Tobold's Blog
Friday, October 24, 2008
Fun or grief?

So I was experimenting with the new zombie infestation world event in World of Warcraft last night. Clicked on a conspicious crate in Booty Bay, took the boat over to Ratchet, and went into the pirate area, where I turned into a zombie. As zombie you continuously lose health, unless you attack humanoids. When you kill NPC humanoids, they rise as zombies as well, and you can beckon up to 4 of them to help you. You also have a ranged area effect with which to infect humanoids, which then turn into zombies after 10 minutes.

The pirates got boring quickly, so I headed into Ratchet itself, infecting NPCs, and battling the guards there. A low level player attacked me, so I killed him. Another just stood watching, so I didn't want to attack him, but infected him anyway so he could share the fun. A while later a level 70 pally turned up and killed me, ending the zombie infestation of Ratchet.

So far, so harmless, although I'm not sure how the player I killed felt about that. I stopped mucking around as zombie and joined a Karazhan raid with my warrior. But guild chat reported lots of people being unhappy with the world event. Some players used their zombie infestation power to take out centrally important NPCs, like the flight master in Shattrath, or bankers and auctioneers. Of course the NPCs respawn after a few minutes, but lots of people get annoyed if they have to wait for 5 minutes for a flight in Shattrath. And it seems the infestation is programmed to spread, this morning I noticed conspicious crates and infected animals in the cave that is the arrival for teleports in Thunder Bluff.

So on the one side players always complain how static the game is, and want events that change the world. On the other side they complain if something actually changes, and they can't access their flight master, banker, or auctioneer NPC immediately. One guy in guild chat got so angry, he logged out. And I'm sure we'll hear a lot more complaints before the event ends with the release of Wrath of the Lich King. Are game-changing events doomed, because players can't accept any change?
I think it depends on how much control is given to players; if a random huge boss mob tears through Ironforge, as happened around the time BC hit, then people seem to think its pretty cool. If players are given free reign to be annoying, then those predisposed to doing so will do so. I had a similar experience to your guild mate; I was doing PvP on my rogue, I went into AB, I came out and all 4 Battlemasters were dead. I headed to Stormwind, the same thing happened after another AB. I too decided to log at that point, who wants to wait when the exact same thing could just as easily happen?
Huge fun. This event only comes around once. Ever. It is the event leading up to an expansion and we get to see it in all it's glory once. The spoilsports that just want to quest are ruining the event for the rest of us a lot of the time. There are people who cure the disease soley to piss others off. And when we finally do get a zombie horde going, there are always a small group of 70s who seem to just enjoy destroying the fun.

The best part is cross-faction talk with hordies as a zombie. The most fun I've had in AGES is when some horde infected Tarren Mill, quite a few horde zombies ran down to southshore and started destroying the town, and then the larger group of both horde and alliance zombies, once bored with Southshore, made their way back to tarren mill, fighting off both alliance and horde trying to kill the zombies.

Man that was great.
I like it, suddenly their are zombies around changing the world. :-)
Last night I was at the alliance quest hub in northern Stranglethorn Vally and saw that all of the npc’s was infected. It did not take long for them to turn into zombies and I got killed and turned into a zombie very fast. So I had fun playing as a zombie for a while, trying to find people to infect. It did not take long for a higher level to kill me, and after that I run around healing people from the disease instead.

I had fun, I like it, and I will probably let me get infected again.
Being a person who resubscribed for the Zombie Event instead of waiting for WOTLK, I have no doubt that Blizzard is making way more money hosting the event than now. There's a few players who are QQ, but they're in the minority.

Screw 'em if they can't have some fun when it's available.
The problem is that players aren't used to it. This is a role playing game (no - I am not joking) and if something terrible happens to the world it should not feel alright to the players. Blizzard is experimenting at that time. They get a lot of credits from me for that. But more important than the rules that they create (e.g. zombies) are the social rules that already exist in the heads of the people. And these rules often say: I am here to grind more honor - why can't I ???)
This kind of event might be better if they spent more time introducing it.
Thing is -- it's still not really changing anything, but it is disrupting some people's gameplay -- that's what it looks like is causing the upset amongst some of the players.
People who are annoyed or even angry about the (temporary!) effects of this world event take their playtime much too seriously.
When you login to do something you have planned to do with the few hours available for gaming and something disturbs you from achieving what you had in mind, it's bound to piss you off. And you get angry, however 'game' and 'casual' it is. You login to have the fun playing the game and your expectations state the kind of game you want to enjoy.

