Top 5 Most Memorable Events in MMORPG History

1) The Assassination of Lord British – Ultima Online – August 8, 1997

Lord British was killed during an in-game appearance on Ultima Online’s beta test on August 8, 1997. A royal visit was conducted as a part of server population stress test. A player character known as Rainz cast a spell called “fire field” on Lord British that, surprisingly, killed him. According to Starr Long, the whole thing was just a human error: Lord British’s character, like others, had been made invulnerable, but by design the invulnerability did not persist over several game sessions. Shortly before the incident, the server had crashed, and Richard Garriott had forgotten to set his invulnerability flag on when logging on again. Shortly afterwards, Rainz’s account was banned from the beta test for previously exploiting bugs rather than reporting them (infamously used by his character Aquaman to kill many player characters, a purported griefing incident). According to Origin, he was not banned for the assassination but rather for previous complaints against his account that were brought to light as a result of this attention. The massive amount of lag, caused by the stress test, was a factor in Lord British’s death, as well as the guards being deactivated in the area, which allowed Rainz to steal, avoiding immediate death. 99% of the players were at Lord British’s castle. Only the few at Lord Blackthorn’s castle were the lucky witnesses to this historic event. Those known to have been present besides Lords British and Blackthorn were their jesters Chuckles and Heckles and the following players; Rainz, Dr.Pepper, Mental, DemonSoth, Haaaaaach, Helios, Phobos, Gildoreal, Wind Lord and Kylan.

2) LEEEEROY JENKINS! – World of Warcraft
I don’t know any MMORPG player that hasn’t seen this, hell even my friends that have never played a MMORPG know about this.


3) The Epic Heist – EVE Online – November 2005″

This was published in September’s 2005 issue of PC Gamer UK. It is a detailed account of what has to be one of most beautifully executed in-game scams in a MMORPG ever pulled. It breaks all previous world records for ‘virtual crime’.

The game in question is Eve Online, where corporate espionage and political intrigue have become an integral part of the game.

The perpetrator of the heist was the Guiding Hand Social Club (GHSC) corporation (a corporation being similar to a clan in Eve); a freelance mercenary outfit that offers their services (which usually involves corp infiltration, theft and assassination) to the highest bidder. Over a year in planning, the GHSC infilitrated their target’s corp with their own members and gained their trust, as well as access to the corp hangers, with time. It all concluded in a perfectly timed climax, with a massive theft in multiple corp hangars synchronized with the in-game killing of the corporation’s CEO, the primary target of the contract.

What’s most interesting and impressive about this operation is that it was entirely ‘legal’ and within the game’s own rules, and the mastermind and his agents pulled it off together flawlessly, all the while staying in character. The estimated real-life value of the items stolen is, according to PC Gamer, $16,500 US. The in-game value of course is much, much higher as the things stolen would take years and years to aquire.

4) Plague Outbreak – World of Warcraft – September 2005

The Corrupted Blood plague incident was one of the first events to affect entire World of Warcraft servers. Patch 1.7 saw the opening of Zul’Gurub, the game’s first 20-player raid dungeon where players faced off against an ancient tribe of jungle trolls under the sway of the ancient Blood God, Hakkar the Soulflayer. Upon engaging Hakkar, players were stricken by a debuff (a spell that negatively affects a player) called “Corrupted Blood” which would periodically sap their life. The disease would also be passed on to other players who were simply standing in close proximity to an infected person. Originally this malady was confined within the Zul’Gurub instance but made its way into the outside world by way of hunter or warlock pets that contracted the disease.

Within hours Corrupted Blood had infected entire cities such as Ironforge and Orgrimmar because of their high player concentrations. Low-level players were killed in seconds by the high-damage disease. Eventually Blizzard fixed the issue so that the plague could not exist outside of Zul’Gurub.

