The Top 20 has now been filled, with Exorsus claiming the last spot!
This means that the top 20 is coming from the following regions:
This has truly been the rise of the Asian raiding scene at the very top level, and one can only hope that the game stays as competitive on a global scale as it currently is!
There's now only one spot remaining in the top 20, as Practice takes World #18, and the Chinese guild Jiānjué dǐzhì hēishǒu liánméng taking World #19 and Alliance World First!
The top 20 is close to being filled out, with 6 more kills having come. The World 12-16 are all Chinese guilds, and please excuse me if some of these are slightly off, as google translate had to be used to find their names; ShadowCream, Dǐng xīn, Lù biān hǎoxiàng yǒu gè liánméng zhēn de yé zhuāng zuò méi kànjiàn, Hēi jiā jí, KeaHoarl and ScrubBusters at World #17.
And just in case you're wondering what that super long Chinese guild is translated to: there seems to be an alliance on the roadside,really, I didn’t see it.
Queen Azshara has now fallen 11 times, with Unwealthy Homeless Men claiming the World #11, EU #5 spot.
We have ourselves a top 10! The last three slots being filled out by Chāo jiè, Skyline and Aversion respectively!
FatSharkYes have Azshara down! World 7th, EU 3rd!
Here comes the next Azshara kill, with Pieces claiming that EU 2nd, World 6th 8/8!
And here comes Method's official multi-pov Mythic Queen Azshara World First kill video!
The top 5 is complete, with 3 Asia guilds claiming the majority of the spots! Ji Tian Hong have downed Queen Azshara World 5th! Congratulations and what an impressive finish for the Asia server guilds in the Eternal Palace!
Queen Aszhara have fallen for a fourth time, and yet again for a new region! AFK R have claimed World #4, Asia #2.
This means we now have a kill from the EU, the US, China and Korea in the top4!
Queen Aszhara has gone down once more, with Alpha claiming World Third, Asia First!
Today's progress update sees Alpha at 15%, Pieces at 16.6% and JTH at 20!
And the wipe count finished up at 527 for Queen Azshara for Limit.
And here's the World 2nd kill from Limit GM Max's perspective:
Limit have done it! World 2nd, US/OC first 8/8 with a thrilling finish on the kill!
Another low pull from limit at 6.2%!
Limit are finally warmed up and moving on to some low % pulls, with a 7%er!
Limit have returned and are going for that World 2nd right now!
Here come the raid screams as well as an announcement for the official multi-pov World First video release! I suppose the "wait for 5 guilds to kill the boss before releasing video" thing is out the window at this point... Right?
You've seen the streams, now get ready for the screams! 📣— Method (@Methodgg) July 28, 2019
Tune in to our Twitch channel on Thursday 1st Aug as we premiere the WF kill video in full, but for now here's a small taste of what's to come... 🔥#MethodWay #RWF pic.twitter.com/qJHnJzvWvh
And the unofficial nerdscreams:
To step away from Method stuff, after Limit's 12.9% we actually have AFK R pretty close in third at the moment, sitting at 26% with 3 adds down, followed by Pieces at 30% and JTH at 46%. It'll be interesting to see if we also get our World 2nd today, and whether it will indeed be Limit as expected or if someone can pull an upset.
The post raid show is going on now, with the raiders going over anything and everything progress:
And here comes Deepshades with the customary wipe count for the entire raid:
Wipe Count for The Eternal Palace— Deepshades (@Methodshades) July 28, 2019
Abyssal Commander Sivara = 0
Radiance of Azshara = 0
Blackwater Behemoth = 0
Lady Ashvane = 37
Orgozoa = 58
The Queen's Court = 17
Za'qul, Harbinger of Ny'alotha = 169
Queen Azshara = 356
And here comes Justwait, feeling the need to explain why Method weren't doing so great in early Azshara progress, after just having won yet another race! What a guy!
To anyone wondering why we were so unstable in early progress: Before the hotfixes it required going upto 7 stacks to keep the wards healthy. When we started taking only 5, everything became easier due to having 66% more health. This is a lot when spears can 1 shot w/ 7 stacks.— Justwait (@Justw8) July 28, 2019
The race isn't completely over yet and we definitely want to find out how the top 3, top 5 and top 10 turn out, but I just wanted to say that this was almost certainly the most exciting race in my personal history of covering World First competitions, both in terms of excitement and competition. Huge congrats to Method from me and to Limit as well, who put up one hell of a fight, and, let's be fair, to Blizzard as well for making really good raid with very few bugs and pretty solid tuning!
And the video, starting from the adds:
Method have done it! After yesterday's crazy progress and today's even crazier 0.9% wipe, they've finished Azshara off today claiming the World First 8/8 and winning the Eternal Palace Mythic Race to World First. This is Method's 12th endboss WF and race win, as well as the third of Battle for Azeroth!
Another huge 3% pull as Method are getting insanely close to a kill.
A 0.9% wipe!
Method are finally in the Azshara room again and it's time to start pulling!
It seems Limit didn't quite stick to their "not leaving til it dies", as they've called it a day and went to sleep. They'll probably sleep a bit less and return on their normal raid start, but that still leaves Method with half a day of progress.
Limit are still going strong, with another good pull, technically the best so far, but only by 0.1%.
Some more big news, it seems that Limit will be staying up until she's dead! Or at the very least 5-6 hours more.
Let's take a bit of a step back from Azshara for a minute to take a look at the rest of the rankings!
We have four newcomers to the 7/8 club since we last checked in, with Impact, then a guild giving FatSharkYes a run for their weird name money, Unwealthy Homeless Men, followed by Future and Practice, pushing the total amount with only the Queen to go at 17.
6/8 sees 20 guilds progressing in Za'qul, with the Coulcilpeople at 5/8 coming in with 26 guilds, followed by 133 guilds with Ashvane down, and then we move to the really big numbers: 1168 at 3/8, 261 at 2/8 and 340 with only one boss down!
