Starym

The Mythic ToS Progress Race: Main Thread

12 posts in this topic

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All update articles from the ToS Mythic race will be added into this one.

Final Update:

Here we are in our final update of the Tier 20 Mythic Tomb of Sargeras Progress race! The top 10 has come and after 4 days of no KJ kills yesterday saw two arrive within only a couple of hours of each other. Chinese guild KeaHoarl got there first and secured the final spot of the top 10, while Limit only managed to claim 11th place and were the very first US/OC guild to down Kil'jaeden.

This marks the first time since, well, ever, that there hasn't been a US guild in the top 10 of an endboss (for 20/25/40 man), with the closest to it being Premonition with a 9th spot waaay back in Icecrown Citadel in WotLK. This top 10 is also very special in that the majority of the guilds in it are from Asia servers, with only 4 from EU, showcasing how strong the competition has gotten both from China and Korea. And so the top 10 is Method (EU), Exorsus (EU), AFK R (Korea), Alpha (China), Style War (China), ScrubBusters (EU), Memento (EU), Stars Gaming (China), Right (Korea), KeaHoarl (China).

Kil'jaden has proven to be quite a tough customer, even after the many nerfs he's received as, after 39 days of Mythic being available, only 11 guilds have managed to down him. Here a a few more kill videos, from World 6th ScrubBusters and World 7th, Memento:

 

And so we come to an end of our progress coverage for this tier, and while ToS was somewhat controversial with the issues surrounding Kil'jaeden's difficulty and Method and Exorsus' comments on them, it was a pretty good race, albeit the outcome was somewhat expected, as Method took home the win as initially predicted. The next tier takes us to Argus and Antorus: The Burning Throne, where the guilds will be facing more of the Legion, corrupted Titans and a World Soul. See you there!

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Day 33:

The race is winding down as the very top spots have been taken. In the last few days we've had 4 more guilds down Kil'jaeden after Method and Exorsus kept the kill to themselves for quite a while (Method got it 7 days before Exorsus who got it 4 days before the third guild). It took some pretty big nerfs that arrived this reset for spots 3-6 to appear, but they don't make the kills any less impressive.

First off we have Korean guild AFK R in third place, pulling a bit of an upset as most race followers were expecting Alpha to claim the bronze, but they only managed to finish up in 4th place overall and Asia 2nd. Here are both guilds' kill videos:


(The kill starts at 59 minutes.)

In 5th place we have another Chinese guild, Style War, who also got the Asia 3rd. And finally, a little earlier today ScrubBusters were the third EU guild to be done with ToS, finishing in 6th place overall.

This week also saw Exorsus GM Alveona head to reddit and express all of his issues with ToS in a pretty big post, after the harsh comments the guild's twitter made after the most recent nerfs were announced. You can check out the highlights from the reddit post here.

So, a big week for Kil'jaeden, as he's started falling at a relatively more usual pace for endbosses, now let's see how much longer it will take other guilds to finish up Mythic ToS and if we'll see even more nerfs to the big red guy. And here the top 5 image, courtesy of Method.gg.

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Day 25:

Here we are in day 25 of the race, still with no World 2nd, 6 full days after Method's WF! There are technically 22 guilds fighting for that silver medal, but the most likely to take it are Exorsus, Alpha and Style War, who've had more time on Kil'jaeden.

While Exorsus do have a 3 day advantage over the two Chinese guilds, Alpha and Style War have been going at it very hard, each racking up over 900 wipes to date. The incredible thing is that after said 900+ wipes and 11 days of tries on the final boss of the Tomb, Alpha have "only" gotten him as low as 39%, as the dark phase of the encounter is quite crazy. We don't have any info on Exorsus' progress or wipe count, but they did announce they would be taking it easier from last Saturday, so their lead may not be there at all.


You can check out the full try here. You can also check out Alpha's progress live on their stream)

A lot of people are commenting on how it's taking such a log time to get a World 2nd, but if we take a look into the (actually not that distant) past we can see that the 6 days it's taken to get a 2nd place finisher isn't that unprecedented - we only need look back to WoD and Blackrock Foundry to find Paragon taking 5 days to catch up to Method on Blackhand. We then move a bit more into the past, to the Mists of Pandaria and Throne of Thunder, for both Ra-den and Lei Shen. While Ra-den doesn't technically count due to his limited attempts, it still took 7.5 days for Blood Legion to finish up after Method's win, and the same two guilds were 5 days apart on Lei Shen.

The real target for Kil'jaeden at the moment is Firelands Ragnaros from back in Cataclysm, where Method took 7 days to clean up the raid after Paragon's World First. KJ seems poised to break that record, and we don't really have any stats for Vanilla and BC, so after another day he may indeed get another accolade to his name. We also have to mention the Lich King, again not really comparable to any of the above due to his limited attempts, but it did take For the Horde 16 days to get that silver after Paragon's win. All of the above stats are for the raids' maximum difficulties and for 20/25 man mode.

We also got some more info on Method's Kil'jaeden experience, with Justwait's stats for their progress pre and post-fixes (Y = combat time X = pull) :

Another strange factoid is that Method actually downed KJ on the same day as they did Archimonde in hellfire citadel, 2 years earlier.

