Sunday, May 13, 2007, posted by WoW Fan at 12:25 AM
The purpose of this guide is to provide players with a base-line understanding of what heroic dungeons are, why they are important and, most importantly, how to get groups to run them.

According to Blizzard a Heroic dungeon is simply a Dungeon where the “difficulty will be much greater, the rewards will also scale up accordingly.” Additionally, heroic bosses drop Badges of Justice which can be used to purchase epic items and, with the 2.1 patch, primal nethers from the Naaru in Shattrath City.

In order to enter a Heroic Dungeon you need to have at least Revered with a particular faction and purchase a key from that factions quartermaster.

Revered Honor Hold = Hell Fire Citadel Key
Revered Sha’tar = Tempest Keep Key
Revered Cenarion Expedition = Coilfang Reservoir Key
Revered Lower City = Aunchindoun Key
Revered Keepers of Time = Caverns of Time Key

If you are more concerned with end-game progression I would suggest focusing on Honor Hold and Lower City rep first since you will be required to complete a quest in heroic mode to summon Nightbane (which in turn is part of another heroic quest, requiring Cenarion Expedition revered faction in Slave Pens, to get keyed for Serpent Shrine Cavern).

If end-game progression is not an immediate concern you’re best bet is to focus on getting revered Sha’tar and Cenarion Expedition. Steamvaults in Coilfang and Mechanar in Tempest Keep are popular “first-time” heroics. Both Steamvaults and Mechanar are some of the “easier” runs.

Group composition is crucial in a 5 man heroic. For the most part you need a tank, a healer and 3 DPS with CC ability (which can be an off-tank if the healer can handle it). You may wish to adjust your spec (points in traps if you are a hunter for example) to increase your utility in heroic runs.

You need to be a good player. Unlike large raids where you can occasionally have one or two weak players, in a heroic everyone needs to be “on game”, play tight and pay attention. If you don’t do a good job in a heroic run you can be sure that the other four players are unlikely to invite you back. People are very skittish about doing heroics with untrusted/untested players because of the difficulty level and the fact that it’s only 5 people.

With the decrease in guild size as the result of the expansion it can be tough to find a complete balanced group in-guild. My advice, and this is what I do, is to ask every skilled player you do a run with if they would mind you putting them on your friends list for heroic runs. Even if you are not level 70 yet, start doing this now! You will eventually have a long list of competent players to put together heroic pick-up-groups without the headache of PUG incompetence. I want to emphasize the importance of this tactic because it’s the best way to get heroic runs. If you are a good player there is no reason why you can’t run a heroic before or after the times most people are raiding.

If after all this you can’t get heroic runs you might want to look at your spec or play-style and ask for honest feedback from other players.

First of all, how hard a run is on heroic has little to do with how hard a run was on normal mode. In fact the reverse is often-times true. Although this is just my opinion, it’s pretty safe to say that Underbog Heroic, Mana Tombs Heroic are a lot harder than Mechanar Heroic and Steam Vaults Heroic.

On Heroic mode difficulty expect mobs to have more health, new abilities and resistances. Expect some trash mobs to be as hard, if not harder, than some of the boss encounters.

I’ve ranked the following heroic runs in terms of difficulty. Keep in mind this is just my opinion and I’m positive others would disagree. Also, I’m assuming ideal party composition for the run.

Easy Heroics:
The Steamvault
The Slave Pens
The Mechanar

Hard Heroics:
The Underbog
Mana Tombs
Auchenai Crypts
Sethekk Halls
Shadow Labyrinth
Escape from Durnholde Keep
Hellfire Ramparts
Blood Furnace

Very Hard Heroics:
The Botanica
The Shattered Halls
Opening the Dark Portal
The Arcatraz

Additionally, on dungeons that were lower than level 70 in normal mode expect new loot tables and remember that every boss in a heroic zone will drop a Badge of Justice. All end-bosses in heroic dungeons will drop epic items.

Heroics are a lot of fun. You get to work as a tight team, get good items and, in the end, it makes you a better player for 25 mans and in general.

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