Hey everyone! We wanted to get out a sort of primer ahead of the Raid Testing tomorrow to provide context for the sorts of changes you will (and won’t) see as you step into Dragonflight’s first raid, Vault of the Incarnates.
Before diving into what’s different - this post is going to be entirely about the Raid. We’ll have other information before long available on what’s going on with other endgame activities (like Mythic+) at a later date, so we won’t be making any mention of them here just to stay focused on the topic at hand.
Without further ado, here’s what’s in for tomorrow:
- While inside Vault of the Incarnates, Group Loot will be the only method of loot distribution. There is no option to select for yourself or your group to return to Personal Loot.
- Some items, like professions reagents may still use Personal Loot where appropriate.
- Need & Greed UI will return, and we’ll be monitoring feedback to make the rules around when and how players can roll on items be as intuitive as possible.
- While inside a raid, all item level restrictions placed on trading between members of that group are removed entirely. This means that even small item level increases that aren’t upgrades (as is often the case with rings and necklaces, which are budgeted high in secondary stats) won’t be locked to a player even in the case that they roll and win that item.
Item Level Tiering
- There now exists a 3rd item level tier at which items may drop, up from 2.
- 389 is the base item level for Normal difficulty and will drop from Eranog, Primal Council, Sennarth, and Terros.
- 395 is a new intermediate tier (was previously final bosses) that exists now for Wing Bosses - Dathea, Ascended and Kurog Grimtotem.
- 398 is reserved for Final Bosses - Broodkeeper Diurna and Raszageth, the Storm-Eater
- These item level increases still stay within the +13 band for each ‘tier’ of difficulty - meaning that Heroic Base would start at item level 402, just +4 after them.
For a long while we’ve observed that while players love the challenge of powerful wing bosses and ‘mid-tier walls’ like Halondrus, Sludgefist, and Painsmith Raznal - it didn’t make much sense when overcoming those involved challenges rewarded you with the same gear as you got from defeating a Shriekwing, or similar first boss. Our hope is that by introducing new tiers of raid rewards, progressing through Vault of the Incarnates (and future raids) will feel more meaningful as you master the difficult encounters within.
Additionally, we’re experimenting with a number of bosses that possess one item that intentionally drops at a higher item level - usually +6 or +7 from that boss’s normal table.
To be clear: this isn’t titanforging. It will be the same item every time, and will be very slightly rarer to compensate (and pending some new tech, we’ll have the ability to note this in the dungeon journal itself). These can be unique appearances, items with special bonus effects, or a powerful trinket that many people may seek after.
We have a few things we’re hoping to accomplish with this:
- Retain some excitement from early bosses that groups typically master very quickly and no longer become challenging by spicing up their loot tables
- Give more long-term goals for difficult encounters
- Make a larger push towards having Item Level accurately reflect the power of a particular item.
While we added many strong effects to weapons in Shadowlands, it wasn’t easily communicated how good an effect actually was - for instance Edge of Night (the sylvanas daggers) were clearly much stronger than their item level indicated, but they still appeared the same as the rest of her loot table. Our hope is that by being a bit more flexible with item level, we can give ourselves better tools for tuning these effects appropriately and in a way that makes sense to all players intuitively.
For the moment it’s intended that not all 8 bosses posses one, but that’s something that could change in the future. Current examples of unique drops are:
- A pair of special rings from Eranog and Diurna
- An ‘Omni Trinket’ (Str/Agi/Int) from the Primal Council that gets stronger with more copies
- A special bow from the Storm Incarnate herself, Raszageth
That ends the list of things that are exist and are implemented (though tuning for trinkets and special effects are still very work-in-progress). That said, we’d also like to share some plans that aren’t implemented. We’re interested in trying this out for a future beta build and getting your feedback on how it feels.
- Regular non-boss enemies within raids will no longer have a chance to drop Bind on Equip Epic items. Instead, ‘Lieutenant’ enemies - named mini-bosses throughout the raid - will have chances to drop them instead. These would work like LT’s do in current WoW, where you’re only eligible to receive loot from them once per week, per difficulty.
- BoEs would become scaled with group size like regular bosses do. This would guarantee a set number of BoEs each raid per group, assuming a full clear of the instance.
- Lastly, we’d be placing more important items into the BoE pool. This could be anything from weapons to higher item-level pieces to make them more worthwhile to raiders.
