Monday, December 21, 2009

3 or 5-manning Blackrock Depths (BRD) Post 3.3


A long time ago, my World of Warcraft guild, Saturnalia, leveled 3 characters by doing dungeons together at appropriate level. I don't know if we were the first to 3-man all of the old world dungeons at appropriate levels, but we had a blast. I originally posted a guide to Blackrock Depths for other 3-man groups, but now it seems appropriate to update this for the post-3.3 era of the random dungeon finder. I'll keep all of the 3-manning notes just in case you want to try it, but this guide should now be even more helpful to those who want to do BRD as a random dungeon.
 
Read on for the full guide...
 
Group composition

If you're doing BRD with 3, then I suggest a good AoE tank such a paladin. If you're doing it with 5, then there's less of a concern.

The healer can be anything, but preferably it should be someone who can dps when healing isn't needed. We used a shaman for this.

The dpser should be able to tank if the need arises, but it's rare that it will. So I would recommend druid or paladin but shaman or dps warrior would do fine as well. You might even be able to get away with a pet class, but that might be pushing it.

Quests

The most important quest in BRD is the Shadowforge Key. This key gives access to the end of the dungeon, and can let you bypass most of the dungeon when you want to. We'll cover what you do once you have the quest in depth below, but you get the quest by dying (yes, you have to die) near the entrance. Here's how you get it:
  • First off, if you're doing random dungeons, you have to get the key quest on your own before you join a group. If you've been queue-hopping with a premade, you still need to physically go to get the quest for the key or you cannot do the whole dungeon!
  • Run into Blackrock Mountain from Searing Gorge (the entrance is in the south-west, due south of the Thorium Brotherhood flight node)
  • Go directly to the edge of the giant lava pit, but don't jump off
  • Turn left and go to the large chain
  • Climb up on the pile of rocks to get to the chain, and follow it down into the center of the lava area (a large stone structure, suspended by the chains)
  • This is where the summoning stone is. It's a great place to meet up.
  • Now follow the tunnels out of this structure and down, around the outside of the rock to the very last chain you can get up onto before the lava
  • Climb that chain down to the bottom. Around the corner is a Blood Elf quest giver that won't give you any quests until 56 or 57 I think. However, he's a great landmark. You're in the right place!
  • Now, jump into the lava and die. Yep, that's right just die. The best spot is right where the chain comes down and meets the rock wall.
  • When you run back to your corpse, as you follow the chain down to the summoning stone and then into the tunnels, you will see a slab of stone in an otherwise empty room that now has a spectral dwarf on it. Get his quest.
  • Now go down the chain and rez yourself.
  • The dungeon entrance is through the door near where you are now, just before the Blood Elf, and then north through the dwarven miners who will agro, but are easy fights. There's one elite: the fire elemental that you have to kill for one of the early quests
  • If you are doing this with the dungeon finder, once you rez, you can just jump in the queue, thought you might want to do the fire elemental quest first.
Now that you have the Shadowforge Key quest, you can go into the dungeon and start normally.

Horde

You should, at the very least, pick up Disharmony of Flame, which you can complete outside the instance and run back to turn in before you go into the instance itself. The followups are Disharmony of Fire and it also opens up Commander Gor'shak which will eventually lead you to the final boss of the instance.

Alliance

The equivalent chains for Alliance are The Smoldering Ruins of Thaurissan and that leads to Kharan Mighthammer which, again leads to the princess.

All of the quests

Wowhead has a complete list of all Blackrock Depths quests.

First foray

BRD, unlike many dungeons, is really not meant to be run all at once. Many of the quests are designed to take you back out of the dungeon and you should use these points to stop and break for the day. It's easy to burn out on this dungeon, so be careful. If you're doing random dungeons, I suggest that you ask up-front, what parts people want to do. A good way to put this is "Darkvire for the key, a Bael'Gar/Prison run, or a Guzzler/Emperor run." These are roughly the three runs I'll describe below.

I strongly advise against trying to do the whole dungeon with a random group. The people who think its a good idea probably never did it at appropriate level, and will be shocked to still be here half a day later!

