Blizzard Servers Attacked Following Shutdown Of WoW’s Nostalrius Servers

The Lizard Squad has been a pang in the side of gamers for years. This time, however, the denial of service attacks are coming in response to Blizzard’s recent move to shut down private servers for a discontinued version of World of Warcraft called Nostalrius.

According to Gamezone, thousands of players gathered on the Nostalrius servers before they were officially shutdown following Blizzard threatening the server operators with legal action.

The operators ran the Nostalrius servers for free (but accepted donations for hosting fees), doing so for the love of the original vanilla version of World of Warcraft before all of the changes, nerfs, alterations, class modifications and expansion packs that occurred in the official version of the game. Nostalrius was designed so people could just play the old version of the game and have fun with friends.

Blizzard didn’t want people to have fun with a version of World of Warcraft that they discontinued to support, so they had the servers shut down.

A video has gone viral showing players enjoying their last moments in the server before Blizzard shut it down.

The server boasted more than 800,000 registered accounts and actively had more than 100,000 concurrent players online at about any single time. It’s a stark contrast to the official subscription base forWorld of Warcraft which peaked at around 12 million back in 2010, as reported by Blizzard. More recently, World of Wacraft was reported to only have 5.5 million subscribers as of November, 2015, as noted by IB Times.

Blizzard shutting down the private server could be in response to people preferring to have fun on unofficial servers instead of being able to not have fun on the official servers.

YouTube entertainer JonTron was so perturbed at this move from Blizzard that he took time out of his day to do an eight minute video ranting at the fact that the server he played on and had a lot of fun with was being shut down. He acknowledges that Blizzard is well within their rights for doing so, but feels as if it was still a cruel thing to do to fans of vanilla World of Warcraft.

The outpouring of support for the private server spawned the standard petition, only this time the petition skyrocketed to nearly 100,000 signatures requesting Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime to reconsider the company’s stance and policy regarding legacy servers, with the petition stating…

“We never saw our community as a threat for Blizzard. It sounds more like a transverse place where players can continue to enjoy old World of Warcraft’s games no longer available, maybe until a new expansion appears; a huge and powerful community of fans that remains attached to future Blizzard games, as we have in no other gaming company.


“We don’t have the pretension to come up with a complete solution regarding legacy servers that you and your company didn’t already think about, but we’d be glad and honored to share it with you if you’re interested, still on a volunteer basis.”

Not everyone has taken a diplomatic approach to the servers being shut down. Legendary troll group, Lizard Squad, has been paid to attack Blizzard’s game servers. However, they don’t explicitly say if it’s in response to the shut down of Nostalrius.

Blizzard noted that there are no attacks on user account data, and this is all an attempt to prevent people from logging in and playing StarCraft, Diablo and World of Warcraft.

BlizzardCS on Twitter

@RayHarfold They’re only spamming bad requests at our servers. Your account information is still secure! ^GX


Logan on Twitter

@BlizzardCS could this be a response to the demanded shutdown of Nostralius? hmmm?

Many within the Twitter feed are saying that they aren’t particularly remorseful for Blizzard’s servers being attacked since it seems to be the only way to get the company’s attention; hitting them in the wallet.

It’s sad if it’s true that Blizzard will refuse to address the situation involving private servers for legacy, unsupported versions of World of Warcraft. Nearly a million people seemed to love Nostalrius, and that’s more than what a lot of recent games get in terms of an install base. Denying people the right to have fun seems disjointed with what fans are asking for.

Some people even asked if Blizzard would officially bring back legacy content that they could pay for. Blizzard responded by saying that some people think that they want it but they don’t… even though 800,000 people apparently do want legacy content. I imagine the other 6.5 million other people who cancelled their subscription to World of Warcraft over the past six years probably also feel the same way.


OAG staff consists of writers creating content about video game and digital culture.

33 thoughts on “Blizzard Servers Attacked Following Shutdown Of WoW’s Nostalrius Servers

      1. Given how big the 2006scape community was and how much bigger the official Old School Runescape community is now, I doubt a price tag cause people to lose interest. In fact, Jagex claims that Old School is a major asset to them. Sorry if WoD or soon Legion also becomes devalued if Vanilla servers come out, but if it’s what people want, then why not?

    1. Many people always bitch that the latest expansion sucks.

      When The Burning Crusade launched there was allot of players bashing it from how flying mounts and arena ruined open world PVP to how blood elves ruined the horde.
      And these days I often see people calling it the best WoW expansion Blizzard made.

      1. Well, you know how life is. You won’t know how good something is until it’s gone, or replaced by something crappier.

      2. Though the difference is BC brought in more players and WotLK was WoW’s peak. WoD and the past two expansions is when we started seeing massive declines.