Also, here's some more good news for Method, via r/wow:
Limit keep on pushing as we see a 13% wipe!
It seems Method have called it a night, staying at that 5.1% best, with Limit starting to catch up, already down to 19.1%! The US guild still have some 3-4 hours left in their regular raid day, and since Method extended theirs we might see Limit also extend theirs, so a kill is still possible before the next day starts!
That was pull 328, with an amazing performance, really making the kill possible today, and it's also dispelled all "under 10%" theories out there.
Method are at 5.1%!
And here comes Limit's new best try, at 24.1%!
What an incredible turn of events, as this morning Method seemed way behind and even their composition was looking somewhat bad, but they've turned it around and have now moved in to a very solid 14% lead, as Limit have yet to beat their best pull from yesterday, at 28.9%! It seems pretty certain that Method won't be leaving today without a kill or a very clear sign that sub 15% pulls won't come along for other guilds.
Method have the boss down to 15%!
While Limit have remained at their best from yesterday, Method keep pushing and have moved into the lead by a significant 4%!
While we're not sure on JTH's progress exactly, we do know AFK R, Alpha and Pieces have been doing some solid progress as well, sitting at 43, 47 and 48%, respectively.
Method are catching up as their best at the moment is at 33.4%, around 4 % behind Limit, who have just now returned for the day!
With the lack of movement on Queen Azshara, let us look at the latest Za'qul kill instead.
Impact is the latest guild to get him down, meaning we now have a French guild that's 7/8 as well!
While the hotfix definitely pushed the fight forward, it wasn't quite the huge just some may have assumed. We did get around 20% of a bump from pre-hotfix progress, but after a full night of wipes Limit remain on their 28.9% best from a couple of hours ago, so there's quite a bit more to go before we head into possible kill territory. Limit are still raiding and might extend their raid times, although if they don't they're only going to stick around for another 10 minutes or so, leaving Method to finally get their pure raid day with all the hotfixes in place.
Another best by Limit at 31.8%.
As Method went off to bed Limit keep pushing, getting the boss down to 35.7%.
Here comes another Limit lowest try, clocking in at 37.9%, with Method's best sitting at 49.4%.
Here come even more fixes/nerfs to the fight:
- Increased the time to complete Phase 3 to 180 seconds (was 120 seconds) on Mythic difficulty.
- Fixed an issue that caused the first Overzealous Hulk to spawn with more health than intended in all difficulties.
- Fixed an issue that sometimes caused Titan Console extra action button to not appear during Phase 4 on all difficulties.
- Titanic Machinations now alter the power of Ancient Wards and Wards of Power at a rate of 16 per second (was 21 per second) on Mythic difficulty.
- Queen Azshara's minions Berserk at the beginning of Phase 4 of the encounter on Mythic difficulty. Phase 3 now ends automatically after 3 minutes (was 2 minutes).
It seems the hotfix has had quite an effect, as expected, and the guilds have now warmed up and we're probably be going to see quite a few lower % tries! The big question now is how long Method are going to be staying up, as their regular raid end is about an hour away, while Limit have the whole night ahead of them!
And almost immediately after Method's here comes Limit's next best pull, also P4, with Azshara qt 44.8%!
And here come Method into Phase 4, with 3 adds down, 4 people dead and the console clicked, with Azshara at 54%!
In the meantime, we've had three more guild clear Za'qul and join in on the Azshara fun, with Exorsus, PMA and ScubBusters claiming that 7/8, making it 13 guilds progressing on the final boss.
The big berserk timer hotfix should be live now!
This hotfix will go live in a few minutes, at approximately 10:40 a.m. PDT.— WarcraftDevs (@WarcraftDevs) July 26, 2019
And here's their previous try with 3 adds down:
Here's Limit's (very short) stint into Phase 4!
Meanwhile, we've also had a whole lot of Queen's Court kills, with Vision, vodka, Strawberry Puppy Kisses and Big Dumb Guild coming up to 6/8, making it 21 guilds at that particular spot.
Edit: It seems the 3 adds down version is the correct one.
Some conflicting info, as Limit have either managed to get past the 3 adds dead threshold, with Queen Azshara on 56% at the time of wipe, or are still on 2/3 with 58.5%! They're also around pull 350 at the moment.
Some big news ha arrived, as Blizzard have announced a hotfix coming to the Azshara fight tomorrow:
We have a hotfix in testing that we intend to apply to change the Queen Azshara encounter tomorrow morning (PDT):
- Queen Azshara’s minions now Berserk after 3 minutes in Phase 3 of the encounter on Mythic difficulty (was 2 minutes).
We’ll confirm when the hotfix is ready and going live tomorrow morning.
As a side note, this is exactly how significant changes to the fight should be handled during progress, aka announced before they're applied so the guilds have time to prepare and know what they're in for instead of stumbling on changes mid-pull.
While it's not exactly comparable directly, but if we were to just take a look at the add and % situation at the moment, it's actually Method who had the best try out of all the guilds, with their 2 adds down, 59.2% try, sooo very close to Limit's 2 down 60%. Before we see all three down with the raid mostly alive, however, it really isn't that important and considering how close it all is, especially with the slight nerfs from today, we're just going to focus on the wait on 3 dead adds!
Here comes some hotfixes for Azshara!
As we've seen over the last day, what constitutes a best pull has changed after Limit's sub-50% pull, as the focus now is on downing all 3 big adds before transitioning her under 50. And so at the moment we have Limit that managed to down 2 adds with Azshara around 60%, which is their best so far, and we also have their GM saying he's pleased about their progress yesterday:
Actually had a great day on azshara. Should have some decent P4 Progress tomorrow.— max (@maximumwow) July 25, 2019
Actually so hyped today— max (@maximumwow) July 25, 2019
The Asia reset has finally come so after a re-clear we'll finally have all three regions on par in terms of gear!