The goal of these changes are to reimagining BoEs by making the raid environment itself a sort of ‘9th boss’, with a guaranteed amount of extra loot to reward progressing deeper into the raid or efficient full clears without the need to kill every single bat or Mawsworn off in a corner of the battlefield to get your value. Additionally, this as an opportunity to create clear and understandable rules about how BoEs work, and support them as a reliable source of gear players want, rather than feel like an afterthought.
That’s all for now - please feel free to ask questions and provide feedback both on this post, and as some of you dive into Raid Testing over the next week or so and we’ll respond and clarify as much as we can. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the raid!
The latter. Previously, the best way to target a specific piece of loot was to stack as many similar armor or weapon types as possible to increase the chances of that dropping. Now, even if you’re the only Rogue or Demon Hunter in your group, you have the same chance as anyone else of seeing an upgrade.
While this does mean it’s possible for a bow to drop in a group without a hunter, the belief is that this rewards groups for playing with a diverse set of classes - as well as the normalizing factor above (mail wearers from the last few years know how hard it is to get loot comparatively).
Hey folks, going to respond to add some clarity that might alleviate some concerns, or at the very least better communicate how things will be.
As the title says, these would be for Dragonflight Season 1 - which means the Group Loot being always on is not just for beta. That said, we’ve improved Group Loot a lot from when it was last shown in 2016, and are continuing to work to remove other edge cases. For example:
- In the past, Need/Greed only knew if something was equippable or the right armor type, not if it was meant for your spec or not. This is now changed.
- First off, you can never Need for anything your class cannot wear. No warriors sniping cloth robes with a need roll and giving it away or trolling.
- We also have mainspec and offspec functionality built-in, which changes based on the current loot spec you set.
- Main spec takes priority, then Off spec, then greed. So while a Ret paladin can’t off-spec loot a shield away from a main-spec roll from the Tank, anyone rolling greed could never win it over them. This also means that if you swap specs for a specific fight, like going Holy, you can still main spec roll for your desired items if they come from that boss without having to worry about hurting yourself by being flexible to your group.
- Players won’t be able to win multiples of the same item - say that 2 sets of Shoulders drop. While you can roll Need on both of them, winning one will ‘remove’ your roll from the other.
- Additionally, players can’t Need on a piece of loot if they’re wearing the exact piece at the exact item level, though in the event where this occurs but the dropped piece has a Tertiary stat or Socket, that roll would be possible (as those are upgrades).
- Lastly, even after winning the roll, items remain fully tradeable without restrictions to any player that was eligible as a looter - as-in, if you weren’t locked to that boss previously. Inversely, this means that players who have already killed Boss 1 on Normal for the week can’t join for that boss and have loot traded to them (similarly, the need/greed pane won’t appear for that player).
As many in this thread have speculated, all players in Personal Loot were constantly ‘rolling’ behind the scenes, whether you wanted to or not. It’s not as simple as ‘with group loot you’re rolling against everyone, but in personal loot you’re rolling against fewer’. Changing to Group Loot for raids makes the process of loot acquisition and distribution more transparent and gives players more freedom to trade loot around and allocate it socially if they choose to do so.
Additionally, the current plan is for Group Loot to be active in Looking for Raid, though we’re open to taking action such as increasing the quantity of loot from LFR if the friction proves to be too much there.
On the Topic of BoEs:
Based on feedback and some further consideration, we’re likely not moving forward with Weapons as part of a BoE table just yet. It’s very possible that introducing that level of volatility would make it hard to us to verify how the other BoE changes are working (and if we’d like to support them). It’s on the table for future iteration, but might cause too much unintended chaos at the start of a period of so much systemic change for WoW as a whole.
Thanks for all your feedback thus far, and we hope this at least better clarifies how we envision this working in the near future.
That’s correct, dual wielding classes are exempt from this as far as weapons are concerned (assuming the weapon itself is not unique-equipped).
We’re working on this, but ideally:
- If you control a 398 ‘Cool Dragon Ring’ with any tertiary, you cannot roll need on another 398 ‘Cool Dragon Ring’ without a tertiary. It only works one way.
- This is a little under the hood, but we’re working towards it being so that not all tertiaries are considered equal - it’s valid for a healer to want to roll for an item with leech or some players to roll on an item with a socket, even if they have that exact item and level but it has say, Speed or Indestructible. We’ll see how this works long-term but some version of that is the idea.
And yes, Loot Spec will be set via the character pane under ‘Loot Options’ as it is currently.
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