Finally Champions: An Interview with Method's GM and Members

Finally Champions: An Interview with Method's GM and Members

Article originally posted on Manaflask

A short while after the race ended, and after they took a bit of a break to, you know, sleep and eat, we talked to several Method members and their Guild Master about the first raid in Tier 14 and their success in it.

Well, that was short! Amazing performance as always there, and huge congratulations on the kill! You've been World second for a long time, and now you're at the top. How does it feel to finally have achieved that goal?

Sco: It's an awesome feeling, I feel as if I am on the top of the world... of warcraft. ;) The nerd screams @ the kill pretty much put across the feeling!

Treckie: While we have had a few pretty interesting world firsts before, end bosses are obviously a lot more interesting and more fun to achieve this on.
It was a fast race, especially considering it's during the whole gearing up period from leveling as well, but the bosses were not all too tightly tuned, and there is more to come soon enough.

Valiane: Feels pretty good, but even though we are #1 now it's only the first of 3 instances and Sha of Fear is gonna be the big deal according to Blizz, so looking forward to that.

So we've seen the nerdscreams video, but what was it like in that moment, when you knew it was going down and you would be the top guild?

Sco: I think we were all a little concerned that Blood Legion might actually take the kill before us - as they had more time available on the boss, so there was a little bit of stress as always and then a massive relief!

Leeds: Finishing the encounter on 25 man first felt really great, we were afraid that the US guilds had a really big advantage because of the time frame in which Paragon killed this on 10 man plus the 16 hours advantage that US guilds have, but we managed to beat them and it felt really good.

Treckie: It wasn't a very clean kill, and that's the reason there was a lot of excitement released as well once the achievement popped up, and we didn't really know we would have a kill until the very last moment. We had reached the point before at low percentages but ended up wiping, thinking this would prolly just be the same, and we would have to start it over again, luckily this was not the case.

Valiane: Was pretty exciting, especially considering we've been in that #2 spot so long, but I missed Paragon in the race, would have been extra sweet to beat the previous long term #1

How did the kill come about? Was it a long time coming or out of nowhere, did you know you were close for a while now and were just waiting for everything to align or was it one of those moments of inspiration tactics?

Sco: We have a lot of smart players in Method; we were able to get the tactic down quite fast and then we just had to fine tune it to align the stars. We had several low percentage wipes before finally performing the execution.

Hentrenson: We had the tactic down for quite some time, with a couple of 20ish percent tries, so we just needed to keep control of the encounter long enough to kill it.

Treckie: The fight seems very simple in practice, since it's the same phase for the whole duration of the fight, but there are a LOT of things to do and take care of. There were a few changes here and there like always, but we pretty much stayed with the original idea of how to kill the boss and improved on all the small things, little by little until we got a few min in, at that point we knew it was very killable, it was just a matter of time before it all worked out.

Valiane: We had the first "low" percentage wipe (26%) around 19:30 Friday, then later we started getting to that percentage more often, reaching 19%, 11% and 4,8% a few tries before the actual kill which happened 00:42 Saturday. But already on Thursday when we reached 75% with a stable tactic we knew it was just a matter of maxing the setup, perfecting execution and time before we would get the kill.

Did you change anything this progress from previous ones that maybe helped you get that little something extra?

Sco: Our roster now is pretty great, awesome players and a great community/team spirit - maybe the meeting of like 20 of us @ Gamescom in August helped further that team bond! Method is pretty much a band of brothers! I LOVE YOU GUYS xoxo. Our super secret plan of forcing Paragon into 10man also helped a little.

Treckie: We gathered a much bigger roster should we need to swap classes here and there, and that for sure helped us get some extra loot in normal modes with 5 groups getting 4/6 down, then merging to have 3 groups killing the last 2. And Loot is so important this early in an expansion that it really does makes a difference, even if it's random.

Valiane: We actually had a good roster this time around, not like in Firelands where we needed everyone online to be able to raid, and could do nothing but wait if someone DCed.

How's your raiding schedule been these several days?

Sco: 12-14 hours a day, sleep break of 8 hours + 2 food breaks during the raid for about 45-60 mins and a few 5-10 minute breaks here and there. Go hard or go home.

Treckie: It's been pretty busy, although it's only been 3 days of progress, there have not been many hours to dedicate as you wish outside of the raids, unless you wanna skip sleep ^^

Valiane: Wednesday we started when the HC's were released around 10am and kept going until around 4am or so. Thursday we started at 11:30am or so (some people were late!) and raided until 3:30am or so. Friday we started raid around 12:30 pm and kept going until the kill at 00:42 saturday.

