• March 25, 2023

In July, Lead Producer Holly Longdale announced that mitigations for Tier 4 content would be landing on the live servers with Phase 2 of WoW: Burning Crusade Classic . Since there were no further details, we've now dug through the patch notes from the original TBC era to find out for you: What all was actually toned down in Outland dungeons and Tier 4 raids back then? In other words, what toning down can we expect in the foreseeable future?

WoW TBC Classic: Why mitigations at all?

We've been asked this question over and over since the interview with Holly Longdale: Why does the content need to be toned down at all? Partly the statement followed: The raids and some of the dungeons are rather too easy, buffs for the bosses would make much more sense!

However, anyone who knows Blizzard knows that the latter doesn't fit into the WoW team's design philosophy. In the past, when a raid or dungeon challenge has been made harder, it's usually been by accident, through some scaling issue, for example. No, Blizzard will never make already available content harder to balance.

And why the nerfs? Well, throughout the Burning Crusade era, part of the process was to noticeably simplify pre-existing content at some point and loosen up the attunements to allow stragglers, casual players, and twinks to experience the dungeon and raid content as well. So you could say that Blizzard is staying true to the TBC game experience with this.

And even though we get through the content much smoother now than we did in 2007, even now there are players who haven't laid Magtheridon or Nightbane, for example, or who just can't manage to complete all the heroic dungeons for the attunements. And since - it feels like - less and less tanks are willing to fight their way through the sometimes crunchy "Heros" over and over again

, a lot of Twinks are also looking down the tube, who have a hard time finding groups for certain dungeons.

Don't forget that phase 2 of TBC Classic adds another level of content and attunement, and that some players will have to farm a lot of Heros to get the badges for their Resistance gear. In other words, it's going to be a whole lot more time-consuming and tedious to catch up with newcomers or players who need to switch to a different class for the raid. Lighter T4 content will help make this task quicker.

WoW TBC Classic: The original mitigations for Tier 4 content

The following patch notes are only actual mitigations and not bug fixes that may have also affected the difficulty of a fight.

The mitigations of patch 2.0.10

Auchindoun: Shadow Maze

  • The chance of being ambushed by the cabal's assassins has been reduced.

Fortress of Storms: Arkatraz

  • Protean Brood now deals less damage.
  • The damage dealt by Wrathful Soccothrates through the Firebrand and Strike Away abilities has been reduced.

Fortress of Storms: The Botanica

  • The Death and Decay spell from Sunseeker gene binders now deals significantly less damage and is cast less frequently.
  • Mutated Fleshwhipers now deal less melee damage.
  • Mutated Horrors and Fear Screechers now have less health.
  • Sunseeker researchers now cast Shock less frequently.
  • The blue saplings in High Botanist Freywinn encounters now slow players instead of immobilizing them.
  • High Botanist Freywinn now plants saplings slightly less frequently.


  • Virtuous Maiden's Holy Wrath has been slightly adjusted to allow the use of additional melee attackers.
  • Restless Skeletons no longer have the Firebrand ability.
  • Use of God Shield, Ice Block, or Cloak of Shadows will no longer prematurely detonate the Wreath of Flame on Aran's Schemes.