5) Death of the Sleeper – EverQuest – November 15-17, 2003

The guild Blood of the Spider on The Rathe server was the first guild system-wide to kill Ventani (the fourth warder) on July 28, 2001, and therefore wake the sleeper. The event caused a stir on the server when Kerafyrm went into multiple zones, including Skyshrine, killing everyone and everything in his path.

On November 15, 2003, on the Rallos Zek PvP server, the three top guilds (Ascending Dawn, Wudan, and Magus Imperialis Magicus) assembled over 180 players with the intent to wake and kill The Sleeper. This was in response to an attempt to wake The Sleeper by an Iksar monk named Stynkfyst, who partnered with the largest random-pk guild of the time. Having been a former member of uber-guild Ascending Dawn, he had the knowledge the random pk guild needed to wake The Sleeper. The top guilds did not assemble their forces until word of Stynkfyst’s intentions had spread, and it became clear that he intended to wake The Sleeper, forever preventing future guilds from farming the old loot table. Until this point, waking The Sleeper had not been seriously considered by any guilds, as it was believed that waking The Sleeper would make the offending guild’s players kill-on-sight to the other guilds of the server. After 3 hours and 15 minutes, at 26% health, Kerafyrm disappeared (despawned). The players talked with the EverQuest Game Masters, and there was a general consensus that a bug had caused the problem, although some suggested (backed by statements from one GM) that higher-ups at SOE had purposely despawned Kerafyrm, because it was not intended to be part of the story.

The following day, the players logged in to find that Kerafyrm was back in his “sleeping” state, ready to be triggered again. There was also an apology on the official EverQuest forums from SOE, explaining that they had stopped the encounter because they feared the players were engaging the boss in an unintended manner. Although annoyed (the players pointed out that the reasons SOE gave could not have occurred, and felt lied to), they attempted to battle Kerafyrm once again.

On November 17, 2003, after a nearly 3-hour battle, Kerafyrm was defeated. He had between 100 million and 400 million hit points, likely around 250 million (most EverQuest bosses have 2 million at most), was immune to all spells except wizard’s manaburn spell and Shadow Knight’s Harm Touch, possessed two death touch abilities (abilities that automatically killed players), and attacked players for 6999 damage per swing. By using the cleric’s epic weapon and other resurrection spells, the players were able to bring their dead characters back into the battle faster than Kerafyrm could kill them all.


  1. A few years ago, Star Wars Galaxies players protested against SOE, who forever has been changing the game, by gathering in large groups and using the clapping emote. This resulted in a massive amount of lag, which resulted in SOE banning players from gathering more than 4-5 players in one place.

    Nothing like a police state.

  2. Sorry to say, but some raid of an in-game funeral is hardly very memorable. That happened more than a few times in DAoC… Compared to things like the EVE heist (simply awesome, I think I am downloading the trial when I get home) or killing Lord British, it doesn’t even come close to being on this list.

  3. Al’Kabor never had the population to try to kill the sleeper. Temerity and Dark Conquest could have easily awakened him but it would have been instant carnage.

    It was fun to meet the Sleeper. MMORPGs should have these epic larger-than-life encounters. Everything depends on the quality of the underlying story.
    EverQuest was -so- hard, so satisfying :).

  4. What about the other WoW moment where the Horde decimated that “funeral procession”? Pretty hilarious.

  5. No they don’t have the WoW funeral because that’s been done a million times in earlier mmorpgs. it’s not that epic of an even.

  6. How about the Borg and when they killed Blood, leader of the Blood guild, or when they helped provide another guild with the mats necessary to take over Blood’s mansion?

    How about how blood and KOC committed several federal offensesby threatening people (IRL) across state lines?

    Asheron’s Call was awesome until Turdbin nerfed it.

  7. well the sleeper for me will be #1 but i had forgetten that stynkfyst had a hand in it lol. If you never played eq then of course you would not understand the reason this was such a big deal on a pvp server to gather this many people in one area to do anything. we had to post guards at the zone in to keep pushing the PK”S back out of the zone because we did not want them to attemp to crash or bug the critter.

    truly the epic moment.

