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  • Acceptable Targets:
    • There's the widely practiced and highly enjoyable sport of gnome punting, popular in both factions, but most especially among the tauren. Blood elves are also frequently mocked as being too Alliance-y (or feminine) for the Horde.
    • Daily quest givers. Two sets of them become bosses in Siege of Orgrimmar, though the latter set becoming the penultimate boss encounter was probably inevitable given their ties to Y'Shaarj. World quest givers, too, particularly the Tortollan Seekers and Magni Bronzebeard.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy:
    • Garrosh, of all people, gets this at the end of the Nagrand storyline in Warlords of Draenor. The final cinematic displayed his final showdown with Thrall, during which Thrall says that Garrosh failed the Horde. This leads to Garrosh beating his former mentor to the curb while yelling at him for putting the mantle of warchief on his inexperienced shoulders and leaving him to pick up the pieces of Thrall's mistakes; Thrall refusing responsibility for the part he inadvertently played in Garrosh's downfall (at least during the scene itself), combined with the obvious feelings of anger and hurt on Garrosh's part, had a profound effect on many fans. Although his pages on Wowhead are full of angry commentators rattling off the things they don't like about him, the cinematic caused many people to take Garrosh's side in their fight even though he lost, and to dislike Thrall even more.
    • Rhonin in Tides of War, who died saving (then)-fan favorite Jaina and his wife Vereesa.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Illidan: Was he a hero who was willing to go to extreme lengths to save his friends, family, and the world? Was he an Anti-Hero who still ultimately did the right thing? Was he a Well-Intentioned Extremist who didn't realize his own evil? Or was he just a power-mad loner who did a couple of good deeds to justify it to himself? Notable in that the writing of the games have slowly slid from the first to the last in the way it portrays both his current and past actions over time. Legion and its supplementary material, in particular, posit that all of these interpretations are valid to some extent, and various other characters lean in one direction or another over him (the split between Kayn and Altruis being the most obvious).
    • Arthas, before he took up Frostmourne was he a genuinely good person wanting to do the best for his people, or was he a spoiled brat who set the stage for his own fall? As Death Knight to what extent was he aware of his actions and should be held accountable or was he also as much as a victim as those he killed? Was Stratholme an act of callous cruelty or what had to be done in those circumstances?
    • One debate is whether General Hawthorne, who destroyed Camp Taurajo. Was he a war criminal responsible for civilian deaths, someone who tried to win while showing more mercy than his comrades, or someone who wanted to show mercy but wasn't competent at doing it? note 
    • Was Kael'thas a good man Driven to Villainy by unfair prejudice and a set of impossible circumstances in Warcraft III, or was he an incompetent commander who should have been able to overcome the odds stacked against him without accepting forbidden help? The RTS and various supplementary materials suggest the former, but The Burning Crusade stripped away most of the sympathy fans had for him and turned him into an unambiguous villain.
    • Is Tyrande a good-natured and fair leader or a dangerous zealot? Is Thrall heroic and selfless or foolish and naive? And so on.
    • Garrosh during his final battle with Thrall. Does he have a point, and did Thrall give him a responsibility that he wasn't ready for? Or is he simply making excuses and refusing to accept responsibility for his actions (throughout Mists of Pandaria, he'd mocked Thrall as being too soft to be an effective leader or a "true" orc)?
    • After the "Rejection of the Gift" scenario, a very big one has happened: Is the Light legitimately an ultimately benevolent good in the world? Or is it just the Order opposing the Void's Chaos and is just as bad at the farthest extreme? Xe'ra's forcefulness and sinister behavior when she tries to force Illidan to become a champion of light and dark has created a lot of the latter sentiment, especially since, as the Prime Naaru, the buck for the Light's purpose ultimately stops with her until we get proof that Elune is in fact a Light overdeity (which has scant proof to back it up). That the Lightforged Draenei can come across as the Knight Templar trope and show light-based mutations Not So Different from Fel corrupted Draenei furthers this for some. Many fans are now considering that Light Is Not Good may now be in effect for everything to do with the far extreme side of the Light, and not just the forces who use it for evil actions. This was furthered when people were shown a scrapped design for an Argus invasion world that was extremely close to the Light (a World of Silence covered in crystals with no living thing in sight besides the demons players fought) despite the fact that Blizzard explicitly scrapped that idea because it didn't match their intended depiction and characterization of the Light.
  • Alt-itis: Everybody who plays the game for long has multiple characters. Even if it isn't to experience life in the opposite faction, there are still seven races per faction and 12 classes, not to mention the advantages of having multiple professions and weekly lockouts available on one account. Some players never get a character to max level, instead rolling dozens of alts. And then Blizzard added the Recruit A Friend program, allowing players to level alts with their friends at triple the normal rate.
    • In Wrath of the Lich King, the addition of "heirloom" class items makes this even more highly encouraged, as they can be traded among characters on the same account, scale to character level and increase the rate at which experience is gained, making leveling up additional characters easier.
    • In Cataclysm, the heirloom system was expanded to guilds, with heirloom capes and helms only being available once your guild reaches a certain level. Further, Cataclysm revamped the leveling experience in old Azeroth in order to attract players who are bored with the original content.
    • Then comes Mists of Pandaria which introduces a playable neutral race and a new class, yet more incentive to make a new character. On the other hand, people can pay to race change their character into a pandaren, like they could with worgen and goblins.
      • Supported even further later on in MoP, in which all Pandaria factions have an item available upon reaching Revered that doubles all reputation gains for that faction for every character on that player's account. Additionally, if you get the maximum amount of 1000 Valor points (currency for buying and upgrading raid gear) in a given week on one of your characters, all your other characters get 50% more Valor Points for the rest of the week.
    • Legion kind of zigzags. Every class order has a distinct storyline with its own plot, villain and characters, encouraging having at least one of every class at max level if you're a lore nut who wants all the story, plus the divergence of each class/spec that was a focus of Legion's design makes it a unique experience for every character. However, the way that Artifact weapons grow more powerful puts a soft timer on your character's power that you must devote time to, thus you'll be having to spend much more time on your main to power up the artifact you'll actually use for endgame (and this makes alt-specs hard too), as well as the return of reputation gates (you need to be at least friendly with all the factions, including the Nightborne who only open after you hit max level) before you can do World Quests, although this requirement was made unnecessary for alts come patch 7.1. It's sort of hard to tell if Blizzard wants you to mess around with alts or focus on your main, as while the Story certainly does, the gameplay and gating discourages it.
    • Blizzard seems to be encouraging players' Alt-itis with the introduction of several new allied races in Battle for Azeroth.
  • Angel/Devil Shipping: Since Battle for Azeroth and the two have fully settled into their new roles, it's been a growing trend to ship High King Anduin Wrynn (All-Loving Hero blessed by the Light) and Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner (Attractive but ruthless undead) together.
  • Angst? What Angst?: In Legion Nazgrim, Thoras Trollbane, and Sally Whitemane are resurrected as Death Knights. None of the three seem worried about their new condition. Some have, however interpreted one of those as as being freed from the corruption of the Scarlet Crusade.
  • Anvilicious: A common criticism of the story is that despite the game being called Warcraft, many characters go out of their way to talk about how both factions need to put aside their differences and fight against a common enemy. Not only does it seem contradictory in spite of the series' namesake, but many players feel that the factions fighting each other is in fact justified even when fighting bigger threats, due to one or the other's tendency to betray or backstab the other while dealing with the Greater-Scope Villain, so being told to hold hands and get along comes off as disingenuous at best, completely ignorant at worst.
    • Of course, sometimes this can be a legitimate case of Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped, as many of the conflicts will either lead to circumstances that only make things worse for both the Alliance and Horde in the long run, and some Big Bads explicitly prey upon the factions' fighting, such as Arthas raising the corpses of soldiers killed at the Broken Front or the Twilight's Hammer making the factions believe they betrayed a mutual ceasefire to further their own manipulations and plans.
  • Ass Pull:
    • The Reveal that Fenris Wolfbrother was Durotan's big brother and Thrall's uncle. Totally out of the blue, not supported by any prior lore and almost certainly just a hat trick pulled to make Fenris even more of a scumbag and account for Garad's absence.
    • Many accusations of this were hurled at Grom Hellscream's redemption at Warlords of Draenor's climax, not helped by Blizzard themselves admitting that the planned fate for this character changed while the expansion was already well into development. The end result is most of the expansion depicting him as a genocidal and unambiguous villain ultimately responsible for most of the Iron Horde's many invasions, campaigns, and atrocities, which is then promptly forgotten as his victims, the two most prominent of whom have suffered not only the threat of their peoples' extinction at his hands, but also very personal loss, somewhat blandly decide to let bygones be bygones after an Enemy Mine. That this occurred without Grom showing a single shred of remorse for bloodying Draenor with war and conquest makes it all the more jarring.
    • Also in Warlords of Draenor, Admiral Taylor's offscreen death in Spires of Arak is considered an ignominous way of killing off a major Alliance hero and counterpart to General Nazgrim after the latter's player-induced death in Mists of Pandaria. Even worse, it bordered on being a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment as he wasn't killed by the Horde, the Iron Horde, or the Burning Legion; he was killed by some random necromancer in disguise who, when killed himself, makes some vague mention of a "dark one", when there are so many lore characters that can qualify as a "dark one" that this is more or less impossible to decipher.
    • In Legion, one of the bosses within the Emerald Nightmare begins making several vague prophecies - several of which were quickly interpreted by players as Foreshadowing, but one in particular that stands out: "The Lord of Ravens will turn the key." The problem here is, there are at least five candidates seen within this expansion who qualify as the Lord of Ravensnote , with no hints as to which one is meant. The list is generally too long/broad to serve as proper foreshadowing, since if any one of them is the true "Lord of Ravens", then the argument will be that the others were better qualified.
    • Vol'jin's death on the Broken Shore at the hands of an unnamed demon after only about one expansion of being Warchief, for the same reason as Admiral Taylor above. Not helping is that it was the Horde counterpart to Varian's death in that same scenario, but the latter at least had a Dying Moment of Awesome. Leading off of this is Vol'jin using his last moments to give the title of Warchief to Sylvanas, someone who's been Slowly Slipping Into Evil for about half the game's run and that just about nobody outside her own Forsaken faction trusts. Vol'jin even lampshades this by saying many people won't understand why he chose her but otherwise gives no reason for why he thought she was the right choice.
    • The introduction of the void elf race in Battle for Azeroth is widely considered this, mainly because out of all of the first wave of allied races, they had only one dungeon of previous buildup (compared to Lightforged draenei, Highmountain tauren, and nightborne, who all had their own storylines in Legion), and because most of them are canonically blood elves who were Touched by Vorlons and defected to the Alliance instead of high elves, a race that has been requested by Alliance players since launch and who were already in the Alliance, to begin with. Not helping is that rather than the void form being a mode like with Alleria, their skin is permanently blue/purple/gray, and the reputation required to unlock them is for a completely unrelated faction of Broken draenei.
    • The particular story thread they followed for making the Nightborne go Horde got a lot of groans from players. While it made sense for them to go to the Horde because of their newfound kinship with the Blood Elves due to their similar history and Tyrande's snarky dismissiveness during the Insurrection quest chain, the scenario that makes them join acts like Thalyssra made the decision entirely because Tyrande made one comment that could have been construed as a backhanded insult, rather than focusing on said newly-forged kinship as the deciding factor.
    • The entire addition of Night Elf Dark Rangers is widely derided from the fanbase for not only making Night Elves looks incompetent and undermining their vengeance, but also for stretching beyond credibility the idea of Forsaken having free will, since they are raised to join the very people that killed them and their loved ones, invaded their homeland, and nearly genocided their race. While a following patch added the mention that only the willing ones are resurrected, it just makes it even more glaring that they "willingly" join their killers in the first place (Although, to be fair, similar examples happened all the way back in Cataclysm).
  • Audience-Alienating Premise:
    • Mists of Pandaria would seem to serve as this for the Warcraft fandom. People who give it a chance often praise how detailed the culture and history of the the new continent is. But a lot of people just can't get past the fact that it focuses on talking pandas or the focus on the faction conflict.
    • Battle For Azeroth was hit by this in the eyes of quite a few. A good number of players feel that the faction conflict has run its course after the poorly received Horde/Alliance war storyline in Mists, so basing an entire expansion around it was seen by many as both a misstep and retreading old ground, especially right as it seems to be repeating the same issues players of both factions disliked such as the Alliance being a passive punching bag that never does anything wrong, and the Horde's cast being entirely vilified.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Legion, through and through, such that one Reddit commenter called it the "In case of emergency, break glass" expansion. Artifact weapons and the chance to obtain the long sought-after Ashbringer. Illidan is alive again, and it seems he's getting that redemption story the fans have longed for. The elven races of either faction, the Night Elves and Blood Elves, are slated to get some focus after two entire expansions spent Demoted to Extra. Demon Hunters are finally becoming a playable hero class, and only available to the Night/Blood Elves (As previously mentioned, they are getting some focus). Class and spec identity is being advertised as a big focus, with some specs getting completely new focuses to make them more unique, after an expansion of pragmatic ability cuts for space; this also includes player characters joining factions limited to their own class, with potential for class-specific quests. As the backdrop, we finally get to face the long-awaited return of the Burning Legion head-on, something that has been built up since Burning Crusade, after two expansions that have often been criticized as sidestories. The setting is basically Northrend II + the WotA trilogy. Even with all these crowd-pleasers, however, only time will tell if it can Win Back the Crowd the way Final Fantasy XIV managed to.
    • Illidan's return has ended up creating a bit of a Broken Base. On the one hand, they addressed the issues and out of character moments in Burning Crusade extremely well in a smooth saving throw, by revealing that the horrible things he was doing were the high cost to setting up a desperate plan to lop off the head of the Legion once and for all, and us killing him was actually part of Kil'jaeden's plot to get us to deal with the Legion's Illidan problem for them. However, many have found this goodwill to have been squandered by Xe'ra, the character pushing us to bring Illidan back.
    • As for Xe'ra herself, she is infamous for guilt-tripping the player and shilling Illidan like crazy, despite the story having recently admitted that Illidan really did do some horrible things (even if for the greater good) and Xe'ra's own allies encouraging us to do what we did. 7.3 reveals that she is willing to do whatever it takes to fulfill the prophecy, even if that means forcibly purifying her glorified "chosen one" when he rejects his role as the Child of Light and Shadow.
    • Ever since Burning Crusade ended, fans have long lamented the lack of draenei representation through the expansions (the joke being that "the Naaru have not forgotten us," but Blizzard did). Now, in 7.3, they are finally having their moment in the spotlight with the return to Argus.
    • Zig-zagged with Jaina.
      • Despite being an Action Girl in Warcraft III, Jaina didn't do much in World of Warcraft except cry in a couple of emotionally charged moments, causing many to feel that she had gone through Chickification. In response to those concerns, Blizzard vowed to make her badass again. Unfortunately, this led to her Jumping Off the Slippery Slope instead. Her city and everything she worked for was destroyed leading to a Roaring Rampage of Revenge that threatened tons of innocent people. She was talked down and even gave a nice speech during the first patch of that expansion, implying that it was simply a low point for her to help reinforce who she really is.
      • However, in that very same patch, she's betrayed and orders The Purge of Dalaran in response. This was supposed to be seen as a huge victory for the Alliance, but the morally questionable nature of it backfired. The novel War Crimes attempted an Author's Saving Throw for the first saving throw by having her realize what she had become and try to make amends, and it worked pretty well. However, in the next expansion, she's immediately back to her She Who Fights Monsters self, and in Legion, she ends up abandoning everyone over it. During all of this, Word of God insisted that she's still ultimately a good guy, but much of the fanbase feel she will Never Live It Down and hate her more than the truly villainous characters.
      • Battle for Azeroth, while still maintaining her anger towards the Horde, saw her mellow out considerably and is nowhere near as genocidal and irrational as she was in early Mists and Legion. It helped that the prequel comics and animation explaining her motivation was very well-made and well-received by fans.
    • The World of Warcraft: Chronicle. After years of the constant retcons being the butt of many Warcraft jokes, Blizzard stepped back and made books retelling the history of the Warcraft universe from the beginning of time. These books have provided a definitive version of many events that were left in an ambiguous state, and smoothed over retcons large and small. The best part is that while it technically provides its own retcons, most of these manage to keep the story as close as possible to the original lore while staying consistent with newer lore. It remains to be seen if this will continue going forward, however (the relation between Odyn, Helya, and the creation of the val'kyr has seemingly been contradicted already).
    • The dragons got an appreciated throw: there was originally a feat of strength achievement for Death Knights during the 7.2 quest chain for their mount where they drive the Red Dragonflight to extinction purely out of spite and bloodlust. A week after the mount chains came out, Blizzard hotfixed out the achievement and stated the Kill ’Em All outcome was non-canon, citing that it was unfair to fans of the dragons (especially with all the misfortune they've recently suffered), a moment like that would be too important to only be covered in a single class if it were canon, and was unfair to give only Death Knights an achievement (that could be lost as the quest only happens once) related to getting their class mount, and also that they never intended the feat of strength to actually go live. Word of God also said that the Deaths of Chromie is leading into the dragons being put back into the forefront most likely in the next expansion, when players are 112 for real after being Out of Focus with only heartbreak (the above mentioned, the Aszuna blues, and Ysera's death) when they are brought into the plot.
    • Early on, Saurfang made a speech to Garrosh about the horrors of war, and how he would stop Garrosh if Garrosh ever tried to return the Horde to their dark past. However, after Garrosh became Warchief and did try to bring back the old ways, Saurfang only briefly appears once a rebellion has formed on its own, and does not take any major action in bringing Garrosh down, leading many to feel that his character had been wasted or even betrayed. The writers have attempted to offset this in two ways. The third volume of the Chronicle established that Saurfang's despair over losing his son in Northrend caused him to be absent during Garrosh's takeover. Then, when Sylvanas led the Horde into dishonorable acts as Warchief in Battle for Azeroth, Saurfang refused to participate further.
    • The Old Soldier cinematic single-handedly saved the Horde for many player by having Ensemble Dark Horse Zappyboi reminded Saurfang that the Horde, first and foremost is a big family, rekindled his hope and gave him the will to live another day.
    • One of the biggest examples would be Alternate Grommash being Easily Forgiven after the ends of Warlords for leading a genocidal campaign over all of the expansion's continent, just because the Legion's arrival forced an Enemy Mine. The Mag'har unlock scenario reveals that despite the stirring speech, the residents of Draenor weren't so quick to let the forgiveness stick once the high of victory wore off. Grom had to spend decades as The Atoner for the Iron Horde's deeds and to let the Draenor clans redeem themselves for what they did and had to fight tooth and nail for their place in the world of equality left after the Legion's defeat. Not to mention that Yrel wasn't as quick to forgive them and eventually turned into a Knight Templar of the "convert to the light or die" variety, and many Orcs, including the alternate Garrosh who was born in the interim, joined willingly believing it was finally the redemption they had been seeking. Grom himself is given a Redemption Equals Death Bolivian Army Ending to finally atone for everything he did as Warchief of the Iron Horde.
    • During the beta of Battle for Azeroth, Jaina's anti-Horde, pro-war extremism was shown to be worse than ever, calling for outright genocide of the Horde races and actively arguing with Anduin over his desire to fight the Horde fairly and humanely. When Battle for Azeroth was fully released, however, her dialogue was completely rewritten and she mellowed out heavily, her fiery rage replaced with dour determination, making her more of The Stoic instead of an insane warmonger.
    • The void elves' role in the Alliance's Battle for Azeroth War Campaign won quite a few of the race's detractors over, with their leader making it clear that they aren't simply allies of convenience but genuine believers in the Alliance's values, having never been on board with their race joining the Horde. This is, essentially, the exact story that fans previously demanding high elves instead of void elves have been wanting Blizzard to tell.
    • When the "Fate of Saurfang" quests were released on the PTR, it received criticism for assuming the player was onboard with betraying Sylvanas to save Saurfang, who is easily interpreted as a traitor under the circumstances. A later version allowed the player to refuse to partake in this version of events, leading into an alternate quest.
    • From the same patch comes the lead-up to the Darkshore Warfront, where Tyrande undergoes a ritual to become the avatar of Elune and take back their land. The first versions of the quest line seen on the PTR were released to widespread fan anger and mockery, both for its story decisions and for accusations that the plot as presented was genuinely badly written. Some builds later, and the quests received many changes that addressed some of the fans' complaints. Downplayed in that instance, in that it didn't address many issues the fans had with the storyline, merely slightly changed the way they were presented.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Thanks to proximity, territory conflicts and plot the Night Elves have gone from independent faction on equal footing with the Horde and Alliance to the Horde's punching bag.
    • Simarily, Tauren went from Beware the Nice Ones to a collective Extreme Doormat.
    • Baine started out as a Proud Warrior Race Guy, similar to his father, who was willing to give peace a chance, but woe behold anyone who attacked the tauren. This can be seen as early as WoW's debut where Baine killed dwarves invading Mulgore after they refused to leave and his Dummied Out lines in Cataclysm. Starting from 'Tides of War'', Baine was turned into an Extreme Doormat, infamously brushing off a tauren town being firebombed when the military personnel were away and saying it was ok because it was a military target. This was followed by hypocritically exiling tauren who defended themselves against Alliance military forces trying to invade Mulgore, actively crippling the safety of the tauren.
    • Pandaren went from a Proud Warrior Race (Just look at several of Samwise's drawings of them) into a utopian society.
    • A major theme of Lor'themar Theron's narrative (the transformation from a front-lines war hero to a politician stuck behind a desk in Sunfury Spire) invokes this trope.
    • Prince Kael'thas and Lady Vashj, the two Arc Villains of Outland, suffered from this too in The Burning Crusade, despite being incredibly badass in TFT. The former had an off-screen Face–Heel Turn and was eventually reduced to a corrupt, power-crazed mana zombie, while the latter was simply Demoted to Extra.
    • Similar to the Kael and Vashj examples, we have the crypt-fiend king, Anub'arak. He was the badass Lancer to Arthas in TFT but was Demoted to Extra even worse than the treatment Vashj got. At least in Vashj case, she was the final boss of the Serpentshrine raid. All Anub'arak got in WotLK was an early dungeon and a mid-expansion raid.
  • Banned in China: The Chinese government has historically taken a dim view of MMOs and WoW in particular, and has cut off all access to the game nationwide on two occasions. (Too bad this doesn't stop gold farmers.)
    • In China, anything having to do with death or anything representing it is a very taboo subject. Because of this, Forsaken character models have their bones covered up and Death Knights are called Fade Knights. Among many other changes, the ground clutter in some dungeons of bones and corpses was replaced with... bread, of all things. (Cue jokes of Scholomance being a haunted cooking school rather then a school of Necromancy)
  • Base-Breaking Character: Arthas (as a Paladin), Varian, Garrosh, Sylvanas, and Gallywix.
    • Thrall as of Cataclysm. A common fan sentiment is that they "like Thrall, but hate "Go'el"".
    • Lesser example but flying mounts, not being allowed to use them in Pandaria until level 90 or even whether or not they should even exist.
      • Worse in Draenor, as the developers had tentative plans to allow their use at all (in spite of still offering new flying mounts as rewards), and only made it unlockable three raid tiers in after a significant grind post-level cap - the latter of which is a model that they announced plans to recycle in future expansions.
      • The model was far better accepted in Legion, due partly to the fact that Blizzard didn't go back and forth on whether there would even be flying, and partly because the unlock process was spelled out in advance, so players knew what they had to get done in advance to be ready for flying. It also allows the playerbase to get a really good, appreciative look at the new areas, and flight comes along just as they are done paying attention and just want to accomplish whatever it is they're there for.
    • Sky Admiral Rogers is becoming one. Either she's a badass Alliance leader who actually values the safety of her own soldiers over the enemy's, while to others, she comes off as a war criminal for killing (apparently) surrendering Horde soldiers (who may very well have been drafted by Garrosh).
    • Sunwalker Dezco: a cool tragic character, or a poorly written character that ruined the dynamic of Sunwalkers, and acts exactly like a human paladin?
    • Rhonin is either a Scrappy or he's awesome.
    • Varian Wrynn and Garrosh Hellscream are the two most prominent cases, one for being an angry post-Literal Split Personality with one half being a slave to Orcs for quite some time, had his home destroyed by the orcs and his father betrayed by one even earlier and rather expectedly, is none too happy about them, and has recently being shilled to a ridiculous degree by Blizzard. The other is a racist warmonger of questionable leadership skills taking over from the level-headed, peace-seeking, Thrall who somehow was a Emo Teen beating himself up barely a few years ago. Each is appointed the leader of their factions just so (as the developers have confessed) there would be a reason to justify an all-out war between the Horde and Alliance.
