Karazhan Holiday: Warcraft Summer Challenges

Having fallen to the dark side, the great sage addressed his victims. 'Now,' Medivh announced, waving his finger to indicate there was something really good coming, 'I shall get MEDIVH-EVIL on your arses!' There was a long pause. 'Huh?' came a voice from the crowd. 'Medivh-evil,' he repeated. 'Like my name, only now I'm evil.' 'Yeah,' came another voice, 'Yeah, we see what you did there, but it... doesn't scan. It's a good try, but... well... you're stretching it too far.' 'Oh,' said Medivh, lowering his finger like the crowd had just lowered his mood. He considered trying another witty quip, but the magic just wasn't there any more. He still annihilated them with fire of course, but felt pretty darn depressed about the whole affair for weeks.

As if you needed any more reason to hide from the evil star of the day that brings fear and burning to all, Blizzard is launching a series of weekly Warcraft Summer Challenges to help avoid the outside world. It’s a way of gently urging you to go back and relive some old glories, check out some content you might have levelled straight past if you joined with one of the expansion packs, and fill up a bit of time while you wait for Mists of Pandaria that would otherwise be wasted on doing the same old endgame raids for the thousandth time.

First up on the schedule: Karazhan! Better known as the old endgame raid you probably did a thousand times or more. But hey. It’s a pretty good dungeon, if you’ve yet to see it…

HAHAHAHA! ONCE AGAIN WE SHALL WREAK UNHOLY TERROR UPON wait they're what level now? And there's no... uh... no decimal point or anything in that? Oh, balls.

“Medivh, the Last Guardian, made his home in Deadwind Pass, in the bright tower of Karazhan. Though he was the greatest wizard of his day (and humanity’s intended custodian) Medivh was secretly possessed by the dark spirit of Sargeras, the Destroyer of Worlds. Through Medivh, Sargeras opened the Dark Portal and allowed the orcs to wage war upon the kingdoms of Azeroth,” intones the official webpage. Oddly, it then doesn’t go on to add “He also spent far too much time building an evil theatre, which was really cool the first time someone saw it, but would only ever show them the same amateur dramatics thing because it hated them.”

Unfortunately for older players, nothing’s actually changed in Karazhan, with the exception that your Level 85 characters should now be able to crush the bosses like World of Warcraft crushed its competition over the years. The only real goals are to pick up reputation, work towards an Achievement for raid completion, and get a new mount for your collection if you haven’t already snagged it. For newcomers though, Karazhan was one of the main raids that showed how much Blizzard had learned between the vanilla game and The Burning Crusade, and is still worth checking out for its atmosphere and quirky events post-Cataclysm. There’s a chess mini-game for instance, an opera house with a randomly selected encounter to deal with (based on Romeo and Juliet, The Wizard of Oz or Little Red Riding Hood), and a final boss who… while intimidating in his day… should pose little threat now. Please, don’t taunt him too much for that.

New challenges will be posted every week at the official Blizzard blog. If you’d rather look to the future, this also just posted the updated Talent Spec trees for Pandaria, which you can view here. Still no official release date for it though, so expect a few more changes to come.


  1. Njordsk says:

    They should raise the level to 85 for all raids, they’re so fun.

    Or make a 5 man version of each, so people can discover or replay them. Ohh blackwing lair, oh ahn Qiraj.

    • Chesterton says:

      While I don’t play currently….I’d love to play Blackwing Lair again and KILL NEF! My guild at the time got stuck on her and slowly disintegrated. It was sad. Had a blast with those folks back in the day!

      • Phantoon says:

        Her? Are you thinking of Onyxia, by chance? Nefarian basically sits there and taunts you in human form for half the fight/the lead in at Vaelastraz/the pre fight chat.

      • dyaus7 says:

        Blackwing Lair can be completed with 2-3 people now. You should do it! Plus you get tons of gold!

        • BoxcarWilly says:

          Make sure you bring along someone with a dispel or you won’t be getting past Chromaggus.

      • Struckd says:

        after trying out Cata and quitting a while after, I became an achievement whore and did all the old dungeons i wasn’t able to do back when i played fervently during vanilla and BC, and indeed they are still great fun, even farming most for rep.

    • Memph says:

      Why they haven’t done this yet absolutely baffles me. It’s such a huge waste of content to just let it sit there unused.

      • Phantoon says:

        Because last time they did this, it was called Naxxramas, and they toned down the difficulty too much.

    • dontnormally says:

      They should make Warcraft IV and get over this WoW nonsense.

      • hench says:

        After SC2, current WoW and D3 I think I’ll skip WC4 (if they were to ever make it)

        • Jabberslops says:

          I have to 100% agree with this. After playing Wow since closed Beta 2, I was looking for something new and not an mmo that was still WarCraft. After seeing what Blizzard did with StarCraft 2 and now Diablo 3 my mind has been completely changed and I’ve basically given up the idea of ever buying a Blizzard game again, because of the directions they are taking all of their game series.

