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46 Max Level Warriors, Druids/Paladins Next, Guinness World Record, Autism Charity and More: the DesMephisto Interview

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DesMephisto has been in the WoW news a lot lately, with his speed leveling efforts in the Alpha, Torghast max level pushing, all warrior Ny'alotha clear, all 46 race and gender warrior combinations, Guinness World record and a whole lot more, so we thought it might be a good idea to have a chat with this incredibly active member of the community! We find out that he's planning another gender/race combo for druids or paladins, what he thinks of the Shadowlands and current leveling speeds, Torghast, BfA in general, some of his favorite things about the game and a whole lot more.

 

First things first, you’ve recently fulfilled a long-standing goal in getting all warrior race and gender combinations (46 total) to max level. Uh, why? How? WHAT?

So I’ve been enamored with warriors since Vanilla, and had a ton of warrior alts as well. I had a 60 warrior, a few warriors in the mid 40s, mid 30s and mid 20s, I just loved the class so much. This started to rekindle in Warlords where I saw an opportunity to fill an entire realm with warriors, but didn’t end up being able to complete it. With BFA, I guess the perfect storm happened? Having others take interest in the project definitely helped as well. I love warriors, the whole process of leveling is a very relaxing experience and turning it into its own game with speed leveling also really helped maintain my attention and focus.
 

But why male models warriors?

*blue steel* They’re the best.


You achieved the final part of the 46 warriors goal during your recent bid for the Guinness World record for longest non-stop WoW play session (which you succeeded at). What made you decide to go for that one as well?

Charity. What better way to get eyes on a good cause than doing something stupid? People love watching these weird and unusual things, and always you hear everyone say “It’s only 32 hours? I’ve easily done that” and yet the record hasn’t been beaten. So I thought ok, time to actually do it, and for a good cause to help get extra eyes on the charity.


Your all warrior Ny’alotha clear was pretty impressive, how did it come to be?

I remember hearing about an all warrior raid back towards the start of BFA for Uldir, and something about that concept always appealed to me, generally we see DK and Druid runs just because of how their class is built. Given my focus around warriors, I decided to brand the charity as Warriors for Autism as it was very thematic, and with that naming it made sense to bring in all warriors for as many events as possible, pvp, pve, etc. I hope to find more ways to do stuff like this in the future. Hopefully as all of this becomes more popular it’ll be easier to get people together to really do some silly and insane stuff!
 

The mono-class/role game has been upped pretty dramatically very recently, with the 20 tank Mythic 7/12 and the all-bear Mythic run, is a Retaliation Retaliation /Revenge Revenge coming?

I’d absolutely love to do something like this, I don’t think I’m geared enough to pull it off myself, and I’m knocking on a bunch of doors. I think it is possible, but I’ll need the help of some big names to pull something like this off. Especially if we can do this as an event for charity (outside of the one I do) it’d be a super cool way to bring the community together for more epic content. Since Method did the all tank EU, it’d be cool to see Limit get involved with an all class mythic clear. I personally feel the community is best with stuff like this, all of these people coming together and trying to best one another while doing it for a good cause, I love s*it like that.
 

Do you have any similar projects in the works you’d like to mention?

Currently we have donations going for World of Druids and World of Paladins, with both being too close to tell currently. I like the idea of both, more plate means more transmog farming, but World of Druids would be really fun to do for speed leveling. I’m also looking at doing World of Warriors on EU (Have a 120 human warrior, and a 86 dwarf as well)

Wait, you mean World of Druids/Paladins or EU Warriors as in ANOTHER 46 characters? For each?!

The idea behind world of is to create race/gender combinations, so it would be 12., it would be a fairly small project to accomplish. The only other classes afaik with 46 combinations are now Death Knights.
 

Let’s slow down a bit and go to the basics, how long have you been playing WoW?

Since November 26th, 2004. I’ve taken extended breaks in BC, Cata, and MoP (honestly my biggest regret missing out on this expansion, I came in towards the very end and everything about it was amazing) but have been fairly consistent and have played during every expansion.


