How do you keep track of all of WoW’s unique bosses and encounters?
Dragonflight is World of Warcraft’s ninth expansion, and later this year will be the 19th year since the game released. In that time — plus or minus pre-expansion lulls and especially as of late — we’ve seen a steady stream of content and patches coming at us sometimes almost too fast.
I have been a raid leader for over a decade and playing WoW continuously since December 2004. I’ve seen a lot of instances and raids in that time and, to be honest, some of them blur together after a while. After thinking about a time when I mixed up where Mr. Bigglesworth lives and Invincible drops, respectively, I started to wonder how many instances and bosses we’ve seen in World of Warcraft so far. So in my (not) abundant spare time I decided to tally it up.
To date, and if I did my math right, there have been an eye-watering 166 instances with 970 boss encounters. (In case you’re interested, Blackrock Depths has the most dungeon bosses at 21, and Naxx tops the raid-boss counter at 15.)
There are a small handful that were repurposed, such as vanilla Naxxramas getting moved from Eastern Plaguelands to Dragonblight in Wrath of the Lich King, but for the most part they are unique instances and bosses. And I have done them all, with the overwhelming majority being done while they were current content.
Over the years I have certainly seen boss mechanics be reused, either exactly or reworked slightly, so it makes explaining fights to players both easier and harder. The long-time players will recognize the mechanic I’m describing, but the newer players have no idea what I’m talking about. There are so many I struggle to keep them straight in my memory, especially once you add the permutations of difficulty levels which can add or remove entire phases.
For long-term players, do you still remember every instance and boss encounter, and do you immediately know where to go or what to do when you have reason to return to an older instance? For the newer players, do you ever go visit these older relics of content, or are they invisible to you? We have at least one more raid this expansion and undoubtedly more expansions to come. I wonder what new or old bosses we will meet.
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