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  • Sacrificial Lion: The Wrathgate battle had two, and almost had three.
  • Sacrificial Planet: Subverted in Warlords of Draenor. Things go south much quicker for the alternate universe Draenor, and it appears as if the Legion might force us to retreat to show how much of a threat they are. However, thanks to having more experience with them than last time, we manage to successfully foil their invasion at the last minute, freeing Draenor. It ultimately turns out to be a bit of a Xanatos Gambit, where foiling their attempt to use Draenor to attack Azeroth only allows the Legion to slip an agent onto our world to open a much more devastating invasion path directly into it.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • In Sholazar Basin, Artruis the Heartless has imprisoned an Oracle and a Frenzyheart; when players fight him, he shields himself and mind controls his captives to attack. Killing one frees the other and makes Artruis attackable, but it also makes you hated by the faction of the one you killed and friendly with the one you freed. The only way to recover your reputation with the hated faction is to redo the Artruis fight and make the other choice, which makes the other faction hate you.
    • The Tauren and trolls of the Horde face this decision: support Garrosh in the war, which they find to be immoral and dangerous to their people, or turn on him and face his wrath. Thankfully, Garrosh has made this decision for them and proven that turning on him is probably the best option.
  • Sand In My Eyes:
    • Referenced by Captain "Soggy" Su-Dao upon the completion of his quest line in the Dread Wastes.
      Captain "Soggy" Su-Dao: Would you excuse me for a moment, <player>? I've, uh... I've got somethin' in both my eyes.
    • Some of the Klaxxi will claim something similar if you poke them enough times.
  • Sanity Meter:
    • The encounter against Yogg-Saron has a sanity meter that is drained by his attacks and once depleted will result in the player being charmed. When entering one of his visions, he also inflicts an attack with a long cast time that will instantly charm anyone still inside.
    • Inverted with Meng the Demented of the Spirit Kings encounter, who has an Insanity meter. He alternates between attacking the tank and running away while reflecting his attackers' damage back at them; how full his meter is determines how damaging his abilities are, and when it fills, he changes tactics.
    • An area of Stormsong Valley has a "Strain" meter that is filled by taking attacks from void-addled creatures.
    • In a Horrific Vision, you have a sanity meter that steadily drains at rates depending on what areas you go to and can be restored and increased in capacity with upgrades. If the meter is depleted, you'll instantly die and be pulled back to reality unless you're in a group, in which case an ally can donate some of their sanity to you.
    • The same meter from Horrific Visions shows up in Ny'alotha during the last two bosses. Letting it deplete will grant you a buff for 20 seconds, then charm you for the rest of the fight. Engaging one of the bosses without wearing Ashjra'kamas, the one thing protecting you from N'Zoth's influence, will result in you being immediately charmed.
  • Sapient Steed:
    • Drakes, hippogryphs and wyverns are as intelligent as a humanoid, and drakes can speak. Not that you can see it in the game, though.
    • There are exceptions. Some drake-mounts provided for quests may give you advice on how to advance. And the nether drakes in Shattrath greet you before you choose your mount. Some hippogriffs don't need a handler to provide mount service; you speak to the hippogriff.
    • Despite a blatant desire to investigate your intestines, raptor nests contain crude huts made of skin, and what appear to be decorative dreamcatchers. They also appear to be quite fond of silver.
    • Ban-Lu, the monk's class mount, takes this trope up to eleven. He's quite chatty.
  • Sassy Secretary: As a goblin, you spend most of your time early on consulting with your personal assistant, Servile Snarker Sassy Hardwrench.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Dear god, Aggra. The only reason she seems to exist is to be with and get knocked up by Thrall. Magnified by the fact that she sunk the Thrall x Jaina Ship.
    • To a lesser extent, Vereesa Windrunner, whose existence is part of the reason her husband Rhonin was a Creator's Pet. This turns into an interesting zig-zag, though, as Rhonin then gets killed during the Pandaria set-up, and thus Vereesa is thrust into center stage and we get to see her struggles in finding her center on her own.
  • Save Scumming: Inverted, or played straight depending on your point of view. An exploit introduced in 4.3 allowed for you and your raid to get as much loot as you wanted using LFR, with the top guilds, like Paragon or Method, acquiring the 4-pc bonuses on all their raiders in a span of 48 hours. By comparison, it normally takes you between 2 weeks and several months to normally gear yourself that well.
    • This ended with several of the top guilds across the world banned for a whole week, setting them back in the race to world first. The Korean guild "Happy Raiders" eventually won the race over usual favorites Paragon, Method, Ensidia and Blood Legion.
  • Save the Princess:
    • A quest charges you with rescuing the dwarven princess Moira Bronzebeard from the emperor of the Dark Iron dwarves. In a subversion, she's pregnant with said emperor's child, does not want to be saved, and is slated to replace her deceased husband as the new leader of the Dark Iron Dwarves in Cataclysm. On the other hand she seems to be representing them at the table in Ironforge on an equal footing with the Bronzebeard and Wildhammer dwarves, signaling a possible shift in Dark Iron allegiance.
    • Subverted with Moira once you know the whole story. Dagran Thaurissan did originally kidnap her to try to get concessions from Ironforge. However, Moira states that he in fact never used any kind of mind control on her, and she legitimately fell in love with him because he treated her well and showed her respect. At the same time, she was angry and bitter that her father, Magni Bronzebeard, never respected her, and in fact resented her because he wanted a male heir. So she ended up choosing to stay and marry Dagran until the adventurers came and "saved" her. After Ragnaros was defeated, a great deal of the Dark Irons chose to follow her, prompting a Heel–Face Turn of most of the race. Moira now sits on the Council of Three Hammers as the Dark Iron representative, and the 3 dwarven clans are showing signs of reuniting.
    • Another dwarf princess, Fanny Thundermar is captured by ogres; this is another subversion as when the player and Keegan Firebeard rescue her, they find she has already started her own rescue, killing three ogres with her bare hands.
    • In a somewhat less fanservicey way, Princess Stillpine of the Stillpine furbolgs on Bloodmyst Isle gets locked in a cage by the corrupted Bristlelimb furbolgs. Freeing her requires killing enough Bristlelimbs to piss off their chief and summon him to the area, where you can kill him for the key.

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  • Scarab Power: Spiderlords, and their undead counterparts, Crypt Lords are heavily based on scarabs in Egyptian mythology, being mummified and reanimated beetle-mantis-spider mashups. Their names are all vaguely related to Egyptian mythology, one of their abilities generates a huge beetle from a corpse, and their faces have a spike invoking the false beards on royal funerary masks.
  • Scare Campaign: The only race the Mogu couldn't enslave were the Mantid, a race as strong and fearsome as them; instead, the Mogu used the threat of the Mantid to scare its slaves into submission.
    It would take many generations to build. But Lei Shen knew how to motivate his subjects. Fear. Fear of the mantid moved mountains, raised armies, secured his empire, and built his wall.
  • Scary Impractical Armor:
    • The Lich King — this is even lampshaded in the hilarious Scourge Vent Recordings; Arthas complains about his armor. "No, it's not okay, I have!"
    • Can also apply to the shoulder armor for all classes starting from the first tier sets onwards. Especially obvious when said shoulders have spikes. For most races, if they sit down and they're wearing shoulders with giant spikes on them, they end up stabbing themselves through the brain. This is specially obvious with orcs, whose shoulders are always scaled at least twice as big compared to other races.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Lord Godfrey has a wonderful pair on, especially during the post infection worgen cutscene. Bonus points for the reflection of the worgen's eyes in the glasses.
  • Scenery Porn: As might be expected, Blizzard keeps trying to up the ante with each expansion. Burning Crusade featured some stunning vistas unlike anything in vanilla content; Wrath of the Lich King took players from chilly tundras to verdant jungles and dead frozen wastes; Cataclysm redid the original game world with new high-end effects and added beautiful elemental regions; Pandaria was a visual feast from start to finish; Warlords of Draenor was jaw-dropping, as much for the revelation of what Outland originally looked like as for the higher-res, higher-poly count scenery. Legion is seen by some as relatively underwhelming, but if nothing else the view from atop Highmountain is impressive.
  • Schizo Tech:
    • Troll, Orc, and Tauren civilization is mainly early Iron Age, and Human civilization is stock Renaissancenote  Europe, Dwarves have siege tanks, while Gnomes have nuclear energy and cybernetics, and the Draenei capital city is a crashed interdimensional spaceship...sort of. Goblins are very industrialized and have cars, rockets, oil wells, Mini-Mecha, high-grade explosives, and implied with "Goblin Gentleman's Magazine", the printing press.
    • Technology left behind by the Titans seems to take this even further, with androids and enchanted computers.
    • The non-canon RPG gave an explanation for the Medieval Stasis most races on Azeroth seem to have: The superiority of magic is so ingrained in their cultures that the idea that technology can ever match or surpass it is laughable, even if said technology is right in front of them, and they treat inventions like curiosities at best and abominations at worst. Other races such as the Orcs and the Tauren acknowledge the potential of technology but they prefer their own way of life too much to take advantage of it.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • A quest for the Argent Dawn has the player sabotaging a death cult's plague cauldron by adding a very reactive counter-agent. The instructions say to only add a single drop; players can add a single drop, and complete the quest, or they could throw in a whole flask or 12.
    • Mimiron's big, red "DO NOT TOUCH THIS BUTTON" button, which sets the room on fire, makes him stronger and shortens the time limit.
    • There are a couple areas where you can loot offerings at graves for Vendor Trash. Doing so gives you a debuff that makes enemies in the area more aggressive.
    • One of the alcoholic beverages in-game is Pinchwhistle "Rocket Fuel", which has a warning label telling you not to consume it near an open flame. If you do exactly that, it will ignite you for massive fire damage.
    • In Highmountain, while on a quest to obtain some reagents for Spiritwalker Ebonhorn, there's a bottle of Airspark sitting next to a vendor looking as though it's free for the taking. Attempting to take it earns the player a scolding from the vendor.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: The Great Dark Beyond, the term for space in the Warcraft universe, has not been relevant much, with the two main planets, Azeroth and Draenor, being connected by a magical portal.
    • The first volume of the World of Warcraft: Chronicle, however, actually utilizes the scale of the universe as a subtle but important plot point. The Burning Legion has long been a massive demonic army known for wiping out any planet that comes to their attention. The Chronicle reveals that the Legion want to do this to every planet, but have Azeroth as a priority, and the only reason they didn't wipe it out long ago is because it's really hard to find a single planet in the vastness of space. They've only pinpointed Azeroth's location relatively recently on a cosmic scale, and they're still nowhere near it physically after ten thousand years. Further, the chronicle implies retroactively that the reason the demons have historically relied on magical portals to invade planets when they have since been revealed to have spaceships and other sci-fi technology, is because it would take millennia to travel those distances on spaceships. Magical portals are a huge boon when you have a target and a way to open a path since they bypass pesky physical travel times. Also, this explains why the Burning Legion is a Legion at all when their leader is a titanic cosmic being that can literally cleave planets in half: it would still take him ages to get around to destroying every planet in the universe by himself because it's just that big.
  • The Scottish Trope: When the mage's Ice Lance spell was first introduced, it was incredibly powerful. On the mage forums an unwritten rule developed that you must never name the spell when gushing about it, lest the devs take notice and nerf it, instead homophones such as "Nice Pants" were used.
  • Screaming Warrior:
    • Grom Hellscream is the current page image for the trope, and for good reason.
    • The Warrior ability "Battle Shout" acts as a rallying cry to temporarily boost his and his party members' strength and agility. There are also demoralizing attacks which intimidate enemies into lowering their attack power such as Demoralizing Shout, Demoralizing Roar and Demoralizing Mmmrrrggglll.
    • Primarily during Cataclysm, there were several spells that caused the user to let out an audible scream, such as the Warrior's Heroic Fury and Inner Fury and the Hunter's Deterrence.
    • JOHN J. KEESHAN. Summed up perfectly with the quest "AHHHHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHH!!!", where the player takes control of a tank while the game's resident Rambo Expy mows down 200 Blackrock Orcs with a machine gun.
    • Warmaster Blackhorn gains a Disrupting Roar attack, which damages all players in the raid and interrupts spellcasting for a few seconds. In Mists of Pandaria, Warriors got a talent that enabled them to interrupt all enemies' spells.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Two Twilight Dragons, Valiona in Grim Batol and Goriona in Dragon Soul will fly away, leaving their riders behind when they take enough damage. Valiona makes it clear she doesn't like Drahga Shadowburner at all, and won't die with him.
    • During the Third War, Genn Greymane decided to withdraw the Kingdom of Gilneas from the Alliance. Leaving their allies to fight the undead scourge while they retreated behind their walls and cut themselves off from the rest of the world.
  • Sdrawkcab Alias:
    • In Felwood, you're sent to kill the Emerald Circle's leader Archdruid Navarax, who is actually a satyr named Xaravan.
    • When you meet Shadow-Sage Iskar in Talador, he's initially disguised as a draenei woman named Raksi.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: In Dragon Soul on Heroic, when Morchok reaches 90% health he splits into himself and his twin Kohcrom.

  • Seahorse Steed: An early quest in the Vashj'ir zone allows the character to obtain such a mount.
  • Sealed Badass in a Can: Each Klaxxi Paragon you awaken is an example of this.
  • Sealed Cast in a Multipack: Much of the Klaxxi storyline in Mists of Pandaria is locating and uncanning Paragons, who were packed away sealed in amber for thousands of years as a defense/backup against an empress going insane.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can:
    • Ragnaros, the Old Gods, and countless other examples. Bolvar's ultimate fate is to willingly become the "Can" for the Scourge.
    • There is also Nihil the Banished, a black dragon that you may accidentally release when questing in Blade's Edge. However, you can use the temporal modulator again on him, and he will be banished again with a Big "NO!".
    • The Sha were sealed beneath the temples of the August Celestials before the Alliance and Horde arrived in Pandaria at accidentally freed them with their war. Doubt was in the east, despair in the south, hatred, violence and anger in the north, and fear in the west.
    • It later emerges that an artifact called the Divine Bell has the ability to control the sha, and Horde Warchief Garrosh Hellscream orders it stolen in an attempt to make super-soldiers with it. It misfires when the sha ends up controlling its test subjects instead of the other way round, and have to be slaughtered by adventurers.
    • The Klaxxi, who you save to deal with the empress, but turn into the second to last boss in Siege of Orgrimmar since Garrosh has the heart of their boss.
    • The abomination G'huun was sealed beneath Zandalar, with the seals themselves being built into temples in the three zones of the island. One was broken long before the players ever got there, and the other two break over the course of the main storyline; G'huun itself is the final boss of the Uldir raid.
  • Second Hour Superpower: Both the Worgen and Goblins have racial abilities that have to be unlocked. Worgen players start human, and half way through the starting zone are infected and become worgen, gaining their Darkflight and Two Forms abilities. Goblins gain a hobgoblin servant when they join the Horde at the end of their starting experience.
  • Secret Police: Garrosh's Kor'kron. Deserters, draft dodgers, warlocks, and anyone who's vocally against the war are taken off the street by Kor'kron enforcers for what Hellscream considers to be treason. The lucky ones are beaten until they've suffered enough that they swear loyalty, the unlucky ones are killed outright.
  • Self-Deprecation/Take That, Audience!: Blizzard has been known to deliver these, even themselves.
    • During a quest where you save Earthen Ring shaman from nightmares, one of them says that shaman healing is a fine art and that you can't just use Chain Heal all day, and another says that he dreamt he was trapped inside a fiery cave dropping totems, healing ungrateful warriors, and never seeing a single piece of shaman gearnote .
    • One of the female pandaren's /silly emotes is an anecdote about talking to a tauren or a worgen. She confuses the two, and then makes a comment about the silliness of talking animals.
    • Master Cheng at the Peaks of Serenity will say, "Yes, I'm a monk, but I always wanted to be a demon hunter." a subtle jab at the fans who have and continue to demand the demon hunter class, and particularly the ones angry monks were chosen over DH for the second new class.
    • Wrathion often talks like a stereotypical player would, advocating dangerous tasks for the chance to get valuable loot, and expressing annoyance that the Celestials wanted to talk his ear off before giving him what he came for.
  • Sequel Hook: Plenty of these are created with each expansion.
    • One of the more recent and mysterious ones revolves around the Lich King's sword, Frostmourne. Though it was shattered when the Lich King was defeated, its final fate was rather unclear. Blizzard later had this to say:
      Q: What happened to Frostmourne after it was shattered?
      A: While this is a closely guarded secret, we'll trust you to be discreet: no one knows where the remnants of Frostmourne are now.
    • The shards of Frostmourne are reforged into two swords by the Death Knight in Legion.
    • Ragnaros and Kil'jaeden aren't killed, merely banished.
    • They've been building up Deathwing as a future Big Bad since classic.
    • Also, Bolvar Fordragon could be corrupted by the Lich King's Helm of Command.
    • Sargeras and Ner'zhul were Put on a Bus.
    • A different Ner'zhul is an antagonist in Warlords of Draenor.
    • The Infinite Dragonflight were introduced in Burning Crusade, but while you faced several infinite dragonkin and an infite dragon over that expansion and Wrath, you never realized who their leader was. In Cataclysm, it turned out to be Nozdormu's future self, and he was fought at the end of the End Time instance.
    • After defeating Kel'Thuzad in Classic WoW, players were tricked into giving his phylactery to someone implied to be allied with the Scourge. When Kel'Thuzad returned in Wrath of the Lich King and was defeated for the second time, his phylactery was nowhere to be found.
    • The Burning Legion is still out there on their crusade to unmake the universe, and Kil'jaedin isn't killed in the Sunwell Plateau raid, merely banished.
    • Harbinger Skyriss, a boss in the Arcatraz in The Burning Crusade, makes a few ominous comments during his fight, saying that he bears "allegiance to powers untouched by time, unmoved by fate", that rival the Burning Legion in strength. Who could they be? Possibly the old gods or the Void Lords?
    • There are a lot of powerful artifacts and important people that have mysteriously gone missing over the years...
    • Queen Azshara appears in Cataclysm, but isn't a fightable boss or a major villain in that expansion, apart from her past self in Well of Eternity.
      • She would go on to be the final boss of the Eternal Palace raid in Battle for Azeroth four expansions later.
  • Serpent of Immortality:
    • Monks that specialize in healing their allies have a heavy serpent motif — they fight in a specialized Serpent Stance, lay down Serpent Statues that duplicate healing, etc.
    • The final boss of Battle for Azeroth dungeon Temple of Sethraliss is the troll loa Sethraliss, who is a giant snake. Unlike all other final dungeon bosses in the game, the objective is to heal Sethraliss's avatar and prevent a rogue sect of her worshippers from killing her outright.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: In Zuldazar in Battle for Azeroth, a group of gorillas discovers a large kaja'mite deposit. They gain the ability to speak, and their speech is full of this. Even their abilities in combat are named that way.
    • One quest giver in Dustwallow Marsh, an ogre named Draz'zlib, speaks this way.
      Whilst that craven fool, Mok'Morokk, wallows in power and Tharg wrestles the demons of sorrow and vengeance and vies for leadership of the clan, I seem to be the only one concerned with identifying the source of aggression on our old home. Why the puzzled stare, <player name>? Expecting me to speak like an uncouth ruffian merely because I am an ogre?
  • Set Bonus: Some armor sets award bonuses once wearers have a certain number of pieces equipped, usually at 2 and 4 of a 5 piece tier set.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: A very limited example happens during the "Rewriting the Battle of Darrowshire" quest chain. The Adventurer cannot rewrite the ultimate outcome of the battle, a decisive Scourge victory. However, the Adventurer is able to save the soul of Joseph Redpath by defeating Redpath the Corrupted.
  • Sexy Dimorphism:
    • In the beta version of the game, both male and female orcs were muscular, hulking creatures, and both male and female trolls were lanky with a hunched back. After some feedback from the players, they kept the male models with no changes, but changed the female models to what looked like green- and blue-skinned sexy human women, albeit with pointy ears and Cute Little Fangs.
    • The three playable Beast Man races, Tauren, Worgen and Pandaren also use this trope, with animalistic males (hunched back and savage facial features in the first two, large Acrofatic build in the third), whereas the females have more human-like build, erect posture, visible breasts and slightly more anthropomorphic facial features.
    • For the non-playable races, the Naga are an extreme example. The males look like monstrous snakes with two arms, with completely reptilian faces, whereas the females look like a Gorgeous Gorgon, with sexy, humanlike upper bodies and faces, and four arms.
    • Downplayed with the Dryads and their male counterparts, the Keepers of the Grove. Both are centaur-like creatures with the well-toned upper body of an elf and the lower body of a deer, as well as leaf-like hair, but the Keepers have a few more non-humanoid features like large, deer-like antlers and root-like fingers on one hand that the Dryads lack.
    • On the Alliance side, the Draenei are even more dimorphic than the orcs and trolls of the Horde. The men are large, hulking brutes with a beard of tentacles, whereas the women are pretty and slender, with small horns on their head. The only similarity between the two genders is their blue skin, hooves and tails.
    • Downplayed with Blood Elves. At first the males and females looked similar, but following player feedback the males were changed to be exactly the same sort of Heroic Build as their Night Elf counterparts. In this case, however, both males and females are attractive by human standards.

