Tobold's Blog
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Zombie world event starts in WoW

WoWInsider reports that the world event in preparation of the Wrath of the Lich King is starting already. It is a zombie infestation, where you can be infected by clicking on curious crates, and turn into a zombie, able to attack NPCs and other players. Good timing, as it obviously fits well with both Halloween and the arrival of the Lich King.

I don't know all the details of the event, but the big advantage of a spreading infection as world event is that it isn't limited to one zone. As previous world events showed, getting all your players to gather in one place causes more server problems than fun.
It is sorta fun right now, since it is new. You can get the disease and spread it to your fellow faction or neutral NPCs.

Problem is that you can spread it to arena masters, battle masters, etc. It can be spread to neutral NPCs that teach skills, professions, etc. Might cause problems later, once everyone is trying to kill all the important NPCs because they are bored.

Oh, Shamans can cleanse it btw. Assuming palladins can also.
Any class that can cure disease can cleanse it.

For all you players on PvE servers with characters on both Alliance and Horde, this is a special "zombie" faction that is neither Alliance or Horde. You can (apparently!) trade with members of the opposite faction as long as you're both zombies. Time to sidestep the neutral AH fees.. ;)
People were trying to infect Thrall last night but ended up infecting everyone in the room but him.

Even the flightmaster, auctioneers, and bankers weren't so lucky. Some players after getting infected ported to Shat. I dunno if they were succesful in spreading it.
I tried it last night on my pally. Clensing zombies was fun. Tonight I go on my mage, make a portal, become a zombie and infect our citys.
It was all over my server. Zombie armies raided Lakeshire.

I have some pics a guild member of mine took up. Seems like a lot of fun and I hope players continue to participate. Shame that there aren't any Zombie least not yet.
Blue has been hinting there might be an undead NPC that you can "talk" with but so far searching has turned up nothing.

I tried last night to take over Menethil Harbor, and later Stonebreaker Hold. Both times I had a pretty large foothold that got destroyed almost instantly once any resistance at all arrived. The zombies seem to have a few pretty large flaws that will keep them from really taking anything over.

1. Zombiefying an NPC seems to have a level cap. So if I infect a level 65 elite flight master, when he turns zombie he'll suddenly be level 60 non-elite. If I infect a level 20 NPC, he'll be a level 20, so levels are kept but on NPCs they are capped at 60 and elites lose their leetness. Basically you're stuck with a lot of AOE fodder.

2. The Argent Dawn healers are EVERYWHERE in major cities. Trying to take over a major city just won't happen. This is actually why I initially targetted Menethil, I figured with all the Alliance passing through to hop boats to Theramore for achievements I might be able to infect a lot of people as they were speading over to a new continent.

3. Zombie AI is horrible. As a zombie you do have a skill to "call" 4 zombies to your side to assist you. This doesn't work at all for some reason. At one point in Stonebreaker I had 20+ zombies all wandering in a giant clump, I couldn't call them to me and if I began fighting anybody even 20 feet away from them they wouldn't aggro over and assist me. Basically I was constantly soloing everything even though I had a zombie army right behind me. If any zombie you had made began following you, you might actually be able to start tearing through some areas before a proper response could be formed.
This is a decent world event. There are definitely problems with zombie AI as described by albatross, but you can have a lot of fun with even a small group. Once you reach enough zombies that you can take down guard spawn, it's very entertaining. Myself and two coworkers had an army of around 30-40 level 60 zombies wandering around Sen'jin Village, eating everything in sight.

However, the server instability really takes a bite out of this. I've been booted out of some fun zombie action twice with "World server down", which just saps me of the will to play. It needs to be addressed.
I don't know what Blizzard were thinking with this. Giving players a licence to grief one another on a 'normal' PVE server is insane. Player zombies can't be attacked in Shatrath but they can infect / kill every NPC. The zombies they spawn attack you and if you fight back you get abuse for griefing them. I'm not looking forward to the next few weeks...
This is a nightmare to lower level toons, really. My lv25 priest couldn't heal the rot, and just barely could keep herself alive till it wore out.

It's not possible to run from the middle of Ashenvale to Darnassus every time you get infected. And sure as hell there are no lv70's around to heal you...
I really like this world event. I was questing in The Barrens when my infection took over, and along came a druid in cat form. The cat took a test-swipe, and backed up, watching me. I had just realized I had new abilities on my action bar, so I tried out the 5th one (explode, sacrificing myself to infect others). Cat saw me channeling, came in for another swipe, and promptly turned green! There's a lot of potential fun in this. I'm a fan of Urban Dead, post-apocalyptic stories and games, and I keep a crowbar handy per the Zombie Survival Guide, so I might be biased.
I think that this Zombie Infestation thing has been a poor miscalculation on the part of Blizzard. WoW attracts a lot of players who love to be annoying just for the sake of it. For those of us – who drop in to play the game, have a chat with guild members, do a little PvE, and find a quest giver in a City who is not infected – it just isn’t possible.

As I paid for a PvE realm that is clearly now PvP – what are the chances of a Class Action against Blizzard for false advertising?
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