These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: World of Warcraft
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Acceptable Targets: Fandral Staghelm was the most hated faction leader of the Alliance. Garrosh Hellscream, Trade Prince Gallywix, and Sylvanas are the most controversial Horde leaders. On the lighter side, there's the widely practiced and highly enjoyable sport of gnome punting, popular in both factions, but most especially among the tauren. Blood elves are also frequently mocked as being too Alliance-y (or feminine) for the Horde.
By Mists of Pandaria, the hate for Garrosh from Alliance and Horde players alike culminated in him becoming the primary antagonist and final raid boss of the expansion. It's debatable if his demise was conceived in response to player feedback or planned from the start as part of his larger story arc, perhaps as early as Wrath.
Daily quest givers. Two sets of them become bosses in Siege of Orgrimmar through the latter set becoming the penultimate boss encounter was probably inevitable given their ties to Y'Shaarj.
Garrosh, of all people, gets this at the end of the Nagrand storyline in Warlords of Draenor. The final cinematic displayed his final showdown with Thrall, during which Garrosh proceeds to beat his former mentor to the curb while yelling at him for putting the mantle of warchief on his inexperienced shoulders and leaving him to pick up the peaces of Thrall's mistakes; Thrall refusing responsibility for the part he inadvertantly played in Garrosh's downfall, combined with the obvious feelings of anger and hurt on Garrosh's part, had a profound effect on many fans. Although his pages on Wowhead are full of angry commentators rattling off the things they don't like about him, the cinematic caused many people to take Garrosh's side in their fight even though he lost, and to dislike Thrall even more.
Illidan: Was he a hero who was willing to go to extreme lengths to save his friends, family, and the world? Was he an Anti-Hero who still ultimately did the right thing? Was he a Well-Intentioned Extremist who didn't realize his own evil? Or was he just a power-mad loner who did a couple of good deeds to justify it to himself? Notable in that the writing of the games have slowly slid from the first to the last in the way it portrays both his current and past actions overtime.
Arthas, before he took up Frostmourne was he a genuinely good person wanting to do the best for his people, or was he a spoilt brat who set the stage for his own fall? As Death Knight to what extent was he aware of his actions and should be held accountable or was he also as much as a victim as those he killed? Was Stratholme an act of callous cruelty or what had to be done in those circumstances?
One debate is whether General Hawthorne, who destroyed Camp Taurajo. Was he a war criminal responsible for civilian deaths, someone who tried to win while showing more mercy than his comrades, or someone who wanted to show mercy but wasn't competent at doing it? note To explain, each faction gives you one piece of the puzzle. Camp Taurajo is a civilian town that doubled as a recruitment and training center for Horde soldiers The Horde knows General Hawthorne as the Butcher of Taurajo, due to the massive civilian causalities that resulted from the battle as well as him hiring Wildhammer Mercenaries to firebomb Taurajo, leading to the Horde player assassinating him. As an Alliance player, you learn that General Hawthorne went against the expectations of his superiors, by not taking the civilians hostage, instead leaving a gap in the battle lines open for them to escape. He even goes as far as to hire the Alliance player to arrest soldiers looting the camp. However, some civilians were killed in the battle regardless. In Tides Of War, Baine says the camp was a military target and exiled anyone who disagreed, however this just made Unintentionally Unsympathetic in the eyes of several fans.
For the players own characters. They are praised as champions and saviors, but considering they will do pretty much the most lame, silly task for anyone for cash, they are huge pushovers for whom word has gotten out to encourage them to do ridiculous errands the moment they arrive. All of Azeroth is laughing behind their backs.
On the flip side of that, there's also some NPCs in game who clearly admire players for being willing to help the common people, even if it involves tasks that a hero of their status should, by all rights, consider completely beneath them. It also nets the player praise from Seer Hao Pham Roo, who is pleasantly surprised to find the greatest heroes of the Alliance and Horde willing to help him up a mountain, even before discovering that he's actually the Pandaran's latest and greatest Emperor. His praise is even more meaningful when you consider that he's essentially saying you overcame the one vice that he was unable to let go of.
Is Tyrande a good-natured and fair leader or a dangerous zealot? Is Thrall heroic and selfless or foolish and naive? And so on.
Alt-itis: Everybody who plays the game for long has multiple characters. Even if it isn't to experience life in the opposite faction, there are still seven races per faction and 11 classes, not to mention the advantages of having multiple professions available on one account. Some players never get a character to max level, instead rolling dozens of alts. And then Blizzard added the Recruit A Friend program, allowing players to level alts with their friends at triple the normal rate.
In Wrath of the Lich King, the addition of "heirloom" class items makes this even more highly encouraged, as they can be traded among characters on the same account, scale to character level and increase the rate at which experience is gained, making leveling up additional characters easier.
In Cataclysm, the heirloom system was expanded to guilds, with heirloom capes and helms only being available once your guild reaches a certain level. Further, Cataclysm revamped the leveling experience in old Azeroth in order to attract players who are bored with the original content.
Then comes Mists of Pandaria which introduces a playable neutral race and a new class, yet more incentive to make a new character. On the other hand, people can pay to race change their character into a pandaren, like they could with worgen and goblins.
Supported even further later on in Mo P, in which all Pandaria factions have an item available upon reaching Revered that doubles all reputation gains for that faction for every character on that player's account. Additionally, if you get the maximum amount of 1000 Valor points (currency for buying and upgrading raid gear) in a given week on one of your characters, all your other characters get 50% more Valor Points for the rest of the week.
Pandaren went from a Proud Warrior Race(Just look at several of Samwise's drawings of them) into a utopian society.
A major theme of Lor'themar Theron's narrative (the transformation from a front-lines war hero to a politician stuck behind a desk in Sunfury Spire) invokes this trope.
Prince Kael'thas and Lady Vashj, the two Arc Villains of Outland, suffered from this too in The Burning Crusade, despite being incredibly badass in TFT. The former had an off-screen Face-Heel Turn and was eventually reduced to a corrupt, power-crazed mana zombie, while the latter was simply Demoted to Extra.
Base Breaker: Arthas (as a Paladin), Varian, Garrosh, Sylvanas, and Gallywix.
Thrall as of Cataclysm. A common fan sentiment is that they "like Thrall, but hate "Go'el"".
Lesser example but flying mounts, not being allowed to use them in Pandaria until level 90 or even whether they should exist.
Sky Admiral Rogers is becoming one. Either she's a badass Alliance leader who actually values the safety of her own soldiers over the enemy's, while to others, she comes off as a war criminal for killing (apparently) surrendering Horde soldiers (who may very well have been drafted by Garrosh).
Sunwalker Dezco a cool Tragic character, or a poorly written character that ruined the dynamic of Sunwalkers, and acts exactly like a human paladin?
The game's very existence itself is one - some people were not happy that there would not be any more Warcraft RTS games, though this has largely died down now.
The fanbase complained about long convoluted attunement quest chains and being unable to complete them because nobody would lift a finger to help. Now that that's no longer required and you don't have to run a dozen dungeons (That nobody wants to do anymore) and hope your token actually drops so guilds will look in your general direction. Then they complained about how annoyingly hard the game was only now are complaining about "Casuals" taking over the game. (Don't try pointing out that there are in fact heroic raids meant specifically for these "Core" players, or that they offer stronger gear and require much more coordination than Raid Finder - they're not listening.)
Throughout Wrath, the fanbase bitched non-stop about how "easy" the Heroics were. (ignoring, of course, that they were "hard" before people started running them in Naxx gear or with heirlooms.) Then when the last three Wrath heroics were added, they bitched about how "hard" they were and would constantly ragequit the Halls of Reflection. When Cataclysm was released, what was everyone's response to the Heroics? That they're too hard. Of course nowadays, nobody complains about how "hard" they were because just like Wrath, they all outgeared the Heroics enough to just rush through.
For that matter, they complained about the needless amounts of Fake Difficulty in the game, alleviating the Catch22 situations. Now they complain about "Wrath babies" or "noobs" running their Heroics.
Lore-wise, fans of Garrosh's characterization in Cataclysm blame the backlash against the character leading to his role as a villain in Mists of Pandaria over developing his good traits in Cataclysm as only furthering his perceived disjointed and inconsistent characterization and weakening the story as a whole. Many of his detractors had the same view as well. While they relished dethroning Garrosh, they also did not like the demonization of almost the entirety of the Orcs(sans Thrall and Saurfang) that occurred as a result or how the plot was handled. The fact that the Old Horde was revealed to be the villains of the next expansion didn't help things either in that regard.
Likewise, Jaina's turn towards madness has its origins from how the fans complained that she was too pacifistic and too neutral, not taking any sides. Their wish was granted in the Mists of Pandaria... which destroys Theramore, and with it, Jaina's pacifism that she became worse than Varian in warmongering and taking the Alliance side... and even the Alliance players think she went too far.
Tyrande. Many had complained that the warrior priestess who charged into a prison to release Illidan was reduced to just stand crying about her lover trapped in the Emerald Dream than stop the Horde from invading Ashenvale. People whined and complained about how she was nothing like a Warcraft 3 self whom would have ran in arrows flying. In the Mists of Pandaria scenerio A Little Patience, Tyrande's plan to get the Horde out of a fortified location was to charge in through the front door arrows blazing. When this plan would have obviously gotten a bunch of her own people killed, Varian came in and saved the day, so people complained both that Tyrande was now an idiot and how Varian, the former hothead could come up with a better strategy than a 10,000 year old elf.
And speaking of Varian, the "High King" himself. When he first showed up he was the anti-Thrall and people hated him because he looked like a big chin'd, warmongering fool. Come Mist of Pandaria he transitions into someone with far more patience and kindness, dropping his bloody thirsty hatred of the Horde in favor of just doing the right thing for the Alliance, and he is now hated for basically being the "Warchief" of the Alliance.
Big Lipped Alligator Moment: One Alliance quest in the Blade's Edge Mountains has you transform nether drake hatchlings with a device you got from one of the gnomes at Toshley's Station. Occasionally you'll end up turning the hatchling into a mature black dragon named Nihil the Banished, who will chide you for releasing him from his imprisonment and you can then turn him back into a hatchling, causing him to let out a Big "NO!".
Almost any Horde vs Alliance debate; most notably, currently it's the ownership of Lordaeron.
Mists of Pandaria caused this too, especially given the new setting, playable race, focus, and handling of the faction war.
Also, PvE vs. PvP. Players will pull up unoriginal insults akin to Fantastic Racism without the "race".
At times it seems like every plot development and many gameplay changes will cause one.
Warlords of Draenor has many disliking that it's a time travel expansion that doesn't move the main plots forward enough, that Garrosh is a major bad guy again when the last raid before the expansion was about defeating him. Another is that right after MOP's handling of the orcs(which many players disliked), it's yet another expansion focusing on the orcs being evil with seemingly little positive representation, and again killing Horde characters. Others are happy about returning to Draenor, seeing many famous lore characters, being able to build Garrisons, and that Blizzard finally remembers the draenei.
While the player character model revamps were at first well-received, once people actually got into the game and started playing, the realized that the way the polygons have to settle on the face means that while aesthetics are different, every face is the same shapewise, leading to outrage on the forums over giving players the same "sameface" treatment that Pandaren and Worgen suffer from.
