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World of Warcraft is finally getting an arachnophobia mode

World of Warcraft is introducing an arachnophobia mode to help players deal with spiders.
world of warcraft spiders crabs

World of Warcraft: The War Within is an upcoming game expansion with a small quirk: it spotlights the Nerubian race, a group of “highly intelligent arachnoids and insectoids” with creepy long legs and spider-limbs. For those with arachnophobia – a fear of spiders – the appearance of the Nerubians will likely be an obstacle. So, Blizzard has devised a new feature for those who need it: an optional arachnophobia mode.

In this mode, the game’s Nerubians, and its spiders, will be transformed into large crabs. They’ll still have the same sharp limbs (and the same in-game hit boxes), but will have a more friendly look. The transformation will likely reduce the fear inspired by arachnophobia, and make the game easier to enjoy for everyone.

As detailed by Eurogamer, this arachnophobia mode will arrive alongside The War Within, which is set to arrive in late summer to early autumn [Northern Hemisphere] – although it will not be exclusive to this expansion.

Read: World of Warcraft 2024 roadmaps revealed

“We made it retroactive so it does everything,” associate design director Maria Hamilton told Eurogamer. Any spider-like enemy in the game can be transformed with the mode on, ensuring there’s no surprises while wandering WoW.

Per Eurogamer, the mode works very smoothly, and “the transformation doesn’t erase a sense of what you’re fighting.” Rather, it’s a simple visual switch to make the game more approachable.

In recent years, arachnophobia modes have become more common in games, to better accomodate all players. Grounded features a prominent arachnophobia mode that turns spiders into wandering balls with no legs. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor also has a similar mode, to transform the game’s spider-like Wyyyschokks.

Per Hamilton, the reason why the World of Warcraft team didn’t implement an arachnophobia mode earlier is simple: they didn’t realise how much the fear of spiders impacted people.

“I think we didn’t realise it was such a big thing for people, honestly,” Hamilton told Eurogamer.

“When we started talking about [The War Within] internally, like, ‘Oh we’re going to do Nerubians,’ a lot of people within our team said, ‘Oh, I’m really bad with spiders. Could we not do Nerubians?’ We were like, ‘Oh hmm… We do want to do Nerubians. That’s definitely a thing we want to do. But if there’s a lot of people that…’ Then we started doing some research and we realised, wow, this actually is a big thing – for quite a lot of people this is a big thing. And we started looking at what other games had done to deal with this problem as well.”

After deep research, the World of Warcraft team developed its new arachnophobia mode, with the view to include as many players as possible. For those who’ve avoided World of Warcraft specifically for its spiders, there’s now a strong new reason to check out the game. As detailed, the WoW arachnophobia mode will debut later this year.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.