So, 22 guilds at the final boss of the Mythic Tomb of Sargeras, three in serious competition for the silver medal, and Method taking a well deserved vacation from progress. Who do you think will fill out the top 3?

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Day 16:

It's official, Kil'jaeden has outlived his boss, Archimonde! Now sure, that's already happened in the lore, but this time it's progress-race canon as well. Archimonde was the holder of the "lived the longest since Cataclysm" title until just now, as his record of staying alive for 16 days has been broken by the Deceiver just a few minutes ago.

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It was Method that got the Defiler down back in Hellfire Citadel almost exactly 2 years ago and they seem poised to take down the Deceiver as well, possibly on the anniversary of Archimonde's death? The next "longest lived boss" on the list KJ might set his eyes on is Al'Akir from the Throne of the Four Winds in Cataclysm, but that particular record will almost certainly not be toppled, as the Windlord eluded death for a whopping 42 days before Paragon ended him on January 24th, 2011.

Meanwhile, we've had 4 new applicants to the Kil'jaeden killer job listing since the last time we checked in, with Chinese guild Style War getting the World 4th, Asia 2nd (with 839 wipes, in the second reset), ScrubBusters finishing off the top 5 with with their EU 3rd (and only 364 wipes - due to their more relaxed raiding schedule, the increased item level from the third reset and the videos having been released). Memento are currently in 6th/EU 4th and the most recent Avatar kill was AFK R in 7th/Asia 3rd. While it's still most likely that Method will be the ones carrying home the gold in the Tomb of Sargeras Mythic progress race, with 6 other guilds at the final boss with three resets' worth of gear, and the several nerfs/fixes Kil'jaeden has gotten over time, it's still anyone's race!

We also got Method's World First Fallen Avatar kill, featuring 5 rogues:

And that's about it for today's race update/history lesson. Big red has eluded death for now and more and more guilds are piling up on his doorstep. If you're getting really anxious about him dying, you can always check out the live coverage over at Method.gg and find out exactly when the Deceiver dies and that green bar gets filled up to the end!

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Day 14:

Today was looking to be a slow day, filled with stat comparisons between the current situation in the Tomb versus the same point in Nighthold's progression, but Chinese guild Alpha had other plans. Alpha had been going at Fallen Avatar for quite a while, having amassed over 750 wipes before this heartbreaking 0.1% wipe happened:

Normally you'd think, well, that's it, they have it and are going to down it very soon, but it wasn't quite that simple. It took them almost 100 more wipes to actually get that World 3rd, Asia first kill - a grand total of 842 tries. But get it they did and now we all get rewarded as we can actually watch Kil'jaeden progress live, as they'll be streaming it on this channel when they resume raiding. And here's the actual victory clip featuring copious nerdscreams:

After the big kill today stats seem a bit less sexy, but let's get into them anyway. We can take two different approaches to comparing ToS and Nighthold at the same stages of progress - wipe counts and actual time it took each guild to down a boss after the previous one fell. Both have issues: the wipe counts don't take into account the length of each try, so for Fallen Avatar the wipes tended to be faster since guilds could get into phase 2 and practice the hard part fairly quickly; the issue with time spent on a boss is that we can't know how much time the guilds spent actually playing in that time frame. In any case, let's take a look at the stats themselves and then everyone can decide for themselves.

Just to get an idea of where we were at this point in Nighthold, the race was basically over, at least for the top spots. We had three guilds done with the raid (Exorsus, Serenity, Method), having downed Gul'dan and another 7 that had gotten past the penultimate boss of the instance, Elisande, compared to three that have gotten to the final boss in Tomb. The actual wipe counts for Fallen Avatar look like this: Method at 453, Exorsus at 527 and, as mentioned above, Alpha at 842. We'll compare them to both Gul'dan and Elisande wipe counts, just to be thorough, but the Elisande comparison is more apt. It took Exorsus 198 wipes for Elisande and 246 for Gul'dan, while Serenity clocked in 229 and 347 and Method needed 205 and 270 for the same two. In terms of time spent from the previous boss, it took Method 5 days and 7 hours for Fallen Avatar and Exorsus needed almost exactly 8 days. In Nighthold Method took 2 days and 4 hours for Elisande and 5 days 22 hours for Gul'dan. Exorsus needed 2 days and 3 hours / 4 days 22 hours for the same.

So, it seems Fallen Avatar doesn't quite have Gul'dan beat for the No.1 guild to down him compared to the same guild's performance in NH, but pretty much beats every other statistic, and almost doubles all of the stats compared to Elisande.

We've already discussed how the top guilds feel about Kil'jaeden compared to Avatar and in general, and it's safe to assume he'll be seeing another reset and will be getting even bigger numbers than Avatar, making him the hardest and longest living boss of Legion so far, and perhaps even further back (Archimonde also lived three resets back in HFC). Some good news, however, as it seems Blizzard are indeed keeping an eye out for Kil'jaeden balance, as Sco recently tweeted this:

So, there may be some progress to be had on big red after all! In any case, the race continues and you can follow it live over on Method.gg.

