See for how the below plays out at level 100 with start of expansion gear, but the summary is that the below pretty much holds true still.
Whilst people have always soloed older raids – I’ve farmed a number of rare drop raid mounts already – one of the concerns with the item squish Warlords brought in was how easy it would be to solo older content.
Blizzard did say they’d address this – they didn’t want to stop people soloing old raids for transmog, mounts, older legendaryies.
So how successful have they been?
Well, from the number of times Rhonin keeps on going about our lives being worth living in Dalaran – he’s yelling it almost non-stop – I think a lot of people are running older raids!
… apparently there is a queue of people waiting for Rhonin to yell about the defiance of our very makers before they can send reply code alpha
For some personal experiences with different classes doing this, please see Soloing in a 6.0 World – Personal Experience for how a variety of different classes and gear levels faired.
I’m mostly looking to run older raids for mounts – that means that if I can do things on 10 instead of 25 or non-heroic then I will to speed things up.
There are some characters who’ll not be doing that – my enchanter needs enchants from Ulduar which only drop for 25 player raids and my Paladin is looking at the Shadowmourne quest line in ICC which is best done in 25 player raids – but mostly its about the mounts.
For this I used my shadow priest – whilst he is my best geared character, he is somewhat squishy compared to the others classes I could use. My warlock and hunter have pets who can tank for them. My paladin has plate and my DK is a tank.
- Icecrown Citadel
- Throne of the Four Winds
- Dragon Soul
- A note on raid sizes
We can do most of the instance on 10 player mode and switch to 25 at Yogg-Saron to speed things up. We also skip Razorscale and Ignis.
Traditionally, you’d go in the vehicles and destroy all of the bunkers the Iron Dwarfs pour from before you reach the Flame Leviathan. You don’t need to do that – go into a Salvaged Demolisher, just go straight to the courtyard of the Flame Leviathan, kill the mobs there and build up the stacks of pyrite on the boss. And watch it die.
The other bosses die rather quickly as well!
The lack of keepers up mean you have to be careful with your sanity; no nice pools from Freya to keep you sane! This means that you do need to take care with the fight and do it correctly.
Having instant cast spells here is very handy – its the only way to damage the Constrictor Tentacles! Killing the tenticles off as quickly as you can is required. Having a way to remove diseases, poisons and curses before going into the brain room is very helpful as well; so being a dwarf helps thanks to the stoneform racial which removes such things.
The spell you use on the Constrictor Tentacle has to not just be instant – it can’t have any facing requirements as well. Thus a shadow priest has it easy – Shadow Word: Pain is instant, does a good chunk of damage up front and doesn’t have any facing requirements. A demo lock using Grimoire of Sacrifice only has rain of fire to play with! Not that I found this out the hard way with my warlock or anything…
The most dangerous part for sanity loss is in the brain room – if you face the skulls you’ll loose some sanity and there is no way to recover it without Freya’s pool. So DPS the yellow NPCs to reveal the controlling tenticles & then kill those. That opens up the brain room which you have to nuke – get out before the timer runs out or you’ll go insane.
Once you’ve gotten Yogg into the final phase its pretty simple to do.
Total time taken: ~30 minutes.
Gold earned: ~500g, before any AH sales
With this we could do most of the instance on 10 player mode and switch to 25HC at the Lich King which really speeds things up.
You also don’t have to defeat the Valithria Dreamwalker encounter any more; the gates to Sindragosa are open and you can just walk around the mobs to reach it.
To switch the Lich King to heroic you need to have killed the Lich King on the difficulty you’re on – so to do Lich King 25 Heroic you’ll need to have killed him on 25 normal already.
The Lich King fight is relatively simple, but there are some “gotchas” you need to be aware of.
In phase one stand on the stairs – this negates the shadow traps.
When the Lich King runs to the center & does pain and suffering, continue to nuke him. But watch out for the icy orbs – if they hit you, you’ll go flying off the edge. For ranged this isn’t a problem – you can easily see them coming and don’t take much damage to kill.
For melee, it is more of a problem – try to have a ranged ability ready to kill them before they reach you. You could also arrange it so your back is to the throne so you don’t get blown off, but that’s somewhat trickier to arrange.
The raging spirits summoned during this time are a pain for casters as they have a conal silence. They’ll last the fight if you don’t kill them – so try to cleave them down if you can.
If he lives long enough, you may get to handle Defile – basically move out of it. If you stand in it you’ll rapidly cover the entire area.
If you get pulled into the sword, kill the spirits up in the air. The faster you do that the sooner you’ll be out of the sword. If you can’t do that, just wait – you’ll come out after a bit.
