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Old 09-23-05   #1
Sixgun_Symphony
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Deadly plague hits Warcraft world

Deadly plague hits Warcraft world
By Mark Ward
Technology Correspondent, BBC News website

A deadly virtual plague has broken out in the online game World of Warcraft.

Although limited to only a few of the game's servers the numbers of characters that have fallen victim is thought to be in the thousands.

Originally it was thought that the deadly digital disease was the result of a programming bug in a location only recently added to the Warcraft game.

However, it now appears that players kicked off the plague and then kept it spreading after the first outbreak.

Since its launch in November 2004, World of Warcraft (Wow) has become the most widely played massively multiplayer online (MMO) game in the world.

Its creator, Blizzard, claims that now more than four million people are regular players.

Last rites

Wow is an online game that gives players the chance to adventure in the fantasy world of Azeroth that is populated by the usual mixture of humans, elves, orcs and other fantastic beasts.

As players explore the world, the characters they control become more powerful as they complete quests, kill monsters and find magical items and artefacts that boost abilities.

To give these powerful characters more of a challenge, Blizzard regularly introduces new places to explore in the online world.

In the last week, it added the Zul'Gurub dungeon which gave players a chance to confront and kill the fearsome Hakkar - the god of Blood.

In his death throes Hakkar hits foes with a "corrupted blood" infection that can instantly kill weaker characters.

The infection was only supposed to affect those in the immediate vicinity of Hakkar's corpse but some players found a way to transfer it to other areas of the game by infecting an in-game virtual pet with it.

This pet was then unleashed in the orc capital city of Ogrimmar and proved hugely effective as the Corrupted Blood plague spread from player to player.

Although computer controlled characters did not contract the plague, they are said to have acted as "carriers" and infected player-controlled characters they encountered.

Body count

The first server, or "realm" as Blizzard calls them, affected by the plague was Archimonde; but it is known to have spread to at least two others.

The spread of the disease could have been limited by the fact that Hakkar is difficult to kill, so some realms may not yet have got round to killing him and unleashing his parting shot.

The digital disease instantly killed lower level characters and did not take much longer to kill even powerful characters.

Many online discussion sites were buzzing with reports from the disaster zones with some describing seeing "hundreds" of bodies lying in the virtual streets of the online towns and cities.

"The debate amongst players now is if it really was intentional although due to the effects of the problem it seems unlikely," Paul Younger, an editor on the unofficial worldofwar.net site, told the BBC News website.

"It's giving players something to talk about and could possibly be considered the first proper 'world event'", he said.

Luckily the death of a character in World of Warcraft is not final so all those killed were soon resurrected.

Blizzard tried to control the plague by staging rolling re-starts of all the servers supporting the Warcraft realms and applying quick fixes.

However, there are reports that this has not solved all the problems and that isolated pockets of plague are breaking out again.

The "Corrupted Blood" plague is not the first virtual disease to break out in online worlds. In May 2000 many players of The Sims were outraged when their game characters died because of an infection contracted from a dirty virtual guinea pig.
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Old 09-23-05   #2
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Its been hotfixed already, I barely touched my server which sucks.
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Old 09-24-05   #3
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haha that will teach ppl to play AO instead
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Old 09-24-05   #4
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Don't listen to him. He barely speaks English.
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Old 09-24-05   #5
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Hm. Germ warfare in a MMORPG...interesting. Sure, it happened by accident, but it might be something programmers could look at adding in some way or form to add a little extra tension to the same old "kill the monster, loot the corpse, move on" scheme of things.
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I feel this way on DF...a lot.
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Old 09-24-05   #6
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wonder which programmer was on the hit list before this happened...
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Old 09-24-05   #7
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awwws *pets the geeks*
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Old 09-24-05   #8
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LOL you just wish you could be one...
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Beware the ex's.. They ARE out to get you...

Nice guys finish last
It isn't just a saying.. It's a fact of life!

Those things that produced your ex......you know, the bitchmakers! Metagion

If you have sex with a prostitute against her will, is it considered rape or shoplifting?

You're not who you are, you're only what other people think you are

Your more Delusional than you think I am! {Duck Dodgers}
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Old 09-24-05   #9
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No thanks, I model of mine keeps bugging me to play WOW, but hey I'm a big enough sad sack without getting into that shit...
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Old 09-25-05   #10
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Wow Jobe youre so much better than all of us.
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Old 09-25-05   #11
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Glad you finally realised it
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Old 09-25-05   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jobe
Glad you finally realised it
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Beware the ex's.. They ARE out to get you...

Nice guys finish last
It isn't just a saying.. It's a fact of life!

Those things that produced your ex......you know, the bitchmakers! Metagion

If you have sex with a prostitute against her will, is it considered rape or shoplifting?

You're not who you are, you're only what other people think you are

Your more Delusional than you think I am! {Duck Dodgers}
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Old 09-25-05   #13
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woop de doo. make it more realistic. disease, famine, all that.

oh and give women +10 to hit bonuses every month from PMT.
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Old 09-25-05   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tozzy

oh and give women +10 to hit bonuses every month from PMT.

Spoken like a true geek...




...and most likely virgin
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Old 09-25-05   #15
dk123
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i might be a geek, i don't care really.

im not a virgin.
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Old 09-25-05   #16
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Should I give you a +2 charisma bonus now or sumfink then?
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Old 09-25-05   #17
dk123
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you could give me a day without throwing flames at me... i don't mind them, but theyre tiring and boring now. twas fun once upon a time, now its not.
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Old 09-25-05   #18
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Ok +2 for the non-virgin thingy, but -10 for spitting the dummy over a bit of ribbing...



...damm you'll never defeat that Troll now huh
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Old 09-25-05   #19
dk123
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well, another +1 to jobe's post count. (And mine for saying this)
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Old 09-25-05   #20
Billy the Kidd
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whats funny is old jobe one time stole the Kerrigan Queen of Blades picture from Starcraft Broodwars for his art, the same company Blizzard that made WoW, but yeah we are all geeks. Now If you will excuse me I most go back to collecting stainless steel and worthless daggers to pretend my life has meaning.
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