How Much Does Mythic Plus Matter in Dragonflight?

Looking back now at Shadowlands, and all the issues I had with it, I’m sort of surprised I returned for Dragonflight with as much gusto as I did. As someone who absolutely hates the gameplay loop of Mythic Plus dungeons (and honestly, doesn’t even care much for 5-man content), a big draw of this expansion was that world content would be a viable alternate gear path for players. In the early days of the expansion, I started to doubt the truth of the situation, and now that I’ve had a few months to really feel it out, I think I’ve decided that it’s technically, but not completely, viable.

Here’s why: the amount of time it takes to get geared up, especially at the start of the expansion, is an important component of whether or not something feels viable, and Blizzard has stubbornly clung to time gating gearing from every source but one – Mythic Plus dungeons, which you can run as many of in a week as you can find time and groups for. Sure, the M+ currency, Valor, had caps until about a week and a half ago, but if you were lucky, or very very determined, you could be kitted out in full M+ gear within days of hitting 70. I know this, because it’s precisely what my husband did.

Fortunately, I had a bit of luck of my own with weekly quests and world event boxes, so I wasn’t in terrible shape when Elemental Storms started spawning in mid-December, offering yet another route to getting gear that was a bit better than LFR, but not quite as good as normal raids. Since normal raid gear for me is pretty much the peak of each tier, that feels pretty good.

This past Wednesday, I got my first piece upgrade from a raid drop. Now, that isn’t counting the vault pieces I’d picked up (although I think at this point, I’m about 50/50 for getting either an upgrade or something to disenchant for purple mats), but as far as raw item level is concerned, I’ve done fairly well this tier. I did do a handful of low mythic keys with folks from the guild, but as you can see from my M+ score in the screenshot above, I’ve done very little of that content overall. I haven’t timed any key higher than a 6, and at this point, I don’t expect to go back to doing any mythic keystone dungeons, hopefully for the rest of the expansion.

That said, raiding normal with my guild is the only group activity in World of Warcraft I have any real interest in, and I probably would have done whatever I had to in order to meet requirements. I have no intention of pushing harder content, so I don’t really need better gear on my main than what I’m currently kitted out in – I even managed to complete my four piece tier set this week with a vault drop and a catalyst charge.

Which means it’s time to start looking at how my alts are faring.

The only group content my warlock has done since hitting 70 was one set of Timewalking dungeons for one of the weeklies. I’m not even sure she did leveling dungeons, and I’m positive she hasn’t done a single heroic or mythic one. I haven’t taken her to LFR. The majority of what she’s wearing has either come from the weekly “Aiding the Accord” quest, or from various bags & boxes that you get for participating in world events like the Siege on Dragonbane Keep and The Community Feast.

It’s taken forever, but as far as my guild is concerned at least, I could take her to raid if I so chose.

My death knight character hasn’t had quite as much luck, but I’m still seeing a path for her as well that doesn’t include doing 5 mans. I’ve had somewhat limited playtime recently, but I’m fairly certain a couple of upgrades from doing elemental storms, and perhaps a crafted or two will boost her over the sticky place she is now that’s making upgrades hard to come by. She has a few pieces that are still left over from leveling quest rewards, and if I can replace those, it should bring her item level up enough to start getting actual upgrades from open world content again.

Mythic Plus has become an endgame in its own right, and it’s clearly here to stay. While I’m not 100% pleased with the pace of gearing up a new character without it, I am glad that other methods feel comparable in everything but speed. The rework of the crafting system is pretty excellent for freshly leveled characters, in that the gear is both not prohibitively expensive to craft and feels like a solid starting point. While I wish world quests were more abundant (and more generous with the item levels they reward), I’m mostly content with my experiences getting adequate gear while living a dungeon-light life.

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