Thursday, December 11, 2014

Prove It

During Mists, we saw the introduction of the proving grounds. At the time, it was just a way to show off and get some extra achievement points, as it had no actual purpose. In Warlords, they made passing silver proving grounds required to queue for heroic dungeons.

Before we even had it implemented in action, I saw a lot of praise for this decision.

"Oh, this will keep out bad players!"

Not exactly.

The tanking challenge mode is probably the only one that even slightly resembles a tough situation. The healing NPC doesn't really focus full time on you, since it's also dpsing, forcing them to use their self healing and defensive abilities in order to survive. The other two silver modes?

The healer challenge mode is incredibly straight forward. You just have to heal. There are things to dispel, but you can heal through them if you don't dispel them. I think there may have been a ground aoe, but there are no real tough mechanics going on here. 

The dps silver challenge mode doesn't even have the adds that blow up if they aren't killed in time. They have maybe two healers and maybe two amber-weavers. The guys with the shields you can only dps from behind? I haven't seen a mob like that in Warlords' heroics.

you don't even get extra points for trapping the
amber-weaver in its own amber

But really, the only real 'challenge' of the silver challenge mode for dps is dpsing, which we all know isn't the biggest problem we see from dpsers in heroics. Now, if there was a ground aoe during the silver dps challenge mode, maybe we'd see some better players from this 'test'.

The biggest problem making a one size fits all challenge mode is that you aren't able to test, say, an enhancement shaman or a healing priests' ability to offensive dispel. You can't just put those in there, as not all classes can do it. You can't put it in there but make it not a huge deal, because then you're teaching them that it's okay to ignore it. You can't test a hunter's ability to use self healing because they don't have enough of a tool kit to do so, while some pures and of course hybrids would be able to handle it easily.

The silver challenge modes don't really teach anyone anything, they are a very rudimentary "can you hit the buttons" benchmark.

I just leveled the class I used my free level 90 boost on, a rogue, to 100 the other day. I completed the silver challenge mode on him the day after I hit 100 with a 593 ilvl. He can't even actually queue for heroics with his current ilvl, but silver challenge mode was probably easier than some of the quests I was doing while leveling. Maybe it's just easy to me, but it really seems that the silver challenge modes are just another bothersome thing we have to do to start gearing up our alts.

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