A while ago I wrote about soloing older dungeons and raids for fun and profit. Today I thought I'd give a brief overview of the Classic Molten Core raid. For a majority of classes it can be quite easily soloed at level 85. With a total of 10 bosses, Molten Core has the potential to yield quite a nice return for any budding solo artist. At level 85 the bosses range from face roll to slightly challenging, depending on your class and spec. I've run through the place on my Hunter, swapping between Survival and Beast Mastery, Protection Paladin and Blood Death Knight. I'd say that I found it easier on my Paladin and Death Knight, largely due to their self healing abilities.
Here's a run down of the bosses, including the gold drop - and/or other notable drops - as well as my rough rating of how difficult I find them.
Drops: 39 gold and the chance of Formula: Enchant Weapon - Spellpower which - if you're an enchanter - can make you some cash from people looking to enchant their bind on account gear. The Bind on Pickup Epics vendor for an average of 4-5G each.
Difficulty: Easy. The only thing to look out for is Lucifron's Curse which will increase the cost of your spells and abilities by 100% for 5 minutes. It's not really an issue for my Death Knight but can have more of an impact upon any classes unable to dispel it who also rely on mana. If I'm on my Paladin I usually go grab a drink or something and let the curse drop off before moving on to the next boss.
Drops: No gold, just a variety of Epics that vendor for up to 10G each. Also has a chance to drop Formula: Enchant Weapon - Spellpower as well as a few other old world recipes and schematics. If you are a Skinner you can skin Magmadar for Core Leather which - depending on your server - can still sell on the Auction House.
Difficulty: Easy. For some people clearing the Core Hound trash leading up to the boss will prove more challenging that the boss itself. The trick to the trash is ensuring that each pack dies at roughly the same time. Leave one of the pack alive too long and it will cause those that you've killed to come back to life. A lot of 'tab' targeting should see you through. I prefer to clear a majority of the trash packs as Magmadar periodically casts an AoE fear that can send you running off randomly. If you don't clear the trash, accidentally pulling them while dealing with the boss could make the encounter more difficult than it needs to be.
Drops: 59 gold. Also a variety of BoP old world recipes, schematics and enchants. More Epics that vendor for up to 10G.
Difficulty: Moderate. Soloing Gehennas now is no where near as painful as I found it at level 80. Gehennas is accompanied by two Flamewalker Elites that can both stun and sunder armor. Neither Gehennas or his two friends deal massive amounts of damage, although they are capable of whittling away at your health pool. The aspect that adds a degree of difficulty to all this is that Gehennas casts Gehennas' Curse which reduces healing effects by 75% for 5 minutes. When soloing, this essentially makes it a race to bring down the boss before he can bring you down. With the massive health pools we have at level 85 it's no longer that much of an issue, soloing this at level 80 with 35,000 hp however was a different story. Again, this is usually a good time to grab a drink or make a toasted cheese sandwich while waiting for the curse to drop.
Drops: No gold. The big ticket item for some people however is Bindings of the Windseeker, one of the two bindings required to craft the Legendary Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker. Other drops include various Epics and recipes (see previous bosses).
Difficulty: Easy. On either of my tank toons I just stand there and spank the boss, ignoring the adds entirely. On my Hunter I'll misdirect to my pet or feign death if any of the adds run toward me.
Drops: 59 gold. Other drops include various Epics and recipes (see previous bosses).
Difficulty: Easy. Nothing super hard here. That said, I've wiped on this guy before solely due to laziness, trying to skip trash and accidentally pulling Shazzrah and Baron Geddon at the same time. On his own Shazzrah is not that tough, clear the trash around him and taunt him back toward the hallway you approach him from so as not to pull Baron Geddon at the same time.
Drops. No gold. Also has the chance to drop another Bindings of the Windseeker. Other drops include various Epics and recipes (see previous bosses).
Difficulty: Moderate to Annoying. I find him much easier to solo on my Hunter than I do on either of my tank toons. The thing that makes Baron Geddon annoying is his Living Bomb attack. It's not even the attack that causes the issue. It's the fall damage you take when you come back to earth... or Azeroth. The strategy I've used is to find a spot to tank him where you can minimise fall damage, usually this meant finding a place where you'd hit a relatively low roof on each Living Bomb - to minimise your fall damage. Like Shazzrah I drag Baron Geddon back into the hallway with my back to a wall so that I hit the tunnel roof. There were reports after patch 4.01 of people disconnecting every time leaving bomb went sent them into the roof but I tried this strategy again last night and didn't have that problem.
Golemagg the Incinerator
Drops: No gold. Has a chance to drop a Sulfuron Ingot that is used to make Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros. The Ingots can still sell for a decent price on the Auction House. Other drops include various Epics and recipes (see previous bosses).
Difficulty: Easy. Golemagg is accompanied by two core hounds. The core hounds can't be killed while Golemagg is alive. I just ignore them entirely and spank the boss. On my Death Knight I don't think I drop below 90% health.
Drops: 39 gold. Other drops include various Epics and recipes (see previous bosses).
Difficulty: Easy. Whilst easy this fight could quite possibly be your longest inside Molten Core. Sulfuron is accompanied by four priests that can all heal. Since you won't be able to interrupt them all there's a good chance that one or more of them will get a heal or two away. If you're unable to burn them down quick enough, your next option is to continue dealing damage until you either get a lucky run of critical strikes and they die, or they run out of mana and can no longer heal. Once the priests are dead Sulfuron is a cake walk.
Drops: No gold. Other drops include various Epics and recipes (see previous bosses).
Difficulty: Easy. This fight is all about killing Executus's eight friends. You never actually kill Executus himself. As they drop one by one it gets progressively easier.
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. Ragnaros has the highest health pool in Molten Core, but it you play it right, he's probably not your biggest threat. Like the Baron, a majority of the damage you take will be fall damage, but this can be mitigated by positioning yourself so you land in the lava. The lava damage isn't significant enough to really worry too much about, and you are going to get out of there as fast as you can anyway. During the fight Ragnaros disappears and adds spawn. They have very low health so aren't a huge issue. AoE should see the end of them.
In a typical run of Molten Core you could reasonably expect to walk away with around 300 gold from boss drops alone, another 80-90 gold from the bind on pickup epics you can vendor, and then a varying amount based on what you can get on the Auction House from all the various other stuff you pick up including the items people need to rep grind with the Thorium Brotherhood. I usually also finish up with three or more bind on equip epics that I've auctioned off for 40-60 gold each. It's not unusual to finish up a Molten Core solo run in around an hour or so, having made in excess of 500 gold. If you are looking for a way to make a little extra gold, and can't stomach the thought of running the same daily quests over and over each day, then running through Molten Core every now and then could be a nice alternative.
I never raided Molten Core when it was top end content, but I can definitely see how it would be a huge challenge in level appropriate gear!