Focus On *Cough* Unofficial Servers

by on July 17, 2013

Private Servers.

Unofficial implementations of an MMO have been around for a long while, existing in a space somewhere between “informally ignored” and “actively sued” by the games companies who developed the games they’re now emulating.

But are do they actually provide a valuable service for the MMO community? Here are two bloggers who think that they do indeed.

  • Syp looks at the MMO abandonware world, showcasing five projects that aim – very successfully, in some cases – to keep MMOs that have been killed by their parent companies alive. From Star Wars Galaxies to Shadowbane, it’s a fascinating list.
    Read “Five Emulators That Are Keeping Dead MMOs Alive” »
  • And Ardwulf looks at the role of private servers as “retro” servers for still-existing MMOs, allowing WoW players (for example) who miss the good old days a chance to go back and relive them. Note that you won’t get any links to these dubiously-legal services here – just discussion of the theory.
    Read “Retro Servers And A Light At The End Of The Tunnel” »

If you enjoyed this article, check out our other posts from these categories: World of Warcraft

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ahtchu August 2, 2013 at 1:13 pm

I fail to understand why discussing private shards is taboo. If you cannot directly address the topic, how do you hope to gain a better understanding of the MMO landscape? of why they exist in the first place?
The Catch-22 in the MMO-sphere is that the game only exists officially when the creators say so. But when they pull the plug, it somehow doesn’t? And anyone who still likes the ‘oldness’ is ‘behind the times’, ‘nostalgic’… or worse, if you merely entertain the thought of a private shard, you are a ‘villian’ of sorts.
That’s like saying after Toy Story 2 was made, no one is allowed to watch Toy Story 1. That’s like saying after Halo 3 was released, no one is allowed to play 1 or 2. While from a developper/distributor point of view, that might be true given that they host the ‘world’, but from a consumer point of view it is controlling.
I’ve paid hundreds of dollars, if not thousands, over the span of time playing MMOs, supporting the live versions of games I have enjoyed. But if a game goes in a direction I disagree with, I vote with my feet. Similarly, if no [live] game is offering the gameplay that interests me, then I’ll find somewhere were the service that I seek is offered.
The live game companies have no right to complain. Like a computer hardware maker who has ceased support for a given product has no right to complain when indie groups start offering driver updates for their dated product, so too does a software company stop earning the right when they pull their plug of support.
I fully 100% endorse private shards who allow people who purchased a game the opportunity to keep playing that game.
It’s unfortunate that the media (blogosphere included) makes vain attempts at the false narrative that ‘private shards are bad’. How can we improve the quality of live games if we are barred from discussing (and voting with our feet) the qualities of games no longer supported?


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