"The challenge is tuned for ToS gear"

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Okay, so I say this as a person who took some time to get two of my artifact challenges done (Assass&Sub), and today I'll be working on my 3rd for Outlaw, but there are a lot of things I both agree with, and disagree with in terms of the arguments on the current state of the artifact challenges. I'll start with the most egregious...

1. "The challenge is tuned for ToS-level gear, of course it's hard"

I really don't think this is at all what the developer was thinking or had on their mind when they implemented it.

Recently on their twitter they sort-of boasted about how they've accomplished a truly difficult challenge, by showing an image depicting how many people have completed it out of 15.2 million total attempts (from any and all characters). They clearly seem proud that they have designed something that only a very small portion of the playerbase is able to complete, because the fact that some people can complete it means that they didn't just simply design it as impossible and therefore fail to make it challenging as opposed to, you know, impossible.

Now if their intention was for this challenge to mainly be approached by people in ToS gear...why would they even bother with this as a talking point? Furthermore, why would they even have released it yet at all with ToS so far out?

The fact of the matter is they did not "intend" for this challenge to be approached by a specific tier of gear that isn't available to us, it was clearly intended for us to try now, as we are (gear check aside).

Additionally, it seems a bit courageous that everyone seems to be putting their eggs in the "ToS gear" basket for completing this challenge without it being too challenging. If the difficulty of the challenge becomes invalidated simply by earning gear from the same exact patch the challenge was opened to the public, that seems like pretty poor design for something that's supposed to be challenging.

Conclusion: This challenge was not designed for ToS gear. It was designed for us now, and it is visibly clear that Blizzard corroborates that intention.

2. "It should be ilvl scaled if it's a test of skill"

This I actually agree with. As stated above, it makes no sense that a challenge is intended to be invalidated by the very gear it releases besides, so as such, it seems poorly thought out for this challenge to not be ilvl scaled, because that means we only have until the release of ToS for this to be a novel achievement, which is heinously short IMO for a challenge of this magnitude. In contrast, ilvl scaling would give more leniency to those who are low on ilvl, allowing those who are maybe skilled at the game but lack the necessary play time to get great raid gear to show that they too, are skilled, regardless of their lack of raid experience or time to play. It's two birds with one stone for this damn thing to scale, so it's honestly confusing to me why they didn't do it. Both casuals and hardcores alike would benefit from this challenge remaining relevant long past it's release month.

Fact of the matter is that every single guide for every single artifact challenge comes with an ilvl recommendation attached. No that doesn't make it a requirement, but the fact that the experience can vary wildly depending on how much gear you have IMO deflates the idea that this is truly a test of skill, if at least slightly.

In any case, there is a player of every single class (some classes much more than others) who has completed this. So the word "impossible" isn't really valid, but "poorly designed" and "imbalanced" is definitely words we can use.

This poor design and imbalance is combination of things, but it definitely has nothing to do with the challenges supposedly being tuned for ToS.
My issue with it is not that it is hard, but that the difficulty between different classes/specs varies wildly.

The difference in difficulty between say, the rogue challenges, which many have managed to completed on their first few or even first attempt, and the tank challenges, is ridiculous.
I'm still waiting for my 60-70% flat damage buff so that the health pool of the mobs in my challenge make sense. Solid balance blizzard.
04/15/2017 02:51 PMPosted by Ezmoneyz
My issue with it is not that it is hard, but that the difficulty between different classes/specs varies wildly.


I think this might be the crux of the issue. It may be designed with certain ILvL in mind that's currently attainable but certain classes or even specializations seem to have a significantly easier time than others at the same level of gear from what I've seen.
04/15/2017 02:51 PMPosted by Ezmoneyz
My issue with it is not that it is hard, but that the difficulty between different classes/specs varies wildly.

