Visions of a Sunken Temple

This is the second in my series of… well… at least two videos about World of Warcraft.

The first video was focused on the exploits of our regular instance group in their first year together in Azeroth.

This time around, the focus is on a single instance, the Temple of Atal’Hakkar or Sunken Temple.

If you are viewing this in a mobile device or RSS reader, the video can be reached via this link.

More information about the video is available after the cut.

Director’s Commentary

Again, the star of the video is the music of Earl, a member of the regular group.  This time around the music was not only performed and recorded by Earl and friends, but the song was written by him about the Sunken Temple instance.

This time around I had a song about a specific topic that was just over four minutes in duration and about 20 screen shots.  That was a combination of screen shots taken during our first visit in late 2007 and our return visit with our horde guild on the Lightninghoof server in 2009.  You can see both groups in the video.

That, however, was not enough visuals to cover the duration of the song.  While the song’s languid pace meant I could use a slower transition time, I didn’t think just throwing every picture I had… and some weren’t even suitable for the project… up for 15-20 seconds would be the best way to do justice to the music.

So I got out Vikund, a member of the instance group and now level 85, and flew him down to the Swamp of Sorrows to take some supplementary screen shots to help fill out the video.  I figured that the exterior had not changed that much.

The zone has been updated.  There is now an alliance outpost and flight point right next to the temple.

Post Cata Map

That made getting out there easy… or easier than it would have been as alliance in the old days…  but I had to keep exterior screen shots pointed the right direction to keep the new stuff out of the picture.

I don't remember that...

While I was out there taking screen shots of things like long corridors and stairs, I realized that I could just launch Fraps and take video of those things to help give a better feel for them.  So the whole video is a mix of old screen shots, a couple of new screen shots, and video all taken within the last week or so.

I felt lucky that I had a couple of screen shots of the old version of the instance, as it was cut back severely as part of the Cataclysm makeover.  The old map of the instance (from WoW Wiki) showed a complex layout.  You had to visit pretty much the whole thing to complete the instance back in the day.  It was a real dungeon crawl.

The Old Sunken Temple

Now however, in the world of Cataclysm, where a dungeon is apparently considered too long if takes more than 30 minutes, the whole venture has been reduced to one floor, and a number of the tricks and events have been removed.

Full Quest Load in the New Version

I really like the dungeon finder in WoW because it totally solved the “I cannot find a group” issue.  It has to be the most successful looking for group tool in any MMO ever based on the sheer volume of people who have used it.  On the other hand, it made Blizzard feel that dungeons had to be quick and disposable.  If you couldn’t run two or three instances an hour, something was wrong.

I was looking at other Sunken Temple videos on YouTube and was struck by the truth at the beginning of this one, where the narrator says how simple the instance is now and how “long” it use to take, an hour or so with a good group.  I seem to recall Blizzard targeting 90 minutes as a good time line for a 5 person instance.  Was that the Wrath of the Lich King goal?

Anyway, the instance has be clipped and the boss line up has been much reduced.

Sorry, but we're letting some of you go...

The current instance isn’t a complete wipe of the memory of the old one, but there is a lot missing.

The last two clips in the video are both recent footage.  Jammal’an the Prophet pops up outside the instance, but teleports away when he takes a certain amount of damage.  I went to film him and then decided to let him poke at Vikund a bit.

And the final shot was taken with Vikund on his flying mount, flying backwards away from the temple.  It looks like it could be just another Ken Burns “pan-the-camera-over-a-picture” shot, but it is actually live footage.  I had to actually wait for the right time of day… Azeroth does indeed have a day/night cycle that matches our own… in order to get the same color in the sky as the opening shot, which was taken back in 2007.

And such was the second video.  Now to see if there is any further inspiration in me.

1 thought on “Visions of a Sunken Temple

  1. wizardling

    Uggg. They’ve ruined Sunken Temple – it’s been horribly nerfed :-( Is it any wonder I continue to stay away from WoW? There’s nothing epic left.


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