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1001 Video Games

World of Warcraft appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Board game

This game has been adapted into a (less massively-multiplayer -- 2-6 players instead) 2005 boardgame.

Christmas events

  • For the 2004 Christmas season, Blizzard added easter eggs throughout the game in a patch, which enabled players to find egg nog recipes, snowballs and various other references to Christmas.
  • In the 2005 Christmas event, several new NPCs and quests were added for a short period of time. One of the quests requested that you rescued Metzen the Reindeer - try searching for Chris Metzen on Mobygames and you'll see that he is from the Blizzard staff.

Development (post-release)

Blizzard developed a program called The Warden to fight off cheaters. It's a highly-intrusive watchdog program, some even call it spyware, that scans for active processes while playing World of Warcraft. By accident, a DRM protection from the Sony record company helped crackers to avoid detection by The Warden.

Sony's DRM, shipped with tens of thousands of audio CD's, installs a virus-like rootkit that causes processes starting with $sys$ to stay undetected at all times. Malicious users with the DRM installed then simply wrote software with a $sys$ process to cheat in-game. With a booming economy and a gold price on eBay that easily matches the currency of some foreign countries, certain players will be rich soon.

In November 2005, Blizzard opened six new realms for the game in North America to give first time players the opportunity to adventure on equal footing with other players.


In every punch card you get in Gnomeregan, there is a hidden binary message:

White Punch Card:
Thrall and Jaina sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G

Yellow Punch Card:
If you can read this, you're standing too close

Blue Punch Card:
The gnome king wears night elf underwear

Red Punch Card:
Help! I'm trapped in a binary punch card factory!

Prismatic Punch Card:
Message to Castpipe: your laundry's ready for pickup.

Great Azeroth Plague, The

In September 2005, Blizzard added a seemingly innocent instance with unexpected consequences of epic proportions. To a certain extent, it even became one of the most realistic events in a MMORPG to mimic the world and history itself.

The new instance, Zul'Gurub, features the god of blood: Hakkar. When you fight him, he has a debuff called Corrupted Blood, a disease that deals 250-350 damage every two seconds and affects nearby players. Unexpectedly, some players managed to carry the disease, soon dubbed wow aids, hakkar sars and The Great Azeroth Plague, outside the instance and brought it to the towns. It soon became a real plague, affecting thousands of players, of which many did not have the class to constantly protect themselves. Even npcs and pets became affected and low-level players were killed over and over again, as, after respawning, they were immediately struck once more.

The plague became so powerful that major cities became places to avoid. The GMs first tried to quarantine the players, but some kept escaping until it could no longer be controlled. From a small annoyance, it soon became a survival of the fittest where certain players found themselves unable to continue playing under normal circumstances. Ultimately, the plague lasted two days until a rolling restart of all servers.

This was not the first time something unexpected was taken outside an instance, though.

What is not commonly known is that the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in Atlanta contacted Blizzard about the plague in the game. The CDC had read that Blizzard had simulated a plague spreading through the world, and was interested in how they simulated it. They were disappointed when they found out it was a bug.

Leeroy Jenkins

A World of Warcraft gameplay video by the clan PALS FOR LIFE has spawned the internet phenomenon Leeroy Jenkins. You can read all about it in the Wikipedia article in the related links section.


214,748 gold, 36 silver, 48 copper seems to be the maximum amount of money you can collect per character in WOW. As they informed in wowinsider, at least two different players, Dorgabas and meth would have reached this limit on January 16th, 2008, a limit theorized before. After reaching this limit, your character can no longer receive money from any source in the game.


A World of Warcraft novel was published by Pocket Books in 2006: Cycle of Hatred by Keith R. A. DeCandido. It takes place in the period between between Warcraft III - the Frozen Throne and World of Warcraft, filling in blanks and establishing greater continuity.

As of 2012, there are eight novels based on World of Warcraft (plus four based on the expansion World of Warcraft: Cataclysm).


