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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. Like Legion though, it ended up being a bit zigzagged. The world was changed so that everything scales to the end of that arc's max level (1-60, 58-70, 80-90, 90-100, 98-110), but also drastically slowed down levelling with the altered XP requirements to make it take much longer than it used to, as well as nerfing heirlooms to be less omnipotent and making enemies have more HP. As for the Heart of Azeroth, Essences bring this into full aversion, as while it's simple enough to get a fair number of rank 1 essences, getting them up to rank 2 or rank 3 is a much more significant timesink and effort, and with how powerful they are not spending the time to get the best essences can majorly cripple anyone wanting their character to be raid-ready. That some of the best ones come from higher-up Reputations and PvP Honor rewards can outright stall out an alt's growth, as they aren't account-wide.
    • One of Blizzard's intentions in Shadowlands is to streamline the alt levelling process. Not only will they be rebalancing levelling again along with a level squish so that characters will be able to proceed into current content after completing a single previous expansion's content, but after main characters have completed the main Shadowlands story and reached endgame content, all further characters on that account will be able to 'skip' the story and level how they like, and gain endgame rewards at the same time.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • The Bolvar!Lich King went from potential new Undead Big Bad to Sylvanas's punching bag.
  • 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)
  • 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!".
  • 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.
    • The Darkspear Trolls as a playable race. If you were to compile all the small instances of strange patches ‘against’ them, it paints a picture of creator hate toward this playable race. Starting off as the weakest troll tribe in the lore; bullied by other tribes who referred to them as ‘Island’ trolls due to their weak numbers, and were eventually enslaved by Murlocs of all humanoids! Come the founding of Orgrimmar, they then get slaughtered by Kul Tirans. Many players were irked when their buff beta design was changed to their now lanky appearance. Come the launch of Wo W, it is revealed that the Darkspear’s home town (if you can call a dinky little fishing hut a ‘town’) was devastated yet again by a low level mob, Futhermore, they were given the only racial that put themselves in further danger. When this was finally changed, it was given a 3 minute cooldown AND a resource-cost (which remained for 15 years before finally being removed). It wasn’t all bad, as the Male Darkspears got the best /silly command in the game! So of course Blizzard removed it soon after release, can’t have the Darkspears having fun! Bizzard’s hatred for this playable race went so far as to tease the fans of the Darkspears; making a Darkspear the leader of the Horde only to suffer an anticlimatic death against an unnamed goon. This wasn’t before using Vol’jin to usurp Thralls position as ‘worst successor chooser’ in electing Sylvanas. If that wasn’t enough, Blizzard now proceeds to sully Vol’jin by having him desperately try to blame ‘invisable forces’ for electing Sylvanas, leading players on a wild goose-chase where they humour the insecure troll. Oh, but it doesn’t end there! With the Battle for Azeroth Expansion, we are introduced to allied races which are based off of pre-existing races. Compare the Darkspear Trolls to the Zandalari Trolls and you can conclude that this new Troll race is the only allied race to completely and utterly overshadow the launch race that they’re based on. It has become a game to see if you can guess in what way Blizzard will site the Darkspear Trolls next.
  • 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. This get much worse from Battle for Azeroth onward: She strutted around the expansion doing increasingly evil acts and being a Hate Sink in general, yet managed to get the last laugh on everyone. She curb-stomped ''Saurfang'' and the Lich King with pretty much zero effort.
    • 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 III 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.
    • Both factions have been accused of this through the game's run, as covered under Broken Base above.
  • 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. The war campaign begins with the Alliance suffering a genocide at the hands of the Horde and ends with the Horde warchief turning traitor and both sides making peace. This story and everything that happens in-between has managed the admirable task of alienating every single segment of the fanbase. This is made all the worse by the fact that these events have been a beat for beat rehash of the unpopular faction war that tainted the otherwise well received Mists of Pandaria. Battle for Azeroth isn't yet over but a common refrain is that it will join Warlords of Draenor as the worst expansion to date (following on the heels of the incredibly popular Legion probably didn't help either).
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

     F-L 
  • 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 an 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.
      • Similarly, in Hillsbrad Foothills, Orkus the Kingslayer is derided by an NPC as a bottom-feeder who has no business being in such a low level zone. Due to level scaling, you can now quest there while being thirty levels above the intended level range.
    • RPG Metanoia has an Expy of the Lich King who wears an item called Helm of Destiny, which was broken during the movie's climax inside a church. The item it's based on, the Helm of Domination, would be broken by Sylvanas nine years later, leading to the events of Shadowlands, an expansion that introduces covenants that players can join.
  • "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 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.
  • 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, Kil'jaeden.
    • 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 Mists of Pandaria as an Ass Pull that furthered said characterization problems, there are some fans that genuinely like Garrosh as a villain in Mists of Pandaria. Sylvanas in Battle for Azeroth, who went through a very similar arc, was viewed in a similar light, although her kind of charisma was much different to that of Garrosh.
    • 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:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • A common complaint about the Alliance's allied races is that they are poor man's substitutes for the races people actually wanted - void elves instead of high elves, Lightforged draenei instead of Broken, Kul Tiran humans instead of vrykul, and Mechagon mechagnomes instead of Northrend mechagnomes. Dark Iron dwarves have largely avoided it, as have the Horde's allied races.
