World of Warcraft's ending is defined by its raids (and transmog!), and some of the handcrafted experiences Blizzard has created over the years really stand out. Today I want to review my all-time favorite World of Warcraft raid.
Ulduar - Wrath of the Lich King
The iconic Wrath of the Lich King trailer was one of the reasons I started playing World of Warcraft. Arthas' story started in Warcraft 3, and I'm excited to see how his story unfolds. What I didn't expect from the expansion was that Uluduar would be the best raiding raid I've ever played in World of Warcraft.
This is one of the largest raid areas World of Warcraft has ever seen, with a staggering 14 bosses to battle. Although I haven't stepped into a raid for a while, I remember the raid's music very clearly. I fondly remember me and my friends jumping into the raid and being blown away by the beautiful presentation of all the encounters.
After completing the raid, we discovered Elite Mode, which added another layer of challenge to an already amazing encounter. Who could forget to list the Watcher Algalon as a hidden boss? Ulduar will be hard to replace as my #1 WoW raid of all time. Everything from the encounter design to the lore is top-notch, and I'd be pleasantly surprised if the new raid takes the top spot.
Throne of Thunder - Mists of Pandaria
Mists of Pandaria and I have a love-hate relationship. I don't really like the mogu and their place in the WoW lore. They could have been written better, but all my grievances with the expansion were put on hold at the thought of Thor.
Throne of Thunder was a big part of my raiding journey in World of Warcraft. In the early days of World of Warcraft, I was mostly a casual player, and Throne of Thunder is what really got me and my friends doing raids on a regular basis. From fighting Zandalari trolls to Thor's Guard, it was a hectic experience for me at the time.
Keeping up with all the mechanics can be difficult, and eventually, you realize that Thor isn't even the final boss. Hidden in the depths of the palace are the Storm Guardians who have fallen into madness after being captured.
Karazhan - Burning Crusade
Next time someone tells you that MMO raids are just blind DPS checks, show them Karazhan. Raids have really stepped up in terms of mechanics and rewarding loot. The chess encounter stuck in my mind and is one of the funniest encounters in the entire World of Warcraft.
The best thing about Karazhan is that it's not like a typical WoW raid. Its unique encounter really makes things stand out. With a few screws missing from Medivh's head, Karazhan is no longer a place of knowledge to defend Azeroth. Medivh's madness draws attention to the tower, and we must defend the noble land.
The opera event is also fun, it makes you feel like part of a fairy tale. The ambiance and music really stand out and I'm happy to have Karazhan in my top 5. The Burning Crusade is far from my favorite expansion, but Karazhan is definitely one of the most memorable raids Blizzard has ever made.
Icecrown Citadel - Wrath of the Lich King
Arthas has always had an influence on me in Warcraft III. Although he is a villain, he has some kind of mystery about him. He betrayed everyone who cared about him and chose to seize power. His desire to rule the world must cease, and that's what we find in Icecrown Citadel.
As the expansion's final raid, I had a lot of expectations for the raid. While this raid doesn't match the experience Ulduar offers, it's very close, and it's still one of the best raids I've had over the years in World of Warcraft.
There are a dozen bosses, but the most notable is the gunship combat. It really felt like we were fighting an unstoppable force. All the good story moments that lead to my confrontation with Alsace are unforgettable. The Lich King eventually succumbed to the loss of countless lives, but what remained was an unforgettable experience. There is no expansion I love more than Wrath of the Lich King, and if I wiped it from memory and played it all over again, I would.
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