As expected, Aelyra dinged Exalted with Silvermoon City last night after handing in her dailies. So now it's time to take the jousting test again. I wasn't apprehensive at that point - I had done the Grand Melee quest over and over before, and I know how the Argent Champion NPC fights. And even though the comp's saying 1k latency and 11 fps, I wasn't daunted - I've done jousts under worst conditions, so I figured, "Meh, let's get this over with."
Equipped the lance, mounted the Hawkstrider, and away to Squire Danny I go.
And got my butt handed to me in all three matches (the first attempt, plus two subsequent attempts).
At first I was amazed - how could this be? Since when did the Argent Champion became godlike at jousting? Or had my own skills atrophied? But on the fourth attempt, when I closely observe the fight, it became crystal clear. He was CHEATING!! There was no other way to explain it - He was charging and throwing Shield-Breakers at point-blank range, while my Shield-Breakers were screeching 'Target was too close'. His skill cooldowns were non-existant, he can basically use Charge, Shield-Breaker and Shield within half a second from one another. He had me down to half-health and no shields while he's barely scratched! I was incensed - time to call in the cavalry! A guildie, Roywen, answered my distress call and came in all ready to Shadowbolt and take names - but when the fight started, the Argent Champion automatically ended the match. Wha...?
Turns out Blizzard had re-tooled the fight so that any outside interference would disqualify the attempt.
I would hereby state my official stand on the matter - This quest should be rated poorly. Whoever implemented this is doing so without taking into account the lag on the player's side, the difference between NPC skill CDs and the player's, as well as being buggy enough (NPC ran all the way out of the ring during the fight and claim auto-victory) that you cannot find the 'fun' in it. Heck, you can't even use any of the innate strength of your class to win - you are fully limited to 3 basic skills on your mount.
As of now, Aelyra is stuck on The Valiant's Challenge... at least until I find out that the latency has dropped and the connection is stable enough for me to at least stand on equal lag ground with the blasted cheating Champion. Until then, I would have no choice but to lose every against him and hear his mocking voice saying:
"You are not good enough to become Champion. Come back after you have more training."
Hah - easy for you to say, cheater.
EDIT: Finally nailed the encounter with an unorthodox but highly effective tactic - which took almost 5 minutes for a single joust >.< I would not mention the tactic here, because it gives me more dishonor points than being AFK during a BG.