Most Memorable Bugs in WoW


In its over 8 years since release, World of Warcraft, in both live and testing forms, has had some really incredible bugs crop up. The best thing is when these bugs affect the playing world in amusing and unique ways. Let’s take a look at some of the most memorable bugs in the history of World of Warcraft, and what makes them memorable.

I would say that there were two very memorable bugs for me in WoW. The first is the corrupted blood plague of 2005. On September 10, 2005, players who had faced the last boss of Zul’Gurub unintentionally brought the plague out of the raid, into the ‘real world’ and ended up wiping out entire cities. The videos of people who pulled out pets in the auction house of Ironforge that had been infected with the plague, only to start seeing lower level players die as they contracted the plague were amusing as hell. As people started realizing what was happening, you would see the higher level players try to flee, only to be the unintentional plague spreader to the rest of the city. The skeletons that littered the ground like nothing I have seen before, or since. Most players know that this event actually inspired and helped Blizzard design the Zombie Plague that was part of the Wrath of the Lich King launch event.

The second bug, one that happened around the 7th anniversary of corrupted blood, was a recent bug on the DKs that allowed them to kill friendly targets. Death Knights could cast their spells Blood Plague and Frost Fever on friendly targets, including both players and NPCs alike. This lead to cities littered with skeletons. If no one had resurrected, and bodies stacked, the cities quite literally would have been piled high with the bodies of the dead. This bug unintentionally, but for some joyfully, allowed players to kill off faction leaders Varian Wrynn and Garrosh Hellscream without flagging and being killable.

The third bug I want to bring up is one that was really just a hack that was discovered by the less savory members of the community. One day, in response to the banning of one of their fellow hackers, they took to the realms on trial accounts. Using these accounts, and a series of hacks, they began to slaughter players all over the major cities and gathering places. See the video at the top for what that looked like. No, this was not an episode of South Park, this was real game play. Videos show level 1 characters flying around, yes I said level 1s flying around major cities, and players on flying mounts and on the ground falling over dead in swaths.

Blizzard has had a good many testing bugs too, from warlocks being nigh unstoppable, to hunters who could not use bows, and more. The testing realms have had some pretty amusing bugs, and each time the player base is reminded why the testing realms are important. Without the PTR and beta realms, some of these now legendary testing bugs could have gone live, and really made a mess of the game world.

While bugs are always going to slip through, as these bugs can attest, Blizzard is usually pretty quick to discover and fix these bugs, so that they don’t become issues that drag on. While there are some issues that do sometimes take a long time to fix, they aren’t really game breaking issues, and more often fall into the non game breaking issues category. What are your most memorable bugs you have seen in game? Let us know in the comments!

This entry was posted in Editorial/Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Most Memorable Bugs in WoW

  1. Hagu says:

    I also remember:

    1) ‘the ice stone has melted’ getting spammed worldwide, not just in the instance.

    2) 2009 – winning wintergrasp crashed Northrend

    3) First holiday in Cata telling you to go to parks and kings that did not exist. Software development is complicated. But it would not have taken sophisticated QA to catch this one.

    • Mike Crosley says:

      You are absolutely right about QA should catch things…especially things which are not hardware or settings specific.

      But if you want to see some TRULY poor MMO QA, take even a SHORT look at Disney’s Toontown Online. One I see every time I’m in there with my kids… If you spelled out what “HQ” stands for, how would you spell it? I’m betting its not “Head Quarters”…nor is it “HeadQuarters”. Disney has had that bug since Beta in 2001 (and I reported it to them in October 2001) and yet, it persists.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>