The Adventures of Fully Rested in Karazhan, First Two Nights

Tuesday, 13 Feb 2007

Karazhan is the first 10 man raid in Burning Crusade, though it is actually loacted in the “old world” in Deadwind Pass. Karazhan is the tower of the wizard Medivh, the opener of the Dark Portal. It is infested with demons and the ghosts of Medivh’s former servants.

Karazhan currently has a bit of an identity crisis in the game. It appears to be positioned like Upper Blackrock Spire – the gateway to the endgame raiding content. Unfortunately, Karazhan doesn’t qutie fit that role. For starters, it is very difficult and completely out of proportion to the loot which, although often epic items, are slight upgrades (or worse) to the 5-man loot and quest rewards. Even worse, Karazhan has a one-week lockout, meaning that you can’t go into a fresh instance except once a week. Having such a small raid to which you are saved has caused a lot of drama for some guilds (namely who gets to go), which is something we would dearly like to avoid.

On a positive note, Karazhan is huge, non-linear and gorgeous, making it fun to explore. The trash is challenging (though marred by stupidly short respawns in placeS) and the boss fights are fun. One suspects that Blizzard will eventually allow more casual players to see the content, if for no other reason than they obviously spent a long time on the place.

Fully Rested took our first stab at Karazhan the week of February 11. our first foray was into the stables, where we were humbled by having out butts kicked by undead horses (over and over). You have to fight 8-10 undead horses and their keepers en route to the first boss, and these things had such a short respawn that many of us were wondering if we really had much interest in coming to Karazhan week after week. If any of the horses respawned, the boss would summon them all into combat, causing a certain wipe (of which we had many). Evidently, you are supposed to quickly clear all the horses with enough time left to best the boss before they start to respawn. We speculated this was supposed to be a punishing encounter to keep folks who aren’t ready for Karazhan from poking around in it. The boss is even named Attunemen. In any case, the instance could live without such lame tricks, and one wonders if Blizzard has learned nothing from all the complaints about brutal respawns in previous instances.

Attument himself is a huntsmen who arrives after you beat up his horse, Midnight, for a time. You then have to fight the both of them separately (shades of ZG) and then the pair mounted. It’s a long fight, but straight forward once you get through the spawns. Sadly, the loot he dropped was pretty lame and was sharded.

We then attempted to scale the tower above the stable and enter the dining room where Morose the butler, the second boss, could be located. We fought a number of interesting and deadly spectral servants, from chefs who “roast” you for 1000s of points, to Valets who get so upset at spilling their wine that they one-shot a tank. Morose kicked out butts a few times and we retired, realizing that having a priest (we had only 3 paladins) would help the undead encounter a lot.

Thursday, 15 Feb 2007

Even though the undead horses stayed despawned, we realized we didn’t have to clear to Morose from that direction. Instead, we ascended the main staircase, and a after a few huge groups of ghosts in the ballroom, we reached the dining room (where we promptly stood on the table) to deal with Morose.

The butler has 4 tough assistant with him, each corresponding to a different (and random every week) character class and build. For example, we fought a mortal strike warrior, a protection warrior and a holy priest. We shacked one, feared another, offtanked a third, and just burned down the fourth ghost while the main tank tried to hold on to Morose, amid multiple hits for 4000+. Morose also likes to turn invisible, garrotte a random party member (which saying “You rang?”) which ticks for 1000 damage and can’t be dispelled. When Morose kills someone (which happens often) he says “Ooh, I’ve made a mess.” This is the kind of attention to detail you see throughout Karazhan.

After perhaps three attempts, we did beat Morose, and sharded more bad loot.

We then decided to head towards the opera house. We had to clear more servants of various types and a few dancers, and found ourselves in a wing full of concubines and courtesans, most of whom would turn into banshees or succubi near death. At the end of this corridor is the titanic Maiden of Virtue, who beats the raid to a pulp while denouncing their vices. We did not expect to best the Maiden because she had been buffed in a recent patch. She does a lot of AE damage to the raid, which puts a lot of strain on mana, and also has a chain-lightning type attack that jumps from target to target if you are not well spread apart. I think it took us three tries, but we did down the Maiden… and sharded more loot. Sunday we return to deal with the Curator, who can actually drop a tier 4 piece of armor, so maybe we can finally use something from Karazhan.

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