World of WarCraft: The Opening of Ahn'Quiraj
An editorial by Shawn Hawkens
Previously when Blackwing Lair was released it would take one about 3-4 hours to be able to zone into it, all that was required was a small quest that involved clearing Upper Blackrock Spire. After this came the first 20-man instance Zul’Gurub, which did not require any quests to access it. Well times have changed and Blizzard intends to make sure we earn this next instance by making the entire server pitch in and open the gates of Ahn’Qiraj. Once opened, the entire server will be able to access not one but two separate instances, AQ 20-man and AQ 40-man, the latter being much more difficult for raid groups to complete. Unfortunately this server-wide quest is not merely completed in a quick 4 days, but closer to 4 weeks. Along with this one-time epic server quest there is an incredibly long and challenging quest line for high-end guilds to complete in unison with the server wide war effort. Once both have been completed it takes 5 days for the gates of AQ to open, finishing off with an epic battle held at the gates of AQ before they are opened.
Although one might think turning in nearly four million items would be enough to make a sever go insane, Blizzard also made hard-core guilds complete a lengthy series of quests for the other half of the AQ quest. Although only one person per raid group may loot Broodlord’s Head to start this epic quest line, with many guilds killing Broodlord on any given server, there may be many individuals trying to complete this quest line. The next part may not sound like much compared to the turn-in quest, but once the head is obtained the individual who looted it must collect approximately 41,000 carapaces from elite bug mobs in Silithus. No matter how one looks at it, killing over 25,000 of one mob is not the most exciting thing in the world of Azeroth. But I digress, this is only the first step in this quest sequence. From random drops in Molten Core, to clearing Blackwing Lair in under 5 hours, then grinding even more elite dragons in various zones, even to the point of exploring through the opposing factions major cities for pages of a book. How can you not love a quest where you get to spawn a giant shark named Maws, fight an epic boss in the Druid town of Moonglade, and fighting world bosses right in the back yard of the opposing faction hoping they do not spot you??
This provides for very exciting times to come on many servers. To get this quest done quicker some servers may put forth all their support to one guild, whether it be on the opposite faction or not, to help them complete this quest so the whole server benefits. However, as we are all familiar with competition, this is not the case on all servers. Regardless of the actions of a server, to be competitive or to be helpful, the server as a whole becomes more of a community. At the end of the day, opening of AQ is great no matter what the result between the opposing factions. If the opening of AQ brings Alliance and Horde closer together then the server as a whole is friendlier and everyone gets to know each other better. However if the guilds compete with each other over the opening of AQ fighting to do it first, then the server becomes more competitive and a great environment for PvP.
As many of our readers fit into either the casual and hard-core gamer profiles, what do you think about the opening of AQ? Have you been turning in your Runecloth Bandages or selling the cloth on the auction house? Do you happen to be one of the lucky few who are opening the gates of AQ as we speak?
You can respond to Garrett's article here.