Demon Invasions go live in World of Warcraft today for players in the North America region (tomorrow for EU) and so it’s time to take an in-depth look at this brand new in-game event.
WoW game designer Jeremy Feasel recently gave an interview on Legion’s pre-launch content, describing the Burning Legion’s invasion of Azeroth as “the biggest world event they’ve ever done,” but how does that statement shape up to what players are actually going to experience?
If we put aside for a moment the introduction of Demon Hunters – a brand new melee class – and capital city shenanigans involving Doomsayers and ‘dark whispers,’ demon invasions are the go-to event most players are going to be investing time in between now and Legion’s launch. Not only are there feats of strength up for grabs, but exclusive cosmetic items and gear. Jeremy Feasel had this to say:
“We started looking at the Burning Legion from the concept of what would an RTS army be like, what would they do, how would they invade Azeroth? They’re going to bring barracks, they’re going to bring portals, they’re going to bring defensive structures that shoot giant lasers, they’re going to bring spaceships. We’ll spread all that out across the zone and really create an ecology around it. They have crystals that you have to destroy in order to blow up the buildings, they have the RTS equivalent of footmen and knights and riflemen and magi and they all have different gameplay aspects to them, so let’s see how many different zones we can spread that across.”
Six zones in total will be subject to demonic invasion – Azshara, Dun Morogh, Hillsbrad Foothills, Northern Barrens, Tanaris and Westfall. Completing one invasion grants a feat of strength, as does completing all six, but not all of the invasions will be up at the same time. Invasions will pop up on the world map slowly at first and for limited amounts of time, increasing in frequency with each passing week in the build up to Legion’s launch. During this first week, only two zones every four hours will be host to an invasion. This will increase by 300% the following week.
From what I’ve seen on the public test realm, affected zones will indeed be infested with demons, from the smallest, insignificant imps to the largest, most dangerous pit lords. During an invasion, Burning Legion buildings jut out of the fel-infused ground and must be destroyed. A foreboding spaceship hovers in a darkened sky over the area, raining down fel-fire on those below. It’s all quite impressive considering none of these events are instanced and are taking place outdoors.
“We got new tech that allows us to do a true, multiplayer, everyone-coming-together experience that lets us put scenarios in the outdoor world.,” said Jeremy. “That lets us allow everybody in the area to all contribute towards the end goal of pushing the Legion out.” Apparently, this new technology was borne out of Warlords of Draenor’s garrisons feature.
“At one point we thought, ‘so we got these garrisons and within the garrison technology it allows you to spawn up buildings and swap them on the fly.’ That tech is what has allowed us to throw up giant demon buildings in demon invasions, and we didn’t know we could do that until we tried it and we put a giant demon spire in the middle of Westfall. As soon as we saw that we said ‘okay, that’s something new and different that I haven’t seen in WoW before – now lets see if the engineers will let us blow it up!’”
Each demon invasion has four different stages, and in each stage every participating player in the area – regardless of faction – contributes to the end goal. Stage one: defend an invasion point by killing demons and filling up a progress bar. These are exactly like the progress bars players have become familiar with in Draenor’s Tanaan Jungle missions. Stage two: defeat a very large and very formidable Demon Lord along with his two Lieutenants. Stage three: fill up another progress bar by clearing out the rest of the zone and rescuing friendly NPCs. This is where some invasions give players the opportunity to board vehicles to aid in the extermination, such as glaive throwers in Tanaris.
Stage four is the final stage but is the most challenging part: defeat the Demon Lord. This is a huge elite demon with extremely dangerous abilities and masses of health. Players can absolutely expect to die at this point, so organized group efforts will make quite the difference. Once dead, the invasion has been successfully repelled (for now) and players receive a couple of Legion chests as reward and a bunch of Nethershards, a new currency that can be spent at ‘reluctant’ quartermasters in Illidari camps nearby.
The Legion Chests can contain ilvl 700 gear along with special weapons that can be upgraded via the Coalesced Fel item. Exclusive appearances are available in the form of collectable ‘ensembles,’ created for the vastly popular transmogrification wardrobe that patch 7.0.3 introduced. Be warned: all of these items will only be available during this pre-launch event. Here’s a list of purchasable items, along with their Nethershard (Ns) costs:
- [Ensemble: Fel-Infused Cloth Armor] = 200 Ns
- [Ensemble: Felshroud Leather Armor] = 200 Ns
- [Ensemble: Fel-Chain Mail Armor] = 200 Ns
- [Ensemble: Felforged Plate Armor] = 200 Ns
- [Felbat Pup] (pet) = 150 Ns
- [Coalesced Fel] = 150 Ns
- ilvl 700 Amulets = 50 Ns
- ilvl 700 Rings = 50 Ns
- ilvl 700 Trinkets = 50 Ns
- Demon Commander’s Drape = 50 Ns
These items give helpful buffs:
- [Felstone] = 3 Ns
- [Potion of Fel Protection] = 3 Ns
- [Battle-Mender’s Dressing] = 1 Ns
All-in-all I’d say the demon invasions are going to be a LOT of fun on live servers, where thousands of players will be invading the affected zones to fight off the Burning Legion. World of Warcraft’s phasing technology should keep everything running smoothly but either way, this is one pre-expansion event you’re not going to want to miss.
What are you waiting for? Go murder some demons!Related: Demon Invasion, Legion, Pre-Expansion, world event, World of Warcraft, WoW