Over the weekend, a veil of death descended upon several major cities, as thousands were massacred and havoc ensued everywhere.
Thankfully, however, the murdered masses were soon resurrected, and many have since been spotted slaying dragons and completing quests. Thoroughly confused? You're likely not a World of Warcraft player, then.
On Sunday, a "hacker apocalypse" struck the World of Warcraft, wiping out entire populations in the MMORPG's major cities, PC Mag reports.
"The entire populations of Stormwind, Orgrimmar, Tarren Mill, Ragnaros, Draenor and Twisting Nether -- both avatiars and NPCs -- were wiped out completely for about four hours," writes TG Daily.
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Touted as the "gaming world's equivalent of World War III," the mass murder hack and the widespread havoc that ensued came as a shock to many WoW players.
“It was really weird. I was [away from keyboard] for like one minute, and when I came back I was dead and so were everyone else,” wrote one player on a World of Warcraft forum, according to Forbes. “Really creepy. I wonder what happened.”
PC Mag describes the outpouring of anger and bewilderment following the senseless massacre:
The outrage began immediately, with players taking to the Blizzard forums en masse. JUSTICE, cried some, using all caps indiscriminately.
Some were struck nearly mad with outrage and grief. "They really should face legal action if Blizzard can track them down by home address," Dreamlifter added. "This amount of disruption really is beyond just a minor thing or 2. Doesn't matter is it is a bunch of kids or not, breaking the law is breaking the law. Think it is funny now, but when the police come in it won't be so funny anymore."
It doesn't seem like game developer Blizzard Entertainment called the police, but it did manage to fix the problem. Company representatives also said that they were taking the hacker's action "very seriously."
"This exploit has already been hotfixed, so it should not be repeatable. It's safe to continue playing and adventuring in major cities and elsewhere in Azeroth," the company said in a statement posted on a WoW forum. "As with any exploit, we are taking this disruptive action very seriously and conducting a thorough investigation."
However, according to TG Daily, a hacker named "Jadd" has already claimed responsibility for the hack.
"We didn't do any permanent damage. Some people liked it for a new topic of conversation and a funny stream to watch, and some people didn't. The people who didn't should be blaming Blizzard for not fixing it faster (4 hours of obvious use is sad)," "Jadd" wrote in a forum.
"It's not like I added 20000000 gold to everyone's inventory, and broke the economy; but look at the big Chinese gold seller companies, who are doing this every day. Now ask yourself who is really ruining the game. It's not us."
According to the BBC, more than 10 million subscribers around the world play World of Warcraft.
For more on this mass murder hack, watch this video that is said to show one of the massive die-offs that swept through the MMORPG on Sunday:
WARNING: Some viewers may find the content in this video disturbing