A group of unfortunate World of Warcraft Classic players have fallen victim to a troll in a scheme that took a truly villainous level of dedication, planning, and sociopathy. The event has been dubbed The 5th Horseman incident, and the most horrible detail of all is that it took place in WoW Classic's Hardcore mode with a max-level raid team that got wiped. Their characters, and the unimaginable amount of time it must take to hit level 60 in WoW Classic Hardcore, are now lost, like tears in rain.
"Arguably the greatest grief in all of MMORPG history right here," said GeekWithChris, going on to explain what went into this: "The sheer amount of time to level to 60, never die, farm all the mats to make all these raid consumables, get world buffs, earn trust to be main tank on the specific boss that can wipe the raid solo... damn!"
The raid encounter is the Four Horsemen (hence the "5th horseman" gag) and Tinyviolin69 is one of the group's main tanks. Tinyviolin69 had been playing with this crowd for around a year, though it's unclear how he was able to gain the group's trust, because he already had a reputation as a WoW Classic griefer, to the extent he's had multiple accounts banned in the past. And you have to say the name's a bit of a tell.
The below video shows the section of the boss fight where Tinyviolin69 screws up their casting and positioning before, as the boss begins to wipe the group, they all realise what's happening. You can hear the anguish in comms. "Did he just do that?" says one player, before another plaintively answers "yeah he did." 36 members of the group are wiped; two of the characters survive.
There's further context in an interview WoW streamer Asmongold conducted with a Hardcore Elite player involved with the group. They say Tinyviolin69 had been with the group for about a year, and when members were alerted to the player's past actions it was decided to give them a second chance. Tinyviolin69 had apparently played and raided with these players incredibly regularly. So it's unclear whether this is some devilish plan an entire year in the making, or simply that when Tinyviolin69 saw an opportunity, their true nature could not be resisted.
Here's a slightly longer clip with commentary from someone who knows what they're talking about:
Reactions among the WoW community are pretty much split down the middle, with some declaring this the funniest thing they've ever seen, while others despair at the state of the human race.
"The hc [Naxxramas] wipe has to be the most legendary and degenerate thing I've ever seen… It was beautiful," said Stormlux. "Tinyviolin was the 5th horseman." Noodle also summed up a lot of reactions: "this is hilarious asf.. I feel bad but god damn that's good."
"Pretending to be friends with 40 people in a hobby just to betray them is psycho shit," notes Rat_Technician. My favourite of the anti- reactions though was from Wakewilder, who amusingly dialled up the pathos: "Is this even “trolling?” Leveling a character to 60 in (even normal) Classic feels like nurturing a child through the perils of youth and into the promise of a better future. This man killed 36 babies. Did the Nuremberg trials mean nothing? Is this not a warcrime?"
Some players simply expressed disbelief that Tinyviolin69 was able to obtain the group's trust in the first place. "You just found out the guy you're camping with was an axe murderer," said Alagator, "[and] you just keep chilling with him? Well he hasn't murdered anyone since he started hanging out with us!!!!!!"
"I just think it's funny that they invited a member of the Leopard eating people's faces party," said Daxoss, "and thought they would avoid having their faces eaten."
Other players are simply enjoying the memes:
Tinyviolin69 claims this was a mistake, but I'm pretty sure there's laughter in their voice. With an act like this, they'd be a real good fit in EVE Online. Though that question will always remain about whether this was planned from the start, or simply a case of the Scorpion and the Frog in Azeroth. I guess if you want that Classic experience, you have to make some classic mistakes.