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Day 12:

It's day 12 and not that much has changed since day 8, with only Exorsus having managed to power through Fallen Avatar and join Method on 8/9, even with the recent hotfix nerfing the bosses Dark MarkDark Mark ability by 25% and having it not target healers anymore. It's a little unclear as to when exactly the fix went into effect so it's possible both of this week's kills (Method's re-kill and Exorsus subsequent World 2nd) were done after said fix. It took Method 2 days to re-kill Avatar, even with the winning strategy in-hand, with Exorsus getting him only 2 hours after that. Since then it's been very quiet on the Avatar front and no other guild has managed to down him, even after 500+ wipes in the case of Asian top guild Alpha and, more importantly, no other guilds has gained access to the final boss of the Tomb, Kil'jaeden.

Now, it appears the big red fellow is getting to be a bit of a problem for both guilds currently on him, as they've had some less than flattering words to share on the matter:

And then the conversation went on to specifics, namely the soaking mechanic present on a lot of bosses:

While to some this may just sound like random complaining, remember that there wasn't any of this type of chatter back in Nighthold on Gul'dan, so there may really be something to it this time around.

In other news we've had US/OC No.1 Limit suddenly drop out of the race, as the previous bans they'd received over real-money sell runs and a few other players quitting, in addition to Fallen Avatar's difficulty and other factors seem to have put an end to their domination of the US/OC scene.

And that's about it for today, as Method and Exorsus bang their heads against Kil'jaeden's wall and around 29 other guilds try to get Fallen Avatar down, the Tomb of Sargeras might see a third reset with the final boss staying alive. There are still a couple of days for KJ to fall, but based on the guilds' tweets that doesn't seem to be likely. As always, for live and up-to-date race coverage, check out Method.gg.

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Day 8:

Let's start with a little recap for the time that's passed since the last update. When we last checked in there were only three guilds progressing on Fallen Avatar: Method, Exorsus and Limit, while today we saw over 30 on 7/9 and facing down Sargeras' old shell. The Asian guilds made quite the strides as well, as they've caught up very quickly to the top and are absolutely in competition for, at the very least the top 3, and possibly even the No.1 spot. For Maiden of Vigilance, the seventh boss in Tomb, we have 16 EU, 7 US/OC and and least 8 Asian guilds that have downed her and moved on to Avatar.

But the big news of the day, as mentioned in the title, is Method's World First kill of Fallen Avatar. This penultimate boss has lasted quite a bit longer than most, with his closest penultimate friend to have lived that long being Mannoroth back in Hellfire Citadel, who also died on the last day of the reset.

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World First Fallen Avatar Mythic by Method

It took Method 453 tries to down this behemoth and they now have the rest of the day (and night) to use their head-start on Kil'jaeden tries. With over 30 guilds still stuck on Avatar, let's see just how much better Method really are and how long it's going to take the next in line to push through.

As usual, if you want to follow the race live and get all the updates as they come in, head on over to Method.gg's progress coverage.

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Day 3:

Here we are in day 3 of the race, which saw a very large number of Sisters of the Moon and Desolate Host kills, as well as a brand new World First! As expected Method continued their dominance, but Exorsus caught up a little faster this time, with Limit just recently getting to 7/9.

The very first major kill of the day was a World First, as Method got up early and downed Maiden of Vigilance around 11 AM CEST, presumably starting earlier, presumably because they found out they just needed a few more tries the day before. This brought them to 7/9 and to the Fallen Avatar who, if tuning went to plan, should prove a much more significant obstacle than all the bosses so far, as Blizzard usually tune the final two bosses with the very top guilds in mind.

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Maiden of Vigilance Mythic World First. Another quality killshot by Method.

We then had a big Asia server update, as EN and ToV regional champions A Stars took home two more Asia firsts, with Sisters of the Moon and Desolate Host, and the latter was also a World 7th kill. Not long after that, Maiden of Vigilance fell again, with Exorsus not letting go of Method's tail and catching up to the top a little faster than they did with Mistress Sassz'ine. Korean guild AFK R took home the Asia 2nd, World 8th on the Host, with Chinese guild KeaHoarl following soon thereafter.

Then it was time for some serious Desolation of the Host, as 14 guilds downed him after the Asian contingent was done. And, as usual, a very late addition to the rankings, Limit proved once again they're the No.1 US/OC guild as they pulled away from the pack even further and joined the top two on 7/9, earning the Maiden of Vigilance World 3rd, US/OC first. Not to be outdone by Limit's lateness, Easy didn't let the leading US guild get too far ahead as they downed Mistress Sassz'ine around an hour and a half after Limit's Maiden kill, putting them all alone in that 6/9 spot.

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World third, US/OC first Maiden of Vigilance Mythic by Limit

And so day 3 ended and there should be a bit of a lull in the next few days (hopefully), as Avatar holds back Method, Exorsus and Limit - allowing Kil'jaeden to live to the next reset. For now we have three guilds on 7/9, only one on 6/9, 23 on 5/9, 18(ish, not quite sure how many Chinese guilds actually downed the bosses from this point on) on 4/9, 279 on 3/9, 141 on 2/9 and 337 with only poor Goroth down. As usual, if you want to follow the race live and get all the updates as they come in, head on over to Method.gg's progress coverage.

