Raid Rewards Experiments in Season 4

Forum Avatar
WoW Developer
#1 - May 6, 2022, 7:46 p.m.
Blizzard Post

Today, we’d like to share some of our rewards plans for Season 4 regarding the acquisition and effectiveness of Raid gearing overall. As we head from 9.2’s Class Sets & Creation Catalyst into Dragonflight, our team has been doing a lot of thinking about our rewards philosophies, including acquiring loot and how it might be improved. 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. Regardless, we want to show that we’re interested in continuing to approach rewards from different angles, and listen to player’s desires for increased bad luck protection and making sure in-game rewards feel like they’re matching player’s efforts. Without further ado, let’s get into some specifics!

Raid Vendors & Limited Currency

Season 4 will feature a trio of broker vendors suspiciously skulking around the Great Vault. Each of these brokers has wares from one of the three Shadowlands raids: Castle Nathria, Sanctum of Domination, and the Sepulcher of the First Ones. They will sell trinkets, weapons, and other special items from their respective raid. Each of these items will have the same price: a single Puzzling Cartel Dinar each, with a catch. You will only be able to get 3 Puzzling Cartel Dinar for the entire season. After spending your last Dinar, the brokers leave town and take their wares with them. Items sold by these vendors will be at the Season 4 Normal ‘Fated’ item level range of 278-285, depending on the item.

To acquire them, enter any Shadowlands Raid after Season 4 begins to start a 3-part questline. These quests will require you to kill a certain number of unique Fated bosses while the Season 4 Raid Affix is active. The quests reward you with one Puzzling Cartel Dinar upon completion and will progress to the next part of the quest (To clarify, unique means killing the same boss during that same week won’t give credit - killing the Tarragrue on Normal and Heroic in the same week will only give 1 kill). At the moment, this is set to require 30 kills, 20 kills, and 10 kills, making your 2nd and 3rd coin come even faster as time goes on - ending up at week 3 being the earliest instance of receiving a Dinar, and week 6 being the earliest you could see the last one.

This system initially came about to mitigate the rotational nature of Season 4’s raids. Each player has fewer chances to see any individual piece of loot when Fated Sylvanas or Fated Jailer is only killable every three weeks, so we really want to see how players respond to the idea of having a limited but deterministic way to target individual pieces from raids. We all have a story of going months and months on end, killing a specific boss every week without ever seeing a desired item drop, and our hope is this goes a long way to curbing extreme bad luck in the worst cases. At the same time, we don’t want to shortcut the experience of actually playing the game - it shouldn’t be possible for someone to simply buy their Best in Slot setup from a vendor week 1 of a given season - and it’s very possible that this implementation still undercuts some of that sense of progressing your character. That said, we’ve heard calls for something like this, and feel Season 4 is the best time to try it out.

Heroic & Mythic Upgrade Items

Additionally, we’re exploring ways for Raiders to upgrade Raid loot as they move up in difficulty. In Season 4, killing bosses on Heroic or Mythic difficulty will drop a ‘shard’ of an upgrade item, and upon collecting enough (currently 20) will combine to upgrade Fated gear to their Heroic or Mythic versions respectively. Unlike the Puzzling Cartel Dinar above, which has a quest you must complete to earn them over time, these upgrade shards will begin dropping on Day 1 of the season and at a 100% droprate, allowing you to capture effort progressing week over week from the get-go. These upgrade items will work on any item with a ‘Fated’ tag, including those sold by the broker vendors previously mentioned. The upgrade system combined with the Puzzling Cartel Dinar vendors will allow players to effectively buy up to 3 pieces of Heroic or Mythic raid gear, assuming you’re doing difficult content enough to build reserves of upgrade shards to begin with.

While having a Heroic or Mythic upgrade item still requires you to have the base item drop for you in some way, this means that the option of running other raid difficulties to get your desired piece is available for people wanting to go the extra mile. Similarly, this allows guilds that start from Normal and move into Heroic, or Heroic and move into Mythic the ability to carry some of their favorite items with them as they progress. Often, if a guild can’t hit a specific breakpoint while progressing (like say a new boss kill, or a Great Vault threshold), it can feel like the time spent reclearing up to those points can be wasted effort. We hope that this creates more value for simply killing bosses with your group, while also allowing those who dip their toes into higher difficulty (like, say, a guild that can only do 3 mythic bosses per week) the ability to ‘save up’ to a moment of excitement that both rewards your effort over time, as well as making it easier to make deeper strides into achieving your raiding goals.

Season 4 is an exciting time where we’re trying lots of things WoW’s never done before, and we’re similarly excited to see how these systems play out for raiders engaging with the new Fated affixes when it all goes live. We’ll be monitoring feedback closely and answering more questions in the thread, so let us know what you think!

