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World of Warcraft is Infectious 91

ringbarer writes "News is coming in that the lands of Azeroth have become infected with a deadly plague which the developers never intended to spread. Originating from the new Zul'Gurub instance, the plague has spread from player to player via town NPCs. Entire cities are being wiped out, yet players are finding this surprise content entertaining!" From the article: " Some servers have gotten so bad that you can't go into the major cities without getting the plague (and anyone less than like level 50 nearly immediately die). GM's even tried quarantining players in certain areas, but the players kept escaping the quarantine and infect other players." Commentary on Terra Nova.
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World of Warcraft is Infectious

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  • Fixed (Score:5, Informative)

    by interiot ( 50685 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @02:35PM (#13606639) Homepage
    The issue was hotfixed on Friday []:
    Beginning at 4:00 AM PDT on 9/17 we will be issuing rolling restarts to all realms to apply a hotfix. We expect this to resolve several issues:

    -Fixed an exploit with drakonids where players could get a head start.
    -Nefarian's drakonids have reduced damaging abilities
    -The wild polymorph cast by Nefarius in Blackwing Lair, can no longer be canceled early by clicking it off.
    -Arathi Basin holiday honor should now be awarding the bonus properly.
    -Hakkar's spell Corrupted Blood can no longer exist outside of Zul'Gurub

    • Re:Fixed (Score:5, Informative)

      by Gojira Shipi-Taro ( 465802 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @02:45PM (#13606744) Homepage
      The hotfix didn't work []

        It appears that the hotfix remedy concocted to combat the recent Azerothian outbreak has not yielded desired results. At this time, our medical staff is continuing to develop an effective cure. We look forward to ensuring the health and vitality of the citizens of Azeroth in the near future.
      • Re:Fixed (Score:3, Informative)

        by interiot ( 50685 )
        Strange. Well, according to the original thread [] (that now seems to be deleted []), you could /pvp to remove the infection. Haven't tried it myself tho.
        • I tried that, and it didn't work. Also, if you're under level 20, this curse is almost instant death anyway, and that's one of the biggest worries. They'll figure out a fix. This is really no different than the hunter/warlock Living Bomb exploit - Get Baron Geddon to cast Living Bomb on your pet, dismiss it, and then recall it again when you get to a populated area and wait a few seconds. Pet goes boom, and nearly everybody in the area of effect dies. In that case, they just made pets immune to Living Bomb
    • I don't play WoW but if they didn't change the logic of the code, then doesn't this mean that Zul'Gurub will end up a wasteland? (once the spell is let loose it will continue to affect players like it was doing thoughout the game before the hotfix?) So if you go to Zul'Gurub you will always lose significant damage points, or die, everytime? Who would go?
      • Re:Fixed (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Gojira Shipi-Taro ( 465802 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @02:49PM (#13606785) Homepage
        Zul'Gurub is an "instance" zone. A fresh copy is created for every group that enters it. (more or less). The disease in question is caused by one of the encounters in the instance. It is not litterally raging in that zone.

        It is in fact normally cured while the group is still in the zone. the current "plague" behavior is being caused by malicious individuals who are intentionally re-calling to populated areas in order to "greif" other players.

      • I went to Zul'Gurrab last weekend for the first time. Everyone one of us died about 10 times. No need for the plague! We wiped at the first boss!
        (Yes my server's guilds mostly suck)
        • Mine wiped on the first encounter. Never saw a boss. Reminded me of our first MC runs. Wiped on the first pull four or five times a night for about two weeks before we got past it.

