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BlizzCon 2011: World of Warcraft Dungeon and Raids Panel – Challenge Modes

blizzcon-2011-wow-dungeon-and-raids-panel-challenge-modes-2

This is a transcript of part one of the World of Warcraft Dungeons & Raids Panel led by WoW Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton.

Challenge Modes

We have some very awesome dungeons and lot of ways to play them, but some people are looking for a greater challenge in them.

Maybe you want to try something different, and so we’re looking to give players an opportunity of a different thing to do.

It works great to do it within the dungeons because we have so much content there to come up with a new mode for players to play them in.

Essentially, what challenge mode is is doing a dungeon on a timed run similar to the runs we used to have back in the day where people could go in and do a timed run specifically on a — Stratholme is a great example with a 45-minute Baron Run, you know something like that — but we want to take that and turn that into a whole entire mode with what the whole concept is.

So you’ll be able to go into a dungeon, timer starts, and then see how quickly you can finish it. We’ll have specific time setup that would give you a Bronze, Silver or Gold medal, and depending on how quick you can finish it you can earn that medal and that would work for the dungeons across the board.

We’re going to start first with the Pandaria dungeons, and move on to older dungeons where that could work, like Stratholme and Scholomance.

Really give players something they can do with guildies, with their friends, but we’d also like this to work with the dungeon finder tool.

We’re looking into having an option to queue for challenge mode, and only queue with other people that want to do it in this mode.

Another huge note about challenge mode is that we’re using normalized gear. It’s a huge deal here. Essentially everyone that’s in here is going to have the exact same item level of their gear.

So it really means it’s a skill-based exercise, and not just based on how good your gear is, and it’s really great because it means this content is going to last for so much longer because we can normalize that gear.

Later on you might have gear and come back and try to do a dungeon, and think you’re going to blow it out of the water, but you’ll be on the same playing field as another guy who might have heroic gear rather than raid gear.

Now what we were talking about for the rewards for this is really really awesome looking gear you can use for transmogrification.

Obviously we were saying you’ll get Valor Points for doing this. Part of our philosophy is that people should be able to do whatever they want to advance their character.

You’ll be able to do Challenge Modes if you like and still learn valor points, but we love the idea of getting unique art for this so you can show off.

A big part is Bragging Rights and Leaderboards.

If you can only get that gear here you can transmogrify your tier 14 into the gear you get specifically out of challenge mode.

Now like I mentioned, Leaderboards will be a huge part of this. The concept you can take your time and compare it against your Battle.net Friend List or your guildies and find out who got who, which dungeon the fastest, and what medals have you earned.

A number of ways you can compare with other people. You can look at their gear, and know if they’ve been able to get the gold medal in this dungeon.

We’ve got a couple mockups of what the UI is going to look like for this. So on the left there, you can see the challenges screen and you can see the gold, silver and bronze medals that a guy has gotten.

You can see what his best time is, and the dungeon. You can see who he ran it with. There’s a number of information you can get from this screen.

On the right side, that’s a leaderboard. Imagine that being in the guild system where you can have the dropdown and compare by achievement points or by different things by your guild members. There’s now an option to compare by Challenge Mode and you can see who’s gone up in the leaderboard. That’s what that little green arrow is.

This screenshot below is a look at what would happen when yo finish the dungeon. Same thing in the roster if you click one specific guy you can see what has he done, kind of just like looking at inspecting someone and finding out what’s the fastest time they’ve done.

What dungeon are they the best at. You guys can decide to get together and do another dungeon run the same way.

This one below is just a mockup of like — one of the big things about this is when you succeed well, we want you to feel awesome.

The guys mocked up something like this. Imagine you win. You get an awesome background sound, and this super cool screen telling you that you that you got the Gold Medal. Beat this dungeon, now try to get the Gold Medal somewhere else.

Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003 posting news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Next-Gen MMO, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

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