If this were a spy movie, we’d know for sure this was a trap. The team behind Nostralrius, the pirate World of Warcraft server that was recently shut down by a cease-and-desist order, is set to meet with Blizzard. Rather than a trap, this could actually be really cool.
“The last few weeks have been full of exciting events that we did not anticipate,” said server administrator Daemon in a post announcing the meeting. Daemon mentions World of Warcraft director J. Allen Brack’s response regarding the reasoning behind closing Nostralrius, a petition to re-open it reaching 250,000 signatures, and the upcoming meeting as positive events following the shut down.
“We feel we are now not only the admins of a private server,” Daemon wrote. “We are also the ambassadors of a larger movement within the entire World of Warcraft community that wants to see game history restored.”
The team won’t be releasing the source code or database information for the product, though, as they want to make sure they have every advantage as they go into their talks with Blizzard. Putting their project out in the wild might force Blizzard’s hand and ruin the chances of a vanilla World of Warcraft server. The team also has an anti-cheat application that they feel would be compromised by releasing code.
That Blizzard is even meeting with them at all is noteworthy. Normally stuff like this gets shut down and that’s that. The server in question, though, had 150,000 players. That shows that there’s a demand for something like what Nostralrius was providing. The purpose behind the meeting is unclear not only to us but, it seems, to the team behind the server, too. Brack had said his team was exploring options to make a vanilla server work, so they could be looking at the Nostralrius team as a low-cost way to do do that. They could also be writing them a check to keep quiet about any details of the server’s inner workings to further protect their property.
Hopefully, though, it’s the former. How this turns out could set precedent for other, similar situations with old or offline MMORPGs.