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DiscussionAug 28, 2016 8:00 am CT

Breakfast Topic: I both love and hate demon invasions

The Burning Legion is invading and it certainly feels like the biggest — and probably the best — world event Blizzard has ever done. Perhaps the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj was similar in scale, involving the whole server in a massive effort to unlock new dungeons, but it wasn’t quite like this. Low levels wanting to help with the Ahn’Qiraj grind could turn in linen or Peacebloom and, honestly, picking flowers for the war effort never felt very heroic — while the epic quest chain to open the gates was reserved for a single player and their guild. It was grand in scope, but the little people still felt like… well… little people.

In invasions, level scaling means that anyone participating gets to be the big hero. Sure, you may still die, but you’re dying alongside the level 100s. We’re all the heroes of Azeroth, the last line of defense against the Legion.

But I’ve gotta say… I’m glad the event is only lasting a few more days.

It’s not just because I’ve done enough for it to have become a grind — though I have, I so have — it’s because some of the strategies to make the most of this event are downright strange. The bosses and mini-bosses are rough, especially for melee, with plenty of AOE and insta-kill abilities. At various times you have to run away from the boss, run towards the boss, DPS down adds, deal with curses that can only be cured when you’re healed to full, run out of fel-fire, avoid waves of flame, and I’m probably forgetting plenty. They’re all strategies raiders are familiar with, and aren’t hard for an organized raid — or even an organized LFR — to handle.

But the chaos of a demon invasion, with players of all levels and skills thrown against the Legion… nothing about it can be called organized. Though the event tosses players in at random much like battlegrounds or LFR, there are no automatic group or raid frames to help healers find tanks or people with debuffs — and unlike DPS, healing doesn’t scale, meaning a low level healer isn’t really much help to a group (though my level 70 Discipline Priest does try to toss out Power Word: Barrier in between smiting everything in sight). If you get caught with the debuff that kills you if you aren’t healed to full? Hopefully you have healing abilities or a pocket healer, because otherwise you’re in trouble.

And the most frustrating thing about the event as it stands is the fact that if you die, you earn no experience for boss kills — which currently hand out XP in massive chunks. It’s a peculiar mechanic that actively encourages you to tap a boss and run out of range of any AOE or damaging abilities… and stay there until the fight is over. Because these fights are punishing on melee, I’ve seen countless melee classes standing on the back lines, using anything they can use at range… and sometimes not even staying at range is enough to keep alive through a fight.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s a great event with an epic feel, and I hope to see Blizzard iterating more on this kind of design moving forward. But in the meanwhile, you’ll find me grinding through invasions on the back lines — and running like mad when I start taking damage, hitting Plea as fast as the GCD lets me.

But what’s your take on the demon invasions? Are you in the love ’em or hate ’em camp?

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