A Nitrocompounded Ultra Kineto-pyrotech Utility Launched At Range, often shortened to N.U.K.U.L.A.R. or dubbed a Nuke, is a high-yield explosive weapon that first saw use during the Alliance-Horde War. Its destructive power has proven comparable to an unmodified Mana Bomb, and outclasses the more abundantly used Seaforium. Many nukes often use very high-grade and expensive explosive - sometimes elemental - material, potentially a reason for the nuke's relative obscurity in battle.
Under the orders of High Warlord Cromush, the first well-known usage of nukes was observed in the Battle for Hillsbrad, when four pocket-nukes were dispatched against the Stormpike Clan at strategic points. Such a weapon saw use again during the War against the Iron Horde, as both factions granted garrison commanders with access to engineering workshops that could allow the launch of tactical N.U.K.U.L.A.R. warheads to devastating effect. These warheads were of a lesser yield spread among multiple projectiles, but were often capable of decimating entire enemy lines and crippling daunting opponents.
Since then, the A.T.O.M.I.K. weapon had been developed, a powerful explosive device that instead used Arcane Magic, and saw more use during the Fourth War and the races to obtain Azerite. The A.T.O.M.I.K. weapon was comparable to a mana bomb in the technology it used, though it was also deployed in a similar fashion as the Draenor nukes, with multiple smaller blasts unleashed in a broad area.
Meanwhile, the N.U.K.U.L.A.R. weapon has not seen the same deployment it saw in years past, suggesting it may have been retired or is no longer sanctioned. Though not often used to the same extent as their original debut, nukes have seen construction by parties within the factions and even independents.
The term "nitrocompounded" refers primarily to the mechanism used to detonate the nuke, which relies on using heated stimuli as energy to superheat an elemental nucleus until it detonates. The exact delivery has varied from developer to developer, with some generating the sufficient heat through explosives, and others using flammable substance to heat it instead. Goblin "pocket-nukes" employed in Hillsbrad involved bundles of dynamite strapped around a large casing, presumably containing a highly explosive core that would react to sufficient energy.
A N.U.K.U.L.A.R. explosion is primarily announced by a blinding flash of light. Those caught in the immediate epicenter of the blast are likely to be instantly vaporized. It releases a thermal pulse that sets its surroundings ablaze, with almost all flammable material in range immediately catching fire. This is subsequently followed by the forcible shockwave of the explosion.
A tactical nuke is one that may be used on the front lines during battle between forces. Such uses must either be extremely precise to ensure no collateral damage as a result, or reduce the explosive yield as to be feasible in open conflict. During the Draenor campaigns, the Alliance and Horde both sanctioned the use of NUKULAR weapons for use by commanders of established garrisons. These were of a lesser yield compared to the weapons displayed in prior conflicts, and unleashed a spread of explosions rather than a singular blast. They remained extremely destructive, while also keeping the damage relatively confined for a more "precise" strike.