Final week, we discussed the upcoming private server Felmyst, its dedication to preserving the Burning Crusade since it existed as of Patch 2.1, and on the core developers’ belief that the game needs to be pristine. That indicates it need to manage quests, dungeons, raids, expertise gain wow items, and other facets of the overall WOW practical experience as they existed in early 2007, and that the precise targets of other mods, which include minimizing grinds or improving loot tables, would not be implemented on Felmyst.
Even last week, we had been concerned that Blizzard may not go for this new implementation, any extra than it really is gone for any of the high-profile private servers – and this seems to have been exactly what occurred. Felmyst went reside, briefly, at some point around the 21st but was definitely shut down through C&D letter by the 22nd.
The Felmyst site owner, Gummy52, has taken down all previous comments and discussion and replaced them with a single image of a C&D letter and an explanation as to his own actions.
Gummy writes that his underlying medical condition, muscular dystrophy, makes it impossible for him to relocate to a country where Blizzard’s threats of legal action could be taken less seriously.
Basically, Felmyst blew up as a news item and attracted the attention of Blizzard long before Gummy wanted it to. Whether he could’ve ever transitioned the project to a third-party backer entirely outside the reach of your United States is open to debate. Part of his statement suggests one reason he didn’t pursue this route is that he didn’t want to risk helping someone set up their own paid server using his code. He also states that he will consider releasing some or all on the source code if it would be beneficial to programmers “who are still learning.”
What We Talk About When We Talk About Private Servers
The problem with any discussion of private servers is there are multiple groups with competing interests here. First, you have fans of the classic game or its various expansions that want to go back and replay that content for the first time, or players that didn’t get a chance to see it the first time around.
Second, you’ve got the interests of Blizzard, which doesn’t want to contribute to a situation that could see some of its longtime player-base jumping back to previous expansions, and doesn’t want to feed the perception that WoW needs to be free. Blizzard also doesn’t want to deal with inevitable security issues that will crop up. A group of people having a poor knowledge on a private server could easily impact perceptions from the base game among people who don’t understand the difference.
Third, you’ve got the question of how these servers would function as far as moving players towards new content. Sure, you may possibly enjoy playing and re-leveling a character or two. But vanilla WoW and TBC weren’t great times to be a mid-sized guild. With no 10-man player variants of 25-man dungeons implemented until Wrath on the Lich King, mid-sized guilds like my own struggled to fill 25-man dungeons. You can buy cheap wow gold and deal with this by partnering with other guilds, by leaving to try a full-time raiding guild, or by patching together a 25-man run out of alts (alternative, i.e., not main) characters from other guilds, plus whatever your own guild can provide. All of these solutions work, to a degree. Most of them aren’t that much fun. And TBC lacked the fully integrated LFG (Looking for Group) tools that had been later implemented in Wrath from the Lich King.
Blizzard’s willingness to swing the banhammer on this topic and shutdown an up-and-coming private server in less than a day shows the company takes these issues seriously. If there are going to be any servers that focus on earlier parts in the game, they’re either going to be Blizzard-run or not exist at all. As for Felmyst, the writing was on the wall for all such server projects when Nostalrius was taken down. Blizzard has all of your legal precedent and the funds to pay for its own defense of its IP. You can believe the company is making a mistake by alienating those who would like to see private servers become a reality, but that’s not going to change how courts rule in situations like this.