Ring of Law

On your first run, the goal is simple: Get the Shadowforge Key. To do this, you will need to go through the Ring of Law, a boss event that starts when you walk into BRD's arena. From the entrance, go straight ahead through the large room. These pulls should be easy, but they're a great way to get a feel for 3-manning. If you have a pally tank, this is how you do it:
  • Pull with Avenger's Shield and bring things into the tunnel leading to the zone entrance
  • Consecrate once and keep Holy Shield up 100% of the time
  • Make SURE everyone is assisting you (MainAssist and MagicTargets can help you keep track)
  • If you have an AoEer, they should start in once your first consecrate fades
  • If your healer is dpsing as well, they should be fine starting up as soon as your consecrate has ticked twice
Once you get through the large room with all the dogs, go straight forward to the tunnel that has two dark iron dwarf guards and a group past them with a fire elemental. Clear both groups and the pathers, then go left into the Ring of Law.
Everyone should enter the Ring of Law at the same time. The event is triggered when you step on the central grate inside the arena, at which point the doors will close. It's 3 waves (similar to the spider boss in RFD). Just kill the first two waves and immediately drink/eat as soon as you drop out of combat. The boss will come out as soon as the arena master gets over to his door.

Longest trash clear ever...

To get to Fineous Darkvire, you have to clear a lot of trash. There are two bosses that you're going to avoid on the way (you will have to kill one of them later, and you can kill the other when you're done if you want, but stay focused on the key for now). Leave the Ring of Law through the west gate that opens when you kill the boss. When you go up the stairs, things will agro. Pull then down, and kill them. Now exit the stairs, and turn around 180 and go up the stairs to the Ring of Law's audience. They turn neutral when you win in the Ring of Law, so go past them, but be very careful to avoid all AoE abilities around the audience, as they will agro.
One of the hardest groups for a 3-man to do is coming up. Just outside of the other end of the spectator gallery is a group of 6. There are three tricks to this group (the last of which is going to be important from now on):
  • Pull them around the corner for LoS
  • Wait for the fire elemental pather to go by, as he will make this pull near impossible
  • Always kill the healers first, then the mages, then the melee
Once you clear that group, kill the pather elemental and continue on to the left, across the bridge (2 dwarves jump you when you're on the bridge... be ready). Now you have another series of hard pulls. Wait for pathers and then pull the groups out of the room on the other side of the bridge. Healers first, then casters then melee. You might find that putting your dpser on non-elites after the healers are down is even better, though, as they can be killed quickly and reduce the healing load.
Once in the room, go to the far stair well on the right and down, when you come out through the passage in the bottom, you will immediately be jumped by another large group. Same deal, but keep an eye out for Doomforge Craftsman, as they throw an AoE bomb. They're not elite so your dpser should be able to kill them fast. These groups are especially hard because they love to get out of range of the tank. Anything that backs up for range should be instantly targetted by you dpser and slaughtered without mercy.
This walkway is right next to the Vault where you face two different bosses, but ignore it for now. Go to the far exit and into the rough-hewn ramp down with all of the golems.

Fineous Darkvire

As you enter the golem area when Darkvire is, you have two choices: kill golems as you move down and meet Darkvire as he wanders or kill the first golem and the pather and then just wait for Darkvire to come to you. Either way the golems are the tank's target and the gnome attendants are the dpser's target, as they will heal the golem, and are non-elite.
When you see Fineous getting close, back off. You do not want Fineous attacking you during an existing combat. He's a real pain.
For Fineous, you want to dispel him if you have someone who can, otherwise you're going to have to just hit him with big damage fast, as he'll heal all throughout the combat. Other than that, it's a tank-and-spank. Make sure everyone loots him to get the hammer. That's the first part of the quest.

Pyromancer Loregrain

Go back all the way to the entrance to the Arena spectators' area. You'll see the passage you didn't take has a boss at the end of it after one or two more groups. Clear the trash and then take out the boss. You probably want to take out his attendants first and then focus-fire the boss down. He's a caster, but fairly easy, even for a druid tank (actually, a druid tank might be better than a paladin for him).
Once he's dead, you just click on the statue behind him to finish the quest and get your Shadowforge Key. Now you can go back and do the Vault if you want, and you can also clear past where Fineous was to kill Lord Incendius, but all of that is optional, and you don't want to burn out on your first visit!

