In preparation, WoW Insider has compiled everything everyone knows about the new troll city. From history, to quests, to bosses, to loot, it's all here. We've gotten great information from MMO Champion, World of Raids, WoW Wiki, our own Zul'Aman playthroughs and research, and guides all over the internet. We're all going to be headed to Zul'Aman tomorrow, so here's your chance to know everything you need to know today. It all starts after the jump.
History: Zul'Aman is the city of the forest trolls of Amani, one of the great Troll empires of Azeroth. From this position, trolls have led raids on the city of Quel'thelas, and have also been beaten back by the Blood Elves and the Northern Kingdoms of Lordaeron. Zul'jin is the leader of the forest trolls, and though his clan was once a member of the Horde, his loss in the Second War drove him into seclusion in this forest fortress. A few explorers have made it into Zul'Aman already, but as of now, the city, full of stone altars, dark lagoons, and tribal secrets, is unconquered and just waiting for adventurers to test it.
Population: The exact population of Zul'Aman is speculated to be around 20,000 forest trolls, with a few pockets of High Elves and the Scourge. Most of the trolls there will be of the Amani tribe, and there are Amani'shi Tribesmen, Axe Throwers, Medicine Men, and Savages stationed throughout the city. Additionally, some of the trolls have learned to tame the bears of the forests, so there are Amani bears to fight, as well as Bear Handlers and even Bear riders. Some lucky adventurers may even find opportunity to ride a bear of their own.
Size: Zul'Aman is one of the trolls' oldest cities, and its size reflects that. The city is divided by the Greenrush River, known by the Blood Elves as the Throndroril River, which begins near Zul'Aman and flows southward into Eastern Plaguelands and Darrowmere. In the center of Zul'Aman, Lake Abassi provides food and livelihood for much of the trolls-- they fish the lake and sometimes the threshadon within it. Shrines and temples are found in the Maisara Hills around Zul'Aman-- here they revere both their own gods and their tribal leaders. And Zul'jin himself sits atop the highest temple at the far Eastern side of the city, pulling power from all of the leaders within the ancient Troll fortress.
Zul'Aman is located on the Eastern side of the Ghostlands, the Scourge-infested area outside of the Blood Elf city of Silvermoon, north of the Eastern Plaguelands. Hatchet Hills is a small village outside of the city itself, which serves as a waypoint for explorers and adventurers alike. There is a neutral flight point at this city from Light's Hope Chapel in the Eastern Plaguelands, and that will be the main point of entry for most raiders.
Hatchet Hills has NPCs for food and drink, reagents, and repairing. There is also a troll that will repair inside the instance, near the trash mobs around Halazzi.
The area around Zul'Aman is also listed as a Contested Area for PvP, but Blizzard has said that they are watching player behavior and may change this.
Questing in Zul'Aman
To start Zul'Aman, you actually first go to good old Griftah in Shattrah (Blizzard really loves him). He has a quest called "Oooh, Shinies" that will send to you his good friend (and fellow huckster) Budd Nedreck outside Zul'Aman.
Budd Nedreck is the main questgiver of the instance. He is the leader of an expedition to the city, and first gives a quest called "Promises, Promises..." that asks you to obtain a map from the terrace of Nalorakk inside the city (that quest will net you a free 20 slot bag). After that, he'll send you back into Zul'Aman for various tasks, but Budd may not be everything (or, more likely, might be less than, considering he's a friend of Griftah) he appears to be.
At the end of his questline, Budd will give you a quest for the Blood of Zul'jin, which will net you a one-time reward of 10 Heroic badges.
Inside Zul'Aman, you will run into Harrison Jones (point A), one of the explorers trying to find their way into Zul'Aman. He's situated in front of a gong, and it will take five people channeling the gong to open up the entrance to the city. Once you've done that, the biggest quest in Zul'Aman starts: the timed quest. Similar to the Baron run, this quest challenges you to get to each boss and down them within a certain period of time (it starts at 20, but we don't yet know how Blizzard has balanced the time for the rest of the bosses). If you kill that boss within the time limit, bonus time gets added on to your timer, so you get all the time left, plus the next boss' time. A prisoner that would have been sacrificed is freed, and the prisoner will open up a chest with loot in it-- however, you've got to stand around and wait until they open the chest to get your loot, while the timer is running. Miss a kill, and the quest is over for that raid ID.
Zul'Aman resets every three days, and you are not tied to the instance until five people have channeled the gong and opened the doors with Harrison Jones.
There are also a number of different non-quest events within Zul'Aman, including hexed trolls turned into frogs that can be turned back into vendors or leave behind various items.
Following are the collected boss strategies from MMO Champion, World of Raids, and the Elitist Jerks testing writeups, including our own playthroughs. Other information comes from Wowhead. As usual, these strategies are subject to change, as Blizzard further tunes the instance from the PTR and beyond. Loot also may change when the realms go live. WoWWiki should have the most up-to-date information.
Each boss is lettered, and their place in the instance can be seen on the map above (thanks to Murder by Numbers on Khadgar, via World of Raids).
