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  1. #1
    Moderator Alarinth's Avatar
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    Challenge Mode class analysis?

    Is there any such analysis present? I think there is a balance issue present amongst some classes (this is not a hint that warlocks are underpowered for those who thought it were), but I want to see if anyone know where I can find an analysis that shows:

    • % amount of classes present in teams that succeeded in silver runs.
    • % amount of classes present in teams that succeeded in gold runs.
    • % amount of specs present in teams that succeeded in silver runs.
    • % amount of specs present in teams that succeded in gold runs.


    Class and talent breakdown in top 200 teams across all dungeons in EU, US and World.
    As it is now, we're all aware of the fact that DKs are superior in almost every aspect in challenge mode runs compared to other tanks (Feral tanks have no place there whatsoever if aiming for gold / ladder). Aside from that fact, I want to see if there are any similar differences amongst DPS classes, because I want to brainstorm in how Challenge Modes (not the dungeons themselves, but class balance) can be improved.

    I don't mean to say that the Devs should have challenge modes in mind when tuning class abilities, but rather when developing dungeons. They should have in mind that no dungeon should render a class / spec extremely potent, or equally useless - a perfect example on the former, are Death Knights in Scarlet Monastery and blood DKs in Stormstout Brewery.

    For those of you who are not heavily knowledgeable on the mechanics of Scarlet Monastery on Challenge mode, let me give you an example of the point I'm trying to make. The first boss is surrounded by 2 packs of spirits, which enrage whenever they are dealt damage. This enrage effect stacks, and upon reaching 40+ stacks, they start doing insane dps (750k+). If you have a DK to control undead when they're stacked, you've basically finished the first fight by just doing that, and that in a much shorter time than you'd ever be achieving without a DK. This fact leads to DK being so potent in that dungeon that it's not justifiable to not bring a DK for scarlet monastery if you're aiming high (talking about saving at least 30 seconds, which is 5% of the total time - which translates to mandatory when aiming high). In my opinion, this tactic is not clever use of game mechanics, but a lame and mandatory gimmick that has to be done - which imo is the wrong way to go about challenge modes (what happened to "bring the player, not the class?").

    As for my example in Stormstout Brewery and DKs, this really only shines when there are a) no melee present or b) a hunter / rogue (MD / Tricks) present. To put this into an example, imagine the first bossroom of Brewery. The standard tactic is to pull everything up to there, and start a kiting / barrelbombing fest. Now, if the group does NOT have a DK tank, that means that keeping aggro as a tank will be slightly harder. This fact is made even more important if they do not have any class with misdirect, and more than 1 melee in the group. The scenario I described is almost impossible if you've got a warrior tank, feral dps, DK dps and elemental shaman. Just as an example. The reason I'm mentioning this is not because I want a nerf to the content (and I really stress this, this is NOT a cry for nerfs), but because I disagree with the way it's designed. The scenario I mentioned just now could've been prevented if there were placed objects around the room that could be thrown on the mobs for AE damage. This would ensure that misdirects and / or ranged tanking (dks) were not a 100% mandatory to not fail while doing maximum dps.

  2. #2
    I disagree with a few of your points. Firstly I was under the belief control undead didn't work on anything in SM besides the summoned adds on the first boss? (not the super crazy enraging spirits) I'm willing to accept I'm entirely wrong about that though so w/e. Secondly the stormstout brewery hozen pull, I done this myself as a prot paladin using the Battle Horn from a pandaria rare to immediately aggro them all, then chaining GoAK with Holy Avenger, this made them very tankable. I think you're confusing the "standard" or "optimal" tactics with being completely mandatory. I can't argue every class but I started my challenge modes cursing the fact that I was a prot paladin and not a blood DK, but by the end I was learning to play to my own strengths instead of trying to utilize tactics meant for other classes and I ended up actually being very glad I was a paladin instead of something else!

  3. #3
    This is good feedback for Blizz. I'm sure they will adjust some things when they feel the time is right. I'm guessing they will need more data though since Challenge Modes are not really done by a whole lot of people. More people running them will possibly create other strategies that might make other classes just as good.

  4. #4
    Moderator Alarinth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Animma View Post
    I disagree with a few of your points. Firstly I was under the belief control undead didn't work on anything in SM besides the summoned adds on the first boss? (not the super crazy enraging spirits) I'm willing to accept I'm entirely wrong about that though so w/e. Secondly the stormstout brewery hozen pull, I done this myself as a prot paladin using the Battle Horn from a pandaria rare to immediately aggro them all, then chaining GoAK with Holy Avenger, this made them very tankable. I think you're confusing the "standard" or "optimal" tactics with being completely mandatory.
    That's the only instance in which control undead actually works! :P

    Then I assume you did have DPSers who either had complete aggro resets, or misdirect / tricks. Because that pull is tough enough to control as a DK when tanking for DPSers without aggro resets.

