from the start of the expansion me and my friends do mythic+ for fun in all of our alts and it is the only content in the game we do, because we play with the same people everyday the key reroll removel hit us very very hard, we ended up doing less keys, and the point i do not understand about the removel is why? the loot already has item level cap so only people who enjoy mythic+ will do above 10+, so limiting our ability to decide which dungeon we can play and enjoy is meaningless
I still feel like Kings Rest is overtuned compared to other dungeons and this is reflected in the key levels completed compared with other dungeons. I would like to see more azerite power awarded from completing m+, not enough that we feel like we need to farm it but enough that it feels rewarding. It would also be good to look at key depletion after someone leaves the group. I don’t pug much for this reason, as I’ve known people to leave other groups and it then they have to either try and complete with 4 players or they lose their key level which seems unfair especially if they were on track to complete in time.
A few things me and my friends run in to:
Boss-spawned adds spawning affixes (for example, the amount of volcanic spawned by the spores on the final boss of Underrot was ridiculous, and I dread to think of explosive)
Minibosses or extra hard trash packs right before the bosses. It makes sense to scale upwards in the progression bit, but this usually forces cooldowns and you end up pulling the boss without any defensives available.
Uncontrollable mobs like those in the final area of Motherlode are very annoying. Completely CC immune, no grips or knockbacks, and they jump around where they feel like and pull extra adds. No counterplay available feels like bad design.
As the game grew throughout the years, so did the environments. Ground targets did not, however. It is incredibly annoying seeing half a circle in the air, and the other half being hidden, when fighting on stairs. Range indications should always be visible, regardless of terrain.
Some walls arent as solid as they should be. We’ve pulled Jes Howlis through the bars as you walk into his area, before going all the way around. In Atal’Dazar, on the big boss with the ressurection totems, we skipped the trash pack and ended up pulling it through the closed gate later on.
Sometimes players get teleported, because the mobs lose pathing. Obviously a good way to deal with exploits to cheese fights, but I’ve also been teleported walking over a tiny ledge and being considered unreachable while in the air for a split second.
Like most others said, having a way to choose or direct a key would be great. I’d have loved to do all the +10’s in time achievement. We wont be making it for a few reasons, but one of them is that we have not had a King’s Rest key in months. It is very limiting to friend groups playing together.
The claustrophobic nature of some dungeons can sometimes get annoying too. Especially often having your back to a wall. Personally I find magical barriers the most annoying. See through, but they still clip your camera in close. Mostly a problem with things like quaking in Waycrest or such.
Lastly, thoughts on route planning. Planning ahead is simply required, deciding on the go costs too much time in a time pressured format. We are not provided with a proper dungeon map, with enemies and their % count and such. Now with reaping coming up more than ever, we’ll need to properly plan ahead a route and when we hit the 20% breakmarks. Blizzard has to stop making the playerbase rely on third party sources to be able to play the game. We NEED this accessible to do any sort of keys, or to practise for hours upon hours with random keys because we cant even control which we get.
I dislike having to get addons. But how are we supposed to get anything done without things like DBM, Method Dungeon Tool, WeakAuras and so on?
Some dungeons are still over tuned by either short timers time and/or trash pack difficulty EG Kingsrest (when team are having to 3 to 4 levels lower on a key to time it it shows there something wrong.
Some Affixes have gone from the easiest affix bring anyone in legion to just avoid taking some classes, eg grievous with disc priest, for me I’d like to see affixes change up runs not make some runs impossible to time
I do like the tyrannical and fort coming in at 2 and the idea of the new seasonal affix but making none cc-able mobs infested really messed up another wise good affix but as its going soon I guess that’s ok as long as it is a lesson learned. I am worried about the very limited testing of the new season 2 affix as it only just gone live and I can see protentional issues already with the respawns pulling normal mobs that were skipped.
Post +10 the rewards aren’t about the gear I can’t remember when I last got a piece that was an upgrade on my main monk from M+ and I run a at least 20 runs of m+ over 10 each week.
AP rewards don’t scale fairly I’m not a fan on DR on rewards so if that was removed and it scaled better it would be good but still not better than islands
Personally, I’d like to see 10 Titan Residuum from all +10 keys and above, (and on heroic and/or mythic raid content too)
The Big Issue
A fair amount of pugged key go unfinished and it is become a toxic environment for players I cant remember it being this bad in legion yes people left occasionally but it tended to be after x number of wipes in a bad group, I’ve tanked keys were people left because we had 12 mins left to do a 2 bosses with 100% in ML (turns out they needed a +2 on the ML14 to get a better R.io score)
I’m not saying R.io is bad heck I even look at people on there (please never just look at scores, look at what runs people are doing). As such I’m not saying it is R.io fault and blizzard should stop them accessing their API etc. like I have heard said.
If Blizzard give a stacking M+ Deserter debuff that lasted the whole of the reset or 48 hour (whichever is longer) to anyone that left during a M+ within the time. The debuff would have no negative character effects bar the community can know they left x number of runs that week. You could go one step further if they get the M+ Deserter debuff two weeks in a row it effects their weekly chest not sure about this last bit but I really like the 1st bit or something like it as I’ve stopped pugging my own keys as have most of my friends and guildmates.
Finally add a report option to report toxic behaviour as none of the current options fit (and have a human look at the reports please do not automate it as it easy to grief the system)
TLDR:- need to balance M+ better, rewards need increasing from +10 and above, add a penalty for leavers
Please bring back the ability to delete / gain a new keystone. It feels so bad when me and the team get bad stones on a bad week. We end up benching one person from the group to get in a pug with a decent stone. Before we would just run a crappy key and all delete our bad ones. This often allowed us to run together for the rest of the week.
You also need to include some kind of reward for say doing everything at +15 in time. PVP has mounts for reaching a point, Mythic/Heroic raiding also to some extent (last boss dropping a mount or raid wide achievement) . All you get from m+ is a rubbish FoS that know one actually even seems to know exists.
As for balance… Well that needs a hell of allot of work. Some weeks (such as this one) are clearly much harder than the week prior. Allot of these affix’s are just not fun. The timers in Shine, Kings and Temple feel less forgiving than in the other dungeons.
I like a lot of the retuning that has happened with 8.1.
I don’t think anything really changed here. I wish the last boss would spawn less spiders (or the same amount but less frequently). Generally the different fight length of the priestess fight and the endboss seems a bit ridiculous on higher tyra keys.
Also seconding that on the left side there are some shenanigans with a pack sometimes being in a different position on a key by key basis which seems unintended.
Love the change to the shark boss, though they still sometimes behave strangly. (Eg. I was closest target, others pretty far away. Shark jumps once into my direction, then slides towards someone else for 1-2 seconds, then jumps again into my direction…) Random pig spawn is fine IMO.
Council boss resetting because the tank gets knocked on a table or something is still annoying, and Eudoras random shot damage still seems excessive.
Endboss hp seems a bit high, especially as there isn’t that much going on, especially for the first 60%. I kinda wish the last 30% dmg taken buff wasn’t as huge and he had a little less hp overall. Making the first 60-70% not as much of a chore.
I think nothing really changed here?
I would love some nerfs to the trash before the third and fourth boss. Especially that there are a bunch of non-cc-able mobs that love to jump around seems really annoying. Also I think the bombs that the Venture Co War machine spawns causing bolstering (even to the Venture Co War machine itself) seems unintended.
Azerokk seems really uninteresting for the second half of the fight.
Rixxas propelland blast (or what it’s called) sometimes moves the ground stuff in strange directions (so not away from her). I think it’s to get more ground stuff off the plattform fast but it can sometimes trap you if you dodge the blast itself succesfully and then the ground stuff just decides to move into your direction, just because.
On the endboss we had one of the adds in the transition jump out of the boss area and reset the boss the other day, this also seems unintended.
edit: (Our tank and melee let me say) It would be great if the boss moved faster? There’s a lot of stuff to dodge with the shots from the side and at the same time the boss has a lot of abilities that let him stand still, which can be really awkward at times.
