The famed Nostalrius vanilla World of Warcraft private servers will return, resurrected by Elysium, on Saturday 17th December.
The return follows successful stress tests that peaked this past weekend with more than 10,000 concurrent players - far in excess of anything official WoW servers offer.
Remember Tarren Mill battles in vanilla WoW? The following screenshot was taken from the recent Nostalrius stress test.
Both Nostalrius PvP and PvE servers will return 17th December, opening 5pm UK time, 12pm EST. The Nostalrius database has been carried across so if you had characters on either server they should be there.
Elysium will launch a fresh-start server following the Nostalrius PvP and PvE release for those who want to begin again.
Nostalrius was shut down by Blizzard lawyers earlier this year because it was - and still is - against the rules. But what should have been a simple open and close case was not. Because Nostalrius offered something Blizzard did not - a legacy, pre-expansion version of World of Warcraft - it surfed a wave fuelled by a powerful ocean of want. And as a non-profit venture, Nostalrius' cause appeared just.
Nostalrius' numbers were overwhelming, too. Tens of thousands of players played on the two server clusters at peak times, dwarfing concurrency on individual Blizzard servers. In a world where official World of Warcraft servers huddle together to pool players, here were two with a native population bursting at the seams. Common areas overflowed; WoW looked like a massively-multiplayer online game again.
Nostalrius' huge support resulted in a hundreds-of-thousands-strong petition which triggered something extraordinary: an unprecedented invitation for the Nostalrius team to visit Blizzard and HQ and talk to some of the most important people there - for hours.
But weeks turned to months, the meeting faded to memory, BlizzCon 2016 came and went and no announcements were made. Refusing to wait any longer, the gauntlet was thrown: the Nostalrius team handed database and code to the like-minded Elysium project - it passed the torch on. Now Elysium begins another chapter in Nostalrius' extraordinary legacy. But how long will it last?