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Day 2 aka EU day:

After a very late fifth boss kill by Big Dumb Guild yesterday to bring US day to a close, EU servers came up and Exorsus went straight in to grab some early Mythic kills, knowing that the first bosses were a cakewalk and could be done before Heroic splits. Method and Nova had the same idea, with the three guilds sticking together until 3/9, quickly joined by Pieces as well. It took Exorsus a couple of hours to get to that 4/9 and Sisters of the Moon kill, with Method getting there mere minutes later.

This was when Method kicked things into gear, as they broke away from the pack and grabbed the World 2nd, EU first Desolate Host kill, making them even with the leaders from Day 1, Big Dumb Guild. Exorsus soon followed suit with the World 3rd. After the two 5/9s there was a pretty big break, with some guilds going for Heroics as they didn't have any information on the next boss from the previous day. We got to see all of Big Dumb Guild's World Firsts kills through VoDs of their streams and Method also released their first two kills as well (you can check them out over here).

Over 5 hours after their Desolate Host kill, Method took the lead in the race, downing Mistress Sassz'ine World First and climbing to 6/9. We can safely say that she was the first even mild test of the top guilds' abilities, as only one other guild has even killed her so far. As usual, in all the excitement Method forgot to take a killshot, so they had to improvise:

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World First Mistress Sassz'ine Mythic by Method

Pieces and Nova were the next guilds to climb to 4/9, while getting the Eu 3rd and 4th, making it 7 guilds in total with Desolate Host ahead of them. The next big piece of action was when Pieces and Easy both downed the Desolate Host, in under a minute from each other, with Pieces getting the upper hand and the World 4th. Exorsus finally caught back up to the top, getting the Mistress Sassz'ine kill a full 7+ hours after Method. So the two favorites ended the day on top, together, with Method seemingly having a significant lead. We then had yet another US guild grab a big kill at the very end of the day, with Limit deciding to skip Desolate Host and head straight to Mistress Sassz'ine and claiming the World third and US first on her, positioning themselves at 5/9.

The final piece of news for day 2 of the race was that the Asia servers came up and we had a brand new contender, with Chinese guild Qidi getting 3 Asia first kills very quickly on the usual suspects bosses. The other top Asian guilds are still doing Heroic splits and will be getting into the race soon, and they might pose a real threat to Method and Exorsus if the race lasts log enough.

As we head into day 3 it remains to be seen if Kil'jaeden will be the only survivor at the end of the day, or if Maiden of Vigilance and Fallen Avatar can hang on for a while longer. As always, for live updates head on over to Method.gg's progress coverage!

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First 5 Mythoc ToS boss kill videos.

Day 1 aka US Day:

Day one of the Tomb of Sargeras Mythic progress race didn't exactly go as expected, as only four bosses died while the US and OC guilds had the run of the place. And even so, only two guilds managed to end the day on 4/9, but let's start at the beginning, shall we.

Only two guilds went into the Tomb early, almost as soon as it opened up this week, and for the majority of the day it was a race between Easy and Big Dumb Guild. The first kill of the day came around 2 hours after maintenance concluded and it was Easy that broke into the Tomb first, with BDG only 5 minutes behind. After Goroth they parted ways, as they both went on to down different bosses, again within only 10 minutes of each other, with Easy going for the Demonic Inquisition and BDG for Harjatan.

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World First Mythic Harjatan by Big Dumb Guild                    World First Mythic Demonic Inquisiton by Easy

That's where the lead started to form for Big Dumb Guild, as they downed Demonic Inquisition a good half hour before Easy ended Harjatan for that 3/9. From there BDG had it pretty much in hand with a solid lead, but what we didn't expect was that it would take so long until the next kill. It was only two guilds downing stuff in Mythic ToS for a long time, but we got a third an hour after Easy got to 3/9, with Benched joining the Goroth killing club and moving on to 2/9 before anyone else downed the first boss.

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World First Mythic Sisters of the Moon by Big Dumb Guild

It ended up taking Big Dumb Guild 4 hours to down Sisters of the Moon and get that first 4/9 on the board, after which they rewarded themselves by going to do Heroic splits. The fourth guild to pop up on the scoreboard was Instant Dollars, closely followed by Limit, who were done with their splits and were about to steamroll through right to the top. Easy couldn't get Sisters down in time, at least not before Limit whizzed past everyone and got to 3/9 within 30 or so minutes of entering the raid, and becoming the only other guild to down Sisters of the Moon 3 hours after that.

A lot more guilds had entered the race at this point, as the evening raiding teams came in, and the ranks quickly started to fill up. At the moment only Big Dumb Guild and Limit have gotten past Sisters and to 4/9, so it seems Mistress Sassz'ine is the first really big roadblock of the raid, even though Sisters seemed quite a big step up from the first three bosses. In the end it is a little surprising to see only four bosses go down on US day, as many people were expecting even a 7 boss clear. To compare, on the first day of Nighthold we saw 6 bosses die, and even with the 1 boss deficit ToS has, it seems significantly harder - at least for the US/OC guilds so far. Currently there are 19 guilds on 3/9, 8 on 2/9 and 26 with only Goroth down.

The EU maintenance has ended already, but the top guilds will be running Heroic splits before heading into Mythic, however we can still expect quite a lot of kills today from the EU side. Let's see if Sassz'ine is really as tough as she appears to be!

As always, for live coverage of the race head on over to Method.gg/raidprogress.