For me, with the low level toons and especially with my priest wanting to save the world from pain and suffering, the zombies are a nightmare. There is nothing I can do to them, nor can I heal the infected and most definately don't want to turn into a zombie myself. Like Anonymous said up there, WoW is a role-playing game, and if something within the game restricts you from playing the role you wanted to play in the beginning, it's not going to be fun.

Thus people log out. The game itself ruined the fun for not being predictable.


PS. Today it's warrior-time. Let's see what happens with the zombies... :P
I have no problem with people getting a tad frustrated if their quest npc is a zombie or if the flight master for their area is dead, because none of us like having those suddenly missing when we need them. Though the people that take the missing npc as a reason to blow their head off and say this event is a failure I do have a problem with. A missing npc or even death by a zombie are just temporary things. In another five minutes you could solve the problem. The event and the unique kind of fun that it brings however, are truly unique. It is unlikely this will ever happen again.

To me, people who get so upset because their grind was interrupted by something fun and exceptional really need to rethink how important pixels are to them. If you get turned into a zombie, don't fret about it, join in the fun! You'll never get the chance again and the grinding will wait.
I can see both sides, but myself, I tend to side with the people who think making vital NPCs killable or able to change into zombies goes a bit far. Its highly annoying when someone runs into the AH area of Orgrimmar and explodes, infecting everyone whether you want it or not. Its even more annoying when you're quite a ways away from an Argent Healer.

I can perhaps understand quest NPCs being killable, although that's pushing it. Lower levels leveling up might miss quests that they otherwise should have taken because the NPC is dead or zombified. Auctioneers, bankers, battlemasters, inn keepers (especially since its in the middle of a holiday event that makes heavy use of them) and flight masters definitely should have been made unkillable for this event. That goes beyond "change" and more toward "annoying". And, like someone said earlier, this event isn't really changing anything...for now its just there for something to do.

A Blizzard poster said on the forums basically to suck it up, it'll only last a few days and to have some fun with it while it lasts. Well, trust me, I have fun with the zombie thing, but its not something I want to spend all my play time every day involved in. I spent a good two hours yesterday wandering around Shattrath as a zombie (and yes, I avoided the flight master and the banks, there was plenty more to do) and it was fun, no doubt. But I also had other things to do and I had to quit when it got repetative and, frankly, pretty boring. I'll probably play with it some today, too, but its not something I want to do for many hours on end and it shouldn't disrupt vital NPCs in the game.
The problem with this is, just like PvP, not everyone wants to be involved in it. Once you have people turning quest givers into Zombies, you are affecting those people who want to get on with the normal game.
Also, as I have a Paladin alt, I don't need people sending me abusive tells/whispers when I cleanse them.
The event has seemed pretty fun to me so far. I do think they should make certain NPC's out of bounds for this event - like the flight master's and other important NPC's. They can add a buff to these NPC's basically making them immune to disease. Other than that - there are people to complain about anything. It's hard to make something grief proof. I'm glad there having more world events.
Players are the worst thing to happen to games ;)
Firstly, according to Blizzard, griefing is fairly impossible to do in WoW. If you stick PvP flags on, you're fair game to anyone and everyone. The problem with this event is that it takes that level of control completely away from you, whether you're on a PvP or PvE server. You shouldn't be able to make someone flag into PvP if they don't want to, especially on a PvE server, irrespective of a planned event. Imagine if a rampaging level 80 elite boss trawled into Stormwind and as soon as you landed into the city, you were immediately locked out of getting out of the city until that Boss was killed. Saying "Hey its a planned event, have fun" becomes stale after the third or fourth time it happens to you.

