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This article is about the Cataclysm world event. For elemental invasions in classic WoW, see Elemental Invasions.
Achievement zone cataclysm

The subject of this article or section was part of the Elemental Unrest, a world event that heralded the beginning of the earth-shattering Cataclysm. Once the world event has run its course, this will no longer be available.

Previous: Operation: Gnomeregan, Zalazane's Fall, Gilneas civil war
Next: Invasion of Gilneas, Alliance-Horde War (Cataclysm)
Elemental Invasion
CataclysmOrgrimmarElementalInvasion
Place: Ironforge, Orgrimmar, Stormwind, Thunder Bluff
Outcome: Successful defense grants access to two of Cho'gall's four lieutenants.
Combatants
Commanders

The Elemental Unrest (also called just the "Elemental Invasion") is a world event that heralds the Cataclysm. Every few hours, elementals attack Stormwind, Orgrimmar, Ironforge, and Thunder Bluff. If players can defeat these elementals and free trapped citizens within their entire city, they will be granted access to two special boss encounters. During the event, a player can venture out into the world to destroy rifts, which grant an achievement only obtainable during the elemental invasion: Tripping the Rifts.

Timeline Edit

Event progression
Date Event
8 December 2009 Prelude: Rare Earthquakes begin on Azeroth.
12 October 2010 Earthquakes increase in intensity and frequency. Magni Bronzebeard and Thrall call meetings in Stormwind Keep and Grommash Hold respectively.
1 November 2010 Phase 1: Twilight's Hammer cultists appear in cities, elementals begin invading questing zones. Quests are available from Stormwind and Orgrimmar.
8 November 2010 Phase 2: Additional quests from Earthen Ring NPCs are available.
12 November 2010 Phase 3: Further additional quests are available. The Twilight's Hammer cultists infiltrate both Stormwind and Orgrimmar and are preparing to summon forth elementals to raze the cities.
15 November 2010 Phase 4: The event climaxes with elemental invasions against Stormwind, Ironforge, Orgimmmar and Thunder Bluff. The event bosses are available upon successful city defenses.
22 November 2010 The event bosses are now available all day long, and are no longer dependent on a successful defense of the cities.
23 November 2010 The Shattering occurs. The event bosses are now no longer available.

Prelude Edit

Random earthquakes have been reported in the major cities and zones of Azeroth. In response, the faction leaders of the Alliance and Horde have gathered in Stormwind and Orgrimmar respectively to deal with this turn of events.

Phase 1 Edit

This phase was released on the 1st of November, 2010. The day the phase started, Zarhym stated "There are four stages of the event. We're on the first."[1]

The following changes are made to the world:

Alliance Edit

Alliance 15 Events related to the Alliance.

Horde Edit

Horde 15 Events related to the Horde.

Genera lEdit

Rifts have begun to form randomly in all questing zones, spawning elementals; the spawn timers are erratic, and not tied to the beginning of the hour. The first phase of the quest chains are now active. Earthquakes are now felt around the world, and not just in capital cities. Doom-preaching cultists and mysterious devices have appeared in Orgrimmar and Stormwind.

To obtain the Feat of Strength Tripping the Rifts, players must obtain a buff from each type of elemental portal that spawns in Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms, Outland and Northrend (Earth, Fire, Water, and Wind). Players do not have to kill rifts of their level to qualify for the achievement. The daily quests Hammering It Out and A Natural Occurrence are obtained from the mysterious devices left after the portals have been defeated. Player level must be within typical honor/experience granting range to receive the quest.

See Quest:Prophecies Of Doom to begin the quest chains.

For a full list of Elemental Rift spawn locations, see Money achievement Tripping the Rifts.

Phase 2 Edit

This phase was released on the 8 November 2010 and simply opened up a few more quests in Orgrimmar, Stormwind and Ironforge.

NPCs Edit

New quests Edit

  1. Alliance 15 [1-80] What's Shaking in Ironforge
  2. Alliance 15 [1-80] Subduing the Elements

Phase 3 Edit

This was phase released on 12 November 2010.[2]

NPCs Edit

Quests Edit

  1. Alliance 15 [1-80] Show Me Your Papers (Alliance) / (Horde)
  2. Alliance 15 [1-80] Arrest the Infiltrators (Alliance) / (Horde)
  3. Alliance 15 [1-80] Back Under Cover (Alliance) / (Horde)
  4. Alliance 15 [1-80] I Said the Words... (Alliance) / (Horde)

After the Elemental Invasion event:

Phase 4 Edit

This phase was released on 15 November 2010.[3] The elemental rifts in Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms now spawn with very high frequency, about every 10–15 minutes.

