World of Warcraft recently launched a poll for the most popular Warlords of Draenor dungeons. The two with the most votes will return in Season 4 of Shadowlands. Among the two winners is one of the worst dungeons – at least according to some players.
What is this dungeon? The Iron Docks is the second level dungeon in Warlords of Draenor. In the original it could be entered at level 92, which puts it right after the Bloodmaul Slag Mines. Today the dungeon is visitable through Chromie time from level 15-40. The dungeon is located in Gorgrond in alternate Draenor. At the docks, the Iron Horde fleet under Garrosh is being made, complete with artillery and dangerous weapons. A total of 4 boss battles await in the Iron Docks.
Why are the Iron Docks coming back? In March, Blizzard announced that Shadowlands will get a 4th season. In addition, 6 dungeons from past addons will be revived, which will then become playable as mythical keystone dungeons (“Mythic+”):
- Mechagon: Junkyard and Workshop (Battle for Azeroth)
- Upper and Lower Karazhan (Legion)
- The Iron Docks and Grimrail Depot (Warlords of Draenor)
A survey was carried out in the European and US forums for the dungeons from WoD. This has now ended. In both polls, with a total of over 30,000 participants and 63,000 votes across both polls, the docks and depot won quite significantly.
Heaps of trash, unnecessarily long passages
That’s why the iron docks are just annoying players: Out of all the dungeons of WoD and even World of Warcraft in general, I find the iron docks one of the most annoying. It starts with the instance being riddled with trash mobs. In itself that’s not a problem if you’re careful. But every AoE ability and every careless fear spell pulls half the instance. And that’s not even an exaggeration: at the beginning there are countless mobs that you can easily accidentally bring into battle.
Even if you get through this in a reasonably disciplined manner, extremely tough passages await you shortly afterwards. First the group has to fight their way through a gauntlet while constantly hiding from fire. The bosses themselves then have annoying mechanics again.
Why is this a problem? The iron docks are supposed to come as Mythic+. That means: You have to complete the dungeon in a limited time and kill a certain amount of trash. The above complaints raise some difficulties right here:
- depending on the affix, the mechanics of trash or bosses are extremely difficult and immediately deadly
- the stretching passages gnaw at the clock and one has little control over it
- many rough edges force healers to constantly move – depending on the class, this can be really stressful
All of this has worked before in challenge mode, sure. But Mythic+ also comes with affixes that alter gameplay. Running the gauntlet of “necrotic” or “terrible” is just annoying.
Consolation: One of the best dungeons is also coming back
Luckily, the Iron Docks aren’t the only dungeon returning from WoD. The Grimrail Depot also comes as a keystone dungeon. And it’s one of the best dungeons ever. Instead of just traipsing around lamely, here you fight on a moving train! Of course, this is just an appearance, but it still looks good. The dungeon is linear – it’s a train after all – but thanks to the mechanics it doesn’t get boring.
The bosses constantly require interaction with the environment, but without simply disappearing from the fight completely. The obligatory ground planes are there as well, but there are few that keep you from fighting as long as the final boss fire in the docks.
Due to the tube factor, the M+ version should also be a bit clearer and even lighter. After all, there are only a few trash groups that can be skipped at all. And the dungeon is quite short. This means more time pressure, but also faster throughputs.