Mythic+ Origins - We All Start Out Somewhere

Nearly six years ago, a new style of gameplay was introduced to WoW: Mythic+ Dungeons. This aspect of the game has surged in popularity over the last few years, drawing out players of all skill and experience levels. Some players push their limits and explore Mythic+ by competing in tournaments and breaking world records, while even the most relaxed of players can enjoy time with their friends by completing a "weekly no-leaver" keystone. But no matter the level of the key we play, or the dedication we apply to it, we all start out somewhere.

Getting into Mythic+ can seem like a daunting experience; it can be overwhelming just to think about all of the information you might need to worry about, but we’ve all found ourselves at the same point at one time. Even the most renowned players of the Mythic+ community began their journeys in the same dungeons as us, and while their experiences may differ, they’ve all had to work to figure things out and find their place.

Today, we bring you an exclusive interview with several notable names from the Mythic+ community to discuss their origins: Jdotb, Dorki, Onezy, Petko, and Wildi. Join us for a look into the experiences of these 5 players from their early days of Mythic+ and their inspiring journeys to where they are now. Who knows — you may even relate to their stories!

Table of Contents

“Always try to outdo yourself and continue pushing heights that you think are beyond your limits. Nothing happens overnight and hard work goes a long way.” —Onezy

Q-1: Let’s talk a little about your WoW background. What attracted you to Mythic+? What class do you main, and how long have you been playing WoW or pushing keys competitively?

Dorki: I never got too into the game until Mythic+ came out in Legion, where I really got into WoW PvE when Mythic+ started to take off. I play every tank nowadays, but my mains are probably Guardian Druid and Blood Death Knight.

Jdotb: I’ve been playing WoW since the original beta and doing high level content since The Burning Crusade (TBC). I’ve had different loves during that time — I was a multi-gladiator/Rank 1 PvPer back in TBC and WoTLK, and participated in the Race to World First (RWF) for several years with Blood Legion in WoTLK and Cataclysm. But none of those things ever captivated me like Mythic+.

I learned about Mythic+ from the BlizzCon where they first announced it. It was still kind of vague (dungeons that go up forever!), but it sounded interesting. I didn’t really anticipate at that point that it would come to dominate my WoW experience. I was lucky that Resto Druid, which has been my main since WoD, was a very competitive choice in Mythic+ from the outset, which made it easy to get into Mythic+ groups. I was among the very first groups that started pushing keys competitively, which ultimately got the attention of Method who was in the market for teams for the newly-formed MDI tournament. We became the first Mythic+ team to be signed by an organization, and the rest is history.

Onezy: Hey my name is Onezy, I started playing WoW during WoTLK but quit around the time cataclysm came out. During that break, I got into First Person Shooter (FPS) games and started playing them semi-professionally. My team in PUBG ended up wanting to make a guild on WoW to begin raiding when BFA dropped, and we formed the guild about two weeks before the expansion came out. I've been pushing keys competitively since the last season of BFA where I used to main tank, but now I'm a DPS main.

Petko: Hey guys, my name is Petko (also Petko in-game) and I have been playing WoW ever since the Karazhan-Pre Patch of TBC. I started playing Mythic+ at the end of Legion/pre-patch for BFA. Prior to that, I took a break from WoW due to my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees. I have been playing competitive WoW since Season 2 of BFA in both the MDI and high keys on live servers. The main thing that attracted me to Mythic+ was the ability to compete with not only yourself but with the rest of the world about the fastest and the highest keys possible. I forged great friendships along the way with people all around the world, including those we often competed against. I can’t really describe the adrenaline rush that you get out of timing the highest key possible in the world or having the record for the fastest key done in the world; it’s truly amazing!

Wildi: I started playing again during the Eternal Palace Raid Release in BFA, returning from a break that started back in early Legion. At that time, I was planning on playing a Mage so I could play RMP (Rogue Mage Priest) in 3s PvP. I got interested in PvE very quickly and I started raiding again. I had 2 people in my Guild that were decent in Mythic+ and kind of introduced me to it. As stupid as it may sound, I liked that people could see the score in-game and that the color of my score changed with the higher it was and the better I got at Mythic+. That's where my pushing started. It wasn't easy and I had to spend multiple hours looking for dungeons that would be upgrades, but it was worth it in the end since I found my first team in the Group Finder when they were looking for a (Mage) DPS.

