One of the best ways to really learn your class and how it fits in with everyone else is to run through instances. For many players that are now leveling characters though the first time they see an instance is once they have reached level 60 and the Outlands. This is due to the changes to experience needed to level and the lower volume of players in Azeroth. For the most part it is difficult or impossible to find a group for anything before Outlands.
Remember to use summoning stones to bring your group together faster
Once players reach the Outlands though the quests, rewards and experience in instances push many players into instances. This makes finding a group much easier. Which instances should you do and when though? This is a mystery to many players as sometimes quests come early or late in the instance level range. That's where this guide steps in and helps lay out a path to move through the instances in the Burning Crusade.
Low Level Instances (Levels 60-63)
The first two instances can be entered almost immediately upon entering the Outlands. However it is best to adventure a little bit first to ensure you get some of the stamina gear that the Outlands are famous for, and to get get the quests. Once you are 60-61 though you can venture into the Hellfire Citadel found in the center of Hellfire Peninsula.
There are two instances there that can be completed almost back to back, with just a quick trip to town to turn in one quest and get the next. The instances are the Hellfire Ramparts and the Bloodfire Furnace. The Ramparts are tuned for players that are level 60 while the furnace is just slightly harder being tuned for characters level 61. You can find guides to them here:
After the two entry instances you have to wait just a little while before being ready for the next pair. They are the Slave Pens and the Underbog which are found in Zangarmarsh. These two instances are tuned for level 62-63 players and are found in the Coilfang Reservoir directly in the center of the zone under water.
As with the instances in Hellfire, these two are tied closely together. Once you adventure in the zone for a little while and get a few quests you can find your way into the reservoir to get the quest available than spans both instances right at the entrance. You can find guide for the instances here:
Mid Level Instances (Levels 64-68)
Once you reach the middle levels of the Burning Crusade expansion a few more options for instances open up. The first two are available in Terrokar Forest for players once they have reached level 64, although it may be a bit wiser to wait until level 65 as they can be difficult. The quests can be found around Terrokar and Nagrand and will take a little while to collect.
The first instance to visit is the Auchenai Crypts which while quite short, having only two bosses, has many annoying pulls. Many of the MOBs there have the ability to summon additional MOBs after the pull has started. This makes crowd control a challenge for many groups. After the Crypts comes the Mana Tombs instance which is longer, having four bosses, but found easier by many groups. You can find guides for the instances here:
Once you reach level 66 or 67 two more instances become viable. The first is yet another of the instances in Terrokar Forest and is called Sethekk Halls. The instance has several unique boss fights and can be quite fun once you get the tactics down, although infuriating until then. You also can try out the heavily scripted Old Hillsbrad instance in the Caverns of Time, found in the Tanaris desert. This instance takes you back in time to help ensure that Thrall escapes captivity and that history follows it's correct path. You can find guides for the instances here:
High Level Instances (Levels 69-70)
The Hellfire Citadel
Once you are very near to or at level 70 you can get into 4 additional instances. They are in order of difficulty (from least to most difficult) the Shadow Labyrinth in Terrokar Forest, the Steamvaults in Zangarmarsh, the Shattered Halls in Hellfire Peninsula, and the Black Morass in the Caverns of Time. The Shadow Labyrinth has some very interesting boss mechanics, one of them being a mass mind control where you all fight each other, that makes it a fun instance. It is long though, and many players attempt it too early gear wise and have issues with it. The Steamvaults is slightly more difficult, however it is far shorter and that makes it easier for many players.
Next is the Shattered Halls which can be simple or complex depending on several factors. It has many large pulls, so CC is key for most groups. If you have good CC and communication it can be easy, otherwise many groups get extremely frustrated by it. Having a Paladin tank and ignoring CC entirely is a huge asset in this instance, in fact many players will only run it with a Paladin tanking. Lastly you can return to the Caverns of Time to attempt to help keep the time flow the same. In this instance you attempt to ensure that the Dark Portal was opened successfully. The whole instance is one long running fight, and many players find it extremely difficult as there are almost no breaks. You can find guides for the instances here:
- The Shadow Labyrinth Guide
- The Steamvaults Guide
- The Shattered Halls Guide
- The Black Morass: Opening the Dark Portal
Once you have reached level 70 and saved up the funds to purchase a flying mount (or have someone summon you into them) three more instances open up for your play. They are the three instances found in the zone of Netherstorm. The simplest is the Mechanar which has three bosses and two mini bosses that must be defeated. Second is the Botanica which as its name suggests houses all sorts of plant bases MOBs and Bosses. While longer, containing 5 bosses, the instance has a nice flow to it and many players really enjoy it. Last is the Arcatraz which is a prison based instance. This instance has several scripted scenes that add to the over experience, and while it can be difficult, it is rewarding.
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