    Quote Originally Posted by yjmark View Post
    This is good feedback for Blizz. I'm sure they will adjust some things when they feel the time is right. I'm guessing they will need more data though since Challenge Modes are not really done by a whole lot of people. More people running them will possibly create other strategies that might make other classes just as good.
    Yes, this is quite possibly true as well. Although, I stand by my initial reaction, I still think it's too gimmicky tuned.

  5. #5
    Unless you're going for World/Region/Server first times then I think its kind of non-issue. Gold challenge modes are easy enough that they can be done with virtually any comp as long as the players are decent and have enough time to iron out a strategy. Certainly certain classes shine in some areas, but they're also weaker in others.

  6. #6
    it's tough to control as a DK because you kite everything. I just facetanked them by playing to my class strengths (stronger cooldowns than other classes) so threat was a non-issue =)

  7. #7
    I know it's nitpicking but the part about brewery is just wrong. You should give more time for people to realize what they can and cannot do especially for the example you gave. Right now, I wouldn't consider a DK tank to try and get a ranked time, especially since kiting is actually the worst thing you can do if you want to push for very good time. Even if you were to kite the adds around, brewmaster tank would probably have an easier time at it (as a brewmaster I can kite allday while generating way more threat than anything a dk can do range by spamming dyzzying haze). The're alot of way to get the 40 kill count, and honestly all of of the faster ones are easier to achieve with a warrior or monk tank than with a DK.


    I ran lots of challenges with alot of pug from different realm and honestly, people just don't use their creativity enough.

    Also, monk won't ever need a misdirect for threat issues... *ever*

    (you can check me out on wow progress , my character is Nerthfu on us- lethon and see that I can back my claims)

  8. #8
    Moderator Alarinth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerthfu View Post
    I know it's nitpicking but the part about brewery is just wrong. You should give more time for people to realize what they can and cannot do especially for the example you gave. Right now, I wouldn't consider a DK tank to try and get a ranked time, especially since kiting is actually the worst thing you can do if you want to push for very good time. Even if you were to kite the adds around, brewmaster tank would probably have an easier time at it (as a brewmaster I can kite allday while generating way more threat than anything a dk can do range by spamming dyzzying haze). The're alot of way to get the 40 kill count, and honestly all of of the faster ones are easier to achieve with a warrior or monk tank than with a DK.


    I ran lots of challenges with alot of pug from different realm and honestly, people just don't use their creativity enough.

    Also, monk won't ever need a misdirect for threat issues... *ever*

    (you can check me out on wow progress , my character is Nerthfu on us- lethon and see that I can back my claims)
    Thanks for the informed reply, Nerthfu.

    I'll admit you may be right about Brewery in specific, but my point still stands perfectly valid when concidering the 1st boss in Scarlet Monastery. No dps can match the DPS provided by a DK, and no group will be able to make up for the time lost by not having a DK if both groups are theoretically in the top high %.

  9. #9
    Someone messaged me about brewmaster tanking and since I just made this account I can't private message him back so here's hoping he can see my reply (it also fits the discussion of this thread somewhat)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ampere
    Hey Nerthfu.

    I saw you make a post regarding challenge modes so I looked up your Brewmaster. I was wondering if I could have some advice regarding tanking challenge modes as a Monk. I've only been able to get a group for a few attempts at them so far and I'd be happy to get any advice on gearing or situational talent choices that you felt were effective and what you found hardest.

    Here is my Brewmaster ******, I was thinking about just using the gear I have now, but as trash seems to be the most lethal part of challenge modes, my boss hit/expertise cap are probably a waste so I should probably change that.

    If you have any videos I would love to watch them!

