Inspired, perhaps, by Blizzard's "classic" version of World of Warcraft, allowing players to experience the game as it was circa-2006, another long-running MMO, Lord of the Rings Online, has announced a similar idea, called the "Legendary Server".
Move over, Nostalrius - Blizzard is making its own classic servers for World of Warcraft, called World of Warcraft Classic. 'We're committed to making an authentic, Blizzard-quality classic experience,' Blizzard said during their Blizzcon keynote, promising that these new classic servers will take some time before they're ready. So, uh, be patient.
Although current developer Standing Stone Games (formerly Turbine) hasn't gone as far as Blizzard has with its version — even avoiding terms such as "classic" and "vanilla" — it still aims to replicate an early time in LOTRO's life, while maintaining some of the updates and quality-of-life improvements added over the last decade:
A Legendary server runs alongside existing servers, and therefore contains many of the changes that have been made to the game over the years, such as UI improvements, bug fixes, changes to game systems, etc.
In cases where we have updated or changed the layout of regions, the Legendary server uses the updated version of the regions. In cases where we have changed items or player abilities, the Legendary server uses those updated abilities.
In addition, the level cap will be restricted to 50 (compared to the 120 of the current game), and will "focus on the Shadows of Angmar story", the first of the game's "Epic Quests".
Unsurprisingly, character transfers will be disabled, as will PvMP. Later chapters of the story will be released "approximately every 4 months".
With WoW and now LOTRO banking on nostalgia, one has to wonder if there's something to the idea. Take Paradox's Stellaris, which changed radically between versions 1.x and 2.x. To this day, the developer maintains old versions of the game on Steam, allowing players to stick with the flavour they prefer.
Admittedly, this isn't the same as what Blizzard and Standing Stone are doing, but it does show what can be done these days.
Anyway, I digress. If you'd like to learn more about the Legendary Server, an extensive FAQ is available on the LOTRO website.
The Lord of the Rings series has a long and strange history with gaming — a history that's lead to some really weird interpretations of Middle-earth. But now a new venture wants to take a crack at a Tolkien-esque take on a familiar format: another massively multiplayer online game.
[YouTube, via Eurogamer]