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The Nicest of the Nice, the Baddest of the Bad, Part 2: Classic Dungeons

March 2, 2012

Dear Reader,

Continuing with yesterday’s topic, we’ll be examining what races are represented and in what quantities in the classic dungeons.


Yes, again, undead top the list.  However, again, I’m under the impression that it’s not really fair representation.  In the classic dungeons, undead represent 23 of the bosses, beating out every other race and many of the races, combined.  Of that number, though, only seven are standard-looking, corporeal, humanoid undead.  The other 70% are abombinations, ghosts, or other freakish undead nightmares.  The six corporeal humanoids are the three Lords in Shadowfang Keep, Commander Malor and Cannonmaster Willey Hopebreaker in “Live” Strath (which is now quite a misnomer), Ogom the Wretched, an undead troll in ST, and a Night Elf undead, Illyana Ravenlock, in Dire Maul.

Once again I fully admit to not being sure which undead should count towards the “free willed undead” total.  I believe all of these do, though, and I didn’t include Rivendare as we know his close ties with Arthas.

Also, it’s interesting to note that there were less undead pre-cataclysm, as Shadowfang Keep has moved away from being worgen infested with some undead to being undead infested with some worgen overtones.  The undead are the only race that became “badder” with the spawn of the Worldbreaker.


Unlike in the raid world, humans are a vast majority of the classic dungeon bosses, coming in second with 16 bosses to their race.  These bosses are widely spread out, but a majority of them appear in Scarlet Monastery.  They often occupy particularly vicious or out-of-place roles, such as Interrogator Gerstahn or Maleki the Pallid, the only human anywhere in Stratholme any more.  Scholomance gives us two humans as well, the Darkmaster himself and Doctor Krastinov, the butcher.

There were more humans before the cataclysm, too.  We’ve lost 3 of the 4 human bosses in Stockades, as apparently humans, like movie stars, must get special treatment in the courts nowadays, and Arugal, the old head of Shadowfang Keep.

The heartiest of races comes in a close third, thanks to Blackrock Depths.  Some will claim it’s unfair to count Dark Iron dwarves in, but the lore clearly says they are dwarves, just a different clan.  A a whole, dwarves make up 13 bosses characters in classic dungeons, 8 of which are in BRD.  The other five are mostly in Ulduman as the “Lost Dwarves” encounter and Galgann, and the final appears in Zul’Farrak along with Sergeant Bly.  Of those 13, five are “Ironforge” Dwarves: the three lost dwarves, Moria Bronzebeard, and Murta Grimgut in ZF.

There was an additional dwarf boss before Cataclysm in Stockades, another Dark Iron, so their numbers also went down after Deathwing took flight.

Trolls, not surprisingly, come in third, having an instance that’s changed very little entirely to their badness.  In Zul’farrak, we find 7 troll bosses, not counting the executioner.  Two more appear in Lower Blackrock Spire, and one still exists in The Temple of Atal’Hakkar.  Their numbers certainly changed after the Cata release as a number of troll mini-bosses vanished from the Sunken Temple, but the core number there always was 1, and still is, so little actual revision took place.


Far further down the count we come to Orcs.  Five bosses exist in classic dungeons, most in high positions of power.  We have Twilight Lord Kelris in Blackfathom Deeps, Rend Blackhand and his buddy, the Quartermaster, in Upper Blackrock Spire, Jergosh in Ragefire Chasm, and finally, Oro Eyegouge, who’s another member of Sgt. Bly’s group.  You’ll note that none of these orcs are female, even though it’s been clearly indicated with Thrall’s relationship with Aggra that female orcs are formidable contributors to the Horde.

Prior to Cata, there was 1 more orc boss in Stockades, Targorr the Dread.  I guess he wasn’t that dreadful since he was pretty easily killed by low level toons.

Night Elves:

Night elves tie for next place with Goblins at 4.  However, the night elves are highly centralized, all appearing in a single instance, Wailing Caverns.  Each of the corrupted druid aspects is a night elf.

