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  • The bug with Hakkar the Soulflayer's initial release in Zul'Gurub, where his Corrupted Blood debuff became a plague upon entire servers due to a programming error. This is an incredible simulation of what happens in a real epidemic, right down to the breakdown of travel, the desolation and devastation of major urban centers, the retreat of people into isolation, the collapse of large-scale trade, everything. The way it spread from a minor error with how the debuff's interaction with pets was handled is also an interesting parallel to the worries of influenza jumping species. It was how an epidemic plays out in real life, historically. For all intents and purposes, it was an epidemic. Such a small bug. Such a large body count.
    • There were shades of this with the plague zombie infestation before the release of Wrath of the Lich King. Players could get infected (via roaches, rats, and 'conspicuous crates') and then become zombies, and then fight other players and NPCs, thereby spreading the plague. This turned the capital cities into Zombie Apocalypse battlegrounds. Whether this was Awesome or Fail depends on your viewpoint: while it was fun being a zombie or fighting to stop them, when things were at their worst it was very difficult to do anything in a capital city (where the auction houses and most banks and class trainers are located).
      • Most of the division is based around what some people did when infected. There were those that would play it out like an actual zombie apocalypse and try to infect as many areas of the world as possible. From lowly Crossroads and Goldshire all the way to the capital cities. They did it for fun and immersion. Then came the people who did it as a method to grief players, especially low levels. They would kill auctioneers, trainers and bankers making them unusable for stretches of time. Blizzard was pleased ultimately with how it went down regardless, and probably considered it acceptable as such. The purpose of the plague was to totally disrupt the tedium that nearly every player had fallen in since half way. Though it seemed to be those very people that objected most, seeing as they could not use the auction house to make gold or just hang around without worrying about paying repair money because someone infected them and they were killed by a guard.
      • The Scourge Invasion event leading up to the release of Wrath was the scene for his Crowning Moment of Awesome in this player's history of playing WoW:
        • A bunch of infected players came into Shattrath and started killing off NPCs and getting them to chase PCs around to get them infected too. My Horde hunter was able to keep the zombies at bay by virtue of being ranged and also having a pet to aggro the NPC zombies at range without getting infected itself. A few other players also started picking off at range, when a handful of healers and dps suddenly started converging on and clearing out the Scryer bank on the bottom tier of Shattrath. More of us who had also been dpsing also headed to the bank as a safe spot. Even though we couldn't communicate directly, both Horde and Alli players formed an entirely impromptu "raid" in order to hold the bank. Ranged DPS were standing back from the door, taking out zombies and ghouls, PCs and NPCs alike, as they tried to close in on the entrances. Melee DPS protected the entrance itself. Healers stood protected behind all of us and healed and dispelled infections from the melee fighters to the best of their abilities. Rogues were sneaking around keeping an eye on the side entrances and acting as scouts to let us know when another wave was coming. The other infected PCs would hold back long enough to wait for enough NPCs to respawn that they could send more waves of Scourge at us and yet we still held out. Undead were watching the backs of Draenei and Humans were protecting Orcs. Then, finally, we had driven off enough players so that our DPS could start sortieing out to kill stragglers. Once we had cleared the area in front of the bank, we were able to burst out en masse and wipe out the remaining few zombies. For two hours, some two dozen of us, from both factions, had banded together to fight against the Scourge in an experience that could never ever have been scripted. We defended Shattrath and we took it back. For The Horde and For The Glory of The Alliance. It was Epic, it was Glorious and it was Awesome. It was also awesome because, for the first time in a long time, both Horde and Alliance infected PCs could finally communicate with each other.
    • What makes it awesome in this troper's eyes is that the incident has been studied by pathologists in an attempt to predict how a real epidemic would play out, and might end up saving thousands of lives.
