The Battle.net World Championship starts tonight. While the main events are the StarCraft II World Championship Series and the World of Warcraft Arena Global Finals, there are two important PvE events, in which the two top asian guilds (Stars and Supreme Quicksand) will compete.
- The first event takes place today at 07:00 p.m. PST. It is a Challenge Mode race through Shado-pan Monastery, Scarlet Halls, and Stormstout Brewery. Each guild must use only a single party composition throughout the competition, and only the most skilled players will turn in the fastest time to emerge victorious.
- The second event takes place tomorrow (so Saturday) at 05:30 p.m. PST is a race through Mogu'shan Vaults in 25-man Heroic difficulty. The guild that clears the instance with the fastest time wins.
Blizzard published a complete schedule of the event. HD Streams for all the events (including the Arena Finals and the Starcraft II Championship) will be available for free from the official website of the Battle.net World Championship.
Below you will find a reproduction of the two announcements Blizzard made regarding the PvE events.
Blizzard Official WoW Blog
Be sure to tune in on Friday, November 16 at 6:00 p.m. PDT for Day One of the Battle.net World Championship to watch the Opening Ceremonies. Then, at 7:30 p.m. PDT, witness five-player teams from each of Asia’s top raiding guilds, Stars and Supreme Quicksand, prove their mettle by competing simultaneously in the Dungeon Challenge, a Challenge Mode race through Shado-pan Monastery, Scarlet Halls, and Stormstout Brewery. Each team must use only a single party composition throughout the competition, and only the most skilled players will turn in the fastest time to emerge victorious.
Let’s briefly take a look at each of these dungeons to see what the competitors are in for.
War has spread across Pandaria, and the destructive conflict between the Horde and Alliance has led to turmoil in the majestic Shado-pan Monastery. There, three malevolent entities--the Sha of Violence, the Sha of Hatred, and the Sha of Anger--have erupted from their prisons. Although the Sha of Anger fled the secluded monastery completely, the remaining sha have begun wreaking havoc on the site's brave Shado-pan defenders.
Shado-pan Monastery could very well be the most difficult dungeon in the Challenge. It is the longest of the Challenge Mode dungeons in this group by a wide margin, and offers the least leeway in terms of tricks to get through faster. To succeed each team will have to display the utmost in coordination, extreme skill, and impeccable execution.
The Crusade's fiercest warriors, those who have held their ground and fought to defend the monastery throughout these dark times, are rapidly preparing an army within the Scarlet Halls. These soldiers are bound by their hatred of the unliving, and they are willing to sacrifice everything for their order's righteous cause.
Scarlet Halls isn’t as grueling as Shado-pan Monastery, but it offers different opportunities and challenges. Look for tense moments in the opening stretch where competitors can make use of good timing to evade patrols and throw buckets of meat to distract guard dogs to forge a path to the first boss while only fighting a bare minimum of enemies. Scarlet Halls' most fearsome section is the Armory area right before Armsmaster Harlan. The Armory is criss-crossed by large patrolling groups of enemies reminiscent of Shattered Halls from The Burning Crusade.
When Chen Stormstout arrived in the Valley of the Four Winds, he journeyed to the renowned brewery of his namesake, hoping to connect with his relatives. What he found was his ancestral home in disarray. Under the watch of the incompetent Uncle Gao, loathsome virmen and unruly hozen have infiltrated the brewery, sparking a destructive revel that will soon devastate the region's supply of tasty beer.
Stormstout Brewery is packed wall to wall with fun and funny foes, but in Challenge Mode the humor takes a dark turn, for they all represent a deadly threat. Still, there are places where clever teams can shave precious time from their attempt, both the Hoptallus gauntlet and Ook Ook's party room offer clever players an opportunity to save massive amounts of time.
Previous Dungeon Challenges
This race wasn’t simultaneous, but you can check out these videos from the Challenge Mode race at the North American Mists of Pandaria launch event for a taste of what is to come, including an introduction discussing what Challenge Modes are all about featuring Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas:
You can catch the live stream of the Battle.net World Championship Dungeon Challenge on the Battle.net World Championship site, and don’t forget to stick around to watch Arena battles featuring the best teams in the world.
Blizzard Official WoW Blog
Day Two of the Battle.net World Championship starts with a bang as two of China’s top raiding guilds, Stars and Supreme Quicksand, face off in a live raid exhibition, aiming to clear Mogu’shan Vaults with the fastest time. Tune in to the live stream on November 17 at 5:30 p.m. PST to witness the competition.
In a thrilling test of skill and coordination, these competing raiders will need to choose an ideal raid composition and strategy. Will they strike a balance between speed and safety or will they go all-in with fewer healers than the norm, aiming to eke out precious seconds on the clock, but risking a catastrophic wipe? Or do they go with a conservative, tried-and-true strategy, secure in the belief that steady (but not necessarily slow!) wins the race?
Each battle presents its own unique challenges, but a few specific encounters could make or break each guild’s attempt. The Spirit Kings present the most taxing fight in the Vaults and is sure to be a pivotal moment. We can expect to see both groups play it safe here, because all it may take to secure victory might be succeeding on the first attempt while the other group falters. To keep things fair, both guilds will be facing a special version of The Spirit Kings where each King attacks in the same order.