    • Jaina Proudmoore after Mists of Pandaria. Some thinks that her Character Development made sense as she saw everything she worked for peace destroyed in moments, because of the side she trusted as well. Others believe that it's a Character Development gone wrong that it was delivered in breakneck speed and is always shoved to the players' throats, in addition of really going against her characterization in WC3, being the woman who would be okay with her father being dead in order to ensure peace, now she's considered to be an insult to that. The anti-camp is more likely to be glad with the presence of Heroes of the Storm whereas Jaina there hasn't progressed to this base-breaking Jaina.
    • Sylvanas being made Warchief. Some feel that she was the next best candidate, while others think it should have been Saurfang or even Lor'themar, and others are mad that since as Warchief, Vol'jin just warmed the chair Sylvanas would sit on due to being Out of Focus in Warlords. As of Battle for Azeroth, the base is broken between those who think Sylvanas is doing what is necessary and those who think she is becoming Garrosh 2.0.
    • Xe'ra is either a wasted potential well-intentioned extremist ally with a deep past who was killed by the selfish magic addict she was trying to save (some fans have compared Xe'ra forcefully infusing Illidan with the Light to remove his fel magic to intervention and rehabilitation for a drug addict) or a manipulative, controlling Knight Templar who brought her fate on herself. In a case of Watsonian Vs Doylist, some despise her for shilling and whitewashing Illidan, others blame Blizzard for poorly writing regarding her actions and Illidan's story note , and some blame both.
    • Taran Zhu was by far the most controversial and divisive of the new characters added in Mists of Pandaria. While his grievances against the Alliance and the Horde bringing their war to Pandaria are completely valid (especially in regards to the Sha), many players took umbrage with how caustic, condescending and stubborn he was shown to be. Many Alliance players and fans also took issue with his repeated claims that the Alliance was just as responsible as the Horde for Pandaria's current crisis despite the Horde appearing to act far more aggressive and destructive throughout the expansion.
    • Priscilla Ashvane. While some think it's nice to finally see another human villain who wasn't corrupted by someone else (the first since Van Cleef) in comparison to the other evil heads of house. Others, however, think she's too Obviously Evil with her Gonkish design and she was defeated too easily. However, Tides of Vengenace reveals that she's not quite done...
  • Best Boss Ever: This one has its own page.
  • Best Level Ever:
    • Shadowfang Keep, Upper Blackrock Spire, and Scarlet Monastery were among the most well-liked dungeons. So much that they got a remake.
    • The Badlands and Thousand Needles were among the most well-received old world reworks of Cataclysm. Thousand Needles for its unique boating mechanics (Something never used outside of this zone), and Badlands for its storyline.
    • Warlords of Draenor was considered the worst expansion, but it definitely had some of the game's best zones. The storylines all led into one another and contributed to the Metaplot. The Spires of Arak in general is considered to be one of the most legitimately interesting (and depressing) storylines.
    • Drustvar and Vol'dun for their very bleak atmospheres and having some legitimately interesting storylines. Their associated dungeons also probably didn't help matters, either.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: One Alliance quest in the Blade's Edge Mountains has you transform nether drake hatchlings with a device you got from one of the gnomes at Toshley's Station. Occasionally you'll end up turning the hatchling into a mature black dragon named Nihil the Banished, who will chide you for releasing him from his imprisonment and you can then turn him back into a hatchling, causing him to let out a Big "NO!".
  • Broken Base:
    • Ever since the start of the second rebellion in Battle For Azeroth, there seem to be a split between the Horde players: those who want to overthrow Sylvanas and think it'll salvage the Horde story, and those who feel it won't accomplish anything else than losing the Horde more heroes and point to the disastrous "Siege of Ogrimmar" which not only killed off most of the Horde's heroes but has thus far permanently destroyed the orcs' racial story.
    • Almost any Horde vs. Alliance debate;
      • From the end of Mists of Pandaria up to Battle for Azeroth, it was if "Siege of Orgrimmar" was proper vengeance for what the Alliance went through during Cataclysm and most of Mists, where they were often depicted as either losing, or scoring victories that were pyrrhic at best. Some think the Horde outright asking the Alliance for help, them invading the Horde capital, killing off the Horde's few remaining notable characters and killing most of its soldiers, and Varian issuing threats at them afterward, make it an Alliance victory especially as almost all the Horde victories in Cataclysm involved taking several levels in evil and forever tarnishing the image of the Horde as Noble Savages, while others will point out the weak buildup to it (the Alliance setup consisting of piloting a robot cat to spy on the Horde in a couple of quests, while the Horde got to fend off an army and fight alongside Thrall and Vol'jin), the fact that it's depicted as the Alliance helping the Horde solving its problems, that the threats Varian made were empty and that the Horde got to keep most of what they conquered during Cataclysm, makes an unsatisfying conclusion for them. The majority do agree, however, that the siege storyline in general was both poorly planned and executed.
      • As of Battle for Azeroth, it's whether or not the Alliance raid on Dazar'alor is payback enough for the War of the Thorns. Why some think it isn't:  Why some think it is: 
      • Finally, the huge, big argument-starting one: which faction does Blizzard prefer?
        Some will point out that, from Cataclysm up until Legion (with the addition of Battle for Azeroth), most of the overarching plot was about the Horde and the Orcs, with the Alliance playing second-fiddle to them, with the Horde depicted as winning most of their battles conquering territories and getting the outright admitted developer's favor, along with the faction as a whole still being presented as Noble Savages despite all their atrocities, the Alliance getting the more boring content (see the entry about horses on this page for an example), and so on.
        Others will point out that most of that characterization and victories came at the cost of taking several levels in evil, suffering a civil war, having to find themselves and remove their corrupt leadership and notable characters (to the point that, out of all the Horde races, as of Battle for Azeroth, two of them don't have an actual leader and the rest are depicted as fearful of Sylvanas).
        But the general consensus is that the Horde gets bad storytelling while the Alliance gets none.
    • Mists of Pandaria caused this too, especially given the new setting, playable race, focus, and handling of the faction war.
    • Also, PvE vs. PvP. Players will pull up unoriginal insults akin to Fantastic Racism without the "race".
    • Warlords of Draenor had many disliking that it's a time travel expansion that didn't move the main plots forward enough and that Garrosh was a major bad guy again when the last raid before the expansion was about defeating him. Another is that right after MoP's handling of the orcs (which many players disliked), it was yet another expansion focusing on the orcs being evil with seemingly little positive representation, and again killing Horde characters. Others were happy about returning to Draenor, seeing many famous lore characters, being able to build Garrisons, and that Blizzard finally remembered the draenei.
      • The opening cinematic of WoD shows Grom killing Mannoroth with the help of Garrosh, some players argue this was a major waste of character as it would have been interesting to see the reaction of the Burning Legion to the rejection of the Blood of Mannoroth, along with the fact that AU!Mannoroth's death was very anticlimatic. On the other hand, others argue that Mannoroth never had a big role in the expansion anyway and that it was better to kill him in the opening and focus on the expansion on the Iron Horde. In any case, he returns as the penultimate boss of the expansion's last raid.
      • In terms of gameplay, the lack of flying in Draenor on launch caused many arguments on the forums over whether it should've been allowed or not in the future. As this is a prime source of flame bait, let's not say more on it, please.
      • There is a small but growing anti-raiding sentiment among some players on fansites due to the lack of longevity in Warlords of Draenor's world content (especially reputations) and dungeons, the changes to crafting, and the huge nerf to LFR gear (including removing raid gear art in favor of recycling Honor gear models), those players seeing Blizzard as intentionally gimping both to funnel the community into Garrisons and raiding. That Blizzard justified those changes by claiming they didn't like that raiders felt forced into those activities has done nothing to soothe the sting for that group of players, many of whom have left the game due to a lack of perceived things to do at level cap. Other players, however, are just as vocal in preferring the raiding-focused endgame as it allows them to focus more on preparing for progression raiding and spend less time worrying about needing to cap daily reputation gains or dungeon currency to maximize their potential on progression nights.
    • Lore-wise, Thrall being depowered in Legion has been welcomed by the Alliance playerbase who felt the character cheated in his duel with Garrosh and got enough publicity, but was met by groans in the Horde fanbase who are annoyed about the Horde's inability to hold onto notable characters against the Alliance's cast of powerful heroes.
    • The entire concept of redemption as it would have been applied to major villains. For everyone who supports or voices support for Illidan/Arthas/Kael'Thas/Garrosh/Sylvanas/Anyone redeeming in any way, there will be many that consider said villain to be too far gone or consider the idea of redemption to be naive or overused. It doesn't help that Blizzard has been, so far, solely siding with the fans that don't want redemption, though to what extent is it to bring justice to those who have gone too far or to fulfill desires for "MOAR LOOT" is up to debate. This is also compounded by the fact that the redemption arcs they have are usually aimed at characters many consider less deserving (such as Sylvanas and Illidan) while being denied to those considered more deserving (such as Malygos and Kael'thas) with exceptions (such as Lady Liadrin) being rare.
    • Look at the entry of Anvilicious above, and usually this question will pop out with two differing sides: Is the constant warfare between the two factions actually a good thing because it lets them hone their fighting skills until the Legion comes knocking? The reasoning for this is usually that if there is a time of peace, it's more likely that no actual life and death situation to spring out the true fighting potential which it may be honed to true skills will appear and sometimes, justice needs to be given for these souls that suffer a lot due to the other faction's antics. Or is constant warfare a bad thing, because their hostilities to each other will be exploited without mercy by the Burning Legion and no matter how cheesy it may sound, sometimes teamwork and unity is the key to defeat the Legion and if it means going hand-in-hand with former enemies, burying the hatchet for good and going for the Easily Forgiven route, so be it, especially since the Battle of Mt. Hyjal has proven that such a thing was the key to defeating Archimonde. Either way, both sides still have strong points that there doesn't seem to be a middle ground between the bases.
    • Harkening back to how the game was designed in the first place: It's an MMORPG where the player is the focus and the developers had the intention of making the player feel more immersed to the world of Azeroth and progressing from a random soldier to the realm's biggest badass. For some, it's a REALLY great thing and a contribution of why the game is so popular. For the other camp, it's considered a piss-on to a lot of lore characters, who occasionally gets derailed here and there in order to make the players feel really good, and the player characters getting a bit too much like Azeroth's Spotlight-Stealing Squad, basically turning established lore characters into fodders. In other cases, some of Blizzard's decisions such as killing off characters are influenced with the players' opinion. This has led to lore characters' fate or development (such as Thrall, Garrosh, Sylvanas, Jaina or Xe'ra) ending up at the whims of the players who could be unaware of what constitutes as good story/character development, and instead basing the verdict on on their feelings and personal biases.
    • In contrast to the Horde playerbase, every allied race given to the Alliance has one side loving them and the other side upset that they didn't get something similar; void elves, as mentioned under Ass Pull, have a very vocal minority demanding high elves instead, the argument for which is now infamous for taking up discussion over more important issues and being a source of flame bait, and a smaller group that would've preferred ethereals. Meanwhile, Lightforged draenei have people who wanted Broken draenei, Dark Iron dwarves have people who wanted Wildhammer dwarves, and Kul Tiran humans have people who wanted vrykul, but they all pale in comparison to the void elves vs. high elves debate.
    • Suramar's storyline is both loved and hated. It's loved for the sheer amount of content available in it (with a significant amount of it being available at launch) with some even appreciating that completing it will usually do most of the rep grinding for you (Whereas every other zone, if done to full completion, will only get you to honoured and maybe revered.) In addition, it basically received a second arc after launch, essentially incorporating it into one of Legion's earliest raids. Others dislike it for the exact same reason - that it's an absolute Marathon Level of a zone, made even longer by gating some of its progression behind requirement for having a certain reputation, needing to complete world quests, or having to collect Ancient Mana. (Stuff that the other zones did not require) and, if you have Alt Itis, you will have to do it again if you want your extra characters to reap the rewards. (This resulted in most players skipping it their second time). Fortunately, everyone on both sides who want the Nightborne appreciate that you only need one character with Insurrection and Exalted with the Nightfallen to unlock the allied race early.
    • Four words: "The Fate of Saurfang". Blizzard originally intended this quest to be a Darkspear Rebellion-esque call to action as Horde players rallied behind Saurfang and Zekhan to form an underground resistance movement against Sylvanas' increasingly depraved and self-destructive leadership. Instead, Horde loyalist players were outraged that they were once again being railroaded into defying and betraying their Warchief so soon after Mists of Pandaria, and both Forsaken and Sylvanas fans were outraged over thought that their race would lose their racial leader. The first group claims that Sylvanas had not done enough to earn the villain status Garrosh had, that everything she did was for survival. Both groups claimed that the heavy implications that Saurfang was in fact a traitor make him too unlikable (It's heavily implied, and later confirmed in "Lost Honor" that Saurfang was intentionally released by Anduin to undermine Sylvanas). As well as that killing off Sylvanas wouldn't solve anything for the Horde or the Forsaken as the prevailing thought on the Siege storyline was that it didn't stop the Horde, especially the orcs, from continuing to be vilified. The backlash against this was so severe that Blizzard was cowed into hastily adding an alternate version where you can choose to remain loyal to Sylvanas, at least for the time being, which in turn led to its own Broken Base as one side praises Blizzard for adding an instance of player agency, while the other criticizes them from seemingly compromising their original vision of the storyline to appease the complainers.
    • The Vol'dun Incursion originally involved the Alliance explicitly attacking vulpera civilians with "Purge Squads" purely because they were letting the Horde use their trade routes. In 8.1 and the Incursions went live, the Alliance's attacks on the Vulpera were censored to them "merely" destroying the Horde supplies and caravans, whilst leaving all Vulpera alone. One side feels this is good as it was out of character for the Alliance. The other side finds it another unnecessary The Dog Shot First action, pointing that the Alliance has done similar such as Bael Modan's general in the Barrens explicitly targeting Goblin civilians because they were an easy target and even receiving a promotion for these attacks.
  • Character Rerailment: Some fans consider the Legion expansion did this for Illidan. Many Warcraft players felt that his descent into tyranny during The Burning Crusade was poorly executed. Blizzard apparently agreed, seeing how Legion has gone above and beyond to rerail Illidan into an Unscrupulous Hero bordering on Nominal Hero - which is much more in line with his character before The Burning Crusade. Make no mistake; Illidan is a Well-Intentioned Extremist that's A Lighter Shade of Grey at best, more than willing to Pay Evil unto Evil and is a Token Evil Teammate, but given the foes he faces he is never an outright villain.
  • Cliché Storm: The Large Ham bosses' favorite way of Calling Your Attacks. Originally done so you'd know how to prepare for an incoming attack but nowadays it's just tradition.
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Crack Pairing: While some considered Thrall/Jaina to be this, there was actually some justification for it.
    • Another one which is coming out is Li Li and Anduin. Others prefer Anduin and Wrathion for similar reasons. Both may qualify as a Toy Ship.
    • Varian/Garrosh is the fandom's favourite non-serious ship.
    • Illidan/Maiev have been touted since Warcraft III, then made a comeback with Legion.
  • Crazy Awesome: Most of the Goblin starting experience, to wit: One of the focuses right at the beginning is to set everything up for a party, naturally, you succeed and start to have a pretty rad (by Goblin standards) party... only to have it be crashed by Party Crasher Pirates. After the volcano starts to blow, you're trying to get enough money to get off the island. So you break into the bank, steal your life savings back, but it's still not enough. So what do you do? Why, burn down your corporate headquarters to get the insurance money, of course! You do this by overloading your generator, turn on your "Leaky Stove" And then drop a cigar on your flammable bed. It only goes upwards from there, there are many examples later, but one truly stands out. Once you're on the Lost Isles, a Goblin asks you to take care of a giant shark. How do you do this? Well, after getting a bunch of shark bits, he makes a shark submarine with Freakin' Laser Beams, then you fight the shark in it.
    • After his bout with debilitating insanity in Wrath of the Lich King, Budd Nedreck has stabilized into this.
    • The whole defending the shard thing became really annoying after a while, so Azuregos entrusted it to a construct of his called Maws, which is a very special minnow. The player has the option of calling him insane for this, while a pleased Azuregos claims to be a genius instead.
      • He gets worse in Cataclysm, it's implied being farmed so much may have caused permanent damage to his brain, eventually he decided just to stay dead for a while and wound up falling in love with a Spirit Healer.
  • Creator's Pest: Tyrande Whisperwind. Some fans consider her to be this in Blizzard's eyes. There was a Twitter post from lead quest writer David Kosak where he spoke negatively of Tyrande. Further contributing to this is the fact that, despite her status as a faction leader and the pivotal role the night elves have played in the Alliance (inducting the draenei and the worgen along with being the major Alliance presence in Kalimdor and right next door to the Horde's capital), she got increasingly Flanderized and Chickified when she wasn't being kept Out of Focus. Then there was her contentious characterization in Mists of Pandaria. Thankfully Legion provided her with some much needed action and portrayed her in a much more positive light.
  • Creator's Pet: Many in the playerbase grew to dislike Garrosh as he rose in prominence during the events of Wrath of the Lich King, and when it was announced that he would replace well-loved Thrall as the Warchief of the Horde in Cataclysm fan response was pretty predictable. Now there are many questgiving Non Player Characters who will praise Garrosh for his bellicose manner and warmongering foreign policies. That there are a few NPCs who will express concern about this gives fans a few straws to cling to.
    • Thrall himself fell victim to this to some extent, as Cataclysm marched on. Even some of his diehard fans started to get tired of his being the anointed chosen one in every situation, whether it makes sense to the plot or not. Being the lead writer's admitted favorite character isn't helping.
    • Lead quest designer Dave "Fargo" Kosak's pet seems to be Sylvanas Windrunner. From Cataclysm on, she begins using increasingly immoral means to accomplish her goals; not to mention her Forsaken had massive atrocities involving slavery, mass murder, vivisection and genocide right at Vanilla.note  She never really experiences much in the way of defeats and the setbacks she does experience are easily overcome. And despite her recent track record of forcibly raising the dead to serve her, using the plague whenever she encounters resistance, and clearly not feeling a shred of remorse for the lives she ended or ruined, in Legion she's named the Warchief of the Horde over several better candidates. Vol'jin even hangs a lampshade on how many won't understand why she deserves even more authority and power after everything she's done.
    • Several of Richard Knaak's characters.
      • Rhonin: He becomes leader of the Kirin Tor over several better candidates. He marries one of the Windrunner sisters and gets to be connected to that famous high elven family. He gets to travel back in time and fight the Burning Legion. Though the backlash over him may be why he was Killed Off for Real in Tides of War, which ironically made more people like him.
      • Jarod Shadowsong: Some see him as being shoe-horned into the setting in the Warcraft novel Wolfheart. He's Maiev's brother, Shandris' love interest, friend to every major Night Elf character and a military commander whose skill is great. He also gets no lore between the War of the Ancients and the Wolfheart novel but in the latter he's welcomed back with open arms after several thousand years of isolation, implying he spent several thousand years resting on his laurels yet is still held in high esteem in the Night Elves meritocratic society. Supporters state that he made it clear he only did what he thought was necessary and just wanted to live in peace after helping to save the world, and again, he was a major factor in saving Azeroth back then and many night elves remember him for that, like Malfurion and Tyrande. Detractors point out how his absence in Warcraft 3 seems to indicate he didn't consider the return of Burning Legion enough to get him to take up his sword again even though they're the reason he took up his sword the first time, not to mention how Furion and Tyrande remain on top of Night Elf society by continuously proving themselves the best. This makes it look like Jarod, despite his often-toted abilites, just retreated to a private home and stayed there while everyone else did the hard work rebuilding Night Elf society and fighting the Burning Legion again.
    • Varian Wrynn ever since Cataclysm. Back in Wrath, he was portrayed as an impulsive hothead who would rather let an Old God overrun a continent than work with the Horde, and tried reigniting a world war in the middle of the Undercity by attacking Thrall. One expansion and a rather coldly received book (Wolfheart) later, and he's basically one of the most measured and respected world leaders (in-game) there is, and suddenly the whole Alliance revolves around him. People on both sides were not pleased. Then he dies in Legion in perhaps the most epic way he could have gone out just to cement it, though most players would argue that's hardly a bad thing.
    • Anduin Wrynn as well. He went from placeholder boy-king in Wrath to somehow a Messianic Archetype in Cata and especially in Mists. Not only that, but thanks to Velen's short story, he's prophesied to be the savior of the Warcraft metastory in its entirety as the leader of the "Army of Light." He makes Go'el seem tame. He's also the person you're following around as an Alliance character for much of Mists. It really annoyed the fanbase, seeing that he took up a lion's share of the narrative focus that could have been spent on other people. Although he is more of a Base-Breaking Character because the fanbase consider his relationship with Wrathion, an Ensemble Dark Horse, to be well-written in all of their appearances and easily brings out the most interesting aspect of both characters.
    • Illidan Stormrage, as of Legion. Much of his story feels a lot like a Fix Fic /Author's Saving Throw and to be fair it does rely on several retcons. People who only know the lore from the game are forced into long, boring questlines (At the beginning of one in Black Rook Hold you're literally forced to stand around for ten minutes while various characters talk about how good Illidan is, with no way to skip it or get on with the quest). It comes across as trying to 'prove' that Illidan was a Good Boy All Along and everything he did (murdering all the Moon Guard, in this case) was for the best and he's really cool and doesn't afraid of anyone. Even Illidan's rejection and killing of Xe'ra after all the trouble she went through to help restore his soul to his body - forcing the Light on him aside - comes off as if some writers thought a virtuous Light Illidan would be weak or undesirable and the Light-hating edgelord Illidan would be wonderful.
  • Critical Dissonance: Every version of the game has generally been well-received by critics, but the playerbase has been more divisive for expansions after Wrath of the Lich King. On Metacritic, even Battle for Azeroth has a positive critical score despite it being the lowest of any version of the game at 79, while it has a considerably harsher user score of around 3.0.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: In general, the changes over the course of the series really rubs many people wrong. The fact that warmongering people like Garrosh and Varian are leaders of their respective factions, Jaina now hates the Horde, and reasonable figures like Thrall or Malfurion do nothing to prevent any of it. Or that many races such as orcs have been Flanderized to be far more negative. Mostly it's to keep the Alliance and Horde war continuous.
    • Cataclysm. A nice chunk of the player base thinks that it turned all the major lore characters into a bunch of brooding sociopaths, and anyone untouched is generally pushed into the background. One would believe in the war revolving around this invisible scarcity of resources had it been shown in any zone outside one (Westfall) and if almost all factional settlements hadn't gotten a makeover, contradicting this.
    • Surprisingly, Mists of Pandaria of all things falls in this. The Horde-side storyline consisted of many Horde races and characters becoming completely evil with no real explanation, while the players' questlines consisted of committing one warcrime after another and constantly being shamed by NPCs even when committing what should be good actions, then finally killing loads of soldiers from your own faction, including characters the player had befriended in previous storylines. The Alliance-side isn't much better, consisting of most of the Alliance being passive against the Horde's relentless aggression. Then when you successfully storm the Horde capital, the Leader of the Alliance just wants Garrosh, the one who made the Horde into a ruthless war machine, to be imprisoned for trial, only for him to escape for the next expansion with a new Horde, and letting the rest of the Horde get off scott-free.
    • Battle for Azeroth seems to be heading the same way as Mists of Pandaria, judging by reactions to the story content. Horde players are frustrated that their faction is yet again bludgeoned with the villain bat, seemingly lacking any real motivation to fight a war of conquest against the morally upright Alliance and no heroes to root for. note  Meanwhile Alliance players are frustrated at continuing to be the bland and toothless victims of Horde aggression. For an expansion advertised as being focused on Horde vs. Alliance content, the story as released so far has managed to demoralise fans of both factions.
  • Demonic Spiders: If you ever encounter a guard, you had better pray that they're part of your faction.
    • Some raid trash mobs have earned this reputation for having more complex mechanics than most trash, and having a very small chance of dropping loot. The six ritualists prior to Dark Animus in Throne of Thunder are largely considered to be, in some ways, more difficult than the boss itself because of their devastating Ritual Lightning.
    • In the Timeless Isle, while the mobs are meant to vary in difficulty, with some too strong to defeat alone (and they typically reward accordingly), the Molten Guardians are exceptionally difficult, typically attacking in either a frontal cone or a large radius around them that hits for massive damage, making them very difficult to defeat. Unfortunately, griefers often like pulling them to where the rival faction is fighting Ordos.
