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2-06-2008 @ 9:03AM
The thing about ZA is that it isn't a bridge between Karazhan and 25-mans like its supposed to be. They tried to please everyone I think, because only those nearer to the end-game are able to get down all 6 bosses. Sure the bear boss is a joke, but thats it. The Eagle can be hell incarnate if your not prepared and don't have heavy heavy healing, the lynx isn't super hard but he can really push you to perform at your best, its easy to slip up on him. The Dragonhawk is just plain hard, and Malacrass is worse, and I can only imagine so is Zul'jin. Personally, my guild clears Gruul regularly, and with ease (ie. no wipes, 1/2 hour clears) and while we aren't in ZA regularly, we have had trouble with the dragonhawk and have yet to actually down Malacrass (3%). As for the gear, I think that ZA does a pretty good job filling in some gear gaps, and gaping ones at that. However the itemization on a lot of the gear there is really weird, and while thats cool, a lot of the gear feels like it could be so much better if it's item budget wasn't wasted on gimmick stats. Not to mention that a lot of it is sooooo ugly. Long story short, I think ZA is worth doing for anyone progressing through late T4 (ie. Gruul/Mag) or progressing into T5. Thats what it seems to be tuned to in my eyes. I don't really see it as a road bump, it's designed to be short and simple, wether its simple or not depends on your group
2-06-2008 @ 9:43AM
My alliance guild, which is all Kara gear, nothing from 25 mans yet (well, one or two pieces on a few players) is downing Dragonhawk pretty regularly.
2-06-2008 @ 9:52AM
I dont think blizzard intended it to fill the gap between 10 mans and 25 mans. It was supposed to run along side. With gear slightly better than t4 (gruul/mag), and early 25, but not quite as good as late bosses like leo/vashj/solarion/kael.I do agree about the gear gaps. There are a bunch of peices in there that fill in gaps for hybrid classes, and theres a bunch of spell haste gear, which you dont see much of till bt/hyjal.I also LOVE the difficulty of ZA. It gives what people have been asking for for a long time: Epic encounters on a small scale. Only those with at least vashj down have cleared ZA (for those that are in 25mans), and the only guild to be able to do all 4 bosses in the timer is the first guild to down illdian (about 2 months ago).It gives alot of stuff for those who arent in the 25mans to do, and lasts people a long time. I don't know of anyone who isnt in 25mans that has cleared it yet, but its still possible. It is hard, but with full kara gear it is entirely possible.
2-06-2008 @ 1:52PM
Thing is, people need to stop thinking about progress solely in terms of raiding. A properly-geared caster is already in partly T5-T6 just by virtue of getting the BoE/BoP epics from tailoring. An enterprising tank can be in gear very much on par with T5 with many of the new badge rewards. My alt warrior (leftover Kara loot, tons of badge gear) has successfully tanked Lynx in ZA.My guild who hadn't set foot in SSC/TK cleared ZA a few weeks after it was released (we have since gone into SSC & TK). It's demanding on your coordination when you're at that outer-edge of the gear requirements for it and a whole lot of fun if you're in that kind of guild. Also, the rewards for my main (shadow priest) are BETTER in general than all of SSC/TK. Moreso in 2.4 with the spell haste change.So I'll be making time to hit ZA as often as I can between 25 man raids because frankly the bang for my buck is higher, and the challenge and cozy feeling of a hard 10-man is tough to beat. But progression is still very much a 25-man game.The timed events were a great idea for giving overgeared players something to care about from the instance. We've gotten 2 chests a few times but 3 is hard at our gear level, and gives us something to strive for.
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