- This article is about the raid instance. For the 2008 April Fools joke, see World of Warcraft: The Molten Core. For the warlock ability, see . For the TCG set, see Molten Core (TCG).
The Molten Core is a level 60 raid dungeon located within Blackrock Mountain, home to Ragnaros the Firelord. It was one of two forty (40) player raid dungeons available upon release of World of Warcraft, the other being Onyxia's Lair. Considered the pinnacle of raiding achievement at the time, the Molten Core enticed adventurers to enter the instance in the search of realm glory.
Just before the re-opening of the Dark Portal, Ragnaros - the land's fiery overlord - was cast down from his dark throne and returned to the firelands. Ragnaros now wages war on the world tree Nordrassil.
The Molten Core was created during the War of the Three Hammers more than 300 years ago. Near the end of the war, Thaurissan, the leader of the Dark Iron Dwarves, sought to summon a powerful fire elemental to defeat the combined forces of the Bronzebeard and Wildhammer clans. He was more successful than he could have imagined, as he released Ragnaros the Firelord from millennia of captivity under the Redridge Mountains.
Ragnaros destroyed the city of Thaurissan and created the volcano of Blackrock Mountain. He dwells there to this day with his elemental servants and the enslaved remnants of the Dark Iron dwarf clan. The burning lake where Ragnaros lies sleeping acts as a rift connecting to the plane of fire, allowing the malicious elementals to pass through.
From Blizzard's Official World Dungeons site:
- The Molten Core lies at the very bottom of Blackrock Depths. It is the heart of Blackrock Mountain and the exact spot where, long ago in a desperate bid to turn the tide of the dwarven civil war, Emperor Thaurissan summoned the elemental Firelord, Ragnaros, into the world. Though the firelord is incapable of straying far from the blazing Core, it is believed that his elemental minions command the Dark Iron dwarves, who are in the midst of creating armies out of living stone. The burning lake where Ragnaros lies sleeping acts as a rift connecting to the plane of fire, allowing the malicious elementals to pass through. Chief among Ragnaros' agents is Majordomo Executus - for this cunning elemental is the only one capable of calling the Firelord from his slumber.
The Molten Core consists of rock and lava, with the lava forming rivers, small lakes and "lavafalls". Other features are small volcano-like smoke vents, molten cracks in the walls and roof, occasional dark iron deposits, and the runes of warding. Most locations do not have specific names, causing the majority of the Molten Core to be called simply "The Molten Core".
There are three possible ways to enter Molten Core:
- By completing and thereafter being ported in by speaking with Lothos Riftwaker, by jumping through the window next to him, or by jumping into the lava next to his location.
- By entering the portal in Blackrock Depths.
- Via a warlock's .
- Main article: Molten Core loot
Upon successful completion of the encounters, all bosses drop tier 1 set items - excluding Ragnaros, who drops tier 2 leg items. In addition, trash mobs may drop Fiery Cores, Lava Cores, and , which can be used to craft armor and weapons available with Thorium Brotherhood reputation.
The item drops themselves are bind on pickup, but the learned pets can be crated and traded.
On release, Molten Core and Onyxia's Lair were the only 40-player instances in the game, thus Ragnaros was the first "game end boss." With the advent of Blackwing Lair, Ahn'Qiraj, the original level-60 version of Naxxramas, and the raising of the level cap with the game's expansions, defeating Ragnaros has long since ceased to be the pinnacle of raiding success. However, prior to the Burning Crusade, slaying him was still considered a very important step in raid progression before engaging in more challenging content. It was the first raid encounter which required a concerted effort in acquiring massive amounts of a particular statistic (in this case, fire resistance). Moreover, the encounter was the first one to demand the extensive use of consumables, at least in the learning process and in the first few kills. As such, it was once a very important stage in the evolution of a raiding guild.
Molten Core is now typically only run for the achievement, or by players seeking to craft or . Additionally, three battle pets were added in Patch 5.1 as part of the achievement, giving players another reason to run the instance.
Players were able to start soloing Molten Core in Wrath of the Lich King, and more easily in Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria. Now that pre-current-expansion raids do not require a raid group to enter, soloing the raid for transmogrification purposes or other loot is easier than ever.