I logged into my level 70 Prot Pally and was doing some rep quests in The Barrens when I became infected. When I changed into a zombie, there was no way anyone normally in The Barrens could kill me and I ended up infecting everyone. Hey, I was having fun and I tried my best not to annoy people but only infected those who stood their ground and fought got zombified in return. But equally, it would have been easy to go around corpse camping players and making them PvP.

Personally I had fun. But then I hearthstoned and I probably won't go back to The Barrens until the event is over. The lower levels are not as lucky as me though...
You can't make all of the people happy all of the time...

Sounds like you enjoyed it, at least!
People need to lighten up. The zombie event is awesome. WoW is normally so structured its nice to have a little chaos thrown in for a while.
Sounds like an overdevoloped sense of QQ. WOW has tons of players who make it their mission in life to complain about everything. 5 minutes is not a big deal. If the NPC was a zombie 90% of the time then I could see a problem.
"griefing is fairly impossible to do in WoW"
You never had someone tag your mobs or skin them before you can forcing you to move? Or jumping around in front of you so that you accidentally right click on them flagging you? Or train a ton of mobs onto you? Sorry your statement is wrong.

Anyway to the two above complaining about the role playing aspect. You can't have fun when your character is fighting against the new Scourge? Have you read the lore? The entire story of WOTLK is about the Scourge and the Lich King rising again. Zombies are just a prelude. Of course it wasn't what you planned to do today, but so what? If you are playing a priest or paladin, and role playing your hatred of undead, then jump in there and fight! or cure! Don't site around complaining, do what your character would do and have fun. That's what role playing is about isn't it?

Treat it like improv, not acting. The unexpected can be fun if you let go and go with the flow.
Personally, I think it is incredibly fun. Althought it does have a potential for griefing, I think it is a great event that really changes how people think about the game.

The main thing about being a zombie is strength in numbers. Solo you are very easily killable, but with a 40man raid of zombies, nothing can defeat you, they'll be too quickly turned to zombies (the has a 10 min duration before someone turns, but it drops 20seconds every time they are hit. 60 hits = zombie time).

Unfortunately, like I wrote in my blog, city bosses like Thrall and Tyrande seem to be the only ones that can't be turned.
This was an absoultely genuis idea by Blizzard. Yes it does have some draw backs, like not being able to fly, queue, etc etc....BUT SO WHAT?! Games are ment to have fun, and this is fun. Reminds me a lot of the CS:S zombie mod, prolly where Blizz got the idea...anyways this world event is really shaking up WoW a bit, those who don't like it, well it will only be around for a couple of weeks, and you can always WALK to the next town and catch a flight point there. I remember as a lowbie I had to WALK everywhere. The whole combination of the Patch, Halloween event and Zombie event, and upcoming expansion has made WoW SO freakin exciting to play again. YAY!
The problem is one of expectations.

A game that sets a changing world as an expectation won't have the same problem...
This event sucks.
Its really nice that you guys are having great fun ruining my game. This event is nothing more than simple free PvP where you can choose your faction yourself. Can anyone tell me why I have to endure this on a PvM-Server?
And its not like I simply have to wait 5 minutes to do what I want. When I'm trying to do my cooking daily I have to wait 5 minutes for the quest-npc to respawn. Then I got a window of about 1 minute to accept my quest until ravaging hordes of surrounding ghouls will shed him to pieces. Then I fly to the griffin master, but he is dead, so I have to travel to my destination by mount. There I do my quest, return by mount, have to wait 5 minutes again for my quest-npc and have my 1 minute window again to get my reward. Then repeat all this for fishing daily.
I frankly don't see why I should endure all this just because some pvp-freaks want to have some fun on my back. I'll cure everyone I see and if anyone tries to annoy me as a ghoul he goes straight to my ignorelist, which will NOT be wiped when Wrath launches.
Killing flight masters, battle masters, etc., does seem to be taking it too far. i don't really get the "just have fun" argument, since just because an event is happening, doesn't mean a person will enjoy the event or want to be involved with it all the time, and as a poster above said, this sounds like the sort of thing that would get repetitive after awhile.
WoW is too big. A large proportion of players will gripe about any major change. You can get your ideas straight from the community, force them to vote at login, and many would still complain after any major change. I would guess that AC in it's heyday was about as large an audience as you can follow a "world chattering ongoing plot" type of design and not tick folks off.
I play on a PVP server, and zombies are nowhere to be seen.