The opening cinematic of Wo D shows Grom killing Mannoroth with the help of Garrosh, some players argue this was a major waste of character as it would have been intresting to see the reaction of the Burning Legion to the rejection of the Blood of Mannoroth, along with the fact that AU!Mannoroth's death was very anticlimatic. On the other hand others argue that Mannoroth never had a big role in the expansion anyways and that it was better to kill him in the opening and focus the expansion on the Iron Horde.
The entire concept of Redemption as it would have been applied to major villains. For everyone who supports or voices support for Illidan/Arthas/Kael'Thas/Garrosh/Sylvanas/Anyone redeeming in any way, there will be many that consider said villain to be too far gone or consider the idea of redemption to be naive or overused. It dosen't help that Blizzard has been, so far, solely siding with the fans that don't want redemption, through to what extent is it to bring justice to those who have gone too far or to fufuil desires for "MOAR LOOT" is up to debate.
Crack is Cheaper: A widely spread opinion, given how much time players spend into the game.
Crack Pairing: While some considered Thrall/Jaina to be this, there was actually some justification for it.
Another one which is coming out is Li Li and Anduin. Others prefer Anduin and Wrathion for similar reasons. Both may qualify as a Toy Ship.
Crazy Awesome: Most of the Goblin starting experience, to wit: One of the focuses right at the beginning is to set everything up for a party, naturally, you succeed and start to have a pretty rad (by Goblin standards) party... only to have it be crashed by Party Crasher Pirates. After the volcano starts to blow, you're trying to get enough money to get off the island. So you break into the bank, steal your life savings back, but it's still not enough. So what do you do? Why, burn down your corporate headquarters to get the insurance money, of course! You do this by overloading your generator, turn on your "Leaky Stove" And then drop a cigar on your flammable bed. It only goes upwards from there, there are many examples later, but one truly stands out. Once you're on the Lost Isles, a Goblin asks you to take care of a giant shark. How do you do this? Well, after getting a bunch of shark bits, he makes a shark submarine with Freakin' Laser Beams, then you fight the shark in it.
After his bout with debilitating insanity in Wrath of the Lich King, Budd Nedreck has stabilized into this.
The whole defending the shard thing became really annoying after a while, so Azuregos entrusted it to a construct of his called Maws, which is a very special minnow. The player has the option of calling him insane for this, while a pleased Azuregos claims to be a genius instead.
He gets worse in Cataclysm, it's implied being farmed so much may have caused permanent damage to his brain, eventually he decided just to stay dead for a while and wound up falling in love with a Spirit Healer.
Creator's Pet: Many in the playerbase grew to dislike Garrosh as he rose in prominence during the events of Wrath of the Lich King, and when it was announced that he would replace well-loved Thrall as the Warchief of the Horde in Cataclysm fan response was pretty predictable. Now there are many questgiving Non Player Characters who will praise Garrosh for his bellicose manner and warmongering foreign policies. That there are a few NPCs who will express concern about this gives fans a few straws to cling to.
Thrall basically tells Vol'jin "look, our people really hate the Alliance and want to kill them right now (and I'm busy), so we need a leader who feels the same." Most of the people who disagree with Garrosh and his policies are off with Thrall, fixing the Cataclysm.
Not that players who feel more loyal to Thrall than "The Horde" are given any option...
Thrall himself fell victim to this to some extent, as Cataclysm marched on. Even some of his diehard fans started to get tired of his being the anointed chosen one in every situation, whether it makes sense to the plot or not. Being the lead writer's admitted favorite character isn't helping.
The official site claims Gallywix was worried about goblin trampling deaths and invented the trikes to prevent this. Yet in the starting zone trikes are seen on Kezan way before the goblins joined the Horde and Gallywix never showed any concern over any Bilgewater goblin deaths (not surprising considering he caused more deaths among his cartel then any other character).
He was concerned about the deaths because he got to keep their death benefits, which they only got if they actually got to and fought in the battle. When the trikes were invented is a continuity error.
What can also be kind of funny is how if the trikes were invented to prevent trampling deaths, you can run over goblins. And it's funny.
Several of Richard Knaak's characters.
Rhonin: He becomes leader of the Kirin Tor over several better candidates. Knaak makes up a new member of the Windrunner family just for him to marry her and be connected to that famous high elven family. He gets to travel back in time and fight the Burning Legion. Even his name is an alteration of a title to try and make him sound cool. Though the backlash over him may be why he was Killed Off for Real in Tides of War.
Jarod Shadowsong: Some see him as being shoe-horned into the setting in the Warcraft novel Wolfheart. He's Maiev's brother, Shandris' love interest, friend to every major Night Elf character and a military commander whose skill borders on Marty Tzu quality.
Subverted with Garrosh Hellscream (thank the Earthmother). While he was appointed to the position of Warchief despite not having any tact, it also came with a long string of Break the Haughty and it's clear that most of the Horde dislikes if not hates him (hell, it's implied in Elemental Bonds that Thrall regrets appointing him). Slowly but surely he's begun to mature as well.
They might have tried to give him Character Development, but fan dislike of him has caused him to become a straight villain in Mists of Pandaria.
Varian Wrynn ever since Cataclysm. Back in Wrath, he was portrayed as an impulsive hothead who would rather let an Old God overrun a continent than work with the Horde, and tried reigniting a world war in the middle of Undercity by attacking Thrall. One expansion and a rather coldly recieved book (Wolfheart) later, and he's basically one of the most measured and respected world leaders (in-game) there is, and suddenly the whole Alliance revolves around him. People on both sides were not pleased. And they still aren't.
For context's sake, he told off Tyrande, the Night Elf leader with ten thousand years of combat experience, and came up with a better battle strategy on the spot. He has also been coronated as High King of the Alliance, basically overriding all other leaders in the faction while far too many of them extoll his virtues baselessly.
Probably the worst example comes from the book Wolfheart though, where Varian wins a battle and the loyalty of the entire nation of Gineas by essentially being shown as the avatar of Goldrinn (Lo'gosh), the wolf ancient. Not only does this make him the vessel of a demigod, it also happens to be a demigod that has almost nothing to do with his race.
Anduin Wrynn as well. He went from placeholder boy-king in wrath to somehow a Messianic Archetype in Cata and especially in Mists. Not only that, but thanks to Velen's short story, he's prophesied to be the savior of the Warcraft metastory in its entirety as the leader of the "Army of Light." He makes Go'el seem tame.
He's also the person you're following around as an Alliance character for much of Mists. It really annoyed the fanbase, seeing that he took up a lion's share of the narrative focus that could have been spent on other people.
Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Cataclysm. A nice chunk of the player base thinks that it turned all the major lore characters into a bunch of brooding sociopaths, and anyone untouched is generally pushed into the background. One would believe in the war revolving around this invisible scarcity of resources had it been shown in any zone outside one (Westfall) and if almost all factional settlements hadn't gotten a makeover, contradicting this.
The changes of the over the course of the series really rubs many people wrong. The fact that warmongering people like Garrosh and Varian are leaders of their respective factions, Jaina now hates the horde, and reasonable figures like Thrall or Malfurion do nothing to prevent any of it. Or that many races such as orcs have been Flanderized to be far more negative. Mostly it's to keep the Alliance and Horde war continuous.
Demonic Spiders: If you ever encounter a guard, you had better pray that they're part of your faction.
Some raid trash mobs have earned this reputation for having more complex mechanics than most trash, and having a very small chance of dropping loot. The six ritualists prior to Dark Animus in Throne of Thunder are largely considered to be, in some ways, more difficult than the boss itself because of their devastating Ritual Lightning.
In the Timeless Isle, while the mobs are meant to vary in difficulty, with some too strong to defeat alone (and they typically reward accordingly), the Molten Guardians are exceptionally difficult, typically attacking in either a frontal cone or a large radius around them that hits for massive damage, making them very difficult to defeat. Unfortunately, griefers often like pulling them to where the rival faction is fighting Ordos.
Designated Hero: It's certainly arguable that a large amount of the Alliance and Horde leaders have become this type of character as the expansions have progressed into Darker and Edgier territory. Many players feel that, as the factions Player Characters are most loyal to, and thus the people we should root for in the end, it's difficult to really feel for or side with either one; not only have many of the major lore figures been accused of being idolized by Blizzard's story devs (see Creator's Pet above), but it has often fallen to the so-called "neutral" factions to actually save Azeroth while the Alliance and Horde are too busy fighting each other to team up against the Big Bad of the expansion.
Thrall himself suffered from this in Cataclysm, at least in the eyes of some Alliance-only players who felt he was still biased to the Horde. While he was The Hero of the expansion, it's hard to forget that he was the enemy faction leader for a strong six years, who a) didn't shy away from fighting the Alliance in Cata, and b) regularly stepped back in to help the Horde out.
Dork Age: A fair few people will say either the first or second expansions were this. The Burning Crusade gets it for the storyline problems already mentioned, a perceived disrespect for the lore and a setting too detached from the rest of the Warcraft world (which has become something of a Scrappy world now that vanilla content has been rejigged in Cataclysm, making Outland paradoxically the oldest and grindiest level bracket). Wrath of the Lich King gets it for making heroic dungeons too easy (raid content too at first, but they implemented a lot of optional harder modes with better loot to fix that, not that anyone actually listened), a painful lack of new content for PVPers and some really ugly looking gear.
It's also worth mentioning that in Wrath, the "too easy" heroics were because more people got geared or would run with geared players and wind up walking through the dungeon so easily and only having trouble with say, Oculus. From 2008-early 2009, most people weren't complaining about heroics being "too easy" unless they were Naxxramas or Ulduar geared. They weren't as hard as the Cataclysm heroics were at launch, however. The Cataclysm heroics also got easier as people with Tier 12 or 13 gear joined the queues, more people learned how to fight the bosses, and as the bosses got a few nerfs. What happens when people in greens and blues who're at the bare minimum for heroics go into the heroics? That's right...it takes much longer than normal. The only reason it's not "as bad" as it was in late 2010 was because you're much more likely to get someone overgeared in the dungeon who just carries you through.
Mists of Pandaria is this to some players who don't approve of the simplified talent system, dislike the inclusion of a pet battling mini game, don't like the idea of a panda race in WoW, and the handling of the faction war. Another controversial idea is having to do daily quests for reputation in order to buy raid-quality gear with Valor Points, and having to get to Revered with the Golden Lotus faction before two of the other factions are unlocked. Proponents say it gets players out of the cities and into the world, while detractors say it's time-consuming (especially for players with multiple characters), boring, and players shouldn't be forced to do it if they want to gear up for raiding.
One that will most agree upon is the handling of the orcs storyline in Cataclysm, and Mists Of Pandaria due to their seeming extreme Demonization, Aesop Amnesia, and Flanderization. The positive representation of the orcs could even be counted on one hand!
Downplayed with Sylvanas. The fandom is quite aware of her grey (and greying) nature; that said, she has quite a few fans who overlook her morally questionable actions and defend her. Her appearancelikelyfactorsinto this.
A milder example lies in Illidan, since the potential for great good certainly existed in him, but it's there.
Arthas. The necessity of purging Stratholme is debatable, but after this point, he gets more and more evil over time.
Kael'thas is a notable aversion of this trope. He was unambiguously The Hero of the Alliance's TFT campaign, whose sympathetic portrayal earned him a deal of fans. However, his off-screen transformation from what one Blizzcon attendee aptly named a "well-intentioned leader" to the raving maniac we met in The Burning Crusade left a lot of said fans soured, many of whom quickly lost sympathy for him. Kael was a lot more popular as a good guy, and that's the era his fans tend to focus on.
