And thus it begins. Midnight just rang out across the EU's servers, and with it brings the Argent Dawn, appearing in capital cities all over Azeroth warning of the coming of the Lich King. "The plagued tendrils of the Lich King," they say, "lurk close."
We knew it was coming (heavy spoilers on that link!), though we still don't know for sure exactly what form the Lich King's re-arrival into Azeroth will take. 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. Stay tuned for more news of the world event leading up to Wrath of the Lich King as we hear it.
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
Zombies have entered the World of Warcraft in the Wrath of the Lich King world event! Check out our tips for eating brains, our zombie night gallery, or see Blizzard's official zombie infestation guide. They live! Braaiiiiinnnssss!
6:33pm: MMO Champ claims there are crates in Booty Bay that can be looted to become a zombie. We're on our way down there right now.
6:38pm: Yes, there are crates in Booty Bay labeled "Conspicuous Crate" that will give you a 10 minute disease buff when clicked. We just clicked it, in the interests of science, and while the disease works its way through our system, we're... headed back to Stormwind. Die, Humans!
6:42pm: 5 minutes left...
6:46pm: 2 minutes left. I'm hanging out by the flight point in Stormwind -- apparently if you go anywhere near the healers, they'll cure you right away. Waiting to see what happens when the buff runs out.
6:48pm: Confirmed. After 10 minutes, the buff turns you in to a zombie, with your own abilities to mess around with. I infected a few people before the guards showed up to put in a beatdown, and a random Druid moonfired me out of existence.
But the war is on -- the crates in Booty Bay will deliver the plague to players, and from there, we'll see how long it takes to infect the whole server. Brilliant on the part of Blizzard -- stay tuned for more updates as we get them.
6:53pm: Confirmed on all servers -- there are crates in Booty Bay (delivered by Arthas himself?), and we've heard reports of infected pumpkins in Elwynn, so there are likely other points of infection elsewhere (thanks, Aigarius). Update: we've checked for pumpkins in Elwynn and haven't found any. Booty Bay has the only confirmed crates.
6:56pm: We're back in Booty Bay (just got another infection, since it was so fun the first time), and apparently NPCs can be infected as well -- there are Bruisers around with the green glow of infection on them.
7:00pm: Oh no! Just tried to walk out of Booty Bay and got cured! Blizzard has apparently set up healers in certain places to keep the plague from spreading places they don't want it to go. Zach Yonzon also notices that any NPCs killed by zombies become zombies themselves.
7:02pm: Answers to questions:
Q: If you die, do you come back as a non-zombie?
Q: What's the debuff considered?
A: It says Disease, so we'd assume anyone who can cure disease can cure it as well. When you get the debuff, you glow green, but if you are killed by a zombie or an NPC zombie, you automatically become one.
Q: As a zombie, do you have your regular abilities?
A: Not as far as we can tell -- you get a new action bar with only Zombie abilities on it. I didn't try to use my normal abilities though, but as a Hunter my pet disappeared, so my guess is that you'd get an error message if you tried to use normal abilities. As for questing, NPCs who aren't zombies will attack you, so I'd guess turning in quests or any other activity is out of the question.
Q: When killed as a zombie, do you take durability damage?
A: We checked -- you don't, according to the combat log.
7:11pm: You can still talk to members of your own faction, so if anyone tries to attack you, feel free to tell them that all you want to do is eat their brains. No one's going to eat their eyes or something like that.
7:25pm: I'm about to infect some noobs in Westfall. More Q&A:
Q: Is the event across all servers now or will it be occurring only at midnight server time?
A: We originally thought midnight, but it appears to be live on all servers right now. Go zombify someone!
Q: I assume you lose all your normal abilities as a zombie, but can you use your hearthstone to bypass the guards?
A: No, you can't hearth or mount while zombified.
Q: I've only heard of Booty Bay and Elwynn as places to get the debuff - is that it or will i be able to pick it up close to Org (Razor Hill)?
A: All we've heard right now are the crates in Booty Bay, but odds are there are more. Arthas is a crafty bastard, and he knows how to spread plague, so it might be everywhere.
Q: Can you chat/party/raid as a zombie? Will non-zombies understand you if you talk as a zombie?
A: Yes, you can still talk to your own faction as normal. But of course all you really need to say is "Brainnnnnnsss," and "I don't want to nitpick, Tom, but is this really your plan?" We've also heard that you can talk cross faction if you both are zombies, though haven't confirmed that yet.
Q: Do your zombie powers scale with your gear or do S4 warrior zombies have the same stats as a green mage zombies?
A: Not sure, but they seem to be the same. Stay tuned for a "How to Be a Zombie" post here on WoW Insider.
7:29pm: While answering questions here, we just accidentally went AFK in game -- and died when coming back. So no zombie action while AFK.
7:43pm: The threat is growing -- we're getting word of huge zombie raids forming outside the capital cities, and while players are able to turn them back without too much trouble, the plague itself is spreading to everyone who comes into contact with the undead.