Changes & Experiments to Raid Rewards in Dragonflight Season 1

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:

Group Loot:

  • 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.

Loot Trading

  • 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.

Unique Drops

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.

Bind-on-Equip items:

  • 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!

36 Likes

why not personal loot with restrictions removed?
forced group loot kinda sucks.

103 Likes

Why is personal loot being removed? Adjudicating group loot is yet another thing to worry about and potentially cause guild drama. Please leave personal loot as an option.

94 Likes

Why are we going back to group loot? Is this so we can have ninja looting back or just items dropping that no one in the raid could even use. Or better yet being the person in the raid who never gets anything because of bad rng rolling.

62 Likes

Will definitely need some time to process, but these honestly sound like great changes overall. Thanks for the update!

3 Likes

Super excited for this. I’d love to see an option for a default pass and the ability for raid leaders to request people to opt in to default pass, so organized groups can figure out loot without having to wait for the one person who really really had to pee to get back and pass on the item.

6 Likes

The only rules should be that a player’s class has to be intended to use the item to roll on it. IE: no DKs rolling on cloth or healer trinkets, no priests rolling on plate or tank trinkets.

8 Likes

Does this version of group loot use the tech of Personal loot in that if no one in the raid wears Mail armor, no mail armor will drop? Or the tech of old group loot where a group with no Demon Hunters can get Warglaives?

20 Likes

Please rethink this at least for raid finder. Dragon Soul was Need/Greed and it was a disaster.

56 Likes

unless yall really overhaul the old master loot system, this is a massive L

20 Likes

Please, not again. Can our best weapon from the raid just have the same drop chance as any other item?

19 Likes

I know loot is not final yet, who knows, but with Item Level Tiering it feels like some classes might have a disadvantage with weapons.

Currently there are two strength 2hander weapons with higher item level (424 and 421) compared to the strength 1handers (415). I know Mythic+ is in the game and you can pull the highest item level possible 1hander (hoping it is comparable to 421-424ilvl and not 415ilvl) from the vault but since this is Raid only, which is the best source of weapons, it just feels bad.

6 Likes

Im guessing this is just to test for beta. Live you will still have personal loot for pugs

3 Likes

Alright, I’ll reserve judgment, but these changes in a vacuum are not a good sign for M+ players who don’t want to full clear mythic raid every week for reasonable competitive gear (for M+ itself) if we assume nothing else has changed on the M+ side of things, particularly with the expansion of unique item effects from raid and the bonus ilvl items.

8 Likes

I see tons of problems with all this, but if they cant see it, Im not going to point it out to them. Its just a reminder that the current dev team refuses to do anything simple. Its so convoluted nowadays.

Take a look at how well Wrath Classic is right now. Everything is so simple and easy to understand and people love it.

14 Likes

Yeah I would think( I hope) LFR rules stay the same. I remember the LFR dragon soul…it was interesting to what players rolled need on and thought they could wear and use lol.

14 Likes

any plans to provide other ways for people to get gold aside from buying tokens? no more mission table, professions in the dumpster after AH merge…

4 Likes

Is the removal of personal loot just for the beta testing or is it permanent? Seems odd to remove the method that the majority of players like and prefer instead of just adding the option for group loot that the top level guilds want.

Getting rid of the item level restriction for trading loot is excellent. Thank you. And the tiers in ilvl is cool. Overall, I like the changes, so long as personal loot is still an option when the game goes live.

35 Likes

If you are going to give us the drama that comes with group loot ( Need / Greed loot ) distribution then give us back master looter. You guys really havent thought this crap through , gear is one of the biggest issues in the game in terms of drama. Master looter at least gives us back control over loot distribution properly.

10 Likes

I am looking forward to never looting anything from the raid as a healer again

37 Likes