Proving Grounds: Upon Further Inspection

I decided to go back and give the Proving Grounds another shot. I was rather disheartened that I was having so much trouble getting the Gold achievement for either role after breezing through the Bronze and Silver modes with ease.

I’ve never considered myself a fantastic DPSer. Good, maybe; solid, certainly. But elite? Naw, that’s not me. With that in mind, I wonder what sort of percentage Blizzard was aiming for  to complete this content. I know they weren’t aiming for the casual. But how high were they aiming? 25%? 10%? Maybe 5%? I don’t think they were aiming for the top 1%, as many have suggested. If that was the bar, I’d never have stood a chance, even with practice.  As I’m fond of saying: “I’m good, but I ain’t that good.”

Now, healing: that’s where I’ve always hung my hat. I’ve loved healing since I first tried it. In the years since then – and yes, amazingly it actually has been years – I haven’t yet met a healing class I didn’t like. I’ve often wished to tweak a toolbox or spell here and there, sure, but healing is just flat out fun. I am much more confident in my abilities as a healer than as a DPSer. I would definitely say I was a good healer. I might even go so far as to say exceptional if the hubris was upon me. So I was rather flummoxed that I failed – and failed hard – at wave 6 or 7 on nearly every attempt. So I did what I normally do when the going gets tough: I stopped winging it and promptly logged off to go hit the books (or rather videos, forums, and guides, in this case). And what do I discover but that they were bugged. As it turns out Chomp! was not displaying correctly in my UI. It appeared to be gone when in fact it was not. Additionally, the NPCs were doing rather a lot less DPS than they were intended to be doing. Between the two, all of my screen-shouting, fist-shaking, and general nerd-raging about the NPCs being a pretty perfect representation of the worst players you’ve ever grouped with and the content being damned ear impossible turned out toe be true. Heheh. VINDICATION!

So anyway, I went back and tried it again. It took me a few more tries, but i finally snagged DPS Gold:





I figured the Healing challenge wouldn’t hold me up for long now that the bugs were corrected, and although it did take me a few attempts, I got it in much less time than the DPs mode took me.





The content was still pretty hard after the bug fixes. It was much, much too hard to be any sort of “tutorial” or “learn to play” feature, as Blizzard seems to want to paint it, especially considering the almost complete lack of instruction on what to improve when you fail. The only instruction in the whole “tutorial” is to “dispel faster next time” when an aqua bomb goes off (this is doubly annoying when you get two at once and CANNOT possibly dispel both because of the cleanse CD).

Even on Bronze and Silver (which I didn’t have trouble with), I was left feeling like a new or inexperienced player would have struggled. The tuning is more along the lines of “challenging solo content” like Brawler’s Guild than anything I would call a “comfortable setting” in which to learn a new role. Sorry, Blizz, if that’s what you were aiming for, you missed. Big time.

On the other hand, the content was fun. And challenging. I can certainly see how the only way to beat it is to “play better” because it takes some pretty crisp play to tackle it. What I don’t see is Blizzard meeting you halfway in regards to teaching you how to play better.

Anyway, enough rambling for now. I’ll check out Endless modes later, when I have some spare time. Later, guys.


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