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An Evening with the Undead

This past weekend, our friends Relics of Orr hosted an evening with the undead, an open world, PvE event referred to as Plants vs. Zombies. In a nutshell, the player base was invited to join the Relics of Orr in the Silverwastes for a three hour rampage against the Mordrem. In order to supply the zombies, minion master necromancers were encouraged but, of course, not required. The plants were provided free of charge by Mordremoth. In addition to completing the entire event chain – topped off with taking down the Vinewrath, players who attended the event attempted the jumping puzzle, farmed chests, and participated in a costume contest, in which the best plant and best zombie costumes – as voted by Twitch chat – were awarded a prize.

SO MANY MINIONS!

Although one of my main alts is a necromancer, I have no experience as a minion master. However, I decided this sounded like a fun time in the making so joined in wholeheartedly, retooling my vampire necromancer. There is also the fact that, as I discussed in my previous article, Content of our Own, I am fascinated by user-created content and how it adds aspects to a game beyond what developers imagine or build. Having rebuilt my charr, I spent a few minutes pre-event mastering my minions and coming to terms with the basic mechanics of charging flesh golems, exploding bone minions, immobilizing fiends, and blinding shadows.

So…one explodes…one blinds…what does the squishy one do again?

Then, with my small army of “zombies” at the ready, it was time to find the plants. It must be said: by far the toughest part of the event was joining the map through the taxi system. Of course there were very helpful people willing to taxi others into the map as others filed out, but at the beginning of the event, a great deal of spamming the “Join party” option was needed. Sadly, I don’t think this can be helped. Yet, despite the crowd at the door waiting to get in, it wasn’t long before I was able to join the map and discovered Camp Resolve full of minion masters and their allies. At a word from the organizers, the fury of the undead was released upon the wastelands. And it was glorious!

Seriously, some things you just have to see to believe.

Meta? We Don’t Need Meta!

…At least, not when we have minions! I admit to some trepidation when first charging out across the sand, despite the army of undead surrounding us. But, as more and more plants fell to the devastating charge of the flesh golems and frisky bone fiends, my concern gave way to chortles. Evil chortles of glee. Defend events soon proved to be interesting skirmishes where a single minion master could hold his or her own against most comers. Even the dreaded teragriffs proved to be no match for our zombie army.

All the minions fit to master!

All the minions fit to master!

With the forts secured and the supplies maxed, The Breach began and again, I found myself concerned. Having spent several months in the Silverwastes now, I have learned the patterns the bosses follow and the strategies needed to take advantage of each one’s weakness. But, I didn’t know the prescribed strategy for this situation! How does a minion master take on a Mordrem champion? I didn’t really know what my minions did when I pushed the attack buttons! I wasn’t even entirely sure what to do with a minion if I no longer wanted to master it. Controlling it in battle was beyond my grasp. Gamely, I jumped into the fray, hoping I wouldn’t make too big a fool of myself. Well, as it turns out, Mordrem champions are also no match for puppet corpses, and even the champions of The Breach fell before us. Who needs meta when you have this much cannon fodder?

Even the underground champions were no match.

Even the underground champions were no match.

But Do I Have to Share my Loot?

Once the underground champions were dealt with, we headed for the Vinewrath. In my experience, lanes were easily defended by swarming minions, wells and marks and the champions within the tangle fell as easily as the underground ones, although I have heard we did nearly run out of time. Perhaps minions are slower than meta. My time fighting the champions showcased what I believe to be two simple truths: 1) Swarming zombies are no match for anything living; 2) The most optimized build is not always necessary.

With the Greatest Mordrem the Silverwastes had to offer vanquished and our loot secured, the phalanx of corpses headed for the labyrinth. There, turning into a seed pod proved too complex for minions and they were left behind. Without our corpsely protectors, many a minion master fell in the darkness. Despite this, there was much looting…of chests, not corpses. By the half-way point in the event, I was glad I had taken the extra time and spent the extra gold to craft larger bags for my necromancer as they were stuffed to overflowing with treasures. In my opinion, the Silverwastes continues to be one of the more lucrative maps out there. And pillaging it for its treasures is certainly more fun in a large group.

Mayhem is always fun with friends.

Mayhem is always fun with friends.

Don’t Worry, We Can Make More

With the main attraction at an end, several players went off to attempt the jumping puzzle that begins in Dry Dock Scratch, while others sorted loot and prepared for the costume contest. Competition for the best-dressed plant and best-dressed zombie was fierce! But in the end, two participants won gem store prizes, along with the accolades of a map full of necromancers and their squiggy pets.

The event’s finale included a number of chest farming trains. In addition to appropriating even more loot, this proved a wonderful winding down activity that allowed participants to revisit some of the scenes of our earlier triumphs. Although smaller on average, the number of minions still patrolling the map during the finale provided everyone with a final vision of what had been.

By all accounts, the Plants vs. Zombies event was a success and I suspect there may be future events planned. If you are planning any open world, community events, feel free to let us know!

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