Mythic+ System: Pros, Cons and Suggestions

Hi all,

I wanted to start a new conversation about the Mythic+ system - focusing on how rewarding the system feels to engage with, how those feelings can be made more positive and some other general thoughts and ideas to make the system even more fun and popular.

It’s no doubt the M+ system has been one of the most popular forms of end game content since it was added in Legion. It’s been iterated on and improved upon every expansion and patch since it’s addition to the game. For me personally, it is the most enjoyable form of content in the game.

I want to start by listing a few quick pros/cons to the system and then hopefully start a broader discussion on how some of those cons can be addressed and improved.


  1. Low barrier to entry

This is a huge pro. Compared to it’s PvE counter-part in raiding, mythic+ is much easier for new players, returning players or alts to engage with. The time investment to get started is very low, the system is mostly straightforward and self explanatory and anyone can start their own group at any time for a dungeon without having a premade group. We need more systems that feel this easy to start engaging with.

  1. Content for your level is always available

Since the system has a natural and mostly linear progression, there is always content available that is appropriate to your current level of play (gear, skill etc.). For example if you are a new/returning player or alt starting with a +2, it is generally easy to push your key and constantly get upgrades - and as you continue to get gear upgrades and upgrade your key level, you keep getting better rewards to a certain point. This makes the system rewarding to engage with, especially at the early stages of a characters progression. In the case of content always available for your skill level, if you are naturally progressing you will usually have a keystone at a level you are comfortable playing at, with long term goals to push that key level and improve.

  1. Re-playability and constant goals

For me, this is a pro. The content is consistent but also dynamic enough (weekly affixes, scaling key level etc.) that if you enjoy the content, you always feel like there is something to do when you log into the game. I personally think and other community systems have turned mythic+ into something more than just a mini-game, and with the recent adoption of the Mythic+ Scoring system we have only solidified this. I think it is great. It gives players a re-playable content loop that is engaging and rewarding. I feel like the main reward of pushing keys should be… pushing keys. The intrinsic goal of seeing yourself improve your strategies, pulls, damage etc. and seeing yourself improve over the course of the season is the biggest reward of the system for me personally.


  1. Keystone depletion and decay

I personally believe that a key should not downgrade in level for failing to time it. While I understand (but don’t necessarily agree with) the need for a “punishment” for failing to successfully complete a task (in this case the task being timing a key), I don’t think it is a good fit for something like the M+ system. Coming back to my point about intrinsic rewards from the pros list, there is already intrinsic punishment built into the keystone system. When you fail a key, you already feel bad for not succeeding. You already feel bad for wasting your time and the effort required to put together a group, let alone the time put into running the key itself - even if it’s only 20 or 30 minutes. For some people, that could be a sizeable portion of their daily playtime.

There are multiple reasons why a key can fail, especially in the world of LFG. Often times you have people leave a group when something goes wrong, sometimes even towards the end of the dungeon. Other times, it’s because someone disconnects or lags out due to unforeseen technical issues. In both cases, the keyholder is punished for engaging with the system and for circumstances often beyond their control. A “punishment” for failing a task should only occur when you directly are responsible for the failure, but in a system like this there are often too many grey areas on whos fault it is when a key fails (outside of the obvious ones where someone leaves or disconnects). The intrinsic punishments already feel bad enough, but then the daunting feeling of seeing your key 1 level lower and having to do the entire process at least twice now to get back to the position you were previously in feels horrible - i.e. You want to do a weekly 15, but someone leaves your key and now you have to run the 14 just to get back to where you were, and then you still have to do your 15 after that. This feels bad and creates a scenario where people are either scared or uninterested in listing their key in LFG in fear of someone joining and then leaving mid run.

As far as decay is concerned, I also don’t think keystones should decay for taking a break (for example going on vacation or not playing an alt for a week or two). If you timed a 15 this week, but have to go on vacation or real life makes it difficult to play the following week, you shouldn’t come back to a lower level key the next time you login.

