Which raid just begs to explored — and what would you find if you did?
While doing a recent Ulduar run, the conversation turned to the atmosphere of the raid. It’s always been my favorite raid because the bosses are all different, and it’s visually stunning. Every detail — from Freya‘s room of plants to Algalon‘s planetarium — is intriguing.
That got me thinking about the raids make you want to poke around in. Usually we come in, kill off the denizens residing therein, get our loot, and move on. We might look around that first handful of times, but we’re there on a mission and oogling the walls isn’t part of that. The designers make every raid visually interesting within the context of the expansion, but seem to have a little extra which calls for more exploration.
There’s a raid like that in almost every expansion. Battle for Dazar’alor is interesting and if you don’t have a Horde character in the city, the raid is a decent representation of what it — in various spots — looks like. In Legion, Nighthold has a lot of places to investigate. I want to partake of the banquet at the foot of the stairs leading to Tichondrius. Warlords of Draenor raids, while interesting and vital to moving along the story, don’t invite me to give them a further look.
Going backwards to Mists of Pandaria, I immediately think of the room with The Spirit Kings in Mogu’shan Vaults. To me, it resembled a gigantic library card catalogue. I wanted to open every door — even the ones on the ceiling — to see what information they contained. Cataclysm raids — like Warlords of Draenor raids — felt like they were simply a means to deliver the story, with little to be curious about beyond.
Wrath of the Lich King has Ulduar. In Classic, Blackwing Lair has a good investigative quotient at the dragon level. Just what are those people making at all those alchemy stations? I didn’t raid when BWL was released, but could alchemists make flasks at these stations or were they confined to Ras Frostwhisper’s lab in old Scholomance?
But I think the prize for “the raid most likely to invite poking around” has to go to Karazhan. The library doesn’t have a lot of books. It’s mostly floor space with people (gasp) lighting fires, but as you go up in the tower, you encounter rooms lined with bookshelves and filled with books. The Shade of Aran fight takes place in his library. Look at all the giant books!
If you were to poke about in any raid — really snoop around — which raid would it be? Where would like to go if you could go anywhere inside any raid? What do you think you might find — if the designers had the luxury of spending all their waking hours on neat things to poke and prod? I’ll bet there’s an oversized “Flora and Fauna of Azeroth” with hand colored drawings somewhere on Medivh’s shelves. (And I’m glad that the updated Karazhan dungeon kept the library.) Now if I could just get tea delivered and an overstuffed armchair with a footstool — I have the cats to curl up in my lap while I read — I would be right at home in that library.
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