          I wouldn't say you suck, ZG is a really hard instance. It's easily equal to Molten Core, if you account for the smaller group size. It'll be a few months before people have it down to a science. Heck, look at Blackwing Lair, nobody's beat Nefarion yet (If I remember right, nobody's even seen him yet. The boss before him has proven
          • Yeah I was being a bit tongue and cheek. I've never run MC as I am in a smaller guild and can't really commit the time. I think just as with MC though it's really about learning the instance and developing strategies to counter the bosses. We did get that first bitch down to about 5% life, which I think was solid for a first encounter. It's just a little depressing when you look up and see people going "did it in a twelve man team". Of course our itemization is almost all blue gear, so I'm su
            • Well, those 12-man teams almost certainly are from long-time MC guilds, decked out in MC if not BWL-level epic gear. The difference between a self-equipped level 60, or even a level 60 equipped from the endgame 5 and 10 man instances, and a level 60 in raid gear is immense. The stories you read about 15 and 20 man raids taking down onyxia are the same thing - hardcore pros in the best gear there is.
  • Sounds familiar... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @02:38PM (#13606668)
    Sounds like a return of a Sims add-in for a pet gerbil.

    It was downloaded from, and it could infect players, which could infect other players, etc.

    Some linkage on the item: gi?entry_id=179 []
  • Unintentional? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EvilAardvark ( 819035 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @02:44PM (#13606725)
    This was unintentional? We had no idea on our server and assumed it was something Blizz had added to add some depth to the game. It was actually quite amusing to watch it spread as people attempted to go about their business between the bank and auction house in Ironforge.
    • Re:Unintentional? (Score:4, Informative)

      by MindStalker ( 22827 ) <> on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @02:50PM (#13606805) Journal
      It was partially intentional. It was supposed to stay inside the instanced quest. Unfortunatly due to a bug it crossed outside the instance. It has been fixed.
      • I wouldn't call it a bug. It was a complete lack of foresight.

        Of course, the unintended consequence of that is probably the most amusing unintentional world event yet.
        • Re:Unintentional? (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Big_Breaker ( 190457 )
          No the most amusing was a boss MOB which cursed a player to explode after a brief delay, severely damaging all who surrounded him. The curse could also be put on pets. An enterprising hunter dismissed a cursed pet before the explosion was triggered and resummoned it much later inside the trading hall. MASS extinction ensued as the explosion went off.
          • Geddon's living bomb. Yup. But that was over in one explosion, it didn't linger around for hours upon hours. You could only "legitimately" do it once every 6 days. And it only did 2000 fire damage and tossed you almost as far as screwing up reloading the Goblin Mortar does.

            It's also been fixed for quite a while.
  • I don't even think the real plague had people dropping dead ever few seconds.
    • Real plagues also affect everyone more or less the same. The world's greatest warrior isn't going to succumb 70,000x slower than some CPA or McDonald's cashier. Only natural variation in your immune system would offer a difference, and because extreme physical exercise actually weakens your immune system, the level 12 billion warrior would likely die more quickly than the CPA.

      Of course, expecting a plague to affect everyone equally in a MMORPG is like expecting a fireball to burn everybody without armor e
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Only natural variation in your immune system would offer a difference, and because extreme physical exercise actually weakens your immune system, the level 12 billion warrior would likely die more quickly than the CPA.
        That does not sound right unless there is a point where excercising too much does start to reverse the good side effects.
        • Maybe after extreme excercise the warrior would be more vulnerable but I can't belive overall that the CPA has a better immune system then a physically fit brute.
          • As long as both have decent nutrition, they'd be the same.

            However, some things weigh in the CPA's favor:

            1. Extra body fat means you can survive infections better
            2. Lack of extreme physical exercise means his immune system isn't weakened

            Possibly extreme constant exercise keeps your blood glucose and nutrients low (repairing damage done via exercies, i.e. muscle building, as well as just generally sucking it up in the exercise itself) which causes the immune system (along with all bodily systems) to run on ne
      • Ah, right, I knew there was a good side to hanging around my apartment in my free time playing games instead of going out jogging.

        My girlfriend with giggle about my gut when SHE's dropping from plague, ha ha.
      • The Spanish Flu was noted for killing healthy young people, the reverse of the normal pattern of killing the very young and the very old. It was also damn fast. You could be healthy one day and dead the next.
  • Wonder if you can get the plague and go visit the other guys towns. :) That would be worth it.
  • by sethstorm ( 512897 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @02:51PM (#13606818) Homepage
    Well, now WoW finally has taken indiscriminate PK to a whole new level with your body itself as the weapon. Question is, would those be honorable or non-honorable kills for every person you spread the disease to (disregarding the rollback)?
  • by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @03:10PM (#13607067) Journal
    This is absolutely great. This is an element of gameplay that even if unintended (which I'm not so sure about) can have far-reaching consequences.

