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The Wailing Caverns in Northern Barrens is one of the first instanced dungeons (outside of a major city) that lower-level players encounter. Since the Cataclysm dungeon clean ups this total instance can be done in about 30 minutes and is quite simple.
This instance is extremely conducive to solo play for characters of most classes after around level 30 to 35. At these levels one will be all but immune to some of the more troublesome effects, such as the Druids of the Fang's sleep spell. Those under level 40 should exercise caution when pulling mobs.
One primary reason to venture into the Wailing Caverns is for BoP drops from the numerous bosses in the instance. Some of the quest rewards are also highly desirable. A large portion of random drops are good BoE gear for levels 10-19. Harvesters will find the yields in The Wailing Caverns are better than the surrounding Northern Barrens, if they have the skill to harvest the better materials. Even the poor quality drops are better than ordinary; a stack of typical trash drops is worth around five to ten silver.
From World Dungeons on the old WoW site:
- Recently, a night elf druid named discovered a network of underground caverns within the heart of Northern Barrens. Dubbed the 'Wailing Caverns', these natural caves were filled with steam fissures which produced long, mournful wails as they vented. Naralex believed he could use the caverns' underground springs to restore lushness and fertility to the Barrens - but to do so would require siphoning the energies of the fabled Emerald Dream. Once connected to the Dream however, the druid's vision somehow became a nightmare. Soon the Wailing Caverns began to change - the waters turned foul and the once-docile creatures inside metamorphosed into vicious, deadly predators. It is said that Naralex himself still resides somewhere inside the heart of the labyrinth, trapped beyond the edges of the Emerald Dream. Even his former acolytes have been corrupted by their master's waking nightmare - transformed into the wicked Druids of the Fang.
|Cavern of Mists · Crag of the Everliving · Dreamer's Rock · Pit of Fangs · Right eye socket cave (outside and above cave entrance) · Screaming Gully · Winding Chasm|
Have plenty of open bag space when you do Wailing Caverns. There are plenty of good drops, so whatever bag space you have will not be enough.
The path to instance
- Entrance area outside of the instance
The part of the dungeon before entering the actual instance is filled with 14-17 raptors, wind serpents, and oozes (before patch 2.3, they were elite). This part is easy, just follow the path till you get to the instance. The one pool on the path that you cannot walk around is a minor trap with two threshadons.
If you are doing , the NPC you are looking for, , can be found in three different locations. He can be hard to find as he is invisible (when you get close to him he appears and attacks you). Upon entering the cavern you will come to the first intersection (T shaped) where you can go left toward the instance entrance or straight to a small drop off. The small nook to the right is the first location where Mad Magglish may be found. If you can't find him there, proceed down the left passage toward the instance entrance. You will come upon a second intersection where you can go straight (to the instance entrance), go left or go right path. Both the left and right passages lead to a dead-end. You may find Mad Magglish in either the left or right passage (his camping area or the blind alley).
On a PvP server, this area lacks the protection of being in an instance.
- Entrance area within the instance
When you enter the instance, grab the quests from Ebru and Nalpak. Continue to follow the path killing all in your way until you reach a large cavern area - Screaming Gully. Be warned - the raptors will call for help when almost dead. In this room is one of the four Fanglords, named "". She will spawn in one of four different locations, as depicted in the map above. She is similar to the other druids in the Wailing Caverns but she does have higher hitpoints and typically has several deviate raptors with her. These can pose a severe risk if they all attack at once. Players should be cautious and pull these separately if possible.
Kill any mobs Lady Anacondra has with her, and then focus on her. She will cast Sleep fairly often, and the Druids of the Fang around her will cast it as well. If you have a shaman with you, Tremor Totems will help counteract her Sleep spells. Priests can use Dispel Magic to remove the effect on party members. Lady Anacondra is easy, just watch out for additional monsters.
Be aware that the mobs in the entrance area, including the Fanglords, but not including Lady Anacondra, eventually respawn, and may have to be dealt with multiple times as you cross this area, depending on how rapidly you complete the other portions of this instance. Characters that die and run back to the instance will also have to deal with these, and may not be capable, isolated from the party.
Kresh & Lord Cobrahn
- West area of the instance aka Pit of Fangs
After Lady Anacondra, you can either go to the east or west along the river. However, heading west to kill is faster and more convenient. If you want to go east first, skip down to that section then come back here.
