The Expansion Is Conquered: An Interview with the Siegemasters

The Expansion Is Conquered: An Interview with the Siegemasters

Article originally posted on Manaflask

Mists of Pandaria is finished as far as Method are concerned. They've not only cleaned up every tier endboss WoW's fourth expansion had to offer but were also the first guild in history to win the final tier in the expansion they dominated from the beginning. It's another one of those giant interviews so let's cut this intro short and listen to what Ashvael, Pacteh, Sco, Sonie, Treckie and Vykina have to say.

You've finally crossed the finish line. How does it feel to actually end up as the No.1 at the end of the expansion, is it any different from other tier wins?

Pacteh: For me personally it felt better each time this expansion, we had become such a tight team by the end that it felt really special.

Sonie: It definitely feels nice to complete the expansion on the top, feels a bit more special than the previous tiers as Garrosh was the "big bad guy" people have been waiting to kill since it was released.

Treckie: It feels great to round out a tier and still be on top since MoP started, although I think it's more about finally killing Garrosh rather than some Pandaria bosses I had never heard of before, will be nice to go back to the old world next expansion again :P

You're the first guild to actually stay in the No.1 spot at the end of the expansion you dominated, no other guild has done that before. Do you think that's a big deal or is it just another tier down for you?

Pacteh: I would say it's a pretty big deal, it's so hard to keep a motivated stable roster for a whole expansion. 18 people who were present on the Sha of Fear kill at the start of the expansion were also there for the Garrosh kill at the end.

Treckie: Personally, It doesn't feel all that different, its just another tier for me. Of course its great and shows how we have improved and stuck together after being forever 2nd in Cataclysm.

Was there a larger amount of pressure on you in this final tier, after having claimed the previous two? Did you know about "the curse", aka that no guild had finished the final tier of an expansion that they dominated in first place, and did it affect you in any way? Ignore the fact I made the curse up, though, it's totally legit.

Ashvael: I would say the pressure was pretty high. In my opinion it's always more stressful to play from the #1 spot and having to defend it. I didn't know about the curse before the race but you made sure we knew about it all along the race!

Pacteh: I think most people were aware that no guild had managed to stay on top for so long, it's always harder playing from 1st place. We have so much to prove every tier, I feel a lot of top guilds are playing with nothing to prove where as we feel constant pressure to repeat our performance.

Sco: The extra pressure for us this tier was definitely the roster size, we had 29 raiders (excluding trials) which gave some cause for concern. We put up the motivation posts, and these 29 raiders went super hardc0re! We had enough cursing going on in the raid, no time to worry about this special ‘curse’. Does feel awesome to know that the curse/spell has been broken though! Now we can all live happily ever after.

Treckie: Like I said, Its just another tier for me, "the curse" is a bit superstitious and really the pressure on us was the same like last time, defending the No.1 spot is always more pressure than trying to take it, we did good though :P

Did you have any significant roster changes in-between ToT and now?

Ashvael: Yes, we lost quite a few of our good ranged DPS, including Kuznam who was previously a big part of our raid leading. Coming in to Siege of Orgrimmar we only had a roster of 29 players + 3-4 trials which was worrying.

Pacteh: Losing Kuznam shortly before the tier began was a pretty massive blow to us, the guy was joint raid leading the whole expansion up until that point. The guy was one of the best if not the best player I've ever played with and was worried how we would cope without him. What this highlights though is the strength of our roster, after losing a major player from our team we were able to perform better than ever.

Sonie: We did, we lost our previous raidleader Kuznam and our boomkin team let us down (except for Pacteh). But our officer team did an amazing job to recover from that and Noxe & Rogerbrown did a really good job leading the guild in SoO, so a big shout out to them!

Treckie: We lost a lot of people between ToT and SoO, I think a few jumped the ship cause others did and wern't sure we could uphold the No.1 spot, most of these people left without saying anything, not to mention just weeks before as well, leaving us with no time to recruit. But then again quality > quantity. Our Roster for SoO was VERY tight, we could barely do swaps between people and reminded us a lot of Ragnaros when we had 25 available raiders in the guild.

Did you try anything different this time around, in terms of preparation, schedule, tactics etc?

