An interesting idea just came to mind as far as competitive gaming goes. While I know I will never be part of the top on any charts for them, challenge modes seem to make for a more compelling contest than the race to world first in a heroic raid, in my opinion. And if it was extended to all 5 mans and all raids it could make for many races.
Here are my reasons for believing that.
1) Gear does not matter:
The group that had better luck in the previous tier will not have that tiny advantage that gear might provide. With normalized gear everyone, no matter what they are wearing, competes on the exact same level.
2) No time issues:
Say your server had an issue on release day while your closest competitors server was up and running just fine, you lose out on valuable time in the race for worlds first. How about some time zones getting the raid before others thus giving them an advantage. Being the challenge modes are based on time to complete it, even if you started after someone else you can still do it better at it.
3) The contest never ends:
Kin raiders gets world first and the other top guilds finish off the content as well shortly after and they are all basically done with the game. They might still play some or they might not. They might bring in alts or new players but the contest is over. First has been decided and that is all that matters. Not so with challenge modes. Perhaps Kin Raiders did get world best time when they did it first but then the world fifth might have beaten it. This means that there is no slacking off for Kin Raiders if they want to keep that number 1 spot, they need to get back in there and try to get their world best time back. It makes the heroic tier last a hell of a lot longer.
4) No loot drama:
So and so's guild had two lock outs in firelands and was able to get an extra legendary. So and so's guild abused the looking for raid to get T13 first. Who cares, all gear is normalized, even if someone had more lockouts in the previous raid or someone gamed the system getting free LFR loot for everyone they are still in the same boat at the same gear level. Skill matters here, not what you wear.
5) Class stacking is a non issue:
They had more raid ready feral druids, they dragged along an under geared shaman just for the spirit link totem, they had more mages on their team. Being there is no real gearing issues, there is an extremely low item level requirement, all you need is to get your character to max level and you can stack just as easily as anyone else. Being you are not constrained by a world first title and it is time based, you can get those mages later and beat the timer.
6) The competition never ends:
You could go get first place in BWD now if you wanted too even if it now old content. If they did it to all raids could you imagine the fun of running an AQ40 with normalized gear for a timed run? I would actually beg blizzard for something like that.
7) Old content can be returned:
Old naxx, old ZA, old ZG, old ony are now all relevant content once again. There is no reason to remove them and the content will last forever for those that want to challenge the timer.
8) Casual guilds can compete:
Just because you downed madness with the 30% buff doesn't mean you can not get a great timer run going. So even the guilds that had no prayer in the world of competing on a world or server first level can now actually compete. Not saying they would, they most likely won't, but it is possible.
9) It adds to the game instead of subtracting:
Without challenge mode any dungeon or raid is useless once you pass the level of doing it and sometimes that stuff gets removed and forgotten about but with challenge mode once you finish a raid you can keep finishing it to get better times. It makes all raiding content stay around longer, as in forever. Nothing become obsolete. All that time wasted making this expansions content was not wasted once the next one comes because it can still be done and it is not useless now.
10) It makes people better:
No looking for raid or looking for dungeon version of challenge modes means you have to assemble the groups yourself. While this could lock out a fair deal of players from ever doing it, it will also be a way for players to get better because they will have to if they want to do it. They would have to perform well to do well and no longer let gear carry them. People not doing what is expected will easily stand out and it will be easier to help them in a controlled setting where everyone has the same gear.
11) It builds community:
Something that has been dwindling for a while now is community but being you need to assemble your groups yourself you will get to know the people around you again. Not to mention, word of mouth, about those that are skilled will get out just like the good old days when even I, as a damage dealer, would get whispers as soon as I logged on because they knew I was a decent player.
12) More playing, less waiting:
You can run 5 mans, 10 mans, 25 mans, 40 mans, you name it. They can even do them over and over. Challenge modes are not subject to a lock out. So no more waiting a week to run something you like again, just reset it.
So like I said, while I would never be someone ranking in them, it sure seems like it would be awesome to have content that is always relevant. Content where the best teams with the best execution is the one that gets praised as the best group.
A runner praised for being the fastest runner is not the person that finished the first race ever, it is given to the person that finished it fastest. Now that is what real competition is all about.
Do you think we will ever see challenge mode raids?
Do you think we will ever see old dungeons with a challenge mode for their level?
Do you think we will ever see old raids with a challenge mode for their level?
I don't think we will ever see the old stuff, but we might see raids in the future. Either way, that sure as hell sounds like a fantastic idea to me. I would love to do all the old stuff in challenge mode because it would be a lot more fun, again, in my opinion at least.
If they ever made a challenge mode raid do you think it would replace heroic raid world first as the new focal point of competition? I think it could, and I think that competition would be a better one to see.