    Why shouldn't MMORPG characters get sick? Maybe once you're exposed and recover from a certain illness, you have immunity. Maybe this immunity will be helpful in a later instance.

    I would love for more MMORPGs to release world-affecting things like this into the game. It might be hard to balance, but I think this is fantastic.

    One of the reasons gameplay in MMORPGs gets boring is that typically, the world never changes except for the addition of new material.

    Give me the four horsemen of the apocalypse any day!
    • I agree absolutely. The reason I quit playing these MMORPGs was because nothing ever happened. I mean, I could go and try a quest, level some, and then wait in line to kill some MOB for an earring or some boots. It got old really quick.

      I began to read the the article synopsis and got really excited. REAL PLAGUES! Oh yeah, that sounds cool! Unfortunately, it was not by design. I'm aware that it would be expensive and difficult, but thses types of events happening on a regular and accelerated basis would brin
      • "I began to read the the article synopsis and got really excited. REAL PLAGUES! Oh yeah, that sounds cool! Unfortunately, it was not by design. I'm aware that it would be expensive and difficult, but thses types of events happening on a regular and accelerated basis would bring me back to MMORPGs in an instant. "

        I sure hope Blizzard, et al read slashdot. Oh wait, of course the game companies do -- that's why release dates are pushed back.
        • Even cooler would be if such a plague were to hit the world and a randomly chosen player, or handful of players, were dropped limited amounts of the cure in their inventory, with directions for use.

          Would they charge money for it? Would they give it away for free? Would they try to make copies of it so they could innoculate the whole world? Would they use it on themselves and destroy it?

          Events where players across all levels of acheivement and dedication are allowed to influence the world to a significant de
          • I could see them implementing something like this for registered guilds/clans/what-have-you. I don't see it happening for individuals, since there are a TON of people who play, and that might be considered unfair.

            How about a guild being responsible for saving the world? The cure being 'viral' as well, so the guild would have to expose themselves (not literally) to as many people as possible... by traveling to as many locations as possible. If they succeed (say, 95% inoculation within 7 days), then they
          • Events where players across all levels were allowed to affect other players without their consent would really drive subscriptions... into the ground.

            Most people don't play games to roleplay a victim.

            Social experiments don't work outside of games designed to be a social experiment (like ATITD). I certainly don't wish to pay to be part of someone's master's thesis. I have better things to do with my free time.

            Look at what happened to UO. A tiny minority liked the whole dreadlords era. The people that threate
          • Better, drop the cure into inventories of more powerful monsters. Kinda fun quest to be the savior of the MMO universe :)
    • If it's unintended, how on earth do you recover and get immunity?

      Did you think MMORPG characters had an immune system?
      • It was intended to work in a single, small enclosed area - you kill a MOB, you receive the effect/damage as result, and it spreads over everyone who participated. The unintentional element was that it can be carried away to the city, so that people far, far away, not involved in killing the monster contract it.
      • If plagues were a regular part of the game, the developers might have included an immune system. But since it was a bug, I would be very surprised if there is any mechanism for handling the plague.
    • This isn't so much an "event" as a way for assholes to grief their fellow players (on the same faction, which is against the TOS, mind you).

      Getting sick as a random event in the game is one thing.

      Getting sick because some shithead decided that it would "teh funnay" to kill you while you were trying to get something done is quite another.

      Bans have already been handed out. More should follow.

    • They had this in Everquest, it was called languages. You started with a few (based on your race), and you learned more by being exposed to other people speaking the language to you. The number of languages you could learn was unlimited, but you could learn them all given enough time.

