•   Tuesday, July 16, 2024
World of Warcraft

WoW: Mythos World First Race - that's why it's so important for game & community

A short sentence ends the race for glory: "Tanks kiten in 3. .. 2... 1..." What follows sounds to listeners like a longship full of drunken Vikings firing howling New Year's Eve rockets at a herd of burning dinosaurs. If you'd like to hear what pure joy sounds like, we highly recommend watching the moment when the Limit guild wins the World First race around N'Zoth - in mythical mode, of course. The final race of this expansion was unusually gripping, as Limit set its sights on ending Method's domination.

Table of Contents1

. To the limit in the World First Race in WoW2. The Olympus of games3. All aboard, the hypetrain pulls in4. War of the bugs - Bugs and the World First Race5. Small disasters and big emotionsNaturally

, this in itself was nothing special, because the top guilds always want to win, but the course of the race was very different from what WoW players have been used to. But why are we always drawn to the screen to watch someone else play our favorite game better than we do - and at a level that mere mortals can't approach until they put on Thanos' Infinity Gauntlet? We shed light on the mythos of the World First Race by opening its hood and taking a long look at what keeps it running. To do so, we'll first give a brief rundown of the race's process and its participants, make a quick stop on the emotional level, and finally get to the technical implications of broadcasting World First Races. So get comfortable in your gaming chair, put on your fan shirt and join us for a little dive into the business of gaming as well as the hell of quality assurance. You'll have to bring your own energy drinks and chips, though. Due to the enormous publicity from the top guilds, the race for N'Zoth was extremely present this time even for players who were not interested. Source: Method

To the limit in the World First Race in WoW

The team comes before
World First Races are especially interesting because every part of the team has to function smoothly. All the top guilds keep repeating the mantra that damage is important - but team play comes before damage meters.
Eyes on the boss!Some headlines just write themselves. However, once you stay serious, that's exactly what happened: Limit consistently broke through its own limits at the speed of sound, not only taking the World First title during the race, but sacrificing and evolving as a guild and organization to do so. In a nutshell, after Limit's North Americans became the first team in the world to defeat N'Zoth in mythic mode after ten days and a whopping two hundred and seventy-four attempts, the guild finally brought a World First back to the US in ten years. The Europeans of the previously almost invincible guild Method, however, were sportive and admitted that Limit was simply better this time. The

races in this expansion were even more exciting than in the previous expansions, because with the start of Uldir Method decided to stream its attempts on Twitch - for the absolute super alpha top guild of Azeroth this was a premiere, because until now a strict obligation of silence applied, so as not to reveal strategies to competitors and thus give up their own advantage


The campaign, which was supported by MSI and Red Bull, was such a success that other guilds followed suit. With the Eternal Palace, Limit also opened its channels and showed live how to deal with Azshara. Both guilds put up a tough fight, but Method pulled ahead of Limit on Azshara. What made the broadcast special, however, was something completely different: Limit was the first top guild ever to broadcast the raid leaders' instructions given via voice chat. It was a bold move, because the Americans' strategies were so open and comprehensible that all they had to do was follow them. Method prevailed over Limit in Queen Azshara by an excellent game - the head-to-head race was extremely exciting for spectators! Source: Method Nevertheless, Limit continued its livestreams and became the first guild with an open voice channel to earn a World First. Congratulations! On the way to the winner's podium, however, Limit's brave warriors had to overcome one obstacle or another. And this time, no prisoners were taken. The announcement that the guild was more than two hundred and fifty million gold in debt caused casual gamers to turn their own wallets on their backs and go into suicide. To put it all in perspective: If you convert the amount of gold, at the current rate for WoW tokens, you get close to forty thousand euros. That's about enough to buy a solid car or play Ark Age: Legacy for a week.

The Olympus of Games

Meanwhile, thousands and thousands of players around the world sit on the couch at every race and follow the progress of their favorite, sighing sympathetically at every mistake and erupting in cheers when the boss finally falls. The whole thing bears no small resemblance to various major sporting events that are broadcast only once a year - complete with chips, beer and flags. Even though the popularity of the streams is growing, the question still remains for many players as to why their guildmates are spending their valuable time watching someone else play. And more importantly, why such an effort is being made around Mythic World ridges when the members of the top guilds have little to do with the average player. After all, an overwhelming majority of players won't even see the heroic version of N'Zoth until Shadowlands hits the servers; the league that top mythic guilds are in is as far from the average player as the average person is from the surface of Neptune. The preparation alone required to participate in such a race is so time and money intensive that one can no longer speak of a "game" in the true sense of the word: Every waking minute is spent in hard trading, drills and in various calculating programs. Once things get going, the physical stress is similar in intensity to that of a car race. Should you make a misstep, your teammates will of course support and catch you, because you are all professionals. But in the back of your mind gnaws the knowledge that you've just cost your guild valuable time. You are an investment, so you need to prove your worth. Playing here is a privilege and a place in Olympus is highly coveted. One more choke and your comrades will give you doubtful looks. Get better or make room for someone who can handle the pressure. Perform. More power! You could be better, so train when you're not making progress! So what? Are you already having fun?

