Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Such Game, Much World, WoW.

WoW (World of Warcraft) would have to be one of the most, if not the most successful MMORPG of all time. The amount of people who play this game can equate to the population of a small country and that umber is ever growing. This number of people playing the game has had some interesting things result from it. Along with a greater complexity to the game, WoW has a realistic economy that integrates real world money as well as incorporating more visible human behavior and emotion into the game. One incident shows just how realistic WoW had become.

Corrupted blood incident
The Corrupted blood incident refers to an in game glitch that happened the week of September 13th 2005. After developer Blizzard released a new map for the game “Zul’Gurab” it soon became clear that the map’s boss was posing a peculiar problem. The boss “Hakker the Soulflayer” had a unique ability called “Corrupted Blood”, this ability inflicted a debuf against characters that drained the payers’ HP at an extremely high rate and could be passed onto other players. Fortunately it was coded to last only a couple of seconds and to only be active in the new map. However due to the complexity of the game, Blizzard made a small oversight that would lead to an alarming series of events. Players in WoW are able to summon creatures and own pets that help them in battle, and it was soon discovered that these creatures could carry the Corrupted Blood debuf out of the Zul’Gurab map. The summon creatures began spreading the debuff once returning to other maps.  When it became widespread throughout the WoW world, players began to react with real world prevention methods, player initiated quarantines were being put in place (as well as admin quarantines), players started to warn others of where the debuff had spread to, players started to evacuate high populated areas and some even stopped playing in order to avoid getting the debuff. There were even players that spread the debuff on purpose. Eventually the event passed and epidemiologists began to take notice due to the similarity to real world epidemics.

This was probably the closest any game has come to representing an actual epidemic and shows that any MMORPG can become as real to people as any real world events.  

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