  • Tirion Fordring, gets several of these in WoW. Most notably:
    • Refounding the destroyed Order of the Silver Hand.
    • Confronting Arthas at the Battle of Light's Hope Chapel and purifying the cursed sword Ashbringer by sheer force of will, then stabbing the immortal Lich King with a single leaping blow and forcing him to flee.
      • And by "will" we mean "awesome". And by "flee" we mean "turn tail and run like a sissy, stopping only briefly to growl an unconvincing threat, and incidentally lose his grip on the minds and wills of a whole army of Elite Mooks who then proceed to swear everlasting vengeance." God, I love Tirion.
      • Not to mention that the Argent Dawn was losing the battle until Tirion showed up, and he was able to turn the tide even though the forces of the Light were outnumbered 300 to 10000. Oh, and by the way, doesn't "300 vs. 10000" seem a little bit like a Shout-Out?
        • Arguably his greatest crowning moment is where he confronts the Lich King up on the Frozen Throne. Admittedly, it is a little lame that he gets frozen at the beginning of the battle, leaving you and your raid group to fight, but when the Lich King decides to show his true power and deal 1,000,000 damage to every member of your party, wiping you all, Tirion clealy isn't going to take it. He epically prays to the Light and it sees fit to send down a bolt of utter pwnage, smiting the ice block. Tirion the leaps forward, and cuts straight through Frostmourne, pretty much ending the Lich King's reign. Talk about awesome.
        • The final battle with the Lich King at the Frozen Throne is just one long CMoA, period. Between the epic danger of the val'kyrs snatching players up and tossing them off the edge of the Citadel, the massive pools of blight, earthquake spells, getting sucked inside Frostmourne, it's insanely fun, challenging, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Even the scripted phase at the end is incredible. After the above mentioned shattering of Frostmourne, the thousands of souls trapped inside it break free and stun the Lich King, allowing you to open a can of whoop ass to finish him. That alone could qualify as a CMoA by itself, not to mention a Tearjerker, when you consider it's the ghost of Arthas' dead father that resurrects you when everything looks hopeless, and it's the souls of all the people murdered/enslaved by the Lich King that help you bring him to justice. A suitably epic end for one of the most memorable villains in the Warcraftverse.
        • "Terenas Menethil wants to resurrect you."
  • The Wrath Gate event in the Dragonblight and the groundbreaking EPIC of a quest chain that follows it proves why Blizzard is the master at storytelling. It simply has to be experienced in order to grasp the sheer awesomeness of it all. Without spoiling anything, the HSQ is ridiculously high and the player actually feels like they're having an impact upon the game world. In an MMORPG no less.
    • It also ends up with an excuse as to why the Horde and Alliance are at war again... though thankfully it's appropriately played with and made into a major plot point in Icecrown. Ultimately, I just said to myself "Screw it, I'm with the Argent Crusade."
      • How much of an impact has this questline made in WoW? Go to the forums and post anything that was posted above. Watch it hit 26 pages in 3 hours.
        • It's safe to say that this had to be done, because Blizzard has always held that one of the things that makes WoW work is the Horde/Alliance dichotomy - people were actually legitimately surprised at the end of the Zombie Apocalypse scenario because there were NPCs (one of whom just so happens to be the one to reignite the conflict by rather brutally murdering hundreds of Alliance soldiers) actually calling for the two factions to actively work together, leading a few to suspect something similar to the City of Heroes/Villains cross-factional events was soon to transpire. In other words, for a certain few, the capstone of this chain actually made enforcing the normal game rules a Wham! Episode.
    • The Wrathgate event itself is a CMoA for the Forsaken rebels. Even if you don't agree with their philosophy, the fact that they're able to take down an Alliance army, a Horde army, and a Scourge army, no to mention driving the Lich King himself into retreat, is pretty damned badass.
      • It's certainly one for Putress himself. Yes, he's an evil, traitorous bastard, but he managed to truly boil the entire Forsaken philosophy, the sheer zealotry of their all-encompassing hate of the Lich King and the Scourge, down into about a minute of screen time.