  • Shaped Like Itself: During the War of Thorns, Sylvanas comments that while Orcs make great soldiers, they eat as much as 12 Goblins. The quest to hunt for food to feed the army is called "They Eat Like Orcs".
  • Shapeshifter Showdown: These can and will happen between druids of the opposing factions in PvP, and they can go on for a long time.
  • Shared Life Meter:
    • Some bosses have this, typically with the added mechanic that only one of them is either more vulnerable than the rest or the only one vulnerable. Examples include:
    • The Blood Prince Council in Wrath of the Lich King's Icecrown Citadel.
    • Mogu'shan Vaults in Mists of Pandaria has two examples of this in its first and last bosses:
      • The Stone Guard at the beginning will occasionally become invulnerable, requiring players to change targets.
      • The two main bosses of the Will of the Emperor encounter are both vulnerable to damage throughout the fight. But the encounter throws so much cannon fodder at you it's only possible to really focus on them at a few particular points.
    • The Trial of the Yaungol in the Mists dungeon Temple of the Jade Serpent. Both start out vulnerable, but as they take more damage they eventually develop into a buff that makes them temporarily invulnerable, requiring the party to alternate targets.
  • Sharing a Body: The Class Hall upgrade provider for demon hunters is Loramus Thalipedes, a demon hunter who has somehow had his soul reconstitute in the body of the dreadlord Razelikh and has to be restrained aboard the Fel Hammer so the latter doesn't regain control and attempt to attack everyone aboard. Their squabbling as they fight for control is periodically broadcasted across the ship.
  • Shark Tunnel: The Deeprun Tram.
  • Shattered World: Outland, and later Azeroth itself in Cataclysm.
  • Ship Sinking: Thrall and Jaina have been increasingly sunk as the storyline progresses, but the nail in the coffin comes with the quests surrounding the Firelands raid, in which Thrall and Aggra become life-mates, with Jaina present at the ceremony. The events of Mists of Pandaria which resulted in Theramore being completely destroyed by Garrosh have also seemingly completely and irredeemably shattered their friendship; Jaina now blames Thrall and even encourages to Varian to have her old friend killed.
  • Ship Tease: "Thrall and Jaina sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G".
  • Shock and Awe: The elemental Shaman's specialty!
    • Among the Conclave of Wind, Siamat tends to specialize in electric attacks.
  • Shock Collar: Thok the Bloodthirsty has one, as part of the orcish beastmasters' attempts to tame him as a beast of war. Oddly enough, it ends up causing damage to the players in the encounter.
  • Shoe Slap: Are you an Overseer, or someone magically disguised as an Overseer to infiltrate the organization? Do you have peons who refuse to work, sleep on the job, or are just being more clueless than normal? Then you need the Booterang! A tough boot that flies through the air, smacks worthless peons in the head, and returns to sender; and you can stay mounted while using it so you can fly through the air meting out discipline as needed, or more than needed.
  • Shoot Him! He Has a... Wallet: For Alliance players going to meet Vol'jin during Escalation, Zen'tabra tells you to keep your hands where they can see them; an Alliance soldier in Durotar is suspicious enough, but everyone is really jumpy with the civil war and Vol'jin was almost assassinated, so any odd move could be misinterpreted as hostile. This comes after some Darkspear guards trap you when you get too close and Zen'tabra has to tell them to back down.
  • Shoot the Dog:
    • You'll often be forced to kill an NPC that's gone rogue because there's no other way to end their suffering.
    • A big example in Val'sharah where you must kill the former Dragon Aspect Ysera after she is corrupted by Xavius.
  • Shoot the Medic First:
    • A basic tactic in both PvE and PvP combat. In PvP, healers are a primary target; to the point that there are entire addons dedicated to helping you identify, mark, and target them. In PvE, if a group of mobs has a healer, you'd better take it out or use crowd control on it first or your fight will be very long, if not impossible. This is hilariously lampshaded by one of the villains.
      Lord Victor Nefarius: Foolsss... Kill the one in the dress!
    • This one is particurlarly amusing if you remember that due to itemization in those days, you had a lot of healing paladins wearing cloth robes. Also amusing when you face him in Blackwing Lair, as Nefarian, and he fails to follow his own advice. He finds other ways to screw with the healers, though.
    • A possible reference to this idea is in one achievement, in which you must go through the gauntlet of enemies before Echo of Tyrande in End Time without your healer taking damage. Interestingly enough, it's possible to achieve this through Loophole Abuse by having your healer change into a non-healing spec.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The extensively long Myzrael questline is this if one thing happens: If you try to solo her before you're ready and die, you have no way to fight her again, because the item to summon her disappears after she's summoned and you specifically have no way to remake it. You would need to run it with somebody who hasn't already run it. At least, until they fixed the quest.
  • Shoulder-Sized Dragon: Players can get dragon whelplings as non-combat pets.
  • Shoulders of Doom: And how.
  • Shout-Out: There are more shout outs in the game than any sane person can count. Here is an attempt to categorize them.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: There are a couple of in-game places that commemorate deceased Blizzard employees or their relatives. There is also at least one NPC named after a deceased player.

  • Sibling Rivalry: Valiona and Theralion were supposed to be the greatest members of the Twilight Dragonflight, instead this brother/sister pair bickered and tried to outdo each other.
    Valiona: You are worthless, Theralion!
    Theralion: How dare you call me worthless! You will see why I am Mother's favored child!
  • Sickly Green Glow: Fel magic, the demons and the Forsaken's plague.
  • Sidequest Sidestory: Too many to mention.
  • Sidetracked By The Golden Saucer: There are weekly fishing tournaments, holidays, dailies, the monthly Darkmoon Faire, Archaeology, Pet Battles, farming, rare mob hunting...
  • Signature Move: Each of the 10 classes has at least three "specializations" or specsnote . When you select a spec, the moves that are unique to that spec are listed. These can be considered that spec's Signature Moves.
  • Signed Up for the Dental: Tony Two-Tusk might offer the player a job on his pirate crew—it's just chatter, players cannot accept—pointing out his benefits package, which includes a dental plan.
  • Silly Reason for War:
    • Or at least a silly reason for a murdering spree; one dwarf in the Explorer's League asks players to kill a bunch of Dark Iron Dwarves, not because they're stealing valuable artifacts, or plotting to take over the Badlands, but because he's thirsty and they have beer.
    • There's an even worse one than that in Searing Gorge, where a Dwarf sends you to kill several Dark Irons because... he's stuck in an outhouse with no toilet paper and wants you to rip off some shreds of their clothing so he can improvise...
    • In a Mists of Pandaria daily, a Pandaren sends you to kill a wolf named Cracklemaw in order to free up that name.
  • Single-Precept Religion:
    • The Church of the Holy Light. People follow it like a deity and it's set up rather like Catholicism, but the actual beliefs of the religion are never really elaborated upon in the game. The pen and paper RPGs do a good job of establishing its tenets.
  • Sinister Scythe: Staff users get a scythe from Ahune in the Midsummer Fire Festival event dungeon, Oregorger in Blackrock Foundry, and Gorak Tul in Waycrest Manor. Polearm users get one as two craftable items in Cataclysm, a drop from a vignette mob in Spires of Arak, and a Rare Random Drop from Argus the Unmaker in Antorus, the Burning Throne.
  • Sink the Lifeboats:
    • Both the Horde and Alliance have done this. In both cases it's arguable they were doing it over fears their opponents were still a threat and needed to be finished off, but there's also evidence that both were fueled purely by revenge.
    • In the 2nd Goblin starting zone, players rescue Thrall from an SI:7 ship, and he calls down the elements to defeat his captors, who are in the water or in lifeboats.
    • In the Alliance intro quests to Pandaria, the destruction of a Horde base leaves several survivors in the water trying to reach shore. Admiral Rogers orders them killed.

    Sk - Sl 
  • Skeleton Key: Subverted; the key to open the Scholomance door is called the Skeleton Key and has a skull-shaped bow, but otherwise is apparently just a normal key that opens one particular door.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet:
    • A recurring theme throughout Wrath of the Lich King. Look no further than the Wrath loading screen for a perfect example.
    • Blood trolls often cover themselves in bones, which is fitting as they're a race of cannibals.
  • Sliding Scale of Unavoidable vs. Unforgivable:
    • The Huojin and Tushui philosophies the Pandaren follow are on opposite sides of the scale; Huojin followers believe that the ends can justify the means, while Tushui followers reject victory through immoral actions. This also provides the distinction that leads some Pandaren to joining the Horde or Alliance, as they believe the Horde and Alliance exemplify the Huojin and Tushui philosophies respectively.
    • This is even shown by the actions of the leaders of both philosophies at the end of the Pandaren starting zone storyline. The Huojin leader Ji Firepaw believes he did what he had to do, to remove the crashed airship from the giant turtle so that healers can patch up the wound. Meanwhile the Tushui leader Aysa Cloudsinger found that action to be totally unforgivable because it resulted in the turtle almost bleeding to death and that Ji should've looked for another way. While initially upset, Ji later criticized Aysa that her inaction would've eventually led to the turtle's death anyway. Needless to say, this event ended the peaceful co-existence of both philosophies.
    • Their teacher, Master Shang Xi calls them both out on this. When he tasks players with finding the elemental spirits, he says it will be up to the players to do it, as they have a balance that the single-minded Aysa and Ji lack. Unfortunately, his death precedes the aforementioned crisis, leaving no one to moderate the two. And so Aysa and Ji along with their followers end up on the opposite sides of the barricades thanks to the fact that Poor Communication Kills.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: A part of the Slave Pens dungeon becomes this during the seasonal boss fight with Ahune. Many zones feature ice and snow motifs, but these do not hinder movement in any way.

    Sm - So 
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Johnny Awesome.
  • Smoldering Shoes: One gag NPC in Talador is a questgiver who gets launched out of her shoes by cannon fire before you can talk to her, resulting in this trope. You can add her shoes to your Toy Box, which make your footsteps smolder.
    • The weird part is she's a Draenei... Who can't wear boots, they have hooves. Just whose boots were they?
    • In Azshara in Legion, the outside of Xylem's Tower has a pair of boots belonging to an unfortunate mage who attempted to solve the puzzle to lower the arcane field guarding the tower and was vaporized. If you talk to another of Xylem's apprentices, it was apparently because he thought the order of the stones was right to left.
  • Smug Snake: Many, many, MANY of the bosses will gleefully mock or taunt you before or during their battles, only to cry for mercy or regret their actions when you down them. Few outside bosses forcefully turned against their will actually Face Death with Dignity.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: Beezil Linkspanner proves to be one on Draenor. The Goblin asks Alliance players to fetch him some Youngroot to make an elixir that he can sell; but when he gets the Youngroot, he decides it's of no use to him, takes a bottle of adder oil and writes "Youngroot" on the label.
  • Snake People: The Sethrak in Zandalar are humanoid cobras.
  • The Social Darwinist: The Mantid. Their periodic swarm is not meant to invade or conquer, but to send out their young to test themselves in battle, against whomever is there; Mogu, Pandaren, Alliance, Horde, doesn't matter as long as they're tough enough to fight back. The overwhelming majority die, but the ones who survive and return to the Dread Wastes are the toughest of the lot, ensuring that the future generations of Mantid will be stronger than ever.
    Commander Vo'jak: [after you kill the adds before him] Those who failed deserved to die! You have merely culled the weak!
  • Sociopathic Hero: Most players qualify, at least in-universe. For example:
    • Many "rescue" quests involve rescuing a specific number of NPCs who are in cages, chained up, etc. Once that number is reached, the rest of the prisoners are usually ignored, despite their pleas for help. Sometimes enforced by the game engine, which will stop allowing you to interact with the locks or chains that are restraining the NPCs, enemies stop dropping keys, etc. One Northrend daily quest justifies this, as after you rescue some prisoners who are mining Saronite, the questgiver tells you to stay away for the rest of the day, not wanting you to end up like them.
    • Players often accept quests that they end up becoming bored with, and abandon them. Or the player levels beyond the point that the quest will give them any real experience reward. From an in-universe perspective, the potential savior has abandoned the damsel in distress just before getting to the dragon. This Flintlocke comic perfectly sums up what players must often seem like to the NPCs, though the addition of dynamic enemy levels has mitigated this somewhat.
    • Many of the Knights of the Ebon Blade use quite ruthless tactics against the Lich King, many of which involve maximizing the body count against the Scourge and their allies.
  • Solo-Character Run: Acknowledging that high level characters can curb stomp old content, Blizzard has tweaked the old raids to allow this. These tweaks are not nerfs, they merely remove restrictions which require more than one person.
    • Averted with some of the higher raid achievements, starting with the ones in Pandaria. Several achievements literally require a full 10- or 25-person raid to complete. Any less, and even if you do it perfectly, you won't get credit.
  • Solo Class: Several classes have gained and lost this designation due to Blizzard's constant rebalancing, though Hunters, Paladins and Death Knights have been especially persistent examples in players' eyes. Some classes, particularly purely DPS classes, have specs that are better suited to leveling, and others that are better suited for group and raid play. The discovery that any class can solo group content at its original recommended level is usually followed by calls for a Nerf.
  • Solo Sequence: Mists of Pandaria introduced a few solo scenarios that advance the Operation Shieldwall/Dominance Offensive and Isle of Thunder questlines.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: The Worgen are the most "Victorian" of the races, in both look and voice. They are also the most raunchy when it comes to jokes, and are shameless perverts.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil:
    • The leveling up process, combined with the need for enemies to challenge higher level players, often results in such ridiculous juxtapositions as a Northrend bear cub being fifty-plus levels higher than the leader of the Defias Brotherhood, or the minor bosses of Naxxramas being far stronger than the Lord of Elemental Fire's original Molten Core incarnation. Onyxia, a challenge for forty level 60 players when she first appeared, was soloed by level 70+ players before she was revamped and buffed to match then-current levels.
    • A subversion with the Cataclysm expansion, as the infamous Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep instances got level 85 heroic versions, and Ragnaros came back as a 85 raid boss. Blizzard themselves have stated that a boss' level is a gameplay mechanic, and shouldn't be the sole measure of their strength in the greater scheme of the lore. However, the algorithm has also been specifically invoked with respect to the relative strength of Arthas and Deathwing. Essentially: "Arthas is badass, sure. But Deathwing is more powerful than all the other dragonflights combined. He deliberately bided his time until he was sure nothing in Azeroth could withstand him."
    • As noted above, most of the levels in the game are a case of Gameplay and Story Segregation, though typically each zone features(s) the player working their way through the lower ranks of the local cult/army/monsters and culminating with killing their leaders who are higher level and are explicitly described as being more powerful in-universe.
    • With Legion's level-matching mechanic now applied to the old world, you can basically level up to level 60 anywhere, and the local enemies will always be about the same level that you are, with quests giving appropriate experience rewards.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Threatening Geography: The game plays with this with each expansion. Classic WoW generally plays this straight: Virtually all the starting zones are very friendly looking, whilst the high level Plaguelands most certainly aren't. About the only classic zone that was an exception was Winterspring, a region of pristine winter wilderness that came after the bleak, poisonous and demon-infested Felwood.
    • The Burning Crusade plays with this. The demon-infested Hellfire Peninsula fits this trope as it continues on from the classic zones, however after that are the pleasant looking zones of Zangarmarsh, Nagrand and Terrokar Forest. However the highest level zones, Shadowmoon Valley and Netherstorm fit this trope to a T.
    • Wrath of the Lich King plays this completely straight, going from harshly beautiful fjords and tundra, to the zombified Icecrown Glacier.
    • Cataclysm averts it. The high level zones are all very esoteric and threatening, except for the highest level zone Twilight Highlands, which is mostly verdant hills and woodland.
    • Back to being played straight with Mists, you start in the verdant and beautiful Jade Forest, move to the verdant field of the Valley of the Four Winds or the dark but full of life Krasarang Wilds, then you move to the very brown Kun-Lai Summit, to the rather dim Townlong Steppes, before ending up at the nigh-eternally dark, incredibly hostile, and Sha-infested Dread Wastes.
    • Zig-zagged in Warlords of Draenor prior to patch 6.2, where you start out in either the lush Shadowmoon Valley or the frozen wastes of Frostfire Ridge, then ultimately end up in the beautiful rolling hills of Nagrand. Before you go there, you go to the Spires of Arak, which is decidedly bleak.
    • Legion zig-zags it, as the enemies in the Broken Isles actually match your level at all times, so you can go through the main "leveling" areas in any order, though all four of them are very nice-looking, though in rather different ways. After that, you go to Suramar, which is quite beautiful, and then the Broken Shore opened up later, which is the traditional hellish landscape with demons and green fel energy everywhere. Finally, when you go to Argus, the first two "areas", Krokuun and Antorun Wastes, are both almost carbon copies of the Broken Shore, while Mac'Aree is only lightly affected by the legion, and is still quite beautiful.
  • Soul Jar: As the Lich King is a lich, Ner'zhul/Arthas has one; part of becoming a lich is extracting your soul and putting it somewhere safe. In this case, it's the sword Frostmourne, which is what you're trying to destroy when you run through Icecrown Citadel. The problem is if you touch it unguarded, your soul is extracted/tortured/eaten by the blade, and your body becomes the Lich King's undead thrall.
  • So What Do We Do Now?: Maiev Shadowsong was Illidan Stormrage's jailer for millennia, and hunted him down when he escaped; when she finally kills him in the Black Temple raid, he points out that she is nothing without him.

