A few days ago Blizzard announced that there would be "light" raid testing coming this week and that "proper" testing would start next week. As you can imagine, with only three guilds having finished Mythic Nighhold and considering how important raid testing is for the top guilds, the competitive raiding community wasn't too thrilled with the announcement. Watcher talked about this issue in the raid testing announcement post, but didn't really give much hope to the guilds, other than saying that they don't really have to test them this early and that Tomb of Sargeras isn't coming out that soon:
Q: Raid testing already? Only a handful of guilds have even finished Mythic Nighthold! Are you out of your damn minds?
A: We realize this is coming right on the heels of plenty of raid content on the live servers, and that competitive guilds feel like they need to get every bit of exposure to upcoming content in order to be properly prepared. It's not ideal timing, but it's a consequence of the way we're structuring our content releases, and something we're looking for ways to improve and continue to refine over the course of Legion. As we've said in the past, Tomb of Sargeras will not be available right when 7.2 unlocks, and a quest arc (akin to the 7.1 Suramar Insurrection campaign) will lead up to its opening. We certainly do not want to rush players through content faster than they can enjoy it - Nighthold is going to be the premiere raid for some time to come.
But Tomb of Sargeras, at least as far as art assets, and most descriptive text, voice overs, and so forth goes, needs to be in patch 7.2 data. That means we need to begin testing it far earlier, relative to the date when the raid will actually go live, than we have in past expansions. But this week's test is just dipping our toes in the water to assess the stability of the overall testing environment, identify class bugs or server issues that might hinder raid testing, and get the process started.
These two bosses will be retested in the future, and likely more than once. There are weeks of raid testing to come, and it's exceedingly likely that testing for numerical tuning purposes and bug fixing will occur in a PTR environment even after 7.2 is on the live servers. If you can log on this Friday to help us test, that's of course much appreciated, but if not, please rest assured that there will be plenty of additional opportunities to come.
And, here's the actual schedule for tomorrow's raid testing:
On Friday, February 10, we will be conducting a preliminary raid test of two Tomb of Sargeras Heroic bosses. This is as much a stress test and server-stability test as anything else, and these bosses will be revisited later on.
Remember that Heroic difficulty scales for any group size between 10 and 30 players, so feel free to assemble and bring a group of any size within that range. Mythic, of course, requires a fixed 20-player group.
Friday, February 10
Gornoth - Heroic Tomb of Sargeras
13:00 PST (16:00 EST, 22:00 CET)
Harjatan - Heroic Tomb of Sargeras
14:00 PST (17:00 EST, 23:00 CET)
As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a PTR environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session, change the bosses being tested, or cancel a test entirely, due to bugs, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.
Q: How do I get into the raid zone?
A: In Dalaran, Orgrimmar, or Stormwind, you may speak to Nexus-Lord Donjon Rade Sr. in order to teleport into the raid zone while it is open for testing. (The option to teleport into a zone will not be available when the zone is not open for testing.)
Q: What character should I use to test the raid?
A: Whichever you prefer. We will be scaling players' effective level to 110 for raid testing, and their item level to an appropriate threshold for the encounter(s) being tested. For 7.2 raid testing, we'll be granting players all the new 7.2 artifact traits IF players have done the quest to reveal those new traits. Complete the Broken Shore intro experience in order to access this quest.
Q: How long does testing last?
A: The primary purpose of testing is to give us the information we need to balance the encounters, evaluate how mechanics are playing out in practice, and identify bugs. Once we're satisfied that we've received that information for a given boss, we'll be shutting down testing. Usually this takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, but there are no guarantees.