We have some movement in the Percentage Palace wars, as AFK R move into third place, just ahead of Method:
AFK R: 58%
Limit's GM isn't too happy with the typo of difficulty on Azshara it seems:
Feel like we have good ideas for this boss and are doing well but this might be the most not fun endboss ever. This shit sucks so bad. Its just hard for all the wrong reasons.— max (@maximumwow) July 24, 2019
JTH keep on pushing, disregarding they only have one reset's worth of gear and have gotten Azshara down to 51%, very close to Limit's best week 2 pull of 49.8%.
We also had some hotfixes yesterday that made a few aspects of the Za'qul and Azshara fights easier, although it's hard to say how often these actually happened for the top raiders:
Azshara’s Eternal Palace
Method have finished their reclear of 7/8 Mythic, having some issues with having a few wipes on Lady Ashvane and The Queens Court, but managed to oneshot Za'qul, and they're now back to Queen Azshara!
Two new guilds have killed Za'qul, with the Chinese once again showing just how strong they are. Skyline and ChaoJie have claimed World #9 and #10, and Asia #4 and #5 respectively.
Week 2 have now hit the EU servers, with the daytime-raiding guilds having started their reclears. As always it will be interesting to see how much the guilds can stack their reclear comps, in order to gear up their setup they plan to use for Queen Azhsara, but still be able to clear the first 7 bosses in a speedy manner!
Limit have made it back to Azshara and are back to progressing on her, with their second pull already getting her down to 53%, only 1% more than their best try from last week! We also have JTH at 58%, Pieces at 64% and Alpha at 88%.
Limit have gone for some Heroic splits after they hit 6/8, presumably so their Za'qul re-clear goes more smoothly.
JTH have surpassed Method's best try, as they now have a 58% under their belts!
Meanwhile, on the US side of things, Limit made it to 5/8 and will be heading to the Court soon!
Another Za'qul bites the dust as Aversion claim the World 8th, EU 4th and 7/8 it on down to Azshara!
Za'qul falls once more at the hands of the fattest of affirmative sharks! We have our 7th 7/8 as FatSharkYes claim the EU 3rd and move on to the Queen!
Limit are still re-clearing, taking a bit more time on Lady Ashvane as they're not going with the perfect comp but rather focusing on getting gear to the optimal players/classes for Azshara, so they've been wiping a little while - some 10+ pulls with even a 1.8% one.
Let's take a look at Method's current best pull, at 60.4%, on pull 110 and some 8% behind Limit, and, interestingly, JTH is also 8% behind Method:
Week 2 have now officially started, with the US reset having just rolled out. Limit have looted their weekly chests, and are once again back into The Eternal Palace for their reclear!
Asia is starting to show their domination, with yet another kill of Za'qul from the Chinese, with Alpha claiming World #6, Asia #3!
Za'qul falls once more as we get the final spot in his top5, with AFK R moving to 7/8 and Queen Azshara with the Asia 2nd, World 5th!
It actually fascinating to see the top 3 guilds at the moment actually be from all 3 regions, and ordered exactly as the resets come up.It's great to see the Asia guilds come up so high and Ji Tian Hong have been doing an amazing job catching up, and they'll be going full steam ahead on Azshara as well. The difference between Limit and Method at the moment, at least in terms of raw boss %, is at 12%, with JTH only getting a few pulls on the boss, ending around 85% before sleep.
The raid is definitely going to be a 2 reset one (or, since this terminology has been confusing in the past, a 2 week one), for all regions, and we could possibly even see a 3 week, Kil'jaeden-style one, unless Method or JTH suddenly whip out a super secret strat and jump some 50-60% ahead in 1-2 days.
Limit had some progress today and then move to their final splits of the week, as the US/OC reset is coming up tomorrow, so they're just exhausting all loot sources before it. They're certainly still in the lead, and may even have some super-secret strategies prepared for week 2, as their muting on comms and removal of certain VoDs may indicate, so we're all going to be on the edge of our seats tomorrow after their re-clear!
We also got a whole lot more 6/8s as Hope n Despair, Future and PMA down Queen's Court!
Method have gotten the Queen down to 66%, with Limit still at their 52% best, and it seems the VoDs are back, but we're still missing those from yesterday. This actually makes me really interested in whether Limit specifically asked Red Bull and their members to remove the VoDs because they came upon some very specific strategy or maybe even a glitch or similar, although I may just be seeing way too much into this and it's just a VERY weird twitch glitch. In any case they're continuing their tries today and both their streams and VoDs for today are functioning normally - I guess we'll see if they remove them again at the end of the day.
Pieces have finally gotten past the big wall known as Zar'qul, Harbringer of Ny'alotha! They are now the 4th guild to reach the final boss, our royal Queen Azshara.
Honestly have downed The Queens Court, getting US/OC 3rd.
There's now a three horse race for World First!
Ji Tian Hong have claimed World Third Za'qul, Asian First!
It seems that either Twitch is having some very specific problems with Limit VoDs, or the guild has decided to remove all recent ones so others can't check up on their recent attempts, as even Supreme's VoD of today's pulls have disappeared.
We have two more arrivals at 6/8, with Chao Jie and Skyline taking the Asia 4th and 5th spots on Queen's Court and growing the Za'club to 13!
There seems to be some issues with recent VoDs on Twitch so the recent Limit videos aren't available. Hopefully it'll be sorted out soon.
In any case, here's Supreme's Warlock PoV for the 52% pull:
Timestamp for mobile 13:27:38
Also, in case you missed it, the wonderful people watching Method's event stream have managed to double the donation goal for the Save the Children charity, and raised over $41,000!
The WoW community is absolutely amazing and we've broken $40,000 of donations for @SavetheChildren! #RWF— Method (@Methodgg) July 22, 2019
100% of every penny raised goes to the charity - you are saving lives! 🤱🏻
Can we break $50,000? We BELIEVE!https://t.co/6quKmXXsTB
With still a pretty solid lul in the action, we do have another best try that Limit have just now had, getting another 4% further on the boss, ending at 52.6%:
We have our US/Oc 2nd kill on Queen's Court as Club Camel cement their No.1 spot in the region and head to 6/8 and Za'qul!
