Not Heroic. Heroic Challenge, prz!

Posted by Weezzii in , , ,

I think I speak for a number of people when I say the "timed" sorts of dungeons bring an added appeal. Doing ZA bear runs is of course the first thing that comes to mind. Even after you get to the point of being able to "beat" the instance every reset, it is simply a little more fun when you have that clock bearing down on the group.
Similarly the BC quest-line for entering Tempest Keep, [Trial of the Naaru: Mercy] ...or even the pre-BC 45 minute Baron runs through Undead Strat -- they all bring an added element of excitement to doing an instance. (not to mention the fringe benefit of implication to your entire group that AFKing isn't an option)

I'd like to see another 5-man dungeon implemented that has something of a similar quality.
Before I get into that, the "modes" of the dungeon should be as follows:
"Normal" -- ie.. just like any other "normal" instance.
"Heroic Challenge" -- this is where this entire suggestion comes into play - explained below.
There should not simply be a "Heroic" mode.

What is the "Heroic Challenge"?
An instance of "Heroic" level difficulty with player urgency and skill being required to win. (yes, I said win... not just "complete")

How do you "win" an instance?
You queue up for the instance much like you would an arena. Once your group is in queue, you are paired up against another group to compete against. The ultimate goal would be to complete the instance before the opposing group completes the instance... ie. "win".

But isn't gear and skewed class makeups going to dominate?
Hopefully not. The idea is that your current gear would not exist in this instance. Additionally the instance should be created to ensure a challenge for everyone. ie... not all humanoids or demons/elementals that can be CC'd by bringing a single class. Groups would have to make a decision upon queue'ing up as to which classes they will bring and face the consequence of not being able to CC everything easily. The instance would have to contain a variety of obstacles that a simple group would not normally be able to handle with ease. Hard hitting mobs to avoid the AoE-fests... certain adds on bosses that need to be OT'd, but if you don't bring an OT are capable of being elaborately kited (just an example). I'm sure there are many ways to provide obstacles for a 5 man group.

Wait, you said our "gear would not exist"... what are you talking about?
Pre-set loadouts of gear. When you enter the instance, the gear in your bags and your current gear basically become gray'd out to you. Similar to arena preparation, you get a couple of minutes to get ready/buff/drop a food table. Additionally you choose which set of gear you will be participating in the instance with. It doesn't have to be amazing gear... it needs to have some general sense of balance/ilvl for all classes. Something along the lines of the blue quality "Savage" pvp gear that is currently available. After choosing your gear loadout, your stats adjust to match your choice.

So both "teams" are essentially using the same gear?
Yes, exactly. Helping to boil things down to the methods each group uses to progress through the instance.

How do we know if we lost, though?
The instance could be designed along the same lines as certain parts of Mechanar or Arcatraz... with a semi-transparent floor (or ceiling), so you would actually see the team you are competing against. Another idea would be to run the teams side-by-side... sort of like being in the Deep Run Tram and looking through the glass at the water... but seeing the other team instead.

Wait.. speaking of losing, what about winning?! What do we get?
Well, it'd be "Heroic" level difficulty, so gear off of each boss should be on par with dungeons of that variety. Additionally, if you slay the last boss before your counter-parts, then I don't think an additional badge or two would be out of the question, as well as an added piece of loot. The losing team should still be allowed to complete the instance, they just won't have the benefit of bonus badges or bonus loot from the final boss.

Hmm... sounds pretty cool. What about exploits? Aren't people going to exploit this?
People are going to try to exploit everything, just because they want to try. Keep in mind that this is in fact a "Heroic" dungeon -- meaning you can only run it once a day anyway.

What about people who play at off-peak hours? Won't finding competition be hard?
I think that's inherent to any part of the game. Off-peak is great for farming... and probably poor for battleground competition. This could be extended into your battlegroup, of course. Your "team" would come from your server... but you could be matched against a group from another server, either faction.

Sounds like this would be hard to implement!
I've no doubt this would take a lot of work to implement properly and work out the various kinks. The design of the dungeon alone would be a monstrous task to balance AGAINST various group makeups to provide greater challenge and prevent class-stacking n' that sort of thing. I suppose you could limit groups to a maximum of 2 of any class... but that may not be a desirable feature.

In general, I think this would be a lot of fun. There wouldn't be a "Heroic" mode to just go in and test stuff on... just a "Normal" mode to allow you and your group to get your feet wet with the flow of the instance and a loose idea of what to expect. For those people that play the game quite a bit, this would probably be the dungeon that you would look most forward to running each day... and for the more casual players that don't get to log on much, this may be the one instance they run when they do log on. Thankfully though, even with the disparity in gear that these two types of people might have, it is all negated by the pre-set loadout system built into the dungeon itself.
So you're racing not just against time in general.. but other players as well. I suppose if you really wanted to extend the idea of competition more, you could have a "leaderboard"... listing the best times posted by which 5 people - battleground or server wide.