  1. Long term reward structure

At the end of the day, not everyone is in it for the intrinsic rewards. I might be in the minority for that, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like extrinsic rewards. I do! We all love to get gear or other long term rewards like mounts, pets, titles, transmogs (challenge mode sets!!!) etc. I think the official Mythic+ score system is a step in the right direction, especially with KSM mounts and the new “Tormented” title. I think more of these cosmetic rewards should be added. Cosmetic rewards are long term rewards and will increase engagement in the system. People want rewards that will last forever. However, short term rewards are also important. Valor upgrades added in 9.1.5 are a great example of this, but I feel like this should go further.

  1. “Always serious mode”

The system is designed with the mentality of always needing to push or time keys to get the best rewards out of it. The lack of experimentation or more casual/fun ways to interact the system is a missed opportunity. The system could be used as a sandbox mode and create more opportunities for the community to engage with the system in fun, creative and silly ways. Again, more intrinsic rewards. Sometimes the content being fun and just having a good time with your friends should be the target reward.


  1. Keystones should not deplete

I touched on this a little when I discussed the cons of the system, but I’ll add to it some more here. Basically, I don’t think a keystone should ever deplete to a lower level. The fear of depleting your key with strangers in LFG is a legitimate fear and concern that players have. The loss of time for having your group fall apart mid run is punishing enough. I strongly believe that if keystones no longer deplete, more players will feel comfortable in listing their group, thus driving up engagement with the system. Sometimes the loss of time doesn’t feel as bad as opening your bags and seeing your key level downgraded. Keys will still fail, people will still leave groups but this will prevent the other 4 people (especially the key holder) from being punished any further. It’s less stressful knowing that if something goes wrong, you can just try again. Currently that is not the case because not only do you have to try again, you have to do it twice (or even more if your key depletes again).

Maybe make it so keys under a 20 can’t deplete and anything over a 20 can deplete down, but only to a 20 - a safety net if you will. If you’re doing 23-24s, you can probably comfortably time a 20. Requiring a player to push their key back up because of a string of bad runs should never be the punishment.

  1. More rewards

As I mentioned, I think the reward structures since the addition of the official Mythic+ score system have been great. We’ve always had KSM mounts/titles, but adding a “Hero” title (Tormented in this season) is a great addition. I would like to see more long term rewards, perhaps a “gladiator” style mount reward for the top 1% like we see in PvP. I would also like to see seasonal themed transmog sets similar to how we have PvP sets for various levels of PvP. Perhaps even a unique transmog set for being in the top 1% or 0.1% similar to the old challenge mode sets.

As far as the short term rewards like gear, the current system lets you upgrade to 246 item level with a score of 2000 (252 being the highest weekly vault/mythic raid item level). I feel like there should be another level of upgrades at 2500 or 2700 mythic+ score that let’s you upgrade that all the way to 252 (or whatever max item level is for the patch). This could tie into the “Keystone Hero” achievement/title that could come after Keystone Master.

  1. Sandbox mode

Similar to what we have on the PTR or tournament realm, having a vendor/npc where people can choose a key level and mix/match affixes to go in and have some fun and experiment could be a fun little mini-game. There doesn’t need to be a reward structure tied to this at all, but it would make for some fun and interesting community events and tournaments (something like the last Liquid vs Echo charity event we saw, with silly affixes on the bosses in SoD). It would be a great way to get away from the “always serious mode” the system is designed as and let people explore and engage with dungeons in a new and silly way. Want to troll your tank and healer friends with a fortified/necrotic/grievous combo? Go for it!

I think overall the system is fun and creates great content, but there is always room for improvement! I would love to here more thoughts and opinions on the topic.

