Meh. The hell with it. You're essentially asking for a rollback.
THE WALL OF NO!
Summary of Blizz’s public stance:
1. Blizz does not believe there are enough people interested in utilizing this idea long term to justify the various costs necessary to bring it about.
2. Blizz feels this idea is counter to the nature of MMO’s; non-progression equates to stagnation and eventual boredom.
3. The original game code does not exist in that form anymore. All the old data has been replaced, with the newer data which was not saved (archived) for later reuse. It was over-written and destroyed. “There is no switch to flip on the realms to roll back years of patches and changes…” In keeping with the sentiment in expressed in #2, above, it’s gone, never to return. Even if it were “recoverable” by other means it would still require lengthy and expensive rewrite.
4. They have no plans or desire to recreate the original version from scratch. They refer to the notion of attempting to do so as “a logistical nightmare,”… and in keeping with their stance in #1, above the time, money and resources required are prohibitive and unjustified.
To paraphrase it all: “Too much cost, too little interest and it’s not what the game is about… we’re not doing it.”
Proponents are adamant it is a good thing and continue to post it (in various forms), sometimes multiple times a day despite heavy resistance.
Those who argue for “Classic”, “Vanilla”, “Old Content”, “Old Style”, “Realm Specific”, “Locked Progression”, “Throwback”, “Retro”, “Premium” (or any other variant thereof) servers frequently fail to put real thought into their idea. Consider how this would work in similar situations in other venues.
The movie industry:
“The earliest days of film were so much better; we really had fun and such a sense of adventure. We really had to work at understanding what was going on and those that couldn’t read the subtitles were just bad. We want special theaters that play only silent films (Vanilla), those were so awesome and we miss them so much. For those that want black and white “talkies” (BC) we can maybe have some that do those too, but no further. Technicolor (WotLK) is where the studios went wrong and this fancy Bullet-Time fx (Cata) junk is just taking the whole thing in the wrong direction…Blizz, fix it now! Give us our silent films back!”
The auto industry:
We want our Model-T’s back (Vanilla)… Henry Ford’s stuff was so awesome (blah, blah)…We could support maybe the Mustang (BC), but no further (blah, blah)… Datsun’s 280Z (WotLK) is where it all went wrong (blah, blah)…Chrysler Minivans (Cata) are just too bad to deal with (blah, blah)…
Proponents are asking either for (a) regression to the past where things were not better than they are now…and want to drag everyone else in the game with them… or (b) the ability to segregate themselves from everyone else so they can indulge in their nostalgia. Not only does the majority of the player base not want that, neither does Blizz. Not enough people want it to justify the costs of doing it and… most importantly… it goes against the progressive vision the company -- and players -- have for the game as a whole.
You will have no better chance of getting Blizz to do this than you would convincing the movie industry to revert to silent or even black and white only films or the auto industry to revert to producing nothing but cars like the Model-T or Edsel.
Blizzard specific references on the issue:
They were going to, long ago…
We were at one time internally discussing the possibility fairly seriously, but the long term interest in continued play on them couldn't justify the extremely large amount of development and support resources it would take to implement and maintain them. We'd effectively be developing and supporting two different games.
Drysc (CM), Feb 21, 2008
We occasionally see requests for us to open pre-TBC realms, or classic realms if you prefer. Lately there have also been requests for pre-WotLK realms, and I am sure that once the next expansion pack is released there will be requests for pre-Cataclysm realms as well. We have answered these requests quite a few times now saying that we have no plans to open such realms, and this is still the case today.
We have no plans to open classic realms or limited expansion content realms, and you should not expect to see the opening of such realms with the launch of Cataclysm either.
We realize that some of you feel that the classic game was more fun than the current game, and as a result would like to revel in nostalgia; the developers however prefer to keep the game moving forward as they want the game to continuously evolve and progress.
Vaneras (CM), Nov 28, 2009
We have no plans of making pre-TBC realms. This goes against the very nature of an MMO and would be a logistical nightmare. There's no switch to flip on the realms to roll back years of patches and changes, and we don't intend to invent one so that a very small minority of players can play what we feel would be an inferior cousin of the World of Warcraft of today.
Zarhym (CM), April 27, 2010
Question: The whole topic of classic servers has been popping up on the forums, always on yours - I assume with the release of Cataclysm there's this huge wave of nostalgia here because you can't play in the old world anymore. Is this something you might consider doing after the Cataclysm launch? (approx. half way down page)
Chilton: Currently, my answer would be probably not. The reason I say that is because any massively multiplayer game that has pretty much ever existed and has ever done any expansions has always gotten the nostalgia of, "Oh God, wouldn't it be great if we could have classic servers!" and more than anything else that generally proves to be nostalgia. In most cases - in almost all cases - the way it ends up playing out is that the game wasn't as good back then as people remember it being and then when those servers become available, they go play there for a little bit and quickly remember that it wasn’t quite as good as what they remembered in their minds and they don’t play there anymore and you set up all these servers and you dedicated all this hardware to it and it really doesn't get much use. So, for me, the historical lesson is that it's not a very good idea to do *laughs* - it's a great idea to talk about.
Tom Chilton (lead game designer), Aug 20, 2010
Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street, Dec 31, 2012
Additionally, read this player post that might remind you of some of what you “miss” about Vanilla WoW:
WowInsider has a similar negative view:
May 2, 2012
I work for a software company with corporate customers. Each of them has rather more invested in equipment than a PC gamer, and they like paying for upgrades even less.
Our products have been advancing technologically over time in a gradual fashion, so as not to lose the customers with the oldest equipment. However, things like operating system support and hardware version support are outside our control--which means we have to keep slowly advancing the requirements, and adjust existing code to match. Over time that means stuff eventually falls off the list of what we can support, because our code, gradually upgraded as it is, starts to require OS or hardware features the oldest equipment can't support.
We couldn't turn the clock back ten years, or probably even five, if we wanted to.
Blizz is no doubt in the same pickle. They've changed their database structure, upgraded the graphics, and likely done a lot of more subtle stuff over the last seven years that makes it fundamentally impossible to support Vanilla code, even assuming that code still exists in pristine form somewhere.
MOP will, as I understand it, very likely require at least a duo core CPU. That's another significant difference that can't be rolled back.
Therefore: what the Vanilla crowd is actually asking for is the development of new code to duplicate old code. That's not easy or cheap, and is going to compete directly for resources with development of current content. There would have to be a monumental ground surge of interest to make it feasible, an order of magnitude greater than what has ever been exhibited on the forums.
TLDR: That's not how software works.
From the EU forums, Feb 23, 2011
MMOChampion poll about whether Blizz should have such servers:
(June 19, 2012)
It's a line Blizzard has drawn from way back when, yet suggestions or requests for classic realms continue to pop up on the forums. Let me tell you here and now... don't bother. Blizzard will eventually just lock your thread or delete it entirely simply because it's not in their best interests to provide such a service. Mar 13, 2009
Finally: Here’s a link to a past post dedicated to a deeper discussion of the idea. Please read it all the way through – it is very thorough.
Lakota tribal wisdom says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
How the forums are dealing with the “problem.”
Buy a stronger whip.
Say things like, “This is the way we always have ridden this horse.”
Appoint a committee to study the horse.
Arrange to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.
Create a training session to increase our riding ability.
Harness several dead horses together for increased speed.
Declare the “No horse is too dead to beat.”
Provide additional funding to increase the horse’s performance.
Declare the horse is, “better, faster, and cheaper,” when dead.
Study alternative uses for dead horses.
Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position