Shadowlands Mythic+ loot changes

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.

Time efficiency

  • 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.

I think the Weekly Vault is a big “counter” to why they’re making these changes. In exchange for the ability to hand-pick one out of up to 9 choices of top gear every week, the gear availability is getting lowered. Along with no more titanforging, I think the current team is learning the lessons of the past team via Classic and trying to make gear drops more impactful, instead of just showering us with loot and having to crunch numbers to see what “the best” comp is gonna be.

Also, I think Bliz is trying to make Mythic raiding more of the end-all of ultimate progress, which makes Mythic+ more accessible to people who enjoy 5-mans but can’t quite swing +10 keys.

Anyways, I’m going to assume one of you is working on a new function of the 'bot to help us figure out which of the available weekly vault items we can pick would be the best one to get? :wink:

Very good point about how these changes could be in relation to the choices we’ll get in the weekly cache. We definitely got showered with loot in BfA, and I know for me, raid drops didn’t feel exciting because I already had M+ loot that was just as good.

And you guessed right: Mr. Robot is working on a way to help you pick those rewards :slight_smile:

I’m looking forward to see this =D i guess it will part of the upgrade finder or some sort if it could take custom rules if would be nice lovely too but complicated i guess =D

Yeah first we’ll need a few more details from Blizzard on it – most of the info about it is datamined right now. And yeah it will be part of the Upgrade Finder.

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There’s a blue post with more info related to the weekly cache rewards and why they are doing it. (Also, bonus rolls are gone).

“While outdoor world gameplay and professions offer a range of epic gear, the very strongest loot in WoW comes from the three organized multiplayer endgame progression paths: Rated PvP, Mythic Keystone dungeons, and raiding. The design intent is for all three paths to provide parallel progression over the course of a tier, while providing players who engage in multiple paths at a comparable level a faster advancement experience. For example, we’re currently targeting item level 213 for Challenger-level PvP, Heroic raiding, or Mythic Keystone dungeons at the +7 difficulty.”

After thinking about these changes i feel like it will not be good for most of raidbot/AMR user.
Having generally more loot specially in dj offer more possibility on what gear to take.
If i’ve learn something using AMR it’s that their is not “one solution” to the gear i can equip and perform well.
With that in mind, for people who know what they need “haste crit” for example, they will have less trouble getting what they want from the weekly vault. But for other people like that are more confused about their gearing strategies it will be harder for them.
Preach said : less loot but higher quality loot; it not totally true due to the fact that random gems are still a things, we can’t trade item we dont want and farming for a gems is probably not the case for everyone.

The last things i really really dislike, as a monk who often multispec, less loot means less possibility for me to get what i need for other spec. Generally after clearing 2-3 times the raid in heroic, i swap to a different spec depending on boss (thanks for the upgrade finder for that) to get loot for my 2nd and 3rd spec. This will not be possible if every week i need to focus on my main spec to get the “high quality loot”.

The iLvl change also goes into the direction i’ve already mentionned. It mean gear will only come from MM+15 to get most of them (heroic is less iLvl compare to weekly vault gear = mythic gear). People where farming MM+ to get gear before, it will stay this way with even less interest in the raid. Mythic raider will even come less into heroic raid and “help”.

One good things with all that is the generally “gap” between raid tier (normal, heroic and mythic) meanings we will have less of a leap between them. It’s a good things, because it mean those reward could stay relevant, heroic vs mythic for example the increase will be very small. Maybe it will compensate the tendancy of my previous point where Mythic raider will comes less in heroic.

One last bad things, maybe smaller gap mean harder time for AMR to have the precision to well ranked items, i guess. I have the feel AMR simulation have been well optimized this time, but error target sims and variation are still the same meaning the gap between two items will stay small and harder to say “Yes THIS item is an upgrade”. Without simulation, i dont see how gearing can be done.

Here is a share to see in perspective what iLvl you get from where.