Picking a Server
- Main article: Newbie instance guide
Instanced Dungeons (or "Instances") are where the fun really begins. These are not the sort of places you'll want to go alone. Unlike many random areas of the game where you may easily get by as a solo player, instances and dungeons are designed to challenge whole groups of players. Most instances and dungeons will require five people to complete successfully. They always contain many Elite monsters.
Instances are great for groups to go get experience and loot, though they present quite a challenge. It is ideal to construct well-balanced groups that include members which fill all party roles: typically a tank, a healer and three damage dealers. Additionally, it is preferable to have at least one party member with good crowd control abilities.
There are four classes that can resurrect: Priest, Druid, Paladin, and Shaman. In addition, the Druid ability Rebirth can resurrect players in combat. Also, engineers of any class can make or buy Goblin Jumper Cables which has the chance to fail, and has a cooldown as well. Engineers should attempt to resurrect a primary resurrector, so that they can resurrect the rest of the party.
See the class article for a table of roles that usually need to be played, and the rating of each class' ability to fulfill that role.
Instances are both sources of excitement, and of dread.
A place for you and your group only
In the regular world, monsters exist and walk around doing whatever it is monsters do when the players aren't there. Anybody can come along, kill them, get the loot, skin them or whatever, and move on. If one player kills a monster, obviously it can't be killed twice. That means other players have to wait until that monster respawns, which occurs regularly (usually within 5-15 minutes). Some monsters are quest targets which need to be killed by any player attempting to complete that quest (a simple example is Goldtooth in Fargodeep Mine for humans starting out). You may find yourself waiting for Goldtooth to respawn before you can kill him again. You may even be able to kill the same monster any number of times, as long as you wish to wait around.
In instances, it doesn't quite work the same way. Each group that goes into an instanced dungeon gets their own version of it – their own instance of it, hence the name. This means you will never be inconvenienced by another group going in and killing all of the monsters and getting the loot before you do, but you will also never have the possibility of having another group or player come along and saving your hides from an ugly battle! Each group gets to go through the whole place on their own.
This can result in good loot and experience as a group progresses through an instance. Furthermore, the monsters in the area tend not to respawn until after some kind of scripted trigger, such as killing the head boss. In the Deadmines in Westfall, the Goblins and Defias Miners (of various types) stay dead. The wandering Defias Enforcers and Taskmasters (patrols) are the only ones that respawn regularly (just to keep things interesting). However, as soon as the Head Boss Edwin VanCleef is killed, the dungeon respawns with monsters, and it may end up being a bit of a fight to get back out the same way. However, you could just head off the other side of the boat and leave through the tunnel.
Death and Resurrection in Instances
If you die in an instance, your spirit need only find its way back to the entrance of it. As soon as you re-enter the instance, you are resurrected as normal, but at the instance gate. However this can mean that you may have a long way to run before you catch up to the rest of your group. In certain cases you may end up fighting your way back to your group (or your group, if you're the only one left, may end up fighting their way back to you!). The benefit of this is that if every member of your group dies in a battle, you don't need to go walk around looking for your corpses. You just need to re-enter the instance, and everyone gets revived at the same point.
If it has taken your group some time to get to a point in an instance you want to avoid having to fight your way back in again. It's smart to try to allow characters with resurrection abilities, such as priests, paladins, shaman or druids to survive a difficult fight even if other characters must sacrifice themselves in the process. If these particular classes survive a disaster that kills the rest of the party, they can eventually resurrect everyone else – preventing a long fight on the way back in.