Invasion preparation Edit

Before every invasion event starts, a guard will yell, warning players and citizens about incoming danger. At this time, players are instructed to grab barricades/sandbags from stockpiles around their major city and place them in zones directed by a red arrow. Low-level players unable to participate in this event are instructed to evacuate to the nearest portal activated by several guards. When all barricades are placed or 5 minutes have elapsed, the battle against the invasion begins.

Combating the invasion Edit

CataclysmThunderBluffInvasion

Viewing a city's map during an invasion will display all the districts and which are still under attack by elementals or need citizens freed.

Ready for the fight

Varian Wrynn, standing ready to fight the elemental

All of the districts of the major city will be attacked by elementals spawning from opened rifts. Every elemental has about 320,000 HP and every rift will spawn elementals until 32 are destroyed. Several citizens are trapped in these districts and must be freed by an [Earthen Ring Unbinding Totem] provided by Earthen Ring Defenders. Players must clear the city of every rift and rescue every citizen within an hour in order to win the event.

When the attack begins, all NPCs and interact-able objects within the city will despawn. This means flight masters, signposts, fires, mailboxes, bankers, auctioneers, trainers, questgivers, and more will be inaccessible for the duration of the attack. In Stormwind and Ironforge, the Deeprun Tram cannot be entered. Instance portals to The Stockade and Ragefire Chasm are also unavailable, as are the two-way portals in Stormwind's Wizard's Sanctum (evacuation portals exist within the Sanctum, so those inside and those teleporting to Stormwind can get out, but there is no direct path to the outside while the invasion is active), and all portals to the Blasted Lands. City guards will be replaced with level 80 versions (regular city guards are level 75), and additional guards will spawn at key choke points. Boxes containing [Sandbags] (Stormwind), [Wind Breaks] (Thunder Bluff), [Fortifications] (Ironforge), or [Barricades] (Orgrimmar) will appear throughout the city as well. At this time, players are instructed to grab barriers from stockpiles around their city (marked by green arrows) and place them in the designated regions (marked by red arrows).

Alliance combating the invasion Edit

Alliance 15 Events related to the Alliance.
In Ironforge, Stormcaller Mylra moves to the entrance of to the bank. She acts as an Earthen Ring Defender.
In Ironforge, Stormbeak hovers over Stormcaller Mylra, occasionally circling the Commons, the Gates of Ironforge, and the rest of the city.
In Ironforge, Commander Cragfist holds his position by the Gates of Ironforge.
In Stormwind, Earthspeaker Nala appears in center of Trade District. He acts as an Earthen Ring Defender.
In Stormwind, General Marcus Jonathan holds his position in Valley of Heroes, to warn approaching players of the danger they would face.

Horde combating the invasion Edit

Horde 15 Events related to the Horde.
In Orgrimmar, Warden Gartok Ragefist, his Detained Cultists, and the captured in the Ring of Valor remain in place.
In Orgrimmar, Earthcaller Torunscar relocates to the entrance of the Valley of Strength. He acts as an Earthen Ring Defender.
In Orgrimmar, Blood Guard Kang holds his position guarding the southern entrance to the city.
In Thunder Bluff, Arch Druid Hamuul Runetotem stands guard at the southwestern lift to warn approaching players of the danger they would face.
In Thunder Bluff, Sark Ragetotem stands guard at the northern lift to warn approaching players of the danger they would face.
In Thunder Bluff, Maruut Stonebinder appears in center of Middle Rise. He acts as an Earthen Ring Defender.

Earthen ring assistance combating the invasion Edit

Earthen Ring Defenders also spawn through the city. Speaking to one of them, players can obtain an [Earthen Ring Unbinding Totem]. Each city also provides an avenue of rapid escape in the form of Evacuation Portal maintained throughout the city by Orgrimmar Mages (among the first orc mages seen before Cataclysm) in Orgrimmar, Forsaken Mages (undead) in Thunder Bluff, Ironforge Mages (gnome and dwarf- among the first dwarf mages that aren't Dark Iron dwarves seen before Cataclysm) in Ironforge, and Stormwind City Mages (human) in Stormwind. These Evacuation Portals can be used to teleport directly outside the main entrance to the city. Low-level players and those unwilling to defend the city are advised to evacuate through an Evacuation Portal. Although low-level players are able to participate in the event, the invading elementals have area of affect attacks that will likely instantly kill less powerful players if they are caught within them. Alliance and Horde heroes will appear in some districts as well.

