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World of Warcraft's Biggest Controversies

VO: Andrew Labelle WRITTEN BY: Nick Miller
World of Warcraft's Biggest Controversies World of Warcraft is still going strong as one of the biggest online games out there, and while a lot of people love it, we can't deny that it has had its fair share of bumps a long the way. Join MojoPlays a we list off some of the game's biggest controversies.

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“World of Warcraft” Controversies

This long-running MMO has had its fair share of drama. Welcome to MojoPlays, and here are our picks for the biggest “World of Warcraft” controversies.

We’ll be looking at the in-game changes, expansions and events that divided or outright angered the Warcraft community over the years.

“Mists of Pandaria”

Though player opinions have since softened considerably, upon its initial release, “Mists of Pandaria” was not well-liked. The expansion, which introduced the dual-faction Pandaren race along with their home continent of Pandaria, threw off many players due to its use of non-traditional fantasy themes, integrating aspects of Chinese culture and philosophy into the Warcraft universe. Other players simply didn’t like the Pandaren, who originated as an April Fools’ joke by Blizzard before being integrated into the lore in “Warcraft III.” Over time, mass opinion has shifted to look more favorably on the expansion, especially considering some of the mistakes made in the following one, which brings us to...

“Warlords of Draenor”/Garrisons

Another WoW expansion that was widely panned upon its release, “Warlords of Draenor” never quite recovered from its reputation the way “Mists” did. Players decried the convoluted story developments and massive gameplay changes made in the expansion, most notably the over reliance on garrisons. If you played “Warlords,” you’ll remember just how time-consuming managing your garrison became, and along with the lack of other interesting world content, it turned the game into a complete slog by the time you reached the endgame; one that was only worsened by a incredibly long content drought that led to a mass exodus of players.

Dungeon Finder

In the lead-up to their release of “World of Warcraft’s” third expansion, “Cataclysm,” Blizzard introduced the dungeon finder system as a replacement for manually having to find a group of players to enter a dungeon together. On the surface, this seemed like a great idea. It would remove the hassle of putting together a group, allowing more players to easily take part in the game’s dungeons. In the long term, however, this decision proved incredibly controversial, as many players claim that it led to the downfall of “World of Warcraft’s” social aspects by removing social accountability and interaction from much of the game.

Battle for Azeroth

“World of Warcraft’s” most recent controversy is also one of its most uproarious, as the release of “Battle for Azeroth” has proven to be quite the bumpy landing, beginning with the story leading up to the expansion’s release, which saw Horde Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner committing serious war crimes against the Night Elves and Alliance, cementing her as a villain rather than a character who operates in shades of grey. Things have only gotten worse as the overall response to the new content has been tepid at best, with many hardcore fans angered by the current state of affairs. There’s still time for Blizzard to turn this ship around, but only time will tell.

Nostalrius/Vanilla Servers

A long-running open secret about World of Warcraft was brought to light in 2016 when Blizzard sued to shutdown popular “vanilla” private server Nostalrius. These privately run servers catered to fans of the classic WoW experience and were not run by Blizzard, making them unofficial and technically illegal, though up until that point they had always been left alone. When Blizzard elected to shut the server down, it catapulted the issue straight in to the spotlight, where it garnered mainstream media attention. To this day, it remains a sticking point within the community, even in anticipation of the official classic servers on the way from Blizzard.

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