The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
Well, not really, but that’s what it seems like in some of the major cities right now in World of Warcraft. Several stages of the pre-Cataclysm event have occurred, and now it is time to defend the cities in the major world event for which most players have been waiting.
The Alliance has to defend Stormwind and Ironforge, while the Horde must keep Orgrimmar and Thunderbluff safe. Rifts will open and send forth elementals in these cities once every two to three hours. When they start, some players will need to put sandbags out to protect the cities, while others fight the elementals. Next, while still fighting, players need to find and save trapped citizens (using a special totem that you can get from someone at the inn in each city).
You will have to defend all parts of the city. Blizzard gave us some great mechanics to keep track of what is happening. There is a counter at the top of the screen telling you what stage you are in and what still needs to be done. For example, it can tell you that there are still a certain number of sectors of the city that are not secured, and in each sector, you can see how many rifts and citizens are left to be handled.
It is important to note that once the attack has started, you cannot portal into the cities. If you do, you will be directed to take the evacuation portal that puts you right outside, and then you must walk/ride into the city. Also, once the attack starts, you cannot do any regular business (auction house, banking, vendoring) as the people of the cities have fled for their lives.
If you are successful in defending the city, then you get access to two of the event bosses. These depend on which two types of elementals attacked that city, which I believe is random. You do not have to participate in the fight to be able to queue for the bosses. You may enter from the portal in the city, or using the dungeon finder system. I have not been able to time it myself, but several sites have said the bosses are available for 15 to 20 minutes after the city is safe. Also, the city attack is said to last no more than an hour, and if you are not successful, they simply despawn.
Thus far, my experience has been that the two cities for each faction are attacked within minutes of each other, which is nice. This means that you can do all four bosses in a relatively short amount of time, and you don’t have to guess about the timing of another attack right away. However, this may have been coincidence, and I cannot confirm if this is the normal schedule.
Once you queue up and then enter the instance area, there should be a quest. You can only do the quest once, and you get 13 gold. None of the bosses are terribly difficult for a good group, but some lesser geared players may have difficulty. Each boss kill gives you 16 justice points, and they drop 251 level gear. You can queue for them as many times as you can while they are available each cycle, and you can queue every cycle in a day if you like. This is a great way to get quick points and ICC-level gear.
I have to say that this is a wonderful event. Yes, it is geared to Level 80 toons, so lower level ones may not have as much fun, but it was an exciting kind of mass chaos in the cities while everyone attacked the elementals. Many players are commenting that it is great, and that they have not seen so many people in those cities in a very long time.
I believe this is much better than the zombie invasion that led us into Wrath of the Lich King. Plus, extra bosses with high level gear is hard to beat. So, if you are in Warcraft and someone tells you the sky is falling, they may be right. Defend your cities, and have a blast!