I thought I would switch things up a bit with the Top 5 list and take a look at the Top 5 raids in the game today. Blizzard’s done a great deal with the raiding system and the environments, and some players spend 90% of their game time in them. So, it only seems fair.
5. Sunwell Plateau
The final raid for The Burning Crusade expansion, players (lore wise) had to head to the Isle of Quel’Danas and prevent Kil’jaeden from entering Azeroth via a portal. Visually impressive, and the benchmark for difficulty at the time, Sunwell did a great job of tiding most players over until Wrath of the Lich Kind was released. The bosses were varied, and challenging. I still remember when you had to be a solid raid team just to get past Brutallus before he raged.
4. Molten Core
You couldn’t compile a list without including the original. Yes, Onyxia’s Lair was also available on launch but Molten Core is the design most raids have followed, with the classic dungeon crawl system. Ragnaros is the grandfather of end bosses, as such and back then it took 40 people to take him down. This was the pinnacle of the game at the time and it set the gauntlet for players having to work hard and spend a lot of time trying before they actually succeeded.
3. Temple of Ahn’Qiraj
Both Ahn’Qiraj instances arrived in Patch 1.9 via what I still consider one of the coolest ideas Blizzard has had in the game. The Qiraji war effort server wide, building towards the opening of the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj was brilliant and has never been duplicated even slightly. The Temple was the 40 man raid of the two, and brought players in contact with an Old God for the first time, in C’thun. Say what you want about the content getting easier over time but all you need to know about AQ40 (as it was called for so long) is that to this day you still can’t beat The Twins or Viscidus without proper build components…and wiping on C’thun can still easily happen if you don’t know the fight.
Forget the fact people are going back to it more now than ever thanks to Transmogrification, Ulduar had everything going for it. There was a great patch release video with Brann Bronzebeard filling us in on the situation, a fight players were farming in no time (Flame Leviathan) and a vast and beautiful environment that was incredibly rich and deep. It all around felt epic from start to finish. It also did a great job of pulling together much of the lore we encountered throughout Northrend with Freya, Thorim, and more.
If you know me, or have read this blog for a while, you knew this would top the list. Karazhan revolutionized the raiding system in World of Warcraft. Don’t believe me? Every raid in the last two expansions has included a 10-man option. A small part of that is because developers recognized 25-man guilds are far less common, but mostly it’s due to the fact that Karazhan was the very first 10-man and it was a huge hit. From entering Deadwind Pass and the creak of the opening gate, to the organ music inside, all the way to the top with the echoing voice of Prince Malchezaar, the soundtrack is perfect. The fights were varied and challenging, and much like Ulduar it’s incredibly epic visually. To this day I love taking players inside because unfortunately most skip it on their way to 85.
So there’s the list. The top 5 raids in the game. I debated strongly on the list, cutting it down from seven actually as Black Temple and Naxxramas are both great raids as well. What are your thoughts? Did your personal favourite make today’s list?