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Posts with tag zombie-infestation

WoW Archivist: The zombie plague event

Zombies attack
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

We have one more week of the Iron Horde invasion event before we can take the fight through the portal to Draenor. Most players seem to think this event is serviceable, if unexciting. Like all such events, it lives in the shadow of the most memorable pre-expansion event in WoW's long history: the zombie plague. It debuted almost exactly six years ago, and Blizzard has never topped it.

If you need evidence, just look at the comments on the previous WoW Archivist about patch 3.0. I only mentioned the event in passing as a topic for a future column. Even so, readers posted more about the plague event than about any of the other 3.0 features like achievements, glyphs, or pally nerfs.

Shaking the foundations

Although the players knew some kind of Scourge-based event awaited us, no one knew the details or the scope. At midnight on October 22, 2008, it began. Argent Dawn members appeared in capital cities to warn us. "The Lich King is attempting to make his presence known," they said. "We must not let this occur."

At the event's inception, WoW Insider posted an article speculating on what we might soon face, and our hopes turned out to be prophetic:

Will it be a simple replay of the Scourge Invasion that brought Naxxramas to our shores for the first time? Or will it be something even more sinister, a world event that shakes the very foundations of the World of Warcraft as we know it?

Call us destructive, but we're kind of hoping for the second.

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

Breakfast Topic: Elementals vs. Zombies -- which event was better?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

In the days leading up to Wrath of the Lich King, plagued crates started showing up in major cities, triggering a widespread zombie infestation that, for a few days, brought World of Warcraft as we knew it essentially to a halt. In the days leading up to Cataclysm, cultists started showing up in the major cities, heralding an elemental invasion that would also impact World of Warcraft, just before the game would change once and for all.

With both events now in the history books, which event leaves you with the better memories?

For better or worse, the zombie infestation will almost surely go down as the more memorable event. It involved unique player mechanics not seen before or since and even created a de facto third faction which members of both Alliance and Horde could temporarily join (not always voluntarily). The elemental invasion? Quests were there, you did them, stuff showed up, you killed it. The settings may have been unique, but in the end it was still "just WoW."

Which brings us to the downsides. During the zombie infestation, WoW stopped being WoW. Which meant: Want to raid? Want to quest? Want to farm? Too bad. All that was pretty much shut down, and we weren't being told when it would be back. It turned out to be just four days, but nobody knew that at the time. With the elemental invasion, when players got tired of it, for the most part they could ignore it. Dalaran and Icecrown Citadel were unaffected, and pretty much everything was out of the way except for the city events -- and for those, you always knew that things would be back to normal in an hour at most.

Neither event was without its flaws, and both were unique in the history of WoW. No doubt the advent of the next expansion will produce another such event. Which event would you like the next one to be more like?

Elementals vs. Zombies: Which expansion launch event was better?
Wrath's zombie invasion was cooler.14560 (82.3%)
Cataclysm's elemental invasion was better.3137 (17.7%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Guest Posts

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

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.

Read more →

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

Zombies are bad for the economy

It's a good thing the zombies are going away now, isn't it? For the past few days, I noticed -- or rather my money-making wife noticed -- that the undead throng was badly tanking Azerothian commerce. The reason is that a lot of players' bankers and Auction House entrepreneurs are low-level alts that succumbed easily to the plague and random zombie attacks. When a Level 65 city guard turned into a zombie, it would naturally aggro the low-level bank mules and auction house regulars, killing them instantly. It didn't help that most players-turned-minions-of-the-Scourge usually targeted the Banks and Auction Houses for infection. Actually, we even recommended it as the best course of action as a (not so) mindless ghoul.

When the disease grew potent enough to transform anyone it infected within a minute, it became practically impossible to accomplish anything. Especially not with Argent Healers calling for a hasty retreat. Entire cities -- or key areas of cities -- were quickly transformed into ghoulish carnivals and it was simply too bothersome to do any business. As a result, players couldn't put anything up on the Auction House nor could anyone buy anything, either, slowing commerce to a crawl. My wife's daily Auction House profits of upwards 500 Gold dwindled down to nary a copper with her alt being unable to collect from the mailbox, move stuff from the bank, or scan the Auction House, as she died istantly to roving zombies.

What's next in store for us? Did Blizzard really cave in to the demands of players who felt that the World Event disrupted their normal routine too much? Or is there something more devious waiting in the wings? I know my wife was so upset by being unable to conduct her business that she decided to hold off from logging in at least until the event died down. Now that the zombie infestation seems to be under control, perhaps business will pick up again. Or maybe not, depending on what Blizzard has prepared for Azeroth. One thing's for sure, these Dawn of the Dead-type events certainly take a bite out of the economy.

