Monday, January 5, 2009

Playing World of Warcraft For Free

I mentioned the other day a private server that I play on, WoWScape. I talked about briefly on how it is somewhat like a Micro-Transaction model.(Though a bit to the extreme in terms of regular gear and gear you can buy, to read the full post go here.) Other then that though I realized today that most gamers are pretty much in the dark about what a private server is. So today I'll go into it and make a few generic updates to other subjects at the end.

Private servers are where another organization will host the game instead of a public server. The servers you play on all the time in World of Warcraft, EverQuest, Warhammer, and other games are public servers. You pay a fee, they keep the servers running nicely and give you customer support, and so on. Since you're here at The MMO Experience I doubt I have to go into details about what these games provide.

Private servers are a bit different. While they keep their servers running, give customer support, and fix glitches (Though on a much smaller scale due to a smaller staff) there are a few difference. WoWScape for example you are not required to pay a monthly subscription fee. They fund themselves for server upkeep by donations from the community.(Which, depending on what server they are playing on, receives some items). Another key difference is, again using WoWScape, the different server options. WoWScape offers 4 different servers, catering to different needs. One for example offers a huge increase in experience gain(I can't understate this, A HUGE INCREASE) and making monsters drop nearly every item on their loot table. There is also a server that is "Blizz-like" meaning it tries to match Blizzard's official servers exactly in terms of experience and loot.

While Private servers seem like the real deal, there are a few things to note that will push you back to the public servers. Not all private servers are up to date with expansions/patches. Some don't have Wrath of the Lich King enabled or other instances. Others have a few(or a lot) of abilities that either don't work or partially work.(IE: Whirlwind only hitting with one weapon instead of two) However for someone wanting to simply goof off, try a class out here before trying it on the public servers to make sure they like it end-game, or to try out raids that you would not be able to on public servers then a private server is a blast. If you decide to give one a try, you can occasionally find me in WoWScape being goofy. Until then!

As I mentioned, there are a few site updates I need to make known. If you are having weird "glitches" in terms of the post background being black instead of blue, or the link buttons not having the neat little them no mind. I suspect it's from my purchase of my own domain.(Isn't more spiffy?) It should go away shortly.

Also, time is almost over to vote between The Army of Gnomes and the Drunken Wizard! Vote now so you can pick your favorite. Afterwards I'll post a small fictional story of the great conflict. The next round is between a Peg-legged Fury Warrior and a Lagging Enchanter.(I'm's OK.)

Finally I have given up hope on answering my interview challenge.(You can read about it here.) So in my efforts to get some type of interview going I've emailed one of the admins over at WoWScape to talk about their server and private servers. Just something to chat about. Hopefully I'll get a yes from them.

The End.

Update - has answered my email. I'm currently talking with them about the details of the interview. However, obviously, some information will be limited due to that thing.


  1. Brother,
    You may wanna be a bit careful shining light on those who host private servers. The big boys don't like them at all and there have been many that were "threatened" at which point they promptly stopped. I know I don't have to go into detail about the first Bid For Power Q3A mod that we played back in the days of yore and how it was shut down by those who licensed DBZ. Just looking out for you. Although I may give that place a looking over. WoW for free can't be too bad now can it? lol

  2. Private servers are legal actually. This assumes of course you have purchased the game in question. For example, I have purchased both World of Warcraft and the expansion The Burning Crusade, if I played on a private server that used these games it would be legal as long as the server didn't directly use Blizzard's source code.

    However if I downloaded the games illegally, then yes it would be illegal. Now the question of ETHICS is something that can(and should..the reason I didn't is I'm saving that for the interview) brought up.

    However ethics is something you have to decide upon as an individual. Since I only ever really played on WoWScape when there was nothing to do on Blizzard's servers.(Yes, I paid the subscription AND played on a free server.)Do I consider that ethical? Yes, though others may not. So I think it's less of a question of "Is it legal?" to "Is it ethical?"

  3. I've been playing on private servers since I first got into MMOs, back in the old Ultima Online days.

    See, in the early days of UO, the game was a haven for role-players. But, as time went on and the PKers got worse and worse, the role-players eventually moved on.

    But, something not everyone knows, a lot of the role-players didn't leave UO completely but rather created their own private servers suited to their style of gameplay.

    This I think is private servers at its best.

    Private servers have a smaller community, and often can have like a "small town" mentality. Everyone knows eachother and it's always interesting when a new person comes.

    Ultima Online private servers have continued to this day. Now they have completely custom and new maps, monsters, entirely new and different classes from official, all kinds of stuff. (though of course there are some great servers out there which offer "classic" ultima online gameplay)

    Check out thats a great UO roleplaying server if your into that.

    I've also played Lineage 2 private servers. I liked that as well, because of the community. But the server went down and I lost my character, that's one of the big risks of a private server. Especially because it was a "low-rate" server so I lost a lot of hours.


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