Updated Sat, Feb 23, 2008 by Messiah
The Caverns of Time are an entirely new type of instance in the World of Warcraft. In them it's not so much where you are going but when! You get to travel back in time to key moments in the history of WoW to view and participate in the events that took place. While normally Nozdormu did not allow humans and other lesser races into the caverns of time, lately a force called the Infinite Dragonflight has made its way in and is attempting to corrupt the timeline. Nozdormu and the Bronze Dragonflight now have little choice but to recruit would be helpers in their cause.
The other instances in The Caverns of Time are as follows:
# of Players
|Thrall's Escape from Durnholde Keep||66-68||5|
|Opening of the Dark Portal||68-70||5|
|Battle of Mount Hyjal||70||25|
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|Getting to The Caverns of Time and finding a group|
One of the strange sights in the Caverns of Time
Getting to the Caverns of Time is easy, all you need to do is head to Tanaris and head south from town. That's right it is not even in the Outlands! The first thing you will notice at the Caverns of Time is that Blizzard has moved some of the NPC's around a bit to give free access to the instance entrance. Whereas before you would run into several dragons when you first entered the area, there is now a free path to the back of the area as the dragons where moved to the side. Just before the tunnel at the back of the area is a meeting stone to summon other players and then you can talk to the dragon guide that is in the tunnel that will fly you to the instance area at the bottom of a long tunnel.
There are several small quests in the instance that are all part of one quest chain in Thrall's Escape from Durnholde Keep.
Taretha's Diversion – Travel to Durnholde Keep and set 5 incendiary charges at the barrels located inside each of the internment lodges using the Pack of Incendiary Bombs given to you by Erozion. Speak to Thrall in the basement prison of Durnholde Keep when you have the Internment Lodges Set Ablaze.
You need to clear the 5 buildings and set an explosive in each one. Once all 5 have been set, the first boss will spawn and start the event.
Escape from Durnholde - When you are ready to proceed, let Thrall know. Follow Thrall out of Durnholde Keep and help him free Taretha and fulfill his destiny. Speak with Erozion in Old Hillsbrad should you complete this task.
You need to talk to Thrall and then help him escape and defeat two bosses. Once complete you gain access to the reward quest.
Return to Andormu - Return to the child Andormu at the Caverns of Time in the Tanaris desert.
This is where you get your reward and the next CoT quests for the Opening of the Dark Portal.
There are many new mobs and several interesting trash MOBs in the Blood Furnace. While making your way through the instance you should be aware of at least the following:
Durnholde Warden – They have an AOE fear, that can be very annoying when trying to tank them, and leads to added MOBs.
Durnholde Mage – These mages do massive damage and can sheep players. As such they are a high priority to take out.
Infinite Defiler – The caster adds in the fight before the last boss. They can do huge damage, so must be taken out first.
The first boss is Lieutenant Drake and he spawns at the staircase that leads down into the barrack area, as soon as all 5 bombs have been placed. He has 3 main abilities that need to be dealt with in the fight.
Whirlwind - This whirlwind attack hits everyone within melee range for roughly 500 damage per second. He stays in one place though, so just clear out of the way.
Intimidating Shout - This is an AOE fear attack that sends everyone within 10 yards fleeing for a few seconds.
Mortal Strike -This is his big damage attack that can hit for up to 2000 damage.
The fight is fairly simple with the only real requirement to ensure players move away from the whirlwind attack, and to manage the fear. The two ways to manage fear are abilities that stop it on the tank so that you do not lose aggro, or to ensure the healer is close enough that they get feared as well. If the healer is not feared as well, they will be Drakes next target while the tank is running. If they are feared as well, he will select a different target.
Once you have escaped the keep with Thrall, the second boss rides up the path and has a conversation with Thrall. This is the second boss, Captain Skarloc, who is a Paladin and has most of the abilities that being a paladin implies. He can heal, cleanse, and more.
Holy Light - Skarloc can put out a BIG heal to himself or one of his adds. It is interruptible in all the normal ways and should be watched for.
Cleanse - He can remove almost any crowd control you use on him or his adds.
When the fight starts Skarloc will have two MOBs with him, one being a Warden and the other a sentry. The tank should pick up the Captain while the rest of the party deals with the Warden and then the Sentry at some distance away so that he is not feared. After the long hectic fight out of the keep, this fight is relatively easy. Thrall can be left to talk Skarloc until the other two are dead as long as the healer tosses Thrall the odd heal. Make sure you interrupt his heals as often as possible and the fight will go by easily.
The third and final boss is the Epoch hunter. He has several very nasty abilities, but most groups do not find him that difficulty. His abilities are:
AOE Debuff - He can remove party buffs from everyone around him within 15 - 20 yards.
Pending Doom - This is an Damage over Time spell that does 750 damage every 3 seconds for 15 seconds. It can not be dispelled and must be healed through.
Knock back - He can knock back whoever he is attacking.
Shadow Breath - A shadow based breath attack that hits everyone in his front arc.
The best way to tank this fight is with your back to a wall of one of the buildings so that you are not knocked back. Let everyone else get behind him and work on DPS. the fight is fairly long, especially having to deal with the three waves of dragonkin before him, so DSP players should step back and bandage or drink pots if they get hurt so that the healer can focus on Thrall and the Tank.
Thrall MUST be alive at the end of the fight as he is the only one who can strike the killing blow. If he dies, you can not kill the Epoch Hunter.
Once the final boss fight is over Thrall and Tabetha will have a discussion while one of the keepers of time appears. He will clear their memory so that they do not remember the "new version" but only what should have happened. With that you are done the instance and can head back to the cave to exit back to the Caverns of Time.
The instance was insanely fun, having just enough challenge, and not being too long. It should take an average group about 60 minutes to finish the whole instance. I personally can't wait to see even more Caverns of Time instances added down the road.
I took many additional screen shots which are all available in our gallery here: TenTonHammer visits the Thrall's Escape from Durnholde Keep .