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

The plague is gone, zombies dropping like flies

Just as Tigole said, the plague has indeed gone away. The crates are still there, but you can't contract the plague anymore. The zombies haven't been wiped out yet, but they'll eventually just wear themselves down, they can't spread the infection. No ceremony, no big events or explosions, the plague just stopped being effective. A little disappointing, really.

However, there is a rumor, a rumor, that at 4 PM PST there will be stuff goin' down in Azeroth. Supposedly it will be 'epic.' What is it? I don't know. It's entirely a rumor, but man do we love us some rumors. You do too, don't you? I thought so! Well, if anything actually does happen, we'll be right here to let you know!

Edit: Well, a whole lot of nothin' happened. Rumors are a fickle mistress! A few readers have reported that the necopoli outside of major cities are hovering lower in the sky, but it's difficult to tell. That's all we've seen or heard so far.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard

Scourge Invasion: Sever

Sever is a level 21 Abomination boss found in Shadowfang Keep only during the Scourge Invasion event. Moreover, Shadowfang Keep (and its associated quests on the Horde side) is the precursor to another upcoming storyline as mentioned by Blizzard (and beta testers) so I highly recommend giving this place a go if you haven't yet. Low level players will enjoy the drops here, and both low and high level players will appreciate seeing the story of this dungeon and your final opportunity to see a boss we may never see again.

If you're a new player playing Alliance and you're trying to get to Shadowfang Keep, you have quite a journey ahead of you. Shadowfang Keep lies in Silverpine Forest, in the northern Eastern Kingdoms. For Horde players, that's just a jog down the block. For Alliance, you'll be crossing half of a continent. It's easiest to start from Ironforge (if you're a Night Elf or Draenei, you can take the boat from Auberdine to the Stormwind Harbor, and from there take the tram to Ironforge) and run east to Loch Modan. From there, run north through the Loch, up through the Wetlands, east through the Arathi Highlands and the Hillsbrad Foothills, and then to the Keep itself in Silverpine.

That's pretty much what my map looked like the first time I tried to find the place. I saw the funny shaped island and said, "Ooooh that must be it!" That took me through a slightly more dangerous area than the real path. Follow the red arrow to the red circle. That's Shadowfang Keep.

If you and your group is into the story of WoW, wait until you're all there and go into the dungeon together. When you zone in, run straight ahead to the grate blocking you off from the courtyard and watch the show.

Once that's done, start clearing the dungeon! I won't ruin how to do it for any low level parties that are trying this place out, but I'll give a little guidance at least. You need to get to the courtyard to progress, but it's sealed off with a locked door. There's a way through it, so kill the baddies in this first area until you find it.

When you're in the courtyard, stop off and kill some ponies for a free bag. Sweet, sweet bags. Then you go to the right, where you're faced with a split in the road.

It's dark in Shadowfang Keep, so it's difficult to see in my screenshot, but there are two ways you can go here. Up the ramp, or through the door just left of the ramp which leads to the kitchen and banquet hall. If you just want Sever, you want to go up the ramp. If you want to see all of the bosses, you can hang a left and clear through the kitchen and banquet hall. Once you've done that, you can backpedal a little and go through Sever, then continue through the dungeon. The rest of the exploration is up to you! Have fun with Shadowfang!

We're not done with Sever himself, though. Sever is an abomination, and as you'd expect from abominations, he's a pretty physical fighter. He hits like a truck on level-appropriate players, but you should be okay. He's a tank and spank encounter. If you don't know what that means since this might be your first dungeon, it means he has very few gimmicks or tricky mechanics. Your tank tanks, and your DPS spanks him. He'll pound on the tank and every now and then cast Diseased Spit which does around 100 Nature damage and lowers your stamina a little. Nothing tricky, nothing scary. When he has roughly 40% of his health left, he'll Enrage and his melee damage will go waayyy up. I've heard people say he has an AOE Fear as well, but I've never actually seen him do it myself.

Once Sever is dead, enjoy your rewards! There are only two items on his loot table. There's a two-handed axe, The Axe of Severing, that is pretty good. He also has cloth leggings with spell power on them, Abomination Skin Leggings. Casters see very little spell power this early in the game, so this is actually an incredible drop for level 20ish players that don't have someone twinking them out. Heck, if you do have someone twinking you out, make them do it with these! They're fantastic.

And that's Sever! Your next target will probably be Scorn, whether you're high or low level. He's the closest in terms of difficulty and location, being level 30ish and up in the Scarlet Monastery.

Filed under: Instances, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King

Skill Mastery: Zombie Explosion!

