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Starym

M+ Record Holders: An Interview the Champs, Pt. 2

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It's back to the World Record holders in Mythic+, with part 2 of the interview focusing on the future of the system in Battle for Azeroth, what they'd like to see changed, thoughts on the Mythic Dungeon Invitational, how raiding fits into the M+ picture and more. Check out what JdotbShakib, Darkee, Mittbitt and Marvink have to say.

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It’s undeniable that Mythic+ has been one of the biggest features of Legion and we know it’s coming back in Battle for Azeroth. What would you guess Blizzard will be changing come the next expansion?

Darkee: I expect to see new affixes and hopefully the removal of some of our current affixes. I think dungeons will (hopefully) be created with m+ in mind so we don’t have certain mechanics being nerfed by 90% just to make the dungeon completable.

Jdotb: I think a lot more thought will be put into balancing classes holistically and not just for dps/hps. M+ really exposed some of the class disparities when it came to survivability and utility. Things like defensive cooldowns, immunities, battle resses, stealth, crowd control - access to those abilities is as or more important than how much damage you can do on high keys. Blizzard constantly struggles with class identity vs homogenization, and there obviously isn’t one right answer, but I wouldn’t mind seeing some baseline stuff given to every class (a powerful defensive cooldown on a 90s or less timer, e.g.) A lot of that can be solved with items like bloodlust drums that provide a substitute. I’d like to see some more items that fill in those gaps in class utility.

Mittbitt: Blizzard could be adding more of an incentive to do Mythic + to attract more people for all levels of keystones to influence doing some sort of competitive PvE outside of the set raid times.

Shakib: A m+ ladder with rewards at the end of a season (somewhat based on the current arena system). Also maybe a CM reward like in MoP I think it was where you would get a title if you had a top time at the end of the xpac.

 

What are some of the changes you’d like to see in the M+ system?

Darkee: I wish there was a way to re-roll your key. Getting Maw 27 and 28 over and over is really frustrating.

Jdotb:  It would be pretty cool to get a more robust reward structure for m+ a la PvP - mounts, titles, transmog, leaderboards, etc. M+ has become enough of a fixture in the PvE community to stand on its own merits and be considered a distinct thing. It would be nice to get some Blizzard-sanctioned validation.

Marvink: An incentive to push. The cap on rewards is too far below what I’d love to see as progression content. I want them to also remove the flat increase affixes (Fortified and Tyranical) and put more focus on dungeon altering affixes (new or old). Let the dungeon speak for itself instead of putting such a large focus on bosses or trash week after week.

Mittbitt: For the most part I am happy with how M+ works, however I would like to see less of niche class mechanics such as hunters being able to permanently trap adds on Moroes and continuously avoiding Garrote stacks, or the almost necessary immunities for Mana Devourer in Upper Karazhan. Lastly, I would like to see more of an effort to fix certain bugs that have already been “fixed” such as the “Streetsweeper” ability on the first boss of Court of Stars hitting you regardless of your positioning occasionally, or the second Blink Strikes from Nal’tira in The Arcway hitting a player that was preemptively moving.
 

Do you think there’s a chance we might see older dungeons eventually get remade into M+?

Darkee: I think it’s an interesting concept but I do not think it will happen any time soon. Their priority should be on achieving a closer balance in current dungeons + classes instead of re-balancing old content.

Jdotb: No, nor would I want it. The amount of effort required to balance the older dungeons with an eye towards infinite scalability would be tremendous. I don’t think there would be much demand for it; most everyone I know hates being made to timewalk every few weeks for a coin. And a large part of pushing high keys is being intimately familiar with a dungeon. I don’t want to have to learn potentially a hundred new dungeons inside and out.

Mittbitt: I think that there is a possibility we might see older dungeons eventually remade into M+ if done carefully, similar to Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery during Mists of Pandaria Challenge Modes.


Is the base design of the dungeons in Legion done well enough to support M+ or do you think there’s still a lot of improvement to be made?

Darkee: I think certain dungeons should have their time changed. I listed Maw and Seat as the 2 hardest dungeons, but that is only because their timer is just too short. Both dungeons have very punishing trash and boss fights with multiple phases that take forever to kill.