Sure, you can find some small pockets, but they are quickly dealt with, and with much QQ. I play a shaman(enh) and together with a friend of mine ( ret pally) we went and tore through every zombie group we could find, until they quit. Apparently, Im supposed to allow them to remain infected and become a zombie, because they say "no." Screw that. Every zombie I come across is dead, and every infected player or curable nps is cleansed. It is definately getting harder to cleanse though.

The people like Kiseran are morons. Boo-hoo do your cooking daily that will be there for the rest of the life of the game more than likely. If your game is ruined by a few zombies, I suggest you take a break to get your head on straight. Also, if you are having a problem, let people know and im sure plenty will love to come and prevent the infection. You think you are being griefed? Wait until you see the crying coming from people who want to play as zombies, but keep getting killed or cleansed. My chat filter is currently suck in the on position ( regardless of my settings), and I couldnt see more than #$@#%@ @$^#$^ #$@#$^%# %^$%^ in chat half of last night.

Regardless of how people feel that im griefing them, I respect thier decision to be zombies. We need zombies to make it interesting. But PLEASE dont try and get infected and go all zombie right next to me. The people getting so pissed off stayin in a large group, right next to me and my friends who were actively trying to stop the infection. Play smart.

Its about to become much worse. This is only the beginning. And when I can no longer destroy the zombies, I will become one, and take out anyone that I can. That includes people crying under a mound of tissue next to thier daily quest npc. I cant imagine anyone could possibly care if they were on someone like Kiserans ignore list.
Putting these people on your ignore list is something you consider a worthy threat? I'm sorry, but I have no idea how that's going to do anything other than possibly make you feel a little better.

I've tried infecting areas, and I've been unable to take a flight because a flight master was turned. I normally don't have a lot of extra game time lately, but I certainly didn't see it being worth complaining about just because a flight master in Western Plaguelands had been zombie'd. I could have gone to the next flight master, or I could have waited for him to respawn. Neither option seemed all that horrible.

It's funny how many players have conveniently forgotten the many massive time sinks that used to exist that Blizzard has gotten rid of. 5 minutes waiting on a respawn? I'll take that over some of the old 15 minute flight paths.
Fun! ...and a little grief, but Fun!
"Gameplay may change during Online Play".

You clicked Accept on the TOU & EULA, right? You did agree to play "their" game, right?

"Gameplay may change during Online Play".

Yep, I think that sums it up.
In an MMO that tries to appeal to different player-types, almost every decision is a two-edged sword -- making some happy and others unhappy. That is only a problem if unhappy players are so angry they cancel their subscriptions.