Sonie: Feels like we had a more set schedule this time, we started at 12-13, and finished at 03. We also had all the breaks decided before so people knew when they could expect a break. Oh and we had a lot of 10-15min breaks every 2-3h aswell which was nice so you could get some fresh air etc.

Treckie: We had a bit more solid schedule, when we raid and when our smaller breaks were, and that was nice.
Not that we didn't have breaks before but now they were "scheduled" and you could fit in a few things you still need to do every day on this. Preparation was about the same, many normalmode raids to get gear, and any tactics being made on PTR were completely wasted on most bosses cause they were one/two-shottable anyway xD

You had a pretty solid advantage from Siegecrafter on, did that make the end of this tier a more relaxed experience or were you still feeling the other guilds at your heels?

Ashvael: A big part of our advantage was somewhat lost on the Paragons of the Klaxxi. It was probably one of the most bugged encounters I've ever played and some of the hotfixes took some time to be applied. However after killing Paragons in the first reset and re-killing it extremely fast we felt pretty confident on Garrosh.

Pacteh: Not too much, even though we were the first to get to Klaxxi the fight was severely bugged and so we didn't gain much of an advantage. Our early kill on Klaxxi, however, gave us some nice breathing room on Garrosh.

Treckie: It definitely feels nice being one spot ahead, especially on such a mechanically and personally difficult boss.
So when we started Klaxxi we could take a breather, however, due to the many bugs in that encounter, we couldn't really feel all that safe - once the bugs were fixed we figured it would be easy and as soon as the other guilds got here we would be on equal grounds on Garrosh again. Luckily it WAS still a relatively hard fight after some nerfs and fixes and we held on to the lead. We also got ridiciously comfortable when we started progress on Garrosh, knowing the other guilds were far behind, constantly taking 5-10min breaks for no reason, some people not being back in time and we didn't really care.
It's dangerous though to call the victory early, so we started shaping up once they reached Garrosh as well, but we were still pretty comfortable we were ahead at all times.

Vykina: We still have to continue on strong, you never know how close another guild might be to the kill, and any extra time you can get learning the next boss is a good advantage over the other guilds.

What are your thoughts on the Asian servers and specifically the 10 man kill of Garrosh?

Ashvael: I think the current situation is sad. I'd love to be in a race against the stronger 25m Asian guilds as well but it's a different set of rules. I think there would have been a lot less forum drama and much more acknowledgement (including myself) if a 25m heroic kill would have happened there as the bosses are at least scaled accordingly to the higher gear. However, overgearing the content with 11 itemlevels more than Paragon (as a 10m guild example) is just stupid and shows no respect to real 10m guilds in my opinion. I have all the respect for the Asian 25m guilds like Stars who are actually progressing on the 25m version of Garrosh and not down-scaling for an easy kill/unfairly obtained information.

Sonie: Honestly, I wasn't very bothered about it at all, and I think more feel the same. We compete with 25m guilds and more specifically the ones in EU/US.

Treckie: I care even less about the Asian kill than I would if a West 10man guild would kill it. People bring up the ilvl difference as the first point but honestly, it's freaking 10man! What I mean with that is that it's not unfair to us that they had higher ilvl cause we don't do the same fights anyway. More ilvl changes the whole fight. If anything I feel the West 10man competition should feel a bit cheated out of their World First due to the fact that their 10man is exactly the same as our 10man, they just have a huge advantage in gear for their 10man groups in Asia.

Vykina: It's frustrating that the Asian servers are so different, it's always nice to have more competition, but I don't view them as being in the same race anymore and it causes a lot of drama. For myself, I see the progress race now as 4 brackets (25m, 10m, 25m asia, 10m asia) that don't interlink.

Garrosh Hellscream 10 man Asia First by 天 啟 (Tian qi)

Were you only racing your 25 man West competitors or did the 10 man and Asia kills also motivate and push you harder, or even put more pressure on you?

Ashvael: We are racing mainly against our 25m Western competitors as it's hard to judge how the item level and boss scaling in Asia makes some bosses easier/harder. If a 25m Asian kill happened, I think it might have affected us but I'm pretty sure that the majority of the guild doesn't care about an Asian 10m kill - at least for the purposes of our race.

