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World Of Warcraft Had Its First Global Crash. Here's What Happened

"World of Warcraft" first launched in 2004 and quickly became one of the most-played MMORPGs in the world. In spite of the consistently overwhelming size of the player base over the last 18 years, the game has been remarkably stable. Sure, there have been a few localized outages when individual servers have gone down for one reason or another, but the game as a whole has largely gone uninterrupted for the better part of two decades. This has been vital to the game's success as it makes it reliably possible for players to coordinate with each other so that large guilds can meet up and go raiding together. It appears that that streak is at an end, however.


On December 12, 2022, "WoW" players all over the world suddenly found themselves simultaneously unable to launch the MMORPG for the first time in history. They all received a critical error message titled 'ERROR #134 (0x85100086) Fatal condition!' and could no longer access the game. Needless to say, fans were concerned that the game suddenly wasn't working. Many of them believed that the error message might have meant that there was something wrong with their computer. Here's what actually happened.

Most likely, a hotfix did it

The timing of the crash seems to indicate that the error that caused "WoW" players' games to stop working the world over was likely due to a hotfix that Blizzard itself implemented (per Wowhead). The studio had just launched the new hotfix that same night which was designed to make adjustments to several of the playable classes as well as The Nokhud Offensive and some PvP mechanics. Obviously, something went wrong, however, because "WoW" players suddenly found themselves unable to launch the game after it was implemented. One Reddit user stated that they had never seen an outage like that in over a decade of playing while others were joking that they crashed the game by performing feats that the servers couldn't handle.


Shocking as this outage was, Blizzard had it fixed in a matter of hours. So many players might never know that it even happened. It seems that the studio already had all hands on deck as they also launched Dragonflight Season 1 the following day. According to Blizzard's blurb, this new season brings "a new raid, Mythic+ dungeons, a new Arena, and a new PvP season" into the game. This also looks like it's off to a bit of a rocky start as it is already showing signs of some server issues. Hopefully, this isn't an indication of more connection issues to come.