PS: Sorry for the long read/wall of text! I didn’t realize how long it was until I was done writing it. LOL


First, I’m aware this is not a popular opinion, but to give my thoughts on the parts that affect me, as I don’t do M+, so I can’t comment on the rest:

I would disagree that the entry is a low barrier. The fact you need to know the optimal pull strategies is off putting, especially if you want to tank. The fact there’s no way to practice it without friends doesn’t help, as random heroics or a random m0 group will not want to do that.

The timer is my biggest issue with M+. I understand that a large amount of people like it, but it’s caused a mentality of GO GO GO due to the timer, and that turns away a lot of people. This has started to bleed into random dungeons as well. If you accidentally aggro a group that wasn’t supposed to be aggroed, you’ll get yelled at and even sometimes kicked. People say it doesn’t happen, but I’ve been kicked from so many Normal/Heroic NWs for accidentally aggroing a mushroom pack on my alts that I lost track.

I’ve seen this suggestion thrown around a lot on General Discussion and Reddit, and the reaction is mixed but personally, I think it solves a LOT of issues with M+.

Remove the Timer from M+2-9. Leave it for 10+. 2-9 is before you have the final affix, so there’s not much need for a timer, as the final affix is the real difficulty of M+. The removal of the timer from 2-9 would mean that new players could start M+ and have a casual way to learn the pulls without the pressure of the group possibly falling behind on the timer. Not only that, it would open up a whole new endgame for casual players like me, as a +9 is challenging enough and gives high enough ilvl gear that it’s an actual endgame.

If this type of system was introduced, and I got used to doing M+ in a casual environment, knowing the pulls, layouts, etc. I might even consider trying to overcome my panic attacks and do a 10+. But there’s no real way to enter into M+ currently, and I think this would solve that without negatively impacting anyone.

That said, for 2-9, the timer would still exist, but be completely invisible and only impact how many levels your key upgrades to. Leave the M+ score gained from it to be static based on the key. They’d have to add a way for you to trade in a 10+ key for a level 9 key, but other than that, I don’t see much problem with this type of system.


Personally, I’d love to see a Challenge Mode version of M+.

  • Players scaled to a set item level
  • Affixes fixed on each Dungeon
  • Complete all within timeframes for Rewards (can be the same structure as CM where Bronze = Title, Silver = Mount, Gold = Tmog)

M+ absolutely needs more to keep it engaging for the non-key pusher. A player shouldn’t be able to be “completely done” after a few weeks imo.

Here I’d argue there are a few core issues:

  • Items from previous seasons are not updated to new season values, meaning that you need to re-farm the same item again. This is honestly just awful. Absolute garbage. Trash design. [Insert other phrase for it being bad].
  • You are not able to deterministically upgrade your items once they have been farmed all the way meaning you need to RNG it in the vault. Why even farm when you need to land it in the vault?
  • Your efforts as a player are not attributed to your account. This happens in two ways.
  1. Your score for your account is not shown in game meaning that to show your efforts as a player external tools are required. [More on this in another council thread]
  2. Once you have obtained achievements/score on your account. You cannot use this to upgrade items on other characters meaning that the grind needs to be repeated on any character you want to play which increases the barrier to entry for alts.

Education is key here, and simply just asking for help. I’ve been in +20 keys in the past where I’ve just straight up asked what route they want to do. It gets linked to me and I do it. Simple.

There are also many communities and community resources which have this information at a moments notice.

With regards to practice, idk what there is to practice. If you’re not confident with the route. Try it on a lower key in group finder?

Main things that the game fails on here is the importance of stuns, interrupts, utility in general is not taught to you by the game, but by communities instead. There is no incentive in-game for a DPS to interrupt (outside of DH/DK).

Can confirm this issue is bleeding out into Normal Dungeons whilst levelling, however that’s a community issue rather than a game one. Players know how to be more optimal and want to do it, nothing wrong with that imo.