Total time taken: ~30 mins
Gold earned: ~580g before AH sales
A certain amount of time was eaten up by roleplay… and it turns out that Fury of Frostmourne doesn’t kill you any more – it only did 18k damage to me.
I should note that I tried Lich King on heroic 25 before 6.0.2 hit; I didn’t manage it on my shadow priest – being silenced by the raging spirits got in the way of healing!
No problems post-6.0.2 at all.
The mount here is Drake of the South Wind from Al’Akir in Throne of the Four Winds. It drops on any difficulty.
The concave of wind has three bosses, each on a platform with wind bridges between them. Part of their “fun” is if they’re left alone they use a powerful ability after ~5s into the fight:
- Rohash will silence the raid
- Nezir will apply a 500% haste debuff
- Anshal applies a shadow damage DoT. Which does damage and stops all healing
The usual method is to start on Rohash as being silenced is always irksome. You then move to Nezir as the haste debuff goes away when you start on him. Finally you kill Anshal.
After that its time to poke Al’akir – avoid the squall lines and in phase three move out of the clouds which form.
Total time taken: ~4 minutes
Gold earned: ~90g
However we’re after the Smoldering Egg of Millagazor which drops from Ragnaros on any raid difficulty. So we’ll do this as a 10 player raid for speed.
Total time taken: ~25 minutes
Gold earned: ~650g, before AH sales
Unfortunately you have to kill all of the bosses to reach Ragnaros, but this doesn’t take too long.
If nothing else, 5 minutes is taken killing trash to get Shannox to spawn!
Please see Mount farming 101: Dragon Soul for a detailed look at how to solo Dragon Soul
Deathwing Heroic also has a chance to drop Life Binders Handmaiden; at level 100 Dragonsoul heroic isn’t that much harder than normal.
Another reason for doing Dragonsoul on heroic is for transmog – a lot of the weapons have a lovely purple colour on heroic which works very nicely for some transmog sets. For example the staff in my Warlock’s transmog drops from heroic Deathwing
The main pain on this is Spine as Deathwing almost continually rolls – you have to move to the opposite side just before Deathwing rolls. On my first attempt I missed that roll by second – causing my only wipe of doing all of the above!
The other issue with Spine is that you’ll need healing as well – on my hunter I used a spirit beast for the heal & I’m very glad Devouring Plague has kept it’s healing component. It does mean I’m concerned with how my mage is going to handle this – all of the other chars I’ll do this with have self healing of some sort!
Blizzard have put in fixes for Spine – mostly around the bloods doing less melee damage and the time taken for Deathwing to go from detecting an imbalance to actually rolling going up.
You have two ways of dealing with the rolling – either continually kite from left to right sides or sit in a socket, tethered to Deathwing’s back. If you go the continually tethered route you will need to be able to heal yourself, especially on heroic. Even if you use the kite from left to right method, I’d recommend being tethered as you kill the tendon – you have to be tethered anyway to have Deathwing roll to get rid of the hideous amalgamations which come from the tenticles you kill.
Total time taken: ~35 mins
Gold earned: ~650g
Of the 35 minutes in the instance almost 5 minutes worth was RP. And another 2 minutes was spent on the irksome Ultraxion trash. I guess I could build up shadow orbs on those…
Running the five old raids above took just over 2 hours to do – not including any travel time between the instances, which probably adds ~15-20 minutes to the total.
It was also quite profitable, with a total of ~2,500g earned – although if you’re looking purely at gold making there are probably better ways to do it! However as an added bonus, it is quite nice. Plus there are auction house sales of BoE transmog items and recipes not included in the above – where I’ve put “before AH sales” above I’ve had such things drop.
The old raids drop some nice items for transmog as well – I kept the Sho’ravon, Greatstaff of Annihilation for transmog!
Changing raid sizes isn’t something people usually do; with the farming I’m doing I’ll change the raid size from 10 to 25 for two raids: Ulduar and ICC.
To change from 10 to 25 you’ll need to be outside of the instance.
If you then need to change to heroic – eg for the Lich King – then you’ll need to change from normal to heroic inside the instance.
Since it’s not taking me that long to do the raids and the gold is good enough, I’m not saving locks on one character and allowing others to use that.
However if I was to do that I’d stop killing bosses at the boss before the end one.
You have the character with the lock enter as leader so most of the bosses are down. You then have the other members enter. The char with the lock then leaves.
Then rest of the raid kill the 2nd to last boss, giving them a nice lock at the right point. They can then become leader, switch to 25 / 25HC and kill the final boss.