Likewise the same with Garrosh. He was hated by many players when he appeared in WOTLK but he later appeared sympathetic early on in Cataclysm in scenes such as despairing over Magatha's poisoning of Cairne, publicly executing a Horde general that bombed an Alliance village full of innocent people (by dropping him off a cliff), and telling Sylvanas off for using the val'kyr to raise more Forsaken, saying she is going against nature and is no better than the Lich King. However, due to much of the early backlash, he was established as a full on villain in Mists of Pandaria with the goal of killing anyone that wasn't an orc and loyal to him. As with Kael, many lost sympathy for him at that point, and tended to focus on his more sympathetic characterization during Cataclysm, through you can still find players claiming he's the best Warchief the Horde has had even when he became a full-on villain.
Garithos has defenders now saying his actions against Kael'thas were justified despite the guy himself admitting he had basically set the blood elves up to be killed.
Lei Shen. Some people claim that he was a true hero who brought order to Pandaria despite the fact that he killed the last queen of the mogu and condemned her to undeath, abused the powers of Ra-Den after ripping it out from him, enforced a Master Race mentality on everyone else, and enslaved all the other races to build his temples and walls, and completely destroyed the old Pandaren culture.
Ear Worm: Since many of the game's music tracks are rather short and will repeat many times if you stay in one zone for long, this effect is pretty much guaranteed. Some tracks still deserve to be mentioned, though, like the Icecrown music in Wrath of the Lich King.
Mankrik, a minor Orc NPC searching for his wife. Pre-Cataclysm, she was a notoriously hard to find quest target, as she was labelled as "a battered corpse," rather than being referred to as his wife. As of the Cataclysm, Mankrik's wife has been properly laid to rest and Mankrik has gone on a quilboar hunting rampage to avenge her death.
And since then, shows up in Mount Hyjal as a possible squadmate for one of the daily quests where you need to kill some impressively tough elite elementals, and is one of six NPCs you must do a /wave emote to in order to get an achievement. He more than accounts for himself.
Despite (or perhaps because of) being killed off during the worgen starting experience, Liam Greymane has a following among the playerbase. Liam's further characterization during flashbacks in the short story about his father Genn only added to his popularity.
Sassy Hardwrench, the goblin player character's secretary, is often named in hypothetical plans to overthrow Gallywix.
Boss Mida, a fan made character also involved in Gallywix removal plans.
Jorin Deadeye, the son of Kilrogg Deadeye, was one of the young Mag'har leaders in Garadar. He was involved in the Lantresor of The Blade portion of the Hero of The Mag'har questline, but otherwise had little to do with the players in the zone. He displayed a natural orcish desire to answer blood with blood after his Bleeding Hollow clan were kicked out of their village by ogres, but level-headed enough to send the player to Lantresor of The Blade to negotiate a peace agreement which ended in success. Since he was Put on a Bus after The Burning Crusade and Mists of Pandaria carried a glut of orc character deaths, many players have expressed a desire for Jorin to return to fill the gap.
John J. Keeshan and Bravo Company, although Keeshan himself borders on Memetic Badass status, as he is a RamboExpy.
Rheastraza, just for the Tear Jerker quest line she is involved in. Also, the unhatched black dragon egg she purified, although it's not even born, is one of two player favorite candidates regarding the future leader of the black dragonflight.
It can't hurt her popularity that in the rogue legendary questline and and Mists of Pandariawe get to meet Wrathion, who is himself quite well liked and who hatched from that very egg.
Asric and Jadaar, a male blood elf and a male draenei respectively. The two would trade insults while investigating Griftah's activities in Shattrath during The Burning Crusade expansion. Fan reaction to the two prompted Blizzard to bring them back in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. They (along with several other beloved NPCs) can now also be spotted visiting the revamped Darkmoon Faire.
GrandMagisterRommath, in an inversion of a Creator's Pet. The writers never seemed too fond of him, and even set him up for a fall as a Twilight Cultist mook for some inexplicable reason (it didn't help that Blizzard has a track record of singling out its darker and more ambiguous characters as easy raid boss material) in Cataclysm. However, they reconsidered after a fair bit of fan outrage was incurred, and Rommath went on to receive some positive development in In the Shadow of the Sun and Mists of Pandaria.
Though Rommath in particular stands out, all three of the blood elf leaders are popular to some degree, lack of narrative relevance or not. Before Mists, the bulk of Lor'themar's character development was derived from a fanfic of which he was the protagonist (well, he was in a manga too...), and his lack of attention was a common lore gripe. Halduron Brightwing, too; he was a major character in said fanfic, and also the protagonist in another finalist's piece of work (detailing his thoughts on the Quel'Delar chain) years later. Lady Liadrin is also a popular blood elf, despite not appearing in person (save a brief and easy to miss cameo in Wrath) since TBC.
Cro Threadstrong, an Orc NPC in Shattrath who yells about waging war with a nearby apple vendor.
Sabellian, Deathwing's younger son who is a questgiver in Outland. As of late, there have been several calls for Sabellian, who is much less evil and more sane than his father, to take control of the Black Dragonflight after Deathwing's inevitable demise at the hands of players.
Sky Admiral Catherine Rogers, the new captain of the gunship The Skyfire in Mists of Pandaria, was very well received by some Alliance players for her hard-line stance against the Horde, while at the same time being a competent commander.
It's unlikely Onyxia would have been gotten away with a thousandth of what she got away with if not for people's assumption that she was the returned King's mistress and previously Bolvar's. In all likelihood, she really was the returned Varian's mistress for the short time she had him spellbound.
High Inquisitor Whitemane, Mother Shahraz, Blood Queen Lana'thel, and many others.
For animated corpses, both Sylvanas, and Death Knights in general sure maintain an... uhm... well-honed bodies.
Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Many of the pandaren fables are quite poignant and elegantly conveyed, but some players feel that several of them fall flat in context. In particular, Inkeeper Tong's opinion that two vast superpowers in the middle of a violent war serve as essential foils to one another (rather than, say, advocating a cease of hostilities, peace, or the absorption of one into the other) whose constant battling only "makes them stronger" is, at best, an incredibly dubious way to look at a damaging and bloody conflict that's resulted in countless lives lost. That the narrative treats Tong's detractor as being petulant and wrong to contest this is also jarring; really, the entire sequence seems like an excuse to keep the factions fighting in a climate that logically shouldn't support it after Mists of Pandaria's outcome.
Fan Hater: One of the most plagued games by this. Many fanhaters also refuse to acknowledge that the game actually isn't addictive and it's not causing the players to give up their lives.
Players of EVE Online seem to have a major superiority complex about World of Warcraft. Mention World of Warcraft in any forum or in the in-game chat in Eve and you'll be buried in people shouting "Eve is a much more complex and difficult game and World of Warcraft is the training wheels of the internet and..." It's rather sad considering Eve itself has enough Fan Haters that its playerbase could be expected to be a little wiser.
Mentioning World of Warcraft is practically taboo in the Guild Wars community. Anyone suggesting implementation of a feature from or making a comparison to World of Warcraft on a Guild Wars fan forum is quickly shot down by legions of other members insisting "Guild Wars is nothing like that piece of crap" and all but calling the initial poster an idiot for liking World of Warcraft. Invariably at least one person will bring up the Skinner box argument that "you only enjoy it because they're manipulating your psychology." This really is the case with GW fans and any P 2 P MMO (Aion, Rift, etc... SWTOR is the current punching bag), but World of Warcraft is generally the most loathed.
Foe Yay: In Wrath of the Lich King, the Lich King and Tirion Fordring have it in spades.
Varian/Garrosh is practically the fandom's memetic OTP.
Kil'jaeden's obsession with Velen crosses over into this on more than one occasion.
Asric and Jadaar.
Thassarian and Koltira.
Fountain of Memes: Arguably the game itself, but for more a more specific example, Garrosh Hellscream has a few in the Cataclysm expansion: "YOU. ARE. DISMISSED!", "GET OFF MY SHIIIP!!" and "Watch your clever mouth, bitch!"
Fridge Horror: One of Cataclysm's new professions is Archaeology, which lets you dig up artifacts from dig sites around the world. While most sites are ruins, one such site is the Ancestral Burial Grounds in Nagrand. You know, one of the most revered sites to the Orc race, where High Overlord Saurfang promised to place his son's body after his death in Icecrown, a likely resting place of Thrall's ancestors and even your own if you play an Orc. As an Orc, you're digging up your own ancestors' graves for Vendor Trash and skillups. However, as a dissenting view - the only archaeological sites humans dig up are humans.
Genius Bonus: A fan noticed that some of the blue- and purple-quality items in the first tier of Cataclysm are named after lines from Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale". The more she looked, the more references she found to 19th and 20th century poetry, from Wordsworth to T.S. Eliot.
Many sets of gear have themes of naming, such as references to the boss's abilities or the boss itself. For example, Flameweaver Koegler, a boss of the revamped Scarlet Halls who is burning books, drops "Bradbury's Entropic Leggings", which is a reference to Ray Bradbury, who wrote Fahrenheit451
Goddamned Bats: Famously, Murlocs, which hang out in close packs that love to aggro en masse on unwary players. Burning Crusade for its part introduced true flying enemies, the most annoying of which are the Kaliri, which attack out of nowhere and can knock you off your flying mount if they hit you from behind.
The minor elementals (fire, earth, water and air) deserve a mention. They're extremely irritating and have erratic pathing. Which results in you being forced to fight them (usually thanks to the dazed mechanic). It doesn't help they're immune to their respective element, but they're usually easy to kill.
A swarm of twilight drakes attacks before the Ultraxion battle. They have low health, but there's enough of them that it can be somewhat tedious fighting all of them.
One Vale of Eternal Blossoms daily requires you to go into the spirit world and free the souls of some Pandaren. There are ghost-like monsters in there that can attack you, which forces you back into the real world. You have to defeat them and walk back over to the device that sends you to the spirit world before you can continue freeing souls. It used to be possible to avoid the ghosts by freeing the spirits from a flying mount, but now, freeing a spirit dismounts you, leaving you vulnerable to attack on the ground.
Some actual bats- Greater Cave Bats, to be precise- in Throne of Thunder before the Tortos encounter have a raid-wide interrupt that must be interrupted, and you have to pull at least three at a time, among other mobs. The vampire bat adds on the boss also count, as they can replenish their own health if the person tanking them drops too low.
Goddamned Boss: Several of them, typically ones that immobilize the raid at certain points or ones in which overleveled groups must take care not to break the encounter with their increased DPS (for example, before he was patched to make him solo-able, it was easy to defeat Kalecgos, but if you defeat his dragon form before Sarthrovarr inside him, you would have to try again).
And for solo players wanting to clear out old content for Transmog gear or achievements, there are several bosses which are easy to kill but near-impossible to solo due to fight mechanics - the twins (have to be kept away from each other) and C'Thun (you can't get out of his stomach alone) in AQ 40, and the first boss of Blackwing lair (who must be mind controlled to destroy eggs and not die himself) as examples.
Bosses that feature waves of enemies can be somewhat annoying if you're over-geared, since if you have far more than the required DPS, you end up spending more time waiting around, instead of killing the boss more quickly. Examples include the Tribunal of the Ages in the Halls of Stone, the Commander Vo'jak encounter in Siege of Niuzao Temple, the Galakras encounter in Siege of Orgrimmar, and the entirety of the Battle for Mount Hyjal raid.
