Blizzard has responded to the Nostalrius petition

After the petition for Legacy World of Warcraft servers reached 230,000 signatures, and even got the ex Vanilla WoW Team Lead to join in, it became obvious to Blizzard that this one isn't going to blow over anytime soon.

And in a complete contrast to the utter silence they usually employ when it comes to dealing with the WoW playerbase, Blizzard actually released an official statement which you can read here:

"We wanted to let you know that we’ve been closely following the Nostalrius discussion and we appreciate your constructive thoughts and suggestions.

Our silence on this subject definitely doesn’t reflect our level of engagement and passion around this topic. We hear you. Many of us across Blizzard and the WoW Dev team have been passionate players ever since classic WoW. In fact, I personally work at Blizzard because of my love for classic WoW.

We have been discussing classic servers for years - it’s a topic every BlizzCon - and especially over the past few weeks. From active internal team discussions to after-hours meetings with leadership, this subject has been highly debated. Some of our current thoughts:

Why not just let Nostalrius continue the way it was? The honest answer is, failure to protect against intellectual property infringement would damage Blizzard’s rights. This applies to anything that uses WoW’s IP, including unofficial servers. And 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.

We explored options for developing classic servers and none could be executed without great difficulty. If we could push a button and all of this would be created, we would. However, there are tremendous operational challenges to integrating classic servers, not to mention the ongoing support of multiple live versions for every aspect of WoW.

So what can we do to capture that nostalgia of when WoW first launched? Over the years we have talked about a “pristine realm”. 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.

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.

You, the Blizzard community, are the most dedicated, passionate players out there. We thank you for your constructive thoughts and suggestions. We are listening.

J. Allen Brack"

While I would love to be excited about their idea of "Pristine Realms", it seems to be flawed concept from the outset, mostly because the entirety of the WoW leveling curve has been rendered so pitifully easy that extending it wouldn't be a benefit, but rather a severe punishment. It also doesn't help that the same applies to dungeons which only require the healer to remain conscious throughout the entire thing, at least until you reach the end game.

However, there is a glimmer of hope in all of this, and that is the fact that Blizzard seems to be genuinely courting the idea of creating a legacy server of sorts. Whether it will be any good or not, it remains to be seen, but Runescape 2007 proved it can be done, and done well, so hopefully Blizzard manages to do so as well.