    Sp - Sq 
  • Space Compression: Obviously this had to happen. As a result, the game only loads when entering and exiting instances, switching from one landmass to the next, and content from one expansion to the next.
    • Players with way too much time on their hands have estimated that, if a player's standard running speed is roughly equivalent to a Real Life human's average running speed, and then using that as a baseline measurement, the main land masses of Azeroth are roughly 40 miles long.
    • Typically, NPCs and in-game lore sources avoid giving exact dimensions of the continents. This may be to help mask this trope at work.
    • Leads to some hilarious instances of NPCs whose carts have broken down complaining about how they'll never make it to the city you can hit with your fireball spell at 40 yards.
  • Spanner in the Works: Frequently the players, who after going along with villains' schemes Because Thou Must, promptly turn around and kill them.
    • The Elemental Invasion has the player join the Twilight's Hammer cultists in Stormwind/Orgrimmar, work their way up to being entrusted with finishing the summoning rituals in Orgrimmar, and then... interrupt the summoning processes by saying the wrong words for the ritual.
    • This happens again when you infiltrate the Twilight's Hammer on Mt. Hyjal. Instead of a summoning ritual, you give a graduation speech to initiate cult members, whom you incite to riot.
    • While you quest in Zul'Drak, you'll loot an amulet that you take back to the Ebon Blade for examination because something doesn't seem right about it. It turns out that it was enchanted to compel the finder to put it on, and that it would have turned you into a mindless ghoul. What's more, Drakuru, who'd played you for an Unwitting Pawn in Grizzly Hills, is behind it—and worse, he's specifically targeting you. Because Drakuru won't stop trying to recruit you, the Ebon Blade decide to make it look like he's succeeded—they modify the amulet to disguise you as a ghoul, and you proceed to infiltrate Drakuru's operation, sabotaging it from the inside repeatedly. This culminates in Drakuru's death at the Lich King's hand.
    • The sheer number of times Garrosh Hellscream has averted peace and understanding due to his own lack of tact and violent tendencies rivals Kaiser Wilhelm's.
    • The Alliance and Horde suddenly arriving on Kul Tiras and Zandalar respectively are spanners to plots that are going on. Alliance members disrupt Lady Ashvane's plot to usurp control over the Kul Tiran navy, while Horde members stop the corrupt Zanchuli Council from ousting King Rastakhan though this ends up playing into their hands anyway.
  • Spare a Messenger: When the player helps a band of Tauren warbraves track down Dargul at the start of the Highmountain questline, he uses the Hammer of Khaz'goroth to kill the whole group, with only the player surviving. Instead of finishing you off, he lets you go to act as a warning to the other Tauren. This comes back to bite him later.
  • The Spartan Way: Many Death Knight Initiates are found wanting, and do not live long enough to become real Death Knights. Those who do reach Death Knight status are not only allowed, but actively encouraged to fight each other and see who is stronger.
  • Spectacular Spinning:
    • Warriors' Whirlwind and Bladestorm, Paladins' Divine Storm, Monks' Spinning Crane Kick, and Rogues' Fan of Knives. Many character dances include spins, and the Blood Elf jump animation occasionally does it completely gratuitously.
    • The Belfs occasionally spinning is most likely a reference to the fact that Night Elves occasionally did an aerial front flip during their jump.
    • Taken up a notch again, male Worgen occasionally do an aerial backflip while jumping. Even while jumping forward.
  • Spiked Blood: Used as a mechanic in Atal'Dazar, where Priestess Alun'za's Transfusion attack will damage her if the group members previously gave themselves the damage over time effect from the pools of Tainted Blood in the room.
  • Spikes of Doom:
    • While normally seen on Scary Impractical Armor as of WotLK, it's now taken to ridiculous levels in Orgrimmar for Cataclysm, as just about every inch of the city is covered in spikes. It was reduced slightly by WoD, but there are still spikes everywhere.
    • There is even a vendor in the Horde garrison which sells "Unnecessary Spikes". Their flavor text claims "It's a matter of style".
    • Discussed by Solog Roark at the Iron Docks, it's a good deterrent for pesky adventurers trying to grapple their way up to a balcony.
  • Spooky Painting:
    • In the second-last boss room in Scholomance, there are several paintings on the wall that have eyes that follow you. This is completely expected for a Haunted Castle that is a necromancy school, except some of the paintings are bright and colorful, which makes it really easy to see the eyes looking right at you, and stands in stark contrast to Scholomance, one of the darkest, gloomiest locations in the whole game.
    • The statue busts in the previous boss room also turn to look at you.
  • Square Race, Round Class:
    • Grimnur Stonebrand, the Ironforge fishing trainer. When he gives you a quest to seek out Nat Pagle, he points out the absurdity of a dwarf, who are traditionally miners and blacksmiths, are built like stone, and live in a cavernous city with lava pools, being a fisherman.
    • Tauren Rogues exist. Yes, Tauren Rogues.
    • There is now another way to simulate Tauren Rogues. As well as ogre and ettin Rogues.
    • While Tauren Rogues are still on the table, most ridiculously large Humanoids were re-classified as "Giants" before that glyph left beta, to prevent them from being copied -for obvious reasons.
    • Mishka, a draenei, is The Medic for SI:7, an Alliance organization of rogues and assassins, raising the question of whether she is also a rogue.
    • One of the followers you can recruit in Warlords of Draenor is Dagg, a subtlety rogue...who's an ogre.

  • Stable Time Loop:
    • The "Mysteries of the Infinite" and "Mysteries of the Infinite, Redux" quests involve this. The Caverns of Time instances have the Infinite Dragonflight trying to destabilize various time loops, so of course you have to stop them.
    • The "End Time" dungeon itself depicts the end of a stable time loop involving the Infinite Dragonflight. Nozdormu accompanies you there, where you encounter Murozond, his insane future self. Murozond makes this comment: "The "End Time," I once called this place. I had not seen, by then; I did not know. You hope to... what? Stop me, here? Change the fate I worked so tirelessly to weave?". Nozdormu helps you kill his future self, and then says this: "At last it has come to pass. The moment of my demise. The loop is closed. My future self will cause no more harm. Still, in time, I will... fall to madness. And you, heroes... will vanquish me. The cycle will repeat. So it goes." It's indicated that Murozond fell into what the Doctor would call the destiny trap. "You can't change history if you're part of it." Murozond remembered being Nozdormu and thought he could stop you from defeating him. Also, despite this being the end of the infinite dragonflight, this takes place far in the future. And the infinite dragonflight does not yet exist in our present. They are formed later, and travel back in time to cause mischief for us. So we see their end before we see their beginning. It's hinted we will see their beginnings in Warlords of Draenor.
    • The novels had stated that Nozdormu knew his eventual fate all alongnote , as a limitation when he got his powers, and the knowledge that he would never be able to avoid it. He hadn't fallen into the destiny trap; he'd been in it from the beginning as a condition of his powers as an Aspect.
  • Standard Hero Reward: Not for the player, but in the Twilight Highlands, Keegan Firebeard rescues Fanny Thundermar from ogres, and later they get married. Subverted in that the two Wildhammer clans were trying to arrange the marriage before the kidnapping, and Fanny had partially rescued herself before Keegan arrived; also inverted as it was Fanny's pounding on three ogres that impressed Keegan enough to seal the deal.
  • Kael'thas Sunstrider is this for Illidan.
  • Both of the alternate Gul'dan's lieutenants Teron'gor and Cho'gall. Teron'gor tries to keep the draenei souls within Auchindoun to himself to become more powerful than Gul'dan, while Cho'gall goes back on Gul'dan's plan to subjugate the fallen naaru K'ure, opting instead to expedite its collapse into a void god.
  • Star-Spangled Spandex: Algalon the Raid Destroyer.
    • As well as his newer, Cloud Serpent counterpart - Elegon. With the bonus effect of each person in the raid turning into one as well while they're on the central platform.
  • Stationary Boss: Several, most of whom have a mechanic that deals extreme damage when their target is not in melee range:
    • Kil'jaeden in the Sunwell.
    • Kologarn in Ulduar.
    • Sinestra in Heroic Bastion of Twilight.
    • Ragnaros is fought three times, and is stationary in all three, except Heroic Firelands where he sprouts legs for the last phase of the fight.
    • Both Ultraxion and the Madness of Deathwing in Dragon Soul. The former is hovering in mid-air off the edge of the Wyrmrest summit, while the latter is suspended above the Maelstrom by his tentacles and in the second phase, falls between Ysera and Nozdormu's platforms.
    • Wise Mari in the Temple of the Jade Serpent.
    • The Sha of Anger in Kun-Lai Summit.
    • Elegon in Mogu'shan Vaults.
    • Megaera's heads and Durumu in Throne of Thunder.
    • Immerseus, the Amalgam of Corruption, the Sha of Pride, and the Iron Juggernaut in Siege Mode in Siege of Orgrimmar.
    • Kromog in Blackrock Foundry.
    • Helya in Maw of Souls and Trial of Valor.
    • Il'gynoth in the Emerald Nightmare.
    • Krosus in the Nighthold.
    • Kin'garoth in Antorus, the Burning Throne.
    • Hexos in the Brawler's Guild inverts this; he forces the player to remain stationary in the middle, and you have to turn him so that he doesn't collide with any of the pink walls that collapse on your location.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • No matter what happens, it is doubtful any partnership between the Alliance and the Horde will be permanent. Despite Warcraft III closing out with the barrier down and Jaina letting her father die to preserve the partnership, World of Warcraft's gameplay relies on the faction barrier, and it's kept it so long that many see it as a key element of the franchise.
    • No matter what happens to either the Alliance or the Horde, they're never allowed to truly change or lose anything. The Horde is theoretically smaller and has been hit a lot harder by the various wars, and Blizzard even said that the Alliance is much more of a world power than the Horde, yet the Horde is always able to match them when they inevitably start fighting again. For example, the blood elves, who used to be part of the Alliance, were in talks to switch back when Garrosh started crossing the line, but to no one's surprise, the talks were sabotaged.
    • Played straight for the first few years while each expansion starts to subvert it little by little. Cataclysm, however supposedly takes this trope and delivers it a swift kick in the crotch with a steel-toe boot.
      I knew it! Looks like Yowler is behind this uprising - which is incredible, because we keep killing gnolls named Yowler. I don't know how many sons the original Yowler had, but it's got to be close to a hundred. Well, looks like we got ourselves another Yowler to kill.
    • Similarly, Fungalmancer Glop apparently had a son before his untimely death. He named his son Glop. Said son also had a son, named Glop. Who had a son, named- well, it should be obvious.
    • The "phasing" technology introduced in Wrath and utilized heavily in Cataclysm averts this, in certain areas and for individual characters. If a given portion of the game use this technology, then changes made to that portion of the game are, for the character in question, persistent. Although the Firelands dailies subvert that as well. Once you have everything unlocked you get a choice between two portions of the dailies, which have temporary phasing effects.
  • Staying Alive:
    • Muradin, Baelgun, Magtheridon, Mal'Ganis and Balnazzar were given on-screen "deaths" and still came back. Justified in the case of dreadlords like Mal'Ganis, who are repeatedly hinted to be immortal, or at least able to come back from the dead.
    • Justified in Muradin's case, too; we only saw him getting hit on the head with a blunt piece of ice; only Arthas said that Muradin was dead, and Arthas had already proven himself to be an Unreliable Narrator.
    • Additionally, in the novel, Arthas, the titular character would've just healed Muradin if he wasn't tempted by the sword that was trapped in the ice. So he was still alive after being hit, he was just ditched afterwards. Probably a retcon to match with his survival though.
  • Stealth Pun: So many...
    • Frost Death Knights have a passive ability that makes your mount move faster. The ability's name is, of course, On a Pale Horse.
    • An additional example comes from the goblin starting areas, where a quest sends you in search of "Intact Naga Hides." If you don't get it off the bat, say "naga hides" quickly.
    • There is a glyph of Righteous Retreat for Paladins that allows them to teleport away with their hearthstone faster while their divine shield is active, making fun of this tactic being used by players to escape certain death despite it being very cowardly for a Paladin.
    • The infamous Stitches questline is tied to an NPC called Abercrombie the Embalmer, giving you a pairing very close to Abercrombie and Stitch.
    • The Tauren capital of Thunder Bluff is built atop a plateau, making it a literal cow level.
  • Steampunk: The engineering profession is essentially this, and it inspires most of the gnomish, dwarven and goblin technology.
  • Steel Ear Drums: Mishka, a Draenei SI:7 agent in Pandaria is a rare aversion of this. In the beta, her plane was shot down by the Horde and the explosion damaged her hearing, though it comes back later. In the live version, the quest line was changed and no mention of the explosion is made, but some of her spoken lines imply that she does suffer some hearing loss.
  • Stern Teacher: At the Nar'Thalas Academy, Headmistress Elya Azuremoon has been stuck in this mode ever since she died 10,000 years ago. When you ask her for the Tidestone of Golganneth, she attacks you with spells like "Extra Homework" and "Detention". Also, a student ghost sleeping in the halls is having nightmares about her and the paddle.
  • Sticks to the Back: Every two-handed melee weapon does this. Most one-handed weapons are on your hips. Ranged weapons are visible on the character's back in Mists of Pandaria.
  • Stock Dinosaurs:
    • Trolls use raptors as their default mount, and the starter pet for troll hunters is a raptor.
    • Most prominent is Un'Goro Crater, which includes T-Rex, Raptors, Stegosaurus, and Pterodactyls.
    • Mists of Pandaria introduces some new varieties of stock dinosaur expys with the Isle of Giants and Isle of Thunder, including direhorns (Triceratops), Compy (Compsognathus), and a new Pterodactyl model.
  • Stock Sound Effects: Not quite Doom Doors, but when you hit a deer mob, they make noises that any Doom player will recognize as the cries of human enemies and imps from that game.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: The Warcraft universe seems to have an equivalent, the Durnholde Syndrome, as stated in these quests.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical:
    • The new Horde's view of the Old Horde. The fan's view of Garrosh Hellscream can also be summed up as this.
    • An NPC in Swamp of Sorrows yells at her succubus for this reason.
      Oh, would you please stop checking your nails and spanking yourself for one moment? Really, no one cares!
  • Stop Poking Me!: Well, naturally. You're right inside the trope namer's universe, after all.
  • Stout Strength: Dwarves, despite being quite short and possessing a noticeable gut, are probably the strongest race relative to their size. Ogres are classically The Big Guy of the Horde for a reason, able to fight evenly with an armored, mounted human knight. Pandaren, especially the males, are perhaps the greatest example with no visible muscle definition to speak of, but having overthrown an empire with little more than their bare hands.
  • Strange Pond Woman:
    • Exaggerated with with the Argent Tournament. There is now an actual sword-distributing strange woman in EVERY lake of the northern continent.
    • Another noteworthy example is the wise old ogre who crowns the character king or Queen of Ogri'La. Since the quest is a group quest and was quite popular back in its days, it rarely took long until a new batch of five new kings & queens was publicly announced by the same old ogre.
    • A third example from Wrath of the Lich King is the Battered Hilt quest chain, which leads to an actual sword as a reward and your name being announced across Dalaran (players that couldn't use swords got an equivalent alternative).
  • Stripperific: Alexstrasza is the leader of the Red Dragonflight, who are responsible for maintaining all life on Azeroth. Her outfit makes sense in a certain way, if you know what I mean.
    • Ysera's humanoid form shares the same model with Alexstrasza; being the Aspect of Nature, the costume makes sense in a different way.
    • Sylvanas has a very similar outfit, but she has no excuse.
    • Players can make their characters stripperific with the right armors for transmogrification. Special mention goes to the Sentinel Breastplate/Peerless Armor/Warden's Wraps + Ceremonial Leather Loincloth combo, which makes male characters quite skimpy indeed.
  • Stripped to the Bone:
    • During the Iron Horde invasion of the Blasted Lands, players get a quest to kill Mokrik Blackfingers, who is armed with a big gun, and loads of explosives. When he is killed, the explosives blow up, reducing him to a charred skeleton.
    • In the Horde version of the intro to Stormheim, the player controls a catapult to fire canisters of blight at the attacking Alliance griffins overhead. One hit from the canisters instantly kills the griffins and turns them into skeletons.
    • In the updated Blackfathom Depths in Legion, the Twilight's Hammer are attempting to corrupt Ghamoo-Ra when the players interrupt the process, causing the cultists to all get fried by lightning.
    • In the Alliance quest "Fragment of the Firelands" in Zuldazar, you take control of a lava elemental and use it to kill the Horde's goblin workers. Touching the goblins causes them to catch fire and instantly be reduced to flaming skeletons that run for a few seconds before completely burning away.
  • Stuck Items: You can't unequip or replace the backpack that your character starts with. Quite frustrating, as there are readily-available bags with more storage space. Word of God says that removing your backpack is not in the cards, as canny players would inevitably figure out some way to lose all their inventory slots. Upgrades are a possibility, though, for future contentnote .

  • Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: Common in the game.
    • The Burning Crusade: Illidan, Kael'thas, and Zul'jin are transformed from complex characters into generic villains with no sympathetic qualities or motivations.
    • Wrath of the Lich King: Malygos decides to kill all magic users.
    • Cataclysm: The Zandalari go from neutral scholars and history keepers of the troll race into The Empire, although it's indicated that they're Fighting for a Homeland.
    • Mists of Pandaria: Garrosh becomes a generic villain likely as a result of his extreme unpopularity with the fanbase. Also the war against the Zandalari starts going into Guilt-Free Extermination War territory.
    • Garrosh's change is lampshaded in Tides of War, in which some observers on the Horde side notice how much Garrosh has changed since he summarily executed Overlord Krom'Gar for his war crimes in Cataclysm, and this is before he blows up Theramore. Christie Golden says Garrosh lacks "a strong core," and is easily influenced by people and situations, causing him to develop negatively when he surrounds himself with "bad and dangerous" advisors.
    • Warlord Zaela, who went from an unprejudiced Reasonable Authority Figure to a xenophobic Bad Boss. To wit: in Cataclysm she wanted to free her clan from fel corruption, her True Companions were Cozwynn (forsaken) and Garona (half-draenei), and she admired Garrosh for being corruption free and managing to hold together such a diverse group of people. In Mists, she was supportive of the orcs using the old gods' corruption, she hated all races of the Horde and expressed the belief that Vol'jin was dumb because he was a troll in War Crimes, and she loved Garrosh for corrupting himself with an old god artifact and alienating the races of the Horde.
    • Yrel in Battle for Azeroth. In Warlords of Draenor, she was one of the most unambiguously good women in WoW this side of Alexstrasza and one of the few times that Blizzard did not screw up writing a female character, and became quite the fan favorite as a result. As revealed in the Mag'har Orc recruitment storyline, she now leads a band of draenei, orcs, and ogres collectively known as the Lightbound who seek to convert all the orcs of Draenor to the Light (willingly or not). While her intentions are good, she has become far more ruthless than before. Unsuprisingly, this turn of events was not well-received by her fans.
  • Suicide by Cop: Keristrasza pulls this at the end of the Nexus dungeon, due to a combination of More Than Mind Control and I Cannot Self-Terminate. Well, more like suicide by player. After killing Malygos's consort out of revenge, Malygos captures Keristrasza, mind controls her, rapes her, repeatedly, and forces her to attack the players. She successfully goads the players into killing her.
  • Suicide Mission:
    • Thassarian, one of the Knights of the Ebon Blade, gets sent on one because the Alliance is unwilling to accept him as a Death Knight.
    • In Mt. Hyjal, players rescue Kristoff Manheim from ogres; his superior thought it was a suicide mission and jokes that if he survived, then he failed.
    • Wrathion thinks that there is virtually no chance that the rogue on the legendary quest chain will return from killing Deathwing.
    • The initial entry into Draenor is stated to be one since the mission's goal is to close the portal on the way in, stranding the forces in an unknown world with a hostile army just on the other side.
  • Summon Magic:
    • Primarily Warlocks, who can summon a demon to aid them in battle. Mages who specialize in Frost magic can also summon a permanent Water Elemental. Death Knights of the Unholy specialization can also summon a permanent ghoul. Several other classes can summon magical helpers but only for a short time.
    • Hunter pets must be found in the wild and tamed, but once the hunter has tamed a beast it is added to a roster of active pets they can select at will and summon. Where such hunter abilities lie on the game/story spectrum, however, is not fully explained.
    • Mounts and vanity pets follow this too: you can have over a hundred of each, but you never have more than one of each around at any given time. Where the rest go, and how they get back to you when you call them, is never really explained.
  • Supernaturally Marked Grave: In Legion after players are forced to kill the Nightmare-corrupted Ysera, Elune takes Ysera's soul back to the Emerald Dream, leaving behind a dragon-shaped patch of grass; notable in that the grass is growing on top of the stone terrace of the Temple of Elune.
  • Supernormal Bindings: A quest line investigating Defias activity in Dustwallow Marsh yielded enchanted shackles from the wreckage of a ship, which indicated it had been transporting the king of Stormwind.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Both subverted and played straight, depending on the quest. While you've definitely done your fair share of heroics, most of the major story arcs will have another character who takes part in the story, and if the event is referenced again later in the game, will inevitably get all the credit. The most obvious example is Tirion Fordring in Wrath of the Lich King.
    • Then again, in Tides of War, Thrall implies that the players helped out against Deathwing.
      Thrall: It was all of us, working together- dragons and brave representatives of every race of this world. The credit for slaying the great monster goes to many.
  • Surplus Damage Bonus: Several healing classes have a feature where overhealing reduces damage taken by the healing target.
  • Survived the Beginning: The invasion through the Dark Portal at the start of Warlords of Draenor left only a handful of survivors who managed to escape the Iron Horde. All of them make it to the end of the expansion except for Maraad who got a heroic sacrifice, and Cordana Felsong, who got brainwashed by Gul'dan and joined the Legion.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: While questing as an Alliance character in Twilight Highlands, one quest has an NPC instruct you to go into a hut in the ruins of his village, which has been razed and captured by the enemy, in search of ale. Inside the hut is a sign that says "Ale downstairs. Do not touch. Sincerely, not the bad guys." Definitely not a trap.
  • Symbol Swearing: How the chat filters work, though you can disable this if you choose to. NPCs avert this, as their swearing isn't censored.

  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Four of the five ships in the Garrison shipyard form a tactical circle, where each ship is strong against another ship. The fifth is a Transport that carries troops to Land objectives.
    • Carriers have airplanes that can attack Battleships without coming in range of their guns.
    • Battleships have guns that can penetrate the armor on Destroyers.
    • Destroyers carry depth charges to attack Submarines.
    • Submarines attack from under the water where the Carrier's air support cannot attack.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss:
    • King Gobbamak in the first wing of Operation: Mechagon has an AoE attack that must be soaked and gives players a buff that lets them activate the machines in the area, which will then repel his trogg minions.
    • Drest'agath in Ny'alotha, in two different ways; she can regenerate all damage done to her unless it was dealt by players buffed by the pools of ichor leftover from her destroyed appendages, and she can give players a DoT that explodes upon expiration and increases damage taken by both players and appendages hit.
  • Tagalong Chronicler: Addie Fizzlebog is the gnome who has been ghostwriting all of Hemet Nesingwary's books. Her first in-game appearance is in Legion where she decides it's time to grab a gun and join the hunt herself.
  • Take a Number: The first encounter with Nexus-Prince Haramad has him telling you that "If you are here to kill me, please take a number and wait for your turn."
  • Take a Third Option: Generally, after completing the Wandering Isle quests, a pandaren must choose to side with either the Alliance or the Horde. Doubleagent of Mannoroth took a third optionnote 
  • Take That!:
    • One of the /silly emotes for the female Worgen goes At least we don't sparkle."
    • In "Heart of War", Garrosh, while pondering the Horde's problems, finds it unbelievable that the trolls would be unable to retake the Echo Isles from Zalazane, a witch doctor with a single-digit level, in a case of Gameplay and Story Segregation mixed with Actually a Doombot.
      And the trolls. Garrosh could barely stand to think of it. Recruit after recruit had been sent to aid them in reclaiming their land to the south, and somehow all attempts had still failed. Apparently this had been going on for years. What kind of people could not even take down a single witch doctor? Was it really going to take a full-scale invasion—yet more diversion of Horde troops—to reclaim a few measly islandsnote ?
    • The Sha of Pride from the Siege of Orgrimmar raid has more than a few lines that could be seen as one to the "Elitist" crowd.
    • The Coin-Operated Crowd Pummeler in The MOTHERLOAD!! dungeon gains a damage buff from vacuuming up piles of coins when fought on Heroic and Mythic. The buff is called Pay to Win.
  • Take Your Time: Though some timed quests do exist, most will let you take as long as you need. With regards to dungeons, no matter what manner of world-threatening evil lurks beneath the surface, it will remain in exactly the same state whether you decide to tackle it at level 45 or at level 90. This trope is also lampshaded during a Mount Hyjal quest with an NPC that has been captured and left dangling from the ceiling.
    Kristoff Manheim: Well? Are you going to help me down?
    Player: Um, no. Would you mind hanging out a little longer? I have some stuff I need to take care of first.
    Kristoff Manheim: You... WHAT? Come over here and say that! [Kristoff kicks and flails his limbs in a frothing rage, his head twisting around to glare at you] So help me, I will - I am going to - I will knock your brains out! I will fill the empty cavity left behind with my boot! Come here! GET BACK HERE!
  • Taken for Granite:
    • In the events leading up to Cataclysm, Magni Bronzebeard performs a ritual in Old Ironforge to figure out what's causing the natural disasters around the world. He misinterprets the ritual, however, causing him to be turned into a diamond statue. As his heir and grandson, Fenran Dagran Thaurissan II, is currently only a toddler, the rule of Ironforge is now being taken up by Muradin Bronzebeard, Magni's brother, Falstad Wildhammer, the high thane of the Wildhammer clan, and Moira Thaurissan, Magni's daughter. He eventually regains autonomy and becomes a prominent character from Legion onward.
    • In the Stone Guard encounter, as well as in some of the trash pulls before and after the encounter, if your debuff stacks too high, you will be turned to jade and rendered unable to move or act.
    • In Mists of Pandaria, the jade statues in the Jade Witch's garden look incredibly realistic...
  • Taking You with Me:
    • Razorgore the Untamed, the first boss of Blackwing Lair, has a mechanic where if he is slain before a player can force him to destroy all of the black dragon eggs in the room, the remaining eggs will explode and instantly kill the whole raid. If this happens, there's no way to circumvent it regardless of level, current health, or defensive abilities active, so the fight was notoriously near-impossible to solo until a patch in Legion made it easier.
    • When the Pantheon captures Sargeras, he attempts to get out one last hit on Azeroth by plunging his sword into it, thereby setting up the plot of Battle for Azeroth.
    • Lightforged draenei have a racial passive that makes them capable of doing this, whereupon death they explode in a blast of light that damages enemies and heals teammates.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Nothing will stop a boss from talking, and in some cases, they cannot be attacked while talking. Keristraza can rant at you while using her breath weapon. Half-averted for the players — you have to, y'know, type to talk, meaning you're not firing off your abilities — but you can make a simple macro beforehand...
  • Talking Weapon: Several weapons and other equipment pieces would randomly whisper to the players, but three of the Artifact weapons have voiced lines; as all of them were apparently more than just weapons, they don't like their current situations so they range from Servile Snarkers to Evil Weapons. Aluneth is some kind of entity which Aegwynn had bound to a staff who ridicules things around the player, as well as the player. The Skull of the Man'ari is an Eredar mage who was betrayed by Archimonde and is reduced to a talking skull; he gives advice, but also mocks the player. And Xal'atath, Blade of the Black Empire is an Old God creation that is out to absorb anything it kills, which will include the player if they stop being of use to it.
  • Taunt Button: You can use /rude on other players and NPCs as you see fit. The actual taunt, however, is a vital tool for tanks, enabling them to distract monsters from more vulnerable teammates, including tanks who have received a damaging or defense-lowering debuff from the boss.
  • Taxidermy Terror: There is a boss fight with one of these. It begins with two of four random trophy monsters unfreezing and attacking you (all four attack in Heroic). Then Gortok Palehoof unfreezes from the other side of the room and charges your group, starting the actual boss fight.

  • Team Switzerland:
    • The human kingdom of Gilneas used to be this. After doing the minimum possible in the war against the orcs in Warcraft II, they claimed they didn't have to be bothered by "other people's wars", left the Alliance and cut all contacts with other kingdoms, walling themselves and doing nothing to help during the Zombie Apocalypse in Warcraft III. In World of Warcraft they still seem to be this trope at first, as they still don't support the Alliance nor the Horde, but it is revealed that the refusal to help the Alliance triggered a civil war, trying to defend themselves against the Zombie Apocalypse led to an invasion of werewolves, and their status as a neutral faction caused them to be attacked by the Horde as a way to get to the Alliance indirectly. They end up rejoining the Alliance because some night elves happened to be there for a completely different reason, and only after many arguments.
    • Neutral factions like the Argent Crusade, Cenarion Circle or Dalaran were created by members of both Horde and Alliance who believed that they should put aside their differences and petty feuds to focus on the global Omnicidal Maniac threats. But when these threats are no more and the only conflict in the region is Alliance vs Horde, they can come up as this trope.
    • Alterac is a more literal example. A mountainous, tiny nation wedged between powerful kingdoms, known for its own brand of cheese and St. Bernhard dogs which is, at best, treated with disdain by its friends, or outright hated for its neutrality and treachery. It doesn't help that it has a nasty habit of [Turncoat changing sides] and untertaking subversive actions to maintain its independence at all costs. Even after the fall of its human rulers, it maintains its status in World of Warcraft as a faction neutral zone, but mostly thanks to total anarchy than any conscious decision.
  • Temporary Online Content: The game has done this lots of times, in many different ways. There are lots of items, achievements and titles that can no longer be obtained, or quests that can't be done anymore.
    • Several one-time-only events offered goodies which are otherwise unobtainable. A particularly rare mount could only be obtained after an event requiring countless man-hours from the entire server, for a period of less than a day. Any future new servers will have this event completed already, as well. Add in holiday rewards, anniversary pets, world events, and advertising promotion rewards...
    • Some achievements are no longer obtainable, whether from being tied to a one-time event or from removed content, and those that are become Feats of Strength, worth no points.
    • Many NPCs and quests from the original WoW were wiped off the map in the Cataclysm expansion or otherwise went missing without explanation. Well, apart from the fact that a psychotic black dragon had recently wreaked major havok across the kingdoms and killed millions throughout the world. Oddly enough, many NPCs that were made redundant from certain changes still stick around, such as additional profession trainers or the class trainers. While the old quests would be completely outdated by today's standards, they contained a lot of story that new players won't be able to experience anymore when the old world was paved over - like the Onyxia quest chain - as the new quests focus on story set during the events of Cataclysm. As for items, the most blatant example is the Black Qiraji Battle Tank mount. Back then, the only way to get it was by being the first one to open the gates of Ahn'Qiraj, something so hard to accomplish that it's said less than one player by server owns it, especially now that the related event was removed during Wrath of the Lich King. As for levels, there were many dungeons that got completely reworked in later expansions, with the old versions no longer accesible, such as Naxxramas, Onyxia's Lair, or Upper Blackrock Spire.
    • Burning Crusade saw the quests related to Karazhan being removed when Legion added a second visit there. The quest chain provided plenty of lore about the tower, the Kirin Tor, and Khadgar himself.
    • Wrath of the Lich King saw the Battle for Undercity, the conclusion for the Wrathgate chapter of the storyline, completely removed during Cataclysm, related to Undercity getting a revamp in said expansion and said Battle taking place in the old version. Without it, the Wrathgate quest chain suddenly just ends with you standing in front of Alexstrasza, who has nothing to say while the Alliance and Horde armies lie dead all around you. You then mount up and fly to Grizzly Hills because there's nothing left to do. Striking back against Putress was a satisfying conclusion to the storyline. Before that, Varimathras - an important demonic NPC who was made a killable villain during said quest chain - was removed to players who had completed the quest chain, preventing access to a a few low-level quests which he gave out. However, a new orc NPC was added in patch 3.3 who handed out the same quests as Varimathras did.
    • Mists of Pandaria saw the Vale of Eternal Blossoms being completely destroyed at the end of the storyline, preventing the players not only from seeing the old place but from doing the quests taking place there. The Vale of Eternal Blossoms, now corrupted by the Sha, used to be a beautiful and golden valley with an almost entirely different set of quests and exclusive storylines. This zone was available for less than a year, disappearing entirely when Garrosh's actions ruined the vale. However, by far the worst example here is the removal of the legendary cloak quest chain during Warlords of Draenor. Not only these quests contained a lot of story regarding Wrathion, but the reward for completing them is completely necessary to access a fight against a boss, Ordos. Players who didn't get the cloak with at least one of their characters back when these quests were available simply can't fight Ordos.
    • Blizzard repeated the previous example during Warlords of Draenor, with the legendary ring quest chain being removed during Legion. Although this time there was no boss who required the ring, the quests involved a lot of story regarding Gul'dan and Cordana Felsong, and featured exclusive lore and interactions with Khadgar, Garona, Yrel, and others. Without that story, Gul'dan basically appears out of nowhere in Tanaan Jungle and Cordana Felsong's Face–Heel Turn in Legion is completely unexplained. The events that occur within these quests have ramifications that run all the way into current content, and their removal makes later developments in certain plotlines confusing and half-explained.
    • Mists of Pandaria introduced the Black Market, an NPC auction house where many formerly unavailable items such as unique mounts and old raid loot are put up for bidding at exorbitant prices. The revamped Darkmoon Faire introduced in Cataclysm added cosmetic versions of the old dungeon gear sets that were formerly unavailable.
    • While Battle for Azeroth left the Class Hall campaigns more or less intact, one major change made was that, for obvious in-story reasons, you are no longer able to use Champions that belong to your rival faction.
  • Tempting Fate: A Goblin rocket called the "Uncrashable", not surprising that it looks like it's on the verge of exploding, but the real shocker is that occasionally it lives up to its name, and reaches its destination safely.
  • 10,000 Years:
    • Illidan Stormrage, one of the villains of the Burning Crusade expansion, was imprisoned for ten thousand years in a lightless prison for his betrayal. He tells us this himself during the cinematic.
    • If you forgot that the Burning Legion invaded 10,000 years ago, don't worry. The NPCs in Legion are more than happy to remind you.

