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While only one more boss died today in the race, it was still a very exciting day, as we found both the easiest and hardest of the second batch of bosses in the raid. And while the Queen's Court disappointed with it's drop in difficulty from previous bosses, Za'qul has so far lived up to his penultimate boss status and has defended Queen Azshara successfully.
We left things off with Limit in the lead yesterday, having taken down Orgozoa World First while Method slept and had already taken the 6th boss, Queen's Court, down to 45% after only a small amount of tries. Limit pushed through quite a bit longer than usual yesterday, finishing up the day with the Court at 25%, around an hour before Method returned - indicating that maybe this wouldn't be that hard a boss.
We wouldn't find out exactly how hard the Court was for a while yet, as Method still had to push through the giant jellyfish to catch up to Limit, and after getting it down to 5% some 2 and a half hours after their raid start, it ended up taking them another two before it died and Method moved back to even with Limit on 5/8. With the second front-runner having moved on to the next boss, it was time to look back to Lady Ashvane, where we saw a very new and an old face, both from the OC side of things, as Ethical and Honestly claimed the World 4th and 5th, US/OC 3rd and 4th. At this point, only Method had gotten past the Lady gatekeeper of the EU guilds, and we didn't see an Asian 4/8 for a while either.
As all this Ashvane action was happening, Method were quickly and consistently chipping away at the 6th boss, and only 2 hours and 45 minutes after their Orgozoa kill, we had another World First on our hands! The Queen's Court turned out to be a massive disappointment and a big step down in terms of difficulty, as it was the shortest lived boss since the first three, taking only 16 wipes, compared to Ashvane's 37 and Orgozoa's 55 for Method. And while the boss progress was over far too quickly, it at least gave us a very exciting and hectic finish on the kill:
Despite the lowering of difficulty standards on the 6th boss, the Eternal Palace had been a very good race so far, with the top guilds switching off the top spot several times, making it very exciting for us following it and a welcome change of pace from the usual US domination on the early days followed by a strong EU finish.
As for Za'qul, the very first pull Method did on him didn't bode too well for his living long, as Method got him to 58% immediately. After only an hour of pulls the boss was already down to 40%, and on the surface it was looking to be another Queen's Court situation. However, the Harbinger of Ny'alotha not only proved resilient, but also had some very interesting mechanics to offer, as Method took the opportunity to use a creative strategy that helped them push a little further on the boss. In one of the phases the entire raid becomes hostile to each other, making it impossible for the healers to do their job, so self sustain became paramount - however, in a really smart move, Method simply decided to take a few more mages along and have them polymorph their now enemies, heal them up that way, and then break the poly so they wouldn't loose too much time! In the end, that very low 39.9% try from an hour after boss pulls started was also the best try of the entire day! (Small note: the below video starts lagging at the end.)
(Timestamp is at 00:18:12, in case it's not working for you.)
Limit quickly took down Queen's Court to catch back up to 6/8 when they woke up, and continued with Za'qul attempts for another 7-8 hours after Method went to sleep, but they didn't get that much further on him, with their best try ending up some 4% lower than Method, at 36%.
Meanwhile, back in non-penultimate boss territory, it was actually Exorsus that pushed through that 4/8 barrier and managed to get the Lady Ashvane EU 2nd, World 6th, as Pieces caught up under an hour after them. We ended the day with 15 guilds on 4/8 and progressing on Orgozoa, with Ji Tian Hong claiming the Asia first on the lady in 9th spot overall, and Aversion and Practice the EU 4th and 5th.
And so Za'qul has so far proven to be a worthy penultimate boss, as he's been holding steady around 35-40% for almost a full day of progress. But can Azshara's final gatekeeper hold on a bit longer or are we going to see just what the Queen is made of on day 4? Tune in to either Method or Red Bull's streams, or check in on Method's raid progress page during the day to find out.
Today's hotfixes bring adjustments to Blackwater Behemoth and the Queen's Court. Blizzard fixed a bug which caaused some abilities granted by Conflict and Strife to be taught to a character twice, and more.