        • glocks4interns says:

          I like D3 but can understand complaints (rose-tinted glasses for D2 help) but what in the world is so awful about SC2? I loved the campaign, there are tons and tons of fun custom maps and it is a great multiplayer RTS very much in the spirit of SC.

          Sometimes I think RPS and its readers hate on the popular kids just for being popular. I have nothing but good things to say about SC2.

          • alundra says:

            The main complaints about SC2 were on the substantial lower quality writing, and splitting the game into three parts.

            You’re right though and it’s superior to D3 in many aspects, which says much about D3.

          • zino says:

            Edit: I have no problemes with SC2, the below comment is based on me confusing SC2 with D3.

            The story in D3 is 80% pretty horrible. Leah is a train wreck. And the whole droprate has been tuned for buying things on AH, not finding them,

            I’m enjoying the graphics and will complete a few more achievements, but it is generally worse than D2 that I pulled out to play just last Christmas.

  2. Koozer says:

    I used to like WoW. It’s a shame it’s so raid-focused, with nothing else in the end-game bar arenas. My favourite part was just exploring, but alas that doesn’t earn Blizzard any money.

    • Phantoon says:

      Indeed. I was asked by a friend (they called in a favor) to come back for Cataclysm, so I did. Since I had no money, Hyjal was quite the experience… until I got my flying mount and just avoided everything again.

      Since you can’t be dismounted from flying units, why aren’t there 200% speed land mounts like the motorcycle? You can even use flying units in battlegrounds now, they just don’t fly.

    • djbriandamage says:

      Blizzard says they are addressing this problem in Mists of Pandaria. They promise there will be much more content for max-level toons. I’m relieved to hear that because my favourite characters go unused because I get tired of the limited endgame content and invariably reroll.

      • Vorphalack says:

        And if you look at the preview page, one of the major new features is an in engine remake of Farmville.

        Yeah : |

    • Metalhead9806 says:

      I returned to WoW three months ago and only play for the quest content and 5 man dungeons.
      You don’t have to raid if you dont want to.

      Im having a blast I have one character above 80 and three others around the 55+ range.
      I look forward to logging in every day after work.

  3. Llewyn says:

    This seems to be stretching the use of “challenge” beyond even my casual limits.

    • Faldrath says:

      Yeah, calling this a “challenge” is kinda weird. But hey, alt-texts!

  4. McTerry says:

    I wish Molten Core was lvl 85. :D It’s the only raid I go to and farm for fun! ;D

    • Obc says:

      oh god no, MC was the most boring raid ever. MC was also the reason why i avoided raids for a long while even if BWL and AQ were out. MC just bored my so much that i though every raids were like this.

    • zino says:


      MC was barely fun when there was nothing else. We have seen better now and I’m not going back.

  5. NyuBomber says:

    Oh man.

    I joined WoW on the tail end of Vanilla and just got power ran through MC/AQ/BWL by my guild. Kara was my first real raid experience.

    But, WoW and I grew apart after Cata. You tempt me Blizzard, but I shall hold fast.

    Until you go F2P, when WoW2 is announced/”Project Titan” turns out to be something.

  6. Carter says:

    Thats quite the picture description thingy

  7. db1331 says:

    The Kara days were my favorite time in WoW. I loved the old days when you had to actually get attuned to a dungeon before you were allowed to enter it. Stealthing past those elite hell hounds in BRD (rogue ftw) to talk to the guy in the cell and finish my Onyxia attunement just in time for the raid that night is one of my fondest memories of WoW.

    • Memph says:

      I think my fondest memories are of TK. I was a complete raid noob on a mage (and a clicker at that, eep) – still learning about rotations, builds and the like – yet somehow got into a newly formed raid guild of experienced players. In one session we took down Al’ar, and Void Reaver then left it after a few tries on Solarian, during which I managed to gloriously blow up the entire raid with her debuff. Cue many apologies, although I was laughing my arse off. After that taste, I switched to pally and gleefully tanked the crap out of Kara. Fun as hell times.

      Edit: In fact thinking about it, most of TBC was the best designed and most fun content out of the lot for me. I used to absolutely love tanking Shattered Halls with all those melee and dreaded some of the pulls in Shadow Labs.

  8. Phantoon says:

    Vanilla Naxxramas was the best, hardest, most clusterfuck of a raid they ever had.

    Then they kneecapped it so everyone could see the content, and no one appreciated it for some reason. Huh, wonder why.

  9. Beelzebud says:

    I wish they had TBC servers. I miss that game. It was all downhill after Wrath. Ulduar was nice, but didn’t make up for everything else.

  10. Maldomel says:

    I don’t care about the actual post, but this alt-text is glorious.

    • djbriandamage says:

      Thanks for reminding me to check the alt text. Uncontrollable snickers. (hey, that’d be a great name for a fat stripper)

  11. Moraven says:

    Doing some of the Wrath raids with limited numbers can be fun and a challenge still.

