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WoW Archivist: Patch 2.1, The Black Temple

Illidan
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?

Blizzard ruined my intro. I was going to talk about how appropriate it was that patch 5.1 included a scenario for warlocks that took them to the Black Temple. Then they pushed it to 5.2. So fine. I'll just fall back to something generic.

In terms of sheer content and changes, patch 2.1 was truly massive -- one of WoW's biggest patches of all time. It arrived in May 2007, five months into The Burning Crusade. Let's dive in!

Illidan shouts at us in person

We were ready, if not perhaps entirely prepared. After an ad campaign and a trailer that prominently featured Illidan, many players expressed disappointment that WoW's first expansion didn't launch with the Black Temple raid. In retrospect, those concerns seem silly today. If anything, the Black Temple released too early in the expansion, forcing Blizzard to add the ultradifficult Sunwell Plateau raid to fill the gap between expansions.

The Black Temple was an enormous raid, and one of the game's most beloved. No matter where you went, everything was big and scary. In some areas, even clearing the trash felt epic. Nine bosses populated a vast indoor/outdoor instance. Many of them are still remembered fondly. Supremus and Reliquary of Souls were highly memorable encounters, the latter partly due its unforgiving awareness checks. Teron Gorefiend and Illidan were major lore figures able to be vanquished in WoW for the first time.

BT wasn't the only raid that 2.1 introduced, however.

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