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Behind the Curtain: More apocalypse please

Craig Withers

So let's be clear here – I loves me some zombies. A childhood brush with Ray Harryhausen means that I still get chills when I think abut armoured skeletons eviscerating hapless Argonauts. Later encounters, first with ridiculously over-wrought Victorian Gothic Horror literature, and later with the genius of one Mr. Romero sealed my fate.

Regardless of the source, my love affair with the Undead has been long-standing. And no, I don't mean that kind of love affair. Freak. After I finished reading The Zombie Survival Guide for the first time, I carried it in my bag for a month afterwards. Not because I thought Zombie might be real, but because the book was awesome. And don't get me started on World War Z – Massively is not the place for a 3000-word Max Brooks love-fest.

I'd run Stratholme or Scholomance till the cows come home if I could. I'm stupidly excited that it should be feasible for me to solo both instances at level 80 without breaking a sweat. I was genuinely upset that The Burning Crusade didn't have more Undead mobs in it – and no, the Bone Wastes aren't enough to keep me happy. I understand that some people were a little let down by the Wrath opening cinematic. Not me. Legions of Undead, howling their bloodlust into the frozen air? I almost peed myself, I was so excited. The only game that I thought had a serious chance of stealing me away from World of Warcraft was Exanimus, a 'Zombie Horror MMO', but development of that has sadly been suspended.

Hopefully you get the picture by now. My point is simple; I'm not sure that the Zombie Invasion has gone far enough. So, Arthas, the Lich King, has bent his might towards bringing the forces of both Horde and Alliance throughout Azeroth and Outland to its knees, and possibly the worst in-game effect was that we had difficulty getting to the Auction House?

Oh dear. This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but with a QQ.

Let's break this down a little. The Zombie Invasion started on the 24th of October, when Conspicuous Crates appeared in Booty Bay. Said crates would infect any players touching them with a disease which turned them into a zombie unless cured within ten minutes. That cure could come from either a player or one of the new Argent Healer NPCs which had spawned at the same time.

Twenty-four hours later, and things got a little worse. Crates could now be found in the Azerothian Capital Cities, and Plagued Cockroaches were now spawning in all Capital Cities, infecting any players inquisitive enough to kill them. The infection sped up, halving its incubation period to five minutes, and became ridiculously resistant to cures from players.

Yet another twenty-four hours later, Zombies got a little buff, gaining some hitpoints, and Plagued Residents could be found here and there but posed little threat. Later the same day however, things hit the fan. The incubation period shortened to two minutes and the Plagued Residents gained the ability to infect NPCs in cities, leading to mass extinction of Bankers, Auctioneers and mules. The Invasion began in earnest, with Necropliseseseses appearing across Azeroth, spawning cool undead mobs for us to whack like pinatas until welfare epics phat lewtz dropped out. Unless you were me and made the mistake of grouping with another Warrior who thought it was okay to Need on the Leather and Mail gear. Tool.

Check out Massively's coverage of the Zombie Invasion, or simply cast your eye over our ongoing coverage as we wind up to the release of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.

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