On the heals of 10 questions on WoW, I admit that my favourite pastime in WoW is 5 – man dungeons. It used to be raiding, but I don’t have the luxury of that kind of time anymore. That post got me thinking about which 5 mans in particular stuck out for me – so here we go, starting a 5avourite 5ives and hoping that maybe it catches on – would love to hear other people’s 5avourite 5 mans.
Now, some housekeeping and simple rules of 5ive club – there are no rules. It doesn’t have to be from WoW, or even a 5ive man in that case. Not all games have 5ive mans but try to keep it to introductory grouping (ie: first instances, etc.) I know that 5ive mans can be limiting to open world games (are there any outside of EQ? Vanguard?) and that using 5 instead of F is probably really annoying by now. No matter – I am staying on brand (5-you!). All that being said, if your game doesn’t have a 5ive man but a grouping experience that you would count as that because your favourite game is designed that way, then by all means, share!
Pick one, or several. No matter. Write what you will. Have fun!
My 5avourite 5ive is Black5athom Deeps. (that’s the last misplaced 5, I promise!)
The ‘Deeps’ label always made me laugh. Felt like a spelling error. Shouldn’t it be depths? Were they being funny reminding the peeps to bring the deeps? Anyway – this was my first 5 man ever (sigh: nostalgia? Again?) and I ran it over and over and over. I became a resident expert of the BFD in the 25-27 level range of Whisperwind. The best part is that we stumbled upon the entrance by accident, and already had 5 friends questing – so we went in, no guides, no clue on what to expect – a proper unscripted adventure.
First off, the back story –
Situated along the Zoram Strand of Ashenvale, Blackfathom Deeps was once a glorious temple dedicated to the night elves’ moon-goddess, Elune. However, the great Sundering shattered the temple – sinking it beneath the waves of the Veiled Sea. There it remained untouched – until, drawn by its ancient power – the naga and satyr emerged to plumb its secrets. Legends hold that the ancient beast, Aku’mai, has taken up residence within the temple’s ruins. Aku’mai, a favored pet of the primordial Old Gods, has preyed upon the area ever since. Drawn to Aku’mai’s presence, the cult known as the Twilight’s Hammer has also come to bask in the Old Gods’ evil presence.
I’m not sure if there is more to it than that – nothing I could find.
The entrance is very cool because it is of standard fantasy fare – an old temple that leads below
and that leads into a nice broken staircase, or of course, jump down. You swim under the water and the entrance is into a cave. You don’t spend very long in the temple itself.
real men jump!
From there there are twists and turns, stealthed mobs, and all sorts of glory to be found. You can actually miss parts and find dead ends. It’s a bit convulated and you can miss bosses and other fun areas if you don’t explore the nooks and crannies. There is a very direct route through the end, but the first time we missed 3 full bosses – Lady Sarevess, Old Serra’kis, and Gelihast. Gelihast was a “d’oh” moment but I became quite famous for showing new adventurers where Old Seraa’kis was.
Those lines exist in certain instances in games now because people get lost. See WildStar.
On this Map Lady Sarevess is through an underwater cavern (2) , and we missed Gelihast (3) because we turned right too early. Old Serra’kis (6) is underwater and way off the beaten path so that’s a little more understandable.
I am ahead of myself.
The first boss is Ghamoo-ra. He is a turtle. I tamed him with my hunter. He dropped green armor, I believe it was the first green armor I had seen. Typical tank and spank fight (most were at this level.
Lady Sarevess avoided capture my first run through but never again. Basic fight except she spams forked lightning so required tanks to turn away from the group. She dropped the first blue bow ol Braack ever had. Blue items felt really epic back then.
Gelihast (3) guarded a shrine that gave a buff. He is also the first real test in BFD and if I recall correctly did some serious damage. Murlocs would wipe us in that room as they were fleeing low on health they would chain aggro – and could grab Gelihast as well.
Lorgus Jett (4) was always confusing for us alliance. He never dropped loot. Ever! Why put in a mob that didn’t drop loot? We thought perhaps it was a bug. Turns out, its a horde only quest line. Every time we killed him we prayed that the loot would finally drop. It never did. He also spawns in a few different areas so was also confusing. I’m really curious what he was there for for the Horde quest. He brought an element of mystery!
When I checked WowWiki for a refresher (all pictures here compliments of them!) I found a boss I didn’t even know about – a summonable boss but only for the Horde side. I am skipping out on that one here, because I honestly had never fought him. So much for being an expert! (Boss 5 on the map)
The 6th boss Old Serra’kis dropped an awesome dagger graphic and I came back with my rogue to farm a pair. Drowning while fighting him was always a threat and people would sometimes get turned around in his cave, lost, and drowning. you had to take a long way back after killing him but the swim was always awesome after a boss kill and loot drops.
Twilight Lord Kelris (7) was what we originally thought was the final boss – he is fun and casts mind control and sleep, so those are always interesting to deal with when you are new to a game. (remember, we are talking launch time here, people!) It’s a tricky room with a few LOS pulls (first time we used those too). Overall, like most of the place, a straightforward fight.
We wiped before entering the final room a couple times – every time we brought new people through if we didn’t warn them enough. There are for braziers to light in the room, and each attracts a pack of mobs which are pretty easy to kill on their own. If you hit all four they will overwhelm any rookie group – and new people would often run around clicking on all of them – because they could.
That lead to the final boss, Aku’mai.
Don’t let that grainy picture fool you, he is gigantic and a site to behold as a young instance runner exploring a magical place. Dragon sized. It was my first epic battle, we wiped several times before sorting it out. This was before people tanked at level 25, remember. Before dungeon finder, glyphs, all sorts of modern conveniences. The instance was uphill both ways! After you kill Aku’mai you can get a port to Darnassus. We stood around the giant hall at the end searching every nook and cranny – did we miss something? Is that it? We really didn’t want it to end.
7 bosses (8 if you are Horde – damn you!) in sprawling underground caverns hidden from the world beneath a temple. Not much more exciting than that. Of course the exploration and shiny newness of it all is what made it special to me in particular and it is a place that I’ll remember fondly in my dungeoneering career.
I’m glad that it hasn’t been remade and curious to see if Blizzard ever does – I know they like re-purposing content – and I’d be fine with that. Would be interesting to see if they could recapture what I loved about it and I am actually very curious if the sprawling style and unclear pathways turned other people off from it. As far as time goes, this one took a while to run when it was new to you.
I’m sure someone out in blognation has done this before but if not, I’m really curious what your favourite 5 man dungeons were. (See? I didn’t 5 that one! I did promise!) and if you already posted about this some years ago then just pull a Blizzard and re-purpose that content.