Vaneeesa has asked the iRez authors to “share 6 of their favorite, must see, places in virtual space.”
This is the World of Warcraft version.
People travel for different reasons, so here are six locations that might appeal to a broad range of virtual tourists.
- Spectacular Nature – Howling fjord
- City Break – Dalaran
- Leisure and Spa – Gallywic Pleasure Palace
- Horror and Mystery – Karazhan
- Humanitarian Aid Work
- History Tour
They will be posted in a series of six parts.
Horror and Mystery – Karazhan
- Recommended level: 70
- Expansion Pack: The Burning Crusade
Due to the centrality of this castle in Warcraft lore, there are a vast number of rumors and myths surrounding it, but I shall try and be brief.
Karazhan is a ghostly castle that offers everything mysterious and spooky you could think of.
It served as the residence of Medivh, who was the greatest wizard of his time. To make a long story short, Medivh became corrupt and ultimately insane and was defeated here after having created havoc in Azeroth. His powerful spirit still lingers on. Other spirits also live in the castle, including ghosts of citizens of the nearby village Darkshire, after they went here to investigate, but never returned. The castle is now cursed and crawling with all kinds of spirits, demons and even more evil entities.
Karazhan includes a banquet hall, a ballroom, horse stables, a giant chess board, a theater and as seen above, Medivh’s old library. Visitors can find a room at the servant’s quarters, but staying over night, for your own safety, is not recommended. Going into this place is risky, especially alone. Back when Karazhan was first opened up, people would enter in groups of 10 to match the strength of the enemies inside.
It’s also a place a lot of people have passed through, like a busy train station. People would kill the enemies in Karazhan over and over while working to build a bigger raid force to venture forth to bigger challenges that required 25 people instead of 10. Many struggled to ever leave for the next station, but everyone who was playing back then will remember this place, whether it’s with nostalgia or dread for having been through this instance too many times.
If you’re up for something even more chilling, read on.
Another spot of interest is located not inside the castle but at the back, at the graveyard where Medivh is buried. It’s called Karazhan Crypts consists of a series of underground rooms and halls of a considerable size, mostly containing piles of bones. The music is very chilling, lots of ambiance with a faint heartbeat. The most remarkable room is a flooded chamber filled with chains and corpses hanging upside down in the water. The Crypt is sealed off with a gate to prevent players from entering, and most likely to keep the age rating of the game low at 12 y/o. Still, a few sneaky players have found ways to get through the gates into this horrific place to document this strange addition to the game, which has never been open to the public and most likely never will be.
More info: http://www.wowpedia.org/Karazhan, http://ironyca.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/the-10-most-creepy-things-in-wow/
13 thoughts on ““Gimme Six!” – A Tourist Guide to WoW pt. 4 – Horror and Mystery”
But wait… wut??
Where’s my gratuitous pix of horror & mystery??
Yeah okay! BUT first!!! Is this blog rated mature???
Okay it’s not that bad. I’ll post a video of someone running around down there. Remember this is a restricted area, you can get banned for being down there!
Edit: The music is actually not authentic. The The Upside Down Sinners room is around 3:30, the one with the corpses.
OMG! My mind is permanently scarred! 😮
Once you watch this video it can never be unwatched, the traumatic images remain forever etched in your brain.
Draw a line in front of you – on one side – your life as it was – on the other – your life as it will be if you dare to watch Karazhan Crypts!
I get the concept of an “Easter Egg”… but what’s the point of detailing an area that you *really* don’t want anyone to go and might ban them for finding a way in? why even have that?
Disturbing on so many levels.
Excuse me, I have to go lie down now…
Haha, I can’t tell if you’re being ironic.
But yes, you ask a good question. Why would they put this in the game? It’s like a ban-trap really.
A lot of things end up being shipped with the full game, without being accessible, or they are meant to be accessible at a later time. Karazhan itself, the outer structure of the castle was fx part of original WoW, so players could go there before they could enter it, and only speculate about when/if this place would be put into action at some point, which it did, but only several years later.
The story behind Karazhan Crypts, as I’ve heard it, is that it might have been included in some future plans, perhaps as an instance or quest area, although I’ve heard that the area was closed off due to keeping the age rating down. It’s also likely that it’s just a world builder having fun, and that its existence in the live game is purely accidental, so to fix this, they just placed a wrought iron gate to keep players out. Getting past this gate requires some clever exploitation of the game mechanics, that are considered against the rules.
I’m back (but not the same 😛
Any idea how many peeps @Blizzard work on WoW?
I guess I just sort of thought of WoW as coming “from” [Blizzard]
But perhaps the complexity of design / production is so high that WoW really comes from dozens? of animators / modelers… and there can be “loose ends”… sort of like the paint you see on the studio floor and the walls and the artists clothes when you do a Studio Visit… but don’t see that paint, only “The Canvas” when you go to the Art Gallery…
It was not easy finding a number for this, but random webpage says 2.700. The total amount of Blizzard employees is something like 7.300 Wiki says.
2,700 peeps worked on WoW!? Yikes! So yes, with an iterative process like that! there could be a few un-Easter Eggs or lost / forgotten bits… or as you say… things that might be something in the future or ran out of time…
There’s an old PBS commercial that I always loved, where the narrator says,
Oh and you are right in that the design process is complex, or iterative as they would call it.