During the invasion, Stormwind and Thunder Bluff are hit by powerful rainstorms as they are invaded by Air and Water elementals. Orgrimmar and Ironforge are set ablaze as they are invaded by Fire and Earth elementals. During the initial phase, the elementals will attack any player, or city defender in range. Unlike the elemental invasions outside of the major cities, the elementals attacking the cities are not subject to immunities or resistances. The elementals will sometimes trap their targets in place. When this happens, an [Earthen Ring Unbinding Totem] must be used to free the player or NPC (or simply wait the stun out). Freeing players and NPCs in combat will grant the First Responder buff, and will not place you in combat. Each target within the area of effect of the totem will apply one stack of the buff, so freeing several targets at once will apply multiple stacks. When all barriers are in place, the second phase of the invasion begins.

Elemental Rifts appear in each of the major districts of the cities, with each Rift spawning new elite elementals. Elite elementals that are killed are replaced with new ones by the rift. Every elite elemental has about 320,000 HP and every rift will spawn elite elementals until 32 are destroyed. As with elemental rifts outside the cities, only kills in which a player participates will count for damaging the rift (guards cannot close the rifts by themselves). The elite elementals are passive to players unless attacked; however, their area of effect abilities are still hazardous to nearby players and can one-shot lower-level characters. Any elementals remaining from the previous phase will still attack any player it sees unless already engaged in combat. Numerous Trapped Citizens are in need of rescue within the attacked districts and must be freed using the [Earthen Ring Unbinding Totem]. Freeing citizens will also grant the First Responder buff. On the top of the screen, the player can see how many districts in the city are still under attack, how many rifts remain in the current district, and how many civilians remain trapped in the current district. The zone map will also display flags in the districts that haven't been cleared yet and Horde/Alliance symbols in the ones that have.

After players defeat 32 elementals surrounding a rift, the rift will close and a buff will be applied to all players nearby:

Elemental Faction Buff Gained
Alliance Horde
Fire Ironforge Orgrimmar Stacking damage debuff
Earth Chance to restore 2% HP
Water Stormwind Thunder Bluff +15% Power Regained
Wind 50 haste rating for 10s

These buffs do count for Money achievement Tripping the Rifts.

Players must clear the city of every rift and rescue every citizen within an hour in order to win the event.

Summary of Invasion Edit

Icon-search-22x22 This section needs to be cleaned up to a higher standard of quality. Reason: Wowpedia version may have been updated.

These tables are somewhat incomplete. Some numbers may be higher than recorded. The quote lists below are also incomplete.

Ironforge tasks Edit

49 [Fortifications] to be placed.
District # of Elemental Rifts # of Trapped Citizens Hero
The Commons 2 47 King Magni Bronzebeard
The Forlorn Cavern 1 21
The Great Forge 2 or more 48
Hall of Explorers 3 21 or more
Military Ward 2 34 or more High Tinker Mekkatorque
Mystic Ward 2 34 or more Muradin Bronzebeard

Inronforge quotes Edit

  • Warning: Ironforge Guard yells: Be ready! The ground shakes and the fires burn hotter! Get out if ya still can!
  • Warning: Ironforge Guard yells: Watch fer fallin' rocks! The ground shakes harder. Flee the city!
  • All Wall Fortifications in place: King Magni Bronzebeard yells: Elemental rifts have opened up around the city. We need to shut them down now! Evacuate all non-combat ready citizens. Make sure they get to safety!
  • Military Ward secure: High Tinker Mekkatorque yells: The Military Ward is clear of rifts and we have completed the evacuation of the citizens in this district!
  • The Commons secure: King Magni Bronzebeard yells: The Commons are secured! Now, secure the rest of the city!
  • King Magni Bronzebeard and Muradin Bronzebeard may yell one of the following while fighting near another player:
  • Keep on fightin', <name>!
  • Don't ya let up now, <name>!
  • Fight on, <name>!
  • Yer reputation as a formidable <class> is well earned, <name>!
  • That's the way, <name>!
  • Yer skills in battle are impressive, <name>.

