As most of you World of Warcraft players and video gamers all together probably already know, private servers are actually affected by copyright laws, and the original owner of the game can actually sue the owners of the servers after giving them a DMCA notice. Servers like Toxic WoW, and Burning WoW were recently given this notice “of death”, as some refer to it. This notice results in the server being forced to shut down before they are sued for violating copyright laws. After the servers are shut down, players lose everything they have accomplished on that server, and will not ever have any chance of regaining all of the time they spent on the game, and occasionally the donations that they paid actual money for to get certain gear and advantages in the game.
So what do these players do, now that everything they once knew and loved is gone? It’s really not that hard to find another private server, however these notices tend to stir them up some. While looking for a new private server, all of the the other servers will be experiencing rather heavy traffic due to other players like yourself, looking for a replacement server.
If you’re looking for a large compilation of lists of servers that will work for World of Warcraft, I strongly recommend following this link: xtremetop100. This is a link of all of the different private servers for many different video games, and it has them in order based on vote popularity. Typically, the more votes, the more people play. The more people that play on these servers, the better they are supported and are more likely to run properly for you. However, realize that the servers on the top of the list seem to be at about the most risk for Blizzard to attack and shut them down.
What to do about all of the people that you once were friends with on the other servers? Of course you can attempt to hunt them down on the other servers in global chat and what not, but you’re never going to find who you’re looking for unless you experience a miracle. If you ever get really close to your guildies on a private server, I recommend maintaining contact outside of the game, such as through msn, irc, xfire, social networking websites, etc. However, some players prefer to not know their friends from the World of Warcraft on such a personal level, and I don’t blame them either.
The other good way to go about finding new private servers is to talk to these friends you know. Many of your friends probably already know of other private servers that work fine. Also, while searching for new private servers, make sure to note that you’re going to need to play on private servers that are running the same version of the game as you currently have installed. Currently, many servers are either already upgraded, or focusing on upgrading to the 3.0.3 (wotlk) patch, and I would recommend getting this patch before you go searching for new private servers.