Blizzard outlines gear changes in BFA Season 2 but leaves Mythic+ players frustrated
Even though they’ve never officially been called “Seasons” until now, World of Warcraft has had a rough concept of Seasons for a while, as item-level caps naturally go up whenever a new raid tier releases. Of course, since Legion introduced Mythic+ dungeons and Blizzard decided to raise the minimum item level of drops from pre-existing content, keeping track of what provides what item-level gear and what requires what item level to run has become more and more confusing. Thankfully, Ion “Watcher” Hazzikostas posted a succinct, straightforward breakdown of all the changes that will be arriving when Battle for Azeroth Season 2 arrives on January 22.
Most of the changes boil down to “item level rewards and difficulty are increasing,” but players will want to take note that the Darkshore Warfront is going to also require a minimum item level of 335 to queue for, up from 320. While this new item level should be easily obtainable by alts (thanks to the increase in dungeon-reward item levels), it still may mean characters who just barely made the cutoff for queuing will find themselves with some more farming to do when the Season rolls over.
While this may be frustrating for some, it’s still relatively balanced by the other changes. Of course, the same can’t necessarily be said for Mythic+ players — take a look at the full breakdown below, then we’ll talk about why exactly that is.
We have a series of blogs accompanying the release of the upcoming Battle of Dazar’alor raid, the new Mythic Keystone season, and the new PvP season, offering deep dives into each of those features. But in the meantime, the community clearly has a ton of questions (and some confusion) about exactly what is and isn’t changing. Should you be spending or saving your bonus rolls? What should you expect from the weekly Mythic Keystone cache next week? What’s up with the Azerite vendor?
For those of you who played Legion, the process will largely be familiar, though in Battle for Azeroth we’re trying to align the opening of a new raid tier with the start of new PvP and Mythic+ seasons, to avoid some of the awkward item-level leapfrogging that we saw during Legion (e.g. the Mythic Keystone cap repeatedly going up to 15 and then back down to 10). Here’s a succinct summary of what is and isn’t changing next week, when Battle of Dazar’alor opens on Normal and Heroic difficulties, and PvP and M+ Season 2 begin:
- The maximum possible item level will go up by 30, from 395 to 425.
- Arathi/Stromgarde rewards will remain as they were previously.
- Darkshore rewards will go up by 15 item levels, so that the outdoor world boss and the once-per-cycle quest both award item-level 400 gear.
- The power of all enemies in the Darkshore Warfront will also go up by roughly 15%, and the item level required to queue for Darkshore will go up from 320 to 335.
- Special note: The two Darkshore changes will only take effect after the current Warfront cycle has ended. So if Alliance is attacking Darkshore in a given region when Season 2 begins, and has 3 days left in that attack cycle, that Darkshore will still give Season 1 rewards.
- This is being done to avoid any unfairness to people who had already completed the Warfront or done the world boss just prior to the season rollover.
Kul Tiras and Zandalar World Content
- Emissary weapon and armor rewards will scale up to 385 (based on a player’s own item level), up from 370.
- The loot from Kul Tiras and Zandalar world bosses will remain item level 355, on par with Normal Uldir.
- The rewards for in-progress emissary quests may reroll or update when Season 2 begins, though the quests themselves won’t reset or change.
- The item level of rewards from max-level Normal, Heroic, and Mythic dungeons will go up by 30. Baseline rewards will be 340 from Normal, 355 from Heroic, and 370 from non-Keystone Mythic.
- Difficulty of Heroic and Mythic dungeons will also go up by roughly 30%; Normal dungeons are unchanged.
- Mythic Keystones will go down by an additional 3 levels when the season transition occurs, to account for this difficulty increase. So if you do an 11 this coming week, instead of getting a Level 10 keystone when Season 2 starts, expect a 7.
