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Tower of the Watchers
Before I get into the details of Tower of the Watchers, I've got a little bit of Watchers guild news.

A big Calloo-Callay to everyone who attended Zul'Gurub last night. Every last person present must have been on the top of their game, because it went fantastically well. We completely figured out Thekal, and next time we go I predict we drop him first try.

Read this or perish:
Memnon's "all about ZG" post that's in fact only "mostly" about ZG.

I'd like to extend a big Watchelcome (tm) to the 6-something new members we've gained over the past month, including (but probably not limited to):
Gnectar, Raica, Aiwass, and Redaxe.

Happy to have you folks on board! I hope to see a lot of ya.

Okay, on to my interview with Tigole:



In the north-eastern corner of snowy Winterspring a great tower has stood for generations. Magically cloaked by the magix of the sinister cult that dwelled within, the tower was utterly invisible… until now. Ysera herself manifested to lay waste to this latest threat to Azeroth, but the great dragon aspect was slain by Hogger because yada yada...

Standard lore stuff, you get the idea. Tower, Winterspring, Cult. Tigole went on and on for like an hour, and I patiently waited for him to get to the good stuff.



"The zone is a 20-man raid area balanced roughly for players of about this tall." he said, holding his hands a few feet apart. Not too sure what he meant there. "We're really excited about it so we're fast tracking development. It should be ready for patch 1.74."

"The first thing you're struck with when you step inside the tower is the scale," Tigole went on, "you can fit sixteen Scarlet Monasteries in the first room alone! Players have complained about there being too much trash to clear in raids, so we've decided that TotW will not have any trash at all. Just really, really big rooms. It should take about 15 minutes of walking for most raids to reach the stairway to the first boss. That will ensure an even loot:time ratio with other instances."

You heard right: No trash! Only boss fights. And, uh, walking. So naturally I asked for encounter details, and I got em:

THE IMPWEAVERS

The first boss encounter pits you against Corpseweaver Talash, Cadaverweaver Raist, and Deadbodyweaver Niknak. Or more specifically: against their imps.


A preview of the updated imp model that all Warlocks will be saddled -- I mean, awarded with, once the patch goes live.

The imps are untankable, and run around the room throwing fireballs at random. To mitigate the damage, it's recommended the raid not bring anyone with less than 5k unbuffed hp.

The imps die fairly easily, but the three "weavers" (who are sitting in a little dugout along the west wall) will assist the imps by throwing various things to their pets. Raist will throw healthstones, healing imps to full. Niknak will soulstone, resurrecting a dead imp to 20% health. Talash will breath fire, toss lightning bolts, change size, teleport people to gadgetzan, and change outfits, “among other things.”

Once all three are defeated, the warlocks will emerge from their dugout and run to the center of the room, where they will channel a summoning portal. They'll /whisper raid members asking them to "please click the portal." If anyone does, Sargeras will be summoned and everyone on Kalimdor will die instantly. That's not recommended. Instead, players should kill the warlocks, who will just stand there and summon but have approximately 900k hp each. Once all three are dead, the gate to the next floor will open.

Some of the Loot from this encounter follows:







THE MAZE OF NEU ANDZEAL

The next encounter takes place in a winding maze inexplicably filled with ghostly wallaroos. A likewise ghostly mage named ‘Lostris the Lost’ will appear and tell the sad tale of the rise and fall of the nation of maze-dwelling wallaroos and their terrible affinity for poisoned 'coolah.' He offers to guide you through the maze in exchange for some root beer.


Beware, for here thar be wallaroos

Once appeased, the Lostris ghost will start running through the halls. Your raid will need to follow him closely because he moves fast. As he passes the ghostie wallaroos, they will begin to grow in size and level. Once they reach level 80, they become aggressive. Suffice to say, it's important not to fall very far behind Lostris.

Unfortunately, Lostris will periodically speak. When he does, all female characters in the raid will be instantly "smitten," causing them to walk in circles for 30 seconds - and thus fall far behind. The easy solution is not to invite girls. The better solution is for the males to keep following Lostris and then attempt to give directions to the ladies once their CC wears off.

"We're hoping to inject an element of inter-gender angst into the game," said Tigole, "if we can break up a few couples up over this event, I'll feel it was well designed."

"You probably will," I agreed, "but aren't most in-game female characters actually guys?"

"THEY'RE WHAT!?" There were a few minutes of silence while the idea sunk in, and then he went to throw up in the sink. Makes me wonder what Tig’s been up to with teh virtual ladies.

Anyway, once the raid reaches the end of the maze, Lostris will thank you and vanish, leaving behind a coffer chest which can contain some of the following items:





LUCENT

If you explore the next vast expanse of empty rooms carefully enough you’ll encounter a friendly vendor named Lucent. If you talk to him he will offer to sell you all manner of incredible items for dirt-cheap prices. However if you actually buy any, WoW will instantly shut down and FFXI will launch.

