WoW Classic Instances - World of Warcraft raids and dungeons overview

WoW Classic Instances
Bartosh 09.09.2019 0

These are the places where amazing happen in World of Warcraft. It is the purpose and the way in pretty much every MMO ever created. Being at the top of the top of gaming world raids, dungeons and battlegrounds are what it is all about. 

 

These are instances, where you step in to challenge the mightiest creatures of the Azeroth and have the best of them.

 

Table of content:

What are the instances?

Instances attunements

Why Were Instances needed in WoW?

WoW Classic Instances

WoW Classic Dungeons overview

WoW Classic Raids

1. Molten Core

2. Onyxia

3. Blackwing Lair

4. Zul'Gurub

5. Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj

6. The Temple of Ahn'Qiraj

7. Naxxramas

WoW Classic Battlegrounds

Arathi Basin

Warsong Gulch

Alterac Valley

Summary

FAQ

 

What are the instances?

Simply put, these are separated locations designed for specific activities - quests, raids, respawns. Digging deeper into the definition would be a waste of time.

 

Instances attunements

To enter most of them, you will need an attunement or a key. It means the process of receiving permanent access to the instance. The name of it comes from one of the quests - Attunement to the Core. A lot of end game instances required a quest to be completed or an item to be obtained in order to get in.

 

With patch 1.11 a keyring was introduced. It is an item that holds keys and attunements, although some of them (Mallet of Zul'Farrak, Scepter of Celebras) still need some inventory space.

 

Why Were Instances needed in WoW?

In Vanilla you have a couple of raids, to say the least. The Onyxia's Lair, Blackwing Lair, The Temple of Ahn'Qiraj or Molten Core are still arenas of struggle, even though a couple of years have passed. Players are continually entering those raids to get the loot, experience, achievements, or just for fun.

 

It is why Blizzard, and quite frankly many other MMO distributors, decided to create separate locations for particular activities. It shuts down issues with rendering, lags, and data load. 

 

Also, players of each faction share the same quests with the same bosses. Unlike typical PC or console games, where the whole game is your private instance, in MMO technically millions of players play the same game. How would you imagine 1000 players at the same time willing to go for Blackwing Lair? The troubles it would cause are unimaginable for MMO game. Imagine 22 30-man parties waiting in a queue for someone else to finish dealing with the raid boss. 

 

It is why instances are the perfect solution. Each raid party has its own boss-fighting location. Just like your private room in the house with additional assurance, that your mom will not enter it. 

 

WoW Classic Instances

There are three types of instances for certain activities:

- dungeons - designed for individual encounters. There are common areas where players can meet and interact, but there are also restricted places, exclusive for specific players/groups,

- raids - these are locations, where the raiding party enters to face bosses designed for the raid; no one else but the raiding party is allowed inside,

- battlegrounds - battlefields isolated from the open world to allow gathered parties to compete against each other. In WoW Classic these are Alterac Valley, Arathi Basin, and Warsong Gulch.

 

WoW Classic Dungeons overview

These are instances made for certain encounters, gathering loot, experience, and doing quests. There is a minimum level requirement as well as a timer to prevent instances from being cleared over and over. The minimum level requirement is only for orientation, as it is suggested to ding higher in order to avoid some troubles while inside the instance. Like difficulty level and death risk.

 

Some dungeons can be soloed approximately by character 22-30 levels above the instance level. However, most of the times, it is not worth it, as some of these dungeons can prove themselves to be more challenging than expected. Hunters and Warlocks will usually do fine soloing dungeons due to possession of a private tank.

 

 

Name

Level range

Location

Ragefire Chasm

13-22

Orgrimmar

Deadmines

15-28

Westfall

Wailing Caverns

15-28

The Barrens

Shadowfang Keep

18-32

Shadowpine Forest

Blackfathom Deeps

20-35

Ashenvale

The Stockades

22-30

Stormwind

Gnomeregan

24-40

Dun Morogh

Razorfen Kraul

24-40

The Barrens

The Scarlet Monastery

29-45

Tirisfal Glades

Razorfen Downs

33-47

The Barrens

Uldaman

35-52

The Badlands

Zul'Farrak

43-54

Tanaris

The Sunken Temple

44-60

Swamp of Sorrows

Maraudon

45-58

Desolace

Blackrock Depths

48-60

Burning Steppes/Searing Gorge

Upper Blackrock Spire

52-60

Burning Steppes/Searing Gorge

Lower Blackrock Spire

52-60

Burning Steppes/Searing Gorge

Dire Maul

55-60

Feralas

Scholomance

55-60

Western Plaguelands

Stratholme

55-60

Eastern Plaguelands

 

Ragefire Chasm

Minimum level: 10.

