(See Part I, Part II.)
Ahh, Nightbane. Hmm, I thought Blizzard said that Fear was going to be less important in TBC. Quite honestly, I don't really understand Blizzard and Fear. As far as I know, you need a warrior tank, or a dwarf/draenai priest, or two shaman to even have a reasonable chance of beating this fight. I just don't understand that logic. Sometimes I wonder if there's some other way of dealing with Fear that Blizzard thinks we should use.
Personally, I think boss Fears should work more like Intimidation: everyone except the main tank gets feared. That would make Fear-based fights much easier to deal with without raid-stacking, and make non-warrior tanks/non-dwarf priests more viable.
Aside from that, Nightbane is an okay fight. There's nothing really interesting in the fight, it's all about the tank breaking Fears, picking up Nightbane when he lands, and being topped off before Fear. In many ways, it's a very tank-healer-centric, old-school fight.
Final Grade - Nightbane: C+
In general, Karazhan is a pretty good instance, with a nice mixture of fights and bosses, along with some superb voice-acting. I'd say that it was better than Molten Core or AQ20, on par with Zul'Gurub, but worse than Blackwing Lair. (This being the extent of my pre-TBC raid experience.) However, it does suffer from three significant flaws.
First off, the instance is rather large, and thus the trash is excessive. Just running from the side door to Aran's room takes forever, and that's after you've killed all the trash. The entire instance pretty much needs to be thinned out.
Second, a lot of the fights are very biased toward ranged groups. Maiden, Curator, Prince, and Nightbane for example. In particular, I really wish that Blizzard would stop using chaining spells that do more damage to people near each other. Those alone make melee even more difficult than it already is.
Would Curator really be that much harder if the Astral Flares did a straight lightning bolt instead of a chain lightning? The melee dps already have to chase them down, and this would make having an extra rogue/shaman/paladin/warrior much less hurtful.
Third, the instance really lacks a solid epic capstone fight. MC was a very weak instance, but the presentation of Ragnaros was superb. Summoning him for the first time was awesome, and truly felt epic. Ossiran the Unscarred, Hakkar the Soulflayer, and Nefarian were all awesome end boss fights that finished off the instance with a bang.
I don't even know who the end boss of Karazhan is. It's possibly Prince Malchezzar, even though I have no idea what he's doing in Kara. Maybe it's Nightbane, given that it is a dragon fight, which is only accessible after a questline. Compounding the issue is that my guild beat Prince first, then Nightbane, and finally Netherspite.
Karazhan starts out really strong, but it ends in a whimper. However, overall it is a decent raid instance, and the individual boss fights are fairly strong. It's more the connections between bosses which are missing. Regardless, I'm really looking forward to the next raid instance.
Final Grade - Karazhan: B
Ranking of Boss Fights (best to worst):
A: Shade of Aran, Chess Event
B+: Curator, Prince Malchezzar
B: Attumen the Huntsman, Opera, Netherspite
B-: Terestian Illhoof
C: Maiden of Virtue