|Level: 47-65, 80-85|
|Rulers||Nefarian, Lord of Blackrock
Ragnaros the Firelord
|Location||In between the Burning Steppes and Searing Gorge|
Blackrock Mountain is a zone between the Burning Steppes and the Searing Gorge, linking the two regions. This zone is deceptively small, and appears empty when first entered - however, it was at one point, without doubt, among the most dangerous places in Azeroth. It is hotly contested between the forces of Ragnaros and his Dark Iron servants on one side and the black dragon Nefarian and his orc minions on the other. This is one of the most important areas in the World of Warcraft lore.
It contains 6 high-level instances:
- Blackrock Depths: 5-man dungeon (49-57)
- Lower and Upper Blackrock Spire: 5-man dungeons (56-60)
- Molten Core: 40-man raid (60)
- Blackwing Lair: 40-man raid (60)
- Blackrock Caverns: 5-man dungeon (80-82), heroic mode available (85)
- Blackwing Descent: 10/25-man raid, heroic mode available (85)
The mountain is actually a volcano that was created at the end of the War of the Three Hammers when the Dark Iron dwarf Lord, Thaurissan, accidentally summoned Ragnaros the Firelord from his prison beneath the earth. The power unleashed by his "rebirth" was so massive it shattered a large section of the Redridge Mountains creating the areas now known as the Searing Gorge and Burning Steppes. Ragnaros enslaved the Dark Iron dwarf clan, and they have dug many tunnels and created a huge underground city in the depths of the mountain. Dwarves would later name this mountain Blackrock Spire. The name Blackrock Mountain and Blackrock Spire predates the coming of the orcs. Blackrock Spire is the part of Blackrock Mountain that is above ground, and Blackrock Depths is the parts underneath the mountain.
The First and Second War
During the events of the First War, the Blackrock clan of orcs had taken over the upper reaches of the mountain. During the Second War, the Blackrock Mountain was the headquarter of the Horde. When this war was ending, one of the fiercest battles in the history of Azeroth took place here, the Assault on Blackrock Spire. After the Old Horde had been defeated at the Dark Portal following their defeat at the the Assault on Blackrock Spire, many orcs where caught and put into interment camps by the Alliance of Lordaeron. Rend Blackhand and his brother Maim Blackhand, who served as dual chieftains of the defeated Black Tooth Grin clan and Blackrock clan, apparently rescued some of their warriors from the interment camps and vent back to Blackrock Spire where they founded the Dark Horde. The black wyrm Nefarian arrived two years later after the Dark Portal was reopened by the Horde of Draenor. He made his home in the upper reaches of Blackrock Mountain and made this Dark Horde his personal army, in addition to the other black dragons he brought and the experiments he later created.
After the Second War
Ragnaros and Nefarian waged a brutal war for supremacy and control of the mountain. Ragnaros controlled (and still does) his Dark Iron dwarves and their various machines and golems, as well as an army of elementals, beasts, and powerful lieutenants such as Baron Geddon, Garr, and Sulfuron. As an Elemental Lord, he also gained the favor of the Twilight's Hammer. Nefarian controlled (and still does, in terms of game mechanics) the Dark Horde which consists of the Blackrock tribe of orcs, a small army of trolls and ogres, as well as his dragon lieutenants and his invention, the chromatic dragonflight. Nefarian himself could be found in Blackwing Lair, overlooking the mountain, (again, game mechanics still allow players to fight him here) while Ragnaros leads his own army from the mountain's volcanic core.
The two rivals both hoped to raise a powerful army that could take over Azeroth. While it lasted, the other inhabitants of Azeroth were lucky to not be part of the battle.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
Upon Deathwing's return to Azeroth after the Third War, Deathwing, the Black Aspect, somehow managed to convince Ragnaros to join him in an alliance in order to destroy the mortal races of Azeroth. The Twilight's Hammer clan has already set up their new base in the caverns of Blackrock from where they seek to create a main supply route to Mount Hyjal and send the remaining fire elementals to the war zone. Meanwhile, Deathwing's son Nefarian - who after being killed by adventurers was raised as an undead by Deathwing to continue evil schemes - had been plotting his revenge after his shameful defeat. As such, he began creating even more twisted and horrific experiments deep within the halls of Blackwing Descent.
Given how Ragnaros and Nefarian served serve the same master, it's likely that they stopped fighting each other and sought to aid Deathwing in destroying Azeroth instead. While Ragnaros made it his goal to burn Hyjal, Nefarian was more content with creating more and more creative monstrosities to further Deathwing's plans. Nefarian eventually met his end at the hands of the Alliance and Horde, ending his twisted machinations and experiments permanently.
