Welcome to Player Attack!
Ever wanted to own a piece of MMO history? Now you can - and feel charitable at the same time.
These are the original blades - Hewlett Packard ProLiant, in case you were curious - which housed 500 different WoW realms, across North America and Europe. At the time, they were the height of technology, but times change and following an infrastructure upgrade or two, these blades are now obsolete. Rather than being consigned to the scrap heap, these "honorably discharged" server blades are one-of-a-kind collector's pieces.
Net proceeds will go to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, one of the world's premier centres for the treatment (and research!) of childhood cancer and other serious diseases affecting young people.
For your donation, you'll get a custom-built windowed case (complete with the game's logo), and a commemorative plaque signed by the WoW development team. And a warm fuzzy feeling, of course.
Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime explains the unusual sale:
World of Warcraft realms are like the virtual neighborhoods of the game's community - they contain the spaces where millions of players have made friendships, forged friendly rivalries, and created lasting memories.
Each winner in this auction will own a small monument to those collective experiences. The best part is that this auction benefits a great charity doing tremendous work in helping children from the US and around the world.
The blades will be auctioned off on eBay in batches over the next four weeks, starting on Monday October 17th. If you're after a blade belonging to a particular realm, it's worth checking out the auction page, which outlines what will be on sale when. Blizzard has set up a handy FAQ to deal with common queries, including the all-important "What is a server blade?"
Good luck, bidders - we've seen these at previous BlizzCon events, as part of the silent auction - so we know they're in demand and could end up commanding quite a hefty pricetag. It's a piece of history, man!
I like video games and music and cups of tea and noodles and beagles and colour-cycling LEDs.
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Jimmy the Geek