      Guess what happened? During any downtime (like boat rides), people made macros that spammed their local channels (say, party) with the language of their choice. Going to a boat was like visiting a multi-lingual chat channel fill
  • by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @03:13PM (#13607113) Homepage Journal
    The Romans used to fling diseased corpses into the towns that they were laying siege to, and not surprisingly the tactic worked quite well. But can you fling a player into a town in WoW?
  • This hit last Friday, and as the FP mentioned they fixed it with the rolling server restarts. Not knowing if this was permanant or not, I walked my level 6 Priest up to Ironforge (Dwarf) and promptly got infected - died from the first blast of damage as I didn't have as many health points as it inflicted.

    Lasted until death, upon resurrection you'd have to be reinfected to suffer from it again. Enabling PVP mode seems to be the known fix (in case it escapes again) which can be done by doing "/pvp" in-game.
    • Easy fix for when you are getting blocked, go to [] and enter in the appropriate area and have it translate Chinese-simp to English. I'm on a military network and they block most forums and and game related stuff like WoW. This way I still get to surf the forums when I have nothing going on.
    • We use Websense at my work; my understanding is someone has to update the websense server to block websites. Someone noticed you going to and blocked it; my solution was just to get access around the proxy :)
  • everyone must be running around town naked.
  • Sounds hilarious! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Yeechang Lee ( 3429 ) * on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @03:29PM (#13607337) Homepage
    What I posted on Usenet []:

    I'm sorry, but this sounds hilarious (I'm sorry I missed the streets paved with corpses of the dead) and absolutely appropriate. I mean, explorers returning from a remote, mysterious, newly-discovered jungle outpost bring back a highly-contagious disease that decimates the young and weak and severely weakens the strong? Entire books and movies have been written with less to work with!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's been a long while since I've last played this MMO, but if I recall, there was an event involving a plague that was spread around the various servers. The disease would lower your stats increasingly over time until it was cured. After a bit, I think it would kill you. Of course, death was a much less inconvienance in Horizons.

    I think the dragons were immune to the disease. They actually could create a temporary cure to remove the disease, but you were likely to get affected again.

    I don't know how it
    • Yeah. But the players were so bitter by that point about everything else that they just saw it as 'GM griefing'.

      A shame, really. Horizons had a lot to offer, but they really screwed the pooch badly.

      I hear they've gotten better of late, though.

  • Bleh (Score:4, Funny)

    by cpu_fusion ( 705735 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @04:10PM (#13607871)
    Bleh, I had the same problem on the MUD I was coding in 92. I should have patented it.
  • Heh. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Strell ( 877448 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @05:17PM (#13608563)
    I think we all know who is to blame. LEEEEROOOOOY JHEEEKIIINS!!!!!!!!
  • by Prien715 ( 251944 ) <> on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @05:30PM (#13608684) Journal
    It's not a bug, it's a feature!
  • When they did a plague like this in EQ2, it spread through NPCs just like the WoW one is. Instead of killing you, it just made you turn green and puke every now and then - no stat effects. It was curable with a store-bought potion, but the disease was rampant in the cities (where you could buy cures), and once you left the city generally only spread by idiots and NPCs. I remember WoW players laughing at EQ2 players about the "lame plague" at the time. Now it happens in WoW, worse, and they like it? rof
  • by antdude ( 79039 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @06:31PM (#13609220) Homepage Journal
    According to Shacknews [], City of Heroes [] are also affected by another disease.
    • From what I can tell from the article Shacknews linked to (which actually gives information on the issue rather than just saying "OMG CoH makes people sick!"), the CoH issue is completely different and concerns people who have epilepsy. It's got nothing to do with in-game bugs or griefing. It's a particular graphic that has triggered reactions in a handful of sensitive players.
  • Maybe Blizzard has designs on this plague spreading even further. Maybe it is intended to spread out of the game and kill anyone who won't build up an immunity by buying their game and paying their monthly fee.

    *goes back to reading snowcrash.txt"
  • Now if only SWG could find a cure for SOE...

  • Can't a paladin just use their cleanse spell to cleanse it off? Heck, Paladins could start charging lowbies for doctor visits. Finally a use for Paladins.

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.