There are five dungeons in Blackrock Mountain, suitable for players starting level 50 and increasing in difficulty. Blackrock Depths is a 5-man instance recommended for players level 48-60. Blackrock Spire is usually divided into two parts: Lower Blackrock Spire which is a 5-man instance recommended for players level 52-60; Upper Blackrock Spire is a 10-man raid instance recommended for players level 52-60. Molten Core is the first 40-man raid instance recommended for players level 60+. Blackwing Lair is a 40-man raid instance recommended for players level 60+ (after Molten Core in difficulty). World of Warcraft: Cataclysm introduced two more Blackrock dungeons. Blackrock Caverns is an introductory 5-man dungeon for level 80-81 players and Blackwing Descent is a 10/25-man raid inspired by Blackwing Lair, and features Nefarian as a boss.
Entrance to Blackrock Caverns
|Blackrock Spire • Forgewright's Tomb • The Grinding Quarry • The Masonary • The Molten Span|
|Dungeon Name||Level Range||Group Size||Approximate Run Time|
|Blackrock Caverns||80-81; 85||5-man|
|Zone Name||Faction||Level Range||Direction||Access|
|Searing Gorge||45-50||North||By foot (The path to Blackrock Mountain starts at.)|
|Burning Steppes||50-52||South||By foot|
- Main article: Blackrock Mountain NPCs
Blackrock Mountain is home to three characters of note:
- At the Blackrock Spire balcony, the invisible Bodley seeks aid in restoring the amulet of Lord Valthalak.
- At Forgewright's Tomb, Franclorn Forgewright wants the return of the great hammer Ironfel.
- At the very bottom of the mountain, Lothos Riftwaker offers attunement to the Molten Core by sending bold adventurers deep into Blackrock Depths in search of a particular rock.
- Main article: Blackrock Mountain quests
For the most part, no quests occur in Blackrock Mountain itself, though it is a gateway for 4 instances. However, there are a few quests that are categorized as Blackrock Mountains quests, in particular some of the Dungeon Set 2 quests. These quests are primarily given by Bodley, the ghost of a gnome located in Blackrock Spire.
Notes, tips and additional info
- One of the realms in World of Warcraft is named after Blackrock Mountain (See Realm Names and their place in Warcraft Lore).
- Although appearing on both the Searing Gorge and the Burning Steppes maps, Blackrock Mountain is treated by the game as being a separate zone.
- The passage between Searing Gorge and Burning Steppes is free of mobs.
- Up until Patch 3.3.3, the interior of Blackrock Mountain was a no-mount area and players were forced to traverse the zone on foot. This change, however, wasn't documented.
- The inside of the mountain could very well be a reference to Moria in The Lord of the Rings, since the whole mountain was dwarf property, but many of the dwarfs were killed or pushed back.
- Blackrock Mountain is notable for having the highest amount of instances several times throughout World of Warcraft history. Even when The Burning Crusade was released, it still mantained its position. However, when the Culling of Stratholme was released, it shared its position with Tanaris, both having 5 dungeons each. Finally, it lost its position with the release of patch 3.3.0, at which point Icecrown had 6 instances. With the release of Catacylsm, it once again had the most dungeons in the game (7), and remained so for most of the expansion until 4.3.0. Currently, Tanaris has the highest amount of dungeons in the game.
Player versus Player
Before the Burning Crusade expansion was released, Blackrock Mountain was a PvP hotspot (even more intense before Ahn'Qiraj) because Upper Blackrock Spire, Lower Blackrock Spire, Blackrock Depths, Molten Core and Blackwing Lair were (and still are) ALL in Blackrock Mountain. Since these were the most popular instances, many players of both factions would clash here on their route to their instance. Many PvP videos feature extended segments of Blackrock Mountain PvP, or what was known as BRM PvP. If one was going to Blackrock Mountain, one could expect to encounter resistance on the way there. However, with the release of The Burning Crusade, BRM PvP has "died" to say the least.
A more complete explanation of Blackrock Mountain (from Paxton's "The Death of PvP"):
Some called this the gauntlet...
Everyone from 50-somethings to the fully geared raider frequented this warzone cleverly disguised as a mountain. Some in hopes of acquiring powerful epic item, others to ensure that didn't happen.
There were more dangers lurking around every corner in this mountain than to possibly list. Even the most experienced raider couldn't anticipate rogues hidden in these corridors, or the priest hiding in the shadows helplessly tossing mind-controlled opponents into the fiery lava pits below.
As with most Pre-TBC content, the objectives and rewards found in this mountain have been trivialized to the extent that there is no motivation for players to come here. Blackrock Mountain may only be remembered for what it was, the destination for end game PvE and high-stakes PvP.