According to the inimitable Cassie, who reads the news sites I can’t get from work, MMO Champion has shared info from Blizzard that Zul’Gurub will be gone when Cataclysm is released.

Now, this probably isn’t a big deal with most folks. Be honest, when was the last time most of you went and did ZG? This week? This month?

But this is important to talk about. Plans need to be made.

There are certain unique, ‘flavor’ items that can only be found in Zul’Gurub at this time. Will they be relocated elsewhere? Maybe, but then again maybe not. There are plenty of pets that are special releases, even region-specific. There’s nothing to say that Blizzard will decide to make sure those special items will continue to be available once the raid instance is gone.

Oh, wait, did I get ahead of myself? Are you wondering “Wait, what the heck is ZG? Why should I care again?”

Well, maybe you do wonder why you should care, but there are reasons to go in there, depending on what you like to do.

First, the breakdown. Zul’Gurub is a 20-man raid instance that was added into the original release of World of Warcraft. It was added in patch 1.7 (no, I didn’t know that offhand, I looked it up), and was considered in many ways a stepping stone for progression gear placed between Upper Blackrock Spire and Onyxia/Molten Core.

I know that I ran Healing Druid style in Zul’Gurub and enjoyed it quite a lot. It had challenges aplenty, interesting mechanics, neat fights, and a really COOL troll feel to it.

It was, at the time, a rarity; an open air raid instance you could mount up in, vast spaces to get lost in, Amazonian rivers to get eaten up in if you were silly enough to take shortcuts… and of COURSE you took short cuts. :)

Cool scripted boss fights.

I loved ZG.

Sadly, my guild in Vanilla (word up Divine Might!) had already been doing ZG before I got to the point of being ready to raid, so right as I was getting excited and my Druid was building Zandalar Tribe rep, they were bored with it and wanting to stop going. The general attitude of malaise within the guild when the subject of ZG came up made it a raid that people did for loot, not for fun. Geez, farm one place endlessly, in many cases four times a week, and you get burnt out? How silly.

Me, I never quite got over wanting to run it.

Still and all, it’s got a lot of meat to it’s bones. Much like Scholomance, it’s not your typical modern “in once, seen it all” place to visit.

There are many bosses in ZG, and some of them require special preparations.

There is one boss that can only be summoned if you have gathered the appropriate Herbs in advance, mostly I think from Eastern Plaguelands.

Then there is another boss… one that you have to fish up out of the river. And to fish him up, you’ve got to complete a quest chain to be able to get a special lure, and then go into ZG and fish up special bait fish to load into the lure, just to fish him up one time. We’ll get back to him. :)

It’s not just “go in and blow through”, not for 100%, not without being prepared.

Okay, now, why is this important for us to talk about?

Because of those special flavor items I mentioned, of course!

Are you a Mage? Did you always plan on someday collecting all those neat styles of Polymorph, but just haven’t gotten around to it? You bought the Black Cat Polymorph tome off the lady in Dalaran, and maybe you ground chocolates to get the Bunny Rabbit Polymorph during the Easter event, but you still don’t have your Pig or your Turtle. But, someday. Just not right now. It’ll always be there, right?

Well, better get off the stick, because Pig comes from your Mage quest chains in Azshara, a zone that’s getting a big stick to the face, and Turtle?

The Tome of Polymorph: Turtle has a 15% chance to drop from that aforesaid boss you fish up in Zul’Gurub, Gahz’ranka.

If you want to get Turtle, well, the book is Bind on Equip, so you could try and buy it on the AH, but I know that, if it were ME, and I had the Tome of da Turtle, I’d be stockpiling them until well after Cataclysm wipes the source from the world. Kinda like speculating in Frozen Orange Juice, hoping for a bad harvest so your supply becomes more precious on the market.

OR, you’re gonna have to get your Mage (or Feral Druid ALT butt) into ZG and farm it.

But wait, there’s more.

There are not one but TWO awesome rare mounts that can drop in ZG.

First, the Swift Razzashi Raptor. He has a chance to drop from Bloodlord Mandokir.

Next, and more famous, is the Swift Zulian Tiger, a very pretty orange kitty mount, which drops from High Priest Thekal.

Now, both have a low drop chance, of course, but your farming is aided by the fact that ZG is NOT on the standard 1 week Tuesday reset. Instead, it’s on a nice, fast 3 day reset, the better to farm your gear to Molten Core levels. You can hit that place twice a week per character. And with the river running through it, ahem, you don’t have to follow a linear “kill every boss” path. You can hop into the drink and swim to where, and who, you want to visit.

Could I give you details on how to farm these three items, what quest chains to take, etc?

Sure, but why bother? Hydra already did it thoroughly a year and a half ago. You DO read Almost Evil, right?

