Which dungeons are available in WoW Classic, and when do they open?
The roll out of dungeons in WoW Classic in phases closely mirrors how they appeared in the original game, because that ensures smoother gear progression. Though it isn’t quite as drastic as the bump in item level given out in the later raids, the gear introduced in later dungeons did help people who came to the game later on get up to speed to attempt those later raids more quickly.
In the first phase, which launches with WoW Classic, we’ll see the vast majority of dungeons that were available in Vanilla WoW:
- Ragefire Chasm
- The Deadmines
- Wailing Caverns
- Shadowfang Keep
- Blackfathom Deeps
- The Stockade
- Razorfen Kraul
- Scarlet Monastery
- Razorfen Downs
- Sunken Temple
- Blackrock Depths
- Blackrock Spire
Note that some of these dungeons are broken into “wings” with different end aims, like Upper Blackrock Spire and Lower Blackrock Spire, “Live Side” and “Dead Side” Stratholme, or all the individual instances that make up Scarlet Monastery. With those, you’ll need to be specific in chat when you’re seeking a group — nothing worse than wanting a Baron run when your group is there to farm Crusader Orbs, or trying to finish a quest when everyone else wants to go in a raid for gear.
With phase two we’ll see some world bosses hit the scene with Azuregos and Kazzak, but more importantly for dungeon runners, we’ll get Dire Maul, which is split into three separate instances designed for players at — or nearly at — level cap. The most common of these is a Tribute Run, which requires you to lug several key items along with you to avoid killing specific bosses, to make for a more robust Tribute Chest at the conclusion of the instance. The loot from Dire Maul, especially Tribute Runs, is better than the loot from the dungeons we’ll see at launch.
In phase three, dungeon runners will begin seeing Darkmoon Faire cards drop in their instances. While these aren’t dungeon items per se, when combined into decks at the Faire they are very powerful upgrades you can use to boost your power without entering raids. Trinkets are notably tough to come by in WoW Classic even in endgame.
Phase four will give us the first 20-man raid in Zul’Gurub, plus Green Dragons out in the world, both of which are a great opportunity for smaller dungeoning guilds to dip their toes into even more difficult content.
When we hit phase five, though there aren’t any new dungeons introduced per se players will be able to pursue upgrades to their initial dungeon sets, frequently referred to as tier 0.5. These are a big step up from the original sets, and represent a big stat upgrade as well as a fun little bit of story content. Phase five also marks the opening of Ahn’Qiraj and the war effort to open it. Even if you don’t go into raids at all, you’ll want to save up your gold to buy some skill books off a guild which does — these represent a huge power spike. No matter how good your gear or how tight your rotation, you’re never going to be able to out-DPS the mage with a rank higher in Fireball than you have.
The final phase of Classic release brings Naxxramas and the Scourge Invasion. The latter means there will be Ziggurat encounters you can chase down throughout the world in order to farm Necrotic Runes, which you could trade to the Argent Dawn in exchange for some gear and other goodies.
No matter when your favorite dungeon launches in WoW Classic, it’s going to be timed to be the epic experience you remember.
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