Jungletastic or Tiresome Trolls? - 11.16.2007

So, who's ventured into Zul'Aman this week? I'm sure a large proportion of you have delved within the troll-infested walls for the first time and found a new marvel of things to tickle your fancy (my personal favourite was actually the 20 slot bag reward from the first quest, heh!).

I'm sure everyone is glad for some new content if nothing else, and a new 10 man raid instance on a 3 day timer is a great bonus for many raiders still bored out of their minds in Karazhan.

But just how long will this excitement last? Is Zul'Aman nothing more than a fleeting distraction for a few weeks? Are the encounters routine and wearisome? Are the trolls beginning to get on your nerves already?

Personally I'm fairly impressed with the instance as a whole; it is undoubtedly quite a bit more challenging than Karazhan - perhaps too much so to be an automatic step up from that level of difficulty, and the boss encounters in general are innovative and require a certain level of focus from a raid group (my favourite being the Lightning Cloud of Akil'zon that determines who is awake in the group).

The one down-side I have noticed so far is the requirement for a precisely balanced raid group in terms of classes. This is shown to be very true at Malacrass with the 4 different types of adds: humanoid, dragonkin, undead, and elemental. If your raid group happened to lack, say, a warlock and a priest, this encounter would become exponentially more difficult since the undead and elemental adds have some very nasty damaging abilities - combined with Malacrass's AOE ability this would more than certainly be a very difficult fight.

It also seems to me to be very finely tuned in terms of healing; for a Tier 4/5 clad raidgroup 3 healers would appear to be the only amount to bring - 2 healers would struggle to outheal the raid damage on various bosses, whilst bringing 4 healers would limit the group to only 4 DPS classes; which would leave the group struggling to down bosses within the enrage timers.

It is probably too soon to declare which I prefer, Karazhan or Zul'Aman, since my 'new content jitters' are still keeping ZA exciting enough to return there as soon as it resets, but overall I think Blizzard have done well with this instance.

Except of course the equipment models. Blizzard what were you thinking?!

-Joe Zara [Phoee]

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