Hey, I love Hydra, why wouldn’t I plug a great post. :)

So this is your early wake-up call. If you’ve always wanted Turtle, now’s the time to either buy the Tome while it’s cheap on the Auction House (around 400g on Kael’thas Alliance side, 700g Horde side), or go farm it yourself.

And with the Bind on Pickup mounts, if you’ve always wanted one… time is slipping away, my friends. Time is slipping away.

25 Responses to “Oh noes! Zul’Gurub going going gone?”
  1. ech says:

    What the blue post said was that Zul’Gurub won’t be a raid in Cataclysm, not that it is going away.

  2. Grimmtooth says:

    Based on a preview of the zone that I read, Z’G isn’t going away, but it won’t be an instance any more. There’s a quest line or two that have the toon go into Z’G to get one thing or another done. I also noticed on the new zone maps published recently that it was there, but it looked more like part of the zone now.

    Cataclysmic, indeed!

  3. Aeven says:

    Just finished getting my Zandalar rep up there a week or two ago… in the course of that, I’ve managed to pick up one of the small raptor pets, and helped someone get the raptor mount (On. Their. First. Attempt. Ever.) Still haven’t downed Hakkar, though. Sounds like finding a group to do that will be a lot easier in the coming weeks.

    Hmm. I should start a rumor that MC and BWL are going away as well…

  4. Minos says:

    I farmed it for mounts until I got exalted. I got my tiger early on, but I’ve given up on the raptor. I don’t like the bouncy ride, anyway.

  5. bigbearbutt says:

    Thank you for the update that it’s not physically disappearing. That’s cool that the territory will still be there.

    And now, thank you very much but I’m going to be skeptical that the existing raid bosses, as they are now with the loot drops they have now, will continue to exist in their present form if it’s not a raid instance on a three day lockout.

    So, and hey maybe I’m wrong, but I think the point of my article, which is about going after the flavor items while you can, is still valid until we know what they’re diong to the boss loot lists.

    /sigh, I mean seriously.

  6. lokyst says:

    I’ll always have fond memories of ZG, if only for wacky details like Bloodlord killing enough players to level at which point he yells, “DING!”

    If that wasn’t funny enough, one of the other bosses will yell back, “Grats!” :D

  7. bigbearbutt says:

    I do want to apologise for the tone of my comment here. It came across as way too pissy, and that was entirely unwarranted.

    It was truly very nice of you folks to let me know that the notice did not say that the ZG area was being removed entirely, that it was now actually on the map, and explorable. That was something that I didn’t know, and you were helping a Bear out.

    My reply, popping off like I did, was because I just didn’t read what you said. I didn’t bother paying attention, and thought you said more than you did, and I assumed your comment was saying that the entire post was a waste.

    Again, I’m sorry for being a dumbass, and thank you for taking the time to clarify things with actual, you know, facts.

  8. Herr Drache says:

    … into the future! Have you been fly fishing while listening to Steve Miller Band over the weekend?

    But yes – what a shock! I mean, I already have Poly:Turtle for my mage (after grinding for it for a friend), but I still have rep to gain on my nerdpoint-needy main!!! And the mounts, of course!

    IMO, keep ZG, drown Sunken Temple! I know, ain’t/can’t happen now!

  9. logtar says:

    I have been there and done that but never got any of the special items out of there… however, just the possibility of it going away makes me want to go and get that Tony the Tiger/Heman mount out of there.

  10. Sarabian says:

    I lost the roll on the tiger mount and have yet to see it drop since. Ahh, well. Time to kick the farming into high gear with the other 2 friends that want it.

  11. kattrinsaa says:

    I’m with herr drache.. sunken temple needs to go on and sink already.. hated that place. What I would like to know is, why there are 4 troll related dungeons, a gnome related dungeon, a blood elf dungeon node, a human related dungeon, but the rest of the races are just not represented… (i don’t mean an odd gnome here or tauren there as in WC)

    Is there no splinter group of undead/cows/night elves or space goats that have either gone insane and want to do something bad, or wanting to get rich or kill trying?

  12. Minos says:

    @kattrinsaa: There was talk about new Grimtotem dungeons a while back, but I haven’t heard anything new lately. And the Forsaken/Draenei are the good (less bad?) splinter groups from the big evils we’ve had plenty of dungeons for. As for Night Elves, maybe the War of the Ancients raid counts?

  13. Naturalregis says:

    I’ve tried for the mounts… just not on a regular basis. No luck thus far. Should probably step it up and try some more.