Q-2: If you played WoW when Mythic+ was first introduced in Legion, what were your initial thoughts and feelings about it? Did you enjoy running or pushing keys before it became an established competitive activity in the game?

Dorki: Originally, I only played WoW for PvP. But when Mythic+ came out during Legion, it was a way to farm for my legendary and Artifact Power (AP). After doing a lot of Mythic+ dungeons and trying for Keystone Master, I started to find PvE fun. It was around the last patch of Legion where Mythic+ started to feel competitive and I really got into pushing for the highest keys.

Jdotb: Mythic+ first started out as a way to grind AP and item level. Back then, the competition wasn't about who could do the highest or the fastest keys; it was about who was at the top of the AP leaderboard. If you thought people no-lifed Island Expeditions in BFA, you should have seen how degenerate the Maw of Souls spamming was back in Patch 7.0. But even at that point, I was addicted to it. I’d log in each day looking for a 4-man carry group that could blast Maw of Souls over and over at low key levels (because there was no incentive yet to run a higher key). The statistic that is burned into my memory is that I’d run Maw over 1,000 times before Patch 7.1. But at the start, the dungeons themselves weren’t super interesting to me — I just wanted AP and loot.

Petko: As previously mentioned, I didn’t have much chance to experience Legion Mythic+ due to my university studies, except for a brief period of time. However, my short time in Legion was definitely my very first step towards becoming who I am today.

Wildi: My Guild disbanded in Emerald Nightmare, and so I quit the game until my friends brought me back in BFA.

“I played Mythic+ every day for 8 to 10 hours and pugged my way through the Group Finder. It is not easy, but whenever you start making contacts, it gets easier.” —Wildi

Q-3: Do you think your experience in Mythic+ has been impacted by the time at which you started getting involved? Has it felt like your experience getting into Mythic+ has differed from players who started out in other expansions?

Dorki: Starting early in Mythic+ definitely gave certain players an edge. Each expansion’s Mythic+ has felt really different and taught players different things. However, it definitely feels like there are parts of Mythic+ that feel lackluster in later iterations if you had played during previous expansions.

Jdotb: Anyone who started doing Mythic+ in Legion definitely has a different perspective than the newer players. Mythic+ was new and shiny, and Blizzard still treated it well. Dungeons were the highest AP per hour activity in the game, and titanforging meant that you likely had a higher item level than Mythic raiders if you ran keys all the time. Unfortunately for Mythic+ fans, Blizzard has made it a point of emphasis in recent years to subordinate Mythic+ to raiding, so Mythic+ today isn’t the standalone activity it used to be.

Petko: I think that, for both high keys and MDI style keys, experience is a key element of becoming the best of the best. Knowing every little detail of the dungeon definitely gives you an advantage and, in the early stages of the expansion, previous experience can also help you find new strategies way faster compared to someone else who started to play only recently. However, having a strong personal skill-set is also extremely important. Being mechanically skilled and aware of everything in-game is crucial and often weighs more than just being experienced. There has been a new flow of talent playing with folks that have played for years, forming groups combining both the brain and the raw muscle-talent to create dangerous teams!

Onezy: One big advantage of starting Mythic+ when I did was forming all the relationships with gamers I enjoyed playing with along the way. One of the hardest things about this content is having a consistent group to do it with week in and week out.

Wildi: I think it was a mix of luck and “hard work”. You have to be at the right time at the right place to build a potential Mythic+ team, which is kind of required if you wanna push higher and higher. My decision to join Pieces at that time led me to play with Andybrew and his team, which gave me my first taste of really high ranked Mythic+. But besides the luck factor, I played Mythic+ every day for 8 to 10 hours and pugged my way through the Group Finder. It is not easy, but whenever you start making contacts, it gets easier.