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Day 0 / Preview:

Here we are again, in another Mythic progress race, and this time we're up to Tier 20! The Tomb of Sargeras opened a week ago today and now its Mythic version is live as well, for US and OC guilds at least. The World Firsts will come pouring in soon enough, with many bosses dying today and we'll have coverage of all the action right here (and in separate roundup posts). But first, let's take a look at what the situation is in the world of high-end progress raiding as there were many changes during and after Nighthold.

The end of Tier 19 was a tough one for the progress race, as we lost many guilds either during or right after Nighthold. The various guilds that did quit the race had different reasons for doing it, whether it was the difficulty of the raid itself, not reaching their intended goals, the increased demands on raiders to be extra prepared with artifact traits, legendaries and the many alts they have to have to be competitive, or just the usual burn out after a long time raiding. In any case, we lost quite a few top guilds going into Tomb of Sargeras, the most prominent being EU guilds Serenity (the silver medalist in NH), From Scratch (No.4 in NH), Danish Terrace (No.9 in NH) and US guilds Midwinter (one of the oldest US raiding teams) and SNF (3 World Firsts in NH), both of whom actually stopped serious raiding before the end of Nighthold. You can read more on each guild's quitting in the links above.

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Serenity's World First Elisande killshot

So we come to Tier 20 and the Tomb, with an assumption of Method, who took in several ex-Serenity raiders, and the reigning champions Exorsus as the favorites to take home the gold, but there's also a lot of new blood to be found in both the EU and US - major shakeups like this often lead to new faces showing up, with that many top players getting displaced. Future is one of the new guilds to make an appearance, with some ex-Serenity players on the EU side, while OC guild Entropy (US/OC No.2) merged with Lotion to form Ego, and there are still plenty of dark horses out there ready to show their mettle.

The final factor going into this race is the Chinese guilds, who didn't have a very strong placement in Nighthold as they skipped a few days of progress due to the Chinese New year celebrations that coincided with the first week of the race. So with them coming out in full force for Tomb, there may be some serious competition at the top, that is if the raid lasts a while, as they have a 1 day deficit vs. EU and 2 days vs. US/OC.

That's about it for this intro, I hope you're now (generally) up to speed with the upcoming race, now let's hang back and wait for those World Firsts to come in! We'll have daily updates (as well as additional ones if something really big happens) and you can check out the live coverage of the race over at Method.gg for up to the minute updates!

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24 minutes ago, Calysia said:

Am I the only one who doesn't really care about this any longer?

You're certainly not the only one to not care about WoW's wf race, but enough of a little annoying shit to come here, a wf race coverage, to post this.

It's like going to a show complaining you hate this musician. Why are you here?

inb4 lame excuse

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42 minutes ago, Calysia said:

Am I the only one who doesn't really care about this any longer?

Out of the over 7 billion people that lives on this planet? No, you are never alone in whatever thought you have but there may be those that do care and are interested and a comment like that is extremely pointless and slightly condecending. Not to mention pretty damn rude towards the author of an article that have taken quite a bit of time to research and create so please, if you're really not interested, don't read and move on.

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I don't care about the race, I do care a bit about the scene. I think it's interesting to see what happens in top raiding guilds during each new raid. Nighthold was kinda detrimental to a bunch of guilds so it's good to see some new faces coming up again. I don't particularly enjoy watching the race step by step but I do enjoy reading recaps after the top 5 or so cleared it.

 

one day I will be among one of those guilds, when I have less crap irl

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I guess i can do some limited updates here in the comments, yea as Maerlim, the ever tactful, said, 3 bosses down, Big Dumb Guild is in the lead and Easy are second on 2/9. They seem to be the only two going at it at this point.

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50 minutes ago, Shine said:

I don't care about the race, I do care a bit about the scene. I think it's interesting to see what happens in top raiding guilds during each new raid. Nighthold was kinda detrimental to a bunch of guilds so it's good to see some new faces coming up again. I don't particularly enjoy watching the race step by step but I do enjoy reading recaps after the top 5 or so cleared it.

 

one day I will be among one of those guilds, when I have less crap irl

Me too. When I am 65, living off my retirement, and no longer have the work the grind, I can dedicate my full attention to raiding for world firsts. Figure we will be in tier 130 or so by then  ;)

Edited by Sharknad0
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13 minutes ago, Sharknad0 said:

Me too. When I am 65, living off my retirement, and no longer have the work the grind, I can dedicate my full attention to raiding for world firsts. Figure we will be in tier 130 or so by then  ;)

Better train those reflexes if they're gonna be workable in your sixties!

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39 minutes ago, Starym said:

Better train those reflexes if they're gonna be workable in your sixties!

By then, you won't need your hands. Computers will be controlled telepathically ;)

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yeah and the whole game is just some virtual reality world that we all spend so much time in that we forget to eat and die

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1 minute ago, Shine said:

yeah and the whole game is just some virtual reality world that we all spend so much time in that we forget to eat and die

So it's a VR world where you sit at your computer playing a then 40 year old game? Perfect!