Suggested level: 13-18.

Faction: Horde.

Encounters: Taragaman the Hungerer, Jergosh the Invoker, Oggleflint, Bazzalan.

Location: Orgrimmar.

 

Description: in Ragefire Chasm caverns below orcs capital city Ragefire Troggs began inhabiting the chasms being a threat to the Horde. Outside of it some refugees from Shadow Council keep hiding there. Although they provide some sort of a threat to the city, Thrall leaves them be, hoping that they can lead to their principals.

 

Theoretically RFC is faction specific instance, as it's located within the orkish capital, but in theory, an Alliance player could enter it. However one may have some hard time getting through the city full of Horde in one piece in any other way than corpse run. However, Ragefire Chasm overall is the least demanding dungeon.

 

Deadmines

Minimum level: 10

Suggested level: 18-23

Faction: Alliance

Encounters: Rhahk'Zor, Mr. Smite, Miner Johnson (rare), Cookie, Sneed, Captain Greenskin, Gilnid, Edwin VanCleef.

Location: Westfall

 

Description: Before the First War the Deadmines were the most efficient gold mine in human kingdom to an extent, that its gold deposits equaled one-third of whole Stormwind reserves.

 

Later on, the mines were considered to be haunted, which made them being avoided by everyone. Leaving them untouched led to capturing them by Defias Brotherhood, led by their leader Edwin VanCleef. Some say that with the help of goblins, he was building a kind of war machine at the very bottom of the Deadmines. 

 

Wailing Caverns

Minimum level: 10

Suggested level: 15-25

Faction: Alliance/Horde

Encounters: Lady Anacondra, Lord Cobrahn, Kresh, Lord Pythas, Skum, Deviate Faerie Dragon (rare), Lord Serpentis, Verdan the Everliving, Mutanus the Devourer.

Location: The Barrens.

 

Description: snake dungeon, to be honest. Most of the encounters are references to the snakes. The origins of an instance begin not so long ago when night elf druid Naralex found a network of caverns in the heart of Northern Barrens. The steam fissures were responsible for characteristic wailing. Thus the name - Wailing Caverns. Naralex believed that he could recreate the Barrens' fertility through siphoning the energies of the Emerald Dream.

 

As we all seasoned gamers know, everything went wrong, and now the Wailing Caverns are swarming with various creatures suitable for World of Warcraft Classic player to give away some exp and loot.

 

Shadowfang Keep

Minimum level: 14

Suggested level: 22-30

Faction: Alliance/Horde

Encounters: Razorclaw the Butcher, Baron Silverlaine, Commander Springvale, Odo the Blindwatcher, Deathsworn Captain (rare), Fenrus the Devourer, Wolf Master Nandos, Archmage Arugal.

Location: Shadowpine Forest

 

Description: as the Third War began to overrun the Azeroth, the mighty wizards of Kirin Tor fought against the Scourge. Each wizard fallen in the battle was joining the fight on the Scourge's side as an undead. Infuriated by lack of success, the Archmage Arugal decided to summon entities from another dimension to help them in their struggles. Guess what happened?

 

Summoned Worgen dealt with the wizards' enemies and turned against them afterward. They've sieged the keep of Baron Silverlaine eventually overwhelming it. Arugal driven crazy by the guilt took Worgen as his children and resides in former Baron Silverlaine's property known now as Shadowfang Keep.

 

Blackfathom Deeps

Minimum level: 15

Suggested level: 20-30

Faction: Alliance/Horde

Encounters: Ghamoo-ra, Lady Sarevess,

Lorgus Jett, Gelihast, Baron Aquanis, Old Serra'kis, Twilight Lord Kelris, Aku'mai.

Location: Ashenvale

 

Description: Blackfathom Deeps once was a magnificent temple of moon-goddess Elune until the great Sundering destroyed it. It was sunken and remained untouched until some naga and satyr decided to discover its secrets.

 

Now the former glorious temple is a residence of an ancient monster called Aku'Mai. Aku'Mai was a primordial Old Gods' favored pet. Now it’s worshipped by fanatics of Twilight's Hammer sect.