  8. @World of Warcraft, Lord Kazzak raiding Stormwind would be pretty awesome. We had one event where a guild pulled Azuregos to Orgrimmar. That was neat.

  9. Asheron’s Call Thistledown server.

    We protected the Shard. nevar forgot. they made a special statue for us didn’t they?

    Less important … Tayway killed the Nexus Crystal on TD, but Tron stole the Nexus Crystal Shadow Armor.

  10. UO the best ever MMG to date, I have played nearly all the other ones mentioned in the list and nothing compares to that game, :)

  11. Hey Zelph…you forgot KIC..(Knights of the Ironcross) back in the day it was BoTS, KIC…can’t remember the third guild…that used to run around together. Yep 5 years of my life gone …heh.

  12. I was part of the Everquest killing of the sleeper, and it definitely qualifies. While the kill was going on, numerous serverwide channels opened, and people from nearly every Everquest server were monitoring progress, and cheering for us. Most of the other events, while famous after their occurrence, were not as widely watched during the event.

    As for the sleeper kill being carebear–the kill was done on a pvp, attack and kill anyone you want server, but done by guilds who cooperated. It wasn’t a carebear event.

  13. I played uo and every day something amazing happened. uo was the best gaming experience I’ve ever had. The first wedding/funeral raids originated from uo, guilds used to scam other guilds to get access to their castles, it had everything that’s on this list. pity people are too Comfortable with their unique items these days. i’m waiting for

  14. lol brings bak good memories in mmorpg history.

    The workers who work for the games should have the games organized before releasing them/ patches.

    so all fingers point at the game /codesingers :p

    i play 70 lock epicxpvperx on killrog eu :D wow pwns ever quest btw

  15. Don’t forget, the Realm online had it’s share of funerals/weddings in it as well. It came out before UO did. Not only that I remember playing that game before trade windows. You had to drop the item/cash on the ground and then pick it up from people.

    Talk about scams!! LOL

    Good list btw, I enjoyed reading all of those events.

  16. “Anyone that mentions WoW in such a list is a newbie.” Like it or not WoW is one of the biggest succes in MMO history. The Blood plague even went in the papers in denmark. That says something about the size of damage!! The kill of Kerafyrm should be no. 1 though, nohting is ever gonna beat that!

  17. I didn’t quite make it into UO Beta, only discovered it after release. It was in a magazine I think, seeing that big pictorial battle with the red dragon, the 2-page spread. So I didn’t get to see Lord British fall, but wanted to join in to say that those days, collectively, were far and away the best experiences I’ve ever had in an MMORPG (as well as in any internet-based social network, or any video game).

    I feel like most of the UO nostalgics are posting from the PK perspective, and I have never been the PK sort, but regardless which side of the Crossroads you were running back to, it was more exhilarating and immersive than anything since. Those days of UO were like the gaming industry’s ‘wild, wild west’ and I wonder if those feelings will (or can) ever be recaptured. I played some of the others, and WOW for about a year, a great game in its own right, but I don’t think anything will be able to really compare.

  18. Uo was the best mmo made, ever. It was simply and utterly amazing. Then ea bought origin systems and slowly ruined the game. It is nothing but a empty husk of what it use to be.

    RIP UO

  19. In Ashrons Call there was an event where the players had to kill a giant crystal to progress the relms storyline. On one server people defended the crystal, sacrificing themselves to it so it could level up.
    In the end a group of players and some in character GM’s had to go in and kill the crystal.
    There is a statue by one of the towns in the game commemorating those players.

  20. i Hate WOW but the Comic Book wars on WOW should be up there.when Ctrl Alt Del and penny arcade started the war on Dark Iron forge server . EverQuest Sleeper is way above any WOW moment as for the plague in WOW I’m in Australia and that was on all are news programs on all channels .

