Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Difficulty Ranking of the Level 70 Instances

I had a comment on my last post asking about the relative difficulty of the level 70 dungeons and it got me thinking about making a list. In general its easy to follow the order of the earlier Outland dungeons since the levels of the mobs tell you if its easier or harder then the last one you ran. However, once the mobs start being around level 70 the difficulty is set more by bosses and the size of the pulls in the dungeon. As a result people can often set their sights a little high and end up getting stressed out by repeated wipes.

My ranking of the 70 dungeons is based on the number of mobs in each pull and how hard hitting the boss fights are. Some boss fights have a trick to them that might cause you to wipe until you learn it but aren't actually that hard. Without providing too many spoilers I am including a single sentence explaining why the dungeon got the rating I gave it. If you check out the raid and instances forums you'll see that there are most people agree with the relative ordering.


Old Hillsbrad Foothills: Very easy to run if you just heal Thrall who is basically an extra warrior for your group.

Steamvaults: The first boss has a very damaging and sudden AoE which is wipe-tastic. The other bosses are easy though there is a trick to the last one.

The Mechanaar: Very short and easy dungeon, just use polymorph or mind control in the final hallway and avoid the elevator bugging on your group.

Botanica: Almost all of the bosses summon adds. Most of the larger pulls were recently nerfed so the death and decay ability shouldn't wipe groups as often.

Shadow Labs: T pulls start to get tough here with a couple of 5 mob pulls. Bring 2 CC classes and watch out for a assassins who love to spawn at the beginning of a pull.

The Arcatraz: Most pulls are a single mob but have abilities like a mini boss. Watch out for AoE Gouge, Meteor and Incubate. Take two healers for the final boss.

Shattered Halls: Pulls are insane with many of them numbering around 6 all of which can hit hard. The 2nd boss can't be taunted and he aggro dumps so have a strategy to keep your healers and dps alive.

The Black Morass: Constant fighting where one death can often force you to reset the instance. The second boss needs to be dispelled or your tank needs to be able to block all special attacks until the healing debuff wears off.


While the 70 instances are difficult they are not impossible for most groups. Just make sure you have an advantage in one of three areas: gear, PvE talents, or vent coordination. You don't even need to have all your group members have the same advantage since different classes work better in the three areas.

Tanks tend to profit the most with a gear advantage allowing them to survive longer and handle the bosses that love to throw on burst damage. Guarantee your tank a gear advantage by running the highest level instance you can until some defensive plate gear drops.

Healers tend to profit the most from having PvE talents which allows them to conserve mana better and produce less threat. Asking your healers spend their talents only on PvE usually keeps them from being able to quest effectively though. As a result you might want to make sure that your healers know they can call on you to help for their questing or grinding.

DPS and crowd control classes tend to gain the most benefit from having a leader call out targets over a voice server. Coordination is usually good at making sure that dps classes only take damage from AoE effects and avoid aggro. Having your main tank use the raid markers is almost as good as a voice server though it does add extra effort on his part. Doing damage is perhaps the easiest role in WoW but doing damage without pulling aggro is perhaps one of the hardest.


David said...

I admit to being a little surprised...I've heard people comment on how hard Black Morass is but it really seemed pretty basic and easy to me after having done about 4 runs of it. Keep in mind that as long as Medivh's shield is still at anything higher than 1%, you're golden. If you have a hunter or mage sit back and take care of adds, it really becomes quite trivial. Last time I ran it, it was myself (70 enhance shaman), warrior (tank), feral druid, holy priest who was still 69, and a rogue. Rogue handled adds, and I would peel off the elites to help him clear the dragon whelps as those are the only ones that gave him difficulty. When final boss came out, we let him beat his head on Medivh's shield for a little while until we were all ready to start the encounter. No deaths, and each fight was trivial. Of course, being an enhancement shaman in a group whose DPS was focused around melee helps a lot, since enhancement buffs melee DPS so much if played right w/ the right totems out.

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