Differentiating M+ as a Gameplay Mode

Looking through the potential item levels that will drop from M+ compared to other game modes I feel as though there is an opportunity for improvement with regards to gear rewards from it.

An M+ player to push to their absolute upper bound will need to raid Mythic, there are no ifs or buts about it. It’s the only source they can get the highest item level rewards.

When we look at PvP as a parallel, this is not the case now that the WoD PvP ilvl buffer has been added to PvP gear to enhance it in PvP scenarios.

Would it at all be possible to utilise this system for M+ gear?

In my mind this would be attaching a bonusID(s) to the item which only activates on the following conditions:

  • Gear source is M+ Dungeon/M+ Weekly Vault
  • Player is inside a M+ instance

When those conditions are met, the item gains +6 item levels.

This would provide the following:

  • Gear from end of dungeon chests would be comparable to end of Heroic Raid Loot (at max drop level)
  • Gear from the vault would be comparable to end of Mythic Raid Loot (at max drop ilvl)

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! =)


What’s the point in this change? Making it harder to progress and effectively making it slower, doesn’t make it feel more of a sense of progression, on the contrary, it makes it feel worse. Around L23~24 you really start noticing the increase in key level on live atm, and that will only get worse in DF with even harsher scaling.

If you want to give us a sense of progression, perhaps giving us more score for higher keys like original rio had would work much better.

This initially is good, but it’s not enough. With harder scaling it will be much more of a chore to get the max gear reward done. Right now I can get mythic raid ilvl gear (304) from doing a +15, which will now have to be at least a +18. That said, M+ players will still 100% rely on RNG from the vault in order to get better gear. Valor is only going up to 415, meaning that effectively after a few weeks I’ll be stuck on a subpar ilvl, and I’ll be throwing away dungeon drops.

On top of that we will still have the issue where mythic raid gear is going to be better than mythic dungeon gear, which is the entire problem.

I appreciate sharing this information with us, and while I’m satisfied with most of it, the ilvl issue still not fixed, I think I’d even call it worse than it is now in Shadowlands.


So you don’t create them for us to have fun? Isn’t that a point of playing a game as well as the challenge?


Now that I think of it, can you please uncap valor and rework the prices? Currently the valor prices are the same regardless of ilvl, and it would make much more sense to have it start cheaper and then go up. This way you could cap end of dungeon loot based with a lower ilvl, and require rating + valor to get it up to vault level, while making each upgrade more expensive. This gives us a deterministic way to upgrade our gear to a reasonable ilvl. This of course is accompanied by a lower valor reward in lower keystones.


Can you rephrase this? The majority of the Mythic+ players don’t want to raid to get the higher iLvl gear in order to compete or perform at our preferred content, which is M+.

When you have gear like Gavel or Sylv daggers that are way above any other weapon drop from M+, drop in raid, even a heroic version of those weapons are generally better then M+ weapons from the vault. That should never be the case.


Thanks for taking the time to provide a detailed post on the topic.

Digesting the response a bit. I’ve got a few follow-up questions.

Crafting Tier

This is launching very late. M+ players will only have the vault to gamble with for a good chunk of the season and ultimately be left behind for Raiders who have their set bonuses. Whilst the set bonuses aren’t as powerful as they were in Sepulcher it’s still power which increases your potential to time the key.

To use the Creation Catalyst as a parallel here I know for my team personally, we used the Creation catalyst for two pieces of tier when it came out and these were purely for item level upgrades rather than to obtain a set bonus. The system didn’t really work for us, but then again we’re not really the target demographic.

But the tier was drip fed on a weekly basis when it did come out so at the absolute worst luck state you’re 10 weeks into the Season before you have a 4-set bonus.

Item Level Disparities

The new reward structure outlined does do a bit of good work to lessen this gap, however a Mythic raider will always win out, as they did in previous expansions for two reasons:

  • M+ Loot at the vault is capped below end of Mythic Raid
  • Raid loot can also roll even higher with certain items having an enhanced item level

On the upside Max valor loot is equivalent to entry Mythic raid loot.

With that being said, if Valor is uncapped then that is no longer an issue with regards to total upgrade potential to keep up with other game modes. It also provides an incentive to run lower than max-level keys.

Keystone Levels & Player Mentality

If a ceiling is placed, everything is focused around it. What happens when a player depletes a 20? They’re left with a 19.

Who wants to run a 19? Friends to help them out or players desperate to get a key done at the end of the weekly reset to get a vault make up the majority of that population imo.

Having something in place to prevent this from being an issue would go a long way.

For example: If your keystone has depleted it can only be restored to that level. It can’t go up, and more importantly doesn’t go down.


