Since the days of Molten Core the top raiding guilds have been racing each other for world-first kills on new content. Some have streamed parts of their progress, but even then new encounters were more often than not excluded from this as to not give the competition a leg up.

So when EU-based guild Method announced they’d be streaming all of their trip through Mythic Uldir, that was pretty cool even for a casual follower like me. That they then went on and got the first clear, adding the 10th such trophy to their cabinet, well that’s just bad-ass.

 

 

I have raided in the past, but world-firsts were never a serious concern of mine. You raided because that’s what guilds do and you killed bosses for loot and to determine your guild’s place on the realm’s totem pole.

Because of this secrecy and its status as just being part of guild life, raiding was never a spectator sport. Yet that may be exactly what Method’s created. There was humor, there was drama. Strategies were about more than dps-ing really quicklike or boss mechanics alone (it was their decision not to re-clear, forgoing new gear for more time on the final boss, that cost US guild Limit the crown). It was almost two weeks of diverse entertainment that you could tune in to at any time, not unlike any other big tournament in esports.

I’ve missed the birth of the Mythic Dungeon Invitational due to my WoW break, but I wonder what this’ll do for the All-Stars viewership at BlizzCon. Even with the different format I know I’ll be tuning in. And Method? Props, I’ll be seeing you in Zuldazar.

Isn’t this always how it is? First you wait weeks for the PvP season to start and then, when it hits, you get swamped by work. It probably doesn’t help I picked this week to start another thing either. Anyway, the result is that I’ve been unable to get much time in in either Arena or Battle Ground and, while I have obtained a Warfront quest, that’s about as far as that goes.

Fortunately for people like me, Blizzard has thought of these things while designing the Conquest system. Apparently, if you don’t reach the week’s cap before the reset, you won’t lose accumulated Conquest points and remain eligible for the week’s reward for another 2 weeks.

While it does make me feel a little casual, this week it’s welcome news indeed. Blizzard’s also explained that the item level of the loot you receive will be based on the highest rating you achieved in the previous week. This means you could reach Duelist rank, then drop down to Rival and still receive Duelist quality loot for that week. If you were Duelist before, but achieve Gladiator after receiving your reward, you can use a Battleborn Sigil to boost the item’s level to the rating associated with your new rank.

If that all sounds a tad complicated, it’s because it probably is, as even Blizzard’s design team acknowledges. We’re likely to see more updates on the system in the future, but for now rest assured that there’s no need for grinding deeply into the night just yet.

Unless that’s what you enjoy of course, in which case carry on.

Well, if you’re in the US of A that is. Today the Uldir raid becomes available to our overseas friends, with their new PvP season kicking off as well. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s disappointed about this (because there’s someone disappointed about every single thing WoW-related somewhere these days), but us EU folk will have to wait one more day and global launches be damned.

While we do so, however, here are your preparatory raiding guides courtesy of WowheadIcy Veins and MMO-Champion. This also feels like a good time to mention the Resurgent 6v6 Rated Battleground League, which will kick off next week at the same time as the Arena World Championship Fall Season does.

I hope it’s comforting to know that, while we may have to wait a little longer, there’s plenty of action coming up. See you out there, GL HF and For the faction-of-your-denomination!

I’ve been playing the class for a good two weeks now and a few things have (anecdotally) become apparent.

– Retribution paladins are fairly survivable and do ok damage. They pay for this in mobility however. At first I was like “What would I ever need Cavalier for?” Then I realized it was to run away from mages with. Just kidding, you can’t run away from mages.

– I like the priority system at the basis of our rotation, it gives you (the appearance of) choices to make. AoE feels rather weak unless there’s quite a few enemies about however, but I understand this was an intentional change. The cooldowns.. kind of suck. I know that this was a change as well and maybe I just need more practice, but I tend to go through periods of unavailable abilities when fights go long which I dislike.

Nobody knows how the PvP scaling works. Part of me suspects Blizzard just does this kind of thing because they’re Blizzard. Regardless, either only item level matters or item level and secondary stats matter. Fortunately, our secondary stats are all pretty close in value. Having experimented with them, my favor leans towards Haste for reasons of sustainability (see aforementioned cooldowns), although Noxxic feels differently on the topic. And a lot of other guides feel differently about that. The Light may be Truth, but us paladins, we like to muck about.

– What we do know is that, even if unclear about the weight their stats give, trinket and trait procs do matter. Of these, apparently only those which directly increase your stats or damage stack, secondaries don’t. I’m not sure which traits I like best, but then I haven’t received the best of gear yet. This is something I’ll need to work on but, with the value of PvP rewards being contested, it looks like I’m probably going to need to start raiding for that as well.

Anybody want to fill in at work for a few weeks?

As expected with the expansion just out, this week’s Gamescom didn’t bring much news about World of Warcraft. We did however get the final Warbringers video telling the tale of Queen Azshara and her naga.

 

 

Azshara is set to be the boss of BfA’s second raid and, from the looks of it, we may be revisiting the Old Gods next.

Aside from this reveal there was an online Developer Q&A with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas, which talked about the scaling issue (since then he’s also posted about it in greater depth here) and some of the other concerns people’ve been having.

Overall it was pretty tame fare, but luckily USgamer has a great retrospective on near 20 years of WoW development. It’s on the lengthy side, but should hold you over until new things start happening in a week or so.