A zombie plague is ravaging World of Warcraft's test servers

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands big pre-expansion event is live on the test servers and it's unleashed an unfathomably large zombie plague on players, turning Azeroth's capital cities into undead wastelands. Hundreds of zombies are stalking the streets, devouring any NPC they can find—even including some that offer quests—and turning them into the undead. Players who get within arm's reach can also be infected, giving them special zom-bilities and letting them attack other players to spread the infection. Naturally, Azeroth is in utter chaos.

To be clear, this isn't happening in the live version of the game but on its public test servers. It's here that Blizzard tests upcoming changes to the game, like the upcoming level cap squish (max level players will now only be level 50, with the new level cap being 60 when Shadowlands releases) and the overhauled new player experience. But, sometime later this fall, this event will launch on live servers—and if it's anything like what's happening now, it'll be a bloodbath.

I'm not exactly sure if the event is working as intended. Right now, Stormwind is absolutely overrun with ghouls that are rampaging through the streets and slaughtering everything that moves. The auction house, vendors, and even the bank are all unusable—which might be frustrating for players who, once the event is really live, are just trying to go about their day to day business.

Over on the WoW subreddit, players have also found ways to bring the zombie infestation outside of capital cities, making whole areas of Azeroth uninhabitable. It's funny to see how much this mirrors a real zombie plague, as slain players and NPCs both transform into ghouls so their numbers are constantly growing.

So this was about...An hour after people discovered this? The results were hilarious. from r/wow

Fortunately, WoW game designer Jeremy Feasel confirmed the zombie invasion portion of the event will only be active for a few hours throughout the day rather than all the time. I'm actually a little disappointed by that, honestly, because I think it'd be fun to see an all-out, 24/7 invasion that players have to try and contain—something akin to World of Warcraft's infamous Corrupted Blood incident.

The Scourge Invasion is just one part of Shadowlands' pre-launch event. Players can also venture into the frigid wastes of Northrend to fight bosses and earn powerful loot, and there's also a new story quest to try out.

If you're a WoW subscriber, you can check all of this out now by following these steps to access the public test server. Otherwise, you can wait until the event inevitably launches sometime in the coming months. But now that it's on the PTR, it'll likely be happening sooner rather than later.

Steven Messner

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.