Since we outlined most of the new Mists of Pandaria features and additions, I think it would be good to do some previews in more detail. First off, the Challenge Modes.
I reckon everyone remembers the "45 minute Stratholme" where you had to defeat Baron Rivendare within 45 minutes from entering the instance. Or the timed runs in Zul'Aman, where you had to kill a few bosses before the timer ran out in order to see the mount drop.
Another concept Blizzard came up with to add something to a dungeon were achievements like the Herald achievement back in Ulduar. To achieve that you had to defeat Algalon while wearing gear within a specific iLevel range.
Now if we put all of these ideas together we get the new Challenge Modes...well, that’s not entirely true but it comes close enough.
Challenge modes are essentially timed heroic dungeons completed in low iLevel gear. You don't have to collect and store a special set of gear for this, because the gear you’re wearing that's over iLevel 463 will be scaled down.
The scaling is only going to affect the secondary stats; expertise and hit will be left untouched.
There are going to be three tiers of "medals" you can earn based on your time taken to comple the challenges: Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
A bunch of achievements were added to the game for the challenge modes, rewarding you with titles, mounts, pets, and, the interesting part, teleportation spells like Path of the Scarlet Mitre.
Completing a challenge will also reward you with valor points, and if you complete all the gold challenges you will be added to the Leaderboard (unavailable yet) so you can compete with other players. The gold medals will also grant you access to class specific transmogrifiable armour sets.
To access a challenge mode you'll have to complete the heroic version of the dungeon first. After that, you should gather a group, select the Challenge Mode (the same way you select the Normal or Heroic when you enter a dungeon) and proceed to the dungeon. As far as I can see, you'll have to go to the dungeon the old fashioned way, no LFG or anything. There is also a daily quest, rewarding you with valor points, that will send you to complete a challenge mode. I don't think you need a gold medal for that. Bronze will be just fine for the quest.
When we first heard about Challenge Modes, at Blizzcon 2011, we were told that if this system is a success Blizzard may expand it. Now I wonder, are we going to see some challenge modes for raids? Is this new system going to be a real success? What do you think about it?