[66-68] Mewbaraue’s guide to: Caverns of Time: Durnholde


Caverns of Time:

The Caverns of Time is a place in where you can find 3 different instances: Escape from Durnholde Keep, The Black Morass and the raid Hyjal Summit.
In this guide we’ll be focusing on the Escape from Durnholde Keep part. Level requirement for this instance is 66.


There only exists a few quests in the Caverns of Time (CoT) instances.
[68] Old Hillsbrad: Tanaris.
This quests is gotten by taking the quest [66] To The Master’s Lair from the Steward of Time, outside of the caverns in Tanaris (66,50) and following the quest line, which involves following an NPC around outside the instance, to be introduced to the CoT. After the introduction, you’ll be able to get this quest, in which you have to talk to a guy, just inside the instance. This is part of a quest chain which will be covered through the guide.

Group composition:

For this instance it’s highly recommended that you get a dedicated tank and a dedicated healer.
If your tank is not great geared, then it’s wise to bring some sort of CC too. Most of the mobs will be humanoids, so a mage for Polymorph, a Rogue for Sap or a Hunter for Freezing Trap is recommended. A few mobs will also be dragonkins so a druid wouldn’t be bad either.
Another thing that’d be good to bring, would be some sort of interrupt as you will encounter mobs who can heal and it’s crucial to stop them from doing so if you want to have an easy time.
Last but not least are DPS. You’ll need someone who knows how to control their aggro while still maintaining a high damage output if you wanna succeed in this instance.

Map of the area:

The Walkthrough:

The instance consists of roughly 3 phases, but before we begin talking about them, make sure to turn in [68] Old Hillsbrad: Tanaris and pick up the next quest: [68] Taretha’s Diversion: Old Hillsbrad Foothills along with some bomb-like-things from the same guy. After that, run towards the opening of the grotto you’re in, and ask the dragon to fly you to the keep.

Phase 1: The Diversion:

As you arrive at the keep, you’ll spot a gate and a bridge on the other side. Below this bridge is a few houses. Those houses are your goal! Fight your way to the houses and use the bomb-things to put them on fire. Inside most houses are mostly 4 mobs; 2 melee, 1 ranged and Warden (Priest who can heal). Note that this can be different, so be ready for anything. Also make sure to kill the enemies before they can run too far away from you. After you’ve torched all the 5 houses, the boss Lieutenant Drake will emerge around the stairs that leads up from the houses.
Lieutenant Drake:
Attacks and abilities:

  • Basic Melee: Hits for ~600-800 (Normal; ~4K Heroic) on a tank.
  • Mortal Strike: Hits for ~1.5K (Normal; ~6K Heroic). As the Warrior ability.
  • Whirlwind: As the Warrior ability. /yells when used.
  • Intimidating Shout: As the Warrior ability. /yells when used.

He’s fairly easy. He has a lot of HP, but if you have a competent tank and healer it should be a normal tank-and-spank fight. But do yourself a favor and keep everyone out of his Whirlwind range, except for the tank and melee DPS.

Phase 2: The Escort:

After killing Lieutenant Drake, your next task is to find and free Thrall. Look around you and find the stairs up from the house area and make your way towards the entrance of the keep. You’ll encounter more mobs in here, so be prepared for almost anything when rounding a corner. As you enter the keep you can turn either right or left. I’d suggest to take the right way as it appears to be a bit faster. Anyways, you should end up in a room with some stairs. Do not go up the stairs but go down instead! In the basement you’ll find Thrall. Turn your quest in and pick up [68] Escape from Durnholde: Old Hillsbrad Foothills.
Get everyone to talk to Thrall and you’ll free him from the prison. This is the part where you have to be awake to complete the instance. Thrall will rush up to the armory (which it the first room if you turn right from the keep’s entrance). In here he’ll knock a man unconscious and pick up some battlegear. Next he’ll rush for the entrance of the keep. At this point 4 mobs will spawn, so be ready with any CC and have the tank ready.
Each group in this section of the instance contains four elites; the groups are semi-random, but always seem to contain a Mage, and about 50% of them contain a Warden, which are extremely dangerous (they heal, dispel, and AoE fear) and Thrall runs on as one group’s been defeated. Don’t worry, he can take quite a beating, but make sure to pull the mobs off him ASAP. He also heals back to 100% after every pack of mobs.
As you get out of the keep and out of the main gate of Durnholde, you’ll encounter Captain Skarloc along with 2 bodyguards.

Captain Skarloc:
Attacks and abilities:

  • Basic Melee: Negligible (1500-1900 on a tank in Heroic).
  • Holy Light: He will heal himself or one of the Wardens. Interruptable by any means, but you can not silence him.
  • Cleanse: He will dispel most forms of crowd control you put on the adds, such as Polymorph.
  • Hammer of Justice: Stuns target for 6 seconds.
  • Holy Shield: Holy damage on successful Blocks (440 damage in Heroic).
  • Devotion Aura

The 2 bodyguards consists of a Warden (healer) and a Veteran (rogue), which you’ve fought around the keep already. The best thing to do, is to kill the Warden first (and interrupt all his heals to make it easier), and then on the Veteran. After they’re dead turn your attention to the Captain. He doesn’t hit too hard, but he heals, so make sure to interrupt them, or you’ll be in for a long fight. Else it’s just a tank-and-spank fight.
After the Captain is dead, talk to Thrall and he’ll mount up on the horse and begin riding towards Tarren Mill. Here you’ll go through a few houses (in which you encounter some mobs) until you find Taretha who will talk a bit with Thrall. Speak to her to begin the last part of the instance.

