Over a thousand years ago the powerful Gurubashi Empire was torn apart by a massive civil war. An influential group of troll priests, known as the Atal’ai, called forth the avatar of an ancient and terrible blood god named Hakkar the Soulflayer. Though the priests were defeated and ultimately exiled, the great troll empire collapsed upon itself. The exiled priests fled far to the north, into the Swamp of Sorrows, where they erected a great temple to Hakkar in order to prepare for his arrival into the physical world.
In time, the Atal’ai priests discovered that Hakkar’s physical form could only be summoned within the ancient capital of the Gurubashi Empire, Zul’Gurub. Unfortunately, the priests have met with recent success in their quest to call forth Hakkar—reports confirm the presence of the dreaded Soulflayer in the heart of the Gurubashi ruins.
In order to quell the blood god, the trolls of the land banded together and sent a contingent of High Priests into the ancient city. Each priest was a powerful champion of the Primal Gods—Bat, Panther, Tiger, Spider, and Snake—but despite their best efforts, they fell under the sway of Hakkar. Now the champions and their Primal God aspects feed the awesome power of the Soulflayer. Any adventurers brave enough to venture into the foreboding ruins must overcome the High Priests if they are to have any hope of confronting the mighty blood god.
Zul’ Gurub is a 20-man raid instance located in the northeastern portion of Stranglethorn Vale.
Blizzard Developer – Jeffrey “Tigole” Kaplan: “I wanted to take a minute to talk about the intended “goal” of the zone. Zul’Gurub is often referred to as a “casual raid zone”. But I think the term “casual” can at times be misleading. Rather than get hung up on the semantics of “casual” versus “hardcore” I think it’s best if everyone understands Zul’Gurub’s place in the overall zone and dungeon flow of World of Warcraft.
Zul’Gurub is intended to fit in somewhere between Upper Blackrock Spire and Molten Core. Zul’Gurub only requires 20 people compared to the 40 it takes to do Molten Core or Blackwing Lair. This lower raid cap contributes to the zone being deemed more “casual”, as it takes less organization to get 20 people together than it does for 40.
Another goal of the zone is that it can be completed relatively quickly. Once the zone is mastered, raids will be clearing it in under 2 hours.
Now what I just said can be a little misleading. I know that a signifcant number of people are going to read it as “I can clear Zul’Gurub in under two hours.” But the important thing about what I said is that those fast clearing times will happen once the zone has truly been mastered. Even though the zone is referred to as “casual”, there is still a learning curve to it. The encounters in Zul’Gurub are challenging and require good coordination and skill. The encounters will also be tuned assuming raid groups DON’T have Molten Core or better loot. What this means for well-equipped, hardcore raiding guilds is that they will find the zone to be fairly easy.
The coolest thing about Zul’Gurub, in my opinion, is it allows everyone to have the chance to see some of the coolest parts of the raiding experience—highly scripted boss encounters. There are a LOT of bosses in Zul’Gurub and a lot of time has been put into making all of those fights unique and challenging. I think players of all playstyles will find the zone fun.”
Background Lore of Zul’Gurub may be read at the Two Empires Story