The Classics Never Die…

I had a few post ideas for today. I thought of writing about bad PuGs, I thought of writing about my thoughts on certain talent specs, and I really really wanted an excuse to post a screenshot I snagged of my new current DPS high score (yay Patchwerk!). But in the end I decided that today I am going to write about…


Yes. Deadmines.

You see, in my mind, there is very little else out there that will test a young hunter’s mettle like solo’ing Deadmines in your mid-30s. You may think I am joking, until you try it. It will force you to learn about things like aggro management (keeping multiple mobs on your pet, with limited means), rudimentary freeze trapping, and pulling off crazy techniques you won’t do in most “civilized” instances anymore, like tossing around Immolation Traps to get more damage going, or Mongoose Biting that pesky parrot nipping at your ankles. It even teaches you about mana management, for really, what hunter has mp5 or more than a shallow puddle of Intellect at level 36?


Ever been into the Goblin Foundry? If one of those goblins runs off you’re pretty much screwed by all the millions of mobs sitting at the bottom. You have to pull your mobs carefully and you have to be sure they don’t run away.

Ever taken on Mr. Smite and his nasty stun (“You landlubbers are tougher than I thought!”) and his rogue buddies that come out of nowhere? Lemme rephrase that; ever done it with only 1500 HP?

And how about Edwin VanCleef himself and his rogue buddies?


Way back in the day when I was leveling my first character, Tawyn, I was quite fanatical about solo’ing Deadmines. It started out when I was level 26 or 27 or so and I was tired of being in bad groups for the place, so Tux and I decided we’d solo it. I don’t think we could quite beat the first boss. But we kept going back every couple of levels. It became a regular routine. Every time, we would get a little closer. Finally it happened at level 41: Deadmines, solo’d. (I skipped trying at level 40, I was having too much fun running around Stranglethorn on my mount. This was back before that northern flight point and the mount was a godsend, lemme tell ya.)

Since then, it has become a little challenge for me to try to lower that “high score”. Lunapike solo’d the place at 38. Tamaryn, in temporary boomkin guise, did it at 40. And today…



Althalor did it at 36, with his level 35 moth Chakapas.

Now to be fair, it felt a little easier this time than it has for me in the past. I think it’s probably mostly due to having Aspect of the Viper, since there are really no other major spec or ability differences that I can think of at that level. Still– a new personal record. One to be challenged by whoever my next up’n’coming hunter is.

I often think that in this world of raiding and heroics where we’ve got someone else to tank for us and someone else to heal for us, and often someone else to do the crowd control for us, we get locked into one mode of playing. That’s why I believe it’s important sometimes to go back to the basics and get a little unconventional and experimental and hone your lesser used skills and really dig deep into your class in a way that a lot of others do not. Many people may say the lessons you learn from such a thing don’t help you much in an end-game situation, me, I think they do. You can never know too much about your chosen class. But the only way to decide for yourself is to try it… I think you just may be surprised.


22 thoughts on “The Classics Never Die…”

  1. Wow, that’s awesome! Might as well try that myself, as soon as one of my puny hunter alts gets stronger.

  2. Wow, now I want to try it. Wonder what the lowest level you could solo Wailing Caverns is.

    Oh btw, it’s definitely possible to solo Stockades at 40. Did it on my feral druid. /flex

  3. I do the same thing, but with Shadowfang Keep. My record for that is 27 or 28. Deadmines would be a bit more of a challenge, though, as would Wailing Caverns.

  4. WC is nice to solo at early levels because of the curious pathing in some places. There are times where you can easily go to places where mobs cannot.

    I too did this, but with Scholomance.

  5. I have a level 80 equivalant of that. I’ve been trying to solo Onyxia. I’m so close to getting through phase 2 without dying…
    Just another piece or two of better gear and i should be able to do it.

  6. Llessue – Yes, it is a thing of the past. I still say it is useful to know about. And I still say that I don’t like the whole gorilla/AoE grinding thing. ;P

  7. Oh, come on what’s there not to like about the old gorilladin grinding? Its just too much fun to see just how many mobs you can take down. and if you are doing old school instances, its fun to march through and let the gorilla stomp on the groups running at you. I guess I’m lazy.

  8. Gorilla/Volley grinding is a perfectly legitimate, acceptable, and definitely very viable method. I happen to not like it, because the main appeal of the hunter class to me is its very one-on-one style. Similarly, I really hate those big pulls in instances/raids because I’m expected to spam Volley and I do not like spamming Volley.

    It is a mere difference of preference, that’s all. =P

  9. I love doing this! I don’t remember the last time I tried it.

    I do remember going to the first boss that drops Leggings of the Fang for my druid at level 30ish. There’s only two pulls you need to take care of if you’re clever with stealth and the boss isn’t too hard.