- Mythic+ rewards will also go up by 30 item levels; however, during the first week of Season 2, rewards from end-of-run chests will be capped at Mythic 6 quality (item level 385), and the chest you open next week will contain Season 1 rewards if you do a Mythic+ run this week. (So, for example, if you do a Mythic 10 during the final week of Season 1, you’ll get a Season 1 item level 385 piece and 60 Residuum from your first Season 2 chest.)
- The weekly cache that becomes available in the second week of the season will not be affected by this cap, so if a player does a Mythic 10 dungeon during the first week, they will get a Mythic 10 reward (item level 410+) from their cache the following week.
- Season 2 rewards from rated PvP sources are 30 item levels higher than they were in Season 1, including Conquest rewards and the weekly chest.
- End-of-match rewards will be capped at 385 during the first week of the season, to maintain parity with other endgame systems until Mythic Battle of Dazar’alor becomes available.
- All epic Azerite armor of item level 370 or higher, obtained from Battle of Dazar’alor, world quest emissaries, Season 2 dungeons, or Season 2 PvP, will have a fifth outer ring with additional spec-specific traits.
- This outer ring only requires a Heart level of 15 to access.
- Titan Residuum is not reset or capped between seasons.
- The Residuum vendor will offer item level 385, 400, and 415 pieces for sale in Season 2.
- A random item-level 385 token costs 165 (as it does today)
- A random 400 costs 675
- A random 415 costs 1725
- A specific item-level 415 armor piece costs 7150
- Just as Residuum costs roughly triple with each 15-ilvl tier, so will rewards:
- Disenchanting an item level 400 Azerite piece yields 115 Residuum
- Disenchanting an item level 415 Azerite piece yields 365 Residuum
- A weekly cache for a Mythic 4 in Season 2 awards roughly the same 60 Residuum that a Mythic 10 did in Season 1; a Mythic 10 in Season 2 will award ~625 Residuum
- Seals of Wartorn Fate are not being reset, and the same currency will work for Battle of Dazar’alor and Season 2 bonus rolls; the cap on how many can be held at once remains at 5.
If anything remains unclear or seems to be missing from the above, please let us know and we’ll try to clarify as soon as possible.
So Mythic+ players, did you notice how the maximum (non-Warforged) item-level reward from a weekly Mythic+ cache is 410? That’s currently 5 item levels lower than Mythic raid gear or the PVP cache that Gladiator-level PVPers will get from their weekly cache. If you’re a player who focuses exclusively on Mythic+ dungeons — which Blizzard has said are meant as alternatives to running raid content — that means that you have to rely on Warforging in order to receive the best possible gear the game has to offer. And, given the nature of Mythic+ dungeons, getting the best possible gear is paramount in order to push keys as high as possible.
The alternative is, of course, that Mythic+ players run Mythic raids to get ilevel 415 gear. But given Blizzard’s seeming intent to offer Mythic+ as an alternative to raiding, this just seems like it’s forcing players to partake in content they dislike in order to best complete the content they do like.
Sure, five item levels might not seem like much, but when the maximum baseline reward for cutting-edge raiders and PVPers is 415, it feels silly to limit cutting-edge Mythic+ players to lesser gear. Moreover, it’s frustrating to not have any sort of accompanying explanation for the disparity. Does Blizzard view Mythic+ content as easier than Mythic raid content? Is there a reason they don’t make the weekly cache’s best reward come from a +15 Keystone instead of a +10? Who knows!
And unfortunately, the Residuum amounts are only lucrative enough that players will need to earn ~3 weeks of max-level caches to have enough for a random 415 piece. Specific pieces will take much longer to earn, barring excessive farming and scrapping.
Don’t get me wrong — I love that Blizzard went out of their way to outline the upcoming item-level changes, and I like that they’re listening to feedback in terms of making Azerite Armor more easily attainable. But the decision to limit Mythic+ cache rewards below raiding and PVP equivalents is just another baffling, unexplained choice in a series of such choices that have plagued Battle for Azeroth.
Please consider supporting our Patreon!
Join the Discussion
Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our commenting and community guidelines.