8 Memorable Moments in MMO History

Leeroy Jenkins – World of Warcraft

Okay, so it was fake. But who remembers when this video first arrived on the internet? It wasn’t about being fake or not, nor was it really specific to World of Warcraft. When you play with anonymous folks in a video game, you’re bound to have at least one person that’s just a little ‘different’. The video went viral and Blizzard loved it so much they added him to their desktop card game, Hearthstone and as in the Warlords of Draenor expansion as a garrison follower.

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The Corrupted Blood incident – World of Warcraft

Another event that happened in World of Warcraft was done through the use of the MMOs own design. It happened back in 2005 with the release of the raid zone “Zul’Gurub” who’s end boss would cast an ability called “Corrupted Blood” on the players.

At the time, it was also cast on pets which hunters noticed it stuck around with the timer paused when they dismissed their pet. Then the fun happened. They would call their infected pets in the middle of the auction house of the capital cities (where the most players were located) and just watch the fun. When its duration ended, it instantly killed whomever it was attached to and spread to others, including the NPCs! It quickly took over and became an epidemic that couldn’t be stopped without Blizzard stepping in to reset the servers and patch the spell from attaching to pets.

It actually made mainstream news at the time because it was considered the first “virtual” outbreak of a disease to ever happen.


Level 88 Attained – Lineage I

This one goes back quite a few years but shows just how much easier MMO’s have become in terms of leveling. Lineage was an old-school MMO that’s leveling curve would be considered ‘trollish’ by today’s standards. As you reach higher levels, the amount of experience you earn is fractioned. At level 80, experience gain is 1/64 of what it was at level 60.

The game was released in 1998 and it seems only one player has ever managed to reach the level cap of 90 during this time, and that recently happened in February of this year! It took him three years to reach it. Can you imagine the outcry if it took three years to reach level 90 in any MMO that’s popular today?


The Guiding Hand Social Club theft – Eve Online

If Eve Online has taught us anything, it’s how nefarious some players can be and consider espionage just as important as an epic fight with an adversary.

An Eve Online Corporation called “the Guiding Hand Social Club” spent a year of sending its players to rival factions, inserting themselves in all aspects of their corporate structure. With all the players in place, an order was given and like a movie plot, they simultaneously murdered the rival corporations CEO and stole virtual goods that amounted to the cost of $16,500.

The impressive part about the plan is that it was done within the rules of the game.


The Battle of B-R5RB – Eve Online

Eve Online is a special game. One must be a devoted member to spreadsheets to play it efficiently and it’s one of the only games that battles are tallied in actual currency as it’s a mixture of pay-to-play and free-to-play styles which allow actual currency to be used to increase virtual currency to buy better ships and gear.

The Battle of B-R5RB is one of the most costly battles in video game history. Thousands of players gathered together to fight in one of the most epic space battles one can possibly have in a current video game. The end result was over $330,000 dollars in lost ships and supplies on both sides.


Mr. Feng’s Parenting – Game Unknown

Parenting, in this day and age, is more about controlling video game habits than worrying about broken bones and spending too much time outdoors.

Mr. Feng, father of Xiao Feng, was worried that his son was spending too much time playing his favorite video game and preventing him from finding a job, he took on a much different way of trying to break his son of his gaming habit.

Instead of a typical way of discipline such as restricting playtime, taking away the system, or killing his internet access he decided a way of discouragement would be a better way. He “hired” other players to assassinate his character. Anytime he logged in, his character would be killed. The idea was that he would be so discouraged with the game he would give up and find a job.

Xiao, frustrated by the hit-squads, finally caved in and talked to his father about finding employment. He said he was actively searching, but hasn’t found a job he found suitable.

Epic troll or awesome parent, I have to try this on my kids when they reach that age. Either way, it would be hilarious.


The Assassination of Lord British – Ultima Online

Ultima Online is widely considered to be the founding father of MMOs as we know them today. Richard Garriott, developer of the Ultima series always had an alter-ego NPC in game called Lord British. In previous versions of Ultima, it was always a bit of a game in itself to try and figure out the way to kill Lord British, most of the time requiring the use of cheat codes to bypass certain measures.

In August of 1997 with a month or so left before Ultima Online launched, a log-in stress test was conducted. In order to help boost numbers, the developers along with Garriott himself announced they would make a “royal visit” and say a few words to their community.

One member going by the name of “Rainz” had other intentions. He didn’t want to see a speech by the King, rather, he wanted to assassinate the monarch and stop his tyrannical rule. While most of the population was at Castle British waiting for the arrival of Lord British, British himself was at Castle Blackthorne with Lord Blackthorne, the avatar developer Starr Long talking with a few testers.

Then it happened. Due to a server reset that occurred shortly beforehand, the developers completely forgot to enable their protections they use so they cannot be killed by other players and Lord British was left vulnerable. Rainz’s character was a thief with a high skill for pick-pocketing and found his item of choice to take down the creator. Further, to help ensure that lag was at a minimum for the players participating, the developers had turned off the guards in the castle which aided Rainz in his ability to pick-pocket as the guards would have certainly killed him for doing so.

Rainz cast the ability, a fire field scroll, and waited. At first, nothing happened and the developer thought it was amusing to see him try, but then out of nowhere, Lord British fell. Rainz had done the impossible and killed Lord British!

Who wouldn’t want to make a claim of killing off one of the developers characters? I certainly would!

the sleeper

The death of The Sleeper – EverQuest

“The Sleeper” was a creature found in Everquest that was intended to be unkillable. However, instead of making it non-targetable, SOE simply gave it so many hitpoints that in most cases it would have been impossible to kill. Of course, they never expected that 180 players from three separate guilds would come together to try and take down the creature.

After taking almost 4 hours of fighting to down the beast, what was their reward? SOE despawned the creature stating it was “never intended to be a part of the story”. The amount of backlash against Sony for this act caused many to lose faith in SOE’s ability to manage the game properly.

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