 Grand Apothecary Putress: Did you think we had forgotten? Did you think we had forgiven? Behold, now, the terrible vengeance of the Forsaken! Death to the Scourge! And death to the living!" * the New Plague continues to do its thing in the armies below* "Now, all can see this is the hour of the Forsaken."

    • I consider Wrathgate to be a CMoA for Blizzard, because it has successfully turned the actual Horde vs. Alliance player rivalry from something that happens casually in YouTube comments to something that provokes incredibly long, vitriol-filled arguments over in-game politics even by Tropers that should know better than to be sucked into such an obvious Caesar Gambit.
      • Well, that's a Cold War. Not an arms war. Hence the lack of actual violence. Second, the REAL CMoA is Saurfang the Younger riding up triumphantly followed by the Horde and his call to his people.
  • The player characters receive their own Crowning Moment of Awesome when performing the Storm Peaks quest chain, as the Drakkensryd event has you battling mounted drake-riders while several hundred feet in the air... by harpooning their drakes, leaping onto it alongside them, and throwing them off. Later on, you get a daily quest to tackle a flying dragon in midair, hang on and climb to its mouth, and then throw the Spear of Hodir down its throat, Odin-style. It's like Kratos dropped in for a visit.
    • Thorim, an ancient viking type being who is a major character in this chain, gets one for jumping off his throne, falling just under two kilometers, and landing on his old mount.
  • This quest. The interactions between my character and the down-trodden Taunka before finally triumphantly swearing them into the Horde and watching them cast aside their refugee rags for Horde battlegear gave me chills. This was the first time the game itself felt like it wasn't treating me like Sir Random J. Fartknocker Esquire and that I actually belonged to The Horde. Lok'tar ogar!
    • Not to mention the Taunka Chieftain, Roanauk Icemist. The guy is in chains when you find him, not sobbing in despair, but getting angrier and angrier at the Crypt Lord who chained him up. When you free him, he demands that the Crypt Lord face him. The beetle refuses, so Roanauk jumps up a waterfall, grabs the Crypt Lord (Who is a tank-sized armored beetle), and throws him off the cliff, just so that the Crypt Lord is forced to face him. He then proceeds to beat the beetle to hell and back. And to top it all off, you get to crown him High Chieftain of the Taunka. Best quest ever.
  • The hero of the WoW comic discovers his identity:

 Naga Siren: "Just like before. All bluster, no fight! Not even worth ransoming. You're nothing..."

Varian Wrynn: "I am the King of Stormwind, AND NO ONE -- NOT THE NAGA, NOR THE SCOURGE, NOR THE FIERY LORDS OF THE BURNING LEGION -- WILL KEEP ME FROM MY PEOPLE!"

Varian cuts the naga in half.

    • Likewise, Mograine's last moments in Ashbringer:

 Tell your master that a thousand of his minions will not suffice! I will deliver you all...

And when I am done I will stand...

AGAINST A THOUSAND MORE!

  • High Overlord Saurfang became a memetic Memetic Badass during the War of the Shifting Sands, but to most he just stood around in Orgrimmar actually doing nothing. With Wrath, it seems that he's not just earning his reputation, but surpassing it.

 "We will fight you with every fiber of our being- Until we are nothing more than dust and debris. We will fight until the end."