    • The Sentries in Suramar (any unit with the Detector ability) have drawn some ire from the fanbase as well. They can see through illusions, will mob the player and can even see through stealth abilities such as Shadowmeld and Invisibility.
    • During classic, two enemies in low-level areas (Westfall and Silverpine Forest) were this:
      • Defias Pillager for Westfall. It was one of the first enemies (if not the first some players could encounter) who could attack with magic from range - and unlike the ones faced before, this actually would deal quite a bit of damage. Statistically Speaking, during Classic it was one of the deadliest mobs in the game because of the sheer amount of player deaths caused by it.
      • Son of Arugal. While not as deadly Statistically Speaking (players were able to retreat and Silverpine wasn't as popular as Westfall or Barrens) it could still appear with virtually no warning and was probably a lot higher level than you. Some players even took this as a hint that they shouldn't go to that zone yet.
  • Designated Hero:
    • It's certainly arguable that a large amount of the Alliance and Horde leaders have become this type of character as the expansions have progressed into Darker and Edgier territory. Many players feel that, as the factions player characters are most loyal to, and thus the people we should root for in the end, it's difficult to really feel for or side with either one; not only have many of the major lore figures been accused of being idolized by Blizzard's story devs, but it has often fallen to the "neutral" factions to actually save Azeroth while the Alliance and Horde are too busy fighting each other to team up against the Big Bad of the expansion.
    • Odyn is such a fun, honorable and friendly Reasonable Authority Figure that it almost makes you forget that the rise of Helya and her Val'kyr, and everything that they've done, is entirely his fault.
  • Designated Monkey: Jaina Proudmoore. After everything she suffered in Warcraft III, things have still been going badly for her (especially after the bombing of Theramore). After Mists of Pandaria, despite seemingly toning down her hatred in War Crimes, the writers always find a way to make Jaina take levels in jerkass and stick to hating the Horde as if the events of the novel never happened, such as being obstructive to the Horde during Warlords of Draenor and having Khadgar replace her as head of Dalaran because he decreed Dalaran to be a neutral hub and she refused to accept any of the Horde in "her" Dalaran. It kind of felt like someone in the writing team feels like the peaceful but strong-willed Jaina is a pussy and the angry war hawk Jaina is wonderful while the fandom might not generally agree. Things continue this way in Battle for Azeroth, with Jaina still staying off the Kirin Tor's Council of Six, keeping her distance from her boyfriend Kalecgos and being blamed for her father's death. Then when she finally met her mother face-to-face after many years, Katherine sentenced Jaina to death (at Lady Ashvane's insistence) and declared Jaina to be "no daughter of (hers)". Ouch.
  • Designated Villain: Subverted with Helya. Her grudge against Odyn is very valid and justified after what he did to her, but she's still clearly a villain since her revenge against him would involve the destruction of all of Azeroth.
  • Dork Age: A fair few people will say either the first or second expansions were this. The Burning Crusade gets it for the storyline problems already mentioned, a perceived disrespect for the lore and a setting too detached from the rest of the Warcraft world (which has become something of a Scrappy world now that vanilla content has been rejigged in Cataclysm, making Outland paradoxically the oldest and grindiest level bracket). Wrath of the Lich King gets it for making heroic dungeons too easy (raid content too at first, but they implemented a lot of optional harder modes with better loot to fix that, not that anyone actually listened), a painful lack of new content for PvPers and some really ugly looking gear.
    • It's also worth mentioning that in Wrath, the "too easy" heroics were because more people got geared or would run with geared players and wind up walking through the dungeon so easily and only having trouble with say, Oculus. From 2008-early 2009, most people weren't complaining about heroics being "too easy" unless they were Naxxramas or Ulduar geared. They weren't as hard as the Cataclysm heroics were at launch, however. The Cataclysm heroics also got easier as people with Tier 12 or 13 gear joined the queues, more people learned how to fight the bosses, and as the bosses got a few nerfs. What happens when people in greens and blues who're at the bare minimum for heroics go into the heroics? That's right...it takes much longer than normal. The only reason it's not "as bad" as it was in late 2010 was because you were much more likely to get someone overgeared in the dungeon who just carried you through.
    • Mists of Pandaria is this to some players who don't approve of the simplified talent system, dislike the inclusion of a pet battling mini game, don't like the idea of a panda race in WoW, and the handling of the faction war. Another controversial idea is having to do daily quests for reputation in order to buy raid-quality gear with Valor Points, and having to get to Revered with the Golden Lotus faction before two of the other factions are unlocked. Proponents say it gets players out of the cities and into the world, while detractors say it's time-consuming (especially for players with multiple characters), boring, and players shouldn't be forced to do it if they want to gear up for raiding.
    • One that most players agree upon is the handling of the orcs storyline in Cataclysm, and Mists of Pandaria due to their seeming extreme demonization, Aesop Amnesia, and Flanderization. The positive representation of the orcs could even be counted on one hand!
    • Warlords of Draenor is near-universally agreed to be this, with issues such as extremely questionable writing, Ashran being a poor attempt to sate PvPers due to the lack of new battlegrounds or arenas, Garrisons killing off the social aspect of the game, the ability to ride flying mounts on Draenor not being available until near the end of the expansion, classes having their abilities pruned to the point that most of them lost their identity, Raid Finder becoming mind-numbingly straightforward because of most mechanics from Normal and above being disabled, and the dev team foregoing the addition of major content in favor of Twitter integration and selfie contests. It doesn't help that over the entire expansion's lifetime, only three raids were released, which is the number the previous expansion started with.
      • A likely reason for the dearth of content in Warlords is Blizzard re-shuffling their staff after the cancellation of Titan (rumored to have been another MMO) and the development of Overwatch. According to staff members, even the reveal cinematic was done by the skin of their teeth.
    • Tying into the Star Trek Movie Curse mentioned below, Battle for Azeroth has earned a similar reputation to Warlords. The primary complaints are many of the flaws with Legion being either left unresolved or replaced with equally bad ones, namely the Heart of Azeroth grind replacing the loathed artifact weapon grind and Azerite armor replacing RNG legendary items, the story going back to focusing on the tired faction conflict that much of the playerbase has long become sick of, which has also gained criticism for painting the Alliance and Horde as generic good vs. evil and repeating the internal conflict between Garrosh and the other Horde leaders in Mists of Pandaria with Sylvanas (despite developer claims that exactly that would not happen), timegating and mandated grinding being more prominent than ever with even new races being gated behind reputation grinds, said races having grinds of their own in the form of heritage armor available at the level cap, and an increase in unashamed cash grabs in a game that already charges for expansions and monthly fees. Many players consider it the straw that finally broke the camel's back, while others argue that Warlords is still the game's nadir.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Sylvanas. The fandom is quite aware of her grey (and greying) nature and, until Legion, her status as a Karma Houdini. Despite this, she has quite a few fans who overlook her morally questionable actions and defend her.
    • A milder example lies in Illidan, since the potential for great good certainly existed in him, but it's there. This is further exacerbated by Blizzard's attempt to redeem him involving whitewashing via retconning elements of his lore (one example; Originally, Illidan did side with the Highborne and by extension the Burning Legion because of his addiction to magic and envy of his brother. This was later retconned into Illidan acting as a double-agent and telling no one). This is further compacted by the fact that the one character outside the Illidari who endorses him, Xe'ra, is a Base-Breaking Character because of her Character Shilling of Illidan and (according to her detractors) her Holier Than Thou attitude (of course, some of those same fans who hold Xe'ra in contempt also whitewash and shill Illidan).
    • Arthas. The necessity of purging Stratholme is debatable, but after this point, he gets more and more evil over time.
    • Garrosh. He was hated by many players when he appeared in WotLK but he later appeared sympathetic early on in Cataclysm in scenes such as despairing over Magatha's poisoning of Cairne, publicly executing a Horde general that bombed an Alliance village full of innocent people (by dropping him off a cliff), and telling Sylvanas off for using the val'kyr to raise more Forsaken, saying she is going against nature and is no better than the Lich King. However, due to much of the early backlash, he was established as a full-on villain in Mists of Pandaria with the goal of killing anyone that wasn't an orc and loyal to him. As with Kael, many lost sympathy for him at that point, and tended to focus on his more sympathetic characterization during Cataclysm, though you can still find players claiming he's the best Warchief the Horde has had even when he became a full-on villain. His death in Warlords of Draenor only added fuel to the fire with his Never My Fault speech laying all the blame for his actions at the feet of Thrall and has just enough truth in it that some fans were happy to blame Thrall for everything he did, in spite of the fact that this flies in the face of his arrogantly saying that the Horde is better off without Thrall, even as the combined Alliance and Horde are closing in on him.
    • Even Garithos, a fairly minor character from Warcraft III, has his defenders now saying his actions against Kael'thas were justified despite Blizzard themselves clarifying that the guy was driven entirely by personal racism and set the blood elves up to be killed.
    • Lei Shen. Some people claim that he was a true hero who brought order to Pandaria despite the fact that he killed the last queen of the mogu and condemned her to undeath, abused the powers of Ra-Den after ripping it out from him, enforced a Master Race mentality on everyone else, and enslaved all the other races to build his temples and walls, and completely destroyed the old Pandaren culture.
  • Ear Worm: Since many of the game's music tracks are rather short and will repeat many times if you stay in one zone for long, this effect is pretty much guaranteed. Some tracks still deserve to be mentioned, though, like the Icecrown music in Wrath of the Lich King.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Has its own page
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • It's unlikely Onyxia would have been gotten away with a thousandth of what she got away with if not for people's assumption that she was the returned King's mistress and previously Bolvar's. In all likelihood, she really was the returned Varian's mistress for the short time she had him spellbound.
      • Though we don't see it firsthand, Lord Daval Prestor (aka human form Deathwing) was said to be quite handsome.
    • High Inquisitor Whitemane, Mother Shahraz, Blood Queen Lana'thel, and many others.
    • Higher level undead, such as Sylvanas, Arthas, as well as Dark Rangers and Death Knights in general sure maintain an... uhm... well-honed bodies.
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  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Many of the pandaren fables are quite poignant and elegantly conveyed, but some players feel that several of them fall flat in context. In particular, Inkeeper Tong's opinion that two vast superpowers in the middle of a violent war serve as essential foils to one another (rather than, say, advocating a cease of hostilities, peace, or the absorption of one into the other) whose constant battling only "makes them stronger" is, at best, an incredibly dubious way to look at a damaging and bloody conflict that's resulted in countless lives lost. That the narrative treats Tong's detractor as being petulant and wrong to contest this is also jarring; really, the entire sequence seems like an excuse to keep the factions fighting in a climate that logically shouldn't support it after Mists of Pandaria's outcome.
    • Of course Wrathion isn't arguing peace so much as the violent extermination of one side, or at least its complete submission to the other side. Tong's point seems to be more "you don't hit someone while they're down, you help them up again, even if this leads to further challenges."
  • Fan Nickname: Several.
    • Xal'atath, the Shadow Priest Artifact Weapon, has received the nickname "Knaifu". A Portmanteau of "Knife" and "Waifu", or a fictional character you would want to date or marry. Presumably fans who use this nickname are Aroused by Their Voice.
    • A troll shaman named Zekhan from the Battle for Azeroth cinematic gained notoriety for his distinctive look and impressive lightning spells, earning him Ensemble Dark Horse status and the nickname "Zappyboi."
  • Fandom Nod: Besides the countless Ascended Memes, the massive fan game/forum post "You awaken in razor hill" became so well-known that blizzard actually added the main character Tednuget (Changed to Tednug for copyright reasons) as an own NPC.
  • Fanon:
    • The idea that Xe'ra was trying to brainwash Illidan into being her champion is popular among part of the fanbase, despite the fact she was only trying to replace his fel magic with the Light (admittedly by force), and even being Xe'ra's champion he would've still carried out his plan; their already shared goal of ending the Burning Legion.
    • The idea that the Light's authority ended at Xe'ra, despite the fact that the Light wasn't weakened or dimished by Xe'ra's death, as is shown with Turalyon in the "Before the Storm" book and Anduin in the "Battle for Azeroth" expansion, along with the scant but still plausible evidence that there is at least one Light overdeity who may or may not be Elune.
    • Related is the idea that the Lightforging process brainwashes people and comparing it to Fel or Void corruption. This is despite the fact that Fel is degenerative dark magic, the Void is degenerative dark magic and induced insanity while Lightforging involves a Vision Quest where a person confronts and defeats a manifestation of their personal demons (reminiscent of the Amalgam of Corruption boss fight in Mists of Pandaria) and becoming an Empowered Badass Normal (not to mention, apart from Xe'ra's actions with Illidan and maybe Lothraxion, every Lightforged Draenei was a willing volunteer). The only part of the canon that even implies that it does is with Lothraxion, the Light-infused Dreadlord, and even he was still able to talk Xe'ra out of killing Alleria and didn't come to her aid when Illidan attacked her, something a brainwashed character wouldn't have done. Also in the Before the Storm book Turalyon reminded Anduin to let the Light guide them, but not command them, which shows Turalyon's dissatisfaction with Xe'ra's methods.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: For some, Thrall/Jaina. Cue widespread outrage when Aggra was introduced just to put an end to it. Not entirely surprising, though; Metzen's deep hatred of this couple is well-known.
    • Another example would be Wrathion/Anduin. Even some Blizzard employees ship them to the point that the writer of War Crimes has to confirm that they're just "Good friends". Blizzard just adds fuel to the fire during Legion and Wolfheart by keeping it ambiguous whether or not the latter got married despite being the King of Stormwind.
  • Foe Yay: In Wrath of the Lich King, the Lich King and Tirion Fordring have it in spades.
    • Varian/Garrosh is practically the fandom's memetic OTP.
    • Kil'jaeden's obsession with Velen crosses over into this on more than one occasion.
    • Asric and Jadaar.
    • Thassarian and Koltira.
    • Illidan/Maiev have been touted since Warcraft III, then made a comeback with Legion.
  • Fountain of Memes: Arguably the game itself, but for more a more specific example, Garrosh Hellscream has a few in the Cataclysm expansion: "YOU. ARE. DISMISSED!", "GET OFF MY SHIIIP!!" and "Watch your clever mouth, bitch!"
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In the Azuna questline, Runas the Shamed is a hilarious addled Nightfallen that tries to help you and the blue dragons fight back the other Wretched and Nightfallen. He stops being funny when he reveals he was on the cusp of degeneration into a Wretched, and thanks you for making his last hours mean something.
  • Genius Bonus: A fan noticed that some of the blue- and purple-quality items in the first tier of Cataclysm are named after lines from Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale". The more she looked, the more references she found to 19th and 20th century poetry, from Wordsworth to T.S. Eliot.
    • Many sets of gear have themes of naming, such as references to the boss's abilities or the boss itself. For example, Flameweaver Koegler, a boss of the revamped Scarlet Halls who is burning books, drops "Bradbury's Entropic Leggings", which is a reference to Ray Bradbury, who wrote Fahrenheit 451
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • While a Draco in Leather Pants fandom for Warchief Sylvanas is a thing everywhere, it is particularily strong in Russia, where numerous popular You Tubers have made videos in her defense, whether as a plot device (i.e. Sylvanas is an interesting villain) or as a character (i.e Sylvanas is at least somewhat justified in her ruthless actions). It does not help that what is supposed to be a Moral Event Horizon moment for Sylvanas - bombing her own city so that it would not fall into enemy hands - is integral part of Russian defense policy.
  • Goddamned Bats: Famously, Murlocs, which hang out in close packs that love to aggro en masse on unwary players. Burning Crusade for its part introduced true flying enemies, the most annoying of which are the Kaliri, which attack out of nowhere and can knock you off your flying mount if they hit you from behind.
    • The minor elementals (fire, earth, water and air) deserve a mention. They're extremely irritating and have erratic pathing. Which results in you being forced to fight them (usually thanks to the dazed mechanic). It doesn't help they're immune to their respective element, but they're usually easy to kill.
    • A swarm of twilight drakes attacks before the Ultraxion battle. They have low health, but there's enough of them that it can be somewhat tedious fighting all of them.
    • One Vale of Eternal Blossoms daily requires you to go into the spirit world and free the souls of some Pandaren. There are ghost-like monsters in there that can attack you, which forces you back into the real world. You have to defeat them and walk back over to the device that sends you to the spirit world before you can continue freeing souls. It used to be possible to avoid the ghosts by freeing the spirits from a flying mount, but now, freeing a spirit dismounts you, leaving you vulnerable to attack on the ground.
    • Some actual bats- Greater Cave Bats, to be precise- in Throne of Thunder before the Tortos encounter have a raid-wide interrupt that must be interrupted, and you have to pull at least three at a time, among other mobs. The vampire bat adds on the boss also count, as they can replenish their own health if the person tanking them drops too low.
    • Everything near a resource node you're trying to harvest. They will, without exception, suicidally start a fight with you to defend that resource node, forcing you to deal with them as their Scratch Damage interrupts your farming. This goes double for those near your level, as they have larger aggro radiuses, and take more than an offhand spell to deal with.
    • Cove Seagulls in Eye of Azshara are strangely overpowered and posses a rapid-fire stun ability. Though neutral at first, accidentally aggroing them in higher Mythic+ runs often resulted in a wipe.
    • Almost everything in Battle for Azeroth, due to the new zones being much smaller, yet far more dense than Pandaria and Warlords, which were much larger zones. Most of them are clustered together with overlapping aggro radii, and often accompanied by a pet or are next to someone else meaning you're constantly fighting groups of two or more. It's not as bad if you're a Frost Death knight who constnatly spams Area of Effect attacks or an affliction warlock who can DoT everything in sight , but if you are say, a paladin or a rogue focusing mostly on single target damage it really gets annoying forcing you to pop defensive cooldowns on trash mobs.
    • The scrappers in the Motherlode constantly dropping bombs around and forcing everyone to back up.
  • Goddamned Boss: Several of them, typically ones that immobilize the raid at certain points or ones in which overleveled groups must take care not to break the encounter with their increased DPS (for example, before he was patched to make him solo-able, it was easy to defeat Kalecgos, but if you defeat his dragon form before Sarthrovarr inside him, you would have to try again).
    • And for solo players wanting to clear out old content for Transmog gear or achievements, there are several bosses which are easy to kill but near-impossible to solo due to fight mechanics - the Twin Emperors (have to be kept away from each other) and C'Thun (you can't get out of his stomach alone) in AQ40, and the first boss of Blackwing lair (who must be mind controlled to destroy eggs and not die himself) as examples. Spine of Deathwing in Dragon Soul deserves a mention for its aggravating roll mechanic.
    • Bosses that feature waves of enemies can be somewhat annoying if you're overgeared, since if you have far more than the required DPS, you end up spending more time waiting around, instead of killing the boss more quickly. Examples include the Tribunal of the Ages in the Halls of Stone, Gothik the Harvester, the Commander Vo'jak encounter in Siege of Niuzao Temple, Wise Mari, the Galakras encounter in Siege of Orgrimmar, and the entirety of the Battle for Mount Hyjal raid.
    • Old raid bosses with lots of "roleplaying" script. The Lich King, for example, makes you wait over a minute for the fight to even start, and when you get him to 1 hp, he won't die, more script kicks in, and you get to sit around for over two minutes while what is for all intents and purposes an unskippable cutscene plays out.
    • Also, old raid bosses with weird mechanics, such as Immerseus, Galakras, or the Spine of Deathwing. They all force a player attempting to solo the content to spend lots of time completing objectives before you can actually inflict damage on the boss, making it take forever for players attempting to farm the old content, even when the raid itself is so big, you could spend a lot of time just running through it, even if you could kill each boss in a single blow.
  • Good Bad Bugs: In Lost city of the Tol'vir, a few ranged players discovered a glitch that allowed them to jump onto a statue during a boss fight with Lockmaw and plink away. The adds summoned by the boss never touch them, and for the most part it's impossible for them to pull aggro, and thus much easier to kill Lockmaw and get the achievement for killing all the crocolisks. This was removed.
    • For a while, it was entirely possible to progress on the "A Complete Circuit" achievement for Lei Shen, in which you must defeat him at least four times, overloading each of the four quadrants of the room, on Raid Finder difficulty. This enabled some people to get the achievement without having to do him on Normal mode, or if they were able to do it on Normal mode, overloading any quadrant other than Diffusion Chain (the most troublesome ability, a chain lightning that spawns adds for each person hit) first.
    • A bug with Battle for Azeroth's launch causes your character to occasionally T-pose from the waist up until they perform an action that requires the use of their arms, with the exception of emotes. This can be used to hilarious effect.
  • Growing the Beard: The game was infamous for its questing: while trying to avert completely depending on Level Grinding, it pretty much invented 20 Bear Asses, leveling was filled with boring, irrelevant sidequests no one cares about. With Cataclysm, many locations were reshaped in such a way so each zone tells a story and most sidequests are directly tied to it. The game is becoming more and more convenient over the years too, with things such as Dungeon Finder that lets you forget about crying "LFG" for hours being drowned out by people selling things or arguing about politics.
  • Guide Dang It!: Some of the hidden artifact appearances in Legion are this, as some are as straightforward as buying them from a vendor (Titanstrike alternative skin), while others took far longer to first discover the locations of.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Thrall's comment in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos: "Perhaps this is our destiny - to go on fighting the humans forever". World of Warcraft's gameplay ensures that as long as the game goes on, there will never be lasting peace between the Alliance and the Horde.
    • Infamously, the Horde-side questline in Stonetalon Mountains, specifically its ending where Garrosh executes a Horde general for committing war crimes and massacring noncombatants, became this following Garrosh's Jumping Off the Slippery Slope in Mists of Pandaria.
    • Jaina's Resolution in Mists of Pandaria, if you know what happens later. She goes on about how it's not right to force the blood elves to renounce their loyalty to the Horde, and merely days later, the blood elves take her trust, and stab her in the back, taking the Divine Bell from Darnassus, and all only possible because Jaina trusted them. And it's because Garrosh has the bell, that Anduin nearly died. If played from the Horde standpoint though, both Grand Magister Rommath and Aethas Sunreaver have this as well.
      • Rommath was originally Kael'thas's liaison with Silvermoon and spent all of his time reassuring the Blood Elves that yes, their Prince was going to save them. Flash forward to the end of Burning Crusade, Kael'thas is clearly nuts, tries to bring Kil'jaeden into the world, and is slain at Magister's Terrace. Rommath, realizing just how wrong he was, stands with his people and helps kill him. Several characters note however, that Rommath still hasn't gotten over this entirely however, as he believed in Kael'thas wholeheartedly, and tried to justify some of the Prince's more dubious actions before the end. Three expansions later, and he still hasn't quite forgiven himself.
      • Aethas Sunreaver was the leader of the Sunreaver faction of the Kirin Tor and openly supported his people rejoining Dalaran in the Nexus War, arguing that Dalaran had never wanted to betray them and just didn't have a choice because of Garithos. Later, in Mists, he is momentarily corrupted by the Sha, and reveals that he'd like nothing better than to split from Garrosh's Horde and heal old bridges with Dalaran and others of the Alliance. Flash forward to the end of the Dominance Offensive storyline, and his position in Dalaran is manipulated by Garrosh's agents who steal the Divine Bell without his knowledge, and Jaina Proudmoore marks him as a traitor. She then purges the city of all Blood Elves, killing or imprisoning all who aren't saved by the player and Rommath, and Aethas is barely saved and brought back to Lor'themar, now an exile of the city he wanted to rejoin so badly he risked himself for it.
    • The ending cinematic for the Horde in Mists of Pandaria is now painful to watch, as Vol'jin got to do next to nothing as Warchief all through Warlords of Draenor, and he dies after the introductory quest to Legion.
  • He's Just Hiding!: Calia Menethil, a minor character known for her unwitting betrothal to Deathwing and her status as Arthas's sister, had a vague fate after her brother's massacre of Lordaeron. Many fans believe she survived it, which is confirmed in Legion.
    • Some have this opinion of Rell Nightwind, a minor NPC who is involved with the main Jade Forest storyline on the Alliance side. He is grievously wounded after the battle at Serpent's Heart and Mishka tells the player that all she can do is make him comfortable. Yet upon the release of patch 6.0 he is seen at the Celestial Tournament along with his companions and this was not the case when the Timeless Isle went live in 5.4.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight / "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Said by a quest giver in Stormwind on a level 30 quest chain: "The Defias Brotherhood, you say? Well, you're certainly the bearer of wonderful news, aren't you? Next you're going to tell me that Deathwing is still alive and attacking the city." Yeah, about that...