  1. Thanks for the writeup. I didn’t know Lizard Squad attacked Blizzard.
    I miss when companies like Blizzard cared about their customers and fans.

    1. All about them money. No big Corp does anything out of good will. Lure the mouse into the trap and then make it beg for more cheese

  2. Blizzard has a point. I think many who are glorifying vanilla WoW is more due to nostalgia than for vanilla’s gameplay because lets be honest allot of things in vanilla were downright terrible and we only put up with it since we didn’t know better which blizzard admitted was because of the teams inexperience with the genre. (And yes I played vanilla.)
    Were they to open a official vanilla server I think It would become a ghosttown after a few weeks once the novelty and nostalgia wears off.

    Sure this private server had allot of member but it was also free.

    1. Yeah when games are free you get a lot of people on. As soon they need to pay they run away. Yeah it’s sucks if you are a player who like the old version of the game. I know that feeling all to well.

    2. Were they to open a official vanilla server I think It would become a ghosttown after a few weeks once the novelty and nostalgia wears off.

      There are a lot of free-to-play MMOs that are ghost towns, too. Just because a game is free doesn’t mean people will play it and stick with it. Having more than 100,000 concurrent players on and 800,000 registered players is extremely impressive. For the private server to have operated for more than a year with those stats speaks volumes to how much people actually enjoyed it.

      If you check the Steam stats for daily active players, you’ll be hard pressed to find non-Valve games with that level of engagement.

      That’s not to mention that the official WoW has lost more than 55% of its player base since 2010. So Blizzard is obviously not doing something right.

      1. F2P MMO’s often have lots of restrictions you can only lift by pulling your wallet and don’t have WoW’s brand name attached to it.
        Lets not forget WoW is more than 10 years old. Its logical that the playerbase is on the decline since everyone and their dog has played WoW at some point and people just move on to other games.

      2. I started playing WoW when it first came out. I made it to the 3rd expansion. The Burning Crusade was a great expansion. however everything after that went downhill IMO. If Blizzard maintained a Vanilla server with bug fixes I would re join in a heartbeat.

      3. I stopped shortly before Cata was released. I honestly would not want to go back to vanilla.

        Stuff that was just downright obnoxious and poorly thought out like weapon skill leveling, hunter arrows, the horrible system to teach pets new skills, farming rogue blinding powder, crafting poison, farming resist gear, warlock pet quest that sends you through a level 40 zone on foot when your level 20, night elf quest that sends you the other side of the world just to talk to someone and than you have to travel all the way back to hand it in, the gruesome PVP grind, gear with useless stats like cloth with strength, no summoning stones, no mount before level 40, etc, etc

        Only reason I stopped playing WoW was that I just had enough of the game and the MMO genre in general.

      4. I had draenor paid for while I was playing vanilla, just like many others.

        Vanilla had progression involvement, and community involvement. (as well as the dungeons were just much more planned out and entertaining)

        Needless to say, after the shutdown even though I have a mythic geared affliction warlock, I’m never buying another blizzard game or paying for subs until they correspond with what the gamers want.

        We aren’t pepsi buyers, we are gamers. it’s a game, not a product.

        most of us initially “bought” vanilla WoW we didn’t want to lose it, but it’s gone.

        also. (if people are playing vanilla because it’s free, why aren’t they playing draenor servers? which are also free, and out there…. Just saying..)

      5. rofllmao, all those points you just said, thats just you crying that the game is to hard. Whats that, you actually have to walk someone and arent teleported there instantly?? aww poor little baby. Yes, it was harder back then, thats what made it actually fun to play the game, u actually had to work for stuff, not just get legendaries handed to you, or never have to leave the city.

  3. As a programmer I totally side with Blizzard in this. These guys running this were fully in charge of a WoW server, including event scripts, customer service, etc. If they were poking around in the source code who knows what they could find. I wouldn’t want people doing that if I had something like this, maybe they find a proprietary memory optimization technique, or something else that Blizzard uniquely did, or use it as a platform to launch their own MMO.

    In the end, this was Blizzard’s baby, and if people want to play it, Blizzard wants you to pay them. Albeit maybe Blizzard could run legacy servers, but that’s their call, and maybe they just don’t think the demand matches their cost. (Vanilla players didn’t have flying mounts, so how could Blizzard tempt you with a $25 flying golden dragon?)

    1. maybe they just don’t think the demand matches their cost.

      This doesn’t really make sense given that this private server ran on donations and the donations more than covered the cost of operation. I don’t see how this private server would make more money than if Blizzard opened up official legacy servers and promoted it. More than anything, giving players more playing options might actually restore their player base.

