Blackrock Mountain: The Crowning Glory

I missed the scheduled post on Saturday as I didn’t have one in reserve and was too lazy to type one up. Having a schedule is a good thing as it does force me to keep up with this whereas otherwise I would let it slip. However, a too demanding schedule would burn me out completely. Therefore I’m going to cut down to twice a week, a Saturday post and a Tuesday/Wednesday post. Anyway, back on topic, I was thinking the other day about Blackrock Mountain and how often I go there.

This is pretty much excluding the new added areas from Cataclysm (Blackrock Caverns and Blackwing Descent) as they follow the same pattern as most content, you go there for levelling and for that tier (then maybe back for achievements) and then it just sits there until nostalgia hits. I’m talking about the original Blackrock Mountain – Blackrock Depths, Blackrock Spire, Blackwing Lair and Molten Core. You are never done with the place.

Why go there?
I run Molten Core every week for the reputation and legendary mats for Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros as I was lucky enough to have The Eye drop a couple of visits ago. When I’m exalted and got my last Sulfuron Ingot I may still go back to drive myself mad searching for Bindings of the Windseeker. Also, despite Molten Core being easy for any decently geared 85 (alright not a squishy class) to solo mats like the Ingot sell for good gold to time ratio on the AH, on my server at least.

Blackwing Lair has the distinction of being one of the few outdated raids/dungeons that due to mechanics can’t be soloed. You need to take at least two friends to get past the first boss, after that it could probably be soloed up to Chromaggus which needs at least a decent duo to get past. Blackwing Lair drops mats needed for Thunderfury (again ingots) and is also a good source for some very iconic transmog gear.

Blackrock Spire is the place to head with a rogue if you’re looking for Ravenholdt reputation, as it’s a good place to farm Heavy Junkboxes. You also need to kill one of the end bosses (there are two) in order to get attuned to Blackwing Lair. Most weeks I quickly run people through as if we wipe they can’t get back in if they’re not attuned (and for some reason ressing is often bugged). It’s the source of a title (Leeeeeeeroy!) and is a massive sprawling place with 40 profession recipe/patterns/plans dropping here.

Blackrock Depths is another sprawling place, much improved in cata with a teleport. In order to smelt Dark Iron you have to use The Black Forge which is only found in this instance. Dark iron can only be mined in this instance (and Molten Core) and to craft items using it The Black Anvil has to be used. There are also over 100 profession recipe/patterns/plans to be found here. Some can be bought, others spawn as scrolls in various places, others drop from mobs.

Crowning Glory?
Warcraft has some truly amazing zones/instances/raids, there’s no denying that. However, they all have a shelf life and once you’re ‘done’ then you’re unlikely to have the time to go back. Personally I love Karazhan, and I do go and kill the first boss searching for the mount every week, the first boss though is all I kill. I don’t have time to clear the whole raid every week, I got exalted and there’s little point in going back.

I may be wrong and there’s other areas that do this but for me Blackrock Mountain is insidious. When you think you’re done you’re not as there’s always another reason to go back. It’s like a root that stretches out and can be found everywhere. Maybe it is the root of warcraft. All I know is that there is no other area like it in game. There are some truly awesome places but there’s nothing like Blackrock Mountain. Going there is like coming home. The friend who introduced me to warcraft took me through Molten Core when I was still level 60 (pre-cata) I died a lot as you can imagine, but he told me “you’ll never forget the first time you see Ragnaros” and everytime I clear Molten Core now I still get a tingle when he emerges.

I don’t know if Ragnaros is warcraft, I’d certainly argue he’s one of the most iconic parts of it (best of all faction neutral!) and I don’t think there’s anything else in game that measures up to him. I suppose you could argue Nefarian is perhaps on his level but I don’t know, his fights (for all he’s tricky in Blackwing Descent) aren’t as epic as Raggy. Raggy in Molten Core hasn’t aged well I suppose as I can (a prot pally) kill him well in advance of the first submerge, so all I have to contend with is getting thrown. As any Molten Core soloer knows if you zoom out, twist yourself and try and run in air (it’s hard to explain) then you don’t take any damage at all from it. It’s still pretty epic though “By fire be purged!” and Firelands was a hard fight, truly worthy of such an icon.

I think I’ve got off topic (oops) but really I suppose what I’m trying to say is that Blackrock Mountain is unique. There’s nowhere else like it in game and I doubt that there ever will be. In three expansions down the road where everything else is long forgotten I imagine people will still be running around that mountain. I think blizz hit gold when they created it and for all that it’s ‘old content’ I think it’s the essence of warcraft. No new player should ever miss running through it at least once, it’d certainly be one of the first places I’d take a new recruit, just like my friend took me.