    • One of the loading screen tips says: "Bring your friends to Azeroth, but remember to go out of Azeroth with them as well". When Burning Crusade, which mainly takes place in Outland, came out there was a rather glaring loophole in that statement...
    • In the Alliance questline before Twilight Highlands, in which you help Anduin thwart a Twilight's Hammer plot to blow up Stormwind, the Black Bishop refers to you, Anduin's bodyguard and investigative partner, as a "pawn". Anduin's code name early on in Mists of Pandaria is "The White Pawn," which is an amusing coincidence.
    • The Pandaren have existed since 2002, but were not brought in the forefront (i.e., becoming a playable race) until around 2012, after which a franchise came out featuring a, for lack of a better term... Kung Fu Panda.
    • In 2013, a breed of cat was developed, called the Lykoi cat (or "werewolf cat"). It looks more than a little like the worgen druid cat form, particularly with the fur pattern around the face.
    • A 2004 April Fools joke involved Blizzard announcing that two-headed ogres would be playable in World of Warcraft, with one player controlling each head. Over 10 years later, in the 2015 BlizzCon, Cho'gall the two-headed ogre magi is announced as a new hero in Heroes of the Storm... and two players are required to control him.
    • The Emerald Nightmare's resemblance to the Upside Down from Stranger Things is uncanny (though the Nightmare was designed way before the show was released).
    • The South Park episode Make Love, Not Warcraft features the boys staying in the low level Elwynn Forest and killing a comically large number of boars to level up and challenge the Big Bad (which in the actual game would not work, as enemies stop giving experience to players too many levels above them). One of the features in Battle for Azeroth is level scaling for low level zones, and while Elwynn itself doesn't scale very high, it will indeed be possible to grind your way to the then-maximum level of 60 by just staying in one place and killing boars.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: The opening cinematic for Cataclysm ranks pretty high.
    • Stepping through the Dark Portal into the broken world of Outland for the first time (and right into the middle of a battle between the Alliance & Horde and an army of demons) in Burning Crusade was up there as well.
    • The first time players took a flight point somewhere is probably a lower-level version of this. After spending all that time fighting through the game world at ground level, suddenly seeing it all spread out below you, with other players doing the things you just went through, was a fairly awe-inspiring sight.
  • Inferred Holocaust: Inverted. You see how Draenor looks like after the Burning Legion and its orcish servants have ravaged that world during their Burning Crusade, but only in Warlords of Draenor do you actually realize how many races (Saberon, uncursed Arakkoa, Ogrons, Magnaron...) were annihilated during that world's cataclysm (and to a lesser degree, how badly damaged that world was - Shadowmoon Valley used to be a lush, gorgeous area with rolling hills and trees, but in the main timeline is a hellish landscape of fel lava and rock almost totally devoid of vegetation).
  • Informed Ability: Garrosh Hellscream was canonically a hero of the war in Northrend and (at the time of Cataclysm) beloved by the Horde for it. On the actual campaign, players saw him 1) throw a tantrum and destroy a map because Saurfang wanted to talk about the logistics of waging war instead of power-posturing, 2) torpedo Rhonin's attempt to deal with Yogg-Saron, the Old God of Death in favour of starting a petty brawl with Varian and 3) get some of the anti-Lich King coalition's best fighters killed in a pointless faction-based slapfight at a tournament intended to unify everyone. His appointment as Warchief might have gone down better with players if there had been more show and less tell.
  • Informed Wrongness: The Prime Naaru Xe'ra is said to be controlling and prejudiced against those who use powers besides the Light. The writers even intended to make her a case of exploring that not every Naaru is good from the player's perspective. Given that Illidan is coming close to He Who Fights Monsters and both Fel and Void often induce The Dark Side Will Make You Forget, she has a point about an aversion to non-Light powers; while it was wrong of her to omit that Naaru can turn into Void Gods, if she wanted to avoid that fate herself it makes her aversion to anyone using the Void understandable. Yet this purported prejudice didn't stop Xe'ra from recruiting people like the non-Light-using player characters, NCP Archmage Y'mera and Alleria (prior to Alleria's using the power of the Void, and even then Turalyon and Lothraxion talked her into being merciful. The fact that Turalyon and Lothraxion were both able to talk Xe'ra out of a more merciless approach proves that she's not controlling anyone, even the Lightforged Draenei). She's also a Naaru who's rallying people to help people fight the Burning Legion. Not only does it turn her into a Base-Breaking Character, the story treats her as if she's some Holier Than Thou fundamentalist and nearly everyone involved ends up disagreeing with her (except Turalyon). Despite Velen needing her help and being devoted to her cause (as recently as the Battle for the Exodar scenario, he suddenly switches face and doesn't object to Illidan killing her, only criticizing her decision to try to force the Light on Illidan. No one else called him out on this either except Turalyon. It's also egregious as the story is obviously Character Shilling for Illidan, but Xe'ra doing it is treated negatively.
  • Intended Audience Reaction: Either Blizzard was extremely lucky or they were able to anticipate the player base's reaction to BfA. For months on end, they showed Sylvanas's increasing sociopathic and evil behavior before dropping the "Old Soldier" cinematics which showed the hopeful future of the Horde. It was cathartic.
  • Internet Backdraft: Where do we even start? Forum MVP Palehoof gives a good rundown here of all of the various changes Blizzard has made to the game that caused the community to revolt. You can see/add more examples on the Internet Backdraft page itself. It's notable that three of these have actually been successful in getting Blizzard to change its policies: the outcry against the ban of a GLBT guild for forum advertising, the firestorm that came from Blizzard's announcement in July 2010 that the forums would begin requiring users to post with their real names, and the outcry against charging customers a fee to use the RealID cross-realm dungeon finder.
    • Blizzard faced an intense community backlash against the new "Worgen racial mounts", which are actually a copy and paste job of some Human horse mount models minus the saddles, that were announced to be included in the 4.3 patch.
    • The announcement of Mists of Pandaria was rife with this.
    • At BlizzCon 2011, Samwise Didler and Greg "Corpsegrinder", during an Elite Tauren Chieftain performance, played a video that bashed the Alliance using a string of homophobic insults and telling Alliance to commit suicide. Community manager Bashiok tried to pass it off as being "Just a joke, not to be taken seriously", which made matters worse. Blizzard has since owed up to this and publicly apologized for it.
    • Developer statements that, in Mists of Pandaria, Garrosh would be overthrown as Warchief, with Thrall taking his place, were met with considerable scorn from players. Among others, complaints often came from fans who are sick of Thrall being, by their view, a Spotlight Stealing Creator's Pet, and Alliance players who are angry that they were forced to work with Thrall on numerous occasions throughout Cataclysm because Blizzard was trying so hard (to varying degrees of success, depending on who you ask) to make him a neutral character, only for it to be implied that Thrall will immediately be returning to the Warchief seat with absolutely no repercussions for leaving the Horde in Cataclysm. The specific reactions varied between straight-up hatred for Thrall, to numerous discussions over who would be a better option for Warchief, with Vol'jin and Saurfang being popular options. Eventually, Blizzard changed their decision and Vol'jin became Warchief.
    • At the start of the Beta for Mists of Pandaria, Ji Firepaw's first interaction with the player was complimenting their skills and being buddy buddy with them (if male) or flirting with them in a very blunt way (if female). Despite being such a small, one-off comment, this line wound up setting off a long backlash about sexism in video gaming. Eventually Blizzard caved and changed it, which shifted the problem towards people who liked Ji's characterization as a chivalrous lech (the lech being a common character in a lot of Asian literature) and how Blizzard was caving in to people being overly sensitive. Eventually, Blizzard settled for having a line of dialogue where Ji lampshades this while observing Aysa meditating, worrying if she would find him creepy if he was too forward, or had no personality if he tried to compliment her skill and just that.
    • Four words: Elune is a Naaru. Utter this phrase on any WoW-related forum and watch the angry reactions of the night elf fans. This theory first made its way into the fandom via an opinion piece disguised as a lore article at WoW Insider, which was greeted with massive amount of anger on the boards. This theory appears to have been backed by Blizzard, not once, but twice in their "Ask CDev" question series. The latest incarnation of "Ask CDev" answered 18 fan questions, one of which is a reword of the "Is Elune a Naaru?" question from the previous entry, and most of the comments section consists almost entirely of people arguing with others about the answer to this particular question.
    • The nerfs that were implemented during Patch 4.2 made one particular WoW player, TotalBiscuit, declare his permanent retirement for the game, claiming that the game was "no longer for him", even though he himself employed a lot of the criticisms displayed on this page. Though his actual reasons have shifted over time, with a few citing him putting his foot in his mouth over a few opinions he had to some of the questions he got for his shows and others citing his work schedule being at fault for him not getting too much time to play the game as much as he used to, among other things, the end result was that since he had many blind sheep fans, they too began bad-mouthing WoW simply because he did the same thing for a long time afterwards. This is despite him being a good friend of fellow YouTube gamer Jessie Cox, who still plays WoW regularly and made a counter video to the fans that shared TB's views over the nerfs around the same time TB declared his retirement (and who some thought was indirectly in response TO TB's initial reasons for his WoW departure).
    • The stat squish introduced in patch 6.0.2 and whether or not it's balanced. Say something negative about it, like it's causing the game to be way too difficult, and expect a flame war.
    • After months of not giving a definite answer on whether or not flying would be implemented in WoD, Blizzard finally said that not only was flying not going to appear in the current expansion, but that it would be absent or restricted in future expansions as well. The fandom went ballistic. Blizzard eventually backtracked and began steps to introduce flying in Warlords of Draenor.
    • Despite being the most popular allied race on release, void elves got this particularly bad; when it was announced that one of the new races in Battle for Azeroth would be a race of remodeled blood elves on the Alliance, the members of the community who have been asking for high elves to be made playable for years went absolutely nuclear and discussion about the latter race being added went from an uncommon yet relatively civil subject to one that is now a point of contention and ridicule.
    • While on the subject of allied races, there was the less-than-stellar reaction to them being gated behind reputation, mainly the first four being behind factions from Legion and forcing returning players who didn't play the expansion to grind old content (this was eased somewhat with one patch increasing reputation gains from those factions) and Kul Tirans and Zandalari not being available to play until the expansion was over half a year old.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Farseer Nobundo. His short story is inspiring, especially the end.
    • Tirion. The fact that he managed to remain determined and focused after everything he'd lost including his son is quite remarkable.
    • Darion Mograine and Sylvanas stand out in particular, though the later can also be seen as a Jerkass Woobie.
    • Lucille Waycrest. The love of her life is murdered on their wedding day, and unbeknownst to her, her mother was responsible for ordering his death. She gets falsely accused of witchcraft and nearly gets hanged, but insists that if the Marshal and the Player Character want to free her, they must prove her innocence and not harm her captors. She finds out that her mother is a witch and the leader of the coven she's been fighting against, sees that her father's become an undead abomination, and watches her steadfast ally, the Marshal, become enslaved by Lady Waycrest, forcing her Inquisitors to kill him. Despite all this, Lucille never gives up fighting for her people, and she hardly ever cries, either, even though it's used as "proof" that she's a witch.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks!:
    • Some people said this about Wrath of the Lich King and, to a lesser extent, Cataclysm, claiming that getting gear for raids had become too easy and this enabled less competent players who would never have been able to raid before to participate. Others, however, believed that this was an improvement over the grinding required to raid in vanilla and Burning Crusade.
      • Of course, one rather funny thing is that people said heroics in Wrath were too easy...when most of the people saying this were decked out in top-of-the-line raiding gear, and with only a few exceptions (Namely Black Morass), the same thing that happened to Wrath's "Easy heroics" happened there. Even in 2011, people said that the "heroics" were "dumbed down" when, again, they were once again all decked out in raiding gear that made them significantly overgeared for the simple heroics. This also isn't taking into consideration that several instances still require coordination and crowd control.
    • To an extent, Mists of Pandaria's Heroics got this, particularly in that the Heroic modes for the 5-man instances introduced in Pandaria do not have new mechanics.
    • Leveling up fresh characters from Level 1. Old-content has become such a breeze to level through due to it constantly being nerfed so that players can get to the newest expansion content quicker to the point that there's no sense of danger anymore at low level. Back in the day, it was considered dangerous to pull one or two extra mobs; players can now pull up to seven or eight before it starts to feel like the player might actually die. As a result, some people often get bored trying to level fresh characters from level 1 because the world mobs are so weak, and never pose any threat. This applies to the low-level dungeons as well. Heirloom gear is responsible for at least some of this, and it's also somewhat justified by much of the old content being designed for areas that had lots of people playing in it - these days, most of the early leveling areas are almost totally deserted, and things need to be rebalanced so as to not be frustrating, if not impossible.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Sylvanas is quite sympathetic, but she also holds the living in contempt, starts forcibly converting them into undead despite hating that it happened to her and can often be fairly icy and brusque to those with whom she deals. Having said that, her increasingly grey nature is starting wear out the sympathy for some fans; regarding her tragic backstory, explanation does not equal justification. This becomes especially evident in Battle for Azeroth where she starts forcing undeath on her enemies, putting them through what Arthas put her through.
    • Fandral Staghelm. Sure, he's an arrogant bastard, but seeing what he's been through, it's really hard to blame him. Seeing how patriotic he is when it comes to night elves, it probably pained him a lot to see what happened to his race, and not to mention how the silithid butchered his beloved son just as a way to break him.
      • Then, in Stormrage, we learn that he was manipulated into committing a series of terrible deeds by Xavius, who disguised himself as Fandral's son. When enlightened, Fandral falls into a coma caused by Go Mad from the Revelation, and is taken to a Barrow Den to heal his mind, but some fear he may never recover.
      • In Patch 4.2 it only gets worse. He's become the leader of the Druids of the Flame, servants of Ragnaros the Firelord, but his Woobie points are built up even further. It turns out, his son left behind a wife and daughter, who were living in Ashenvale at the time, and he made a promise to his daughter-in-law that his granddaughter would always have his protection — meaning, retroactively, that all his territorialism and anti-Horde feelings stemmed from a desire to protect what was left of his family. As for being a servant of the Firelord? He's driven to reduce the world to ashes because he can't stand to live in a world without his beloved child. Poor guy.
      • His coin in the Dalaran fountain just adds the woobiedom:
    Fandral Staghelm's Silver Coin: The War of the Shifting Sands... I wish I could forget it ever happened.
    • Genn Greymane, due to the events unfolding in Gilneas, including the Worgen curse and the Forsaken invasion which cost him his kingdom and the life of his son Liam. He's a Grumpy Old Man who sealed his kingdom off from Lordaeron for arguably selfish reasons, but he loves his people, and everything they suffer is quite hard on him.
    "My people have suffered so much. If only I could shoulder more of their burden..."
    • Oh, sure, Illidan's not exactly a nice guy, but the poor bastard's been suffering for over ten thousand years. His entire life is a litany of failed attempts at heroism and greatness and nobody appreciating his efforts no matter what he does.
    • Leyara, mentioned above. In her first appearance, she's a Druid of the Flame and burns Hamuul Runetotem to death (almost), after she kills several of his students, and attempts to kill the player. Later when Malfurion finally confronts her, she strikes him down, and while gloating over how she killed Hamuul, said Tauren appears and kills her. Shortly after, players are mailed a locket found in the Molten Front that reveals that she was the wife of Fandral Staghelm's son, and they had a daughter before he was killed in Silithus; later her daughter was killed during a Horde attack, and she blamed Malfurion for not doing anything to save them. Not surprising she'd follow her father-in-law to joining Ragnaros for revenge.
    • Varian Wrynn has a great deal of responsibility for the escalating Horde-Alliance tensions, and is hot-tempered and impulsive, often with many negative consequences. As a child, he lost his father to Garona and saw Stormwind overrun, lost his wife to the Defias riots, and now has a strained relationship with his son Anduin, which motivates him to try to work on his temper.
    • Jaina Proudmoore is heading toward this after Tides of War and Patch 5.1. Her ruthless devotion to fighting the enemy, such as considering destroying Orgrimmar and expelling the Sunreavers from Dalaran gets her multiple What the Hell, Hero? speeches from neutrals and members of the Alliance, even hard-liners like Varian, and she often coldly brushes them off, sometimes while calling the person a coward. However, not only did she lose her entire city, but she has had a history of fighting for peace, only to be let down or betrayed by virtually everyone else, making her bitterness understandable.
    • Atramedes from Blackwing Descent is somewhat sadistic in battling the players, but he was also blinded in a failed experiment to grant him "sight beyond sight," almost disposed of right then and there, and only kept along out of a belief that he might be useful. When defeated, he says "This miserable existence finally ends..."
    • Ragnaros in Molten Core. He's been summoned there against his will by the dark iron dwarves. While he is definitely a bad guy he mostly just wants to find a way to get back home.
  • Lawful Evil: The Mogu can be considered this.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: King Varian and Lord Lor'Themar talking peace, trying to get the Blood Elves to leave the Horde, too bad Jaina ruined it. For the sake of gameplay balance, as well as the hassle to players who find their Horde toons suddenly Alliance-aligned, the Horde isn't going to lose any of its races even though Garrosh Hellscream has given more than half of them (Blood Elves, Forsaken, Tauren, Trolls) plenty of reasons to bail. Storywise, it comes down to Garrosh threatening anyone with treason if they try to leave, or pissing off the Alliance so they counter attack and cut-off a chance at peace negotiations. The overall plot of Mists is having Garrosh piss off everybody so that the entire Horde dumps Garrosh, instead of leaving one at a time.
    • Apparent again at the end of Mists of Pandaria. Jaina's ignored counsel to "dismantle the Horde" might have been logical In-Universe, but players knew it would amount to nothing.
  • Love to Hate: Many of the villains, in particular Arthas, Ner'zhul, Kel'Thuzad, Gul'Dan, Cho'Gall, Gallywix, Illidan, Kael'Thas, Deathwing, Azshara, Drakuru, Lei Shen and Kil'Jaeden. Sylvanas is also this to those that view her as a villain.
    • Through people either hate him for being a poorly and inconsistently characterized Jerkass turned Warchief and giving the Horde a bad name or like his characterization in Cataclysm better and view his role as a villain in MOP as an Ass Pull that furthered said characterization problems, there are some fans that genuinely like Garrosh as a villain in Mists of Pandaria.
    • Special notice goes to Nefarian, whose Genre Savvy, darkly funny, fourth wall-breaking trolling made him so much of a hit among fans that he came back in Cataclysm. His Hearthstone rendition performed by Matthew Mercer takes these traits even further.
    • Grand Magistrix Elisande and her loyalists also qualify. While Elisande is somewhat more sympathetic, the Nightborne under her put the horrors of the dictatorship she ushered in on full display. Any chance to fight them directly tends to be immensely satisfying (if not annoying.)

     M-S 
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Illidan Stormrage is revealed as a dark Well-Intentioned Extremist in the Legion expansion who joined the Highborne during the War Of the Ancients to bring them down from within. Upon being shown by Sargeras the Legion's true might, Illidan has realized just how dire the fight truly is. After being freed in modern day, Illidan delves into dark powers and even makes himself the Legion lord Kil'Jaeden's servant to undermine them from within, taking over Outland and putting together a group of demon hunters while striking at the Legion's own worlds and dealing them their worst defeats in eons. upon his revival, Illidan brings the world of Azeroth close to the Legion world of Argus to 'force the hand of fate' and helps lead a daring strike on the Legion, forming the strategies to crush them once and for all before electing to serve as the eternal jailer for Sargeras himself. A complex, fascinating figure to the end, Illidan has been one of Azeroth's greatest villains and greatest heroes, giving all he has to secure Sargeras's fall after ten thousand years.
    • Drakuru is an ice troll who is friendly enough to talk to the PC and actually genuinely appears to like them. He came out of nowhere, was trapped in a cage as a lowbie mob, and without leaving his cage or really telling you much of anything except he had a cool idea and wants to learn some stuff, manipulates the heroes into taking down the entire Drakkari empire. By the time you get to Zul'Drak, the trolls inside are almost all dead or killing and eating their own deities in a desperate attempt to stave off the Scourge. He is very much Affably Evil as well. When he gets his "reward" from Arthas — death and resurrection as a powerful Death Knight — he offers the heroes the same "benefit" as their reward for helping him gain the position. When they turn it down, he simply acknowledges your choice, thanks you for your help, and rewards you without further incident.
    • Orgrim Doomhammer, the second Warchief of the Horde, overthrows Gul'dan and his Shadow Council, killing their pawn Warchief Blackhand and declares himself the new master of the orcs. Devoted to his people and honorable in ways Gul'dan never was, Orgrim takes over the war and nearly brings the entire human alliance to its knees, stopped only by Gul'dan's treachery. Orgrim shows an exceptional grasp of tactics and strategy, even managing to ambush the Alliance's greatest hero, Anduin Lothar, and defeating him in single combat before being captured at the war's end. Escaping, Orgrim later resurfaces to guide the young orc Thrall to help save their people and eventually gives his life for their freedom, naming Thrall his successor as Warchief.
    • Loken was one of the Keepers tasked by the Titans to watch over Azeroth and the imprisoned Old Gods, but over time was corrupted by Yogg-Saron and betrayed the other Keepers and their allies. After accidentally killing Sif, his brother Thorim's wife, Loken framed the ice giants which started a war between Thorim and them; he then convinced Helya to turn against her father Odyn and lock him and his army away, arranged for Mimiron's 'accidental' death, subdued and captured Freya and Hodir when they were on their own, and sent the monstrous C'thraxxi to kill or scare away the rest. For his most ambitious plot, Loken took the form of the witch Lok'lira and played on the player character's Chronic Hero Syndrome by subtly guiding them into performing seemingly altruistic actions — rescuing a slave, repairing friendships, helping Thorim get through his depression — all to make Thorim brave enough to confront Loken when in fact he was being lured into a trap. Having systematically eliminated anyone who could pose a threat to him, Loken forged the Keepers' records and crowned himself Prime Designate, both to cover his crimes and to make sure that, if he were to be killed anyway, his death would send a signal telling Algalon to wipe all life on Azeroth.
  • Memetic Badass:
    Area-effect target caps were implemented after Saurfang used Cleave on Stormwind and it shattered Draenor.
    • Hogger, the boss capable of being brought down by level one gnomes, also applies. This eventually escalated to where the best guild was pitted against an elite, level cap, nigh unkillable version of Hogger. The Armory website also tracks each character's stats for "deaths by Hogger."
    • Darius Crowley, an NPC from the Worgen starting zone, is also shaping up to be this. He, too, has his own page of Crowley Facts.
    • Theldurin the Lost in Cataclysm. His quest has you chase after, and then proceed to land a haymaker on, Deathwing, in the face.
    • John J. Keeshan, due to him jumping into a dragon's mouth and gutting it from inside Kratos-style.
    • The Dalaran wishing well is a Memetic Jackass Genie. If you make a wish in it, it will twist it nine times out of ten. (The actual "twist" rate isn't quite that high, but comparing the wishes to the number that got twisted, it's not a favorable rate for the wisher.)
    • Broxigar, the only mortal to ever land a wound on Sargeras. He often avoids the hate that Richard A. Knaak's characters usually get.
    • While it has changed due to Cataclysm, mobs like Hogger and the Defias Pillager were considered deadly. Statistics done during Classic showed that the Defias pillager was one of the top 5 deadliest mobs due to the fact it was responsible for a lot of player deaths!
    • Basic Campfire, or rather Abesik Kampfire, at one time lauded as a better replacement for Thrall than Garrosh.
    • Master Woo Ping, the former weapons trainer of Stormwind, became a minor Memetic Badass after being the subject of Game Master Rishgure's tale about his fate after he disappeared in Cataclysm.
  • Memetic Loser: Garrosh Hellscream may not be very bright, but fans take it and turn it into "Stupider than a sack of lobotomized rock hammer hillbilly retards" seemingly out of spite. This includes jokes like being politically outmaneuvered by a basic campfire (now known as Abesik Kampfyr), thinking that tying a large rock to himself and jumping into shark-infested water after throwing chum in it is a good idea, and not being able to spell "pleased".
  • Memetic Mutation: So many that they had to be listed on the Memes page.
  • Memetic Troll: The Dalaran Fountain, with a side dose of Memetic Badass. Not only did it survive Teron Gorefiend and Archimonde's attacks on Dalaran, but the long list of coins tossed into it and the sheer irony of what happened to the characters who tossed them in (see these three lists for more information) has earned it a reputation as a Jackass Genie and Karmic Trickster par excellence, which grants the wishes of the people who make them in horrible ways they were definitely not asking for and responds to any kind of threat, condescension or mockery by arranging for the offending person — be they a powerful demon, an undead warlock or even a black dragon — to die.