  • Thank the Maker: Grizzle Gearslip, who ran the Goblin excavation that finds the Heart of Y'Shaarj, apparently prays to science instead of any deity.
    Grizzle Gearslip: Thank the laws of physics you're here!
  • That Russian Squat Dance: Part of the male dwarf dance.
  • That Thing Is Not My Child!: This is Alexstrazsa's response after finding out Deathwing has corrupted a large number of young red dragons into "mindless abominations":
    Alexstrazsa: They clutch no longer. Bring them down.
  • Theme Naming: Most of the Dragons:
    • Red dragons: names end with -strasz for males or -strasza for females.
    • Blue dragons: names end with -gos for males or -gosa for female; also Colourful Theme Naming with blue such as Azuregos, Cyanigosa, and Colbatann, or sometimes a reference to magic, such as Manaclaw, Arcanagos, Spellmaw.
    • Green dragons: references to dreams such as Somnus, Weaver, Morphaz, several begining with Dream- , and some Colourful Theme Naming like Jade and Emeriss.
    • Bronze dragons: names end with -ormu for males, and Chronormu / Chromie) or -ormi for females; Temporal Theme Naming like Chronormu, Anachronos, Eternos, and Chronalis is here, too.
    • Their evil counterpart, the Infinite Dragonflight, have Temporal Theme Naming like Temporus, Aeonus, Epoch Hunter, and Chrono Lord Deja.
    • Black dragons: Colourful Theme Naming with black such as Rivendark, Blackscale, and Sabellion/Sablemane, and/or Rock Theme Naming like Ebonroc, Obsidia, Onyxia, or reference to something bad like Nefarian, Smolderwing, Insidion, Nihil, Sinestra, and DEATHWING), or something related to fire/heat like Flamegor, Searinox, Emberstrife, Firemaw, Singe, or ending in -ithria/-ia for females and -ithrian/-ian/-ion for males.
    • Nether dragons: names usually ends with -aku or -us, otherwise it is because someone already give them their names.
    • Twilight dragons, who use -ion for males and -iona for females.
    • Most elementals are named after something related to their respective elements.
    • Lordaeron soldiers name their beloved steeds after favorable qualities, such as Steadfast, Courage, and Invincible.
  • Theme Song: "Power of the Horde" for Horde shamans, "Rogues Do It From Behind" is obviously for rogues. "I am Murloc" for...Murlocs. Both of these were done by Tenth Level 60 70 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain.
    • Nightfall for Death Knights.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    • Archimonde, during the Battle for Mount Hyjal, casts Finger of Death on players if nobody's in melee range. The description for the spell reads:
      Strikes an enemy with the finger of death, inflicting 20,000 shadow damage upon them, their children, and their children's children.
    • When battling Kanrethad Ebonlocke:
      Kanrethad: If two imps are better than one imp, what's better than two imps? Sixty imps!
    • In Cataclysm, the goblins put a cannon in Azshara. It is large.
  • Thieves' Cant: Gutterspeak, the Forsaken race language, was originally the thieves' cant of Lordaeron before the kingdom fell to the Scourge. When the Forsaken regained their free will, reclaimed Lordaeron, and established the Undercity in the catacombs of the old capital, they designated Gutterspeak as their official language. As the Forsaken had been outcast, and, well, forsaken by their old allies, friends, and relatives, Gutterspeak, the language of the outcasts, seemed appropriate to them.
  • This Cannot Be!: Several bosses give some variation of this when they are defeated, or while the players are beating the stuffing out of them.
    • Nefarian in Blackwing Lair says this when he is killed: "This cannot be! I am the Master here! You mortals are nothing to my kind! DO YOU HEAR? NOTHING!"
    • In a previous encounter, Nefarian would say "Inconceivable!"
    • When Tirion Fordring uses the Ashbringer to break Frostmourne, the Lich King declares it "impossible".
    • Upon retreating into her phylactery, Instructor Chillheart says this verbatim when it's destroyed.
    • When Lei Shen enters phase three, he yells in disbelief how a bunch of mortals could bring him to 1/3 his health: "NO! You are UNWORTHY! I... AM... THE THUNDER KING!!"
    • As the third phase of the fight with Garrosh begins, he yells "I HAVE SEEN MOUNTAINS OF SKULLS AND RIVERS OF BLOOD. AND I WILL... HAVE... MY... WORLD!"
    • Upon death Ko'ragh merely declares "Impossible...", considering he was just defeated in spite of his near-complete immunity to magic.
  • This Is Gonna Suck:
    • In the worgen starting area, you have to throw barrels of gunpowder at Horrid Abominations, leading to the amusing sight of a giant undead monster with its head stuck in a barrel; some of which give this one liner:
      Horrid Abomination: Uh-oh... this gonna hurts me...
    • During the Mac'Aree questline, you help Archmage Y'mera awaken a robot gatekeeper to help you find the MacGuffin you seek. When Vigilant Quoram awakens, Y'mera's response is a subdued "Oh no... I know that voice" before Quoram begins talking down to "Y'mera the exile" and it becomes clear that it's an arrogant pain in the neck.
  • This Is My Side: Whenever the Horde and Alliance are forced to occupy the same space, without fighting each other, they invariably divide the area into two separate camps. Depending on the size of the space, there may be a large neutral area of some kind or another.
    • At the Speedbarge, Goblins are on one half, Gnomes on the other. They are able to cooperate a little, and can be civil at each other in the tavern.
    • On both ends of the Dark Portal, Alliance on one side, Horde on the other.
    • In Shattrath, the rival Aldor and Scryers have their own tiers. While the Aldor are draenei and the Scryers are blood elves, neither are affiliated with the Alliance or Horde, so there's nothing stopping a Horde Aldor, or an Alliance Scryer. However, draenei begin at Friendly with the Aldor and opposite with the Scryers, and the opposite is true for blood elves.
    • At the Wrathgate, the Alliance and Horde each had their own camps.
    • In Dalaran, each has their own section of the city where the other is not allowed to enter; any players who goes where he/she isn't supposed to be is teleported out by the Kirin Tor, instead of attacked.
    • At the Argent Tournament, each had their own tent and training area.
    • At the Temple of Earth in Deepholm, a wing of the temple was reserved for each side. Interestingly enough, the Earthen Ring, a neutral group of shamans, has members from both the Alliance and the Horde who are able to get along and work together without difficulty.
  • This Loser Is You:
    • Everything your "Future You" says in the quest "Mysteries of the Infinite" is a direct attack on the player. Never mind the fact that you're both wearing the same kind of equipment... and that the NPC comments on your "old gear." Of course, you can later get revenge of sorts when you get to repeat the quest at 80 and be the "Future You" for now "Past You." Past you also comments on how much better your gear has gotten.... despite visually wearing the same gear.
    • The Horde quest "Welcome to the Machine" has players becoming a quest giver, complete with yellow "!" over their heads, handing out quests to three "players" that represent various bad stereotypes: a perpetual n00b, an over-leveled blowhard, and a pompous jerk who acts big due to his Heirloom equipment and mount.
    • In Xuen's Tournament of Strength, one of the opponents is a Wolf Pack Boss called "The P.U.G.", a trio of saurok fitting the Tank/Healer/DPS triangle. They are all incompetent, and constantly hurl insults at each other.
  • This Was His True Form:
    • Druids revert to their caster form upon death, as do polymorphed players and mobs.
    • When Xavius is slain and the Emerald Nightmare is cleansed, he reverts to his original night elf form.
    • Interestingly, Worgen stay in their "wolf" form when they die, indicating that this is now their true form.
  • Thong of Shielding: The Shivarra are large, six-armed, demon women, with Absolute Cleavage, and a tiny strip of cloth covering the rear. It's no wonder that Warlocks who upgrade their summons get one to replace their Succubus.
  • Those Two Guys: Legion gives us Marius Felbane and Tehd Shoemaker, a Demon Hunter and a Warlock who repeatedly show up together in the Broken Isles - and bicker a lot.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Schnottz and his army. Yes, we have a Goblin Hitler and his stormtroopers, the birth of Fashionism, a Desert Fox, a turkey named Gobbles, and a perfectly plausible scenario in which said Goblin Hitler angrily yells "NINE! NINE! NINE! NINE! NINE!" Many a line was crossed, and a good time was had by all.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Lunk in the Searing Gorge is an Ogre who sought adventure, but was frustrated that a lot of quests involve killing things. He interrupts the player on two such quests to give an alternate non-lethal approach to completing the objective.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness:
    • Some who have been corrupted by the Emerald Nightmare don't even know it and see everyone else as being corrupted by it instead. This is especially apparent with Cenarius; he's absolutely convinced that the raid group is part of the Nightmare and that Malfurion purifying his adds is him corrupting them as well.
      Cenarius: Malfurion! No, it cannot be! I prayed my thero'shan would never fall to the Nightmare. Yet here you stand, casting a shadow upon the purity of the Dream!
      Malfurion: Can it be? My old master is blind to the lies of Xavius and thinks WE are the source of the infestation! You have been deceived, my teacher! Xavius has twisted your perceptions! I beg of you, let me cleanse you of his evil!
      Cenarius: Liars! Servants of darkness! It will give me no pleasure to destroy you, but my duty is to the Dream. Andu-falah-dor!
    • In Black Rook Hold, Lord Ravencrest and his troops believe they're still fighting in the War of the Ancients and see the player characters as demons.
  • Throwing Your Shield Always Works: Paladins have Avenger's Shield. Justified in that this is not the shield doing wonky things with the laws of physics, but a spell.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Warriors have Heroic Throw and formerly Shattering Throw.
  • Throw the Mook at Them: Tortos, a giant turtle, uses a powerful breath attack every once in a while, which can only be interrupted by killing smaller turtles and then kicking their shells into the boss.

    Ti - To 
  • Timed Mission:
    • Many raid boss fights feature a hidden time limit. The easiest form is that the boss gains a massive speed and damage boost after the time limit is reached and one-shots everyone on the boss' aggro table. However, the time limit can also be implemented by a stacking damage buff on the boss, which will overwhelm the healers at some point, or expanding environmental hazards covering the whole boss room and leaving no safe ground to stand on.
    • The "Deaths of Chromie" scenario is a unique take on it. You have only 15 minutes to complete the entire quest chain, but it's impossible to succeed the first time. Each run through, however, allows the player to explore and unlock additional parts of the expansion, and once you unlock enough, completing the scenario in 15 minutes is a simple matter.
  • Time Keeps On Slipping: Subverted.
  • Time Skip: The original game picks up four years after the ending of Warcraft III.
    • Cataclysm takes place several months after Deathwing has already torn Azeroth apart.
    • There is one incorporated into the worgen starting zone. The first half shows the player getting infected and becoming a feral worgen; the second half takes place some weeks/months later, after the player is captured, and given an antidote to restore their human minds.
    • The Demon Hunter starting experience incorporates one. The first part features the Demon Hunters invading Mardum while Illidan Stormrage defends the Black Temple. After returning to Outland, the Demon Hunters are sealed in crystal by Maiev Shadowsong and are only freed in the wake of the Burning Legion's third invasion 6 years later.
  • Tired of Running: After the Burning Legion attacks the Exodar and destroys the naaru O'ros, Velen decides he's had enough of running from the Legion, and will take the fight to them. When players defeat the Fallen Avatar in the Tomb of Sargeras, and Kil'jaeden uses a portal to escape, Velen and Illidan rush through, intent on finishing him and the Burning Legion once and for all. As Illidan points out, the Legion is able to resurrect any demons that fall, allowing them to fight a war of attrition across the entire universe; a full-on assault of Argus is the only way to defeat them.
  • Title Drop: In Wrath of the Lich King you can quest for a faction of freed Death Knights, one of them does an in-dialog title drop, as seen here. There's another one in the name of a quest received in the Halls of Reflection dungeon.
  • Toilet Humour: The leader of the Hozen faction allied with the Horde is named "Kah-kah". There is at least one quest in each expansion that involves fecal matter.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Amongst the recruitable Garrison followers is Millhouse Manastorm, the Gnome you first met in prison, and who later joined the Twilight's Hammer. He says he's turned over a new leaf except when he drops hints he's looking to enslave or destroy Draenor.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Fish Fellreed is as boyish as any farmhand and "wrastles" pigs (and celestials) for fun. She has a soft spot for animals, and when given a yak statuette she immidiately falls in love with it, gushing over it like a little school girl until she composes herself and says it's cool.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Dumass. Rescuing him is an optional sidequest and, if you decide to help him, you get an Escort Mission where the predictable happens. Get him back to the quest giver, and you'll be berated for interfering with a fundamental law of nature: Survival of the Fittest.
    • Corki from the Outland!Nagrand storyline. He gets captured by all three of the ogre tribes in Nagrand, and you have to rescue him each time. Even his father calls him a moron.
    • The Arakkoa Outcasts use a well-known poem about Terokk as their Trust Password. In fact, they use the first two lines of it as the sign and countersign!
    • There is a portal in Legion!Dalaran to the site of the city's original location, the Dalaran Crater in Hillsbrad. There is a sign in front of the portal that says "Warning: Drop." Anyone who uses the portal arrives at ground level at the crater - suspended directly above it. Unless the player has a slow fall ability or item, cue splat. There's even an NPC paladin who's fallen victim to this.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After the Cataclysm, Mankrik quits moping about his missing wife and goes after the quilboars. As Blademaster!
    • Mankrik now also shows up in Mount Hyjal to assist players in killing lvl 85 elite mobs for part of a daily quest, along with several other NPCs who appear in lower-level zones.
    • Gamon used to be the Butt-Monkey of Orgrimmar, slain by practically every Horde member over level 20 just for being there. Not anymore.
      • As of 5.4, with Garrosh's "True Horde"'s actions, Gamon is surrounded and at a standoff with five Kor'kron elites. They just stand there while Gamon takes turns to look at each of them while holding his axe. Yes, five level 90 elites, who are supposed to be amongst Garrosh's highest level of warriors are too scared to take on this lone tauren. He's become that badass.
      • In the Siege of Orgrimmar itself, he's become a powerful NPC with millions of health, and while he doesn't do that much damage compared to the rest of the raid, he can hold his own relatively well. One of the only attacks that poses a significant danger of killing him is General Nazgrim's War Song, which does damage based on maximum health.
      • After Mists of Pandaria, he now has the title of "Hero of Orgrimmar".
    • Baine Bloodhoof, current Chieftain of the tauren, gained levels at an even more alarming rate - prior to Cataclysm, he was a measly level 10. As of Cataclysm he's a level 88 elite, and a raid is required to take him down.
    • Shandris Feathermoon, a night elf warrior who was promoted to General of the Sentinels, was raised from level 62 to boss level and given upwards of 68 mil HP. Until a hotfix rendered it impossible, she was a popular target for players to kite to Orgrimmar for fun and mayhem, as many YouTube videos attest. Several show her taking out Garrosh Hellscream himself.
    • Elerethe Renferal was a minor Alliance questgiver in Alterac Valley that was later killed in one of the novels. In Legion, her spirit appears as a raid boss in the Emerald Nightmare.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: In the Spires of Arak, players try to poison the Shattered Hand Orcs to get them to reveal who "G.V." is. Most of them laugh it off. Players keep beating on the Orcs until they find one not as masochistic as the others.
  • Torture Always Works: This quest.
    • Subverted with a Death Knight starting quest that gives you two red-hot metal rods and tells you to hit people with them. You can torture tens of people to death until they finally talk.
    • Played with in a Horde quest where you're trying to learn the name of a quilboar battlemaster. While ordinary torture will work eventually, gentler techniques such as offering them food or the milder Tickle Torture will work much faster.
  • To Serve Man: As a Shout-Out, the name of a Vendor Trash item drop from pickpocketing midlevel mobs is "An Exotic Cookbook" with the very fitting flavor text, "How To Serve Man".
    • 1. Get one or eight man
    • 2. Hit man hard
    • 3. Hit man more
    • 4. Put man in fire
    • 5. Eat man
  • Totally 18: The spring festival Noblegarden includes an achievement where you are supposed to put bunny ears on one female character of each race, and it has to be a character that is at least level 18.
  • Touched by Vorlons: The Lightforged draenei primarily obtained their forms by being infused with the Light by Xe'ra. On the opposite end is the void elves, who obtained their powers from a failed ritual to enslave them to the void.

    Tr - Ty 
  • Tragic Monster: Vaelstrasz the Corrupt, Deathbringer Saurfang, Keristrasza, and the entire Forsaken race, to name a few.
  • Training Dummy: One actually is a trainer, for newbie goblin warriors.
  • Training Montage: Players get a couple of these when they train with the old master in the Valley of the Four Winds, which culminate in a mini-game where the players break bricks.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: This is a recurring theme in Mists of Pandaria, with formally peaceful Pandaren needing to learn how to fight because the Shado-Pan aren't enough to handle the emerging threats.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The promotional materials for Patch 4.3 do nothing at all to hide the fact that the mysterious leader of the Twilight's Hammer is Archbishop Benedictus, which, admittedly, first came to light in Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects. Since it's also in the Dungeon Journal and achievements, it's also an Interface Spoiler.
  • Tranquil Fury: An ability inside the Arms talent tree for Warriors for Cataclysm seemed to be named for this - "Deadly Calm". It causes the warrior's abilities to temporarily cost no rage while they continue to generate it. As a warrior who hits the maximum for rage will do extra damage while it would normally cost more rage, their calm will certainly prove to be dangerous for their enemies.
  • Transflormation: What Druids do when they take Tree of Life form.
  • Transforming Vehicle: The mechanospider mounts from Mechagon turn into a bike during their mount special animation and turn into seacraft when used underwater, though this has no effect on your underwater movement speed.
  • Transhuman Treachery: King Mechagon's mechanization process also removes the Gnome's personality and free will, making them mindlessly loyal to him. It's one of the reasons Prince Erazmin formed the Rustbolt Rebellion.
  • Treants:
    • Treants are humanoid tree-like beings often found in forested areas.
    • The Ancients are larger relatives of the Treants, resembling a cross between an animated tree and animated rocky crag.
    • Druids with the "Restoration" specialization have the ability to shapeshift into the "Tree of Life" form, which gives them enhanced healing and plant-based attack abilities, as well as higher armor. Initially they looked identical to treants; however, they were given a unique appearance in Mists of Pandaria. An item called Glyph of the Treant was added for players who prefer the appearance of the old treant form, which is a purely aesthetic spell.
  • Tribal Face Paint: Trolls have an option for different face paints, ranging from a few lines on their cheeks to covering the entire face.
  • Truce Zone: There are two kinds. The first are called Sanctuaries, where PvP combat is not allowed by the game mechanics. These are usually the neutral capital cities like Shattrath and Dalaran and include some areas like the Dark Portal. The other kind simply are filled with powerful guards who will kill anyone who attacks another player. They include the neutral Goblin cities, and Moonglade.
    • In Northrend, there are Blue Dragons at the Wyrmrest Temple, even though the Blue Dragonflight is warring with the other four flights right outside; even the Black Dragon representative points out how they are allowed there, despite their own schemes. Even when Wyrmrest Temple gets assaulted in the Dragon Soul raid, some of the dead Drakonid guardians are black dragons.
    • Zandalar is this for Trolls, despite the hostilities between the tribes, and every six years their leaders gather to discuss general Troll affairs. This is seen in one of the patch trailers, though they host it in Stranglethorn Vale, because the Zandalari might not be the force they they claim to be anymore.
    • The Temple of Earth in Cataclysm, which the Earthen Ring is using for its base of operations in Deepholm. Being neutral, the Earthen Ring will happily work with either the Alliance or the Horde in order to maintain the balance between the elements. Both factions have separate quarters in the Temple, with portals to Stormwind and Orgrimmar.
    • Mists of Pandaria has the Peak of Serenity, a training ground for monks.
    • Also from Mists of Pandaria, there's the Celestial Court on the Timeless Isle, guarded by peacekeepers from the August Celestials. On the rest of the isle, however, you're fair game if you're flagged for PVP, especially if you try to trespass on the opposing faction's camp on the shore.
  • Turbine Blender: Mor'norokk the Hateful is threatened with this if he doesn't reveal the Twilight's Hammer's plans in Deepholm. He gives up the information, but when he realizes that he said too much, he uses it to commit suicide.
    • In Uldum, Harrison Jones is fighting a muscular mook until the player knocks him out with a wrench, then when they and Harrison escape in a plane the mook gets shredded by a propeller, leaving behind his boots.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: In the backstory of Pandaria, the Mogu got this big time.
    • After becoming as powerful as they did and enslaved almost every other race on Pandaria, they relegated almost every menial task to their slaves, eventually creating the saurok as enforcers so they don't even have to do the job of tending their own slaves. The saurok realized that they were living weapons and had no benefit in serving the Mogu, so they rebelled.
    • Then the Pandaren figured out that the Mogu had forgotten how to do all the menial stuff like building things and making food, and the slave labour made them far stronger than the Mogu had anticipated, so they rebelled. As powerful as the Mogu were, without the slave labour to prop them up, their empire folded.
    • The Grummles also betrayed the Mogu; though the exact motive is questionable. They were created to be a spy network for the Mogu, but they told the Mogu a series of Half Truths where they told the Mogu of the Pandaren, Hozen and Jinyu activities, but not that the seemingly benign actions were a plot to undermine the Mogu. Lorewalker Cho says this was deliberate; but whether they were part of the uprising, or were trying to keep the Mogu complacent so they would treat the Grummles well, they were clearly not working for the Mogu's best interest.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: When Garrosh claims to be "a force beyond reckoning", Taran Zhu fires back with this.
  • Turns Red:
    • A few non-boss enemies enrage at low health, and many bosses power up as the fight goes on. A number of bosses also go "berserk" after a set time limit, promptly causing a Party Wipe. There are even a few occasions when the boss, after a certain amount of time, casts a spell that instantly wipes out the raid. It sometimes makes sense, such as Mimiron Hard Mode where you activate a self-destruct mechanism.
    • Players can do it too with some buffs.
  • Turtle Island: Shen-zin Su, the Wandering Isle is the Pandaren starting zone and the Monk Class Hall.
  • 20 Bear Asses: Its fanbase coined the term.
  • Two-Keyed Lock:
    • The start of Zul'Aman has a gong which must be hit simultaneously by two people to open the door and start the instance; a subversion as one of the two is an NPC, Vol'jin who just hits the gong every few seconds, and a player needs to hit it in time with him.
    • The Spoils of Pandaria fight in Siege of Orgrimmar needs several different players to interact with it to start it up, originally it only needed onenote .
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: The Devilsaur mob. Originally confined to the Un'Goro Crater zone, they are enormous, usually elite, very powerful, can have various fears and tough hides that reduce damage taken, and move with complete silence. One, King Mosh, was even a kind-of world boss who needed a group of max-level players to defeat. At least one new Devilsaur mob have been added in each expansion, and some are even instance and raid bosses. They were also one of the most popular beasts that Hunters wanted to tame, which came to fruition in Wrath of the Lich King and Beast Mastery's ability to tame "Exotic" beasts.

