Mythic+ dungeon loot rewards will be different for Shadowlands. First, let’s take a look at what these changes are, how that compares to BfA, and then whether the changes are positive or not.
Shadowlands M+ iLevels
Thanks to some datamining from WoWhead, we now know the M+ reward item levels. Here is a sample of those item levels.
Key Level Dungeon Reward Weekly Chest (Great Vault) 2 187 200 5 194 210 10 204 220 15 210 226
Why this is a ‘nerf’
Mythic+ dungeons have rewarded loot at the end of a run at item levels equal to or higher Heroic raiding gear. For Uldir, Battle for Dazar’alor, and Eternal Palace, M+ and raid loot were equal item level (and both could titanforge). For Ny’alotha, items could no longer titanforge, and the reward at the end of an M+ dungeon was 5 iLevels higher than the Heroic raid (465 vs 460).
However, that has now changed - the items at the end of Mythic +15 dungeons will be 3 iLevels lower than Heroic gear in the first raid in Shadowlands: Castle Nathria. I’ll get into the pros and cons of this in a bit.
Raid Difficulty iLevel for Drops iLevel for last 2 bosses LFR 187 194 Normal 200 207 Heroic 213 220 Mythic 226 233
It’s possible less loot drops too, but no one knows for sure
This isn’t set in stone, but Ion Hazzikostas mentioned in an interview in July that end-of-run chests for M+ would drop only 1 item baseline in Shadowlands (instead of 2 right now). He did not specify how much of an increase beating the timer would give.
Ion also started this statement out saying, “So the exact quantities are still evolving, please don’t quote me 100% on this).” So if you see people stating this as fact, the reality is, no one knows for sure yet.
Why did Blizzard make these changes?
We don’t know for sure, but why not give it our best guess? I think it has to do with the fact that M+ is just as efficient as raiding in terms of how much loot you get per time played for a good but non-Mythic player, but has no limits on how much gear you can get each week, and potentially rewards higher quality gear at an arguably lower level of difficulty.
- Raid bosses drop about 1 piece of loot for every 5 players
- M+ dungeons drop 3 items for every 5 players (assuming you beat the timer)
- An efficient M+ group that isn’t totally crushing it can finish an M15 in about 30 minutes, with a little downtime on either end for travel and breaks
- An efficient non-Mythic raid group can clear Ny’alotha in about 2.5 hours
Put those together, and you can see that the loot per hour is almost identical (about 1 item per hour played) for both activities.
So now we see how Mythic+ pulls ahead from this common baseline:
- There is no limit to how much loot you can get from dungeons in a week
- The gear drops 5 item levels higher than heroic raids
- It is arguably easier to do M15 than a heroic raid – raids take more coordination and a larger continuous block of time
- As you become better, it’s easier to find a really fast M+ group than a really fast raid group, and your loot per hour goes up dramatically
Is lowering the Mythic dungeon iLevel good or bad?
There are valid points for both sides of this:
- Good: Raiding takes more coordinated effort and is arguably harder than M15. So the rewards should be a little better.
- Good: Raiding generally takes more time, so the rewards should be better.
- Bad: Lower iLevels from M+ don’t open up trading options in raiding (if M+ rewards are equal to raid drops, you can choose to trade a raid drop with a friend, but not if your M+ item is 3 iLevels lower than the raid drop).
- Bad: Lower iLevels from M+ make it harder for teams to gear up for raiding (including casual teams), though 3 ilvls isn’t that big of a deal
Overall… I think this change is fine. It will change the dynamic a little bit, but ultimately won’t impact the casual player base a ton. It will have more of an impact on the high-end teams who are more about the race… but since everyone is playing by the same rules, it has no impact on who will win the race.
Is lowering the drop chance in Mythic dungeons good or bad?
First, let me restate that it is not currently set in stone that only 1 item will drop - we have no confirmation this is how it will work in Shadowlands. But let’s assume for this exercise that there will be less drops in M+:
- Good: Loot was so easy to get in BfA, does this make getting an item feel exciting again?
- Bad: Will it feel frustrating to have to run a dungeon a bazillion times to finally get that one item you want?
- Good: High-end players won’t be able to gear up significantly faster in M+ than raiding.
- Bad: Most (casual) players will gear up more slowly from M+ than raiding now.
- Good: People who only like to raid won’t feel “compelled” to do M+ to keep up.
- Bad: Some people really liked using M+ to gear up for raids and to gear up alts.
Overall… it’s hard to say on this one. If I had to make a sweeping generalization, I’d say these changes seem aimed at reigning in the high-end M+ crowd a bit… but ultimately have more impact on the casual M+ player.