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Posts with tag karazhan

Breakfast Topic: Raid revamps

Blizzard is revamping Molten Core as part of its ten year anniversary. Onyxia's Lair received similar treatment for prior celebrations. Today, we ask: what other raid is worthy of coming back into the spotlight? What other raid is iconic enough to be worthy of a max level revamp? Or, iconic status aside, what's a personal favorite of yours that you'd love to run again at max level?

Karazhan feels like the obvious answer to me. After Molten Core and Onyxia's Lair, few raids carry the same strength of nostalgia. Karazhan is one of the few. It had its flaws, what with the endless, tedious trash in the middle stretch, but it's beloved by most. Who doesn't love the Chess Event? To be fair, a lot of us probably didn't. But nostalgia is a powerful thing.

I anticipate we'll see some Ulduar answers, too. I admit, Ulduar wasn't my favorite raid ever, but I didn't hate it, either. I know a lot of players who did love it, however, and its life was sadly cut short by the release of the Argent Tournament.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WoW Archivist: The curse of Karazhan

Karazhan Tower
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Something has been afoot in Karazhan of late. First, dataminers noticed that Karazhan had been renamed Medivh's Big Birthday Bash on the PTR. In the rechristened raid, objects such as cobwebs and skeletons had disappeared. Then a later build renamed it Karazhan 2: Eclectic Boogaloo. Senior game designer Jonathan Craft tweeted that fellow designer Dave Maldonado was responsible. Maldonado later said that nothing is happening. It turned out to be a test to see if a phased quest could be set there, but sadly it didn't work.

Many players would be excited to return to Karazhan, and it would make sense to do this in Warlords of Draenor. After all, Karazhan is from the same expansion that took us to the shattered remnants of Draenor back in 2007. Hopefully Blizzard will find a way to feature some Karazhan-based content during the next expansion.

Karazhan remains one of Blizzard's most popular raid zones, and for good reason. But did it succeed too well for WoW's own good? Let's look back at what Karazhan offered us in its prime and how it impacted raid design in future expansions.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

There's nothing happening in Karazhan

Following all the interesting phase names for the dusted and de-cobwebbed Karazhan on the PTR, Game Designer Dave Maldonado has spoken out on Twitter about what was really going on. Technical Game Designer Chadd "Celestalon" Nervig was asked what was happening in the much-loved raid, and passed the question on. Here's the answer:

So it sounds like it was a phasing experiment -- phasing being the technology that alters an environment based on the player in it. Krasarang, for example, to a player who hasn't done the 5.1 lead-in dailies, will just be empty beaches. Dave is telling us that the Karazhan changes were simply a phasing experiment that didn't work out. The designers apparently never expected it to take off.

It seems like they've stopped trying, for now at least. But, the talk of event quests is encouraging. Even if Karazhan isn't part of it, many players will be very pleased to hear even a faint suggestion that there's event quests to mark the start of the Warlords transition.

Of course, that could just be what they want us to think about Karazhan...

Filed under: News items

Weekly news roundup with Panser of TradeChat

Panser of TradeChat is back with this week's WoW Insider Weekly News Recap. We take a look at last week's most interesting news and tidbits of information including WoW's 9th anniversary and some new features available on the PTR such as cross-realm mailing. The full list of topics covered this week include: If you like the show, make sure to subscribe to TradeChat, leave comments, and tune in next week for a new episode!

Filed under: News items

What's going on with Karazhan?

It's no secret that I love Karazhan. Making its debut in Burning Crusade, Karazhan was and still is, to me, the perfect raid. The sheer scope of the instance and the variety of bosses within it were more than enough to keep my raid guild at the time happily occupied. But for myself, it wasn't just the raid, it was the story behind it. I spent most of vanilla plaintively wondering when we'd see Medivh's tower open for visitors ... and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest with what we eventually saw inside.

On the 5.4.2 PTR, Karazhan is in the middle of what seems to be not a revamp, but a restoration. Mobs aren't changing, neither are bosses. But the cobwebs, the overturned chairs, the randomly placed skeletons of the dead are all being quietly swept away. One has to wonder ... what's up with that? What's going on with the tower of Karazhan, and why the sudden makeover now? Rather than indulge in yet another speculative edition of Know Your Lore, let's just take a quick look at the possibilities.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Patch 5.4.2 PTR: Karazhan cleanup efforts underway

Patch 5.4.2 is on the PTR now and it has some interesting additions, like the ability to send account-bound items in the mail cross-server. But some as-of-yet unexplained changes in Karazhan have left us scratching our heads. A revised version of the Burning Crusade-era raid has stripped the abandoned castle of many of its cobwebs and skeletons. Is someone going to be moving in? Are the ghosts moving out? Or is this perhaps just an alternate, earlier Karazhan we might have a chance to visit?

