V5s5t5ng the s5ghts
Kara. Still worth visiting today if only for the sights

Could Karazhan be the best WoW instance ever?

The world of WoW is big. Despite the fact that I’ve been playing WoW for almost four years there is a very large proportion of Azeroth and Outlands that I’ve never seen. Despite rolling several alts and levelling one character all the way to level cap I’ve experienced only a small proportion of the game. But it’s not just zones I’ve missed missed out visiting. I’d pretty much missed out on seeing the end game instances of both Vanilla and BC WoW.

Last night I took a tiny step in correct that with a run through the fabled Karazhan. Yes, we went in with a mixture of 70’s and overpowered 80’s. It was a nostalgia run for some and a bit of tourism for me.

Kara was *the* raid to do in Burning Crusade. It’s where many started their raiding experience if they hadn’t done so in Vanilla WoW. It’s the one that first piqued my interest in raiding as a concept. But I never got round to running it. Time and an addiction to far too many alts meant I never got there.

But thanks to some good friends of mine I was run through it last night. My impressions?

Gosh it’s a beautiful instance.

The art work is superb. You really get the feeling of fighting your way through a partly demolished and ruined tower. The boss fights are interesting, varied and would have been challenging. I’d heard all about the Maiden, Big Bad Wolf etc. from podcasts, guild mates and the WoW blogosphere. But seeing them was as different experience.

Karazhan has character, the kind that Dead Mines has. I know there are many instances in WoW, each with their own unique charms, but there are some real standouts. Kara would have to be one of them.

Of course it was an easy run for us last night- just over an hour. Apparently in the “good old days” in order to clear Kara raid groups would schedule at least 3-4 hours over three nights.

Listening in on experienced raiders reminisce about Kara runs of old in Vent was also fascinating:

“Oh I loved this part!’

“This fight used to be so hard!”

You could tell how many memories this place holds, how fun and challenging it was. My super-pally-healer friend talked us through all the highs and lows of old Kara runs. How they wiped on every part of the instance (including the trash mobs), how they’d *never* taken this boss down. BoE and BoP gear was dropping left-right and centre, with members of our raid team exclaiming “Oh I always wanted that!”.

I regret never raiding Kara back in the day. At least last nights run gave me a glimpse of just how fun it would must have been.  I can see why experienced raiders have a special place in their hearts for Kara.

My hope is in the next expansion or future patches they remake Kara as they did Naxxramas. It wouldn’t be the same, but it would give me and others real incentive to go back and visit what may be one of the best WoW instances ever made. 

Given how much content has been missed by players over the years, reimaging old Vanilla WoW content is a good strategy. The assets have already been built and they could be retuned for the new level cap with reimaged fights, loot drops and revamped story lines.