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Posts with tag world-event

What Blizzard did right (and wrong) with the world event


I've been waiting to do some breakdown analysis of the Wrath world event until it actually ended, and since we're now swarming over Northrend and exploring Arthas' domain, I think the time has come to determine a verdict on whether or not Blizzard's world event delivered.

The short answer? I think it did, but not without a few bumps along the way. This was certainly the most ambitious world event Blizzard has attempted yet, both reusing some of their old techniques (the Scourge invasion), some newer tricks (a special boss with extra loot, which they learned from the Horseman last year), and even some tricks they picked up from players. But there were certain issues -- the timing was just plain bad, and the event really fizzled out rather than finished with a bang.

After the break, we run through what Blizzard did right and wrong with the world event, and what we can expect in the future.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath World Event continues: Lich King attacking Orgrimmar and Stormwind [Updated]


The Wrath of the Lich King opening event continues tonight. Orgrimmar is under attack. If it hasn't happened yet on your server it will soon. The major points of the attack are as follows:

  • Thrall is fighting Garrosh Hellscream in the Ring of Valor. Hellscream wins.
  • Frost Wyrms and Aboms are attacking the Valley of Honor in Orgrimmar.
  • Sylvanas can be seen marching around the Valley of Honor with a contingent of skeleton soldiers.
  • The event appears to repeat itself every 20 minutes
  • The Horde leaders are all talking to each other about the war with Arthas in-between Thrall fighting Hellscream.
  • There are many reports that the necropolises have left the major cities.
  • In Stormwind, Varian Wynn, Bolvarr, and a few other nobles are standing under a tent in the Harbor. They are offering quite a bit of new flavor text when you talk to them.
  • Stormwind Harbor is being attacked with Frost Wyrms and Aboms. The King and his company of nobles are defending the Harbor the best they can.
Continue reading on after the break for the full record of events! The events of the evening appear to be over, however if anything else develops we'll update this post.

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Filed under: Events, Wrath of the Lich King

Hints of another world event soon

This morning Nethaera, a community manager with Blizzard, posted the following on the general forums: "Perhaps something will be occurring before [the release of Wrath]. I guess it's something we'll have to wait and see."

This comes in a response to a question asking if there will be a couple more surprises before Wrath of the Lich King.

Of course Neth is being her usual vague self here, not really committing to anything one way or another. But the comment does raise an eyebrow, and the fact that she even decided to respond to the question without a definitive "no" is good enough to speculate that there might be another world event headed our way.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, News items

Breakfast Topic: What? That's it?


Three days and counting. There's so much excitement for the newest expansion -- I mean, look at us here at WoW Insider, we're going crazy giving away all sorts of wonderful swag just to celebrate the coming of Wrath (and probably to make up in advance for us not being around while we're busy playing the game. Sorry guys). What's happening inside the game to prepare us for Northrend?

Well, at the moment, it looks like... nothing. I mean, there was that phenomenally fun zombie invasion. I know a few of you found it annoying and disruptive, but come on! It was a game-changing event that really shook up Azeroth, even if only for a few days. When the zombie infestation ended earlier than we anticipated anticlimactically, we sort of expected something better to come. Well, it's been about a week now, and there's nothing new. Sure, the scourge invasion's still happening, but after hundreds and hundreds of Necrotic Runes and nothing else to buy, it's really kind of boring.

So was that it? An inspired zombie invasion and then nothing? That's kind of like running out of gas nearing the finish line. It's like opening the champagne before the guests arrive. If the zombie invasion had started a few days ago, I think the timing would've been absolutely perfect. Instead, our excitement (and sometimes frustration) got built up, escalating over a few days, then... poof. Nothing. It's like having a great first course of a meal and having the next course arrive so late that we've lost our appetite. How do you guys feel? Did Blizzard blow the timing of the zombie event? What else do they have planned? Whatever it is, they've only got a couple of days to unleash it.

Filed under: Events, Breakfast Topics, Wrath of the Lich King

Scourge Invasion comes to a close

As of 3PM PDT (6 PM by WoW Insider's clock) the Scourge are retreating from Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms on most servers, and the Scourge Invasion has come to a close... for now. In each of the capital cities there is still an Argent Dawn Champion handing out their Stamina consumables, as well as Argent Quartermaster so you can spend the last of your Necrotic Runes. The necropoleis, however, are all gone.