As nothing much seems to be happening at the moment, let's take a look at Limit's best pull so far, at 56.1%:
Timestamp for mobile: 10:31:40
The Azshara % so far: Limit 58%, Method 87%.
We have two more 6/8ers as Halcyon and ScubBusters slot in at 11 and 12, with the EU 7th and 8th kills on Queen's Court!
And here's Method's kill:
Timestamp for mobile: 1:48:05
And let's compare the raid comps on Za'qul:
The wipe count on Za'qul sits at 166 for Method, with Limit taking 185 to down the tentacled one. Keep in mind pull counts aren't the best at determining exact time spent on the boss, but it's still fun to look at stats anyway.
Now that Za'qul has finally been defeated in the EU we get to see two perspectives on Queen Azshara, and we get to see Method's plans, strats and comps for the fight!
Method finally defeated Za'qul, World 2nd, 7/8 and on to Queen Azshara!
Here's a bit of a % update on the top guilds: Limit are at 63.2% on Queen Azshara, Method are still at their 1.52%, Pieces at 20%, JTH at 21.4%, Aversion at 23% , FatSharkYes 27%, Exorsus 38%, all at Za'qul.
Alpha are the nest to head to Za'qul and 6/8, as they down Queen's Court Asia 3rd, World 10th!
Well, just as we posted the 2.3% Method went and got a lower try, at 1.52%!
And here's that crazy 2.3% Method wipe from earlier, with the video starting later in the pull:
Practice have denounced their royal guidance, killing off The Queens Court World 9th!
Ethical is the next in line to get a serving of sushi, as they've slain Orgozoa US/OC 4th.
Method keeps getting closer and closer, just having had a 2.13% wipe!
Squidboy has been chopped up by another guild, with Honestly putting the Orgozoa to rest, claming US/OC 3rd in the process.
The crowd at Za'qul keeps growing, as Exorsus have gone ahead and downed The Queens Court, World 8th, EU 5th.
Day 5 of the EU raiding has begun, with both Method and Pieces back in The Eternal Palace, bashing their heads against Za'qul.
Skyline take the Asia third on Orgozoa and move on to the Court!
The pull count is getting up there already on Azshara, mainly due to the pulls themselves being comparatively short, but Limit are already at 54 pulls, and have gotten the boss down to 77.4%!
Limit keep going on Queen Azshara and they've just had the best try around 86%, with all 20 alive for phase 2 and the arrival of her majesty herself:
Method will be done with their splits soon and may go for a few Za'qul pulls before heading off to bed it seems, so it's pretty unlikely we see a World 2nd from them today. Pieces managed to get 0.5% closer to that Za'kill at 36% and FatSharkYes, the 0.2% boys, are already at 40% on the Harbinger of Ny'alotha!
We also had another Orgozoa kill, with Halcyon as EU 7th.
Back to Za'qul progress for a second, Method still haven't gone back to Mythic and are still on their 27% try from yesterday, while Pieces stand at 36.5%, JTH are on 35.8%, and Aversion on 38.6! It seems the 35-40% mark is very specific as they're all bunched up around there, and who knows, we may actually see a non-Method World 2nd!
We have another 5/8 member joining us, as Future take the Eu7th, World 11th!
FatSharkYes finally overcame their 0.2% trauma, and they've downed Queen's Court, moving up to 6/8! Congrats!
The very first Queen Azshara try has happened, and there was an almost immediate wipe to the new Mythic wall/laser mechanic.
Another round of congratulations to Limit after so many frustrating low % tries. Meanwhile, Method are still doing Heroic splits.
And the last half of the kill:
Limit have done it! Za'qul, Harbinger of Ny'alotha has fallen and 7/8 has been achieved! Congratulations to @ on the World First!
In a bit of a (very) late update, Alpha managed to push through Lady Ashvane and get the Asia 5th there along time ago, and they're now progressing on Orgozoa.
Since we've been talking about low % wipes, while Limit's definitely takes the cake on overall impact, FatSharkYes actually had the second worst possible wipe ever, as they wiped at 0.2% on Queen's Court!
Let's not forget, as exciting as it's getting at the moment, these guilds are entirely focused on Azshara and nothing else. While Za'qul is in the way at the moment, getting the proper rest and having raiders comfortable and raid ready is much more important than even the 7/8 World First. The big picture is really all that matters so spending 8 hours doing splits or resting a little longer is currently insignificant as no one is progressing on Azshara, which is when the real "time wasted" issue begins, as learning strats, comps and execution on the final boss is when every minute counts.
Pieces and even Aversion are also now pretty much caught up with Method, as their best tries are at 36.5 and 38.6%, however we know Pieces farmed a whole lot of Mythic+ back before Lady Ashvane so their gear situation could be solidly better than Method and Aversion's, at least before Method's splits.
While we did get a whole lot of non-Za'qul progress happening in the past 8 or so hours, it seems my own sleep break didn't make me miss anything huge, as Limit just returned from their rest yet and Method have been farming gear all his time, with Heroic splits finally on the menu! Since Limit are back a kill could be coming very soon!
We have our Asia third back on 5/8 and Orgozoa, as Chao Jie head on up towards JTH and AFK R!
We now have another nationality in the top 10, with Sweden joining up, in the form of Practice, as they down Orgozoa World #10.
AFK R is doing what they can to show that Korea is not any worse than their brethren to the west, and down The Queens Court World 6th, Asia 2nd!
Exorsus have claimed Orgozoa World #9, EU #5.
Jitianhong continue to prove just how strong the Chinese region is, catching up to the top dogs by downing The Queens Court World 5th, Asian First!
That seems to be it for Limit's raid day as they've decided to go to bed after their 170th pull! Method will be coming back soon-ish and we'll see how fast they can push the boss down from their previous 27% best try.
Here's the last few minutes of that insane 0.9% try:
Another insanely low% try for Limit, with a heartbreaking 0.9% aka 2 million HP just minutes ago. It's getting pretty late for them as they're raiding on US time (but out of London) and they usually stop raiding right around now, with a couple of exceptions when they went for another hour. With tries this low, however, it's almost impossible to give up and go to bed now.
