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When Zombies Attack!
Or: How to alternately impress and piss off your entire player base in only a week!
I could tell something was wrong from the moment I landed in Ironforge. For one thing, it smelled terrible. I don't mean musky Redaxe terrible or wet Boo terrible or gnome-puke terrible -- I mean death terrible.
The dozens of skeletons might have something to do with it.
Bones were everywhere, littering the floors, tripping up my feet and my video card. I headed to the bank to do my business, pretending this was just a normal day. The walls and floors and vaguely irritating passages of IF were as familiar as ever. The Argent Dawn tents were not.
Invasion I can handle. We get invaded on a near-weekly basis as far as I can tell. Disease is something different. Maybe for priests and druids it's cool, but not for me. I get a disease and I just sorta... die. But what kind of disease kills so fast that people are literally dying (and apparently insta-rotting) in the streets?
As I was about to learn: the kind of disease that doesn't kill at all. The kind of disease that MAKES you kill.
ZOMBIES! People were turning into zombies! By the dozens. Everywhere. Players, bankers, vendors, innkeepers, quest givers, suddenly and unpredictably they'd turn into a ghoul and belch poison over everything, spreading their disease. In mere minutes, everyone they'd come into contact with would turn as well, spreading further havoc.
The cities were unlivable. The invasion was everywhere, disrupting everything. This was totally different from the usual "the enemy is at our gates and kind of doing nothing" invasion we'd grown used to. This was intrusive, destructive and generally overwhelming. It was either revolutionary or really, really annoying, depending on who you asked.
Kill one and you get infected, but tame one and you'll have a friend for life!
I headed to Shattrath, planning to speak with the Bishop as instructed. I noticed that the Necropli were back, hovering in the sky outside of towns of cities, pouring out their undead. Compared to the zombies they seemed trivial.
In Shatt I was surprised to find the Forsaken (aka. the not-so-evil-but-still-pretty-evil undead) had set up a camp.
Strange machines spun massive vials of blood, separating them into components for research. Abominations flanked them, keeping gawkers away.
The undead researching the undead. Appropriate or ironic, take your pick.
They were lead by Grand Apothecary Putress who, I'm told, is one of the Undercity's most prominent scientists. He had been researching a cure for the Scourge plague at Sylvannas' bidding for years. This latest outbreak gave him enormous amounts of new fuel, and here he was eagerly employing players to bring him bits and pieces of zombies. Especially heads. He wanted brains, he said without humor.
I'm not really sure what's up with his face. It didn't seem wise to ask.
Nearby, the Alliance had set up a make-shift church, complete with portable pews:
The Arch Bishop explained that while the Forsaken researched a cure to prevent further spread, the church was researching a weapon. It seems they were fairly successful.
Back to Stormwind I go.
You'd think they'd have some sort of official messenger for these things. I mean... I just kinda randomly happened to show up. For all they know I'd cram this thing in my mouth or feed it to alligators or something.
But of course I didn't. I just licked it a few times and hit the road. Maybe I shouldn't have, because I started hallucinating almost immediately:
I brought the relic to King Varian Wrynn, who evidently won some sort of competition for being an enormous grouch, thereby qualifying him for kingship.
Cheer up bud!
He accepted it with unusual cheer:
Lord? Was I just officially promoted? Shouldn't I get land and subjects and stuff?
I return to Shattrath to tell the Bishop the good news (ie: that I'm his new boss). But when I get there, things seem to have really gone to hell.
I try to help, but something's wrong. I'm feeling sluggish and ill.
I stumble... I see red. Could I have contracted the virus? Impossible... but just in case I had better go see an Argent Healer. Go see him and... eat his brains. I mean be healed. Yes. Healing brains. So delicious.
I run into the church, my skin falling off, fangs and claws bursting from my flesh.
"HEAL YOUR BRAINS!" I say!
She responds by exploding me.
And so I am writing this from beyond the grave. Nobody will ever read it but the dead. That bothered me at first, but the more I think about it the more it seems okay. There're a lot more of us on this side than on that, anyway.
And of course... you're reading it.
So I guess that means...
|01 Nov 2008 by carwin|