How the MDI Is Changing the Game [Interview]

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Forbes took some time out to take a look at how the recently ended Mythic Dungeon Invitational is and will continue to impact the game itself, with Lead Encounter Designer Morgan Day. They go into how the high end competition made the devs take another look at just how people were clearing high M+ and smooth those runs out so weird things don't happen during broadcasts, how what they saw impacted how they balance classes and design dungeons, what the plans for the future are and a lot more. Here are a few excerpts:


Q: Are there any fixes you regretted?

Day: We have a very robust hotfixing system, where we can send things live pretty quickly, so we were like, maybe we should look at that NOW. We made a mistake. In one of the regional tournaments, they ran through Cathedral of Eternal Night. They used this creature that they mind controlled, and used one of his abilities to create this zone of haste. And then they pulled that guy all the way through the dungeon with them.

We actually found out that there was a bug with that, where the damage that does to you wasn’t scaling. It just wasn’t working the way it was intended to. We said oh, well we can fix that, it’s no big deal. So then we fixed the bug, which is something that we do very often as a team.

But it turns out, in the middle of a tournament, maybe we shouldn’t have done that. We could have held off until a patch to fix that. In the grand scheme of things, it was a minor issue, but It potentially impacted team strategies. So we said, okay, maybe we should not do that type of fix in the middle of this process in the future. We learned from things like that.

Agronox in Cathedral of Eternal Night


Q: Were there any unusual group strategies?

Day: There was a Lower Karazhan game where a really good group took a route that basically no one had seen before in our office. We were like, did you see what they did?? I’m going to start doing that on live!

They killed Opera, [then] doubled back all the way to the start of the instance through that hidden door. They went from there to Moroes’ room. They did Maiden last. My reaction was like, “Wut??!” It was cool. They won the map, and I was like, that looked really really clean, that was a really cool run. So that was really interesting to see.

[A Reddit conversation with that team later noted that they did the route in part to time the powerful Bloodlust/Heroism buff to be available for the bosses they wanted.]

There was a fun email chain that went around after, on Monday. In Neltharion’s lair, the last two packs in front of [the final boss] Dargrul are linked.

We call that “Mograinig,” or “to Mograine” – the first time anyone remembers that was back in Scarlet Monastery, you’d pull [attack] Mograine and the whole cathedral would come after you. We still call that Mograining. Those two trash pulls, if you pull Dargrul, will come with you.

Even the commentators, I was watching, were surprised by it: [The team] pulled the trash pull and the boss. And they were like, what are they doing, this is such a bad idea. And they had a hunter that was pulling the trash off to the side, and he feigned death. And then instead of going back to punch the group, they just went home.

So they basically circumvented the linked pull by having the hunter. And I was like man, that was – I’m going to look at how that’s set up, because that seems like, how did they do that?

But nope, since the beginning of Warcraft, that’s how the game works, and they’ve just figured out those small little details, which I think is really interesting. That’s again a good example of, I didn’t expect that, but they filled up the progress bar, they killed all the trash that is required, and then they found out this cool way to skip this one hard pack.

Good for you guys, that’s pretty cool.


Q: What else can we look forward to?

Day: As far as things for the future, I think mythic plus is here to stay, obviously -- everyone loves it. We would be crazy not to carry it into the future.

For me, as my own personal thing, I don’t know if this is something that we could say we were going to do for sure, I would love to get some more strategy built into specific affixes. Things that have a higher degree of mastery, potentially, or things that you could use for your benefit, but it comes at a risk.

Imagine if sanguine made you take more damage and deal more damage. What would that look like? Things like that would be fun to explore for new affixes, in terms of introducing new things. We don’t have specific concrete plans for that. It’s something that we’ll talk about a lot more I’m sure.

Be sure to check out the whole interview, and even if you're not a fan of Mythic+ or the Invitational specifically, it's still a good look at how Blizzard learn and take note from live events and competitions like this.

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I agree that the karazhan thing was very creative - but the dargrul pack... This is how I did my runs before the year ended? How come devs only knew about that now?


We always did that with a hunter, rogue or whatever other reset tool to get that done. I friggin loved the mindcontrol thing though, kudos.

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3 hours ago, Yridaa said:

I agree that the karazhan thing was very creative - but the dargrul pack... This is how I did my runs before the year ended? How come devs only knew about that now?


We always did that with a hunter, rogue or whatever other reset tool to get that done. I friggin loved the mindcontrol thing though, kudos.

As I don't do keys pull, they do a few things that surprised me. Sadly, they're going to fix the warlock "bug" in Cathedral of Eternal Night... that was a clever play... and, acctually, the  EU teams made a really faster run without any triks, so, that was just a little flavor...

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Yeah, all those old MUST USE mechanics that were once utilized in vanilla days, because it simly was neccesary for people to utilize them. Remember watching your aggro besides affixes? Aggro reducing abilities? Seems not even the devs do anymore.
Game is much more comfortable at the cost of reduced complexity bringing about things like hunters that do not know misdirection exists and what does it do, but then again they finally obtain a weapon specified as a "hunter weapon".

