This is the first time I've ever posted suggested variants or even used house rules in a game, but WC:TAG has gotten to me. I really like the theme, pace, and mechanics, which is what makes my lack of faith in the character balance and general dissatisfaction with the end-game all the more upsetting.
I was thinking about some possible "Game Modes" below that could help; and these could actually be mixed and matched:
A Well-Rounded Hero
Victory Requirement: Valor target is still 8, but player MUST have at least one of each: Overlord trophy, Booty Bay Bling, Completed Quest
This obviously forces players into a diverse strategy rather than letting them specialize, but it should also encourage more player interaction (more likely to visit similar locations), and ensure that characters who are stronger in one aspect (ahem, Warrior...) to potentially struggle in another area.
There Can Be Only One
Component Restriction: Allow only 1 trophy card per Overlord; Allow only 1 Booty Bay Bling card per player
I really like the idea of creating significant tension around who can defeat an Overlord first and face the risk of being too late to benefit. This also means more Bosses will need to be attacked, which is good, because everyone would always goes for the Sunken Temple/Zul'Gurub combo otherwise.
Additional Optional Rule: Players who defeat previously defeated Overlords can draw two Red Items and discard one.
A True Veteran
Valor Point Target: Raise from 8 to 10
This will obviously extend the length of the game a little, but for once that feels like a good thing. Since the PvP combat is pretty meaningless until everyone gets to Red level, and the game usually ends within a few turns of Red level, this could actually lead to more rewarding PvP.
Some very sound ideas! You've obviously put some thought into each Game mode. A mixture of "There Can be Only One" and "A true Veteran" appeal to me the most.
Like you, I've also noticed that the Sunken Temple / Zul'Gurub combo is commonly used by floundering players in a last ditch effort to steal victory.
We once played to 16 VP. The Orc lead the VP race from the outset but was bested just before the finishing post by a determined dwarf who achieved 9 VP in 4 turns!
I find that most of our WoW: tAG games are won by the character who has diversified the most, as suggested in "A Well-Rounded Hero." I can still see why you might need to impose greater variety in games where players are in the habit of rushing through levels to get to end game encounters.
Keep up the good work!
Now who are these five?
Come, come, all children who love fairy tales.
Like'm a lot, though I recognize some of them.
Just like mr Silver, I think a Well Rounded Hero isn't really necessary… I like the idea that one hero can win just by completing quests, or doing 2 overlords. Or rather, I have never felt this being game-breaking. The overlords are so good so people will go for them anyway, so I have never felt that it's silly that someone can win without defeating them.
Raising to 10 is naturally something quite standardly done if you want to prolong the game. But I think "There can be only one" is a good addition to the few house rules I already have.