During the World of Warcraft: Intro to Mists of Pandaria, WoW Game Director Tom Chilton discussed the new features: PvE Scenarios, PvE Battlegrounds and Challenge Mode Dungeons.

Here is the transcript of the Scenarios Panel.


Tom Chilton: Scenarios are about re-using parts of the world that we already created in interesting new ways. I’ll go over one example which is the Defense of Goldshire.

It also gives us the ability to do some interesting new types of PvE gameplay that we’ve never done before.

One way to characterize that potentially would be to label them as PvE Battlegrounds.

These are short instances for a few players. The amount of players will vary on what type of scenario it is. A Scenario could be for three-players for example, and these are all designed for players that are playing their characters in similar ways as when they are questing.

They aren’t their typical type of setups for that you would for a dungeon. It’s a staged experience or at least in many cases you’ll have different phases of the scenario you go through, and you’re trying to accomplish some greater goal.

Here’s one example. These are purely theoretical examples. This isn’t an actual scenario. We’re in the process of creating the Defense of Goldshire.

Imagine for a moment a scenario we called the Defense of Goldshire, and you and a couple of buddies are in there, and your job is to clear out a bunch of Kobolds, and find and return some children to town; and then kill Goldtooth.

This would be the type of scenario we’d use in an introductory scenario. Maybe we first introduced this at level ten for players leveling up for the first time, or if you never got a chance to do it, or you just kind of wanted to go back and do it again, you would be able to do that.

Of course, with our philosophy of being able to do whatever it is you want to do to progress your character you still be able to get Valor points out of doing it at level 90.

So here we are imagining these are all fake screenshots. By the way, big Goldtooth there.

PvE Battlegrounds

Another idea we have is called PvE Battlegrounds, these are things we haven’t really done before. We’d like to experiment with that.

Imagine this is the Battle of Grizzly Gulch. Imagine this is a defense of the ancients style, except there are no enemy players on the other side. A lot of players out there that would love to do battleground type of content or kind of really nervous, or freak out against other players, or they don’t like that kind of thing so this give us the ability to do the similar types of mechanics in a PvE setting and that allows us to do slightly different things than we’d normally be able to do in PvP.

So imagine you and a couple of buddies are in charge of going down the lanes of this PvE Battleground and you have slay enough soldiers to get your characters powered up and then destroy their six towers in the barracks, and out comes the boss and you have to apply the beatdown to General Drake.

Here’s a map we have been working on for a little bit. It’s an extension of a Defense of the Ancients-style battleground that we’ve been working on. This scenario would play out in an environment like this.

These scenarios have a wide variety of applications and they’ll signal you to do new things that we haven’t done before with dungeons.

Another important point here isn’t player collision. These are designed to be in PvE, and one other way to look at these is to think of group quests in outdoor areas using a Dungeon finder. Queue and go. No role requirements.

It implies automatically, very short queues. Very quick experiences. One of many options to earn Valor Points to progress your character.

Challenge Mode Dungeons

Hopefully these will excite some of you. I don’t know how many of you guys were back around way back in the day when we had this 45-minute Stratholme Baron Run. That was pretty exciting, and I’ve always really wanted for us to be able to do that sort of thing again and really institutionalize it in a way that adds a whole new type of gameplay, grant it, there were some not-good elements like if it was blocking your progression to getting to your Tier 5. That was a downer, but that won’t happen here.

What are Challenge-Mode Dungeons? These are the experiences you guys go through already but what if we had time-trial versions of the dungeons — so Challenge-Modes are that.

When you set yourself in Challenge-Mode and you group up with your buddies the purpose of doing this is going to complete the dungeon in a specified amount of time and so that implies a whole different level of coordination and teamwork that you don’t necessarily get when you’re sort of plowing through because you’re either new or try to just get the loot out of it.

You’ll rip through there as fast as you can to win medals: Bronze, Silver and Gold. It rewards you with sweet looking gear with no stats which you can use to transmogrify your current gear, plus valor points.

We’re going to create an entire tier of gear that has unique and special look that you’ll be able to get exclusively by doing challenge-modes so if you do the challenge mode and you rip through there and get the gold medal and all the different dungeons, you can earn yourself an entire set of gear to show off to your friends about what a bad ass you are for being able to clear the dungeons as quickly a you can.

A big part of this feature is bragging rights and leaderboards. It feels like competitive PvE in a sense. When you pop open your character’s sheet you can see your best times for any given dungeon, what the rewards for the different challenge modes are if you complete them in gold, silver or bronze times, and you can compare yourself to other people on your realm. See what are the top times for people on your realm.