Hopefully Blizzard will clue us in soon, because we're very curious -- but in the meanwhile, Wowhead has a lot of screenshots capturing Karazhan on the live and test realms for comparison purposes, including the Romeo & Juliet skeleton scene in the screenshot above. Have your own theories about just what's going on in Karazhan? Let us know!

Filed under: News items, Raiding

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Timelines, timeways, and Karazhan

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

What is time, in Warcraft? Is it a straightforward line, or a tapestry of events that can be changed or altered with a simple pluck of a thread? While the bronze dragonflight may be masters of the various pathways of time, we mortal players are most definitely not. We've been sent through the pathways of the Caverns of Time on more than one occasion, but always at the behest of the bronze flight, to complete the tasks they have set and keep the timelines pristine.

But this mysterious maze of time wasn't left unexplored prior to our travels through Tanaris. Obviously the bronze dragonflight has been up to a great deal over the thousands of years that it has existed -- Nozdormu's long absence predated even our first journeys through the Caverns of Time. And for one player in the next expansion, time had absolutely nothing to do with the dragonflights, and much more to do with the mysterious home of his enigmatic master, Medivh. So how does it all weave together?

More importantly, when is time travel not really time travel at all, as the developers seemed to be so insistent on saying at BlizzCon?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition. The following contains a small amount of speculation on datamined material. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Blood Pact: Karazhan and its abyssal depths of fun

Blood Pact A tier four pets
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill .

Karazhan: the most beloved of retro raids. Players may put on the rose-colored glasses when they talk of how limited raiding was back in the Vanilla days, but Karazhan is often talked of with fondness. Going back is a pleasure, not a painful memory. It's with good reason -- the place is built like a castle tower, going up and up forever, and it's full of memorable mobs and scenery.

Karazhan also has some of the tier 4 Voidheart Raiment for warlocks, as well as a mount and now pets for everyone, so it's a weekly favorite of mine to visit.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Lil' Bad Wolf packs a big punch against Critters

Lil' Bad Wolf packs a big punch
Real talk time: I've been feeling a bit agitated at the battle pet situation in patch 5.3. Naturally, I want to collect every new pet, but RNG is a cruel mistress. The new patch introduced an updated Raiding with Leashes achievement, which has players returning to the good old BC raids. BC was my favorite expansion, so I enjoy heading back to stomp all over Lady Vashj, especially. Which is good, because I've yet to see a pet drop from SSC. But I digress.

Reader SpaceBard suggested a rundown of Lil' Bad Wolf, one of the ten new raid battle pets in 5.3. We live to serve.

Farming Lil' Bad Wolf is plagued with RNG obstacles. First, the Red Riding Hood encounter must spawn during The Opera Event -- one of three possible outcomes -- and then, of course, the pet may or may not drop. This devilishly cute Humanoid's abilities are as follows:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Achievements, Mists of Pandaria

Solo the Chess Event with Tikari's Tricks of the Trade

Oh, you want that pet in Kara The Chess Event SUCKS BUTT here's how to solo it
As an obsessive a big fan of battle pets, I was looking forward to everything patch 5.3 had to offer. Tons of battle pet changes, and the slew of new pets for the Raiding With Leashes II: Attunement Edition all had me especially excited. I zipped through The Eye and Serpentshrine Cavern hunting for the new pets, and emerged victorious with one. Huzzah! But on my way to Karazhan, I realized I'd need to solo the Chess Event to get to Prince Malchezaar, who also drops a pet.

I wiped a few times, but things turned around once I read through an excellent Chess Event soloing guide from WoW blogger Tikari of Tikari's Tricks of the Trade.

Keep in mind that even with a great plan, the Chess Event is still plagued with RNG issues. But knowing what to expect will hopefully keep your rage at bay.

Tikari lays out a simple set of moves -- with diagrams -- and priorities to give your king the best chance of surviving, which is the main goal. The event was nerfed to increase the delay between enemy moves, but keep a few tips in mind.
  • Move your king, and queen if you can, out of the fire immediately. Fire isn't a buff!
  • Attack the enemy king with your queen, using the Rain of Fire/Poison Cloud ability. Be sure to target the enemy king with the queen's main attack.
  • The Clerics seem to heal the enemy king more than I remember, but I kept them distracted with other pieces.
  • Medivh doesn't cheat as quickly as he did before, so you'll have time for about four moves before he does so the first time around. Be sure to at least give your king, ideally your queen as well, space to move. I was able to win in the end by moving backward out of fire, drawing the enemy king into it.
Good luck and be sure to check out Tikari's guide for all the details!