Godwin's Law: It's unknown whether it was intentional on Blizzard's part, Garrosh's life story appears to have several parallels to Adolf Hitler's, see his character page for more information.
Good Bad Bugs: In Lost city of the Tol'vir, a few ranged players discovered a glitch that allowed them to jump onto a statue during a boss fight with Lockmaw and plink away. The adds summoned by the boss never touch them, and for the most part it's impossible for them to pull aggro, and thus much easier to kill Lockmaw and get the achievement for killing all the crocolisks. This was removed.
For a while, it was entirely possible to progress on the "A Complete Circuit" achievement for Lei Shen, in which you must defeat him at least four times, overloading each of the four quadrants of the room, on Looking for Raid difficulty. This enabled some people to get the achievement without having to do him on Normal mode, or if they were able to do it on Normal mode, overloading any quadrant other than Diffusion Chain (the most troublesome ability, a chain lightning that spawns adds for each person hit) first.
Growing the Beard: The game was infamous for its questing: while trying to avert completely depending on Level Grinding, it pretty much invented Twenty Bear Asses, leveling was filled with boring, irrelevant sidequests no one cares about. Now with Cataclysm update many locations were reshaped in such a way so each zone tells a story and most sidequests are directly tied into it. The game is becoming more and more convenient over the years too, with things such as Dungeon Finder that lets you forget about crying "LFG" for hours being drowned out by people selling things.
You'd actually be very surprised how little people pay attention to it.
Darion when he receive his father's soulstone from the player.
A minor one, but one nonetheless especially for new players questing in Durotar, some Orc NPCs upon bidden farewell will say "Be safe", and set the player on their way. Some female Orc NPCs say it as well, but not with as much caring and compassion.
More than the Orcs is the way Goblin NPCs say "Hurry back". Male Goblins (especially the ones with high-pitched squeeky voices) sound like they're saying "Hurry back (with your gold)"; female Goblins sound like they are really worried for your safety... or the safety of your gold, either way, they sound genuinly concerned.
Harsher in Hindsight: Jaina's Resolution, if you know what happens later, She goes on about how it's not right to force the Blood elves to renounce their loyalty to the horde, and merely days later, the Blood elves take her trust, and stab her in the back, taking the Divine Bell from Darnassus, and all only possible because Jaina trusted them. And it's because Garrosh has the bell, that Anduin nearly died.
If played from the Horde standpoint though, both Grand Magister Rommath and Aethas Sunreaver have this as well.
Rommath was originally Kael'thas's liaison with Silvermoon and spent all of his time reassuring the Blood Elves that yes, their Prince was going to save them. Flash forward to the end of Burning Crusade, Kael'thas is clearly nuts, tries to bring Kil'jaeden into the world, and is slain at Magister's Terrace. Rommath, realizing just how wrong he was, stands with his people and helps kill him. Several characters note however, that Rommath still hasn't gotten over this entirely however, as he believed in Kael'thas wholeheartedly, and tried to justify some of the Prince's more dubious actions before the end. Three expansions later, and he still hasn't quite forgiven himself.
Aethas Sunreaver was the leader of the Sunreaver faction of the Kirin Tor and openly supported his people rejoining Dalaran in the Nexus War, arguing that Dalaran had never wanted to betray them and just didn't have a choice because of Garithos. Later, in Mists, he is momentarily corrupted by the Sha, and reveals that he'd like nothing better than to split from Garrosh's Horde and heal old bridges with Dalaran and others of the Alliance. Flash forward to the end of the Dominance Offensive storyline, and his position in Dalaran is manipulated by Garrosh's agents who steal the Divine Bell without his knowledge, and Jaina Proudmoore marks him as a traitor. She then purges the city of all Blood Elves, killing or imprisoning all who aren't saved by the player and Rommath, and Aethas is barely saved and brought back to Lor'themar, now an exile of the city he wanted to rejoin so badly he risked himself for it.
Hilarious in Hindsight / "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Said by a quest giver in Stormwind on a level 30 quest chain: "The Defias Brotherhood, you say? Well, you're certainly the bearer of wonderful news, aren't you? Next you're going to tell me that Deathwing is still alive and attacking the city." Yeah, about that...
One of the loading screen tips says: "Bring your friends to Azeroth, but remember to go out of Azeroth with them as well". When Burning Crusade, which mainly takes place in Outland, came out there was a rather glaring loophole in that statement...
In the Alliance questline before Twilight Highlands, in which you help Anduin thwart a Twilight's Hammer plot to blow up Stormwind, the Black Bishop refers to you, Anduin's bodyguard and investigative partner, as a "pawn". Anduin's code name early on in Mists of Pandaria is "The White Pawn," which is an amusing coincidence.
The Pandaren have existed since 2002, but were not brought in the forefront (i.e., becoming a playable race) until around 2012, after which a franchise came out featuring a, for lack of a better term... Kung Fu Panda.
In 2013, a breed of cat was developed, called the Lykoi cat (or "werewolf cat"). It looks more than a little like the worgen druid cat form, particularly with the fur pattern around the face.
Stepping through the Dark Portal into the broken world of Outland for the first time (and right into the middle of a battle between the Alliance & Horde and an army of demons) in Burning Crusade was up there as well.
Hypocritical Hatedom: Whenever an article about how New Media Are Evil shows up, if the New media that's being demonized is World of Warcraft, the comments will often be (stupidly) agreeing with it or saying "This is proof that WOW is evil". Whereas if an article had said the same thing about any other game would have gamers are up in arms about it and saying "See? Typical scapegoating BS".
Internet Backdraft: Where do we even start? Forum MVP Palehoof gives a good rundown here of all of the various changes Blizzard has made to the game that caused the community to revolt. You can see/add more examples on the Internet Backdraft page itself. It's notable that three of these have actually been successful in getting Blizzard to change its policies: the outcry against the ban of a GLBT guild for forum advertising, the firestorm that came from Blizzard's announcement in July 2010 that the forums would begin requiring users to post with their real names, and the outcry against charging customers a fee to use the Real ID cross realm dungeon finder.
Blizzard faced an intense community backlash against the new "Worgen racial mounts", which are actually a copy and paste job on some Human horse mount models minus the saddles, that were announced to be included in the 4.3 patch.
The announcement of Mists of Pandaria was rife with this.
At Blizzcon 2011, Samwise Didler and Greg "Corpsegrinder", during an Elite Tauren Chieftain performance, played a video that bashed the Alliance using a string of homophobic insults and telling Alliance to commit suicide. Community manager Bashiok tried to pass it off as being "Just a joke, not to be taken seriously", which made matters worse. Blizzard has since owed up to this and publicly apologized for it.
Developer statements that, in Mists of Pandaria, Garrosh will be overthrown as Warchief, with Thrall taking his place, have been met with considerable scorn from players. Among others, complaints often came from fans who are sick of Thrall being, by their view, a Spotlight StealingCreator's Pet, and Alliance players who are angry that they were forced to work with Thrall on numerous occasions throughout Cataclysm because Blizzard was trying so hard(to varying degrees of success, depending on who you ask) to make him a neutral character, only for it to be implied that Thrall will immediately be returning to the Warchief seat with absolutely no repercussions for leaving the Horde in Cataclysm. The specific reactions varied between straight-up hatred for Thrall, to numerous discussions over who would be a better option for Warchief, with Vol'jin and Saurfang being popular options. However, some later posts indicate that Blizzard may have changed their minds about that decision.
At the start of the Beta for Mists of Pandaria, Ji Firepaw's first interaction with the player was complimenting their skills and being buddy buddy with them (if male) or flirting with them in a very blunt way (if female). Despite being such a small, one-off comment, this line wound up setting off a long backlash about sexism in video gaming. Eventually blizzard caved and changed it, which shifted the problem towards people who liked Ji's characterization as a Chivalrous lech (the lech being a common character in a lot of asian literature.) and how blizzard was caving in to people being overly sensitive. Eventually blizzard settled for having a line of dialogue where Ji lampshades this while observing Aysa meditating, worrying if she would find him creepy if he was too forward, or had no personality if he tried to compliment her skill and just that.
Four words: Elune is a Naaru. Utter this phrase on any World of Warcraft-related forum and watch the angry reactions of the night elf fans. This theory first made its way into the fandom via an opinion piece disguised as a lore article at WoW Insider, which was greeted with massive amount of anger on the boards. This theory appears to have been backed by Blizzard, not once, but twice in their "Ask C Dev" question series. The latest incarnation of "Ask C Dev" answered 18 fan questions, one of which is a reword of the "Is Elune a Naaru?" question from the previous entry, and most of the comments section consists almost entirely of people arguing with others about the answer to this particular question.
The nerfs that were implemented during Patch 4.2 made one particular World of Warcraft player, TotalBiscuit, declare his permanent retirement for the game, claiming that the game was "no longer for him", even though he himself employed a lot of the criticisms displayed on this page. Though his actual reasons have shifted over time, with a few citing him putting his foot in his mouth over a few opinions he had to some of the questions he got for his shows and others citing his work schedule being at fault for him not getting too much time to play the game as much as he used to, among other things, the end result was that since he had many Blind Sheep fans, they too began bad-mouthing World of Warcraft simply because he did the same thing for a long time afterwards. This is despite him being a good friend of fellow YouTube gamer Jessie Cox, who still plays World of Warcraft regularly and made a counter video to the fans that shared TB's views over the nerfs around the same time TB declared his retirement (and who some thought was indirectly in response TO TB's initial reasons for his World of Warcraft departure).
The stat squish introduced in patch 6.0.2 and whether or not it's balanced. Say something negative about it, like it's causing the game to be way too difficult, and expect a flame war.
Of course, one rather funny thing is that people said heroics in "Wrath" were too easy...when most of the people saying this were decked out in top-of-the-line raiding gear, and with only a few exceptions (Namely black morass), the same thing that happened to Wrath's "Easy heroics" happened there. Even in 2011, people said that the "heroics" were "dumbed down" when, again, they were once again all decked out in raiding gear that made them significantly overgeared for the simple heroics. This also isn't taking into consideration that several instances still require coordination and crowd control.
To an extent, Mists of Pandaria's heroics are getting this, particularly in that the Heroic modes for the 5-man instances introduced in Pandaria do not have new mechanics.
Sylvanas is quite sympathetic, but she also holds the living in contempt and can often be fairly icy and brusque to those with whom she deals.
Fandral Staghelm. Sure, he's arrogant bastard, but seeing what he's been through, it's really hard to blame him. Seeing how patriotic he is when it comes to night elves, it probably pained him a lot to see what happened to his race, and not to mention how the silithid butchered his beloved son just as a way to break him. His coin in the Dalaran fountain just adds the woobiedom:
Fandral Staghelm's Silver Coin: The War of the Shifting Sands... I wish I could forget it ever happened.
Genn Greymane, due to the events unfolding in Gilneas, including the Worgen curse and the Forsaken invasion which cost him his kingdom and the life of his son Liam.
