A guild of some of the most dedicated World of Warcraft Classic Hardcore players in the world was brought low by a notorious griefer, ruining 10,000+ hours of work in the process.
The guild HC Elite were attempting to conquer all of WoW Classic’s raid content using the community’s unofficial “Hardcore” (aka one-life permadeath) ruleset before Blizzard introduces their own official Hardcore servers later this summer. Until July 11, they had nearly succeeded, conquering almost every challenge the game could throw at them over the last year. All that remained was to complete the game’s final raid, Naxxramas, and the final three bosses within: The Four Horsemen, Sapphiron, and Kel’Thuzad.
It was on the Four Horsemen, perhaps the most challenging boss fight in all of WoW Classic, that a griefer known as TeenyViolin (who goes by TinyViolin69 on Twitch) made their move. The player was one of the guild’s tanks, assigned the role of tanking one of the fight’s four bosses, Sir Zeliek, in a corner of the room far from the rest of the raid. Shortly after the raid engages the bosses, it became clear something was wrong. TinyViolin started to move the boss to the correct corner, then proceeded to drag him all the way to the opposing corner, where most of the raid was standing
Sir Zeliek has a nasty ability known as Holy Wrath, which acts as a chain-lightning effect that bounces between players that are too close and deals massive damage. Once it became clear Sir Zeliek wasn’t in the correct corner of the room, alarm bells began ringing. Concerned members of the raid almost immediately knew TinyViolin had to be trolling, and attempts by other players to pull aggro off TinyViolin and reposition Sir Zeliek failed. It was only a matter of seconds before more than half of the raid was killed by Holy Wrath. Players scrambled to flee and cheat death. In the end, only four members of the 40-player raid survived, a few lucky players able to use their hearthstones to teleport out of danger.
As players began dying, TinyViolin can be heard on stream saying it was an “accident” and that he didn’t realize he had moved the boss to the wrong corner. Players both within HC Elite and the wider community weren’t buying it. It was clear that TinyViolin knew the mechanics of the boss, and had simply bided his time until a particular endgame boss fight where he knew he could destroy the raid with little chance of other players preventing the atrocity.
One of the guild’s survivors was the paladin Calamity. In an interview with popular WoW streamer Asmongold just a few hours after the event, Calamity said the guild had been raiding four or five times a week for seven months in order to achieve their goal. Most players in the guild had anywhere between 20 and 30 days of playtime on their characters. The sudden death of most of the guild actually came as a relief to some members, Calamity said. Others were understandably upset, as they had come extremely close to accomplishing their goal, only for it to be snatched away by a griefer.
TinyViolin, as it turns out, has a history of griefing in WoW Classic. Years ago, he had taken to using multiboxing (a way to play multiple characters at once that has since been banned by Blizzard) in order to dispel powerful world buffs players spent hours gathering, right before raid time. He was later banned for taking real money from players to not dispel their buffs. Calamity said that TinyViolin had been a member of HC Elite for about two months before the guild realized he was the notorious griefer. After discussion, the guild agreed to continue playing with him, giving him the benefit of the doubt since his past actions were years ago.
Members of HC Elite can technically “appeal” their deaths and possibly have those in charge of the WoW Hardcore community rule the deaths illegitimate, thus allowing those who died to continue playing the characters they’ve put so much time and effort into. However, Calamity said some players don’t believe in the appeal process and view any death as final, and as such have already deleted their characters.
Blizzard won’t have any kind of appeals process for its official Hardcore servers, leaving some players worried that griefers will be able to run amok and ruin the experience for others. Though Blizzard won’t support appeals, the developer did say it would take griefers seriously and ban players who are disrupting the experience for others.
Official WoW Hardcore servers will differ from the community version, with no limits on grouping or trading. Blizzard is largely leaving it up to players to decide how they want to accomplish the feat of hitting max level without dying, but is introducing a few new features, such as the ability to challenge others to duels to the death. Blizzard’s version of WoW Hardcore is currently being tested on the game’s public test realm and will release later this summer.
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