Orgrimmar tasks Edit

58 [Barricades] to be placed.
District # of Elemental Rifts # of Trapped Citizens Hero
Cleft of Shadow 1 14
The Drag 2 20
Valley of Honor 3 27 Rexxar
Valley of Spirits 2 14 Vol'jin
Valley of Strength 3 32 Garrosh Hellscream
Valley of Wisdom 2 9 or more

Orgrimmar quotes Edit

  • Warning: Orgrimmar Grunt yells: Prepare yourselves brothers and sisters. The elements conspire against our city. Be ready for battle!
  • Warning: Orgrimmar Grunt yells: The heat comes. Prepare to defend against the elemental attack! Lok'tar ogar!
  • All Barricades in place: Garrosh Hellscream yells: Elemental rifts have opened up around the city. We need to shut them down now! Evacuate all non-combat ready citizens. Make sure they get to saftey!
  • Valley of Strength secure: Garrosh Hellscream yells: The Valley of Strength is Horde again! This pathetic attack on Orgrimmar will be crushed. For the Horde!
  • Valley of Spirits secure: Vol'jin yells: Da voodoo is da strength of da horde. Da Valley of da Sprits [sic] is now under Vol'jin control!
  • Valley of Honor secure: Rexxar yells: The Valley of Honor has been secured!
  • Victory: Garrosh Hellscream yells: The rifts are down and Orgrimmar is safe! These portals must be the second half of their attack!
    Quickly! Into the portal! We must press the attack while we have the advantage!
    (Hellscream charges into the nearest portal.)
  • Garrosh Hellscream and Rexxar may yell one of the following while fighting near another player:
  • Crush these elementals, <name>! Drive them from our land!
  • Vol'jin may yell one of the following while fighting near another player:
  • De elements don't stand a chance against ya, <name>!

Stormwind City tasks Edit

70 [Sandbags] to be placed.
District # of Elemental Rifts # of Trapped Citizens Hero
Cathedral Square 3 31 Archbishop Benedictus
Dwarven District 2 30 or more
Mage Quarter 2 30 Lady Jaina Proudmoore
Old Town 2 38 or more
The Park 2 24
Stormwind Harbor 3 31
Trade District 3 40 King Varian Wrynn

Stormwind City quotes Edit

  • Warning: Stormwind City Guard yells: Clear the streets! The skies darken and the elementals will soon attack. Be on your guard!
  • Warning: Stormwind City Guard yells: Be on your guard! The weather worsens, and the elementals are soon to follow! Seek shelter!
  • All Sand Bags in place: King Varian Wrynn yells: Elemental rifts have opened up around the city. We need to shut them down now! Evacuate all non-combat ready citizens. Make sure they get to safety!
  • Trade District secure: King Varian Wrynn yells: The Trade District is secured! Now, secure the rest of the city!
  • Cathedral Square secure: Archbishop Benedictus yells: The Cathedral District is under Stormwind Control again. The Light always prevails!
  • Mage Quarter secure: Lady Jaina Proudmoore yells: We have secured the Mage District! All invaders have been repelled and the evacuation has been completed!
  • Victory: King Varian Wrynn yells: The rifts are down and Stormwind is safe! These portals must be the second half of their attack!
    Quickly! Into the portal! We must press the attack while we have the advantage!
    (Wrynn charges into the nearest portal.)
  • Hero NPCs may yell one of the following while fighting near another player:
  • Continue the attack, <name>!
  • Fight on, <name>!
  • Keep pressing the fight, <name>!
  • Your skills in battle are impressive, <name>.
  • How can Stormwind fall when we have <classes> such as <name> to defend it? FOR STORMWIND!
  • Show these monsters the might of Stormwind, <name>!

Thunder Bluff tasks Edit

54 [Wind Breaks] to be placed.
District # of Elemental Rifts # of Trapped Citizens Hero
Elder Rise 2 18
Hunter Rise 2 24 Aponi Brightmane
Spirit Rise 2 18 Baine Bloodhoof
Thunder Bluff 5 67 Cairne Bloodhoof
Pools of Vision 1 16