    Thanks!
    -Amp
    Hi, I'd be glad to help a bit. I do indeed have a video of me tanking challenge run but I do make quite alot of mistakes in it:
    watch?v=EuNTgLsf_X4 (can't link with new account)

    As for overall tips to tank:
    -I never need to swap talent. I sometimes do but its not necessary in most case for challenge, even for world first times.
    -Get a disc priest, it really is by very far (in my experience) the best healer for a monk tank. Running challenge mode with mastery or stam is very inneficient as a monk and because of that you'll have relatively low EHP. Even if you'll take less damage than another tank in alot of scenario, you'll be by far more susceptible to burst dmg and a disc priest will greatly help mitigating that.
    -Hardest thing to deal with was the first pull in jade serpent (all the add next to the boss), triple pulling everything in front of the first boss in MSP (we actually never succeeded to complete the run on the few tries we managed to do it, but when we do it's a garanteed world first by ~45 sec) and both scarlet instances aoe packs.
    -As a general rule and especially for the above scenario you need to make the dps understand that they play a bigger role in the dmg you take than yourself, they need to coordinate stuns, interupts, knock back, pushback, defensive/offensive cooldown and everything else to either make the run faster when you're not in danger, or help you survive when you are. Army of the dead is almost broken in that regard.
    -Mobs are higher level in challenge than heroic, you should keep you soft caps in both hit expertise.

    That all I can think of for now, I did this a bit in a hurry so I hope this helps.

  10. #10
    I've hit all gold on my guardian, and I'm repeating the process on my brewmaster (two to go, gate(o.O) and brewery).

    Thoughts:

    Guardians really suck. Medium dps, medium utility, no group healing, no control abilities of note. About the only good things we bring are stampeding roar and rebirth. Didn't stop me from hitting some decently high ranks (world 3rd? shado-pan at the time, amongst others) but it was definitely frustrating.

    Learning from that experience, I rolled an alt monk that I think is superior in every way. Well, almost - brewmasters take an inordinately high amount of burst damage in comparison as a tradeoff for massively higher dps. It's not even close, I would finish a dungeon in the 60s, sometime in the 70s on my guardian. I dps plenty of dungeons with a paladin tank who struggles in the 50s. From the videos I see, blood Dks are in the 50s and sometimes 60s as well. And finally, you take a look at a brewmaster and it's actually rare that I finish a dungeon below 85k. Sometimes I'm as high as 100k. This is average dps throughout the entirety of the dungeon. I don't see how it's balanced that one of the tanks is averaging 30k higher dps and is usually able to fulfill the role of the healer through at least 1-2 bosses per dungeon, but there you go.

    The challenge mode design itself is restrictive. It favors bringing high burst aoe & high single target classes with good utility. Ele shaman for example are amazing with chain lightning, heroism, capacitor totem. Dks are also quite amazing with army and aoe stun. A rogue is pretty crappy in comparison, unless you have a strat that allows you to make use of mass stealth (only in Niuzao? maybe scholo?)

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Alarinth View Post
    Thanks for the informed reply, Nerthfu.

    I'll admit you may be right about Brewery in specific, but my point still stands perfectly valid when concidering the 1st boss in Scarlet Monastery. No dps can match the DPS provided by a DK, and no group will be able to make up for the time lost by not having a DK if both groups are theoretically in the top high %.
    While I agree on your point, at don't think it's as much an issue as you make it out to be. It's certain that for each challenge there'll be an ideal comp that will beat everything else in theory if played perfectly. The problem is that we are far from having perfect strategies planned out for every challenge and that while group comp is still very much important, having a good execution will still net you more result for the time being.

    Getting together a group of 5 with perfect coordination who also happens to play the 5 exact class/spec needed + race + profession and everything else doing the exact perfect stats will likely never happen. Also, to prove a bit my point of how much execution beats class stacking right now, if you check the video I linked in my previous post (it's a youtube vid just in case) we achieve world second best time missing out on first by 4 sec. The composition tho is far from being optimal to deal with the massive AoE fest that is scholo. The difference is so big in fact that we killed rattlegore 98 seconds later into the run than my best attempt in scholo with another composition. But since we didn't have the same strats back then this run end up beasting the previous one.

  12. #12
    Thanks for the reply Nerthfu. Our guild's healer who is interested in running them with us is a disc priest, so that does work well. My health was quite low when we zoned in (390k or so with pure agi enchants/gems/trinkets) so I used a Stam flask and swapped to a stam trinket (brought me up to 450k range), but I guess we'll have to see from experience if this is necessary.

    So our group comp is: Brewmaster Monk (me), Discipline Priest, Ret Paladin, Ret Paladin (one of the rets is going to play a ranged dps alt), Ele Shaman. Anyone think of a good class for one of the rets to swap to that fits this comp well? Our Priest and the other Paladin will probably be swapping heals/dps on fights where having a melee doesn't work.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Ampere View Post
    Thanks for the reply Nerthfu. Our guild's healer who is interested in running them with us is a disc priest, so that does work well. My health was quite low when we zoned in (390k or so with pure agi enchants/gems/trinkets) so I used a Stam flask and swapped to a stam trinket (brought me up to 450k range), but I guess we'll have to see from experience if this is necessary.