The timers themselves are very lenient and once again communication is key. Outline that the group is just aiming for completion and not a fast time and there should be no issues :expressionless:


I’m always down for more rewards. I’m one of those players who does M+ out of necessity, not enjoyment. More rewards will always incentivize me to pursue M+.
I would like to see a seasonal transmog be available (cosmetic only, similar to the Maw Shoulders we’ve been getting in 9.1) that has a chance to drop at the end of any +15 or +20 or whatever the number is, dungeon (in addition to the normal loot table).

I’ve expressed some similar thoughts on the council already ( My thoughts on the M+ system - Community / WoW Community Council - World of Warcraft Forums (
My only issue with a “sandbox” on retail, which counts towards M+ score is that within 2 hours we would know what the “optimal affixes” are for every dungeon and any group running something different would be trolled / abandoned, especially in higher keys.

In M+ post I said this:

I like this idea. But I would suggest making the timer optional. Add a little box to check off when you put the key in at the start of the dungeon. If you choose to run it without a timer, then completing it will add +1 to the keystone level. If you run with a timer you can still increase the level by up to 3. It ends up being a risk/reward factor then.

Absolutely yes. And I completely agree with templating it.

9.1.5 General Thoughts - Community / WoW Community Council - World of Warcraft Forums (

Make it cost even more valor to upgrade to 252, but why should that be locked behind even more RNG?

I think that Maizou’s point was that even in lower keys people often aren’t afforded the opporunity to learn. I would love to see a system where you can go into sandbox M+ with a group of players or NPCs (or both) to practice some pulls.

I assume you mean for resource regeneration so I’ll kindly add hunter to this list. :wink:


More on the note that in the past there were incentives to interrupt for DPS purposes. E.g. Warrior had Glyph of Rude Interruption which increased your damage done to a target you interrupted.

Wouldn’t want something that extreme again, but say if there were systems for if 3 casts in a row are interrupted the mob is startled and takes 5% more damage for 5 seconds. It encourages communication and utility usage and actively rewards it. (however, does punish ranged groups as their kicks are twice the CD of melee)

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We kind of have that now with one of the tormented options.

I like the idea, but I’m not sure the best way to implement it. I think saying that “kick 3 things in a row for a damage buff” isn’t a great system, but if you think about PvP, when you’re interrupted you can’t cast in that school for 4 seconds; maybe the answer is in PvE to give a small damage buff (no more than 5 %) for that same window, for all interrupts. Thoughts?

In a world where I can design a system from scratch. I’d have M+ talents/skills.

Requires score to unlock additional rows.

Row 1 talents unlocked straight away
Row 2 needs 400 score
Row 3 needs 800 score
Row 4 needs 1.2k score
Row 5 needs 2k score
Row 6 needs 3k score

Very rough concept of what the rows would provide:

Row 1 = Trash % related. Something like when you kill 5% of trash gain a buff that does X for Y seconds (works above 100% so going over mob count could be the play sometimes).
Row 2 = Utility related. Interrupts give a damage boost for the group. Healing provides damage reduction. Stun/Fear/Incap has no DR.
Row 3 = Resource related. Killing a boss restores all resources (mana, energy, combo points etc). Mana regeneration rate increased by x%. gaining % has a chance to restore some resources.
Row 4 = Pick an ability to empower. For example, frost mage could have Frozen Orb has 2 charges, blizzard lasts twice as long and provides more CDR to Frozen Orb, IcyVeins resets the cooldown on Frozen Orb.
Row 5 = Tertiary stat boost. Pick leech/speed/avoidance.
Row 6 = Just one option here. Let’s you pick which dungeon your key turns into once per day.


This would be awesome.

I actually enjoyed the Box of Many things system, and I think this could work the same way, honestly. I’m not sure if it needs to be locked behind rating or not, but I suppose doing it that way saves us collecting another currency.

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Could also be locked behind doing X amount of Dungeons (gated per week), or just not locked at all \o/

I think progression systems should be “locked” behind something, because you should need to interact with the system to unlock it’s benefits. The biggest issue I see with locking it behind rating is that it could make LFG even more toxic.