    • Even his writing is awesome.
    • His original Memetic Mutation came from the fact that he could be mind controlled due to a design oversight.
  • King Varian in the Ulduar cinematic. Especially well pronounced when Garrosh charges him: "He's mine," are his only words. Unfortunately, Rhonin-Sue breaks it up, but the fight does reach high levels of awesome. And his line and pose at the end, "May this death god take you all" broke the Badass meter.
    • Varian came across as more of a dick if you ask me. He's literally putting his lust for vengeance over everyone else, and seems perfectly willing to let Yogg-Saron destroy the world then simply suck it up and work with the Horde. Rhonin may or may not be a sue, but he does have a point in that everyone will suffer if Yogg-Saron breaks free.
      • Not really. Varian has every reason to mistrust the Horde, who, from his experience, did nothing but constantly betray his trust. And Garrosh definitely isn't helping...
        • 1.) Most of things Varian are angry at the Horde for weren't their doing (Garona Mark II was Twilight's Hammer, and the Wrathgate was the Forsaken working on their own (the fact that they lost the Undercity obviously meant internal strife, and their spies probably could have confirmed it). 2.) If a character thinks that maintaining your pride is more important then stopping an Eldritch Abomination from creating hell on Azeroth (which would screw over the Horde as much as the Alliance), then that character is a selfish douchebag who deserves no respect. The Horde would gain nothing by betraying them during the operation to take down Yogg-Saron, and any sane person could have realized that.
        • 1.) And the Horde was brought to Azeroth by the Legion, who in turn were attracted by the Alliance abusing magic. 2.) It is too about pride. What part of "Eldritch Abomination that even the creators of the world had trouble fighting is breaking free of his prison guys seriously stop killing each other" do you not understand?
        • Last I checked, Varian was there in the interest of cooperation, before Garrosh stormed in and attacked him for no particular reason.
          • Cooperation with the Kirin Tor. When he sees Thrall and Garrosh, he says "What are they doing here?" Then the fight breaks out and Varian happily puts his own desires ahead of what's best not only for his people, or for the whole Alliance, but every living being on the entire planet while saying he hopes Yogg-Saron kills everyone in the room. He may be justified in hating the Horde but that doesn't make him any less of a douche when he puts that ahead of making sure everyone alive isn't killed by an Eldritch Abomination who happens to be the personification of death.
            • The fight breaks out when Garrosh charges Varian and Thrall sits back and does nothing but say "Garrosh, control yourself!" After all the shit Thrall has let slide, I wouldn't trust him if I were Varian either.
            • The only Horde attempt that remotely qualifies is the Wrathgate, and that was Varimathras and Putress. None of the major Horde leaders greenlit such on operation (Sylvie might have planned something, but she didn't greenlight that particular assault).
              • But she did trust a dreadlord with a plague that could kill everything on the planet. Which she developed by testing on Alliance prisoners. In a time of peace. Not to mention what the Warsong clan is doing in Ashenvale.
        • Varian may have made up for it with a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming after you kill Deathbringer Saurfang. He overcomes his crippling hatred of orcs because Varok Saurfang wants to bury his son's body. "Stand aside Muradin. Let a grieving father pass." Turns out he isn't as bad a guy after all.
          • Anyone who read the comics could tell you that. Blizzard really didn't do that good of a job in showing Varian's good side in-game. There are people who think that moment with Saurfang is OOC for him. /facepalm
  • One for the dev team themselves, apparently in the new expansion they intend to split the Barrens in half. On behalf of every new player who's ever found themselves stuck there with Barrens chat, thank you.
  • "Let them come. Frostmourne hungers".
  • Two Words: Bolvar Fordragon. (Well, actually, it's a name.)
  • The entire Saurfang family, or the ones that we're given details about: Varok Saurfang is already known as the Chuck Norris of the Horde, his brother Broxigar is so badass the night elves made a statue of him after he single-handedly delayed one of the most powerful beings in the universe (using a very powerful magical axe, but still), and Varok's son Dranosh who took the Lich King himself to actually kill him. A fourth Saurfang, Thura, who is the niece of Varok and Broxigar, was given by Broxigar's axe by Thrall. No other details are known about her yet.
  • Heck, the Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain song, Power of the Horde is essentially a CMoA for the Horde, and more specifically, for Horde Shamans (and even more specifically, for any Warsong Clan Elementalist Orc Shamans out there). Similar with Rogues do it from Behind for the entire Rogue class, Nightfall for Death Knights to a lesser extent, I Am Murloc for Murlocs, and Terran Up The Night for Terrans. Yes.
  • Though you don't see it, one of the Frost Dwarves tells you how the Frost Dwarves met their current king, Yorg Stormheart aka Muradin Bronzebeard. A group of dwarves, returning from an undescribed trek across Dragonblight, stumbled across a mountain dwarf (a type they'd never heard of before), who couldn't even remember his name, lost in the snow, so they decided to take him back home with them. On the way, they were attacked by a giant jormungar (Giant, acid-spitting worms), who swallowed one of the group before they could even react. They thought they were doomed, "...but behind him, a furious roar rumbled across the snow, and he turned to see the mountain dwarf growing in size, his skin taking on a stone-like texture, and his hands sizzling with lightning. The dwarf barreled forward with a sound like rolling thunder and hurled a shining metal hammer, lightning coursing over its surface, directly into the jormungar's throat. The jormungar collapsed instantly, its head barely still attached to its convulsing body." Do NOT mess with Yorg/Muradin
