MMOs are the perfect playgrounds for chaos. Drop thousands of players into one seamless and dynamic world and you get nothing short of complete anarchy. You’d be hard-pressed to find a game that didn’t have its fair share of terrible people trolling others. With that being said though, a solid community in an MMO can be one of the most beautiful and cohesive things on the planet. Hell hath no fury like the will of a million organized fans. Sometime that will is channeled into producing something good and noteworthy, but other times it produces something that can only be described as horrible.
Throughout the history of the MMORPG genre thus far, there have been countless moments ingrained into our collective memories. Chances are you’re already well aware of every entry on this list and that’s okay. I’m not writing it to surprise you or even inform you necessarily, but to provide a platform for us all to celebrate this genre and the wonderfully unique things it causes that could never happen in any other type of game. These are the most hilarious and epic moments from MMORPg history...so far!
5) Kralkatorric’s Minions - Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend Event 2 - 2012
This entry may be a bit of a personal selection for me, since I was present for this glorious event and had an amazing time, but I believe it’s one of the best officially sanctioned events I’ve seen in an MMO so far. The fact that it was strictly for a limited Beta Weekend audience makes it all the more memorable. Essentially, minions from Kralkatorric, The Elder Crystal Dragon, began invading.
Once a player was killed, they were reborn as one of the minions with new skills and abilities. This process continued and slowly spread across the map as more and more players were overcome and rebranded as a minion. What made the event so exciting was being a part of one of the final lines of defense as it came to a close. The developers even sent Rytlock, one of the primary NPC allies in the story, to fight with players against other players that had been branded. It was an incredible way to end the weekend.
4) The GHSC Heist - EVE Online - 2005
I consider it to be a damn shame that I never really got into EVE Online. I’m not sure if it’s the scifi setting, amount of time needed to be competitive, or just the community in general that puts me off, but I can’t seem to bring myself to really get into it for whatever reason. But I’d be lying if stories like this didn’t make me want to play it more than any trailer or journalistic coverage I’ve ever seen.
Essentially, The Guiding Hand Social Club (GHSC) was a corporation that focused primarily on being amazing intergalactic spies. Corporate espionage, thievery, and general misdirection are all checked on their list of essential attributes. By infiltrating another corporations roster, they were able to rob them blind of goods and items in the game valued at well over $16,000 and even murdered their CEO in the process. If there were ever an Ocean’s Eleven game that took place in space, that would be it.
3) Defenders of the Shard - Asheron’s Call - 2000
These are the moments that bards write epic ballads about. Somewhere out there, in an alternate timeline, this went down as the greatest moment in gaming history and Asheron’s Call was heralded as the pinnacle of online entertainment, only to be perpetuated and improved for decades to come. But this is not that timeline. Instead, people often forget about this day, the day that the players made a difference, but not me. I remember.
The event’s goal was to force players into battles split down the middle of those that aimed to defend the shards that were preventing the resurrection of the terrifying Bael’Zharon and those that sought to release him by destroying the shards. Once all but one final shard were destroyed, a group of players banded together to make their final stand. They pushed back the onslaught of attackers until the game’s developers were forced to step in and give the attackers an advantage. In the end, the brave souls that defended the shard were given a vigil in remembrance of their heroic deeds.
2) Death to Lord British - Ultima Online - 1997
This is truly the most hilarious and obvious results of a situation that I’ve ever heard of, but at the same time I can see why there was shock at the time. It was the 90s and developers didn’t quite recognize the depth of a player population’s insanity. Lord British himself, Richard Garriott, decided that he wanted to pay a visit to his masterpiece, Ultima Online. Of course, Lord British made sure to set his character to invulnerable, as a safety precaution you see.
But the problem with his plan was that, naturally, everyone wanted to be there to witness the event. Due to the huge amount of stress on the servers, they crashed and were forced to reset. Upon doing so, his invulnerability status reset as well. This allowed Rainz, the most elusive and diabolical virtual assassin of all time, to steal a spell called Fire Field and cast it on Lord British, resulting in his death. He built a world, blessed it with his presence, and was then promptly murdered by it. Hilarious.
1) Leeroy Jenkins - World of Warcraft - 2006
In a few rare instances, pop culture spills over into general society in such a way that it takes on a life of its own. If you lined up 1,000 people that were at least familiar with YouTube, chances are well over half of them, regardless of if they played MMOs or even games at all, would know about Leeroy Jenkins. For this reason alone, it deserves the top spot on this list.
It’s pretty much confirmed to be a setup or “fake” video, meaning that this wasn’t an authentic interaction and the people involved are mostly joking and acting, but that doesn’t take away from the hilarity. In fact, what makes it so poignant and perfect, isn’t so much the actual content itself, but just the sheer amount of enthusiastically sadistic chaos that ensues. It’s a phrase that has gone on to define a generation.
That wraps it up. I know there are dozens of things I could have picked for this list, but I wanted to pick moments that weren’t repetitive, that didn’t use the same game more than once, and that represented different eras of MMO history. We’re in for a long and prosperous lifespan for the genre that’s sure to result in more amazing, hilarious, and epic moments to come. We’ve just go to keep playing to see!