Patch 2.1 Mitigations


  • All bosses in 25-player raid instances that allow armor set tokens to be captured will now receive an additional token.
  • Hellfire Citadel: Bulwark
    • Bone Painter Destroyer now has a melee attack time of 2 seconds and will not remove the target's threat by knocking it away on Heroic difficulty.
    • Bone Malmer Callers will now attack slower.
    • The cooldown on the Blooding Eye Soothsayer's Fear spell has been increased to allow the ability to be used less frequently.
    • The Bone Painter's Rampage Addict on Heroic difficulty now deals less damage and attacks slower.
    • Adjusted the damage range graphic of the Liquid Fire spell to reflect the actual damage range. Damage dealt has been drastically reduced on Heroic difficulty.
    • The tooltip on Omor the Scarless' Bane of Betrayal ability will now display the correct damage on Heroic difficulty. Damage dealt has been reduced on Heroic difficulty. Graphics have been changed to be more noticeable.
    • Omor the Scarless's Bane of Betrayal and Traitorous Aura abilities now have a cast time of 2 seconds.
    • Added a slight delay between Nazan's Firebreath and casting Fireballs while on the ground.
  • Hellfire Citadel: Blood Cauldron
    • The Shadowmoon Clan Adept will now occasionally receive Double Attack instead of Triple Attack on Heroic difficulty.
    • The Legionnaire of the Laughing Skull no longer uses the Long-Range Strikes ability.
    • The Technician of the Shadowmoon Clan uses the Silence spell less frequently.
    • The Laughing Skull's Overseer will continue to deal with his main target on Heroic difficulty.
    • Devil's Guard Annihilator and Devil's Guard Striker now deal less damage.
  • Hellfire Citadel: The Shattered Halls
    • The Shattered Hand's Ravager will cause less damage on Heroic difficulty.
    • The Shattered Hand Reaper's Uppercut ability now has a shorter combat range.
    • The Rabid War Hound deals less damage on Heroic difficulty.
    • The amount of threat dealt to the target of War Hound O'mrogg's Beat Up ability has been reduced.
  • Hellfire Citadel: Magtheridon's Chamber
    • The Hellfire Warden difficulty has been significantly reduced.
    • Hellfire Channelers' Shadowbolt volley is now much easier to interrupt.
    • Burning Abyssen's melee damage has been significantly reduced.
  • Lizard Cauldron: The Deep Swamp
    • Deep Bat damage on Heroic difficulty has been reduced.
    • The damage of the Deep Swamp Bat on Heroic difficulty has been reduced.
    • Introduced a slight delay before the Deep Swamp Bat uses the Coral Grind ability on a target.
    • The melee damage of the Lycul Wasp and Lycul Stinger has been reduced.
    • The damage of the Deep Swamp Lords has been reduced.
  • Lizard Cauldron: Steam Chamber
    • The damage of the Steam Leech has been significantly reduced.
    • Tidal Bog damage on Heroic difficulty has been slightly reduced.
    • The range of the Swamp Overlord's Trample ability has been increased to 50 yards. However, the damage has been reduced. The ability will also be used less frequently on both Normal and Heroic difficulty.
    • The Siren of the Lizard Cauldron's Fear spell now has a cast time of 1 second and no longer removes all threat from Fearful players.
  • Auchindoun: Mana Cry
    • Astral Sorcerers will summon Arcane Beasts less frequently on Heroic difficulty.
    • Pandemonius' Dark Shell spell is now more visible when casting. Duration has been reduced from 8 seconds to 6 seconds on Heroic difficulty.
  • Auchindoun: Auchenai Crypt
    • The movement speed of Enraged and Raging Skeletons has been reduced on Heroic difficulty.
    • The damage of the Mortified Avatar's Deadly Strike has been reduced.
    • Shirrak the Deathguard's Fiery Blast damage has been reduced on Heroic difficulty.
  • Auchindoun: Sethekk Halls
    • Sethekk Guard damage has been significantly reduced.
    • Sethekk Raven Guard damage has been reduced on Heroic difficulty.
    • Darkcaster Syth's aggro range has been reduced. He now sees through Stealth and Invisibility.
    • The damage of the Sethekk Oracle's Arcane Bolt has been reduced. The spell is also used less frequently.
    • Added 1 second of cast time to the Spell Reflection ability of the Initiands of Sethekk. This is an ability, not a spell. Therefore, the ability cannot be interrupted by counterspells, kicks, or other abilities.
  • Auchindoun: Shadow Labyrinth
    • The damage of the Fiendish Foreman's Deadly Strike has been reduced on Heroic difficulty.
    • The damage of Vicious Trainers, Cultists of the Cabal, Assassins of the Cabal, Fanatics of the Cabal, and Blackheart the Agitator has been reduced on Heroic difficulty.