It’s nice that the protective aura is now interruptable. It’s a good thing that on the second boss the tank cleave is now reliable dodgeable. On Lord Stormsong that his Mind Rend now hits a random target, seems annoying and can one-shot when getting out of the orbs, I wish this was changed back to the closest target or tank, or at least that you’d be immune when getting out of the orbs for a bit. Endboss, I understand why the healer debuff was changed, though the boss hp seems a bit high now (though I think you hotfixed that today). I think I didn’t play on explosive week since the changes, but if on the endboss the small adds still spawn explosive, that was hugely annoying. (Most melee classes have a way easier time with explo, but the explos are spawning all over the place here, basically means you need the casters to do it, but half of them have a really hard time with them and if you have e.g. 2 melee and a ranged that’s bad at orbs, you’ll have a really fun time on that boss)
The minibosses seem a bit boring and really longwinded fights on high fortified. The elementals also just seem like a huge waste of time. I wish they either had way less hp or would give way more mob count (or a mix of both).
Change to last boss was good. Seems less of a pain overall! I like the animation change for the blitz-guy as well. I also like that more casts are interruptable (snake charms, the shield thing). Also the recent hotfix that the first mob doesn’t turn around when casts his whirls is really appreciated.
I think the combination of the dust-snakes casting their dust and the marksman hunters standing still unless you outrange them (or have a monk) is still annoying. I either wish more abilities would still hit them (e.g. displaces, like thunderstorm, typhoon, grips) or they just moved more readily or maybe the snakes would cast their dust less often at least. I think I would prefer the dust being a 99% dmg decrease instead of complete loss of sight but then again maybe that trivializes it too much?
Overall like the temple changes!
Good changes as well, I think. That you need to interrupt Jezz Howler seems really good. Though that Bobby sometimes casts the Fear close by and sometimes out of range seems strange. Good thing that the cannons scale better (though be aware that there are now more cheeses going on around this). And that the endboss debuff doesn’t stack anymore is really really appreciated. (I didn’t mind as much that it stacked, but that it was so random from fight to fight was reaaaally annoying and this is a fix for it)
We still managed to accidentally pull with the cannon through the wall. We also somehow managed to pull Jezz Howler while still fighting the first group in that room (no idea how tbh). And we had infest go through locked doors. All of which seem unintended. Overall the terrain is still… kind of difficult I guess (and not a lot of fun on sanguine especially)
The change to first boss was great. I’m fine with the trash changes before first boss as well, I think.
In Pugs I find the randomness of the second boss’ Tantrum a bit difficult, but in coordinated groups it’s not too much of an issue usually.
Last boss is really hard with grievous and hinges mostly on the healer. Doesn’t feel really great.
That the adds on the endboss are now stunnable is nice and gives a lot of options, though seem to make the fight mostly just a drawn out tank and spank. It enables a lot more setups, but at the same time the fight seems even more boring now.
We didn’t have any pulls through walls recently, but then again I haven’t really played with classes prone to those during the last two months. Not sure if anything was fixed there or not.
Sisters still seem hard, but I don’t have a strong opinion on them.
Also, I wish which doors are open was on a fixed weekly schedule or just fixed in general.
I like that the adds on first boss have less hp, though we were mostly cc’ing them before, so it didn’t affect me hugely I guess.
In the second boss room, I wish you could pull both constructs at the same time without the risk to bug them out (if they entomb at the same time and try to put people in the same tomb, they bug out)
Also probably specific to my group: We have a guy that even without any addons has problems getting the interface in the entomb loading properly It’s a bit of a hit and miss if it works or doesn’t. Please let us make a macro to use that ability or something (maybe you can already but we haven’t worked it out yet)
(edit) I also had the pet bar bug out and disappear and never reappear (even with the next summon) a couple of times when I get entombed on my shaman with an elemental up (fixes itself after reload tho)
I find the second to last boss still very long on tyra, and the axe hits like a truck. I wish that damage was reduced or the dot duration was or both.
Overall I just find the timer on this dungeon really tight in comparison to other dungeons.
haven’t really played this during the last two months, can’t really comment :S
If the alliance has still different packs in the first boss room, I wish this would be adjusted.
Edit: BIG NOTE: I wish all of the changes had actually been in the patch notes…
Edit2: I wish the teeming, explo, fortified week was removed from the cycle.
Teeming, Fortified is really hard as is. Teeming, Explo is really really random, can be hard, or can be okay-ish. The combo of both is just awful.
Speaking of affixes, I like that Fortified and Tyra plays kind of differently and puts a different emphasis on a dungeon, but I wish the difference was a little smaller. Making both of them a little less potent, would in my opinion still keep the feel but help overall with weekly balancing.
Personally to me the issue regarding mythic key stone dungeon’s so much isnt the dungeons, doing the dungeons is for the most part fine - will comment on some dungeons soon atm, the real problem is the player base.
Alot of the people play this game casually and use the excuse of I am privileged as much as a mythic/heroic raider is cause I pay my hard earned money, I want all content open to me why should a API / leader board tracker stop me from joining LFG’s when I am just here to mooch off higher end players and get boosted for free/leech while inputting 0 contribution with 0 class knowledge or research done. (Seriously these people disgust me, being heroic/nearing mythic geared and overalling 5-8k)
As for the actual dungeons the only one I feel personally insulted by is golden serpent on tyrannical difficulty is a nightmare as the fight drags out and the blobs get considerably chaotic, along with the lightning boss in temple of sethralis.
The last boss in siege of boralus has always been a pain when it comes to the 3rd set of tentacles but its probably should remain a challenge as thats the toughest boss of the dungeon imo.
Changes to some adds preventing core class mechanics such as stealth or DK MC is questionable but understandable to keep the dungeon lay out fresh and challenging despite killing the impact some classes bring to M+
affix changes are supposedly ridiculous in the eyes of some, personally I like the fact some weeks are challenging and some weeks are more chill to make it more bearable to play with randoms
The seasonal affixes are fun, it will be a shame and a relief to see ghuun leave.
My biggest issue with M+ is the fact that it is on a timer. I would love to see this timer go away. I am in a mediocre Heroic guild and the skill level of people is very spread. This means that if you go for the higher keys, you turn to Pug groups with people with high Raider IO scores. In my believe we should always upgrade our key when we finish the instance. Where is the problem in wiping on a boss a few times until we play it perfect. Now we get punished for it. Because we are too slow. Pugging is toxic and not really fun. When was the last time you had a good conversation with someone you pugged for M+. Mostly it is Hi and Bye (And then you are lucky).
Another thing is the fact we cannot delete stones anymore.
I did not do a Mythic this week.
Now I will have to pug a higher stone. Before running a lower with guildies. Because when I run the lower one I am stuck with a stone I have to push. Why not push the lower key in your bag to the highest key you ran in the same week - 1?
Just my thoughts.
M+, specifically high-key m+, suffers from a lack of communication between the balance/design of affixes, classbalance and dungeon design/balance. This creates several issues, that I will talk about in detail below. Our fix for this imbalance was to delete keys and fish for new/better/easier ones. This solution to a problem was removed, but in a self-contained change that did not come with any major balance changes that addressed the underlying issues, which again shows a disconnect between different parts of a machine that need to work together for the machine to not break down.
This feedback is exclusively from a high-key pushing PoV, and some of these complaints do not apply to “lower” keys that are meant for casual play and/or PuGs. It is my personal opinion, albeit most people I’ve played with or used to play with have voiced similar concerns.
Imagine playing a game where you have to go through a gauntlet. People on the outside are supposed to make it harder for you to get there. Person A pushes a button and opens a trapdoor in the floor, so you would have to jump over the hole. Person B uses a lever that lowers the ceiling, so you would have to crawl for a bit. Individually, these slightly increase the difficulty. Combined, they create a scenario that is harder than the combination of the parts. That is what m+ feels like right now.
There has been many core-system changes since legion, some of which drove the “old” players away while bringing new ones into the fold who happily enjoy m+ now. I will try to look at most features without comparing it to the way it played in Legion, because there clearly was a drive to significantly alter the experience to make it more accessible for newer players. There will be the occasional reference to how things worked in legion though.
Reward structure/How to measure m+ success: While there was none in Legion, m+ still managed to attract a lot of people that immediately engaged with this new type of content, and it was hugely successful. An entire new sub-culture of players grew together into a large community, one that comfortably sits next to the raiding and PvP communities these days. All of this happened without any major rewards for doing so, which speaks of how enjoyable and fun m+ has been ever since its first iteration. This is something Blizzard can and should build on.
