This week Blizzard rolled out several hotfixes to dungeons. A handful came with the patch on Tuesday and were undocumented, but several more were introduced with patch notes on Friday
. The changes were extensive enough that it will take a while to be able to fully appreciate how they’ll impact dungeons, but some of the changes had effects that will be immediately apparent.Overseer Korgus's Incendiary Rounds no longer stacks.
This is a huge change to the final boss of Tol Dagor because it eliminates the only lethal mechanic of the fight. Korgus has a few abilities he’ll use, but the only one that consistently killed people was Explosive Burst; more specifically, it was when Explosive Burst cast twice in a row. The reason this was dangerous was because you received damage from two Explosive Bursts in rapid succession, which hurt, but also because each Explosive Burst would apply a stack of Incendiary Rounds. The Incendiary Rounds DoT was also punishing, and if you got two stacks of it combined with the initial damage of Explosive Burst, it was very hard to keep someone alive. So far as I’m aware, the tendency of Explosive Burst to happen consecutively is completely RNG, so this fight was very frustrating because you always felt at the mercy of good luck. Now that it’s not possible to get multiple stacks of Incendiary Rounds, the RNG has been scaled back considerably and the fight is much more manageable.Heavy Cannon's Cannon Blast damage should now scale with the Keystone Level of the dungeon.
Another enormous change for Tol Dagor. The cannons around the ramparts of upper Tol Dagor previously did not scale with the level of the keystone, meaning the cannons got consistently weaker as the key level went higher and higher. At high levels, it was never worth pulling the trash near the cannons because the mob health is excessively high (since it’s intended to be killed with the aid of the cannons) and the cannons were ineffectual. Now that the cannons deal the same relative damage across all key levels, the trash around the cannons becomes trivially easy again and can be killed in half a dozen or less shots. Expect to see the more adventurous groups try to find ways to drag all sorts of mobs from inside the prison out to the cannons for speed clears.Elder Leaxa will now only spawn one Blood Mirror clone.
Leaxa is a boss that has frustrated the M+ community since her inception. Her abilities are fairly straightforward and easy to deal with, but she had a fatal flaw: she would begin spawning an increasing number of clones as the fight went on. She would spawn one clone the first time, then two, and presumably eventually three although I’m not sure anyone ever made it to that point. The problem with more clones was that they all cast Blood Bolt, a spell that did enough damage at higher levels to one shot anyone in the group (including the tank). When only Leaxa is present, it’s simple to interrupt Blood Bolt, and when one clone is out you get squeezed a bit depending on the number of interrupts in your party, but when two clones were out you simply never had enough interrupts to stop Blood Bolts from going off for more than about 10 seconds. This meant Leaxa had to be dead no matter what shortly after spawning the second set of clones or else your group was going to wipe quickly and painfully. This usually wasn’t an issue on Fortified, but the increased health values of bosses on Tyrannical meant that groups had to resort to having their healer start the dungeon in a DPS spec to have any chance at meeting the DPS check, and anything +20 above was mathematically impossible currently. So this change now makes Underrot possible on Tyrannical week which has been a long time coming.War Matrons now have true sight.
It had become almost universally accepted that you skipped the trash in Underrot up to the first boss with Shroud of Concealment because you wanted to use Bloodlust on Leaxa and because the trash was so awful to fight. Blizzard nipped that strategy in the bud by giving the War Matrons (who patrol up and down both bridges at the start of Underrot) true sight meaning they can detect players who are stealthed, invisible, using invis pots, etc. It is still possible to utilize a death skip, but that will usually mean burning a battle res instantly at the start of the dungeon. On the bright side, Blizzard nerfed several of the mobs at the start of Underrot, so the trash may be worth doing now.Vol’zith now only casts Whispers of Power on healers.
A common strategy on last boss of Shrine was to have the healer outrange the Whispers of Power debuff, forcing the boss to cast it on DPS (who could do much more damage with it). This sped the fight up considerably and also encouraged groups to pull the trash around Vol’zith during the boss encounter to make use of the damage buff. Now Vol’zith will only cast Whispers on the healer, and once the healer has the debuff he will cease trying to cast it. This slows down the fight, and Shrine is already a lengthy dungeon, so potentially expect more changes to this boss to account for the marked loss in kill speed.Avatar of Sethraliss now has two healing checkpoints: 70% and 100%.
Avatar was one of the longest fights in M+ thanks to several intermissions which were immediately proceeded by new add spawns. This made the fight incredibly mana intensive on Tyrannical weeks, as the healer not only had to contend with constant group damage from Pulse but also had to do a lot of single target healing on the Avatar itself. Single target heals tend not to be super mana efficient, so most healers had to resort to spamming mana hungry heals if they wanted to be quick. The removal of one of the healing checkpoints (it used to be 40%, 70% and 100%) means one less add phase which will make the fight much less of a struggle.
There were several abilities that were nerfed by at least 25% which you can read about in the patch notes. Some of those are important, but they don’t need much explanation -- you just get dunked on less forcefully now.
All in all, I agreed with most of the changes made this past week barring a couple (like the War Matron true sight change). Almost all of the changes made the dungeons easier, which is usually a good thing, although I think we’ll end up seeing Tol Dagor’s timer get reduced dramatically at some point. That dungeon (which got a 3 minute increase on its timer recently from 33 to 36 minutes) can now be cleared very quickly with the new cannon changes and nerf to the final boss. Not only does it likely need the 3 minute increase reverted, it might even need to go in the other direction now.