Karazhan Holiday: Warcraft Summer Challenges
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...
"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.