Shortly after this post goes up, Mythic Halls of Valor will be open for testing. You can access it by setting dungeon difficulty to Mythic, speaking to the venerable Nexus-Lord Donjon Rade Sr., and taking him up on his offer to teleport you to the Halls of Valor. If you do that, you'll find a version of the dungeon that's tougher than Heroic, will have a weekly lockout, and will drop better loot once the loot is hooked up. Pretty similar to Mythics in Draenor today.
Nothing to get too excited about, really. Except, hmm... what's this odd Challenger's Pedestal sitting there near the start of the zone? And wait, was that a vendor list on Mr. Rade?
If you purchase a Keystone Container from Donjon Rade, you can create one of three tiers of Challenger's Keystones, which will allow you to tackle more challenging versions of Mythic Halls of Valor, including additional modifiers at higher levels.
When you place a Challenger's Keystone in the pedestal, you'll see the modifiers that it will apply to your dungeon run. If you then click Start Challenge, a countdown will begin, and you'll have 45 minutes to complete Halls of Valor (including a reasonable amount of the non-boss enemy forces present). If you succeed, your Keystone will be upgraded to the next power level (or by multiple steps, if you really crush the timer!). If you're using a fresh keystone (i.e. one that hasn't already been used to start a failed run at that power level), you'll also find a loot chest waiting for you at the end. It'll be empty, but just imagine that it's brimming with delicious loot.
At power level 3, you will see your first affix modifier on the keystone. At level 6, you will see a second.
The two affixes that are active are global and will be the same for everyone on Alpha. Every 12 hours, however, they will cycle to new values; old keystones will likely vanish at that time, and any newly-generated keystones will have the new affixes.
Items will be normalized to item level 845 for the purposes of this test (note: the aura tooltip may not be accurate, but if you check your equipped gear, you'll see it's actually 845).
Which are the most fun affixes? Least fun? Which are the hardest? Easiest? Who will complete the highest Halls of Valor at the highest keystone level?
Some additional information: There are two "buckets" of affixes.
Available at power level 3+:
- Tyrannical - Bosses have significantly more health and damage.
- Bolstering - Non-boss enemies will buff nearby allies' health and damage when defeated.
- Raging - Non-boss enemies will enrage at low health, dealing double damage until killed.
- Teeming - Additional non-boss enemies are present throughout the dungeon; kill count requirement increased.
Available at power level 6+:
- Necrotic - Enemy melee attacks apply a stacking debuff that deals damage and reduces healing received.
- Volcanic - Enemies cause eruptions of flame beneath the feet of distant players.
- Skittish - Tanks generate much less threat.
- Decay - All players suffer damage over time while the challenge is active.
There are currently 8 valid affix pairs, with a sequence that will advance every 12 hours (for testing purposes - will advance with weekly reset in the live game):
Final naming is still TBD. Challenge is no longer a selectable difficulty from the drop-down - instead you begin the keystone runs from within Mythic. The old concept of "Challenge Mode" had some core features like gear normalization, multiple timed cutoffs, and no loot awarded, that are no longer applicable. This is really more letting you scale Mythic difficulty up to suit your capabilities, while adding new modifiers along the way to keep the experience fresh. A looser timer exists because there has to be some measure of success and some definition of failure, but the timer isn't the driving purpose behind the entire mode like it was for Challenge.
Yeah, technically it's still difficultyID 8 when the run is in progress.
BTW, unrelated, as some brave souls are noticing, keystone level 6 is very, very hard at this gear level. Looks like the first affix combo up is Tyrannical+Decay, which is a particularly difficult combo to try to brute-force while undergeared.