 

The Stockades

Minimum level: 15

Suggested level: 22-30

Faction: Alliance

Encounters: Bruegal Ironknuckle (rare), Targorr the Dread, Kam Deepfury, Hamhock, Dextren Ward, Bazil Thredd.

Location: Stormwind.

 

Description: The Stockades is a penitentiary facility located in Stormwind beneath the canals with Warden Thelwater as its administrator. It is a home to all sorts of criminals, who organized a mutiny and took over the complex. Warden Thelwater is currently looking for someone to clean up the Stockade mess.

 

In theory, a Horde player can go for the dungeon, but in Vanilla, where Dungeon Finder is not implemented, it may be a little challenging, to say the least. The entrance to the dungeon lies deep within Stormwind - the Alliance capital city. Also, it is not worth it, as the loot is rather mediocre.

 

Gnomeregan

Minimum level: 19

Suggested level: 24-34

Faction: Alliance/Horde

Encounters: Viscous Fallout, Grubbis, Electrocutioner 6000, Crowd Pummeler 9-60, Dark Iron Ambassador (rare), Mekgineer Thermaplugg.

Location: Dun Morogh

 

Description: once the great gnomish city of Gnomeregan was infested by mutant race - troggs. Instead of ordering a professional pest control services, High Tinker Mekkatorque came up with an idea to vent radioactive waste tanks, which did more harm than good.

 

Then he decided to order a professional pest control, which can become your job.

 

You can deal with Mekkatorque's ex-friend, Mekgineer Thermaplugg, who's gone crazy after his application for on High Tinker job was turned down.

 

Although the location of the dungeon is deep within Alliance's territory, there is a way for Horde players to get into there. You need to start the Rig Wars questline and follow it. Later on, it will enable a teleporter that will bring you very close to the desired location.

 

Razorfen Kraul

Minimum level: 25

Suggested level: 30-40

Faction: Alliance/Horde

Encounters: Roogug, Death Speaker Jargba, Overlord Ramtusk, Earthcaller Halmgar (rare), Aggem Thorncurse, Agathelos the Raging, Blind Hunter (rare), Charlga Razorflank

Location: The Barrens

 

Description: when the War of the Ancients came to Azeroth, mighty demigod by the name of Agamaggan stepped in to fight the Burning Legion. And although he fell, his action didn't go unnoticed, as it helped save the world from ruin. From his blood rose giant thorn-ridden vines, which became a cult object for quillboars called Razorfen.

 

Later on old quillboar shaman Charlga Razorflank conquered the Razorfen Kraul and began attacking other quillboar tribes as well as Horde villages. Some say that she even talked with Scourge emissaries, which is good enough reason to go into Razorfen Kraul and kill her.  

 

The Scarlet Monastery

Minimum level: 21

Suggested level

 

Graveyard - 26-36

Library - 29-39

Armory - 32-42

Cathedral - 35-45

 

Encounters:

Graveyard - Interrogator Vishas, Azshir the Sleepless (rare), Fallen Champion (rare), Ironspine (rare), Bloodmage Thalnos,

Library - Houndmaster Loksey, Arcanist Doan,

Armory - Herod,

Cathedral - High Inquisitor Fairbanks, Scarlet Commander Mograine, High Inquisitor Whitemane.

 

Faction: Alliance/Horde

Location: Trisfal Glades

 

Description: What would have been a good game without a sect full of life-devoted fanatics? It wouldn't be so annoying if they stick to worshipping whatever the god or idea they want to follow. But sometimes their faith pushes them to unacceptable social activities like murders and abductions. 

 

It is the case for Scarlet Crusade. They believe that all non-human races can be carriers of the undead plague, and thus must be exterminated.

 

Your quest is to go there and teach them some tolerance.

 

The instance is complex and divided into four smaller instances - the Graveyard, The Library, the Armory, and the Cathedral. Each of them has a different difficulty level, so it is recommended not to try to clear everything at once, or you might be surprised. 

 

Razorfen Downs

Minimum level: 35

Suggested level: 40-50

Faction: Alliance/Horde

Encounters: Tuten'kash, Plaguemaw the Rotting (summoned), Mordresh Fire Eye, Glutton, Ragglesnout (rare), Amnennar the Coldbringer

Location: The Barrens

 

Description: Razorfen Downs is a home to the very same quillboar race that inhabits Razorfen Kraul. However, here they have some issues with a Scourge. Led by lich called Amnennar the Coldbringer the Scourge have taken over the Razorfen Downs, forcing the quillboars to fight for their homeland desperately.

