Blizzard Blue Watcher, a.k.a. Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas has been back on the forums with his challenge-mode-master hat on. He's delivered the exciting news that the first of the leveling dungeons, Stormstout Brewery, has been enabled on the beta in challenge mode.
Now, you can't just walk into Mordor, and the same applies for challenge modes. You have to be level 90, and you have to have completed Stormstout Brewery at least once on heroic mode. Now, having run Stormstout Brewery a lot of times on normal mode, and a few times on heroic mode, as a healer, I haven't really noticed any big differences. Mostly, the heroic mode tuning seems to be that things which really hurt in normal mode really
hurt in heroic mode.
Of course, since I last did the dungeon, it's entirely possible that things could have been changed or added. In the meantime, do check out our walkthrough
, 5 things you need to know
, and bosses in 5 seconds
guides on the Stormstout Brewery if you're planning to check out the challenge mode.
And if you're planning to head straight into the beta with four of your friends after you've read this article, you should know that the barrels are currently bugged. Blizzard are working on a hotfix
We've been posting quite a bit on challenge modes here at WoW Insider, so if you want to understand how challenge mode gear scaling
works, or what you can and can't use
in a challenge mode dungeon, check the links for articles.
Most importantly from Ion's posts, you should note that you cannot queue for challenge mode dungeons. There is no challenge mode finder, these are designed for practiced, pre-made groups, not for PuGs, and are tuned accordingly.
So, get four friends, preferably ensure that at least one of your friends is a healer and one a tank, and get in there. The challenge mode is likely only going to stay open until September 17, so it's a race against time to complete this... er... race against time.
Check out Ion's full post below:
We've enabled Challenge Mode in the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria beta for Stormstout Brewery. We'd like to see as many players as possible challenge the dungeon to score your fastest times, and join us in discussing this new aspect of the game in this thread.
Here are the key things to know about this Challenge Mode test:
• To participate, characters must have completed at least one run of the Heroic Stormstout Brewery dungeon.
• Characters that meet that requirement will be able to set the difficulty to Challenge from the contextual unitframe dropdown and zone into Stormstout Brewery with your pre-formed party of five.
• There is no queuing for Challenge Mode dungeons.
• Inside, you'll experience a more challenging version of the instance, with a timed run that begins the moment you interact with the Challenge Orb in front of you at the entrance.
• Your gear will be normalized to item level 463, even if you have inferior gear on your beta character. (Note: This is only a beta feature. On live realms, gear won't scale up, only down.)
• Anyone with a level-90 on a beta realm can participate.
• You can reset the dungeon and restart the timer mid-run if you make a mistake and feel you can do better. Simply have your leader right-click on his/her character unit frame and select the Reset option from the contextual drop-down while inside the instance.
This test will likely end late Monday, September 17. We're working on producing some non-official, test-only leaderboards for you, but don't forget -- there are going to be full-fledged, Armory-based leaderboards for Challenge Modes after Mists of Pandaria goes live.
We want players to race through the dungeon and try to get the best time possible. For many groups, simply finishing the dungeon will be challenging and an accomplishment. That's fine, and we'd love to hear from you.
It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in
Mists of Pandaria,
World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!