Second Foray

Once you have your key, it's possible to avoid most of the dungeon whenever you like. The first boss you have to kill in order to get to the end of the instance is actually half the dungeon away from where you've been! However, there are some bosses you probably want to pick up on your second visit, just to be complete:
  • Lord Roccor, the elemental that paths through the tunnel behind the Ring of Law
  • Houndmaster Grebmar, a boss with many mutts, also behind the Ring of Law, near Roccor
  • Bael'Gar, now that you have the key, you can take the left immediately at the entrance of the dungeon and go down that passage and to the left to fight Bael'Gar (see below)
  • High Interrogator Gerstahn, you'll need her key to release the prisoner that starts the quest chain to free the princess. She's in the prison block, which is to the right, once you enter the first large room with all the dogs and dwarves, before the Ring of Law.
  • Lord Incendius, if you didn't kill him last time, you can kill him in the same pass as Bael'Gar, since he's in the same long hallway, just the other end.
If you do all of those, then count yourself industrious and stop now. Come back tomorrow or the next week. It'll still be here!

Third Foray

Now you start pushing through the zone, toward the final bosses. Use your key to go left from the entrance, then right to the small tunnel and left again through the locked door (the key will open it). This is the small room that you can easily get to after finishing the Ring of Law, and before you get to the spectators. You saw it the first time through, but from another angle. Clear this room and use the key on the giant locking mechanism on the other end of the room. This re-configures the dungeon so that you can't get to Lord Incendius anymore, but now you can get to the Grimm Guzzler, a bar deep within the dungeon.
Go up the stairs, and left down the tunnel, clearing trash as you go. Always kill the fire elementals first.

Angerforge and Argelmach

Once you reach a point where there are stairs down on either side of you, go to the left and kill General Angerforge. He's an easy fight if you have a paladin. Just kill his guards as you engage him, and then work him down to 30%. At this point, he'll summon guards. Get agro control over them and continue to burn down Angerforge. The healers will try to save him, but they just can't keep up. Kill the healers if you like, but Angerforge will die either way.
Now, you'll want to move everyone to the top of the stairs and off to the side. The tank should run down into the long hallway on the other side, run down most of the way to the end (don't agro the boss) and come back. You should have a few gnomes in tow. LoS pull them to the top of the stairs and kill them fast. Repeat until all pathers are dead.
Now move down and take out all of the groups on the left and right of the hallway. You have to completely clear them because the boss will run around this whole area!
Once they are clear, move to the boss at the end of the hallway. Engage him, but when he runs away, stay and kill his guards. Wait for him to come back and then kill him. Easy.

The Grimm Guzzler

The next stop is the bar, The Grimm Guzzler. It has many patrons that you can kill for loot, but you have to be careful. I recommend reading up on it at: http://www.wowwiki.com/Grim_Guzzler
Once you are done here, you can either trigger Phalanx or use the Love Potion, if you've done the quest to continue on. However, you might want to take a break now, since you've probably offed at least 4 bosses this run.

Fourth Foray

Now, you are going to clear to the final boss. You should do the Love Potion quest that you got from the succubus in the bar, if you want to make it even faster.
There's nothing surprising between you and the room of infinite respawns, so clear to the Grimm Guzzler, skipping all bosses and either trigger Phalanx or use the Love Potion to get through the door. Then clear right through. You'll kill Ambassador Flamelash and The Seven, which are fairly easy fights. The Seven is a triggered fight against seven dwarves, one at a time. There's little time to rest, so conserve resources.
Infinitely re-spawning dwarves Once you get to the large, columned room with all of the patrolling dwarf groups, stop and plan out your actions. These dwarves are non-elite and easy to kill, but they nearly instantly re-spawn so you can't "clear" them. There are two torch-bearers who you need to find and kill. Once you do, use their torches to light the two braziers on the far end of the room and go through the now-open doors. Sounds easy. It's a total pain.

Magmus

Magmus is an easy fight, but there's a trick. You must pull him from where he is, all the way to the doors you just opened (actually, they will close, so don't get caught on the other side). Kill him there, and all will be well. The fire jets along the walls don't touch you here.

Emperor Thaurissan

Emperor Thaurissan is the final boss of the instance. Kill him by clearing all of his court and then taking him on. All you have to do is make sure you don't kill the princess that's with him, as she's the target of the quest chain you started when you freed the prisoners in the cell block. Other than that, he's an easy fight for a 56+ group, which you should be by now.

Thanks for reading this guide. I hope you have fun in BRD, and enjoy the loot!