It's been a weekend of mixed blessings for Blizzard. First, the publisher announced that the World of Warcraft population was back up over 10 million - but not so long after that, someone up to no good discovered an exploit in the game, which caused widespread character deaths spread across Azeroth.
So. The story goes that a person - or a group of people - discovered a bug in the massively multiplayer MMO, which meant they could fly around World of Warcraft, insta-killing characters (both playable and NPCs). The news started coming in at around 13:00 GMT, as characters started dying in Stormwind, Tarren Mill, Ragnaros, Orgrimmar, Twisting Nether and Draenor - and nobody quite knew why. Combat logs read simply "You died," without any damage source.
Blizzard has so far kept quiet on the source of the exploit, or information about the person or people using it, but reports that it has already patched up the problem.
Earlier today, certain realms were affected by an in-game exploit, resulting in the deaths of player characters and non-player characters in some of the major cities. This exploit has already been hotfixed, so it should not be repeatable. It's safe to continue playing and adventuring in major cities and elsewhere in Azeroth.
As with any exploit, we are taking this disruptive action very seriously and conducting a thorough investigation. If you have information relating to this incident, please email email@example.com. We apologize for the inconvenience some of you experienced as a result of this and appreciate your understanding.
In the week following the September 25 launch, more than 2.7 million copies were sold, bumping the World of Warcraft population back up over 10 million again, for the first time in a while. The even bigger news: That number does not count Chinese gamers, who received Mists of Pandaria a little later, on October 2nd.
Stay tuned, the first post-launch content update for Mists of Pandaria is due out in the not-so-distant future, with Blizzard already hard at work. We should have news for you in a couple of weeks - and hopefully the feature isn't a strange plague that wipes out characters - the game's already got one of those.
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Jimmy the Geek