If the answer to that question is no, then maybe you doubters know why so many players follow World First Races even though you can't do anything with them: great drama and a game at its absolute performance limit are always interesting. And when it comes to World of Warcraft (buy it now for €14.99), an overwhelming proportion of the audience is well aware of the game, its complex mechanics, and the enormous administrative overhead involved in a World First Try. If we take King Football as a counter-example, we are of course also sitting spellbound in front of the TV, cheering for our favorite athletes - in the knowledge that most of what goes on behind the scenes will never see the light of day. We only get to see the circus on the pitch and ponder a bit about tactics, player trades and promotions and relegations. Someone interested in raids will be cheering along at Limit's livestream not just because the spectacle on screen is spectacular, but because they understand it mechanically and planning-wise in its entirety. The resource battles don't take place in a closed back room, but are live for the viewer to see: every flask, feast, and potion represents lost capital after a wipe. Every shred of armor was bought through server transfers and absolutely absurd prices. Every second of hesitation costs valuable damage. And just because we can fully comprehend what is happening, something magical happens in our minds that is guaranteed not to happen when watching a soccer match: The thought occurs to us, "I could learn to do that, too." A successful raid in WoW is of a completely different caliber on mythic level - only very few people manage that right after release. Source: buffed

Aversion: Made in Germany

The logo of the guild Aversion Source: Aversion In the international games media, when it comes to guild origins, the talk is almost exclusively of the US, Europs and Asia. That's a bit of a rough division and leaves out some guilds in terms of coverage, which is why we're taking a stand for a bunch of talented raiders at this point: The guild "Aversion" proves again and again to be the best progess guild in Germany and also clears up internationally properly. The special thing about the guild is not its success, but its background: Where Method and Limit, as absolute full-time players, can concentrate exclusively on the race, the working and studying population also participates to a large extent in Aversion. Those who shudder at the thought of using their vacation days for a World First Race are certainly not wrong: Recreation looks different.The

statement given in advance by guild leader Nexx was kept


They were aiming for a place in the top ten, because a top five finish for Aversion was unrealistic. The guild then took ninth place, finishing ahead of the Chinese guild Chao Jie. We're already excited about the races in Shadowlands, and we've already taken our Aversion jerseys out of the closet.

All aboard, the hypetrain

is pulling in

We hope this has at least given the militant stream-deniers among you a little insight into the mind of a World First viewer. Just think of the difference as that between a game and a hobby: If you play golf as a game, you go to the course once a month, pick up a rental club, and have fun hitting a few balls. Those who practice golf as a hobby, on the other hand, buy their own clubs, stand on the course every other day, and ponder various techniques with their fellow athletes. The first player probably won't do much with a golf tournament on TV, while the second will most likely invite his friends over and bake little golf ball-shaped cupcakes as snacks. Both enjoy their game, but spend their time playing it differently.


very obvious benefit related to the two types of players is, of course, the publicity that a World First race brings. MMORPGs, as a game concept, are even more dependent than live service models on being permanently present in people's minds. Events in the sense of a race for the world first kill are always good for attracting new players and keeping old players engaged. Even those of you who are not interested in the race have heard about it and have your own opinion about it. Whenever there is an exchange of opinions in forums or a comment column, World of Warcraft slides a little further forward in your consciousness. We're very happy that this new, more accessible way of World First has been so well received, because it keeps our favorite game in the conversation longer. Whether it's positive or negative, ongoing discourse is extremely important to the survival of an online role-playing game. So the question many fans are asking is: why wasn't there an official sponsorship from Blizzard at this point? With the launch of the "open book" policy of the two top guilds, a support or at least a dignified nod from the official side would have been a smart idea ... right? The answer to this question is relatively easy and plays into the next big item on our list. Method is already professional, but what would the World First Race in WoW look like with official Blizzard support? Source: Method/Runtime Perhaps in the future we'll look back on these lines and wonder how we could have been so wrong, but generally speaking, making a Word First Race an official event, say along the lines of Dreamhack, would be a legal, logistical, and staffing nightmare for Blizzard. The first and most important point is that no one knows how long the whole thing will last: N'Zoth withstood its conquerors for a full ten days, with raid times of up to twelve hours a day. Now imagine the effort it would take to make it an official event, and you've invented a new kind of hell that would easily find a place in Dante's Divine Comedy. This means that the races will continue to be an event (albeit a high-class one) by players for players - and that very much suits the tastes of the masses. Free publicity for World of Warcraft, exciting clutch moments during the Trys, and big news stories going through all the relevant websites: As a WoW fan, you can hardly ask for more from your personal Superbowl. The second and (we fibbed) even more important point is that World First Races practically resemble the construction of a highway. Anyone reading these lines will pretty much follow the exact path that Limit and Method have already taken. And we don't just mean using the strategies that the guilds have figured out. We mean the sacrifice that the pioneers of WoW make in every race for first place: We mean the bugs.

