World of Warcraft Dungeons

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Deadmines
Recommended Levels: 20 - 27
Location:Alliance Only, Azeroth, Westfall, Moonbrook
Inhabitants: Defias miners, rogues, warriors and mages, goblin miners and engineers, undead miners (outside of the instance).
Notable Bosses: Rhahk'Zor, Sneed and his robo-Shredder, Gilnid, Mr. Smite, Edwin Van Cleef (main boss)
Notable Loot: Smite's Reaver, Smite's Mighty Hammer, Cruel Barb, Blackened Defias Leather armor set.

Total Running Time at Level: 1 - 2 hours
Preparation Needed: Standard. Full ammo, repairs done, standard supply of potions if you use them.
Quests Obtained At: Stormwind (2), Sentinel Hill (2), Ironforge (1).

The Deadmines instance (an instance exists separately from the rest of the game world; only you and your group occupy it - although there are many instances running at the same time) is the first dungeon that the alliance player can visit. It is also the place where players will, for the first time, have the possibility of finding a blue (rare) piece of loot, will fight bosses more substantial and scripted than ever before, and for many, it is the first place to begin learning group tactics (the game is very solo-able, especially in the first 20 levels). If a player hasn't learned the art of safe pulling (prodding a single enemy and making him follow you outside of a larger group of enemies), this is where that skill will have to be gained.

The entrance to Deadmines is in the Defias-occupied village of Moonbrook, just south of Sentinel Hill. The immediate entrance and stairs into the mines are unguarded, but just past the stairs you'll run into a handful of elite sentries. After they are dispatched you will face no great opposition for a while - mostly weak miners with the occasional tougher overseer. You can head south and towards the west to reach the instance portal, or further south to the undead-populated area where miners' cards can be obtained.

Once inside, the dungeon/mine leads you in a single path, ever downwards. You will descend gradually, fighting increasingly stronger grunts on the way. At regular intervals you will hit locked doors with mini-bosses in front of them - all of these can be dispatched by following this combat pattern:

  1. Clear the room of any creatures not in the boss' entourage.
  2. Have the tank and any off-tank engage the boss.
  3. Clear the boss' entourage.
  4. Assist with main boss.
  5. When boss is down and the door opens, wait for the inevitable patrol to catch up to your party, and dispatch it.
The above approach will take you through all of the boss encounters. There are a few additional things to note.
  1. The forge room can be deadly. The goblins, in addition to being tough little buggers, can create mechanical allies - so every combat encounter can suddenly double in size, with fatal results. On top of that, goblins will run away when low on health and bring friends. It is vital that any engaged goblin be pulled all the way to the top of the room so that his escape route is long.
  2. One door will not open by itself. You can blow it open with the provided gunpowder - but that will attract attention - or have your rogue, should you have one, pick it silently. The latter is preferred, of course.
  3. Mr. Smite will stun you a few times (it's unavoidable) and go off to his battle chest to recharge. Make sure to fight him as far away from the chest as possible, so while he's running back and forth you have time to recover.
  4. The ship is tightly packed. Hopefully you and your crew have learned enough about staying together, controlling your pets, and careful targeting - otherwise this place can get hairy quickly.

Also note that nothing will respawn throughout the instance - corpse runs are safe - until you get to the orcish juggernaut in the last cave. A full party wipe on the juggernaut means that you will be restarting from the entrance of that cave - it is simply not possible to sneak past the respawned guards on the piers and the juggernaut itself.

After defeating Van Cleef and picking up an item that will eventually bring you to The Stockade dungeon, you can jump over the side of the boat and exit to the far side of the cave. You will exit above town, in a small one-way cave (there is a ledge you will drop off from, too high to be jumped back onto) in the foothills. It is a curiosity (or just Blizzard's oops) that despite the constant descent, you will actually end up higher than where you started...

Background

Deadmines used to be a source of gold for nearby Stormwind, but after the razing of that town after the war, manpower was concentrated in the cities again for repairs and security. This led to the overall decay of the regions of Westfall, Redridge and Duskwood as forces were pulled in closer to the center. Westfall, where the Deadmines lie, is just far enough away from Stormwind, and has just enough natural (and later goblin-expanded) defenses to be a great staging ground for the Defias family of bandits. However, in its heart lies an abandoned Orc juggernaut, where Edwin Van Cleef has made his lair and is planning his revenge on Stormwind - which owes him a great deal of money for rebuilding the razed Stormwind.

That's right. The main enemy here is a disgruntled contractor (admittedly one who has raised up an army of deadly nuisances around himself, but still) who was swindled out of his pay. You are the tax collector, out to ensure that he never collects (can't pay them? Declare war on them!). If there were any doubts about what side the Alliance is on (Good? Nope. Evil? Nope. Just its own.) they should be dispelled by now.

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