Wednesday, September 19, 2012

World of Warcraft: Challenge Dungeon Details

Blizzard opened challenge dungeons on the beta for testing recently so a lot more information about them has been funneling out. They're not going to work quite as I expected but they still seem pretty awesome. Here are some interesting tidbits I've picked up that I think will be useful for other people to know...

- All mobs on challenge mode have one more level than the mobs on heroic mode. This brings them in line with raiding mobs. (In particular a heroic boss is level 92, a challenge boss is level 93.)
- Hit and expertise ratings on your gear will _not_ scale down. The reason for this is they didn't want to force raiders to maintain a set of raiding gear and a set of challenge gear. Typically getting to the hit and expertise caps is the best bang for your buck and they didn't want to force people to have to worry about just how much their hit cap would scale down.
- All your other ratings get scaled down more than they should to make up for the above point. Basically any hit or expertise rating that you should lose gets taken away from the other ones instead. Some people (dot/hot classes I think?) might care about a specific amount of haste and this will make their lives more complicated.
- Gear does _not_ scale up. I was under the impression initially that you'd be handed a set of gear when you zoned in that you were forced to use. Instead you just have anything higher than ilvl 463 scaled down. This means you do have to worry about hunting gear from other sources. It means you need to work out stat weights to pick the right gear.
- On the plus side it looks like ilvl 463 isn't raiding gear. 463 looks to be gear that drops from heroic 5-mans. Better stuff is fine (but will get scaled down). Worse stuff is likely crippling. So there's likely a lot of heroic 5-man running in our future.
- Set bonuses are turned off.
- It doesn't sound like they've actually decided how they're going to handle trinket procs/use effects. Will they get scaled down or will raiders get an advantage here?
- Pounder was worried that a stealth team of 2 rogues/3 druids would win by skipping everything but the bosses. Apparently they're adding in mechanisms to prevent skipping trash. I don't know details but it could be doors that don't open until all the trash is dead or true sight trash? Blizzard seems to want everyone to at least have a chance so I'm hoping the stealth group isn't feasible. But the second character I level to 90 will definitely be stealth capable just in case!
- Challenge dungeons don't drop gold or loot. Your gear also doesn't take damage. There are rewards for winning (valor points, and apparently a reasonable number of them?)
- You can reset the dungeon at any time and can run it as many times per day as you want.
- There is no dungeon finder for challenge modes. There is no free teleport to the dungeon. (Well, if you win in a gold medal time you get a spell to teleport there.) You have to have beaten the dungeon on heroic to zone in.
- No restrictions on consumables at all. So food/flasks/potions are going to be mandatory when trying for world records. Swiftness potions in particular are allowed as are engineering speed-boost tinkers. I can't help but worry that everyone's going to need to be an engineer...
- They're taking a lot of randomness out. Some dungeons have bosses that spawn with random abilities. On challenge mode the abilities are fixed. This is good since it means your time is based on how good you do and not if you got the fastest ability combination.
- The claim is they're about as hard as the harder Burning Crusade heroics. I have my doubts but I'll be happy if they are. We were able to eventually get through all of them pre-nerf (by days on Shattered Halls, I think, but we got it) and I'll be really happy if they're that hard.

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