Jdotb: Most of the dungeons feel “fair” at high levels. Some of the timers could stand be to adjusted again (the Karas are too lenient, Maw and Nelth’s are too tight, etc.), and there’s some RNG you can’t really outplay (Hyrja and Xavius come to mind, as well as CoS buffs and Arcway doors). But for the most part the dungeons scale well and have a good mix of avoidable mechanics and mechanics that you just have to eat with either ilvl or creative cooldowns/trinkets/legendaries.

Marvink: I really like Legion dungeons, they all have an identity of their own and feel unique. They have left enough space in the dungeons to really come up with some crazy strategies, pull and skip wise, and nothing too linear.

Mittbitt: I believe that the base design of the dungeons in Legion is plenty to support M+, however I think that the RNG element of some dungeons can be a bit intrusive, such as in Seat of the Triumvirate the placements of the three wardens that must be killed to unlock the second boss can determine whether or not you have enough time in the run. A few other examples would be getting left or right side in Arcway can save a lot of time, such as if we got left side in our 27 Arcway we could have had much more time left at the end of the key, or what buffs you get in Court of Stars can substantially make the bosses easier. My last example is Shade of Medivh getting two Ceaseless Winters versus getting two Guardian’s Images, which can greatly influence whether or not the boss is killable on a very difficult key.
 

What do you think of addons in general? They’ve almost always been a core part of the game but now Blizzard is actually designing fights around them. Do you think it would even be possible to do some of these high M+ fights without them?

Darkee: Most dungeon boss fights are simple enough that fight timers are all you need. There are some very powerful weakauras that help with certain trash mobs (like showing current shoot target above nameplate + yelling at you if you are targeted with shoot from ANY archer, not just the one you are targeting).

Jdotb: Addons are very helpful for m+ but not nearly to the same extent as raiding. Some of the mythic raiding mechanics are so involved that addons are virtually required for most guilds (let’s hear it for Wrought Chaos on Archimonde). Some of that owes to 20 people vs. five people, but m+ bosses are just less complicated as a rule. This is a good thing because it allows addons to do what they were meant to do (give you information that doesn’t exist or isn’t easily seen in the base UI) instead of “breaking” fights because the developers intended for the fight to be chaotic. Addons in m+ are certainly helpful but people could still do very high keys without them.

Marvink: Addons aren’t really a necessity in M+. More are designed around trash than bosses, but even those aren’t needed. Mostly just an attempt to stop the one shots. A lot of bosses have been designed with energy bars as timers which really helps the core game stand on its own. The amount of times we’ve also ran these dungeons just turns things into muscle memory.

Mittbitt: I think addons are great and allow for a more unique customization of the game, depending on what players are looking for. Addons are also are a great tool in learning the Mythic plus timing of abilities. I do think it would be possible to do some of these high M+ fights without addons, but as we continue to play we typically continue to add more addons to track things so we do not have to micromanage everything on our screens the way it is laid out in the default setting.

Shakib: I think addons have their place in the game at this point although I don’t think Blizzard should design bosses around addons. They should disable addons they don’t want us to be able to use in my opinion.

A M+ boss fight usually only has 3-5 mechanics per boss so it wouldn’t get out of control. I don’t have many weakauras apart from ones that tell me what cooldown’s I have going on so the only addon I would suffer a bit from not having is littlewigs boss timers. But that’s usually trackable with a combat timer or energy levels on a boss. So yes I think m+ boss fights would be fine without addons.


Would you like to see less focus on addons in future expansions?

Darkee: I think Blizzard has done a good job of stepping in and removing certain addons that trivialized entire boss mechanics (like some of the various Star Augur addons). At this point they design boss fights with addons in mind, so I don’t think they are an issue.

Jdotb: As a healer, I’ve never been particularly impressed with the base UI. It’s been improved over the years but still leaves a lot to be desired. I think addons are a necessary and vital part of playing the game at the highest level and feel like if an addon trivializes a fight then it was probably a poorly designed and/or gimmicky fight to begin with.