Leyara, in her first appearance, she's a Druid of the Flame and burns Hamuul Runetotem to death (almost), after he points out that she killed several of his students, and is seriously pissed of at Malfurion Stormrage for some reason. Later when Malfurion finally confronts her, she strikes him down, and while gloating over how she killed Hamuul, said Tauren appears and kills her. Shortly after, players are mailed a locket found in the Molten Front that reveals that she was the wife of Fandral Staghelm's son, and they had a daughter before he was killed in Silithus; later her daughter was killed during a Horde attack, and she blamed Malfurion for not doing anything to save them. Not surprising she'd follow her father-in-law to joining Ragnaros for revenge.
Varian Wrynn has a great deal of responsibility for the escalating Horde-Alliance tensions, and is hot-tempered and impulsive, often with many negative consequences. As a child, he lost his father to Garona and saw Stormwind overrun, lost his wife to the Defias riots, and now has a strained relationship with his son Anduin, which motivates him to try to work on his temper.
Jaina Proudmoore is heading toward this after Tides Of War and Patch 5.1. Her ruthless devotion to fighting the enemy, such as considering destroying Orgrimmar and expelling the Sunreavers from Dalaran gets her multiple What the Hell, Hero? speeches from neutrals and members of the Alliance, even hard-liners like Varian, and she often coldly brushes them off, sometimes while calling the person a coward. However, not only did she lose her entire city, but she has had a history of fighting for peace, only to be let down or betrayed by virtually everyone else, making her bitterness understandable.
Atramedes from Blackwing Descent is somewhat sadistic in battling the players, but he was also blinded in a failed experiment to grant him "sight beyond sight," almost disposed of right then and there, and only kept along out of a belief that he might be useful. When defeated, he says "This miserable existence finally ends..."
Like You Would Really Do It: King Varian and Lord Lor'Themar talking peace, trying to get the Blood Elves to leave the Horde, too bad Jaina ruined it. For the sake of gameplay balance, as well as the hassle to players who find their Horde toons suddenly Alliance-aligned, the Horde isn't going to lose any of its races even though Garrosh Hellscream has given more than half of them (Blood Elves, Forsaken, Tauren, Trolls) plenty of reasons to bail. Storywise, it comes down to Garrosh threatening anyone with treason if they try to leave, or pissing off the Alliance so they counter attack and cut-off a chance at peace negotiations. The overall plot of Mists is having Garrosh piss off everybody so that the entire Horde dumps Garrosh, instead of leaving one at a time.
Love to Hate: Many of the villains, in particular Arthas, Ner'Zhul, Kel'Thuzad, Gul'Dan, Cho'Gall, Gallywix, Illidan, Kael'Thas, Deathwing, Azshara, Drakuru, Lei Shen and Kil'Jaeden. Sylavanas is also this to those that view her as a villain.
Through people either hate him for being a poorly and inconsistently characterized Jerk Ass turned Warchief and giving the horde a bad name or like his characterization in Cataclysm better and view his role as a villain in MOP as an Ass Pull that furthered said characterization problems, there are some fans that genuinely like Garrosh as a villain in Mists of Pandaria.
Magnificent Bastard: Kil'jaeden. They don't call him The Deceiver for nothing. He studied the Orcs for years before slowly misleading them with false visions and promises of power. They were so enthralled that eventually he was able to appear before them in his true form and almost no one noticed or cared that he looked exactly like the people they were killing because he told them to. And he made such a smooth transition from "this is the will of the ancestors" to "the old ways are weak and worthless, bow down to me now" that no one realized what was happening until it was too late.
Drakuru. An ice troll who is friendly enough to talk to you and actually genuinely appears to like you. He came out of nowhere, was trapped in a cage as a lowbie mob, and without leaving his cage or really telling you much of anything except he had a cool idea and wants to learn some stuff, manipulates you into taking down the entire Drakkari empire. By the time you get to Zul'Drak, the trolls inside are almost all dead or killing and eating their own deities in a desperate attempt to stave off the Scourge. He is very much Affably Evil as well. When he gets his "reward" from Arthas — death and resurrection as a powerful Death Knight — he offers you the same "benefit" as your reward for helping him gain the position. When you turn it down, he doesn't get pissed off and try to strike you down, but instead, acknowledges your choice, thanks you for your help, and gives you a very nice piece of equipment.
Which, in turn, is not the end of the story. He creates a cursed choker designed to turn you into an undead creature. Yes, you - the player character specifically. It is used as a disguise in a Knights of The Ebon Blade questline to take the cunning troll down from within. When you meet him in-disguise he's delighted to see you again, telling you that a place as his right-hand man is part of the Lich King's plans for you, and makes you privy to all his deepest, darkest schemes - entirely unawareof yourtrue nature.
Loken. Just about every stage of your unwitting complicity in his plan involves you doing nice things for people — rescuing an enslaved innocent, repairing relations between a bereaved demigod and his former friends — and half the time he didn't even have to tell you to do it. Then the last Watcher remaining at large and uncorrupted is captured by Yogg-Saron as you look on, helpless to do anything to stop it and knowing that you made it possible. Pity he then forgot the Evil Overlord List prohibition against "laughing at him then leaving him to his own devices".
Wrathion. He starts off by managing to escape the captivity of the Red Dragonflight, the rogues of Ravenholdt Manor, and with the help of a cat's paw, wiped out pretty much every living black dragon on Azeroth, including those that thought themselves immune due to their service to him. That's right, he wiped out his entire family. With Deathwing dead and Sabellian off on Outland, that leaves Wrathion if not the only black dragon in existence, then the one with the best chance of pulling the flight along in the direction he wants it to go. His actions escalate in MOP when he manipulates all the factions for his purpose and frees Garrosh at the end of War Crimes to escape to Draenor, all for an end goal of stopping the Burning Legion.
Area-effect target caps were implemented after Saurfang used Cleave on Stormwind and it shattered Draenor.
Hogger, the boss capable of being brought down by level one gnomes, also applies. This eventually escalated to where the best guild was pitted against an elite, level cap, nigh unkillable version of Hogger. The Armory website also tracks each character's stats for "deaths by Hogger."
Misaimed Fandom: You're not supposed to agree with Malygos in Wrath of the Lich King, people. No matter how profoundly wrong Blizzard make their characters, there will always be someone on the official forums to claim they're right.
Mis-blamed: The mob respawn rates at the start of Cataclysm actually weren't entirely Blizzard's fault; they were a programming oversight. The insane respawn rates were due to so many players clogging the zones at once that they respawned almost instantly. This was because during Burning crusade's launch, the mob respawn rate stayed at normal levels, and with the area packed with new players, any mob that spawned and was necessary to kill for a quest would be instantly tagged and wiped out. Players would form groups so that at least 5 people at once could get credit for a kill, but it didn't help much. Thereafter, Blizzard made respawn rates dynamic, at least in these heavily-populated areas, which led to the opposite problem.
On the forums, people tend to blame players of the other faction for story direction they have no control over.
Moe: Mylune, a Dryad with Puppy-Dog Eyes that gives you quests to save the critters that roam around a burning forest. She even squees.
Moral Event Horizon: Arthas crossed the line long ago and continues to get more evil over time. Through where and when is a toss-up between the usage of Mercenaries to burn his own ships and the subsequent betrayal of said mercenaries to ensure his men continue to fight Mal'Ganis, the death of his father, the merging with Ner'Zhul, or when he killed Ner'zhul and banishes his good half to remain in control of the Lich King. Some also view his Culling of Stratholme as one, through it is very debatable to what extent was it justified.
Varimathras and his faction of the Forsaken triggered this trope when they betrayed both the Horde and Alliance at the Wrathgate, killing thousands of soldiers on both sides (although one of the more notable Alliance casualties turned up later) and reigniting the Horde vs. Alliance war.
One particular group of Naga damn well crossed it in The Blasted Lands during Cataclysm. They betrayed and enslaved the entire Murloc population in the zone, even the babies. Hate Murlocs or not, that is just God damn depressing.
At one point you are asked by a group of mostly peaceful hunter gatherers to literally bag up the children of their enemies so that they can raise them themselves. This is either this trope for yourself (for agreeing to do it), the people who sent you on the task in the first place, Moral Dissonance, or any combination of the aforementioned.
There is also the issue that many players don't believe that the Tuskarr really intend to raise the Wolvar pups in the first place. The fact that the Tuskarr village is right by the sea lends itself to some serious Fridge Horror.
Also, there are no pups to be seen in the village, and the questgiver has a knife.
In Uldum, a friend of Harrison Jones is working to build a traveling circus and asks you to capture a few pygmies (gnome-like humanoids who, while not intelligent, are quite sentient). So, yeah. A "good guy" just asked you to be his personal slave driver. If you were not the player, you would be the villain.
Malygos crossed the Moral Event Horizon in a few ways (kidnapping, torturing and brainwashing Keristraza, and forcing mages to work for him under threat of their families being killed), but the realization that he's redirecting leylines to power his dragonflight (which places all of Azeroth in danger of Arcane emanating cracks in the earth causing mass deaths and Arcane madness as seen by what happened in Winterfin Village, Lothalor Woodlands and Indu'le Village) is what causes Alextrasza to reluctantly call for his death.
Deathwing crossed the Moral Event Horizon by betraying the other dragonflights and using the Demon Soul's power to kill off most of the Blue Dragonflight, and now planning Azeroth's destruction. The Red Dragonflight considers the Black Dragonflight beyond redemption in Cataclysm.
Dar'Khan letting Arthas in to have his people get slaughtered.
The entire story arc surrounding Keristrasza was designed to make the players hate Malygos enough to kill him. Or at least was supposed to.
In the Horde's eyes, for the Alliance there's the dwarves of Bael'dun massacring Stonespire village in cold blood to steal their land after rejecting diplomacy, then sending troops to firebomb Camp Taurajo. You don't feel bad when they get blown up by their own cannon.
For Garrosh's Horde, there's detonating a mana bomb on Theramore, almost completely annihilating the city and the Alliance Forces fighting there, are early signs of their descent down slippery slope. And then Jaina gets close to that point when she prepares to do something similar to Orgrimmar, but gets talked down.
Lei Shen crossed it in "The Pandaren Problem," where he made speaking the Pandaren tongue a crime punishable by death and destroyed many Pandaren works of art, resulting in the death of countless innocent people and the loss of a great amount of Pandaren culture, as the Pandaren language essentially died.
Most Annoying Sound: Not enough energy, Not enough rage, Not enough mana, I can't carry anymore, That would be stealing, I need to get closer, That ability isn't ready yet. Also nasty things bosses say when they kick your ass (particularly ones who can kill in rapid succession, such as after the tank dies). Certain pet noises, the Piccolo, the train set, Lil' XT... the list goes on. Fortunately, at least the error messages can be turned off in the options menu, and there's a tiny robot you can buy whose only purpose is to smash train sets.
Never Live It Down: Many, many fans consider Garrosh's killing of Cairne to be his Moral Event Horizon, though the entire affair was full of mitigating factors and was treated as a grey and ambiguous conflict (Garrosh was innocent, but brashly upped the stakes; Cairne's accusations were wrong, but was winning the duel before a betrayal cost him his life) for both parties. Interestingly enough, Baine believes that Garrosh was partly to blame for his father's death, but resolves to work with him for the sake of the Horde until Garrosh does even more terrible things and is about to tear the Horde apart.
Jaina's brief tenure as a tunnel-visioned warmonger in Tides of War caused many players to claim that "Jaina Proudmoore died at Theramore." They seem to forget that this was by and large addressed in the very same book, and even at her worst she's never approached that mindset since. An even worse example came with the Purge of Dalaran, which is seen as her Moral Event Horizon by some players, despite the conflict being deliberately grey with no clear moral victor.