    Ub - Un 
  • Überwald: Gilneas in Cataclysm is a dreary, menacing-looking city with constant rain. Which makes thematic sense, as its inhabitants are civilized Worgen.
    • Duskwood, Silverpine Forest and Tirisfal Glades are similar, minus the rain, and are inhabited by revenants.
  • Ultimate Forge: Several of them:
    • In vanilla, Dark Iron can only be smelted in the heart of the subterranean dwarven city, Blackrock Depths.
    • In Legion, Demonsteel can only be made with one special anvil, high above the tallest mountain in the continent.
    • There's even a non-metallurgical example: various types of magic cloth can only be produced once per day in various obscure elven locations.
  • Undeath Always Ends: Subverted to Hell and back with the Forsaken, who make it very clear that they're here to stay and that the world just has to deal with it. Some of them are still trying to find a way to undo their curse, while the more fanatical ones seek to kill everyone else instead.
  • Underground City: The Undercity and Ironforge.
  • Under the Sea: The Cataclysm added zone Vashj'ir.
  • Underwater Ruins: The Sunken Temple and Blackfathom Deeps dungeons, many quest areas, and the Vashj'ir zone in Cataclysm.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Tons of Cataclysm quests.
  • Unflinching Walk: The quest "Express Delivery" has the player marking three Horde warships so that Jaina Proudmoore can teleport the Horde's own explosives onto them. Once the fireworks start, Jaina and the player turn and walk away. Kul Tirans Don't Look at Explosions.
  • The Unfought: Millhouse Manastorm in Cataclysm.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: If you're a healer, you can tend to the injured nightborne civilians in the Court of Stars. They don't take kindly to the idea of being touched by you.
  • Unhand Them, Villain!: In Deepholm, a cultist is taken prisoner by a Dwarf on a gryphon, he demands to be released, until he looks down and realizes just how high off the ground they are.
    Mor'norokk the Hateful: You! Let me go now! Wait... no! Don't let go!
  • Unholy Ground: At various points, the Death Knight class has had talent abilities called "Desecrate" and "Desecrated Ground"; each corrupts the ground beneath the user, creating poison fog, turning the ground barren, and causing skeletal hands to rise up, although their actual effects varied. After these were removed, Death Knights still retained the "Death and Decay" spell and its upgrade "Defile", which deal damage to enemies within and, after Legion, empowers the Death Knight's own strikes when standing on it. Paladins have a more or less corresponding ability called "Consecration", though it's simply an Area of Effect spell that deals holy damage.
  • The Unintelligible: The Leaper, a geist in the Shadow Vault talks in a series of muffled sounds. It turns out he can speak quite well but suffers from a phlegm problem.
  • Units Not to Scale: Buildings and other interior environments are absurdly spacious compared to player models. Likely a part of both stylized looks and an attempt to prevent cramping and camera issues.
    • Also applies to actual creatures. While differences in size between, say, dragons are hardly surprising, even ordinary human or orc NPCs inexplicably are twice as large as players, if they happen to be a raid boss or the resident Big Good. An example would be the Lich King, the Big Bad of Wrath of the Lich King: he's canonically a large, but otherwise ordinary, undead human. In the Wrathgate cutscene he stands at least twice as tall as the humans opposite himnote .
  • Unobtanium: Pretty much all the standard fantasy metals are accounted for, and new ones are introduced with each expansion. Probably the oddest addition was Cobalt, a metal with very important industrial uses... that also apparently trumps such exotic fare as Eternium, Arcanite and Khorium.
  • Unreliable Canon: The background lore has grown quite complicated. Different races tend to tell conflicting stories about such details as their race's origins or past history, and Word of God says that they are supposed to be conflicting; every race has a biased/distorted view and so no one race's myths are completely accurate. Then there is the ambiguity of major plot events, such as a certain Naaru may have intentionally let itself be captured as a ploy to help the Blood Elves find redemption. And all of this is before you count the numerous actual retcons.
  • Unreliable Narrator: "The Day That Deathwing Came" is a quest series in the Badlands involving three NPCs, each of whom tells a patently absurd tale of how they, personally, defeated Deathwing.
    • During the Battle of Dazar'alor, the portion of the raid that in-story is being relayed to you by a scout of your faction is explicitly this, as the characters of your opposing faction are demonized and made much more aggressive and hateful while the characters from your own faction are lionized, requiring a full playthrough of the raid on both sides to get the "true" story.
  • Unsafe Haven: When the Golden Lotus retrieves the treasures of Lei Shen, they hide them in the same place the last one was found, and add a few guards. Considering it was the Mogu who hid them there in the first place, putting them together in a Mogu tomb was just asking for the Mogu to come by and take them.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: The Legion quest "The Diamond King" has revealed that Azeroth's world-soul is female. Combined with the fact that the lorebook "Scepter of Sargeras" reveals that Sargeras has been obsessed with possessing the world-soul since he saw a vision of it immediately after the War of the Ancients, this raises some interesting questions.
  • Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object: An epic mace named Unstoppable Force and an Epic shield named Immovable Object. When a Blizzard moderator was asked what would happen if they met, he postulated, "Chuck Norris dies." Parodied in later content with the poor quality items The Stoppable Force hammer and The Movable Object shield.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • It's reasonable that NPCs never think twice about people wearing spiky armour and wielding heavy weapons. It is a world of Warcraft after all. However, they never think twice about summoned demons, in spite of the Burning Legion and Scourge being one of the primary enemies of all life and the very existence of the world itself. It's been confirmed that this is just a game mechanic, but it's still odd. This is averted only in the Death Knight quest chain, in which the citizens of Stormwind or Orgrimmar will hurl vile epithets at new DKs until their respective faction leader declares them to be allies. Pandaren newcomers, in contrast, are simply subject to curiosity and disbelief by various NPCs.
    • After the opposite faction invades a capital city, there are often bones and bodies around which no NPC bothers to pick up or clean up.
    • The Burning Lands quest "Some People Just Need Killing" has Horde players using a box as a disguise to sneak past several Nethergarde Mine foes. It's not a stealth mission though, as you can walk past them and the most suspicious anyone will get will be to think that they should tell the guy you're there to kill, then deciding to do it later.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation:
    • In the Borean Tundra, gnomes have been transformed into "mechagnomes" by Gearmaster Mechazod. Interestingly, since modern gnomes descend from mechagnomes, this is also a case of Devolution Device.
    • In Battle for Azeroth, King Mechagon developed mechanization, a process to turn flesh into machines, planning on using it to remove the Curse of Flesh from the Gnomes. Although similar to Gearmaster Mechazod, Mechagon started 400 years ago. His son, Prince Erazmin, is opposed to the unwilling part, believing Gnomes should be free to choose whether or not they want to be mechanized. He is also opposed to total mechanization, on the grounds it erases the person's personality and free will.
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • You. Between Abercrombie in Duskwood, Myzrael in Arathi Highlands, Kalaran the Deceiver in Searing Gorge, Teron Gorefiend in Shadowmoon Valley, Drakuru in Grizzly Hills, and Loken in the Storm Peaks, there are plenty of examples of villains using the player to accomplish their evil goals. Since these quests are a part of zone progression, the Violation of Common Sense is enforced. It's worth noting that nearly all of these quest lines have you go back and defeat the guy afterwards, however.
    • This is also the reason Vanessa VanCleef spares you in the Westfall storyline, as you've inadvertently helped her, but she promises it won't be the case the second time.
    • Most of the Scarlet Crusade genuinely believe in their cause, wanting to expel the undead from Lordaeron, and hating non-humans. It turns out that Balnazzar is manipulating them in the guise of their leader for the Burning Legion's ends.
    • The Zandalari are implied to be this for the Mogu, who are using them in an attempt to take over Pandaria, despite the Zandalari's hopes to obtain a homeland. One Zandalari journal indicates suspicion of this.
  • Undead Barefooter: Downplayed; although the Forsaken Undead, just like any player character, can wear footwear, their shoes or boots are always open in the front so that their bony toes are visible.

    Up - Vi 
  • Up to Eleven: In Zangarmarsh, Warden Hamoot tells you that the naga of Outland are even more vicious than the ones on Azeroth.
  • Useless Accessory: In an underwater area like Vashj'ir, a diving helmet and breathing apparatus would be a must, unless you're a shaman with a breathing buff, or receive a buff like the one you get in your first quest in the area. The "Great" Sambino adds a layer of stupid on top in that he deliberately didn't learn water breathing because he likes his custom made helmet instead, which bites him in the ass when his helmet gets a leak and you need to retrieve a replacement part and a fresh air supply for him.
    The Great Sambino: If only those water breathing spells came with stylish helmets!
  • Use Your Head: When the Zandalari try to break into Mogu'shan Vaults, they employ large brutish trolls called skullchargers, who have helmets made of large skulls and try to ram the doors down by charging them. Naturally, they'll use the same tactic against players fighting them.
  • Vampiric Draining: The Blood Elves who drink your... magic to sate their mana addiction. The Darkfallen, corrupted elves in the service of the Lich King, take this further by actually consuming blood.
  • Vanishing Village: The Timeless Isle randomly disappears and reappears. This is not an in-game mechanic, it just explains how a mysterious island shows up in the middle of an expansion.
  • Vapor Wear: Some female armor and clothes are cut in a way that makes it obvious that the wearer is not wearing a bra. This includes the robes given to starting female priests and warlocks. Originally, starting characters got a shirt to wear under the robe, but as of Cataclysm shirts are no longer included (though, thankfully, getting a shirt is a simple as finding the cloth armor vender in a major city or dabbling into the Tailoring profession for five-ish minutes), leading to a lot of low-level characters with Absolute Cleavage.
  • Vendor Trash: Lampshaded with a fish named "Goldenscale Vendorfish". Enforced by the need to avert having Money Spiders, although it amounts to the same thing due to We Buy Anything.
    • In Mists of Pandaria and beyond, creatures occasionally drop items that can be worth anywhere between a few to a few dozen gold, and have no purpose apart from being sold, but are significantly more valuable than most vendor trash, which is only worth much when sold in large amounts.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Due to the constantly updating nature of the game, there will probably never be an absolute end-all final dungeon. However, each expansion pack had their own version of this trope. Vanilla had Naxxramas, The Burning Crusade had Sunwell Plateau, Wrath of the Lich King had Icecrown Citadel, Cataclysm had Dragon Soul, Mists of Pandaria had Siege of Orgrimmar, Warlords of Draenor had Hellfire Citadel, Legion had Antorus, the Burning Throne, and Battle for Azeroth has Ny'alotha, the Waking City.
  • Video Game Caring Potential:
    • A Forsaken quest in the Sludge Fields lets you free human captives from their entrapment in the sludge. Never mind that they're going to get gassed and converted anyway.
    • In the Twilight Highlands, you have the option of finishing off injured Dragonmaw soldiers or helping them up. If you finish them off, you have to fight them, but if you help them, they run off and you still get credit for the quest.
    • In Mount Hyjal, you have the choice of letting Thisalee Crow kill a harpy or ordering her to spare the harpy. Neither choice has any impact, although Thisalee will comment that you're a better person than she is if you are merciful.
    • In one Tillers daily, you're hired to work as a debt collector and visit four NPCs to collect their debts. If they say they are unwilling or unable to pay, you can either choose to threaten them with violence, or make their payment for them, and the quest reward greatly exceeds what you would have to pay for all of them.
    • In the Demon Hunter's starting zone, you can volunteer to sacrifice yourself instead of the NPC to open a portal. Fortunately, your immortal soul allows you to recover from it.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • Just remember that every time you killed Varian Wrynn, you did so in front of his son.
    • In the above mentioned Forsaken quest in the Sludge Fields, instead of freeing the human captives you can bash their skulls in with a shovel. It ends their suffering, right?
    • There's nothing more satisfying than a battle quest where you must mount an invincible flying dragon to get about 200 kills. Often this mount has an obscenely powerful AoE attack. You must get those kills, but you can then remain on the mount and keep blasting the enemy army while they keep respawning for as long as you like.
    • You could let Ji be executed by the Kor'kron in the Siege of Orgrimmar by waiting around for a bit, then watch as Aysa dies attempting a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, but you'd really have to go out of your way to do this and most raiders will never take that long.
    • As long as a player is flagged for PVP, they can attack NPCs of the opposite faction with impunity. Some players delight in such behavior.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Killing enemy flight masters is very disruptive to gameplay as it greatly inconvenieces players who can't fly. Attempting to do so will result in them spawning a swarm of angry gryphons, wyverns, hippogryphs, or bats who are much stronger than your character to kill you, though this is mostly to deter solo players as it doesn't stop raid groups attacking enemy settlements from killing them anyway.
  • Video-Game Lives:
    • Players can resurrect themselves whenever they die, but the Bloodlord Mandokir fight in Zul'Gurub is based on this. The arena where he fights has eight Troll Shaman spirits surrounding it, and whenever a player dies, one of them will sacrifice itself to raise the player to full health; Mandokir has a One-Hit KO attack, and an undead raptor that will eat said spirits, so the fight is a race to kill Mandokir before groups lose their eight extra lives, and the one each player came in with.
    • This is somewhat in effect in raids, in which, depending on the difficulty, you have a limited number of times you can resurrect in combat, known as a "brez" or "battle rezzes". Once you reach your quota, you cannot resurrect any more people, even if you have people in combat with battle rezzes that are not on cooldown.
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: A few boss encounters have this dynamic:
    • The dialog after Ick is defeated in Pit of Saron shows Krick as a coward, ready to give out information on his dead-serious Lich King superior.
    • Koramar, the captain of the ship at the Iron Docks, is confident in his army, even as the players slaughter them while working their way through the instance. His first mate Zoggosh is much more savvy than his captain and is thus afraid of the players. As justified as his fears are, Zoggosh's cowardice is Played for Laughs, giving the two of them this dynamic.
  • Villain Ball: Subverted with the Lich King, who appears to be acting stupidly all throughout Northrend in letting adventurers destroy all his minions and fight their way to his very throne. Of course, it's not quite as simple as that.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left:
    • When Putress blights the Wrathgate, rather than dying the weakened Lich King retreats into his Citadel with a vague warning.
    • After alienating the vast majority of her followers, Sylvanas flees by turning into a flying shadow.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Arthas experiences this after his defeat, realizing that after all the evil he's done, he's going to die alone.
    • Of note, Kael'thas Sunstrider gives a textbook example after being defeated at the end of Magister's Terrace:
    • Archimonde in the Battle for Mount Hyjal raid.
    • Putress in the Battle for the Undercity.
    • From a more minor villain, Balnazzar in Cataclysm. The dreadlord's main theme is subtlety and backstabbing, and throughout the original game Balnazzar was manipulating the Scarlet Crusade to kill his enemies for him. Come Cataclysm, Balnazzar decides that approach won't work anymore, slaughters the entire Crusade, and raises them as an undead army.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: A repeating theme in the faction conflict between the Alliance and Horde is that the Horde will always be the aggressor for little to no reason while the Alliance only ever respond with minimal force. This trope has been enforced by the developers rewriting plot points, such as the Alliance originally attacking first in Cataclysm.
  • Violation of Common Sense: There's a quest in Darkshore that rewards an achievement for finding and completing it, that can only be obtained by jumping off a cliff into a whirlpool. And nothing in the zone around it gives any indication that doing so would be a good idea: you pretty much have to be bored enough to try it just to see what would happen. The Horde-side equivalent is riding all the way from one end of the Azshara Rocketway to the other and remaining on a goblin-built rocket that looks like it's about to crash, all the way to the end of the road; again, there's nothing to suggest this kind of near-suicidal behavior would offer a reward.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Transmogrification was added in the Cataclysm expansion.
  • The Virus:
    • The Plague of Undeath explicitly works this way. Demonic corruption has a way of transforming its victims as well, due to Evil Feels Good.
    • Of particular interest was a brief in-game plague of sorts. One of the bosses in the Zul'Gurub instance hit raiders with a debuff called "Corrupted Blood" that dealt damage over time...but the status effect could land on things like vanity pets. Players would stow these infected pets, then bring them out in major cities where the contagion would jump to any nearby players or NPCs. As Zul'Gurub was an endgame dungeon at the time of its release, the plague quickly cut through weaker characters, turning cities such as Orgrimmar and Ironforge into charnel houses.
    • This particular virus attracted serious academic attention, as researchers realized the WoW game environment had grown in size and population enough to serve as a legitimate model for plague and pandemic spread.
    • It's quite likely that the Corrupted Blood event inspired the undead plague from the Scourge Invasion just prior to the launch of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, which turned both PCs and NPCs into members of an undead army. Many players considered this a fun departure from routine gameplay, but naturally, plenty of others complained because they were getting killed in normally safe areas, even on Player Versus Environment servers that are made specifically to avoid that.
    • The Worgen Curse appears to be like this at first, at least until they form a partial cure that removes the less desirable side effect of the transformation.
  • Visual Pun:
    • Cho'gall's weapon is called the Twilight's Hammer, named after the clan he is leader of or vice versa.
    • Before the requirement was removed from the game, you had to create a Skeleton Key to get access to the Scholomance instance. Not only did it give access to the whole dungeon, it also had a skull on its end.