  • When Garrosh is getting uppity, wanting to take Valiance Keep and other Alliance holdings by force, Varok Saurfang tells Garrosh to cut his shit out or else.
  • The Balance of Light and Shadow for Priests. After looting the Eye of Divinity in Molten Core, you would head out to Eastern Plaguelands and meet an NPC priestess who tells you her story of how she failed to save Stratholme peasants as they fleed from Arthas and his Scourge and how the now-ghosts must relive the experience. She tells you that you must succeed where she failed by saving at least fifty out of sixty-five peasants as Scourge Archers attack them and lesser Scourge attack you. Other players may not interfere for a demon called The Cleaner will spawn, instantly kill them, and end the event. This event was actually pretty difficult in its time. The vast majority of Priests would fail in their first attempt. Most would find friends (or even a Priest of the opposite faction if he/she happened to be there) to exploit around The Cleaner and Priests would seek out full buffs from every other class and use consumables. Successful completion of the event yielded the Splinter of Nordrassil. When combined with the Eye of Divinity and the Eye of Shadow, the Priest receives Benediction, a staff that Priests at 60 would wear past Blackwing Lair and level 80 Priests still farm for because it's one of the best-looking staves in the game.
  • Garrosh Hellscream of all people gets one in the Cataclysm quest To Be Horde. YOU! ARE! DISMISSED!
    • He is rapidly becoming a master, at least if the above quest and the Horde introduction to the Twilight Highlands is any indication. [1]
  • The questline of "The Day That Deathwing Came". You punch Deathwing in the face, throw him across the sea and challenge him to a knife fight!
  • Captain Taylor during the "Defending the Rift" quest. He manages to one-shot one of the key leaders of the naga!
  • Of note is "Rewriting the Battle of Darrowshire." It required a small raid back in the day, plus the two commanders and their respective squads of militia. The enemies started off as weakly-made skeletons, but by the end you were facing squads of knife-wielding freaks known as The Bloodletters. Then of course, there was Horgus the Ravager, the mid-boss, and Mardek the Black, who fights you by proxy, forcing you to fight Redpath the Corrupted. Killing that bastard Mardek later in the Scholomance is an incredibly satisfying revenge.
    • Even better, soloing it (it's been nerfed now, but it was incredibly intense with a feral druid pre-Cata)
  • The Bash'ir Landing raid, which isn't an official quest, but forces you and your raid to defend a scientist while she examines some kind of device. It starts off with you fighting a wave of Mooks and a Fleshbeast mid-boss, followed by another wave with three siege towers assaulting your position. In the end, your raid has a standoff with The Collector, an ethereal who can split himself into three and has some deadly lightning spells.
  • The intro cinematic for Wrath of the Lich King. Arthas waking from the Frozen Throne, stabbing Frostmourne into the ice which awakens Sindragosa, who then flies out over the armies of the Scourge, all of them roaring together. The epic soundtrack just adds to it.
  • The Death Knight's starting area has one where you mercilessly destroy armies of the Scarlet Crusade with a frost wyrm.
  • Zul'Drak has one quest chain where you free a storm giant named Gymer who's been captured and put in a cage by vargul. When you let him out you then ride on his shoulder and start trampling Scourge underfoot and taking out three of their commanders.
    • Similarly, in Sholazar Basin one of the quest chains the Avatar of Freya offers has you riding on the shoulder of an ancient golem known as The Etymidian and punching the shit out of Scourge on a mountain.
  • Cataclysm has one quest chain in Burning Steppes that culminates in you riding a dragon reigning fire down on the armies of the Blackrock clan.
  • The final battle against Deathwing, anyone? First of all, it takes place in the Maelstrom, which is where Deathwing first burst forth into Azeroth, second of all, all four of the Dragon Aspects and Thrall with the Dragon Soul (which Deathwing coveted and betrayed the aspects for, no less) are backing you and your raid up. Tentacles bursting forth everywhere, and Deathwing attempting to finish off the world with another Cataclysm (instant wipe, no question), and it all ends with Deathwing being destroyed for good by the Dragon Soul.
    • That doesn't even take into account how you reach the Maelstrom. The raid parachutes onto Deathwing's back where they must tear his scales off while his own immune system comes to life to stop you. Once his scales are gone, Thrall shoots him the Dragon Soul which shoots straight through Deathwing's chest and causes him to plunge into the Maelstrom.
    • A lot of people found the Dragon Soul raid to be rather underwhelming.
  • The Dreadsteed of Xoroth questchain for Warlocks was truly epic in classic WoW. Over the course of the adventure you mass murder creatures created by the moon goddess and collect their blood, infiltrate the Shadow Council, rip out an orc's heart, wreak havoc across two dungeons, fight off an army of demons as you prepare a portal, and kill a Dreadlord so you can steal his horse. Your reward? Quite possibly the coolest looking mount in the game ever made. Shame they took the questchain out in Cataclysm and you just buy the Dreadsteed now.
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