For that matter, Aethas Sunreaver's mishandling of the purge is something few fans are willing to forget. Whether you're on his side of the argument or not, few disagree that he screwed up big time when the chips fell.
In a classic case of We Want Our Jerk Back, Lady Liadrin is seen by some fans as having been watered down by her redemption arc at the end of the Sunwell Plateau, compounded by her then not appearing in the story for the next six years. Her later appearances paint her as far more moderate and heroic than her quests in The Burning Crusade, but not without some greyness.
Both Jaina and Liadrin have created Broken Bases however; just as many outspoken fans prefer the new directions of these characters.
Blizzard's writers themselves have received flak for their handling of certain characters. The fates that befell Kael'thas, Vashj and Illidan are frequently held up as Blizzard's writing at its worst.
Nostalgia Filter: Consider how much of the game changed since its release in 2004. Several classes, especially the hybrids, actually are playable and actually work the way you would expect them to. Content is actually not being wasted by locking the majority of the playerbase out by attunement chains. (Most of the Can't Catch Up was caused by other players, though, so it's not Bizzard and Vivendi's fault since they didn't intend for selfish players to refuse to help their friends in need.)
And the Elemental Invasion. Wait around the cities and someone's going to say how the Zombie Invasion was better and that the fandom rejoiced. This is ignoring how, during the zombie invasion, there was just as much complaining about how many people were interrupted by zombies or how much they event sucked and should have been optional.
Attunement in general. This supposedly weeded out the "Bad players" back in the day, when all it took to get attuned was to be lucky enough to find a group that formed for it, especially on some servers like most Wasteland EST PvP Servers. This lead to a Can't Catch Up in which perfectly good players were stuck waiting for an attunement group to form while everyone else was busy trying to get the bosses down.
And evidently people used to "need a brain" to get to end-game. Evidently, "Needing a brain" meant "being able to be lucky to have a group that would do convoluted attunement chains" and "having the free time to run dungeons enough to get gear so the guilds would even look at you."
With the Mists Of Panderia leak, some of the playerbase has accused the Pandaren concept of (among other things) ripping off Kung Fu Panda. The Pandaren started out as an April Fool's joke by artist Samwise Didier that proved so popular that it led to their debut as neutral heroes in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, years before Kung Fu Panda even came out.
To quote one person on the forum, "How can you tell the people who've been playing since Frozen Throne? They're the ones who aren't saying the Pandaren are Kung Fu Panda ripoffs."
When Cataclysm was announced, there was outcry from the fanbase declaring that Deathwing is a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere, while in reality he has been a fixture in Warcraft lore since Warcraft II - albeit a largely unseen and inactive one whose nature and backstory was largely covered in tie-in book series The War of The Ancients.
When futuristic naaru technology appeared in The Burning Crusade, there have also been a lot of complaints that this kind of technology doesn't belong in World of Warcraft because it is fantasy, not sci-fi, ignoring the fact that advanced technology (although admittedly not as advanced) existed in Warcraft since 1995.
Play the Game, Skip the Story: Most players ignore what NPCs actually say and just look at the quest requirements. Story? Plotting? To the majority of players, it may as well not exist. Interestingly, Blizzard is aware of this and Word of God says that quest designers are explicitly limited in the amount of text they can put into a quest description to avoid "Too Long Didn't Read" syndrome.
For that matter, even when Cataclysm redid most of the old world to include bigger story arcs, everyone else pretty much ignored it and rushed to 85 as fast as they could and complained that there was no content.
On the other hand, the many people who claim that "noone enjoys the old world changes" may be an indicator that it's not all that bad.
Any time a boss has a pre-fight speech longer than 30 seconds, expect to see players typing "/yawn" or various snarky commentary. And any time a post-fight dialogue scene happens, such as the scene after the Alliance version of the Deathbringer fight in Icecrown Citadel, players will often be on their way to the next boss before it ends.
The developers seem aware of this to an extent. In many cases, if you've been to a dungeon before, it's possible to talk to an NPC to get an abridged version of a dialogue scene, such as asking to skip the pageantry before Trial of the Champion's first battles. It's also become increasingly common for bosses to give a relatively long speech as you're approaching them, and a simple one-liner as you pull them.
Garrosh Hellscream replaced Thrall as leader of the Horde. Considering that Thrall is well-loved both by the player base and in-universe, some of this is bound to happen. Even if Garrosh's character was becoming more likable and competent, he would still get some scrappism for the act of displacing Thrall alone.
Though, since Thrall has become more and more of a blatant Creator's Pet throughout Cataclysm, more and more players are changing their minds about this, and now there was a new outcry starting now that the creators have stated their intent to reinstate Thrall as Warchief at the end of Mists of Pandaria, until Vol'jin actually became Warchief.
Some fans see Lor'themar as this to Kael'thas as leader of the Blood Elves. It didn't help when Kael got Killed Off for Real.
Attempted with Gallywix in the short stories, but like Garrosh, time will tell if it is sucessful..
The Scrappy: Fandral Staghelm is the game's original Jerk Ass, albeit with some justification - seeing your son ripped apart by the Qiraji can't have been good for his morale. The players hatred of him likely played part in him turning evil in the latest novel, and eventually, becoming a boss in the Firelands. Later, Garrosh Hellscream takes the title from him in unequivocal fashion, being introduced in Outland as a barely competent leader who nevertheless comes to stand by Thrall's right hand in Northrend while being unremittingly hostile to the Alliance and sabotaging his Warchief's attempts to make peace at every opportunity. And he becomes the leader of the Horde in Cataclysm.
Put it this way: Cairne "Nice-grandfatherly-type-who-wants-to-teach-and-nurture-all-of-you" Bloodhoof tries to kill him!
Trade Prince Gallywix, leader of the playable Bilgewater Goblins. When Kezan's volcano explodes, he extorts your goblin character's life savings in an apparent deal to save you and your friends from certain death, only to reveal that the rescue boat is a slave ship and you're the new cargo. This in addition to purposefully causing the deaths of many bilgewater Goblins, and making prejudiced comments about orcs. Thrall reappointing him forno real reason only makes thing much worse. MOP leaving him in charge, while far more likable characters like Zaela, or Nazgrim bit the bullet hasn't helped either. Nor have the attempts at Character Shilling. To put it simply, Gallywix is The Load, Straw Loser, Bad Boss, and Hate Sink all rolled into one, thus many are suspicious of the attempts by writers to say "No, no, he's really a nice guy who cares about the goblin..he just allies with the enemies of his cartel...to kill his own people.."
Many characters created by Richard Knaak gets this treatment from the playerbase, especially Rhonin (in Knaak's later works). It goes so far that he even gets blamed for characters he had nothing to do with (like Med'an). Most of the Dragon Aspects invented by him barring Deathwing and Alexstrazza, tend to be immune to this.
Koltira Deathweaver tends to evoke mixed reactions from the playerbase. He is generally portrayed as less competent than his Alliance equivalent, Thassarian (who not only killed Koltira in his backstory, but spends a chunk of the death knight starting zone saving him from capture; and, in fact, seems poised to rescue him again in their current arc), and consistently requires player help to do the most basic of tasks, such as... powering his runeblade for him. Conversely, Thassarian spends his earlier quests compelling the Scourge to cower before him, culminating in an encounter with the Lich King himself and his blood prince lieutenant. Slight disparity. Perhaps because of these Koltira is more popular with Alliance players then Horde.
Aggra seems to be getting this lately, fans are flaunting that her introduction in supplemental materials and her relationship with Thrall which ends in the two becoming married seemed far too rushed and poorly fleshed out.
Well...that, and "tsundere" is pretty much her only personality trait. At all.
For the people who read the Expanded Universe, Med'an is this, as he said to be amongst the most triumphant examples of the Canon Sue. He is a son of two popular characters (Garona and Medivh), making him a unique hybridization of races. He has been chosen as the new guardian of Tirisfal. But he is not just any guardian of Tirisfal, but a more powerful version, getting not just mage powers, but also paladin, shaman and druid powers. Despite the fact that in the comics, he was empowered to become one of the most powerful beings on the planet, he hasn't appeared in World of Warcraft itself yet, possibly due to the Fan Backlash.
Blizzard seems to consider the Draenei race to be either this or The Unfavorite, to the point where it's become somewhat of a meme for players to make sarcastic comments about the Draenei being ignored.note Typical forum topic: "What would you like to see in the new expansion?" Typical response: "The Draenei actually doing something" Blizzard admitting that they failed at integrating the race into the game properly did not help matters.
Mosts of Mists of Pandaria cast recieved this. Some specific examples listed below.
Ji, and Aysa for being boring characters with no real connections to their factions as well as being a Cliche set of Star-Crossed Lovers. They were even put on a bus in the latest novel.
Aside from Nazgrim, most of the Horde questing NPCs in Pandaria for either being unsympathic, inconsitently written, playing humor too far, and not lending anything to the Horde story. Not having any orcs aside from three characters oppose the now evil Garrosh is agreed to have really hurt the Horde identity.
Scrappy Level: Vashj'ir, for its mob density causing mobs to have a completely three dimensional attack range as well as how many bugs it had and respawn rates up the wazoo. It's also relatively tedious to have to swim or ride your seahorse around the very large zone and find the various caves and shipwrecks where NPCs are taking shelter.
Gnomeregan, for being long, having trash that can be accidentally pulled, and for being relatively uninteresting. Even with parachutes that enable you to skip much of the early dungeon, some people complain and/or drop group when they get it in Dungeon Finder.
The Oculus. Much of the dungeon, including the final boss, involves using the abilities of drakes that are based on your specializations. If someone picks the wrong drake and/or misuses their drake, things become very difficult for the entire group.
It's worth mentioning that even Blizzard as much as admitted The Oculus was a Scrappy Level when they severely nerfed it and added additional loot to the final boss just so people wouldn't quit immediately upon finding it as the dungeon finder's selection.
Deepholm. Another reason is how long it keeps going.
Uldaman. It's actually something of a My Greatest Failure amongst the developers, since they wanted it to be a winged dungeon yet wound up with a rather tedious dungeon with a pretty unique boss mechanic. The main downfall of Uldaman was that the level range was too high. Normally you're good if you're within a couple levels of thei dungeon mobs, but in Uldaman, you'd start off at the mid 30s, but later on would get to 40+ meaning low level players would get ambushed by mobs in their 40s. For awhile the recommended level range ended at 51. It has been nerfed a boatload of times and became a much better dungeon since. Oh, and Enchanters had to run this because there was a trainer in there.
Tol Barad is the most disliked battleground, because the attacker must capture all three bases to win and gain control of Baradin Hold and the Tol Barad dailies, whereas if the defender has one base under their control or not completely taken by end of the time limit, they keep Tol Barad for another two hours.
Daze, a debuff that's present on everything in the game within minimal level range that dismounts and slows you if you're attacked from behind, it can make "Short jaunt through this area" into "Will you stop knocking me off my horse?!"
Daily Quests have gained an increasing amount of hatred during the Mists of Pandaria era. Blizzard dropped the Equip Faction Tabard mechanic from the previous Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm expansions where players would gain reputation for specific factions by having their tabards equipped in dungeons and gain reputation whenever enemies or bosses are killed. The reason is because the fanbase found this too easy to reap the end faction rewards so Blizzard dropped the faction tabards entirely in favor of forcing players into completing nothing but daily quests for faction reputation. It's extremely time consuming and fans nowadays are wishing for alternatives to gain reputation, including the return of faction tabards.
Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Burning Crusade was alright in the gameplay department, but a lot of people lamented the story it put forth, the scattershot villains, the feel of the setting and the fact that very little was improved on base game mechanics. Wrath of the Lich King, on the other hand, was praised for how it allowed the player to actually affect the status quo of the world (at least for themselves), the much more "Warcraft-ish" feel of Northrend, the much tighter plotting and far more engaging villain groups (ranging from Arthas Menethil to a new villain who finally tips his hand in Storm Peaks and rockets to near the top of most fans' Magnificent Bastard list). It did have its own problems (see Dork Age above) but Blizzard has shown an admirable ability to learn from their mistakes with expansions and Cataclysm seems to be a successful attempt to combine the best of Burning Crusade, Wrath and vanilla World of Warcraft.
Take That, Scrappy!: Some people interpret certain hated NPCs becoming bosses as this, such as Fandral Staghelm in the Firelands, Garrosh Hellscream(this one was confirmed) in Siege of Orgrimmar, and Three Sha-corrupted spirits of Golden Lotus members, and the Klaxxi Paragons, some of the questgivers for the reviled daily quests, also from Siege of Orgrimmar.
Tear Jerker: The Death Knight starting area includes a quest where the player, a former hero taken by the Scourge, is ordered to murder a prisoner. The prisoner is a member of your race, who recognizes you from before you were turned and begs you to remember your homeland and fight the Lich King's control. You cannot continue until you've executed them.
Some versions of the quest are sadder than others; trolls are reminded of how they used to be a "mojo masta", but night elf players have to kill their caretaker from when they were a child.
And then there's the worgen and goblin versions added in Cataclysm. Worgen are faced with Lord Harrington, a fellow Silverpine Forest worgen who escaped Shadowfang Keep with the player's assistance, and who insists they were the most noble worgen he ever knew - and now they're going to kill him; goblins meet Gally Lumpstain, who recalls sadly that you were his best friend, and that he joined the Argent Dawn to honour your memory and noble character. It's hard not to feel like a complete monster as you cut him down.
Tirion's son Taelan's death, and finding a picture of Tirion's lost family in the quest "Of Love and Family" in Stratholme.
That One Achievement: Some of the meta-achievements, such as Glory of the Hero have at least one achievement that is significantly harder than the others (Less-Rabi and Zombiefest are two examples). What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been requires the completion of all holiday meta-achievements and most holiday achievements, which includes several luck-based achievements, and generally requires that players be 80 or above for at least a year.
That One Boss: Lots, depending on the skill of the player(s) and the makeup of your group. See the trope entry for a (partial) list.
When players gain levels and better gear from newer expansions, many become less difficult, but others remain difficult because of certain mechanics. One example is Razorgore, who will instantly wipe raids that kill him without destroying all the eggs in his room.
That One Level: Darnassus, Shattrath, Orgrimmar, Gnomeregan, the Exodar, Silverpine Forest, Durotar, the Badlands, Desolace, Sunken Temple, Hillsbrad, the Eastern Plaguelands, Silithus, Hellfire Peninsula, Shadowmoon Valley, Un'goro Crater, Blackrock Depths, Felwood, the Barrens, Mulgore, Oculus and the Halls of Reflection. In other words, somewhere between 1/5th to 1/4th of the original game world may qualify. The makeover in Cataclysm hopes to remedy much of this.
Lampshaded by Blizzard themselves as they acknowledge Oculus as that one level that had to be nerfed and get extra loot added just so people don't leave groups when it's selected as a random dungeon.
Among the PVP areas, Tol Barad gets quite a bit of hate, since the attacking faction must hold three separate bases at once to take it. This tends to result in the attacker having difficulty taking the third base (for example, while the attackers take Warden's Vigil, the defenders will retake the Slagworks,and once the attackers set out to take the Slagworks, the defenders will head to the Ironclad Garrison). This tends to be disliked by PVPers for being poorly designed and by PVErs who don't like to have access to quests and the Baradin Hold raid be determined by their faction's skill at PVP.
Although after some further balancing and buffs on the part of the attacking side, a lot of the hatedom for TB seems to have died down.
In fact, the attacking team has been overbuffed, meaning they almost always win - which is still imbalanced, but better because TB constantly exchanges hands, rather than stays in Horde / Alliance hands till the reset.
Which is the reverse of what happened in Wintergrasp, the "TB" of Wrath. Wintergrasp started out as being severely in favor of the attacking team, and while this meant you had little chance of holding the keep, you knew you would get it back right away in 2 hours. This was later re-balanced. If you want access to dailies, the "overbalance" approach works a little better, especially on servers where one side is much better at PVP.
You cast, you wait, you hook, you catch... its fishing. And it's even more tedious than in real life. It's SO tedious, people will pay other people to do it for them.
Blizzard has given us fishing recipies and varied the fish you can catch and made it easier but you still spend hours upon end staring at a bobber because you must actively click on the bobber to catch a fish. A catch takes up to 20 seconds. It lacks the as-you-go ease of skills like First Aid and Skinning, the speed and travel value of something like Herbalism or Mining, the excellent buffs of Cooking, and even the entertaining lore value and XP gain of Archeology. Plus anybody can do it, so it's not even that profitable in the Auction House. But it has achievements, so you have to do it sometime.
That One Sidequest: Every single escort mission. Not pretty much every escort mission. Every single one of them. Not because you're weak, not because the person you're guarding is weak, but because the person you'll be working with will all be disgustingly stupid and charge after enemies that probably wouldn't have seen them otherwise. One of the worst is escorting this guy out of the Lost Ones territory in Swamp of Sorrows. You end up fighting three warlocks and their imp minions. Even several levels above the quest either you, or your human companion, will not make it. The only exception would be a Zangarmarsh escort quest where your target just tags along instead of slowly following a predefined pattern, is hard to kill, doesn't aggro mob packs for no reason, spams Wrath instead of meleeing people with a wimpy staff, and constantly casts Regrowth on you to ensure you aren't going to die as well.
By that corollary, many of the parts of the dungeons that involve mandatory escorting, especially The Escape from Durnholde and Halls of Stone, become Scrappy Levels.
Mankrik's goddamn wife. Takes forever to find her, even if you use a guide, not least because you think you're looking for a person instead of a poorly-marked corpse. This has led to quite a bit of Memetic Mutation. In Cataclysm, Mankrik is still alive and has a quest chain a good bit of lampshading.
The Shado-Pan dailies, especially the Wu Kao ones, are disliked, especially since the enemies are harder than usual and your companion is relatively weak.
BALANCE! Also, many old-school players tend to complain that the game has gotten too easy, while others note that there are challenges available to those who seek them out, and Blizzard is trying to make more content for the majority of players instead of just the hardcore. In general though, people have been saying this pretty much since the first patch, but mysteriously still play.
Shamans v Paladins, unique to the Horde and Alliance, respectively, until Burning Crusade. The devs admitted there's no way to balance them while still making their mechanics and abilities unique.
The changes in Battlegrounds have been subject to this as well, with the alterations to Alterac Valley (to prevent hours-long matchups) being one of the first to get this complaint.
Sylvanas' voice since patch 3.2.
Theralion's voice, going from a Camp Gay voice to a generic deep and evil voice.
The reduction in talent choices, going from a point every level before Cataclysm to a point every other level from 10-80 and one per level from 81-85, to six talent points with three options each in Mists of Pandaria. Detractors say that it makes the game too simplistic.
Also invoked by Blizzard as a reason people don't like their changes.
The talent tree was always a pretty flawed mechanic. Instead of everyone having a different talent set, most players would simply go up the same talent path to max out on the most dps or healing possible. Then there was the Hybrid players who would go up in multiple talent trees at once, never being able to get the more powerful skills in any talent trees and ending up with a flawed hero that's weaker then everyone else. The only problem here was that Blizzard took the easy way out and just axed the mechanic entirely instead of continuously trying to work with it to finally get the mechanic perfected.
Anything that reduces the amount of time it takes to level or gear up draws fire from players who say it makes it too easy and enables bad players to get ready to raid.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The Worgen, originally extra-dimensional hellhounds with their own hierarchy and cunning brutality, have been retconned into being just a bunch of druids who went crazy.
Also related to the Worgen is the staring zone in Cataclysm. After a good overall story, it just abrupbtly ends for Alliance players, forcing you to play a Horde character to explore it more. Even then, the zone's storyline has no ending, and Gilneas is left completely hanging. What happened to Gilneas Blizzard?
In the Goblin starting area, the player takes part in a game of footbomb, a sport involving heavy machinery and high explosives. The coach wants to win the game with style, so he tells you to kick the bomb through two smoke stacks off in the distance. In the beta, the bomb falls into the nearby volcano, which causes it to erupt, which would've highlighted the Goblin's seftdestructive behaviour of decadence, lack of forethought and addiction to high explosives. In the final version, the quest does nothing more than have the player look up into the sky just as Deathwing appears.
There was a lot of Foreshadowing throughout Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King in regards to the Infinite Dragonflight and who their leader is. One quest in Dragonblight heavily implies Nozdormu, leader of the Bronze Dragonflight, has/will perform a Face-Heel Turn, but Chromie hand waves this saying he must be fighting the Infinites. As of Patch 4.2 he's back with no explanation given (his return was shown in a novel released after he appeared).
Although it turns out he did go crazy in the distant future. - making this a bit of an aversion.
There's a questline (leading to the Twilight Highlands) that in Cata beta eventually reveals Archbishop Benedictus as a servant of the Old Gods. Upon release however the traitor has been discovered to be Major Samuelson, a royal guardian and essentially some no-name. Leading to a surprising subversion in 4.3 where Archbishop Benedictus is in fact a traitor and a dungeon boss.
Though this is, in itself a bit of an example. Rather than Benedictus being confronted by someone canonically close to him, or even anyone from the Alliance, he's confronted by Thrall, a Horde character who had never even met Benedictus prior to that point.
Also in Cataclysm, Magni Bronzebeard was turned to diamond performing a ritual intended to protect Ironforge during Deathwing's initial attack. In the wake of the ensuing power struggle, the Council of Three Hammers is formed, where representatives from the Bronzebeard family, Wildhammer Clan, and Dark Iron Dwarves jointly rule Ironforge. These are three characters with very clear and very different allegiances, worldviews, and aspirations, making for a treasure trove of potential storylines that have gone completely ignored. Apparently, a recently-recovered amnesiac who just lost his brother, a guy with a near-need to be out and about up in the sky being pulled into a desk job in an underground city, and a Token Evil Teammate who is quite obvious about her intent to take over the whole city so her son can someday be its sole ruler can work just fine together.
This gets addressed to a certain extent in the "Blood in the Snow" scenario, in which it's indicated that the Bronzebeards and the Wildhammers don't trust the Dark Irons, and won't leave the city to deal with the Zandalari and Frostmane trolls lest the Dark Irons try to take over in their absence. When Moira and her Dark Irons defeat the trolls, the other two admit that they were wrong to distrust the Dark Irons, who were the only ones who took the initiative to deal with the problem.
