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World of Warcraft fans, your Legion experience begins this week

Before the new expansion hits, a one-off Demon Invasion event hits Azeroth and if you love World of Warcraft you won't want to miss the action.

Where were you when the demons invaded?

WoW fans, get your new rotations ready. It's one of those special times in World of Warcraft when the whole place gets turned upside down for a special event to ring in the new expansion. But this time it's the biggest event yet.

Anyone who has played World of Warcraft for a long time (or played a long time ago) may remember the Scourge Invasion events from 2006 and 2008 as something very special. Huge necropolises floated in the skies, dropping undead forces onto the map for heroes to battle. Major cities came under attack and players could even catch and spread a zombie plague. It was chaotic, crazy and a lot of fun.

World of Warcraft Legion logo

Legion officially launches August 30, but the events of the expansion begin this week.

Blizzard Entertainment

This time the demonic Burning Legion forces are invading in the build up to the Legion expansion's launch on August 30. Beyond mere demon slaughter, this time players will find quests to follow and achievements, outfits, toys and pets to earn.

Speaking to Jeremy Feasel, Game Designer on World of Warcraft and one of those responsible for the demon invasion event, we are told this is the biggest world event in the history of Warcraft.

Three weeks in hell

Here's the quick-and-dirty version:

  • The demon invasion will be rolled out over the three weeks leading up to the expansion
  • Players can unlock new outfits, weapons and other cosmetic items
  • Anyone over level 10 can join in
  • You can become a huge demon and really mess up other players

"In the first week you'll join Varian and Sylvanas in the next stage of the opening cinematic [for the Legion expansion]," said Feasel. "And you'll see how that plays out."

This leads into another half a dozen quests taking you through the aftermath of that and the first demon invasion. This is also where the Demon Hunter class -- a new addition as part of this expansion -- formally joins the game.

The demon invasion events begin across six parts of Azeroth, increasing each week until no zone is left untouched. Yes, even the zones where lowly new characters are trying to learn their craft.

"In week two, Dalaran [a magical flying city that can blink through time and space] moves over to the top of Karazhan," said Feasel. "This same week Magni comes back, and you'll join up with Bran, Magni and Khadgar and go to Ulduar and figure out some of the secrets the Titans have left behind that will allow us to destroy the Legion."

No doubt some readers are lost right now. For Warcraft fans, this shows there is some serious storyline being offered up during this event and as one-off experiences go, this is very exciting game content.

"In week three, the Legion figures out we know what we need to do to defeat them so they start an all-out assault on Dalaran," said Feasel. "That culminates on the very final day of the expansion pack with a huge 24-hour assault on the city. During that, players will help Khadgar to charge up Dalaran to teleport again."

Demon Hunter class in World of Warcraft

The new playable class, Demon Hunter, is added to World of Warcraft this week in the build up to the Legion expansion.

Blizzard Entertainment

While the quest lines are set to prepare top-level players for the coming expansion, the wider world invasion events are cleverly designed to scale to the level of the player. So every hero will be able to contribute to the fighting, whether they are level 10 or 100.

"Spaceships come in, buildings grow up out of the ground, some of the coolest visuals we've been able to do on the fly to change the world," said Feasel. "This is another new piece of tech we've got, the ability to spawn buildings wherever we want and then blow them up."

Players who participate in the event will earn achievements plus many other in-game items. There are four different armor sets to collect, as well as a pet, a toy and a range of weapons.

If you really can't be in the game this next three weeks, you will still get a chance to replay the highlights of the event by visiting special archivists in the city of Dalaran who will be able to show you key scenes from the events of this next few weeks.

One more feature worth mentioning: Dark Whispers. Players will be able to make a pact with dark powers in cities like Stormwind and Orgrimmar to become demonic vampires. Bite enough other players and you'll turn yourself into a world boss and really wreak some havoc.

It genuinely sounds like the biggest special world event yet for World of Warcraft and it's hard to doubt that players will talk about this event for years to come. If you're a fan who's been waiting for the new expansion to arrive, this is the true beginning of the action ahead.