Well. Doesn’t that just get the tingly bits flowing?
I’ve never hid the fact Karazhan remains my favourite instance of all time. There is a ridiculous amount of flavour and lore to the place. Plus it was my first raid ever, so that might be part of my attachment. You never forget your first, after all.
That said, there has been plenty of talk about Karazhan being redone over the years. I think the first I heard of the idea was around the end of Cataclysm or possibly early into Pandaria but the latter seems unlikely. At the time I wasn’t against the idea. Like I said, I absolutely love the place. But because of that, I was afraid they were going to remove the existing raid in favour of the new one. I didn’t want to lose all the characteristics and encounters that made it such a fantastic place.
Which brings us to now. We are going back to Karazhan, in 7.1. Blizzard revealed the footage last weekend with the additional news that it would not be replacing the existing tower. Huzzah! Now obviously it looks as though Mr. Mongoose is back, aka Moroes (Enchanters will get that one). But after that I think the denizens of the tower will be more demonic if the trailer is any indication. But what of “the master will return. Soon?” No idea really, but here’s the other information we do know about the new Kara:
The raid will be 5-man. Yes, it’s a dungeon, but way too big to be considered one. 9 bosses! Though that does include however we’ll have in the opera. I honestly can’t wait to see what possible changes come with that.
Not only is the old raid staying, but Blizzard has made it clear they have no intention of removing it from the game if for no other reason than historical significance.
Yes, other than the trailer, and a few little nuggets we don’t know much. But 7.1 is expected to be on the PTR shortly after Legion launches next week and at that point we’ll know more.
Running some of the Horde Garrison quests in Shadowmoon Valley on the weekend and I came across a rare spawn.
Right away the name sounded familiar, but to be honest I was drawing a blank as to why. I didn’t really care because a rare is a rare. A Human Mage and Nelf Druid had come strolling up and I figured the three of us could probably take it down. That didn’t happen. I have no idea where they went, or they died. I quickly realized I couldn’t take it down on my own and sent out a message. Repgrind was in immediately, and Arv was close behind. Unfortunately, we learned Arvash didn’t have the flight path to Shadowmoon Valley yet, being a fresh 100. It was also around this time where I remembered what made Demidos special: the Servant of Demidos.
Rep and I decided to tackle him anyway and we got him down to about 10% before we died. We learned his health pool climbs based on the number of people in the fight. As we were rezzing, a Gnome got into the fight. We fought hard and got him down.
A nice little achievement there. Now the key to the fight is easily your health. Demidos has an ability that knocks your health down 25%. Not total health, mind you. Just current health. So heavy top-up heals are not really a great idea in this fight. If you can do some HoT’s then you’re in better shape. I know my health sat below 35% for most of the fight. But I just kept Rejuvenation active as much as I could. Rep was busy on her end and we managed to take him down a second time on her server. Unfortunately there was no loot the second time around. I was disappointed because Repgrind had gotten a necklace that was of no use. I wanted her to get the pet…same as I did!
Incredibly ecstatic to have the Servant drop. In briefly perusing the new Draenor pets, this was probably the one I wanted the most. I definitely couldn’t believe my luck when I saw it in the loot. I tried to carry that luck over and nab some raid pets. Once again Tempest Keep and Karazhan offered me nothing. But still, getting this guy made my weekend. And I couldn’t have gotten it without Repgrind’s help!
Easily the most fun instance in the game, is Maraudon. Newer players really don’t get to feel the full experience because it’s been broken up into two separate dungeons. Back in the day it was one mammoth instance that you had to fight tooth and nail just to get into. You also had to level several times before you could complete the whole thing, at least if you were doing it properly and not getting a run through. There really was nothing like making your way through the heavily inhabited Desolace, killing centaurs along the way, only to bust down the doors of one of their holiest temples. You would weave your way through a myriad of tunnels and cliffwalks, passing over and under. If you wiped, man was it tough getting back on track. But you would do it, and go as far as you could. Then come back 1-2 levels later and do it again.
Ok, admittedly, I can’t do this anymore. No one in their right mind would put Maraudon as their favourite dungeon and if you’ve read this blog at all, there’s a good chance you already know the answer. If you’ve been a longtime reader or LBR’d with me, then you know for sure. My heart lies, and always will, within the towers of Deadwind Pass.
