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Edited By XDeathClawX

@akires: Nah, most folks on that server hate being pampered.

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Soarlozer

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@akires: Well tell those people to create their own engine and game and then they won't have to worry about a "greedy" company shutting down relationships.

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DaSlyOne

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Edited By DaSlyOne

Were people playing vanilla WoW on Nostalrius for free? Seems that would have been a bigger draw than nostalgia for vanilla WoW.

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Akires

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Edited By Akires

@DaSlyOne: Yes it was free, but people would have paid. If it was just that it was free then they could play any private server for free.

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wexorian

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I love how blizzard won't hear what their fans are talking and want....

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wexorian

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Add timewalk raids blizz, or make new realm pvp/pve/rpg vanila where everything will be hardcore only and those players will come back to official.

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ioshilee

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I can't understand people who are clinging to the vanilla WoW. It was great, but is it really fun to grind through the same old content that is not changing for years? But that is their choice, I guess. But I can't understand Blizzard either - it seems like a missed opportunity to me. They are missing almost a million people (and that was just ONE of these private servers) who would probably pay them for a legacy server sub. Maybe it is that "probably" part they are afraid of - how can you be shure that a person who is using your IP illegaly will actually pay you if you'll give him a chance to legalise. Maybe they fear that too many hardcore players would migrate to these legacy servers, leaving the main up-to-date servers to stagnate with a bunch of casuals. Who knows? All we know for shure is that WoW is Blizzard's IP and they are free to do whatever they whant with it...

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RossRichard

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@ioshilee: Some people prefer vanilla WoW, warts and all. It shouldn't be that hard to understand. Some people like to hunt and fish. I don't understand them, but I won't talk bad about them for it.

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hyru99

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Edited By hyru99

@ioshilee: I don't know why people like vanilla either. I HATED vanilla honestly, compared to what it is now. I honestly am a bit angry at people who keep shouting that the earlier stages of WoW were better. I like the way WoW has gone. Just because someone liked the way the game was, don't give the game a bad name for what is is now. If anyone knows anything about MMOs, they should know it is subject to change.

Besides going to vanilla servers I don't believe brings back the feeling of the "good ol days". Just have to move on.

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Akires

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@hyru99: A lot of us do enjoy the older versions more, though. The reason people can be so hard on what the game is now is because it isn't the game they started playing. It's essentially completely different. If you like the changes then that's good, and I also think that there has been a lot of good stuff added to the game. That being said, Nostalrius was the best month I've had in WoW or any MMO in years, and it's mostly because of the community. It really did bring back the "gold ol days" feel, too. Vanilla was so different (I game mechanics and landscape since Cata), that for a lot of people it was either like starting new again or coming home. It was great.

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RossRichard

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Just release a vanilla server Blizzard. EQ did it, and we all know how you love to copy EQ. What are you afraid of? Getting more subscribers?

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hotwog21

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u will play on our terms u peasants

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bamir0

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If they think vanilla WOW was the halcyon days, the old EQ boat travel would blow their minds.

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zyxahn

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I play all the expansions and have no desire to go back to the original. If some players want that then it should be available to them shouldn't it ???

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Soarlozer

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@zyxahn: Not if the creators don't want it.

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kadaverhagga

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The fact that a pirate server got shut down is understandable. The fact that this is only one from about 15 such servers and there are petition and high demand for the vanilla content for the hardcore gamers and yet Blizzard is not offering a legit vanilla server is mindblowing.
WOW today is console level casual. You shouldn't be able to clear a raid with an uncordinated random group. The difficulty should be high enough to appeal to the most skilled and coordinated guilds like Nihilum back in the day. Vanilla was built for hardcore MMO gamers, the expansions were built to appeal to a more casual solo audience.

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madsnakehhh

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What were they expecting? is a pirated version of a game running on an unauthorized sever...is it really that hard to understand why it was closed? People should stop wasting their time with this things and maybe try to do their own things, clearly the have the talent and resources to do it.

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Gojomez

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@madsnakehhh: Big dog, there are about 15 private servers that have been up for several years. Nostalrius got it right, got really popular, and then BLEW UP. Bliz took notice. The part Im having trouble wrapping my head around, is what Blizzard stands to gain from it. Close to a million players are are furious with Bliz, are now looking for a NEW MMO to play. They werent looking for FREE WOW, they were looking for a game that satisfies them like WOW used to. I've tried playing retail everytime a new expansion launches, and honestly, for me: leveling a Shammy and Pally in Nostalrius on a vanilla server for 5 months was more gratifying that the entire last 3 expansions Blizzard launched.

I would gladly play Blizzard 30 bucks a month to keep playing on nostalrius.

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hyru99

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@Gojomez: Why the hell do you bother tho playing vanilla with no new content. The way I see it, and just my perspective on mmos, is that its about progression, getting stronger, and watching my hero go through the expansions story. It seems so stupid to me to want to stick on one playing field and not go any farther.

To each his own, but I think its foolishness to stick a world that never changes and has nothing to look forward to. Thats why I play MMO and pay WoW sub, so I can expect a NEW adventure.

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Gojomez

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@hyru99: I answered your question. What is the point of new adventures if they arent rewarding? Cataclysm and Pandaria were GARBAGE for lore, the raids were MEH, and WoD was very under whelming considering it resurrected the BEST part of orc lore. Todays WoW is an instant gratification vending machine for impatient young kids who want a fast paced action game. Todays combat is spam all your attacks as fast as possible and use cool downs intermittently as needed. There is no strategy or intelligence to the combat. Hell, they took mana burns out of the game because nobody is supposed to run out of mana anyore. WTF is that? I would rather PVP at level 60 as a Paladin with no actual attack move besides judgement and consecrate, in a 4 day long AV, than grind anything in todays content. WoW has become call of duty for fantasy peeps.