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      On November 3 at the World of Warcraft Q&A at BlizzCon 2018, players questioned panelists Alex Afrasiabi, Ion Hazzikostas, John Hight, and Chris Robinson. Many of the questions deserved a bit more time to fully answer than we originally anticipated, and in the end, eight attendees were left without the chance to ask their questions. Here are the questions that didn’t make it in time, along with our answers to each:
      Over the course of the last 14 years, we've killed many Warcraft villains. What is your strategy for introducing new characters and threats to this universe?
      While many of the iconic villains in WoW over the years were first established in the RTS games (Illidan, Arthas, etc.), WoW has been introducing new characters and threats since its earliest days (such as Onyxia or the Defias). We’re keenly aware of the need to begin building up future threats even as we confront existing ones. A major villain shouldn’t come out of nowhere and be a surprise. We plan our expansions out far in advance, so that we can begin foreshadowing and weaving narrative threads to connect them. Garrosh Hellscream is an example of a character born within WoW and built up to eventually become a major villain and then a catalyst that led directly to Azeroth’s confrontation with the Burning Legion. If you look carefully, there are seeds that have been planted and clues that point to who central foes might be in the future.
      When will the WoW Mobile App ever be complete?
      If you mean “complete” in the sense of integrating the social features currently missing from the app, like guild/community chat and the calendar, that’s actively being worked on and we’re aiming to get that functionality added in the coming months. Due to some tech infrastructure changes in Battle for Azeroth, we had to basically rebuild the existing Companion App from the ground up, but we’ll end up with a more robust foundation as a result.
      Do you have plans to make more reputation rewards account-wide?
      We feel that it’s important for characters to retain a certain element of distinct progression. Part of making an alt can be having a fresh set of goals and rewards to pursue once you’re starting to run out of accessible goals on your main, so we don’t make reputation globally account-wide. But some players feel compelled to re-earn reputations in a way that’s frustrating and we want to do what we can to help alleviate their specific concerns. We’re addressing some of that in Tides of Vengeance:
      Transmog appearances that have rep requirements will be unlocked account-wide once earned. You won’t need to re-earn a specific reputation on an alt if you want to use their tabard as part of your outfit.
      The achievements that require a certain number of Exalted reputations will now aggregate progress across your entire account.
      For Champions of Azeroth rep, access to the item level upgrades for the Heart of Azeroth will be account-wide. If you have at least one Revered character, any other fresh 120 alts can go visit Magni and collect all 45 item levels’ worth of upgrades right away.
      What can you tell us about your future plans for pet battles?
      Pet battles continue to be a fun system layered on top of the core WoW experience. As we introduce new zones and content, there will be new pets to tame or earn as reward. For players who are looking for a new challenge to overcome, we’re adding a new Gnomeregan pet battle dungeon in Tides of Vengeance. Beyond that, in the long-term, we’d like to take a fresh look at “PvP” pet battles to see if we can add a more structure to that system and elevate it beyond what is currently a niche pursuit.
      Will gear ever return to the way it used to be with no warforging and titanforging?
      That’s unlikely.
      Gear used to be only available from a handful of activities, such as raiding or rated PvP. Obtaining a specific piece of gear could be a months-long pursuit. As the quantity and variety of sources of gear increased over the years, increasingly the pacing of rewards wasn’t matching the pacing of the activity itself. By Mists of Pandaria, a guild progressing through a raid zone over the course of a couple of months could reach a point where they were fully equipped with gear from that tier, before having finished the zone. Lacking individual motivation or excitement about rewards when raiding, even if the encounters themselves were still fun, meant a lack of continued progression for the group. If you were stuck on Sha of Fear, there was no real expectation that your group would get any stronger week over week to help you overcome that hurdle. That gave rise to Thunderforging as a system in Patch 5.2, which evolved into the system we know today.
      We like that Warforging preserves a sense of possibility to most encounters, and it allows a group’s overall item level to continue to increase steadily. It also creates moments of surprise and excitement across all types of players and activities. Of course, we understand that when an exceptionally lucky player gets a perfect Titanforged item from a Raid Finder boss, that can feel like it undermines Mythic content, but ultimately, that’s just a single piece of gear. Overall, the Mythic raider will be better-geared than the Normal or Heroic raider, even if the latter gets lucky once. We restrict the ability of pieces like weapons or Azerite armor to Titanforge, and we’ve reduced the chance of extreme Titanforging in BfA. We used to see players who felt obligated to run content they’d outgeared just for a chance at lucky upgrades, and we now see far less of this behavior.
      Players will always want to use the best traits on Azerite gear for every situation. Why punish the player with a big gold cost to reforge?
      We draw a distinction between items and character attributes like spec or talents. Usually you can’t change the former at all, or there’s a destructive process involved like replacing a gem or enchantment, or Artifact Relic in Legion. A healer trinket is a healer trinket, and can’t be morphed into a tank trinket if you want to switch from Holy to Prot. If you want to perform at a given level in both specs, you need separate trinkets of similar quality for each.
