Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lessons for the Elemental Invasion that We Should Have Learned from the Undead Invasion

Panic on the streets of Stormwind, Panic on the streets of Ironforge.
And I wonder to myself, will anything be sane again?
The Elements of Azeroth are getting frisky! Doomsday cults are running through the cities! Dogs and cats lying together! Mass hysteria! This can only mean one thing: It's time for the world event! Woo Woo!

I can't think about all this starting up without thinking about the last time it happened: two years ago, when the Lich King pulled his "Plague-the-Grain-and-Turn-Everybody-to-Zombies" routine. And for a few days it was utterly super-fun madness with two scoops of awesome on top.

But, the event wasn't entirely smooth and a lot of this was due to player reaction to the events, a few small glitches with the implementation, and some clashes between how players were "playing" with the event.

I know I learned a few thing from that, and I'm pretty sure Blizzard did too. So, following are some lessons learned from the Zombie Invasion that will probably help us weather the Elemental Invasion.

1. Don't worry about business as usual.
I expect this world event will have less total devastation involved with it, because of the uproar last time. But just remember that this is a special time and so if you're unable to run all your dailies or you can't manipulate the price of titanium the way you are used to, then it'll be over in a few days and then you can get back to your "job" in WoW. Go with the flow, or take a WoW break for a little if it bothers you so much.

2. Chill the &%#^ out.
During the Zombie Invasion, I got the most virulent hateful flaming, whatever I did. Sometimes, I'd play at fighting the zombies and would get cursed at for killing them or curing infections. Then I'd play at being a zombie and get cursed at for that. One day, I went to the Isle of Quel'Danas with the goal of turning every one of the murlocs on the east coast (couldn't quite get them all). Hey! It was a valid anthropological experiment! But my gosh, did I get a load of flaming that day.

3. Whatever epics start showing up are probably next to useless.
I wish I could remember the details of the loot, but back in the day, You could basically farm up some pretty decent purples from undead spawns out in the world. I recall doing that with one of my alts who hadn't gotten any purples of her own from raiding. And I was all pleased with that, and gemmed and enchanted the things up, and then they were replaced within the first hour of Lich King questing a week or so later. And that was Lich King, where my raiders kept most of their lvl 70 purples til they got really close to lvl 80.  This time out, if you have anything less than 25-man ICC gear, you'll be pitching it pretty early in your quest to lvl 85.  So, though I wouldn't tell anybody to ignore the drops coming out of the Cataclysm event, I wouldn't recommend looking at them as something to spend much time obtaining either.

4. Blizzard seems to be "world-eventing" in a much more restrained fashion this time out.
Most of my in-game friends and I agree: this one is going really slow. We are just shy of a week into the mayhem and um, not too much mayhem.  I have heard rumors about the next stage of the elemental invasion, that it will enter the cities. I guess I didn't expect that to take more than a week.  I'm betting that the elements will appear in the city... almost anywhere except in the auction house. What do you guys think.

Truth is: Blizzard said it learned a lot from the Zombie invasion, which makes me think they listened to the QQ I derided in lessons 1 and 2 above. I also recall them saying that they are taking a "smaller" approach to world events, which makes me worry that they have something on the scale of Operation Gnomeregan planned.

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