World of Warcraft hacked: thousands executed in Azeroth
Makers of online game appeal for information following 'exploit’ which left thousands of players’ characters dead
HACKERS have wreaked devastation on Azeroth, the fantasy land where online gamers play World of Warcraft. The carnage began on Saturday night in several major World of Warcraft cities when characters started dying in their thousands for no reason.
Pictures (above) of the carnage were posted on the internet. The scenes, which were doubtless distressing for the gamers, show corpses piled in the streets.
One video (below) on YouTube shows a "level-one priest" flying around a city and "insta-killing everyone", according to the user who posted it.
The reactions of affected gamers ranged from "LOL" to the more insightful "Mass suicide? :O".
Nethaera, a spokesperson for WoW developer Blizzard, said yesterday: "Earlier today, certain realms were affected by an in-game exploit, resulting in the deaths of player characters and non-player characters in some of the major cities.
"This exploit has already been hot-fixed, so it should not be repeatable. It's safe to continue playing and adventuring in major cities and elsewhere in Azeroth."
Blizzard said they were conducting a "thorough investigation" and appealed for information in relation to the massacre.
Olivia Grace of Azeroth local news website WoW Insider, told the BBC the massacre was "a significant hack". She explained: "They discovered a method to roll a level-one character, which ran to the major cities.
"We don't know exactly what they did, but somehow they were able to kill every single player's character in that city and every single computer controlled character - and they were doing this repeatedly."
Forbes points out that the weekend hack appeared to be a "mere prank" rather than truly damaging. "Death in World of Warcraft is more of a nuisance than a real loss, and characters can be resurrected."