  • If you look carefully while playing the game, you may find developers or their families among the NPCs, such as Robert Bridenbecker's family in Goldshire, just outside of Stormwind.
  • In Uldaman there are 3 lost dwarves: Olaf, Eric and Baelog. Those 3 dwarves are all from the game The Lost Vikings. And on top of that, The "Staff of Tsol" and the "Medallion of Gni'kiv" (which are both used on another quest in the same dungeon) spelled backwards "Tsol" and "Gni'kiv" are "Lost" and "Viking".
  • When playing a Horde character at level 40+ with 225/225 in your First Aid skill, travel to Hammerfall. Go to the Trauma Surgeon in the building to the left of the entrance. He will give you a quest in which you can gain Artisan First Aid. In this quest, you must run around and bandage dying patients. When dying, one of the patients says: "Goodbye cruel world.. I'm leaving you today. Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye". Those are the exact lyrics of the song "Goodbye Cruel World" of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" album.
  • One of the named opponents for Alliance characters in Westfall is a bandit belonging to the Defias Brotherhood, named Benny Blaanco. His name refers to a gang leader in the well known movie Carlito's Way.
  • In Elwynn Forest there is an NPC named Terry Palin. He is a lumberjack and he's OK. His name is a reference to Monty Python comedians Terry Jones and Michael Palin who were responsible for the famous Lumberjack Song.
  • One of the quests in Netherstorm, Outland, is called Needs More Cowbell where the player needs to find the cow Bessy using a bell. The quest's title is a reference to the pop culture catchphrase More cowbell, which was launched in a Saturday Night Live comedy sketch on 8th April 2000, about the recording of the song (Don't Fear) The Reaper by Blue Öyster Cult, where a cowbell is featured.

References to the game

  • Coca Cola launched a commercial in China inspired by World of Warcraft. Three models stand up to their boss when he asks them "to show more". He transforms into an orc and after drinking a coke the girls fight him. The link to the video can be found in the related links section.
  • The porn film series Whorelore was originally to be called Whores of Whorecraft.
  • An entire episode of the animated TV series South Park was dedicated to World of Warcraft. The episode, titled Make Love, Not Warcraft, was aired on 4th October 2006 and it was the second half premiere of the tenth season.
  • The game makes an appearance in the 2008 movie The Day the Earth Stood Still. Early on, Jacob Benson (Jaden Smith), son of Dr. Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly), is shown playing the game on his laptop.
  • The game is referenced multiple times in Douglas Coupland's 2009 novel Generation A, where the character Julien is addicted to it.
  • World of Warcraft was parodied in an episode of "Die Redaktion" (The Editorial Team), a monthly comedy video produced by the German gaming magazine GameStar. It was published on the DVD of issue 06/2005.


World of Warcraft quickly became the fastest selling game ever, selling 240,000 copies in 24 hours.

VISA cards

In May 2007 Blizzard announced the availability of World of Warcraft VISA credit cards from the First National Bank of Omaha. There are 13 different types of cards like Alliance Draenei or Horde Blood Elf. Aside from the art work, there are other bonuses such as a free month of subscription time with first use and game time at the rate of 1% of every dollar in qualifying purchases.


  • 4Players
    • 2005 – Best Online Role-Playing Game of the Year
  • Apple Design Awards
    • 2005 - Best Mac OS X Entertainment Product
  • Computer Games Magazine
    • March 2005 - Game of the Year 2004
  • Computer Gaming World
    • March 2005 (Issue #249) – Game of the Year
    • March 2005 (Issue #249) – Special Achievement in Art Direction
  • Games for Windows Magazine
    • March 2007 - #10 Game of the Year 2006
  • GameSpy
    • 2004 – #5 Game of the Year
    • 2004 – #2 PC Game of the Year
    • 2004 – PC MMORPG of the Year
    • 2004 – PC RPG / MMORPG of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2004 - Special Achievement in Art Direction (together with Myst IV: Revelation)
    • 2004 - Best Game Utility of the Year (PC) (for Cosmos)
    • 2006 – The Game That Wouldn't Die Award (PC)
    • 2011 – #1 Top PC Game of the 2000s
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • February 23, 2006 - Best PC Game in 2005 (Readers' Vote)
    • February 23, 2006 - Best PC RPG in 2005 (Readers' Vote)
  • Golden Joystick Awards
    • 2005 - Online Game of the Year
  • PC Powerplay (Germany)
    • Issue 02/2006 - #1 RPG/Adventure in 2005
    • Issue 04/2006 - #1 RPG/Adventure in 2005 (Readers' Vote)
    • Issue 02/2006 - #4 Best Game in 2005
    • Issue 02/2006 - Most Played Game in 2005
Information also contributed by Agent 5, Captain Canuck, h'mik, Itay Shahar, MichaelPalin, PCGamer77, piltdown_man, Pseudo_Intellectual, Sciere, Silverblade, WildKard and Zack Green

Contributed by Riamus (8519) on Nov 25, 2004. [revised by : FatherJack (62743), Patrick Bregger (241615) and Sciere (607826)]. -- edit trivia