We have been inconvenienced by PvP types killing flight masters before the Zombie event. Once our expectations are adjusted and people accept that as "normal", the problem goes away. This is why Blizzard introduces change SLOWLY -- just enough to not irritate the masses yet provide some interest to the ones who have grown bored. Truly a balancing act, but one they have done admirably well.
"Putting these people on your ignore list is something you consider a worthy threat?"
No, its simply a measure to ensure that my pickup-groups consist of nice people who are not indifferent if their actions grief anyone. I was sceptical at first if this method would work given the large numbers of players on a server, but it works quite well if 5-10 people put their lists together. And sometimes you can tell someone who wants in your group or raid that he is not allowed to because he behaved like a jerk in the past :)
On a sidenote.. everyone of us is either a tank or a healer or a raidleader, which maximizes the effekt on a server were all three are rare.
I just cancelled my WoW account. Glad i didn't pre-order WotLK. I chose a PVE server to avoid being griefed by asshats. Now Blizzard not only force PVP on me, they give the asshats the tools and tacit encouragement to disrupt my gameplay. Killing / curing them brings a torrent of abuse and smacktalk. This isn't the game i signed up to play.
Jeez, it absolutely amazes me how many people are so quick to say, "I like the game this way, you are just stupid" That is great, I like this sort of thing too but, newsflash, you are not the center of the universe dude. Creating some danger in otherwise safe areas is one thing but making certain activities, like banking and getting flights and quests impossible for 5 or more minutes at a time is annoying to those who want to move on after a little fun and return to playing the game they way they want to. Is it really going to make the zombie event all that different if bankers and flight masters can't be infected? There are still lots of guards and pointless npcs to zombify. Does your fun really depend on someone else lack of fun? Another solution would be to change the respawn time. Would it make the zombie event less fun if a quest giver could respawn in 20 sec rather than 5 minutes? or would you have an even better supply of npc's to infect? Would it have killed the event if they had given people an in game way of opting out? Why not have every innkeeper sell inoculation potion for dirt cheap that made you immune for an hour or two. Or does your fun depend on being able to force everyone else, at any time, into "Your Fun." The problem is not an event that changes the world for a few days. The problem is and event that lends itself to asshole griefers. If your fun depends on forcing others to play the game on your terms, then you are a griefer. If you are unable to step outside yourself long enough to see that not everyone's definition of fun matches yours then you are a petulant child.
talk about stuffy, those people need to take anti anal retentive classes
I play Forsaken, I'm a zombie already damnit.
There seems to be alot of exaggeration here. 1 lvl 70 can wipe out 10-20 zombies with no threat to themselves. 2-3 level 70s can prevent anything from being "impossible" to do. On my server, zombies cant get more than 3-4 people together to do anything meaningful. They took goldshire and westfall on the first day, because everyone wanted in on it, and half the server didnt know what was happening.

Zombies are very weak atm. Hopefully they get stronger, but right now they are easily dealt with. If you dont have a lvl 70, there are plenty around that want to kill zombies.
The complaints are not surprising, given how MMORPGs can filter for a certain type of treadmill-desiring player. Get bumped off your grind routine, and you get annoyed.
I was starting to have fun trying to protect the flight masters and bankers with my 70 Paladin. I got whispered by a guy who called me a "dick" for not letting him have "fun." He thought that I was the griefer. And here I was, thinking that HE was the griefer, for attempting to sabotage a vital element for the innocent (players who actually did not want to be involved in the event at that moment but wanted to go somewhere or do something specific).

In many ways this is a kind of free for all PvP. It is an unlooked for and sometimes unwanted kind of PvP. For those who like the variety and enjoy fighting other players, or just causing chaos and destruction, then it is a perfect event. For those who have small time windows and specific goals, it is an annoyance.

What I find even more interesting is the justification. Players who are attacking the flight masters and so forth acknowledge that they are causing hurt to other players. However, they justify it by saying it is fun and that it is only a very little hurt. I somehow do not think that if I were to argue that tripping up people on the sidewalk was fun and only caused a few bruises, that I would get very far in court. Even less extreme would be if I were to stand on the street corner and randomly call people names. I have a feeling that would not fly for long either.

For me, I am choosing to treat it as a role-playing opportunity. I get more gratitude than I do anger for cleansing those who go by me. The few times I do get “Why did you cleanse me.” I simply say, “I am a paladin. It’s what I do. Cleanse evil.”

Unfortunately it is getting harder to cleanse so there might be a time coming soon when it wont work at all. Then my fun will end.

People need to learn how to chill out.
I had tons of fun. Even though I'm not on an RP server, I sort of roleplayed my way through this event -- I fought the zombie evasion, until I turned into a zombie myself. Then I behaved like a zombie and tried to spread my disease. In short, I behaved like a character in a zombie movie.