Jump down into the water and head west. Somewhere along this river, you'll meet a turtle called . He wanders around in the waters that run through the dungeon. Kresh is a non-aggressive turtle and no tougher than any of the normal elite mobs. He drops a really nice blue shield or can be tamed by a hunter. (Prior to patch 3.0.2 Kresh in the Wailing Caverns and Ghamoo-ra in Blackfathom Deeps were the only low level (20ish) turtles that knew Shell Shield, so Kresh was often tamed.) Killing Kresh is not necessary to complete the instance, and you can ignore him.
Climb the circuitous path up from Kresh's pool. Once you have traveled up the path you will find yourself in a big room filled with random monsters. Just follow the path and clear the monsters. Most of them are easy to kill, but be careful of additional monsters who wander around. After defeating the monsters you will find "Lord Cobrahn", another one of the four Fanglords.
Lord Cobrahn is the easiest of the Fanglords. A mage can AoE the non-elite snakes and start beating Cobrahn down. When he gets low on health, he will turn into a rather large snake and his DPS will increase slightly. Just keep attacking him and he should drop fast. Like Lady Anacondra, with a decent group this fight is easily won. Lord Cobrahn may drop .
Lord Pythas & Skum
- Far eastern area of the instance aka Winding Chasm
Jump off the cliff, you'll return to the main room and go east. Watch your minimap as you progress; the eastern caverns often fork, but most paths are circuitous and rejoin. One fork in particular is critical, one branch leads to the easternmost section, clearly isolated from the rest of the path. Do that one first, but remember where this fork is. After a lot of killing and slaughtering you will find "", another one of the 4 Fanglords. Pythas is the toughest of the Leaders of the Fang. He puts out a lot of melee damage, and he has a lot of hitpoints. A 5 person level 30+ group has been observed to wipe due to Pythas before, if that gives any idea of his potential level of difficulty. (Said group was 8+ levels above Pythas)
The single main reason why Pythas often causes wipes is because he has two elite Druids and at least one elite Shambler with him. These additional mobs in themselves are not the problem; the problem is that because there are so many mobs present, players generally will not have any idea what to attack first. While players are standing still, trying to decide which mob to attack first, Pythas and the other mobs thus surround the players and exterminate them fairly quickly.
The most straightforward way of dealing with Pythas requires a mage. Have the mage polymorph (sheep) Pythas and keep re-applying polymorph for as long as is necessary, while the rest of the group can then carefully kill the surrounding mobs. Once the surrounding mobs are dead, the players can then deal with Pythas on his own.
Pythas is susceptible to sap, so a rogue can keep him out of the action until the other mobs are dealt with.
Be very careful that AoEs do not break these controls.
If you don't have a mage or rogue with you, things can be a little more tricky. If your group has either a hunter or a warlock, (A group with two hunters is not an unusual group configuration for this instance) have these characters send their pets to keep Pythas occupied while the group gets rid of the surrounding mobs, and so can then target Pythas on his own.
The is a rare mob you may encounter in this area. Not difficult, drops nice caster gear, but appears rarely. Odds are good that you will never see him unless you enter the instance repeatedly to hunt for him.
The next (optional) boss along the path is "", a big old thunder lizard. Skum generally won't cause you any serious problems himself, but in addition to the two druids guarding his pen, there are usually a number of other druids, dreadfangs, and oozes nearby, which you may want to remove before killing Skum himself. Skum drops a semi-good dagger, , or a high agility cape, so if you have any rogues or hunters you may as well drop him. Skum's just an elite thunder lizard.
As you progress through the dungeon you must increasingly watch out and make sure not to pull too many of the large amounts of elites.
Lord Serpentis & Verdan the Everliving
- Closer eastern area of the instance
Backtrack to the fork that you took to the easternmost part of the cavern, and take the other branch. It should climb up a long pathway to a cliff edge. The path continues beyond the cliff; there is a gap and a drop. Jump down across the gap. (This is a one-way path.) Make sure you warn everyone in your party about the gap and the drop ahead of time, or you'll sit around waiting for them to climb back (and possibly rez, if they died from the fall.) You can have your mage cast slow fall on everyone and then just run across and float down.
Eventually you will find a big room with "" and "". Serpentis is a very standard melee fighter for the most part, with less hit points than Pythas. Kill any of the random mobs around Serpentis first, don't let him get past your tank(s), and don't get near and aggro Verdan the Everliving, and you should be fine.
on the other hand is a very different story. Make sure you've cleared all of the other mobs first. You will probably want the entire group to be at least level 19-20, and a healer is a must. Keep Verdan focused on your warrior, although pets can also help share the load if you have them. The healer needs to keep an eye on the warrior constantly. Mages/other DPS classes can also pitch in, but they will need to attack carefully to make sure they do not pull Verdan's attention away from the tank. Killing Verdan is optional, he is not the object of any quest.
