After Blizzard decided to shutdown the private vanilla World of Warcraft server Nostalrius there has been some rumbling in the WoW community. Blizzard has broken their silence on the server shutdown.
Many viewed private WoW servers as a harmless thing that could coexist with the full WoW game, so when Blizzard shut it down it started a whole lot of commotion.
During the shutdown the community had in-game suicide pacts and met their fate in a rain of fire. After that the Lizard Squad DDoSed all of Blizzard's games, hacked some employees and leaked their personal information in attempt to make a point. Following that, former WoW Team Lead Mark Kern said thet he would personally hand over a petition to Blizzard on creating legitimate Legacy Servers.
Finally, Blizzard has opened up to speak on this somewhat infected matter.
After the Nostalrius shutdown they have been monitoring the situation closely and have been listening to what the community really wants. They have not been ignoring the fans in this matter.
J. Allen Brack, Executive Producer and Senior Vice President at Blizzard Entertainment, took the Blizzard forums and said "Our silence on this subject definitely doesn’t reflect our level of engagement and passion around this topic. We hear you."
Brack went on to explain that they have had many and long internal discussions on the matter of vanilla servers and on how to implement them in a way that the community would enjoy. Vanilla servers would take a long time and a lot of work for Blizzard, unfortunately, the developers cannot punch a button to get a vanilla server started.
When it comes to the Nostalrius shutdown, Brack said that they did it to protect their rights. Whenever a company fails to do what it can to protect its rights the harder it will be to protect them in the future. As a company and business they had to do it.
"Failure to protect against intellectual property infringement would damage Blizzard’s rights […] while we’ve looked into the possibility – there is not a clear legal path to protect Blizzard’s IP and grant an operating license to a pirate server. "
The internal talks about vanilla servers have lead to something they call "Pristine Realms" which would be similar to what Nostalrius had. Blizzard even has a concept for these "Pristine Realms":
"In essence that would turn off all leveling acceleration including character transfers, heirloom gear, character boosts, Recruit-A-Friend bonuses, WoW Token, and access to cross realm zones, as well as group finder. We aren’t sure whether this version of a clean slate is something that would appeal to the community and it’s still an open topic of discussion."
As a further sign that Blizzard is listening to their fans is that they have been talking with "the folks who operated Nostalrius" and they are looking "forward to more conversations with them in the coming weeks". What they are talking about has not been revealed, but there still is a sliver of hope for official vanilla servers.
Brack ended by saying " We thank you for your constructive thoughts and suggestions. We are listening."