Guest Post - Rodrigo Minnemann's best and worst encounters from The Burning Crusade

On Blizzard Watch, I wrote about the best and worst encounters in the original Burning Crusade. I played all through Burning Crusade as a Protection Paladin and it had an enormous influence on my experiences and recollections of those encounters.

Rodrigo Minnemann (@Rod_Minn) was a healer in the original Burning Crusade. He follows me on Twitter and asked if he could share his best and worst encounters from a healing perspective. I loved the idea of seeing Burning Crusade through a different lens.

The Best (and Worst) instances and encounters from The Burning Crusade


by Rodrigo Minnemann (@Rod_Minn)

Ah, Burning Crusade, the first expansion of our beloved MMO. Who could forget entering that iconic portal. Into a shattered world with cosmic sights to behold! Exploring new lands, dinging new levels, and best of all, enjoying the new group content that we will soon relive in Burning Crusade Classic.

Take the findings of this list with a grain of salt, for it is the recollection of memories from a teen discovering both himself and this new world as a Holy Paladin. The memories of those instances and encounters remain where the player made his name, and the boss that scarred his will.

My favorite encounters and instances in the Burning Crusade

Here are those that impressed me the most, both by mechanics and looks.

Broggok in Blood Furnace Dungeon (Burning Crusade Classic Phase 1)

I understood that reference!

Those who knew about beholders from Dungeons & Dragons were amazed upon seeing their debut in Outland. I know - I was a bard at my local table. The Hellfire Citadel's floating eye had fel orcs in store for us (who were quite deadly on Heroic - I've earned many a caster's thanks with my Blessing of Protection) before he joined the fray with acid rays and poison clouds.

Mana Tombs dungeon (Burning Crusade Classic Phase 1)

Tombs half-empty, or tombs half-full?

I know this one is loathed by many, so allow me to explain. The ethereal were enigmatic, charismatic nether-foes that I always enjoyed facing in battle. And in this instance, they used a lot of magical abilities... including the mana drains that crippled casters and healers (Editor's note: and Paladin tanks!). It was one of the very few instances that the rambunctious, "go-go-go" parties had to give time for everyone, including the healer, to refill lost mana. Doing the opposite would result in deaths. And I appreciated those few times my pauses were respected.

Also, Nexus Prince Shaffar was my favorite TBC boss in terms of flair. He always had such fascinating things to show us.

Nightbane in Karazhan (Burning Crusade Classic Phase 1)

When a healer becomes a man.

Nightbane was a fight that gave me all the thrills. Players needed to kill him to progress to Tier 5 raids, but only one needed to use the urn provided by the quest line - often me, who did it out of pure curiosity.

I'll never forget the night when, upon the first minute of the fight, our two other healers died in a foolish fashion. The raid leader was calling for a wipe, but instead I shouted: "Wait. I can handle this! Trust me." At that time, I was one of the guild’s few Holy paladins, so I had almost every healing plate that Karazhan had to offer. The leader trusted me, and in those pivotal moments I gave my all: my feet were quick to avoid the fire patches, my flash rotation was on point, my Insignia used on that clutch fear. Mages waited inside their Ice Block for full health. Our kitty cast HoT on himself more often. A few souls had to die because from my triage on who would live and die – those were the choices that hurt me the most. But we pushed on. At the last minutes of the fight, where the boss enraged, the kitty's Rebirth brought up a priest who assisted on heals and Fear Wards. Nightbane fell, and victory was ours.

The next week, I asked my guild leader if I could leave the guild to search for a proper raiding guild to keep growing as a healer, now that I've found I was capable of joining "the big boys". He, and the entire guild, gave me his blessing and a fond farewell as I joined the raiding guild Even Odds.

Lady Vashj in Serpentshrine Cavern (Burning Crusade Classic Phase 2)

Passing the orb to %T!

Simply put, I loved the fight for how much of a coordination our raid was managing while facing the nagas' leader. I loved throwing the orbs to players, more than healing the carriers. On progression attempts, I ended up picking orbs at the start and then deliver them at the end until other players were comfortable with doing the same roles.

Mount Hyjal (Burning Crusade Classic Phase 3)

Warcraft-ception?!?

As a player who joined the Warcraft community during Warcraft III, this raid was the embodiment of nostalgia to my young self. However, the Even Odds removed me from their roster for unexplained reasons, but the guild master was kind in directing me towards another guild around our same progression: the Raven Knights.

