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Heroic mode refers to a dungeon difficulty (, & ) setting. This setting is accessed from the party or raid leader's portrait menu; currently the only other difficulty setting is normal mode (the default setting). Depending on expansion and dungeon type (5-player or raid), the setting has different effects and requirements. For all heroic mode dungeons mobs and bosses have more HP, hit harder, and have additional or more potent skills. Heroic-mode bosses drop better quality equipment than their normal-mode counterparts as well as currency tokens used to purchase epic equipment from vendors.
Heroic mode dungeons are on a lockout timer much like raids, and can only be run once a day per character. Each dungeon is on an independent timer, however, so a character could run as many as 15 heroic mode instances per day. Heroic timers are reset daily at 11:00 A.M. server time for US servers, and 8:00 A.M. server time for European servers.
CataclysmThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
The level for Heroics has risen to level 85. Along with new dungeons in the expansion, a couple old lower level dungeons have been re-done or have had a Heroic mode added (Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep).
Reports from blogs and forums indicate that the new Heroics will require more coordination, crowd control, focus fire, and threat management than players may be used to at the end of the previous expansion.
Wrath of the Lich KingThis section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
With the second expansion, heroic mode was extended to raids. The key requirements were not included on instances, instead heroic mode is available to all players at 80. The token system used in TBC heroics was considered successful, new tokens were added for the various "tiers" of wrath heroics and raids. For example, the same tokens drop in heroic 5-players and the first-tier 10-player raids, while a different token drops in the first tier 25-player raids and second-tier 10-player raids. A third token drops in second-tier 25-player raids, and will presumably drop in the third-tier 10-player raids when implemented.
Before Patch 3.2.0, Heroic mode raids, unlike their instance counterparts, did not dictate difficulty. Instead 10-player raids were considered "normal" mode, and 25-player raids to be "heroic". Heroic raids are not intended to be "harder" than the 10-player version of the same raid, instead simply tuned for the larger number of players. Heroic raids do still drop higher quality equipment than the normal-mode counterparts, by the logic that it is more difficult to form a good 25-player group. The currency tokens dropped in each mode can be used to buy items of similar quality to the boss-dropped items.
- Dungeon difficulty:
- 5-player heroic mode for the Heroic mode instances.
- Raid difficulty:
The Burning CrusadeThis section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
Each of the 5-player dungeons introduced in the World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade expansion pack may be run on heroic mode if every member of the party has obtained the appropriate key. These keys are purchased from the faction quartermaster of the faction corresponding to the instance once reaching honored. At introduction the keys required revered, but this was reduced in later patches to allow easier access to the heroic modes. Magister's Terrace, which was introduced later with patch 2.4, did not use a purchased key. To obtain this key players needed to simply complete a quest which involved killing the final boss of the instance in normal mode.
Some heroic mode instances share loot with their normal-mode counterparts, while some do not. For example, items that drop in a level 70 normal instance like Shattered Halls will also drop in the heroic mode. However a lower-level instance like Hellfire Ramparts will have completely different items in normal and heroic mode. For the instance where loot is shared there are also additional items that only drop in the heroic mode. These items are of higher quality than the other items. Each boss in a heroic dungeon may drop an epic gem. The last boss always drops one epic item in addition to a Badge of Justice.
In heroic mode, all instances get a lot harder, and most mobs have their damage increased and bosses often having their damage and health increased.
Many of the following are stats commonly accepted by PUG heroics (guild heroics may be higher/ lower depending on the nature of the guild.)
Generally, tanks should have enough dodge/block/parry and life combined to be healed efficiently, but not constantly. Note that 5-player-heroics healing is based upon healing the entire group, unlike 10- or 25-player-raid healing where tanks may often have a dedicated (or 2-3) healer topping them off.
In , tanks are usually expected to have at least 120K health un-buffed (yes, the numbers got sort of out of control in Cataclysm), but health is less important now in level 85 heroics than it was in the past. Damage mitigation is more important as well as having the right timing and tactics. Usually get as much mastery as you can for heroics, and balance out dodge/parry ratings for maximum avoidance. Good targets are 25K armor, 10% dodge, 10% parry, and 30% block. Maxing your hit/expertise is controversial, but most agree it isn't necessary.
In , a tank should have 21k health un-buffed and 535 Defense. Wrath heroics are noticeably more difficult in boss encounters as well as the requirements for crowd control and group coordination.
