Natural disasters are just a part of life--there’s no telling if you’ll be struck by lightning, buried under an avalanche, or be pinned by a rock for 127 hours. But you’ve likely never feared instantaneous incineration by a massive, malicious dragon when taking a stroll outside. That’s the terror that faced players across Azeroth prior to the release of the Cataclysm expansion. To convey the cause of the world-altering event known as The Shattering, players cowered before the awesome might of upcoming raid boss Deathwing, as he flew through the skies tearing familiar territories apart, permanently.
At any time of day, in a totally random location (save for cities and starting zones), Deathwing could come barreling down from above, turning the sky an ominous crimson and causing fearful players to wet themselves. Upon arrival, Deathwing would spew molten flame on those beneath them, immolating anyone unfortunate enough to be in his path and transforming them into burnt toast. All players could do was take solace in the fact that their pitiful deaths granted them the “Stood in the Fire” achievement.