Druid Fixed an issue that could cause Lively Spirit to grant more stacks of Intellect than intended for Balance and Restoration Druids. Creatures and NPCs
Some snails and slugs in the Coral Forest have managed to wriggle out from underneath the tree they were stuck under. Dungeons and Raids
Azshara’s Eternal Palace Blackwater Behemoth Fixed a bug that sometimes caused Blackwater Behemoth to not drop loot if it was defeated during a phase transition. The Queen’s Court Fixed a bug that sometimes allowed players to avoid Silivaz’s Frenetic Charge in all difficulties. Items
Heart of Azeroth Resolved an issue that caused some abilities granted by Conflict and Strife (Essence) to be taught to a character twice. The Well of Existence (Essence) now despawns when the player who placed it logs out. Fixed a bug that sometimes prevented Dribbling Inkpod’s passive effect from activating when an enemy reached 30% health and increased the duration of the debuff to 2 minutes (was 1 minute). Player versus Player
Resolved an issue that prevented Sphere of Suppression's (Essence) movement speed reduction from being removed by effects such as Blessing of Freedom. The Well of Existence's (Essence) stored healing is now reset upon Arena and Battleground start. Resolved an issue that prevented Season 3 Duelists from obtaining the Dreadflame weapon illusion. Items Heart of Azeroth Placing The Crucible of Flame (Essence) in the Major Slot during Arena and Battleground preparation no longer causes it to incur a 30 second cooldown. Quests
Increased the damage of Lord Hydraxis and decreased the health and damage of Zan’jir Scaleguards in “The Lords of Water”. The length of the time to complete the quest has been shortened. Horde players can now see Alliance NPCs during “They Came From Behind!” Previous Hotfixes
Patch 8.2 Hotfixes: July 17th
Day 2 of the race was quite a sight to behold, as the race unfolded in a very exciting manner, with the three top guilds all going in very different paths and Method and Limit biting at each other's tails throughout the day. In the end, Lady Ashvane and Orgozoa both fell and we ended up at 5/8, but let's start at the beginning.
Wednesday is EU day in the World First race and the folks on this side of the Atlantic didn't disappoint, as Method and Pieces shot up to 3/8 very quickly and arrived at the first actually difficult boss in the raid: Lady Ashvane. After some exploring of the fight and knowledge of how Limit and Big Dumb Guild went at it, Method and Pieces made very different decisions, with Pieces opting to go for Mythic+ clears to get some more gear and Method thinking they could take Ashvane down with the gear they had, providing they got some good rng. Progress on the azerite Lady took quite a while and Limit came back from their sleep break, continuing their Heroic splits for a little while. So we now had the three top guilds in three completely different states, with two farming different sources and one going at the boss.
(Timestamp 16:32:03 in case it's not working for you)
As you can see from the above, Method were right to believe they could take it as-is, and got the World First and 4/8 just before 8PM CEST.
However, it didn't take Limit that much longer, despite their splits, as they also took Ashvane down two hours later. While Pieces still hasn't taken the fourth boss down, it doesn't mean they're as behind as it seems, as they spent the day gearing up in M+, without having to "spend" their Heroic clears. Now that the strategy to downing Lady Ashvane is clear, they can just swoop in and execute it, while before they went to M+ they didn't seem to have a good grip on what strategy or comp to use for the encounter, which would mean they'd have lost a lot of time figuring it out. They finished the day at 27% on Lady Ashvane.
And so, on we went to the fifth boss, jellyfish central, aka Orgozoa. Method and Limit progressed on the boss pretty similarly, with the EU guild ending their day at 50% and the US being at 47% at that time. As Limit are on a US raiding schedule (obviously), they had a lot more time to go at the boss after Method went to sleep and kept pushing pretty hard into the night. Meanwhile, the Asia guilds finally got access to the raid, and also very quickly moved to 3/8, with only Skyline actually deciding to progress on Lady Ashvane, while Alpha and Ji Tian Hong went to farm gear. Midwinter also secured a World third, as they were the first guild to down Lady Ashvane after a long gap between the first two kills on the little mermaid villain and the third.
Limit kept on getting closer and closer to the kill, pretty consistently lowering the bosses health through many wipes, and landing on 12% for quite a number of hours and around 4% for a few more. In the end, though, after having switched to a 5-heal composition, around an hour ago they finally broke through and managed to get their third World First of the raid, downing Orgozoa and heading to 5/8! While they usually stop raiding around when they killed the boss, apparently the adrenaline is pushing them on so they are still raiding now and might be for a while more, as they think there's a chance that the Queen's Court might also fall soon, based on PTR testing and the pulls they've done so far. Considering they've already gotten the Court to 45%, they may just be right.
(Timestamp 14:12:10 in case it's not working for you)
And so the day ended up being very hectic, as Method fought back immediately after they got to enter the raid, but Limit returned to the top spot once more at the very end of their day 2. Two more bosses died in the grand scheme of things, leaving only the Queen's Court, Za'qul and the Queen herself alive in the Palace. Let's see how day 3 goes, whether Method can come back and get another World First, what exactly Pieces will be doing and if they can catch up in time, and just what will be happening with the Asia guilds and their two day disadvantage.
