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 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

  • 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.

You can find the list of Raids, World bosses, and information on the lockout system they use below:

Vanilla/BC
  • Original WoW
    • Onyxia (Current version)
    • Molten Core
    • Blackwing Lair
    • Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj (20-player)
    • Temple of Ahn'Qiraj
      • Zul'Gurub and the original Naxxramas have been removed.
  • Burning Crusade
    • Karazhan
    • Gruul's Lair
    • Magtheridon's Lair
    • Serpentshrine Cavern
    • Tempest Keep: The Eye
    • The Battle for Mount Hyjal
    • Black Temple
    • The Sunwell
      • The Zul'Aman raid has been removed, and was reintroduced as a dungeon in Cataclysm.
WOTLK/CATA/MoP

These are Boss-based Lockouts, with 10/25 player and LFR/Normal/Heroic difficulty. Note: Looking for Raid difficulty was first introduced with Dragon Soul. Note: Siege of Orgrimmar is considered a current era raid.

  • Wrath of the Lich King
    • Naxxramas (Current version)
    • Eye of Eternity
    • Obsidian Sanctum
    • Trial of the Crusader
    • Vault of Archavon
    • Icecrown Citadel
    • Ruby Sanctum
      • Ulduar was originally available in 10/25 and Normal/Heroic, but was condensed into one difficulty when it was introduced as a Timewalking raid. All bosses can drop either their 10-player or 25-player loot.
  • Cataclysm
    • Blackwing Descent
    • Bastion of Twilight
    • Throne of the Four Winds
    • The Firelands
    • Baradin Hold
    • Dragon Soul
  • Mists of Pandaria
    • Mogushan Vaults
    • Heart of Fear
    • Terrace of Endless Spring
    • Throne of Thunder
MoP/WoD/Legion/BoA/Shadowlands

These are Loot-based Lockouts with flexible raid sizes, and LFR/Normal/Heroic/Mythic difficulties.

  • Mists of Pandaria
    • Siege of Orgrimmar
  • Warlords of Draenor
    • Highmaul
    • Blackrock Foundry
    • Hellfire Citadel
  • Legion
    • Emerald Nightmare
    • Trial of Valor
    • Nighthold
    • Tomb of Sargeras
    • Antorus, the Burning Throne
  • Battle for Azeroth
    • Uldir
    • Battle of Dazar'alor
    • Crucible of Storms
    • Eternal Palace
    • Ny'alotha, the Waking City
  • Shadowlands
    • Castle Nathria
World Bosses

World Bosses

  • Burning Crusade has 2 bosses, with individual lockouts.
    • Doom Lord Kazzak
    • Doomwalker
  • Mists of Pandaria has several bosses, with mostly individual lockouts.
    • Nalak
    • Oondasta
    • Ordos
    • Salyis' Warband (Galleon)
    • Sha of Anger
    • August Celestials (Chi-Ji, Niuzao, Xuen, Yu'lon)
      • The Celestials share one lockout.
  • Starting with Warlords of Draenor, worldbosses began to rotate weekly. Information on these bosses can be found in the Adventure Journal in-game.
    • Warlords of Draenor has 4 bosses.
    • Legion has 15, split between the Broken Isles and the Broken Shore.
    • Battle for Azeroth has 6, with 2 additional bosses in Nazjatar.
    • Shadowlands has 4.