Anyway, that's just a thought that I've had for a long time. I'm sure someone else out there has had the same idea before. I've searched the WoW Suggestion forums with zero results that turn up anything remotely similar to this.

So, what do you all think? comments/suggestions/feedback?
Scrap the idea altogether?... or should we refine this and post it in the suggestion forums so we can watch the trolls pick it a part and then tell us to go back to our miserable lives?

===> the TL;DR version
- Dunecat is srs business.


Weezzii, where do you come up with this stuff?

Honestly, this is a great idea. Add some competition to Heroics. It's nice that Blizz gave us Achievements, something to try for rather than just the stupid Heroic grind for badges like in BC. Achievements brought a little more challenge/excitement to Heroics. Then Blizz nerfed Gotta Go to an extreme and I'm afraid they'll nerf others, which leaves NO challenge.

I don't necessarily like the idea of being brought down to the "same gear". I work hard for my gear, as do others, countless hours raiding/running heroics etc. to get what I have. I believe if they make it Battlegroup wide, then they can make it be similar to the way arenas/pvp works and blizzard can use their Match Making system to find groups that are similar in gear and pair them against each other. I just want to be able to use the gear I work for so hard all the time.

I really like the idea of the wall/floor being transparent. I would believe it would have to be the floor, as the wall would leave less to be imagined in the way of level design.As the levels would always have to parallel each other, and I believe that would be harder to design. Think corners. Unless each team is i a different instance, but just like a video is displayed on the walls, not necessarily the other team is on the other side of the wall. Or maybe just a progression map? But the floor being semi-transparent seems like the best idea to me.

Certain parts of the instance could change to be tank/spank then aoe then cc oriented. Just have bosses/parts of the instance so that maybe a certain part caters to certain groups, but others cater to other groups make ups. Just have it so that not 1 kind of group can just easily go thru and handle every part. (this makes sense in my head).

Another good post Sir.


It's a cool idea, but I agree with Knavve, you can't take people's gear away - it's the only way people have to progress their character.

I think what Weezzi was getting at is... He wants to run it without peoples gear caring them. I KNOW many people who's gear can take them a long way, but when it gets down to it they are probably terrible at what they do. So bringing down the gear to the same lvl would in turn make people L 2 PLAY there class, which would in turn make people A LOT better at what they do with there char.


ALSO what i was getting at before is that, it would make for a funner competition if everyone's gear was the same. No one could be carried by there gear, and no one would have an advantage over another person or team this way. I think some of this was addressed in the post above.


My point still stands. The only way that you can improve your character in WoW is through gear, you shouldn't make encounters than nullify your work (ie: Malygos phase 3).

ROFL But it's the point of doing something WHEN THERE IS NOTHING ELSE TO DO! AND as before I think it was more about the player playing not the gear caring! I think it would be a great time, BUT that's just me!


Yah, I definitely like Knavve and Zodi's position on this.

Anyone else have some thoughts?

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I agree if you want to do something like this, some sort of match making system would be a better idea than stripping gear. While that might be better for competition, I think it would just piss players off. Additionally, since you aren't proposing an all or nothing run, you still get something even if you lose to the other team, balance isn't quite as important as it is in Arena.

I like the idea generally, but there is one thing that kind of bugs me, and that is queuing up for an instance. What if instead of actually running the instance in parallel, you used Knavve's idea of having the other group projected on screens, and just start the Playback of the Last group that ran it at the same time as the current group starts? Every group would then be competing against the last group who entered the instance, and say, spent at least 15 minutes in there to make it harder to exploit, but it would give the illusion of being head to head. For a leader board, you would be going off of total time through anyway. About the only thing you lose doing it this way is not being able to /emote to the other group in real time, but unless you are running at the same speed, that might not happen much anyway.

- Cobeathris

I just had another thought. Thinking about it, having players go head to head on an instance run, is basically just a pseudo timed instance, the time is just based off of how good the other team is.

How about having what one group does affect the other group? Maybe have an extra (optional) boss fight that if you complete before the other group does, makes some sort of change to their run. Maybe it releases some extra guards, makes certain mobs tougher, or forces them to take a different path through the instance. You could skip the boss to try to get a time advantage, or you could do the fight in the hopes that it would slow down the other team enough to let you win.

- Cobeathris

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