Are you generally happy with this part of the Tier 14 progression?

Hentrenson: Stone Guard, Feng, Gara'jal and Elegon were mostly DPS races, and we were able to take them down quite easily within a few hours. Spirit Kings required a bit more, as we had to find the order in which we wanted the bosses to spawn so that we could make the DPS required to beat the encounter, which meant that we had to wipe on the first annihilation if we didn't get the boss order we wanted. Will of the Emperor, however, required a lot more coordination of the raid, and everyone had to put in a big effort with a lot of specially assigned jobs in order to keep control of the encounter long enough to kill it. So overall, I think it was a fun instance, but the first mentioned bosses could have been a bit harder, I honestly expected Elegon to have an enrage that was a lot tighter.

Leeds: It was really short for now, but it's okay since I expect the next 2 instances to last longer.

Treckie: The first part was pretty okay. It might be a little bit to easy, considering the gear we are in currently, and it's still working well enough. I hope that won't be the case for next content.

Valiane: Overall yes, was slightly disappointed with the difficulty of Elegon, I had expected more from that encounter.

Which was the hardest and which the most fun boss in the instance?

Sco:I think the Emps and Spirit Kings are the hardest, mainly because both fights are long with ample opportunities for individual player mistakes. At the same time I also think these fights were the most fun - they felt quite new, and required a lot of movement.

Hentrenson: Will of the Emperor was certainly the hardest boss in the instance, and personally I think Spirit Kings was the most fun because of the constant dodging of abilities.

Leeds: I think Will of the Emperor, the way we played it, required the most in terms of skill and setup. Aside from that only the Spirit Kings were a bit challenging.

Treckie: Will of the Emperor is definitely the hardest boss I'd say, but Spirit kings is also a close contender with so much going on at the same time, and so much that forces you to improvise. I usually really like these sorts of fights (Omnotron is one of my favourite encounters) but on Spirit kings it borders on annoying instead.

Valiane: The hardest boss is a toss up between Will of the Emperor and Spirit Kings, difficult to pick the hardest. The most fun boss for me personally was probably Will of the Emperor cause I got to play my alt DK which was as an interesting change of scenery when being used to progress raiding as a caster DPS.

Are the bosses strategy-intensive or is it just pure player skill that is the deciding factor in the kills so far?

Hentrenson: The first 5 bosses rely on player skill and a few tactical decisions in how to deal with the encounter, whereas Will of the Emperor is a lot more tactically intensive in terms of assignments and requires a bit more personal skill and knowledge of rarely used abilities in order to get the kill.

Leeds: Of course player skill is always important to contribute to a tactic and to bring enough raid damage. Will of the Emperor was huge in terms of assignments and nearly everybody had a special job. Other than that most bosses weren't that complex so it wasn't really that complicated.

Treckie: There is quite some strategy to be ironed out on most fights (compared to normal mode) and they are very dependent on not making mistakes, especially the longer fights like Spirit kings and Will of the Emperor. But coming up with a working strategy is the first goal in any kill, once you have that you just need a try with limited personal fails before the boss dies.

Valiane: Pure player skill has a lot to say on some bosses, I feel like overall it's more a player skill factor on the harder bosses, and more of a strategy factor on some of the easier bosses, cause sometimes you are just limited by the strategy you have to use.

How's the alt situation at the moment, is raid stacking as big of an issue as it was in Dragon Soul (and Spine in particular)?

Sco: We didn't really use it that much for these 6 bosses, other than maybe 4 DK's at Emps - but we will be ready with them alts for the next bosses!

Hentrenson: We used 1 alt throughout the whole instance, which was 1 DK on Will of the Emperor. So raid stacking has not been wanted nor needed, as there has been a great need for the different utilities that all the classes bring to the table.

Leeds: We all have 1-2 alts with heroic dungeon gear, but besides one DK alt on Will of the Emperor we didn't use any. We have a strong and big roster so we dind't have to bring too many alts to get a proper setup. Of course, alts will get a bigger role in the next 2 instances and further progression in MoP.

Treckie: It's always nice to be able to bring in an extra player of a class who has an ability that makes your life easier, but there's no fight that is hard enough to justify bringing 10 people of one class even if you could. But having options is always a good thing.

Valiane: Raid stacking to the extent which was done on Spine was not something we saw the need to do, but some guilds might have used it on certain bosses.

Weirdest moment in progress

Hentrenson: When Deac had to explain Yata that the time difference between US and EU is NOT 12 hours.