By now you must know that it is inevitable. The zombies are here and they are growing in number. In time, you too shall become one of the Scourge, and Azeroth shall feel the icy tendrils of the Lich King's will. There are quite a number of ways to serve the Lich King, but by far the most insidious and shows the most loyalty is the self-sacrifice of a minion to Zombie Explosion!. If you are but to do one thing for the Lord Arthas, it is this. Explode and infect the world around you.

It's important to know that You're Infected!, the disease that turns unwitting players into subservient members of the Scourge, now has a 2 1 minute duration. This is a mere fifth tenth of the original duration and gives players very little time to rid themselves of the infection. The radius of Zombie Explosion! has also been increased greatly, allowing you, for example, to explode inside Orgrimmar's Auction House and infecting everyone inside it. Use this spell in Auction Houses, Banks, and in front of heavily crowded Mailboxes for optimum effect.

The best way to wreak as much havoc is to quietly get infected (you can kill a Plagued Roach or click on a Conspicuous Crate), and situate yourself in a densely populated area. Some players will try to rid you of the disease, so be wary of Priests, Paladins, and Shamans. The moment you turn, start casting Zombie Explosion!. Don't bother with anything else. It is a four second cast spell, with pushback extending that to five, so you must try to get it off as quickly as possible. There is nothing subtle about this ability... it is simple, it is devious, and best of all, you explode in a symphony of rotting body parts and noxious green gas. All hail the Lich King!

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

Zombie Fighting 101

As you probably already know, there are zombies everywhere. Fortunately, you won't need to go to extreme lengths in order to fight them, such as grafting a chainsaw to yourself as a replacement hand. On the other hand, boomsticks will serve you well. Before we go about the strategies of how to fight legions of undead, it might help to read on all their abilities as well as some of their nefarious strategies for growing their numbers. Obviously, we won't need to tell you how to fight NPC zombies... they're mindless. But those crafty players-turned-zombies must be smote with righteous fury!

Move faster

The good news is that Azerothian zombies, just like in most movies, move slow. Just be sure to stay farther than 21 yards away from them as they have Retch! a ranged spell that will slow anyone within the area of effect. This is the smoky green cloud on the ground you see in all those screenshots. They can also summon a burst of speed using Lurch! so don't be too confident that they won't close the distance. That ability also frees them from movement impairing effects so trapping them or slowing them isn't a guarantee you'll be able to stay away from them. The idea is to kite the zombies, because getting into melee range with them is a very bad idea.

Read more →

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

The plague grows...

Reports have been coming in from all over that the sinister powers behind the zombie infestation has taken their onslaught to the next level. Conspicuous Crates have begun appearing in major cities as well as Plagued Roaches, critters that infect you when killed. The crates with a grain icon stamped on the side initially appeared in Booty Bay, but have since been distributed to more populated areas all over Azeroth. This is eerily reminiscent of the beginnings of the plague in Warcraft III, where Arthas Menethil fought to stem the tide of the plague but ultimately lost.

It seems like Mike was right -- things are indeed taking a turn for the worse. Some readers have also pointed out that although chillingly similar, the source of the infestation might not be the Lich King, after all. As players may well know, the Forsaken's Royal Apothecary Society have been working on a new plague on their own, too. Who is truly behind this dastardly plot? Only time will tell. It's certainly something for all of us to chew on. In the meantime, might we encourage you to try out some other things you can chew on... like braaaaaiiiins, perhaps?

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

Breakfast Topic: Braiiins for breakfast?

If you've paid any attention to the goings-on in the World of Warcraft lately, you probably know that Arthas has already made his first move and sent crates of a conspicuous nature to some very public places in Azeroth. They're not exactly gift packages, either, as clicking on these crates will infect you with a ghoulish disease. There've been reports of zombies attacking towns, feasting on the innocents, and turning entire populations into the Lich King's servants.

Have you unwittingly (or wittingly!) gotten infected? Have you had the disease run its course and turn you into one of the malevolent Scourge? Are you one of the remaining bastions of the Light, cleansing all who may be infected and smiting those who have been transformed? How are handling this world event that's preparing us for Wrath of the Lich King?

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

Zombie Infestation Survival Guide

Bornakk posted some excerpts from what appear to be an old diary in the dead town of Andorhal. The diary details the struggles of one Eric Farrington, who explains the horrors of seeing loved ones transformed into gruesome tools of the Scourge only to be eventually transformed himself... and hunger for brains. Bornakk also appended a short Q&A that should answer some of the questions players might have about the new Scourge invasion. Of course, most of those same questions have already been covered by Mike in his live... er, undeadblog.

Bornakk didn't mention that zombies also have their own language, and when players speak while transformed, their speech will be unintelligible to normal players. While the Q&A addresses how to avoid getting infected and finding a cure, players who might want to experience becoming part of the Scourge are encouraged to read up on the unique zombie abilities...

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

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