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Starting a Plague Zombie
The plague disease can be acquired through several sources: interacting with the Conspicuous Crates found in capital cities and Booty Bay; by attacking a Plagued Roach; or through being attacked by a zombie. At the start of the event the infection had a duration of 10 minutes, but this decreased nearly daily, with a duration of only 1 minute by day 5 of the event. Once the infection's duration expires, or if the player dies while infected, they will transform into (or be raised as) a Plague Zombie.
Interactions as a Plague Zombie
All undead are friendly to the player, even zombies of the other faction. You can communicate and even trade with zombies of the other faction. Most mobs are neutral (and able to be targeted). All living players from any faction are hostile and can be attacked even if not flagged. The zombie gets about a 50% health buff as well as a new skill bar. The base speed of the zombie is around 50% of running speed. Zombies, thanks to their rotting flesh and lack of organs, have no lungs. Breathing underwater is therefore unlimited - though death may still occur if lack of humanoid, NPC, or mob fighting fails to occur, resulting in loss of health.
The ability to loot mobs that you have killed has been removed for the infected zombie, yet anything you kill that counter-spawns into a zombie may be commanded by you to follow you and attack your targets as well.
Health drains moments after you turn into a zombie. Attacking living humanoids, mobs, or players to regain health is important to survival. Each successful attack returns 3% of your total health to you.
You posess 5 abilities (Along with passive buffs, like tracking, 1.0 attack speed and increased damage): (in bar position order)
- Mangle! A sunder effect which does +damage and reduces the targets armor by 3%
- Retch! spit out some green slime which makes a cloud which:
- Heals zombies in contact with it including you.
- Slows humanoid mobs to 50%
- This effect stacks from multiple zombies.
- One stacking (i.e. you cast one and stand in it) will almost stop your life loss but not quite.
- Beckoning Groan: Call 4 zombies who must not be in combat to your side. 40 yard range.
- Lunge! Doubles speed for (10-15) seconds. This gives the zombie normal (100%) running speed.
- Zombie Explosion! Channeled. At the end of the channeling the zombie explodes, infecting all humanoids around them.
- You may release to the graveyard after completion.
- The humanoids all start their 5 minute timer.
- Before Patch 3.1 all zombies along with the infected humanoids had the ability to track humanoid Players and NPCs only. The buff was removed on log out or after the infected player is cured.
Spreading the plague
Attacking humanoids (both NPCs and players) may have the chance to spread the plague to them. Resulting death for the victim results in them instantly re spawning as a zombie with 100% health.
PCs come back as zombies with their current level.
NPCs come back as zombies with a slightly reduced level.
A level 75 NPC will come back as a level 70. A level 65 NPC will come back as a level 60. A level 9 NPC will come back as level 1.
NPCs which return as zombies switch to a mode like an aggressive hunter/warlock pet and will attack any living thing in their radius. If they attack humanoids, they receive the healing from attacks like the PC zombies.
If you attack anything which would normally cause pvp, pvp mobs, players from either faction, etc. you are flagged as pvp. If any player attacks you, they are also flagged. Either faction can attack you whether you are flagged or not, and all guard type npcs are hostile to you.
If you can kill a town guard, it will fight alongside you to kill others and you can build a sizeable undead army since your attacks and your fellow zombies attacks all spread the plague to others.
Back to the living
Once you run out of health as a zombie either through combat, exploding, or health attrition, you die, taking the normal durability loss, and get the normal release to the graveyard dialogue. You release to the nearest graveyard from the zombie death, not the one where your living form initially died.
If you're killed by another player when you are a Zombie, you will not lose durability. You will not lose durability when you make the transition into a Zombie, so you don't have to worry about the possibility of double durability loss.
Life not as a zombie
A number of Argent Healers have showed up all over the place. These will heal the disease off of players. If you are a zombie they will cast Righteous Fire at you which will kill you in at most 3 attacks.
There are also wards placed across the doors to every inn in capital cities and at each auction house entrance to cleanse the disease from anyone trying to enter those places.
The argent healers are also present in many towns near the flight points or by the inn.
- As the invasion continues, more and more of the argent healers are leaving only leaving 1 or 2 in the entire city (i.e. Thunder Bluff only has a healer near the inn and up near the Flight Point)
A tactic for avoiding infection is to keep clear of the large population centers. This is easier said than done. However, if you can collect multiple quests from quest givers in smaller towns or rural areas then pursue quest chains that take you away from towns and cities you can avoid most of the plague.
- Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Added.