Into Blackrock Depths

There’s a lot of WoW instanced content that I’ve never seen, or seen only briefly and long ago. Most of the raid content falls into this category, for example. But so do a number of the classic dungeons, and one of the ancillary benefits of leveling a new character alongside the RDF is the chance to do them. I’d made a halfhearted attempt, with Vaktor at level 80 (then the cap,) to go back and run all of the leveling dungeons. And I did a number, but nothing like all of them – less than half, probably – and only one of the classic raids (Molten Core.)

Strathcairn (my Mage, now level 54,) is of a level where dungeons, as an adjuct to leveling, start to slow progress down as opposed to speeding it up, because the dungeons in this range take longer to run. The very pinnacle of this is Blackrock Depths, a huge, sprawling place with multiple unrelated internal storylines and no less than 21 boss encounters if you do the whole place, which takes several hours. It’s the biggest instance in WoW, and likely to remain so, as Blizzard really doesn’t do dungeons on this scale anymore. It was split into two wings for RDF purposes a while back, but in terms of size it could easily have been five or six.

The place is also glorious. It’s the coolest dungeon I’ve seen in the game precisely because of its size and disconnected nature. There’s that sense of place that you don’t get with more recent stuff, designed to be beaten in a short sitting and be scalable (on the appropriate difficulty setting) to casual players in modestly-organized PUGs. Not that many of the individual encounters are incredibly challenging, given heirloom, RDF goodie bag and new questing gear. But it’s also pretty easy to wipe on trash, especially in a place like the Grim Guzzler, where you can aggro neutral mobs and pull in a huge horde of foes very easily. The sheer expanse of the place make it challenging in itself, though.

It’s also a monumental time sink, and has tended to fire a lot for me, at least. I’m enjoying it, but it’s caused me to lag from my previous furious leveling pace. At this point I’ve still not done a full clear, but have taken down the final boss and done most but not all of the quests.

The whole complex used to be a hotbed of activity. Now, not so much. It seems to me like it (and Blackrock Spire, for that matter) might be better off moved to the open world. Hell, I’d be camped there for the next couple of weeks if it were.

One response to “Into Blackrock Depths

  1. I played Blackrock the second time a couple of weeks ago. The first was last year, and the LFD group dissolved after the tank and his guildmate DPS buddy dropped group after the first boss.

    This time… oi. I wound up with a good group, for the most part, and though we skipped at least one boss, we went all the way through to the king. All… the… way. We wiped a couple of times, but kept going, dropping one or two DPS (that were replaced) en route. It was a *massive* time sink, but it was a lot of fun. Had I known what I was getting into, I might have asked to leave partway through, but since I was pretty much new to the place, I just went along merrily for the ride.

    I didn’t get any gear upgrades, the XP was less than I’d have gotten questing, and it’s not a chunk of time I want to spend that way again… but I’m glad I played through. It was fun, I just don’t have that kind of time to burn very often.

    Making it open world, well… that might be a lot of fun. Would you keep it packed with elites or dial it back to normal-level mobs so intrepid souls could duo or solo it without being stupidly overleveled? I think it would be fun to stealth through the place as a Rogue/Druid and see how much could be done.