    • Cultist of the Cabal's damage has been reduced on Heroic difficulty.
    • The number of creatures in the Shadow Maze has been reduced.
  • Caverns of Time: The Flight of Durnholde
    • The Durnholde Mage's Transmute spell is now cast less frequently.
    • The damage of the Eternal Slayer's Deadly Strike has been reduced.
    • Lieutenant Drach's melee attack speed and damage have been slightly reduced.
  • Caverns of Time: Opening of the Dark Portal
    • The duration of Temporus' Spell Reflection ability has been reduced from 8 to 6 on Heroic difficulty.
  • Karazhan
    • Romulo's Daring spell now increases speed and damage by 35% instead of 50%.
    • Romulo's Poisoned Strike is now used less frequently.
    • The damage of Lunge Backwards has been reduced.
    • Terestian Siechhuf now waits longer before reviving his Imp Kil'rek.
    • The hit points of Terestian Siechhuf's imps have been slightly reduced.
    • The Phantom Gasp's melee damage per second has been slightly reduced.
    • Roar is now subject to Horror effects.
    • The Ghostly Baker's Rolling Pin now only deals damage to one target.
    • Elementals summoned by Aran's Schemes now have significantly less health.
    • The Blizzard cast by Aran's Schemes is now more visible, and the duration has been reduced.
    • Aran's Schemen no longer casts Dragon's Bane.
    • Skeleton Gatekeepers can now be affected by Bind Undead.
    • Mana Marauders and Mana Clingers have had their health noticeably reduced. Mana Marauders also deal less melee damage.
    • Dark Screechers will no longer cast Sonic Explosion one right after the other.
  • Fortress of Storms
    • The hit points of all non-endgame creatures have been reduced. Enemy-specific pet creatures are not affected by this change.
    • Damage dealt by Astronomer Novices and Starseer Apprentices has been greatly reduced.
    • Crystal Core Shield Guards no longer use Trample.
    • Astronomers and Astronomer Lords no longer use the Blast ability. The range of their Fireball Volley has been increased.
    • Starseer's Rain of Stars has had its range and damage over time reduced.
  • Fortress of Storms: The Botanika
    • Stormforge Peacekeepers now deal melee physical damage instead of arcane. On Heroic difficulty, the Arcane Strike ability will no longer be used.
    • The duration of Vial of Poison has been significantly reduced.
    • The damage of Netherranch's Agitators and Harvesters has been reduced on Heroic difficulty.
    • Dorngrin the Keeper's damage has been reduced on Heroic difficulty.
    • Mutant Fleshwhip damage has been reduced on Heroic difficulty.
    • The Sunseeker genebinder will use Death and Decay less frequently. damage reduced on Heroic difficulty.
    • The hit points of the mutated Fear Screecher and mutated Terror have been reduced.
    • Warp Branch's Arcane Volley damage has been reduced on Heroic difficulty.
  • Fortress of Storms: The Arkatraz
    • Protean Nightmare and Arkatraz Defenders damage has been reduced on Heroic difficulty.
    • There are fewer Arkatraz Shield Guard corpses in the dungeon.
    • Seed of Corruption by Zereketh the Independent no longer sets players back as far.
    • Zereketh's melee damage has been reduced on Heroic difficulty.
    • The damage of Zereketh's Shadow Nova and Deathguard's Deathblow has been reduced.
    • The damage of the Arkatraz Shield Guard's Energy Discharge has been reduced.
    • Negatonkreischer and Negatonwarpmaster's melee damage has been reduced on Heroic difficulty.
    • The damage of the Eredar Deathbringer's Weakened Soul has been reduced.
    • The damage of the Eredar Soul Eater's Soul Cold has been significantly reduced.
    • The damage of the Creeping Witch's Chastisement ability has been reduced on Heroic difficulty.
    • The Independent Devastator can no longer use Devastate and Deafening Roar at the same time. Added a short common cooldown to both abilities.
    • The melee damage of the Astral Realm Wave Caster, Astral Realm Lifebinder, and Giant Abyss has been reduced on Heroic difficulty.
    • The damage dealt by Unleashed Doombringer's War Thunder has been reduced.
    • Herold Horizontiss' Mind Wound is used less frequently and deals less damage.
    • The duration of Herold Horizontiss' Domination has been changed to 6 seconds.
    • The mana drained by Herold Horizontiss' "Mana Burn" has been reduced on Heroic difficulty.
    • The damage from Akkiris Lightning Caller's Lightning Bolt Discharge has been reduced on Heroic difficulty.
    • Fewer Protean Nightmares roam the Halls of Arkatraz.

