After some hype had built up around one of the fan servers for World of Warcraft, the inaugural launch was cut somewhat short as the server for the fan-made version of the game was shut down just hours after it went live. So what happened? Why did the highly anticipated legacy server get cut off the same day it went up?
According to Ars Technica, it was all because of a cease and desist letter that Blizzard Entertainment's legal department had delivered to the operator of the server, a coder named Gummy52.
The server had been in development by Gummy52 for the last four years. He's unemployed and suffers from muscular dystrophy. According to a post on Reddit, for him it was cathartic being able to work on the private server and bring some joy back to the gaming community for those who longed to play the original Burning Crusade vanilla version of World of Warcraft.
The Burning Crusade server was known as Felmyst, and it was supposed to be a hearkening back to the early days of Blizzard's popular MMORPG. All of the upgraded and updated bells and whistles that are present in the current iteration of the game -- following the release of World of Warcraft: Legion -- were not present in the vanilla Felmyst server.
As reported in Cinemablend's original story about the Felmyst server, Gummy52 worked with some other volunteers to completely recreate certain aspects of the game world, including environments, enemies, areas, items, and game logic in order to get it working right on the private server.
Gummy52 also revealed that he had paid out of his own pocket to host the private server and that it would allow for up to 3,000 active users on at a single time.
Of course, he was devastated to find that the day that the server went live, a few hours later he received a cease and desist letter in the mail. He explained that it took him a while to digest the information and what was happening, even going as far as to call the law firm to make sure that they actually existed, and to check all the numbers, details and names on the letter before finally accepting a very bitter, cold truth: Felmyst had to die.
According to the article, Gummy52 sat in a chair, dejected, desperately trying to wrap his head around what had just happened. It can be a brutal thing to realize that all that hard work -- especially four years of actual game design, testing, networking, bug fixing and debugging -- was coming crashing down around his ears all thanks to a small piece of paper.
Much like the Nostalrius server from last year, Blizzard made sure that Felmyst... fell.
Some people had questioned why he would bother making a vanilla server for World of Warcraft, but the odd thing about this particular story is that Felmyst wasn't the first private server by Gummy52. In fact, his other servers were left unscathed. Little did he know that Blizzard had his number this time around, and Felmyst was not meant to be.
There are still other vanilla servers out there, so anyone who was excited for Felmyst will likely have already migrated to another private server.