 

Obviously, you can help them.

 

Uldaman

Minimum level: 30

Suggested level: 35-45

Faction: Alliance/Horde

Encounters: Revelosh, The Lost Dwarves (Horde-only), Ironaya, Obsidian Sentinel, Ancient Stone Keeper, Galgann Firehammer, Grimlok, Achaedas.

Location: The Badlands. 

 

 

Description: Uldaman sheds some light onto the origins of troggs. It is said that eons ago Titans were experimenting with the creation and made troggs from stone. They have ultimately considered the experiment a failure. They've locked the troggs away, and continued, eventually bringing dwarves onto the world. 

 

The story of dwarves' origins is recorded on the fabled Discs of Norgannon, that lies buried deep in the bottom of the ancient city.

 

The Dark Iron dwarves organized an expedition to retrieve those artifacts for their master, Ragnaros. However, they've bumped into powerful guards made of stone, with sapient Stonekeeper Archaedas as their leader.

 

The Uldaman run is notable for a chance of dropping one of the rarest items in the whole World of Warcraft, like Miner's Hat of the Deep, Shadowforge Bushmaster or Pendulum of Doom. Also, this is where you find Annora, the artisan Enchanting trainer.

 

Zul'Farrak

Minimum level: 39

Suggested level: 44-54

Faction: Alliance/Horde

Encounters: Sandarr Dunereaver (rare), Theka the Martyr, Antu'sul, Witch Doctor Zum'rah, Sandfury Executioner, Nekrum Gutchewer, Shadowpriest Sezz'ziz, Zerillis (rare), Dustwraith (rare), Sergeant Bly's party, Chief Ukorz Sandscalp, Ruuzlu, Hydromancer Velratha, Gahz'rilla.

Location: Tanaris

 

Description: a powerful weapon from trolls' legends called Sul'thraze the Lasher is said to be split into two pieces and placed somewhere deep in Zul'Farrak. It is pretty much for taking if one is able to get rid of the mercenaries, who took refuge in the city. And a couple of monsters. And a demigod.

 

For summoning the end boss you will need an attunement, so you might check out our Attunements Guide.

 

The Sunken Temple

Minimum level: 45

Suggested level: 50-60

Faction: Alliance/Horde

Encounters:

- Basement - Atal'alarion, Zul'lor, Gasher, Loro, Zolo, Mijan, Hukku,

- Main Instance - Jammal'an the Prophet, Ogom the Wretched, Weaver, Dreamscythe, Avatar of Hakkar, Hazzas, Morphaz, Shade of Eranikus.

Location: Swamp of Sorrows. 

 

Description: often referred to as Temple of Atal'Hakkar. Sunken Temple, along with Zul'Gurub, is an example of how bad invitation may end. A group of Gurubashi troll priests called Atal'ai wanted to summon the blood god Hakkar the Soulflayer to get an edge over their foes. They failed and were cast away by the tribe.

 

They ventured to the Swamp of Sorrows, where they've built the Temple to try to summon the god once again. But green Dragon Aspect Ysera found out about it, and destroyed the building, sinking it in the marsh. What you need to face is the remnants of foolish priests, and trash they’ve summoned. Here is where you will also need an attunement.

 

Maraudon

Minimum level: 30

Maximum level: 46-55

Faction: Alliance/Horde

Encounters

- Purple Side (Wicked Grotto) - Tinkerer Gizlock, Lord Vyletongue,

- Orange Side (Foulspore Cavern) - Noxxion, Razorlash,

- Poison Falls (after Purple/Orange) - Meshlok the Harvester (rare), Celebras the Cursed,

- Earth Song Falls - Landslide, Rotgrip, Princess Theradras.

Location: Desolace.

 

Description: Maraudon is a place within Desolace protected by a centaur named Maraudine. The temple is the burial place of Zaetar, keeper of the grove, and a son of Cenarius.

 

There is a legend that Zaetar and earth elemental princess Theradras, Daughter of Therazane worked together on 'extending their kind.' Once they succeeded, their child killed Zaetar for bringing him to the world in this foul form. In her grief, Theradras held her deceased lover's soul within the temple, to use it later on for a malign purpose.

 

Feel free to free the keeper of the grove soul.

 

Killing Lord Vyletongue and Noxxion gives you items needed to obtain Scepter of Celebras - an attunement allowing you to skip Orange and Purple sides.

