Blizzard may remove upcoming WoW quest where players fix the timeline by ensuring a character is sexually assaulted

Close-up of Chromie character
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

An upcoming quest in World of Warcraft: Dragonflight's patch 10.1.5, which was playable on the MMO's PTR server, has been heavily criticized by fans for its glib attitude toward a controversial part of the MMO's story.

Blizzard wrote in a thread about the quest that it acknowledges players' concerns and that it's "in the process of adjusting and removing quests" for the next PTR build. It didn't, however, mention the quest specifically, nor did it say how it would address the feedback.

The quest (explained in a forum post), titled "A Missing Soul", is part of the Fractures of Time patch coming next month that focuses on WoW's time-traveling dragons. The quest functions like a lot of time travel stories: something goes wrong in the past and you have to fix it to prevent problems in the present. Specifically, you have to find and return a missing artifact that was used by Dragonmaw Orcs to torture and sexually assault Alexstrasza, a major character in WoW's history and the Dragonflight expansion, so that its use would be ensured.

Fans took issue with having the player be complicit in a harrowing part of the lore for a simple daily quest, and others were particularly disturbed by its goofy tone. Chromie, the NPC who gives you the quest, seems conflicted about what she's asking, but tells you to keep it "on the down low." When you finish it, she loudly congratulates you, but suspects Alexstrasza knows what you did. She does, and when you talk to her, she grinds her teeth and tells you that keeping the timeline intact is important even if she doesn't like it.

"I really don't like having the player do these things, especially such explicitly horrible things," Twitter user Portergauge wrote in a thread about the quest.

Players brought up other events in WoW's lore—which includes genocide and all sorts of war crimes—as being treated at least somewhat seriously in comparison to this new quest. "We didn’t see NPC’s making jokes in-game about those timelines, and we shouldn’t see one here," one Reddit commenter wrote.

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"I always felt icky about how much early WoW lore seemed to be based around [sexual assault] and with recent irl issues, it is probably best just to do a Medan on this shit. At least not have the [player character] take part," popular WoW influencers Tailiesin and Evitel wrote on Twitter.

Earlier this year, WoW players pointed out how the name for a group of trolls introduced in 2010's Cataclysm expansion used a word that has a pejorative meaning in Jamaican Patois as well another term for "foreigner" in Namwanga, a language used in Zambia. The name was acknowledged by Blizzard developers on Twitter and was renamed a week later on the PTR.

In the wake of 2021's allegations of sexism and harassment at Activision Blizzard, WoW has made a list of changes to insensitive NPC and quest names. Wowhead has a post detailing each one. "In short, we want our jokes to be inclusive and not punch down," Blizzard wrote in a blog post at the time.

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.