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For a list of instances in World of Warcraft, see Instances by continent or Instances by level.
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Dungeons, keeps, and other confined areas can have sub-areas called instances (aka instance dungeons). These instances are special areas in World of Warcraft where your group or raid party is able to interact with a dungeon privately; that is, without interference from other parties or raids. It is also a respite from the global PvP environment on a PvP server. Instances also include scenarios which tend to feature smaller player groups or something similar to group phased content. The term instance has been often conflated and interchanged with the term dungeon.

Instance dungeons tend to feature the most difficult and rewarding content, both in terms of enemies and items, but also in terms of level design. Most mobs inside the instance are elite, with the exception of some mobs, and perform well above their level. Instances feature multiple bosses, all with special abilities and immunities. Getting through an instance normally requires a well-trained and well-balanced group of players who are of an appropriate level for the challenge.

Lower level instances can be soloed by a higher level character. While an interesting challenge, most drops will not be particularly useful anymore. However if wearing a tabard, a great deal of reputation can still be earned, as can the achievements for passing the instance. Keep in mind that soloing an instance usually requires a player to be about 25-30 levels higher than the minimum requirement, with high-quality equipment.

Legion instance release schedule

World of Warcraft: Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

Schedule:[1]

  • Tuesday, August 30 – All World of Warcraft: Legion dungeons will immediately be available on Normal mode (Dungeon) Normal and Heroic mode Heroic difficulties. Mythic dungeon difficulty will be available after the weekly dungeon reset time.
  • Tuesday, September 20 – The Emerald Nightmare raid opens on Normal and Heroic difficulties.[Mythic Keystones] will begin dropping which will allow increased challenge and rewards from Mythic mode Mythic dungeons.
  • Tuesday, September 27 – Mythic difficulty for the Emerald Nightmare raid opens. Wing 1 of Raid FInder mode Raid Finder difficulty for Emerald Nightmare opens.
  • Tuesday, October 11 – Raid Finder Wing 2 of Emerald Nightmare opens.
  • Tuesday, October 25 – Raid Finder Wing 3 of Emerald Nightmare opens.

Instance difficulties

Main articles: Dungeon difficulty, Raid difficulty
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As with most things in the game, instances have a range of difficulties usually tied to group size and relative to the expansion area the zone is located in.

In general order of difficulty:

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  • Scenario mode (Raid) Scenarios (which only appear starting with World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Mists of Pandaria content) are the easiest to do and often designed for a single character of the appropriate level.
  • Normal mode (Dungeon) Normal mode dungeons are the introductory difficulty for the appropriate level. They are tuned for players who have entry item level gear for the instance.
  • Timewalking mode Timewalking dungeons are older dungeon (5-man) content scaled in difficulty to challenge level cap players with scaled item level drops similar to the originals from the original content at appropriate level. This difficulty is only available for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Cataclysm or later dungeons.[cn] It was introduced in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Warlords of Draenor, so it may change for World of Warcraft: Legion Legion.
  • Heroic mode Heroic mode dungeons are the harder difficulty for the appropriate level. They are tuned for players who gotten most of the best item level gear from normal mode or other sources.
  • Challenge mode Challenge mode dungeons are not really harder difficulty than Heroic mode, but they are tuned for players who gotten most of the best item level gear from normal mode or other sources. They are intended to be difficult to complete quickly and better times can yield better rewards.[cn]
  • Raid FInder mode Raid Finder mode is the easiest of the raid modes. Since it is the most flexible and often more than 10 players (up to 25) are working on essentially 10-player difficulty content. This difficulty is only available for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Cataclysm or later raids.[cn]
  • Normal mode (Raid) Normal mode raids are the introductory difficulty for the appropriate level. They are tuned for players who have entry item level gear for raiding.
  • Heroic mode Heroic mode raids are the harder difficulty for the appropriate level and designed for 25 players. They are tuned for players who gotten most of the best item level gear from normal mode raiding or other sources.
  • Mythic mode Mythic mode raids are the most difficult and the only instances tuned for 20 players at max or near max item level gear from Heroic raids.


Average item level recommendations

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These recommendations are for average item level for Dungeon Finder, Raid Finder, or Scenario Finder.

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In Legion

World of Warcraft: Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

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Dungeons

Level ranges and item levels:

Raids

Level ranges and item levels:

Scenarios

In Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

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Level ranges and item levels:[2]

In Mists of Pandaria

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.

In Patch 5.3

Changes with Patch 5.3:

In Cataclysm

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

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In Wrath of the Lich King

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.

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In Burning Crusade

World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

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In Vanilla

World of Warcraft This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.

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Farming for gear

Instances are often farmed for gear by having a high level character tank a low level character through the instance; either a friend or for a fee. Boss drops typically BoP, so the lowbie has to be present.