People tend to forget, game is old, new playerbase might have the same brain capacity, but the game no longer taps it as much, it is no longer neccesary, but this is what the MDI is all about, bringing out the best and worst out of the game.
The probably fairly obvious bug abuse being one of the quirks that comes when pushing the boundary is worth actual money.

Mythic+ is a fantastic mode when it comes to keeping mechanics relevant over time, while this is amazing, at the same time the competitive spirit it brings with it can be meta inducing even on a class choice scale (but then again, meta is always formed and class/race choice is much more forgiving than vanilla, say hi to fear ward dwarven priests for me).

Issue is the simple minds take away limited information such as "this comp is best, we must have it, no other is worth it, even though we run the key on 10 levels lower", which as a monk player (there is 1 monk in top 100 based on that score) can be discouraging.

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      Remove the Forsaken threat and begin the reclamation of Ruins of Auberdine.,To Auberdine! Defeat the enemy commander and reclaim Darkshore for the Alliance.,The Fallen Moon Reclaim Bashal'Aran.,Forward Progress Construct the means necessary to defeat the enemy.,Advancing the Effort Shine the lantern and start the memories of the fallen.,By Blood Remembered Hold the line against the Scourge,Until Our Last Breath Defeat Seer Drannix,Delaying Death's March Face Arthas.,For Anasterian! Break through to the Sunwell.,He Who Walks the Day Defend the Magisters during their ritual.,A Prince's Decision Sail to the Ruins of Auberdine.,In Teldrassil's Wake Find the Eye of Elune in the Ruins of Auberdine.,Elune's Gaze Defeat Bilegut and escape the hall.,Cornered! Investigate the screaming nearby.,A Cry for Help Find Tyrande Whisperwind in Bashal'Aran.,Closing In Guard Tyrande while she completes the Ritual of the Night Warrior.,Zenith Hunt down Nathanos Blightcaller.,Nowhere to Run Intervene before Nathanos raises the fallen as forsaken.,The Queen's Pawn Return to the fleet and scout the Horde army.,Eyes of the Forest Remove the Alliance from the Ruins of Auberdine.,To Auberdine! Claim Bashal'Aran for the Horde.,Forward Progress Construct the means necessary to defeat the enemy.,Advancing the Effort Defeat the enemy commander and claim Darkshore for the Horde.,End of the Road Rescue the kaldorei prisoners in the Withering Thicket.,No Elf Left Behind Use the G.P.G.,A Simple Plan Proceed further into the treasury.,Mission: Probable Head towards the central chamber.,Take the Shortcut Return to the outer hallway.,Nevermind Witness Tyrande's ascension into the Night Warrior.,The Night Warrior The automated defenses of Gnomeregan have been activated!,Automated Defenses Defeat the Living Elementals.,Out of Control Elementals Use the correct sequence of levers to activate the Door Control Console.,Pull the Correct Levers Confront the Lich King Retreat to Bwonsamdi's Death Gate.,Reach the Death Gate Use Bwonsamdi's Death Gate to escape the Frozen Throne.,Escape the Frozen Throne Find Nathanos Blightcaller nearby.,Nowhere to Hide Speak to Warden Amical.,Speak to Warden Defeat the Horde's forward commander in Ruins of Auberdine.,Applying Pressure Send the guards away, and take the Master Key. Release Ashvane,Release Ashvane Release prisoners and plant the explosives.,Create a distraction Defeat the Warden Shine the lantern on Kael'thas' decision.,A Setback Ride the Bomb Stomper 5000 through the deadly field of Bomb Bots.,Bypass the Mine Field Defeat the critters that somehow survive in this place.,Resilient Critters There's a Leper Rat of unusual size guardng that door. It looks mean.,You Dirty Rat Defeat the Gnomeregan Defense Force.,"Gnomeregan Defense Force, Activate!" Mekgineer Thermaplugg has left his latest invention here as the last bastion of defense for Gnomeregan. Smash it!,Thermaplugg's Latest Invention Deliver Ashvane,Get to the Ship Gather Data using G.P.G.,Let's Try This Again Get through sewers,Escape the Prison Proceed further into the treasury.,The Search Continues Someone has telepoted into the room. Confront them!,Shadowy Figure Prepare yourself for battle.,Preparation World Safe Locs
      Warfront Darkshore - Alliance Start Warfront Darkshore - Alliance Ruins of Auberdine GY Zuldazar - Dino Training - Finale Safe Loc (JAK) Warfront Darkshore - Alliance Bashal'Aran GY Warfront Darkshore - Alliance Intro GY Incursions - Harder They Fall -  Safe Loc - (MDE) 8.1 Incursions - Crawler Mine Abandon (MDE) Havenswood Warfront Darkshore - Horde Start Jorundall 8.1 Incursions - Crawler Mine -  Safe Loc - (MDE) 8.1 Incursions - Unfriendly Skies - Safe Loc (MDE) Norwington Estate Safe  Place 8.1 Incursions - Tiragarde - Greystone Ruins - H - WQ02 - Iron Star Exit (JDA) 8.1 War Campaign - A - Ch1 - anglepoint boat safeport - krb 8.1 War Campaign - H - Chapter 2 - Drustvar Combat Safe spot - (STM) 8.1 Incursions - Famous Airship Disasters -  Safe Loc - (MDE) Warfront Darkshore - Alliance Lor'danel GY 8.1 Dwarf Heritage - Ulduar - Scenario - Entrance Loc - RRB Safe Exit: 8.1 Dwarf Heritage Armor - Loch Modan - RRB The Sunwell - Heritage Scenario Start Warfront Darkshore - Alliance Ship 8.1 Tyrande - A - Tyrande Scenario - Start - GJC 8.1 Tyrande - A - Tyrande Scenario - Safe Exit Loc - GJC 8.1 Zuldazar Raid - Alliance - Zone Out Location 8.1 Zuldazar Raid - Alliance - Zone In Location 8.1 Zuldazar Raid - Horde - Zone Out Location 8.1 Zuldazar Raid - Horde - Zone In Location 8.1 Zuldazar Raid - Treasure Room Entrance 8.1 Zuldazar Raid - Treasure Room Exit 8.1 SoS PreRaid - Dagger - Revival Point (msc) 8.1 Zuldazar Raid - Throne Room Entrance 8.1 Zuldazar Raid - Throne Room Exit, 8.1 Zuldazar Raid - Balcony Exit 8.1 Zuldazar Raid - Balcony Entrance 8.1 Zuldazar Raid - Elevator Bottom 8.1 Zuldazar Raid - Elevator Top Warfront Darkshore - Horde Intro GY Warfront Darkshore - Horde Ruins of Auberdine GY Warfront Darkshore - Horde Bashal'Aran GY Warfront Darkshore - Horde Lor'danel GY Scenario - Gnomeregan Pet Battle Entrance 8.1 War Campaign - A - Ch3 - Zandalari Treasury Scenario Entry - KRB 8.1 War Campaign - A - Ch3 - Zandalari Treasury Scenario Exit - KRB 8.1 Sunwell Unlock Scenario - GY 1 8.1 Sunwell Unlock Scenario - GY 2 8.1 Sunwell Unlock Scenario - GY 3 Emerald Dreamway - The Stuff of Dreams (RKS) 8.1 Tyrande - A - Tyrande Scenario - GY - Stage 1-2 - GJC 8.1 Tyrande - A - Tyrande Scenario - GY - Stage 3-6 - GJC 8.1 Tyrande - A - Tyrande Scenario - GY - Stage 7-9 - GJC 8.1 Tyrande - A - Tyrande Scenario - GY - Stage 10-11 - GJC Islands - Port of Zandalar Exit Loc Islands - Boralus Harbor Exit Loc 8.1 Icecrown - The Frozen Throne Warfront Arathi - Horde, General GY Darkshore - Tyrande (H) - Lor'danel GY Darkshore - Tyrande (H) - Bashal'Aran GY 8.1 Shrine Raid - Entrance Target - KLH 8.1 Shrine Raid - Post B1 - KLH 8.1 Shrine Raid - Exit Target - KLH Warfront Darkshore - Alliance Exit Safe Loc Warfront Darkshore - Horde Exit Safe Loc 8.1 Tol Dagor Scenario
    • By Stan
      Three new Druid forms have been added in Patch 8.1. Highmountain Taurens and Kul Tirans received a Moonkin Form and Zandalari Trolls got their Aquatic Form.
      Our coverage of 8.1 so far includes a dump with all important information and the Kul Tiran racial mount.
      Highmountain Tauren Moonkin Form

