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WoWAug 2, 2022 10:00 am CT

How Fated raids and rewards will work in Shadowlands Season 4

Shadowlands Season 4 starts on August 2 and there are a host of incoming features — new Mythic+ difficulty dungeons, for example — but one of the most novel and intriguing is the Fated affixes coming for Shadowlands raid instances Castle Nathria, Sanctum of Domination, and Sepulcher of the First Ones on a rotating system. These affixes increase the difficulty on the boss fights within the instance, while the raid chosen to be Fated that week will drop special Fated gear that’s of a higher ilevel than usual.

How Fated difficulty works

It’s similar to, but not exactly the same as, Mythic+ dungeons — a way to get better loot and some difficulty scaling out of raid content, especially in the period of Shadowlands where we won’t be seeing any new raids. So how are Fated raids going to work?

If you’re wondering what the schedule for which raid is Fated in which week is going to bne, CM Linxy explains in this forum post that the schedule starts on August 2 and continues until the rotation is later removed. Why will the rotation be removed?

Originally Posted by Linxy (Official Post)

Fated Raids will be on the following weekly rotation:

  • August 2 – Fated Castle Nathria
  • August 9 – Fated Sanctum of Domination
  • August 16 – Fated Sepulcher of the First Ones
  • August 23 – Fated Castle Nathria
  • August 30 – Fated Sanctum of Domination
  • September 6 – Fated Sepulcher of the First Ones
  • And so on until the rotation is removed and all raids are Fated later in the season.

While a raid is Fated, it will only be available in Fated difficulty, but the other two raids will still be available that week in their non-Fated difficulty.

So that’s the first we’ve heard about this but we’ll eventually be expected to transition from current raid difficulty to Fated for all Shadowlands raids. Considering that Fated raids have multiple tiers of difficulty from LFR to Mythic, one wonders if there will be separate toggles to engage Fated mode or if there will simply only be Fated raids after a certain point in time.

The item level of gear dropping in any of the three raids when it is Fated increases. All Fated raids drop the same ilevel of gear, and it’s significantly higher than even Sepulcher of the First Ones loot ilevel.

  • Fated raid LFR drops ilevel 265 gear, with the end boss gear being ilevel 272. That means that running LFR in the Fated raid will give you gear roughly equivalent to Heroic Sepulcher of the First Ones.
  • Fated raid Normal difficulty provides you with ilevel 278 gear, with 285 for end boss level loot, putting it on par with Mythic Sepulcher gear.
  • Fated raid Heroic difficulty will see ilevel 291/297 gear, better than any gear that currently drops in the game.
  • Fated raid Mythic difficulty delivers the best gear before Dragonflight, with ilevel 304/311 gear possible.

The difficulty of the week’s Fated raid is also increased. Whether it’s Castle Nathria, Sanctum of Domination, or Sepulcher, expect the fights to just plain be harder even without the affixes. Things like damage to players and health of bosses will be increased, making each fight just plain mathematically harder. But in addition to that, we’ll also see those aforementioned Fated affixes, which will serve to introduce new mechanics making the various fights in the raid harder and require new strategies to complete them.

How Fated Powers alter the encounters

There are four affixes and one of them will be applied to every Fated raid, with a different one randomly selected each week. This means that one of these four affixes will always be applied to the encounters inside the raid, meaning that your previous winning strategies may be complicated or even impossible and you’ll need to come up with a whole new plan to defeat them.

The four affixes are as follows:

A Chaotic Essence begins casting Chaotic Destruction, which will essentially blow up the raid if it gets it done.

Trying to stop it causes it to summon motes and every Chaotic Mote spawned by the Chaotic Essence channels damage into a nearby player. The goal seems to be to kill as many motes as possible while working on the Chaotic Essence, getting a stacking buff of 2% increased damage done, 2% increased healing done, and 2% absorbs done for 25 sec.

That buff stacks up for every Chaotic Mote killed before the end of the 15 seconds from the time the Chaotic Essence arrives to party. It feels like the goal here is to get everybody as much of the Chaotic Essence buff as possible, essentially fighting hard to keep the Essence from casting Chaotic Destruction and getting as many motes dead as can be arranged. Going into later stages of the fight with 20% or more bonus damage, healing and absorbs for a 25 second period is like a defense and offensive cooldown use at the same time.