You’ve been doing many things in the Alpha, but mostly focused on leveling, getting the fastest speed twice. Why did you decide to check out the level progression speed so soon?

It is one of the things I care most about (the others being Single-Minded Fury Single-Minded Fury and Ogres). How is leveling going to change? What is the new speed like? What is the item progression like? Having leveled so many characters on retail there are so many complaints I have, like inconsistent learning of abilities, when we learn riding (the fact we still have 60% and 150% riding didn’t make sense to me), item rewards, etc. All of these things just make leveling as a whole (especially to new players) feel bad. I love leveling, and even I think it feels bad. I wanted to make sure they got feedback on everything ASAP because I would like for people to love leveling. It gets a lot of crap but it is always my favorite thing about an RPG.


The current leveling speeds in Alpha and retail - what are your opinions on them? There’s been a lot of discussion on whether Blizzard should just let people get to the pre-current expansion level (at least) basically instantly or if there should be an actual leveling “experience”. What do you think it should be like?

There honestly has been a lot of discussion on removing the RPG from WoW. I think it is incredibly important to have tough decisions and moments of investment in characters that help form an attachment to them. The current Alpha leveling speed, with what I saw in WoD in a recent run, with a carry assist is probably 3 hours. I think a brand new player might be able to do 1-50 in about 18 hours. I feel really mixed about it all. I don’t think these leveling speeds would be necessary if Blizzard put more time into reworking leveling and the expansions, created meaningful rewards, letting people earn endgame materials, maybe even engaging in end game content with low level characters in some way. Leveling is always about the journey. One thing I’m hoping for is that Blizzard gets rid of heirloom as we know them, changing them into epic items that scale with our level, and taking the exp buff and putting it onto a tabard allowing for more playstyles. As much as I enjoy leveling fast, I enjoy min maxing content more, it’d be fun to do a no % run.  

I’m also hoping that Blizzard will open up Shadowlands zones in 9.1/9.2 as places to level from 25-30+ as with heirlooms there should be enough content there to level to 60.

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You ran through Torghast pretty quickly, what do you think about the big new endgame content for Shadowlands, both in its current state and the best case scenario for it?

This is the best thing Blizzard has ever added to the game. I know it is an MMO, but as someone who struggles with group content (as the social aspect makes things difficult for me at times, cliques are a hard thing to understand, and getting into them even harder) I like the idea of having challenging content that is defined by my ability, rather than the ability of others.

The difficulty right now for the first few floors of heroic Torghast feels incredible and I hope Blizzard can capture that fear and excitement in the end, rather than ok they just do 100% more damage and have 100% more health now (which is the most tedious approach to difficulty developers have).

The best case scenario for me would be that you can run the content as much as you want, it stays in the game permanently with seasonal buffs like Diablo 3. This season you get two anima powers per every floor, or every time you die you lose an anima buff instead of summoning the Tarragrue, or you’re given a preset amount of animas and have to adapt your playstyle around them to conquer X levels. There is a lot of cool and incredible stuff they can do with this, and if they do it right, we are going to have incredible content for the next 6-10 years. Most importantly they need interesting cosmetic rewards attached to it as well, similar to warlocks' green fire, transmog, mounts, illusions.
 

Do you think Torghast should be its own thing, separate from the rest of the game (with endless keys, normalized gear etc), or should it be deeply incorporated with other activities, as it is now where you have to play other content to get keys and gear to progress further?

Definitely think it should be its own thing.
 

Taking a step back, what do you think about BfA in general, as it’s been a pretty divisive expansion, both in terms of story and systems?

I think BFA was an attempt at approaching storytelling in a more meaningful way that missed a lot of its story beats due to the way it was designed. Teldrassil, the War Campaign, the Horde not even knowing they were allied with the vampire elves, Alliance killing the Vulpera, it all felt very incoherent. Even leading up to the end when suddenly N’zoth and then..oh..he ded?