With the addition of a seasonal system similar to PvP seasons, as well as seasonal affixes, an official leaderboard on the blizzard page and even somewhat regular MDI events, everyone was hoping for actual in-game rewards, as well as better regulation/oversight of how success is measured and promoted for high-keys. Alleviating the need for third-party leaderboards like wowprogress or raider.io is something many people have been asking for, for a multitude of reasons.
Unfortunately, none of this has happened. Having this sort of functionality be official and accessible in-game, would be healthy for the community and the game. The current leaderboards have some major issues. Say if the same 5 people overtime a Tol Dagor 24, but then time a TD23. This new and potentially world-first run will not be shown on the leaderboards and the current understanding of almost the entire m+ community is that only in-time runs really matter. The current implementation of the leaderboards is simply not keeping up with the community perception of what constitutes the “best” run.
Now for the meat of this post: Balancing. It is obviously the main-issue and at the core of almost all issues that are being voiced, and it consists of 3 parts.
Affix balance: Affixes are the biggest variable when it comes to how difficult a specific key is on a week-to-week basis. Something people consider an easy key in this week, might be much harder the next, and even easier the week after. This has always been the case, even in Legion. Most of the affixes still feel like a 1.0 version that was introduced in legion, and did not get a tuning pass for the new expansion, creating multiple issues. Some of these have since been addressed, like bursting and grievous damage numbers, others have been changed to just work differently like quaking, but many affixes feel like they did not get looked at at all as to how they will work in tandem with class changes or the new design of BfA dungeons.
Class balance: M+ has always put a much bigger emphasis on utility than dps/hps, and while every classes potential in the four throughput-departments (single-target, cleave, burst aoe, sustained aoe) still play a big role, so does access to certain utility, both unique and non-unique one.
We currently see a much bigger emphasis on unique-utility than we did in legion - Shroud, Ring of Peace or Treants being some of the major ones.
There’s also non-unique utility like access to singletarget interrupts, which is why you see so many 2 melee lineups. Dispel-types for healers/hybrids or enrage-dispel would be another example of this.
Some of this class utility can now be accessed through professions, like group buffs for stamina, intellect and AP. Engineering now provides the ability to combat-rez, although the “backfired” version of this is very badly designed and needs to be looked at. Healthstones can be traded or accessed through the Proving Grounds.
Most utility however is still very much unique, both in design and who can access it, despite clear examples of potentially allowing for at least one more class or spec to have the same utility. For example it really wouldn’t hurt class fantasy or balance to allow mages to cast Mass Invisibility, same as rogues can use Shroud of Concealment. They already do in PvP.
Compared to Legion, most classes got their utility cut when it was used to aoe-interrupt mobs - one of the major changes to general gameplay was to cut down on just mass-interrupting large groups of monsters until they died.
Most AoE-CCs are now locked behind a talent, been put on a higher cooldown, or had their duration reduced. Some have been removed entirely. Not all classes have suffered in this way however, with certain specs/classes gaining more utility than they had before. This strikes everyone as odd, i.e. no one understands why monks now get access to both leg-sweep and ring of peace, while shadowpriests had their already weak cc-capabilities tuned down even harder. This might come on the back of PvP balancing, but obviously this feedback is solely concerned with how it impacts m+.
Dungeon balance, or rather design: The third part is the basic design of dungeons themselves, where we see the biggest difference when we compare BfA to Legion. Legion put a large emphasis on well-telegraphed and animated abilities that gave the player the time to react to whatever was happening, either though movement, or skill usage. Moving out of frontals/AoEs, chaining AoE interrupts, kiting, outranging, LoSing or simply using personal and external defensives at the right time were all critical to your groups success, and required a consistent level of communication inside the group. Certain dungeons required a specific amount of interrupts to lower the difficulty significantly or facilitate pulls that would ultimately save you time.
BfA has been a stark contrast in almost every single aspect of that. There are almost no one-shot mechanics anymore that require a players counterplay to survive. Most frontals, charges or AoEs are badly telegraphed, and mobs in general are smaller than they were in Legion, making them stand out less in all the AoE/animation clutter. Abilities that you used to outrange or LoS are now random and can either one-shot an unlucky player, or exist to disincentivize kiting. Most abilities just completely ignore LoS and go through walls.
There is very little consistency as to how these abilities behave. Two different mobs may use the same fixate ability, one deals physical damage, can be dispelled and stunned to remove it, while another cannot be removed in any way while also dealing magic damage. This is not intuitive at all, and explicitly counter to the point of making m+ more accessible.
Dungeons have more trash, and that trash has more abilities. Individually, none of the trash is as lethal as their legion counterparts, they do not one-shot and they deal a minor amount of damage. Stacked up, and scaled through the basic nature of m+, this starts to become a major issue on higher keys, as random, instant, melee-range only abilities start to melt tanks and melee alike.
Debuffs are incredibly inconsistent, and heavily favor poison-dispels over any other type. There is more lethal and dangerous poisons in dungeons than there is magic debuffs, the only type any healer-class can dispel.
This part of the “trifecta” also includes the zone-design. Dungeons are much more claustrophobic and limit the area you can fight in through space-restrictions and/or packing them with too much trash. Line of sight issues that lead mobs or bosses to teleporting the tank, and/or evading, and/or casting through walls. Objects like doors and gates that can be opened/closed are a part of this as well, vehicles that players can enter etc.
All of the major issues players have with specific trash mobs, affixes or dungeons seem to exist because it “feels” like these three core-systems have been redesigned and re-iterated on independently.
What this means is that certain affixes make dungeons much more punishing, both in general and specifically.
As an example: Bolstering/Grievous/Tyrannical in a dungeon like Waycrest Manor. There are many mobs with different levels of health. A single pull of 6 mobs can contain mobs with 4 different levels of health, which makes bolstering much harder to manage. This then ties into requiring much higher priority target DPS to even out those health-levels, which has been drastically reduced for most classes, while disincentivizing bigger pulls. This creates the need for certain classes.
Keeping mobs in place is much more important nowadays due to how most classes AoE has been limited in range/area or is based on a temporary ground-effect, and Stuns, Ring of Peace, Treants or strong slows all become much more potent but further limit the viability of classes at the high-end.
The most lethal/important mobs in these pulls are not the ones with the highest health or the biggest size, it’s the ones with the lowest health and smallest size. You’re basically playing whack-a-mole-the-nameplate when interrupting maggots, of which there are 2 types with the same name but different health.
Trying to gauge what direction Retch is being cast at is much harder when mobs are jumping to random players and are inside a dogpile of players, mobs and spell effects.
The amount of unavoidable group-damage severely strains the healer, who has less tools to deal with that damage. Healer-design changed compared to Legion, with all healers having less instant-/high healing abilities at their disposal, while grievous remained unchanged for months.
All of this is one pull, and all of these are individual mechanics that would be fine in a vacuum, but combined are much worse than each individual part. They’re not impossible to deal with, but they work together in ways that should be looked at more closely to prevent unfair situations from happening.
Lets look at it from another perspective by just thinking about one specific Dungeon: Tol Dagor. Designing this dungeon with m+ affixes in mind should immediately have led to questions and changes to the bosses, affixes, or the dungeon itself.
How to deal with necrotic on first boss? Well, it’s been fixed now, after ~6months of beta+live experience.
How will Spawns of Ghuun interact with doors/gates that can be opened? They just run through them, even though the player cannot. We just have to assume this is intended, because no change came, and Infested is gone in a few weeks. Will it be the same for the new seasonal affix? We don’t know, because we are not allowed to test it on the PTR.
Multi-z-level dungeons have always been finicky when it comes to knockback effects or AoEs, yet we have the same clipping issues with abilities pulling one floor below/above us, mobs clipping through walls and evading/resetting, pulling the entire dungeon, or bosses simply evading and resetting mid-fight because a single add spawned in a location where it could not hit the tank.
To come to a conclusion, these examples are meant to explain and illustrate how class, affix and dungeon balance and design work and interact with each other. In Legion, this was a very enjoyable experience and everything felt incredibly deliberate. Some of the BfA dungeons do Legion justice.
In most dungeons however, these individual parts work against each other to create an experience that can, at best, be described as annoying and at worst leads to people quitting over an incredibly aggravating, frustrating and unenjoyable experience.
