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.