Treckie: I wouldn't say we were all that affected by it. The main thing it proved was that Blizzard prolly thought the encounter was done, and no more tuning/fixing was really that needed. We figured that means that the last phase was at least working properly and not bugged as hell, and that was a great. Other than that I cant stress it enough that we are racing in the 25man league, even comparing with Asia 25man is weird, it's not quite the same race either, just makes it all a little bit strange. You can always compare yourself with other 25man guilds cause once a World First is achieved, we all know it's killable and just need to find the tactics and sort the raid out. However, if a guild kills it in 10man, we still have no clue if the 25man version is overtuned or impossible, or if we are just doing it wrong (ToT Twins is a great example), but once theres a 25man kill, we know its just a matter of shaping up and killing it.

Vykina: For me, our competition is 25man guilds in EU/US, 10man is a separate race and sadly so is Asia due to the drastic differences. I don't view them as in the same race as us so what happens for them doesn't really affect me.

The overall progress time was pretty similar to Throne of Thunder's - is a two week race really the optimal length?

Ashvael: I would say so, yes. On the day of the Garrosh kill we actually had to start at 19:00 because of people having to work again and it would be unreasonable to expect more vacation/sick days. For us, 2 weeks is probably the optimal time.

Sco: Any longer and I would really be struggling at work, raiding till late and sitting in front of excel all day wasn’t exactly living the dream, think I need to maybe get more time off work next time! I think 2 weeks for heroic (keeping in mind the 1 week normal farm as well) is actually the perfect length for a race. If the last boss is REALLY tough then I guess a few extra days with a 3rd reset of gear should seal the deal – anything longer than that and the boss is probably badly tuned.

Treckie: A two week race is optimal, ending the 2nd weekend or at least right before the 3rd reset is optimal. People DO have jobs and lives outside of the game (at least some of us :P) and upholding 100% dedication to the game for more than two weeks is very demanding if not impossible for everyone. Usually what happens is the last two days of the second week we have to start later due to people not getting back until 18:00-19:00 due to work. Any shorter than two weeks and it goes too fast and the one day head start US gets will impact quite a bit of the race. Once it goes over the first week and a few days, while it's still fighting a bit uphill, especially if you are on the same boss, it's evened out quite a bit.

Did you like the difficulty curve of SoO? With the first 11 bosses being day 1 kills it seems the "curve" is rather more flat in the first 78% of the instance, is that a good thing?

Ashvael: I think in an instance of 14 bosses it is expected to have a few bosses which will just fall over for the higher end of the progression guilds. However, I don't think more than 6-8 bosses should be this easy. It felt a little depressing to start raiding with Blood Legion already at 9/14 bosses.

Pacteh: It's a shame for Blizzard really, the first 10 fights are all pretty cool but sadly they just weren't tuned for the item level we were at, the strategy was pretty much zerg all the way up to Thok.

Treckie: There is nothing wrong with easy bosses, but there did indeed seem to be too many of them. This is not really a problem for us, and it just meant it was Christmas every Wednesday reset with so much gear dropping all over the place for little to no effort. I think its better for guilds that raid a bit less, they can do quite a lot of bosses and progress on, and I don't think it's as flat a progression as it was for us. Plus they are in for a great time once they hit Malkorok and forward ^^ As for the tuning of the last three bosses, they were maybe a bit higher than expected but it was definitely needed due to the lifespan of the earlier bosses.

Vykina: To be honest I really don't think there is a curve at all, the first eight bosses are pretty much pushovers, then Malkorok comes out of nowhere and takes a few hours to kill, it seems that the curve doesn't really kick in until the last few bosses.

How did you use Normal Week? Did you run multiple alt raids, practice strategies, or role-play the instance lore?

Ashvael: Same old, same old I guess. We ran 5 raids and 9 Immerseus groups for the total amount of 1 caster trinket on a main character. I think the amount of raids is pretty good for such a small roster.

Treckie: We ran multiple groups, 5 in total. And we practiced a few strats, at least we did for Garrosh with full mains figuring out positioning and movement for example. We gained a bit on it but we had to scrap most of it anyway for heroics cause abilities worked out differently than we thought and we had to remake the strats anyway. That said, we still got useful info out of it that made us use less tries on the heroic mode.