At that time, I accumulated a lot of tank gear from T5 raids – someone had to use all those unpicked tokens - and the Raven Knights were looking for a Paladin tank for their progression. Becoming a tank in those first few months were what cemented my love for this instance, snatching ghouls and swapping shields. Even if this experience isn't intended for us Holy Paladins, it provided my early self with some insight as to how tanks worked in terms of placement and cooldowns, of boss abilities and "hard-hitters". This hands-on experience was helpful when I retook the healing mantle, cooperating better with tanks and DPS and being an overall better raider. 

My least favorite encounters and instances in Burning Crusade

Some of them truly loathed, others... simply lackluster.

Auchenai Crypts dungeon (Burning Crusade Classic Phase 1)

Auchenai? Bored, am I?

Every single dungeon was either important to raiding progression or had an accessible questline to explain its premise. Auchenai Crypts had an interesting story, but it was hidden in a long questline in Terokkar Forest. Also, its two bosses were hidden halfway inside the dungeon, so it wasn't a fair incentive compared to the remaining instances. And... let's not talk about the bridge, shall we?...

Nethermancer Sepethrea in The Mechanar (Burning Crusade Classic Phase 1)

We don’t want to feel the burn!

If there's one noticeable weakness on Holy Paladins, is the lack of healing tools while on the move. Sepethrea summons 2 fire elementals that chase players, forcing me and the party to constantly run and be vigilant of the adds’ position. Her Dragon Breath could disorient the tank, which opened another can of worms. To top it all off, the room's furthest side had a trigger zone for waves of adds from the next boss when Sepethrea falls, meaning that someone in the wrong place at the wrong time would trigger the chain. When that happens, and the group is in tatters, DI the tank. Trust me, it will make things faster.

Shade of Aran in Karazhan (Burning Crusade Classic Phase 1)

Stay put, dang it!

The song says it all, really...

...there was always a reason to move. And die. And do the lengthy corpse run. With possible respawns on the way up.

Kael'Thas in The Eye (Burning Crusade Classic Phase 2)

Too hot to handle?

Kael'Thas and I have... a complicated relationship, you see. He was such a charismatic, sympathetic individual, with reasons behind his actions. But his methods... his mechanics that gave the raid one twist to adjust after another. And so much could get wrong along the way. Deaths from Capernian's Arcane Explosion. Two advisors flailing the same tank. Not enough damage on the shield. Someone floating too high. I enjoy the fight, don't get me wrong... it's the plethora of nasty outcomes that test the raid's patience and often brought up the worst banters. If the guild isn't solid on social standings, be prepared for fiery exchanges.

Teron Gorefiend in The Black Temple (Burning Crusade Clasisc Phase 3)

When wiping in the game wasn't enough.

When Honors brought up Teron's fight in terms of personal responsabilities, I’m afraid he was just stating half the scenario. Most TBC raiding guilds that dabbled in addon resources knew about a Flash game that simulated the Shadow of Death mechanic, where players had to kill the ghosts. Rumors in my server told you weren't considered for the raid until you had cleared it. The Raven Knights were more lenient, but the task was still asked to all their raiders.

Not only was the game set in a top-down perspective, making it harder to control the ghosts, but my younger self was unaware that they were faster than the ones in-game. My constant failures led me to a doubt crisis where I could have quit raiding if not for the support of my guild friends, including the guild master herself. And when it was finally my first time, I was genuinely impressed at how different (and easier) it was. I did miss a bit and let one slip a kill, true, but the experience was enough for me to win all future Shadows of Death. Later on, I also won in the Flash game.

I wish I had room for additional encounters

There are more encounters I could have talked about, such as Moroes from Karazhan, Priestess Delrissa from Magisters' Terrace, or Kalecgos from Sunwell Plateau, not to mention the big, angry flagship boss himself. But I am more curious about your tastes, dear readers.

Which were your best memories? Or what about your worst? Was your perspective different from others towards a given boss or instance?

Thank you Rodrigo for those awesome stories. I'm looking forward to reliving all of it -- the good and the bad in Burning Crusade Classic.

 About: Rodrigo Minnemann is a chemist with side knowledge on analytical studies and software programming. While Age of Empires II was his first game, it was Warcraft III and Diablo II universes that fostered his love for PC gaming. He joined World of Warcraft as a Human Paladin and has been healing from Vanilla to Battle for Azeroth, where the call to WoW Classic beckoned him. An Hearthstone veteran since open Beta, Dungeon Runs and Duels are his strongest fields, and he loves PvE content. He lives in Portugal, Europe, alongside his Horde brothers. When not dabbling in Blizzard content, he enjoys world-building, the occasional animated series and solid Switch platformers.

Bes sure to follow Rodrigo on Twitter at @Rod_Minn.

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