Dragonflight Mythic plus changes

By Blizzard

Hello, and thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts here! Feedback like this is valuable, and helps inform discussion within the team as we continue to iterate on systems like Mythic+.

While I don’t have information to share about this specific suggestion today, I do want to take this opportunity to offer some insight into changes coming to Mythic+ in Dragonflight and our thought process behind them, as well as open up a discussion around elements that are still being worked on or could change in the future.

First up, we’d like to provide some more context for a change you may have already heard about.

Seasonal Dungeon Rotation

If you’ve done Mythic+ over multiple seasons, you may have had the experience of running a particular dungeon over and over chasing a prized item, only to be faced with chasing that same item in that same dungeon the following season as well. That’s not great, and we want to do something about it.

Perhaps the biggest change coming in Dragonflight is that we’ll be rotating the entire set of Mythic+ dungeons every season. We believe this will result in a better overall experience by:

  • Providing primary Mythic+ players with more of the sense of exploration and progression each season that Raiders get to enjoy with new raids.

Much of the fun of Mythic+ comes from seeing yourself get better and better at playing a dungeon through experience, but opportunities to learn and improve become more scarce the longer a dungeon stays active in the pool.

  • Keeping the level of effort required to get the best rewards consistent season over season.

Learning a new raid can be fun and challenging, but the relative ease of completing Mythic+ dungeons that everyone mastered last season can create heavy social pressure to spend time in Mythic+ gearing up even if it’s not your preferred activity.

  • Creating space for returning players to jump into Mythic+ even if they missed the previous season.

Imagine taking a break during Season 1 and coming back in Season 2, only to join a Mythic+ group and feel like you’re holding them back because everyone else just “knows” a strategy you never had the chance to learn. With dungeons rotating every season, everyone gets to start on a relatively even playing field and figure out new strategies together.

Seasonal Affixes

These have been a staple of Mythic+ for years now, but what purpose do they serve and why do we keep making them?

Seasonal affixes:

  • Play a key role in shaking up gameplay. We’re asking you to play the same dungeons for well over a year, and adding new twists helps keep them feeling fresh.
  • Give us an opportunity to add thematic flavor and give each season a sense of identity. It’s cool to have N’Zoth or Denathrius influencing Mythic+ dungeons at the same time they’re featured in the raid.
  • Are a great place to experiment and try new ideas. We can keep things that work well for future seasons, while safely leaving behind things that didn’t work as well.

But as great as Seasonal affixes have been, they also have limitations. With their relatively high complexity and strong seasonal ties, they’re mostly lost to history once a season is over. While they do have experimental value, they don’t contribute as much long-term benefit to Mythic+ as we’d like.

A side-effect of the Dungeon Rotation change above is that it takes pressure off the Seasonal affix to be the “big thing” that transforms your gameplay in a new season, and this has given us space to really think about what a Seasonal affix might look like going forward. Should we try to make Seasonals that can become regular affixes in future seasons? Should we stop doing them in favor of something else entirely? There are lots of interesting questions to consider as we move forward.

On Beta realms you’ll soon be seeing an experimental version of a Season affix named “Thundering”. We’re still iterating heavily and it’s likely the functionality will change, but it should give a sense of the level of complexity we’d like Seasonal affixes to occupy in Dragonflight. Since you’ll already be learning a whole new set of dungeons, the Seasonal affix can be less complicated and focus more on being about thematic flavor (as well as giving us space to try new things).

Another shift that you’ll likely notice is a reduction in the amount of “borrowed power” provided by Seasonal affixes. While feedback on beneficial affix effects has been positive and it’s a space we definitely want to continue exploring, we hit a level of power in Shadowlands that felt extreme and contributed heavily to the short-circuiting effect described above.

We’ll be keeping a close eye both on how this feels in playtests and on player feedback, and may try other directions if it doesn’t work out as well as we’d like. For example, there’s a world where we have beneficial effects closer to Shadowlands, but also make enemies more powerful to offset that extra power. The key takeaway here is that we want to continue experimenting with Mythic+, and we hope you’ll appreciate seeing a bigger difference in your experience with each season in Dragonflight.

Rewarding Dedicated Mythic+ Players

Throughout Shadowlands, we’ve observed a trend where players who’ve mastered a set of Mythic+ dungeons are seeing their sense of progression short-circuited in subsequent seasons.

This is a complex problem that intersects with several of the topics outlined above, but the bottom line is that something valuable is lost when the best gear you can get from Mythic+ isn’t necessarily something you earn by investing time and effort into getting really good at Mythic+.

To be extremely clear, this does not mean we want to make Mythic+ less rewarding. It’s a major pillar of the endgame for World of Warcraft and players who want to focus on it should have access to competitive rewards.

What it does mean is that we want Mythic+ to have more of a sense of progression as you push higher and higher keys, and we want the gear you get to feel like a reflection of that. To achieve this goal, we’re making two big changes:

  • First, starting with Keystone level 11, we’re increasing the rate at which enemies gain health and damage with each subsequent key level from 8% to 10%.

The impact from this change isn’t dramatic at any given key level, but it should contribute to giving each step up more of a sense of progression and make it easier for us to step up rewards accordingly.

  • Second, we’re adjusting the item level of gear rewards both from end of run chests and from the great vault, and scaling their item level growth up to Keystone level 20.

We’re also introducing an additional Valor upgrade tier, which will increase the maximum item level of Valor upgrades that players can unlock with higher Mythic+ ratings. You can review the chart below for details.

Mythic+ Item Rewards:

Keystone End of Run Great Vault
+2 376 382
+3 376 385
+4 379 385
+5 379 389
+6 382 389
+7 385 392
+8 385 395
+9 389 395
+10 392 398
+11 392 402
+12 392 405
+13 392 408
+14 395 408
+15 398 411
+16 398 415
+17 402 415
+18 402 418
+19 405 418
+20 405 421

Valor Upgrade Tiers:

Upgrade Level Item Level Rating Requirement
1 376 None
2 379 None
3 382 None
4 385 None
5 389 None
6 392 None
7 395 600
8 398 1000
9 402 1000
10 405 1400
11 408 1700
12 411 2000
13 415 2400

Shorter Affix Rotation

The last experimental change we’d like to talk about today is placing a couple of our regular affixes on hiatus and reducing the number of weeks in the affix rotation.

In Dragonflight Season 1, the Inspiring and Necrotic affixes will be taking a break, and the affix rotation will be reduced from 12 weeks to 10 weeks. Our thought process here is that:

  • Inspiring is a good affix for changing up your gameplay when you have thorough knowledge of a dungeon, but it can feel especially punishing while you’re still learning. This didn’t feel like a good fit with the increased emphasis on learning dungeons each season going forward.
  • Necrotic was originally intended to be an affix that challenges tanks, but it’s become increasingly apparent that routing responsibilities already place tremendous pressure on tank players in Mythic+, so we’d like to try giving this affix a vacation.
  • With a shorter affix rotation overall, we’re hopeful that we can reduce the perceived disparity in difficulty between weeks and allow players to more regularly feel like they can make meaningful progress toward increasing their Mythic+ rating.

We’re excited to see how this plays out, and looking forward to trying out further changes in Season 2 and beyond. While it’s too early to make promises, this may include things like swapping out more affixes, changing the level at which different affix types become active, or perhaps even trying out a new affix category entirely.

Thank you again for taking the time to share your feedback, and I hope the information shared here is able to provide good context for further discussion! =)

8 Oct 2022