This is the issue. The fact is that in most cases you need the higher gear to compensate for some sort of damage/utility your spec lacks.
04/15/2017 02:54 PMPosted by Tullock
I'm still waiting for my 60-70% flat damage buff so that the health pool of the mobs in my challenge make sense. Solid balance blizzard.


yet all of you people still pay $15 a month or $20 in tokens to play.

why would blizzard change anything if you guys are keeping them fat and lazy?
The way I see it, ToS gear is the intended gear to use for the challenges. However, some people already have equivalent gear of ToS. Releasing it now enables those who have that gear the opportunity to complete it. Why hold it off for those who can complete it because the majority can't? Let those who can get the look and the rest of us can catch up. Everybody wins.

But there are some people without ToS that got it. An 883 Assassination rogue for example was the first rogue I saw that got it. Does that mean it can be done without ToS gear? Yes, but I dare say that the players who do are not your average player, but instead someone that knows how to play well and gets very good parses.

There are issues though. From what I have heard, Affliction needs to slow and kite a mob around but that can only be done with a specific legendary ring. That is a large design flaw, especially when there are systems enforced that lower your chances of getting that ring if you have already gotten other legendaries for Affliction.
It is designed to be hard now in regards to gear, skill, and knowledge. In TOS, it will be like the other 80% of the game that any idiot can complete while failing multiple mechanics.

Do you brag about the winners of a race, or the people that showed up and eventually crossed the finish line after it doesn't matter anymore?
04/15/2017 02:15 PMPosted by Zipzzo
it was clearly intended for us to try now, as we are (gear check aside).


Try? Yes.

Beat? No, not really. Some of us are good, geared, and patient enough to pull it off as we are right now. Most aren't.

It's meant to be something that - right now - is not for the majority to complete. That'll change with ToS, and that seems to always have been the plan.

It's not meant to only be mildly challenging now and then utter faceroll by the time ToS releases, which is how it would've gone if it was tuned specifically for NH gear.
The dps ones with the exception of Agatha seem to be really well balanced.

The tank one and Healer ones seem to be just pushing gear level to extreme levels.

They expect Tanks to push out 1 million aoe damage, 350k HPS, and tons of active mitigation which without high gear level isn't possible.

The healer one I feel like was designed without the thought that healers don't have a baseline interrupt anymore.

Holy Paladin for example has a 1 min CD stun and 15 sec CD stun and that's all. You essentially have to have enough Ilvl to heal through the Archer's arrows, so you can use your stuns on the mage.
04/15/2017 02:15 PMPosted by Zipzzo
Okay, so I say this as a person who took some time to get two of my artifact challenges done (Assass&Sub), and today I'll be working on my 3rd for Outlaw, but there are a lot of things I both agree with, and disagree with in terms of the arguments on the current state of the artifact challenges. I'll start with the most egregious...

1. "The challenge is tuned for ToS-level gear, of course it's hard"

I really don't think this is at all what the developer was thinking or had on their mind when they implemented it.

Recently on their twitter they sort-of boasted about how they've accomplished a truly difficult challenge, by showing an image depicting how many people have completed it out of 15.2 million total attempts (from any and all characters). They clearly seem proud that they have designed something that only a very small portion of the playerbase is able to complete, because the fact that some people can complete it means that they didn't just simply design it as impossible and therefore fail to make it challenging as opposed to, you know, impossible.

Now if their intention was for this challenge to mainly be approached by people in ToS gear...why would they even bother with this as a talking point? Furthermore, why would they even have released it yet at all with ToS so far out?

The fact of the matter is they did not "intend" for this challenge to be approached by a specific tier of gear that isn't available to us, it was clearly intended for us to try now, as we are (gear check aside).

Additionally, it seems a bit courageous that everyone seems to be putting their eggs in the "ToS gear" basket for completing this challenge without it being too challenging. If the difficulty of the challenge becomes invalidated simply by earning gear from the same exact patch the challenge was opened to the public, that seems like pretty poor design for something that's supposed to be challenging.

Conclusion: This challenge was not designed for ToS gear. It was designed for us now, and it is visibly clear that Blizzard corroborates that intention.

