A squashed World of Warcraft bug rewarded some players with exorbitantly overpowered gear

Update: Embedded below, Blizzare said in a tweet that it will remove "all such unintended rewards" from players who received this gear.

The first major update to World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth released today, opening up exciting new activities like the Uldir raid, extra-tough Mythic+ dungeons, a new PvP season, and massive 20-player Warfronts. It's an exciting time, but some players are more excited than others thanks to a short-lived bug that gave out some incredibly overpowered gear that would be impossible to earn through normal means. The potential for a serious imbalance in players' power levels is now so great that many are calling on Blizzard to roll back the servers to remove these items from existence.

What happened is a bit complicated, but Redditor commandersteel provided a nice overview on the World of Warcraft subreddit. The gist of it is that players who had completed certain high-level activities during the final week of Legion, the previous expansion that ended when Battle for Azeroth launched on August 13, logged in today to receive another set of rewards as if they had completed that same level of challenging activity, but in Battle for Azeroth.

One common source for this overpowered gear was from the weekly Mythic+ chest that players can find in their headquarters. Mythic+ dungeons have scaling difficulty levels and each week offer a powerful piece of gear that is dependent on your toughest completed Mythic+ dungeon. A Mythic+2 dungeon, for example, is pretty easy to complete but also rewards relatively weak gear. A Mythic+10 dungeon, on the other hand, rewards much more powerful gear.

Now that Battle for Azeroth's Mythic+ dungeons are available, next Tuesday players will be able to open their chest and get some shiny new loot. But this bug gave players who did Mythic+ dungeons during the final week of Legion a chest which they could open today.

The problem is that if you completed a Legion Mythic+10 dungeon before Battle for Azeroth launched, the bug made it possible to receive powered up gear as if you had completed a Battle for Azeroth Mythic+10 dungeon instead. The result is players were given insanely strong gear without having to do anything to earn it.

On Reddit, players have shared screenshots of some of the gear they've received which is typically around the range of item level 385 to 400. That's a big jump up from the item level 340 to 355 gear most hardcore players have currently.

Players are understandably furious. Those who didn't log in this morning (or didn't do the required Legion activities back in August to trigger this bug) are left behind while others are now rocking god-tier armor and weapons that can't be matched. A bug like this seriously undermines all the time players have been investing to acquire the best loot since Battle for Azeroth launched.

With the new raid releasing today, this imbalance also threatens the fairness of the race that guilds compete in to see who can beat the raid first. Those who were lucky enough to earn some of this overpowered gear are undoubtedly going to have an edge over the competition.

"Very few situations warrant a rollback but this is absolutely one of them," wrote one Redditor. "The integrity of all server first races is completely shot, and this is a massive advantage for world first races (which have real world implications with sponsors and streams) to those who were able to exploit these bugs."

Sometime this morning Blizzard issued a hotfix that stopped the flow of overpowered gear, but hasn't issued an official statement acknowledging the bug. We've reached out to them for comment and will update this story if they respond. On the forums and subreddit, players are calling for Blizzard to roll back the servers and effectively erase this gear from existence, but whether they deem that necessary remains to be seen. But if you're one of the lucky few donning this souped up gear, I wouldn't get too attached until Blizzard releases a statement.