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WoWMar 12, 2024 4:40 pm CT

Dragonflight Season 4 dungeon changes ensure heroic and Mythic 0 dungeons remain relevant

When a new season of content starts in World of Warcraft, it’s fairly normal for dungeon difficulty to rise as item levels go up across the board; however, today Blizzard posted significant dungeon changes coming in Dragonflight Season 4. These changes make an attempt to keep quickly-overshadowed small-group content modes — primarily Heroic dungeons — relevant for longer than a couple weeks, while providing something for people who like small-group content but not the pressure of the timer in Mythic+.

Essentially, it’s a “difficulty squish” but in the opposite direction of usual: upwards.

What’s changing in Season 4 dungeons?

It’s important to understand why Blizzard is making these changes at all: while a jump from one season to the next is the perfect time to experiment with dungeon difficulty and rewards, the reasons why might not be so self-evident.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)
As a part of ongoing development in Dragonflight, the development team identified three issues to address based on community feedback regarding the dungeon system as it is:

  • Heroic dungeons are barely distinct from Normal dungeons at maximum level, and that distinction mostly only matters during a few days after players first reach max level.
  • “Mythic 0” dungeons rapidly lose relevance a few weeks into an expansion, once the M+ season starts, with occasional exceptions for the weekly event quest.
  • The only truly endgame dungeon mode (M+) currently revolves around a timer. This means that other than new mega-dungeons, there isn’t really a place for endgame players who enjoy a more methodical dungeon pacing and gameplay.

This all makes a lot of sense, and rings true with a lot of players. Heroics haven’t been relevant for a long time, Mythic 0 rarely gets any dungeon traffic outside of people attempting to quickly blitz through Ruby Life Pools four times during the Mythic dungeon weekly event when that rolls around, and if you want small group content but don’t like that time pressure, there’s really nothing for you.

So what’s changing? As the picture above demonstrates, essentially the difficulty and reward range for Mythic+ dungeons is being squished upward — making more room for Heroic and Mythic 0 to fill the gap left behind in the matrix of rewards.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)
  • Heroic difficulty and rewards will move up to roughly the current level of Mythic 0. These dungeons will remain available to queue into via Group Finder (default hotkey: “I”), though the item level requirement to queue will also go up accordingly.
  • Mythic 0 difficulty and rewards will move up to roughly the current level of Mythic 8-10 (this is a bit hand-wavy – numerically it’s close to M10 but not having a timer at all or affixes really offsets that quite a bit).
  • The existing Mythic+ system will pick up where that leaves off, such that a Mythic 5 in Season 4 is roughly equivalent in difficulty, rewards, and M+ Rating awarded, to a Mythic 15 today.

It’s admittedly a little confusing since they’re announcing all these changes on top of an expected jump in difficulty and rewards that will happen in the transition from Season 3 to Season 4, so it might be easier to think about it in terms of what would happen if they applied these changes today to our current dungeon set.

  • If you queued for a post-change Heroic dungeon, you would find the difficulty and rewards to be roughly equivalent to a Mythic 0 dungeon today.
  • If you took a group into a post-change Mythic 0 dungeon, you would find the rewards to be like that a current Mythic +10 dungeon — but without the timer or affixes that truly make a +10 a +10. The stated intent is for this difficulty to be on par with a freshly-released megadungeon.
  • If you queued for a post-change Mythic +5 dungeon, you would find it to be as difficult (and have the same rewards) as a current Mythic +15 dungeon. As a side effect, affixes now kick in at levels +2, +5, and +10 (as opposed to +2, +7 and +14).

While loot doesn’t really change, there are some changes to Flightstone and Dreaming Crest rewards (as well as whatever the Season 4 Crest will be called) as a result of this.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)
  • Flightstone earnings for any given Mythic+ will match the equally challenging Mythic+ from previous seasons. This means that a Mythic +2 in Season 4 will give the same number of Flightstones as a Mythic +12 in Season 3 currently does. The rewards will continue to match difficulty, even if what we’re calling those difficulty changes.
  • Bonus Flightstone awards for increasing any party member’s Mythic+ score remain unchanged.
  • Whelpling Crests are no longer available from Mythic+ dungeons[…]. Players can continue to collect Whelpling Crests from many outdoor sources.
  • Players will earn 10 Drake Crests on successful completion of a Mythic 0 dungeon, as there is no timer to beat.
  • Wyrm Crests will be available in Mythic +2 to Mythic +5 dungeons in the same quantities as existing Mythic+ dungeons.
  • Aspect Crests will be available in any Mythic difficulty from +6 and up, also in the same quantities as existing Mythic+ dungeons.

One thing I would have liked to see addressed by this is the scarcity of Flightstones for the average casual player or alt; without spamming an unreasonable number of dungeons, or being a weekly raid player, Flightstones can be the true sticking point in the upgrade process. I don’t think it would be too much to ask for them to be a reward in some amount in Mythic 0, especially since it’s now dropping Drake Crests — a reward on par with a normal raid.

Regardless of that, this is at least a valiant attempt by Blizzard to take two full dungeon difficulties that often fall by the wayside in an expansion — sometimes incredibly early in an expansion, in the case of Heroic dungeons — and attempt to refresh them into something that more of the player base might want to take advantage of. I’m unsure how well this is going to work for Heroic, but with the new rewards it offers I can easily see the new buffed-up Mythic 0 having an audience of people looking for an experience somewhere between the faceroll of Heroic and the time pressure of Mythic+.

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