  • Misaimed Fandom: No matter how profoundly wrong Blizzard make their characters, there will always be someone on the official forums to claim they're right.
    • You're not supposed to agree with Malygos in Wrath of the Lich King, people.
    • Garrosh became an increasingly tyrannical Warchief, and even Blizzard themselves have stated from Cataclysm that his tenure as Warchief was intended to be short.
  • Mis-blamed:
    • The mob respawn rates at the start of Cataclysm actually weren't entirely Blizzard's fault; they were a programming oversight. The insane respawn rates were due to so many players clogging the zones at once that they respawned almost instantly. This was because during Burning Crusade's launch, the mob respawn rate stayed at normal levels, and with the area packed with new players, any mob that spawned and was necessary to kill for a quest would be instantly tagged and wiped out. Players would form groups so that at least 5 people at once could get credit for a kill, but it didn't help much. Thereafter, Blizzard made respawn rates dynamic, at least in these heavily-populated areas, which led to the opposite problem.
    • On the forums, people tend to blame players of the other faction for story direction they have no control over.
    • Warlords of Draenor's short length is often blamed on a desire to put out expansions more quickly. However, the gap between the expansion before it and the expansion after it were comparable to any other expansion. The reality was that several major overhauls coincided with a rocky team size increase and an unexpected turnout of players, leading to all the resources being tied up in things that weren't strictly new. See Troubled Production under the Trivia tab for more details.
  • Moe:
    • Mylune, a Dryad with Puppy-Dog Eyes that gives you quests to save the critters that roam around a burning forest. She even squees.
    • In general, female gnomes are really, really cute.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Arthas crossed the line long ago and continues to get more evil over time. Through where and when is a toss-up between the usage of Mercenaries to burn his own ships and the subsequent betrayal of said mercenaries to ensure his men continue to fight Mal'Ganis, the death of his father, the merging with Ner'zhul, or when he killed Ner'zhul and banishes his good half to remain in control of the Lich King. Some also view his Culling of Stratholme as one, through it is very debatable to what extent was it justified, what alternatives he had and whether he resorted to such an extreme measure too quickly or easily.
    • Varimathras and his faction of the Forsaken triggered this trope when they betrayed both the Horde and Alliance at the Wrathgate, killing thousands of soldiers on both sides (although one of the more notable Alliance casualties turned up later) and reigniting the Horde vs. Alliance war. Sylvanas is well over the horizon from the start, employing the players to capture human farmers and chain them to be brought to mushroom plague camps where they'll be worked to death, tortured and experimented on. Forsaken or not, Horde or not, this is an early game sign that the Forsaken are definitely not a gray morality faction. If that's not depressing enough, then the Undercity doctors who keep a human woman, mutilated and blinded, and her brain parts removed to make a perfect slave. The doctor explains her torture and preparation in calm terms as she mindlessly toils in Undercity, the human slaves and prisoners of Undercity who are also literal fodder for the Forsaken, calmly passed by other Horde characters. Afterwards, ANY atrocity in-game feels less depressing.
    • One particular group of Naga damn well crossed it in The Blasted Lands during Cataclysm. They betrayed and enslaved the entire Murloc population in the zone, even the babies. Hate Murlocs or not, that is just God damn depressing.
    • At one point you are asked by a group of mostly peaceful hunter gatherers to literally bag up the children of their enemies so that they can raise them themselves. This is either this trope for yourself (for agreeing to do it), the people who sent you on the task in the first place, Moral Dissonance, or any combination of the aforementioned.
      • There is also the issue that many players don't believe that the Tuskarr really intend to raise the Wolvar pups in the first place. The fact that the Tuskarr village is right by the sea lends itself to some serious Fridge Horror.
      • Also, there are no pups to be seen in the village, and the questgiver has a knife.
    • In Uldum, a friend of Harrison Jones is working to build a traveling circus and asks you to capture a few pygmies (gnome-like humanoids who, while not intelligent, are quite sentient). So, yeah. A "good guy" just asked you to be his personal slave driver. If you were not the player, you would be the villain.
    • Malygos crossed the Moral Event Horizon in a few ways (kidnapping, torturing and brainwashing Keristraza, and forcing mages to work for him under threat of their families being killed), but the realization that he's redirecting leylines to power his dragonflight (which places all of Azeroth in danger of Arcane emanating cracks in the earth causing mass deaths and Arcane madness as seen by what happened in Winterfin Village, Lothalor Woodlands and Indu'le Village) is what causes Alextrasza to reluctantly call for his death.
    • Deathwing crossed the Moral Event Horizon by betraying the other dragonflights and using the Demon Soul's power to kill off most of the Blue Dragonflight, and now planning Azeroth's destruction. The Red Dragonflight considers the Black Dragonflight beyond redemption in Cataclysm.
    • Dar'Khan letting Arthas in to have his people get slaughtered.
    • The entire story arc surrounding Keristrasza was designed to make the players hate Malygos enough to kill him. Or at least was supposed to.
    • In the Horde's eyes, for the Alliance there's the dwarves of Bael'dun massacring Stonespire village in cold blood to steal their land after rejecting diplomacy, then sending troops to firebomb Camp Taurajo. You don't feel bad when they get blown up by their own cannon.
    • For Garrosh's Horde, there's detonating a mana bomb on Theramore, almost completely annihilating the city and the Alliance Forces fighting there, are early signs of their descent down the slippery slope. And then Jaina gets close to that point when she prepares to do something similar to Orgrimmar, but gets talked down.
    • Lei Shen crossed it in "The Pandaren Problem," where he made speaking the Pandaren tongue a crime punishable by death and destroyed many Pandaren works of art, resulting in the death of countless innocent people and the loss of a great amount of Pandaren culture, as the Pandaren language essentially died.
    • In Legion Darion Mograine feels he and the Knights of the Ebon Blade have crossed the Moral Event Horizon when they launch a raid against their Argent Crusade/Silver Hand allies at Lights Hope Chapel, killing many of the defenders in an ultimately failed attempt to resurrect Tirion Fordring as a Death Knight to use against the Burning Legion. While the reasons for this may be understandable (as Tirion would likely be an extremely powerful asset against the Legion), this does not erase the fact they betrayed and murdered many of their closest allies and planned to force undeath upon the man who freed them from the The Lich King's control.
    • Odyn is a great guy in Stormheim! Boisterous, cheerful, always ready for a good scrap and out to prevent that evil Helya from stealing the souls of anyone who could ascend to his Golden Halls and serve alongside him in glorious combat! Odyn is also responsible for Helya's current condition - when he decided he needed an army of the best warriors to ever live, he declared that he would require servants who could gather warriors' souls as they died; these servants would become the val'kyr. The catch, which he stated up front? A state of permanent, agonizing undeath. He was both surprised and infuriated when no one volunteered for this, and his response was to forcibly transform Helya into the first val'kyr before going through with his plan anyway!note  This one action is responsible for massive amounts of suffering - not least Arthas and Sylvanas getting their hands on a few val'kyr - and the reason he chose to gather an army of the valorous? "Only Titan creations are capable of protecting Azeroth." He was the (original) Prime Designate of Azeroth note  and when the other Titanforged agreed that the soon-to-be Aspects deserved to be empowered into guardians of Azeroth, he refused because they weren't Titan-made and he didn't approve, and as Prime Designate, he should be obeyed without question. The Sha of Pride would have had a field day with him...
    • While Grand Magistrix Elisande claims that she made her bargain with the Burning Legion for the sake of her people's survival, she crosses it by ordering a massacre of her own people in the Waning Crescent, and allowing the Legion to take the prisoners to Felsoul Hold to absorb their souls into their machinery. These atrocities result in some of her subordinates defecting to the resistance.
    • Sylvanas reached her horizon in "Before the Storm" by having her forces murder all members of the Desolate Council who were still on the field when she sounded the retreat. She saw their hope of reuniting with the living as infectious and would undermine and eventually overthrow her rule of the Forsaken. She only trusted those Forsaken who were rejected by their loved ones like she had been, and takes the extra step to murder Calia Menethil personally to prevent her from claiming Lordaeron as her birthright. It was at this point that Anduin Wrynn finally decided that she would never change and is truly lost. If this wasn't her point of no return, then it was in "Warbringers: Sylvanas", when she gave the order to burn Teldrassil, which at the time only housed unarmed civilians, presumably just to spite a dying Night Elf who claimed she couldn't kill hope.
      • And even before that, if you played the Worgen beginning questline on the Alliance side, you would never forgive Sylvanas for staging an unprovoked invasion of Gilneas and willfully using Blight against Gilnean citizens, and being ultimately responsible for Liam Greymane's death. It's the event that sparked Genn Greymane's eternal hatred of the Forsaken, and the Horde in general.
      • The "Safe Haven" provides another candidate for those who might still feel there was something redeemable to the Banshee Queen. She had sent two Undead assassins to Outland to murder Thrall, who at this point wanted nothing more than to live out his days caring for his family away from the Horde or any other conflict. Saurfang specifies that he was following them to find Thrall, solidifying him as the target.
    • Lady Waycrest crossed this line long before she turned to witchcraft. She hired assassins to kill her daughter Lucille's lover on their wedding day, simply because she didn't like the idea of having a mere merchant for a son-in-law.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • Error sound effects, Not enough energy, Not enough rage, Not enough mana, I can't carry any more, That would be stealing, I need to get closer, That ability isn't ready yet.
    • Also nasty things bosses say when they kick your ass (particularly ones who can kill in rapid succession, such as after the tank dies).
    • Certain pet noises, the Piccolo, the train set, Lil' XT... the list goes on. Fortunately, you can buy a toy that can smash train sets.
    • "A turtle made it to the water!" Expect Scrollsage Nola to say this repeatedly when you do the Beachhead World Quest, considering that you need to fend off the gulls and crabs to let 12 turtles reach the water, and she'll say this for every few turtles you save.
    • When you press the jump key with a non-flying animal mount or a flying animal mount in a location where you can't fly, it will make a sound accompanied with an animation. Normally you can't make the sound until the animation ends but it's possible to quickly cancel and restart the animation by moving forwards or backwards and pressing jump again with the right timing. Needless to say, this can lead to both amusing and/or annoying results, depending on the mount.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • Bloodlust/Heroism's sound effect, a savage growl or a mighty cheer depending on if the caster is Horde or Alliance. When you hear it, you know your raid's DPS is about to go into overdrive. Subverted if the person using it pops it at the wrong time (e.g. outside of a burn phase), a mistake that can cause a wipe.
    • Similarly, Tranquility, a very powerful channeled Druid heal with a whistling sound. While using it properly is key, it's fairly reassuring to hear that your Resto Druid is giving everything they've got to counter the enemies' damaging abilities.
    • The rythmic "whoosh" of a holy Priest's Divine Hymn is another, as one of the strongest non-target-capped healing skills in the game. Hearing the noise and watching it return 25 people from near-dead to full health is a thing of glory.
    • Arugal's voice clips from vanilla world of warcraft.
    • BY FIRE, BE PURGED! Taste the FLAMES of SULFURON!
    • Yogg Saron's voice clips.
    • "Arise, my champion!" "At your side! Milady!" These two voice clips became so synonymous with World of Warcraft's Scarlet Monastery dungeon that when it was remade with one of the bosses changed and the voice clips re-recorded, this was kept. It was that popular. In fact, despite Whitemane having a different voice, people asked for it to be kept anyway.
    • The sound whenever a boss dies. Especially if it gave you a lot of trouble.
  • Narm: Naturally, World of Warcraft had some voice acting that evolved as the years went on, with the voice actors giving more and more lines... that didn't mean there wasn't some bumps along the way.
    • The giants in Wrath of the Lich King sounded very funny with how they all sounded like The Heavy, while the females had smoker voices. Svala Sorrowgrave, however, takes the cake since it sounds like she throws up instead of dying.
    • Cataclysm featured some rather... questionable voice acting. Several characters sounded like they were constantly shouting, and a few lines made one wonder if the voice actors weren't stifling laughter in the recording studio, with lines such as "Behold the power of PURE WATER!", "AL'AKIR! YOUR SERVANT CALLS FOR AID!", "Witness the power bestowed upon me by DEATHWING... feel the FURY, of EARTH!!"
    • Special mention goes to Ozruk - BREAK YOURSELVES UPON MY BODY! Feel the strength, of the EARTH!. This would easily be Narm Charm... if he didn't repeat it every couple of seconds. (And if this didn't announce a very annoying mechanic.)
      • To say nothing of some of the quests themselves - one quest chain involves you attempting to save a massive deepsea creature demigod, but it's too late so he says that it dies... and you receive a raid warning saying that he dies. No, really?
    • The Vocal Dissonance from Drahga Shadowburner. Given that this boss is an obviously male orc with a muscle body... suffice to say players thought this was either quite amusing, or quite annoying... or both, given that players initially had a problem with the mechanics.
    • From Mists of Pandaria, the watchers of the vale are corrupted. "Brawl.... with ROOK!" and "you will suffer for our failure!" became very maligned sounds to hear because they were said all the time.
    • The August Celestials' battle quotes on the Timeless Isle - they sound like they are reading chapters from a self-help booklet.
    • This can be invoked by players during the "Opening of the Dark Portal" questline. One part requires the player to create a powder trail to a building so that it could be ignited and blown up. However, there's no set amount of powder in the keg, it's only one objective out of that area - and the powder keg essentially drops a long black line wherever you went. Cue players saving it for last just so they could create hilariously improbable powder keg lines such as trying to cover the entire area in black, running around in circles to cause a spiral, spelling words out in cursive, or drawing symbols with the powder. The best part was the game even remembers the way you walked so you could create a huge endless line of powder and it will still travel in the direction you walked, even when it should ignite the nearby powder lines.
    • The demon hunter cinematic has a demon hunter asks Illidan what makes them different than the demons they fight. Unfortunately, her accent makes it sound as if she is saying that demon blood courses through their very fart.
    • Malfurion's voice acting in Val'sharah quests is... interesting. He has one Darth Vader-esque Big "NO!", in particular, that has caused some mockery.
      • In the same vein is Tyrande's lines when you're helping her find Malfurion when he's captured by Xavius. Her lines when you click on her like "We've got them cornered!" and "They defile everything they touch!" unintentionally make her sound like a lunatic.
    • Anduin Wrynn's new model in Legion was supposed to show his maturity and how much he unconsciously resembles his father. What ended up looking is that his new model bears almost no resemblances to the rather nice MoP and Cataclysm model and came off as Blizzard trying way too hard to push the narrative.
    • "Prophet Velen has left the instance group." This text is displayed during the climactic battle against Rakeesh during the Fallen Star questline. What should be a tragic and terrifying moment in which Velen realizes his son is about to be killed and is powerless to stop it is portrayed with the same interface dialogue as a player Rage Quitting a bad dungeon group.
    • With the advent of the allied races, this happened with some of the older quest texts. While some of the written lines would refer to the player by name, sometimes they would refer to them as their class or race. However, the allied races are merely modifiers of existing races, so this results in some questgivers referring to the characters as "Highmountain tauren" or "Lightforged draenei" casually, making it seem oddly specific. This was mostly corrected in 8.0.
      • Even when characters are referred to by name, it can often sound fairly silly if the player's name is out of place in a fantasy setting. (ie, something like "Spoon" or "Staburneck") Furthermore, when some characters yell another player's name, it may show their server if they're from another realm.
    • Can be invoked by the players themselves. While rare, there are some cinematics that show the players wearing their current gear and equipment. Such as, for example, a rather climactic scene where Aggramar tries to flatten your character and your character takes out their weapon anyway can be ruined by transmogging your character's armor to something extremely ill-fitting, skimpy, or hideous. Bonus points for if you transmog your artifact to look really simplistic or like one of the joke items. Nothing says what should be a climactic last stand like a rogue taking out broken glass bottles!
      • Almost every server (and probably guild for that matter) has at least one raider who gets the single most hideous set of transmogs or decides to make the most improbable weapon ever. Nothing says "Main Tank" or "DPS" like fighting off the Legion or the Scourge with a pitchfork! Bonus points if it's enchanted.
      • Was also Played for Laughs in the "Trial of Style". Some players would take it seriously and make beautiful sets, sometimes out of mismatching expansion sets... while others tried to make the most ridiculous looking gear on their characters ever.
  • Never Live It Down: It's not unusual for a character in World of Warcraft to become defined by a single action or moment by the fanbase regardless of what's actually reflected in canon.
    • Many, many fans consider Garrosh's killing of Cairne to be his Moral Event Horizon, even though the entire affair was full of mitigating factors and was treated as a grey and ambiguous conflict for both parties. Ultimately, Cairne died because Garrosh's weapon was poisoned which he did not ask for and was unaware of. Interestingly enough, Baine believes that Garrosh was partly to blame for his father's death, but resolved to work with him for the sake of the Horde until Garrosh did even more terrible things and was about to tear the Horde apart.
    • Jaina's brief tenure as a tunnel-visioned warmonger in Tides of War caused many players to claim that "Jaina Proudmoore died at Theramore", even though this was by and large addressed in the very same book, and even at her worst she's never approached that mindset since. However, a vocal element of the playerbase has taken that moment and Flanderized it into Jaina being an insane perpetrator of genocide with the blood of half the world on her hands. It doesn't help that Blizzard made the tunnel-vision stick as she went back on her development with the Purge of Dalaran, is still very obstructive to the Horde in Warlords of Draenor, and left Dalaran in Legion bitterly because Khadgar opened it to the Horde again, but in all of these cases, she never actually hurts anyone herself and usually just leaves in a huff without a fight.
    • That wasn't Jaina's first brush with this concept, either. In Warcraft III, Jaina was an Action Girl who, at the end of the story, ultimately let the Horde kill her father in order to preserve the peace that they had finally made after defeating the Burning Legion. This, however, slowly got inflated until the fandom begun to consider her an Actual Pacifist, despite her not actually hating fighting, just seeing that the Alliance had no reason to fight Thrall's new Horde. Along with this, her lack of attention in the plot of early World of Warcraft aside from appearing a couple of times in emotionally charged moments to cry, had led players to assume she had undergone Chickification. These two things ultimately led to the fanbase seeing Jaina as a weak and pathetic character who desperately needed to be Rescued from the Scrappy Heap. Unfortunately, while that prevailing interpretation of her was mostly overturned, it was only by the aforementioned previous bullet point that arguably made things worse. This version had gotten so bad, however, that it did survive in pockets in ways that leads to the worse interpretations of the tunnel-visioned Jaina. For instance, Jaina allowing troops to move through her city was seen as a betrayal of her character that deserved the Horde's ire, even though Jaina was never actually a pacifist. While Jaina would certainly have preferred to keep things with Garrosh the way they had been with Thrall, Garrosh was a proud warmonger and Jaina was always willing to fight people like him who you could not have peace with.
    • Illidan recovered from this. He served as the poster villain of the Burning Crusade expansion, which led to his more morally ambiguous character be replaced with a Card-Carrying Villain who was put down unceremoniously. Being the primary exposure to him for many players, this differing characterization defined him even retroactively for much of the playerbase. When Illidan returned in Legion, many immediately assumed he was on the villain's side, and would wonder why they were helping him when they realized they had to do so. In the end, however, the commitment to reestablishing his character seemed to slowly explain to people who he originally was. Unfortunately, his old allies Kael'thas and Lady Vashj seem cursed to forever be remembered with their Card-Carrying Villain personalities that appeared from nowhere in the Burning Crusade.
    • Apparently, Ner'zhul has never lived down the portion of his existence he spent as the Lich King, given that his shtick in Warlords of Draenor is shadow-based necromancy and his Shadowmoon Clan are a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for the Cult of The Damned/the Scourge. It was to the point that many fans were upset at how easily he went down because of how big of a deal it was to take down the Lich King, despite him mostly still being a normal orc during Warlords of Draenor.
    • A lot of fans still viewed Varian with his initial, extremely hot-headed personality all the way to the end. To be fair, much of his Character Development happened outside of the game, so many people legitimately weren't aware of it.
    • Memes about Malfurion have really damaged his reputation for a lot of the fanbase, and his Story-Breaker Power leading him to be constantly written into Badass in Distress moments haven't given him much exposure to change their minds. In Legion, Xavius' taunting illusions of Malfurion have been by mistaken for the actual Malfurion by many fans, further hurting his reputation as weak and whiny. In reality, he's supposed to be an immensely powerful and wise old leader who was willing to give up his immortality for the greater good, and he is Happily Married to Tyrande in a fashion that is quite rare in fiction.
    • Thrall seems fated to never live down his "Green Jesus" meme. To explain, Thrall grew up as a gladiator before escaping, freeing his people, helping to redeem them, and rediscovering their old ways. Then in the lead-up to the Cataclysm expansion, him having the skills of a warrior but the religion of a shaman is suddenly transformed into him being the most powerful shaman on Azeroth and a bit of a chosen one who leaves his role as Warchief to single-handedly hold the world together. On top of that, he had previously discovered that his birth name was Go'el, an oft-presumed shout out to Kal-El, and started insisting everyone use it now (despite the very intentional and meaningful reason he kept the name Thrall to begin with). Even though Thrall was toned back down in the following expansion and had small roles in the two after that, the fandom has found it hard to forget. He was an extremely popular and well-loved character up until Cataclysm, which might be why the increased focus happened to begin with, but it ultimately backfired. It doesn't help that once escalated to that point, his retirement in future expansions simply makes him look negligent since there's no official reason he shouldn't be able to continue saving the world with ease.
    • It seems the Prime Naaru Xe'ra, due to being a Minor Major Character and a Hero of Another Story, will almost exclusively be remembered as a fanatic and the Naaru that tried to force the power of the Light onto Illidan and got killed by him for it. The short story "A Thousand Years of War" only added fuel to the fire for some fans, as everything else Xe'ra did in that story (including saving Turalyon's and Alleria's lives and helping uncover the source of the Legion's Resurrective Immortality) is often forgotten in favour of her judgment on Alleria for using the power of the Void. It doesn't help that Xe'ra threatened to kill Alleria if she didn't give it up - with the fact she relented and chose a more merciful route at the behest of Turalyon and Lothraxion often being ignored.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Consider how much of the game changed since its release in 2004. Several classes, especially the hybrids, are actually playable and actually work the way you would expect them to. Content is actually not being wasted by locking the majority of the playerbase out by attunement chains. (Most of the Can't Catch Up was caused by other players, though, so it's not Bizzard and Vivendi's fault since they didn't intend for selfish players to refuse to help their friends in need.)
    • And the Elemental Invasion. Wait around the cities and someone's going to say how the Zombie Invasion was better and that the fandom rejoiced. This is ignoring how, during the zombie invasion, there was just as much complaining about how many people were interrupted by zombies or how much they event sucked and should have been optional.
    • Attunement in general. This supposedly weeded out the "Bad players" back in the day, when all it took to get attuned was to be lucky enough to find a group that formed for it, especially on some servers like most Wasteland EST PvP Servers. This lead to a Can't Catch Up in which perfectly good players were stuck waiting for an attunement group to form while everyone else was busy trying to get the bosses down.
      • And evidently people used to "need a brain" to get to end-game. Evidently, "Needing a brain" meant "being able to be lucky to have a group that would do convoluted attunement chains" and "having the free time to run dungeons enough to get gear so the guilds would even look at you."
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Lor'themar actually wasn't invented for WoW and first showed up in a Korean-drawn comic.
    • Goblins have been called "Gnome wannabes", ignoring that goblins and gnomes both showed up at the same time in Warcraft II and the former had a much larger role. In the next game gnomes were Put on a Bus and goblins had a major role as a neutral force and were almost their own faction according to concept on Sons of the Storm. Even in World Of Warcraft, goblins were considered to be the fourth Alliance race until they decided to bring gnomes back.
    • With the Mists of Pandaria leak, some of the playerbase had accused the Pandaren concept of (among other things) ripping off Kung Fu Panda. The Pandaren started out as an April Fool's joke by artist Samwise Didier that proved so popular that it led to their debut as neutral heroes in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, years before Kung Fu Panda even came out.
      • To quote one person on the forum, "How can you tell the people who've been playing since Frozen Throne? They're the ones who aren't saying the Pandaren are Kung Fu Panda ripoffs."
    • When Cataclysm was announced, there was outcry from the fanbase declaring that Deathwing is a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere, while in reality he has been a fixture in Warcraft lore since Warcraft II — albeit a largely unseen and inactive one whose nature and backstory was largely covered in a few tie-in books rather than in front of the players.