This would actually be so fun. I liked the NPC added recently where you could trade in a key / reroll it to try and get something that wasn’t DoS or SD. :slight_smile: But expanding on this more to have an NPC offer up more of a roulette would be great. It would also help those “we don’t key” weeks with horrible affixes if you had a chance to roll off necrotic on the keystone and trade it for quaking or bursting.

It happens. It just means you’re passionate about the topics - which is what is needed. :wink:


I think the mythic+ system is very good as is–not that I don’t think there are ways it could be improved. It revitalized my AOTC-focused guild, but also nearly broke it apart.

First, the good. Many guildies tell me mythic+ is what keeps them subscribed after raid progression is finished. Since my guild is primarily a social one, we value having something to do together that can be infinitely progressed.

Mythic+ has also inspired me to become a better player. I’ve always been an AOTC-focused player, and with AOTC you only need to be good enough to kill that last heroic boss. But with mythic+, there was always a higher key to work on. I found my skills for those higher keys lacking and I worked on them and got better, and that has been really fun and satisfying for me. I’ve also learned to use my full utility kit.

When we were focused just on AOTC, it didn’t matter too much that our players’ skill level varied so much. The better players carried the weaker ones, and it averaged out. But now that we’ve become mythic+ focused as well, those differences have led to some problems.

Some of these are unavoidable, I think, and just part of the challenge of running a social guild. But some could perhaps be ameliorated by changes to the way keys work. For most of these issues, I don’t have a solution to propose. Rather, I’ll explain the problems we’ve had and hope that Blizzard takes this information into account in their systems design.

Our player skill level within the guild varies a lot. We have players who can time 20s. We also have players who struggle to time 15s, or who don’t want to engage with mythic+ beyond getting their “one and done” for the Vault.

We had a situation in BFA where some of our more serious mythic+ players set up fixed mythic+ teams within the guild. For a while, this was fine, but later on two fixed teams decided to merge and organize their key runs on a separate, secret Discord. This created a “guild within a guild” that excluded people, not just weaker players but some players who were very strong and wanted to engage more with mythic+, yet found themselves left out. When those players got together to start a mythic+ team of their own, the secret Discord was discovered and it caused a rift that nearly destroyed the guild.

We survived but lost a number of players. Now we are explicit about our desire for the guild to be inclusive when it comes to mythic+. Things are better now, but we still struggle with the issue of varying skill levels. For example, we might be organizing a run for a +20, and someone who has only timed +16s wants to join, and we have to tell them no because that’s too big a jump in key level, and feelings can get hurt.

We do carry runs too, where the folks who can time 20s help out by running 15s with the less experienced players. But the mythic+ systems can get in the way of this. Say we specifically need a Sanguine Depths key for somebody’s KSM, and we assemble a group, but our only SD key is a +20 and the person who has it doesn’t want to drop their key to 15 because they want to run the 20 later in a different group. Are there ways the systems could better enable our stronger players to help out our weaker ones, without them having to sacrifice the key they worked hard to get?

By the way, the bonus valor system has been a huge help, so thank you for that! We absolutely have people in the guild who try to pull less experienced players into their dungeon groups just for the bonus valor. More of that, please!

Finding a good key to run for a group with mixed skill levels can be rough. We’ve had groups where our key choices are a +19 or a +2. We could drop the +19, but that feels bad for the owner of the +19. We could work up the +2, but we usually only run two keys during a session so in that case we’ll spend the whole session working up the key and never getting it to a level that is appropriately challenging.

Key depletion can also be discouraging. If we’re working specifically on 15 keys and we deplete one, now we have a 14 and we have to run another dungeon to get another 15. But we only do two keys at a time, usually, so there’s no point, and in that case we often disband early.

We’ve also struggled with a paucity of tanks and healers for mythic+. Our typical raid team of 20 has two tanks, three healers, and 15 dps. Break that into 4 groups of 5 for mythic+, and we need 4 tanks, 4 healers, and 12 dps. We’re short two tanks and a healer. Some of us can swap specs, but in a guild for busy adults who don’t have unlimited play time, it can be hard to gear multiple specs quickly.