Leeds: People being confused about the time difference from EU to US. Not that weird but still weirdest! ;)

Valiane: Probably a tie between an incident with Yata and his grandma and another thing I wont mention now.

Biggest rage moment in progress

Sco: Rogerbrown overslept his alarm and didn't answer his phone, showed up 40 minutes late - officer chat went berserk on him... we need a direct line to his mother I think.
Side note here; I think we will be releasing a Method sound board soon of all the best raiding quotes - it will be EPIC!

Hentrenson: Sparkuggz during the pvp session we had for conquest gear before the instance opened on heroic mode. That man was not satisfied with being destroyed by BM hunters and Arms warriors in every arena.

Leeds: Kuznam playing "ANKH ASSHOLE" with his TS3 soundboard.

Treckie: There wasn't really much rage in this tier, I guess it's related to the time spent together hitting your head against a brick wall, and since that wasn't much of the case here, the rage was minimal. Although I remember some moments with people hitting the Shields on Spirit kings to be pretty rage filled.

Valiane: Probably every time someone exploded the Darkness shield on Spirit Kings, even though it was called for 10 sec to stop dps.

Some other interesting stories so far during progress?

Hentrenson: The whole guild pvp'ing for Conquest gear as the only ones on the battlegroup before the instance opened was quite interesting.

Valiane: A few, just gonna give 2 though:

Do you like the difficulty of this instance? Does it bode well for the upcoming two instances that round out Tier 14?

Sco: I don't know about the difficulty, but the bosses dropped a little fast. We were done with progress in less than 3 days. With such a fast progression race the US are getting a pretty considerable advantage having that extra day of early release.

Hentrenson: I hope that the next instances will turn out more difficult than this one.

Leeds: It was way too easy. There should have been at least one very difficult BOSS in Mogu'shan! But i expect Heart of Fear and Terrace to be decent and way harder.

Treckie: I think Mogu'shan Vaults is well tuned to be an entry level raid for new people to start raiding a little more seriously. For the world first race so short progress has many problems, mainly the time difference in content releases. We can hope the next two raids don't end up as short and hopefully will last at least a week to negate that problem.

Valiane: Especially with the difficulty of Spirit Kings and WotE, I would say its looking good for the coming instances.

What class would you say is most OP in your raids at the moment?

Hentrenson: DK's, they just destroy everything.

Leeds: Moonkins and Hunters seem to be the overall most wanted classes. On our Will of the Emperor kill DKs were super strong and most wanted. Overall nothing super overpowered tho.

Treckie: I wouldn't say one class is OP and destroys everyone else. But I would say Druids are certainly useful due to their hybridisation, and symbiosis together with the right classes can change fights a lot.

Valiane: DK's probably

What are your thoughts on the loot disparity at the start of this instance's Heroic mode, with BMAH, the double reset, Valor points etc.? Do you think it had any impact on the actual race? (can skip this one if ya want)

Sco: I heard something about some US guilds getting double boss kills on the first week of raid release - bad boys!

Hentrenson: The BMAH is only responsible for a very low amount of items, and it is only off pieces like bracer-boots-belt etc. that shows up as 509 ilvl, so I don't think anyone can blame BMAH for anything. The way the valor point vendors work is bad. You have to do a million dailies at the same time as a million other people so you can get your valor points AND get access to 1 valor point vendor, and then you have to do another 5 million dailies in order to get access to the next valor vendor. They could at least have given access to rep grind through killing mobs to make it faster or something.

Leeds: Totally bad. I hate the Black Market! Since it's more or less pure luck to get those the influence on progress is too big. But I don't think that it had a big influence on the World Top 10 in Mogu'shan at least, because there was no real dps check encounter.

Treckie: It does have a pretty big impact on the actual race in a content like this when everyone is undergeared with 5man gear and the raid rewards are so much better. But there's also a lot of ways to get gear, so I guess it's going to even out a bit, but If you are lucky, as a guild, it can make a big difference. For future tiers it's impact will be very limited, even if its there.

Valiane: BMAH is just stupid and RNG. The gain from double resets was really minor as well as the extra valor points. The impact of those 2 things are less than the RNG of Gold Coins and loot from world bosses so I wouldn't say it had an impact at all.

Your general opinion of MoP so far? Best/worst parts of it?

Sco: The zones are pretty good, refreshing after Cataclysm. Some of the quests were pretty bad though, same old format but with crap drop rates on quest items and mobs being way to scarce/spread out. Sometimes when questing I thought to myself, who the hell thought this would be fun for the player?! The raids look good though, and that's the important thing, I was pleased with the bosses from my limited beta experience.
P.S. I started leveling a new monk yesterday and must say the visuals of the new zone are really nice.

