Maybe take this with a grain of salt, but, the creator of Ethereum — the blockchain that spawned the NFT craze — says he was driven to create decentralized money because his World of Warcraft The cruelly infected character.
“I happily played World of Warcraft during 2007-2010, but one day Blizzard removed the damage component from my beloved warlock’s Siphon Life spell,” Vitalik Buterin, the programmer who developed Ethereum’s original concept in late 2013, says in a bio hosted at about.me. “I cried myself to sleep, and on that day I realized what horrors centralized services can bring. I soon decided to quit.”
Ethereum’s World of Warcraft Buterin has mentioned ties before in Wired profiles. Thomas Shadwell from Google, who noticed his about.me bio and commented on it, created social media buzz this weekend.
Polygon reached out to the representative of Ethereum Foundation to inquire if Buterin would like to expand on his comments. At publication, there was no reply.
Buterin expressed broad suspicion of corporations in that Wired profile (but did not mention Blizzard Entertainment by name), telling the publication, “I saw everything to do with either government regulation or corporate control as just being plain evil. And I assumed that people in those institutions were kind of like Mr. Burns, sitting behind their desks saying, ‘Excellent. How can I screw a thousand people over this time.’”
Siphon Life was in fact removed World of Warcraft patch 3.1.0 — “Secrets of Ulduar,” the first major content patch for the The Wrath of the LichkingThis expansion was released in November 2008. Patch 3.1.0 launched April 14, 2009. Buterin was only 15 at that time.
Siphon Life was an ability that transferred 15 Health per 3 Seconds from the target to the spellcaster until the game nerfed it out. It could do this for up to 30 seconds. Patch 3.1.0 replaced that with a healing effect caused by the Warlock’s Corruption spell — they get healing equivalent to 40% of the damage done by Corruption. At the time, Engadget said the change was “one of Blizzard’s ways of simplifying [the Affliction tree’s] complicated repertoire.”
“It’s a buff to Corruption, but the talent itself no longer offers a DPS boost,” Engadget said, getting to the heart of Buterin’s teenage anguish. Paraphrasing Buterin’s own words, Wired said he “had recently quit playing World of Warcraft, and perhaps he was just looking for the next obsession to take its place.”
Buterin created the Ethereum platform and announced it with three of his financial backers in Miami in December 2013. Ethereum was seen as an enhanced platform which could include real-world assets such as stock and property. This led to NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens, which have effectively turned digital items like art, NBA video highlights, someone’s tweets, and, of course, porn, into assets commanding eye-popping prices.
This is it! No Warcraft nerfs, no NFTs. Of course, that’s a Thank you Reductionist views are not uncommon, even though they come from the creator. The creator himself also lists his political affiliation as “intellectual hipster meta-contrarian,” and his occupation as “it’s complicated,” so maybe this origin story is similarly tongue-in-cheek.
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