    I also -think- I’ve done the fishing achievement there. At least I hope I have. :P

  14. Cold says:

    Been farming my Zandalar Rep up lately as I had a hunch this would be changed. Glad im already revered and almost done with this. Been farming for pets/mounts/and got 3 Turtle Tomes so far. :)

  15. Sarai says:

    I’ve been planning on going in there and trying for the mounts on one or two of my toons for some weeks now. Clearly I need to stop planning and actually go DO it. >.>

  16. Milk says:

    I’ve been farming the Zulian Tiger for almost a year and a half now, and it hasn’t dropped. Now that this news has been put up I’m gonna redouble my efforts and try for the raptor as well. God, if I don’t get this before catycylsm im going to be so pissed.

  17. Ngita says:

    Kattinsa I though space goats where reasonably well represented in the netherstorm instances.

    But as said its no longer a raid instance, This does not mean the mounts are gone forever.On a slightly related note, inscription in Cata seems to have some method of creating old recipes , the other thing most commonly farmed from old instances.

    I have been farming zg on a weekly basis for most of the last year and picked up the kitty, starting last night I will try and do it every reset:(

  18. Solitha says:

    From what I understand, and what I’ve seen on beta, ZG is now physically represented in northern STV. You can fly over it, look down over those tangled paths and walk the lanes of memory without being “zoned in” an instance.

    It sounds as if there will be quests that require you to zone in and do things, but it’ll be like a private instance instead of a group or raid instance. Without going into too much spoiler, the story of the tribes has advanced.

    I’ll have to go exploring in there now and see what it’s like, if there’s even anything those mounts could drop from.

  19. Carrie says:

    I’ve got my raptor, but I’ve been trying on and off for a tiger for quite some time now with no luck. And I need the Turtle poly! It was always my favorite, I’ll be very sad if my poor little mage enters Cata without it.

    I always loved ZG back in the day. I was there for my guild’s first Hakkar kill, kiting Sons up and down the stairs for people to kill and get poisoned. One of my favorite vanilla memories! :)

  20. Solitha says:

    I did explore… got heavily sidetracked by the new music beginning to appear. Oh, do I adore the Blizzard music department. <3

    It appears the ZG changes haven't gone into the beta yet. While you can fly over it, into it, ride around in it as it sprawls and takes up "real estate" in STV, the instance portal still exists at the front gate… and when I tried to enter, it told me I needed to be in a raid.

  21. Aza says:

    Well I’ll second Carrie with that comment.

    I too was there for the Hakkar guild first kill (and every other one after btw :p) and was responsible for much of the Windserpent kiting on my main back then, a hunter.

    I went back to farm in on an irregular base with my Druid in feral offspec and never got a mount…. untill yesterday when I wanted to hand the Hakkar’s Hearth quest I won whn going in with guildies last week to finish the Classic Raider Achievement and since I was bored abit I thought i would try to solo Mandokir again, I mean you never know right :).

    Got in went straight for him (don’t care for another Tiger mount on my NE) and boom Raptor dropped.

    Must be destiny…

  22. Lazaros of Llane says:

    I wasn’t shocked to hear this news, but saddened for sure. ZG was released as my guild was making decent forays into MC, and the gear made for nice boosts. Plus, as Bear said, the flavor. Oh, the flavinating that it oozed. I loves me some troll, but was forced Alliance by some friends, so any chance I got to go to ZF or ZG was a treat for me. (Sunken Temple I can take or leave.)

    I’ve been solo farming for the pet and mounts for a while, but with no luck. Last night, just after I heard about this, my friend sent me a Razzashi Raptor hatchling from his solo effort. Bless that man. Mount karma will likely continue to elude me, since I was lucky enough to have gotten Anzu in about 20 runs.

    The instance, though dated, will be missed. Its ambiance and layout really fit the troll lore and feel. I even has mobs that can stun and kill a T10-geared bear tank. Saurfang should rightly fear those axe throwers.

  23. Kaleesh says:

    I’m going to be so upset if the mounts are gone from the game. Sure, I raid and stuff, but my main thing I do for fun in WoW is mount farm. 80 and counting! And no ZG mounts, never even seen a drop. And from hearing so many people that have farmed since it came out and gotten squat, the chances arent looking too good for me.

  24. Nonprophet says:

    Just got exalted with Zandalar about a week or two ago. I was racing my girlfriend to it and literally beat her by about 15 seconds. I’ve had the Raptor and Tiger mounts for a while, I’d say in total we’ve seen 2 raptors and two tigers drop out of about ~150 runs. Had about 3 of the Razzashi Hatchlings drop too. Oh also seen about 3 of the Polymorph tomes drop as well.

  25. kellymonster says:

    SO, I just gotta say i love how you mention mage (my main) and using a feral druid alt (totally have a bear tank almost to 80 =D)
    my friend told me ZG was going away…we decided we will be running it until it’s gone! mind you, my friend has horrible luck with mounts dropping, and as for me, well it seems mounts ALWAYS drop and the gear never does…
    i want to get my fill of this place before it’s not what it is! damn you Cata!
    thank you bear for your entertaining posts, btw =)

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