Felmyst legacy WoW server shutdown by Blizzard only hours after going online

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,903   +760
Staff member

When Gummy52 build his Felmyst World of Warcraft legacy server, he knew there was a chance that Blizzard would shut it down. In fact, when the company took down the Nostalrius server last year, he felt apprehensive about completing his project. However, Blizzard is all over the place when it comes to choosing one of the many vanilla legacy servers to go after, and Gummy had already poured over three years of work into Felmyst at that time. He did not want to see it all go to waste.

Gummy has muscular dystrophy and as he put it, “Because of my health situation I wasn't in a position to cut losses and start over on something different, at least not something that would take four years to make."

So he worked on his project for another year and it finally went live last week. However, within an hour after going online, there was a knock at his door. Upon answering, he was served with a cease and desist letter from attorneys representing Blizzard. Despite having known that his server could get taken down, he was shocked at how fast it had happened.

“I didn't exactly have time to do anything before getting served, which I can still hardly believe happened within the hour,” Gummy said in a post on Reddit.

It was almost as if Blizzard’s lawyers had just been waiting for him to turn on the server, and they probably were. Gummy’s Felmyst server was running an emulation of the world as it existed during the very popular Burning Crusade expansion. While there are other Burning Crusade servers out there, Felmyst had generated substantial hype because it was going to be better than the rest. Players were already enjoying the beta, and it became so popular that Gummy capped the server at 3,000 to keep it small enough to fly under the radar.

"I didn't exactly have time to do anything before getting served… there's nothing I can do."

Apparently, it didn’t fly low enough under the radar because after only six hours online, Felmyst went down for good. In the time between, receiving the shutdown notice and taking the server offline, Gummy did all he could to verify that the letter was real.

“I was in the process of upgrading the server's upload speed when I answered the door and then basically sat around in disbelief for a few hours. During those hours I, of course, checked if the law firm was a real place, then checked if the number on the paper matched the number on their website, then called them to verify its authenticity.”

Once he was sure the threat was legit, he pulled the plug. Many in the WoW community spoke out in anger.

Felmyst was not Gummy’s first WoW server. He had built another private server called Scriptcraft in 2011 and operated that one for five years without any problems. His plan for Felmyst was to repeat what he had already done. He'd keep the server small, and if his hosting service told him to take it down, he’d just move it to another service. However, being face-to-face with Blizzard's legal team changed things.

“Blizzard's attorney contacting me, in person no less, is a different story,” he said. “Here we are, and there's nothing I can do.”

He is still considering whether or not he should publicly release his code. He would like to see someone, perhaps in another country, pick up where he left off. He just wants to be sure he will not be facing legal troubles in doing so.

Gummy acknowledges that WoW is Blizzard’s IP, and did not wish to profit from his server or bring harm to the game, the company, or the community. They were certainly within their right in shutting him down, but he feels that all he was doing was filling a void for a small niche of players that are fundamentally ignored by Blizzard. While the company has talked about officially backing vanilla legacy servers on several occasions, it has so far been nothing more than lip service, as no actions in this direction have been taken or further discussed.

In fact, the last time it was brought up was during the Nostalrius takedown, but Nostalrius developers got tired of waiting to hear back from Blizzard and went to work on the Elysium server instead. So far Elysium has been running with no legal hassles, and it typically has around 9,000 logged in users at any given time. It is mind boggling why the company would hassle with a smaller server. The larger communities are the ones that pose a greater threat according to Blizzard's own rationale.

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captaincranky

Posts: 16,497   +5,305
I'm apparently a bit dyslexic, or I can't read because I used to work for the post office, but I could have sworn that title read, "Feminist Legacy WoW server Shutdown...[ }...".

In my own defense, I'm not a gamer, so I don't know all those cool gamer names and terms.:confused:
 

That Other Guy

Posts: 47   +25
Perhaps they should hire him... if he is that much of a threat since it obviously wasn't the amount of traffic he might pull from the paid game, but more likely the quality/reliability of his build compared to live servers back then (pretty sure TBC was 10 years ago).
I think Blizzard refuses to make legacy servers due to the cost of having to support said server(s) separately from their live/ptr stuff.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,384   +3,858
Perhaps they should hire him... if he is that much of a threat since it obviously wasn't the amount of traffic he might pull from the paid game, but more likely the quality/reliability of his build compared to live servers back then (pretty sure TBC was 10 years ago).
I think Blizzard refuses to make legacy servers due to the cost of having to support said server(s) separately from their live/ptr stuff.