“At the end of the day, Mythic+ always comes down to a few key fundamentals….How you do these things changes a bit from expansion to expansion or even patch to patch, but the fundamentals themselves never change.” —Jdotb

Q-4: Each new expansion, season, and patch tends to bring about more changes to the game that subsequently shake up Mythic+, such as new legendaries, class balancing, addons, or even changes to the Mythic+ rating system as a whole. Regardless of when you first started pushing keys, how have you managed the evolution of different systems and resources pertaining to Mythic+? How do you feel about the current state of Mythic+ in Shadowlands?

Dorki: The biggest change with Mythic+ is how much more structured it is now, which can make it less fun in a way. Back in Legion, Mythic+ felt a lot more free in terms of what you could do. The gear swapping, non-gated pulls, lack of covenant dungeon bonuses, and less restrictive affixes made Mythic+ really fun. Nowadays, Mythic+ feels like Blizzard forces you to play dungeons in a certain way that is more standardized. For example, Shadowlands heavily encourages groups to play certain comps/classes/covenants in dungeons, and encourages certain routes by making it necessary to pull certain trash alone due to certain roleplay or mob mechanics (such as Squad Leader Auras in Spires of Ascension, Shards of Halkias to activate the boss in Halls of Atonement, and the Maze in Mists of Tirna Scithe). Addons and WeakAuras also assist gameplay way more now. In Legion, there weren’t all these WeakAuras that tracked your teams CDs, kicks, trash spell CDs, etc. One thing I have to say though is that Shadowlands definitely has the best class balancing in Mythic+.

Jdotb: Mythic+ playstyle has changed quite a bit over time. Legion was a very crowd-control-heavy expansion. There were tons of snares that allowed tanks to kite mobs indefinitely, but also a lot of AoE CCs like Arcane Torrent (which used to be an AoE interrupt), the engineering belt, and 5 second Leg Sweep, etc. You could keep a pack of mobs locked down for 20-30 seconds before it started doing anything, and then your tank would flee while you finished killing the stuff chasing them. Gear swapping was also still a thing back then, so you could change your equipment after each pull, allowing you to have specific sets for AoE, single target, or pure defense.

At the end of the day, Mythic+ always comes down to a few key fundamentals. You have to be able to do a lot of damage, survive big hits, and you use a route that lets you be as efficient as possible in moving through the dungeon. How you do these things changes a bit from expansion to expansion or even patch to patch, but the fundamentals themselves never change.

Shadowlands seemed very promising to me while running dungeons in beta, but it has disappointed me in a few ways. The AoE cap was a failure, and a predictable one at that. Covenant-specific dungeon buffs are also a poor idea, but at least covenant-swapping is now possible. Blizzard has made a number of changes recently that are moving Mythic+ in a better direction, but player apathy seems to have already set in fiercely this expansion.

Blizzard has made some efforts recently to add to the Mythic+ experience; for example, in-game rating and titles/mounts. However, it’s also easy to feel like the Mythic+ “glory days” are behind us as players become more and more dependent on other forms of content to be competitive.

Onezy: I’ve always considered myself a FOTM player. I want to bring the best resources to my team each season and will switch classes in a heartbeat if that means making my team better. So when it comes to the evolution of systems, I encourage it a lot because it brings something fresh to the gameplay. I love the feeling of trying out more specs in the game and being able to get the most out of them!

Petko: The first time I started getting into pushing high keys was during Season 1 of Mythic+ during BFA. It was all about learning how to communicate properly and express criticism, which is the basis of creating a team-environment in my opinion. Every single Season there is something new, from recently introduced legendaries during Shadowlands to extreme class-balance changes, which is pretty much what drives the meta going forward. Each “meta” is shaped around what has been buffed/nerfed during the season, hence why every single season you see different group compositions. I think the current state of the game is not the most appealing version of WoW Mythic+, and dungeon design could definitely be better. However, I can say that balancing, especially tank balancing, has been amazing this patch (9.1/9.1.5) so far, which has created such a diverse meta!

