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Posts with tag Challenge-mode-dungeons

Challenge modes 101: The beginning, the middle, and the end

This is the sixth in a series on getting challenge modes done before the Warlords of Draenor content patch. You will find all the articles in the series here.

Challenge modes can't be queued for like normal or heroic dungeons; you must travel to the instances and start them yourself (at least until you start getting golds and can teleport to them). Doing so will illuminate why so few people enjoyed having to do this in the age before the Dungeon Finder.

Right-click your character portrait, scroll down to instance difficulty, and click the Challenge Mode option. The instance portal will change to the hourglass graphic above. Enter and you'll find the path forward blocked by a yellow mist with a sundial in front and a list of the dungeon's requirements on your right. Clicking the sundial will give you the option to start the challenge. Once you accept, you'll get a countdown from 5, and then you're off to the races. Be sure to pre-pot!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Challenge modes 101: Ranking the dungeons by difficulty

This is the fifth in a series on getting challenge modes done before the Warlords of Draenor content patch. You will find all the articles in the series here.

There's no universal agreement on which dungeon is the easiest or most difficult; groups with different CC and cooldown options don't experience dungeons in the same way. However, there's some consensus on which dungeons demand the most effort:
  • Easy: Gate, Scholomance, and Scarlet Halls
  • Intermediate: Temple, Shado-Pan Monastery, and Scarlet Monastery
  • Hard: Mogu'Shan, Siege, and Stormstout
I prefer to classify them somewhat differently.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Challenge modes 101: Pull McNasty

This is the fourth in a series on getting challenge modes done before the Warlords of Draenor content patch. You will find all the articles in the series here.

Pull McNasty (noun: 'púl mik-'NAS-tē): The worst and most difficult pull in a challenge mode dungeon, and most common point of failure for a group attempting to beat the gold timer.

Learning how to survive "Pull McNasty" is an essential challenge mode skill. Once your group knows how to coordinate its cooldowns, stuns, and interrupts, each successive McNasty will simply be a matter of tailoring that rotation to each dungeon's context so you're not pulling faster than your cooldown timers can support.

I've assembled a list of the various Pull McNasties past the cut.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Challenge modes 101: Farming invis pots and how to use them

This is the third in a series on getting challenge modes done before the Warlords of Draenor content patch. You will find all the articles in the series here.

For non-mages and groups without access to the rogue's Shroud of Concealment, plan on using a lot of Invisibility Potions for challenge modes. If you're not on a big server, the odds of finding them on the auction house are low, but farming them in quantity is easy. Ghost Mushrooms grow and respawn very quickly in the Fungal Rock cave in northeastern Un'Goro, and you can get more Sungrass than you'll ever use with a few circuits around the edge of Thousand Needles. Get a potion-specced alchemist to make the pots for you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Challenge modes 101: Shopping list


This is the second in a series on getting challenge modes done before the Warlords of Draenor content patch. You will find all the articles in the series here.

Gear in challenge modes is scaled down to ilevel 463, so it's crucial to bring buffs to maximize your group's performance. You will need:
  • Extra helm if needed Legendary meta gems do not work in CMs. If your regular helm has one equipped, pick up an ilevel 463+ helm somewhere and equip it with an ordinary meta gem.
  • Restorative Amber Healers may find this useful as it will regenerate mana substantially faster than ordinary drinking. On the down side, it requires honored with the Klaxxi to buy and it's expensive. I don't use it while healing, but many do.
  • Invisibility Potions: Plan on using one of these in every dungeon with the exception of Gate, Stormstout, and possibly Mogu'shan and Siege. Rogues can eliminate the group's need for these altogether with Shroud of Concealment. Mages can use Invisibility instead and continue to use their potion cooldowns for DPS. You can also use Lesser Invisibility Potions, but I find the 18-second version easier to farm. We'll talk more about these tomorrow.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Challenge modes 101: Finding a group before it's too late

This is the first in a series on getting challenge modes done before the Warlords of Draenor content patch. You will find all the articles in the series here.

Because challenge modes for Mists of Pandaria dungeons are set to disappear in the Warlords of Draenor content patch, I thought it might be helpful to run a series on how to get your golds squared away before that happens.