The separate support costs are certainly a factor, and there's very small chance that it might splinter the player base. However, enough players have unsubbed because the game has devolved into a single player click-to-win joke that bringing back the classic era would really have no downside. Those who enjoy WoW as it is currently will continue to play it that way..their not going to go back to when the game actually required strategy, teamwork and grinding.
 

MilwaukeeMike

Posts: 3,214   +1,467
Perhaps they should hire him... if he is that much of a threat since it obviously wasn't the amount of traffic he might pull from the paid game, but more likely the quality/reliability of his build compared to live servers back then (pretty sure TBC was 10 years ago).
I think Blizzard refuses to make legacy servers due to the cost of having to support said server(s) separately from their live/ptr stuff.

The separate support costs are certainly a factor, and there's very small chance that it might splinter the player base. However, enough players have unsubbed because the game has devolved into a single player click-to-win joke that bringing back the classic era would really have no downside. Those who enjoy WoW as it is currently will continue to play it that way..their not going to go back to when the game actually required strategy, teamwork and grinding.

Last I heard, Blizzard is bringing back legacy content. They call them 'Timewalking' dungeons. This means that a legacy server would be in competition with them. I don't keep up with the WoW news, so I don't know if they're bringing back the whole world or just the dungeons - but they are reusing old content.
 

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,903   +760
Staff member
I'm apparently a bit dyslexic, or I can't read because I used to work for the post office, but I could have sworn that title read, "Feminist Legacy WoW server Shutdown...[ }...".

In my own defense, I'm not a gamer, so I don't know all those cool gamer names and terms.:confused:
HAHAA! You had me going Cranky. I had to double check to be sure I hadn't typoed the name somewhere. lol
 

Kotters

Posts: 331   +225
I'm apparently a bit dyslexic, or I can't read because I used to work for the post office, but I could have sworn that title read, "Feminist Legacy WoW server Shutdown...[ }...".

In my own defense, I'm not a gamer, so I don't know all those cool gamer names and terms.:confused:
Cool story bro
 

amghwk

Posts: 1,011   +923
WoW is Blizzard's cash cow. It's the reason Blizzard stopped making good PC games like those days.

Starcraft II was the beginning of their hardcore IP protection with even controlled region locked installation.

Obviously they saw a great potential in thus particular server that they anticipated a threat to their livelihood.

The fact that they were waiting to pounce on this guy shows Blizzard's corporate mentality and the threat they perceived in this particular server.

Now all that remain is that the server code becomes "stolen".....
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,061   +2,056
Because children could be reading about WoW on this site? I dunno, just seems an unnecessary inclusion.
Children could be reading it on Twitter as well? Also, the game is rated 16+, if you're 16 or older and still super sensitive to the odd swear word, then you wouldn't be playing online games :D
 
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Arris

Posts: 4,719   +447
Children could be reading it on Twitter as well? Also, the game is rated 16+, if you're 16 or older and still super sensitive to the odd swear word, then you wouldn't be playing online games :D
Kinda at odds with the sites censoring of just about any mildly offensive word in comments/forums though isn't it? :p
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,061   +2,056
Kinda at odds with the sites censoring of just about any mildly offensive word in comments/forums though isn't it? :p
Very true, this site does do way too much censoring in that area. Maybe this is them paving the way to less censorship? We can dream right? :D
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,497   +5,305
Kinda at odds with the sites censoring of just about any mildly offensive word in comments/forums though isn't it? :p
Perhaps a "double standard" should exist. Censoring the news, is a lot different from commenting on it. Any Op-Ed stuff I've ever seen, has always been pretty much devoid of profanity.

Given that members posting comments can sometimes be pretty competitive, it stands to reason that the site might not want the commentary laced with everyone's top tier, last ditch, pejoratives.

I've found the mods to be fairly reasonable, as long as you dilute the spelling, and don't over do it.