Wildi: Adapting to new Mythic+ metas has been easy for me so far since Mage is usually one of the best classes for Mythic+. The only thing I have had to adapt to is the particular Mage spec I must play at any given time. Since I also raid in a high-end guild, I'm able to switch specs without much additional research required. I think Mythic+ in Shadowlands is okay. I like the addition of features like the keystone exchanger after a dungeon, but I sadly don't like the dungeons themselves. They feel boring and I don't have any particular key that I'm always excited about (compared to BFA, where I was always happy to play Freehold).

“Retaining and attracting players who will play as one harmonious unit rather than as 5 individual players is the hardest thing. Keeping everyone on point and ensuring that there is a fun team environment is also crucial to success.” —Petko

Q-5: What was the biggest obstacle you faced when you started getting more into Mythic+?

Dorki: The biggest obstacle I faced early on was finding the right people to play with. Throughout my Mythic+ journey, I’ve played with a lot of different groups and players. It took a long time to get to the point where I could find a consistent group to play with and not care about IO score or group comp. For most of my early Mythic+ days, players were looked at more for their score or class rather than their skill or personality.

Jdotb: The biggest challenge was finding other players to group with. It’s everyone’s biggest challenge. I have been blessed to have tanks I played with regularly in the past, but it’s been a real struggle for the last few seasons to find consistent groups. If you end up with a few guys whose schedules match up with yours that you enjoy playing with, consider yourself lucky.

Onezy: The biggest obstacle for sure is finding a consistent group to play with.

Petko: I have always built my own teams for MDI or high keys on live servers. I look for similar interests and goals when I “scout” for people. Retaining and attracting players who will play as one harmonious unit rather than as 5 individual players is the hardest thing. Keeping everyone on point and ensuring that there is a fun team environment is also crucial to success. I had to learn all of this from scratch, and I used my real-life work experience to build that environment.

Wildi: When I started playing in BFA Season 3, the biggest obstacle was definitely the fact that I didn't have any score from the previous season at the time. People didn't accept me for anything. The only way I was able to get higher and higher was to do every 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and so on. Even then, it was not easy to get accepted to groups. During my downtime, I played a game called Teamfight Tactics until I’d get accepted to a keystone since it could take an hour or even 2.

Q-6: Was there anyone you looked up to as you got more engaged with the system? If so, what made them role models for you?

Dorki: The biggest one would probably be Naowh from Echo just because I loved watching the tank PoV and I learned a lot from him about Blood Death Knight especially. I still remember when he had a Blood Death Knight Mythic+ tank guide on Wowhead that taught me a lot about the important mechanics of Blood Death Knight. There was also the JB and Shakib group that I would watch often.

Jdotb: I’ve been around Mythic+ since its inception, so I never really had folks I looked up to per se. Zaelia was probably the first guy that made me really step back and think about my gameplay and gearing choices and push myself out of my comfort zone.

Onezy: I think one team that got me more engaged with the system was Echo. Watching their consistency on a team level is something I’ve always admired.

Petko: I said it in the past many times on my personal stream, but for me the biggest inspirations when it comes down to Mythic+ are Gingi and DrJay. I had very limited time to play in Legion, so looking up to people like them made me fall in love with Mythic+. I have always admired them when it comes to implementing different/unique strategies. They helped expand my knowledge.

Wildi: I always watched a Mage called Doppler. He was really friendly and helpful, and I was able to learn from him when I was still inexperienced.

“Honestly, the first season of Shadowlands was some of the most fun I have ever had in Mythic+. It was ridiculous from start to finish!” —Onezy

Q-7: If you could point out a single experience or moment in Mythic+ as the highlight of your Mythic+ career, what would it be? Additionally, do you have any clips of funny, exciting, or ridiculous moments you’d like to share?

