Update July 5, 2017: As we enter the second week of progress raiding on Tomb of Sargeras, WoW's latest raid, only the final boss hasn't been claimed - though only one guild has got that far.
With the second week of a new WoW raid comes a slightly awkward transition for those pushing to be the first to beat it - they've got to go through everything they've done all over again. It does mean a second chance at more loot, however. For most, it will be a quick trip back to grinding their face against Avatar of Sargeras, which is proving especially difficult for all but one squad.
Read more about World of Warcraft raiding in our interview with some of the top guilds just before the last raid opened.
Method, one of the most consistent guilds in the world for pushing world firsts, managed to down Avatar just before the reset after 453 attempts. They were quite happy about it (headphone warning):
They were the only ones to do so, with Russian guild and joint-favourites for getting the whole thing done, Exorsus, lagging behind. Both Method and Exorsus, along with a few others, have now gotten back to Avatar in the second week of raiding and will be looking to move onto Kil'Jaeden as soon as possible.
The roadblock of Avatar - with around 30 guilds getting stuck there - has made the race an interesting one. It now essentially all comes down to two bosses, with Method having the upper hand of already knowing they can beat one of them. It's made it far more open than other races in Legion's lifetime, and could lead to an extreme upset. While a little out of date now that the boss has been killed, this post outlines why Avatar is quite so challenging.
Rumour has it that the hotfix patch applied during the reset actually made Avatar harder, by making some Rogue abilities less effective at ignoring his damage output. There hasn't been confirmation of this elsewhere, but the same patch had similar changes to another boss that made it a little more tricky on reclears too.
For full details, do check Method's own progress tracking website. Kill videos for Avatar and eventually big ol' KJ should arrive once five or so guilds have got them down - that could be a while at this rate.
Original Story June 28, 2017: Those who have been following the most recent World of Warcraft expansion, Legion, will know the community's been particularly watching the progression race this time around. That's the unofficial competition between the world’s best players to be the first guild or group to clear a new raid once it is released.
Tomb of Sargeras’ Mythic version - the hardest the game has to offer and the one on which all pride is put - was released today, kicking off this race for the fourth time in the expansion.
It's something of a two-horse competition this time round, as many of the top competitors from the Nighthold - including one of the guilds we interviewed in the link above - have given up on hardcore progress raiding. Method and Exorsus, who have three of the four world firsts this expansion so far, are front runners and likely to take the crown.
So far, US guilds (who get a decent head start due to the timing of patches being deployed) have cleared five of the nine bosses in Tomb of Sargeras. This is fairly standard for the first day of Mythic raiding, though it's one more than might normally be expected before the roadblocks - bosses that require incredible execution to defeat without massively overwhelming gear, and sometimes even with. Method and Exorsus have gotten to three bosses down at speed, which is where it gets a tad harder, but expect them to be pushing six before the day is out.
It’s easiest to follow the race on Method’s own site, where a couple of dedicated writers keep things updated from multiple sources. Obviously they’re pulling for one team but there’s not a hint of bias anywhere it might matter. WoWProgress and Raider.io also provide a decent quick-check service.
Current leaders, the immaculately named Big Dumb Guild, were streaming their attempts yesterday. They won’t be day raiding today (the term for doing it instead of school, work, etc) but expect them to kick off again once other responsibilities are out of the way. Death Knight tank Mes was a chill one to watch and should be back this evening. Various others can be found through the WoW page on Twitch.
If you've ever wondered how Blizzard put together these fiendish challenges, check out our recent interview with Morgan Day, raid designer. "Wipes are great," he says, but he's not a sadist or anything.