Because PvE is PvE and PvP is PvP. If you want to excel in PvP content you do PvP, if you want to excel in PvE content you do PvE. The idea of raid gear being less value in mythic+ and the idea of m+ gear being less valuable in raid is just a way to create much less cross-over and making access to such content less accessible due to time constraints.

Raid is on a weekly lockout and m+ is spammable, systems need to compliment each other and splitting up portions of the game is bad. It’s an MMO.

What’s the point in this change? Making it harder to progress and effectively making it slower, doesn’t make it feel more of a sense of progression, on the contrary, it makes it feel worse. Around L23~24 you really start noticing the increase in key level on live atm, and that will only get worse in DF with even harsher scaling.

I assume it’s to allow more gear and progression in m+. They’re releasing more tiers of difficulty and allowing m+ to feel like you’re progressing and working towards something(Just looking at the ilvl rewards). It’s not perfect, but m+ needs more rewards and I’m glad they’re looking into making m+ feel more than just you’re either pushing worthless IO or you’re doing your weekly 15s.


as someone who likes to do everything this is basically the way they were pushing people and a main reason why I stopped feeling the need to push mythic plus.

Lets not forget spammable content loot can only be used as an argument if the loot is actually equal, which it isn’t in this scenario. Lower ilvl gear is dominated by M+ loot being easily available with heroic as a fallback in case you don’t get M+ stuff. Then Mythic+ gear gets capped at a lower ilvl and isn’t available at all anymore.


I know my opinion is unpopular but I am going to say it anyway.

It’s just my experience, but literally no one in my guild actually enjoys doing keys. Yet, every week for the first month of two of the expansion everyone slogs away in keys for easy item level. It’s not fun, it’s not rewarding, it’s just a necessity of playing this game now and it’s becoming moreso every expansion and even patch. We have lost several longterm players including our co-GM simply because they cba with the current gameplay loop.

I have no solutions for the gearing thing and I understand that people do M+ as their main form of content and honestly I am happy for them. I don’t want to devolve into the topics of difficulty or anything like that. I just hate the content. I agree with Sensations that adding more modifiers to the item pool for M+ gear vs Raid gear is bad in the long run. I just want to express that there is a chunk of the playerbase that despises the current gameplay loop of raid → claw your eyeballs out doing keystones. I hope that one day we can all play the form of content we enjoy because we want to and not because it’s necessary to gear for the stuff we actually want to do!


Honestly the one thing I do wish for was more cosmetic rewards. Even with these changes there’s nothing to achieve going higher and even 20s will end up being very easy for people who enjoy “achieving” rewards. PvP players and raiders benefit from such so it’s also time to allow M+ players something more than just a “title.”

Could be another color variation of the elite gear, a top 0.1% mount to go along with the title. Even something more than just “portals.” Now is a perfect time to compliment these changes and bring M+ cosmetic rewards in line with other forms of content. The KSM mount is the “everyone” mount, let’s get something more to work towards :).


The main issue I take with this, is that for a guild like mine - where we might kill the first few mythic bosses 3-4 times each in a tier - M+ is once again far and away the best way to gear for raid.
When we reach the end of heroic, some of our raiders already don’t need gear from the boss because M+ has outgeared us for the content.

I would propose Panthea’s initial suggested be implemented and extended to raid.

I would like to see this exact thing done for raid.
It’s already done for PvP, such that PvP gear, while usable in PvE will work best in PvP.
Panthea’s proposal does the same thing. M+ gear, while usable in PvP and Raid, will be best used in M+, and I would suggest that exact thing for raid.

I understand with the replay-ability of M+ when compared to raiding and farming gear is easier, but it’s really not a good experience to get to the end boss for the first time and have a piece of loot drop that isn’t an upgrade because you got something better in the vault from doing M+.


The main issue I take with this, is that for a guild like mine - where we might kill the first few mythic bosses 3-4 times each in a tier - M+ is once again far and away the best way to gear for raid.
When we reach the end of heroic, some of our raiders already don’t need gear from the boss because M+ has outgeared us for the content.

So I personally don’t see the problem. If players are willing to get gear from multiple sources, then what’s the issue with that? This same argument could be used for professions providing Mythic raid gear, but the system is awesome. Raids, while they should maintain loot integrity, shouldn’t be the “only” best gear. Same when it comes to separating the content that is wanted in this thread.

You, as a player, choose to go for the best gear from all sources. This takes time and is content. But we want to now shorten that content because X player wants to raid log, or feels bad they have to do more than 1 singular form of content for the best rewards for that content. Raid progression is time limited.