 

Blackrock Depths

Minimum level: 48

Suggested level: 52-60

Faction: Alliance/Horde

Encounters: High Interrogator Gerstahn, Houndmaster Grebmar, Lord Roccor, Ring of Law, The Vault (Dark Keepers), Lord Incendius, Warder Stilgiss, Verek, Watchman Doomgrip, Fineous Darkvire, Bael'Gar, General Angerforge, Golem Lord Arglemach, Hurley Blackbreath, Phalanx, Plugger Spazzring, Ribbly Screwspigot, Ambassador Flamelash, Panzor the Invincible (rare), The Seven, Magmus, Princess Moira Bronzebeard, Emperor Dagran Thaurissan.

Location: Burning Steppes/Searing Gorge

 

Description: Blackrock Mountain have been the arena of a conflict between Nefarian and Ragnaros. Blackrock Depths are the home of Dark Iron dwarf clan led by an Emperor Dagran Thaurissen and his wife, Moira Bronzebeard. Dark Iron dwarves have taken Ragnaros as their ruler, and serve him, which means that they receive their fair share of whopping.

 

Blackrock Depths dungeon does not require any attunements. However, the lower part of the instance is skippable with Shadowforge Key, received from the spirit of Franclorn Forgewright.

 

Lower Blackrock Spire

Minimum level: 48

Suggested level: 55-60

Faction: Alliance/Horde

Encounters: Burning Felguard, Highlord Omokk, Spirestone Battle Lord (rare), Spirestone Lord Magus (rare), Shadow Hunter Vosh'gajin, War Master Voone, Bannok Grimaxe (rare), Mother Smolderweb, Crystal Fang (rare), Urok Doomhowl, Quartermaster Zigris, Halycon, Gizrul the Slavener, Ghok Bashguud (rare), Spirestone Butcher (rare), Overlord Wyrmthalak.

Location: Burning Steppes/Searing Gorge.

 

Description: Lower Blackrock Spire is a home for majority Rend's Dark Horde, as Upper Blackrock Spire is exclusive for elite members. Overlord Wyrmthalak is the boss here, but you will be given an opportunity to show him who's the boss.

 

The Blackrock Clan orcs dominate most of Lower Blackrock Spire, but they are divided into few groups - Scarshield Legion, Bloodaxe Legion, and Firebrand Legion, with elite Blackhand Legion occupying the Upper Blackrock Spire. Orcs live there in peace with Spirestone ogres and Smoldertorn trolls, also members of Dark Horde.

 

If this wasn't enough enemies for you to clap, there are also Spire Spiders in the corner of the city.

 

Upper Blackrock Spire 

Minimum level: 48

Suggested level: 55-60

Faction: Alliance/Horde

Encounters: Pyroguard Emberseer, Solakar Flamewreath, Goraluk Anvilcrack, Jed Runewatcher (rare), Gyth, Warchief Rend Blackhand, The Beast, General Drakkisath.

Location: Burning Steppes/Searing Gorge.

 

As mentioned, Upper Blackrock Spire is a place where elite members of the Dark Horde reside.

 

To enter the instance, you will need an attunement - Seal of Ascension obtained via the questline. 

 

Dire Maul

Minimum level: 48

Suggested level: 55-60

Faction: Alliance/Horde

Encounters:

- East Wing - Pusilin, Zevrim Thornhoof, Hydrospawn, Lethtendris, Alzzin the Wildshaper,

- West Wing - Tendris Warpwood, Tsu'zee (rare), Ilyanna Ravenoak, Magister Kalendris, Immol'thar, Lord Hel'nurath (summoned), Prince Tortheldrin,

- North Wing - Guard Mol'dar, Stomper Kreeg, Guard Fengus, Guard Slip'kik, Captain Kromcrush, Cho'Rush the Observer, King Gordok.

 

Twelve thousand years ago, a Highborne sect went on to build city Eldre'Thalas to guard Queen Azshara's arcane secrets. Despite the fact that the Great Sundering destroyed the town, some remnants of it still stand known as Dire Maul, being home for ghosts of Highborne and Ogres.

 

A Crescent Key, which drops from Pusilin in East Wing, will be needed to open West and North Wings.

 

Scholomance

Minimum level: 48

Suggested level: 56-60

Faction: Alliance/Horde

Encounters: Blood Steward of Kirtonos, Kirtonos the Herald (summoned), Jandice Barov, Rattlegore, Death Knight Darkreaver (summoned), Marduk Blackpool, Vectus, Ras Frostwhisper, Doctor Theolen Krastinov, Lorekeeper Polkelt, Instructor Malicia, Lady Illucia Barov, Lord Alexei Barov, The Ravenian, Darkmaster Gandling.