We now have 1 guild with 5 bosses down, two with 4, a crazy 216 on 3/8, 83 on 2/8 and only 110 on 1/8!
As always, you can follow the race on Method's site, their event stream or Red Bull's!
In a new initiative, presumably to make LFR a more smooth experience, Blizzard have posted very quick overviews of the first three fights in the Eternal Palace. We have some great Abyssal Commander Sivara, Blackwater Behemoth and Radiance of Azshara illustrations to help get the basics from the dungeon journal down, and it looks pretty damn nice!
In case you need more detailed guides, however, or need some beyond the first three bosses, check out our Eternal Palace guide as well.
The hotfixes aren't stopping and they aren't getting much smaller either! Today we have a few raid tweaks and a whole lot of Operation: Mechagon changes, more essence tuning, and a whole lot of quest fixes.
July 17 (source)
Creatures and NPCs
Data Discs are now considered unique and the Data Anomalies spawned from them reward loot once per day. Data Anomalies now signify they are Rare Bosses in their nameplate if a player has already looted it that day. Dungeons and Raids
Azshara’s Eternal Palace Lady Ashvane Fixed a bug that could cause Rippling Wave to spawn underground. Queen Azshara Overzealous Hulk gains Infuriated after the first crowd control effect on it expires on all difficulties. Fixed a bug that could cause Lightning Orbs to not display a destination visual before dealing damage. Operation: Mechagon Several enemies have been adjusted. Gnome-Eating Slimes’ Acid Splash damage reduced by 10%. Heavy Scrapbot and Malfunctioning Scrapbots’ Gyro-Scrap damage reduced to 25%. Pistonhead Blasters’ Shoot damage reduced to 75% weapon damage and Run ‘n’ Gun damage reduced to 50% weapon damage. Pistonhead Scrappers’ Sledgehammer reduces armor by 10% per stack (was 20%). Scrapbone Bullys’ Shockwave damage reduced by 20%. Scrapbone Trashtossers’ Throw Trash damage reduced to 100% weapon damage. Scrapbone Trashtossers’ Throw Trash cast time increased to 2 seconds (was 1 second). Weaponized Crawlers’ Scrap Cannon damage reduced by 15% and Zap Damage reduced by 20%. Fixed a bug that caused targets of Mechagon Renormalizers’ Shrink ability to take increased threat. Fixed a bug during the King Mechagon encounter that caused players to be stuck in limbo if they fell off the platform during combat. Items
Heart of Azeroth Conflict and Strife (Essence) now uses a character’s specialization PvP talent icon as the active ability button. Resolved an issue that caused some abilities granted by Conflict and Strife (Essence) to be taught to a character twice. The Ever-Rising Tide’s (Essence) Overcharge Mana stacks can now be removed by dispels (e.g. Dispel Magic or Purge ). Fixed an issue where The Ever-Rising Tide’s (Essence) Overcharge Mana sometimes granted a stack for a spell cast immediately before it was activated. Fixed a bug that caused Unholy Death Knights’ Essence of the Focusing Iris (Essence) Azerite Beam to be interrupted by the Helchains Azerite Trait. Pocket-Sized Computation Device The Cyclotronic Blast Red Punchcard’s on-use ability can now be interrupted during its cast or channel and can no longer be used while affected by Hex . Player versus Player
Warrior Fury Battle Trance now properly triggers from Raging Blows buffed by Whirlwind . Players no longer gain the Deserter debuff when exiting the Classic Ashran brawl. Fixed an issue that caused some PvP talents to display in the chat window that they have been learned when entering PvP combat, or have the PvP talent through Conflict and Strife. Quests
Players can now find even more Coral Ancients to slay for “Bounty: A Few Coral Ancients ”. "Certified Pre-Owned " can now be completed on any day, not just on the day a player receives the quest. Added more dead bots for players to find during “Chopped Bots ”. The rideable direhorn’s Charge ability again destroys barricades during "The Direhorn Mother's Fury." Fixed a bug that caused some players who were on an earlier step in the Heart of Azeroth questline to gain access to the Repaired Chamber of Heart before it was appropriate. Players who found themselves in this state can now exit the Repaired Chamber of Heart and interact with the Titan Translocator to gain access to the appropriate Chamber. Fixed a bug that allowed Death Knights to Death Grip Stolen Part Crates during “Knock 'Em Out The Box ”. “Large Storage Fragment ” can again be completed after slaying the Balnazzar Data Anomaly. Victory in the Classic Ashran PvP Brawl now properly awards credit for “Something Different .” “The Soulbinder” now completes after killing Ulmath. World Quests
Creatures now properly display mouseover tooltip information for relevant targets during “Summons from the Depths”. Previous hotfixes.