You started rather slow when EU servers came up, lost many EU firsts on those early bosses - were you just gearing up, seeing how easy those bosses were and treating it as if it were Normal mode? Or was it a tactic to lull the other guilds into a false sense of security? Conspiracy!

Ashvael: Slacking, lots of slacking. I think it took us 10 minutes to relog our alt characters for the normal mode re-kill after every boss. I'm not sure how that happened but that's pretty much it. The bosses didn't take more than 1-3 attempts up to Malkorok but I think people weren't in the right mood for the race yet!

Pacteh: The first bosses meant absolutely nothing to us, we aren't going to rush to get an EU first on a boss that is dead in 1/2 attempts. We spent our time maximizing gear. I think we lost time on some of the other EU guilds purely down to our tiny roster, we had to all relog and clear trash as 20 of the alts in the 2nd group were in the main group. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter 1 single bit who got World first or even EU first on Sha of Pride for example.

Sonie: Haha! We did another normal mode raid at the same time and when it comes to relogging to the alts we are probably the Worlds Slowest guild :D. But we didn't really care much since the WFs on earlier bosses means nothing, the ones on the harder bosses does however!

Treckie: We woke up with US having 9 or 10 bosses down, so we knew the earlier bosses were a joke for us, and the only way for us to catch up would be to hope for the latter bosses to be hard enough to require quite some time. And if that was be the case, optimizing gear would be the key to that as well. We took our sweet time with all the heroic kills and then normal mode for those who sat out, we don't care about EU firsts anyway so we might as well do our best to try to go for some world firsts later in the instance instead.

Healing fun on Dark Shamans

Siegecrafter was the first true challenge of the tier and a very hectic fight - what made him so difficult, what did you do differently from the other guilds to beat him?

Ashvael: Siegecrafter was definitely a lot of fun! The first difficult part was finding a solid strategy. I think it took us like 6 hours alone to find out which weapon gets empowered at which time and why that would happen. I have to give mad props to Rogerbrown, Noxe, Pottm, Aladya and Justwait who did the majority of thinking on this boss. After solving the strategy part the boss was very hard to execute. There are different teams having different tasks on this boss while still dodging about a million ground abilities of the boss. If one of the teams failed, go again.

Treckie: The fight was pretty difficult in itself with all the empowered weapons you got, and figuring out what would be empowered when was not easy. We did multiple tests to try to figure out how it worked and it took quite some time. It DID, however, buy us time in the end due to not having to reach each belt, kill all 3 weapons one at a time to see what got powered up. So we had to figure out how to get the weapons we wanted overpowered, and how to deal with each weapon combination and how to position between the different weapons as well. Overall a pretty fun boss and I think few guilds went with anything even remotely similar to what we did. In the end I'm not sure what the best tactic is (World First kills hardly ever are killed the way most people will end up killing it later on, due to more gear and being able to brute force a bit more later on) but it got us the kill at least.

Paragons seemed about at par with Siegecrafter in terms of difficulty, was it actually harder and which one did you prefer? Where would you rank those two in WoW's overall raid pantheon?

Ashvael: I think Paragons had a lot less personal skill involved. Again, a very heavy tactic fight. Progressing on this boss was a lot of fun (if you ignore all the bugs) because you could really feel the progression from killing 2 of them to killing 3 and then feeling the kill in your hands when you see only 2 of them left standing. Siegecrafter was way more fun but both of them are very similar in difficulty.

Pacteh: I would say for a non-end boss they are probably the hardest there has ever been. Both of those fights could have been an end tier boss.

Treckie: The end version of Paragons was honestly a lot easier than Siegecrafter, there's not as much player skill involved, but it was quite a bit similar to Blackfuse due to the way you can choose what order to kill the Paragons in, to get different abilities here and there. Meaning that not all guilds will kill it the same order due to their way of wanting to handle things.
Siegecrafter was definitely the more enjoyable fight, but Paragons might be tarnished a bit due to the first two days we spent there where we felt we couldn't do any proper progress due to the overtuning and bugs that were involved.

How polished would you say this raid was, compared to ToT - in terms of bugs, exploitable mechanics etc?

Ashvael: Overall I would say it was pretty good but Paragons were just not ready for going live, to be frank. Just one example is that you could spell-reflect the "Mutate" ability of the Dissector, instantly killing him after 20 seconds since he obviously was not designed to eat his own parasites.