Forum Avatar
WoW Developer
#140 - May 6, 2022, 9:39 p.m.
Blizzard Post

Hey folks, will get to some responses soon but I’ve edited the main body to reflect something that was missing, which is to say:

Unique means killing the same boss during that same week won’t give credit - killing the Tarragrue on Normal and Heroic in the same week will only give 1 kill. This means the soonest a player could get all 3 Dinars is week 6 at the earliest, not weeks 1-3 as some have speculated. Sorry for the confusion!

Forum Avatar
WoW Developer
#233 - May 6, 2022, 11:05 p.m.
Blizzard Post

Dropping in to clarify a few common trends of questions I’ve seen around, then will get back to combing. I want to keep my responses to things related to the Raid rewards as outlined in the post:

What about Tier Sets?

  • Your 9.2 Tier Sets are still active in Season 4, and the Creation Catalyst will remain on with all of its accumulated charges. Tier Tokens won’t be added to Castle Nathria and Sanctum of Domination, as you’ll be able to upgrade any item you get to a higher ilvl piece of Tier just like you can on live right now.

Domination Sockets

  • Shards and Domination bonuses will be disabled entirely for Season 4. We didn’t want to place extra pressure on the tuning of specifically Fated Sanctum to require it, and there was enough of a class/armor type disparity at which specs/classes could potentially wear a 3-set Domination Bonus and their 4-piece vs others that it would create a weird imbalance on those weeks. We’ve also heard from player feedback that it would feel unfair for players who didn’t hold onto Domination Gear to be at such a disadvantage.


  • Looking for Raid will have a Season 4/Fated Difficulty, and all wings will be available at the start. This is to say if the rotation begins with Castle Nathria being the Fated raid on rotation, all of LFR Nathria will be replaced with Fated LFR Nathria, at higher item levels. LFR also counts for quest progress, so players who don’t full clear a raid for the week can collect what leftover bosses they need from there.

Additionally, the World Boss related to whichever raid is currently Fated will also be scaled up - more difficult, and dropping ilvl 285 Fated gear.

Why only Weapons/Trinkets?

  • As others in this thread have mentioned, neither of these systems are intended to replace the primary method by which players acquire gear - having all of an expansion’s raids be at current item level is something entirely new to WoW, and will create both a lot of powerful combinations of items, as well as a lot of frustration at not receiving them. We wanted the Vendors to be targeted at the pieces of loot we’d already seen are most impactful to a player such as to create an intense negative reaction when situations arise like the post mentions. Many players feel if they can’t get an Edge of Night, they can’t play Rogue in 9.1/9.2. Rarely do players feel they can’t play because they are missing boots or bracers. Focusing in on these higher-tier items keeps these vendors special, and the system focused on that protection, rather than being an alternative/replacement gearing method (which it is not).

Great Vault integration?

  • A common idea so far is if the Great Vault tokens could integrate some of these. While we’re not interested so far in extending the amount of Dinars a player can get in the season, offering some of the heroic or mythic upgrade shards in some form could absolutely be possible, though we’d still want to make certain you can only purchase Heroic or Mythic upgrade shards if you’re actually raiding some amount on those difficulties. Not a guarantee, but not an impossibility.

Oh, I forgot one -

Heroic & Mythic Upgrade shards

  • these don’t upgrade in a linear fashion. this is to say, if you have a Heroic upgrade item, it will take an LFR or Normal item, and make it into Heroic. Similarly, if you have a Mythic Upgrade Item, you can target LFR, Normal OR Heroic, and it’ll transform into Mythic. They don’t have to be in sequence - so primary Mythic raiders can choose to ignore Heroic if they desire.
Forum Avatar
WoW Developer
#268 - May 6, 2022, 11:37 p.m.
Blizzard Post

Whichever boss (Valinor, Mortanis, Oranomonos, and Nurgash) is naturally up on a Fated Nathria week will be boosted. They’re all considered the Fated World Boss with regards to the fact that they were designed as companions to the raid Castle Nathria (though Nurgash is absolutely closer to home!)

Forum Avatar
WoW Developer
#513 - July 6, 2022, 11:55 p.m.
Blizzard Post

Hey folks! Just a quick update - with Season 4’s release date finally announced, I wanted to circle back to this thread and talk about how some of these experiments will be tuned/updated based on your feedback. Thanks again to everyone in this thread & elsewhere for your thoughts!

