Captain Placeholder was originally created purely as a temporary measure in the Beta version of the game, allowing players to instantly teleport from Menethil Harbor to Auberdine, when some of the boat paths had yet to be implemented. His counterpart, Captain Noteo, would take travelers from Auberdine to Menethil Harbor. After the retail launch, a glitch in the normal operation of the Menethil Harbor-Auberdine boat path prompted Blizzard to reinstate Captain Placeholder until a fix could be included in an upcoming patch. Blizzard fixed the glitch in an April 2005 patch.
Captain Placeholder quickly became quite popular among players due to his ability to instantly transport players to the other continent at their own leisure, instead of waiting for the boat to arrive. He was a popular source of jokes for players, so when Blizzard removed him, some fans of the NPC petitioned Blizzard to bring him back in some form, and 'Eledainn' of the guild Greystar created a song called the Lament of Captain Placeholder. This song was in turn and with the express permission of Eledainn given a cover by Cranius which helped the tune reach even more players' ears.
CataclysmThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.Captain Placeholder (now Cap'n Placeholder) returns in the Cataclysm beta as a level 95 elite, Horde-aligned character. He is seen dancing on the Goblin Rocketway, and appears to serve no purpose.
LegionThis section concerns content exclusive to Legion.As of the release of World of Warcraft: Legion, Captain Placeholder has returned again, this time in spirit form. This version of the captain also appears to be a Night Elf, rather than human. He can be found at the end of Moon Guard Stronghold in the "The Lunar Crucible" in Suramar.
- Video of the Lament of Captain Placeholder tribute song, recorded by Eledainn in 2005, released on Youtube in July 2007.
- Machinima music video of Lament of Captain Placeholder, produced and re-recorded by Cranius released on YouTube in January 2009.