Pacteh: The whole tier was a let down by Klaxxis, I'm fairly confident there was little to no internal testing done on that fight.

Treckie: ToT to me came off as more polished overall, with its black sheep being Ra-den mechanics, where SoO had Klaxxi.
In ToT a few guilds killed Primordius without killing any blobs cause his dmg reduction wasn't working properly, and a small exploit on Ra-den with immunity for the Lightning, but pretty minor stuff that still escalated guilds further than they otherwise would have been. Similarly a smaller exploitable mechanic in SoO was to get up on the conveyer belt on Siegecrafter multiple times with class abilities, something we discovered early on that wasn't intended and we were sure that was gonna get fixed so we made a strat that did not involve using it. Most other guilds ended up using it, however, gaining a lot of ground on us due to it as well.

Where would you place SoO as an overall raid in the rankings, considering all the bosses and things that happened during the race?

Ashvael: Pretty high up there, in my opinion. I'm very satisfied with the raiding content of Mists of Pandaria, especially Throne of Thunder and Siege of Orgrimmar. Blizzard keeps pushing us to our limits!

Pacteh: The raids in Pandaria have been the best in the game to date in my opinion. It's all heavily influenced by the people you are raiding with however, I've had such a good time raiding with Method this expansion it makes all the older content seem worse.

Treckie: I would still definitely put SoO as one of the better raids, good amount of bosses, a bit too flat progression and then escalating a bit too fast in the end for us, but hopefully it ends up as a great tier for other guilds as well. MoP has really been a great expansion in terms of raiding, it's got a few other issues here and there, but the raiding has definitely still been top notch.

Which was the most fun/interesting boss and why?

Pacteh: Siegecrafter, love the idea, the animations and the dialog.

Treckie: I have to give Siegecrafter the reward for being the most fun and interesting boss this tier. Overall great boss, and I like the fact that you choose what abilities you want to deal with and not depending on how your guild is able to handle the different abilities.

Vykina: Siegecrafter definitely takes the best boss of the tier, took a lot of discussion to make the perfect kill order for the abilities that we wanted to get and the encounter as a whole was really solid.

Which was the most frustrating boss and why?

Treckie: The most frustrating boss was for sure Klaxxi with its bugs. Losing so much momentum after killing Siegecrafter, hitting a brick wall due to mechanics not working properly was not a great feeling and we lost a lot of time and head start there as well.

Vykina: Paragons was pretty frustrating for the first day, we made next to no progress due to all of the bugs, it was pretty blatant that the fight wasn't even ready for live and we were just bashing our heads against a wall until the hotfixes came.

Did the bosses often require special setups?

Vykina: The only special setups were on Siegecrafter for a good belt killing comp and Thok for the heals, we had a pretty small roster this tier so we didn't really have much room to class stack, but I don't feel like there is a boss in particular that you would need say 7 warlocks to do, class balance was pretty decent this tier.

272 pulls, 6 days and a World First. With Lei Shen being the big dog in this expansion so far, how would you compare Garrosh to him?

Ashvael: I must admit I liked Lei Shen more. Lei Shen's last phase was just insane in the gear we had at the time.

Pacteh: Garrosh was really good, better than Lei Shen for sure. Lei Shen was only difficult in the final phase whereas Garrosh is pretty challenging in every phase.

Treckie: I would say Lei Shen was both more difficult in terms of dps requirement and personal skill involved. Garrosh had the unknown aspect of the heroic only phase that is a nice touch, but having it last is a bit weird to progress on, especially on such a long encounter.

Vykina: I definitely preferred Lei Shen, I feel like it required a lot more individual skill and DPS and the final phase of Lei Shen really was insane for the gear we had.

Was the extra Heroic phase a good one?

Pacteh: The heroic phase was the only letdown of this fight, it could have made it a lot harder. It only took a few attempts in the final phase to nail a strategy and then execute it.

Sco: It wasn’t particularly thrilling. It puts a lot of pressure on a handful of players (those that get the debuff and the Ironstar control) while the rest just smash their keyboards for DPS. I didn’t really like the Ironstar aspect at all to be honest – just didn’t feel like a great mechanic. The last phase was quite easy, but I guess without the dungeon journal you want it to be that way these days!

