WoW Pandemic

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WoW Pandemic

Postby Cthulhudrew » Mon May 16, 2011 1:43 am

I haven't been on WoW for almost a year (certainly since before Cataclysm was released), so I hadn't heard of the Corrupted Blood incident until recently.

Pretty cool how an in-game code issue apparently acted in much the same way a virus would in the real world.
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Re: WoW Pandemic

Postby Seer of Yhog » Mon May 16, 2011 1:31 pm

This really is fascinating - thanks for posting! Hopefully the researchers who studied this can build on this work.
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Re: WoW Pandemic

Postby night_druid » Mon May 16, 2011 1:45 pm

IIRC, the issue with the Corrupted Blood incident involved hunter pets being infected followed by a hearth stone teleport back home before the effects wore off. Not sure if its terribly useful for study purposes, because characters pop around the world instanteously and effects that are 100% deadly to lowbie PCs & NPCs might only cause minor, temporary damage to max-level PCs.
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Re: WoW Pandemic

Postby Cthulhudrew » Tue May 17, 2011 2:02 am

I think the issue was mainly that it could help serve as a model for the spread of infectious disease in a modern world, with air travel and the like (teleportation serving as a sort of stand-in for modern day air travel). I don't know that the WoW incident alone is sufficient for any kind of realistic model, but the concept of how it arose and spread throughout a virtual world I think is more of an inspiration for how researchers could use computers to try and run pandemic scenarios and the like.

In any event, what I find most interesting about it is that it was such a completely unintended consequence; a user introduced variable that blossomed completely beyond its program parameters and wreaked such havoc, and the way it affected the virtual world and its inhabitants, and how they responded to it.

All of this just fascinates me- I've long been boggled and enthralled by virtual economies and human nature; this is just one more aspect of how the virtual world is developing that draws me in. I suppose it all really appeals to that world builder in me, and having grown up seeing the gestation of everything- the rise of personal computing, the introduction of the GUI, the internet- it is just so enthralling to me.
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Re: WoW Pandemic

Postby Bonetti » Wed May 18, 2011 2:54 am

Wow, those were some fun times :-)

It was removable by any character with cure disease (priests, shamans, and paladins at the time, I think), but it was infectious and the damage was scaled for max-level raiders. Some NPCs were high enough level (with good enough regen) to be perma-poisoned, since cure disease didn't work on many NPCs. So, lowbies nearby died, as did lower-level NPCs, but people over about level 55 or so were generally able to survive if they realized what was going on. Since it didn't burn out (some hosts stayed infected but did not die), the infection couldn't be cleaned without a server reboot.

They hotfixed it pretty quickly, but Orgrimmar was a mess for a while :-)

(I was actively raiding when that happened, although my guild hadn't made it to Hakkar yet. By the time we did, the trick was long since fixed.)

I can see how it could provide a rough model for spread, as already noted in the thread, but I don't think it's directly analogous to any real world disease.

BTW, a nice variant was to get Living Bomb (from Baron Geddon in Molten Core) on a pet (usually warlock, hunter pets took too long to dismiss), and re-summon it in the auction house. Mass mayhem...
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Re: WoW Pandemic

Postby Big Mac » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:23 am

Bonetti wrote:I can see how it could provide a rough model for spread, as already noted in the thread, but I don't think it's directly analogous to any real world disease.


Perhaps this would be a good model of how a magical disease might spread in the RPG. (Assuming Hearthstones are allowed in a tabletop game.)

Bonetti wrote:BTW, a nice variant was to get Living Bomb (from Baron Geddon in Molten Core) on a pet (usually warlock, hunter pets took too long to dismiss), and re-summon it in the auction house. Mass mayhem...


That would seem to be an evil act.

I'm not sure if dismissing and summoning pets would occur in a tabletop game. It does not seem "realistic".
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Re: WoW Pandemic

Postby nils » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:19 pm

Dismissing and summoning daemons is entirely realistic, but not hunter pets. Sure you can "send it off" for a while, but it still needs to physically travel from A to B.
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