The World of Warcraft vanilla and legacy server circus keeps on going. Former WoW Team Lead Mark Kern called Blizzard out on there being no "clear legal path to […] grant an operating license to a pirate server."
A few days ago Blizzard broke the silence after the Nostalrius shutdown and one of the things they said was that there is no 'clear legal path' to privately operated servers, something that former World of Warcraft developer Mark Kern called them out to be false. "I don’t know where he’s getting his advice from, but from a legal perspective he’s dead wrong," said Kern. "Let’s say ‘He thinks he knows license agreements, but he doesn’t.'"
In a video directed to Blizzard Kern sat down and explained his view on the matter. With him he had, just like he promised, the printed signatures of over 230,000 people who wanted Blizzard supported legacy servers, the signatures made up of over 10,000 pages.
Blizzard earlier basically said that making legacy servers will be hard to do since they don't really know how and they aren't sure that the community would like it, an excuse Kern indirectly called them out on. Kern views legacy servers as an opportunity for WoW, not a competition to it and that it is what the community wants.
"By now, every gamer who has ever wanted to try WoW has already done so, WoW is simply so big that there are no huge swaths of untapped gamers to attract to the franchise. But, there are veterans. Millions of them. And they miss their home and their community.”
Mark Kern worked on WoW for many years, he knows the game and its fans. The latest report on WoW subscribers said numbers were around 5 million and Kern knows that it is much lower today. He wants WoW to prosper and he wants the people to experience the piece of gaming history that is the original World of Warcraft, the way it was when it first came out. Making legacy servers would bring back the veterans to play both the old and new content, according to Kern. If a fan server like Nostalrius could muster up close to 1,000,000 accounts in a year, then imagine how man players would come back to WoW if legal legacy servers were created. "Why not add another one or two million subscribers?"
On the topic of it being difficult to give private servers the legal rights to run legacy servers Kern in an interview with Escapeist Magazine brings up the fact that he was involved in the process of writing the TOS and EULA
"I also helped draft Blizzard’s TOS and EULA, so I know quite a bit about this stuff,” he added. “[Beck’s] just…wrong. I don’t know where he’s getting his advice from, but from a legal perspective he’s dead wrong. Let’s say ‘He thinks he knows license agreements, but he doesn’t.'"
Kern further said that Blizzard has already converted legacy games to be able to run on Battle.net and that he doesn't understand why Blizzard can't do the same to WoW, why it would be so hard for them
"They've done this for Diablo 2, Starcraft and Warcraft III. It's even right on their web page. So yes, I do not understand this answer from Blizzard. It makes no sense when they've done it for their other legacy games"
Who knows what Kern's subtle message to Blizzard will bring, but one thing is for sure, the legacy server debate is far from over.