I fully expect we'll see something else crop up in the next week, not only because Tigole said so, but because it'd be really weird if the final week leading to Northrend is completely barren. There are also things we know are coming but aren't here yet... but those are spoilers, so we won't go into detail.

If anything happens, we'll make sure you hear about it, so keep an eye out. I doubt anything will happen this evening, but I've been wrong before.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Insider Show with BRK and BBB live tomorrow


Should be a great show tomorrow on the podcast, as we welcome two terrific WoW bloggers to the table. In one place together for the first (second? third?) time ever, both Daniel "BigRedKitty" Howell (who has his own very popular, very well-done podcast, by the way, if you haven't heard it yet) and John "BigBearButt" Patricelli will be in attendance. And we'll be talking about, as usual, all the biggest stories from the past week in Warcraft, including how the new Kara boss is going (and almost gone), whether Karazhan itself is too easy these days, and that whole class forums megaton yesterday (that turned out to be a dud, more or less). And we'll cover the end of the zombie event, too, and whether or not it worked the way Blizzard planned it to, or if they cut it short early because of all the griefing.

The show will air live at 3:30pm Eastern (time zone calculator) over on our Ustream page. Lots of people have had questions about how to get the show lately (and of course, it hasn't helped that our feed is going through some growing pains), but all of your questions should be answered in our last podcast post. And we're working on the quality issues, too -- I can assure you that the recording issue has been fixed, so no more tinny voices this week.

But you don't want to wait until the recording anyway -- join us on the Ustream page tomorrow (or just come back to this post -- the stream is embedded after the break), and you can chat with us and other listeners live, as well as vote in polls and participate in a rumored "aftershow" that's been popping up after we're done recording lately. See you tomorrow!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Instances, Humor, Bosses, WoW Insider Show

Times Online examines WoW's zombies and the connection to real life

Forget Fox News -- the Times Online has an analysis up of Blizzard's zombies event, and their main point seems to be that you can't compare a plague outbreak in the World of Warcraft to one in real life. Risk is what defines real outbreaks, and since there was really no risk in whether you became a zombie or not, players didn't necessarily act as they would in the real world. Some players even willingly submitted to infection, which of course presumably wouldn't happen with a real widespread fatal disease.

But there are parallels to be drawn, and professors say that the zombie plague worked a little closer to real life than Hakkar's corrupted blood did (no coincidence, I'm sure, that the zombie plague was designed to be spread, while the Corrupted Blood was basically a bug). While the plague never did really infect everyone in the world, it did spread pretty quickly -- apparently there's a number you can use to track how quickly a disease spreads, and the zombie plague landed in the arena of a normal outbreak of smallpox (given, of course, that we don't know exactly how fast or how widely it spread).

Very interesting. There is still more to say about this plague, I think (and though things have slowed down on the realms, hopefully the event itself isn't completely over). But it is fascinating how Blizzard turned emergent gameplay into an official event, and how they mimicked the real-life qualities of a spreading disease (the more of it around, the more likely you were to pick it up) while still leaving the idea firmly grounded in the in-game lore. Very cool indeed.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, NPCs, Buffs

FOX news covers WoW's Zombie Invasion

FOX news picked up the story of the big zombie invasion, citing that the plague came to an end on Tuesday. They covered the event as a deliberate contagion that, if left "untreated," would turn you into one of the "flesh-eating zombies." Like our own Mike Schramm, FOX parallels this purposeful in-game disease with the previous accidental "Corrupted Blood" plague.

I love it when WoW is in the news. I love it even more when the media's not talking about us being game-addicted fiends smashing the buttons for our Pavlovian treat. While FOX's story isn't exactly ground-breaking info for those of us toiling against the continuing Scourge invasion, it might reach a few of our friends and coworkers and convince them to give WoW a try.