    I’ve also made her solo bits of Gnomer to get that underwater breathing staff. That one you can do as soon as you can equip the staff. 🙂

    I did Deadmines once, but I don’t remember what level that was. XD

    Also – there’s a pally quest for SFK at level… 20, I think? I’ve soloed my pallies through the courtyard at least twice (Terrifying!, but I get better each time) so I don’t have to waste the same amount of time it took me to get it myself trying to _find_ a group for that dratted instance.

    Soloing baby dungeons at low levels is one of my favorite things to do. 😀

  10. I was leveling mining/enchanting on my 58 DK last weekend and stumbled on the Deadmines which I had never done. So I went on in to try to pick up some more nodes and greens to DE. Not challenging, obviously, but a really nice instance (other than the annoying maze trying to find the entrance) and FUN! I’ve decided to try soloing all the instances I come across as I level mining, which is painfully sloooooow.

  11. It’s so true what you say about doing things that get you to dig deep into your class or try/learn things that you would never normally do. I think it makes you a much more well rounded player. I think doing PUGs helps with this too – both in a opportunity to learn from players other than your regular buddies, and also having to be on your toes when those puggers turn out to be terribad and you have to pull out every trick in the book to get through the instance. Personally I like to do PvP – it makes me think about the hunter class in a different way, I need to use a whole different set of skills from PvE and you really really have to be on the ball with your situational awareness. Great post Pike 🙂

  12. I soloed almost all of Wailing caverns with my level 26 Rogue, he was heavily twinked and buffed from pots and scrolls but it was really fun, I also ran Blackfathom Depths Solo to get to the first boss trying to get her bow and gloves for my rogue. Granted I stealthed past all ofthe mobs except for her, it was a heck of a fight let me tell you

  13. Sadly… Warlock, level 32. Rogue, level 32. Original BM spec Hunter (pre-BC, before first BM Hunter Nerf), level 30. Arcane Mage, 30.

    Of course I’m also one of those sick people who does throw out Explosive Trap for more DPS in “polite groups”. 😉 My job is to kill things. If the Tank is insane enough to pull 4 or 5 targets in a Heroic, who am I to resist the urge to do something equally insane?

    And yeah, Gorilla would be cheating, but I’d bet you could do it lower than 30 with one (if there were one available). Going in with a Bear, Cat or Wolf should be the ‘standard’ (when I did it years ago it was with a Wolf)

  14. When I was leveling my Rogues I used to solo Instances, particularly Gnomeregan. Yes, Gnomeregan. I was one of the few players that actually loved that Instance. Sure, I was usually a couple of levels higher than I could have been, but there’s a lot of fun in Stealthing through an Instance and taking down the Bosses. With a Combat Sword Rogue popping Evasion, Blade Flurry and Riposte on a hot-key, you can often take down a couple of Elites, including a Boss, as long as they’re a couple of levels lower than you.

    On my Druid I solo’d all of the RFK quests, including The Crone (or is it The Krone?) when I was barely level 30. I think I was just a level or two higher than The Crone at the time and I had to shift, repeatedly, to keep myself healed, but still trying to keep up the DPS. IIRC I finished that fight with less than 100 health. It was intense, but a huge rush.

    I don’t play WoW any more but I would often set challenges for myself like these. As a more casual (solo) player, this was one part of WoW that I really enjoyed.

  15. I’m currently trying to clear every single monster in all of RFC in a single pull.
    Not a chance on my Rogue.

    I’ve got it down to 2 and a half pulls on my Unholy DK at 65 but the orc melee types in the second half shield-slam too often.

    I’m told there is youtube vids of mages doing it. Their AOE of course would be strong enough but I expect they would be too fragile.

    My mage, Lock and Pally are all too low to attempt this.

  16. At 60 a friend’s Disc Priest and my Arcane Mage did a 3 pull to Smite. I got the bubble, he went one way, I went the other, met at a Boss and bammo… I did all the aggro (Arcane Explosion) and he did the healing.

    Highly enjoyable listening to the noobs behind us cursing that they couldn’t loot fast enough. 😉

  17. I never tried to gorilla on my huntr, My dwarf hunter’s first real favorite pet was a loch modan crock, unfortunately noisy.. but a low profile so the dwarf could see over it..

    I ran VC solo so many times trying to grind up greens/ore/cash for my hunter’s first mount that I can’t bear to even go there in a level appropriate group anymore.

    As far as that irradiated hole in the ground, I generally treat anyone that says it’s name like they just swore at me over an open mic. I hate that place with a passion. Incidentally, did you know that an irradiated cat has 18 half lives?

    One of my guild mates (a hunter) has a habit of farming BRD for runecloth solo.. for hours on end. To me that would be excessively dull, I just couldn’t do it.

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