2. "It should be ilvl scaled if it's a test of skill"

This I actually agree with. As stated above, it makes no sense that a challenge is intended to be invalidated by the very gear it releases besides, so as such, it seems poorly thought out for this challenge to not be ilvl scaled, because that means we only have until the release of ToS for this to be a novel achievement, which is heinously short IMO for a challenge of this magnitude. In contrast, ilvl scaling would give more leniency to those who are low on ilvl, allowing those who are maybe skilled at the game but lack the necessary play time to get great raid gear to show that they too, are skilled, regardless of their lack of raid experience or time to play. It's two birds with one stone for this damn thing to scale, so it's honestly confusing to me why they didn't do it. Both casuals and hardcores alike would benefit from this challenge remaining relevant long past it's release month.

Fact of the matter is that every single guide for every single artifact challenge comes with an ilvl recommendation attached. No that doesn't make it a requirement, but the fact that the experience can vary wildly depending on how much gear you have IMO deflates the idea that this is truly a test of skill, if at least slightly.

In any case, there is a player of every single class (some classes much more than others) who has completed this. So the word "impossible" isn't really valid, but "poorly designed" and "imbalanced" is definitely words we can use.

This poor design and imbalance is combination of things, but it definitely has nothing to do with the challenges supposedly being tuned for ToS.
135k who downed them says its not geared to ToS gear but more so geared twords you raided mythic/heroic raids and are above ilvl 900+ and downed it with no issue #whatskillrequirement
04/15/2017 03:30 PMPosted by Umbraluna
15 sec CD stun


my 'stun' is also 15 seconds and was proficient. being said i believe im a strong healer and very little of the healer challenge felt healer-relevant. it was more "maybe you can heal but can you use the rest of your kit" which was ultimately pointless because you didnt need to have a reactive grasp of your entire kit, you just needed to know the script and when to use what, regardless of whether or not you naturally knew how to respond like that

for people that didnt already use kit, it made them better players. but for people with an already strong grasp of kit, it was a contrived game of pachinko
04/15/2017 03:40 PMPosted by Nastykong
it was more "maybe you can heal but can you use the rest of your kit" which was ultimately pointless because you didnt need to have a reactive grasp of your entire kit, you just needed to know the script and when to use what, regardless of whether or not you naturally knew how to respond like that


Yeah, after 80 attempts on my Holy Paladin I got the dance correctly, but lack the Ilvl to push through both the mage and archers.

Basically have to save Repentence and Hammer of Justice for the mages while saving all healing CDs to blast through the archer.

Even gotten into the grove of standing in front of the archer while using Divine Shield/ 10% damage reduction from judgement+ 20% from Divine Protection to block out the arrows from hitting the npcs.

Just she's ilvl 890 which is not enough to heal that much spike damage on the NPCs.

What's worse is Repentance causes the NPCs to drop all agro on that mob, so you can't use it on the archers, or they would be wasting all their damage uptime running from mob to mob back in forth.
04/15/2017 03:30 PMPosted by Umbraluna
The dps ones with the exception of Agatha seem to be really well balanced.

Agatha has been cleared by multiple classes as low as an 88x fury.

They expect Tanks to push out 1 million aoe damage, 350k HPS, and tons of active mitigation

No they don't.
04/15/2017 03:48 PMPosted by Calqulon
No they don't.


Judging by the charts on Prot Paladin, albeit Prot paladin one has 50% more health on both adds and bosses, you need that kind of numbers.

With abusing Last Defender and Bubble Taunt was able to reach about 800k AoE dps and those adds health barely budged.

Spent more time trying to kill the void adds then even being able to hit the boss.
04/15/2017 03:30 PMPosted by Umbraluna
The healer one I feel like was designed without the thought that healers don't have a baseline interrupt anymore.

Holy Paladin for example has a 1 min CD stun and 15 sec CD stun and that's all. You essentially have to have enough Ilvl to heal through the Archer's arrows, so you can use your stuns on the mage.


HoJ for the mages, repent for the archers. Rarely will repent not be up for every single mana drain shot. If it isn't and you need the breather and don't want to heal through the debuff you can use BoP or DS to break the cast of the archer.