For , the way the various healing classes work have now diverged enough that any generalization about needed stats has probably become useless. Investigate level 85 normal and heroic healing prep guides for the class and talent spec you plan to heal with.
However, healer gear/stats are often greatly dependent on the tank. If your tank has 21k health and your healer has a low spell power, or low 5k mana, your healer will not be able to heal the tank quick enough, or for long enough. But if the healer has 1,500 spell power and 12k mana, but your tank has < 21k health, or is below 535 Defense it's not going to matter, because the tank will die too fast.
A good healer has more than 14k mana: this is preferred for boss fights, and for efficient running (most people geared for heroic aren't willing to wait after every mob for a mana break). Also try to aim for about 400+ mana regeneration when out of combat, and at least 230+ whilst casting; this helps a lot with efficient running.
Though less important than the above, health is also a vital factor, especially on low-armor healers, especially priests, who can be hit for 14k (non-crit) damage in some heroics (e.g. Hammer of the Righteous, see Eadric the Pure). Strive for at least 16k+ health; and for paladins and shamans, a shield, which really aids with survivability.
For , a healer should have between 1,000 and 1,300 spell power to heal effectively in heroics.
In , crowd control has become very important again. For heroics there is no specific advice to give beyond, use all the CC techniques at your disposal unless the encounter has some more important task for you (AoE, de-curse, misdirect, etc.)
In , most heroics do not need any form of crowd control. Correctly geared tanks can generate enough threat to hold the attention of multiple mobs, and the damage is low enough to be relatively easily healed.
If crowd control is requested, Mages are the most effective, because of the usefulness of Polymorph. Rogues and Retribution paladins are the next best CC, with hunters' Ice Traps and the Shaman Hex being last. If played correctly, all are viable forms of CC, and depending on the DPS output of your group, you may only need to incapacitate the mob for 10secs, making traps as efficient as Polymorph.
All classes have a strong DPS spec and with Dual Talent Specialization, even players who normally heal or are tanks can have a second spec just for DPS.
Most classes should keep their health above 16k to avoid being one-shotted; and casters should aim to have mana above 15k as well, so sustained DPS can be used on mobs and bosses.
Patch 2.3.0 introduced daily quests for heroic dungeons. These daily quests, referred to as "daily heroics", involved killing the final boss in a dungeon on heroic mode, and gave additional in or in and money as a reward.
The daily heroic quests were removed in patch 3.3.0, but daily heroic quests still exist.
Relative dungeon difficulty
Relative difficulty in Cataclysm
|Instance||Reputation Reward||Approximate Relative Difficulty|
|Halls of Origination||TBD|
|Lost City of the Tol'vir||TBD|
|Throne of the Tides||TBD|
Relative difficulty in Wrath of the Lich King
|Instance||Reputation Reward||Approximate Relative Difficulty|
|Culling of Stratholme||1700|
|Halls of Lightning||2150|
|Halls of Stone||1850|
Heroic Mode; Violet Hold, located within Dalaran, is commonly considered the easiest of all Northrend Heroic Instances. This is because it can be completed in under 20 minutes on average by those with even minor Heroic Instance Skills. Its low difficulty and low Reputation of 1300 makes it commonly a very casual Heroic Instance.
Relative difficulty in Burning Crusade
|Instances||Faction||Key||Instances to grind at 70||Approximate Difficulty|
|Hellfire Citadel||Thrallmar/Honor Hold|
|Coilfang Reservoir||Cenarion Expedition|
|Tempest Keep||The Sha'tar|
|Caverns of Time||Keepers of Time|
|Isle of Quel'Danas||Shattered Sun Offensive||[70D]||
Magisters' Terrace (~1450 rep)
Note that the heroic dungeons introduced in and don't require an attunement, but do require all characters in the group to be level 80 (85 for Cataclysm heroics).
- Patch 3.3.0 (08-Dec-2009): daily heroic quests were removed in patch 3.3.0 and introduced weekly raid quests.
- Patch 3.2.0 (04-Aug-2009): Changed the setting to 5 Player Heroic under the interface setting Dungeon difficulty. Changed the setting to 10 Player Heroic and 25 Player Heroic under the interface setting Raid difficulty.
- Patch 2.3.0 (13-Nov-2007): Introduced daily quests for heroic dungeons.
- Patch 2.0.3 (09-Jan-2007): Heroic mode introduced.