Dorki: The biggest highlight for me would probably be the last real day of Mythic+ pushing in BFA where I hit top 5 tank with bear. We went back-to-back, timing a +31 Mechagon: Junkyard, a +29 Shrine of the Storm, and a +30 Freehold. We wanted those keys so bad and finally got them all in a row. This was what kicked off my streaming days and I’ll probably never forget it. Nowadays, most of my clips are just me falling off a ledge or something silly. I wish I had clips of me popping off when I played DPS :\ (Imiss BFA Unholy Death Knight)

Jdotb: This one is a no-brainer. My career highlight was definitely winning the BFA Season 1 MDI in Sydney, Australia. Unfortunately, Covid has robbed us of LAN tournaments the last couple years, which makes that win even more special because I got to celebrate with my guys in person.

Onezy: Honestly, the first season of Shadowlands was some of the most fun I have ever had in Mythic+. It was ridiculous from start to finish! :)

Petko: There have been tons of breathtaking moments in my Mythic+ “career” so I can’t really name them all. I think the most excited I have ever been was during the MDI Global Finals 2020 in July where I had my family and girlfriend watching the whole competition online. I felt the need to perform well and not disappoint them; I felt the rush like never before and that really made me proud. Outside of that, any time I do a World First caliber key, I enjoy every second of it because it is a truly unique experience.

Wildi: The biggest highlight for me was getting the World First +28 in BFA (Junkyard). It was the highest key we achieved during that time and it felt so good timing it.

“Mythic+ is really information heavy. It’s so important to learn from experience and watch a ton of streams or your own gameplay. There are a lot of things you won’t know aside from playing or watching others play.” —Dorki

Q-8: We're interviewing you today because of your success within the realm of Mythic+, but success is not often without hard work, struggles to overcome, and even failure at times. Was there ever a point when you wanted to quit Mythic+? If so, what helped you persevere or come back after a break?

Dorki: I never really wanted to ''quit Mythic+'' but it was definitely really rough for me and the group I played with when I started playing bear in Mythic+ towards the end of BFA. Our classes sucked and my gear was garbanzo beans. It felt impossible to catch up or surpass the teams that were playing Prot Warrior/Holy Paladin who were also raiding at cutting-edge level for weeks. Even before this, it was hard to find people who were willing to push when there were better groups to play with. Like I mentioned earlier, the thing that really kicked Mythic+ off for me was the last few days of the BFA push.

Jdotb: The closest I’ve come to wanting to quit Mythic+ has probably been this expansion. Some of that might just be burnout. I’ve been doing keys pretty much daily for like 5 years now, so I know at some point it’s going to run its course. A lot of it is also just having trouble finding people that want the same things out of Mythic+ as I do. I’m kind of past the point of caring about success in live keys; I just do them because they’re fun and for stream content. However, it’s hard to find a good group that feels the same way rather than being ultra driven to push keys for 12 hours a day. I’m honestly not sure if I’d still be doing keys on a routine basis if I wasn’t a streamer, which is probably what’s kept me doing them as long as I have.

Petko: I never really had any intention to quit Mythic+, but during January this year, I had one of the hardest moments in life where my grandparents’ health was in a critical situation and everything in my personal life turned upside down. At that time, I quit all sorts of competitive WoW and had a break of several weeks until I slowly came back in March. I wouldn’t have made such an early come back if it wasn’t for all the support from my girlfriend and my longtime friends.

Onezy: I’ve always enjoyed doing Mythic+ with the boys, but when it comes to doing keys competitively, It's easy to lose that drive when none of your friends are interested in doing it anymore. At the start of Shadowlands, I was pretty much in that exact position until I started reaching out to some people trying to do keys. One of those people being Dabnel, who at the time was the Windwalker Monk for Nerftank’s group. So after some back and forth talking between the group, I was invited to play Boomkin for them and we went to push rank 1 keys throughout the whole season.

Wildi: Without re-hashing too much of it, there was a lot of drama during BFA Season 4. Sadly, I have to say some of it is even my fault. All of the things that happened during that time completely burned me out and killed my interest in the game and Mythic+ for the whole end of Season 4 — but I won't go into much in detail. I was not far away from quitting, but my good friend Andybrew always motivated me and pushed me to play again in Season 1 Shadowlands!

