Farmers who 'killed an unreasonably large number of Gulp Frogs' for bronze and power have had their demi-godhood stripped from them in WoW's Mists of Pandaria: Remix

Garrosh Hellscream looks angrily up at Thrall, who is about to whack him with a hammer, in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.
(Image credit: Blizzard)

The present Mists of Pandaria: Remix discourse centres around a humble frog that spawned a week-and-a-bit long saga filled with cloaks bestowing god-like power and hopping-mad players who missed the boat. Possibly appropriate for a time-travelling event like this, Blizzard has now attempted to turn back the clock.

In case the sentence "bronze farmers mass-slaughtered Gulp Frogs for hours to buff their cloak to god-killing levels" makes your head-spin, here's a rundown: Earlier this month, WoW's Mists of Pandaria: Remix launched, allowing players to make a timerunning alt equipped with a Cloak of Infinite potential.

This cloak, alongside a set of gems that can be slotted into gear, lets players ramp up their bug numbers to heinous levels—the caveat being that once the event finishes in about three months, it all goes away. You get to keep the character as a max-level alt, though, which is nice, and you can also purchase account-wide transmog with the event-specific currency, bronze. All in all, it's a neat little romp through a beloved expansion that replaces the levelling experience—win-win, right?

Well, actually, because this is World of Warcraft, there are still winners and losers. Players were able to force Gulp Frogs, an enemy found in the TImeless Isle, to "hyperspawn"—allowing them to accrue power at unforeseen rates. This was subsequently followed by a hotfix that nerfed the frogs, but left their poachers rife with ill-gotten gains. Cue much ado about frog things, with pictures of DPS metres featuring the game's new upper crust dealing bajillions of damage pulling numbers on the internet, the basis for a rallying cry of: 'this is unfair, I should be doing bajillions of damage!'

Blizzard's continued to play whack-a-frog with other such farms, but the Gulp Frog controversy was by far the most dramatic. For a time, players believed they'd gotten away with it—until Friday last week when Blizzard announced that they, in fact, had not (thanks WoWhead). 

"We have been monitoring the impact of the Gulp Frog farming that some players did during the first three days of WoW Remix," writes community manager Kaivax on the game's forums. "We’ve also been working on ways to respond to player feedback about Bronze acquisition, increased difficulty at higher levels, and feeling too far behind those who took advantage of the frogs.

"With hotfixes later today, May 24, we will adjust characters with an unreasonably large number of Gulp Frog kills prior to the loot bug fix, and those players will see the power of their Cloak of Infinite Potential reduced to an amount that a very engaged player could reasonably achieve. This change will have a larger impact on players who took advantage of the situation for longer."

It seems like a pretty fair-handed response to me, but then again, I didn't engage in hours of grinding. While there have been other MoP: Remix-related exploits that very clearly go against intended mechanics, players flocking to a spot to kill mobs who are just there doesn't strike me as anything criminal or exploit-y, and Blizzard clearly agrees based on the lack of otherwise punitive action taken here. Moreover, engaging in such farms could quickly become expected play for the sweaty elite.

On the other hand, players who did spend a weekend killing frogs like they were in a certain episode of South Park might be feeling a touch shafted—which is fair. However, it's not like these farmers are having their experiences completely ruined—they're still, by all accounts, very powerful for this point in the event's lifespan.

Furthermore, players who were goodie two-shoes are being rewarded with a few quests they can turn in immediately for a bounty of 40,000 bronze: "Characters that killed an unreasonably large number of Gulp Frogs will not be eligible for these quests," Kaivax adds. 

Reactions in the thread are mixed. There's a general lowering of pitchforks from players who'd been shouting their throats raw about green injustice for over a week, though as some players point out, that 40,000 number feels like a consolation prize since gear upgrades are still tremendously pricey. As one player points out, "I will literally use up this 40k bronze gift in 5 minutes." 

While the event still has plenty of juice left in it, I do find it weird how upgrading gear and unlocking transmogs is all tied up in the same currency—with the former being extremely costly and the latter being rather more affordable. I think it's neat there's an endgame grind here, but the majority of said rewards are mostly impermanent, while transmogs are forever—unless you want to go for the vaunted Tusks of Mannoroth, which requires giving Garrosh a swirlie on Normal difficulty or higher, with further difficulties shortening the grind considerably. 

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.