Remember way back in the WotLK days when (unknown to us at the time) New Blizzard said that 100+ character open-world battles in an MMO where technically impossible? I believe they said that the same day EVE had a 1000+ man battle (so a random Tuesday in New Eden).
Now New Blizzard is back and telling us it would be really technically difficult to put up a vanilla server. You know, the same vanilla servers that exists right now, run by small teams of volunteers and amateurs. It’s one thing for New Blizzard to assume what CCP does is some technical magic, but now they can’t even do what some amateurs are doing? Somewhere in a cave the folks at SOE are laughing.
This line is pretty great too:
One other note – we’ve recently been in contact with some of the folks who operated Nostalrius. They obviously care deeply about the game, and we look forward to more conversations with them in the coming weeks
Like you know the first question was “so… can you show us how you got old WoW to run, we can’t figure it out”. And then the guys from Nost started talking and it was glazed-eye city at New Blizzard. Total clownshow.
And as predicted, New Blizzard is going to cut their entire face off to spit their nose with some butchered understanding of ‘classis’ WoW. Yes idiots, I want to play the hot garbage that is Cata+ content, with current abortion class design. Oh and can that sweet suffering take longer? Yes? Thank you! (said no one)
This is just more New Blizzard protecting their ego, because if they do put up these abomination servers, they won’t be popular for very obvious reasons, and the idiots can say “See, we told you no one wants to play vanilla! Come join the few dozen actual people playing current WoW!”
It really is a total joke.
I agree with you 110% on the final point. It’s obvious this statement is done to change the direction of the conversation. When they do bad they can go back to the shareholders and say “See I told you making the game harder was a bad idea”.
Old content being used would be the death knell for the Blizzard developers and they know it.
Still, in ages gone by things like this used to be done by employees in their own time at the weekend. The first ARAM map in LoL was a labour of love and I find it hard to believe there is nobody in the coding department at Blizzard that wouldn’t want to at least try this to show it can be done.
I can see vanilla servers being so popular that they really impact Legion sales, but I would imagine the overall increase in paying customers would more than make up for the one-time boost in box sales, especially since the last few expansions have retained most people for a month or two. Even if the nostalgia train runs dry in a few months (I’d bet against that), Blizz still comes out ahead.
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So basicaly they say “we don’t want to do it, and if you force us, we will make sure you will not want to play it”.
Apart from SOE/DBG, Jagex and any number of volunteer crews working from outside to recreate MMOs like SWG, Warhammer Online and Vanguard, there’s the example of, oh, Nostalrius…
If it’s that hard, how come everyone else can do it?
At this point I am also on board with the conspiracy theory view: someone important enough to make his or her (but it will be his) feelings count does not what this to happen. Holding the “never” line isn’t working so now the fallback position is “let’s do it badly and say we tried but no one wanted it”.
And about that “hard” part: http://www.top100arena.com/wow-private-server/ there 908, nine fucking hundred and eight private wow servers just from some random internet top list, OVER NINE HUNDRED!!!! I’m sure 90% of them are total crap, but realy it’s kinda big number if you think about all the trouble and so little gain. Nine hundred vanilla wow servers…
It is technically retarded to do, and it has to do with Battle.net.
Battle.net is a uniform platform for all recent Blizzard games, it ties into their accounting side, database side and all other layers that people don’t see.
All those nice private servers you listed don’t tie into that platform, in fact most of them run horribly. If Blizzard wanted to do this, they would have to tie in Battle.net to a 10 year old code base. They probably don’t even have an archive of that code, why would you? You’re not supporting it.
Can it be done? Sure, but it would take so much time and man hours, that most companies would not even attempt it. Before people start, I already know most of your objections:
1) X MMO did it.
Good for them, but they may not have had the technical hurdle of trying to adapt old code to the new overarching platform that ties in all their games.
2) Blizzard could do it without Battle.net integration.
Cool, now they have to make a new platform for payment and authorization completely separate from Battle.net. If you had characters on the battle.net, well too bad, they may not transfer over. Not to mention other issues that will come up.
3) How come some volunteers could do it?
Disregarding that fact that they were in fact only simulating the servers, and it took them 5 years to do it, they also didn’t have to deal with Battle.net integration
4)Blizzard could just give the private server an license to IP and they wouldn’t have to do anything else.
This could happen, but this might cannibalize people from WoW retail, not to mention the IP problems you might have
You sound like someone who works at Blizzard, in more ways than one.
No, but I am familiar with the technical hurdles that such a project might entail. Like I said before, Blizzard could do it, but the effort may not be worth it.
Which is why they probably went with the middle solution that appeals to only some people.