Limit have managed to do some 50 more pulls then Method at the moment.
Limit are being pretty consistent with their tries, with 10-15% wipes, and if they follow their usual trend of raiding, they have another 1.5-2 hours of raiding ahead of them.
And here's that crazy 1.3% try, with an understandably frustrated Max at the end:
We may have a kill coming VERY soon, as Limit have managed to get a 1.3% wipe!
Club Camel joined the jellyfish slayer club on 5/8, claiming the US/OC 2nd/World 8th! Club Camel were also the No.1 US/OC guild back in Crucible, so it's good to see that wasn't just a 1-off thing. Congrats!
We have another Orgozoa kill! AFK R claim the Asia 2nd, World 7th!
Limit keep pushing and they may just do it today, as they're getting some pretty massive progress done, with another 8% down from the previous best! Let's take a look at their best pull that happened just now, at 12%:
And here's Limit's best try so far, as well as the lowest overall % the boss has been driven down to, at 20.4%, with Max resuming his coaching role:
It's time for our regularly scheduled check in with the top boys on Za'qul, and both Method and Limit have gotten some serious progress done since the last time we saw them, as Method finished the day at 27%, while Limit are still going at it with their best at 20%!
It seems FatSharkYes have also downed Orgozoa, taking he World 6th, EU 4th!
As is now standard, Aversion follow Pieces and climb to 6/8, claiming the World 4th, EU 3rd!
The 2 horse race, has now become a 3 horse one!
Pieces has downed The Queens Court, meaning they've joined up with the top teams! They now sit at 6/8 and World #3.
Let's do a bit of an overview of the race so far, as requested in the comments (which are actually populated now, THANKS EVERYONE, my loneliness has lessened), so if you're up to date on everything race related, feel free to skip this one.
Tuesday aka US/OC day was dominated by, you'll never guess it, US guilds! Everyone expected Limit to plow through however many bosses, with the fear being we'd have another Dazar'alor situation on our hands and we'd see Azshara way too soon, maybe even before the EU even stepped into the raid. The first three bosses definitely supported that narrative, as they all fell over very quickly, but it was actually Big Dumb Guild that got all three down first, with limit going Abyssal Commander Sivara > Radiance of Azshara > Behemoth (and claimed World Firsts on those first two), but BDG went Sivara > Behemoth > Radiance and got the Blackwater Behemoth WF. I was pretty worried at this time that we'd see at least 5 or 6 bosses down on day 1, but in came Lady Ashvane. While she ain't no Imperial Vizier Zor'lok, she served as quite the early wall and put a stop to the rampaging US guilds, and actually even survived the first day!
So 3/8 was the day 1 tally and Eternal Palace was already looking much more impressive than Dazar'alor (with Crucible not really being comparable), and on we went to EU day and we had some surprises there as well. We had the usual and expected start with the very fast 3/8 clears by Pieces, Exorsus, Practice and Method (with Method having a fun excursion to Heroic, having cleared the first boss trash thinking it was set to Mythic). Lady Ashvane lay ahead now, the first test of any kind for the raid, and we saw three very different approaches to her from there top guilds - Limit had opted to spend some of their Heroic splits to overcome her; Pieces had a similar idea but didn't want to spend their Heroics, so they went for M+ farming; and Method decided they'd hit their head against the wall as-is and see if they can break through. And so, perhaps nobody's surprise - they did! Lady Ashvane died on day 2, some 9-ish hours after Method entered the raid for the first time and 38 pulls after starting on her. While the kill didn't give Method that big of an advantage, as Limit downed the boss around 2 hours later, the US guild did have to spend some of their Heroics gearing up perhaps the wrong classes that may not be needed for Aszahra, so the Ashvane World First was even more of a win for Method. Day 2 ended with only the 2 Ashvane kills and the next boss, Orgozoa the creepy jellyfish, actually also living up to the difficulty curve and staying around 50%, with Limit slightly in the lead.
And on we went to day 3, Asia day, just to emphasize the ridiculousness of the day-apart resets. We had the top 3 on 3/8 almost immediately from the Asia servers, and we again saw a division there, as Skyline went the Method route and pushed Ashvane, while Alpha and Ji Tian Hong went to farm some gear. Back in the west, everyone was pushing Orgozoa to its limits and, appropriately, it was Limit that claimed the World First, quite a while after Method had gone to bed. Day 3 was also more of a US/OC day, as we got our World third on Lady Ashvane as well, with a very familiar face popping up, as Midwinter claimed the bronze on 4/8, with 184 guilds progressing on her at the time. Immediately after Limit's World First we saw that the next boss may not be on par with the difficulty curve, as the Queen's Court was under 50% after only an hour of progress on them. Limit took another huge chunk off the boss before calling it a night (or, well, calling it a morning, as a lot of them are streaming from London, but they're still on a US sleep schedule).
Day 4 is, thankfully, no region's day - it's where things start to balance out at least a little and the EU and primarily Asia guilds start to make some of that lost time back (with the previous advantage of checking through US/EU kills). Method caught up to Limit some 4 hours after they entered the raid and took the World 2nd on Orgozoa, and we also finally got some more Lady Ashvane kills, with two OC guilds getting the honors of 4th and 5th spots - Ethical and Honestly. Then, as was already hinted at by Limit's progress, Method took down the Queen's Court incredibly quickly, taking under 3 hours and only 17 pulls to down the sixth boss of the Eternal Palace and claiming that World First. The next and penultimate boss, Za'qul, also seemed like a pushover, going down to 40% after an hour of pulls, but he wasn't actually what he seemed to be, which is perhaps appropriate for someone called the Harbinger of Ny'alotha. We also got our EU 2nd on Lady Ashvane, and it was Nighthold champions themselves Exorsus, with Pieces still nowhere to be seen, or so it seemed. It was indeed Pieces to take down the fourth boss next, followed by Aversion and then we finally got our first Asian guild to down the Lady, with Ji Tian Hong claiming the World 9th as well. Limit eventually joined Method at the top, almost immediately when they woke up for the day and headed to Za'qul with pretty much the same results as Method.
