I think it's a good time to take a look back at Karazhan and evaluate it. I've done almost all of the fights inside (haven't been in on a Netherspite kill yet). I'm not going to describe the fights here, but you can take a look at the WoWWiki Karazhan page for full descriptions if you want.
First, let's look at the trash. I'm not a fan of the trash in Karazhan. I think respawns are silly, and there's too much trash in general. In particular, the trash from Curator to Shade of Aran really needs to be thinned out. For the most part, the trash is at a reasonable difficulty level. The major exceptions are the spell shade packs. Maybe my raid hasn't discovered the secret to dealing with them, but we get absolutely wrecked by them every week.
Final Grade - Trash: D
Attumen the Huntsman is a solid introductory fight. It's a relatively simple tank-and-spank fight that has a couple of phases and is a good length. It's a very good first raid fight that serves as a check to see if your guild is ready for rading.
Final Grade - Attumen the Huntsman: B
Moroes is one of my favorite fights. It is the first complex fight, and is a solid test of your guild's coordination. About the only negatives is that it can be hard if you don't have a priest, hunter or paladin to crowd control, and it gets a lot easier with 2 priests. But it's still doable with stunlocking, kiting, or even just tanking everything.
It's a fight where a lot of different strategies can work, but in the end just comes down to the skill of your raid. As for difficulty, I think it is well placed, especially with the vanishes to give your raid a breather, and allow healers to catch up.
Downing Moroes for the first time feels like a significant accomplishment arising from skillful execution, which is what the best raid fights do.
Final Grade - Moroes: A+
Maiden of Virtue is a decent fight. The layout of the fight with the pillars is well done, and the fight is very different. It seems to be much easier if you have a paladin in the group, and does require you to be quick with cleanses. However, I'm a fan of Blessing of Sacrifice, and I always enjoy fights where I get to use it.
The big knock against this fight is that--like several fights in Karazhan--it is biased against melee-heavy raids. It's still doable, but realistically if you have more than 3 melee, it's painful.
As well, I think that Maiden does slightly too much damage. For some reason, I die an awful lot on this fight, which is odd for its placement in the zone. Like tonight I took a Holy Fire, cleansed it, then got hit by Repentance and died before I had a chance to heal. Maybe we aren't using Dampen Magic enough. I do think that the Holy Fire damage could be toned down slightly.
Final Grade - Maiden of Virtue: C
The opera events are really well done. All the fights are reasonably interesting and amusing. After the difficulty of Romulo and Julianne was brought in line with the other two fights, all three fights are roughly the same quality.
Running around as Little Red Riding Hood, and being chased by the Big Bad Wolf is hilarious. I'm not really too sure what else to say. The fights are tuned well, and I look forward to Opera when we do Karazhan. At the same time, there's nothing amazing about any of the fights either. Solid raiding fare.
Final Grade - Opera Events: B
The Curator is another very good fight. It's the first real test of your DPS, and one of the best places to make them step and be accountable. To be quite honest, in a lot of pre-TBC content, tanks and healers carried the DPS. I'm very happy to see TBC making the DPS visibly responsible for wipes.
As with Maiden, this fight punishes melee-heavy groups. It's still doable, but puts extra stress on your healers. That's really about the only negative for this fight.
I love the voice acting for Curator, as well. It's very different from your typical raid fight, and is a nice change of pace.
Final Grade - The Curator: B+
I'll cover the remaining bosses next post. One thing about Karazhan I've noticed is that it really likes a balanced raid. One of each class plus a DPS off-tank is pretty much the ideal setup for going through Kara from start to end. In fact, the more your raid deviates from this setup, the harder many fights in Kara become.