  21. The Thistledown server’s aforementioned defense of the herald crystal in Asheron’s Call definitely belongs on this kind of list. Their doomed effort gave the game’s story some real meaning.

    The situation was even resolved within the context of the game. Two players who had been annointed champions of bael’zharon in a previous event were eventually tasked to lead the successful destruction of the crystal. I think they had some GM buffs, but that’s a fair sight better than just de-spawning the thing.

  22. The reason other events were not mentioned is obvious. The author limited it to 5 and did not include player on player.

    Lord British — long term character that was a major for an entire series dead. In just a few moments.

    Though personally #2 the total party wipe I would not have included…. not because it is Wow but I have seen TPWs involving 30 to 50 people in EQ guild raids. I have also seen people kicked out of raids and baned from guilds for less then what “Leroy” did. I know people who refuse to ever group with certain other people again for doing that sort of stunt. Causing a bad pull accidentally is one thing doing it deliberatly is another thing entirely.

    I do not know anything about 3 and 4 that is not in the article.

    But including # 5 well…. I will just say this the raid to start the battle most likely took as much time as the battle. If you do not play EQ you may not realize what goes into a raid of that caliber. Then you are talking about ALL the HiGHEST level PCs on the server participating in the battle once it began.

    I would like to see some Screen Caps from that battle.

  23. That’s not the UO Beta… The beta had a completely different set of tiles it used for almost everything in the game.

  24. I remember being online in EQ farming spider silks in the Eastern Plains of Karana with my girlfriend when somebody passing through the zone mentioned in zone chat that The Sleeper was trying to be killed. I sent a tell for the channel name and followed the progess on the cross channel server chat. This was the first attempt. Same circumstances happened for the second attempt only difference was they restricted anyone joining the cross server channel access, even my girlfriend couldn’t join it and I was one of the few on Tunare that had it. My girlfriend acted as relay for the rest of the server. We still talk about that day, the only thing that personally topped it was our ingame wedding ;)

  25. My favorite time was when all of your heads exploded when you decided to go outside one day and the sunlight was too much for your eyes. That was awesome. Jeez people.

  26. Holyhell!!

    Hey Nadia!

    Council of Darkness was the 3rd guild back in the BCK days.

    Mandrix and Calliyana and co.

    Nice to see your still around man drop me a line sometime I’m still around on the rathe.

    Brotherhood of the Spider is still around and back to their original name as well its BotS not BOTS ;)

  27. Drop the two lame WoW ones. Leroy Jenkins was fake, and the other one was stupid. The crashing of the WoW funeral and Fansy should be in their place.

    Btw, the killing of Kerafyrm happened on a free-for-all PVP server, making it more bad ass than it already is. :p

  28. Heh I was there for the original Sleeper killing with BotS and if you dont play EQ you dont understand the intensity of that fight.
    When we killed the sleeper we had no idea it was a one time kill per server or that it would go kill everyone in 4 zones I think it was after it left us.
    The hate tells we got for the next 2 days still live in my memories and make me laugh tho. And as someone mentioned we pretty much had almost every first in that game up til the time i retired and moved on:)

  29. the purple potion bomb in UO was also a major piece of history.

    UO was a tile based game. you could place a purple potion on the ground on one tile, take a step and place one in an adjacent tile. throwing a purple potion at hte ground would cause an explosion that would set off all adjacent purple potions, which would then set off any other adjacent potions, etc.

    someone made a line of potions across the major land mass of hte server, then set it off.

    it crashed the server :)

  30. That Corrupted Blood plague seems interesting. I wasnt there but it would have been fun to watch. Most I seen on a big scale has been when the Scourges minions and a military leader came to visit Orgrimmar when I was level 23. That was fun. Went on a killing spree to all major cities and no one could put a dent in him since he seemed to feed off the deaths of all that challenged him.

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