    Vo - We 
  • Voice of the Legion: Death Knights and Arthas, appropriately. Also the Infinite Dragonflight bosses in Cavern of Time and the Corrupted Ashbringer if you are holding it.
    • Used in the transition to Phase 2 Yogg-Saron with Sara and Yogg-Saron.
      I am the lucid dream. The monster in your nightmares. The fiend of a thousand faces. Cower before my true form. BOW DOWN BEFORE THE GOD OF DEATH!
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Druids transform into a number of animal forms, and properly talented warlocks can turn into a demon form for a short amount of time. Shamans can turn into ghost wolves, used as a traveling form before obtaining a mount.
    • There are many quests and items that temporarily transform or disguise the player, and players will sometimes deliberately game the system by not turning in the quest so they can keep the item. These rarely have any direct impact on gameplay, except for the specific quest lines in which they appear.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Many male Night Elf NPCs spend the entire game like this. Demon Hunter NPCs as well in the Burning Crusade expansion. Unfortunately the player can't feasibly do this, as not wearing a chest armor piece deprives you of essential stats and bonuses, but there are several cloth, leather, and mail chest armor pieces that are quite skimpy on both male and female characters, so you can get as close as possible. You can even transmog your end-game armors into them, so your max-level and -equipped character can still be the barely-clothed warrior you'd like it to be. In the upcoming Legion expansion, the Demon Hunter class lets the males be completely topless at all times.
  • War Hawk: Notably happens to two of the more peaceful leaders.
    • First there's Jaina, who has, since Warcraft III, "hated resorting to violence". Garrosh Hellscream nukes her capital of Theramore with a mana bomb, so she almost drowns Orgrimmar, purges Dalaran of Blood Elves and from then on becomes a relentless advocate for war against the Horde.
    • Tyrande undergoes much the same development, having been pushed over the edge when Sylvanas burns Teldrassil.
  • War Memorial: In Dalaran, there's a memorial to all those who fell to the Scourge during the war against the Lich King.
  • The War Just Before: When the game first launched, the Horde and the Alliance were at peace, having just fought a deadly war with each other. It wasn't long, however, before the two sides went back to war, with outside threats occasionally taking precedence.
  • Warm-Up Boss: In Highmaul you initially fight the saberon Vul'gor, the so-called "Shadow of Highmaul" who you first meet after completing the Ring of Trials quests in Nagrand. When he's killed rather easily, you fight the real first boss Kargath Bladefist.
    • Several bosses, such as Patchwerk in Naxxramas, are considered to be a "gear check" boss. Such bosses are pretty easy to fight from the perspective of what you have to do during the fight, but are difficult in terms of how hard they hit, and/or how much damage needs to be inflicted on them before they enrage, and as such require that the raid have a certain overall level of gear to kill them. Any raid that can get past these bosses is more or less capable of doing the whole raid - if you can't take down the later bosses, it's not so much that you need better gear, it's that you're not doing the fights correctly.
  • Warp Whistle: Hearthstones are the most ubiquitous example, but there are many others, including mage portals, warlock summons, a shaman spell, summoning stones, various items with teleport properties, and intra-dungeon portals designed to cut down on run-back time after a raid wipe.
    • An almost literal example was added in Legion, the Flight Master's Whistle. Though only usable in the Broken Isles (and Argus, after an upgrade), it will teleport you to the nearest flight master.
  • Warring Natures: There's at least one half-draenei, half-orc NPC. He's a questgiver for both factions.
    • There's also Garona, a half-orc, half-draenei. She was mind-controlled to serve evil, but eventually got over it and helps out both factions now. Her in game model is pure orc, but her official artwork elegantly combines both features of each of the races' more attractive females. She was a genetic creation, so it's plausible that she was made to be pretty.
  • Warrior Therapist: You. Yes, you, the player. Several dungeon and raid bosses have your party whaling on the boss until he comes to his or her senses, usually ending with the recipient of the assault thanking you. Examples include Algalon the Observer, who decides to stick around to watch the people of Azeroth and find out what makes them so special, and Keristrasza, who opts for Suicide by Cop after being mind controlled and raped by Malygos as his mental domination over her means she can't kill herself.
  • Was Once a Man:
    • In the Scourge, if someone is lucky they'll retain the physical form they had in life. If they're unlucky, they'll be raised as a lowly minion such as a ghoul or geist, or sewn together with other corpses to form abominations, flesh giants or flesh titans.
    • Dragonspawn are stated to be humans who, while serving the dragonflights, evolved into dragons themselves. Nefarian's dragonmen are humans fused with dragons, and most of them are mindless other than Maloriak and Kyrak.
    • The botani can do something to orc corpses that reanimates them as plant-infested slaves.
    • In one area of Talador, the Shadow Council have corrupted the already deadly Deathweb spiders so their venom transforms their victims into spider-esque demons. You get to see said demons while questing in that area, and while they look like the generic semi-humanoid spider model they can still talk and mention wanting to eat you.
    • The fal'dorei in Suramar are former nightborne that were twisted into spider-elf monstrosities by the death of their arcan'dor. Farodin considers accidentally creating them to be his greatest failure.
    • On Argus, the eredar are shown to have invented the ur'zul, a demonic aberration created from combining the bodies and souls of fallen members of the Army of the Light and civilians that fell during the war for Argus. It has five heads horrifically mashed together, each frozen in a sadistic grin, and a vestigial mouth underneath.
    • The k'thir of Kul Tiras are Cthulhumanoids created from tidesages being corrupted by the Void.
  • Waterfall into the Abyss: There are a number of floating islands in Nagrand that have waterfalls continually coming off them. Outland has both small floating islands with waterfalls on them, as well as a few places where water falls off the edge of the world. Also, Necropoli and their derivatives in World of Warcraft and Warcraft III has slime waterfalls flowing out of them.
  • Weaponized Headgear: In a questline for engineers in Legion, Fargo Flintlocke comes up with the idea of "headguns" and gives you the schematics for them. Visually they're the same as the goggles engineers could build before, but have a functioning turret attached to the side.
  • We Buy Anything: Such as Troll sweat and boar toenails, but not quest items, keys, and items purchased with nonstandard currency, even when they would be things the merchants could actually re-sell, compared to Vendor Trash items that are not. Justified as preventing exploits, or the accidental selling of an item you just worked an hour to get, but still annoying to the player base. This trope was actually implemented to avert Money Spider.
    • On the other side of that, you can get gold selling your old equipment of epic quality to poor beggars in the street, who are trying to get by selling cheap things.
  • We Have the Keys: In the Goblin starting zone, players rescue Goblins locked in cages by strapping rockets to the cage and launching them into orbit. Some of the prisoners tell you the guards have keys, and they do, but they're gray items that do nothing, so you have to use the rockets. The keys' description is "We don't need no stinkin' keys!"
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • Kael'thas Sunstrider consorts with demonic powers in an attempt to rescue his people from their magic addiction. Of course, Evil Is Not a Toy, and he ends up playing Sycophantic Servant to Kil'jaeden.
    • Malygos, who's correct that the use of magic is harming Azeroth, but goes about solving the problem in a manner that's guaranteed to leave Azeroth defenseless if not completely destroy it, forcing the other Dragonflights to fight him.
    • The Zandalari are trying to reform the Troll Empire over concerns that infighting and external threats are pushing their race toward extinction. However, this puts them on a collision course with the people who now occupy their old land, the Horde and the Alliance. Or at least that's the story Vol'jin heard before he left.
      • Writings from the Isle of Thunder indicate the Cataclysm devastated their home island and it is slowly sinking into the ocean. They are cooperating with their ancient allies, the Mogu, for land in Pandaria, although some are aware that the Mogu are just using them.
    • Elisande aligned her people with the Legion because she could find no future in which her people survived without doing so. After dying, something impossible according to her scrying, she realized her mistake and aids the players against Gul'dan.
    • Sargeras, of all people. Having witnessed the terror of the Void Lords firsthand, he concluded that their victory is inevitable, and that a universe with no life is better than one ruled by them.

    Wh - Wi 
  • Wham Episode:
    • The "Wrathgate" in-game cutscene is one of these, killing off two canonical badass heroes and reigniting the war between Alliance and Horde. The Cataclysm expansion could also be seen as this, given the massive changes it made to old Azeroth.
    • The conclusion of the new Silverpine Forest quest chain in Cataclysm. Although we'd be loathe to ruin it, let's just say that you're not the only one who literally won't see it coming...
    • World of Warcraft: Chronicle has multiple ones. The Void Gods we've seen tangentially? They're the real Greater-Scope Villain, Sargeras only turned evil because he believed annihilating existence would be the only way to stop them. The Titans are and have been dead since Sargeras first went insane, living on inside the Titanic Watchers they left behind, a fact only realized by Ra-Den. And lastly, planets are wombs for juvenile Titans, and the last one to be born will decide the fate of the entire universe. That Titan's name? Azeroth.
    • The entire "Light's Heart" questline is a series of back-to-back Wham Episodes, serving as the culmination of several expansions of dangling plot threads, and the backbone of Legion's plot. To wit:
      • "A Falling Star" ends with a cutscene in which Turalyon, still alive, reveals the Army of the Light on Argus is failing.
      • "Bringer of the Light" reveals that the Eredar commander attempting a Taking You with Me on the Exodar was Velen's long-lost son, who Kil'jaeden kidnapped, corrupted, and groomed to kill the Prophet for over 13,000 years. Finally broken after lifetimes of running, Velen demands that the Exodar be repaired so they can go "home" — back to Argus, the seat of Kil'jaeden.
      • "In the House of Light and Shadow", which was mostly dialogue, designed to fill players in on plot details only revealed in the Chronicles book. For players who had read it, however, there are still some new gems: the Prime Naaru Xe'ra — and possibly all Naaru — was created by Elune, and Illidan Stormrage is destined to end the Age of Demons.
    • As the climax of Legion (itself built up for over a decade), "Shadows of Argus" promises to have a few. For starters, Xe'ra is a Well-Intentioned Extremist. Alleria was locked away by the Prime Naaru for studying the power of the Void. As soon as she is reassembled, Xe'ra attempts to force Illidan's destiny on him by infusing him with her power against his will, and ends up being atomized for her trouble.
  • Wham Line
    • In one Hallow's End questline, you have the option of turning over the Creepy Crate to the original questgiver or the person who supposedly seems like a better person. Turn it in to the latter, and they will reveal that they made a deal with the original questgiver.
    • During the Wrathgate Cinematic, the Forsaken step in as The Cavalry and bombard the Lich King.
      Grand Apothecary Putress: Death to the Scourge! AND DEATH TO THE LIVING!
    • The last boss of Hour of Twilight reveals himself
      Archbishop Benedictus: And now, Shaman, you will give the Dragon Soul to ME.
    • At the end of the Storm Peaks questline, Loken is clearly victorious, but he takes a moment to rub in his victory with the revelation that you were playing into his hands all along.
      Loken: As for your life, mortal. I will be generous. After all... why would I destroy my most useful servant? I waited for you for weeks inside that Hyldnir mine.
    • In Cataclysm's ending, Alexstrasza notes that a new age is dawning.
      Alexstrasza: But now we must see it... with mortal eyes.
    • In Dagger in the Dark, Rak'gor Bloodrazor says "He knew you were a traitor!" before stabbing Vol'jin in the throat.
    • In "Path of the Last Emperor".
      Seer Hao Pham Roo: I was going to teach you a lesson but instead, it is you who have taught me. You see, when I was young... when I was young... when I was young... I was EMPEROR.
    • At the end of Siege of Orgrimmar, after Garrosh has been taken down, Varian demands to speak with the Warchief. The Horde parts to reveal...
      Vol'jin: I speak for da Horde.
    • There is a considerable one for both characters and the player after the Broken Shore scenario. The player is allowed to observe the council of the Horde leaders, in which Vol'jin was slowly dying from being fel-poisoned.
      Vol'jin: [to Sylvanas] You must... be... Warchief.
    • "A Falling Star" ends on a cutscene, during which the object retrieved by players projects a distress message. Rather than something within the message, the Wham Line is what follows:
      Khadgar: We will not fail... Turalyon.
    • "In the House of Light and Shadow" is a big Wham Episode for players who hadn't read the Chronicle, but in particular is the ending:
      Xe'ra: I seek the child of Light and Shadow: the boy destined to end the age of demons. The one called Illidan Stormrage.
    • Battle For Azeroth has a pretty horrifying one, particularly when it hits you just what is about to happen.
      Delaryn Summermoon: You can kill us, but you cannot kill hope.
      Sylvanas Windrunner: ...can’t I?
    • While trying to determine the goals of the Amathet, there's two back to back, though the former only counts for those who've completed the Ulduar raid.
      Dellorah: Wait, this symbol means "Reply code omega".
      Dellorah: The Amathet mean to stop N'Zoth by reoriginating all of Azeroth!
  • What a Senseless Waste of Human Life:
    • Inverted. When Illidan is killed, he uses his dying words to mock Maiev, who has wasted her entire being on hunting him, and now has nothing left to live for.
    • In the Dread Wastes, the player can overhear a conversation between two Paragons (great warriors of mantid history that had been put under stasis to be reawakened by the cultural caretakers of their society if their current monarch threatened to ruin them) discuss how one of them had been awakened for the second time since being originally placed under hibernation. The first empress he helped overthrow had been holding on to power by declaring the ritualistic centennial attack on their neighboring kingdom as a senseless waste of life. It turned out, however, she was only lying to preserve her power.
    • In Boralus, Cyrus tells a story of a friend who died in the third war, due to a bad case of I Can Still Fight! where he tried to patch himself up after being wounded, without asking for help from healers: he died of infection. The aesop his surviving friend learned from this was that it's not wise to wait to ask for help until it's too late.
  • What an Idiot!: invoked When players kill the Scarshield Quartermaster in Blackrock, he drops his orders from Rend Blackhand with instructions on how to become attuned to Blackwing Lair. Rend expects the quartermaster to get killed, and orders him to destroy the letter so no one else can read it, but as Rend and the quest text point out: this is one stupid orc.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: One of the Grummle Stop Poking Me! lines riffs on this.
    I once smelled a luckydo so powerful, I woke up with a hangover.
  • What Does This Button Do?: Used by Lorewalker Cho while investigating Mogu'shan Vaults. The button summons manifestations of four Mogu Emperors, which become the next boss, and their guards as the trash leading up to them.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • The Vashj'ir storyline involves a new island that formed during the Cataclysm just off Stormwind's coast; the Horde wants it because they could disrupt and/or attack Stormwind from that location, and the Alliance wants it to protect Stormwind from any such attack. When they get there, they are both attacked by naga who are trying to break into Neptulon's domain, and the island's strategic importance is forgotten.
    • After the battle of Andorhal, Thassarian says he's going to go rescue Koltira. The two weren't brought up in that expansion - except when Thassarian shows up in Hyjal as part of a quest that may or may not be entirely canon. It wasn't until Legion that Thassarian rescues Koltira, with the player's help, during the Death Knight class hall campaign.
    • There is a questline in the Draenei starting area that implies that one of the members of the Triumvirate of the Hand was turned into an abomination by the antagonist of the area, with the implication that we would eventually encounter and possibly save him; at conclusion of the questline, he is nowhere to be found, nor is the matter mentioned again. It wasn't until Legion, again, that the storyline received some kind of closure: a legendary item mentions the antagonist was lying and said Triumvirate member "remained steadfast until his departure from the Light".
    • In Mists of Pandaria, the SI:7 agent Rell Nightwind was attacked by Hozen and left critically injured. He would make no more appearances in that expansion, leaving it up in the air if he had died from his injuries. At the start of Warlords of Draenor, Rell was added to the Timeless Isle, just to show he had survived the encounter.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: The "Fangs of the Father" questline involves assassinating two black dragons. As the quests are for Rogues, the point is to sneak past the minions and only kill the targets. Afterwards, Wrathion says that he wanted them killed this way because the mortals are being manipulated by the black dragons and shouldn't be punished for their masters' evil.
  • What's Up, King/Warchief Dude?: You can walk right into the faction leaders' chambers as a level 1 nobody, with no heroic accomplishments under your belt, and talk to the chief of any race that's on your side and no one bats an eye. Security probably isn't much of a concern for them, though, as all of them are far, FAR stronger than any of their guards.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: One Alliance Hellfire Peninsula questgiver sends you to kill some Mag'har orcs as part of a Cycle of Revenge, which gets you called out by a different NPC and sent on another quest to make amends.
    • Garrosh treats Krom'gar to one of these after he murders an entire school of innocent druids and burns down Cliffwalker Post because the High Chieftain dared to avenge his son's murder by his subordinate. In "Heart of War", he gives this to Korm Blackscar, for expressing approval of Horde forces attacking the Alliance forces attacking the Death Gate at the Broken Front, resulting in both forces getting wiped out by the Scourge.
    • You get the same after completing a quest for Zenn Foulhoof the satyr in Teldrassil, and are sent on a series of quests to both punish Foulhoof and eliminate his allies.
    • Horde players can ask Sunwalker Dezco, a tauren paladin, whether it would be a good idea to capture Anduin Wrynn while he is unguarded at the Temple of the White Tiger. Dezco scolds you for even suggesting such a thing, saying that Garrosh would approve, but he does not, because, 1) Anduin is an unarmed child, 2) They are in the presence of an August Celestial, and 3) Anduin has earned the respect of Baine Bloodhoof, chieftain of the tauren.
    • During one of Li Li's quests in the Valley of the Four Winds, she asks you to get her the ingredients to make her an orange dye to paint turnips as carrots to exploit the virmen's love of carrots and hatred of turnips. The ingredients you get for her are marigolds and blood from nearby animals. She's shocked by the fact that you got her blood, but makes the dye anyway.
      Li Li: Whoah, whoah, WHOAH! You brought back BLOOD? I guess I should have looked around for half a second before asking you to bring back something red.
  • What the Hell, Player?: There's the usual consequences for pestering NPCs, of course, this being a Warcraft game. Also, if you summon a Father Winter's Helper or Winter's Little Helper when it's not around the Feast of Winter's Veil, the helper chews you out and tells you to summon it again when it's the correct time of year.
    • One quest from the Warlords of Draenor Legendary questline has the player stealth into an Iron Horde base to collect intelligence. If the player tries to skip over the stealth bit by flying in via Aviana's Feather, Khagdar teleports them back to the ground and chews them out for it.
      Archmage Khadgar: Are you crazy, launching yourself into the air like that! Why not just send Gul'dan a telegram? Better yet, march into the compound at the head of a Brewfest oompah band. This is a stealth mission, <name>! Stealth!
  • Where It All Began: Twice in Warlords of Draenor
    • Thrall and Garrosh agree to have their final battle to death at the place where they first met and bonded over memories of Grom.
    • The final boss of the final raid in Warlords of Draenor takes place at the exact same location that the expansion began: At the site of the Dark Portal in Tanaan Jungle.
  • White Magic: Consists of Holy magic and Nature magic. In lore, these are the only pure sources of power; all other types are either corrupt to begin with or inevitably lead there.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Mentioned by Andi in the quest "A Gift For Fish".
    Andi: That Fish Fellreed is kind of weird. First of all, her name's Fish. That's weird.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Centuries ago, Goblins were not as smart as they are now, and used to be slaves to the Trolls on Kezan who used them to mine the kaja'mite ore they needed for their rituals. Exposure to said ore caused the Goblins' intelligence to increase dramatically, and they eventually overthrow and enslave the Trolls to work in the mines.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: The barmaid at the Speedbarge, and who used to be the flag girl at the Mirage Raceway before Thousand Needles was flooded, wears blue shorts. Her name is Daisy.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Said word for word, albeit replacing "snakes" with "(rock) troggs", by Brann Bronzebeard in the Halls of Origination dungeon.
  • Wicked Witch: The Heartsbane Coven in Drustvar is made up of three distinct types of witches. They start out as witchcraft practicing humans, but as they get more powerful, they take on a grotesque appearance like the Wicked Witch of the West or Baba Yaga. The most powerful of them slit their own throats and ascend to the powerful Matron form, which are essentially floating corpses that look like an HD remake of the banshees.
  • Wide Open Sandbox
  • Widowed at the Wedding: A hidden storyline in Drustvar reveals that Lucille Waycrest's groom-to-be was killed by an assassin sent by her mother on the day of their wedding.
  • Widow Witch: The Jade Witch, her turning children into jade statues is from her desire to raise a family with her late husband.
  • William Telling: This quest is an obvious parody.
  • Will-o'-the-Wisp: Night Elves turn into wisps when they die, allowing them to move much faster than the ghosts of other races and therefore resurrect quicker. Blizzard announced that Wisps would be a playable race for an April Fools' Day joke in 2006.
  • Windmill Crusader: Players take on the Sancho Panza role to a Don Quixote expy, Maximillian of Northshire, with one quest rewarding a toy windmill.
  • Wisdom from the Gutter: At the end of the legendary questline, it's Tong, a waiter in the Tavern in the Mists, who tells Wrathion that the Alliance and the Horde need each other, telling him of how Emperor Shaohao had to include the pandaren's mantid enemies in the mists because they were as much a part of the land as they were, and they strengthened each other. Wrathion is no mood to hear it, though.
  • With Us or Against Us: Aside from the Alliance and Horde, there are also several independent factions that are hostile to each other, so befriending one will make you hated by the other:
    • Aldor vs. Scryers. They work together to fight the Burning Legion, but only by creating the Shattered Sun Offensive, the Aldor and Scryers outside the SSO are still opposed to each other.
    • Frenzyheart vs. Oracles. In one quest, you will have to choose which of them to save, which will give you the favor of one faction and make you the enemy of the other.
    • Booty Bay vs. Bloodsail Buccaneers. Because Booty Bay is also opposed to the Venture Company, it's possible to become friendly with both by attacking Booty Bay to befriend the Buccaneers, then attacking the Venture Company to befriend Booty Bay.
    • Before Cataclysm reworked Desolace, there used to be two factions of centaurs there that you could only gain rep with one at a time.
  • Wire Dilemma: In the Halls of Origination, Brann Bronzebeard tries to stop the Reorigination mechanism, by breaking into the main control panel, and finds two fuses, a red one, and a blue one. The one he breaks depends on the player's faction, and either one works to stop it.

