In World of Warcraft Classic, we’ve just graduated from Scarlet Monastery (finally!) and taken our first run on Uldaman. This dungeon has so many nostalgia-filled memories for me personally, but for the friends I’m playing with as well.
The dungeon has a great vibe to it: a network of tunnels and caverns that contain the ruins of some ancient settlement. It’s got a real feeling of exploring something beyond just the lair of some monsters or evil humanoids. The complexity of it compared to all our runs of the linear corridor-like wings of Scarlet Monastery is a real breath of fresh air.
The sense of wonder I had at this dungeon the first few runs is of course gone. I know the instance, and more importantly the deeper world lore that it hints at has been largely explored in a lot of detail – notably in Wrath of the Lich King and in the last two expansions as the history of the Titans on Azeorth has been revealed.
That said, I was surprised and delighted to see these frescos on the walls of one section. I didn’t remember them at all, maybe had never even noticed the ancient Greek-style decorations of beings at leisure.
A major set-piece of the dungeon is the Map Chamber. It’s a major homage to Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it really impressed me as a ‘in-game’ animation. The boss fight that follows with Ironaya was pretty easy, prompting a discussion about memories of similar giant guardians in later expansions that were more challenging.
We explored perhaps a third to a half of the dungeon in total but didn’t make it to any boss fights past the Obsidian Sentinel. The problem wasn’t really the boss fights, but rather the trash mob packs there were starting to show as ‘red’ to half the group. That meant we couldn’t hit them, and our tank was having big problems keeping aggro. So we called the run at that point so we could head back and hand in the three quests we’d already completed.
Unlike modern WoW dungeons the wider level-range of mobs in Classic dungeons makes running them in one attempt impractical. It does mean the early parts of a dungeon are often full of green or even grey mobs by the time you can handily defeat the end boss, which I find a bit frustrating. Still, it’s a cool and varied dungeon and it taps into the lore that I have enjoyed gradually learning about all these years of playing WoW. So, I’m looking forward to a repeat run at this place after we’ve gained a level or two.