World of Warcraft

WoW TBC Classic: How hard are Black Temple, Hyjal Peak and Co.

WoW: Burning Crusade, as we all know, was heavily focused on raiding at the time and brought with it some of the most iconic raid instances in WoW history. Now, TBC Classic players are once again allowed to brawl through the PvE content, and (in many cases, at least) in its unmitigated original form. The result (contrary to what some players predicted in advance) is that there are quite a few guilds that are currently having trouble getting the final bosses from the Serpentshrine and the Fortress of Storms (i.e. Lady Vashj and Kael'thas) on the boards for the first time or on a regular basis.

Even back in the original TBC, the two nasties were nearly insurmountable progression blockers for many communities, killing tens of guilds that broke up during frustrating wipe phases. Blizzard had to not only noticeably weaken the bosses over time, but at some point also remove the attunement for the later raid challenges, so that the majority of groups could even see the Black Temple and Co. from the inside.

Several times by now we have seen the question: If Vashj and Kael'thas are already so hard, what can we expect in the raids of the upcoming phases? Can we only hope for frustration in the Black Temple and Hyjal Peak until Blizzards sometime plays the nerfs from back then on the live servers?

WoW: 10 years ago - Retro trailer for patch 2.1 and the Black Temple

Look forward to the Black Temple!

If you look at the difficulty of the Burning Crusade-era raid instances, it doesn't constantly increase. On the contrary, we were surprised at the time how easy the first bosses in Black Temple and Hyjal Peak were after we finally defeated Vashj and Kael'thas. And that's reflected in the World First kill data from that time.

In Serpentshrine and Fortress of Storms, it took the pro guilds a month and a half to get from the first boss kill to the world first kill of Vashj and Kael'thas, respectively. There were always some intermediate bosses that caused a lot of problems. Al'ar and Solarian even made it into the top 10 of the WoW bosses that were able to defy the world-first kill the longest


Hang in there! The upcoming raid instances of TBC Classic are among the most iconic in WoW history. Source: Blizzard

The battle for Hyjal Peak was a completely different story: The first four bosses fell within four days. Only for Archimonde did Nihilum and Co. take a little while, because even one dead person can trigger a devastating chain reaction. A similar picture was seen in the Black Temple: the first five bosses went down within one day. The Reliquary of Souls was then the only real progress blocker. As soon as Nihilum had mastered this challenge, all other encounters fell every day.

When Blizzard later simplified the attunements, this impression was confirmed: many guilds that could never defeat Vashj and Kael'thas gained some success in the Black Temple and the Battle for Hyjal Peak. I'm sure guilds from TBC Classic that are currently struggling will feel the same way. But you should also persevere for another reason: The two raid instances from TBC Classic Phase 3 are definitely worth the visit! The Black Temple, with its nine bosses and many areas, is similarly atmospheric, epic, and varied as Naxxramas. And if you loved Warcraft 3, you'll love the setting of the Battle for Hyjal Peak as well (even though the add waves can be annoying, be sure to pack a protective paladin!).

And last but not least, as for Sunwell Plateau... there were actually some bosses there in the unattenuated variant that were just fierce. Players from back then might now immediately think of M'uru, who fell over the previous boss only almost four weeks after the World First Kill. But again, at least the first adversaries were quite doable from that time's perspective. That will be even more the case today.

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: Retro Trailer - Cinematic for The Burning Crusade From Karsten Scholz
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