Hentrenson: Best: Raiding. Worst: Dailies and farmville + the way cooking and food buffs work, you can't even farm the mats like normally.

Leeds: The worst part is doing dailies all day every day and trying to get food. You really need to be a star chef to get the 300 ones.
I like the Chinese design, boss encounters and of course my panda. ;)

Treckie: I really like MoP so far, there's lots to do if you want to put time in it, and there are many "levels" you can play the game on, and personally I have many friends who have revisited WoW with MoP, and it's always fun playing with old friends again.
The worst part would prolly be the requirement for doing dailys, and the leveling. We kept finding new ways to level without having to quest, but they just kept making us have to do the damn quests to level!

Valiane: Leveling was horrible, the first raid was pretty good.

World bosses: good or bad?

Sco: Bad, spawn timer needs to be reduced on Galleon or something - seen him once, how can I kill Galleon and have a life outside the game at the same time?!

Hentrenson: Bad, Galleon is not hard enough for the loot that he provides.

Leeds: Really bad, our server is too full to get galleon.

Treckie: When the loot is BiS, bad, when it's just for casual gearing up, its fine I guess. Cross realm grouping would make up for some of the server inbalance, but I honestly liked the BH/VoA versions better, you get a group going when you want to (provided some restrictions) but not randomly when the boss spawns and you have to hope you even get the tag.

Valiane: Bad. Too much rng with spawn timer, tag griefing, randoms resetting the boss etc, just overall a stupid rng factor for gearing for progress.

Were you expecting such a close and short race and are you happy it was like this rather than a prolonged one?

Hentrenson: I was expecting the instance to last more than 1 reset. The race was not really short, as the no-lifing has been going on for 2½ weeks with leveling/Gearing/dailies etc. But it means that we now have time to sort IRL stuff and the last bits and pieces before the next 2 instances without a huge amount of stress.

Leeds: We were sure to finish the instance within the first reset. The race is that close because there are only so few bosses but I dont mind having some time to get ready for Heart of Fear and Terrace.

Treckie: From the beta raids Mogu'shan Vaults didn't seem like a very hard instance, and many of us were pretty certain the race wouldn't be very long.
But some scaling was changed from the beta for better of for worse, just a tiny difference in some HP/damage values and progress could have looked a lot different. I'm perfectly fine with a short progress like this as a "starting" tier, but the gating is annoying.

Valiane: Expected the race to be somewhat "close" considering the 1 day advantage the US guilds have, but I had expected a longer race.

Are you pumped for the upcoming two raids and how will you prepare for them?

Sco: Yep definitely, I think we could use a little more forum preparation in advance and to make sure we continue to maximise gearing. Other than that I will make sure to hit the gym quite a few times to make sure I am in good shape for the progress - I private stream for guild mates with web cam, the progress then later gets rebroadcast on twitch when the boss dies!

Hentrenson: I am not 100% pumped yet, as it is still a few weeks away, but I am very excited about the 2 upcoming instances, as they seemed a lot harder on beta, and a lot of the bosses have several phases which often makes a boss harder. There is a lot to be done before it comes out, the final reputations still need to be done, and there are 300 food buffs to be gathered in farmville plus some IRL stuff.

Leeds: I am more than pumped to crush those bosses and we all want to keep the #1 in front of Method. We are trying to optimise our mainraid as much as possible to get the maximum loot for the next progress. Running multiple raids and putting some effort into it will be essential to succeed.

Treckie: Right now I'm relieved to have some downtime after progress, but when the raids start, its Game On.

Valiane: Always pumped for new progress content! Gonna max gear and get some cheap consumables.

Where would you rate Mogu'shan Vaults among all the other raids?

Sco: In terms of fun factor I would rate it quite highly, I felt the bosses were quite refreshing, mixed and interesting. Good job Blizzard.

Hentrenson: There have been better raids than this one, but MSV is still a fine instance that overall just lacked a bit more difficulty. So I think I will rate it 6/8.

Leeds: It's definitely not Ulduar or Icecrown level but I really like the bosses. All of them are different in a way and fun to play. I really think the designers did a great job and I'm looking forward to the next dungeons.

Treckie: I liked Mogu'shan Vaults, even if it's not big or long enough to be a proper raid tier itself, but overall, with the bosses I'd prolly say it's one of my favourite instances so far, at least top 5.

Valiane: Considering all bosses, probably a 7/8

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