Monday, February 23, 2009

All WoW characters deleted!

Dear Blizzard customer!

During today's maintenance we noticed a bug that corrupted all character data. We immediately proceeded to roll back to the backup version, but accidentally overwrote the backup with the corrupted data instead of the other way round. Now we have no valid copy of any character data left. In consequence we were forced to delete all characters on all servers. Everybody will have to reroll at level 1 again.

As compensation we have credited every account with one free month of game time. We also made the old guild recruitment channel work in all zones, and put guild charter NPCs in all starting zones. Thus you should be able to find your friends back and get your old guilds up and running fast.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Your Blizzard Developer Team
Dream or nightmare? I don't think this could actually happen, but as hypothetical situation it is quite interesting. I am currently pondering the question of why we play, and attachment to our characters is certainly a big part of it. One of my pen & paper roleplaying friends just quit WoW because he felt Blizzard had nerfed his warlock too much, without even considering just rolling another class. So what if we removed character attachment from the equation, and deleted all characters? Would people be willing to start over, maybe use the opportunity to play a different class, rediscover the fun of old content, run low-level dungeons with their guild mates? Or would WoW crash and lose most of its subscribers? Are we only playing because we are attached to the characters we started?

I'd love to hear from you how you would react if all the characters were deleted and you would have to start over. Would you play or quit? Would you play the same class or a different one? Would you choose the same server and try to find your old guild back, or play on a completely different server? What would you do the same, what would you do different?

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