Verdan should be the last boss that you need to kill on the East side of the instance, so you can quickly return to the central chamber by running to the back of the room where Verdan was and jump down the hole on the right side of the cliff behind Verdan. You'll land in a deep pool of water just off the main entrance chamber. If you choose not to fight Verdan the Everliving, you'll have to walk back to the entrance jumping down at some place, because of the one way ledge jump, or if all of your party is at least level 19, you might be able to hug the walls and go around Verdan the Everliving and jump down the pit. Either side is far enough from Verdan not to aggro him as long as you stay on the walls.
End of dungeon event
- Awaken Naralex
After you've killed all four Leaders of the Fang and Verdan the Everliving, go back to the entrance and speak with the tauren druid , Disciple of Naralex, to start the Naralex event. You'll have to escort Muyoh through a path of mobs to wake up Naralex.
WARNING: Make sure to keep Muyoh alive. If he dies, you will have to restart the Instance and do the entire thing again to get the achievement.
There is a preliminary step which will make this much easier,which is clearing the top path when you first start the instance.Talk to Muyoh and escort him.They fixed his speed so he actually moves at a good clip. He will walk from his entrance area around the western side of the entrance area to the pool in the north, so you can ignore the eastern side of the entrance area. Also, the crocolisks do not climb up to the path to attack him.
Even if you clear the path, there are two set points along his path at which mobs will spawn; dispatch them when they appear. (At one, he conducts a ceremony to banish the spirits of the Leaders of the Fang from the caverns, and serpents appear with names suggesting they represent the spirits being banished.) None of these are particularly difficult.
When you reach Naralex, Muyoh will begin to wake him. You must continue to protect Muyoh while he wakes Naralex. A few waves of mobs spawn, serpents, then slimes, that can be easily dispatched. You get enough time to eat and drink between waves of mobs, if everyone stays on the island and deals with the current wave quickly enough.
Note: High-level players doing this event should resist the temptation to kill every mob before it reaches the Disciple, because if the Disciple takes no damage while channeling his awakening spell, the event will bug and you will be unable to complete the instance. Some have suggested that pulling a mob from elsewhere in the instance and inducing it to attack the Disciple (e.g. a Hunter pulling a mob to the room and then using Feign Death) might cause the event to continue, but this does not work. Let at least one serpent or ooze hit the Disciple before killing them all.
The last spawn is the boss "", a huge murloc. You won't have a long rest before him, Mutanus comes up rather quickly, but you should be able to get everyone's health and mana restored. Mutanus can be tough depending on who you have in your party. He is at least partially immune to Shadow damage. Mutanus spawns waves of shadow mobs that appear to be just a distraction and disappear quickly on their own. If he catches you off-guard, he could potentially wipe out your group. Make sure you eat and drink before he spawns, and you shouldn't have any problem dispatching him. However, if you could take Verdan then Mutanus should be a bit easier.
After Mutanus is slain, congratulations! You beat the Wailing Caverns!
Naralex and Muyoh turn into owls and fly away.
In prior patches, after Naralex is awakened by the Disciple (i.e., Mutanus is defeated), Naralexx would turn into an owl and fly away. Amusingly, Muyoh (then just named "Disciple of Naralex") would not transform, but would float away as a standing tauren in the same spiraling flight path as his boss. This earned Muyoh the nickname "hovercow". Sadly, this has been addressed, and the flight of the "hovercow" is part of the Dreaming].
Since it is a fairly long instance to run through, and there are various quests and special mobs to kill, it is obvious that there are certain tactics that need to be followed in order to succeed in the Wailing Caverns.
The mobs in WC range from 15-20 elite and are generally found in groups of 3, with the occasional group of 4 or 5. Some of the enemies (the Druids of the Fang ) will flee when brought low enough, which can be deadly to a group if there is another enemy group nearby.
Being a level 15-20 instance, with the mobs being 15-20 elite you will HAVE to work together as a team, especially if you are at the low end of the level scale. Most players in the correct level range will not be able to handle an elite mob of their level or higher on their own. The best tactic to deal with this is to designate a single player to pull mobs (the tank) and be careful to not pull anything other than what is planned. If you are the puller always plan the pull carefully. This means, watching for patrols, movement of mobs, and party health and mana. If you do these things even a party of all 15-18 characters stands an excellent chance at finishing the instance.