We had some movement behind Method and Limit on day 4, with Pieces finally making it back to the top and pushing past Orgozoa for that World 3rd, and they were followed by Aversion quickly thereafter, same as on Ashvane. Then came a bit of a shock as we saw the power of the Asia guilds, with Ji Tian Hong claiming the World 5th on the big jellyfish, less than an hour after Aversion! The rest of day 4, and all of day 5 so far has gone by very uneventfully at the very top, with Method having gotten some 2% closer at 37.2% and Limit in the lead at 34.8%, but no major progress has been done since yesterday, at least in terms of boss health. We see that Za'qul is a pretty hard wall for now, with very minor advances happening in the HP department, but surely many smaller ones being made in terms of comp and strategy. It's a relatively safe bet that he makes it through today and at the very least is deemed an adequate penultimate boss. I'll also use this for a shameless plug - if you prefer these long-winded types of summaries, I also write daily ones over on Icy Veins, so you can check those out as well.
Just to share my personal opinion on the raid and race once more, I think this has so far been one of the better races, with the No.1 guilds constantly changing, and us viewers never being quite sure who's actually in the lead at any given time. The difficulty curve has actually been pretty good (Queen's Court notwithstanding) and if Za'qul stands his corrupted ground another day or so, this pre-Azshara part of the race might just hit that sweetspot of difficulty and duration (at least for us viewers).
We have a new best try, this time from Limit, and while it wasn't a significant move forward (some 1.2%, leading on 34.8%), it's a very interesting clip as the GM Max is actually not playing but rather spectating the Monk tank Darkee and calling the shots while doing so. This actually brings up an interesting concept, whether it may be better for all guilds to have a separate unique strategy shot caller who isn't actually playing at all, but looking through various PoVs to see possible improvements and how everyone is doing - something guilds do after the fact when they go over the footage together. This might just be one of those things that sounds good in theory, but in practice it's not really feasible though.
China are catching up! Jitianhong have downed Orgonzoa as the World #5, Asia #1!
World 4th Gorgonzola have been claimed by the Germans in Aversion!
Pieces have decided that they have had enough of Mr. Squid, downing Orgozoa World Third, putting them up against The Queens Court, and 5/8 down!
AFK R, as always, are carrying the Korean flag for the world first race, and have now breached the first big wall in the raid, Lady Ashvane as Asian #2!
We have 3 more Lady Ashvane kills over on the US side of things with Club Camel, vodka and Big Dumb Guild heading to 4/8 and on to the big jellyfish!
The US/OC 5th has arrived as Instant Dollars take down Lady Ashvane World 11th!
Limit have moved ahead of Method a little, as they're 4% closer to the kill at 36!
We have the final spot in the Lady Ashvane and 4/8 top 10 filled, as Practice take the EU 5th!
It seems Za'qul isn't quite the pushover the Court was, as Method are still at their previous 39.9% best try, while Limit have gotten to 51.7%! With only two bosses left, let's hope this penultimate one survives a bit longer so we're not doomed to watch the same Azshara pulls for weeks!
We have an Asia first on Lady Ashvane, as Ji Tian Hong (JTH) claim the World 9th and move on to 4/8 and Orgozoa!
Limit has joined Method in the 6/8 pack, downing The Queens Court World Second!
Here comes the next Lady Ashvane kill and it's Aversion taking the EU 4th, World 8th!
Here comes Pieces Ashvane kill, as they take the World 7th and EU 3rd!
Let's take a look at Za'qul and Method's best, 39.9% try, with a strat they're using that some seem to think will get hotifxed, but it's really interesting and showcases thinking outside the box. Namely when the delirium phase starts and all players are hostile to each other, Method are using mages to polymorph other players to heal them up (since healer's can't do their job due to being hostile to everyone else) and then breaking the poly with a low damage spell! Let's take a look and the lag at the end is on the video side, so don't go hitting your router (not that I have, honest):
Here's the updated wipe count for Method, with Queen's Court being the clear standout:
Commander Sivara: 0
Blackwater Behemoth: 0
Radiance of Azshara: 0
Lady Ashvane: 37
The Queen's Court: 16
Method are chugging along on Za'qul, with the best try so far at 39.9%, after only an hour of pulls.
Exorsus are the sixth guild to get past Lady Ashvane and are on 4/8, grabbing the EU 2nd before Pieces!
And here's Method's wipe count, by request by my favorite (and only) commenter :D
Commander Sivara: 0
Blackwater Behemoth: 0
Radiance of Azshara: 0
Lady Ashvane: 37
The Queen's Court: 16
It's really great seeing this level of competition and this amount of back and forth between two top guilds, it's been a while since our progress image has had some many alternating guild logos on it, so I have to say Eternal Palace is definitely my favorite race of BfA so far. The Queen's Court may be quit a bit undertuned, but considering Ashvane and Orgozoa were just right we can let that one slide, as long as Za'qul doesn't usher in Ny'alotha too quickly.
And here's the WF video for the Queen's Court, with a very dramatic finish! SEPARAAATE!
Method has done it!
The Queens Court has fallen in a very dramatic fashion, putting them up to 6/8, and World First!
The Asian region have come up, and a bunch of guilds have caught up, and gotten 3/8 and now sit on Lady Ashvane. As always it's hard to know exactly what guilds from the Asian region are doing well, but at least Alpha and Skyline have reached her.
The NA region keeps going strong, with yet another guild from the region getting Lady Ashvane down. Honestly claim the World 5th, US/OC 4th kill, putting them up to 4/8.
We have ourselves a new contender getting past Lady Ashvane, with Ethical getting the World 4th, Oceanic First!
World Second squidboy goes to yours truly, with Method just downing Orgozoa, putting them up at 5/8!