      Kul Tiran Moonkin Form




      Zandalari Troll Aquatic Form




    • By Stan
      Patch 8.1 is now available on PTR and Blizzard added the racial mount for Kul Tirans in the initial build.
      Alliance players will be able to recruit Kul Tiran Humans in Patch 8.1 after the Siege of Zuldazar raid. You can find more information about the Allied Race in our Kul Tiran Humans Allied Race preview.
      Kul Tiran Horse

    • By Starym
      A smaller batch today as Blizzard address many of the Timewalking issues that came up, including the lower item level titanforged items, dungeon tuning due to the squish and more. We also got a few more trinket and Azerote power fixes.
      September 25 (source)
      Fixed some scaling and tuning issues with the Brewmaiden trinkets from the Coren Direbrew. Heart of Azeroth Laser Matrix should now hit targets that are within striking distance of a typical ranged damage dealer, as intended. Player versus Player
      Demon Hunter Havoc Thirsting Blades (Azerite Trait) additional Chaos Strike damage now diminishes per stack of its buff when in combat with enemy players.  
      Fixed a bug that caused Warforged Timewalking items to not have the intended item level. Fixed a bug that prevented Azerite Power from dropping in Timewalking dungeons for players with a Heart of Azeroth. Increased player gear power, and greatly lowered damage and health of many creatures and spells in End Time. Timewalking vendor items now scale to item level 320 at player level 120. Legion Timewalking quests should no longer be offered by Archmage Timear in Dalaran. For the Battle for Azeroth Timewalking quest, seek out Chronicler Shoopa in Dazar'alor or Chronicler Toopa in Boralas. Previous Hotfixes
      September 24th September 21st September 18th