      However, we’re mindful of feedback we’d gotten regarding spec flexibility. We want Azerite armor to be flexible, so that you could switch from Fire to Frost if you want to, or you could switch from Arms to Protection for a week if your raid’s tank was absent. Without some friction, the system would just turn into a secondary (and awkward) set of talents, and a mere cooldown could create situations where you switched from one trait to another, and then couldn’t go back at all without having to wait. We ultimately settled on a respec cost that started out very low (5 gold) and increased and decayed rapidly, such that periodic respecs would be essentially free, but swapping back and forth routinely would be unsustainable.
      Nonetheless, mistaken choices or experimentation can quickly spiral out of control and leave even occasional respecs feeling overly costly. In Tides of Vengeance, we’ll be doubling the rate at which the respec cost decays, so it will go down by 50% every 24 hours. Additionally, given the changes to several Azerite traits and the new ones coming with the update, we’ll provide a one-time reset of all respec costs when the update goes live.
      How will you motivate Mythic Raiders to raid, when Mythic Keystone gear can titanforge to such high item levels?
      Aside from prestigious titles and cosmetic rewards, Mythic raiding remains one of the most reliable sources of high-end gear in the game, with more ability to target specific pieces via bonus rolls and trading. It’s no coincidence that the best-geared players in the game are, almost without exception, Mythic raiders who also do other types of endgame content. Historically, raiding was the only way to get the best gear in the game, but our goal today is to provide parallel endgame item progression paths for different playstyles (raiding, dungeons, competitive PvP) to reward skill, dedication, and organization in various forms. Ideally, each of those paths also offers some unique benefits that set it apart from the others.
      How do you plan to accommodate new players who are overwhelmed by the size of the content?
      On one hand, the breadth and depth of World of Warcraft is one of the game’s strengths. A new player entering Azeroth gets access to fourteen years of content, with entire worlds to explore and stories to unravel. But that same content can also be a daunting. Including a character boost with our recent expansions is one way of making sure that players can always leap directly into the latest and greatest content, but that’s far from a complete solution.
      We’re taking a fresh look at our new player experience, with the goal of making it better reflect the quality and scope of the modern game. That’s a long-term project, but it’s an essential one as many brand-new players try out WoW for the first time every way, and we want to make sure we’re welcoming them into Azeroth and really showing off everything that is awesome about World of Warcraft.
      Thank you all very much for taking the time to participate in the Q&A. It was amazing to see so many players come to the Darkmoon Faire and submit questions (and sometimes, comments) for the development team. We read every single one of them, and we really enjoyed talking with everyone we could in Anaheim.
      (source)
    • By Stan
      It's time to celebrate World of Warcraft's 14 anniversary! Log in between now and November 30 to receive the WoW's 14th Anniversary achievement and a cache that contains 200 Timewarped Badges, a token that  increases your experience and reputation gains by 14% for 1 hour, and more.  
      Players can earn additional Timewarped Badges by answering trivia questions by talking to Historian Llore and Historian Ju'pa.
      Players level 60 and above can defeat Lord Kazzak, Azuregos, and one of the Dragons of Nightmare bosses each day to collect loot that only dropped back then and 50 Timewarped Badges.
      Here's a full list of items that can be obtained from the event:
      Loot
      Amberseal Keeper Acid Inscribed Greaves Acid Inscribed Pauldrons Ancient Corroded Leggings Belt of the Dark Bog Boots of Fright Boots of the Endless Moor Black Bark Wristbands Blacklight Bracer Blazefury Medallion Circlet of Restless Dreams Cold Snap Crystal Adorned Crown Dark Heart Pants Deviate Growth Cap Doomhide Gauntlets Dragonbone Wristguards Dragonheart Necklace Dragonspur Wraps Drape of Benediction Emerald Dragonfang Empyrean Demolisher Eskhandar's Pelt Fang of the Mystics Fel Infused Leggings Flayed Doomguard Belt Gauntlets of the Shining Light Gloves of Delusional Power Green Dragonskin Cloak Hammer of Bestial Fury Hibernation Crystal Infernal Headcage Jade Inlaid Vestments Leggings of the Demented Mind Malignant Footguards Mana-Frosted Pauldrons Mendicant's Slippers Mindtear Band Nightmare Blade Polished Ironwood Crossbow Ring of Ancient Arcana Ring of Entropy Ring of the Unliving Unmelting Ice Girdle Unnatural Leather Spaulders Sapphire-Encrusted Tunic Snowblind Shoes Staff of Rampant Growth Strangely Glyphed Legplates Trance Stone Typhoon Blizzard (Source)
      Celebrate 14 years of World of Warcraft with us! Log in between now and November 30 to earn the WoW's 14th Anniversary, then check your mail for a special Anniversary Gift Package.
      Inside the package you’ll find 200 Timewarped Badges, a Celebration Package item to increase experience and reputation gains by 14% for 1 hour, and a “Letter from the Timewalkers,” which will start a new quest leading you to either Orgrimmar or Stormwind.
      In addition, questgivers Historian Llore and Historian Ju’pa will have two daily quests that give players a chance to earn additional Timewarped Badges either by answering World of Warcraft trivia or by defeating some familiar foes. Collectors will also have a chance to pick up a few pieces of classic loot from defeating them.
      Players level 1–59 who didn’t get to complete last year’s letter from the Timewalker’s quest will still be able to receive and complete it.
      CLASSIC BOSSES TO CELEBRATE
      It’s been 14 years since gates opened into Azeroth and the heroes of the Horde and Alliance began their journey of discovery and adventure. To celebrate this momentous occasion, some familiar foes have returned to Azeroth—with some slightly updated abilities. Players level 60 and above can take on Lord Kazzak, Azuregos, and one of the four Dragons of Nightmare each day for some loot and 50 Timewarped Badges.