Mittbitt: I would not like to see less focus on addons in future expansions, I have no issue with addons and would actually like to see more addons and more creativity in addons such as some of the weak auras available for mythic plus.
 

What do you think about the M+ raider.io addon specifically and some of the issues with it?

Jdotb: The raider.io addon came out after my days of pugging m+ ended so my experience with it is mostly secondhand. I understand the frustration with being reduced to a single number that determines your entire worth, but at the same time there aren’t many tools available to the people making groups to fairly evaluate other players. So the addon is probably making the best of a bad situation. I also suspect that some people aren’t as good as they think they are and the raider.io tool is simply the first time they’ve really had look in the mirror and face facts.

Marvink: I understand the ‘want’ to have a higher qualified group when running a dungeon, and the addon allows to have a better sense of what each player has at least accomplished in some regard compared to nothing. I think a large part of the issue is the 100 slot cap on the leaderboard, making a lot of runs the average person does not even count for score, and thus making it harder to get in to groups because of that fact.
 

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What do you think of raids being necessary in order to accomplish high M+ runs? Would you prefer if you could get all if your gearing done in M+ only?

Jdotb: The necessity to raid for gear is probably the biggest frustration for the m+ community. It used to be the same way for PvP - there were trinkets and tier sets from raids that were so good for PvP that you had to raid. Blizzard addressed that with templates in PvP, so they at least recognize it was a problem. Removing tier sets from BfA was a big step in the right direction, and hopefully m+ers won’t feel obligated to raid in BfA. I know Blizz wants to create incentives for people to do participate in all the content, and I don’t think the m+ community would mind banging out a heroic raid once a week. But being in a mythic raiding guild is a large commitment, usually 12+ hours a week, and if you don’t want to be there it sucks for both you and the guild you’re in.

Mittbitt: I think raids being necessary in order to accomplish high M+ runs is fine as long as Blizzard wants to keep M+ less prioritized than raiding. Many people are discouraged from high keys because there is no incentive to push. I enjoy having to raid in order to obtain some gear for M+, however would prefer it if most slots were not taken up by legendaries and raid equipment.

Shakib: I personally don’t hate raiding, I just don’t like spending 15-20 hours a week doing something I enjoy less. Which is why I’m currently in a 2 day guild for 7 hours total. I would prefer getting pretty much all of my gearing from m+ a bit like it was for challenge modes where gear would cap at the heroic dungeon ilvl. I only had to raid a couple times to get the op items from the raids (mirror of the blademaster, soul capacitor…) then I could just do what I love doing.
 

Just how different is it to do high M+ compared to doing Mythic raids?

Darkee:  Pushing high m+ is much harder coming from a melee perspective. Almost all dungeons contain enemies that have some sort of aoe/frontal/on-death mechanic that will one shot you. You have to be 100% focused for every pull to stay alive. Most raid mechanics are so spread out that you have plenty of time to prepare, and deaths come from laziness or greed.

Jdotb: As a healer, the difference is substantial. Part of the draw of m+ for me having the entire healing job to myself. I’ve never liked having to coordinate healing cooldowns with other healers, and good healers in raids are always going to keep an eye on the hps meters and probably play sub-optimally at times to make sure they stay near the top. In m+ you don’t have to worry about padding as a healer, you just focus on keeping people alive.

M+ also affords me the opportunity to play all aspects of my class. I spend large portions of some dungeons dpsing, I use my crowd control abilities like root and typhoon frequently, and I even occasionally tank mobs during skittish week.

The pace of m+ is also much more enjoyable to me. I’ve never been a fan of wiping 30 times in a row to a boss in one night. That isn’t particularly fun. You might fail a key in m+ but that probably only included a few wipes at most unless you were doing something way over your head.

Mittbitt: High Mythic + requires a lot of coordination, communication, and gear swapping. It is similar to Mythic raiding at a certain key level, however with fewer people, and we are able to design our own strats that constantly evolve.
 

For groups trying to get into higher M+, how much of a hindrance is the fact that you need tier sets?

