The Ruined Tower: Uncovering the secrets of Karazhan

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Looming above Deadwind Pass, the ruins of Karazhan cast an ominous presence upon the ruined town below.

Karazhan Tower
Only the half of the tower visible to players from inside the raid has been rendered.

karazhan villageOnce a great beacon of magic inhabited first by Aegwynn and later Medivh, Karazhan was drained of energy when Medivh made a pact with the legion; both the tower and town below were left desolate husks haunted by the citizens who had once inhabited them.

netherspaceDuring the Burning Crusade, adventurers from Azeroth headed into Karazhan in order to stop the demon Prince Malchezaar from entering the tower via a rift in the netherspace. While the forces of Sargeras now occupy the tower once again in Legion, players can still travel back to the original raid via the main gate.

Karazhan Zul'Gurub

karazhan zul'gurubUsing the method highlighted in the video above, adventurers can jump from a window high in the library and explore the surrounding area below. The first area we come across is the northernmost edge of the original Zul’Gurub. While the raid was updated in Cataclysm, the hub world version was never changed, so this area mirrors the zone found in Northern Stranglethorn.

karazhan darkshire

darkshire towerTravelling northeast, we enter an instanced copy of Duskwood as it appeared in The Burning Crusade, complete with the original version of Darkshire, as well as the surrounding towers, cemeteries, and farms.

Karazhan tower
That doesn’t look structurally sound…

karazhan nightbaneReturning towards Karazhan by way of Deadwind Pass, we’re treated to a view of the instanced version of Karazhan Tower. Because players only ever go outside on the other side of the tower while inside the raid, this side of the tower isn’t rendered. Additionally, you can see Nightbane sleeping behind a mountain; this is where the NPC stays until summoned to his boss platform.

Netherspace karazhan
Tito, I don’t think we’re in Azeroth anymore.

Facing the front gate of the tower, climb up the mountain range, jump upwards, and you’ll be suddenly pulled into the bottom of the netherspace where you fight Prince Malchezaar. This is because in order to conserve space, the developers made the netherspace a small compartment that floats just in front of and above Karazhan Tower. To keep players from seeing it, they made it completely invisible from the outside.

instanced karazhan
There’s 3 different sections of the raid in this picture, but only 1 is visible due to rendering!

Karazhan is a fascinating example of how developers will use invisible walls and rendering in order to make a space appear larger than it actually is. So whether you’re an avid explorer, or you’re just tired of trying to solo that stupid chess event, the secrets of Karazhan are well worth uncovering for yourself.

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