I would advise everyone to read Adam Koebel's article from January on getting started with challenge modes. I won't repeat the excellent advice given there, but will try to expand on it for the benefit of players who are trying to get all 9 golds done quickly. Take heart: My character is living proof that no one is too dumb or incompetent to do these things.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Blizzard clarifies Challenge Mode Realm Best titles [Updated]

Challenge Mode Entrance
Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas has taken to the official forums to provide more clarity on the removal of Realm Best Challenge mode titles. As ever, you can read the full post after the break, but in summary, if you're really unhappy about the removal of the titles, it's not good news.

Watcher explains the various options they considered, giving a title to everyone who'd ever been realm first, which was dismissed as too problematic for the next season. He also explains how leaving the titles with those who held them at the end of the season would not work because if those players changed servers they'd lose the server-tied titles. Response has been largely dissatisfied.

It seems to me, and I may be wrong, I am not a WoW dev after all, that it would not be so huge a feat to create a new title for those players at the top of the ranks at the season end. Challenge Modes have been compared to arenas before, and this could work exactly the same. A title like "Mystical Challenger [Name]" could be applied in the week following the end of the season, attached to the character not the server, just like they do for arena Rank One. And just like arena, players would have to vy for those realm-best top spots right up to the last weeks. The Arena comparison makes a lot of sense to me, so let's keep it going.

Hit the break for the full post, and an update posted after time of writing!

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Filed under: News items

Challenge mode rewards clarified for "end of season"

Challenge Mode Entrance
Blizzard has posted a blog detailing changes to the proposed "end-of-season" challenge mode rewards. They had previously posted a rather firm policy, detailing how this season's rewards would remain limited to those who'd previously earned them, and not be account wide. However, it seems they've changed their mind. Hit the break for the full post, as ever, but let's summarise the key points here:
  • The "Undaunted" title for all bronze medals will be account wide, so useable on any character.
  • The Pandaren Phoenix mounts earned with a full set of Silver medals will become account-wide.
  • If any character on your account has a full set of Silver medals, all four of the Pandaren Phoenixes (Crimson, Ashen, Violet, and Emerald) will become available to all characters.
  • Cosmetic sets will not be account wide. If you have all nine Gold medals, you can still buy the sets after the season ends on the character that earned the medals.
  • The "Challenger's Path" spells will be retained.
  • Realm Best titles will be permanently removed.
Hit the break for the full post.

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Filed under: News items

Warlords of Draenor: Proving grounds will be updated

As we heard today that Mists challenge modes will be ending at the Warlords of Draenor pre-patch, I wondered what the fate of Proving Grounds might be, as they share the scaling methodology of Challenge Modes, as well as rewarding players with titles, although not mounts or the like. So I asked Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas:

To first address Watcher's point on Challenge Modes as analogous to Arena, it makes a lot of sense. The focus and structure of the reward and rank system is similar to that of arena, as Watcher points out in a subsequent tweet. Both arena and Challenge Modes reward high-end play on a specific class, and as a result the rewards, rankings and titles for Gladiator or Gold are similarly not account wide. Certainly, the number of rewards given out are markedly different, but the principles are comparable.

Proving Grounds, conversely, do not work the same. While there are titles available, there is no ranking, and they do not offer similar rewards. While Challenge Modes are designed to be challenging content that is for players at their best, Proving Grounds are for learning. This may well make them easier to update for the new systems, as well as the fact that they focus on one spec at a time.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Current Challenge Modes to become Feats of Strength

Challenge Mode Entrance
WoW Insider posted recently about Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas' tweet regarding Challenge Modes, and now an official Blizzard Blog has surfaced regarding the fate of the current Challenge Mode dungeons.
  • The current challenge modes will no longer be available come Warlords pre-patch, when the item squish, stat squish and other changes also appear, rendering the scaling invalid.
  • The achievements awarded by the current challenge modes will become Feats of Strength
  • The current reward items will remain available for those who qualified prior to the end of the season -- which is when the pre-patch launches
  • After the pre-patch launches, new players will not be able to earn the Mists challenge mode achievements.
  • New Challenge Modes are coming with Warlords.
If you want the transmog gear, or the title, or the mount, you'll need to hurry up and get started on Challenge Modes! WoW Insider also has some class-specific guides and further information to aid you in your quest for glory.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: New Challenge Modes coming, with new rewards

Challenge Mode Entrance
Lovers of Challenge Mode dungeons may have been feeling a little uneasy with all the talk of how 5-mans are going to be a bigger part of WoW again in Warlords of Draenor. Simply because the popular opinion seems to be that Challenge Modes weren't a great replacement for difficult heroic mode dungeons. But fear not, Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas' tweet will put your fears to bed:


Along with the greater frequency of 5-mans, we'll be seeing new Challenge Modes appear too, and they'll feature new rewards. I'm wondering what the rewards will be -- were the transmog sets and a little Valor enough for players to feel motivated to do Challenge Modes? Or should there be additional rewards for the most tricky of difficulties? Too much good stuff and they become "mandatory", too little and the proposed harder heroics will replace them.