Even then, it still qualifies, as the "Blood in the Snow" scenario didn't really do much other than briefly address the issue, then try to quietly sweep it under the rug. The only dwarf who actually plays a real part is Moira, and it's pretty jarring to see her suddenly playing nice with everybody. Really, the only way the scenario makes sense is if it later turns out to just be a ploy by Moira to either get the other dwarves to lower their guard, gain favor with Varian, or simple Pragmatic Villainy of "Horde first, then take Ironforge.
Pretty much everything that the Warcraft/World of Warcraft d20 game came up with that hadn't already been foreshadowed in the MMO by the time of the d20's cancellation and subsequent decanonization. Several characters and plot threads presented in the rpg were interesting and had serious potential, perhaps most notably Jaina having a half-elf half sister who was a major leader in the war against the Scourge in the Dalaran area before it was reclaimed. However, with the rpg's cancellation, Blizzard declared it non-canon (a reversal of their earlier position on it), and have made an active effort to go in the opposite direction that the rpg's storyline seemed to be going in.
Finnall Goldensword, the aforementioned half-elf half sister, has been singled out as Chris Metzen's pet peeve in reference to hooks that do not reflect Warcraft as it should be.
Uncanny Valley: Quite a lot to choose from, but the Taunka are probably the worst. Bison-people doesn't sound like it'd cause this, but their flat, wide noses and lips and seemingly large eyes make them look more than a little... off.
The new models in 2014 were made to replace the models that had been essentially the same since 2004. (With a few new faces and hairstyles). Most were received fairly well, but some look quite off. Notably the humans and the gnomes - the humans just look a little odd with how they became a little bit taller, and Gnomes eyes became way too big. (Even in the 2013 preview, players thought they fell right into the valley.) Blood Elves, Goblins, Pandaren, and Worgen received very minor if no visual changes at all, which makes them seem somewhat... off when placed next to the updated models.
Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Malfurion Stormrage, despite being billed as an Alliance hero and a great, wise leader, is disliked by many night elf fans due to his apparent disinterest in actually supporting the night elves. He didn't lift a finger against the Horde in Cataclysm, despite the orcs rampaging through Ashenvale and killing his people, and doesn't even step in to protect Tyrande (his treatment of whom has also come under scrutiny) from Horde raids. Malf's dissonance was actually a plot point in Patch 5.2: Leyara maintains that the previous Arch Druid, Fandral Staghelm, would never have done nothing while the orcs butchered their people.
Horde-side, a similar case applies to Baine who called the Alliance's actions in the barrens, which included the massacre of the Stonespire tribe, justified, and exhiled anyone who disagreed.
Unintentionally Sympathetic: Even with the retcons about the Zandalar having an empire in the past with the Mogu, many players feel sympathy for them. Considering the Zandalar's home is lost, they were friendly to people of all races, befriended the player characters, and want to save themselves from extinction, this isn't surprising.
Unnecessary Makeover: Lor'themar, Aethas and Vereesa each got new outfits for the Siege of Orgrimmar. In the former's case, it's simply pointless, while the latter two have total downgrades from nice looking Wrath of the Lich King gear to a standard robe and mashed-together brown quest greens, respectively.
It's worth noting, however, that both Aethas and Vereesa have something of a lore-wise reason for it: Aethas is no longer championing the Kirin Tor, and thus changed clothes from Kirin Tor gear to a more standard elven robe (he's even displaying his face for the first time), while Vereesa's new outfit somewhat resembles her artwork — it's less flashy than than her last one, but it fits. Lor'themar's costume switch, on the other hand, was completely unnecessary. It's exactly the same effect achieved through poorer gear.
Villain Decay: After Burning Crusade, Blizzard felt that it was necessary to give the Big Bads more on-screen time and involvement during the leveling phase as a means of making them more familiar and recognized to the player. However, because it would be annoying to have multiple scripted events in which the villain kicks your ass, most of these encounters involve you either thwarting the villain or being spared by them. This leads to having the player constantly witness the villain failing to do anything right, and being belittled or fooled every time they show up. The Lich King had this the worst, from retreating the battlefield while coughing as a result of gas exposure to having his heart destroyed and collapsing to the ground.
Except actually not... the Lich King implies he can kill you at any time. In fact, if you go too close to him in one part of the world, he does kill you. But he keeps you alive, specifically so you can get stronger and lets you kill all his lieutenants and undead armies so he can raise you as his new lieutenants, a lot stronger than the previous ones. In fact, if you fight him, he does just that.
Deathwing was an interesting case in that the threat he posed became less and less threatening in the same expansion, a low level player's first exposure to Deathwing would most likely be when he shows up and scorches the entire zones with flames that do nearly a million damage a tic, making him a horrific threat. And yet despite being this terrifying, ever-looming threat, by the time players are level 85 and starting the Cataclysm content, Deathwing's Establishing Character Moment as a villain instead of a deadly force of nature is him resurrecting Ragnaros and... letting you and the green dragon you're riding on escape so you can bring word back to Ysera, restore Hyjal, revive the ancients, and ultimately kill off Ragnaros for good. While you can make the case that Deathwing is insane, it's been shown that yes, he's crazy and omnicidal, but he's still lucid, making his acts of mercy bizarrely out of character. Throw in some Smug Snake, and you have a villain who's almost comical and boring when he actually has personality instead of mindless destruction.
Vocal Minority / Silent Majority: Did you know there are people who actually don't play this game for 14 hours a day? Did you know that there are plenty of people who actually play other games too? Or that there are people in the military playing it, college students, or people with 40-hour-a-week jobs and a family? The way the Broken Base carries on about it, you probably wouldn't believe so.
What an Idiot: Garrosh is universally hated by faction leaders (and also by many players), due to his utter lack of diplomatic tact and reactions to events that border on the psychotic. After ceding the post of Warchief to him, Thrall counsels Garrosh to trust his advisors (the other racial leaders, Vol'Jin, Cairne, and Sylvanas) and rely on their counsel. Garrosh then turns around and makes personal enemies of two of them; the normally placid Vol'jin threatens to kill Garrosh to his face, while Sylvanas openly flouts Garrosh's authority and insults him behind his back. Garrosh then kills Cairne, an almost universally beloved figure among the tauren (and players too), leaving the chieftanship to Cairne's now extremely pissed son Baine. And this is within a couple of months of taking over. Time will tell what other feats of leadership Garrosh will achieve.
Enemy pet battlers have a tendency to make some very stupid moves.
Putting a move on your pet that will put you to sleep if you don't receive any damage the next round, then attacking you on their next turn, resulting in the debuff expiring harmlessly.
Using a move that prevents them from dying for a round when they're close to full health.
The Woobie: All races have their moments be it in-game or in the lore, but Forsaken possibly take the cake. They were killed by either Kel'Thuzad's Plague of Undeath, the Scourge, or Arthas himself after he became a Death Knight, and then reanimated as mindless slaves to the Lich King. After they regained their consciousness and free will, they were driven away from their old homes, lost everything they knew and loved, and left with no place to call home until Sylvanas claimed the Undercity as their home.
A quote from Forsaken writings sums this up.
"When I clawed my way out of the grave, I thought my family would welcome me with open arms. Instead, they drove me out of the village, screaming in a language I could no longer understand."
Undead Death Knights double this up. As humans, they contract the plague and die, come back as a mindless zombie, wrest their self control back and join the Forsaken, are killed again, brought back again, mind-wiped and enslaved again, and have to fight for their freedom AGAIN. They are hated and reviled by all their former loved ones with each iteration and have to rebuild their lives from scratch. It's little wonder they're so bitter.
The draenei have been running for their lives for 25,000 years, have seen the destruction of countless planets, were almost killed off entirely, and when it seems they finally catch a break in retaking the Exodar, the blood elves crash it. And most of them were alive for all of it.
Also, voidwalkers, if you listen to their quotes. For instance, upon being summoned: "I don't like this place...", or being dismissed: "Release... at last..."
Garona. Literally her entire life sucks from beginning to present.
Jaina. Just look at how much she lost: Homeland, lovers ( two of whom spectacularly wentinsane, turned evil, and died), mentor, father, any hope of peace... And now her new homeworld of Theramore; the casualties include her bodyguard Pained, her apprentice Kinnidy, and Rhonin, who saves her life at the cost of his own. Goddammit Garrosh. Not to mention that it potentially gets worse, as seen in the Bad Future that is End Time - her immortal soul is trapped forever in the incinerated ruins of the world, and is only freed when killed by the protagonist's party. Mercifully averted if you complete the final boss of Cataclysm (which, canonicly speaking, happens), so thank goodness for small favours. But then the Fall of Theramore Happens. This finally snaps her and makes her outright despise the Horde. She stops short of destroying Orgrimmar, but is no longer the person she used to be.
Worth noting that Lady Jaina was one of the few people in all of Azeroth who was both loved and respected by both factions and still fighting for peace between the Horde and the Alliance. Not so much now the latter, thanks to Garrosh.
In Mists of Pandaria, her efforts to help the Kirin Tor remain neutral get derailed by the Sunreavers using Dalaran's portal network to escape with the stolen Divine Bell, causing her to feel betrayed. Her expelling the Blood Elves from Dalaran and coldly shrugging off the What the Hell, Hero? reaction from Varian puts her into Jerkass Woobie territory.
Aethas Sunreaver falls into this in Mists of Pandaria, suffering a brutal Humiliation Conga and seeing his life's work go down the drain in front of him.
Kael'thas. He and his people were pretty much Azeroth's Chew Toy in Frozen Throne... And then Burning Crusade took away pretty much everything that made him sympathetic.
How often do you pity a dragon? Kalecgos loses the girl he loves, and he watches his ruler go batshit.
Anveena. She's abducted by almost every villain with a lust for power, she finds out that her parents were never real, and she has to sacrifice herself (and give up her love for Kalecgos) to help the party defeat Kil'jaeden. The poor girl never seems to catch a break.
Sunwalker Dezco went to Pandaria after his wife saw visions of Garrosh leading the horde to ruins, only to lose her in childbirth, then he loses his blood brother to a mogu's spiteful last attack, And even his infant children weren't safe, he's now lost both his sons, one dead, the other taken by the golden lotus, unable to see his family again until he's grown. And depending on how the fallout of Siege of Orgrimmar goes, Taran-Zhu may chase him and the Horde out of the Vale, even after Dezco swore to his Wife's spirit that he'd give his life to protect it.
Primordius, the 8th boss in Throne of Thunder. He's an unintentional creation of the Mogu, a result of Saurok experiments within the pools of Flesh-Shaping substance going unattented for a long time. Since the chambers beneath Lei-Shen's palace had been sealed off some time after the death of the Thunder King, it's safe to assume he's been in there, cold, confused and alone for a long time. Also, through the fight he gains evolutions that boosts his power via the flesh-shaping substance, but doing so causes him to start screaming in horrible pain as his body mutates. To hammer it home, as he dies he does not curse the adventurers with his final breath as so many a boss has done, but goes out with a hopeless, saddening whimper.
"Again.. We are torn apart.. Again.. Back to the cold darknes.."
Feng the Accursed was framed by an underling for stealing from the Mogu'shan Vaults and cursed to death by the Emperor then was later betrayed and cursed to death again by four or five more Emperors.... The fact that it was stated that his body was destroyed each time indicates that they ressurected him to aid in their coups than killed him upon ascension to the throne. After the last Mogu Emperor died the door out of the Mogu'shan Vaults was sealed shut keeping him from freedom until we came along and killed his ghost so that it would not escape the Mogu'shan Vaults.....