Q-9: There are so many in-depth resources and guides for players to read when it comes to learning mechanics, routes, and strategies, but some might argue that there’s more to Mythic+. Outside of gameplay information, what is one piece of advice that you would give to a person that is looking to get deeper into the Mythic+ scene?

Dorki: Mythic+ is really information heavy. It’s so important to learn from experience and watch a ton of streams or your own gameplay. There are a lot of things you won’t know aside from playing or watching others play.

Jdotb: Network, network, network. You can never have too many friends on (well I mean technically you can, but you know what I mean), and you never know when you’ll be in the market for more teammates.

Onezy: One piece of advice I would give people is to never get too comfortable. Always try to outdo yourself and continue pushing heights that you think are beyond your limits. Nothing happens overnight and hard work goes a long way.

Petko: For anyone interested in improving Mythic+, there are several ways to do so nowadays. First is the traditional way of self-experimentation or reading/watching guides. What I recommend is to watch your favorite streamer playing live and ask questions appropriately. This way, you can understand why he/she is making various decisions and how that would reflect on the overall dungeon timer. Find yourself a streamer that you adopt as a “mentor” and follow their steps. Learn from them and, soon enough, you will realize that you have grown so much.

Wildi: I think before you do anything, it is very important to understand your class inside and out. There is little reason to push and learn high keys until you can do your rotation properly and confidently. Once you have done that, try to look for a streamer that plays your class on a high level and see what he does in Mythic+. I know that a lot of people also offer their routes that you could try out. From my experience, most of the Mythic+ Streamers also read their chat actively, so they are always there to answer your questions. Try to not be stuck playing with the same 4 people if you notice that they are not making any progress and you can’t improve as a player.

“Mythic+ has been a really big part of my life. I wouldn’t be a streamer or have met my fiancée without it.” —Jdotb

Q-10: Do you have anything else you’d like to add?

Dorki: I know Shadowlands has been rough but I hope everyone reading this article will continue to love Mythic+. I’d like to thank all my supporters who still tune into my stream or Youtube channel and motivate me to create more content. Also, please buff Blood DK.

Jdotb: Mythic+ has been a really big part of my life. I wouldn’t be a streamer or have met my fiancée without it. And there’s one guy that’s been there the whole way: Shakib. We don’t get to play together as much as I’d like these days, but I wouldn’t be where I am without him. Love ya bud.

Onezy: I just want to say thank you for all the support the community brings, whether me and my team are pushing the highest keys on live or heading into MDI prison to bring back a win for the boys. It's all appreciated and it doesn't go unnoticed!

Petko: First of all, thank you Raider.IO for giving me the opportunity to be part of this article. I really appreciate it. I would like to thank everyone that has supported me throughout my Mythic+ journey. Without the audience that watches us, there would have never been “Petko”. There would have never been the Elemental Shaman that you guys really like to watch, so everything is thanks to you. Much love to my family, my loved ones and my girlfriend for making me how I am today, I will be forever grateful. Lastly, if any Blizzard class-balance employee is reading this, can you please buff Elemental Shaman’s Single-Target damage? Thanks!

Wildi: Thanks for my team and especially Andy for always putting up with me. Sorry Thaner for never pressing my defensives.


About the Author

Ferris is the Community & Events Coordinator at Raider.IO. Currently ranked among the top 100 Resto Druids in North America, Ferris is always pushing to adapt and improve! While her Rejuvs are currently limited to Retail, Ferris puts them to good use as she dedicates her game time towards pushing keys with friends in the Renewal Community or LFG. Ferris is also one of the PvE Leaders of the Oasis Community. Outside of Azeroth, Ferris is typically found defending the "rdruid dream" on Twitter or theorycrafting on her Twitch stream. As a dedicated listener and community leader, Ferris retains an attitude of growth and enthusiasm consistent throughout all her engagements and endeavors. Have feedback or suggestions for events at Raider.IO? Feel free to reach out to us via Twitter or join the Raider.IO Discord!