The unofficial World of Warcraft legacy server Nostalrius was shut down by threats of legal action from Blizzard in April but after Blizzcon passed with no mention of plans for an official legacy server, the project’s creators are disregarding Blizzard's threat and taking action to keep their vision of a pre-expansion World of Warcraft server from dying out.
To accomplish this, the team has announced that they are sending the reverse engineered source code that powered the original Nostalrius server to another fan-powered vanilla World of Warcraft project, Elysium. After Elysium is able to get things up and running, the source code will then be released to the public.
The Nostalrius team says that the decision to work with Elysium and eventually release the source code is happening to support the community of legacy WoW players, but the announcement also notes that there’s an educational value to maintaining unofficial servers.
“All of this to help developers who want to work in the gaming industry [better] understanding [of] how a server works, as Nostalrius server backbone can be considered as one of the rare production server of that scale to become available,” said Nostalrius’ project manager, known as Viper. “The purpose of this will still remain mainly educational in nature.”
The team had hopes that Blizzard would announce plans for an official legacy server after the company met with members of the Nostalrius team back in June. But, according to Viper, Blizzard hasn’t responded to emails or questions from Nostalrius since that initial meeting. That radio silence continued into Blizzcon this past weekend, and Viper says that it’s now the community’s responsibility to support legacy World of Warcraft.
“…we should not forget that Blizzard is the owner of World of Warcraft and would be for sure the most able to restore it. Until they disclose a schedule (if they do), the legacy community will have to assume there will not be an official Blizzard release of legacy WoW - possibly for very long time,” said Viper.
“So, it's time for us to release our source code and additional tools to the community in the hope that it will maintain the legacy community as much as possible until Blizzard announces an official legacy plan - should they decide to do that.”