World First

As a guild, we thought that Battle Of Dazar’Alor had the potential to be one of the best raids in a long time.

The bosses looked very cool visually and had interesting mechanics for the most part. As we were heading to bed before the reset we were saying: “They’ll probably kill the first three bosses with no problems, but Opulence, Conclave, and Rastakhan could be difficult.” 

So it was quite a surprise to us when we saw Limit and other North American guilds pushing through the bosses so fast on day one. It’s not like we thought Rastakhan would be a huge block, but it went down much faster than we thought.

It sounds arrogant, but when we see the North American guilds nuking down bosses, we know that we will also be able to kill them very quickly. Obviously, it’s concerning when your main rival knocks out most of the raid in one day, but we knew we would match them, and then push them on the difficult bosses.

In the past, the final three bosses of the raid would take 100+ pulls each, ramping upwards. BoD continued the trend away from this, with Mekkatorque going down really quickly, and comparatively, Jaina being the biggest wall.

The only concern we had at the time was that there wasn’t going to be a wall at all. By the end of day one, our hopes were that the difficulty was back-loaded onto Stormwall Blockade and Jaina.

The key to our overall strategy is very much based on proper preparation.

Usually, during heroic week, we take Monday or Tuesday to go through every boss and make sure that our strategy is solid. The problem this time around was that heroic week was very busy and stressful for us. Our preparation, tactics-wise, suffered because of that.

That’s what lead to the issue at High Tinker Mekkatorque. We had to use more attempts on Mythic just to figure out how we want to play the fight, rather than heading in with a clear and solid plan.

We also simply forgot about one of the mechanics of the fight. We knew about the damage reduction on the shrink, but we just didn’t think about it. The first time we realized the problem was when our tanks couldn’t get enough threat on the boss due to the damage reduction. It was a very poor performance from us, and it put us very far behind.

Thankfully for us, Limit was slightly delayed on Stormwall Blockade because of a bug. By the time we got to the boss, it was fixed. Limit was already on Jaina at that point, which added a little bit of pressure for us.

At no point were we ever feeling as though we were in a hurry though.

We know that the final boss can take days, even weeks, to kill. It was all about sticking to the process. The same process that saw us take World First in Uldir when things looked bleak too.

Method shines when the going gets tough. We are not perfect, there are some moments when we make mistakes and struggle to kill bosses, but when guilds are spending multiple days on one boss, that’s where we hit our stride. 

It’s what kept us going. Knowing that our best was yet to come.

A lot of people seem to try and “sabotage” the morale of the guild by claiming that our rivals are way ahead of us, so we learned to just ignore it completely. We don’t spend a lot of time entertaining any of the rumours from Twitch chat or personal messages and such.

There are some members in the guild, myself included, who tend to look at other guilds and wonder how they are doing, but as a whole, it doesn’t bother us much.

When the news came out about Limit reaching phase 3, we decided to ignore it as well. We don’t gain anything from that information, it doesn’t make us suddenly play better or understand how to kill the boss. We just had to keep going with our usual process.

Our usual process can be a little frustrating for people watching!

Method is a guild that figures out a strategy before the fight and uses the attempts to make sure everyone can apply that strategy. This is a different process from some other guilds, who prefer to put a lot of attempts into a boss rather than spending too much time talking about tactics. There isn’t a “correct” approach, we just do what works for us.

Whenever we have a good attempt and get more information on a fight, we take a break. Scripes is the king of boss theory and leads the discussion during those breaks. Everyone has the chance to give their input, but Scripes is the guy who lays out the master plan.

On the Saturday night, we went to sleep with no idea whatsoever on how we were going to kill the boss. It wasn’t until Sunday that Scripes had enough information to do the maths and figure out: “We actually have enough damage to nuke the boss and ignore the elemental in phase three”

What a moment that was. The excitement in the guild was amazing. We had the plan. We just needed a little more gear and time to execute it.

We went into heroic splits to farm a little more gear. We were all really excited about figuring out the plan,  but we didn’t want to give that away to Limit, who would probably be watching the stream. So we were told to look like we were annoyed or upset, just to throw them off the trail a little!

By Monday there had been some progression, but not enough. The kill was coming, it just needed more time. That’s when Blizzard hot-fixed the Elemental to counter our strategy.

That was the first time that I personally thought we might actually lose the race. The mood in the group changed in an instant, and the officers called a stop to attempts while we went back to the spreadsheets, trying to figure out another plan. We floated some ideas, but there wasn’t a lot of confidence in any of them.

Thankfully, Blizzard reverted the hotfix within a couple of hours, and while we lost a lot of time, it meant that our strategy was viable again. We were back in it.

At the very end, we knew that we were extremely close to a kill. If it didn’t happen when it did, it would have happened within the next couple of hours anyway. The math checked out, the plan was solid, and it just required perfect execution with a little bit of luck from the boss herself.

I would define a “very hard” boss as one that takes 400+ attempts. Normal end bosses tend to take between 300 and 400. Jaina took us 346. She wasn’t on the level of the likes of Archimonde or Kil’jaeden, but she was difficult in her own way.

The real challenge came from Limit, who once again pushed us to perform at our very best. Whilst we were always confident in our ability to win the race to world first, it wasn’t out of the question that Limit could easily capitalize on any mistakes we made.

That’s what makes the race interesting, for both the spectators and the competitors. So thank you, Limit. Thank you, Red Bull, for letting us bring this amazing race to the masses in such a fun way, and thank you to all the Method fans who put their faith in us. I’m glad we could secure another win for you.

See you next tier.

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