War of the Bugs - Bugs and the World First Race

As soon as the race for the mythical World First starts, the engines howl in Blizzard's quality assurance department. Alarm sirens can be heard in the distance, the clinking of coffee cups sliding off the table shatters the idyll, and the Quality controllers nod grimly at each other. At the exact moment the first blade and fireball hits the first boss of a new mythic raid, the keyboard warriors of the top guilds make an important contribution to the public good on Azeroth: they are the ones who are the first to experience all the bugs, exploits and design mistakes and have to deal with them willy-nilly. All subsequent raids owe their (hopefully) working bosses and (usually) balanced fights to the heroic efforts of the top one percent who bravely throw themselves into the firing line for you. Even if the whole thing isn't done out of a selfless motivation, of course, the rest of Azeroth benefits enormously from it. With the immense pace and relentless effort that the top guilds demand of each other, Blizzard's QA has no choice but to clear everything that comes out of the woodwork with eyes wide open and fingers twirling.
N'Zoth, the old purple pimple, has tried to change reality through a whole volley of bugs in WoW and snatch victory from Limit after all. Source: Blizzard Discussion about the "extra day"
Some regions get access to new raids twelve to twenty-four hours before everyone else. This causes the starting conditions to be unequal and the race loses a lot of its fairness.
Whether Blizzard will remedy this is unclear at this time.During this race, for example, Limit's progression was delayed when, at twenty-five percent in the N'Zoth fight, a portal opened up that would normally herald the boss's secret phase; along with the associated barrier around N'Zoth. The guild changed their entire strategy so that they were guaranteed to use the portal when it appeared, and didn't look bad on their next attempt when the barrier and portal failed to appear. Blizzard hastily wrote an email explaining that there was no second secret phase, but from a quarter of the life bar, there would be a damage race to the end. Limit lost valuable time due to the hotfix being applied at full speed, but fortunately was still able to win the race. The so-called "on the fly" tuning of bosses is not uncommon and very effectively demonstrates to the viewer how clean the mythical raid actually is that we go through compared to the top guilds.

The whole thing usually leads to a lot of entertaining drama, as the famous Lich King scandal also proves: At the time of patch 3.3.2, Ensidia defeated Arthas and was subsequently stripped of the title by Blizzard because they used an exploit - which Blizzard, however, only removed via hotfix after World First! The argument for the penalty is certainly the simple use of an exploit. The argument against it is that Ensidia simply used the opportunities the game offered them, no more and no less. The exploit in question was unintentionally triggered by the rogue Naihiko (according to him) when he used Saronite Bombs as part of his regular rotation. Blizzard, according to the critics, should have reacted faster in such a prestigious title as World First if they saw the "feature" as a bug. So, as you can see, World First races not only serve to eliminate bugs, but also raise interesting fundamental questions that dramatically affect the course of future races and the mastery of raids themselves. For the curious, Ensidia permanently lost its title to Paragon, while the broad mass of players concluded that Blizzard was indeed the main culprit. If you don't test your raids properly, you shouldn't be surprised if they don't work properly. Ensidia's action was so notorious that you can now defeat the "Lichen King" with a "Sporonite Bomb" in the Storm Angle Valley in WoW. Source: buffed

Small disasters and big emotions

Table of contents1

. To the limit at the World First Race in WoW2. The Olympus of the games3. All aboard, the hypetrain pulls in4. War of the bugs - Bugs and the World First Race5. Small disasters and big emotionsWe

love World First Races because they are a microcosm of the entire game turned up to

the max:

Everything is harder, faster, and more intense. The bugs are more dramatic, each bug causes hundreds of gray hairs to shoot out of the raid leader's skull, and communication with Blizzard is succinct within minutes rather than buried under pages of patch notes. In the streams, you can practically hear the players' concentrated efforts as a low hum in the background, and the subsequent victory frenzy puts at least a small smile on every fan's face. You may or may not be interested in it, you may think the races are a waste of resources or you may see them as the real purpose of the game - but what we can guarantee you is that without the competition of the game gods, the game would be missing a lot. Wanting to take a peek into the world of the absolute WoW elite has been a part of Azeroth since the vanilla days, when we still looked on in awe at the warrior with his epic battle armor of power. Nowadays, when we do it live in front of the TV screen with friends, beer and popcorn in hand, it's not a bad sign; on the contrary, a little World Cup atmosphere perks up tired players and lifts their spirits. And maybe you'll even meet at a public viewing in the next expansion? In any case, we hope you have fun waving the flag! And don't forget your beer helmet.

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