Thursday, October 30, 2008

Zombie Plague

When a video game is mentioned on Fox News, generally you can expect a story riddled with hysterical plot summaries and expert opinions about the moral decay of society.
However, the recent events in World of Warcraft just seem too horrible for the media to even bother making horrible statements about the geeks playing and their lack of lives.
Right now, there is the annual Hallow's End festival online. This regular event is an opportunity for characters to put on goofy costumes and trick-or-treat at every in-game innkeeper. Candy handed out provides magical bonuses and everyone wants the rare pet pumpkin.
Even the brutal world of player-vs-player action is toned down to tossing stink bombs in enemy towns.
Good times.
This year is different.
Since the Wrath of the Lich King expansion is due in less than a month, the developers decided to ready the online masses with a little zombie infestation.
Since the last online epidemic killed everyone entirely too quickly, this disease was designed to be a touch more avoidable.
There was an incubation period which started at 10 minutes, then became 5, then 2, then a completely silly one minute to find a healer and let them purge your illness.
If no cure was applied in time, your character became a zombie.
But that wasn't the end.
As a zombie, the character is free to lurch around the game world, attacking other players and quest-givers that they hate and, in some cases, other players and quest-givers that they like.
Towards the end of the epidemic, the main cities were wastelands. Anyone turning up would be infected almost immediately.
The chat channels became filled with cries of "Whoever infected the Auction House is an ass" and "I was going to turn in my 300 murloc skulls but the guy is a zombie now" and "Braiiiiiiiins!"
I avoided the infection, since it looked icky.
I did participate, though.
Since infected characters can't fly, the roof of the bank was the perfect place to set up my little anti-zombie tower. I would rain death on any ramaging groups of the undead and send my pet gorilla in to control the crowds a bit.
During my watch, our banks were a haven of safety and security where the players could relax and /dance to their little virtual heart's content.
Eventually, however, my pet was bitten.
I found myself cradling his shaggy gorilla head in my lap behind the pot rack near the cooking trainer.
When he inevitably turned and lunged at me, I was forced to snap his neck and get back to the work of finding a cure.
I must also admit that I took yesterday off work to "meet a plumber" at the house so that I could attend to the rest of the mop-up activities related to the zombie plague.
It should also be noted that the cafeteria at work was closed due to off-site training.
A work day which does not begin with whole wheat flapjacks is a work day I do not believe I can particiate in.

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