The Corrupted Blood Incident

By: The Playpen

Hey guys and gals welcome back to the playpen today we're going to be covering our first moment in history segment a series we take a look back at some interesting moments in video game history our first topic the corrupted blood incident that plagued World of Warcraft for a few weeks in 2005 for those of you who don't know world of warcraft is a hugely successful MMO RPG developed by blizzard entertainment for the pc and mac. it was released in 2004 and it's still going strong today. At its peak the game hosted over 12 million players worldwide the games have five expansions and is about release its sixth expansion titled Legion on august 30th of this year what we're going to be talking about today took place in September of 2005 only a year after the game launched on September 13 2005 blizzard released patch 1.7.0 for World of Warcraft This patch included a host of new quests game tweaks and its centerpiece a new 20-man rate called Zul'gurub. players were eager to experience the new content especially the new raid. guilds would quickly assemble their highest level players and head for stranglethorn vale the zone where the raid was located The raid consisted of many bosses and sub bosses all with their own uniqueabilities and spells None matched this more than the final boss. Hakkar the Soulflayer Like most end raid bosses, Hakkar was a serious challenge Groups had to be well-coordinated if they wanted any hope success.

Hakkar had many abilities at his disposal for taking down attackers. one such ability was a debuff called corrupted blood. a debuff sometimes called a DOT, or damage over time, is a negative status effect that is placed on the character it often persists and hampers the player whether it be draining life, slowing them down temporarily, or hindering the effectiveness of stats or attributes Hakkar would frequently debuff player characters with his corrupted blood ability players infected would suffer around 875 to 1125 health points worth of damage and suffer an additional 200 health points of damage every two seconds for a total of 10 seconds what was worse was that the debuff would bounce from Player to Player If they were in close enough proximity to an infected host even players would already been infected and survived were again subject the debuff health training effects as you can imagine this boss was a pain for raid healers at the time a well geared warrior tank at around four to five thousand health max couple that with the debuff spreading to other raid members who had even less health and you have a recipe of doom for uncoordinated raid groups it was a serious boss encounter of which only the best would be able to make it through there were strategies to beat the debub should a player get infected They would have to isolate themselves from the group to avoid it from spreading The debuff would fade away on its own after 10 seconds or if an infected player died On its own and contained within the raid instance itself corrupted blood should have been nothing more than an inconvenience however due to a programming oversight history was about to be made Under normal circumstances a debuff like this cannot be allowed to exit a raid should a character teleport out of the raid with a debuff still active it would be removed what was unforeseen however was that non-player characters such as hunter pets were also able to carry the disease when a hunter or warlock engaged in battle here she summons their pet to do damage pets were susceptible to the same d buffs player characters were if a pet was dismissed at the right time with the affliction still active it would remain dormant on the pet until it was summoned again as you can imagine this is where all hell broke loose groups coming back from the fight would often stop and well populated cities such as Ironforge or Stormwind to sell items are repaired gear it is here they would re summon their pets with the disease still active as soon as this happened, there was no stopping it. the disease run rampant the debuff spread quickly from Player to Player with no way to stop it low level players were killed instantly by the powerful effect players had no choice but to abandon the city's for fear of being killed within hours corrupted blood had infected entire cities and rendered them uninhabitable high population zones were also affected. the disease could also be contracted by npcs would also spread it outside of Zul'gurub for days a sea of skeletons carpeted the highest populated areas most low level players have no choice but to abandon the major cities and retreat to far off zones for fear of being constantly killed. for a while players did what they could to avoid the virtual plague they had to be on constant lookout for bigger groups potentially carrying a disease or four tricksters hoping to spread it even futher higher level players who could withstand the disease were annoyed as vendor npcs or ones who began important quest would also fall the plague it would end up taking blizzard a little while before they could fight the outbreak despite measures such as programmer imposed quarantines The players abandoning of densely populated cities or even just not playing the game it lasted until a combination of patches and resets of the virtual world finally brought the epidemic under control With the introduction of patch 1.8.0 It was made that pets could no longer catch the disease and that the debuff could not exist outside of the Zul'gurub instance While it was a pain at the time the epidemic left a lasting legacy The conditions and reactions of the event attracted the attention of epidemiologist for its implications of how human populations could react to a real-world epidemic counterterrorism researchers also took notice of the event the corrupted blood incident of 2005 is an extremely interesting moment in world of warcraft history while it's unlikely something like this could ever happen again today it's important to look back and see how a completely unscripted and unplanned virtual plague almost destroyed the world of warcraft if you ever played World of Warcraft do you remember this incident? have you ever heard of it? maybe you too were around when the virtual plague was spreading if so share your stories in the comments section. I'd love to read them. Thanks forsticking around with us here at the playpen catch you on the next one.

The Corrupted Blood Incident

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