Patch 7.1 for World of Warcraft came out this week. It brings with it a new raid, more world quests, balance and bug fixes galore, as well as the Return to Karazhan five-man ‘mega’ dungeon. That last holds the game’s next big secret, an extra-hard, better-loot-dropping skeleton dragon called Nightbane - and after a couple of days, the secret on how to unlock him has been found.
It’s actually relatively simple compared to the other super-secrets included with Legion, from the world-spanning orb-chasing quest to unlock Kosumoth to the unlikely event high-level players return to Gnomeregan and summon Endgineer Omegaplugg. Unlocking Nightbane is a simple matter of a speedrun, though a tight one, through Return to Karazhan, culminating in a chat with a dead mage and the summoning of big ‘n’ boney.
A few players managed this overnight, now that the dungeon is available on both sides of the Atlantic, and Zosyn of the guild Prometheus on server Stormreaver US revealed all to community site Wowhead earlier today. According to them, you have about eight minutes to get from the entrance of the dungeon to a little past the first boss. Based on my run last night that’s pretty extraordinarily fast and it only gets tougher from there, as you have to get to each of the next three bosses in equally strict time limits, though not all of them need to be killed.
Once you’ve done that, tower-owner and perennial WoW is-he-isn't-he good guy/bad guy Medivh will show up to summon Nightbane, much like in the original version of the dungeon back in Burning Crusade. Beat Nightbane and he drops a model similar to himself as a mount for one member of your party, plus some fairly (and literally) epic loot, including the series of chest pieces that empower trinkets found throughout the dungeon.
You can see how much time you have left via various buffs, as explained on Wowhead. While the method of unlocking is simple, it’s pretty surprising that players managed to accidentally beat the dungeon in these time periods this early. It’s fairly tough, very long and quite maze-like in its construction, taking a normal group a good couple of hours to get as far as these folks did in about 30 minutes. Still, you’ll be seeing a lot more flaming dragons from the better geared players on your server soon.