Method are getting closer and closer to getting their kill, with their latest try being a 4.8% wipe.
Limits best pull this far on The Queen's Court.
The Court has gone down another large chunk of health, as Limit are around 25% with their best try and they are heading to sleep.
It seems the Queen's Court isn't quite on the level of Ashvane and Orgozoa, as Limit is already down to 45% after only an hour of progress on the boss. It may get more difficult on lower percentages, but so far, we may be on to the final two bosses sooner than anticipated.
And here's the kill from Max's stream:
Limit has done it! They've downed Orgozoa and went 5/8! It's time to take a look at Queen's Court a bit and then to sleep most likely.
And it's Midwinter that get the World 3rd on Lady Ashvane as well as the US/OC 2nd! 4/8 and on to Orgozoa.
Meanwhile, we have a huge amount of guilds progressing on Lady Ashvane, with an insane 184 sitting on 3/8.
It seems Limit is intent on getting to that 5/8 today, as they put in another best try at 12%, so we may actually see another World First today!
Limit are going at it hard and have gotten Orgozoa down to 25%! Here's their very recent lowest % try:
Asia guilds have been busy progressing through the Palace and the top have reached Lady Ashvane, with Skyline going Method's way and pushing on the boss while Alpha and JTH moved away from her to farm up some gear first.
Limit has been pushing a little bit more on Orgozoa before their recent food break and managed to get the boss sub-40%, just barely, with their best try so far at 39.1%!
And so the day has ended around 50% Orgozoa, with limit actually getting under the half way mark at 47%. Method's pull count landed on 32 - it took 37 pulls to down Lady Ashvane, so it's safe to say the difficulty is still ramping up in the Eternal Palace, from an already pretty impressive fourth boss. Considering how disappointing previous raids have been (Crucible notwithstanding) it's really great to see an actual progression curve this time around, and even if bosses 6 or 7 don't live up to previous ones difficulty, the raid has already been impressive enough, and we can only imagine what Azshara will be like. So, for now, a big GJ to the encounter devs!
And a little message from Method GM Sco about their crazy first day:
Day 1 of #RWF has been amazing, from the accidental heroic pull of boss 1 to taking the lead on Ashvane, thanks for all the support today and the insane numbers on the streams. Back tomorrow at 1000 for lots more #methodway 🏆 pic.twitter.com/3H6MgCzDXo— Scott McMillan (@Methodsco) July 17, 2019
We also have Method's best Orgozoa try, at 50.5% right here:
Well, it's been very calm after Limit's kill, so let's take a look at where we stand in the overall rankings.
We have 75 guilds that have broken that 1/8 barrier and taken down Abyssal Commander Sivara only, 48 with an additional kill on either Radiance or Behemoth (with the big fish seeming to be the favorite), a whopping 141 having gotten all three down and progressing on Lady Ashvane, with only Method and Limit having been able to push to that 4/8.
And here's Limit's Ashvane kill:
Limit are the second to down Lady Ashvane as their splits proved fruitful, taking the World 2nd US/OC first and joining Method on 4/8 and progress on Orgozoa.
And this is what it looked like in the room for the kill - not exactly Kil'jaeden leves of nerdscreams but pretty impressive for a 4/8 boss!
And here's the kill itself from the main stream:
Not to take credit for the kill, but both myself and Warriorsari were eating at the time, so you're welcome Method.
Lady Ashvane is down! Method take the World First nad move to 4/8!
Method has pushed to 21.7% as their best try very recently and here's the clip:
Do you think they can make it without additional gear or are they wasting a bit of time?
So, day 2 has progressed and we're seeing the different approaches to Lady Ashvane already, as Pieces welt the Limit route and have been farming Mythic+ to get some gear, as they felt M+ was a better gear to time spent ratio for them, Limit has returned and immediately resumed their Heroic splits, while Method are still going at the boss, with Cayna saying that they feel they can get the kill with their current gear with some lucky RNG.
We have ourselves three more guilds at 3/8 from the EU, with Practice, Exorsus and Method gotten up to Ashvane as well.
Pieces has now joined the front of the pack, banishing Blackwater Behemoth to the depths, putting them up at 3/8!
Exorsus has also kept their #2 spot in EU, getting Radiance down.
Method has now joined the race, almost. Clearing the trash for the first boss, then come to the realization that they've just cleared Heroic Trash.
In other news, we have a EU third Sivas, with Practice holding the banner for Sweden!
As always, the first few bosses fall over as quickly as the guilds can kill the trash between them, with 2 bosses now down in the EU. Pieces getting EU first on both Sivara and Radiance, and Exorsus getting EU second on Sivara.
The raid has now opened for the EU! You can follow the race for World First either here in written form, or over on one of the Method streams.
Just to get a general idea of progress on Lady Ashvane, Limit have her to 27% with the shield at 20%, and they've been doing splits for a long time now. The EU guilds will be entering the raid in an hour and a half so we'll see if they will have more luck with the fourth boss, as Pieces and Method clash today.
As the US raid times have marched on we're getting a whole lot more kills, as 28 guilds now stand on 3/8. The top has gone for some splits as Lady Ashvane has proved her worth to Azshara by stopping any and all from moving past her, and it's looking likely that the fourth boss of the Eternal Palace will make it through the first day alive!
We now also have 14 guilds that have downed at least 1 boss, 13 with at least 2 and, 10 guilds with 3 down!
We've had quite a few newcomers to the 3/8 club, with Fused, Club Camel and Instant Dollars getting both Radiance and Behemoth down.
While things are quiet, let's take a moment to compare current boss progress to previous ones. While Crucible isn't really going to be useful here, Dazar'alor will, and that was one of the faster raids to make it to the final boss.