      1. If Blizzard had people maintaining it those people wouldn’t work for free.

        From what I read, there’s what, at most 200k people that registered but 100k that used it regularly? I’m sure there’s more to the cost than just running the server, especially if it now becomes available to the wider community / all WoW subscribers.

      2. 800,000 people registered in the Vanilla server.
        WoW itself only has 5.5 million subscribers.
        That’s about 15% of their total players, which is a HUGE amount for a private server. It would be even higher if Blizzard introduced official Vanilla servers, since there’s many people who aren’t willing to play on private servers. And now that WoW has F2P mechanics, saying “people won’t pay for it” is irrelevant.

      3. And there’s a difference between “100,000 players online at any given time” and “players that use it regularly”
        All of them could use it regularly, but nobody is going to be using it all the time. At most, every day.
        But just playing a couple times a week is still playing regularly.

    2. I bought vanilla WoW.
      therefore, I want vanilla wow.

      I’m also a programmer, I’m also a graphic designer.

      from our side
      ]We bought something are they are ceasing to allow it to exist.

      from their side
      ]they made it, they have it, they obviously want money considering all the money purchase items on the shop and the Rushed expansions. 100,000 petition signers of people who wanted the game (let alone all the people who they lost over the last 10 year [6 million] ) charge a subscription price, 100,000 * 15 EXCLUDING ANYBODY who might not know about it.

      that 1,500,000 a month. extra.

      Don’t tell me that it cost a million dollars to hold up a server a month. I’ve held up servers in my lifetime.

      So coming from a programmer/graphic designer/server previously hosted/entrepreneur

      Give us blizzards baby back 🙂 since blizzard isn’t even involved anymore *Cough* and his recent acquisitions.

      It’s all about money, not their baby. They don’t care about the games anymore.

      yes, it’s their call; no, it’s not right to do. It’s not like vanilla wow has a single player option.

      1. I always wondered what the $20/month was for, I know it doesn’t cost that much to run a Server. (I ran one myself a long time ago)

        I still miss COH. There was a Private Server for THAT that got shut down too!

    3. As far as i can tell wow private servers today generally run a program that interacts with the client in the “correct” way while the actual scripting and server side coding seems to be more building it from the ground up (often referred to as an emulator).
      At least this is the impression i got from reading about mangOS and on the nost bug-tracker, where most changes where made after they where supported by theory-crafting or old vanilla data that players had documented. If they where digging through source code this would seem redundant.

      Personally I would gladly pay subscription if blizzard ran legacy servers. I think many more than me would because there a sense of safety from official servers (the risk of “losing” progress is less and security means a lot to the majority of people).

      After playing on nost i must say i had more fun leveling on nost then in Mists or Warlords (tried warlords pretty much directly after I reached 60 nost), by that I’m not saying one or the other is better they are just so different that they are almost different games. Thus different audiences.

    4. The Blizzard that made the original WoW is dead and gone. This is definitely not their baby. Activision’s Blizzard is the reason WoW is in the current state that it’s in.

      If they would have listened to customers who PAID for the game then they wouldn’t be faced with this at all. This is the kind of thing that spawns hackers and causes people to lose trust in software companies.

      1. I like WoW in the current state that it’s in. I dipped out after Cataclysm, skipped Pandaria, and now my wife and I have been playing Warlords since December and will very likely stay at least into the beginning of Legion.

        WoW is still standing after a lot of other MMOs have failed, so they’re doing something right.

  4. Give them hell guys.
    I have no sympathy for blizzard, either they release vanilla servers or they should just let the community have their own.

  5. Cheers to Lizard Squad!! So many of us have been ignored, or cheated by Blizzard in some way over the past 10 years. This money hungry, corrupt corporation has ignored us for way too long. Thank you for helping us be heard! So many of us felt powerless to stick it to this corporation, and you have helped us greatly with this! Blizzard deserves everything that they get, our only hope is that more black hat operations will continue this barrage of online attacks at this sorry excuse for a company! Here’s looking at you 4Chan! I encourage everyone to keep voicing their opinions of this self-absorbed company, they can’t ignore us forever! Happy hunting!!

    Oh and if you haven’t already, please cancel your Legion Pre-Order! Don’t waste anymore of your hard earned money on these people!


  6. I’ve been boycotting Blizzard since they ruined their own franchises to hell and back. I’m not feeling the smallest amount of remorse for their servers being fucked up. In fact, the day the company crashes and burns, I’ll be rejoicing and opening a bottle of cider to celebrate it.

    Good job, Lizard Squad. Give Chris Metzen and his lackeys a lesson in humility.

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