I won’t give exact numbers here as we’re still talking about them internally, but:

  • As written above, players clearing 10 Fated bosses per week would acquire their season’s limit of Dinar (the currency used to buy Fated raid items) by 6 weeks at the earliest. We’re going to lower the number of kills required on each quest such that it’ll land somewhere in the 4.5/5 week range instead.
  • We’ve also heard a lot of feedback about how if you joined late into Season 4 or had alts you wanted to play, you’d be met with a pretty large wall of Quests/Boss Kills necessary to access the system, which felt like it ran counter to the lessons learned with the Creation Catalyst. Exact details TBD, but after a certain period we’ll be heavily reducing the requirements for these 3 quests. This way the initial progression experience of early Season 4 is intact, but that the later it goes, you’ll be able to raid on a new character or with a new friend without being so far behind.
  • Just to mention it, we’re not currently looking at changing the rate of acquiring the materials to upgrade a Fated item to Heroic or Mythic. It’ll stay as a 100% droprate from Heroic & Mythic bosses, and then require 20 to transform.

Lastly, while this thread is specifically about the experimental Raid Rewards systems coming to S4, there’s been some questions elsewhere about Mythic Plus we can answer here. As many of you may know, Shadowlands Season 4 is changing the dungeon pool to both halves of Tazavesh, the Veiled Market, Operation: Mechagon, Return to Karazhan, and the Warlords of Draenor dungeons Grimrail Depot & Iron Docks - along with a new seasonal affix. We’ve seen it speculated, but to confirm: the Keystone Hero achievements for these dungeons (obtained by completing them on a +20 Keystone or higher) will give Hero’s Path Portals to these locations, and operate just like the ones that exist in Shadowlands at present.

Thanks for reading, thanks for your feedback, and if you have major questions that haven’t been covered in this post (or the ones before it in this thread), let us know and we’ll do our best to clarify.

P.S. While the ‘Ahead of the Curve’ & ‘Cutting Edge’ Feats of Strength are going away when Season 4 launches, the Carcinized Zerethsteed (from killing Heroic Jailer), as well as the 100% Droprates from the Mythic Sylvanas and Mythic Jailer mounts aren’t going away until Dragonflight launches (The Sylvanas and Jailer mythic mounts will stay in the game, but be significantly reduced in droprate as with previous expansions).

See you all in Season 4!

Forum Avatar
WoW Developer
#516 - July 7, 2022, 12:12 a.m.
Blizzard Post

Valor will be reset, but won’t have any caps for the season’s duration. Conquest will be reset, with a higher weekly cap than previous seasons, then go to being fully uncapped a number of weeks into the season.

Forum Avatar
WoW Developer
#523 - July 7, 2022, 12:16 a.m.
Blizzard Post

I can’t speak to the exact implementation as it’s still being decided, but we’re going to be addressing Cosmic Flux availability when Season 4 launches, or shortly thereafter.

Forum Avatar
WoW Developer
#649 - July 28, 2022, 4:55 a.m.
Blizzard Post

Hey everyone! This will be the last major post regarding Season 4; patch notes (and then the season itself) will be upon us soon, so look forward to those! That said, it’s clear there’s been some lingering questions & concerns surrounding Season 4, so we wanted to take the time to respond to some of the most common questions in a sort of lightning-round. As a heads up - if your personal question hasn’t been answered yet, it’s likely it has been in the other posts in this thread, so be sure to re-read through them to avoid confusion.


  • Conduit item levels are not increasing, meaning they will stay at a max of 278.
  • With 278 becoming the new Normal item level for Fated Raids, conduits on Fated Normal/Heroic/Mythic raids will drop 278. (LFR will drop 265).
  • Conduits aren’t being added to the non-shadowlands dungeon loot pools, but Tazavesh’s conduits will be similarly updated.
  • The Vessel of Profound Possibilities, an item available from your covenant vendors in Season 3 that upgraded all of your conduits to ilvl 278, is changing. It no longer requires S3 Endgame achievements (duelist, 3k+ m+ rating, or mythic sepulcher clear) but is instead purchasable by all characters for Cosmic Flux.

Legendaries & Crafting

  • Crafted Shadowlands Legendaries will not increase in rank, staying at a max of Rank 7 with item level 291 for the season.
  • There is no new Crafter’s Mark to create a single piece of improved item level gear like there have been with previous content updates.


  • Cosmic Flux will remain from Season 3, and won’t disappear on season rollover
  • A reminder that since our last post, there is now an item to transfer Cosmic Flux to other characters on your account at Quartermaster Vilo in Zereth Mortis
  • Sandworn Relics will be moving to Bind-on-Account status, but otherwise receive no updates
  • Unused Attendant’s Tokens of Merit from Season 3 Great Vaults will be going away upon season start, converting into gold at the rate of 1000 gold per token.
  • Ephemera-Infused Mesh, the Season 3 socket-granting item, will also cease to function on season rollover. Players with this item in their bags can sell it for 6000 gold, the same price as the 6 Tokens of Merit would have been to purchase it.
  • Tokens of Merit are returning in Season 4, with a new Socketer item priced at only 3 tokens to account for season length. This item works on Season 4 Items from Raid, PVP, and M+, just as the ones before them did.