Unfortunately, not all players share that idea of fun. I actually had the opposite experience: a player complained (in /w) that I grieved him when he was trying to invade crossroads as a zombie. I answered "turn me into a zombie and I'll invade with you", but he didn't want to understand what I was up to. I wanted an ongoing fight against other players where you constantly switch sides. He wanted to kill NPCs and not face any opposition whatsoever. :(
Honestly, people who don't enjoy the world event and get that frustrated probably need to leave the game. Can we invent a new term: MMO Gamer Narcissism?
bjorn, I play on a PvE server precisely because I want to avoid griefing and being griefed. Still, I participated in the world event, why? Because it's a change, it's temporary, it's a lot of fun, and it makes sense story-wise. Claiming that participating in a Blizzard-created event in exactly the way Blizzard intended is griefing is really slightly ridiculous. If the zombies annoy you, fight them, damnit! That's what you're supposed to do!
For all the people who say that it is no big deal, chill out and don't be so stuffy, I still haven't seen an answer to the question. Would it really make the zombie event all that different if bankers and flight masters couldn't be infected? Apparently, for some, it would. As Cliff pointed out above, the fun for some is in tripping other people up. Is their really any other reason to target important npc when their is no shortage of inconsequential npcs available? Sure a high level character can easily defend the flight master but they are not always there They have other things to do too. It is valid to point out that some people get too worked up over loosing five minutes of game time but you should also ask yourself why you have fun doing something that causes someone else to loose five minutes? Why is their so little civility in online games? Why are people suddenly mean or even cruel when they are protected by the anonymity of a game, a blog or an online forum? Sure it is only a game, and games are not real, but why do we act like the people who play them are not real?
I do Anon, I think it is a lot of fun. The only thing I find destressing is they way in which people are so dismissive and contemptous of those who would rather not participate or would rather move on after having participate for a while. I think most of us would hardly notice a difference if we could not effect certain npc's but those who are crying "crybaby" at those who are frustrated sound very much like the same self absorbed idiots who think that anyone who doesn't play on a PvP server is a whip? No, they simply have a different definition of fun and perhaps only a limited amount of time to act on it.

Edge's post made me smile. Calling someone narcissistic for having a different opinion of fun than you? That is genuinely amusing.
whip -> wimp

I think this is a fun event. I'm one of those taking the position that I'm going to fight this plague as hard as I can. I'm cleansing diseases and fighting zombies, and having a lot of fun doing so. If the plague gets worse, or the zombies manage to beat me, I'll gladly join them at that time. I'm not getting upset at people who want to get infected, I'm not getting upset at zombies trying to infect others, and I won't get upset at people trying to stop me if I do succumb to the plague.

If you're one of those not having fun, I'd advise just taking a break. Don't log in for a couple days, find something else to do with your time. I think anyone who is getting really upset about being interrupted from their grinding, leveling, etc., has lost a bit of perspective. I don't like the holier-than-thou kind of vibe I make when saying that, because I do understand the complaints, but I just really don't think it's worth the energy to get worked up about it. The zombie plague is just not a terrible hardship.
Looking at it from a game design perspective, I think that making key NPCs immune would have been a good idea. Give them an Argent Healer nearby or some sort of Argent Cloak if you must, but let them keep operations going. Other than that, I quite like the idea of Zombies, especially since they are cross-faction. A bit of chaos is good for the game.
If you don't like it don't play for a couple of days? I wonder what would happen if Blizz announced that they were going to hold a World Peace week event in which all BGs, Arenas, World PvP and dueling would be disabled. All enemy guards and npc's would flag friendly, even on the PvP servers. And if you didn't like it, just don't log in for a week. Yes, I understand that it is an extreme example but my point is that their would be more than just a little bit of wailing and gnashing of teeth coming from those who play the game primarily for PvP. But hey, its ok since lots of people, including me would be wondering around the enemy capitals partying with the locals. I would have a blast, but I know at least 3 pvp junkies in my guild would would be seething mad about not being able to get their arena time in and would probably go buy Warhammer Online, just to check it out, since there was nothing better to do. Would they leave WoW? Probably not but then again, perhaps they would discover that RvR is really cool and stay.

Just sayin', the "get over it and if you don't like it, don't play" argument is a non-starter and usually only used by the side who is enjoying the particular event.

I agree with Tesh, a bit of chaos, a bit of change and mixing it up is always a good thing. But why can't we do it in such a way that those who don't want it don't have to be bothered?
Oh geez, get over yourselves people. It's a fun event that's only going to happen once. I'm enjoying see how it intensifies gradually over time. You people having an aneurism over your flight master dying need to relax and *ENJOY* the event happening. Seriously, cry more like that's going to actually help. It will fall on my deaf ears.

Also, you're more than free to run about as a zombie. However, I'm also free to, as a Paladin of the Light, to exercise holy vengeance on you and smote you into the ground.

