Nostalrius Shuts Down, People Still Want Fun

The WoW emulator Nostalrius was shut down a couple of days ago.  Though I enjoy playing on and supporting many emulator projects, I never partook in the nostalgia of the classic WoW experience on Nalstalrius. It’s not a pleasant experience to remember plaing 15 hours a day, competing to be the first to kill all of the raid bosses and get the best loot.

My sources tell me that Nostalrius broke the cardinal rule of running an emulator by asking for money. If that really was the case, then shame on them. They were brave for doing a WoW emulator anyway since Blizzard actually has the money to defend their properties.

People crave nostalgia. That’s why Nostalrius was attracting people, and why P99, SWGEmu, and so many others bring in people by the tens or even hundreds of thousands. If what was is fun, and what’s now is not, then we want what was. If you followed that, it’s that simple.

Blizzard has no plans of starting a WoW Emulator — I’ll put an “at this time” in there since they are a for-profit company and they’ll go where the money goes. But other companies like Daybreak Games have seen the interest and capitalized on it by putting up official “legacy” servers for players to enjoy.

In a world where people think something is a failure if it doesn’t have millions of players and millions of subs, it’s always nice to see that people flock to small experiences in numbers that can be profitable. The hype and inflated sense of what should be really seem to be completely ignored if something isn’t ‘new’.

I encourage people to keep playing on ‘classic’ or ‘legacy’ servers whether official or emulated (As long as its legal or not yet deemed illegal). I think it’s all about finding what’s fun for you, and if that’s playing EverQuest how it was back in 1999 or WoW how it was back in 2004 then so be it. The more we tell video game developers what we enjoy, or show them by playing those games, the more likely we are to have them provide it for us.

  • I like the idea of a WoW vanilla server or at least playing a game that is more like WoW was then than it currently is in some ways. However, I have found I don’t last very long whenever I give one of these servers a try. I think I just don’t like the vanilla client in that it lacks a lot of the polish, features, class changes, etc., that Blizzard has made to the game that have been good for it.

    I’d love it if Blizzard put up a variety of servers catering to different playstyles. Put up a server locked at vanilla content or a progression server and reset xp and difficulty to make it closer to vanilla. Bored with that now? Transfer to the BC server, or a live server, etc. Or, how about just a brand new server so that people who want to can start over again?

    If anyone can afford to play around with different server types and rulesets it is WoW, but all we have had for 10 years are the standard red/blue and RP designations. I think some type of WoW progression server would be hugely popular. They are losing money by not doing this. How many more subs could they retain during these year-long content droughts that always occur between expansions if they would give people a larger variety of server types providing different gameplay experiences? Hell, open one up during the content drought and I’m sure they’d see their server cancellations slow and even new subscribers coming back to try the new server.

    The fact that these emulators keep popping up and are so popular should be evidence enough alone for them to recognize the potential outweighs any perceived risks.

  • Just for the record, there are numerous examples of nostalrius “specifically” NOT asking for money and even going so far as to remove themselves from the money question by having people only give donations directly to the separate company that they rent the server from. Furthermore, they on numerous occasions reiterated their dream of working with Blizzard to re-create the classic experience FREE OF CHARGE TO BLIZZARD. I for one would’ve been happy to pay the $15 a month to play the game I used to love. Not anymore though, blizzard has lost a customer for life with their decision to simply ignore our cries for classic servers.

  • “The more we tell video game developers what we enjoy, or show them by playing those games, the more likely we are to have them provide it for us.”

    I think it summarizes well one of my issue with this whole nostalgia thing. Playing older video games or older versions of a still live games slows down innovation. It sends the message players do not want to move forward, that they don’t even want to consider the actual field. That’s a dissentive for companies to try new ideas, concepts or game mechanics. Bigger companies always take the lesser risky path and clearly it’s often to reharsh what has already been done, sometimes only partially because there’s a misunderstanding of what exact part of the older product the nostalgic crowd really likes (eg : I assume not every single of EQ1 is still beloved).

    There hasn’t been a lot of innovation in the field lately, not counting VR which is barely starting, especially in the MMO subgenre. That’s a common complain heard from players. I’ve always been on the side that playing older game out of nostalgia sends the wrong message. The better message is to go out there, find lesser known games, try their new shtick and praises their innovations providing they are good while at the same stop spending money on the bigger fish as they are clearly not providing the product you want to enjoy. As long as enough people continues to throw money at failing products, they survive and sire similar games. With the amount of dollars spent on Madden football games, there’s no reason for EA to stop producing them or even try to change their formula, same applies to other genres.

    TLDR : You might enjoy your older games, but might be sending the wrong message.

  • @Maljjin “quote” I think it summarizes well one of my issue with this whole nostalgia thing. Playing older video games or older versions of a still live games slows down innovation. It sends the message players do not want to move forward, that they don’t even want to consider the actual field. That’s a dissentive for companies to try new ideas, concepts or game mechanics. ”

    No it tells that developers went the wrong path at some point and left those behind that wanted to take another turn at a crossroad. Simple as that.
    Out of touch with what at least some of their customers want.

    They simplified the game, instead of churning out new ideas and content that expand or elevate the existing level of play. They instead chose a path what I consider a slippery slope downwards.
    And it went worse after each expansion to the point where many do not even recognize WoW anymore.

  • Ok I gotta object to this whole it’s not fun to actually have to work hard, or at least long hours, to get rewarded. Because I did that in a bunch of games and it was fun as hell walking around town with the flaming sparkling laser shooting shoulderpads most people had no chance to get. I’m doing that in real life now and it’s still fun. Really fun.

    And while I recognize most of you don’t want anything too difficult and everybody should get the same thing, that means the flaming sparkling laser shooting spaulders need to morph into just kinda shiny dull things. Not nearly as cool but hey we all have them. This economic model has never worked, and it also seems to fail in mmorpgs. It’s fun for a couple months and then all the people working hard stop working hard, or subscribing.

  • WoW vanilla had much more in common with EQ, and that’s why a lot of people loved it. Things like grouping and raids required some thought which got morons community black-listed, not just sitting in some tard handler queue like live is now.

    I can understand why some people would rather have 15 minute McMMO functionality now, but a lot of people don’t.

  • @Malijjin

    “You might enjoy your older games, but might be sending the wrong message.”

    If I’m enjoying myself, why am I sending the wrong message? Innovation for its own sake is worthless, especially when the end product is worse than its predecessor. Should I simply “move on with the times” and accept shittier products and services because… reasons?

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