Gates of Ahn'Qiraj
The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj (aka opening of the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj or the War Effort) was a server-wide world event that heralded in the opening of the raid instances Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj and Temple of Ahn'Qiraj. The event evolved through different phases and included gathering of war supplies by both Alliance and Horde players, epic and hardcore quest chains for the elite guilds, and ultimately a ten hour long war at the Scarab Wall in southern Silithus. The first server to finish the event was Medivh on January 23, 2006.
"An insectoid menace awaits in Silithus in the ancient, brooding city of Ahn'Qiraj that represents a danger to both Horde and Alliance and their place in Azeroth. However, no forces can preemptively deal with the threat unless they can breach the enchanted Scarab Wall and open the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj closed during the War of the Shifting Sands."
The world event quest
Opening the gates was a process that required the cooperation of hundreds of players from all races and factions, involving monsters and quests from all corners of the world map.
The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj were sealed by powerful magic, and to open them, an elite guild had to brave a number of trials to reconstruct a long-lost artifact: the Scepter of the Shifting Sands. This scepter could open the walls, but behind them a mighty Qiraji army waited. To repel it, the combined military might of both the Alliance and Horde had to be ready outside the wall, and to be ready a great number of supplies had to be gathered — food, bandages, metals and herbs. Once all was ready, the player who held the Scepter could open the gates, and the Ahn'Qiraj War began.
Restoring the scepter questline
Restoring involved a long series of quests that required the efforts of a well-coordinated raiding guild, supported by other top guilds within a faction. Because of the reputation requirements of a certain farming quest (see step three below), one player from each side was typically designated as that faction's scepter-bearer.
In addition to the scepter, the questline gave epic awards including the legendary mount . Parts of the questline could still be completed after the gates were open, however the mount could only be received during the 10-hour war event.
Here's a list of the quests that gave rewards:
Red shard line
Blue shard line
Green shard line
The quest (and therefore, the legendary mount) was only available during the main war event which occured upon the initial ringing of the gong and last 10 hours thereafter. This mount is usable both inside and outside of the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj, whereas other Resonating Crystals are only usable inside the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj. Once the war event was completed, the legendary mount can no longer be obtained by any means.
Gathering war supplies
While the elite guilds completed their mission, the entire server had to work together to gather war supplies for the combined army of the two nations. This stage of the gate opening could easily last several (real-time) months due to the number of supplies that had to be gathered:
In parentheses is the number of signets awarded on "repeats" of the quest. The first time you would always be awarded 10 signets.
Both factions need to gather:
- 90,000 x (1 Signet)
- 26,000 x (7 Signets)
- 80,000 x (7 Signets)
- 17,000 x (7 Signets)
- 400,000 x (10 Signets)
- 28,000 x (5 Signets)
- 24,000 x (10 Signets)
- 20,000 x (10 Signets)
- 33,000 x (3 Signets)
- 180,000 x (1 Signet)
- 110,000 x (3 Signets)
- 20,000 x (5 Signets)
- 14,000 x (3 Signets)
- 800,000 x (1 Signet)
- 600,000 x (5 Signets)
- 22,000 x (3 Signets)
- 18,000 x (7 Signets)
- 96,000 x (1 Signet)
- 19,000 x (5 Signets)
- 60,000 x (5 Signets)
- 60,000 x (10 Signets)
- 10,000 x (1 Signets)
- 10,000 x (10 Signets)
- 250,000 x (3 Signets)
- 250,000 x (7 Signets)
Each item had its own NPC for turn-in. On the Alliance side, all turn-ins was in the Military Ward in Ironforge and the Horde turn-ins was in the Valley of Spirits in Orgrimmar. Each turn-in required a full stack of the item (10 or 20, depending on the item), and awarded 10 Commendation Signets and a box of the first time you hand in one stack. For the second hand-in of the same item, the amount of signets was dependent on the level of the item - high-level items still gave 10 signets each time, mid-level items gave 7 signets, and 5 signets from the third hand-in on. Low-level items only gave 1 signet starting with the third turn-in.
Boxes of Ahn'Qiraj War Effort Supplies contained various items appropriate to the turn-in level (eg. a lvl 23 green for silk bandages, a lvl 40 green for thick leather) and several types of Scrolls. The Commendation Signets could be turned in for more supply boxes or for reputation with one of the five major factions. The five commendation officers, one for each race in the faction, was located in the same area as well as one in each capital city.