Or, this coverage could just be another sign of the impact Blizzard's game is having on the mainstream, while that 11 million subscriber base just keeps growing. And, yup, FOX's article does mention the upcoming Wrath release, so it's certainly possible Blizzard will see a few more players from the coverage. Every time WoW has an event like this which has mainstream interest, there'll be a few more people logging for the first time to see what the buzz is about. And, hey, it certainly lines up with the Holiday theme.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items, Wrath of the Lich King

Breaking down Blizzard's world event so far

Blizzard, as we've said already, has really outdone themselves with this latest world event. It's been so fun and so innovative that players are wondering just why the rest of the game hasn't been this good so far (even though, of course, it's been superb anyway). The zombie invasion really gave players of MMOs everything they've wanted since this genre first came into being -- a growing, changing world populated not by mindless AI characters stuck in static patterns, but actual, creeping story and chaos. For all of the anti-zombie whining, this world event has been MMO gameplay at, I'd say, the best it's ever been.

And while I was waiting until the event completely ended to do a final analysis, Colin Brennan over at Massively isn't waiting -- he's got a good analysis up over there about the zombie event and just why it was so brilliant. He describes how the world event not only gave players a terrific reason to hate Arthas enough to go to Northrend and want to fight him, but how the gameplay design of the event (when you are killed by a zombie, you become one) was tuned towards fueling the story and the immersion. As he says, the best way to fight the plague was to embrace the fact it was in the game, whether you were a zombie or a cleansing Paladin.

There's lots more to dissect with this world event, including how Blizzard brilliantly invoked something that had happened by accident -- the Corrupted Blood plague -- and incorporated it into the game itself, and how the various zombie abilities were aimed directly at gameplay only possible in an MMO, from the AoE healing to the shrinking plague incubation time. I'll go so far as to say it expanded the boundary of what an MMO can do -- Blizzard let zombies loose on the populace not by hiring GMs to run around on every server, but by giving power to the players. But again -- there'll be time for analysis later, once we've discovered ingame just exactly what's going on here and how it all ties to Arthas. Colin's analysis is a good start, though -- Blizzard really outdid themselves with, even considering the complaints, one of the best world events ever seen in an MMO.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Quests, Lore

What to do after the zombie apocalypse

Ah, zombie apocalypse. We hardly knew you. Your sudden departure leaves a lot of us confused, even if Blizzard swears it was all on purpose and according to plan.

Regardless, the zombie plague seems to be over for now. We talked last week about how you could roleplay your sudden transformation into the undead brain muncher. Now, let's take a bit to talk about how your survivors are going to be feeling about this mess.

  • Remorse. If you acknowlege that you died, came back as a zombie, died as a zombie, and came back yet again as a humanoid race, then you should probably acknowledge that you did some pretty horrible things. It's one thing to think, "My God, I ate the neighbor's cat," but there's a whole level of horror involved with "My God, I ate the neighbor!"

    This also supplies that most beloved motivation for roleplayers everywhere -- angst. You can be horrified ("I ate the neighbor!"), angsty ("And I liked it!"), and perhaps even be corrupted ("I'd do it again!"). If the memory of your wanton deeds aren't enough to sustain your remorseful roleplay, you can look to further naughty urges to supply more angst.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, RP, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: Uh, now what?


So the zombie invasion's over, huh? Just like that, the coolest World Event to ever hit Azeroth was gone just as quickly as it arrived. If you didn't log on this past week, you likely missed what was one of the most chaotic and fun times in the game -- players turning into zombies, infected roaches and rats infesting cities, and hordes of Scourge knocking at our city gates. It was unique, creepy, fun, and sometimes even disruptive -- but it was one of the most well-designed events we've ever seen happen to our favorite game. And now it appears to be over.

What happened there, exactly? Just when everything was ramping up to a fine crescendo -- with the disease duration shaved down to an apocalyptic one minute and infected rats streaming out of our city sewers -- it suddenly dies out without warning or climax. No big battle. No quests to fight zombies. No conclusive finding of a cure (Grand Apothecary Putress' quest line wasn't quite anywhere near epic...). It just... ended. There were rumors of something going down at 4pm server time, but that hour came and went without so much as a bang and a clatter.

