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The War Within > WoWApr 19, 2024 4:00 pm CT

Revisit hell with the Mythic+ dungeon rotation in The War Within Season 1

The datamined Mythic+ dungeon rotation for The War Within Season 1 had a few shocks. Let’s just get this out of the way right now: The War Within is still firmly in alpha, and we’re months away from players seeing this content or tuning passes on it. It’s extremely premature to react with anything along the lines of “approaching nightmare,” “Satan’s chocolate box,” or “The universe continues to emphasize that it is fundamentally indifferent to our suffering,” but as someone who ran Siege of Boralus the same way you’d run headfirst into a brick wall, I’d like to think the terror is not entirely unfounded.

But yes, let’s dial this back a bit. The affix environment is very different now, and that’s going to make a huge difference on its own. We’ll talk about that in a moment.

In The War Within Season 1, we’ll be getting the following dungeons:

  • The Stonevault (new)
  • Ara-Kara, City of Echoes (new)
  • The Dawnbreaker (new)
  • City of Threads (new)
  • Siege of Boralus from Battle for Azeroth
  • Mists of Tirna Scithe from Shadowlands
  • The Necrotic Wake from Shadowlands
  • Grim Batol from Cataclysm

We only know a little about the four new dungeons, so let’s set those aside. The four older dungeons are actually a pretty interesting assortment:

Siege of Boralus

Siege was a polarizing place in BfA, and that’s putting it lightly. It’s always been one of my favorites at the M0 level because it’s a beautiful, atmospheric dungeon with a great story. However, Siege really struggled to find any affixes that didn’t turn it into a dumpster fire. It was also a tough place to balance, because Alliance and Horde groups had different start points and trash for lore reasons.

With the elimination of Quaking, Grievous, Necrotic, Teeming, and a timer on Bolstering, Siege suddenly looks more appetizing. I’m optimistic that it’s going to be a better experience than it was in BfA, though admittedly that’s not a high bar to clear. For reference: Bolstering the Spotters and using them to kill everything in sight was once the most efficient way to get through Siege.

(“It could be worse,” you whisper to yourself. “It could be Tol Dagor.”)

Mists of Tirna Scithe

Mists was one of the easier dungeons in the Shadowlands rotation, but it still had its quirks. On high Tyrannical keys, you’d spend more time killing Ingra Maloch than you’d spend killing some raid bosses, and Mistcaller became a truly annoying boss on some affixes. (Does anyone miss Explosive there? Anyone?) Groups could also get a little toxic if someone screwed up the maze, though that’s mostly a non-issue with addons or WeakAuras.

I’m curious to see what Blizzard does with covenant bonuses both here and in Necrotic Wake (below). Having the Night Fae skip, mushroom buffs, and graveyards were significant perks. Is everyone going to get them, will they be eliminated entirely, or something in-between?

The Necrotic Wake

NW was one of the more popular dungeons owing to its general ease and the chance at a mount drop. However, as with Mists, it could be a slog on Tyrannical, particularly when your group didn’t parcel out the weapon drops appropriately. Again — do those stay? Go? What about the Goliaths and Anima Exhaust? Nobody knows.

NW was otherwise notable for having bosses where one inexperienced or distracted player could wreak havoc, so I anticipate a settling-in period later. If you were a tank in Shadowlands Season 1, you probably also remember getting annihilated by the Stitchwerks a few times before they came in for a well-deserved nerf. Tuning here will be key.

Grim Batol

Hoo boy.

This is potentially the most problematic dungeon on the list. Blizzard’s efforts to resurrect older dungeons for M+ have yielded mixed results. We’ve gotten some bangers out of this (e.g., Freehold, Junkyard, Court of Stars) and some … less fun experiences (e.g., Lower Kara). Where Grim Batol is going to fall on this spectrum is anyone’s guess. I saw a lot of the place back when pugging Cataclysm Heroics was no joke, and it wasn’t forgiving for the unprepared. Blizzard’s generally been pretty good about smoothing over the rough points in the older 5-mans, though I still quail at the thought of Forgemaster Throngus and Drahga Shadowburner on Tyrannical.

Towelliee confirmed in an interview with George Velev and Andrew Desousa that the bombing run will still be there. Depending on how this gets handled, this could be a very good thing, or it could wind up bricking keys.

Again, The War Within is currently in alpha, so balance and tuning for these dungeons could change before release — we’ll have to wait and see how the finished product shakes out when the expansion launches later this year.

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