Jdotb: I don’t think it’s a huge barrier to entry atm. Most people that do m+ at a high level come from a raiding background and still raid in a mythic guild.

I think Blizz tries to make tier sets good enough that you’re always going to want to use it regardless of ilvl, so it’s safe to say that tier is important. Some sets are obviously better than others, and some sets are more or less useful in m+ specifically, but for the most part tier is going to give you significant advantage. The importance of having mythic raid ilvl on your tier is less important.  You could still push very high keys with some heroic warforged/titanforged tier, and most people that are skilled enough to be doing high keys won’t have a problem finishing heroic raids.

Mittbitt: Tier sets are unfortunately a large hindrance regarding high keys. Tier sets and legendaries make it a challenge to get into pushing higher keys.
 

If you had to choose one activity that makes it to BfA, would it be raiding or M+?

Jdotb:  M+ hands down. I think if you were rebuilding WoW from the ground up, m+ would be the default PvE content. It’s so much friendlier to casuals (takes less time, takes less people, takes less preparation). I really feel like raiding is a thing that only exists because of tradition. When WoW launched it was still new and cool to be in a group with a lot of people, and MMOs really pushed that angle. Now online multiplayer is the norm. It isn’t a unique selling point. Raiding was neat because it was a spectacle, but it hasn’t been that in a long time.

Mittbitt: If I had to choose one activity that makes it to BfA it would be M+, however M+ does not provide the same benefits as raiding where two tanks are enough for 18 other people.
 

Somewhat related to raiding, what do you think of the reward structure of M+?

Darkee: I think the reward structure of m+ is in a good place. Most of my non-tier/non-legendary slots are filled with gear obtained from m+.

Jdotb:  I wouldn’t mind seeing m+ move towards raid-style gear lockouts where you can only get loot off a m+ boss once each week but the base ilvl would be higher. The lottery aspect of m+ isn’t particularly appealing, and the vast majority of the time you end up with a chaos crystal. I would prefer having a legitimate chance at getting an upgrade once a week over the current system.

Marvink: I would like a larger reward for higher M+, but I understand the current structure doesn’t give any room for improvement in that regard. Hopefully in BfA they can make that adjustment.
 

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The MDI was a big deal this year, what are your thoughts on the format, what you’d like to see improved, changed etc?

Darkee: I think the key level should be higher. Doing level 17 keys just meant bringing classes with high burst aoe damage and stomping through the dungeon. If there was a big m+ tournament right now, it should be at least level 25 for fortified and 23 for tyrannical keys.

Jdotb: I think the first MDI was in a lot of ways an experiment for Blizzard. They announced the MDI very suddenly (and in the middle of ToS progression), and up to that point there was no indication from Blizzard that m+ would ever be anything other than sort of filler content. So hosting a tournament for m+ caught pretty much everyone off guard. I think Blizz wanted gauge the appetite for m+ with a quickie tournament, and clearly there was interest from the community.

Because of that, I’m guessing Blizz went into the first MDI without investing too much into it and probably considered it a learning experience. The collegiate tournament that TESPA sponsored a few months after the MDI already boasted some updates to the UI to give more visual information to the viewers, and I’d expect more of that. Healing and damage meters were a good start, but it would also be nice to see timers on some of the big cooldowns for the group, maybe what trinkets/legendaries everyone has equipped, etc. Obviously you don’t want to make the screen too noisy, but people want to be able to keep track of these things.

There were some gripes about the regional format, i.e., that the 32 teams selected weren’t really the best 32 teams because each region had to have 8. I wouldn’t expect that to change, though, because Blizzard is going to want to keep each region engaged in the tournament. It’s an understandable business decision.

The casting was fine -- none of the personalities were experts on m+, but that made sense because m+ had never been aired before. I would expect to hear some more detailed analysis in the next MDI. Overall I thought the MDI was great and needs little tweaks rather than any kind of big fundamental changes.

Marvink: I didn’t like how different the qualifying and actual tournament were. Pushing high keys and speeding through lower keys are vastly different. From a tournament standpoint, racing is the go to and the qualifiers should be associated with that in some regard, not just how high you can go.