The systems, honestly, Azerite isn’t that bad of a system, especially with the inclusion of essences. I’ve been playing EU a bit more casually and it feels good to earn essences and develop my character without the rush that is to be #1. That said, they salvaged what was a trash fire, because the first part  was brutal. The azerte system just felt super unfun the way it was originally designed.
 

What’s your favorite expansion/raid/dungeon/system? We’re pretty sure about the class.

Haha, yeah, who would have thought my favorite class was warlock, right?

Honestly, and everyone gives me s*it for this but Warlords of Draenor. I don’t think MMOs should be games where you spend 10 hours a day in the end game. I think the end game should be maybe 1-3 hours a day, maybe 15-20 hours a week total. It gives you time to raid, it gives you time to socialize, and do side activities. World of Warcraft is absolutely massive, I don’t like feeling compelled to spend almost all my free time in end game content. Right now it has died down a bit but two vision dailies, horrific visions, raid, M+, world quests, PvP it is a lot if you want to keep up.

WoD was: Hey here are some dailies, oh you’re done? F*ck off and do whatever you want. I enjoyed that. I also think it had the best leveling system (not just a generic ok quest, ok you leveled, but actually had you interacting with the world and telling a mostly good story). The raids were incredible, boss fights actually made me want to continue doing mythic content rather than getting bored of wiping. The garrison was also incredible, it was obviously unpolished and clearly cut, but had it been fully realized, it easily would have been the best thing to happen to World of Warcraft. We need player housing, and Garrisons were the most logical way of giving it to us, earning statues and s*it based on what we did in game? It was glorious, I weep for what could have been.


If you could choose 3 things to change in the game what would they be?

Single-Minded Fury Single-Minded Fury coming back, Ogres as a playable race, Single-Minded Fury Single-Minded Fury coming back.
 

In closing, you’ve recently been streaming a lot and raised quite a bit of money for charity, how is that going?

When I got my diagnosis of Autism at 29, I realized there was a lot of problems with our system. Autism is seen as a disability that affects children, not adults, and that we’re somehow magically cured as soon as we hit 18. We don’t have diagnostic criteria for adults, we don’t have aid for adults, adults pretty much don’t exist. For non learning disabled adults with autism such as myself, our average life expectancy is our mid 40s. Invisible disabilities are hard, and often result in us being pushed beyond what we tell people we can do. Not a lot of people are aware of this, they hear Asperger's or high functioning autism and think “oh they’re mostly normal, what exactly could you need?” and no, this isn’t just a social deficit, our ability to mask and appear normal doesn’t disrupt the fact that underneath the façade we’re falling apart. Neurotypicals and autistic people are fairly similar, neurotypicals are just much better at handling it when it comes to stressful stimuli and sensory issues, almost like there is more inhibitory response to the world around them where we are stuck with hyper responses to the world. As a result, we just need more help.

So as soon as I saw an opportunity I reached out to some people at r/wow,  and as my World of Warriors stuff was becoming more popular I had turned into a minor celebrity on the subreddit, and thought this was the perfect time to try and do some good, and help raise awareness. Aphoenix was totally on board and with the help of many mods such as Ex_Iledd and LadyMirax we were able to get r/wow involved. I then reached out to Raider.io and Ulsoga and Aspyr are just incredible, helped me out and played a large role in us reaching $2600 last year. This year we got so many more wonderful individuals involved, especially Azorea from Perky Pugs! We’ve had the WoW Secret Finding Discord, Ruin, Raidbots, Redshirtguy, Skyhold and even Blizzard get involved this year!

We raised $5110 for Autistic Self-Advocacy Network and I’m honestly in disbelief. I never thought I would be able to accomplish something like this. My disability limits me in so many ways. I’m so thankful to be a part of such an amazing community, so many wonderful and incredible people helped make this possible and I’m so thankful to everyone involved with World of Warcraft.

 

If you want to hear more from DesMephisto, check him out on Twitch, Twitter or YouTube!


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Other Icy Veins interviews:

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