The lower character is going to get a lot of XP in the instance. If building a twink you will need to plan for this; start farming as soon as you are able and be selective which instances you farm. XP is not your friend (twinks); you want as little as possible so that you can continue to farm without dinging past your goal level. You should focus on specific gear and bypass kills you don't need. Note, however, that this is less of an issue since patch 3.2 and the ability to turn off experience completely. Whereas formerly creating a twink took careful planning of gear attainment and experience gain, the main limiting factor now is initial experience gain to the desired level.

Game mechanics

Because instances are in effect separate from the actual main World of Warcraft maps such as Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor, Outland, and Northrend, much like the Battlegrounds, players too are literally moved from one part of the map to an artificial creation of the main map sections. However this is not to suggest that Blizzard did not go to the effort of re-creating instance geography and terrain within the main maps. Areas like Zul'Farrak are fully constructed within Tanaris though it is impossible for players to enter this area without any way to climb over the hills. This is a rarity since in order to save processing power and make the world smoother to run without rendering useless features that no one would ever see, Blizzard creates a "false" portrayal of the instances such as Shadowfang Keep where only what the player sees is worth rendering. Another difference worth noting is that within instances, the corpses of boss characters will remain intact for 1 hour to ensure that players do not miss out on loot.

Because map viewers allow players to see everything there is within an instance, it is revealed that instances will include the sections before the instance gates itself to give a feeling of authenticity that they are leaving one world and can look back to see where they came from. Such is the case with all instances. Some bugs can allow the user to see what actually is available, for example, Mages can Blink past the instance portals in many places and see what is beyond, like the entrance to Stratholme on the dead side.

Cross-realm grouping

Blizzard may allow cross-realm grouping sometime after Patch 4.1.[12]

Faction specific instances

Deadmines, Wailing Caverns, and Shadowfang Keep

  • Wailing Caverns: There are horde and neutral quests.
  • Shadowfang Keep: The only SFK Alliance quests are class specific for the Hunters, Paladins and Warlocks only. Also it should be noted that as of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade there is a Horde Paladin quest that involves SFK.

Ragefire Chasm and The Stockade

These are instances located on the capital city for each faction (Ragefire Chasm in Orgrimmar and The Stockade in Stormwind), and as such it used to be very difficult for opposite faction characters to get to the entrance at an instance-appropriate level (about level 15 for Ragefire Chasm and level 25 for the Stockade) without the help of other max level characters. However, if they get there, they can enter through the portal. Since Patch 3.3.0 appropriate level characters can use the Dungeon Finder feature to gain access to these dungeons, regardless of faction.

There is an achievement called Classic Dungeonmaster which requires doing both of these. Unless the character used the opportunity to complete them at the appropriate level through the Dungeon Finder, this would typically be done at near max level or with the help of others at max level. While the instance will be trivial, getting in will not be. A group of max level characters can race past the guards. Fighting your way in is an option, but you are then essentially raiding the opposing capital, so be prepared. Rogues or druids can stealth in; and there are summoning stones near the entrance, so a small stealthed group can summon others.

See also other Dungeons & Raids achievements

Media

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References

  1. ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2016-08-23. Legion Dungeons and Raids Schedule. World of Warcraft official game site (US).
        Blizzard Entertainment 2016-08-23. Legion Dungeons and Raids Schedule. World of Warcraft official game site (US).
  2. ^ http://www.wowhead.com/guide=1750/dungeon-item-level-requirements
  3. ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/16863396/warlords-of-draenor-journey-into-highmaul-12-2-2014
  4. ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/17633660/warlords-of-draenor-raid-preview-blackrock-foundry-1-20-2015
  5. ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/19803323/hellfire-citadel-raid-schedule-6-16-2015
  6. ^ Shado-Pan Monastery. Official World of Warcraft Community site (US).
       Shado-Pan Monastery. Official World of Warcraft Community site (EU).
  7. ^ Mogu'shan Palace. Official World of Warcraft Community site (US).
       Mogu'shan Palace. Official World of Warcraft Community site (EU).
  8. ^ Siege of Niuzao Temple. Official World of Warcraft Community site (US).
       Siege of Niuzao Temple. Official World of Warcraft Community site (EU).
  9. ^ Gate of the Setting Sun. Official World of Warcraft Community site (US).
       Gate of the Setting Sun. Official World of Warcraft Community site (EU).
  10. ^ a b c d Blizzard Entertainment 2013-05-03. Catching Up to 5.3. Official World of Warcraft Community site (US).
       Blizzard Entertainment 2013-05-03. Catching Up to 5.3. Official World of Warcraft Community site (EU).
  11. ^ a b c d e Blizzard Entertainment Daxxarri 2013-05-18. Preparing for Patch 5.3: Escalation. Official World of Warcraft Community site (US).
       Blizzard Entertainment 2013-05-08. Preparing for Patch 5.3: Escalation. Official World of Warcraft Community site (EU).
  12. ^ Nethaera 2011-05-17. Cross-Realm Dungeon Feature Coming Soon.

Patch changes

  • World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Patch 4.0.3 (15-Nov-2010): To work more efficiently with the Dungeon Finder, quest givers for the instances will now be located within the actual instance.

References

See also

Related links Related categories

External links

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