When World of Warcraft went mad over a pandemic

World of Warcraft had an experience similar to the current pandemic, where we were able to observe an interesting reaction from the community.

Still from the trailer for the movie 'World of Warcraft: Shadowlands'

The episode presented in the game served to analyze people’s behavior in the face of an epidemiological crisis. / Photo: World of Warcraft LatAm – Reference Image

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: Cuando World of Warcraft enloqueció por una pandemia

World of Warcraft is one of the most successful online RPG multiplayer titles of all time. According to what Hobbyconsolas mentions, it is the "king" of today's MMORPGs, thanks to a huge community.

Well, in this case we will talk about a curious situation that occurred on September 13, 2005, when the game was just beginning to take its first steps (remember that it was released in November 2004). This event was known as the Corrupted Blood Incident, which explains how users react to a highly infectious “virus”.

This may be related to some of the situations that have occurred with the coronavirus pandemic . One of them is the one mentioned on the website Infobae, where a person returned from the United States without respecting the quarantine, attended a party and later it was discovered that he was infected. Let's see what is the relationship between the facts.

What do we know about the World of Warcraft Corrupt Blood incident?

According to what the Vix site comments, the Corrupted Blood Incident was the "greatest event in the history of MMORPGs" . It was a truly unexpected and terrifying experience, because nobody understood well what was happening and what were the causes of the disaster.

Although no human lives were lost, the event is useful to explain how people react to an invisible threat. Let's get down to it: On September 13, 2005 Blizzard added patch 1.7.0 which included a new area known as Zul'Gurub, a dungeon that could be accessed by higher level players.

By this time, it should be said that the viral outbreak had its ground zone in that dungeon, where users faced a powerful enemy known as Hakkar the Soulflayer, an entity that cast the spell that gave the incident its name. It was an ability that subtracted 200 points of damage every 2 seconds and spread to nearby players , which meant almost certain death if there was no one to heal.

The problem was that the spell had to be removed after a short period of time… but that didn't happen . Rather, the "virus" continued to exit that special dungeon, so the effect was constantly replicated. So the players who experienced the first cases infected others when they left the area.

This disease lasted a week, in which the players had different behaviors . The main cities, which were the largest focus of infection, were littered with the bones of dead players who could not be revived, they could only return back to that area that was still infected.

Also read: 7 video games to play while quarantined

It was also observed that some took refuge in places with few people, although that cost them the ability  to complete missions to level up . Others did a "reporters" job, commenting on the chat channels about the situation, while some more advanced players dedicated themselves to healing the weaker, so they had a chance to survive.

However, not all attitudes were altruistic. Other people, in their desire to have fun, decided to consciously infect others. Knowing that they had the virus, they would go into the cities so that everyone else would die around them. They also invoked pets that carried the virus, so the pathogen replicated in other non-playable characters that spread to anyone who approached them.

The Vida Extra website explains that this Blizzard error was an object of study for different specialists in epidemiology. Basically, they analyzed how people react to a crisis situation like this.

Sociologist also concluded that many users went to the big capitals of the game to infect as many players as possible. It is an interesting anecdote to know, especially in these times where we must take care of each other to avoid the spread of this virus.


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