Affix System Updates in The War Within

Greetings, dungeoneers!

This week’s Beta update includes major changes to the Mythic Keystone affix system in
The War Within, based on player feedback. Our primary goal with these updates is to refine the Mythic+ experience to better serve a diverse playerbase.

Previously, we approached Mythic Keystones with a one-size-fits-all approach, which proved challenging in striking the right balance and limited our design space.

In this new build, you will see significant shifts in our design philosophy. We recognize the importance of weekly variety for those progressing through the system. However, for players pushing high keys, this variance has sometimes felt restrictive. We’ve also heard your feedback about wanting affixes with both positive and negative effects, as well as a desire for thematic nods similar to past affixes.

This update to the affix system aims to meet those diverse expectations. We’re maintaining the core goals of our last round of changes, but without the limitations of a one-size-fits-all approach. This flexibility allows us to craft a more tailored experience for each of the different playstyles.

Let’s dive into the revamped affix system!

Affix Update Overview

We’re reducing the total number of mechanical affixes on a keystone for players progressing through the system from two to one.

  • The following affixes are being retired for The War Within:
    • Sanguine
    • Bolstering
    • Raging
    • Bursting
  • We’ve heard feedback that applying bonuses unevenly to players feels exclusionary regardless of overall impact. Affixes that were part of the last Mythic Keystone test will no longer apply to keystones:
    • Reckless
    • Focused
    • Attuned
    • Thorned
  • Our one bucket of active affixes for players progressing through the system offers variety along with positive effects for executing these affixes that apply more evenly.
  • We’re reintroducing thematic elements to affixes by invoking Xal’atath in Mythic Keystones with her own set of affixes.
  • We’re utilizing passive affixes to signpost expected increases in player mastery and commensurate rewards as players progress through the Mythic Keystone system.
  • We’re aiming to eliminate “push weeks” by providing a consistent challenge that focuses solely on the dungeon, for players seeking to advance deeper into the Mythic Keystone system for scores and titles.

New Affixes

Starting at keystone level +2, Xal’atath herself will manifest in dungeons, introducing a rotation of affixes under the banner of “Xal’atath’s Bargain.” These affixes not only seek to empower the dungeon’s denizens, but also grant players the opportunity to harness their effects.

For our first test this week, we will have two Xal’atath’s Bargain affixes available. One affix is an event that players must deal with periodically while the other affix is a passive effect on creatures throughout the dungeon.

  • Xal’atath’s Bargain: Ascendant
    • While in combat, Xal’atath rains down orbs of cosmic energy that attempt to empower nearby enemies, increasing their Haste and Movement speed. If players disrupt these orbs, they claim this effect for themselves.
  • Xal’atath’s Bargain: Frenzied
    • Non-boss enemies become frenzied at 30% health remaining, increasing their Haste by 40%, but increasing their damage taken by 20%.
  • Starting at keystone level +7, a new affix, Challenger’s Peril, directly affects the dungeon timer. This affix emphasizes precise play and strategic execution, placing
    greater risk on players’ decisions.
    • Challenger’s Peril - Dying subtracts 15 seconds from time remaining rather than 5 seconds.
  • Starting at keystone level +12, a new affix replaces the “Xal’atath’s Bargain” affixes. At this level, Xal’atath revokes her bargains, empowering dungeon creatures with a 20% increase in health and damage.
    • Xal’atath’s Guile - Xal’atath betrays players, revoking her bargains and increasing the health and damage of enemies by 20%.

Fortified and Tyrannical

Fortified and Tyrannical now serve as milestone affixes that alternate between keystone levels +4 and +10 on a weekly rotation. We feel this provides us with clearer points in the system where increases in difficulty and rewards occur. This also affords more distinction between key levels for players progressing through the system and a consistent week-to-week experience for players progressing deeper into the Mythic Keystone system.

Keystone System Summary

Here are examples of what keystones look like under this new model.

  • Keystone levels +2 through +11 have the following affixes:
    • +2 Xal’atath’s Bargain affixes appear on a weekly rotation.
    • +4 Fortified or Tyrannical is active, alternating on a
      weekly rotation.
    • +7 Challenger’s Peril is active on all keystones.
    • +10 Tyrannical and Fortified are active.
      • The one that was not active at +4 that week becomes active at +10.
  • From keystone level +12 and up, keystones have the following
    • Fortified
    • Challenger’s Peril
    • Tyrannical
    • Xal’atath’s Guile replaces the weekly Xal’atath’s Bargain

Dungeon Score

We’re evaluating how dungeon scores are granted under this new model.

We believe these changes along with our Heroic and Mythic dungeon changes provide players with ways to engage with dungeons in a setting they prefer. This is a fresh look at Mythic+ and we look forward to your feedback and continuing discussions on these affixes and overall system changes.

We’ll see you in dungeons!


Well then, based on feedback two of the most biggest player-eradicating affixes got removed.

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W! 10char

Now THIS I can live with!

This is far better :slight_smile:


It seems like it’ll be a net positive change (way better than what was proposed 2 weeks ago) but it’s hard to judge without playing.