What happens now? What do you guys think is in store for Azeroth? Certainly the Lich King won't let things end in such an anti-climactic fashion, right? Arthas, the baddest of all bad guys, must have something else up his cold, icy sleeve, right? What's going to happen next? Armies of Scourge attacking cities, perhaps, or some other impressive, crazy thing. I mean, certainly things won't be status quo all the way until November 13. Or can it?

Filed under: Events, Breakfast Topics, Wrath of the Lich King

Zombie invasion phase 5.5 - quests to the faction leaders and Shattrath [Updated x4]


Phase 5.5, as we're calling it right now, has started. This phase is coming about approximately six hours after phase 5 began. There are new quests available from any commoner in a main city. The quest will send you to some folks right outside of A'dal's room, who will then send you to your faction leader. During the time you have this quest, you'll be whispered be a Frozen Shade or Dual-plagued Brain, taunting you to join the forces of the Lich King. We have a listing of what these evil creatures are telling you after the break.

It is all very, very evil. And very, very cool.

These quests all hint at a cure being found for the plague. Additionally, there are new structures appearing in Shattrath. They are all apparently being commanded by Grand Apothecary Putress (WoWWiki information).

The bullet points for this phase are as follows. Time stamped updates are given after the break.
  • A cure for the plague is being worked on.
  • New quests given by "commoners" in the capital cities.
  • Quests lead to Putress and the faction leaders.
  • Grand Apothecary Putress appears as a level 80 elite NPC in Shattrath.
  • Putress has some interesting idle conversation while in Shattrath.
  • The Night Elf faction leader hints at a new World Tree upon quest completion.
  • A Frozen Shade or a Dual-plagued Brain will have a conversation with you while you're completing the quests.
Look through our gallery below for the new images of this phase.

Many thanks to everyone who is sending up tips! You're helping everyone stay abreast of the latest invasion news!

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Filed under: Events, News items, Wrath of the Lich King

Argent Knight: My new best friend needs to level

One of the cooler things out of the zombie invasion is the quest rewards. The Argent War Horn stands as one of the most "epic" of all the rewards. This trinket will summon an Argent Knight to your side. He's got some spiffy abilities and stats. Let's take a look:
  • HP - 2442
  • Mana – 2434
  • Damage: About 100 melee and about 150 crusader strike on a level 60 mob.
He also has some spells:
  • Heal: Heals a person for around 700, often times casting when the person is at 25% or lower health.
  • Blessing of Protection: Target becomes immune to damage. Unknown when he casts this.
  • Crusader Strike: A powerful attack that increases holy damage done to the target.
The down side to this guy is that he's only level 60. That's kind of weird given that the trinket requires level 70 to use. I wouldn't be surprised to see his level increased to 70 in some future patch. However at the same time they might leave him at 60 just in order to keep this trinket as more of a joke item, rather then making it anything useful.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Odds and ends

Zombie infection down to 1 minute

This just in... you now become a zombie after only one minute.

After you kill a zombie infect player, creature, or NPC you'll become infected the plague that turns you into zombie. This plague now only takes one minute to increase your brain eating needs to epic levels.

Does this mean phase five is about to being? Update: Yes, it appears phase 5 is beginning.

We can't tell just yet, but we're all on the lookout for it. Phase 4 has brought lots of new rewards, events, and other fun things. Keep your eyes peeled, and if you see anything drop us a tip on our tip line!

Update: Almost all Argent Dawn Healers are gone. The only ones in IF I was able to find were near the flight path and the King's room.

WoW Insider likes us some braaaains!

Thanks to the many people who sent this in!

Filed under: Events, News items

Meet Tenris Mirkblood, a new Kara boss, possibly for the Scourge event


Our friend Boubouille over at MMO Champion has done some more digging in the datafiles of the beta realms, and pulled out a brand new boss in Karazhan of all places. Meet Prince Tenris Mirkblood of the San'layn, a group of elven princes aligned with none other than The Lich King himself. He's not live on active servers at all -- again, Boubouille dug this up from beta realm files, so we may never actually see Tenris in game.

But there are a few quests surrounding the boss as well -- for more on how he might be included in the game during the world event (including possible spoilers), hit the link below.

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Filed under: Patches, Instances, Lore, Bosses, NPCs, Rumors

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