The Blizzard dev team is baffled by this behavior, and swear they didn’t program it deliberately… but there you have it!

BOO BATTLE 2006

After ~10 more minutes of running your raid will encounter a single dwarf sitting on the floor. The main tank should speak to him. He will demand randomly selected alcoholic items from all over Azeroth. Go get them.

Once thoroughly drunk the dorf will suddenly ice trap whoever spoke to him, summon a bear named Boo, and spam multi-shot on your raid while running around at 200% movement rate. It's totally annoying, and it might be impossible to kill him if he didn’t occasionally get stuck on walls and pillars.

If the 40 second ice trap on your tank ever wears off he/she will immediately be hit with a distracting shot (mind controlled) and dragged over another. So, on second thought, maybe its best not to have your MT start the encounter after all.

Boo the bear is untauntable and will deliberately target cloth wearers. However if he is killed the entire raid will be AE-stunned, a secret door will open, and Lorraine will emerge. She will say "Arise, my champion!" and res boo back to full health. Then they will do unspeakable things together.

So don't kill Boo.

Instead, focus all ranged DPS on Horun while keeping the rogues out front to eat multi-shot. Eventually the dorf will die, unlocking the next gate and leaving the following loots:





THE DRUIDS
The second to last battle takes place on an outdoor balcony jutting from the side of the tower.

A line of seven druids stand along the balcony edge, presumably looking at nature or some crap. They are named Cimorene, Deline, Cerulious, Myrlas, Prolix, Sandman and Occasus.

The seven can somehow communicate without speaking, and so they act as a single mind. When the fight begins all seven will simultaneously turn into moonkin and collectively moonfire the same person to death. Then they might all turn back to humanoid and cast seven heals on whichever of them has the lowest health. Maybe they'll all turn into cats, disappear, and 7x Rip a priest for 12,000 damage. Sometimes all seven will simultaneously /say "wtf, I'm clearly outside on a balcony, why can't I root?"

Tigole explained: "This fight is designed to be impossible. On our test server we sent 40 level 70s into this and they wiped in 3 minutes. I think it'll be a fun challenge for the little 20-man guilds in blues. They’re not guarding anything really, so I expect the strat most guilds will develop is ‘hug the wall and don’t aggro the druids.’"

If you hack into the server and manage to kill the druids you will have your account banned. But before that happens, you'll have a shot at the following items:





THE TANKS

The next fight awaits you on the open roof of the tower. Storm clouds brew in the sky, and bolts of lightning will periodically strike your plate wearers for 8000 nature damage. “This is in response to complaints that warriors are over-valued,” Tigole remarked. It seems the best bet here is simply not to bring any warriors.

A shadow priest named Katala will hover just off the edge of the tower, slowly circling the ramparts. As the fight begins, Katala will raise his staff and summon a half dozen "blue flappys" from the stormy sky.


Concept art for the "blue flappy."

The flappys cannot be killed, but can be crowd controlled in every possible way (they can even be sheeped). Unforunately for the raid, a pair of lost Stormwind soldiers named Jorren and Carwin will appear to “help” defeat the evil priest. The warriors will "tank" the flappys, which basically just translates into "run around in zerker stance and break crowd control."

It will soon become apparent that killing the two warriors - well meaning as they may be - is the only way to win the battle. Once they are dead, Katala will land and explain that the warriors kept running out of range so he couldn’t heal, at which point the raid should gank him.

Katala will drop one of the following class specific items:

















Also, a container will spawn on the ground called “Watchley’s Lost Boodle Bag.” Inside there will be a weapon and a piece of armor. Both items are selected 100% at random from all possible dropped BoPs in the game (of blue or purple quality). You cannot get quested items from the Boodle Bag - so no AQ or T3 set items - but otherwise anything is fair game. That means you have the same odds of getting a Blacked Defias Chestpiece as you do a Bloodfang Tunic: .001%.

"Sounds really cool," I said, "But aren't there a lot more characters in the 'Watcher' cult lore as written in Steven Knack’s Warcraft book “Watchers in the Park?” Seems like you left a lot of people out... I hope they don't get offended."

“Me too,” said Tigole, “I imagine they’ll realize this sort of thing is all in good fun, and that it’s impossible to include everyone without making it 20 pages long. Or at least, they might realize that if they weren’t fictional characters.”

“Sounds good. Hey, great talking with you, Thanks for making such a great game Tig.”

“Sure, thanks for playing it.”

“Peace.”

“Catch ya later.”

“Adios.”

“Night.”

“Uh… actually can I have a ride home? I walked here from Washington after all…”

“Don’t worry, security will see you out.”

“I… oh. k.”
10 Aug 2006 by carwin
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