  • 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.
    • Anduin Wrynn was not exactly a well-liked character around Mists of Pandaria, especially by Alliance lore fans, with many perceiving him as being painfully naive and suicidally pacifistic during the war with the Horde at the time. His struggle in Legion to take over from his father bought over some people, but Battle for Azeroth made most people change their tunes about him, showing him as a conflicted young king thrust into leadership and still wishing for peace, but willing to take the fight to the Horde to protect his allies. His awesome moment of shielding and healing his entire army at the battle for Lordaeron especially helped.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Although the ire tends to be directed towards the players rather than the mechanic, the Armored Vaultbot rare in Mechagon counts. It can be opened in two ways - either with a key which the players can create, or by kiting it to an electromagnet a not-so-short distance away. It cannot be killed through normal means as it just regenerates health almost instantly. The issue arises with the kiting process, as there tends to be at least one hunter or warlock who's either new to the process or just inattentive enough to leave taunt on their pet, meaning that until they listen to the complaints from everyone else the vaultbot just stays in one place attacking that pet.
    • Titanforging, which gives gear a slim chance of going up several item levels at random, has been widely derided for years by players who feel it invalidates gear progression and has a chance of giving better gear to inattentive players over ones who are more deserving. 8.3 attempts to rectify this by replacing Titanforging and Warforging with Corrupted gear, a system based on risk vs. reward gameplay that, instead of increasing item levels, gives armor percentage-based stat boosts and weapons powerful passive effects with the caveat that they cause negative side effects that get worse with the more Corruption the wearer has, but initial reaction to it has been equally contested.
  • "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.
    • Veteran Nanny, for the sheer amount of time it takes to get. It requires that the player get three specific pets on one character. The problem being that the pets are obtained from a quest chain that can only be done once per year, and only allows you to choose one of the pets. Which means, you have to play for two years minimum to get this achievement. Thank god it's not of the achievements needed for "For The Children" meta-achievement.
    • Insane in the Membrane. It requires that the player get certain reputation levels with multiple factions. And while Steamwheedle Cartel towns are easy, Darkmoon Faire is time-consuming but also relatively easy, it's the remaining two factions that cause problems. First we have Bloodsail Buccaneers, a faction that exists solely to be an antagonistic force in Cape of Stranglethorn story, and for one other achievement, and the only way to get their reputation is to routinely slaughter your way through Booty Bay - ruining reputation with Steamwheedle Cartel in the process, though as a silver lining, you only need Honored with Buccaneers. Finally, there's Ravenholdt, who give you nothing for raising their reputation, and only gain reputation from killing Syndicate mobs, or turning in Heavy Junkboxes. It gets worse when you reach Revered with them, and realise that mobs no longer give reputation - which means now it's Heavy Junkbox farm time, except the only way to ge them is by stealing. Which only rogues can do. As such, the only ways to raise reputation further are: 1)being a rogue, 2)having a rogue alt, 3)have a friend with a rogue character, or 4)spending tons of money and time, trying to get junkboxes at an auction house. And you need 1400 of them fo get to Exalted.
      • The achievement was even worse before Cataclysm, as it required the player to have all reputations simultaneously (which was a problem, considering enmity between Steamwheedle Cartel and Bloodsail Buccaneers), and it also required Exalted with now removed Shen'dralar faction, whose reputation grind was both slow and RNG reliant, since it relied on running through Dire Maul over and over in order to get randomly dropping books that only give 500 reputation per book and also require other, also randomly dropping items, to be turned in in addition to books.
  • 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.
    • After many players wanted to see it firsthand for years and how much it was hyped up as the primary draw of 8.2, Nazjatar became universally reviled for its overall unforgiving design compounded with having daily quests that are mostly fetch quests, "kill X amount of monsters" quests, or "kill [elite mob]" quests, being congested with mobs that regularly appear in large packs and have high health compared to mobs in Kul Tiras and Zandalar, and having reputations that are mandated for the expansion's second Pathfinder achievement. Contrast Mechagon, the other new quest hub introduced in the same patch, which is widely enjoyed because of its simple layout, more variety in quests, and having items that grant players a limited form of flight.
  • 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 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.
    • The "Root of All Evil" quest became this after stat squish if attempting to do it without overleveling. The enemy you need to kill has a poison aura that damages players near him every two seconds (and by near him, meaning 40 yards away - a distance most spells are used from) - the problem is that after Legion stat squish, said aura now deals around 3-4k damage per tick, killing everyone at appropriate level for the quest in seconds. Oh, and if you overlevel enough to oneshot the enemy? You don't get the credit. As a result you should level just enough not to get killed by the aura, while not enough to oneshot the guy.
  • 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. 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 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.
    • Shadowform! Its iconic transparent purple appearance was changed to resembling a purple version of Pigpen of Peanuts fame. Many shadow priest players were (and still are) quite unhappy with this change.
  • 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 use the human models from Vanilla Alpha, back when the game was just a reskin of 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 and Sky Admiral Rogers, Yrel in Battle for Azeroth, 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.
  • 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:
  • 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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