Location: Western Plaguelands.

 

Description: the dungeon used to be a glorious keep in possession of noble Barov family. Tempted by Kel'Thuzad Barovs decided to donate the keep along with its crypts for it to serve the Scourge. Then the cultists killed Lady Illucia and Lord Alexei and adapted the keep for the school of necromancy - Scholomance.

 

Although Kel'Thuzad is no longer there (maybe you've met him in Naxxramas) the cultist under the leadership of Ras Frostwhisper and Darkmaster Gandling still lurk around.

 

 

Stratholme

Minimum level: 48

Suggested level: 55-60

Faction: Alliance/Horde

Encounters:

- Living Side - Stratholme Courier, Hearthsinger Forresten (rare), Skul (rare), Postmaster Malown (summoned), The Unforgiven, Timmy the Cruel, Archivist Galford, Malor the Zealous, Cannon Master Willey, Grand Crusader Dathrohan,

- Undead Side - Stonespine (rare) Nerub'enkan, Maleki the Pallid, Baroness Anastari, Magistrate Barthilas, Ramstein the Gorger, Baron Riverdare.

Location: Eastern Plaguelands.

 

Description: the top of the top dungeon in WoW Classic. Still reminding of tragic decision prince Arthas Menethil made when he turned against Uther Lightbringer and decimated the city. What happened next - we all know. Prince Arthas fall continued until he sat on the Frozen Throne and became the Lich King, to get a whopping in Wrath of the Lich King expansion.

 

After his evil deeds Stratholme, once beautiful city, became a home for all sorts of vile creatures of the Scourge with some Scarlet Crusade war parties on top of that. There is no need to encourage the player to go there and do the cleanup duty.

 

To enter the Undead Side, you will need Key to the City, which is dropped by Magistrate Barthilas. You can also go in from the Living Side, but this means ripping through tons of trash mobs.

 

 

WoW Classic Raids

These are one of the most popular MMORPG activities. The goal of a raid is to gather up a few people, create a team, and do stuff together. The ultimate goal of each raid is defeating the boss to complete the quest, get the achievement or loot. Or everything at once. Some of the raid bosses have grown to the legend and bring some fond memories like Vaelestrasz the Corrupt, Onyxia, Kil’Jaeden, The Lich King and many others.

 

In WoW Classic the number of elite bosses is limited since the game is reverted to patch 1.12.1. It means that many new raids are not there. The limited amount of end game content was leading to cancerous situations. Certain instances were farmed over and over to an extent, that some of the bosses earned nicknames “loot pinata” for being killed bajillion times.

 

There was a mechanic called "raid timer" implemented, to prevent advanced guilds from farming the same high-end instances repeatedly in a short period. The bosses defeated in the same instance remain dead until the timer resets. Most of them reset during weekly maintenance except for Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj resetting every three days.

 

Nowadays there are “world’s first” races organized, where the best guilds in the world compete to take down the new boss as the first worldwide.

 

These are WoW Classic raids:

1. Molten Core 

One of the two original 40-man raids released, with the other being Onyxia's Lair. In the very beginning considered the pinnacle of raiding experience in WoW. It is essential to complete Molten Core on their way to legendary items - Sulfuras and Thunderfury.

 

The instance of Molten Core is located in Blackrock Depths. The raid consists of ten encounters with the final boss being Ragnaros, the fire Elemental Lord. Raid as a whole generally requires a lot of fire resistances due to specification of Molten Core and the end boss.

 

With further expansions, this raid meaning has decreased. Loot wasn't the most powerful anymore, the raid wasn’t time and resources efficient, and bosses weren't the most challenging. But in memory of many players, it remains legendary.

 

2. Onyxia

The second one from original 40-man raids. Consists of only one encounter with entitled Onyxia herself. However, it has one of the most epic and memorable throughout community attunement quest chains in the history of World of Warcraft. No matter the faction you chose to play, you may need an attunement guide for it.

 

As for Onyxia, she is a broodmother of black dragonflight, daughter of infamous Deathwing and a sister to Nefarian, the tyrant of Blackrock Spire. Like most of the black dragons (until Wrathion showed up), she’s evil and cunning, plotting against Stormwind. She conducted the abduction of king Varian Wrynn and mind-controlled the regent, Bolvar Fordragon with an amulet. The encounter consists of three phases, after which you defeat the vile creature.