This Fated Power should be familiar to you if you did the Ven’thyr Council fight back in Wrath of the Lich King — a player gets charged up with the stacking damage over time spell that must be removed, but when it is, it spawns Creation Sparks that target random parts of the map and must be soaked by a player. They’ll buff anyone who soaks them for 20 seconds, getting a 15% speed increase to casting speed, attack speed, cooldown recharge and the speed of your Damage/Healing over time ticks, as well as 45% movement speed. And this one stacks, so it can kill people very fast if allowed to stay on them, but it will also buff the heck out of them if they can soak a few Creation Sparks in a row.

Just like in Wrath, if the Spark hits the ground and no one is there to soak its buff, it explodes and damages everyone. Quite painful, don’t let it do that.

This Fated Power is a little hard to explain but not too bad to contend with in practice. The boss summons a pulsing damage effect that, when removed, forms a barrier that shields pretty much everything trying to kill the players with a shared 400 absorb shield. There will also be an NPC that spawns and they can be healed to bring down the shield. If the players don’t get the shield down, it blows up and inflicts damage to the whole raid. But if you get it down first, it blows up and hurts the enemies. And also, the players get a 25% buff to damage, healing and absorption for 40 seconds.

Drops an incredibly annoying NPC emitter into a fight that constantly tries to cast spells which will deal a lot of Cosmic damage to the entire raid if successful. The Emitter can’t be hurt until you hit it with an interrupt, which will deal a little damage to your raid but keep the whole of your raid from taking a lot more damage. Once the Emitter is beaten, it gives the whole raid up to 10% Mastery, 10% Versatility, 10% Critical Strike Chance and 8 Avoidance.

Remember, these four affixes will only be applied one per raid, and they contain a buff mechanic that rewards players for learning the mechanics and devising a way to deal with the raid almost as if it were a new place.

How do we get gear from Fated raids?

Now, it’s true that the ilevel of the rewards from these raids will be substantially increased. CM Scarlizard mentioned in the initial post on Season 4 and its reward structure that the Season isn’t expected to be as long as a typical Season.

Originally Posted by Scarlizard (Official Post)

Season 4 presents a unique opportunity for us to try some experimental changes that might be too volatile for a regular season, but could still provide us with valuable data and feedback we can use to improve the game long-term. It’s worth noting that the systems we’ll be talking about today are designed around specific goals to fit with Season 4’s shorter runtime – it’s very possible that even if they’re received well, they may undergo significant iteration to match the cadence & intended progression of a normal season of content.

As part of the Season there are special Broker vendors who can be found outside of each raid, and which sell Weapons, Trinkets, and other items from the three raid instances boosted to normal Fated raid ilevel. The catch? These items cost Puzzling Cartel Dinar, one Dinar per item. Once you’ve gotten and spent 3 such Puzzling Cartel Dinar, the vendors go away and you can’t interact with them anymore on that character. That means you can use the Puzzling Cartel Dinar to fill any gaping holes in your inventory, but getting and spending all of them too fast might mean you end up with an item you wanted at the time but now have seen drop several times, while the item you ended up wishing you had can’t be acquired because you spent your Dinar too early.

You’ll need to kill various Fated bosses while their raid is the Fated one for the week — so you can’t just blitz through all three raids for maximum Dinars — to earn 1 Dinar. The exact amount of bosses you’ll need to kill is still a work in progress as Scarlizard tells us it’s being adjusted so that it should take you between 4 and 5 weeks to get all three Dinars. You’ll also be able to upgrade your normal Fated items to Heroic or Mythic levels by killing Heroic or Mythic bosses — each boss will have 100% drop chance on the materials that upgrade items and you’ll require 20 of these materials to upgrade a single item. If you’re routinely clearing Heroic or Mythic difficulty, you can even have enough upgrade shards to buy a Normal item for a Dinar and then immediately upgrade it to Heroic or Mythic.

So that’s how Fated raids are going to work in Shadowlands Season 4. Once a week, one of the three raids in Shadowlands will get a bump in difficulty and one of four Fated Powers affixed to it. That raid will reward higher ilevel gear and you’ll be able to get that gear from the raid, buy up to three pieces with Puzzling Cartel Dinars, and used upgrade shards from Heroic and Mythic bosses to upgrade any Normal raid item to Heroic or Mythic (or Heroic items to Mythic) so that you can make sure to fill in holes that result from RNG.

Originally posted July 17, 2022. Updated August 2, 2022.

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