    Wo - Ya 
  • Womb Level:
    • In Cataclysm there is a gigantic sea creature called Nespirah, and you end up questing inside it. Turns out, it's sentient and the naga are trying to bend it to their will and use it as an engine of destruction.
    • Later you investigate a similar entity called L'ghorek; it's clearly too late to prevent it from suffering the fate the Naga intended for Nespirah, as it resembles a dead version of its counterpart, with an evil temple within. However, it's still clinging to life and can at least help fight them.
    • In the Dragon Soul Raid, the second and third bosses, Yor'sahj the Unsleeping and Warlord Zon'ozz, are found inside the stomachs of large creatures- Shu'ma and Go'rath, that are servants of the Old Gods. To reach them, you must defeat globs of the creature's blood and large tentacles, respectively, which will also assist the bosses in battle.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Various NPC battles with the Lich King seem to be for the sole purpose of showing off how strong he is in comparison, with the fight in the Halls of Reflection being just the latest.
    • The tauren play this role in Cataclysm — both the Earthen Ring and the Cenarion Circle have lost high-ranking tauren members to show the threats PCs must face.
    • The Chickified night elves play this role in the interfaction war in Cataclysm, used to show how much of a threat the orcs are, and to justify the presence of their allies in the worgen and Varian Wrynn.
    • Near the end of the Klaxxi quest chain, after you get Exalted with the faction, the Paragons, who are some of the greatest heroes in mantid history, go up against Imperial Vizier Zor'lok, the first boss in Heart of Fear. In the ensuing battle, one of the Paragons, Mallik the Unscathed, who was famed for being almost invincible, is killed.
    • The Broken Shore event leading into Legion establishes just how brutal the full might of the Burning Legion is by mortally wounding Tirion Fordring and Vol'jin, and overkilling Varian Wrynn, all in the span of a few minutes. The latter got something out of it, but the former have been decried as unfitting for the characters.
  • Working-Class Werewolves: Zig-zagged by the Worgen. With the whole kingdom of Gilneas being plagued with lycanthropy, everyone from the common peasant, to the soldiers, to King Genn Greymane, to your playable character, are affected by it.
  • World of Badass: Pretty much any named character who's done something relevant is likely to be a badass... and that's not even getting into the player characters.
  • World of Ham: To the point that World of Hamcraft would not be an unfitting title. Nearly every voiced line in the game is so overblown you'd think the collective cast is starved on a regular basis.
  • World of Muscle Men: Has this in full effect. This brought some jokes over how beefy the eleven races became compared to their slender Warcraft III designs.
  • World's Smallest Violin: There is an Emote Command, /violin, which displays "You begin to play the world's smallest violin." If you have something targeted, it displays "You begin to play the world's smallest violin for [target]." The number of times you use this emote, along with a few others, is tracked in the statistics.
  • Worth It: Kingslayer Orkus once met Varok Saurfang and asked the High Overlord to autograph his massive pectorals; instead, Saurfang backhanded him, and now Orkus has trouble remembering things. It was totally worth it.
  • Would You Like to Hear How They Died?:
    • In the Bloodmyst Isle storyline, Matis the Cruel pulls this when he is captured by the player and brought before Prophet Velen.
      Matis the Cruel: Did you know that the one you call Saruan wept like a babe as I beat him? A feeling of euphoria coursed through me, knowing that I had a member of high rank in my grasp. Were it not for Sironas' plans for him, I would have tortured him to death... As I do to all draenei that I capture. Alas, I am certain that you will see him again soon...
    • In Cataclysm's Dragon Soul raid, Deathwing, when facing Alexstraza, taunts her about how he turned many members of her flight into mindless Twilight drakes, and how painful a process it was. She, with forced stoicism, says they are no longer of her clutch, and the raid has to kill them.
    • When confronting Gul'dan in the Nighthold, he taunts the player about how their previous faction leaders were killed at the Broken Shore. He starts giving details of Varian begging for mercy and Vol'jin squealing like a pig, but players who saw the intro cinematic know he's lying through his teeth.
  • Wrench Wench: Pretty much every female goblin and gnome. Also, any female Player Character who has the Engineering skill.
  • Xanatos Gambit:
    • The entire Wrath of the Lich King expansion is built on this, as players find out to their dismay during the Lich King encounter in Icecrown Citadel. Every challenge presented to you within Icecrown Citadel was just a test so that only the greatest champions of Azeroth would reach the Lich King. At 10%, he instantly kills your entire raid, announces this was his plan all along, then begins to harvest your soul and reanimate you as a champion of the Scourge. It doesn't work out for him.
    • You wouldn't think them capable of it, but the Hozen will at times engage in ravages, attacks on other communities, when they have more mouths than they can feed. The ravages will either secure greater food for the Hozen tribes, or get enough Hozen killed that the food they already have will sustain them.
  • Yandere: Sylvanas is a version of this, while she loves her sisters she does so in a rather twisted and possessive way. Namely, she wants to turn them undead so they will "live" with her in Undercity forever, apparently not caring that they have lives and plans of their own and might not want to be made undead.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: Mages used to have Frostfire Bolt, which combined two normally mutually exclusive schools of magic for one spell.

    Ye - Z 
  • You Bastard!:
    • A very subtle one: In Hillsbrad, you come across a group of humans who are buried neck-deep by the Forsaken and are at the mercy of the surrounding ghouls. Your character spots a shovel nearby and decides to "do the right thing". The quest that follows gives you the option to dig the humans out or bash their brains in with the shovel. Should you choose to do the latter, you get a debuff that tells you to "rethink your definition of "right"".
    • Hunter player characters are often avid collectors, and will search the game world for "rare spawn" beasts that appear periodically. As such, if you kill such a beast in a Cataclysm zone, your reward is the Crystalline Tear of Loyalty, which is described as "The desire to serve as a loyal companion, coalesced into a single priceless crystal". It doesn't do anything, but you can sell it for 25 gold. You bastard.
    • If you do a Human or Orc orphan's quests for Children's Week, you can choose from one of a few rewards, including pets and pet biscuits that make your pets larger. You can also choose an item that can be sold for a few gold, and is said to be for those who like telling children Greatfather Winter does not exist.
    • Every time you boot one of the NPCs off of the Traveler's Tundra Mammoth or its yak equivalent from Mists of Pandaria you get to hear them complain.
      Hakmud of Argus: I thought we were friend, buddy! How could you leave Hakmud stranded?
    • Players who get the inn/tavern in their garrison will get various NPCs visiting and offering quests. One of them is Moroes, a boss from the Karazhan raid. His quest involves finding something to help clean up the mess the player and their raid buddies left the last time they were there.
    • The Gleamhoof Fawn pet in Val'sharah is always found near stags and does. Its pet journal description:
      Now, where are its parents? You monster.
  • You Can See Me?: Players use mind control to help a raptor escape from Zul'Gurub, only to be caught at the very end by Jin'do the Hexxer. At first it seems like the trolls are just going to put the raptor in a cage, but Jin'do is a powerful Witch Doctor, and knows the player is mind controlling the raptor; he ends the quest by calling out to the player, and breaks the mind control.
    • Same thing happens in the Twilight Highlands, when Cho'gall notices the player spying on him with a magic scrying device.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: In Warlords of Draenor, while Garrosh is initially successful in preventing the alternate universe orcs from making their pact with the Legion, they still end up making said pact later, with the exception of Grom. Averted when Draenor itself avoids becoming Outland.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good: In Battle for Azeroth, Magni Bronzebeard tasks you with retrieving Azerite, the very lifeblood of the planet in order to save it. Because of how powerful it is, various evil groups are trying to tap into Azeroth's open wounds to fuel their schemes. When completing quests to stop one of these schemes, Magni wishes that these people were helping Azeroth instead.
  • You Have No Chance to Survive:
    • C'thun spends the entire time you are inside his lair taunting you with this, before you even get to him.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In the Arcatraz dungeon, Warden Mellichar, under the influence of mind control, releases Harbinger Skyriss, and is promptly killed by him.
  • You Killed My Sister: In Blackwing Descent, you fight Nefarian and Onyxia, the former having reanimated the latter. Subverted as when you kill Onyxia, again, Nefarian doesn't seem so hurt over losing his sister, instead berating you for "callous disregard for one's possessions".
    • By contrast, their brother Sabellian is pissed that several of his children were killed by Gruul the Dragonkiller, so he gets revenge, starting with one of Gruul's sons, Goc.
    • Vanessa VanCleef is motivated by revenge for her father's death.
  • You Mean X Mas: Azeroth has several holidays that are based on real-world holidays, including Noblegarden (Easter), Hallow's End (Halloween), and the Feast of Winter Veil (Christmas). They even have Pirate's Day (Talk Like A Pirate Day).
  • You No Take Candle: The Trope Namer phrase is said by kobolds in Elwynn Forest, who attempt to protect the candles on their heads. In one quest the player character is actually collecting said candles; otherwise they aren't even lootable.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: In Warlords of Draenor, Ga'nar, Durotan's brother, pulls one of these to prevent the Iron Horde from passing a narrow passage and overruning the Frostwolf forces, and give Drek'thar the time he needs to collapse the passage with his shamanistic powers, in the climax of the Frostridge storyline, complete with an Obi-Wan Moment, or as close to one as an Orc can get.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: The Sha in Mists of Pandaria manifest because of strong negative emotions rising in mortals. Pandaren discipline largely came about to combat this, but the balance is upset by the Alliance and Horde appearing on Pandaria.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: The Wrathgate event in Lich King. No, Bolvar Fordragon and Saurfang the Younger aren't going to defeat Arthas halfway through Dragonblight, so you just know this isn't going to end well.
    • The battle between Alexstrasza and Deathwing in the Twilight Highlands ends with a badly injured Alexstrasza and a dead Deathwing. He gets better real fast.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: The Lich King's modus operandi. "Frostmourne hungers."
  • Yoyo Plot Point: WarCraft started with the Orc invasion of Azeroth, until Warcraft III revealed the Orcs were demonically possessed and not all bad, and had to join forces with the Alliance and the Night Elves to defeat the Burning Legion. Some years later, relations between the two have turned sour, sparking a renewed Alliance/Horde war. Burning Crusade sees the return of the Burning Legion, and the two having to work together to defeat the demons again. This continues into Wrath of the Lich King where a cooperative effort to fight the Lich King is ruined by a traitorous faction of Forsaken, which leads to infighting that widens the Alliance/Horde rift. Garrosh Hellscream takes over the Horde and declares open war on the Alliance, just as Deathwing emerges and threatens all of Azeroth; leaving guys like Thrall and Malfurion Stormrage trying to get the Alliance and Horde to focus their attention on the world ending threat instead of each other. This leads to Pandaria with the war in full swing, only for Garrosh Hellscream to cross the Moral Event Horizon and acquire the Heart of Y'Shaarj, forcing the Alliance and the rest of Horde to team up to stop him.
    • Another is whether the Forsaken should be seen as desperate outcasts who perform morally dubious acts in order to survive, or whether they are outcasts because they are immoral and untrustworthy.
  • Zerg Rush: A common tactic in PvP battlegrounds. Also the main reason for the Death Knight ability Army of the Dead, which summons eight ghouls that swarm anything in range, drawing the attention away from the Death Knight and their group.
  • Zip Mode: The game world, large to begin with, has become larger and larger with each expansion. To help with the incredible distances you can find yourself needing to cover, there are three major methods of rapid travel, which become available bit by bit in the game:
    • First, you can pay to fly from most any town or city to any other on the same continent. It essentially replicates the effect of flying mounts but automatically follows a set path. They are often ignored by high-level characters due to their circuitous paths that end up taking longer than flying yourself, especially if you're already in the field. Any distance less than 1/3 of a continent is usually best done manually. However, they move at the second fastest flying speed, and being automatic means you can take a bathroom break.
    • Secondly, each major release other than Cataclysm has added a "Central City" for end-game characters, which contain portals that allow players to return to any of their faction's major cities, as well as the former central cities. Setting your hearthstone to that city allows rapid travel to other areas.
      • Cataclysm inverted the central city concept. Instead of a central city with portals leading back to their faction's major cities, the Earthen Ring set up a series of portals in Stormwind and Orgrimmar to the new PvE locations, with the Alliance and Horde setting up portals to Tol Barad.
      • Warlords of Draenor subverted this by having Ashran only give portals to the six original major cities. Shattrath, Dalaran, and the Pandaria HQ's were not included, and even the newer "starter" cities, Silvermoon City and the Exodar, weren't included). Since players had the new garrison hearthstone, and high-level garrisons actually have a portal to Ashran, this led many characters to leave their primary hearthstone attuned to their old Pandaria city, which still has all it's portals workingnote .
      • Battle for Azeroth doubled-up on the central city concept. Boralus and Dazar'alor have portals to the starter citiesnote ; but also, Stormwind and Orgrimmar have new portal rooms leading to major locations from every expansion, except Cataclysm as the Earthen Ring portals are still available. With the Dalaran Hearthstone from Legion and it's portals to Stormwind and Orgrimmar, it's possible to get almost anywhere in a couple of minutes.
    • Lastly, there are a number of items that allow teleportation to various spots. For example, there are capes that allow teleporting to Stormwind or Orgrimmar, a tabard that takes you to the Argent Crusade, a ring to Dalaran, a trinket to the Timeless Isle, and so on - generally one new one per expansion. Some are simply bought, while others need to be earned in some way. A player who has accumulated a lot of these items, combined with the other two methods, can get almost anywhere in the game in less than five minutes.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The Scourge Invasion.
  • Zombie Infectee: The player character is a werewolf version of this in the worgen starting zone. No, that worgen bite is not 'probably nothing'!
  • Zombie Puke Attack: Some of the undead have a puke attack.

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