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: Most players ignore what NPCs actually say and just look at the quest requirements. Story? Plotting? To the majority of players, it may as well not exist. Interestingly, Blizzard is aware of this and Word of God says that quest designers are explicitly limited in the amount of text they can put into a quest description to avoid "Too Long Didn't Read" syndrome.
    • For that matter, even when Cataclysm redid most of the old world to include bigger story arcs, everyone else pretty much ignored it and rushed to 85 as fast as they could and complained that there was no content.
      • On the other hand, the many people who claim that "no one enjoys the old world changes" may be an indicator that it's not all that bad.
    • Players typically skip the cinematics after bosses (the Lich King, Ultraxion, Spine of Deathwing, Madness of Deathwing) in order to roll on loot. In Siege of Orgrimmar, players typically skip the cutscenes, such as the one that happens just before the trash before Siegecrafter Blackfuse, especially if it's LFR and a over-zealous member of the raid decides to pull before everyone else has finished watching.
    • The developers seem aware of this to an extent. In many cases, if you've been to a dungeon before, it's possible to talk to an NPC to get an abridged version of a dialogue scene, such as asking to skip the pageantry before Trial of the Champion's first battles. It's also become increasingly common for bosses to give a relatively long speech as you're approaching them, and a simple one-liner as you pull them.
  • Paranoia Fuel: In the newest version of the Blackfathom Depths dungeon, the Old Gods themselves talk to the players about the futility of their actions. After clearing the final boss of the dungeon, the Old Gods give you a parting message.
    • The Sons of Arugal pre-Cataclysm. They stalked around Silverpine Forest and could on occasion jump the player out of nowhere.
    • Rogue players in PVP servers. You'll never know if one is stalking you, ready to strike when you're at your weakest...
  • Player Punch:
    • Mists of Pandaria has some elements of this. While every other expansion dealt with the player characters as heroes fighting demonic corruption and trying to save the world, Pandaria would have likely been a better place if you (the players) simply never showed your faces there - the first zone's story arc involves both factions conscripting the help of the locals (causing them to turn against each other), turning two other indigenous peoples against each other and unleashing the Sha.
    • One of the last Death Knight quests involve you having to kill a former friend of yours. It's at its worst if you're a Night Elf, where the victim is the one who raised you from infancy.
    • Legion is shaping up to be the Player Punch expansion. So far they've killed off Tirion Fordring, Varian Wrynn, Vol'jin, and Ysera. And that's not mentioning the minor zone characters that are killed throughout the Broken Isles. The game also has an entire quest chain dedicated to showing why the players may have been the bad guys when it came to their killing Illidan in The Burning Crusade (though this one has been met with no small amount of backlash due to the shaky nature of these accusations).
    • During the burning of Teldrassil, Alliance players are tasked with saving civilians from the burning Darnassus. The objective is to save almost 1,000 civilians within the time limit... and exceptionally fast and diligent players might save 50.
  • Quicksand Box:
    • There is no real "main quest" telling you where to go next and nothing barring your path if you decide to skip some story arcs in a zone. As a result it is pretty easy to get lost. Until later expansions began marking the zone levels on the map, the only hint on what zones were a good idea to go to next was maybe a quest chain that would end or eventually lead you there as well as talking to other players. Otherwise, all you could do was wander around until you found an area that had enemies of the right level to be fighting, and hope to find quests. Later expansions have gotten better at railroading players through each questing zone and leading them to the next zone when it's time to move on.
    • Reaching max level is where the real quicksand sets in for new players. As of Legion there are four difficulty settings for dungeons and raids, countless factions to earn reputation with, a mission system to manage, treasures to find, and more. The sheer backlog of content from more than a decade of game development is staggering.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Garrosh Hellscream replaced Thrall as leader of the Horde. Considering that Thrall is well-loved both by the player base and in-universe, some of this is bound to happen. Even if Garrosh's character was becoming more likable and competent, he would still get some scrappyism for the act of displacing Thrall alone.
      • Though, since Thrall has become more and more of a blatant Creator's Pet throughout Cataclysm, more and more players are changing their minds about this, and now there was a new outcry starting now that the creators have stated their intent to reinstate Thrall as Warchief at the end of Mists of Pandaria, until Vol'jin actually became Warchief.
    • Some fans see Lor'themar as this to Kael'thas as leader of the Blood Elves. The real reason is more that he was content to just stand around despite always being there and since The Burning Crusade, has been a wallflower next to Gallywix while Thrall and Sylvanas dominate the horde storyline. It didn't help that Lor'themar is much closer to Kael'thas' original portrayal, and not the out-of-left-field Face–Heel Turn version from Burning Crusade that got Killed Off for Real with not even so much as a Redemption Equals Death.
    • Khadgar taking over the Kirin Tor leadership position from Jaina hasn't been received favorably by her fans, especially considering the fact that she is one of the few remaining female leaders in the game and he got the leadership by Jaina continuously taking several levels in Jerkassery.
    • Baine is this to both his beloved father, Cairne and himself. Early on Baine was a Horde patriot who reflected the tauren’s Proud Warrior Race Guy culture. While willing to try peace, Baine would also fight those who rejected it such as the dwarves of Bael’dun. Starting from Tides of War, Baine became a practitioner of Suicidal Pacifism. Baine saying Taurajo deserved destruction and exiling the tauren defending themselves replacing his original lines about avenging Taurajo and driving back the Alliance military has been much bemoaned.
    • In the Stromgarde warfront, the Alliance gets Danath Trollbane, a beloved hero from WC2 who has been sitting in limbo since the Burning crusade, whilst the Horde gets Eitrigg, an extremely elderly orc who has been retired from combat since of Of Blood and Honor and has already been used everywhere in the Horde war campaign solely to have an orc of note after so many were killed off in Mists of Pandaria. Orc fans were particularly annoyed Eitrigg was used in Stromgarde over both:
      • Nazgrel, a strong youthful warrior who has always been willing to fight those who threaten the Horde, including the Alliance. Nazgrel was directly presented as Danath's counterpart in Burning Crusade, yet unlike Danath who finally got his chance to step back into the spotlight in BFA, Nazgrel was left to rot in limbo in BFA once again.
      • Jorin Deadeye was introduced per Metzen to add some new blood into the Horde, showed himself as a capable orc general, and had a connection to beloved orc hero, Kilrogg Deadeye. Not only that, but Kilrogg himself was viewed by Danath as his Worthy Opponent as seen in Beyond the Dark Portal. Like Nazgrel, the writers chose to keep Jorin in limbo, furthering limiting the minuscule orc cast.
    • Legion showed the Kor'kron was still around and active in the Horde, meaning all the beloved Kor'kron NPCs were still around. In Battle for Azeroth beta, they were used and like the 7th Legion acknowledged the player as a longtime champion of theirs since Wrath of the Lich King. Unfortunately, a later PTR replaced them with generic organizations like "Horde vanguard" or "Honorbound" who say nothing to the player.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Garrosh. Due to how he was viewed in Wrath of the Lich King, this arguably happens to him in Cataclysm where he is given a couple genuine honorable moments such as calling out Sylvanas for beginning to turn herself into the next Lich King, and a Jerkass orc in the Stonetalon Mountains for bombing innocent Night Elves... but it ends up all going south when he is turned into a villain for Mists of Pandaria due to the player backlash towards Garrosh not dissipating as much as Blizzard was hoping for. However, people started turning heads again once his death comes around in Warlords of Draenor where people started to feel bad for him due to Thrall leaving him so much on his plate the moment he was given the role of the Horde's Warchief, and was forced into a role that he clearly wasn't experienced for; driving him to do certain things if it meant that it would truly help his Horde survive the harsh times it was currently experiencing.
      • Long story short, a lot of people are starting to blame Thrall over Garrosh more for the misdeeds the Horde did throughout Mists of Pandaria.
      • That being said, Draco in Leather Pants plays a big role on this sentiment. See Alas, Poor Scrappy for the details.
    • Attempted with Gallywix in the short stories, but like Garrosh, time will tell if it is successful...
    • Like Garrosh, Varian was a huge Base-Breaking Character with his introduction in Wrath of the Lich King, which is unsurprising since they were played as foils to one-another. However, over time his zealous streak against the Horde became less his defining feature and was moved to a cross between a wise king who meant well for his people but didn't bend the knee to his foes. By the time his death occurred in Legion, even Horde players had great respect for him as a character, and his Heroic Sacrifice against Gul'dan to save the Alliance forces is hailed as one of the most memorable moments in Warcraft history, with both factions proclaiming him a true hero.
    • Vereesa Windrunner was hugely disliked for being a Satellite Love Interest towards Rhonin and not being as interesting as her sister Sylvanas. The fanbase begins to warm up to her ever since Rhonin was killed off and she was allowed to develop separately from him, most notably playing a huge part in the Purge of Dalaran. The reintroduction of her fan-favorite sister Alleria and her interaction with the other two Windrunners has only solidified this sentiment.
    • The Terror of Darkshore cinematic seems to have finally redeemed Malfurion in the eyes of the fanbase. Not only is his suicidal neutrality gone, he's finally properly leading the Night Elves alongside Tyrande. Most of the comments on said cinematic are proclaiming the long overdue Character Rerailment with joy.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • For some players the faction is a Serious Business, this causes demonization towards the members of the other faction.
    • Xe'ra, and by extension the Army of the Light and the Light itself, have gotten this treatment from some fans following the "Rejection of the Gift" cinematic, the "A Thousand Years of War" short story and the war between the Mag'har empire and the faction led by Yrel dubbed the Lightbound who want to convert everyone to follow the Light willingly or not. See Alternate Character Interpretation and What Do You Mean, It's Not Didactic? for more details.
  • Saved by the Fans: Grand Magister Rommath, who was slated to join the Twilight Cult in Cataclysm. This incurred some fan outrage, many seeing it as a contrived attempt at parity (a prominent Alliance figure joined the Cult as well) and doing an interesting character a disservice. Blizzard took this in and scrapped the idea.
  • The Scrappy: Fandral Staghelm is the game's original Jerkass, albeit with some justification - seeing your son ripped apart by the Qiraji can't have been good for his morale. The players' hatred of him likely played part in him turning evil in the latest novel, and eventually, becoming a boss in the Firelands.
    • Later, Garrosh Hellscream takes the title from him in unequivocal fashion, being introduced in Outland as a barely competent leader who nevertheless comes to stand by Thrall's right hand in Northrend while being unremittingly hostile to the Alliance and sabotaging his Warchief's attempts to make peace at every opportunity. And he became the leader of the Horde in Cataclysm. Put it this way: Cairne "Nice-grandfatherly-type-who-wants-to-teach-and-nurture-all-of-you" Bloodhoof tries to kill him!
    • Trade Prince Gallywix, leader of the playable Bilgewater Goblins. When Kezan's volcano explodes, he extorts your goblin character's life savings in an apparent deal to save you and your friends from certain death, only to reveal that the rescue boat is a slave ship and you're the new cargo. This in addition to purposefully causing the deaths of many bilgewater Goblins, and making prejudiced comments about orcs. Thrall reappointing him for no real reason only makes thing much worse. MoP leaving him in charge, while far more likable characters like Zaela or Nazgrim bit the bullet hasn't helped either. Nor have the attempts at Character Shilling. To put it simply, Gallywix is The Load, a Straw Loser, and a Bad Boss all rolled into one, leaving many suspicious of the attempts by writers to say "No, no, he's really a nice guy who cares about the goblins... he just allies with the enemies of his cartel... to kill his own people..."
    • Many characters created by Richard Knaak gets this treatment from the playerbase, especially Rhonin (in Knaak's later works). It goes so far that he even gets blamed for characters he had nothing to do with (like Med'an). Most of the Dragon Aspects invented by him barring Deathwing and Alexstrasza, tend to be immune to this.
    • Koltira Deathweaver tends to evoke mixed reactions from the playerbase. He is generally portrayed as less competent than his Alliance equivalent, Thassarian (who not only killed Koltira in his backstory, but spends a chunk of the death knight starting zone saving him from capture; and, in fact, seems poised to rescue him again in their current arc), and consistently requires player help to do the most basic of tasks, such as... powering his runeblade for him. Conversely, Thassarian spends his earlier quests compelling the Scourge to cower before him, culminating in an encounter with the Lich King himself and his blood prince lieutenant. Slight disparity. Perhaps because of these Koltira is more popular with Alliance players then Horde.
    • Aggra seems to be getting this lately; fans are flaunting that her introduction in supplemental materials and her relationship with Thrall which ends in the two becoming married seemed far too rushed and poorly fleshed out. That, and "tsundere" is pretty much her only personality trait. At all.
    • For the people who read the Expanded Universe, Med'an is this. He is a son of two popular characters (Garona and Medivh), making him a unique hybridization of races. He has been chosen as the new guardian of Tirisfal. But he is not just any guardian of Tirisfal, but a more powerful version, getting not just mage powers, but also paladin, shaman and druid powers. Also, for the final quarter (or half...) of the series, he pretty much replaced Varian as the main character of the comics, in spite of Varian being billed as the main character. Despite the fact that in the comics, he was empowered to become one of the most powerful beings on the planet, he never appeared in World of Warcraft itself yet, and Word of God later said that he left Azeroth and relinquished his position as Guardian, possibly due to the They Changed It, Now It Sucks! response.
    • Blizzard seemed to consider the draenei race to be either this or The Unfavorite, to the point where it became somewhat of a meme for players to make sarcastic comments about the Draenei being ignored.note  Blizzard admitting that they failed at integrating the race into the game properly did not help matters. This changed with Warlords of Draenor and Legion, which gave the draenei plenty of screentime as the bulk of the Alliance-aligned forces in the past Draenor and Argus, as well as fleshing them out by showing their civilization on Draenor at its prime, rather than its pitiful remains in Outland in TBC.
    • Budd Neddreck, and Harrison Jones for turning entire zones or storylines into just one long pop culture reference.
    • Most of Mists of Pandaria's cast received this. Some specific examples listed below.
      • Ji and Aysa, for being boring characters with no real connections to their factions as well as being a clichéd set of Star-Crossed Lovers. They were even Put on a Bus in the latest novel.
      • Aside from Nazgrim, most of the Horde questing NPCs in Pandaria for either being unsympathic, inconsitently written, playing humor too far, and not lending anything to the Horde story. Not having any orcs aside from three characters oppose the now evil Garrosh is agreed to have really hurt the Horde identity.
    • Astalor Bloodsworn, at first considered a mostly harmless NPC in The Burning Crusade, became this in Warlords of Draenor for his utterly callous treatment of his former apprentice Kaelynara Sunchaser and what she did afterwards because of it. It's got to the point that some people want to find a way to kill him. The Tear-Stained Letter he sent her is considered a major Tear Jerker and Astalor himself is by and large now seen as a complete Jerkass and a disgrace to the Horde.
    • The tortollans are largely hated for having tedious world quests and fairly annoying voices ("A turtle made it to the water!").
    • As mentioned in Replacement Scrappy, the Baine of Tides of War and Battle for Azeroth is considered to be a unsympathetic traitor who is only ever a liability to the Horde, especially the tauren. Basically, the writers constantly used Baine as a mouthpiece to defend every bit of Alliance aggression at the tauren's expense so much that it eventually killed all of the tauren leader's credibility.
    • Nathanos Blightcaller, the rude, smug human dark ranger in charge of Horde operations on Zandalar and Kul Tiras. Horde players hate him for having to endure his snark throughout questing and raiding, while Alliance players hate him for his inexplicable ability to survive, and even fight on roughly even terms, with Alliance characters far stronger than himself, like Tyrande.
    • Sylvanas in Battle for Azeroth, while still beloved by many, has had her hatedom become much stronger, due to committing bigger war crimes than ever before, having her personality be flanderized into a Card-Carrying Villain that rants about "killing hope", and her motives being unclear to the point that she sometimes comes across as just not having any.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Daze, a debuff that's present on everything in the game within minimal level range that dismounts and slows you if you're attacked from behind, it can make "Short jaunt through this area" into "Will you stop knocking me off my horse?!"
    • Daily Quests have gained an increasing amount of hatred during the Mists of Pandaria era. Blizzard dropped the Equip Faction Tabard mechanic from the previous Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm expansions where players would gain reputation for specific factions by having their tabards equipped in dungeons and gain reputation whenever enemies or bosses are killed. The reason is because the fanbase found this too easy to reap the end faction rewards so Blizzard dropped the faction tabards entirely in favor of forcing players into completing nothing but daily quests for faction reputation. It's extremely time consuming and fans nowadays are wishing for alternatives to gain reputation, including the return of faction tabards.
      • One of the worst parts of the daily quest grind was the fact that, for a long time, the daily quests for certain factions were gated behind the daily quests for the Golden Lotus. In other words, it was impossible (or at least, virtually impossible) to grind rep for, say, the August Celestials until you got at least Revered with the Golden Lotus. Even those players who didn't have a problem with daily quests in general did have a specific hatred for the Golden Lotus, generally because the Golden Lotus was in the way of the faction they actually wanted to build reputation with.
    • You cast, you wait, you hook, you catch... it's fishing. And it's even more tedious than in real life. It's SO tedious, people will pay other people to do it for them.
      • Blizzard has given us fishing recipes and varied the fish you can catch and made it easier but you still spend hours upon end staring at a bobber because you must actively click on the bobber to catch a fish. A catch takes up to 20 seconds. It lacks the as-you-go ease of skills like First Aid and Skinning, the speed and travel value of something like Herbalism or Mining, the excellent buffs of Cooking, and even the entertaining lore value and XP gain of Archaeology. Plus anybody can do it, so it's not even that profitable in the Auction House. But it has achievements, so you have to do it sometime.
    • "(Insert mob name here) attempts to run away in fear!" Presumably this was done as a way of teaching players to use their snaring abilities such as the warrior's Hamstring, but it's quite an annoying mechanic to those who don't yet have access to such abilities.
    • Azerite gear and the traits involved is widely disliked for two major reasons. The first is that the effectiveness of any given piece of gear depends on whether any of the traits available are desirable for the player, since while the ability to pick a trait for each tier gives players choice, the need to optimize means there's usually only a few viable traits, which may not be available. The second is that in order to unlock said traits, you need your Heart of Azeroth to be at a certain level, with better pieces of gear having steeper requirements, resulting in you having to grind for Azerite.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: This game was a pretty big trend-setter amongst MMORPGs, and frankly it shows.
    • At the time, it's very hard to appreciate that this game set a lot of Anti-Frustration Features that became commonplace in games today. When you died, you were not at risk of losing your inventory nor did you receive an experience point penalty. These were both very big things back in 2004, but now most people can't even imagine it.
    • The game has even had this trope happen with itself. For example, most bosses from Classic and Burning Crusade feel very simplistic, borderline "tank-and-spank". Mechanics that were previously seen in raids were later implemented in five-man dungeons. And most importantly, the standards for the worlds and dungeons have increased a lot over the years, making Outland (at the time, cutting edge) now seem disjointed, bare-bones, and monotonous after the increased standards by Cataclysm.
  • Sequel Displacement: What are these "classic trendsetting strategy games" of which you speak?
  • Shocking Swerve: The idea that "There must always be a Lich King". At the end of WotLK, it's said that there needs to be a Lich King to keep the Scourge in check, and without one they'd destroy the world. The idea is based on the misconception that a leaderless army is more dangerous than one with proper direction. Arthas reveals (with a bit of Word of God and All There in the Manual) that the reason he didn't kill the players right away is because he was grooming them to be his champions, and that he was holding the Scourge back so that he could corrupt champions to ease a wound in his remaining mortal pride about being duped by Mal'Ganis. This itself is a swerve because he had already killed his 'humanity' (meaning his good side) in a novel and again in a major quest chain, yet a piece of it (pride) still remains holding the Scourge back. There's also no explanation for why Bolvar doesn't have the same level of control over the Scourge as Arthas, and why he can't apparently order them to destroy themselves. Ultimately, the idea seems to exist solely to ensure that the Scourge are still an active force, and so Blizzard can reuse them when they want to.
  • Silent Majority: Did you know there are people who actually don't play this game for 14 hours a day? Did you know that there are plenty of people who actually play other games too? Or that there are people in the military playing it, college students, or people with 40-hour-a-week jobs and a family? The way the Broken Base carries on about it, you probably wouldn't believe so.
  • Star Trek Movie Curse: The game's odd-numbered iterations (Classic, Wrath of the Lich King, Mists of Pandaria, Legion) tend to be viewed in a kinder light than the even-numbered (The Burning Crusade, Cataclysm, Warlords of Draenor, Battle for Azeroth), for various reasons.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Thrall must have had one hell of a whirlwind courtship with Aggra when the books weren't watching, because there's not much of a transition from Vitriolic Best Buds to Official Couple.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Often treated as the Alliance's resident Garrosh counterpart and a Horde-hating Jerkass, Fandral Staghelm's lack of faith in the Horde holds a lot of water after Garrosh makes plans for a war-march on Ashenvale with the intent to build a city in the middle of an ancient forest regardless of people already living there.
    • For his part, Garrosh became the guy-who-is-always-wrong during Mists of Pandaria, but as Vol'jin attempts to call him out during the introduction to the 5.1 storyline for being too aggressive and warmongering, Garrosh shuts him up with, "This is the difference between you and me, Vol'jin: I won't let MY people starve to death in the desert." Although even this is a poorly developed result of a retcon. Originally, Thrall chose to settle where he did on purpose because it resembled his homeworld of Draenor. There was an entire campaign in Warcraft III where you fought hard to secure Durotar. Only later was Draenor retconned to have Azeroth-like biodiversity. Garrosh is right in pointing that problem out now, but it's really now just a Plot Hole that Thrall chose to fight hard to settle in a barren desert.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Burning Crusade was alright in the gameplay department, but a lot of people lamented the story it put forth, the scattershot villains, the feel of the setting and the fact that very little was improved on base game mechanics. Wrath of the Lich King, on the other hand, was praised for how it allowed the player to actually affect the status quo of the world (at least for themselves), the much more "Warcraft-ish" feel of Northrend, the much tighter plotting and far more engaging villain groups (ranging from Arthas Menethil to a new villain who finally tips his hand in Storm Peaks and rockets to near the top of most fans' Magnificent Bastard list). It did have its own problems (see Dork Age above) but Blizzard has shown an admirable ability to learn from their mistakes with expansions and Cataclysm seems to have been a successful attempt to combine the best of Burning Crusade, Wrath and vanilla WoW.
    • Legion was this even more than BC and Wrath. Draenor was one of the worst-received expansions in the game's history, with lots of serious gameplaynote  and story note  missteps. Legion not only fixed most of these issuesnote , but added cool, often lore-important artifact weapons, and introduced the widely-acclaimed "World Quests", which simultaneously largely took the place of dailies, but gave a huge amount of latitude in what players could choose to go do. While not without hiccups, it's currently widely considered one of the best expansions the game has ever had.

     T-Z 
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Some people interpret certain hated NPCs becoming bosses as this, such as Fandral Staghelm in the Firelands, Garrosh Hellscream (this one was confirmed) in Siege of Orgrimmar, and Three Sha-corrupted spirits of Golden Lotus members, and the Klaxxi Paragons, some of the questgivers for the reviled daily quests, also from Siege of Orgrimmar.
  • That One Achievement: Some of the meta-achievements, such as Glory of the Hero have at least one achievement that is significantly harder than the others (Less-Rabi and Zombiefest are two examples). What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been requires the completion of all holiday meta-achievements and most holiday achievements, which includes several luck-based achievements, and generally requires that players be 80 or above for at least a year.
  • That One Boss: Lots, depending on the skill of the player(s) and the makeup of your group. See here for a (partial) list.
    • When players gain levels and better gear from newer expansions, many become less difficult, but others remain difficult because of certain mechanics. One example is Razorgore, who will instantly wipe raids that kill him without destroying all the eggs in his room.
  • That One Level:
    • Vashj'ir, for its mob density causing mobs to have a completely three dimensional attack range as well as how many bugs it had and respawn rates up the wazoo. It's also relatively tedious to have to swim or ride your seahorse around the very large zone and find the various caves and shipwrecks where NPCs are taking shelter.
    • Gnomeregan, for being long, having trash that can be accidentally pulled, and for being relatively uninteresting. Even with parachutes that enable you to skip much of the early dungeon, some people complain and/or drop group when they get it in Dungeon Finder.
    • The Oculus. Much of the dungeon, including the final boss, involves using the abilities of drakes that are based on your specializations. If someone picks the wrong drake and/or misuses their drake, things become very difficult for the entire group.
