Are Private Servers a Threat to Blizzard

By: Richard Scorpio

Its difficult to tell who the first private servers are that went up, but its documented that there are some as old as 4yrs (at the time of this writing) are still running. That means less than a year after the release, people were already hard a work making the software to make their own servers to play on with and their own rules. Yet, with the fast rising of WPS's (World of Warcraft Private Servers), Blizzard has managed in less that 5yrs, to attract a staggering 9 million paying subscribers (at $14.99/month)

My research has shown that doing a Google search on privately advertised WPS's (,ones that do not advertise on a TOP X site), over 90% of them have bad links, and even the majority of those no longer come up on Google's "cache" search. It would appear that as fast as they go up, others go down.

Question also arises: is it legal? There is much debate to whether SERIOUS legal action is taken against anyone who runs or plays on a WPS. One thing is for certain, you most likely will get banned permanently from blizzard if your caught since you agreed not to do such a thing when you signed up. Since private servers do not charge users for playing, and they are based off their home pc - some debate that they can do what they want on their own system with the software they paid for. Who knows if that would hold in court.

There are some sites, however, that could cause a stink. Top sites like "Toxic-Wow" has ranked in the top 3 best WPS's in the world. And boast over an 8,000 player cap!!! I went and looked at their site. Its no push over. These guys mean business. Site is professionally done , and everything is in order. I logged on and played a bit. Sure enough. First few quest did not work(what is WOW without a story line of quest to play out) . However they had the xp set so high that I was level 4 in 3 min. This is what they call a fast server. One that would get you to 70 quickly by just turning in a few quest.

I've played on numerous WPS's and they share a few common characteristics.
1.The majority of them are operated by minors (ages have ranged from 12 - 17)

2.They are VERY buggy. Quest do not work, pets are irratic, lockups, friendly npc's attack you, the list are endless.

3.When they do try to update, most of the time loose your toon, oh they are apologetic, however, your toon is still lost.

4.Lot of them are instant 70's. Which poses problems with getting equipment. While you can just .additem xxx and receive it, I know from experience that those items added are missing their special abilities unlike their counterparts that when they drop you get those abilities.

5.And they're pretty lonely. I mean if you're into pvp or friends, how enjoyable is it when there are only 12 people in the world??

So for the most part, Blizzard doesn't have much to fear. Its pretty obvious, even 4yrs later, that the majority of the servers will never achieve the high standards of a real WoW server. Many people leave because of a common issue. FRUSTRATION caused by issues listed above. A mediocre game play, at best, is what can be expected for those that play. But what do you expect for free?

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