Bugs in games can be hit or miss. Some of them are great fun while others render a game unplayable. In this week’s Listed we’re taking a look at a few of the funniest bugs in MMORPGs through the years. Some of them never made it past beta and some of them resulted in events that are still talked about to this day.
Phantasy Star Online 2 – Bouncy
Our first entry isn’t entirely safe for work and you shouldn’t watch the video while drinking. We aren’t responsible for any snorted drinks or replacement keyboards.
Sometimes those jiggle physics don’t work exactly the way they were intended. This entertaining bug didn’t last long, unfortunately, but thankfully one quick thinking player thought to record it so the entire world could witness this rather perky bug.
City of Heroes – Damage in Scientific Notation
During testing in City of Heroes, a bug appeared with a certain new enhancement that allowed characters to get such massive damage numbers that they were displayed in scientific notation. It also allowed players to one shot Hamidon, a giant monster that normally took 50 players and intense coordination to defeat. Needless to say, this bug never made it to the live servers but those who got the opportunity to play with it had a fantastic time and were, for a short time, the most powerful beings to ever exist. Imagine putting that on your resume.
Runescape 2 – Falador Massacre
The Falador Massacre, also known as the 6/6/6 glitch is now one of the most infamous bugs in MMO history.
On June 6, 2006, a party got a little bit out of hand and resulted in an hour long massacre in the town of Falador. A player by the name of Cursed You was hosting a party in his home that included a PvP minigame. Lag started to kill the party so Cursed You was forced to kick everyone out. Those who were in the PvP minigame found when they were kicked out that they were still flagged for PvP, so they did what you’d expect anyone to do in that situation. They went on a killing spree.
Players will unable to fight back and it took an hour for Jagex Mods to be informed. In the end, the leaders and those who had killed a large number of people were banned from the game. No items were recovered and there was no rollback so the victims were left with nothing but an apology.
On the 10th anniversary, Jagex held a small event to remember what took place. It included fighting the ghost of one of the players who had been given a permanent IP ban.
GW2 – Bristleback Park
During beta testing for the Heart of Thorns expansion in Guild Wars 2, players discovered that when you used the Signet of the Wild with the new Bristleback pet, your Bristleback would suddenly become massive. Players, of course, fell in love instantly and wanted to keep it. Sadly by the time players found out about the bug it had already been fixed in the final version of that patch and it never made it to the live server.
Despite campaigns for the bug to return it never did and Bristleback Park was never seen again. Thankfully there are plenty of videos out there for us to remember the event with.
Ragnarok Online – The Flag Fights Back
On the Russian server for Ragnarok Online, PvPers found themselves face to face with the Emperium crystal, an item in the last room of a castle siege. Destroying it allows players to claim the castle in a capture the flag style. What you wouldn’t expect is for the crystal to fight back, but that’s exactly what happened!
The crystal was mobile and could attack players because of a random quirk that made AI scripts apply to the Emperium for other mob types. Unfortunately, it seems that there is little proof of the event on the English speaking part of the internet.
World of Warcraft – Corrupted Blood
Perhaps the most famous event on this list is the Corrupted Blood bug from World of Warcraft, which saw a week-long virtual plague spread across the world in 2005.
It began when a contagious debuff managed to escape a raid into the greater population. During this week cities were abandoned and many players opted not to log in at all rather than risk exposure. The devs put quarantines in place to try to kill the debuff but in the end, it took several patches to get rid of it entirely.
This incident is studied by epidemiologists for real life applications on how people would respond to a real outbreak.
Ultima Online – Townkilling
A bug in Ultima Online allowed players to get NPCs to do their dirty work for them. Players could flag themselves as criminals then cast a beneficial spell. From time to time you would find someone with magic reflect on and it would flag that character as a criminal too. The original player could then call in the guards and have the person instantly killed. You could then loot their body. Of course, this was an abuse and players would get in trouble for doing it.
Star Wars Galaxies – Fireworks
When Star Wars Galaxies first introduced fireworks, players noticed they could use the launcher to launch anything into the air and those things wouldn’t come down. This included NPCs, making it impossible for players to finish quests because of course people would launch everything not tied down into the air. Sadly there doesn’t seem to be any video or screenshot evidence for us to enjoy.
Ultima Online – The Death of Lord British
Did you really think we could make a list of the funniest bugs in MMORPGs and not include the death of Lord British?
During the beta testing for Ultima Online, Lord British, known in the real world as Richard Garriott, ventured out into the world to speak to a crowd of beta testers. Normally devs would be protected from attack but a server reset just before the speech deactivated the toggle and left him vulnerable. MMO players being what they are, someone by the name of Rainz naturally took the opportunity and killed him, earning him an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records. To this day it is still one of the most talked about events in MMO history.
Do you have any favorite bugs that we missed? Let us know in the comments and it might appear in another edition of the funniest bugs in MMORPGs.Related: City of Heroes, Column, Event (In Game), Guild Wars 2, Listed, MMORPG, Phantasy Star Online 2, Ragnarok Online, Runescape, Star Wars Galaxies, Ultima Online, World of Warcraft