These are not issues of the game being too hard, because dealing with these situations is not difficult from a mechanical point of view. They are annoyances that feel like they are meant to waste your time, on your goal towards timing the key. It is like the gauntlet I described earlier, that you try to get through, while the people on the sidelines try to make it as hard as possible for you by throwing all kinds of things at you.
But all of this changes the moment a new week starts. You get a new infest rotation, and you can suddenly do a bigger pull here and there, or kill this pack that you previously skipped. Different affixes that don’t interact horribly with the dungeon design, or scale beyond what the DPS, Tank or Healer are capable of, allow you to pull bigger and save time. What this inevitably leads to is being able to comfortably time a dungeon at +20 in one week, while barely timing it on 18 on another. And this is a huge problem.
Same as within a singular week you barely time Dungeon A on +18, while 2-chesting Dungeon B on a +20. Now you got that +22, but the new key is for Dungeon A so you have to deplete it to +18 before you have a realistic chance of timing it.
This is current high-end m+ in a nutshell, and the removal of being able to “fish” for new keys by deleting bad ones, while in itself a good change that is important for the health of the scene, ultimately made things even more frustrating while illustrating the same disconnect between seperate parts of the equation. It worked well in legion, because despite all complaints, there wasn’t a single dungeon you couldn’t at least time on +28, while really only one dungeon was timeable on +30, potentially a second one if we had more time with it. It forced people to engage with harder keys, learning new strategies, and overcoming the struggle that they previously thought was impossible. If you had 5 Seat keys, you were forced to do the dungeon, and you improved after slogging through it, whereas early BfA just led to people completely ignoring Tyrannical Temple or Underrot.
The change itself is also self-contained however, which is the core-principle that plagues most of m+ right now. It removes the players ability to game the system and forces players to engage with all dungeons, not just the easy ones. That is good.
But it does so without addressing the major balance concerns players have about dungeon difficulty, and more important the difference in difficulty, on a week-to-week basis. The “fix” for one of the problems Blizzard saw with the current way m+ is approached, suffers from the same issues as all the issues that lead to us utilizing this “fix” in the first place. This, at its core, is why the m+ system is seen as broken by a lot of people.
Please for the love of the god, fix the bugging pets on siege of boralus last boss, last platform. Hunter/Warlock pets are standing there doing nothing. I have sent numerous bug reports about this one.
Please fix bosses that scales with bloodlust (like tol dagor last boss). When using BL boss seems to cast his abilities more often.
Please fix temple of sethralis first boss turning around when casting cyclone.
Please fix last boss on motherlode animation for gattling gun (it sometimes goes in opposite direction of actual bullets).
Healer class balance for M+ is abysmal.
No one wants a Restoration Shaman in +15 and above keys, either you are a MW monk or Restoration Druid or you can hang out in the lobby for several hours.
The key changes
I keep ending up running Atal’dazar as the new Mechanar. Deleting keys didn’t change much for me as between the guild and the alts we can pick something.
Volcanic, Sanguine and quaking
Are too easy.
Lack of reward for pushing beyond 10
A third party website rating is really the only reward right now.
Temple of Sethraliss
Please reduce the difficulty of the first lightning gauntlet (the rotating one). Maybe slightly slow its rotation. It’s the only BfA dungeon change I’ve wanted to see since launch.
Dungeons like Underrot and Freehold feel great. They have interesting boss fights, and especially Freehold allows for a lot of creativity in pulls and boss order. Tank balance is actually relatively good right now, with representation of all tanks on the highest keys except for guardian and pala. Affixes like bursting, sanguine are interesting because they offer counterplay and change up how pulls should be approached.
So clearly dungeon pacing was changed intentionally as opposed to Legion design, where at high levels people pulled as much trash together, stunned it and AOEd it down. This is much harder in BFA, with a lot more trash mechanics, CCimmune mobs, and a reduction in AOE cc and slows (and tank threat, though this doesn’t seem to affect things much). I think this new design is a step backwards however, Legion dungeons had enjoyable pacing with cool pulls. Now you’re often forced to just go pack by pack unless you have a good coordinated group.
Some affixes exacerbate this, bolster and explosion come to mind. These force a linear approach onto dungeons with very limited counterplay. Bolster health increase should be reduced a lot (maybe offset with some damage increase), explosives shouldn’t be random or removed all together. Furthermore, the addition of a 4th affix (this season: infested) complicates pulls even more. I don’t think overloading trash with mechanics is a good way to make dungeons more interesting, on the contrary, it makes some synergies (like teeming/fort/explosive/infested) just too much. Three affixes should be enough to create interesting dynamics.
A more legion style M+ (which made it very popular) should be the focus of the team. Dungeons now are more similar to seat of the triumvirate (which was really unpopular), which I think is a mistake on the design team’s end.
Rogues are the most coveted dps by far in m+, and with good reason. On top of their god-tier dps they have high utility. The worst offense is shroud however, shroud is so powerful that it allows you to walk from the start of Freehold right to the first boss. It is also a rogue unique utility and far more powerful than invis potions (10min CD and they don’t get you quite as far since you can’t mount). Other offenders are dps Demon Hunters, with an insane toolkit as well, as well as immunities and off the charts mobility. Other melees like warriors or rets just don’t bring what the other guys bring, thus being relegated to the bench.
Rogue/DH dominate the two melee spots, leaving only one ranged spot, which will usually go to Moonkin/Mage or Ele.
Healer diversity is low as well, with resto druid and monk dominating. Classes that can’t heal much on the move like shaman and paladin have a much harder time getting into groups.
Class diversity is too low. If you want to play DPS warrior for example, then you can only get into gimpy groups or play with friends, knowing that they’d be better off with a DH or rogue instead - in every situation.
Dungeons like Shrine and Kings Rest are further not fun. They are overloaded with trash mechanics, and on some affixes they seem impossible to run on high keys. Shrine trash should be simplified and some parts should be removed, the run takes too long, and if you get on tyrannical to the last boss, be prepared for a 6+min fight.
Conclusion: BFA m+ has taken a different design direction, which in my opinion leads to more tedious runs. Trash is overloaded with mechanics and kiting is discouraged, leading to a different playstyle, that frankly is less enjoyable. Class balance still needs work, with outliers like rogue, possibly BDK and brewmaster and mistweaver/resto druid needing a look. Low utility classes need some help, priests and warriors for example (and possibly DKs, though blood is doing more than fine obviously) come to mind.
Grevious really needs a rework, or even better just remove it. 2 “fixes” later and its still broken. Add fortified on top of this and its a nightmare. Teeming and fortified should never be on the same week, either remove teeming to tyrannical or remove it all together. Explosive is another very broken affix, and this gets even worse when their HP scales with fortified, and on top of this explosive can spawn from explosives. You guys srsly need to start either properly tuning some affixes or just remove them if if you guys cant fix it, a good example of this is grevious, 2 changes later and its still just as broken. It hurts so much that its just insane how much difference 1 affix can do. I mean we are aware of that some affixes makes some dungeon a bit more difficult and you have to rethink about pathing, enemy forces etc. But its not acceptable to have dead weeks cus of bad affix combos.
I like the BFA direction.
less AoE CC
Overall I think dungeons are more interesting and fun when you have to use hard CC. I’d love to see CC pulling packs on cast return, like before cata where it was changed to let pure random auto assembled groups make use of it.
With the new seasonal design to M+ it should also come with seasonal rewards. Pvp players get Gladiator Title and a Mount every season so to make M+ more rewarding it would be good to see such rewards being added to the Seasonal Feat of Strength.
I’m a healer. Since legion and up untill now i’ve remained a top contender for world highest/first keystones. So my perspective is admittedly from that of a fairly niche group of players. However i truely believe these changes will make M+ universally better, spark interest with more/new players and overall make wow a better game.
Currently my active characters are
Gravïty-Twisting Nether (MW monk) and Gravìty-Twisting Nether (Disc/Spriest).
The changes you made after 8.1 were a good start. Most of them were for the better. However there are still large disparities between dungeon difficulty, completion time and conterplay.
“Fix” random mechanics when kiting.
Make all tanks stronger.
Increase class utility.
Bring back gearswap and more tools.
Acknowledge M+ for the major feature it is, introduce rewards and score system now.
Make sure mechanics have counterplay: telegraphed, avoidable, mitigateable and fair.
Concrete dungeon specific feedback for better balance.