Meanwhile, both the Gara'jal the Spiritbinder and the Will of the Emperor encounters will require the groups to divide their damage between their main target and lesser minions. If they devote too little to the boss they risk falling behind on the clock, but if they devote too little to minions they risk becoming overwhelmed and suffering a wipe that could cost them time on the clock . . . and victory.
Meet the Raiders
Our colleagues in China recently had a chance to chat with guild leaders Bluewind of Stars, and Crayon Xiaobu of Supreme Quicksand, who will each lead their incredibly talented teams against one another in the Dungeon Challenge and live raid competitions. We’ve translated the interviews into English for your reading pleasure. You’ll find that, while these leaders hold each other in high esteem, both are prepared to fight for victory this weekend in Shanghai.
Interview with Bluewind of Stars
Q. To start, let’s talk about your progress through Mogu’Shan Vaults. Are you satisfied with the results? How are you approaching Heart of Fear and future Mists of Pandaria raid content?
A. Actually, we’re not satisfied with the progress we’ve had in Mogu’Shan Vaults, and made a postmortem for this “failure” after we cleared it. It’s a really tough time for us now. Our raid team is composed of veterans and new recruits, as some of our once-hardcore members have become casual. Our team is in the middle of a training period, and while our new recruits have a skill level comparable with that of our veterans, they need more experience. We didn’t consider this a big issue at first, but we’ve found out that it really was. This is perhaps why we didn’t achieve the original goals we had set for ourselves. Nevertheless, we are working hard in preparation for the live raid—we’ve been practicing a lot of Mogu’Shan runs under pressure. The new bloods are improving, and our gear is now good enough to meet the new challenge: Heart of Fear. I would say I’m very confident for the next two raid dungeons.
Q. Can you share with us the Stars procedure of learning new boss encounters?
A. We always play hard when we confront a new boss, about 8-10 hours a day, which might be a bit shorter than other top guilds, but what we do better than many other guilds is summarize our efforts after the fact and analyze how we can make improvements.
Generally speaking, we’ll always take a quick trial of new bosses on PTR, to get a brief impression of the boss. But it’s hard to do well on PTR, so we still need to make a plan that covers everything that could happen in the encounter. This always takes us around two to three days. Once the boss goes on the live realm, we’ll check our plan in the live environment and make some adjustments. We always spend a lot of time discussing strategy, but we enjoy the procedure.
Q. BWC is at hand! Are you prepared?
A. We have done some preparation for the speed runs—focusing on learning and practicing the encounters. It’s hard to say whether we’re prepared, or whether we can defeat our opponent. As you know, Supreme Quicksand is a top guild that only spent 1 hour, 13 minutes, and 59 seconds finishing 25H Dragon Soul. They are very strong and powerful, but we will do our best to give everyone a wonderful competition.
Q. Are there any effects the BWC competitions will have on your raid progress? Are you looking forward to BWC?
A. There are, of course. The BWC event takes place when the Terrace of Endless Spring opens, so there will be some impact. But the BWC invitation is definitely a great honor. It has always been a dream for me, and for other guild members as well, to meet and communicate with the game developers. So we’ll do anything we can to work with Blizzard at the event. I’m really looking forward to BWC. To compete against great opponents, and to attend the event, will be an amazing experience for all of us.
Interview with Crayon Xiaobu of Supreme Quicksand
Q: Can you give us a brief introduction to your guild? When and how it was built?
A: Our guild was called SEED, and was reformed into Supreme Quicksand in December 2005. Some of the former guildmates followed me; together with some new blood we established Supreme Quicksand as it is today. Our goal is to play WoW together without a negative impact on our work and everyday life, so here we are.
Q: In a recent live raid event, you beat out five of the top Chinese guilds in Heroic 25-player Dragon Soul with a clear time of 1 hour, 13 minutes, and 59 seconds, and now you make your way to BWC to face Stars. Do you enjoy participating in competitions like this?
A: Of course we like it! It’s a really good chance to showcase our guild to the world, and also to learn from other raiding guilds.
Q: Did you watch Athene’s Dragon Soul Challenge that took place on May 12, where Stars came out the victor? What do you think about your BWC opponent?
A: Yes, I have watched that one. Stars has always been a great opponent, and a coach to other China guilds as well. We have been watching them since Patch 1.9, and we’ve learned a lot from their videos. Their strategies have provided helpful information for our learning of several encounters. After the Dragon Soul Challenge, we watched the Stars live raid video again and again, and we practiced about ten times. But even with better gear we weren’t able to break Stars’ record. So for the live raid at BWC, we know we don’t have a great chance to win, but we’ll do our best to bring a wonderful competition to the audience.
Q: In addition to the live raid, the Dungeon Challenge is awaiting you. Are you ready for it?
A: When we tried the Challenge mode right after hitting level 90, we wiped again and again. It is really challenging like the name suggests, but also fun. After some practice, we did our best to find all the possible ways to shorten the time. Now that more raid dungeons are unlocked, we usually focus on raiding. But we have done some homework, both on raids and Challenge mode. We’ve practiced and have plans for them at the event.