I do have some doubts:

  • Is Challenger’s Peril really needed?
  • Tyrannical AND Fortified active at the same time on 10+ seems excessive. Doesn’t the keystone scaling already achieve the increased damage/health?
  • Is Xal’atath’s Guile additive or multiplicative?

The systems seems to mainly add additional damage/health buffs on top of the already scaling keystone damage/health modifiers. Wouldn’t it be better to then just simplify the system to mostly work off keystone level health/damage:

  • Let +2 - +11 have kiss/curse affix to get a buff when you play it well to help succeed in the run
  • +12 and higher always have just the curse affix (Xal’atath’s Guile)
  • Get rid of fort/tyran, as the increasing key level health/damage multipliers already provide that challenge

Like I said as a whole it seems like a net positive, but given that most of it is just +damage/health being added to the dungeons in this new design it feels like it could/should just be simplified.

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Remove Challenger’s Peril from below +10. Last thing I need in my weekly cache pug keys is someone wiping away completion alone. Have it for organized groups thats fine, but this has no place in PUG key ranges


I’ve updated the OP:

  • Keystone levels +2 through +11 have the following affixes:
    • +2 Xal’atath’s Bargain affixes appear on a weekly rotation.
    • +4 Fortified or Tyrannical is active, alternating on a
      weekly rotation.
    • +7 Challenger’s Peril is active on all keystones.
    • +10 Tyrannical or Fortified is active, alternating on a
      weekly rotation.
    • +10 Tyrannical and Fortified are active.
      • The one that was not active at +4 that week becomes active at +10.

Big W

Big W

Ultra bloodlust casters , i’m not sure how to feel about this one.

Feels unnecessary but at least some kinda fair i would say. Will put more pressure tho. I’m neutral about this change.

This is just there to make your life harder , i don’t really see the value of this one

[quote=“Kaivax, post:1, topic:520314, username:Kaivax”]
Keystone levels +2 through +11 have the following affixes:

Wasn’t this a thing in Legion and got removed ? If tuned correctly i dont mind this but this will probably get negative feedback.

Overall positive changes , feels like failing or succeeding a dungeon ( affix wise ) are tied to players skill level not class requirement ( again saying , only considering affixes not dungeon design )

This is for high key pushers, so that the affixes remain the exact same week in and out. No more Best push weeks, or Meh bad week for pushing.

Its all 100% pure practice and skill.

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I’m no keystone pushing god but do I have this right? You removed raging to add raging in a 2.0 version?

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Great changes. Good job Blizzard!

Now, I hope the class balance is good enough so that people can get the invite from LFG no matter what class people play.

Not a good change in my opinion. Previous affixes were more complex and favored all classes.
Playstyles will now be favored.

Dealing with extra orbs in melee while avoiding multiple mechanics will be a terrible experience for melee classes - also the affix design itself favors all ranged players here.

DK is still struggling with the Defile texture and you want to drop more orbs on it…

It’s basically the same as before, but served on a new tray and seasoned in a different way.
Only now it has the same effect on everyone, whereas the previous new affixes were heavier for some and lighter for others.

I don’t like this change. Previous affixes were better.

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I’m so happy that u guys heard us.

New systems at least on paper looks great, especially for me as a mid key player. We will see on tests how it feels. Anyways new affixes are fair to all classes and it’s nice

Probably more affixes will be added to Xal’atath’s Bargain?

I will have to try it myself to decide if I like these changes, but nevertheless it is a pretty baller move. Kudos for listening on feedback on the “retired” affixes.
My only concern that i can see right now is the 15 sec death timer affix with how inconsistent the graveyards/checkpoints in dungeons tend to be.

Well well look at that, I suppose congratulations are in order for the affix haters out there.

15 seconds death penalty at +7 or higher will be terrible for pug morale.

Nothing comes for free, be very careful what you wish for folks because believe it or not, blizzard do listen to feedback but the result of your wishes will always have consequences.

Love the changes, Pretty spot on. we will see how it plays and what needs tuning. but its a SUPER GOOD start.

The only thing that im gonna say before i even try it on beta is that Xal’atath’s Guile SHOULD NOT apply to bosses at all. We will already have tyrannical every week upping the length off bosses, we dont need another thing like Xal’atath’s Guile making them even longer and harder.

But this is at +12 and over. The only people going anywhere near a +12 and over are those pushing keys as high as they can go for score. On those who do up to a +10 for the vault it has 0 bearing.
So I think its a reasonable thing to have, considering how there literally is no other affix outside of Tyr and Fort.

i know that its +12 and over? The thing that is most hated in high keys beside Bolstering/Sanguine/raging is the raid long dungeon bosses that tyrannical scaling creates, having another 20% HP ontop of tyrannical would make dungeon bosses LONGER than raid bosses and that should NEVER be the case.

Look. Please, don’t treat +12 and above, and +11 and below differently to one and other.

Just delete the +2-10 affixes, and apply +12 affix to +2, and then balance appropriately.

1 Like