Ok first off this is a major opinion piece glaring on the subject of Vanilla realms due to all the “controversy” regarding NoS closure.
Let’s talk about what it would take to make one. Firstly 2-3 years if they started now before it would be released. Why you might ask, well I’ll tell you. Firstly the original code and hardware that run Vanilla is gone. Simply put it doesn’t exist anymore, and what little they have that is close to it is stuff like the size limit of the main bag. Secondly this means that the game will need to be rebuilt from scratch, this isn’t a copy and past job this is rebuilding everything.
This takes time, money, resources and man power. Now where would this come from. Would you A) Take this from Devs you already have, hurting development of HS/Legion(and future expansions)/Starcraft follow up/ Overwatch/Heroes or do you hire brand new people. The latter meaning that now you have to train brand new staff, get them into blizzards way of running and creating things, so we add another year to development time or the former which will undoubtedly hurt one of the other games. Not only is this new staff being trained it is new staff being paid. They’re not going to go to blizzard on the cheap, they’re going to want a good wage package, with benefits and job security.
Then we need to ask is it pve/pvp/RP/RP PVP. Ok we add all 4 of them, that’s now 4 servers which need maintenance, GMs to keep an eye on them, devs to make sure bugs are found and fixed.
Then the players, unless there is over a million subs on these four realms alone there simply isn’t the financial incentive to do it. How many people will be playing long term on these realms, how many will up and leave simply because they’re done. Or because there’s really not much to do outside of raid etc etc. If they’re not going to stay then there is no point. Unless a great profit can be made from it then there is no point taking the risk.
I know people are now mocking the whole “You think you do, but you don’t line.” But people are also taking it as a literal response to the person giving the question. If the answer was expanded on like it should have been people would realize it wasn’t directed to the question, it was directed to the community as a whole. Which loves most of the Quality of life additions we have now. Dungeon finder, AoE looting, flying (Let’s not forget that fiasco), AHs and banks in all capitals, fixed flight paths, mounts that are not stupidly expensive and take forever to get, barber shops, VP/JP from Cata/MoP, transmogs.
I could go on, but in Vanilla those things didn’t exist. Also half the classes and half the specs were just not viable. Want to tank on a paladin? Get out of here and reroll warrior and we’ll see you in about 3-4 months. Want to play fire mage? Well don’t think about molten core or BWL. Shadow priest? Shut up and go holy. Oh and you put a number in what skill? Go back and copy this cookie cutter build or don’t bother running.
Now do some people prefer Vanilla to other times in wow? Of course, but you have to ask yourself. Is there enough people to start over from scratch and make a profit from it? The answer is likely no and anyone who thinks a multi billion dollar company hasn’t run the numbers time and time and time again are deluding themselves.
In conclusion there is no way the head offices of Blizzard have never talked about this. They have done and even come out to say so. But the numbers are not there, the player base as a whole will unlikely to be stable enough. People talk about sub increases between Vanilla and the Wrath peek but fail to realize the WC3 pull. The end of Arthas was really the end of the story for many. The costs, the man time, the resources and I feel a lack of stable player base in my opinion means that Blizzard really have nothing to gain overall from making a Vanilla realm.