After I have released you from the grasp of the Scourge through death do not contact me unless it is to thank me for the swiftness of your release. Do not curse me or complain to me that you in fact desired to roam the land as a zombie. Do not claim that I have ruined your fun. My ears are deaf to your pettiness and if I ever find you again defiling the villages of our good people you can be assured that I will destroy you again. I will not rest.
I think the idea is to interrupt your daily activities. Its an attack. You should probably be affected by it.
"I think the idea is to interrupt your daily activities. Its an attack. You should probably be affected by it."

That nails it exactly.

Enjoy it while you can, these world events only happen once in a blue moon.

Ever since I started feeling the WoW burnout I became a very harsh critic of Blizzard.
Yet I feel, from what i read, that this was one of the best ideas they have to really rock the boat.
All the people who can't wait 5 minutes for a given NPC to respawn should realize that an MMO, due to it's very nature won't always cater for their specific needs.
All in all, good job Blizzard.
This is great world PvP, with inflamed emotions on all sides. It feels like war, or at least a real invasion event. And players can easily choose which side to be on! Pure genius.

Did you know that horde and alliance zombies can chat and trade? You can now transfer gold and items without the 15% neutral AH fee! I did so in Booty Bay with only minor logistical problems (once got attacked by a non-zombie player, once aggroed the BB guards because I did some PvP to kill myself while 2-boxing opposing factions).
Bjorn: Actually world peace week sounds like it would be interesting. Perhaps it would convince some of the PvPers to take some healthy time off from wailing on everyone all the time. But then I don't see much reason Blizzard should put any time into interesting activities when their player base won't handle any amount of disruption.

Tesh: From an opposing game design perspective, if you made the event entirely opt-in it would loose any sense of gravity it might have had. You would simply be cutting the knees out of your own experience, since rather than communicating that something very important is happening, you'd be communicating that the game is going to go on as before with no real or important change... of course, considering their past history, the latter would probably be more accurate in any case.
Personally, I think this zombie thing is pretty cool and sticks to the lore of the game rather well. The fact that it annoys certain players is even better, because they will fight even harder to kill the lich king, that asshat that made them wait for the Shat flightmaster!!! LAWL!!!
I just cancelled my WoW account. Glad i didn't pre-order WotLK. I chose a PVE server to avoid being griefed by asshats. Now Blizzard not only force PVP on me, they give the asshats the tools and tacit encouragement to disrupt my gameplay. Killing / curing them brings a torrent of abuse and smacktalk. This isn't the game i signed up to play.

wow. playing baseball must suck when the other team is trying to throw strikes, or actually catch the pop flies you hit. It's MUCH more fun to just play alone, right?
If I weren't paying for this, and on refer-a-friend, I would just not log on for the duration of the event. But I've already paid for this, and now I can't take advantage of one of the perks I paid for, RAF, because Blizzard violated what it advertised when I tried the game. I could pick a PVP server, a non-pvp server, or an RPG server. I would not have subscribed if I only had the option of a PVP server.

And please tell me you PVP'rs know that a lvl 70 being able to terrorize low levels is not something to brag about. It's just sad. Grow a pair and hit the higher level areas instead of being wimps and hitting the newbie zones, then telling the new players to suck it up as you corpse camp them and all quest givers for nothing more than the pleasure of grieving.
Bjorn, and all the others that are complaining about griefing: The Argent Healers are spreading, protecting banks, auction houses, flight points, and major lore figures. Quest NPCs are not YET affected (they might be protected down the road), which tells me that yes, this war is intended to affect ALL players. Instead of ignoring the one-shot, temporary, world-changing event, try to participate.

To all those complaining about the cleansing: What is your character's excuse for getting deliberately infected? Fight the zombies while you can, then turn around and fight the defenders alongside your zombie comrades, until you are killed!

To everyone with their heads on straight: It's interesting that the plague is getting stronger, and the zombies more powerful, alongside the wider spread of those who can cure it, isn't it? Sounds like both sides are getting buffed.
Wow, this thread has brought out an enormous amount of "If you don't play the way I do, you are inferior/an idiot/etc." type dickheadishness in a lot of people.
This one seems doomed because it just gives people a means to camp low levels no matter what kind of server you're on, and most people who go zombie use it as a way to raid low level towns.

