Tonight our Alliance guild finished off Blackrock Depths, the penultimate Vanilla/Classic dungeon, having finished the ‘Detention Block’ last week.
Now split in two Dungeon Finder halves, the second ‘Upper City’ section has four bosses you have to kill for the Achievement, but 13 total. Oddly enough, the Dungeon Finder split has made it very difficult to navigate – it more or less leads you to the four achievement bosses while ignoring all the rest. As a result we ‘finished’ in 45 minutes, then spent another 90 minutes unravelling the puzzle of finding the remaining bosses.
Navigation is also not helped by the map changing between floors somewhat arbitrarily, making it particularly hard to work out the path to the bosses. You used to start at the start and work your way through the entire dungeon, which mostly made sense. Now it’s confusing as you appear mid dungeon, have to back track, and use mole machines to get around impenetrable doors.
None the less, it’s a a wonderfully complex and diverse dungeon, a living breathing Dark Iron city, full of everything a city would have: kings, queens, jailers, crafters, gods, and monsters. There’s a huge number of schematics and plans that drop, befitting a Dwarven empire, and rep hand-ins that require you to return things you create in Molten Core.
The Grim Guzzler is as crazy as ever, a bar full of hammered patrons all of who eventually turn on you once you start spilling their beer and spiking their kegs. With predictable results.
One amazing – and crazy – piece of design in the Relic Room, which has about 15 locked safes. You pick up Relic keys as you venture through the dungeon, which allow you to unlock the vaults for a random loot chest – Blizzard were well ahead of the loot box game here. In one run you won’t get enough keys to unlock all the safes, but there’s a quest boss that only appears if you do – so you have to hang on to the keys and co-ordinate to open the room together later. Not something to do via Dungeon Finder obviously. That mechanic – and many others in BRD – are another reminder of how co-ordination and teamwork were highly valued and required in the original release, even for dungeons.
We now only have Blackrock Spire to do, before we can unlock XP and start on the Burning Crusade dungeons. In a fortuitous piece of timing, we’ll run Spire just as Classic launches – finishing up right as we’re starting all over again.