Overall dungeon design
In legion the meta in dungeons was: pull huge and kite all the danger. This was obviously not a healthy playstyle, and multiple features has been changed to offset this in BFA. Threat has been nerfed to the point where you cannot kite for long. This is a fine fix and has played out nicely. The main reason for kiting in Legion was not just avoiding melee attacks on tanks, it was primarily that a lot of the dangerous casts would not occur when the aggro holder (tank) was out of range. In BFA this is not the case anymore, instead when the tank is out of range abilities goes on random nearby players. This is very dissatisfying. It leads to random melee and even ranged deaths. Essentially in high keys your choice is either for the tank to die and the team to subsequently wipe, or for the tank to kite and the rest of the party risking randomly dying off. I do not have a fix to this issue, but it is worth mentioning.
Trash in BFA generally has many more mechanics than it did in legion. This is mostly fine, however a lot of them are badly or not at all telegraphed, overtuned and has no counter play. Examples of these will be mentioned in my dungeon rundown below.
A core issue in a lot of the dungeons, and the reason why rogues are so strong and almost mandatory, is the fact that you cannot clear your way through without heavily overcapping on trash %.
This forces you to either waste time killing unnecessary mobs, death skip and expend a combatress plus death penalties, use invis pots and not have combat pots for 10 min. or bring a rogue for shroud.
The solution is not to introduce stealth detection everywhere, but rather to decrease the amount of mobs or place them further apart so you can pick and choose your pulls.
Role disparity and class balance
Currently there is a large disparity on role impact on the succes of dungeons.
Tanks were weakened a lot from legion till now. They were probably too strong in legion (i guess blood dk and vengenace demon hunter specifically). But they’ve been tuned down too far. This statement is based on the following: Assuming perfect play you can fail a dungeon in 3 ways. 1) You do not have enough DPS to kill the bosses and trash before the timer runs out. 2) You do not have enough HPS to survive bosses or trash. 3) Your tank cannot survive the mobs and/or bosses. Currently 3) occurs significantly earlier than nr. 1) and 2). This leads to a very unsatisfying dynamic of the tanks experiencing way more preassure than anyone else in the group. It also means that DPS/ are often left with the feeling of having little to no impact of the success of a dungeon.
There are a few examples of dungeons i will mention below where the timer or HPS becomes an issue, but this is mostly with regards to the relative possible completion levels of the individual dungeons and also often a result of how conservatively you have to pull trash packs for the tank to be able to survive it. This leads me to my next point: tank balancing. Blood DKs and Brewmaster monks that recently got nerfed were not too strong. In fact they were and are too weak and now even moreso. The problem is that other tanks are weaker and/or offer significantly less utility.
A key thing you seem to underestimate when balancing specs for dungeons is how much your toolkit matter compared to raw DPS/HPS/DTPS performance. BDKs are top tier for their utility, mass grip, grip, stun and slow from DND aswell as combatress, rather than their ability to actually tank stuff. To achieve better tank balance you should strive to find utility niches for the other tank classes that are aimed at M+. As bosses raid are usually immune to CC it should be fairly easy to find niches that will not break the specs in raids.
The same goes for the strength of DPS and healer specs. Lets look at Boomkins, Rogues and Demon Hunters. These classes currently make up the majority of high end pushing as evident on streams, third party rankings and your own leaderboards. This is not because their damage is significantly higher than all other specs, to the contrary actually none of them are the highest output performers in their respective roles. It is again because of their utility. Abilities such as shroud, innervate, treants, sap and stuns, blade dance (the dodge herefrom makes Demon Hunters exceptional at absorbing tank mechanics on bosses) their passive leech and all 3 specs strong deffensive capabilities. So if you truely want better spec balance in dungeons you need to introduce better tools for the other specs rather than just tuning numbers.
Gearswap and engineering
A big change from legion to now was the removal of gearswapping. In the Blizzard Q&A you argue that it makes for a more interesting decission process to decide on one loadout and then go through the dungeon with that. This is not an argument, this is purely an opinion and a claim and from my experience in the high keystone community it is almost universally refuted (obviously a claim aswell, but i assume you’ve recieved simmilar feedback). Here’s my reasoning for why its not better, less interesting and not healthy lomg term. Gearswapping doesn’t mean much for the casual player base. You’re not forced to set up 15 gearsets and swap inbetween each trash pull. As long as you don’t change the tuning of dungeons at reward level (currently +10) to require pull by pull gear optimization it is completely optional. That means, if you don’t want to swap gear that is completely fine. If you however like to min./max. your char, it will allow you to do a keystone level or two higher (this is true whether a +16 or a +21 is currently your limit). Its optional and offers diversity. Furthermore, i believe the apparent failure of Azerite gear is largely because of the disparity in general usefullness. In Legion a lot of legendaries saw no use in raids. You usually had 2-3 BIS and rarely swapped. This however was not the case in M+. As the different bonuses usually served some niche be it deffensive, aoe damage, st damage, healing or amplifying some utility cooldown. Most of this is present in azerite gear aswell, however gets outshone over the course of a dungeon by 1 or 2 BIS traits. The same is the case for trinkets. We simply have fewer outlets to let us play with the otherwise cool toys (trinkets and traits) you design for us. Later on in the expansion some dungeons will require you to run deffensive traits and trinkets solely to survive one boss or trash mechanic. Gimping youself to live 1 single ability over the course of a 30-40 minute dungeon is NOT fun gameplay. On a simmilar note, gear swapping made up for some class weaknesses and arguably brought greater diversity in class viability (as an example WW monks were only viable at the cutting edge of Legion M+ keystone level pushing cause their healer could swap to Ishkars Felshield Emitter or the monk could swap to Prydaz/aggramar tank trinket when needed, running this for an entire dungeon would not be fun). A simmilar argument can be made for failure detection pylons, frag bomb and other items/toys, it offers strategic diversity in dungeons and will increase their longevity as we’ll continue to innovate strategies and pulls. Now we’ll reach the ceeiling way faster now.
Acknowlendgements and rewards
It seems to me that with the success of M+ in Legion, the reward system for BFA M+ is extremely underwhelming. It is the most popular game system introduced in a decade and is a pillar of the game on par with Arena/BG, raiding and collectibles. However there have not been introduced any new reward systems to fit its apparent status, even though there were so many obvious options.
There should be an in game ranking system beyond just a leaderboard on your website. This can be simmilar to PVP rankings or a direct adaptation of the popular score systems from third party websites and addons. On top of these rankings you should add more achievements (world firsts, +15s, +20s, +25s, score brackets, time records…) some of these should grant mounts or titles aking to PVP or cosmetic rewards akin to challenge modes. I am certain that you have thought about these features, and sadly it feels like you thought that the success of Legion M+ would carry through atleast another expansion, and that you could save this as a major feature of the next expansion. By the state of forums, content creators, finacial numbers and my dwindeling online section on my friendslist, i think this assumption has been proven wrong. You need to look into this as a game saving content patch rather im the near future rather than your headline for the next expansion, at which point it might be too late.
Key deletion has obviously been a controvesy recently. Mostly because it was a decent quality of life feature that was allowed to remain for too long. I can see why people miss it, but i personally don’t think it should’ve stayed. I think that being thrown into random keys is healthier in the long term. The desire for keystone deletion is mainly a symptom of the real issues. The real issues are in my opinion 2 things. 1) Disparity in dungeon difficulty. I’ll discuss this in the dungeon specific rundown below. 2) Repeat keys (regardless of whether it is a desireable dungeon or not) An example from recent experience: 2 weeks ago Motherlode was one of the hardest keys to time due to the combination of Bolstering and Fortified. My team managed to get around 22 keystones of level 20/21/22. 14 of these were Motherlodes. This is an extreme case of bad luck, however not the issue i wanna illustrate. The core issue is repeat keys. We sometimes spent 55 minutes in a Motherlode knowing we’d end up with a lower keystone, but slugged through it just because we had nothing else to progress. Lo and behold, another Motherlode was our reward. This happened multiple times and is extremely disheartening. The flipside is obviously that you can get 2 easy keys in a row such as Freehold for example, and suddenly end up at a keystone of a level you would not otherwise be able to reach. If you made the simple change that a completed key would always turn into a NEW dungeon you would alleviate this problem at both ends. You’d need to be able to complete a broader spectrum of keys to push higher, and you’d atleast be rewarded for your efforts of pushing a “bad” (for the week) key.