There have been world events before, there was the Scourge Invasion that accompanied the release of Naxxramas. The difference there was that it was a MOB invasion. Not an event where people could just choose to camp low levels because they can go zombie and be able to attack them regardless of server type and location.

If you really wanted to, you could camp one of the racial starting points with this, and it'd be piss-easy to do it. So far no world event has been THAT disruptive towards anyone that wants to level an alt, or join the game, yes, there are STILL new players joining the game even at this 'late' date. Have some respect for them instead of clinging furiously to your own idea of fun.

Even more sinister, you can force-flag any low level, no matter what server type, by turning them into a zombie. Turning someone into a zombie is very easy when they have less than 2K health. Once you're a zombie, due to how the event works you are now flagged for PvP. Once you rez after getting killed as a zombie, you are still flagged.

This event could have been really fun, but due to all the stupid holes in it, it's just a tool for griefing other players at the moment.
I can understand completely why people might not want to participate in this. I'd agree, Blizzard should have given an immunity to all questgivers, flight masters, battlemasters, etc. - at least, until right before Wrath is released, when even they should succumb to the plague. It's fun for now, but the thought of having someone still griefing and taking out a quest mob (for instance) two weeks from now is a bit much. Also, while people certainly can and should be encouraged to participate whenever they want, no one should be forced to do so. Being able to attack non-flagged players is a bit much.

Of course, then again, who knows what else they have planned? I'd think this would be some sort of prelude to the formation of the Argent Crusade or something along those lines.
I rather liked it

But my question to the people who didn't like it is: Would you prefer the game company to take no risks? Would you like them to take a risk of alienating some fans to add content that they feel is exciting and fun or would you prefer them to simply add more of the same content you've been playing for four years?
Scallyphant : I have no problem with them adding exciting content. I have a huge problem with them giving you *no choice* but to experience that content and letting it disrupt the content you signed up to play.

They forced PVP onto players who chose PVE servers. Now the kids whose only enjoyment is breaking other kids toys are running rampant, griefing low level players or using exploits to disrupt others gameplay. They are calling it 'roleplaying' and abusing anyone who disagrees. I quit UO (pre trammel) to avoid that kind of asshat and i just quit WoW to do the same. I suppose i just needed reminding that the only problem with MMO's is other people.
Ekrim, I'm afraid you're quite misinformed about both the Argent Healers and the Quest NPCs. The Argent Healers are NOT spreading, they're standing around in capital cities. This is one of the major drawbacks to this world event. If a player is not in a major city, and 1 level 70 decides to infect his/her quest hub, possibly over and over and over again, that one level 70 player has basically turned off the zone for everyone else. Quest NPCs can be diseased and often are. Zombies are especially prevalent in Shattrath, where the neutrality prevents others from attacking the player zombies.
If someone kills the flight master, just petition a GM. They can port you to wherever you were going and they'll do it if you're firm about it. That way everyone wins.
It honestly is the minority who are upset by this. It's great to finally see something change in the game world. Go out and enjoy it while it lasts, you'll be back on the hamster wheel soon enough.
I guess I find it ironic that people are less willing to accept change in an online RPG versus a single player RPG. Because stuff like this is par for the course in a single player RPG. World changing events occur all the time in these types of games. Maybe your home base gets razed to the ground by a villain. Maybe your party gets framed for a crime, and suddenly everyone thinks you're a bad guy. Whatever it is, things change over the course of a game, and often you can't do things the way you are used to for a time. But you persevere, and the crisis passes. That's what is going on here.

WoW is my first and only MMO, and I remember before I started playing that my impression was that stuff like this would happen all the time. So maybe that's why I just don't get the hate, I expect this kind of thing out of games I play. I suppose Blizzard can be fairly pilloried for creating an expectation that nothing ever could or should change (by never changing anything), then smashing that expectation suddenly. But yeah, if I really can't stand a game experience, I take a break or stop playing entirely. That applies to MMOs just as much as any other game I play.
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