While technically there are no prerequisites to enter Molten Core through its entrance at the bottom of Blackrock Depths, every Core raider will want to complete the Attunement to the Core quest to enable the shortcut at the bottom of Blackrock Mountain. This quest is given at level 55 by Lothos Riftwaker who is located just outside the Grinding Quarry, on the way to Blackrock Depths. Once attuned you can access Molten Core by talking to Lothos again. When dead (as ghost) you also have the possibility to jump into the lava near Lothos. This can also be done by living players if they have a way to slow fall, or by jumping first onto the small ledge in the pillar on the right as you enter the main chamber of Blackrock Mountain, healing, then jumping down, back toward the wall of the lava pit, to cover the remaining distance to the platform below.
Before Ragnaros can be summoned, the raid must defeat Majordomo Executus. Majordomo Executus will only appear if the raid douses the seven runes that are located near certain bosses in the Molten Core.
As stated, the Molten Core includes several mechanics which forces players to fight the bosses in a specific order. These mechanics are:
- - this tome (now obsolete) was once necessary for defeating Magmadar. As such, Lucifron (who dropped the tome) had to be killed before Magmadar. Part of the reason was also that Lucifron is located before Magmadar.
- The runes of warding - most bosses in Molten Core guard runes which must be deactivated in order to summon Majordomo Executus. This means that these bosses must be defeated before Executus becomes available.
- It's possible to fight Baron Geddon without getting too close to Shazzrah, but it's tricky to fight Shazzrah without getting too close to Baron Geddon.
- While it's possible to jump down to Golemagg the Incinerator's location from the ridge behind him, the fiery cracks on it and the fall damage will often kill players before they get to defeat him. When walking around, players often defeat Sulfuron Harbinger on the way.
- Ragnaros is summoned by Majordomo Executus, who will only agree to do so when he is defeated. As such, Majordomo Executus must be defeated before Ragnaros.
- The trash mobs in Molten Core provide Fiery Cores, Lava Cores, and Core Leather, which can be used with recipes earned at high levels of Thorium Brotherhood reputation to craft epic armor and weapons. It is generally the case that a raid progressing through Molten Core will use these Cores to craft Fire Resistance armor, which will allow the melee DPS of the raid to survive the final encounters with Majordomo Executus and Ragnaros.
- These factors, in addition to the layout of Molten Core, usually causes players to kill the bosses in this order: Lucifron → Magmadar → Gehennas → Garr → Baron Geddon → Shazzrah → Sulfuron Harbinger → Golemagg the Incinerator → Majordomo Executus → Ragnaros.
Powerful players (level 70-80+) can fight the eight first bosses in any way they prefer. It's also possible to skip Lucifron.
For WoW's 10-year anniversary, a special 40-player Raid Finder version of Molten Core was re-released to players as a Looking For Raid instance, with the encounters tuned and updated numerically, but "99% of nostalgia preserved". Elemental immunities/resistances were one of the only things "nerfed" in the name of playability; Golemagg's aggro radius was also reduced. According to one developer, watching Blizzard's internal testers do Core Hound packs was glorious.
The anniversary raid appeared as an option in max-level players' Group Finder menus for the duration of the anniversary. The description for the raid read "Celebrate World of Warcraft's Anniversary by running rampant through Ragnaros's hallowed Core, to his very lair", referencing Ragnaros's well-known dialogue just before fighting him. Defeating Ragnaros awarded the achievement , which came with the mount . Ragnaros himself also had a 100% chance to drop a helm of the appropriate armor type, each sharing the same fiery model as the original Crown of Destruction item and . He had a very low chance to drop the companion and the cosmetic enhancer . Other bosses dropped only gold. All enemies awarded Hydraxian Waterlords reputation just as in the original version.
Notes and trivia
- Killing NPCs within Molten Core still rewards reputation with the now-removed members of the Hydraxian Waterlords.
- Prior to patch 3.0.8 the Hydraxian Waterlords offered a quest chain, eventually rewarding , which was at one point required to douse the Runes of the Firelord in order to summon Majordomo Executus and consequently, Ragnaros. Presently, defeating bosses will automatically douse their respective runes.