Dungeon by dungeon rundown
Temple of Sethralis (TOS)
The nerf to 3rd and last boss in Temple of sethralis made it a good an fair dungeon. Currently 3rd boss is still really hard, and stands out as a tough dungeon on tyrannical, but that is fine. Different dungeons are suppose to be easier or harder comparatively on different affixes, and in my opinion TOS is currently in a good place. One note, from playing today (thursday the 10th, cyclone is still bugged as in the visual still follows the target but the cyclones eminate from the original position). Furthermore you take damage from all 5 cyclones even if you only get hit by 1 or 2.
TOS suffers from high overcapping on mob count unless you death/invis skip.
Tol Dagor (TD)
Tol dagor changes were also good. Previously it was pure RNG whether you could kill the last boss, as in whether you got double or even triple stacks of the Azerite powered rounds debuff. The adds on first boss casting their dot rather than auto attacking is a minor change on most weeks, but made it doable on necrotic week aswell so kudos. Canons scaling with dungeon level makes this key extremely easy to complete on almost any level, but this primarily effects high level keystone pushers, as we’re the one doing fancy routes and skips to get utilize it properly. If this dungeon is to be brought in line with other dungeons you need to rethink the canon mechanic. Overall TD is pretty fair, aside from the canons making it too lenient on the timer. However if you nerf the timer it will become too hard for the casual player that plays through it linearly.
At face value adding stealth detection to the Matrons in the beginning of the dungeon seemed like a vindictive move of an offended developer that disliked the fact that we never played with the mobs you surely spent a lot of time developing. This also recieved a lot of negative feedback from the high keystone community. However, the following tuning of said mobs has lead to the beginning being playable and honestly quite fair. UR doesn’t overly favor rogues anymore. The changes to the first boss were brilliant. Before you had 1:15 min. to kill the boss before the 2nd round of adds spawned (at which point you maybe 10-15 seconds more as your team died off to casts one by one) but now it is beatable on any level and requires coordination of kicks. Underrot is now close to equal on tyrannical and fortified weeks alike, and presents different challenges from week to week.
UR is a good example of a not too compact dungeon where you can pick your pulls.
Freehold seems like a good dungeon through and through. The timer is maybe a bit on the lenient side, but it shouldn’t get nerfed much if at all. It presents different challenges on tyrannical and fortified. The visual for the knockback lines on the last boss got changed in 8.1 but could still be better. Changes to the sharkboss with sharks having lower baseline speed and getting stunned by pools was god. One criticism i have of Freehold is that the first boss frontal cone hits too hard. Around the 20/21 dungeon level mark it starts being an unavoidable oneshot unless you run the deffensive trait resounding protection, and even then you can get unlucky being hit by the ground bombardment a moment before thus removing your deffensive shield. The frequency of the cast is fine, but the damage could be tuned down a little bit so this boss doesn’t become a hard wall. Eduora on council o’captains is in a simmilar spot with her shot, but alteast it is telegraphed and you have a chance to use a deffensive ability or line of sight the cast (please dont fix unless you reduce its damage).
Motherlode is in a strange place. Bosses are fair and mostly well designed. The bosses are challenging in their own right but have clear counterplay. The trash mobs however are not well designed. In the beginning leading up to first boss, you have 5 different mobs you fight regularly. The assasin, this casts a fan of knife channel which is literally a full wipe unless it is interrupted by a stun or incap. The refreshment vedors casts spritz, the damage of this ability is insane high, as much as 2 ticks will kill you on a high key. You have quite a lot of vendors, and unless you pull very moderately you will run out of kicks on a fortified key. The thugs has a random charge that is not telegraphed, unavoidable and the damage is instantanious and stuns. On a high fortified key this STUN deals 70% of your health as damage. This is clearly excessive for something that is unpredicable (unmitigateable), unavoidable and stuns you. The stun is really disruptive as it can mean missing your assigned kick on a vendor or incap on an assasin. Finally you have the mech jocky/mech suit. The mech jockeys will attempt to enter mech suits and gain access to different abilites and give different mob count. This is a really interesting mechanic as it presents you with a choice of what version to get: low health for low mob count or high health for high count. However the mobs in isolation each has their issue. When a mech jockey fails to enter a mech suit it will fight you as is. The mech jokeys main mechanic is grease gun. This ability is completely unfair. From what we can gather, it goes on a random target within a fairly short range (8-10 yards). On a high key this ability deals 80% of your maximum HP as damage. Just like the Thug this ability is completely untelegraphed, it doesn’t happen on a predictable interval and there is really no counterplay aside from staying outside of its range, at which point melee classes can’t damage it which isn’t viable. All of these mobs i just mentioned are present in more or less the same trash packs, and if you intend to make the timer you need to pull multiple packs. All of this put together means that you are left to chance. If any combination of abilities goes at the same player they are just dead. In my opinion the frequency of the refreshment vendors spritz cast should be lowers and the jockeys greasegun/thug charge should have their damage significantly lowered, or turned into avoidable/telegraphed casts so it atleast has counterplay. The trash in the rest of the dungeon is somewhat fair, atleast leading up to 2nd boos. Trash after this point is rarely played as it seems overtuned, though i do not have much knowledge thereof and wont comment on these further. Bosses are overall fine, but the 2nd boss is sort of a boring encounter where nothing really happens after the 4 initial boss mobs are killed. You could lower his health slightly and make his adds spawn more frequently.
Siege of Boralus (SOB)
Overall siege of boralus is a reasonable and fair dungeon aside from last boss. The timer is almosr fair, most trashmobs are fine with good counterplay and all bosses except for last are fine aswell on both tyrannical and fortified. I am not personally a fan of the spotter doing most of the work for you, but that is just preference i suppose, not really a balance issue. The last boss used to be quite easy, (though far too long of an encounter) as you could skip the destructor tentacle completely on the last platform. This was evidently not intended as it has since been fixed to automatically aggro when you start that part of the encounter. That is fine in essence, but the issue is that this tentacle has far too much health. It has something like 3 times the health of any other destructor tentacle that spawns throughout the encounter which seems excessive to say the least. This need to be lowered because currently engaging this tentacle is almost a death sentence on higher keystone level. You either have the dps to nuke down the gripping tentacle before you get overrun by destructors or you do not. There isn’t much counterplay to this fact. In general this boss takes quite a long time and becomes a bit boring, i wouldn’t mind if one destructor tentacle were taken away on each platform (so you’d get a maximum of 4 rather than 5). If not the dungeon timer should be increased slightly. Thats contentious though, but the destructor tentacle on last platform being overtuned is not.
Siege of Boralus suffers from overcapping on mob count unless you invis/death skip.
Waycrest Manor (WM)
Waycrest Manor has some good boss designs. The bosses presents a broad plethora of challenges, and are all fairly well tuned for fortified and tyrannical alike. Overall the trash mobs in waycrest seem pretty fair to me aswell. There aren’t any big outliers that spring to mind. The main issue with WM (and it’s a really big issue) is the large amount of RNG that occurs in the dungeon. By this i mean the randomness of which doors are open, and where the witches spawn. There is a huge disparity in how long it takes to run this dungeon depending on what side you get. Currently if you start a high level Waycrest Manor key and get top/bottom right side you might aswell go out the dungeon and reset. It is a difference of several minutes to run through, and your cooldowns aswell as bloodlust lines up very badly for the rest of the dungeon. As an RPG experience RNG is generally interesting, but to this extend it has no place in a timed mythic plus environment. Leave the RP normal, HC and M0. If you settle on one side and make it completely fixed waycrest will be a great dungeon (if you settle on top/bottom right you will need to make some adjustments to the trashmobs in the fireplace/lodge area, the hunters are harder than any other part and probably increase the timer by a couple of minutes).