 

3. Blackwing Lair

Added in patch 1.6 was another 40-man level 60 raid in WoW Classic. Its instance was located at the top of Blackrock Mountain. The raid revolved around dragons, with its end boss being black dragonflight Nefarian - brother of Onyxia and child of infamous Deathwing.

 

Blackwing Lair (BWL) brings many fond memories because of Vealestrasz the Corrupt, one of the toughest bosses to take down in Vanilla. He was second among the deadliest NPCs in WoW Classic inferior only to Drek'Thar. The mighty red dragon was corrupted and enslaved by Nefarian, forced to fight his allies. To this day WoW players feel sorry about killing him.

 

4. Zul'Gurub

Revolves around an issue that trolls had with a certain dreadful entity by the name of Hakkar the Soulflayer. Once upon a time leaders of Gurubashi troll tribe needed help in the war, and they did the most stupid thing in the world which always ends badly - they’ve asked the demon for help. They didn’t need to ask the demon twice, as demons are generally kind by nature creatures willing to help at all times for a price of few souls and destroying the world. 

 

Later on, Gurubashi mitigated themselves, realizing they made a mistake. They have sent their priests to cast the demon away, which resulted in further damage. They have been turned to monsters, resembling of the old gods the power of which they’ve had.

 

Now it’s your raid party job to clean up the mess.

 

5. Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj

It is a level 60 10-man outdoor raid released in patch 1.9 during the event "Gates of Ahn'Qiraj." It is located in southern parts of Silithus in contested territory. Originally it was meant to be a dual instance to Zul'Gurub, which would allow casual players to raid with smaller groups for lesser items.

 

This raids lore revolves around War of the Shifting Sands when Anubisath constructs were crumbling under the dragons attack. It is when Anubisath by the name of Ossirian hurled his obsidian sword at Grakkarond, one of the giant drakes, and hurt him. The wyrm fell onto the Qiraji, crushing them upon the impact, but it was focused by the remaining forces and killed. Ossirian himself was nearing his demise. Dragged back within the Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj instead of dying he somehow survived, making decent final boss for the WoW Classic raid.

 

Ossirian the Unscarred is the final boss of Ruins of the Ahn'Qiraj raid. 

 

Similarly to Classic WoW AQ40, bosses drop tokens. These can be later on used to get a class-specific reward:

- a ring at Honored,

- cloak at Revered,

- weapon at Exalted.

There is a set bonus that all three provide. 

 

6. The Temple of Ahn'Qiraj

Famous “AQ40”. Yet another 40-man level 60 raid of WoW Classic. The biggest raid in WoW Classic and World of Warcraft in General up until Icecrown Citadel in Wrath of the Lich King. Consists of 12 encounters with C’Thun, one of the Old Gods, being the end boss. It is located in southwestern Silithus in contested territory.

 

 It was released during the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj event, where players had to ring a gong to get the legendary silithid mount. AQ40 was one of the very first zones where items were class-itemized, instead of almost random mixing stats useful for one class and useless for another.

 

7. Naxxramas

It is an instance of 40-man raid floating just above the Eastern Plaguelands. It used to be a vast graveyard, which has been adapted as a domain by one of the most loyal and powerful Lich King servants - Kel'Thuzad. To enter the instance, you need an attunement from Argent Dawn, which is obtained by completing The Dread Citadel - Naxxramas quest. Its cost varies depending on the reputation level, being free for Exalted.

 

The raid has to be completed on the way to the legendary Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian. And who wouldn’t want to clap Kel’Thuzad one more time?

 

WoW Classic Battlegrounds

Battleground instances are kind of similar to FPS like Call of Duty or Counter-Strike servers but in World of Warcraft PvP reality. You have a selected group of players locked in the area working together to achieve one common goal. It can be capturing the flag, scoring a certain number of kills, collecting more resources than enemies, etc.

 

It is where you go for Honor and reputation. 

 

Arathi Basin

Level range: brackets 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60.

Player limit: 15 v 15.

Win condition: collecting 2,000 resources before the enemies do.

Location: Arathi Highlands.

 

Added in patch 1.7 was the first to be the 'resource run.' Arathi Basin became an arena of struggle between the Forsaken Defilers and the League of Arathor. The battle is for the resources.