    So our group comp is: Brewmaster Monk (me), Discipline Priest, Ret Paladin, Ret Paladin (one of the rets is going to play a ranged dps alt), Ele Shaman. Anyone think of a good class for one of the rets to swap to that fits this comp well? Our Priest and the other Paladin will probably be swapping heals/dps on fights where having a melee doesn't work.
    Since me and bouleau Pugged ALOT of challenges (our stormstout worldbest run was a pug XD) we did experience alot of different comp and here's my conclusions:

    Except for shado-pan, no challenge is punishing enough so that you'd want to swap a melee for a slightly less experienced ranged

    There's only 3 abilities that would want me to pick a specific class and those depends on the challenge. There's army of the dead for challenges with an AoE pack so big that it cannot be normally tanked, There's mass stealth in a challenge where you need to invis early and would rather use dps pots and there's lust for... everything.

    Our ideal comp in most of the challenge would be me(brewmaster) bouleau (disc priest running with me), Ret, hunter and a frost mage or an ele sham.

    Shadow priest arent that gear :<

  14. #14
    having ranged = good

    having melee = challenge mode hardmode edition

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Nerthfu View Post
    Except for shado-pan, no challenge is punishing enough so that you'd want to swap a melee for a slightly less experienced ranged
    I'm inclined to disagree on this point. I think that Shado-pan is by far one of the easier challenge mode dungeons to complete in gold time due to the massive amount of skipping that you can do. While a group might be slightly better off with even an underperforming ranged, I don't see much reason in breaking a consistent composition for this if the players are only going for gold and not ranks.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Keoren View Post
    I'm inclined to disagree on this point. I think that Shado-pan is by far one of the easier challenge mode dungeons to complete in gold time due to the massive amount of skipping that you can do. While a group might be slightly better off with even an underperforming ranged, I don't see much reason in breaking a consistent composition for this if the players are only going for gold and not ranks.
    I'm not talking about time at all here, it's simply that the last 2 boss are ALOT harder with more than 1 melee, especially the last one to be precise. Shado-pan is still relatively easy but it has nothing to do with the amount of skipping, you just have more area to improve your time because the dungeon is so long. That and you can't skip the only trash worth skipping: the pulls near the last boss.

    Edit: the challenge times do take into consideration that we do not clear every single trash as you can see by the number of mobs killed needed to complete them. So skipping more or less doesn't really affect the difficulty of the timer itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moradim
    having ranged = good

    having melee = challenge mode hardmode edition
    As for melee being hardmode, they might require more healing in some situation but if they're aware enough they can often bring more to the table than they take away. Ret pals for exemple got some completly insane burst, great off heals with instant flash of lights, hands (freedom protection and sacrifice) and AoE knockdown which are all invaluable.

    lastly, our first MSP gold time was with 3 melee :>

  17. #17
    Scarab Lord slime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moradim View Post
    having ranged = good

    having melee = challenge mode hardmode edition

    Probably applies to every aspect of WoW.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by slime View Post
    Probably applies to every aspect of WoW.
    it never is a problem in raids having too many ranged is it?

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Nerthfu View Post
    I'm not talking about time at all here, it's simply that the last 2 boss are ALOT harder with more than 1 melee, especially the last one to be precise.
    I didn't really see having two melee being a problem on the last one. Even on the Sha having two didn't seem too bad at all even if it meant more healing from the adds exploding in a place where they were hard to dodge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerthfu View Post
    That and you can't skip the only trash worth skipping: the pulls near the last boss.
    Have four people click the first defender while the tank is holding the adds and you get 4/4 from one pack and can skip the rest if you want. Those packs don't give enemy count and are pointless to kill.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Keoren View Post
    Have four people click the first defender while the tank is holding the adds and you get 4/4 from one pack and can skip the rest if you want. Those packs don't give enemy count and are pointless to kill.
    omg Didnt know that O.O.

    But yeah, I edited my post but it got lost somewhere in the moderation. If you read carefully I actually suggest not switching their group comp as it's not worth overall and the shado-pan monastery is the only case where it might be worth it, but that dont warrant changing someone since overall it's not needed. I'm pretty sure we pretty much agree I just worded myself poorly. Overall, I'd bring the player and the class they WANT to play with.

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