It doesn't require some super high iLvL nor is that particular aspect meant to be brute force healed.

The only thing you have to be careful about is not DPSing too hard to help the npcs. If you do too much damage and push the waves in stage 1 too quick your HoJ won't be up for the mage at the start of the next wave.
04/15/2017 03:35 PMPosted by Wuthappen
135k who downed them says its not geared to ToS gear but more so geared twords you raided mythic/heroic raids and are above ilvl 900+ and downed it with no issue #whatskillrequirement


I did mine at 888 and haven't even cleared normal NH or stepped foot into Heroic. Gear seems helpful, but not really like something you need. Xylem and Agatha are the only challenges I can attest to though, I fear trying tank after visiting GD.
04/15/2017 03:45 PMPosted by Umbraluna
Yeah, after 80 attempts on my Holy Paladin I got the dance correctly, but lack the Ilvl to push through both the mage and archers.

Basically have to save Repentence and Hammer of Justice for the mages while saving all healing CDs to blast through the archer.


You never want to repent the mage. That is a forced target swap and you want those npcs to be tunneling that mage until it dies.

04/15/2017 03:45 PMPosted by Umbraluna
What's worse is Repentance causes the NPCs to drop all agro on that mob, so you can't use it on the archers, or they would be wasting all their damage uptime running from mob to mob back in forth.


This isn't an issue actually. That actually buys you extra time in a wave to ensure your HoJ will be up and to let you catch up on healing if you need to. The waves don't activate on time, they activate once the last npc is dead so your npcs running around doesn't really matter. Extending the waves by using repentance is decent way to get some breathing room. Just don't use it so close to the npc being dead that you won't have it ready for the next wave.

If you are HoJing/repentancing the mages/archers (and melee on wave 3 because there is only a mage + melee, use repent on the fan of knives) there is almost nothing to heal until wave 4 and 5 in the first stage. The mage + 2 melee, and the mage + melee + archer are where you should be holding your throughput CDs and using them as necessary.

Melee x 2 + Mage wave -> HoJ the mage at 3 or 4 stacks, and be ready to repentance one of the warriors as that will line up with them both going into fan of knives. Mage should be dead shortly after. After that just keep using repentance on the same warrior whenever they start fan of knives. Use a throughput CD if you need to during enrages.

Melee/mage/archer -> HoJ the mage again at 3 or 4 stacks and repentance the melee as he starts his fan of knives. This should be about the time the archer starts their drain shot so pop DS and that will cancel their shot. Mage should be dead/dying. After that just decide which target you think is the biggest threat and repentance the other target so your NPCs focus on the bigger threat. Make sure to burn CDs here to get through the damage at the start.
You never want to repent the mage. That is a forced target swap and you want those npcs to be tunneling that mage until it dies.


Tried it by repenting only the archers, but with a 1 min CD on main stun, the Mage reaches 6 stacks and one shots Granny.

890 while saving wings for burst healing just isn't enough dps to help them kill that mage.

In the attempt where I killed the mage, I kept the mage repented long enough for the stacks to fall off while they killed the archer.

Made it to the melee adds by doing that.
04/15/2017 04:09 PMPosted by Umbraluna
You never want to repent the mage. That is a forced target swap and you want those npcs to be tunneling that mage until it dies.


Tried it by repenting only the archers, but with a 1 min CD on main stun, the Mage reaches 6 stacks and one shots Granny.

890 while saving wings for burst healing just isn't enough dps to help them kill that mage.

In the attempt where I killed the mage, I kept the mage repented long enough for the stacks to fall off while they killed the archer.

Made it to the melee adds by doing that.


You are stunning too early if you are having a period where the mage is getting up to 6 stacks.

Mage hits 3, or 4 stacks and starts to cast the next arcane blast is when you should be stuning it and it should be dead by the time it hits 3 or 4 stacks again. Put some DPS pressure on it to make sure it goes splat.

Edit: It helps to take crusader's might in this stage. Gets you more holy shocks and gives you a good reason to be putting out dps pressure.

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