Atal Dazar (AD)
Atal Dazar is most peoples dream key. It is fairly straight forward and doesn’t have an over abundance of trash mechanics to deal with. I would say that overall no much has to change in Atal. Bosses and trash are fine. There are however a couple of bugs that needs immediate attention: on teeming week if you go left up the stairs as the dungeon starts that area has a completely random amount of mobs. It changes from dungeon to dungeon with no apparent pattern with regards to active world quests in the area or keystone level. Another issue is that when Rezan targets the tank and does his fixate he will speed up for the last 2 seconds of the ability for no apparent reason. The boss also has a tendancy to reset when you kite too close to the edges of the room which is an issue on a boss designed to be kited away from. A minor thing is a wish for better visual clariy on the last boss Yazmata. Her tank ability has the animation of a small purple explosion on the ground around the tank. If a spider spawns in the same location it is almost impossible to see, and it can be hard for tank/melee to not get hit. This does not occur that often as it is not that likely for a mob to spawn in that exact location at that exact time, but it would be nice with an improved visual for the spiders or the tank ability.
AD has a wide variety of routes you can choose even without stealth skips.
Kings Rest (KR)
Kings rest recieved a lot of nerfs recently, and i am sure these were very welcome in the lower brackets of play. However most of the abilities that got nerfed were avoidable or dispellable damage, and it did not change much for the high keystone community. This dungeon is probably the worst tuned with regards to completion time relative to all other dungeons. Due to its timegated and linear nature there isn’t much creative routing that can make the runs faster. Mob packs spawn individually or are gated behind doors that only open once bosses are dead. The biggest issue with regards to completion time at the moment is the lengt of the 3rd boss, the council of tribes, and the last boss Dazar, the first king. When we’ve done these dungeons on +20/21 keys these encounters have taken upwards of 7 minutes each! This is insanely long in comparison to most other bosses that are 3-4½ minute encounters om tyrannical. To bring the completion time of Kings Rest in line with other dungeons without changing its linear nature you will need to nerf the health of these two bosses significantly. The last boss by 20% or more and the council of tribes by 40% or more. The encounters are simply way too long.
The damage of blade combo (tank ability on last boss) and severing axe (20 second dot on Kula the butcher, concil of tribes) are also quite high. Severing axe should be nerfed by 20-30% or made significantly shorter, 10 seconds duration or so.
Trash is mostly fine, however severing blade (dot from the beserkers) should have their cast time increased so you can react and stun it. Counterplay is healthy.
You overcap quite heavily on mob count in KR unless you invis or death skip.
Shrine of the storm (SOTS)
SOTS was a decently tuned dungeon untill 8.1. Trashmobs were very hard, so the dungeon favored tyrannical, but it was completeable on a decent level on both affixes. The 3rd boss, Lord Stormsong, had his ability Mindrend changed. It used to go on closest target (mostly tank) but sometimes melee as the tank had to kite away from the orbs that follow you. Making the dot go on random completely broke the encounter, on +20 keys it was literally a oneshot. This has been reduced significantly, and from my calculation you will need to do the dungeon on +30 now for it to be a oneshot at current health levels, so we wont have this issue anymore. The last boss was also changed. The healt debuff/damage and healing buff used to go on healer first and subsequently on ranged dps followed by tank/melee (seemingly random which). This buff offered some interesting choices, you could outrange it as a healer and have it go on a ranged DPS first, thus ending the DPS/interrupt phase and generally boss encounter faster. You could also choose to not interrupt the bosses intermission immediately, and use the buff to kill off mobs in the boss room. Now it only goes on healer and nothing else. This takes away the interesting decissions you could make before. However if you do not wish for the buff to go on anyone but the healer, so be it. This however leaves the last boss way overtuned with regards to completion time. The DPS phase adds in the intermission needs to be nerfed by 50% (you can buff the mobs casting speed to compensate and not make it too trivial) and the bosses base health needs to be reduced by another 10-20% on top of the 10% you reduced it today.
The rest of the bosses in the dungeon are fine. Some of the trashmobs are slightly overtuned and generally it takes longer to run through this dungeon that it does others. Health/damage nerfs to a couple of minibosses would alleviate this greatly and alongside further nerfs to last boss (or revert to the buff/debuff mechanic only going on healer) make this a very interesting and fair dungeon.
In SOTS you overcap quite heavily on mob count unless you invis/death skip.
Teeming is currently a very overtuned affix in a lot of dungeons. It either needs to be moved to a level 2 affix alongside fortified and tyrannical, or it needs to be nerfed significantly in a lot of dungeons. Kings Rest, Shrine of The storm and Siege of Boralus become particularly hard to time on teeming weeks.
The rest of the affixes are fine balance wise with the exception of bolstering. It is almost universally hated. It arbitrarily limits the size of pulls you can do on the top end of M+ pushing and in the “lower brackets” alike. From pugging level 10-15 keys on my alts a lot of runs become really really long and tedious wipefests on bolstering week.
This post is admittedly very long, but it is based on discussions with some of the most experienced and skilled players in the world, a lot of thinking and hundreds and thusands of hours spent in Legion and BFA dungeons.
Lets make dungeon mechanics fair.
Lets make specs balanced around what they bring.
Lets reduce role disparity.
Lets officially elevate M+ to its proper status alongside raiding, PVP and collecting.
Please blizzard, lets recapture the magic and make this game even better.
I have seen so many bad players whining about things that are perfectly fine, like caster mobs or RaiderIO. These things is what makes M+ playing/pushing fun. Now towards some problems.
Ability to delete keys was one of the best things introduced in BFA. Either add back the deleting or introduce some sort of currency that could be used to reroll keys.
Make Explosive more consistent, low chance to spawn which increases and reset when orb spawns, limit how many of them can spawn at the same time based on number of mobs pulled
Sanguine should be capped on 3 stacks as a buff instead of 5.
Bolstering should bolster for 15% instead of 20%
Fortified Teeming is hard, they should be combined with easy third affix such as Raging, Skittish, Necrotic instead of Quaking and Bolstering
Tyrannical Explosive Bolstering in it’s current iteration is extremely hard, it might be more reasonable if previous changes I sugested are made.
Last boss has too much health
Sometimes monsters port to you, port you to themselves or start evading (it is easy to reproduce if you jump of a stairs.
Reanimated Honor Guard does way too much damage.
Dazar’ai Colossus is so strong that no one ever even tries to kill packs with them. Their health should be lowered to match with other mobs as well as some Dazar’ai Confessors/Dazar’ai Juggernauts and Dazar’ai Augurs should be replaced by Dazar’ai Honor Guards or Dazar’ai Priestess.
Priestess Alun’za in its current iteration does nothing. Simple change as adding two interruptable abilities from Dazar’ai Confessor Dispel with 15s or so cooldown and Bwonsamdi’s Mantle with 30s cooldown would make that fight much more interesting. I think adds should increase boss Damage Done by 1% every second.
Feasting Skycreamer that spawns in the middle of AD on pillar closer to the entrace should be moved to the middle of that pillar. Now it sometimes agros on you from other side than he is and doesnt have straight line to jump so he bugs out and starts evading but still casts fear.
Skycap n’ Kragg oneshots people with Azerite Powder Shot, this ability should have cast time increased to 0.5 or even 0.75, so it would be possible to react with personal or external defensive cooldown.
Captain Eudora Powder Shot should never target same person two hits in a row.
Captain Jolly Whirpool of Blades should have slightly smaller radius.
Guard Captain Atu Axe Barrage shouldn’t scale with Raging when it is inflicted before mob enrages.
Spectral Berserker Severing Blade shouldn’t scale with Raging when it is inflicted before mob enrages and it does a bit too much damage even without enrage.
Spectral Hex Priest Spectral Bolt does too much damage as auto attack (constantly casting and 1.4 cast time). I think cast time should be increased to like 2.5-3s, so it is reliably interruptable ability.
Teeming affix should be significantly changed:
- Purification Construct should be moved from patrolling in second boss room to the bridge, so it is together with other Purification Construct.
- Spectral Brute next to first pack after second boss should be removed.
- Honored Raptor from second pack before third boss should be moved to third pack before the boss. (It doesn’t make sense that there is a Raptor without a Spectral Beastmaster.)
- Other Spectral Beastmaster pack should have some mob added as well, maybe Witch Doctor.
- Spectral Headhunters can be added to some packs as well.
Shrine of the Storm
Timer should be increased to 40 or 41minute.
Animated Droplets shouldnt leave Sanguine pools behind.
Tidesage Spiritualist skill Mending Raptors heals for 33% and gives buff that heals for another 5% every 2seconds for 8seconds allies within 20yds. It should either just heal 33% straight away or be a buff that heals for 10% every 2seconds for 8seconds, so it is purgable/dispellable. Not spell stealable though because it will get abused.
