|Burning Crusade Instance Progression|
After leveling through the original World of Warcraft content, and reaching level 60 to get into the Outlands to join the Burning Crusade, most players want to venture into the various instances to get gear and experience. Where to go and when though? That's where this guide comes into play.
Once you enter the Outlands, many options open them selves up to you. You can level in three main ways: grinding, questing or running instances. Most players chose a combination of all three, while some focus on just one aspect. One of the most enjoyable ways to level and gear up is to run small group instances though. 5 man instances provide good experience rates, great gear, and training on how to work with other players for raiding at max level.
How do you work through all the instances out there though. The Burning Crusade provides many different options, however there is a what could be considered a standard progression method, which is what we will describe here. You can either fit these instances in between questing or as a fun way to level, make your whole way to level 70 running one instance after another (although you will have to run each several times).
The first place you can visit in the Outlands is the Hellfire Peninsula zone. Here you will find the huge Hellfire Citadel perched across the chasm in the middle of the zone. As soon as you reach level 60 you can enter the Hellfire Ramparts. The Ramparts are meant for level 60-62 characters and is a short instance meant to help level and gear you up for the next instance in the Citadel. The next instance is the slightly longer and more difficult Blood Furnace, meant for level 61-63 characters.
After you have completed the Ramparts and Furnace, and reached at least level 62 it will be time to head west into the Zangarmarsh zone. There you need to travel to the central north area of the map to find Coilfang Reservoir and swim down the tunnel under water to find the entrance to the next instance area. Once in the area you can find a quest giver that provides a quest to explore both The Slave Pens and The Underbog. Your first instance should be the easier Slave Pens instance. Once completed you can explore the Underbog, however it is recommended to wait until you have at least reached level 63. Both of these instances remain viable for gear and experience until at least level 65.
Next on our list of places to explore is the ruins of Auchendoun in the southern area of the Terrokar Forests. This instance hub contains the next three instances that we will explore. The first being the Auchenai Crypts which are filled with spirits of dead Draenei. You will be OK to enter here once you hit level 64, but expect some difficulties as there are some large pulls and many pulls spawn additional MOBs. As soon as you have done the Crypts, you can visit the Mana Tombs which are an area being exploited by the Consortium. The instance is also meant for level 64 characters but should be left until at least level 65.
From this point there is a small break in instance difficulty, before you have another logical step. You can either repeat several of the earlier ones that you have not gotten all the gear from that you would like, or quest for a while, before visiting the Sethekk Halls. The Halls are again in Auchendouns and are meant for level 67 characters and can present some difficulties but the rewards are very good.
Once done here it is time to head back to the old world (Azeroth) and make your way into the desert of Tanaris to find the Caverns of Time. There you should explore Old Durnholde and the Thrall's escape instance there. This instance is meant for level 67 characters and can be done previous to Sethekk Halls if you wish. Normal progression
though has you save it since you must travel to get to it.
At this point you should be near level 70 and ready to deal with the last instances that you reach without a flying mount. Your first stop should be the Shadow Labyrinth in Auchindoun. While many consider it a hard instance, as long as you bring some crowd control it's a cake walk. After the Labyrinth you should return to Coilfang in Zangarmarsh to explore the Steamvaults. After that you still have the Shattered Halls in Hellfire Citadel to complete and the The Black Morass in the Caverns of Time. Both are difficult for players having just reached level 70, so it may take a few tries to complete them.
By now you will be well into your gear progression at level 70 and need to ensure you have enough gold to buy your flying mount. Once you do you can progress to the last of the 5 man instances in the Outlands. The Tempest Keep contains several instances all floating in the sky at the east end of Netherstorm. There are three instances to work through, the first being the Mechanar. The Mechanar is a very short instance with three bosses and two mini-bosses. If you have geared up through the previous level 70 instances, then it shouldn't be too hard. After you have finished Mechanar it's time to try the Botanica, which contains all manner of wild plant life. Once both instances have been completed (along with their quests) you will gain access to the last instance, Arcatraz. The Arcatraz is a prison for many different beasts, and one of the hardest 5 man instances.
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