I didn't post on the Zombie Invasion and Hallow's End cause I was busy. Hallow's End is my favorite Azoroth holiday, of course. So, I jumped into that with vigor. And ya know what... it just wasn't AS fun as it has been. Maybe I've just seen it too much, but it needs a few more upgrades than just some quest changes and a few extra drops. Why isn't there a massive quest chain to hunt down or fight the Dark Riders in Deadwind/Dustwood during this time? I mean come 'on. That place IS Hallow's End. I also couldn't get to the Headless Horseman this year, due to circumstance, which kinda sucks.
The Stink Bomb event in Southshore/Tarren Mill was fun, but a little whacked. The PvP was enjoyable, but not really up to the good ol' days for that area. Alliance's side of the quest was to make a scounting run on the Wickerman Festival. That involved riding all the way up to Lordaeron (no, it's not "Undercity" sheesh!), ridding up to the Wickerman, getting flagged, and then riding back to Southshore. Woopee. The Horde, on the other hand, had to run into the middle of Southshore, get flagged, drop a stink bomb, and try to get out.
So, the Horde side was actually interesting and fun. The Alliance quest sucked. Yah, I know there was an Alliance side quest for the stink bombs, but it wasn't nearly as fun. Still, there were some nice fights as the Hordies tried to complete thier quest. It would have been so much better if both sides had the same quest. Horde dropping stink bombs on Southshore, Alliance dropping... air freshner? on Tarren Mill. THEN you'd see some fights! Maybe next year...
Not to say anything bad about Hallow's End. It was great fun while it lasted. But my interest seemed to be a bit lower this year. Of course, it got upstaged mid-way through by Arthas, so that might have had something to do with it. And here it comes...
I loved the Zombie/Scourge Invasion. There. I said it. :P
I spent a great deal of last weekend fighting Zombies and griefers in Stormwind and elsewhere. It was a blast and half! Blizz created a social experiment that pretty much turned the whole of WoW on it's head for several days. And good job to them!
Yah, I tried the Zombie thing. It was fun for, oh, about 15 minutes? I was out hunting Horde around Goldshire. Finally ran them down just outside of Eastvale Lumber Camp. A small group of Alliance showed up about the same time and we all went at it. Course, the Horde gang was there to turn the Camp into Zombies and I got infected.
When I turned, I could suddenly talk to the Brutal Tauren warrior that was kicking the crap out of me 30 seconds before. Turns out he was a nice guy, and (I'd forgotten) we'd dueled awhile back outside of BRD during Brewfest. (And yah, he kicked my arse then, as well.) So we ran around trying to infect the rest of the Horde and Alliance players that were fighting. It was in an isolated area, no lowbies around, and all great fun.
I get the idea of opposing factions trying to infect each other's cities. I also agree that the starter areas should have had some form of safety catch. What I didn't get was people of the same faction infecting their own cities. Either way, it made for some spectacular fights around Stormwind and Iron Forge. I'd heard Darnassus and the Exador on my server were almost completely wiped out.
I also get what a pain in the ass it was for lower level characters trying to quest or conduct business. Neveron (my Priest) spent two hours trying to unload stuff in the Auction House, a task that should have taken 15 minutes. Every few minutes, some griefer would come Zombie charging into the AH and detonate. So I'd spend the next few minutes debuffing everyone and everything like mad. That's the one mistake I think Blizz made...
Suicide bombers? Bad form. Bad Blizz. That was unnecessary and in poor taste.
Other than that, though, it was interesting to see the two sides go at it. By two sides I mean griefers and those trying to slow them down. And I do mean slow them down, not stop. Blizzard gave the idiots that find fun in making things not fun for others the tools they needed to get the job done. For a few days, the balance shifted from the dumb asses being a nuisance to being in control.
What surprised me a little, on Fenris anyhow, was how many players stood vigil in Stormwind through most of it, doing their best to turn back the tide. Over the course of the invasion, I saw the same people over and over again fighting the zombies everywhere they could. We grouped a lot, we had to fall back a lot, we got infected a lot, and we died a WHOLE lot. But, at least in Stormwind and Iron Forge, there were long periods where the cities were safe. I'm calling that a job well done.
As a social experiment, it was kinda of horribly interesting. Those that wanted to quit in frustration. Those that were going to fight no matter what. And those that wanted to screw things up as much as they could. It really brought out the best and worst in players of WoW.
I know there those that doubt, but I think it worked exactly the way Blizz intended. It created a sense of hopelessness, frustration and horror that would come from an invasion of this sort. I saw a lot of buttheads during the invasion. And made sure to note who they were so that I don't end up in a PuG with 'em. I saw a lot of QQ. And I saw a whole lot of Heroes.
I think it also set the stage for Wrath brilliantly (and yah, there's more to come). Stormwind is bleak and you can feel the pressure building and the darkness decending. The King is back (yea!) and the call to arms will go out soon. Things are changing.
Granted, I'm into the whole fighting the Scourge thing. It's my favorite story line in WoW. Yah, even after getting everything (except the damn plate chest... drop damn you!) from the invasion points, I still go out there and kill 'em when I'm in the neighborhood. I'm loading up now on those Argent Dawn sharpening stones. I think they'll be handy in Northrend. Killing the Scourge Invaders, btw, is a great way to get Scourge Stones for Argent Dawn rep, if you're inclined and sick to death of grinding Scholo and Strath. Just be sure to wear your Insignia of the Dawn.
Yah, I wear my Argent Dawn tabard with pride. :)
Wrath is 12 days away... I can't wait to see what happens next.