As you’re killing your last Bogling, a horn sounds in the distance. Somewhere far away, someone exclaims that a strange smell is drifting through the area.
And then… nothing. No, there isn’t even a quiet before the storm. Literally nothing happens — life continues as it was before, rifts and tears continue to await the ascended, and monsters continue to stalk around, looking for people to kill. Anyone entering the zone would have no idea that an invasion is coming up.
And then, it happens. The sky may change colors, or a ton of tears that instantly transform into rifts may appear. And Rift missed a great chance to be dramatic.
Though it probably would never be high on the to-do list. this needs to change. Imagine the following scenario.
There is no horn. As you’re killing your last Bogling, the game music starts to fade out. Ambient animal noises slowly start to die out, and then there is a momentary auditory lull: there is no music and very little animal created ambiance (there can be the panicked sounds of birds flying away) — only the groaning of trees and grass being pushed against the wind. Even rift music sees a drop in volume as the zone feels a shift in pressure against the ward.
As the noises in Telara fade out, the music of the upcoming invasion grows louder. The first level music (the drums) associated with the plane could slowly fade in, growing louder and louder until the invasion starts. After all, the planar creatures need some music to march into Telara with, don’t they?
But the signs aren’t just auditory. Non-humanoid, in-world monsters randomly lose aggro status (turning yellow-named), one by one, and start wandering around as if confused — all except for those monsters affiliated with the coming invasion, who may be standing still and smiling manically at the sky.
As if the planes are preparing for the assault, and therefore rerouting their strengths to the coming invasion, all rifts currently in the zone start to die out, having the monsters in them weakened (rewards could scale down proportionally, but there is an invasion coming up that could make up for it). If no one is at the rift, it will collapse near the beginning of the lull. This would affect all rifts. Maybe the fire invasion that is coming involved starting out with cutting off the other planes so they don’t interfere.
For the sky changing super zone invasions, the zone could adopt a ambient glow in the color that represents the plane. For all invasions, however, the map starts to become dotted with tears (one for each of the rifts that will appear at the start of the zone invasion). They don’t all open at once — they’ll happen one after another — but eventually, there will be such an impressive number that they can’t all be lured before the invasion begins. Moreover, should a rift from one of these tears somehow reach a timed stage before the invasion begins, the plane shifts efforts to opening a new tear for the invasion.
And then — it happens. A horn finally plays as the sky erupts into red and all the tears open. They don’t open at the same instant, but within seconds, there are no longer any tears in the zone.
That would be the proper way to signify a zone invasion. It would also put a lot more emphasis on sound and music, something that not many people appreciate these days. Don’t like the idea? Discuss below.