Treckie: It was pretty much what we expected tbh. We had no idea HOW it worked, but a few abilities had been datamined so we only needed a few pulls to test each mechanic to see if they worked the way we thought or not, and we were definitely in for some surprises there.

Vykina: The extra phase was pretty interesting to tackle since it isn't listed in the Journal, we had a basic idea of what might happen from datamined spells. It's an okay part of the fight, but not really anything that dazzling.

Where would you place him in the overall ranking of WoW endbosses?

Pacteh: Pretty close if not better than Ragnaros

Treckie: Its likely at least still in top 3 that I've ever done with Ragnaros as a solid first spot, Lei shen second and Garrosh third. I hesitate to include Lich King due to the limited attempt system even tho it was still a challenging boss, not to mention the stacking buff in that zone constantly making the encounter easier the later you killed him.

Vykina: Personally I didn't enjoy enjoy the Garrosh encounter as much as previous MoP endbosses, I liked Sha & Lei Shen a lot more, but overall it wouldn't make my top 5.

Take us through the timeline of your Garrosh attempts, the strategies, the weird attempts, and whether you thought that it wasn't doable at any point?

Ashvael: Progress on him was kinda funny. We were so sure about NEEDING to use Bloodlust in first transmission, then sure about having to use it in P2 till we realized we needed it in later phases always. There was a lot of maximizing damage throughout the encounter. I guess we were kinda worried at times that we'd need one more reset of gear but optimizing our strategy and DPS made sure we got the kill.

Pacteh: When we first saw the brain rooms we were pretty blown away by the amount of health the adds had and the damage of the casts; plus the fact you had to finish it in under 25 seconds. As soon as we were able to tune the dps to complete the first brain room in under 25 seconds everything became a lot easier.

Treckie: The best part about Garrosh progress was likely everyone's assumptions about how stuff had to be done, or how it was designed to be done. When we HAD to use bloodlust constantly changing, and us improving on every phase after each try making us optimize more and more all the time was a great sense of guild progress. Trying to kill adds with Ironstar was hilarious as well since they spell-reflected the damage they would have taken onto players, meaning that pushing them into the ironstar basically oneshot everyone who was targeted by an add. I think we say that a fight is unkillable every single tier, this tier we definitely said so about Blackfuse and Klaxxi, but I think we just overestimated them, and it was only said after like 10-20 pulls or when we hit a brick wall with the tactics we were using then. Oddly enough tho, I'm not sure I heard it much on Garrosh, we KNEW the boss would be hard, and of course some mechanics seemed very off, but we just tried finding new ways to get around them.

Vykina: I think we pretty much knew Garrosh was killable, the main strategy change was where we used Bloodlust, we found that as we got more experience on the fight and the more optimal we played, we could delay lust later and later in the fight to deal with other phases we had less practice on.

What's your favorite phase or ability of Garrosh's?

Treckie: Fav phase imo is P3, you have to deal with all of his abilities empowered at once, whenever the adds come out it always gets a bit exciting, while the first phase is just there to add time to the counter.

Vykina: My favourite part of Garrosh are probably the transition phases, it reminds me a lot of Challenge Modes, finding the fastest and most optimal way to clear it to keep Garrosh's energy levels low.

Was he particularly strategy intensive, was he more of a gear check or just a pure player skill type fight?

Ashvael: I think Garrosh will be all about gear. We had to push so hard at some points and the min-maxing of us through the progression was insane. Our DPS in one of the phases at the end of progression without Bloodlust was the same DPS we had in the beginning with Bloodlust.

Pacteh: Pretty much a gear check, as opposed to Klaxxi or Siegecrafter were individual mistakes can cause wipes. Garrosh will become a bit too easy with more gear I feel.

Treckie: More of a gearcheck than anything most likely, I don't think it's going to be very difficult to kill him during farm like Lei Shen. Still a bit of player skill and assignments involved of course.

Vykina: I don't think there is that much personal skill required for Garrosh, a huge part of it is just getting a solid strat and making a few DPS checks which will be made easier and easier with more resets of gear.

Was it a smooth experience, in terms of bugs?

Treckie: Thankfully the Garrosh encounter was pretty fleshed out from bugs and we could make solid progress slowly over time.

