It seems that nefarious individuals had found a way to turn certain cities in a handful of World of Warcraft realms into death traps, killing all players and non-player characters in them instantly.
According to WoW Insider, the realms affected by this exploit included Stormwind, Orgrimmar, Tarren Mill, Ragnaros, Draenor, Twisting Nether, though some other servers were affected as well.
It is not yet clear what the problem exactly was and why everyone in those cities ended up dying instantly.
The forums flooded with confused and worried gamers as they became victim to the exploit, searching for some sort of an explanation and sharing their own theories.
A significant number of players are of the opinion that the incident was a result of a hack, with some videos floating around on the internet giving some credence to this theory.
Blizzard was quick to react after getting informed of the issue and has already issued a hot-fix to make all the major cities in Azeroth safe once again.
Nethara, Blizzard’s community manager, has issued an official statement to inform the fans that the exploit has been hot-fixed and also let it known that the company is probing further into the issue to find out the details of why the incident happened in the first place.
“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 hotfixed, so it should not be repeatable. It’s safe to continue playing and adventuring in major cities and elsewhere in Azeroth. As with any exploit, we are taking this disruptive action very seriously and conducting a thorough investigation. If you have information relating to this incident, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We apologise for the inconvenience some of you experienced as a result of this and appreciate your understanding.”
World of Warcraft has established itself as one of the biggest massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) franchises, with the player base rising above 14 million at one time.
With the release of the latest expansion pack Mists of Pandaria in the final week of last month, the global subscriber base has climbed back to over 10 million users after experiencing a decline over the last couple of years.
Blizzard is looking to keep its World of Warcraft franchise alive despite launching the latest instalment in the Diablo series earlier this year, which immediately became one of their biggest commercial and critical successes in recent years.
It remains to be seen if the most recent World of Warcraft exploit will take its toll on the popularity of the game that had begun to grow once again after the latest expansion pack that not only introduced new in-game content, but also increased the level cap to 90.