Karazhan is a hard instance to put into words. It can be simplified as Medivh’s playhouse, but that’s hardly fair. It was the first 10-man raid in the game, setting the stage for what would become the norm in the days following it. We still have 25-mans, but ten made things much easier for smaller guilds. But that isn’t what the appeal is. Karazhan has an elegance about it. For a place filled with demons, spiders, banshees, ghosts, and more, it’s still beautiful and classy. I’ve said it in the past, but the closest Blizzard has gotten to the appeal of Karazhan, is Ulduar and it’s significantly larger. Perhaps part of it is the lore that ties into the tower, of which there is plenty. There’s also much mystery tied in with it. Whatever it is, it pulls me back in to this very day. It’s why I still hold out hope that rumours of it being changed in Warlords does not come to pass.
Yes, I’ve not been a very good lemming. It’s been a busy time around the Amateur house and when my time was idle…well, blame that darn Hearthstone. It requires a simpler kind of focus some times. That said, it isn’t that I haven’t been working on the screenshots, I just never had a chance to post and then decided to just bundle them all together.
The weekend that was ended up being a weekend of raiding -casually, of course. The Mrs. and I were faffing about on the TImeless Isle (man is that place easier for a Priest when you have someone with you). I managed to figure out the pillar Treasure Chest and get to it before a Troll Priest. We also chased Evermaw half way around the island…in the water, and to no avail. But Tome came on and in striking up a conversation with her she wondered why I wasn’t there with them. Well, I didn’t really know where “there” was and who “them” referred to. Turns out it was Old Ladies’ raid night. Moments later, the Amateurs were in Dragon Soul.
This was my first Laid Back Raid since I stopped doing Laid Back Raids when I stopped playing last winter. More than anything, it was nice to see some old friends (many of which were there with new faces to play with). We enjoyed ourselves collectively and got as far as Ultraxion before it was called off. I believe that to be the case as we weren’t in vent and the group disbanded rather suddenly.
Last night was Gaudy Sweater night and with many people prepping for New Year’s or still catching up with family over the holidays (or perhaps last night’s football game too), it ended up being a quiet run of myself, the Mrs; and Helke. The latter had her Mage, Mrs. her Druid, and me my Hunter. With three of us, that meant Karazhan was our destination and we tore through the place with the greatest of ease. Tome, be happy to know Cat’s not the only Druid thinking “animal form means they won’t notice I have no sweater.”
If you’ve read the blog for any length of time you know Kara remains my favourite instances in the game. It was great to go through it again (no mount) and remember why. It’s also like the dungeon itself missed me. I out-rolled the Mrs. and snagged the Fiendish Imp (it ended up being the lone pet to drop), and that was after The Curator finally dropped the Dragon-Quake Shoulderpads. I farmed those for the longest time after Transmogrification was introduced as I had designed an outfit around them for Liouxpold. Of course, I’ve long since moved on but will have to go back and put something together for him.
Between the two nights it was great to lean back with some friends and bounce through the two raids. When you leave the game for any length of time and try other MMO’s the first thing you tend to notice is things are drastically different if you lose the social aspect of it. Yes, there are thousands or millions of other players, but it can take you a millennium to build up a circle and odds are you’re not going to know them as well as your WoW “crew.” Plus for some, randomly becoming buddy-buddy with people just isn’t going to happen. Being gone I missed the folks I knew and this weekend was a lovely reminder about part of the reason for that.
Karazhan. World of Warcraft’s first 10-man dungeon and my personal favourite to this day. Every character I have goes through Kara once they’re 70 or higher. It’s like a rite of passage. Go through the elegant tower and come out truly as one of my own. But, I might not have that rite for much longer.
I’ll preface things by saying this is purely based on a miniscule nugget or two of information and there is nothing to truly warrant my fears as of yet. Data mining suggests something about changing Karazhan. Now, there’s no mention in any detail as to what that infers. It could simply speak to the story of Warlords of Draenor and that at some point there’s something about the tower that changes. Perhaps a single player phasing scenario that involves it. Or, because of Kara’s connection to space and time, Medivh’s old home could be undergoing a significant overhaul both in terms of story and in gameplay.