We will have to wait and see what happens to the Mists Challenge Modes. Personally I hope they're scaled up to max level, or altered to reward big chunks of XP, or they will be abandoned forever. Bumped up to level 100, with new gear scaling added, they could continue to be enduring content for Warlords.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Weekly news roundup with Panser of TradeChat

Panser of TradeChat is back with another WoW Insider Weekly news recap, highlighting the biggest moments from last week's news in one place. Big news? How about that Warcraft movie and all the details released over the past week? Today's topics include:
If you like the show, make sure to subscribe to TradeChat, leave comments, and tune in next week for a new episode!


Filed under: News items

WoW Challenger guides you through Challenge Modes

WoW Challenger contacted us a little while back to give us advance warning of their new site, which they were adding videos to and doing some work on, and we were impressed then, but man, now that they contacted us to say it's finished, we're really impressed now. Yes, challenge modes have existed for a while, but do you have all the golds? I know I don't, and many others are really just getting around to them now.

And that's where WoW Challenger comes in. First up, the thing I was most impressed with, is that they've got Gold Medal video for every single dungeon, in their tactics section, but also accompany that with a full written walk-through. What's more, a helpful gnome spends the entire video with you providing useful tips for dealing with trash, tricky pulls, you name it. They even provide maps with the best routes to maximize your speed through the dungeons.

But there's more to this great site than just video, they also have tips for gear, flasks, food and potions, professions, and extra items like the Restorative Amber item from the Klaxxi that is vital for casters, or Rod of Ambershaping, or the G91 Landshark. In all honesty, even if you're not interested in Challenge Modes, you should probably check this site out. You might learn something, I know I did!

Filed under: News items

How to get a World Record Challenge Mode time

NSFW Warning: Some strong language.

Zyzzix of Touch of Hades posted this video on Youtube and on the Blizzard forums early this morning, which shows their group getting what was, sadly, a very short-lived world record time in the Siege of Niuzao Temple. It's filmed from the perspective of the tank, Maeby, of The Maelstrom, EU, and has some strong language in places, so do exercise caution.

The group held the record of 12 minutes 50 seconds for only a few hours, before a US guild on Stormreaver took it back across the Atlantic with a time of 12 minutes 21 seconds, but the video still makes entertaining watching for anyone with even a remote interest in Challenge Mode dungeons, and, of course, they still hold the European record.

The remarkable thing for me is how these guys manage to take on huge numbers of adds at the same time, under the penultimate boss's barrier, using the bombs to great effect to increase their DPS. The tactic employed for the mobs coming up the ramp to the wall was also interesting, concentrating the action on the middle platform rather than allowing them to get all the way to the top.

Altogether, a really fascinating video, and I'm hoping to see this team come back with another world record. One thing I did note is that, despite some strong language, the run seemed to flow very smoothly indeed. There were a few very minor hiccups, and it looks like they could potentially go faster!

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Challenge Modes could be coming to older dungeons

Challenge Mode could be coming to older dungeons
Blizzard Community Manager Draztal posted on the forums today in response to a topic created about Challenge Modes.

Draztal
Quote:

Will you guys ever consider adding more CMs, perhaps old dungeons like Ragefire Chasm/Wailing Caverns?.

Actually, the developers would like to add Challenge Modes to existing dungeons from previous expansions. No timelines or anything, though, but it's definitely something they're considering.


This seems like a really exciting proposition, and the question is, what dungeons would be the best ones to redo? We discussed this at WoW Insider, very briefly, and one suggestion was Upper Blackrock Spire and Lower Blackrock Spire. My preference would likely not be anything that took place in Blackrock Mountain, just because it seems like such a samey place, but what do you all think, dear readers?

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

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