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World of Warcraft Lockouts Guide
World of Warcraft Lockouts Guide

A short instruction about how instances connected to the loot lockout in them

John avatar
Written by John
Updated over a week ago

Loot lockouts limit how frequently your character can obtain loot from a bosses. While primarily focused around Raid bosses, these limits also effect Mythic & Heroic dungeons, and World bosses.

To check what lockouts your character is currently saved to, press the O key, select the Raid tab, and click on Raid Info in the upper right. This will display your current lockouts and the time left until they reset.

Throughout the years, World of Warcraft has used several different lockout systems that currently coexist in the game. When thinking about lockout limits, keep in mind the raid sizes (10 / 25-player) and difficulties (LFR, Normal, Heroic, Mythic).

Instance-based Lockouts

  • All members of your raid will share the same unique instance for the entire duration of the lockout. If your raid defeats any boss without you, you won't be able to engage that boss until the next reset.

  • Instance-based lockouts primarily affect the oldest raids, but affect all Mythic-difficulty Raids as well as Heroic and Mythic dungeons.

  • Example: Molten Core

Boss-based Lockouts

  • Your character can enter different raid instances, but cannot enter any instance where a boss they've already killed is still alive.

  • This is tracked across both raid size and raid difficulty.

    • Example: If you defeat Lord Marrowgar on 10-player, you cannot zone into a different player's instance where he is not defeated, whether that instance is 10-player or 25-player, Normal or Heroic.

  • You can switch between Normal or Heroic difficulty for individual bosses.

    • Note: The final boss of each raid can only be challenged on Heroic difficulty if all previous bosses have been defeated on Heroic difficulty in that week.

  • This was the primary lockout system for Wrath of the Lich King through Mists of Pandaria.

    • Example: Icecrown Citadel

Loot-based Lockouts

  • In these lockouts, you'll be able to challenge and defeat a boss any number of times, but you can only receive loot once per lockout reset.

  • This is tracked per individual difficulty.

    • If you defeat Shriekwing on Normal difficulty, you can kill him on Heroic difficulty and receive additional loot.

  • Example: World Bosses, any Looking for Raid-difficulty

Timewalking Lockouts

  • The Black Temple, Ulduar, and Firelands raids can be accessed in Timewalking difficulty during their respective events. Timewalking difficulty has a different lockout than the normal raid does, and both difficulties can be done in the same week.


  • Dungeons operate under an instance-based lockout.

  • Normal dungeons can be reset at any time when the party is outside of the instance, and will reset automatically after a certain amount of time has passed.

  • Heroic dungeons reset daily.

    • This lockout does not affect you when queuing for random Heroic dungeons in the Group Finder. It only prevents you from queueing for specific dungeons you've already completed.

  • Mythic dungeons reset weekly, but this does not affect Mythic Keystone dungeons.

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