No one forces you as a player to do M+, Crafting, and Raid to complete your BiS. But if you want to, that’s a lot of content and doing it allows you as a player to be rewarded. But it’s also ok to just not do it, because you don’t have to. This notion of reducing content and making its rewards not viable in other forms is hard for me to comprehend. Because the same argument could be applied to time.

If players “need” to do things for gear, then the same could be said of that they “need” to raid 7 days a week to achieve higher goals. We should feel rewarded. If my main focus is raiding, and I spend 3 days a week doing that on something that is ID locked, my next choice is to go into M+ where I’m now dropped by X ilvl and weaker, and where those rewards from m+ are now at a baseline weaker in the content I enjoy, for what purpose? So someone doesn’t feel the “need” to do 8 keys a week? Smh


What I’m saying is that the only reason I do M+ is to be better for raid. Look at Season 1 of SL. Most, if not all of your slots BiS was the +15 M+ vault until SLG/Sire Mythic.

Thats not at all what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that PvP gear is already best for PvP. This thread asked for M+ gear to be best for M+, I don’t think it’s out of line to ask the same thing in raid.

Which works in M+ which is infinitely farmable, but raid is not infinitely farmable, nor am I asking it to be. I’m just asking to not be disappointed every time I get a drop in raid that isn’t an upgrade because I’ve already gotten the M+ item in that slot that’s a higher ilvl. Scaling M+ rewards to +20’s now makes this situation worse, though I do understand how it improves the lives of the M+'ers


I get what hes saying about PvP gear in relation to Mythic+. I cant imagine if PvP gear was different for Arena and RBGs and people who did Arena had to do RBGs just because it was better gear. Thats basically what is happening here.

Please dont take this as an idea for PvP Blizzard


To be clear, I’m not suggesting that.

PvP is PvP.
But Raid is not M+.

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I really appreciate this detailed and thoughtful post! My AOTC guild has had some time to think about these changes, and here is their response (and mine) so far.

For reference, we are a semi-casual guild that raids normal and heroic and gets AOTC every tier. We have some folks who are super into mythic+ and have timed as high as +22. We also have some who are focused on just KSM and getting vault drops from +15s. It’s common for our stronger players to carry the weaker ones through 15s for gear and to finish off KSM.

On the plus side, many of us acknowledge that getting mythic-raid-level loot from the vault for doing 15s, which are significantly easier content than mythic raid bosses, seems unfair. And many of us are in the position that raid drops (which are normal/heroic only, for us) are fairly meaningless. We might look for one or two key raid drops, and all the rest of our gear comes from mythic+.

I think this system will make heroic raid drops meaningful again, and I like that.

The negative side is that I foresee we’re going to have a really rough first season in Dragonflight. To reach the item levels we were previously able to reach by running 15s now requires us to run 20s. On top of that, 20s are going to be harder because of increased scaling past +11. On top of that, we’ll have weaker gear to get through those 20s because we have to get through the 20s to get the gear. On top of that, the seasonal affix is an all-downside affix with no borrowed power to help us out.

All of this depends on tuning, of course. Tuning of both classes and dungeons, and raids. But if tuning is similar to what it has been and we have to do harder content with less gear, we may have a lot of frustration and people dropping out of harder content.

The more positive takes on this within my guild are that people will rise to the occasion and improve their gameplay now that we can’t simply overpower 15s with high-ilevel vault gear. And doing keys over 15 will be more meaningful, and we might see more participation in such keys.

The more negative takes are that people will get frustrated, weaker players will be left behind and excluded more because we won’t be able to carry them, some players will give up, and the player pool in mythic+ will diminish.

We might also find the raid more difficult because our gear will be weaker in comparison. Our culture of “bring everybody so we can hang out as friends and kill some bosses together” may have to change. We might have to start sitting some players whose dps is not competitive.


I’m a solo player for a multitude of reasons so as a general rule M+ isn’t content I’m able to play at all.

So with that said I’d just like to mention that if some of the earlier keystones were available via dungeon finder I would definitely play them pretty often. I understand that at some point it becomes unrealistic to PUG and I’m good with that.

Currently the only dungeon runs I do are chain leveling alts because that’s the only dungeon content that progresses anything for a player like me. I am definitely pretty darn sick of BfA dungeons though!!!


I would also like this for my alts… its so hard to even get in low keys or find groups for them to catch up.

Blizzard could make it like you cant join +3 queue if you have not done some keys in +2 and so on on top of the item lvl needed to queue, to maybe guarantee a little bit of experience for joining a + 5 for example.

And it’s not like groups that are formed over the looking for group tool are always full of players that know what to do… Sometimes you see people with 2.5k score or higher and think wtf are they doing and how did they get the score. So i don’t see this as a problem for a group finder for low m+ keys because you always have people that don’t know what to do even in higher keys.

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