Thunder Bluff quotes Edit

Warning
  • Bluffwatcher yells: The sky darkens and the elements are restless! Seek Shelter!
  • Bluffwatcher yells: The wind grows stronger! Take the lifts to safer ground!
  • Bluffwatcher yells: Evacuate Thunder Bluff! Stay away from the sides of the bluff!
  • Bluffwatcher yells: Be on your guard! The clouds move in and the wind picks up! Seek shelter!
  • Bluffwatcher yells: Citizens of Thunder Bluff! Evacuate the city!
All Wind Breaks in place
Cairne Bloodhoof yells: Elemental rifts have opened up around the city. We need to shut them down now! Evacuate all non-combat ready citizens. Make sure they get to safety!
Hunter's Rise secure
Aponi Brightmane yells: We have secured the Hunter's Rise! All invaders have been repelled and the evacuation has been completed!
Spirit Rise secure
Baine Bloodhoof yells: Spirit Rise is secure! The invaders have been eliminated and the evacuation is complete!
Middle Rise secure
Cairne Bloodhoof yells: The Center Rise has been reclaimed! The Earthmother be praised!
Failure
Maruut Stonebinder yells: Enough! The Earthen Ring will temporarily stop the invasion. But be warned, the elementals will return!
Hero NPCs may yell one of the following while fighting near another player
  • Keep pressing the fight, <name>!
  • Fight on, <name>!
  • Don't let up, <name>!
  • Continue the attack, <name>!
  • Your skills in battle are impressive, <name>.

Tips Edit

  • This event is not phased. Characters not participating can and will be targeted by the elementals. Most NPCs will vacate the area, including flight masters, auctioneers, bankers, and innkeepers. Mailboxes will disappear.
  • Unlike other phased events such as Battle for the Undercity, Operation: Gnomeregan, or Zalazane's Fall, you are not buffed into invulnerability against these powerful mobs. If you are assaulting a rift by yourself or with a few players without a healer present, only attack one elemental at a time.
  • Bring an unbinding totem provided by the Earthen Ring Defenders with you. If your allies get trapped by an elemental, they must be freed or healed immediately or they might die within the time of the prison's stun.
  • The elementals' prisons are cast in a frontal AoE cone. It has a very short range, so it is possible to avoid it by simply running away during the cast.
  • Racial leader NPCs can't be killed. They will remain at 1 HP and continue fighting. Opportunistic players of the opposite faction will find that attacking them during the event is useless. Other hero NPCs can die during the attacks, but will respawn later.
  • In some areas, hero NPCs or city guards will be able to kill an elemental. These kills do not count for damaging the Elemental Rift, but if a player uses an ability that would normally "tag" a mob, the kill will count. Thus, low level players can stand behind hero NPCs or guards and attack elementals to help with the kill counter. The hero NPCs and guards will do most of the work, but the player is the one who makes the kill count. Even abilities that miss (as is often the case with extreme level differences) will tag the elemental and count for kill credit.

After the invasion Edit

If an hour has elapsed since the start of the event, Earthen Ring Defenders will intervene and suddenly halt the invasion, removing all elementals from the city. However, players will not benefit and will have to wait until the next event occurs.

If players successfully secure a major city, two types of portals to special boss encounters open up for thirty minutes. The portals are always paired with their counterparts. In Orgrimmar, immediately upon victory, Garrosh will lead a counter attack, running directly into the portals. The NPCs and objects then respawn and the city continues to function as normal until the next attack. (The city leader also appears at his normal spot in addition to his appearance in the dungeon.)

  • In Orgrimmar they are located in the Valley of Strength, near the main entrance, at the entrance to the Valley of Honor, and in the Valley of Wisdom outside of Grommash Hold.
  • In Stormwind they are located in the center of Trade District, by the Wizard's Sanctum in Mage Quarter, and in the center of Cathedral Square.
  • In Thunder Bluff they are located in Spirit Rise, Hunter Rise, Middle Rise (upper section), and Middle Rise (lower section).

If players successfully secure a major city, two portals are available to enter for the next 30 minutes to fight one of the four lieutenants Cho'gall commands:

The leader offers a non-repeatable quest to kill the boss and then report back to the capital city with news. However, the boss can be killed as often as desired during the thirty minute window for a chance at item level 251 epic loot.

There were multiple bugs with the event on many realms, particularly in Thunder Bluff and Ironforge. Bugs included Trapped Citizens being out-of-phase and unable to be freed, duplicate NPCs and chat messages, Trapped Citizens remaining visibly trapped even after being freed, Elemental Rifts no longer spawning elementals but not closing. These bugs would occur during some invasions but leave others untouched. Often the bugged invasions would make it impossible to access the bosses. These bugs may have been the reason the portals were later "locked" into being permanently open on November, 22, 2010 (the final day before the Shattering).[4]


Media Edit

Videos Edit

Patch changes Edit

Sources Edit

External links Edit



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