      • It's worth mentioning that even Blizzard as much as admitted The Oculus was That One Level when they severely nerfed it and added additional loot to the final boss just so people wouldn't quit immediately upon finding it as the dungeon finder's selection. To give an idea of just how much incentive they were giving, one of the new pieces of loot that had a small chance of dropping was a mount - one that was previously a low-chance drop from a raid. Also, the dungeon had three mutually-exclusive achievements (for not using one of the three drake types), all of which were required for Glory achievement. Those were outright removed due to the disagreements resulting from finding a group that all still needed the same one.
    • As far as Scenarios are concerned, there's certainly A Little Patience. Although it's clearly meant to be a moment of Character Development for Varian, an example of the effectiveness of teamwork for the Alliance and the act that secured the night elves' allegiance (in particular that of Tyrande) to Varian, it was so badly implemented that today it is remembered primarily as a mass of Character Shilling (for Varian), changing a character for the worse (for Tyrande), and just another in a long line of things the expansion did to villify the orcs, making them look like racist, thick-as-bricks warmongers who fell for obvious traps and attacked a sacred place for no obvious reason.
    • Deepholm for being excessively long.
    • Uldaman. It's actually something of a My Greatest Failure amongst the developers, since they wanted it to be a winged dungeon yet wound up with a rather tedious dungeon with a pretty unique boss mechanic. The main downfall of Uldaman was that the level range was too high. Normally you're good if you're within a couple levels of the dungeon mobs, but in Uldaman, you'd start off at the mid 30s, but later on would get to 40+ meaning low level players would get ambushed by mobs in their 40s. For awhile the recommended level range ended at 51. It has been nerfed a boatload of times and became a much better dungeon since. Oh, and Enchanters had to run this because there was a trainer in there.
    • Seat of the Triumvirate is considered the most difficult Legion 5-man dungeon, with three out of four bosses qualifying for That One Boss status. Some people immediately destroy the keystones if they get one for Seat.
    • Among the PVP areas, Tol Barad gets quite a bit of hate, since the attacking faction must hold three separate bases at once to take it. This tends to result in the attacker having difficulty taking the third base (for example, while the attackers take Warden's Vigil, the defenders will retake the Slagworks,and once the attackers set out to take the Slagworks, the defenders will head to the Ironclad Garrison). This tends to be disliked by PVPers for being poorly designed and by PVErs who don't like to have access to quests and the Baradin Hold raid be determined by their faction's skill at PVP.
      • Although after some further balancing and buffs on the part of the attacking side, a lot of the hatedom for TB seems to have died down.
      • In fact, the attacking team has been overbuffed, meaning they almost always win - which is still imbalanced, but better because TB constantly exchanges hands, rather than stays in Horde / Alliance hands till the reset.
      • Which is the reverse of what happened in Wintergrasp, the "TB" of Wrath. Wintergrasp started out as being severely in favor of the attacking team, and while this meant you had little chance of holding the keep, you knew you would get it back right away in 2 hours. This was later re-balanced. If you want access to dailies, the "overbalance" approach works a little better, especially on servers where one side is much better at PVP.
    • Ashran in Warlords of Draenor is widely disliked due to the poor writing, questionable design, and the fact that it's the only new battleground in the expansion, which lead PVPers to dislike the expansion as a whole.
    • Trial of the Crusader has only six bosses and no trash mobs. The latter would seem like a welcome change of pace, considering that some raids get criticism for long, boring or difficult trash, but it means that there's no world drops or normal encounters to break up the boss fights, and makes the raid even shorter, making it hardly worthy of a raid tier on its own. While some of the less popular raids have their fan bases, almost no one likes TotC.
    • With 7.2, a group of quests to unlock new appearances for the artifact weapons was released. There isn't one for each spec; instead, there are perhaps a dozen such questlines distributed roughly evenly throughout the specs. Yet, while supposedly intended for solo play (sometimes with NPC help), the final battles of these questlines are punishingly hard for most characters, and seem balanced not for the role but for one particular class spec—and other classes and specs might find it nigh-impossible. For example, Windwalker monks' use of Paralyze makes one part of the fight simple, but classes that don't have a 60-second stun with a 15-second cooldown have a much harder time. At the other end of the spectrum, on one site's page for the quests, the Fire Mage tips at one point literally consisted of a single entry: "lol". (It has been noted by some players that the questline is called the challenge quest, but others have noted that these quests were not on the test server and did not benefit from player feedback.)
    • While only a city, Dazar'alor earns an impressive amount of hatred due to both its sheer size and layout. Half of the city is a Mayincatec pyramid with most commodities spread out across the various levels and the only way to ascend is to take winding staircases that take forever to ascend. The other half of the city is so far away that it requires a flightpoint to reach in a decent amount of time and once again, everything is spread out across different levels. While Boralus is equally large, everything players are likely to use regularlynote  are all kept close together rather than requiring several minutes of running up and down stairs to get from A to B.
  • That One Sidequest: Every single escort mission. Not pretty much every escort mission. Every single one of them. Not because you're weak, not because the person you're guarding is weak, but because the person you'll be working with will all be disgustingly stupid and charge after enemies that probably wouldn't have seen them otherwise. One of the worst is escorting this guy out of the Lost Ones territory in Swamp of Sorrows. You end up fighting three warlocks and their imp minions. Even several levels above the quest, either you, or your human companion, will not make it. The only exception would be a Zangarmarsh escort quest where your target just tags along instead of slowly following a predefined pattern, is hard to kill, doesn't aggro mob packs for no reason, spams Wrath instead of meleeing people with a wimpy staff, and constantly casts Regrowth on you to ensure you aren't going to die as well.
    • By that corollary, many of the parts of the dungeons that involve mandatory escorting, especially The Escape from Durnholde and Halls of Stone, become That One Level.
    • Mankrik's goddamn wife. Takes forever to find her, even if you use a guide, not least because you think you're looking for a person instead of a poorly-marked corpse. This has led to quite a bit of Memetic Mutation. In Cataclysm, Mankrik is still alive and has a quest chain, along with a good bit of lampshading. In Warlords of Draenor, you meet a Mankrik as a child and help him rescue his girlfriend.
    • The Shado-Pan dailies, especially the Wu Kao ones, are disliked, especially since the enemies are harder than usual and your companion is relatively weak.
    • If you're into collecting battle pets, there are certain petsnote  that not only appear in one zone, but only under specific weather conditions (rain, snow, sandstorm, etc.) making it a royal pain to hunt for these pets. (Fortunately, these pets are common while the weather is in effect; it's just a pain to wait for the weather to start.) Also, the Minfernal, while not a weather-specific spawn, is on a rare spawn timer in a specific part of Felwood, and as such, is in high demand. Good luck finding one before the other players get them all. Since many of these pets are required catches for the "Safari" achievements, this overlaps with Last Lousy Point.
      • The worst of this type is the Unborn Val'Kyr. It doesn't have a weather requirement, but you will wish it had that instead of how it does work. Specifically, it has only one or two spawn points in each zone in Northrend, only one shows up on the entire continent at a time, and it has a long, irregular spawn time. A nightmare for completists, and it's mostly luck if you find one. Even worse when you try to look up battler strategies and realize how goddamn many high-end PVE pet battle strategies involve using it - very few even acknowledge the difficulty in finding it, much less offer an alternative.
    • The leatherworking profession quest "Mounting Made Easy" is referred to as the worst quest in the game. Completing it allows you to create a profession-specific mount, or rather, the saddle for such a mount. The "that one" part comes from the process of catching the mount: it is necessary to first locate the animal (not hard), lasso it, mount up before it charges away (harder, but not overly so), then follow it while it charges hither and yon all over Stormheim. Literally. It visits every single location in the zone, leaps in ways no other mount can leap, charges up surfaces nothing else can climb, and if you get too far from it, you have to start over. Granted, there are checkpoints, but in the end, the only way to complete it is run the course again and again and again until you memorize every last twist, turn, and trick. It is by far the most irritating of all the profession mount quests, and can easily take several hours. And the mount, though it does look great, is nothing special in terms of performance and can't even be traded with others.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • BALANCE! Also, many old-school players tend to complain that the game has gotten too easy, while others note that there are challenges available to those who seek them out, and Blizzard is trying to make more content for the majority of players instead of just the hardcore. In general, though, people have been saying this pretty much since the first patch, but mysteriously still play.
      • Shamans v Paladins, unique to the Horde and Alliance, respectively, until Burning Crusade. The devs admitted there's no way to balance them while still making their mechanics and abilities unique.
    • The changes in Battlegrounds have been subject to this as well, with the alterations to Alterac Valley (to prevent hours-long matchups) being one of the first to get this complaint.
    • Sylvanas' voice since patch 3.2.
    • Tyrande Whisperwind's voice as of Cataclysm.
    • Theralion's voice, going from a Camp Gay voice to a generic deep and evil voice.
    • The reduction in talent choices, going from a point every level before Cataclysm to a point every other level from 10-80 and one per level from 81-85, to six talent selections with three options each in Mists of Pandaria. Detractors say that it makes the game too simplistic. This trope was invoked by Blizzard as a reason people don't like their changes.
    • Anything that reduces the amount of time it takes to level or gear up draws fire from players who say it makes it too easy and enables bad players to get ready to raid.
    • The game managed to do this to a quest that was already disliked. The Tortollan quest that involved protecting turtles as they headed to the safety of the water was almost universally loathed for taking much longer than the "matching" or "maze" quests, and having a lot of Most Annoying Sound. Then they released a quest that would occasionally take its place, where you played as a crab and killed the turtles in the name of "balance of nature". But now you had to dodge far more incoming fire than you could ever put out, it was easy to die and have to restart the quest (though fortunately not your count for it), you still had the Most Annoying Sound coming from the questgiver, and you had to kill far more turtles than you previously had to protect.
    • Many players felt that one reason why the trope is a perpetual issue for the game is that when Blizzard makes changes, they tend to go to extremes, especially if there had been a fan backlash; "the pendulum swinging too far", so to speak.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • For many, Zul'jin. Given that he was often spoken of as a heroic. or anti-heroic, forest troll who made the forest trolls (and trolls as a whole) seem less evil, many, many players felt he deserved better than being retconned into a Generic Doomsday Villain fought and killed in a 10-man raid instance that has since removed him replacing him with a Suspiciously Similar Substitute.
    • Kael'thas Sunstrider, the leader of the Blood Elves introduced in Warcraft 3 and initial leader of the Blood Elves in Burning Crusade. He had much potential for redemption but was killed after betraying his people to the Burning Legion. It got to the point that even Blizzard themselves have gone on record to say they regretted how they ended his story.
    • Zaela, the first female orcish clan chieftain since Greatmother Geyah, was a brash, take-charge warrior who seemed well-suited to lead an ambiguously heroic clan like the Dragonmaw, not to mention a female orc hero with no marital or romantic entanglements aside from some slight Ship Tease with Garrosh (which mader her singular among Horde characters) and an Interspecies Friendship with Lady Cozwynn. Since then, Blizzard handed her a Face–Heel Turn that was every bit as sudden and poorly implemented as that of Garrosh such as turning her into bigot, when as mentioned earlier, she was close friends with a Forsaken and a half orc.
    • Lady Cozwynn was an active forsaken outside of Sylvanas's cult of personality with genuine friendships with members of the Kalimdor Horde, most notably being close friends with Zaela. After Zaela's very sloppily handled Face–Heel Turn, Cozwynn stopped existing, leaving Sylvanas and later Nathanos as the sole active Forsaken.
    • Prophet Velen prior to Legion, or at least his Draenor counterpart. Velen, who is memetically known to be sitting in the Exodar out of the spotlight that the Wrynn family and Jaina have practically glued onto them appears and is built up to be playing a major role to Alliance players. Finally, players won't have to delve very deep into the expanded universe to find relevancy held by him! Except he kicks the bucket in Shadowmoon Valley - the first zone in Warlords of Draenor for Alliance players, and Yrel, a new character entirely, takes the role of the leader. Some feel Velen was kicked in the face and that Yrel was an Ass Pull, while others like that Yrel is a good character on her own. The silver lining is that this is an alternate Prophet Velen, in a realm where most Draenei survived. The main timeline Velen, who came from a Draenor where nearly every Draenei, possibly including the main timeline's Yrel, have been turned to bones forming the Hellfire Peninsula, is still alive, so this is not be the end for Velen.
    • Ysera, who unlike the other Dragon Aspects never quite managed to independently hold a plotline on her own and instead is usually relegated to a Satellite Character whose action and characterization revolves around the other Aspects and/or the Night Elves, the latter of which spent several expansions Out of Focus. Her death in Legion doesn't help either as Ysera didn't even receive a Death In The Limelight and is separated from the other Aspects.
    • Imperator Mar'gok got this reaction after Code of Rule, a short story largely told from the perspective of the ogre emperor, showing a very different outlook on things, but also both a strength and a cleverness that had traditionally been beyond the ogres. There was only one problem. This story came out after his canonical death. Further, the second Chronicle established that the main timeline Mar'gok died long ago, because Cho'gall was after him regardless of player intervention, so there's no hope of seeing that characterization matter.
    • Vol'jin got hit by this hard. The troll racial leader since Warcraft III, he hadn't done a lot, but he was a moderately popular character. During Mists of Pandaria, they started to really build up his character, centering the rebellion against Garrosh around him and even giving him his own novel. He quickly became a fan favorite to the point that, when Garrosh was deposed, Blizzard chose Vol'jin to replace him due to his popularity. After an expansion he barely makes a cameo in because we were on another world, we return to Azeroth only for him to be immediately killed by a demon Mook. While his connection to a death god means that while he may be dead, he may not necessarily be gone, we have yet to hear from him. Regardless, his time as a Warchief was so completely wasted that there's been backlash from those who assume he canonically wasted that time since we never saw any of it.
    • The Prime Naaru, Xe'ra. Despite being a Base-Breaking Character, her nature, dialogue and role hold huge implications for the lore. She gives insight into how the universe was made... in-universe, she helps bring back Illidan and she is the founder and leader of the Army of the Light. In a Shocking Swerve, she randomly gets forceful with Illidan and tries to imbue him with the Light, which he refuses and kills her for. Not to mention how being the Warcraft universe's equivalent of an archangel, she could've been a powerful fighter against the Burning Legion (assuming her power surpassed A'dal, who single-handedly protected Shattrath from the Burning Legion's forces. Despite this, she rarely does anything in the game (almost nothing that doesn't relate to Illidan), is not given any connections to other Naaru, few characters reference her and she doesn't even survive the expansion.
    • Sargeras finally makes an appearance in-game, in the flesh after almost 23 years at the end of Legion... for about one minute before he's imprisoned by the Pantheon, with Illidan as his new warden. However, regardless of his short on-screen appearance, he's left a massive impact on Azeroth, driving his sword into Silithus and ravaging the entire zone.
    • Gunther Arcanus was a powerful mage and necromancer of the Kirin Tor who was turned into an undead by the Scourge. He broke free of the Lich King's control out of his own mental strength and survived on his own, having become even stronger in death and thinking he was the only free undead in the world. The Forsaken are so impressed by his powers that they call him a lich and try to recruit him. He's also a former friend of Thule Ravenclaw, an enemy in the next zone. Despite all this, Gunther Arcanus is never mentioned again and his quest line was removed in Cataclysm.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The worgen starting zone in Cataclysm. After a good overall story, it just abruptly ends for Alliance players, forcing you to play a Horde character to explore it more. Even then, the zone's storyline has no ending, and Gilneas is left completely hanging. What happened to Gilneas, Blizzard?
      • Word of God says that worgen were added to the Alliance to give the faction more of a darker edge, akin to the Horde's Forsaken or Wolverine. Cue the aftermath of the Gilnean starting zone and there's very little worgen presence anywhere in the world to fully give off any of that impression, much less any that act different from any of the other Alliance races, either defaulting to acting no different from regular humans but with an added superpower or druids that are as concerned about nature as night elves are. The only Worgen shown to even struggle with his vicious nature was Admiral Ripsnarl, a minor boss in lowbie Alliance quests. Whilst the only Alliance Worgen to show off any of their supposed vicious nature, Ivar Bloodfang, appears in lowbie forsaken quests before disappearing.
    • There was a lot of Foreshadowing throughout Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King in regards to the Infinite Dragonflight and who their leader is. One quest in Dragonblight heavily implies Nozdormu, leader of the Bronze Dragonflight, has/will perform a Face–Heel Turn, but Chromie hand waves this saying he must be fighting the Infinites. As of Patch 4.2 he's back with no explanation given (his return was shown in a novel released after he appeared). Although it turns out he did go crazy in the distant future, and did become the leader of the Infinites, making this an aversion.
    • Also in Cataclysm, Magni Bronzebeard was turned to diamond performing a ritual intended to protect Ironforge during Deathwing's initial attack. In the wake of the ensuing power struggle, the Council of Three Hammers is formed, where representatives from the Bronzebeard family, Wildhammer Clan, and Dark Iron Dwarves jointly rule Ironforge. These are three characters with very clear and very different allegiances, worldviews, and aspirations, making for a treasure trove of potential storylines that have gone completely ignored. Apparently, a recently-recovered amnesiac who just lost his brother, a guy with a near-need to be out and about up in the sky being pulled into a desk job in an underground city, and a Token Evil Teammate who is quite obvious about her intent to take over the whole city so her son can someday be its sole ruler can work just fine together.
      • This gets addressed to a certain extent in Cataclysm itself, where Moira realized that she couldn't even count on the loyalty of her own Dark Irons, never mind using them to move against the other clans. In the "Blood in the Snow" scenario in Mists, it's indicated that the Bronzebeards and the Wildhammers don't trust the Dark Irons, and won't leave the city to deal with the Zandalari and Frostmane trolls lest the Dark Irons try to take over in their absence. When Moira and her Dark Irons defeat the trolls, the other two admit that they were wrong to distrust the Dark Irons, who were the only ones who took the initiative to deal with the problem. Even then, it still qualifies, as the "Blood in the Snow" scenario didn't really do much other than briefly address the issue, then try to quietly sweep it under the rug. The only dwarf who actually plays a real part is Moira, and it's pretty jarring to see her suddenly playing nice with everybody.
      • Really, the only way the scenario makes sense is if it later turns out to just be a ploy by Moira to either get the other dwarves to lower their guard, gain favor with Varian, or simple Pragmatic Villainy of "Horde first, then take Ironforge". The plotline gets thrown out of whack in Legion, when Magni reawakens, and acknowledges Moira's worth and her hard work as part of the council, thus removing the chip on her shoulder.
    • Mists of Pandaria Siege storyline could've been a perfect chance to see the orcs were not going to repeat the mistakes of the past and follow an evil leader, as well as to showing the evil of both factions. Instead the writers portrayed virtually every orc NPC as siding with Garrosh entirely regardless of prior characterization, whilst the faction conflict was portrayed as Black and White Morality with the Horde always being the only one depicted in the wrong even when it didn't make sense.
    • The antagonistic clans from the faction-specific zones in Warlords of Draenor - the Shadowmoon clan and the Thunderlord clan - could easily have been made differently to be more interesting opponents. The Shadowmoon were forced to join the Iron Horde, and Ner'zhul was then forced to take desperate measures to secure their membership, but in-gane they come across as amoral, generically evil cultists, and Ner'zhul is a cackling Disney villain whose good intentions are mentioned only once, who comes across as happy to serve the Iron Horde and who doesn't care for the lives of his clansmen enough to vindicate his ruthlessness. The Thunderlord clan, likewise, seem to have been solely written with E-V-I-L in mind. They could have been so much more. Even Fenris Wolfbrother, their warlord, gets handed the Jerkass Ball for no reason at all. The Shadowmoon could just as easily been written as the Token Good Teammate in the Iron Horde, or even become Defectors From Decadence. The Thunderlords could have been written as competitive rivals of the Frostwolves. Instead, Blizzard relegated them to the sidelines and aside from the occasional boss and one level 100 zone their parts in the story are pretty much over.
    • The idea that satyrs can be redeemed back into their night elf form by the acceptance of Elune through an act of sacrifice is the main plot of the Avrus Illwhisper NPC's quest. This could be an interesting way of bringing depth to the Satyrs and create interesting storylines to the Night Elves. This wasn't brought up again and the satyrs went back to being the Legion's lackey.
    • The entire plot of the Dragon Aspects itself. This idea of five dragons who are in charge of different elements of Azeroth fighting against the Old Gods has tons of storyline to be explored and how they affect the mortals' life when they were still Aspects. Instead, what we got is Deathwing, Nozdormu in the near future and then Ysera quickly got corrupted and then killed off, Malygos went insane and got killed off while Alexstrasza and Ysera got severely depowered and Demoted to Extra after Cataclysm together with Wrathion while Kalecgos's storyline involves him dissolving the Blue Dragonflight and ties him up with Dalaran. It got to the point that Alexstrasza and Wrathion are the only ones that are competent or care enough about protecting Azeroth from the Old Gods and the Burning Legion. And this is still not mentioning the already contentious storyline of dragons going sterile (see above) that doesn't even give much focus to the Dragonflights and what their reaction / resolution is.
    • The story of the Army of the Light. Despite official lore stating they are made up of survivors of different worlds the Legion has destroyed and otherwise slaughtered the populations of, have been fighting them across the cosmos for thousands of years, and being stated to have fought them to the point that the war could go either way, with the exception of Xe'ra, Lothraxion, Turalyon and Alleria (and later a few NPCs of various races), every member shown is a Draenei (Lightforged or otherwise). They're only shown in the game to be a limited to one ship smaller than the Exodar, and these wars on other worlds are never shown or even discussed. Also, see They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character above.
    • The Shaman Class Order campaign is about uniting all four Elemental Lords (something that's never happened before) to fight against the Burning Legion. While players do unite them (and cause new ones to ascend for Air and Fire), the Elemental Lords never actually do anything and the campaign ends there without ever actually fighting the Legion.
    • A major complaint about the artifact weapons in Legion is that many of them are random weapons created that have existed all along but now are being found to be used by the players. Many iconic Warcraft weapons are skipped over because of this, with very little reason given for why the weapons cannot be used by the player. A notable example is the Axe of Cenarius, an axe created by Cenarius for Broxigar during the War of the Ancients novel that allowed Brox to wound Sargeras, even if a small one. Such an important weapon was considered for the Warriors, but was not picked because it was "boring looking". Other examples include Shalamayne, Varian's sword that was instead taken by Anduin, Shadowmourne, the Wrath of the Lich King weapon forged to kill the Lich King using Arthas' old paladin hammer, but instead is just missing, Atiesh, the greatstaff of Medivh, which is instead being used by Khadgar, and Gorehowl, which is just missing, are just a few notable examples. While the new weapons being created for the players is understandable since not every single class has one that would fit, only a small amount of them really feel like they truly are worthy of being "legendary weapons", and some feel like a retcon to justify their inclusion.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Quite a lot to choose from, but the Taunka are probably the worst. Bison-people doesn't sound like it'd cause this, but their flat, wide noses and lips and seemingly large eyes make them look more than a little... off.
    • A trio of human npcs in Borean Tundra using the human models from Vanilla Alpha, back when the game was just a reskin of [[Video Game/Warcraft Warcraft III]], meaning all three combined have fewer polygons than a single player character, even before the new models were added. The result is surprisingly unsettling.
    • The new models in 2014 were made to replace the models that had been essentially the same since 2004 (with a few new faces and hairstyles). Most were received fairly well, but some look quite off. Notably the humans and the gnomes - the humans just look a little odd with how they became a little bit taller, and Gnomes eyes became way too big. (Even in the 2013 preview, players thought they fell right into the valley.) Blood Elves, Goblins, Pandaren, and Worgen received very minor if no visual changes at all, which makes them seem somewhat... off when placed next to the updated models.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: The game managed to avert this after a few years in several ways. Originally, Naxxramas was considered to be a very good dungeon mechanics wise, but the steep barrier to entry meant most of the playerbase would never see it. In addition, several dungeons that are rarely run anymore had unique mechanics that newcomers (or people who missed them in the day) would never see. However, Naxxramas was moved to the entry level raiding dungeon in Wrath, and several mechanics have actually been incorporated into other bosses since then.
  • Unnecessary Makeover: Lor'themar, Aethas and Vereesa each got new outfits for the Siege of Orgrimmar. In the former's case, it's simply pointless, while the latter two have total downgrades from nice looking Wrath of the Lich King gear to a standard robe and mashed-together brown quest greens, respectively.
