Perfect Ten: 10 times World of Warcraft was killed forever

I'm definitely an elf!

As many of you reading this may know, World of Warcraft is a game that launched and then immediately died forever. It then proceeded to die forever multiple times. No, not because of creeping and evident design issues that made it clear some bad decisions were being made in leadership, but because of very specific decisions that clearly meant the game was ruined forever and Blizzard’s design team would all slowly march into the sewers beneath California to live out their days as Morlocks.

Granted, it is now clear some of those people probably deserved that fate, but hey.

Since people keep calling me Justin, I’ve decided that I’m going to go ahead and take credit for the work he does chronicling the history of MMOs, and that means chronicling the history of the many, many occasions wherein WoW immediately failed and was condemned to the ashcan of history. Each of these moments absolutely ended WoW‘s position as a cultural force immediately, and there’s no need whatsoever to check on the veracity of that fact. “How could it happen more than once?” Don’t worry about it. Go take a nap and then read the column after.

Again, again!

1. Launching too close to EverQuest II

Well, as we can see, it didn’t take long for WoW to die forever because someone made the bright decision to launch just two weeks after EverQuest II launched! What a blunder! Clearly, if people are given a choice between playing the sequel to the genre-defining EverQuest from Sony Online Entertainment or playing some Playskool baby game meant for toddlers, no one is going to play the easy nonsense from Blizzard. Rest in piss, WoW!

2. Servers are congested

This one always made me laugh my head off. It still does now just thinking about it. Now, part of this is because I was fortunate enough that my servers of choice did not feature enormous queues even though I was playing at launch; either I was just playing at weird times or I got lucky. But there’s just such an obvious bit of projection involved here. “Clearly, this game is going to die because too many people want to play. So you should all stop playing. I, meanwhile, will log in purely out of spite.”

Sure, Jan.


3. There’s not enough to do at endgame

I remember someone complaining on the forums about a month after launch that WoW is the only MMO with an end boss and there might as well be credits after you beat it. First of all, sir, this is clearly not something that happened until years later when another game actually does have final bosses followed by credits. (Also with significantly less idiocy involving 39 people getting yelled at about Onyxia.) Second, there are definitely problems with WoW’s endgame model that have persisted to this day, insofar as it solidified the idea of an endgame which is wholly separate from what you have been doing up until that point. Those problems have nothing to do with not having enough raiding a month after launch.

Wait, what am I saying? Yes, it had exactly those problems and WoW died forever as a result of this huge dearth of content.

4. Character transfers

So now someone can raid with a guild, get loot through an underhanded method, and then pay money to transfer to another server with none of the reputational stain? Well, that’s about it for WoW, isn’t it? No one is ever going to play this game again once the cohesiveness of a server where we all know one another, really, everybody knows everybody else, we’re not making that up is gone!

Classic, classic.

5. Cross-realm battleground queues are introduced

You’re telling me that I can just queue up for a battleground and it’ll just happen now? Where did my 14-hour runs of Alterac Valley go? RIP any semblance of PvP in WoW! Plus you’re ruining those very real server communities which you also ruined before and yet somehow people are still here, but now you’ve really gone and done it! Later we are going to conveniently forget this has been in the game since the start of the game when you let people do it for dungeons.

Wait, what do I mean with “later”? We have established that the game is ruined forever now. Rest in piss, Blizzard!

6. Blood Elves are with the Horde now

There was, and I swear before God this is true, a four-page rant on the official forums about how Horde players needed to be playing ugly and outcast races and Blood Elves destroyed every semblance of the Horde’s identity. It went places, had a truly baffling conception of basically every component of human identity and ultimately is the sort of thing best dealt with by quoting one of my favorite tweets:

“I’m not falling for that hot take. That’s clearly someone with a fetish for being yelled at. I refuse to participate in that kind of perversion.”

Not pictured.

7. Draenei origins are retconned

So you’re telling me that you changed the origin of the Draenei to tie them to the Eredar? This upends… uh… well, absolutely nothing; it’s a very minor shift in the order of operations for backstory that has never come up in any material up to this point. But it is an outrage and it will not stand! Your lore has no cohesion and you ruined it!

Seriously if you still have any thoughts about this beyond “this isn’t a big deal and never was,” please get the help you need. Do not talk about it in public; no one will want to be your friend and they will not think you’re cool.

8. Raid sizes have been changed

So now I have to say goodbye to 15 of my closest friends because the new raid size tops out at 25 instead of 40? You’re spitting in the face of your most loyal players and oh my God I just can’t do this any more.

This was real. I cannot stress this enough. This was real. I’m not even being hyperbolic with any of this! You literally saw people saying that they would have to say goodbye to 15 of their closest friends over this change! Say goodbye! “Sorry, Steve, you’re not in the raid any more; I can’t talk to you.” What the hell do you say to that? How do you even start to respond? I don’t even know. And there were people who very clearly thought that this would herald the end of WoW, that what awaited was such an apocalyptic shift that The Burning Crusade was dead on arrival.

We are eight entries in and we aren’t even through the first expansion to the game. Do you understand why I am tired? Do you understand?!

The Doom Brigade

9. Paladins and Shamans aren’t faction-specific any more

There was an entire short story written justifying why Draenei could figure out how to be Shamans. That’s not hyperbole. And people were screaming about how this would mean the end of the game forever and not something that people would flock to the moment it happened. These days if you change flight paths in Kalimdor you can be a Shaman. Do you know what a church is? Welcome to being a Paladin. These racial restrictions, they’re so dumb, you guys. They’re so dumb.

10. Karazhan lets you get decent gear

Clearly having badges given out by Karazhan and using them to buy good gear will remove all raiding from existence and no one will ever raid again and the game will die. Again. Real thing. Real complaint people made. There are YouTube videos in which people rail against that using several dozen slurs in a five-minute run time.

Later, those personalities would go on to amplify the harassment campaign that was GamerGate, so if you were wondering how that story ended, there you go. And again, I should note that we never even got on to Wrath of the Lich King in this column. Super.

Everyone likes a good list, and we are no different! Perfect Ten takes an MMO topic and divvies it up into 10 delicious, entertaining, and often informative segments for your snacking pleasure. Got a good idea for a list? Email us at or with the subject line “Perfect Ten.”
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