They don’t make instances… at least not 5 person instances… like Blackrock Depths any more. It is a sprawling, complex instance, and there seems to be more bosses and mini-bosses running around than some instances have mobs over all.
Whether the fact that instances are no longer so wide and wild is a good thing is up for debate. Not everybody is up for 6 hours of dungeon run fun at a single sitting. Certainly, Blizzard’s opinion on the subject is clear. When going into BRD as a random dungeon finder instance, you get one boss as your target and you’re done in 30 minutes or less.
I know because I did such a run in order to get Hurmoo caught up with the rest of the team. It was the always ironic luck of the draw that my Saturday afternoon catch-up instance was also our target for Saturday night.
For our initial assault on BRD, our lineup was:
52 Orc Shaman – Earlthebat (Earlthecat)
53 Tauren Druid – Azawak (Skronk)
53 Undead Mage – Bigbutt (Bungholio)
53 Tauren Druid – Hurmoo (Vikund)
54 Blood Elf Paladin – Enaldie (Ula)
And one of the first things we had to do was die.
When we hit an instance, we like to knock off as many quests as possible, and for one of the BRD quests, Dark Iron Legacy, you need to be dead. The quest giver, Franclorn Forgewright, is a ghost, and you need to be a ghost to interact with him.
We couldn’t find any alliance players to kill us. We chased a high level alliance warlock around for a bit, but he didn’t want anything to do with us. So we had to just jump in the lava then run back as ghosts.
Franclorn’s quest is one of those “accept quest, read some text, turn in quest, get the real quest” setups. One of us revived before getting the second step, so had to throw themselves in the lava again, die, run back, and finish up.
The things we do for quests.
Meanwhile, Enaldie wandered down towards the instance and killed our first boss solo.
Okay, Overmaster Pyron really isn’t a boss. He isn’t even in the instance. But he is a named elite just outside of the instance, and I didn’t think he was really soloable at our level. Retribution paladins are OP!
Eventually we got ourselves together and into the instance and the prison area, the starting area of the instance.
From that point, there was the usual wandering around. BRD isn’t a one-way box canyon. You can go the long way, or the wrong way in BRD. We managed both at times. Yet we slew all we came across, eventually getting to the Ring of Law to pass the BRD bar exam.
That got us through to some familiar places, like the Manufactory, where we found out Earl was too low level to pick up the engineering plans, and to the Grim Guzzler, a location featured as part of Brewfest, where we’re careful not to pick up somebody else’s drink by mistake, lest the whole place become aggro.
Then there was more running around.
Eventually we ran down most of the quests we had on hand. That left us far from completing the zone of course. BRD is a multi-course meal. We’ll have to come back for the next layer of quests. Maybe.
But we did find we were in possession of enough reclic coffer keys to open up everything in the Black Vault, thus getting us access to the Heart of the Mountain. That finished off one more quest and was the signal to call it a night. So we took one last group shot out in front of the vault and then headed out to turn in some quests.
As is usually the case, the experience was good and new levels were reached by everybody except Enaldie, who had experience turned off for this run.
While we have the next set of BRD quests lined up now, we will probably take a detour and go after Dire Maul instead. It is one of the few instances we have not done at level at this point.
And after that… well, after that we’ll be getting close enough to 58 that we probably won’t spend much more time in classic Azeroth. Our tour will be complete and we’ll start thinking about exactly how much of the Outland we want to go after.