The top of our list is the least known but probably most important moment, thanks to its real-world impact. Known as the Corrupted Blood Pandemic, it lasted a week after the release of the raid known as Zul'Gurub in September of 2005.
The debuff that was afflicted by the Blood Loa known as Hakarr was one that didn't kill the higher-level players that contested the raid boss. But with a oddity in the coding, the debuff left the zone on players' pets and other non-player companions. From this, the plague spread into the open world.
This was a damage over time (DoT) spell, one that wouldn't kill higher-level players but would almost instantly kill lower-level avatars. Major cities were littered with corpses and skeletons, and people evacuated to more isolated areas. Players then either continued with their playtime or just didn't log on at all.
Blizzard quickly patched the problem, taking a few iterations of the code to get the issue corrected. But the most interesting aspect was the real-world aid it gave to researchers. During this pandemic, real-world researchers of diseases and viruses asked if they could research the movement of this DoT, since the release of a pandemic on a real-world population for research is immoral. The information and knowledge they gained were remarkable.
With their research, they were able to learn more about the spread of viruses like the flu and avian flu, how they spread, and how to counteract these issues. This was monumental and gave World of Warcraft world acclaim.
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