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LegamurfaceXD

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Edited By LegamurfaceXD

@hyru99: Back in vanilla mmo's were less about progression and more about socializing. Vanilla forced you to interact with others much more than it does now and that's what people liked about it. People could play the same content for years with no expansions or changes so long as they have others to do it with. For those of you who seem so perplexed as to how anyone could play an mmo that could potentially never change, there's your answer. I don't mean to sound snobby but most of you are probably too young (or never played mmo's before wow or in general) to understand.

Glad I held off playing there now, it was pretty obvious that the server was getting too big for its britches.

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Akires

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@hyru99: It was a progression server, meaning only the first raids were open at first. AQ was going to launch soon, then eventually Naxx. The devs were also working on a TBC server and we're going to allow you to copy your character over to it, or you could stay on Vanilla if you wanted. They were trying to recreate the progressive feel without forcing you to leave what you liked, and they were doing a bang-up job.

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Richardthe3rd

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Blizzard's really missing the point here.

With those numbers, there's clearly some demand for vanilla content.

If they want to bring back subscribers who left, even if just for a bit, it seems like this would be the way to go.

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Soarlozer

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@Richardthe3rd: Then you will have to cater to someone who wants only TBC content, and then WotLK only. Im sure gamers know more about the business side of having legacy servers than the people that are making money off it.

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Gojomez

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@soarlozer: The difference is, these players are recoding things trying to make it work. Blizzard already made it all work. It would take them 2 hours to set up client servers based off of the old games because they already launched all the old games. Create a partition on a server, load WoW build 1.12. Launch. There is no catering to anything. They don't have to balance classes, program patches, its all done already. Set up a schedule for timed release of cotent and drop the hotfixes (cause some content patches were BROKEN) with the major content. Its no harder than finding your old SNES games and playing them on your new HDTV.

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hyru99

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@Richardthe3rd: I think your thinking a bit one minded like others. And this wouldn't be the first MMO I am sure to have fans wanting old content ONLY. I can see from Blizzard's stand point firstly that opening up vanilla servers would be pointless as it starts to break down the barrier as what is acceptable. As in you can't have everything you want. If fans get a vanilla server, then where is the line drawn after that. The story has been told, Vanilla has had its age. Just like many MMOs out there.

The most you can hope for is them implementing a "Time Shift" or something in game that allows you travel back in time to relive past battles that doesn't affect the "real world".

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Richardthe3rd

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Edited By Richardthe3rd

@hyru99: They've done timewalking events in-game already where they retune old dungeons for higher level characters.

Even so, the number of players that participated in this, and the number of people talking about it in the official servers indicates there's demand for this.

I get why Blizzard shut it down; it's their property and they didn't authorize it's use, so I'm not naysaying them for doing this. But I really think Blizzard should think carefully about the possibility of implementing a "timewalk" server, where they can offer players the ability to play the game as it was 10 years ago at its inception. There are a lot of people who might be interested in this if they aren't happy with the current state of the game and they may resub.

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rubiconstate

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Edited By rubiconstate

ActiBlizz should feel shame. They don't. Delusional corporation now, but they SHOULD.

The game is a shadow of what it once was. I wish I knew about this server. I would have joined. I would have probably even donated money to the cause. ActiBlizz hasn't gotten a dime from me since Pandaland. And never will again. But I started in Vanilla, just before BC dropped. So many things that made the game great back then are now missing.

Primarily ***COMMUNITY.

It's funny. ActiBlizz are really good at killing off their own community these days.

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Dark_Mits

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@rubiconstate: Guess what, Blizz can't fix the community. After the emergence of MOBAs, the majority of players stopped thinking that the other players were human and treated them as NPCs. The game had to "stoop" down to Massive Singleplayer Online Action RPG because of the change in online human mentality; not the other way around.

Want proof? Check other games that have supposedly active worlds, few ways to automate group formations and no "easy mode" content. The communities in both Rift and Aion which I play is outstandingly hostile. Even DDO (Dungeon's & Dragons Online) is chock full of players who think you are a NPC.

A game like Vanilla WoW today would be popular for 3 months, then it'd disappear in obscurance.

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Akires

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Edited By Akires

@Dark_Mits: Not sure about that. Nostalrius was open for a year and was more popular than ever when it was shut down.

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deactivated-5962a4d2614f8

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Server had 11k players online at peak and no less than 7k online at all times. Blizzard most likely shut it down because of all the Chinese gold sellers who were profiting off the server.

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Gojomez

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@HIT3kNology: Nobody was buying gold. Prices in AH were so low because there was 10K people online at all times. Twink level blue items selling for like 9g in AH. That shit doesnt happen on retail.

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DAOWAce

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And here I was thinking of trying it out to relive the best times I had in WoW a decade ago.

Blizzard.. just open a damned vanilla server.

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Redsyrup

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Edited By Redsyrup

Pubs and Devs need to get the hint and support this niche market. It doesn't need to be super curated to prevent hackers. Long time players just want to drop in on occasion and re-experience the past. It's all about nostalgia. Sega's original PSO comes to mind. I'd love to see that on PS Vita or 3DS.

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PStrife

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So people enjoyed the old world. You'd think Blizzard would get the hint about their game design shortcomings as of late, with such obvious feedback.