Patch 2.1.2 Mitigations

  • Karazhan
    • The damage dealt by Nethergroll's Netherbreath has been reduced.

Patch 2.2 Mitigations

  • Auchindoun Shadow Maze
    • Shadow Priests of the Cabal have had the time between recasts of the spell Shadow Word: Pain increased.
  • Caverns of Time - The Black Morass
    • The time between recasting Shadow Bolt Volley has been increased for all Keepers of the Rifts of Time. Additionally, on Heroic difficulty, the damage dealt has been reduced.
    • On Heroic difficulty, the health of Eternal Executioners has been reduced.
    • Temporus' Deadly Wound spell now only stacks up to 7 times on a target (previously it stacked up to 10 times).
    • On Heroic difficulty, Temporus will now take longer to cast his Hasten spell again.
  • Caverns of Time - The Flight of Durnholde
    • On Heroic difficulty, a group of guards under the bridge has been removed.
    • You now have 20 attempts to complete Thrall's escort event instead of only 3.
  • Hellfire Citadel: The Shattered Halls
    • On Heroic difficulty, Huntsmen, Legionnaires, and Heretics of the Shattered Hand, as well as Rabid War Hounds, now deal less melee damage.
  • Karazhan
    • The Distracting Ashes of the Night's Terror can now be removed with Cloak of Shadows.
  • Fortress of Storms: The Arkatraz
    • On Heroic difficulty, the Independent Devastators will now take longer to recast their Deafening Roar spell.
    • Herald Horizoniss is casting his Fear spell less frequently.
  • Fortress of Storms: The Botanika
    • It now takes longer for Dorngrin the Guardian to recast his Hellfire spell.
    • On Heroic difficulty, Dorngrin the Keeper will now take longer to recast his Sacrifice spell.
    • Dorngrin the Keeper's Rage spell now only increases his melee damage by 75% instead of 110%.
  • Fortress of Storms: The Mechanar
    • Raging Flames in the Nethermant Sepethrea encounter has had its movement speed slightly reduced in Heroic mode.
    • Arcane elementals summoned by Netherbinders of the Sunseekers are now correctly classified as arcane elementals. They also deal less melee damage and their health has been reduced.

Patch 2.3 Mitigations

  • Key requirements for Heroic instances have been lowered to Benevolent.
  • Auchenai Crypt
    • Wandering Spirits now behave neutrally towards players.
    • Spirits now take longer to summon.
  • Auchindoun: Sethekk Halls
    • Monsters within the Sethekk Halls will now still grant reputation for the lower quarters even up to "Awe-inspiring".
  • Hellfire Citadel: Magtheridon's Chamber
    • Mind Creation will not be applied until Magtheridon has been successfully banished.
  • Karazhan
    • The number of creatures that must be killed in Karazhan's servant quarters for a miniboss to appear has been reduced.
    • Phase dogs in Karazhan are now less likely to disappear.
    • Ice Mist Widows no longer reset the threat when casting Poison Lightning Volley.
  • Fortress of Storms
    • Mechanar
      • Nethermantine Sepethrea's Frost attack reduces movement speed by 25% instead of 50%.

Patch 2.4 mitigations

  • In 25-player instances, all raid bosses that drop set tokens will now drop an additional token!
  • All raid bosses that did not previously carry a Badge of Justice now carry one!
  • Shadowy undead and mechanical creatures are now subject to bleed effects.
  • Elemental creatures are now no longer explicitly immune to poison and disease effects. However, elementals with immunities to nature magic are still immune to nature category poisons.
  • The loot from Doomlord Kazzak and Doomwalker will now be bound upon creation. Additionally, the gold dropped by bosses has been significantly increased.
  • Caverns of Time: The Heroic Black Morass
    • Preservers and Princes of Time Rifts now have less health.
  • Caverns of Time: The Ancient Hill Country
    • Scouts of Durnholde no longer spawn in the Heroic version of the instance. Creature placement in and around Castle Durnholde is now the same in Heroic and Normal modes.
  • Hellfire Citadel: Magtheridon's Chamber
    • Many gameplay elements of the encounters in Magtheridon's Chamber have been changed to make them less complex and easier overall.
  • Karazhan
    • The Master's Key is no longer required to enter Karazhan. However, the gates of Karazhan will need to be opened with the Master's Key as before.
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