Vykina: The first 9 bosses didn't really have any noticeable issues, after that we had a few issues with Spoils randomly exploding as soon as the encounter started, Paragons had quite a few issues in the first day with random invisible damage one shotting players and abilities behaving unexpectedly. Garrosh only had a bug in phase one where the mobs would reflect the Iron Star damage back to you on 25HC, but that was fixed within a few days and didn't really affect our strategy.

Were there any stealth hotfixes during progression that forced you to change strats?

Treckie: Garrosh hotfixes were more about trying to reduce lag than anything else I think, no real changes to our strat had to be made, really it was all working properly I think.

Vykina: Aside from Thok, there were a few changes to Paragons of the Klaxxi to prevent random one shot abilities, so we were able to keep certain no longer bugged bosses up longer!

Funniest moment during progress?

Ashvael: Probably Leeds not knowing the term Fleshlight (NSFW) and confusing it with a flashlight during boring Garrosh wipes. While the rest of the guild kept laughing their asses off Leeds was assuring everyone "yes, of course I have used one. Like I was camping with my father in some forest.." There's nothing quite like Method's TeamSpeak during progression!

Treckie: Garrosh progress is a great highlight :P There are moments of less stress when people just talk fun stuff on teamspeak that involved quite a few interesting conversations, and I think I have to thank Leeds especially here for being involved in quite a few of the funniest moments (whether if he intended them to be or not XD).

Weirdest/funniest whispers during progress?

Treckie: Didn't quite have many weird whispers this tier, many people cheering for us all the time. I think the fact that our server has 1k queue made less people interested in creating a lvl 1 char just to whisper us random stuff. Big shoutout to all who cheered for us even after sitting in queue for a while tho!

What was the craziest tactic you tried, on any of the bosses?

Ashvael: On Thok the Bloodthirsty we were playing a cheesy strategy of never leaving Phase 1. We had 10 healers keeping us up through the whole fight. At around 35% the boss had 99 stacks of Acceleration and stopped gaining any more stacks. We felt incredibly safe for our kill but at 20% we wiped very suddenly without any enrage or the like happening. We were a little confused at first but then realized that Blizzard hotfixed the boss midfight and from this point onwards the Deafening Screech with >=30 stacks of Acceleration would deal three times the original damage! If you think the NSA is watching your every move, you haven't dealt with Blizzard's encounter designers yet!

What did your typical progress day look like, during the first week and then the second?

Ashvael: Wake up at 11:30, shower, eat, get in the raid at 12:00. Raid till 03:00. Sleep. Repeat. That was pretty much our basic schedule. We have lots of 5 minute breaks and a fixed 45 minute break at 19:00. During the first days and when pushing for kills the times vary a lot of course but our basic rule is around 8 hours sleep. I think a lot of guilds underestimate healthy sleeping schedules during progress!

Sco: Double Espresso -> Coffee -> Double Espresso -> Coffee -> Coffee -> (home from work) -> Monster all night -> REPEAT

Treckie: The first two weeks were pretty similar tbh. We had a pretty solid schedule we tried our best to maintain with food and breaks. We ALWAYS have at least 8hours between raids, many times 9-10 hours depending on a kill or not.
We had a day here and there that was started and ended slightly earlier/later, but overall still pretty similar up 'till the very last day when we started 18:30 instead of at 12:00, we were going for the kill tho so we felt pretty ok with it.

What was the class balance like in this tier? Any OP classes/speccs or less than useful ones?

Ashvael: 25m warlock raid would probably kill all bosses instantly?!

Pacteh: Warlock god class. All 3 spec's overpowered. Boomkin was, as always, pretty strong this tier.

Treckie: Warlocks!? Many classes were changed after the very first heroic week that changed progress a little bit, demo warlocks were nerfed a bit as was a certain warlock trinket. Some rogue and hunter speccs got buffed as well. A bit weird having so big changes come so soon, but i guess it's better now than in a month or two when people have completely geared out some classes. Shadowpriests after the nerf definitely become one of the least useful specs but we still used one so its all good.

Vykina: The class balance was pretty great this tier aside from Warlocks being vastly ahead and Shadows being behind again, it was nice to see melee DPS competing with ranged for once though!


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