Our Alliance Guild ran Blackrock Depths this evening – or at least the first 7 bosses: it has 20 in total. I suspect this is the largest 5 man dungeon in Warcraft.
Doing some research for the run, I was amazed to read that when it was originally released in Patch 1.3.0 in 2005 it would take 4-6 hours to run. That’s remarkable, and remarkable that people would have the stamina to do such a lengthy run. Especially given how much harder it would have been on release with mobs at level and no min-maxxing possible as this Dungeon would have been dropping the best gear in game.
Even just navigating it must have been a challenge, with multiple levels and an dizzying array of routes and obstacles. These days it’s much easier with Dwarven mole machines allowing fast travel to various spots throughout the maze.
It has unique attributes like The Black Forge which is the only place in game where you can smelt Dark Iron Ore, and The Black Anvil which allows those bars to be crafted into items. And those two locations are deep within the dungeon, so you can’t just traipse down there to do a bit of crafting. It’s lovely that the gear you forged was largely fire-resistance, which set you up for the yet to be released Molten Core, the first Warcraft raid. The Forge is even located just before the entrance to the Raid as a hint and teaser. That kind of precise logical progression is sorely missing from the ‘retail’ game.
Places like Blackrock Spire are another reason Classic is going to be fascinating. When even the Dungeons are challenging marathons, it will be a real test of the capacity of the modern MMO player. Assuming it’s successful enough to move off Patch 1.12, which it surely will be given the current level of interest.