    • It's worth noting, however, that both Aethas and Vereesa have something of a lore-wise reason for it: Aethas is no longer championing the Kirin Tor, and thus changed clothes from Kirin Tor gear to a more standard elven robe (he's even displaying his face for the first time), while Vereesa's new outfit somewhat resembles her artwork — it's less flashy than than her last one, but it fits. Lor'themar's costume switch, on the other hand, was completely unnecessary. It's exactly the same effect achieved through poorer gear.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Even with the retcons about the Zandalari having an empire in the past with the Mogu, many players feel sympathy for them. Considering the Zandalari's home is lost, they were friendly to people of all races, befriended the player characters, and want to save themselves from extinction, this isn't surprising. Fortunately, Zandalar is a major player in Battle for Azeroth.
    • Obsidian Destroyers get this trope after the retcon that they aren't creations of the Twin Emperors, but instead Titan constructs enslaved and corrupted by the Nerubians and the Twin Emperors who forced them to fight on the frontline.
    • Tyrande Whisperwind was supposed to come off as arrogant and someone whose dismissal of the Nightborne caused them to go to the Horde. The problem is most of her grievance towards them are completely reasonable as well as the fact that she still goes out of her way to aid Thalyssra's rebellion. The fact that the Nightborne willingly go through with burning down Teldrassil, killing hundreds and thousands of night elf civilians in Battle for Azeroth made her concern came across as completely founded.
    • Characters like Daelin Proudmoore, Garithos and Sky Admiral Rogers, proponents of the "exterminate all Horde" Alliance, are supposed to be seen as Tragic Villain, who could not let go of their hatred to see the bigger picture, and whose past trauma made them see all Horde as evil. While they're intended to elect some sympathy, they're still supposed to be seen as villains or at the very least as being in the wrong. But the fact that the Horde became worse (see the Horde section in Unintentionally Unsympathetic below) made them come across as even more sympathetic than originally intended, making them appear Properly Paranoid rather than overreacting.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Mists of Pandaria has a pretty extreme case. The writers of the the Legendary quest line seems to have figured the Dwarf, Marshall Twinbraid was a good guy based off standard fantasy tropes like Beauty Equals Goodness and thus depicted him as a Hero Antagonist to the Horde; having the neutral giver Wrathion, describe him in positive terms, giving Twinbraid a monologue about how he lost his home and son to the Horde, ending with a death quote asking “why can’t the Horde leave in peace with their neighbors” as a Player Punch moment. The writer seems to have forgotten that Twinbraid was introduced as massacring an entire Tauren tribe including civilians out of Fantastic Racism. His son was a Sociopathic Soldier complicit in his father’s atrocities. Whilst Twinbraid’s “home” was a armed fort filled only with military fortress and built upon land stolen from the natives. Twinbraid responded to the loss of this military target, by murdering nearby goblin miners and courtesans because they were an easy target. Ultimately despite the writers attempt, Twinbraid comes off as a unrepentant scumbag who chooses to blame his victims rather then take responsibility for the karma his crimes brought him.
    • Malfurion Stormrage, despite being billed as an Alliance hero and a great, wise leader, is disliked by many night elf fans due to his apparent disinterest in actually supporting the night elves. He didn't lift a finger against the Horde in Cataclysm, despite the orcs rampaging through Ashenvale and killing his people, and doesn't even step in to protect Tyrande (his treatment of whom has also come under scrutiny) from Horde raids. Malf's dissonance was actually a plot point in Patch 4.2: Leyara maintains that the previous Archdruid, Fandral Staghelm, would never have done nothing while the orcs butchered their people.
    • Horde-side, a similar case applies to Baine who called the Alliance's actions in the Barrens, which included the massacre of the Stonespire tribe, justified, and exiled anyone who disagreed or even defended themselves against Alliance soldiers, including the sociopathic dwarf mentioned above.
    • In Legion, Aethas Sunreaver rejoins Dalaran by trading information on Felo'melorn (the royal blade of the Sunstrider family) to the Kirin Tor. This is presented as his personal quest for redemption, but a lot of players interpreted it as an act of prideless grovelling that only cemented his status as The Scrappy. The notion that Aethas would use his race's most prized artifact as little more than a bargaining chip is often criticized as disrespectful; blood elf fans in particular tend to express outrage when the subject comes up. Aethas then goes on, rather tritely, to have his faction compromised by traitors again, and although he handles it better this time, it's done nothing to dispel the many accusations of incompetence hurled his way by fans. That Aethas gets considerably more screentime than his far more well-liked counterpart, Rommath, also contributes to this.
    • Thalyssra and the Nightborne was hit with this hard during Battle for Azeroth. They joined the Horde even after the Night Elf came to her aide during the rebellion because of Tyrande's dismissive attitude and because they want to join the world "as protectors, not conquerers". The problem is most of Tyrande's grievance towards them are completely reasonable as well as the fact the she still goes out of her way to aid Thalyssra's rebellion. The fact that the Nightborne willingly go through with burning down Teldrassil, killing hundreds and thousands of Night Elf civillain in Battle for Azeroth made Tyrande's concern came across as completely founded while making Thalyssra came off as a massive hypocritical Ungrateful Bastard and the Nightborne came across as expecting the Night Elf to fawn over their footsteps after thousand of years hiding away and then allying with Burning Legion.
    • The Horde in general and the orcs in particular are victims of an increasing perception among players that they are evil or at least villainous. Blizzard themselves codified the idea of orcs and monstrous races not being evil in Warcraft III, instead showing them as unwitting pawns under the influence of behavior-altering magic from the true villains, and as cast-out underdogs in a world that hates them. As World of Warcraft's expansions went on however, orcs and the Horde increasingly antagonize the Alliance with little provocation or reprisal for it. This culminated in Warlords of Draenor, which showed that the orcs would have still become genocidal warmongers even with less manipulation required from demons, and Battle for Azeroth, which sees all of the Horde (and several previously honorable characters) jump headfirst into a war of extermination against the Alliance for no real reason. Thus they have begun to come off less like dark heroes unfairly persecuted for past crimes, and more like they are rightly being persecuted for crimes they keep committing. Obviously this trend has become controversial among those Horde fans who liked not necessarily being the bad guy.
    • Thrall coming out of retirement in Battle for Azeroth feels less like a case of Rightful King Returns and more like he's only getting involved because he has to. When Saurfang initially comes to his farm on Outland, Thrall refuses to even hear him out, simply declaring that he left the Horde behind and refuses to lead it again, causing Saurfang to retort he was merely hoping Thrall would at least fight to save the Horde. Even after a pair of assassins attack them, Thrall is only upset that they followed Saurfang and interrupted his retirement. It takes Saurfang revealing that he followed them, not the othe way around, to convince Thrall to fight for the Horde like Saurfang wanted.
  • Villain Decay: After Burning Crusade, Blizzard felt that it was necessary to give the Big Bads more on-screen time and involvement during the leveling phase as a means of making them more familiar and recognized to the player. However, because it would be annoying to have multiple scripted events in which the villain kicks your ass, most of these encounters involve you either thwarting the villain or being spared by them. This leads to having the player constantly witness the villain failing to do anything right, and being belittled or fooled every time they show up. The Lich King had this the worst, from retreating the battlefield while coughing as a result of gas exposure to having his heart destroyed and collapsing to the ground.
    • Except actually not... the Lich King implies he can kill you at any time. In fact, if you go too close to him in one part of the world, he does kill you. But he keeps you alive, specifically so you can get stronger and lets you kill all his lieutenants and undead armies so he can raise you as his new lieutenants, a lot stronger than the previous ones. In fact, if you fight him, he does just that. Regardless of the expansion's final Author's Saving Throw, the Lich King is yet to live down his Saturday morning villain behaviour.
    • Deathwing was an interesting case in that the threat he posed became less and less threatening in the same expansion. A low level player's first exposure to Deathwing would most likely be when he shows up and scorches the entire zones with flames that do nearly a million damage a tick, making him a horrific threat. And yet despite being this terrifying, ever-looming threat, by the time players are level 85 and starting the Cataclysm content, Deathwing's Establishing Character Moment as a villain instead of a deadly force of nature is him resurrecting Ragnaros and... letting you and the green dragon you're riding on escape so you can bring word back to Ysera, restore Hyjal, revive the ancients, and ultimately kill off Ragnaros for good. While you can make the case that Deathwing is insane, it's been shown that yes, he's crazy and omnicidal, but he's still lucid, making his acts of mercy bizarrely out of character. Throw in some Smug Snake, and you have a villain who's almost comical and boring when he actually has personality instead of mindless destruction.
    • The titular Warlords of Draenor are parallel versions of mainstay Warcraft villains (and Anti-Villains), introduced one by one in a gauntlet of quests that ultimately has the player and their allies fleeing to safety so they can build their strength to fight the Iron Horde. They are generally seen as being pushovers after that, with two dead before the expansion's first patch even hit (in less than impressive places as the final boss of a low-level 5-man dungeon and the introductory boss of the Highmaul starter raid). The Iron Horde as a whole is then pushed right back to Tanaan and only hold out there because alternate Gul'dan and the Legion take over. Grommash Hellscream, despite initially being promoted as the Big Bad of the expansion, ends up deposed, chained and tortured, singing the praises of Azeroth's heroes (until recently his mortal enemies) as he waits for them to rescue him.
  • Vindicated by History: Mists of Pandaria was a top contender for The Un-Favourite among WoW's expansions, with only Cataclysm rivaling it for the spot. This stemmed from over-reliance on daily quests in the raid-gearing curve, some users not liking the Pandaren and calling them a rip-off of Kung Fu Panda. However, as Warlords of Draenor went on, many have started to feel nostalgic about Pandaria instead. While it certainly had its flaws, as listed above, people admitted that it brought plenty of content (WoD's problem was that it had barely any). The faction war storyline is still disliked however.
    • Warlords of Draenor had dethroned Mists as The Un-Favourite, although players have started to appreciate the expansion for the things it did right - such as providing an actually pretty fun questing environment, not having anywhere near the rep grinds of Mists, finally making the Draenei relevant for the first time since 2008, shoving the Wrynn family out of the spotlight to enable other characters (such as Khadgar) to take it, and successfully maintaining the standards for a beautiful world.
  • Wangst: While Arator the Redeemed has a legitimate grievance of how he thought his parents were dead for nearly thirty years, only for them to turn up alive and well, his complaints about them never contacting him fall flat when you remember that they've been fighting a war against the Burning Legion for over a thousand years on multiple alien worlds. Furthermore, the only time Turalyn and Alleria managed to send a message to Azeroth, the Legion tracked it.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: Warlords of Draenor attempted to keep the game hip by introducing Twitter integration and the ability to have your character take selfies in patch 6.1, then Legion tried to push the game into the eSports scene by encouraging competitive Mythic+ dungeon runs and Mythic raiding.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back:
    • Varian and Garrosh brought on intense feelings of this among both their own fans and much of the rest of the fandom after Mists of Pandaria. The fact both of them are dead now haven't really stopped this, though calls for this happening to Varian has since died down ever since his Heroic Sacrifice in Legion.
    • Varian's WotLK persona was the source of much contention, especially seeing as it was him who reignited the Horde-Alliance War and Mis-blamed the entire Horde for the actions of a renegade group of Forsaken. In the final patch (3.3) he showed a softer and more reasonable side by letting Saurfang reclaim his son's body on the Alliance side, to Jaina's tearful admiration. Between then and Cataclysm, he took a few more levels in kindness in the supplementary materials, which charted his attempts to come to terms with his split-personality and his strained relationship with his son. Cataclysm gave him little focus, but he seemed like a Jerk with a Heart of Gold compared to his bellicose and aggressive personality in WotLK. MoP, however, took Blizzard's newfound appreciation for him way too far. His budding status as The Good King was made to sprout at an unnatural rate. His Character Development was hyper-accelerated, Character Shilling abounded (A Little Patience, anyone?) and a few forumites quickly noticed that his development came to the detriment of other characters, such as Jaina and Tyrande. All in all, the general reaction was just as much disgust as there was to the demonization of the orcs. Still, there were few complaining by Legion when he selflessly sacrifices himself to give the Alliance time to get away from the Burning Legion, so in death he found true admiration.
    • Garrosh was never exactly a picnic — at his best, he was an Anti-Hero, especially in Cataclysm — but MoP would take everything the fans hated about him and flanderize those questionable traits to incredible heights. Blizzard brushed the honour, integrity and standards that made him an interesting, redeemable character under the rug and began injecting ever-growing levels of selfishness, ruthlessness and fanatical hatred of all things not orcish. It was all very hard to take seriously, considering he had been showing signs of improvement before becoming Warcraft's new villainous punching-bag; in particular, the irony of Garrosh mana-bombing Theramore after Stonetalon Mountains was not lost on the forums. As happy as many people were to finally turn their weapons against him, many more were unhappy that his character's arc turned downhill so quickly. His death in WoD, unlike with Varian's later, wasn't able to redeem him either, as while some felt sympathy, others thought he vetted any due to how much his personality went down the tubes—to say nothing of him kicking the character's ass and requiring them to be rescued by...Thrall, who would go on to defeat Garrosh in a duel.
    • Inverted for Jaina, though. After Tides of War and MoP people have begun to miss her Nice Girl personality. Little wonder that Blizzard chose that incarnation of Jaina for Heroes of the Storm rather than the current one.
    • With what happened to Jaina, some people started wanting the jackass racist Garithos or at least people like him back, since they can't stand seeing their legacy characters turned into racist war hawks, so a disposable Hate Sink is more or less appreciated to take the flak of being racists so legacy characters will not be harmed with sudden villainy or sudden jerkassery.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Enemy pet battlers have a tendency to make some very stupid moves.
      • Putting a move on your pet that will put you to sleep if you don't receive any damage the next round, then attacking you on their next turn, resulting in the debuff expiring harmlessly.
      • Using a move that prevents them from dying for a round when they're close to full health.
      • Constantly applying a buff (such as damage reduction or crit increase), even when it's already applied, and lasts for several rounds.
    • The player characters are no better. Accepting some quests or completing them make them look like murder-happy morons who would do anything for even one gold, no matter what it entails. Some examples:
      • In Classic, after killing Kel'Thuzad, the quest text to bring his phylactery to the Argent Dawn outright states that the sane and sensible thing to do would be to shatter it on the ground to permanently kill the lich, but it then adds that your character "seldom listens to the voice of reason".
      • In Battle for Azeroth, it is topped by blindly following the order of an Old God weapon, empowering it, then bringing it to N'Zoth, for no particular reason other than the Obviously Evil weapon told you to. This is followed up by Horde players taking the Old God weapon to Sylvanas despite knowing both what it is and that Sylvanas might not be the best person to bring it to.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Didactic?: Illidan killing Xe'ra was supposed to be a contentious moment and Blizzard's only (stated) intentions were to appease fans and consider the possibility that not all Naaru are good from the player's perspective. This didn't stop fans from not only being glad of Xe'ra's death but some anti-religious fans have tried to use it as a rallying cry - even to the point of calling Xe'ra no different from Sargeras and the Void Lords.
  • Win Back the Crowd: While Warlords of Draenor is almost unanimously regarded as the single most-botched expansion in WoW's history, with its focus on private garrisons, severe lack of endgame content, and only one major content patch, Legion went in a completely opposite direction, showering the players with content and lore for its entire duration. And the quality of the writing has improved too - just see Suramar.
    • Shortly after Blizzard released the extremely contentious Sylvanas Warbringers short, the game's Horde fanbase quickly began ripping itself apart, with many of them absolutely disgusted by Sylvanas' choice of actions as well as the fact that the entire Horde seemed to be blindly following her into dishonorable actions and to their deaths at the hands of the vengeful Alliance. Later that same week, Blizzard dropped the 'Old Soldier' cinematic starring Saurfang, which made it abundantly clear that not all of the Horde agreed with Sylvanas' actions, as well as introducing a new troll character that quickly achieved memetic status. Many of the Horde players disillusioned by the Warbringers short rallied to Saurfang's position and the beautiful new cinematic.
  • The Woobie:
    • Garona. Literally her entire life sucks from beginning to present.
    • Jaina. Just look at how much she lost: Homeland, lovers (two of whom spectacularly went insane, turned evil, and died), mentor, father, any hope of peace, and now her new homeworld of Theramore; the casualties include her bodyguard Pained, her apprentice Kinnidy, and Rhonin, who saves her life at the cost of his own. Goddammit Garrosh. Not to mention that it potentially gets worse, as seen in the Bad Future that is End Time - her immortal soul is trapped forever in the incinerated ruins of the world, and is only freed when killed by the protagonist's party. Mercifully averted if you complete the final boss of Cataclysm (which, canonicly speaking, happens), so thank goodness for small favours. But then the Fall of Theramore happens. This finally snaps her and makes her outright despise the Horde. She stops short of destroying Orgrimmar, but is no longer the person she used to be.
      • Worth noting that Jaina was one of the few people in all of Azeroth who was both loved and respected by both factions and still fighting for peace between the Horde and the Alliance. Not so much now the latter, thanks to Garrosh.
      • In Mists of Pandaria, her efforts to help the Kirin Tor remain neutral get derailed by the Sunreavers using Dalaran's portal network to escape with the stolen Divine Bell, causing her to feel betrayed. Her expelling the Blood Elves from Dalaran and coldly shrugging off the What the Hell, Hero? reaction from Varian puts her into Jerkass Woobie territory.
    • Aethas Sunreaver falls into this in Mists of Pandaria, suffering a brutal Humiliation Conga and seeing his life's work go down the drain in front of him.
    • Kael'thas. He and his people were pretty much Azeroth's Chew Toy in Frozen Throne... And then Burning Crusade took away pretty much everything that made him sympathetic.
    • How often do you pity a dragon? Kalecgos loses the girl he loves, and he watches his ruler go batshit.
    • Anveena. She's abducted by almost every villain with a lust for power, she finds out that her parents were never real, and she has to sacrifice herself (and give up her love for Kalecgos) to help the party defeat Kil'jaeden. The poor girl never seems to catch a break.
    • Sunwalker Dezco went to Pandaria after his wife saw visions of Garrosh leading the Horde to ruins, only to lose her in childbirth, then he loses his blood brother to a mogu's spiteful last attack, and even his infant children weren't safe; he's now lost both his sons, one dead, the other taken by the Golden Lotus, unable to see his family again until he's grown. And depending on how the fallout of Siege of Orgrimmar goes, Taran Zhu may chase him and the Horde out of the Vale, even after Dezco swore to his wife's spirit that he'd give his life to protect it.
    • Primordius, the 8th boss in Throne of Thunder. He's an unintentional creation of the Mogu, a result of Saurok experiments within the pools of flesh-shaping substance going unattented for a long time. Since the chambers beneath Lei Shen's palace had been sealed off some time after the death of the Thunder King, it's safe to assume he's been in there, cold, confused and alone for a long time. Also, through the fight he gains evolutions that boosts his power via the flesh-shaping substance, but doing so causes him to start screaming in horrible pain as his body mutates. To hammer it home, as he dies he does not curse the adventurers with his final breath as so many a boss has done, but goes out with a hopeless, saddening whimper.
    "Again.. We are torn apart.. Again.. Back to the cold darkness.."
    • Feng the Accursed was framed by an underling for stealing from the Mogu'shan Vaults and cursed to death by the Emperor, then was later betrayed and cursed to death again by four or five more Emperors. The fact that it was stated that his body was destroyed each time indicates that they ressurected him to aid in their coups then killed him upon ascension to the throne. After the last Mogu Emperor died the door out of the Mogu'shan Vaults was sealed shut keeping him from freedom—until we came along and killed his ghost so that it would not escape the vaults...
    • If you read the Expanded Universe, Alexstrasza the Life Binder has led a really bad life too. She lost her brother before becoming an Aspect; was betrayed and manipulated by her fellow Aspect Deathwing; kidnapped during the Second War by the orcs serving the Burning Legion to forcefully lay dragon eggs for them to conquer Azeroth and killed the drakes when no longer of use or else they would smash her unhatched eggs and smear the yolk on her face. She finally escaped by the effort of her consort Korialstrasz but later has to slay TWO of her fellow Aspeccts Deathwing and Malygos in order to protect Azeroth, not to mention one of her alternative universe counterparts briefly thought that Korialstrasz has betrayed the Red Dragonflights when he destroyed the corrupted dragon eggs. What does she get for leading Azeroth to stop Deathwing? Losing her powers and dragonflights became a Dying Race in Azeroth at the end of the expansion. Then there's also the fact that she is the guardian of all lives in Azeroth, meaning that every death caused by her corrupted children and all of the above events hit her much harder than anyone can understand. And yet, throughout all of those tragedies, she still remains the Big Good of Azeroth; treasures all lives equally (she forgave the orcs for their horrible treatment of her) and helpful to the world when the need arises - an impressive feat on its own given the fact that she was one of the most powerful Dragons while each of the other Dragon Aspects suffered from Fantastic Racism toward the "lesser race" and remain secluded (Nozdormu and formerly Malygos), a homicidal maniac (Deathwing and Malygos again) or favored one specific race over the others (Ysera with the Night Elves).
  • Woobie Species: All races have their moments be it in-game or in the lore, but Forsaken possibly take the cake. They were killed by either Kel'Thuzad's Plague of Undeath, the Scourge, or Arthas himself after he became a Death Knight, and then reanimated as mindless slaves to the Lich King. After they regained their consciousness and free will, they were driven away from their old homes, lost everything they knew and loved, and left with no place to call home until Sylvanas claimed the Undercity as their home.
    • A quote from Forsaken writings sums this up.
    "When I clawed my way out of the grave, I thought my family would welcome me with open arms. Instead, they drove me out of the village, screaming in a language I could no longer understand."
    • Undead Death Knights double this up. As humans, they contract the plague and die, come back as a mindless zombie, wrest their self control back and join the Forsaken, are killed again, brought back again, mind-wiped and enslaved again, and have to fight for their freedom AGAIN. They are hated and reviled by all their former loved ones with each iteration and have to rebuild their lives from scratch. It's little wonder they're so bitter.
    • The draenei have been running for their lives for 25,000 years, have seen the destruction of countless planets, were almost killed off entirely, and when it seems they finally catch a break in retaking the Exodar, the blood elves crash it. And most of them were alive for all of it.
    • The blood elves had it rough too. After the Scourge destroyed Quel'Thalas and corrupted the Sunwell, they started suffering a magic addiction which they became more and more desperate to cure. They tried joining back the Alliance to help fight the Scourge, only for their superior to be a racist asshole who did everything to get them killed before flat-out trying to have them executed for "treason" (read: accepting help from an enemy species to fight the Scourge after he put them in a situation where they would have died otherwise). Their prince eventually tried to save them through a deal with a demon, only to end up corrupt in the process and eventually betraying the same people he was so devoted to by joining the Burning Legion.
    • Voidwalkers, if you listen to their quotes. For instance, upon being summoned: "I don't like this place...", or being dismissed: "Release... at last..."
    • As of the latest expansion, the Night Elves can be added to this category. They had to endure two civil wars (one of which was sparked by some of their people, including their well-loved queen siding with a world-destroying demon army, the other was because some of their people didn't want to give up magic and violently disagreed), lost their immortality, had their lands ravaged again and again (by the Burning Legion and fire elementals in Cata) and served as the Horde's punching bag since Vanilla ala The Worf Effect. In Battle for Azeroth, they lose Teldrassil and their entire ancestral homeland of Kalimdor to the Horde. Only the Draenei have endured anything near as bad among the playable races (since the Goblins get to return to Kezan in this expansion and the subraces have had longer periods of peace).
    • The history of the Dragons hasn't exactly been rosy. The War of the Ancients saw Ysera Forced to Watch her beloved partner Malorne's brutal, torturous death to Archimonde, Deathwing and his Black Dragonflight betraying the other Dragonflights and slaughtering countless dragons, including all but a small handful of the Blue Dragons, which ended up driving Malygos to insanity and seclusion. The Red Dragonflight goes on to be enslaved by the Old Horde for decades, Wrath of the Lich King sees Malygos come out of hiding only to go even more insane and try to forcibly take control of Azeroth's magic in a ritual that could destroy the world, causing the surviving Aspects no small anguish as they're forced to kill him. Cataclysm not only reveals that Nozdormu is doomed to become twisted into Moruzond and be killed by heroes, but ends with all dragons in Azeroth being stripped of their immortality and being rendered sterile. Legion has Ysera corrupted by the Nightmare and the heroes forced to kill her, and the Death Knight mount questline can potentially end with the Deathlord slaughtering the last of the Red Dragonflight's eggs, dooming them to extinction.
  • Woolseyism: In the Chinese version, Lord Marrowgar gets a different look because bones aren't allowed to be shown in video games there.

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