Shakib: I personally really enjoyed watching the tournament. The format is fine as it is. Maybe the lvl difficulty should increase as the tournament goes on. The main downside of the m+ tournament was the short notice that players had to get a team together and practice. You basically just picked 4 other people that wanted to do it and started the qualifying process a couple weeks later if I remember correctly.

Please free Quebec :)
 

What’s the best thing about the Mythic+ system?

Jdotb: The infinite scaling. There is always another mountain to climb. You don’t have to sit around twiddling your thumbs for months at a time like raiders after the last boss is dead.

Marvink: It adds end-game replayability outside of raid times, which get reduced to a single day for a long period of farm time.

Shakib: There’s always something else to do. A new challenge every time you beat a dungeon. Having 13 dungeons makes it so even if you get 1 world first there are 12 more to get and even if you have all 13 you can try and get an even better time.
 

If you could change one or two things about World of Warcraft overall, what would they be?

Darkee: I would add a titanforge cap at base mythic raid level. There is no reason for an item dropping in normal antorus to be better than that same item dropping in mythic. Then you would probably need to scale any warforged mythic raid gear down to base mythic raid gear in any M+ dungeons so that M+ only players aren’t at a disadvantage.

Jdotb: Less consumable gold sinks. More footwear options for trolls.

Mittbitt: If I could change something about World of Warcraft, it would definitely be the titanforging system. I think it is great in allowing players to have something more to look forward to other than getting the item they want, however the range on titanforging has gotten out of hand. With the range of titanforging levels there is almost an infinite amount of grinding to do, where players such as myself still need to farm ToS in hopes of receiving high itemized tier.

Shakib: Fix invisibility potions on demon hunter :(
 

Thanks a lot for the interview and taking the time to share your Mythic experiences and views with us. Before we go, do you have any shoutouts?

Darkee: Shoutout to peakofserenity.com for helping new monks learn the class along with consolidating a bunch of useful information for experienced monks as well.

https://www.twitch.tv/shakibdh
https://www.twitch.tv/jdotb
https://www.twitch.tv/darkee7

Jdotb: All the original m+ slammers and old school Narnia crew. Thanks for doing thousands of carries with me before it was cool. And a big thank you to my Jdotbabes on Twitch, I love you guys.

Marvink: Shoutout to Hadrionz who filled in nicely as our tank the last few days of the week to time a few more high keys and end the week on a high note with another 27 in the bag.

Mittbitt: I don’t feel right shouting out any specific people, however there have been many friends that have gotten me to where I am now in World of Warcraft and I’m thankful for having met all of them.

Shakib: Thank you to all my viewers for the incredible support recently and to all my teammates for being there every single day :)

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7 hours ago, Fethnaid said:

No answers from Shakib? Reason his stuff wasn't included?

Hmm, that's weird, I mustve saved a different version of the doc.. Sorry about that, will add them in now.

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      The source of the mount remains unknown for now. Do you think it will be drop from N'Zoth on Mythic Difficulty?