It gets worse if some of our raid tanks and healers don’t like to do much mythic+. Right now we’re in a situation where we have only one active mythic+ tank for the entire guild, and until two officers switched to heals we had no healers active in mythic+ and always had to pug that role. Next raid tier, when selecting our raid tanks and healers we’re going to favor people who also do a lot of mythic+, which will help but feels bad for people who enjoy raid tanking/healing but not mythic+. It also creates a recruitment challenge, where we need tanks and healers for mythic+ but the raid spots for those roles are already filled.


Here is one of my suggestions about m+

m+ has the same affix since legion, I think that we need another kind of affix rotation, it will make the dungeons more interesting, can you imagine different affixes for each dungeon every week, not the same for all of them?, we need a different pattern.
I think there should be punishments for key leavers and trolls, not only report, what about something like they can’t access to m+ or lfg for… what about 2 hours or something and have the title the leaver.
And at the same time an endorse system like in overwatch, but with something else if you collect x number of endorsements what about a reward, maybe some cosmetic a title or anything else, you stay you do your job no matter if you make it on time or not.
Another thing that I don’t know if you guys agree is if you choose to complete the key option when time runs out, remove the time penalty to make the key relaxed and at the end lower the ilvl of the loot or maybe remove a piece of equipment.


Honestly, I’m just done with Fortified and Tyrannical. Seasonal affix should be the primary affix, and then 1 impactful affix on top of that. I really don’t care for the argument that people will do higher keys, because everyone will do higher keys, just adjust the scores/achievements/reward requirements.


Some great ideas in here for the game mode as a whole. Wanted to add in the idea that has been floated around the M+ community a fair bit and of course that’s the Kiss/Curse affix. This is the quickest way to breathe life into the affixes we currently have. It will turn affixes from purely hazards we attempt to avoid into fun tools we can play around with and use to our advantage. I made up some example kiss effects for all of the affixes currently in rotation and have included them below as a baseline of what I think would be good examples.

Bolstering: When a mob dies that is affected by bolstering, it deals damage equal to the bonus health it gained from the bolstering affix

Explosive: Bonus damage on your next attack after landing a killing blow on explosives

Bursting: After bursting expires, pulse aoe damage every second per stack dropped. Does not occur if dispelled.

Storming: When tornadoes fade they leave behind a field that increases haste. Does not occur if a player was hit.

Necrotic: After necrotic expires your next attack applies a dot that deals damage based on the number of stacks

Raging: Raging mobs lash out at other nearby trash mobs, dealing damage. This effect is lost if they are no longer raging.

Inspiring: When inspiring mobs die, nearby mobs become demoralized, reducing damage done and increasing damage taken. Does not affect bosses.

Quaking: One player’s quake will expose a patch of azerite, granting increased primary stat to players who stand within.

Spiteful: When a shade dies, they leave behind an essence of spite. When collected by a player they deal increased damage to the first target they hit for a short period of time

Greivous: After being healed out of greivous range, gain a damage absorb shield for 1/2/3/4% of your max hp.

Sanguine: After 10 seconds, sanguine pools coalese, becoming sanguine slimes. These slimes can be crushed underfoot healing all players closeby, and applying a dot to nearby enemies.

Volcanic: Embers will occasionally rain down after a volcanic burst. Players who catch the embers will recieve a speed increase as well as the ability to cast while moving for a short time.

Tyranical: When a boss is defeated, player cooldowns are drastically reduced for a short period of time. (Uhr)

Fortified: Each non-boss enemy killed gives players a stacking buff that increases a random secondary stat. Stacks do not extend the buff duration.

As always this would take a lot to implement but would help the long term health of the system greatly. It also adds an extra knob for affix tuning that is currently rather limited. Love to hear what you guys think/suggest.