There is a high elf boss, too, though I don’t know if they’re different factions (which would make all blood elves count towards the “elven” race) or if they’re truly a different race.  I’m rethinking how elves should be added up, really, since Dark Irons count towards dwarves.  For simplicity, though, I’m keeping them separate, but be aware it might not be a fair count.  At any rate, the one highborne is in Dire Maul, Tortheldrin, the king who caused the fall.


Goblins, unlike night elves, are widely spread out.  They appear in Deadmines, Blackrock Depths, Zul’farrak (with that pesky Sgt. Bly again), and even in Mauradon, an instance with no other humanoid bosses (Cenarion deer people do not count, regardless of WoW’s classification system).  There was an additional boss pre cata, too, our favorite Deadmines personality (well, maybe after Cookie), Captain Greenskin.

Blood Elves:

We begin to get to the slim pickings here.  Blood elves only appear twice as bosses, but both are in surprising locations.  One is in Dire Maul, Lethendris, being only the second elf in the entire place (living, at any rate).  The second is in Scholomance, Instructor Malicia.  I guess Blood Elves make good teachers.


Technically there are two gnome bosses, though one is clearly a leper gnome.  Plugger, the keyholder of the Grim Guzzler, is in fact a leper gnome, the only one I know of away from Gnomeregan.  The second is the final boss that same dungeon, Mekgineer Thermaplugg.


There is only one worgen boss in a classic dungeon, Admiral Ripsnarl.  Apparently he outranked Captain Greenskin before he changed, and now the dungeon has some more class.  However, there were four more worgen bosses pre-cata, all of which in Shadowfang Keep.  Becoming a playable race did wonders for their PR as they lost 80% of their “badness.”


The last represented race in classic dungeons is the tauren.  There is one tauren boss, much to my surprise: Pyromancer Loregrain.  Who remembered that this hulking beast stood guard in Blackrock Depths?  I was surprised to realize that this boss was a Tauren, but there it is.  Pre-cata, the pyromancer had some company in Mr. Smite, the only other tauren dungeon boss, but Mr. Smite was retired and sent to the knackers upon Deathwing’s arrival.

That makes, for classic dungeons, the Draenei the “Nicest of the Nice.”  I have to admit I’m both surprised and not surprised; their appearance in Azeroth is “recent” enough to prevent them from having gotten too embedded in multi-racial organizations like the Twilight Hammer, but still… none?  Well, next time’s look at BC dungeons will quickly correct that number, I’m sure.


Stubborn (and recently quite studious)

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 2, 2012 6:58 pm

    I wish they did more with the Quillboars, especially since they were in league with the Scourge back in Vanilla, I wanted to see some acknowledgement of that in Wrath.

    • March 5, 2012 5:52 pm

      You know, we don’t really seem them anymore, almost like they’re the kaluak of Classic WoW. There’s unique races in each expansion that seemingly just disappear once that flavor of the game is replaced with a new expansion, and it’s a shame, because each of them had their own unique feel.

  2. Hierakles permalink
    March 7, 2012 8:41 am

    Back in Vanilla there was at least one more Tauren boss that I can think of, Mr.Smite in the Deadmines. It seems like the Cataclysm has done the same to the Tauren as it did the Worgen and reduce their evilness, by up to 50% potentially.

  3. neverbuyczerka permalink
    March 7, 2012 8:32 pm

    In the Deadmines, at least pre-Cataclysm, there was goblin named Sneed who piloted a shredder, and another called Gilnid in the goblin foundry. They have both been removed.

    • March 8, 2012 4:28 pm

      Yeah, I remembered Sneed, but since there’s another goblin in his place now, I didn’t mention it as it didn’t change the count. Gilnid, though, I’d simply forgotten about, so he’ll definitely show up in the conclusion post on Monday. Thanks for the heads up.

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