  12. Eversor says:

    The only thing that is “challenging” in there might be Netherspite and the freaking fiery undead dragon whose name escapes me, as both of them simply can’t be soloed due to their mechanics. Rest of them can be soloed by any class. I should know, I farmed that place for tier 4 set for my paladin in Cataclysm.

    Can’t wait for the “challenge” to do Ulduar, the raid instance Blizzard themselves killed with their glorious idea of tier sets for badges and content patches that made everything prior to that pointless and not worth doing! In my opinion, the best raid dungeon they have ever done, superbly designed, even if battered with the nerf bat ever since it’s release and the last, final bullet that was the Crusader’s Colloseum.

    God damn I’m bitter.

    • Jake says:

      Hah, the Colosseum did it for you too huh? After months spent in that hell hole I could barely be bothered to kill Arthas and quit soon after.

      • Eversor says:

        After six months of grinding Naxxramas on two characters and raiding Ulduar with one character, I was truly pleased to see all that hard work go down the fucking drain by Colloseum’s brand spanking new 5 man instance that replaced everything I had earned up to that point with a 45 minute boss gauntlet, as well as beating the freaking normal mode of Colloseum’s raid in two hours with first try. Yeah, it left a horrible taste in my mouth. I’ve never even stepped into Icecrown Citadel raid, I just didn’t care anymore.

        Bloody hell, what a spit in the face that was after the awesomeness of Ulduar and the great memories of the raiding guild I was with then.

    • brl says:

      The entire instance is completely soloable… I’ve been doing it on my feral since Wrath. The Chess event can be random and annoying, but it’s possible to skip it with some creative jumping around earlier in the instance!

  13. Obc says:

    Kara is one of the finest Raids Blizz ever did, i don’t even need a reason to go there. (BC had a lot of great raids now that i think about it). btw glorious Alt-text ;)

  14. Grover says:

    While WoW stressed me to the breaking point when I was a Guild Master of the top Guild on Jaedenar US during Burning Crusade, I just can’t help but be nostalgic for those Kara raids. Does anyone else design bosses like that in ANY other game? The Big Bad Wolf in the theater who would turn a random player into Little Red Riding Hood (sex change and age regression fetish designer?) and chase them around; the Giant Imp with limitless minions; and so forth. I wish they had brought that creativity to bare on the bosses of Diablo 3.

    I quit WoW years ago, but gained some lasting friendships.

    Just babbling here for no reason, really. Just wanted to reminisce; a bitter sweet memory.

  15. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    One look at the alt text and you know it’s Mr Cobbett. =]

  16. jjujubird says:

    Kara is my favorite raid with Ulduar probably being 2nd. Quit wow a while ago because it’s been pretty damn boring for a while, but if they made raids like kara again and actually gave a damn about PvP I would be a little tempted. I remember when kara was serious business! How people used luffa for moroes until they patched it. etc.

  17. Jake says:

    “Please, no more! My son… he’s gone mad!”

    Shade of Aran before any nerfs was enough to pretty much ruin me I think I would collapse into a nervous wreck if I tried to go back there. I can’t think of another boss that caused my guild that much grief in the entire history of WoW.

    • Shadram says:

      Shade of Aran was one of my favourite bosses ever, beaten only by Reliquary of Souls in Black Temple.

  18. ChiefInspectorLee says:

    Oh you meant WORLD of Warcraft. Borrrring

  19. thestage says:

    Kara was extremely well designed, consistently interesting, and very pretty. Given that it was run for various reasons for nearly the entire length of TBC, it’s a good thing they got it right. That said, even by the end of TBC it could be completely steamrolled with little effort or thought. I’m assuming that by now even a healer could just about two-shot moroes.

    Ahh, the difference between healing Curator for progression on my shaman, having to time endless dream potions perfectly to stand any chance of not wiping the raid, and fighting him for the lulz on my warlock a year or so later, timing doom for the burn phase and watching it hit him for fifteen percent of his health bar

  20. Shadram says:

    ‘You face not Malchezar alone, but the legions I command!’
    ^ I must have heard that a thousand times, and cringed at the mix of first and third person in the same sentence every time. And then cringed at how horrible my raid group were at killing the fucker. They got better, though.

  21. Hardmood says:

    the point of blizzard being not able to make dynamic instances instead od time and fun consuming linear raidprogerssion (which is part of the milk-the-cow policy alongside the itemwipes/abilitywipes and whatnot on evry addon) only possible thru big guilds in that time – and big guilds meant dealing with big amounts of retarded arsholes too in this times – made me quit playing wow any other way than buying the addons (or, mostly, being gifted by someone) just to ahve fun seeing the nice landscapes, doing quests and then quit sub again.

    maybe blizzard is able to technically produce dynamic dungeons or content, but i never saw any intention of em to do so..
    these challenges r nothin but a cheap try to get all those people back, or hold em back from unsubbing, which felt the same way like i did.

    unfortunately, cos from time to time i still try to plaly that game for a month, but…maan after 4 weeks it again felt like wearing the same underwear for 4 weeks…