There are several key tactical issues to keep in mind for this specific instance.
The Druids of the Fang deserve a special mention, they'll engage first with lightning bolts, and then shapeshift into Cobras to engage in melee. When heavily damaged, they'll morph back to heal themselves. Each Druid of the Fang is also capable of putting a party member to sleep. If you have a shaman, tell him/her to use a Tremor Totem whenever someone's asleep, and use Wind Shear to disrupt a druid's initial lightning bolt to force them to charge. Also save a kick, shock, or counterspell for their final heal. The same technique can be used to fight each of the Leaders of the Fang. Deviate Shamblers later can cast regeneration on themselves, purge utterly counters this.
In WC it is critical to control mobs from fleeing combat. The Druids of the Fang all flee combat at roughly 1/5th heath. Allowing them to flee when another mob is nearby can be a quick death sentence for your group. A safe fight can quickly turn into being outnumbered if a mob pulls in two to 3 additional mobs.
The other key is to make sure that you are able to deal with all the Fanglords present in the instance. Aside from the quest which involves collecting their gems, once all of the Fanglords are killed you will be able to do a final boss in the instance which will lead you to a new quest line. The order of their deaths does not matter, only that they all die.
|Quest Name||Quest Giver||Zone Location|
|||Ratchet, Northern Barrens|
|Quest name||Quest giver||Zone location|
| (Optional)||Elder Rise, Thunder Bluff|
|*  (Chain prelim)||The Crossroads, the Barrens|
|**  (Chain prelim)||The Crossroads, the Barrens|
|***  (Chain prelim)||The Crossroads, the Barrens|
|****  (Chain prelim)||The Crossroads, the Barrens|
|*****  (Chain prelim)||Elder Rise, Thunder Bluff|
|****** ||Elder Rise, Thunder Bluff|
| (Optional)||The Crossroads, the Barrens|
|*  (Optional)||The Crossroads, the Barrens|
|** ||Pools of Vision, Thunder Bluff|
| (Chain prelim)||Ratchet, the Barrens|
|* ||Ratchet, the Barrens|
|||Wailing Caverns right eye socket cave|
| (Chain, start)|| , drop|
from Mutanus the Devourer
|*  (Chain, following)||Ratchet, the Barrens|
|  (Chain, following) |
OR (same quest, different endpoints)
 (Chain, following)
|Peak above Wailing Caverns|
Quest Reward Items (Current)
Quest Reward Items (Pre-Cataclysm)
and were available from NPCs in a cave above the entrance to Wailing Caverns. Looking towards the entrance, the cave is above it and to the left. (The cave entrance resembles a skull — the NPCs are in the "right eye socket".)
To reach this cave, you must climb the hill behind the cavern entrance and drop onto a small ledge on the right. It is a small, narrow ledge so you will be best served walking almost parallel to the ledge when dropping (walking rather than running will help with this). It may take several tries. Once you're on the ledge, head into the cave. There were two quest NPCs along with a leatherworking trainer and leatherworking vendor. That vendor sold the and recipes with a limited supply.
After Cataclysm, the cave is still there, but it is now empty except for a lone campfire.
- Food and Cooking
- Bog beasts
- Faerie dragons (one, the )
- Goblins (one, )
- Hydras (one, , in the pre-instance entrance area)
- Murlocs (one, )
- Night elves and , quest giver at the entrance to the instance
- Tauren (two, and at the entrance to the instance)
- Threshadons (pre-instance entrance area)
- Thunder lizards (one, )
- Turtles (one, )
- Toads (critters)
- Wind serpents
See Wailing Caverns loot.
- Also known as WC (not to be confused with , a high level quest with the same abbreviation)
- Found in the Northern Barrens, to the south of Crossroads, on the north side of the Lushwater Oasis.
- Enemy Level Range:
- Outside Instance: 11-17
- Inside Instance: 18-20 (Elite)
- Must be at least level 10 to enter the instance.
- Must be at least level 15 to queue for the instance
- The Druids of the Fang (as well as any other nearby raptors) will come to the aid of any Raptors that call for help; make sure to pull raptors away from the druids and other raptors, unless you can handle the adds.
- Rogues, don't forget to pick pocket the druids after you've sapped them.
- Patch 4.0.3 (15-Nov-2010): Quests changed
- Patch 1.5.0 (2005-06-07): New load screen added.
- Patch 1.3.0 (07-Mar-2005): Capped at ten players.