Attack of the Zombies
With the new expansion Wrath of the Lich King (WOTLK) almost available, Blizzard is amping up the stakes in its successful World of Warcraft (WoW) game. On Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008, the zombie invasion began!
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Mysterious crates appeared at Booty Bay, then plagued roaches and other crates oozing green gases were seen around the world of Azeroth. Clicking on a crate yielded a message and a green halo. Attacking a plagued roach also infected the attacker. Once infected, the player has to find a cure.
Luckily, I found the cure pretty easily. The Argent Healer, a new NPC, in Booty Bay was right at the entrance to the tunnel out to Stranglethorn, and he had an invocation that released me from the plague. Good thing, too, as I later found out.
Or was it?
I took the boat over to Ratchet, and found more mysterious crates there. An Alliance player infected with the Scourge plague attacked me, and I became infected. Seeing no healer, I proceeded to let the infection run its course, and took the flight path to Crossroads, turning into a zombie on the way.
When I landed at the Crossroads, I found more zombified players, and one of my guildies trying to fight them off. Surprised, I noticed that my guildie was an enemy player to me now! I attacked him, and he killed me, bringing the plague upon himself. When I died, I was taken to the graveyard as usual, but there was no resurrection penalty. I actually didn't have to res at all; I just appeared again, cured and whole.
Two ways to play
There are two ways to play while the zombie invasion lasts: zombie or zombie killer. Playing a zombie is pretty easy; all you have to do is spread the plague and run all over the world. There are a couple of extra perks: Alliance and Horde zombies can talk and trade with each other, and can group with each other. This makes it easier to do instances and infect major cities.
Playing a zombie killer is a bit tougher. It's very helpful if you have a priest or a paladin in your group, as these players can cure the plague. It's good to have a group, because you're going to have a lot of attackers: zombies can summon others to their side and rush you. If you are attacked, you can become infected. If you step into their vomit or are hit by it, you automatically become a zombie as well.
Blizzard has not said whether this new feature will last past the release of WOTLK. They are being pretty silent about the whole thing, in fact. Player views run the whole range of being irritated at the interruption to questing (although you can still quest as a zombie) to embracing their zombification wholeheartedly (well, undead hearts, that is).