Nalorakk (at point C)
Strategy: Nalorakk starts in troll form and switches to bear form during the fight. Both forms put strong bleed effects on the tank, so the idea is to have two tanks during the fight switching aggro. Both tanks must also stay in front of him-- he does a Brutal Swipe that divides its huge damage among everyone that receives it, so if only one person gets hit, they will die. The bear form will also drop an AOE silence on everyone in the raid, which will do damage to the raid and the tanks, so healers and mana users need to be ready for the silence, and ready to keep mana up for a longer fight.
After Nalorakk is defeated, the other three animal bosses can be conquered in any order. Suggested order from testing is: Eagle (Akil'zon, at point B), Dragonhawk (Jan'alai, at point D), and then Lynx (Halazzi, at point E). Finally, Hex Lord Malacrass and Zul'jin at points F and G on the map above.
Akil'zon (at point B)
Strategy: Basic tank and spank except for the Electrical Storm he creates-- periodically he will pull someone up into the air and create a storm around them. Everyone in the raid will need to squeeze together and get under the storm to avoid damage. After the storm, the person in the air will take falling damage, and Akil'zon will periodically shoot out lightning himself, so healers will be kept on their feet for this one. Also, he will periodically spawn eagles which need to be brought down (Shaman Chain Lightning and Warlock Seed of Corruption work well).
Jan'alai (at point D)
Strategy: This guy has been called "the Aran of Zul'Aman" already, not for his first attack (Flame Breath, which hits targets in a cone, so spread out), but for his second-- he teleports the raid to himself and puts up a flame wall which people can't touch. He then throws out bombs in this area, so you need to avoid the bombs and the sides during this time.
Outside of the flame wall, there are eggs around the fighting area, and Jan'alai will call hatchers to hatch the eggs as you fight. Either you can kill the hatchers, or kill the dragonhawks they hatch, but you should probably do both because at about 35%, Jan'alai will hatch all of the remaining eggs, and if you haven't let enough hatch, the birds that get spawned will kill you. Should be a fun fight.
Halazzi (at point E)
Strategy: The first part of the battle, with Halazzi in lynx form, is a basic tank and spank, but two tanks are required to split the damage of a Saber Lash (like Mother Shahraz, if you did that fight). 25% into the fight (and every 25% after), he will transform back into a Shaman and lay down a Corrupted Lightning totem, spawn a Spirit of the Lynx, and do a Flame Shock to a member of the raid. Shocks can be cleansed, totems can be dropped, and the Lynx can be tanked and fought off. Once done with those, he'll change back into Lynx form, and keep hitting away at the tanks.
After the animal bosses are killed, their spirits will return to Zul'jin at his temple, and you'll need to go after the leaders of the forest trolls.
Hex Lord Malacrass (at point F)
Strategy: He starts with four random adds, which can be crowd controlled according to what they are (people have seen an Ogre, a Blood Elf, a Wraith, an Imp, a Dragonkin, or a Serpent-- there may be more). Like Moroes, the best option is probably going to change every time, but most people have crowd controlled two adds, killed two, then Malacrass, and then finished the last two adds off.
Malacrass himself will drain the raid of its power, both individually and collectively. He will do a soul drain on individual members of the raid, grabbing their abilities (Druid = Lifebloom and Thorns, Hunter = traps, Rogue = Blind and Slice and Dice, etc) until he drains someone else. Periodically, he will drain the raid at large, growing in size and strength. So the goal is to deal with the adds, deal with his changing abilities, and take him down before either one overwhelms the raid.
Finally, there's the troll himself, Zul'jin.
Zul'jin, leader of the Amani tribe and the forest trolls (at point G)
Strategy: The Zul'jin fight has five phases-- he starts in Troll form and then takes on the aspects of each of the defeated animal bosses. In Phase 1, he will Whirlwind for a terrific amount of damage, and then cast a DoT on a player that only wipes off when they're healed to full (just like Rokmar in Slave Pens). Phase 2 changes him into bear form and gives everyone a dispellable paralysis debuff. Phase 3 brings Eagle form, and tornados fly around the room that must be dodged, while any spellcasting brings damage to the caster. Phase 4 is Lynx, and he will run around hitting random people and given them a debuff that adds to damage. Finally, phase 5 is Dragonhawk, and he will place beams of fire on random people in the raid-- they need to be healed and move fast enough to avoid damage. Survive all that, and victory is yours.
Loot (yup, we saved the best for last)
Each boss drops 2 Heroic badges, except for Malacrass and Zul'jin who drop 3 each for a total of 14 badges.
Here are the most up to date loot lists for each boss, via gsdkp.com.
Hex Lord Malacrass
Additionally, you can see all the loot at WoW Wiki. As stated earlier, the timed quest also has its own loot table, although while some of the items in the timed quest table drop for all bosses, some of them only drop on one boss (the Amani bear mount only drops for Nalorakk).
Obviously, more information will come out as the patch goes live tomorrow, and in the weeks to come, players will be picking apart this new instance and finding all the goodies Blizzard has hidden in it. But this is everything we know the night before 2.3 goes live. Good luck in Zul'Aman, and remember: the spirits be wit'cha, mon.