I'm sure everyone has seen the info on upcoming patches that Blizzard showed off at E3. If not, you can check it out here. Tigole took some time out this morning to clarify some things about Zul'Aman, as it appears there's quite a bit of confusion going on regarding the upcoming 10-person raid zone.
I've been following a lot of the reactions on the WoW forums as well as the fansite forums to our announcement of Zul'Aman. I've noticed that there's a little bit of confusion as to some comments that were made in various articles that said that (I am paraphrasing here) "Zul'Aman will be more casual than Karazhan."'
Of course, what most of us in the WoW community have come to realize over the past few years is that the term "casual" means different things to different people. In fact, I am at the point where I try to avoid using the term at all. I've come to discover that most players consider themselves "Casual" when it supports their argument and likewise, they think of themselves as "hardcore" when convenient. We have the largest Casual Hardcore (or Hardcore Casual) community of any MMO out there!
All joking aside, the clarification is this:
--Zul'Aman will be a 10-person raid zone
--Zul'Aman will be on a quicker reset than 7 days (some might call this "casual")
--Zul'Aman will be MORE difficult than Karazhan and drop better loot (some might call this hardcore)
--Zul'Aman will feature 6 bosses and it's our goal that you can kill them all in one night -- perhaps 2-3 hour clear times (some might call this casual)
--Zul'Aman will not have a key requirement. Nor will it have an attunement quest\ (some might call this casual)
--Zul'Aman will have a VERY challenging timed quest for those who choose to participate in it. This *will be* hardcore and will be very rewarding. Players do not have to engage in the timed run (very similar to the Baron run in Stratholme)
--We're tuning the first boss in Zul'Aman to require less raid coordination than some other raid bosses. He will still hit very hard so you'll need to be geared properly but it won't take 15 minutes to explain the fight. It will be a simple yet challenging fight. The other boss fights get more complex and challenging from there. If players want a basis of comparison, imagine the tuning of ZA started around Nightbane/Prince difficulty and ramped up from there.
ZA is a very cool looking zone. It will feature brand new troll models -- Forest Trolls. They are very impressive looking. There will also be a large amount of brand new item art in the zone. We'll get screenshots of this out soon.
I know this question is going to come up so I'll answer it now -- Yes, you can totally skip Karazhan if you're an amazingly elite guild who doesn't have time to key up for KZ yet can face the challenges of ZA without gearing up in KZ. Have fun storming the castle.