The latter is what concerns me. I don’t want the raid updated for 90-100, with changes. Unless it’s a completely separate raid. The original is so unique, to this day, that it needs to be left alone and preserved. Don’t just “update” it. Sure, you can put in an alternate level 100 raid that sees the tower change for whatever reason. I’m perfectly fine with that. I’d go in and check it out as well. But my problem with wanting to do that with the current incarnation is that it’s pretty much just lazy, and would remove an iconic player experience.
Like I said, this is pure speculation, and many people are also suggesting changes are coming to Karazhan. This is based on said little pieces of information. Concern could be all for naught, or it could amount to something more. I have a number of scenarios in my head where I feel Kara could be great for an end-game instance or raid as a backdoor to the parallel reality, or a cog in the overall story. I’m ok with these things. These things pay no harm to level 70 Karazhan.
Both Mrs. Amateur and myself feel like we’re lying in a pool of plague. For me it started Friday, while I think she picked it up from me and woke up to it today. The good news is, the wee one has still gone to a festive family function so things are a bit quiet around here. That actually gave me a bit of time to WoW it up all relaxed (as relaxed as one can be in such a fatigued state of blech).
Amidst my puttering, I was pleasantly surprised when Navimie showed up on her Runetotem Dwarf. I thought she would have deleted it, to be honest, but it occurs to me you never know when she’ll need to see me in person. Seems this was one of those occasions…
Yet another lovely Winter Veil gift! I didn’t even know what it was to be honest, other than a pet of sorts. I shall pet battle it post haste! It’s a bit low for Outland, which is where I’m plying my trade at the moment. My focus for pets is to get the Zone achievements for battle locations and taming locations. If I can pick up a few rare pets along the way, then bonus for me. Now, while Navi and I had met up I decided to do a flyover past Gnomeregan to see if the Fluxfire Feline was spawned. No such luck, and I should’ve realized she would have long ago had it anyway. We got to talking about it and Navi mentioned getting hers by starting a lowbie Gnome and it was right there in the start zone. Well, I was later camping the location and decided I would return to Ironforge and hop on a Gnome I have sitting in said start zone to see if my luck was any better. However, just as I was leaving the area I caught something on my map. I doubled back and landed immediately.
Hot diggity damn! Oh, and let me just say…completely random location. The battle screenshot should illustrate that:
Yeah, see that dude hanging out behind my Spirit of Competition? That’s Mekkatorque himself. Oh, and bet your ass I would shiv him in a heartbeat if he had stepped towards that cat. Also, note the health on the cat at this point, when I nearly screwed up and killed it…which I’m getting notoriously good at. Fortunately, I came out of it cat intact. Poor quality? Don’t care.
Speaking of poor, I’m once again back on the subject of CRZ’s. Once again, what could be great is nothing but a pain in the rear end. My buddy Syrynx messaged me today. He wanted a party invite, not to be run through something, but because he was tired of his PvE panda ending up in flagged zones over and over. I keep hearing how “oh this shouldn’t be happening.” The bottom line is that it is and it needs to be fixed, or give the players the option to turn them off.
On the flipside, I tried to actually take advantage of CRZ’s and help Magik get the Let It Snow achievement. Repgrind offered to bring her Orc DK so he could snowflake her. I used my Horde toon on the same server as Magik to group up with Rep. No problem. Magik flies into the area and we’re nowhere to be seen. They both go to Dalaran, nowhere to be seen. Basically it lead me to giving up on even trying to figure out how the zones work anymore.
To cheer myself up, I added a couple more weeks to the LBR schedule after another fun run on Saturday night. We were actually full for Karazhan! No mount drop there or in Tempest Keep -but let’s be honest, to expect it two weeks in a row would be silly. What? Yes, I would be that kind of silly.
Getting back to the LBR schedule, though, I’ve put up an Alliance Molten Core run on the 30th. To have a little festive hilarity, the Winter Veil Sweater must be worn for the run! If you don’t have one from last year, I suspect we may see it under the tree on the 25th again this year. Can’t wait to see the gaudy looks. Feel free to transmog accordingly!
Also, there has been a tonne of praise for Mrs. Amateur and how awesome she is. This? I completely agree with. However, it stems from the 12 Days of Winter Veil I’m running here on the blog. Well, as awesome as Mrs. is…I have to claim credit on this one. While I’m writing it from the recipient perspective (a la the classic song), I’m the one giving the gifts to her…and might I add, thoroughly enjoying this little creative nugget I put together.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to calm my throat with some cranberry tea and see about pet hunting some more.