The first three bosses were pretty much the same, and Big Dumb Guild even got to the 3/8 first in Dazar'alor as well, some 20 minutes slower than Radiance went down. The interesting part lies at the fourth boss, which died 2 hours after the third in Dazar'alor. This time around it's already been 4 hours since the third boss kill by both BDG and Limit, so we can say Ashvane is at least twice as hard as Opulence was. Now it could just be a matter of that one specific boss being difficult with the next few less so, but Eternal Palace has already proven to be at least a bit more difficult than Battle of Dazar'alor. With Uu'nat's difficulty back in Crucible, it all seems very promising for this race, as we should get to see a really good one where all guilds will have a chance at that World First on Azshara, regardless of reset times - well, at least hopefully, as the earlier extra gear on resets will still give an advantage to US and then EU guilds, but we'll discuss that when we get to it.
The race has calmed a little as Ashvane seems to be a bit of an obstacle and a large step up in difficulty from the first three bosses, which bodes well for the rest of the raid.
We also got some hotfixes today, with these raid changes, including changes to the Azshara encounter:
Azshara’s Eternal Palace
- Orgozoa now transitions to phase two at 40% health (was 3.5 minutes).
- Developers’ note: This change is meant to be neutral with regard to difficulty of the encounter, and aims to ensure that as player damage output continues to increase in the coming weeks, the overall pacing of the encounter doesn’t become skewed.
- Orgozoa now transitions to phase two at 40% health (was 3.5 minutes).
- Radiance of Azshara
- Fixed a bug causing Radiance of Azshara's Stormwraith Gale Buffet to increase its damage by 10% per stack, rather than the intended 25% on Normal and Heroic difficulties.
- Za’Qul, Harbinger of Ny’alotha
- Shattered Psyche now has a unique icon.
- Queen Azshara
We have a new entry to the dead bosses crew, as Fused take down Sivara and have officially started putting the hurt on Azshara and her forces. 1/8!
Ursula Lady Ashvane is at least a little bit tougher than the previous three, as it's been almost an hour since Big Dumb Guild started progress on her, with Limit being some 10 minutes behind.
And here's Big Dumb Guild's Blackwater Behemoth World First video:
Another 3/8 as Blood Legion downs Radiance and joins the top group, now 5 strong.
A bit of a changeup as it seems Nerd Crew actually got Radiance of Azshara down World 3rd, bumping everyone else down one. They're on 2/8 with Sivara and Radiance down.
Radiance is going down fast as Midwinter and Vision have taken it down and moved on to 3/8!
Here are Limit's Abyssal Commander Sivara and Radiance of Azshara WF videos:
Intern Made this Boss also climb to 2/8 but go the Raiance of Azshara route taking the World 3rd on the boss.
Limit have caught up as they also down Blackwater Behemoth, taking the World th and moving on to 3/8
So much for the break, as Big Dumb Guild are the first to move to 3/8 as they get the World 2nd on Radiance of Azshara!
Now that we have a few seconds to breathe between updates, while it may seem the first three bosses went down rather fast, we only really need that final 3 to be difficult, at least to the point where some of them to survive the first few days. In Battle of Dazar'alor it was very disappointing to see Jaina be the only one left standing so early on, and especially with the streaming aspect of it, it removed a huge portion of variety for the race (there's only so many days you can watch the same fight over and over).
Blood Legion also go the Blackwater Behemoth route and join BDG and Vision on Sivara + Behemoth, while Limit's 2/8 stands at Sivara + Radiance.
Vision joins the 2/8 club as they down Blackwater Behemoth World 2nd!
Another World First as Big Dumb Guild takes down Blackwater Behemoth and we now have 3 bosses down in the Palace, with both Limit and BDG at 2/8.
Limit moves on to 2/8 as they take down Radiance of Azshara World First!
Vision, Midwinter and Blood Legion join in the fun and get Sivara down as well - 1/8 and we have 5 guilds past the first obstacle!
Here comes the first kill! Limit has taken down Abyssal Commander Sivara and the World 2nd is immediately behind it by Big Dumb Guild!
And here are some more US PoVs you can check out, starting with our Race to World First partner guilds:
Big Dumb Guild
It's almost time for the US guilds to head into the Palace, and Method's Race to World First show has already started with interviews and more: https://twitch.tv/method
The US/OC portion of the race starts today! We're going to see plenty of bosses go down, though hopefully not all before Azshara, starting around 5PM CEST. Limit are going to be heading in there hard and trying to show they're still not only the top US guild, but also a contender for the crown, as they had to dial back their raiding hours after a few days in Crucible of Storms. They're definitely going at it in full force this time around though, as are Pieces, who won the Crucible race last time around. It's certainly shaping up to be one of the great World First races, and we get to follow all of the action from the top guilds, as everyone is streaming!
We've also recently had a short chat with several Method raiders on their preparations for the Eternal Palace, how it was different from previous raid prep, what the Crucible loss meant to them and more. You can check out that article right here.
And here comes the first Heroic kill of Queen Azshara, with Strawberry Puppy Kisses taking the first! Let's take a look at the kill:
We seem to have 31 guilds at 7/8 Heroic but no Azshara kills so far. Recent hotfixes announced that her transition into the final phase was fixed, but that was probably done quite a while ago, so it's unclear if guilds are actually having trouble downing her or if it's just the usual issue of kills not getting registered.
We have 7 bosses down already on Heroic difficulty (or well, probably more, but the updates are always slow), and we know that Blackwater are progression on Azshara, with Limit, Dark paradise and The Early Shift on 6/8. This info is courtesy of WarcraftLogs, since they're currently the only ones tracking Heroic progress!
The Eternal Palace raid has opened in Normal and Heroic difficulties and the race starts next week!
This race is shaping up to be a massive one, with possibly two separate streaming events and full-time coverage both from Method and Red Bull (featuring at least Limit and Pieces, although that event hasn't been announced yet). Method's coverage is going to be the biggest yet, as it will involve 7 additional top guilds from all regions, along with the usual non-stop commentary and coverage.
Both Pieces and Limit will be going at it full-time again, at least for the first week, so the competition will be fierce, with Method trying to reclaim their top spot they lost in Crucible.
We're also going to be checking in on the Heroic progress to see how that's shaping up, as well as talking to some Method players about the preparation for the race this time around.