Finally, there was an NPC patrolling the area ( for the Alliance, for the Horde) that accepted Commendation Signets in return for a larger batch of supplies. He could also updated the player on the progress being made in all of the turn-ins. An NPC for the opposite faction ( in Ironforge, in Orgrimmar) that could tell you about progress on that side. The progress was also tracked on an offical website created for the event.
Opening the gates
Once all the necessary war supplies had been gathered, the combined forces of the Alliance and the Horde began transporting NPCs, equipment and supplies to Silithus. Five days passed while the supplies were sent by zeppelin (this couldn't actually be seen occurring); as the days passed, the stockpiles of supplies that had been accumulating slowly diminish until everything was in place, at which point the holder of the Scepter could ring the mighty gong to cause the Scarab Wall to open. This caused a ten-hour-long continent-wide event to begin, preceded by a global message to everyone on the server stating, "<Name of Scarab Lord>, Champion of the Bronze Dragonflight, has rung the Scarab Gong. The ancient gates of Ahn'Qiraj open, revealing the horrors of a forgotten war...".
The most immediate effect, of course, was that the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj opened and powerful monsters and bosses began pouring out. General Rajaxx appeared, along with a number of very large Anubisath and Qiraji epic monsters that the combined player and NPC armies had to defeat. Once this was done, raiding guilds could proceed into the 20- and 40-man instances at their leisure. In addition, anyone with a complete Scepter of the Shifting Sands who rang the gong again during this event received a that is used to summon a cross-faction, fast legendary mount.
While the fray at the Gates was underway, large floating obelisks called Resonating Crystal Formations reportedly appeared in Silithus, Tanaris, Feralas, The Barrens, Thousand Needles and Un'Goro Crater. These obelisks would alternately mind-control player-characters in their vicinity and spawn high-level monsters like Colossal Anubisath Warbringers and various Silithid.
After ten hours of this the crystals and their spawn disappeared, bringing the Ahn'Qiraj War to an end. From this point forward, the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj will remain open.
Time-limited opening quests
There were 3 time limited delivery quests available in Cenarion Hold during the 10 hour opening event that became available following the death of a Colossus mob at each of the 3 hives in Silithus. Each of these quests, and the related quest giver, vanished at the end of the opening event. Each quest rewarded 2 70, as well as .
Some servers coordinated the efforts through their realm forums, and some even had dedicated websites to help organize their efforts.
- First 5 U.S. Completed Realms
- Medivh (Gate opened on: 22/Jan/2006)
- Mannoroth (Gate opened on: 27/Jan/2006)
- Zul'jin (Gate opened on: 31/Jan/2006)
- Hyjal (Gate opened on: 02/Feb/2006)
- Icecrown (Gate opened on: 07/Feb/2006)
- First 5 EU Completed Realms
- EU-Kael'thas (Gate opened on: 30/Jan/2006)
- EU-Magtheridon (Gate opened on: 30/Jan/2006)
- EU-Archimonde (Gate opened on: 02/Feb/2006)
- EU-Azshara (Gate opened on: 06/Feb/2006)
- EU-Destromath (Gate opened on: 11/Feb/2006)
Re-opening the gates
When Patch 3.0.2 was released, the gates of Ahn'Qiraj were briefly closed due to a bug that reset the gates on each server, and gave all characters of the same race and class as the original opener the ability to speak Draconic. All mobs spawned during the event were respawned as well. The supplies did not need to be gathered, and if the quest chain was done previously one would need to simply turn it in and re-open the gates, giving them the mount and title.
Permanent "closure" of the event
On February 6, 2009, sometime after Patch 3.0.8a, Bornakk posted on the forums that the Ahn'Qiraj gates will automatically be open on all new future realms. He would also later clarify in the thread that there are no plans to have an alternative method to obtain the Black Qiraji Battle Tank.
The final step of closure came with the release of Patch 3.2.0. The commendation officers in all major cities were removed.
However, in Patch 3.3.0, the resource collectors and quests were unexpectedly brought back. Though it was simply a glitch and has been fixed, it shows the programming for the AQ War Effort still existed.
The following is a list of quests associated with the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj world event. Once the gates have been opened on your server these quests will no longer be available.
- Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Removed
Sceptre Quest Chain removed (undocumented changes)
- Patch 1.9.0 (2006-01-03): Added.
- Ahn'Qiraj the area
- Silithus the zone
- Scarab Wall the location
- List of scepter holders by server