- There were very few quests that involved the Molten Core. The only significant quest chain was the Hydraxian Waterlords chain, which was started by a visit to Duke Hydraxis off the coast of Azshara. Completing this quest chain required killing one of each of the trash mobs in the Core, and then defeating the four Flamewaker bosses in Molten Core (Lucifron, Gehennas, Shazzrah, and Sulfuron Harbinger). In addition, all the trash mobs and bosses in Molten Core provided Hydraxian Waterlord reputation. The final reward options for this quest chain were or , both rare rings with high Fire Resistance.
- As of patch 4.3.0 Molten Core can be accessed without being in a raid group by speaking with Lothos Riftwaker.
- Molten Core was originally planned as a single room in Blackrock Depths containing the boss fight with Ragnaros, before being expanded into an entire separate instance.
- The geometry for the two dungeons meshes perfectly.
- Molten Core was nearly cut from World of Warcraft. To ensure it would be in the game at release, developers finished working on the dungeon in a single week. Jeff Kaplan did all of the spawning and creature placement, while Scott Mercer designed all of the boss fights, Bob Fitch worked up loot for the dungeon, and Pat Nagle created the Hydraxis quest line. Alex Afrasiabi was responsible for the attunement quest which would be patched in later.
- The very first legendary item that dropped in World of Warcraft, the , was immediately hotfixed out of the game.
- In Hearthstone, the Molten Core card back was rewarded for pre-ordering the Blackrock Mountain adventure. The flavor text reads: "The Molten Core of Azeroth and not a chocolate lava cake, unfortunately."
- How to solo Attunement to the Core
- Inner Sanctum's Molten Core Strategy Guide
- The Pocket Guide to Molten Core
- Conquest guide
- Patch 4.3.0 (2011-11-29):
- Patch 4.2.0 (2011-06-28):
- Patch 1.7.0 (2005-09-22): Bind on Equip Bracers and Belts in Molten Core now drop more often.
- Patch 1.6.0 (2005-07-12):
- The loot tables in Molten Core have been revised slightly.
- Characters that die and release in the Molten Core will now receive a minimap corpse marker and arrow that will lead them to the window next to Lothos Riftwaker in Blackrock Mountain.
- Patch 1.5.0 (2005-06-07): Additional new raid items have been added to the treasure lists for bosses in Molten Core.
- Patch 1.4.0 (2005-05-05):
- Molten Core boss creatures have all received some new items on their loot tables.
- Most of the non-class set items that dropped from Molten Core have had their effective levels increased, resulting in higher DPS weapons, and/or better stats and effects.
- The loot tables for some of the Molten Core bosses have been improved so they drop an additional epic item per kill.
- Prior to this patch, Molten Core boss creatures could drop items from one of two different tiered sets for every character class. The loot tables have been changed so Molten Core bosses will now only drop items from the lower tier class sets. However, some of the items from those sets were not previously dropping in Molten Core. These missing class set items will now drop in Molten Core, allowing players to complete their lower tier class sets.
- Patch 1.3.0 (2005-03-07):
- Players who have completed the Molten Core discovery quest can now port directly to the zone, bypassing Blackrock Depths.
- Fixed an issue that was causing the first Firelord to stop moving.
- Line of Sight checks removed from many creature abilities in Molten Core.
- Patch 1.2.0 (2004-12-18): If you die in Molten Core, you will now be able to retrieve your corpse at the Blackrock Depths instance line.
- Patch 1.1.0 (2004-11-07): Added.
- ^ Gearing Up to Celebrate 10 Years of World of Warcraft (2014-08-06). Retrieved on 2014-08-06.
- ^ https://twitter.com/WatcherDev/status/497076898770337793
- ^ https://twitter.com/WatcherDev/status/497077189741772800
- ^ https://twitter.com/WatcherDev/status/497094942624202752
- ^ https://twitter.com/pedrothedagger/status/497092992209936384
- ^ a b Re-visiting Heroism’s Past – Molten Core (2014-04-26). Archived from the original on 2014-04-26.