Phase 3: Epoch Hunter:

As you finish talking to Taretha, a drake named Epoch Hunter will begin yelling at Thrall and Taretha. After a bit of yelling Thrall will run outside and the last encounter will begin.

The Epoch Hunter will fly overhead doing nothing for the first phase of this event. He will spawn three waves of Infinite Dragonkin, which are somewhat spell-resistant and have various abilities like Shadowbolt. Since they are Dragonkin, which is why a druid is great for CC in here. The waves are on a timer, so you must kill them fast (the next wave will also spawn about 10 seconds after finishing one; Thrall will reset back in the middle of the road where he began the fight). Stand behind him (being on the other side of the little corner fence between the Inn and Church is a good spot); the mobs frequently aggro whoever is closest to them when they spawn — and Thrall can survive their assault longer than you can. The best tactic during this phase is to burn the Defiler in each wave down ASAP and let Thrall tank all the others, then pull the melee mobs off him one at a time. Thrall heals back to 100% after each wave, though he may require some healing from time to time.
As you’ve killed all the 3 waves Epoch Hunter will land to fight you.

Epoch Hunter:
Attacks and abilities:

  • Sand Breath: Cone-shaped Arcane damage.
  • Impending Doom: Non-dispellable DoT which does 750 Shadow damage every 3 seconds. Removed by the Rogue ability Cloak of Shadows.
  • Knockback
  • Disrupt Magic: An aura that dispels 1 buff from each player within 45 yards every 3 seconds. Can be stolen and prevented by Spellsteal, but it is recast every 10 seconds.

This is a longer fight than any of the other bosses in this encounter, so healing and mana users be ready. (Be sure Evocation, Innervate, and Shadowfiend are off cooldown.)
Seeing as he has a nasty knockback, he’s best to be tanked near the northwestern small house of Tarren Mill, under the outside roof of it. This way, the tank can grab aggro quickly again. Make sure to turn him away from the rest of the party to avoid his breath-attack, and healers should watch out for his DoT. After he is dead, Old Hillsbrad Foothills will do its last little cinematic.
Note: Thrall HAS to deliver the killing blow and nobody else than Thrall can kill him. You can get Epoch Hunter to 1% HP, but only Thrall can remove that last part of health.
If Thrall dies you can walk back in to the inn and you will find him upstairs. Talk to him to start the boss fight again.
When Epoch Hunter is dead, a little cinematic will play and a guy named “Erozion” will show up. Turn in [68] Escape from Durnholde: Old Hillsbrad Foothills at him and get the [68] Return to Andormu: Old Hillsbrad Foothills.
What to do now is up to you: You can run around in Hillsbrad and go sightseeing or you can leave the instance.

Well Done

You’ve completed the first of the CoT instances and hopefully had some fun in doing so 😉
And if you’ve done the quests so far, you’re able to enter the next zone: Black Morass.

I hope you enjoyed this guide. I might begin a guide for the next CoT instance, but I won’t guarantee anything.
If anything’s missing/wrong, tell me and I’ll fix it ASAP (wouldn’t surprise if something is wrong :P).
And I’m sorry for the lack of pics. I haven’t been in there for a looooong time and only got one screenshot of the Epoch Hunter.

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    Oct 6, 2008 @ 14:34 pm

    Sorry that I’m a bit slow toSorry that I’m a bit slow to respond 😛
    Anyways, I’m playing on Ravencrest – EU and they don’t mind doing such instances. Might be hard to find a group sometimes, but you’ll succeed someday 😉

    “I’d rather do nothing, instead of doing something I hate”

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    Sep 21, 2008 @ 19:47 pm

    HeyHello, very nice walkthrough of the instance. Too bad that on my server there is noone doing this instances… the few pve-guilds are deep in raiding (3 of them have completet BT – MT )and the other ones don’t want to start doing pve because of the new expansion. It’s a shame because I’d love to start doing end game pve… maybe someone knows good servers for pve? Actually I’m in Aerie Peak – EU.

    Bye 🙂

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    Sep 18, 2008 @ 23:42 pm

    Sounds greatSounds great 🙂

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    Sep 18, 2008 @ 22:49 pm

    Well, for the next guide IWell, for the next guide I intend to run it and get a few screenies more ^^
    Pics of what’s happing is a lot better than no pics at all 😉

    “I’d rather do nothing, instead of doing something I hate”
    “You just keep on trying ’till you run out of cake”
    “Tobi is a GOOD buy :D”

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    Sep 18, 2008 @ 16:30 pm

    Good job, nice little guide.Good job, nice little guide. It’s too bad you had no more screenshots though, would have been even better 😉

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