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      Visions of N'Zoth Class Changes Visions of N'Zoth Development Notes Allied Races & Pandaren Death Knight Textures Added on 8.3 PTR Official Mechagnomes & Vulpera Preview Vulpera Heritage Armor Preview Mechagnomes Heritage Armor Preview Mechagnome & Vulpera Dance Animations Corrupted Rings with Kiss/Curse Effects from Ny'alotha New Essences in Patch 8.3 Ny'alotha Plate Sets Preview Wrathion's Legendary Cloak Preview Alpaca Mounts in Patch 8.3 N'Zoth Serpet Mount in Patch 8.3 Assaults in Patch 8.3 Vulpera Tidbits: Racial Mount, Shaman Totems, Hunter Pet N'Zoth's Model in Patch 8.3 Mechagnomes & Vulpera Unlock Requirements Ny'alotha Raid Boss Names & Descriptions Goblin & Worgen Heritage Armor Sets Preview Visions of N'Zoth Content Update Preview Ny'alotha Raid Testing: October 17th & 18th
    • By Starym
      It's time for more boss tests in Ny'alotha, the Waking City, as Wrathion, Maut, Skitra and Ra-den all get some action on heroic difficulty this Thursday and Friday.
      Raid Testing (source)
      On Thursday, October 17th and Friday, October 18th, we will be continuing our raid tests in Ny’alotha, the Waking City.
      Thursday, October 17th
      Wrathion, the Black Emperor - Heroic Ny’alotha, the Waking City
      13:00 PDT (16:00 EDT, 22:00 CEST)
      Maut - Heroic Ny’alotha, the Waking City
      14:00 PDT (17:00 EDT, 23:00 CEST)
      Friday, October 18th
      The Prophet Skitra - Heroic Ny’alotha, the Waking City
      13:00 PDT (16:00 EDT, 22:00 CEST)
      Ra-den the Despoiled - Heroic Ny’alotha, the Waking City
      14:00 PDT (17:00 EDT, 23:00 CEST)
      As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a test environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session, change the bosses being tested, or cancel a test entirely, due to bugs, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.
      Q: How do I get into the raid zone?
      A: In Zuldazar, Boralus, Dalaran, Orgrimmar, or Stormwind, you may speak to Nexus-Lord Donjon Rade III in order to teleport into the raid zone while it is open for testing. (The option to teleport into a zone will not be available when the zone is not open for testing.)
      Q: What character should I use to test the raid?
      A: Whichever you prefer. We will be scaling players’ effective level to 120 for raid testing, and their item level to an appropriate threshold for the encounter(s) being tested.
      Q: How long does testing last?
      A: The primary purpose of testing is to give us the information we need to balance the encounters, evaluate how mechanics are playing out in practice, and identify bugs. Once we’re satisfied that we’ve received that information for a given boss, we’ll be shutting down testing. Usually this takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, but there are no guarantees.
      Other Patch 8.3 Content:
      Visions of N'Zoth Class Changes Visions of N'Zoth Development Notes Allied Races & Pandaren Death Knight Textures Added on 8.3 PTR Official Mechagnomes & Vulpera Preview Vulpera Heritage Armor Preview Mechagnomes Heritage Armor Preview Mechagnome & Vulpera Dance Animations Corrupted Rings with Kiss/Curse Effects from Ny'alotha New Essences in Patch 8.3 Wrathion's Legendary Cloak Preview Alpaca Mounts in Patch 8.3 N'Zoth Serpet Mount in Patch 8.3 Assaults in Patch 8.3 Vulpera Tidbits: Racial Mount, Shaman Totems, Hunter Pet N'Zoth's Model in Patch 8.3 Mechagnomes & Vulpera Unlock Requirements Ny'alotha Raid Boss Names & Descriptions Goblin & Worgen Heritage Armor Sets Preview Visions of N'Zoth Content Update Preview
    • By Stan
      As is usual with every raid tier, we're looking at the sets found within Ny'alotha in Visions of N'Zoth, starting with Plate!
      Plate Sets from Ny'alotha, the Waking City
      Raid Finder

      Normal Difficulty

      Heroic Difficulty

      Mythic Difficulty

      Other Patch 8.3 Content:
      Visions of N'Zoth Class Changes Visions of N'Zoth Development Notes Allied Races & Pandaren Death Knight Textures Added on 8.3 PTR Official Mechagnomes & Vulpera Preview Vulpera Heritage Armor Preview Mechagnomes Heritage Armor Preview Mechagnome & Vulpera Dance Animations Corrupted Rings with Kiss/Curse Effects from Ny'alotha New Essences in Patch 8.3 Wrathion's Legendary Cloak Preview Alpaca Mounts in Patch 8.3 N'Zoth Serpet Mount in Patch 8.3 Assaults in Patch 8.3 Vulpera Tidbits: Racial Mount, Shaman Totems, Hunter Pet N'Zoth's Model in Patch 8.3 Mechagnomes & Vulpera Unlock Requirements Ny'alotha Raid Boss Names & Descriptions Goblin & Worgen Heritage Armor Sets Preview Visions of N'Zoth Content Update Preview
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