Filed under: Achievements, Raid Guides, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Your greatest WoW save

I no longer remember the exact boss or who was raiding with me, but I do clearly remember having a conversation with a friend while I was healing Karazhan. At the time, I was grumbling that I didn't think we had the right group composition to do an encounter successfully -- but it was only after the group's other healer died that my friend agreed. Of course it was then that I decided this wasn't going be a wipe -- something I hadn't thought was possible until just then. (Certainly no one was more surprised than I was when I pulled it off.)

Whether raiding or not, we all have close calls in game -- that was only one of many I've had. But it was certainly memorable. So what about you, dear readers? Share your stories, your near-misses, your especially memorable almost-but-not-quite deaths.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Review of World of Warcraft: Dark Riders

Review of World of Warcraft Dark Riders
Before I even begin, I'm going to state the one thing that's been on my mind, and likely the mind of anyone else waiting for this particular title: It's about time. World of Warcraft: Dark Riders is the offshoot of the World of Warcraft comic series, specifically, the characters introduced in the 2009 special issue of the series written by Mike Costa. Yes, we have been waiting for this graphic novel for four years now. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely.

Costa continues the tale started in that special issue and takes the reins of Dark Riders, skillfully weaving together one of those stories that isn't so much dependent on current game lore. In fact, it really doesn't address current game events at all. Instead, it takes the bold step of filling the gap between events that played out in WoW itself -- the disappearance of the Scythe of Elune from Duskwood and its sudden reappearance in Gilneas. And if that weren't enough, there's a wild trip through Karazhan and the questionable origin of the Dark Riders themselves, explained for the first time.

But that's really just the tip of the iceberg here.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Know Your Lore: Karazhan and why we went there


The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

So the other day on Twitter someone asked me "Why were we in Karazhan, anyway" and since it's a question I've been asked before, I thought I'd address it. The primary reason we went to Karazhan was to kill a whole lot of guilds that were trying to transition to 25 man raiding from the 40 man of Classic by forcing them to run a 10 man instance and two 25 man instances at the same time. Ha. I kid, because I'm still bitter.

The question can actually be answered in several ways. We went to Karazhan because the Kirin Tor were investigating the tower and asked Khadgar for help. They had noticed that, decades after Medivh's death, some new malevolent force was infesting the tower (and since it sits on a ley line nexus, that concerned them) and as we investigated we discover the horrible truth. The Burning Legion has infested Karazhan and seeks control over the powerful arcane secrets held within, and they must be stopped.

But why did Prince Malchezaar lead his Legion forces to Karazhan in the first place? Well, for that, we have to talk about Medivh.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore

Phat Loot Phriday: Lil' Bad Wolf

Phat Loot Phriday Lil' Bad Wolf
Lolegolas slapped a hand over his mouth to keep from laughing. Throgg failed to restrain the same urge but his mirth emerged as uncontrollable giggles.

"What?" roared the Lil' Bad Wolf. "You dare mock me? Tremble before my mighty claws!"

"You're just so cute!" Lolegolas responded.

"Run away, little girl!" the diminuitive worgen pronounced. Its fierce claws would be frightening if it came up to anyone's knees. "Run away!"

"Okay, I give up, Throgg," the blood elf said. "Where'd you get him?"

"Karazhan," the orc responded. "It came with the Spiky Collar."

"What are you naming it?" the blood elf asked.

"Rose."

"Of course," he responded. "Who's a lil' bad wolf? Who's a lil' bad wolf?"

'Little elf, don't taunt the miniature worgen."

"Why?" Lolegolas asked. "Can it hurt me?"

"No, it's just tacky."

Item Note: The Lil' Bad Wolf is taught by the Spiky Collar which drops from the Big Bad Wolf in Karazhan, once patch 5.3 rolls out.

Phat Loot Phriday brings you the scoop on some of the most ... interesting ... loot in the World of Warcraft, often viewed through the eyes of the stalwart Throgg and indelible Lolegolas. Suggest items you think we should feature by emailing mikeg@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Phat Loot Phriday

The 15 nastiest trash clears of WoW

The 15 nastiest trash clears of WoW ANY
I was reading through some links while writing a follow-up to Robert's Not-So-Original WoW Miscellany when I happened across some discussions concerning the game's most agonizing trash. This is a popular subject for players, not least because complaining is a lot of fun, but I don't think anyone's going to argue that there haven't been some legitimately unpleasant trash clears in WoW.

Fortunately, most of the really bad trash clears are a distant memory, but there was at least one recent one that almost everyone who raided Dragon Soul could agree on. I'm going to include both dungeons and raids here, mostly because Shattered Halls was among the first things to go on this list. After including that, I knew there were other, equally nightmarish 5-mans that had to be included in the interest of fairness.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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