Updated Wed, Nov 19, 2008 by Messiah
As the second expansion to the World of Warcraft draws nearer, Blizzard has unleashed the plague on the old world. Since the Wrath of the Lich King, is all about the Lich King (go figure), his forces have once again invaded the land. He has sent legions of scourge zombies to Azeroth to convert unsuspecting players into mindless zombies to attack and convert other players. In this weeks editorial, grumpy old Messiah takes a look at the event and voices his opinion on it.
Let's look at the whole event and what has happened in game so far. The basics are that the invasion started slowly last week, with the occasional plague zombie being seen. However what started slowly quickly escalated to more zombies and a more infectious disease. The plague started at as a 10 minute timer, but dropped to 5 minutes in the second phase. Now that the invasion has entered phase 3, the plague is down to a 2 minute time, and Necropolises have appeared all over the land, attacking cities and zones. Also there is a new boss in Karazhan, and the old pre-naxxramas mini-boss in Stratholme is back. You can find more detailed information in our guide to the event found here: The Scourge Invasion and Zombie Infestation Guide.
The event certainly fits the upcoming expansions theme, and it is kind of cool to see the groups of zombies wandering by. It is even cool the first time or two that you are bitten and converted into on. When you are converted the screen closes in on you and you can use several zombie like abilities to go on your quest for others to infect and find brains to eat. You can also use this as a way to converse with players from the other faction since all zombies can communicate with each other.
Once very cool thing about being a zombie is the ability to attack players of your own faction. This to me is gold! How often has someone of your own faction pissed you off, but there was nothing you could do about it. Now you can, get infected and go chase them down. Or hey, what about those slackers from your guild that don't pull their weight in a raid! Get converted and hunt them down too! There is no loyalty as a zombie, just brains to eat!
However, as much fun as I had hunting down idiots and slackers for a while, it grows old fast. It grows old even faster when everyone and their dog has nothing better to do than get themselves converted to a zombie and kill every NPC they can find. It is extremely frustrating when the auctioneers are dead over half the time in Ironforge, or the daily quest providers on the Sunwell Isle are all dead.
In an effort to stop the plague and the frustration I planted my Paladin around a group of zombies and started cleansing everyone nearby that got infected. However, it only took about 2 minutes to started getting yelled at by players that they wanted to get infected and to leave them alone. Huh? Your infected man, I'm the cure. Needless to say, their complaints only made me stay longer (60 minutes total and various threats of harassment) and keep cleansing everyone I could find.
While I really appreciate the fact that Blizzard is trying something new, I have to ask, "Why screw up the game for anyone that doesn't want to participate?". The idea is sound, but the implementation is horrible. The fact that players that just want to level or quest or any number of other things can not just ignore the event and keep doing what they want is ridiculous. The various past events that Blizzard put together were all completely optional. If you wanted to get involved you could, if you didn't you were not forced to. For example the gather of items for the opening of Ahn'Qiraj was great fun for all that wanted to participate but if you didn't want to, no big deal.
My final take on this event so far is that it could have been fun with some sort of opt in process, but as it stands it is horrible. The idea, theme and look all get points, but no way to opt out of it completely ruins it for me and many other players. Half of the guild chat on my main character is about the plague and how fed up they are with being attacked by someone that is infected. Or worse yet, players asking why they can not find a banker, auctioneer, or quest giver. Come on Blizzard, usually you are so good at giving people what they want without annoying others. This event really crosses the line. Players on a PvE server should not be essentially forced into a PvP environment.
Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Ten Ton Hammer network or staff.