On Teeming trash should give more count so you don’t need to kill so much more compared to non-teeming week.
Siege of Boralus
Significant nerfs to Alliance mobs: Riptide Shredder, Dockhound Packmaster, Blacktar Bomber damage.
Irontide Raider should be interruptable by abilities that can push or grip, like Ring of Peace, Typhon.
Last boss fight seems very long and tedious, there should be only maximum 4 tank tentacles per phase and their health should be reduced.
First or third boss health could be increased to make it even.
Temple of Sethraliss
After recent updates it seems very decent dungeon but it could be made even better:
Sandfury Stonefist should do less damage.
Krolusk Pup Head slam cooldown should be increased.
Shrouded Fang Cheapshot should stun for 2s instead of 3s.
Static-charged Dervish leaves 5 (or maybe more) Sanguine pools instead of 1, I think that’s bug.
Mech Jockey Grease Gun damage should be decreased.
Refreshment Vendor Iced Spritzer cooldown should be increased.
Almost every single mob after second and third boss should be nerfed:
- Venture Co. Mastermind Energy Lash should be interruptable. Azerite Injection should only increase damage done but not heal.
- Weapons Tester Force Cannon and Echo Blade should do less damage.
- Reckless Assistant Blowtorch should do less damage. Transfiguration Serum cooldown should be increased.
- Number of Crawler Mines should be reduced.
- Venture Co. Skyscorcher damage of all abilities should be reduced.
- Venture Co. War Machine abilities should be remade.
I believe this dungeon is in pretty decent place right now. Something that could be changed is:
Underrot Ticks in starting location could spawn in bigger packs.
Neither side of the bridge should have Chosen Blood Matrons in packs with Befouled Spirit.
Cannons does too much damage, it makes dungeon too trivial. Instead of roughly 25% of their life, they should do like 17-20%.
Last boss Overseer Korgus should be made consistent in his sequence. Right now you pray for RNG gods to avoid a lot of double Explosive Bursts. Either make it so it is never double or every second(or third) time it is double.
I think the dungeon is in pretty good position right now. Only change that would be really nice is Devouring Maggot not leaving Sanguine pools and MAYBE not Bolstering.
I’d like to preface this by saying I’m one of the highest rated protection warriors in the world, and this post will be from a high key pushing perspective, however a lot of the points will be true for lower keys as well.
Starting with the dungeons:
- The mobs leading to Vol’kaal and Priestess Alun’za are too hard and are always skipped, forcing the use of a rogue of death-running.
- No real complaints here, maybe it has too long of a timer.
- Still too hard compared to other dungeons on the same level, but that is not necessarily a problem.
- The trash is still (after the nerf) just a tad too hard. Mostly the problem is the bridge leading up to the 3rd boss.
- The 3rd boss takes too long.
- There is too much trash, it should be possible to not over-cap without a rogue.
- Timer is too short
Shrine of the Storm:
- Living Currents are way too annoying.
- The bridge to the 3rd boss is way too hard comparatively and forces a skip.
- The last boss takes way too long, I suggest slowing down his energy regen to allow more damage between each intermission phase.
- Timer is too short
Siege of Boralus:
- Fleeing mobs are very annoying on sanguine.
- Last boss takes way too long, the spawn time of demolishing tentacles should be increased and the maximum number of demolishing tentacles per platform should be decreased to 3-4.
- The spotter mob adds a nice flair to the dungeon, more of this type of features!
Temple of Sethraliss:
- Too much annoying trash at the start making rogue almost mandatory.
- The gauntlet event is not really fun in m+, just annoying like the RP-event in Court of Stars.
- Changes to the last boss made it much more reasonable and it is not in a good place.
- Just about all trash after the 2nd boss needs to be severely nerfed as to not force two skips.
- The third boss’s casted magic auto attack hurts too much on high tyrannical keys, no reason for a mechanic with no counter-play to hurt that much.
- The most well balanced dungeon.
- No reason for the orbs on the last boss to interact with affixes such as explosive and volcanic, it is just annoying.
- The dungeon is affected too hard by certain affixes. Sanguine is very annoying in small confined spaces as it is, but when the mobs have a flee mechanic at low health and there are many neutral mobs that are almost impossible to not accidentally pull for most comps it is just too much. There is no reason the neutral mobs need to be there on m+ as they don’t give count anyway, and if they are staying they should be unaffected by all affixes (necrotic, sanguine etc).
- There is no reason for there to be a random door opening every run. Either rotate it per week, make them all always open, or make it always the same on m+.
As for the affix-combinations:
Raging, Volcanic, Tyrannical:
Teeming, Explosive, Fortified:
- Teeming and Explosive interact too much, making explosive too hard.
- Teeming should never be paired with Fortified, it can’t be balanced.
Bolstering, Grievous, Tyrannical:
- Fine, except bolstering, more on that later.
Sanguine, Necrotic, Fortified:
- Too much negative interaction with small spaces such as Tol Dagor and Waycrest Manor.
Bursting, Skittish, Tyrannical:
- Fine except Skittish is hard to balance
Teeming, Quaking, Fortified:
- As above, Teeming should never be paired with Fortified, it can’t be balanced.
Raging, Necrotic, Tyrannical:
Bolstering, Skittish, Fortified:
- Fine, except bolstering, more on that later.
Teeming, Volcanic, Tyrannical:
Sanguine, Grievous, Fortified:
- Sanguine has too much negative interaction with some dungeons.
Bolstering, Explosive, Tyrannical:
- Way too hard compared to every other week, get rid of it.
Bursting, Quaking, Fortified:
- Quaking could be on one set timer instead of the alternating random thing, it has the potential to interact very poorly with Bursting.
As for affixes themselves:
- Not fun gameplay, just slows you down
- Reaping looks much more enjoyable
Fortified & Tyrannical:
- Not fun to alternate between them in higher keys.
- A suggestion would be to have keys above some level (15?) have both. This does not impact most casual players who were victim of massive jumps in difficulty from 9 to 10 in Legion. If it kicks in at 16 then there should be no extra per cent modifier from 15 to 16.
- Not a fun affix since it slows you down and forces you to not AoE on packs with packs with uneven health pools.
- There needs to be more counter-play, perhaps reducing the range to 15yd to allow more ways to deal with it or simply nerf it to 10% per stack.
- Fine, especially now that it can be dispelled
- Has too much negative interaction with small confined spaces such as Tol Dagor and Waycrest Manor.
- Very annoying combines with fleeing mobs.
- Too easy in open dungeons such as Freehold.
- Should only ever come on either Tyrannical or Fortified, otherwise it will never be balanced.
- Should not affect other affixes since it makes them unreasonably hard (e.g. explosive)
- Hard to balance, either a non-mechanic or too punishing for certain specs.
- Only ever comes with other affixes that makes it too hard.
- Would be fine if it was paired with an easier affix such as Volcanic or Raging (and no, Explosive orbs should not be affected by Raging)
- Fine, perhaps make the timer completely set instead
- Fine, just about tuning it properly.
Then we have the problem of keystones. I agree that deleting keystones to get a new one was perhaps too much, however the way it is now (and was in Legion) is really bad for the game. As the week goes longer more and more people are stuck with “dead” keys that they can’t do anything about. At the end of the week almost no one has a nice playable key anymore. The best suggestions I have are:
- Make it possible to choose between 2 or 3 keystones after completing the dungeon.
- Make each keystone work for 2 dungeons instead of 1.
It should also never be possible to be given the same keystone you already had if you deplete a key. If you run a Shrine+20 and know along the way that you will not make it, but hope to get a new 19 key so push on for an hour and end up with the same Shrine+19 that was in your bag the whole, it feel pretty damn bad.
I think the AP gain from higher m+ keys should be increased, it is more challenging and takes much more coordination and effort than WQs or IEs. It also makes sense to let people do the content they think is fun, and the only ones who are actively forced to pursue AP are raiders, who probably would prefer running m+ for AP over helping shoot down those birds to save the Tortollan babies.
And as a last note, please consider the implications of what you are doing if you are planning to nerf the AoE damage of Protection Warriors. Blood DK was allowed to be miles and miles ahead of every other tank for a very very long time and now that they are getting some competition it would look very bad if the competitions only strength was immediately taken away.
Happy pushing everyone!