Zul'Aman Instance Preview (World of Warcraft)

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Publisher: Blizzard (Vivendi Games)
Developer: Blizzard

Platform: PC and Mac
Official Site: worldofwarcraft.com

Projected Release: Late 2007

Kyle Ackerman

The trolls in the Ghostlands have always had problems with the blood elves. Now, the denizens of Zul'Aman are prepared to make real trouble. Zul'Jin, a troll that real-time strategy fans might remember from Warcraft II, and his enclave of forest trolls have found a way to infuse themselves with animal spirits and have gone so far as to possess the essences of the Bear, Eagle, Lynx and Dragon Hawk gods.

The Zul'Aman raid instance is designed for 10 people, and is an outdoor "dungeon" set in stone structures surrounded by giant conifers and swarming with trolls. Zul'Aman is designed to be more challenging than Karazhan, making Zul'Aman the next logical stop in the raid chain, and one that requires no associated faction or attunement to attempt.

Zul'Aman features six bosses. But the interesting part is that the raid begins with a boss, rather than a horde of underlings just waiting around to be slain. The next four bosses are each themed after each of the animal gods, so players will face bosses sporting aspects of each beast, to free the gods that were imprisoned by these trolls. Finally, raiders will face Zul'Jin, aided by all four imprisoned animal spirits. Veteran raiders will face new challenges with Zul'Jin – he has a powerful attack that strikes random areas all across the final battleground. It won't be possible to simply stand outside of the typical area of effect, because you just won't know which regions will incur massive damage.

Blizzard was showing off a few nice touches from the Zul'Aman raid, including sentries that (if not stopped) will summon hordes of additional underlings to harass the raid party. There was also a collection of trolls playing keep away, tossing a skull just out of reach of a dragon hawk. When they first notice the raid party, they'll hurl the skull at players for nuisance damage.

Of course, what do players really want to know about? Loot! The loot in Zul'Aman will scale up in quality, depending on how rapidly you finish the instance. The trolls of Zul'Aman have taken four prisoners, and they must be freed within a time limit. After the time limit expires, it's no longer possible to save prisoners. But the more prisoners you save, the better the loot will be.

Whether you're in it for the loot, or just a little old-fashioned troll killing, Zul'Aman should go live later this year, some time after the addition of voice chat to World of Warcraft.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on July 19, 2007 3:04 PM.

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