  • Mythic+ Keystone decay between seasons is -3 levels, as it has been in past seasons. For example, if your highest Timed key this week is a +18, you will receive a +15 key opening your vault or speaking to Tah’sup in Oribos when Season 4 begins.
  • With few exceptions, old dungeon items are going to retain their original stats when scaling up to Season 4. This means that Primary stats on rings from Warlords of Draenor, trinkets with no primary stats, the mechagon rings + and other unique items from these dungeons - will all be enabled. Our intent is for this season to keep as many things from these dungeons as they were, where possible.
  • Azerite Armor from King Mechagon is removed from Operation: Mechagon’s loot pool.
  • As some of you may know, Warlords of Draenor had a different loot system where over 100 items were shared between all dungeons. For Season 4, Grimrail Depot and Iron Dock’s loot table will comprise of the items unique to those dungeons, as well as a mix of items chosen from that large shared pool to bring it in line with other dungeons.
  • Mythic+ End-of-Run items won’t be capped week 1 like in previous seasons.
  • Non-Tazavesh Shadowlands dungeons are gaining an increase in baseline item level, but these items are not upgradeable with valor. Only items from the Season 4 Mythic+ pool will be upgradeable with Valor.


  • Mythic raiding is available on launch with no delay.
  • Cross-realm raiding will stay on, as there is no Hall of Fame for Season 4.
  • Raid skips earned in previous seasons will work in the difficulties you unlocked them for. For example, if you have the Kel’thuzad skip for Heroic Sanctum of Domination, then during weeks where Sanctum is the Fated raid, you will be able to use that skip only on Heroic difficulty.
  • Castle Nathria and Sanctum of Domination now give up to 2000 reputation with the Court of Harvesters and Death’s Advance on all difficulties. When these raids are Fated, they will drop up to 2000 Cosmic Flux as well.
  • Items received from Fated Raids will maintain their ‘Fated’ tag when transformed into Class Set armor by the Creation Catalyst, meaning they will also be upgradeable via the Heroic/Mythic upgrade currency mentioned in the original post.

Raid Rewards

  • As a Legendary weapon, Rae’shalare, Death’s Whisper, will not be available to purchase on the Broker Vendor with Dinar.
  • For players that already have the bow, an item will be purchasable from the Broker Vendors that will bring Rae’shalare to item level 285.
  • Sylvanas herself will still drop the bow on Fated weeks, and like it functioned in Season 2, will drop items in place of the bow for anyone who holds it that upgrade Rae’shalare to S4 Normal, Heroic, or Mythic item levels respectively.
  • On top of this, to account for the shorter season and the difficulty to get them, both Rae’shalare and Edge of Night will have an increased drop rate in all difficulties and versions of Sanctum of Domination.
  • We’re making a series of balance changes to trinkets & special weapons obtainable from all 3 Shadowlands raids, and some from Shadowlands dungeons. While we won’t go over the specific changes here (the patch notes will have you covered soon), we’re making these changes for a few reasons:

First, we hope to remove an advantage some players might have from obtaining a 278 version of a Shadowlands trinket from the Season 3 Great Vault, considering that Shadowlands Dungeon trinkets will be attainable at a max of 262 ilvl for anyone who starts after Season 4 begins.

Second, with raids rotating, we want to ensure that a higher amount of items looted from a raid on given week have a chance to be satisfying upgrades for players. You could imagine a scenario where Castle Nathria for example might not be worth it if all of the ‘good trinkets’ come from a different raid you won’t be able to access for 1-2 weeks. Additionally, Season 4 is a unique opportunity for us to look at these items will a full season (or more) of hindsight, and thus able to improve ones that we felt were close power-level wise, but not quite enough to compete with popular or easier-to-acquire options.

Lastly, given the limited Dinar currency we’ve seen a lot of fear from players that they’d be afraid to spend them, only to have that item nerfed or another item made better. We’re frontloading these changes at the start of the season and intending to stay as hands-off as possible so decisions made about which items you buy can be removed from the fear of those numbers changing dramatically.

That’s all for this wrap-up! Sorry if we didn’t get to your questions specifically - we’re really excited to bring you Warcraft’s most experimental season, and we hope to see you there. Stay on the look out for other communication coming soon like patch notes for a more comprehensive view of everything Season 4 has to bring!

Forum Avatar
Community Manager
#761 - July 28, 2022, 5:34 p.m.
Blizzard Post

No, that will not be possible in Season 4.

I’m personally hoping for a reappearance of the Friendship Moose communities we saw six years ago. Really fun times.

Forum Avatar
Community Manager
#937 - July 28, 2022, 8:22 p.m.
Blizzard Post

Right this way, friend: