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Titanforge Podcast Q&A on the Mythic+ vs Raid Loot Debate
02/12/2019 em 14:59
With all the recent discussion about the item level changes to Mythic+ and raid loot, we decided to have a Q&A with the Titanforge Podcast, a show dedicated to high end content. We ask Trell, Dratnos and Tettles about how they feel about the increase in Item Level to Mythic+ and Raid Loot.
Introduction - Overview of Mythic+ vs Raid Loot
Recently there has been a change on the PTR in which the maximum weekly cache reward and the maximum end of dungeon reward
has been increased to a +15
This 5 item level bump makes the weekly cache gear equal in item level to Mythic Ny’alotha gear, while end-of-dungeon loot becomes 5 item levels better than Heroic Ny’alotha. Both of these changes only affect keys done at level 15 or higher - anything lower and the gear will be the same item level relative to the raid as in previous BFA patches. This change may help counteract the removal of titanforging and allow players who focus mostly on Mythic Plus to stay closer to competitive in terms of gear with raiders.
It has also been announced that Carapace of N'zoth and N'zoth
will drop 10 item levels higher
worth of loot (notably including Azerite Armor and Weapons). This would make these the only sources of 485 gear.
This announcement, as well as the increase in item level of the Mythic Plus rewards, have both been controversial. It’s always been true that the best way to gear has been to do all types of content: killing Mythic Raid Bosses, getting to a high PVP rating (and potentially playing a lot of matches there), and doing keys at the item level cap or higher (at least once per week but the more the better). A drawback of this cross pollination comes when players feel obligated to do content they don’t enjoy to get gear for the content they do - PvErs being required to get 2100 rating in PVP week one to be ahead, or PVPers having to Raid and do M+ in order to get overwhelming advantages via trinkets, weapons, and whatever else.
That leads to the question of “should you have to raid for the best gear in the game, or should other legitimate end game options such as PVP and Mythic+ have their own unique gearing solutions?” We, the Titanforge Podcast, come to answer some of the most controversial questions and give our takes on some of the issues.
Hello, my name is
, and I am currently a Balance Expert in the
. I am a top Mythic+ player, competed in MDI #2, and am a raider in one of the top NA guilds, Might - Zul'Jin - Horde - NA. You can find me in the
, or on my
Hi, I'm Dratnos. I stream on
and make videos on
focused on the high-end Mythic Plus and raiding scenes. I also create the Weekly Routes at
and make content for Method. Come by my stream and say hi, or get in touch through Discord!
Hi, I’m Trell. I am a guidewriter for
on Wowhead, and a veteran in the
Peak of Serenity discord
and community. I have been a top ranking tank player focused on high Mythic+ since the launch of BFA. I enjoy competing for the highest keys possible on live servers, and competed in both 2019 MDI seasons. I am a monk player at heart so you can be sure to find lots of Brewmaster-focused content on my Twitter
channel or on my
. Feel free to stop by and say hello!!
How Do You Feel About These Changes to Mythic+ and Raid Rewards?
I think this is a nice rewarding feature for the mythic raiding scene, extended from hardcore players to the players that will get the Cutting Edge achievement for N’zoth at some point in the year 2020. To the rest of the community it is a little frustrating, but in varying degrees. I personally may get Cutting Edge with my current very casual raiding group (1-2 hours per week), and only feel disadvantaged till later in the raid tier. I am a Mythic+ player through and through, and would much rather have a system of loot that would not require me to mythic raid at all for the content I enjoy and stream.
The issue of only certain loot being available at 485 from the last two bosses means that some specializations will miss out on having a weapon available at that level at all. Weapons and azerite armor from those two end bosses will likely make some specs suffer from not being able to scale as high in damage or healing without access to their best azerite/weapons at the same level as other specs.
The biggest issue lies with those players that will never get mythic loot at all, but would still like to push keys. Without the flow of titanforged gear from mythic+, mythic raiders will pull far ahead in character power a few weeks into the tier. On the flipside, mythic+ players will have access to a heroic-level (and slightly higher) set of gear very quickly in the first few weeks of the tier. Over time the gear level will swing much more in favor of mythic raiders who also like to push keys, with less ways than in previous tiers for non-raiders to catch up.
It’s good when players can earn uniquely powerful items for being able to do the hardest content in the game. Doing a +10 (or even a +15) key for the week requires nowhere near the commitment, coordination, or skill that slaying N’zoth (or his Carapace) on Mythic requires, so it seems fair that those feats should be rewarded.
That being said, there also exists a type of player who wishes to exclusively play Mythic Plus. This player may not have the ability to raid due to the hours they work, or they may simply prefer to play the Mythic Plus game mode. In previous tiers, this player has been able to keep their gear within a few percentage points of top mythic raiders, after a few months of the patch at least, with only their Mythic Plus rewards. There may be specific items, like powerful trinkets or weapons, that they cannot have, but on the whole their gear eventually became comparable to Mythic raiders in terms of item level.
This patch, it seems likely that a player who gears up through Mythic raid and who is able to kill those last two bosses will be dramatically more powerful than a player who exclusively plays Mythic plus - to an extent that tells this player they need to be Mythic raiding to remain competitive. I think this is a shame - the Mythic Plus only playstyle makes a lot of sense to me, and it is something that I think the game should support. Players like Jdotb who spend their whole day pushing their limits in keys of the very highest level should be able to continue doing that without being outgeared by more than a little by people who raid.
I’m not sure what the solution is - I think I’d start with an additional bump to the weekly chest for having completed (perhaps even only if the key was timed) a key of level 20 or higher.
"This is something that we are discussing and we are working on a plan that we are working to roll out in the very near future but we're excited about the idea of embracing the Old God threat, this time around, to replace Titanforging with something a bit different, with something a bit more twisted and corrupt, that also ideally works to preserve the value of item level and the correlation between doing difficult content and getting the best rewards." - Ion Hazzikostas
With what Ion said in that Developer Preview, the change of the base and weekly cache loot for Mythic Plus dungeons makes a lot of sense. Five item levels over heroic and a base mythic loot cache seems pretty reasonable for most tiers to me. This is especially true for the relative difficulty of 15’s compared to first bosses of Mythic Raid. However, the amount of time and dedication that is required to clear bosses like N’zoth or Carapace of N’zoth is definitely not equivalent to doing a 15. There should be some scalable rewards based on key level, similar to PVP’s gearing system (breakpoints at 1600, 1800, 2100, and 2400 rating), for M+. A huge issue is just the replayability of M+ and the fact that you get loot at the end of dungeons really sucks for the way gearing goes for players.
The major issue here is that loot is loot regardless of the content that you are doing. This forces players to feel obligated to do as much content as humanly possible in the first few weeks to accelerate the gearing process. PVP has wholly differing balancing to their game, and that works. They really need to separate M+ and Raid in a way that does not require unique balancing that would make the game more confusing. They already do this somewhat with PVP Azerite being better in PVP, so there definitely can be M+ Azerite that is just better in M+. I personally feel as if that would create for a better system. It is really hard to balance 3 separate and fully legitimate gearing and playing options in the game, which is the core of the issue that has arisen. Personally, I believe you should need to play multiple aspects of the game to get the absolute best gear, but in the same vein I do not believe you should feel pressured or forced to do content you do not like.
Should Keys Need to Be Timed?
In terms of rewarding heroic raid loot +5 item levels from completing a +15 keystone at all (out of time), this seems to go against the stance taken by Warcraft Devs that the hardest content should reward the highest loot. While I believe 15’s are very challenging for the playerbase, actually completing one by depleting it and using the depletion buff (shoutout Bwonsamdi) is relatively easy and can be done over a long period of time. It would make more sense if the 15 needed to be done in time, much to the playerbase’ dismay. I think 15 is a reasonable level to drop Heroic +5 item levels of loot. It should help mythic+ players stay on par with mythic raiders in terms of gear for a good portion of the tier, until a few months in when many guilds start downing the final boss.
I think that rewarding keys completed out of time makes a lot of sense for most cases - if timing keys becomes a requirement for loot, there will be an awful lot more leaving keys early and, I believe, general toxicity within the M+ community. Even for the rewards of one Mythic item, 10 ilvls lower than the best Mythic items, from the weekly chest, I think that out of time is totally reasonable, as it’s still a time commitment and work went in to getting the key to level 15 in the first place. I do think that instituting an in-time requirement for gear above and beyond that point, such as at the +20 or higher level, would make sense, to avoid a culture of intentionally depleted key runs for massive rewards.
Honestly, I hate the concept of getting base level mythic loot with a system that promotes death running keys such as the Bwonsamdi / N’zoth buff have and will continue to promote. Dratnos is absolutely correct that it creates far more toxicity and creates an even stronger leaver culture if there is no benefit to finishing a depleted key. At the same time though, I do not think you should be rewarded with mythic gear out of your cache if you deplete the 15, so maybe there is a compromise where you still get the end of dungeon loot while not getting the cache upgrade for a deplete.
How Do You Feel About the Item Level? Should the Weekly Chest be Changed?
If we’re speaking purely on difficulty, a 15 out of time will not be the same as killing Wrathion on Mythic come 8.3, but they both reward the same item level loot. At the same time putting it at a 20 really does not make a ton of sense either due to the skill gap that exists currently in M+. I think allowing for many segments of the playerbase just makes the most sense to me. Why does it have to be capped at a 10? JB really hit home for me whenever he said
“I just dislike that m+ isn't given a way to earn similar rewards. M+ can be literally as hard as you want it to be, so just tell me what level to run for 485s” -
I think 15’s make sense for lower level stuff, but it really should be on par with raid. I think this expansion changing it is a bit out of place, but if people are doing M+ for M+ sake and not doing it to get gear for raid it makes WAY more sense. Why is the only end game for M+ beyond doing ONE weekly key currently going for Raider.io score? M+ should honestly be done by people who enjoy doing M+, creating an in game leaderboard and giving incentives to playing beyond loot should be the goal here.
I think the weekly cache hitting mythic item level is a good thing. I think it is very difficult to balance raid loot and mythic+ loot to make it fair for both sides of the playerbase. To go further beyond, I think a system could be added to allow one or two bonus rolls to be used on the mythic+ weekly cache rather than on a mythic boss. To a mythic+ only player, bonus rolls are going to be fairly useless without the chance of heroic raid loot titanforging anymore. I think mythic boss rolls would generally still be priority for raiders, and this would allow mythic+ players to have similar gearing opportunities but with the restriction of dungeon gear. My idea of the system would be 1 bonus roll unlocked to use on the weekly cache at +15 in time for the previous week, or 2 bonus rolls for +20 in time (as a rough unfinished idea). I am happy that the situation has improved in the first place though, weekly cache item level being bumped up to the mythic tier level is a great change.
It’s important to remember that many people play World of Warcraft in different ways, and that perspective informs their opinion about how gear should work. Mythic Plus loot has always been a challenge to get right, since it’s infinitely farmable in a way that lockout-based Raids are not. For many players, a problem that will be exacerbated by the loot structure in 8.3 is the feeling of being required to do content other than the type of content you enjoy. PVP and PVE content was historically separated with tier bonuses on PvE gear and stats such as resilience on PvE gear, but as time has gone on and the game has gotten simpler it’s hard to not feel obligated to do all the content for the most amount of opportunities for gear. Whether this should change back to the ways of old or not is an open question, but for many players the new system is far from perfect.
On Titanforge Podcast episode #25, they discuss the Raid vs Mythic+ rewards at the beginning of their podcast if you want to hear more of their thoughts and discussion on the topic.
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