With the release of 7.1.5 came the new raid Nighthold, the second full tier of raiding and gear for the latest Warcraft expansion, Legion. Ushering in the current tier of raiding, the race for world first to kill Gul’dan began with the top raiding guilds in WoW. With the AP grind to reach the extra talent points in the 35th artifact weapon traits, it has changed the playing field for quite a number of top guilds; some having dropped from the race after either achieving their mythic kills, or bowing out before reaching the end.
For the first boss Skorpyron, the top five for the world was dominated by US guilds, with SNF getting world first, followed by Easy, Midwinter, Pew Pew and Joy Club respectively. The US dominating trend continued with Chromatic Anomaly and Trilliax, with Limit taking world first for Spellblade Aluriel, and three EU guilds quickly following with catching up to be included in the top 5. Limit kept their lead for Tichondrius and onward to Krosus, becoming the only US based guild to reach the top 5 for both, while falling to second for High-Botanist Tel’aran behind Serenity (EU) and fifth for Star-Augur Etraeus, with Serenity still in the lead.
With a seeming brick wall of difficulty with guilds upon reaching the second to final boss Grand-Magistrix Elisande, US guilds were completely swept out of the top 5, with Serenity holding their world first lead, followed by Exorsus, Method, From Scratch and FatSharkYes rounding up the top 5 with quick succession. Finally, after a long struggle (248 wipes) Exorsus claimed the world first for Nighthold with their Gul’dan kill, followed by Serenity around 16 hours later (347 wipes), with Method, From Scratch and Limit taking third through fifth respectively.
Of course, as with all raid tiers, the climb did not come without sabotage attempts or cries of bug exploitation. Most notably for the Nighthold raid, a now former member of Method teamed up with a friend to lock Serenity out of their Nighthold raid ID, citing a prior attack on the Tarren Mill (EU) server — where Method is located — saying that it was “in retaliation for the time lost”. Method has removed said member from their guild, and stated this person worked alone. Actions like this strike a cord in the Warcraft community as a whole, especially in the raiding scene; the lengths people will go to in order to prevent others from participating in the race that so many watch with bated breath, rooting for their favorite streamer, raider or raid team.
While these top guilds put in grueling hours, deal with roster changes, frustration and sometimes sabotage, it obviously does take its toll at one point or another. As such, some of even those top guilds have recently announced that they are now bowing out of the hardcore progression scene. Exorsus, Midwinter, and SNF, your achievements and knowledge are appreciated by the community, and maybe someday we will see you all return to hardcore raiding, in one form or another.