      NEW VENDOR ITEM
      In addition to all the many great items available for purchase, you’ll be able to use your badges to acquire a new item this year.
      New Toy! Overtuned Corgi Goggles: Change how you see the world around you when you use this new toy. While active, friendly NPCs will appear to be such good boys and girls all year round. THANK YOU!
      Thank you to everyone who’s been a part of this adventure so far. You represent the best aspects of the Horde and the Alliance, and you inspire and motivate us every day. We’re looking forward to sharing many, many more adventures with you in the years to come.
    • By Starym
      We have two major nerfs coming in on the PvE side of things, one from raiding and one from Mythic+. First off there's the massive nerf to Mythrax' Oblivion Spheres having them prioritize ranged targets, making the encounter much easier on all difficulties:
      Then the bigger of the two changes, the  Explosive affix in Mythic+ got it's HP cut in half and had it's trigger removed from crowd controlled mobs as well:
      That's a pretty big change to   Explosive, especially considering it's been around for so long, so it's interesting it's only now gotten some attention, presumably because of the higher and higher M+ levels players are getting to and the HP adjustments on them.
    • By Starym
      The official WoW forums are getting a makeover, following suit with the Overwatch, HotS and BlizzCon ones! After an 8 hour maintenance tomorrow we'll be getting improved functionality including real time thread updates, the return of the Blizz tracker, infinite scroll for the threads, a new advanced search option, as well as new notification options and more!
      Forum Upgrades (source)
      As some of you may know, over the last several months we've been implementing new forums for a few of our titles, including Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm, as well as BlizzCon. These new forums allow you to more easily navigate current topics, encourage more constructive discussions, and reward positive contributions to the community.
      We are now ready for World of Warcraft to transition to these new forums. This Thursday, November 15, the current World of Warcraft forums will be going into maintenance starting at 8 AM Pacific. We estimate this process should take approximately 8 hours.
      Note: We will be migrating over any active threads from the last two weeks to allow ongoing community discussions to continue as seamlessly as possible. Once maintenance is complete, the old forums will remain available in read-only mode for the foreseeable future, so you’ll be able to easily reference back to anything that wasn’t automatically transferred to the new forums.
      Here’s a few of the new features we’re excited about:
      Tracking and Updates
      • The Blizz Tracker has returned to help you quickly find official posts
      • You can now easily find threads that you’ve previously viewed
      • Better text formatting
      • Threads now update in real time without needing to refresh
      • Threads now infinitely scroll – no more navigating page by page
      • The forums will also remember what you’ve read and where you left off!
      Sorting and Search
      • A new “Advanced Search” feature will make looking for older posts easier
      • You can now sort posts by “Top” or “Latest” with configurable timeframes.
      Notifications
      • You can now enable notifications for when you are tagged in posts and replies
      Flagging
      • The “report post” feature has been upgraded to a flagging system with multiple options
      In another blue post today, we've found out when exactly the new ring of Azerite powers will arrive in 8.1, and it's pretty much as expected: it's coming with the PvP Season start/raid opening in January.
      5th Azerite Ring Release Date (source)
      The fifth ring of Azerite Traits is definitely coming in Tides of Vengeance. You’ll see it on new gear when Season 2 begins, on the same day the Battle of Dazar’alor Raid opens in January. At that time, the item levels of rewards from dungeons, PvP, emissaries, Warfronts, and everything else that drops Azerite gear will go up, and all of the new Azerite gear from those endgame sources will have a fifth ring of Azerite Traits.
      In the next few weeks, we’ll advance the state of the PTR to test Season 2. You’ll then see the new ring on rewards, the new Mythic Keystone affix, and other content that’s coming with Season 2.
    • By Starym
      War Mode has been improved recently, with a hotfix that will force a more even ratio of both factions present in each shard. While it's unclear when "some time ago" was exactly, this should help with the faction imbalance players have been encountering. It won't, however, be an instant nor absolute fix for the issue, as it still takes some time for the shard to balance itself out. There will also be more improvements coming with 8.1, including better rewards for the underrepresented faction in the shard.
      War Mode Faction Balance (source)
      Some time ago we made a hotfix to War Mode which enforces all War Mode shards that have both Alliance and Horde in them to have a stricter, more even ratio. We’ve been monitoring the results and so far we’ve noticed a significant improvement in “fair and balanced” shards. So much so that it’s safe to say that if you are Alliance, and you see Horde in the outdoor world in War Mode, you are a relatively even horde to alliance ratio shard. There are some rare exceptions, such as when a raid of 40 players enter a zone. It may take a bit for the “shard manager” to compensate and balance the shard.

      We do have some plans in store in Tides of Vengeance (Patch 8.1) to entice the underrepresented faction with greater rewards to increase participation and create more active Horde/Allianced mixed War Mode shards. The intent of those rewards is not to give the underrepresented faction some “compensation” for being outnumbered in a War Mode shard (since that really can’t happen anymore).

      We're also looking forward to what you all think about the Incursions in War Mode for 8.1, since it brings Horde and Alliance to the same location which should create some pretty fun skirmishes.