 

Each faction has a maximum of 15 players. There are 5 Resource Nodes:

- the Farm,

- the Stables, 

- the Blacksmith,

- the Lumber Mill,

- the Gold Mine.

Capturing and holding onto one of those generates resources. Controlling more than one Node speeds up the process, as shown below:

 

 

Nodes controlled

Resources per tick

Tick length (seconds)

Resources per second

1

10

11

0,9

2

10

10

1,0

3

10

6

1,7

4

10

3

3,3

5

30

1

30

 

 

Easy to say that capturing and controlling all five Resource Nodes speeds up the process quite significantly. However, easier said than done. 

 

There are Honor and Reputation awards for participating in Arathi Basin battleground, but we’ll cover that topic in the Arathi Basin guide.

 

Warsong Gulch

Level range: 10-19

Player limit: 10 v 10.

Win condition: whoever captures the enemy flag three times, wins.

Location: Ashenvale.

 

It is the place near the area where Grom Hellscream went on his deforestation spree. Some orcs known as Warsong Outriders despite protests from Thrall and shamans continue logging. It resulted in making a group of night elves - Silverwing Sentinels - answering the call to get rid of barbarians. 

 

Alliance can enter the battleground in Silverwing Grove just southwest of Silverwing Outpost, or talk to Battlemasters of Stormwind, Darnassus or Ironforge. Beware while wandering around Silverwing Grove, as you may step into some strong mobs. 

 

Horde players entrance is in the mountainside west of Mor'Shan Rampart in The Barrens. But also they can talk to their Battlemasters in Orgrimmar, Thunder Bluff or Undercity.

 

For further details, check out our Warsong Gulch guide.

 

Alterac Valley

Level range: 51-60.

Player limit: 40 v 40.

Win condition: kill the opposing general.

Location: Alterac Mountains.

 

The legendary battleground that could have taken even whole weekend to complete in the very beginning (before Blizzard nerfed PvE segment to the ground). The conflict revolves around the Stormpike expedition entering the Alterac Valley in search of mining goods and old golds relics. The Valley was already a homeland to Frostwolf orc clan led by mighty shaman Drek’Thar. 

 

It is first ever battleground designed for PvPvE, where players and teams were supposed to fight against each other AND hordes of NPCs, including infamous Korrak the Bloodrager. The main objective granting the victory was to kill enemy general - Drek’Thar (Alliance’s target) or Vanndar Stormpike (Horde’s target). In order to do so, the party could have headed straight to respective NPCs in an attempt to kill them, or complete side quests which would greatly help in completing the ultimate quest. You better read an Alterac Valley guide, before stepping in.

 

Summary

That would be it for the topic of instances in WoW Classic. It is all we’d like to say about places where amazing happens in World of Warcraft. It’s battlegrounds where you fight for honor and reputation. It’s raids, where you fight bosses and time to be the World’s First. It’s dungeons where you patiently level up your character and hope for some lucky drops, to become the most potent warrior out there. Instances are pretty much the essence of World of Warcraft. Most of the exciting, worthwhile activities happen in a closed out locations destined only for the worthy. 

 

Wait no more, go for Wailing Caverns, The Deadmines or RFC once more. Level up your Shaman or Hunter. Reach 60, search for guild, head towards Molten Core, Onyxia's Lair or PvP. You will fall in love with Blackrock Mountain, just like the rest of WoW Classic community. What are you waiting for?

 

If only we had real-life instances designed for playing games. Or having a nap. Meh...

 

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FAQ

What are instances in WoW Classic?

Instances are categories of isolated, restricted areas sectioned off of rest of the World of Warcraft world. Instance mechanic helps with coping with vast amounts of data processing in MMO games.

 

Why were instances created in vanilla?

It was to prevent technical issues from happening, to ensure that there is enough computing power to process everything and separate players from other players during their quests or boss encounters.

 

What types of instances there are in WoW Classic?

There are raids, dungeons, and battlegrounds.

 

What is WoW Classic raid?

It is a type of activity where an organized group of players gather together to cooperate and defeat the raid boss. It is being done to get the best gear in the game, complete achievements, earn glory and respect, or just for fun.

 

What is WoW Classic dungeon?

It is the place designed for specific encounters filled with mobs and elite enemies. Usually entered to get loot and experience.

 

What is WoW Classic battleground?

It is a separated battlefield gathering players that compete to reach the battleground win conditions, e. g. collecting more resources than enemies or scoring more killls more Quite.

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