My objective wasn’t to dispute the state of the game, but to shine a light on an issue that most people think is easy, but is hardly so
Those issues aren’t a big deal though, and Blizzard has already shown it. They got WC2 on b.net. They keep their other, older games on b.net. Connecting to b.net was already in the code in 2004, so we are talking tweaking, not retrofitting or building from scratch. It’s something I’m involved in (non-gaming) for a living, its almost never as hard as people think it is.
But lets pretend that unlike all of the other MMOs that do this today, its 100x harder for Blizzard for ‘reasons’; Blizzard would get 100x more players on vanilla servers than those other MMOs, so while the costs don’t scale, the return would, so even in a world where the technical issues are truly immense, it still makes financial sense.
They aren’t doing it because they are afraid vanilla would outshine current WoW, and that would be a REAL bad look for all current WoW devs. I still think it will happen, they just need to go down the fail trail a little further and get more pressure from Bobby and company to chase the money over protecting egos.
As someone who definitely doesn’t work at Blizzard and hasn’t enjoyed a Blizzard game in a decade:
Technical hurdles are not often clear, and not often intuitive. Not only that, but there’s a huge difference between hacking something together that works, and putting out code you can put the name of your multi-billion dollar IP on. It’d likely be very costly in terms of time and man-hours just handling updating and integration of the old code base, and it’s quite possible they don’t have access to that at all. Where those putting up a private server can reasonably find some old backup in some back corner of the web, Blizzard doesn’t have that option and would have to start over.
I mean.. Blizzard does plenty of shit deserving of mockery. There isn’t a shortage. But this doesn’t really seem like one of them. You’re just going to have everyone with a bit of IT background roll their eyes at you.
As someone with more than just a little bit of IT background, the above is either a lack of understanding of how these things work, or Blizzard-based excuse making. As has been stated multiple times by multiple people, Blizzard isn’t some unique snowflake. If SOE can run legacy EQ1 and EQ2 servers, so can the far larger, far better resourced Blizzard (hell, the launcher/patcher at SOE has gone through FAR more changes than b.net, to name just one item).
“It is technically retarded to do, and it has to do with Battle.net.”
In a sense you are right, retardation defintely plays a key role in this whole situation. All classic Blizzard games (or at least, most of them) are integrated into Battle Net already. Obviously WoW 2004 is such a diferent and exotic beast, the database would miraculously disintegrate.
Yeah I know I wouldn’t be interested in going that far back, even though I have great memories of Vanilla. I think for my part, I am more disappointed with the direction the Devs have taken over the years, rather than being disappointed that the game evolved at all. I WANTED the game to evolve, to change. I never wanted it to stay exactly the same, although I understand the basic human desire for stability and predictability. I just don’t accept that this is in and of itself a good thing.
I think I would have preferred the game to go in different directions, expanding and improving on things like socialization and grouping, challenging content, unique class identities etc. Going back to how it was prior to these improvements (regardless of my feelings about how they carried these out) doesn’t really scratch a particular itch for me. I agree with what many people have said about Vanilla – there was a lot of annoying stuff as well, undeveloped ideas that hadn’t yet grown into something that was genuinely fun.
In the end, while I can understand why some people are unhappy, and in some areas I may even share that unhappiness, I don’t expect a large business like Blizzard to be doing everything I want, or expect them to bend over backwards to fulfil particular dreams and desires I have. They don’t owe me that – nobody does.
I also have to wonder that if they did decide to open this kind of server, where the demands would then stop? Perhaps a BC server, a Cata server, a WotLK server, perhaps servers for different patches inside of those expansions? It seems like this opens a can of worms for them – can people on the live servers start demanding that a patch be completely undone? Even if they can do it – should they? What would be the repercussions? Would people stop making complaints? Would they ever be happy?
Would they need separate development teams for every version of WoW they have running? What if people start complaining then about those particular versions, just as they did in the past? Would they expect adjustments and innovations to be carried out? Could anyone even agree on those? Players are notoriously unable to agree on what is fun – how many different communities with different needs could they manage this way?
Huh, to be honest I am super surprised Blizz decided to make a statement on this at all, I would have thought their usual tactic of silence and feigning ignorance would have been their choice. I guess though that at this point the pool of ex-WoW players is several times larger than the pool of active WoW players, so there must be at least a few non-idiots at Blizz that can see the potential for a bunch of money to be had from this group.
I find it interesting that the response they chose is “we are incompetent and can’t make it happen even with the backing of a multi-billion company” rather than “we don’t want this to happen”.
The people as Jagex and SOE must be laughing their asses off. Also I’m betting it was a big wake-up call for the Nost team.
So is it possible that Nostalrius, being entirely reverse engineered, actually uses newer technology and more efficient design than Blizzard’s actual legacy code?
I was going to suggest that you follow your own advice by never making any new and original posts and endlessly reposting stuff you’ve said 8+ years ago, but then I realized that you’re already doing that. So grats on being ahead of Blizzard’s curve, I guess.