WoW Insider was joined for this interview by Treckie, who is the main tank and plays a paladin, Sparkuggz and Gabzz who both play Warlocks, Noxe who plays a rogue, Sonie, who's a restoration shaman, and Leeds who plays an elemental shaman.
How did Garrosh compare to the other fights in the tier? Was he the most challenging boss?
Sparkuggz: It was a long fight, but not hard per se. I feel like Siegecrafter, especially if people didn't exploit the belt and put people up twice in a row, would be rated as a harder fight. All last bosses of the expansion felt nice though, because you had the feeling that everytime you hit a new fight you hit a new wall.
Gabzz: He wasn't the most challenging in term of fight mechanics, but progression on him was hard due to multiple phases and fight length.
Treckie: Most challenging for sure, considering the other "hard" fights were done with a reset, less gear and still less tries than Garrosh. It proves he took a lot more to get down.
Noxe: If we talk only about challenging mechanics then definitely not. Tuning however was very well done, except for phase 4 which was undertuned in my opinion.
Leeds: Definitely not the most challenging. Would rate him as 3rd behind Siegecrafter and Klaxxi. The length definitely makes him hard but the personal skill requirement is not thaaaat much even though a single f*** up by one player can basically wipe the raid.
Treckie: It surely hit a wall after Thok, although we didn't have issues with him ourselves seeing as he died in fewer pulls than Malkorok. Difficulty of the first 8 bosses however was not very high, I guess it can work out great for slower progressing guilds, but for us it was Christmas getting lots of loot! :P
Sparkuggz: Once you hit Spoils of Pandaria the difficulty started to climb up. But you sort of hit the real wall at Siegecrafter, it could have been a bit more spread so the hard part of the instance started around Malkorok instead of on the last bosses. Waking up to 9 bosses dead was quite overwhelming and knowing that each boss took around 1 to 3 tries to kill was a bit too easy.
Noxe: Difficulty curve felt right with the exception of Nazgrim which might as well be 2nd boss of SoO. From a hardcore guild raider perspective, first 8 bosses were a good warm-up and only after that it got real.
Leeds: In my opinion there was no real challenge until we hit Siegecrafter. The first 8 bosses were an absolute walk in the park and definitely too easy even for early in the instance. The following 3 (Malkorok, Spoils and Thok) were definitely significantly harder tuned and gave me high expectations for the rest. Completely excluding the massive amount of bugs we experienced during the last 3 bosses, they were all really sick fights and correctly tuned -- maybe Garrosh could have been a bit harder.
Gabzz: Blizzard really achieved their difficulty curve for the end of the instance. From the 9th to the last boss, each one required more progression than the previous one. The first 8 were too easy in my opinion, even for early bosses.
How did the Garrosh fight compare to Lei Shen, or the first tier of the expansion?
Treckie: Garrosh was definitely a harder fight than all in the beginning of MoP, Sha of Fear took a few days and quite a few pulls due to its length as well, but mainly due to the many bugs in the encounter before the fix that made it killable. Compared to Lei Shen, Garrosh was a bit easier, even though it's a longer fight and there are many opportunities to screw up. Garrosh was likely too much like its normal mode version, but still a pretty good fight, except that it still fails at being interesting the first part. Gets interesting soon enough though.
Sparkuggz: Garrosh was decently tuned, it was better then the instance of MSV, HoF and ToES, on par with Lei Shen, but maybe a bit worse. They could have made the last phase harder though, it just felt like a long fight without many places to f*** up.
Noxe: Lei Shen was more challenging and therefore a "better" end boss than Garrosh in my opinion. Sha of Fear however, not really. So if i were to rate those 3 encounters I'd go for Lei Shen > Garrosh > Sha of Fear.
Gabzz: I think Lei Shen was harder, and Sha of Fear was easier. A harder 4th phase could have corrected this.
Leeds: Garrosh felt like some sort of DPS check at certain points and required you to optimize movement, positioning and CD usage. Besides that it was kind of annoying to progress as you had to play flawlessly through the "easy" phases again in order to get new ideas of what you're up to. Was kind of similar to Lei Shen, if you guys remember the suitable trash talk to the no-brainer face. Lei Shen definitely felt way more intense and epic.
Treckie: Like I mentioned earlier, the first part of the instance was maybe a bit to easy, while the last part was very good in difficulty, might be a bit too harsh a step up for many other guilds, but at least people will get a lot of gear so they can progress through the later bosses without hitting too big of a roadblock.
Sparkuggz: The last bosses felt like an endgame boss by themselves, because you hit them with the first reset of gear. The second reset we went through them like a breeze, so it shows the difference of knowing the fight, and how just having that tiny bit of ilvl advantage can push a fight in your favour.
Gabzz: The last 6 bosses are very well tuned, the first 8 should have been a bit more difficult.
Noxe: Last 3 encounters were very challenging. Especially Siegecrafter, which in my opinion is probably the best boss ever designed in this game. Gear didn't really matter there but yet it took us a long time to defeat him.
Sonie: I feel like Blizzard did an extraordinary job this tier with making a linear difficulty curve on the bosses. Meaning that each boss felt a bit harder.
Leeds: Very well tuned overall with some bugs holding us back especially at Paragons. First ~8 bosses could have been a bit harder and Garrosh also wasn't tuned to the very edge and quite easily defeatable.
What was your item level through the raid?
Treckie: When we killed Garrosh, around 566 average ilvl. Compared to like 556 when we killed the first few bosses week 1 heroic.
Leeds: Garrosh: Recorded Guild Item Level: 566.65 (25-man). Fallen Protectors (2nd boss): Recorded Guild Item Level: 556.67 (25-man). Overall it felt like the difficulty especially on the earlier ones was tuned for a raid without any item upgrades. With the saved up 3k valor points pre 5.4 you were able to basically double upgrade 10 of your items by the start of heroic, which made it so easy.
How many pulls did each boss take you?
Treckie: First 8 took 1-2 pulls, Malkorok 13, Spoils 15-20, Thok 7, Siegecrafter 229, Paragons 222 (important to note that the first two days of progress on Klaxxi we made very little progress due to ridiculous overtuning and bugs), Garrosh 272.
Noxe: Garrosh 272, Siegecrafter 229 and Klaxxi 222 if i remember correctly. Everything else was either 1 digit or slightly more than 10.
Sonie: All the bosses up until Malkorok died in 1-3 attempts. Malkorok and Spoils took about 10-15 pulls. Thok died on our 8th pull. Siegecrafter, Klaxxi and Garrosh took 200+ attempts each.
Leeds: On the first 8 bosses we had some casual wipes here and there (1-3) and then from Malkorok it started to become two digits (10-15). Last 3 bosses actually all took us around 275 wipes with Siegecrafter causing the most. Wiped a lot on Klaxxis due to some oneshot-bugs which was really annoying, and Garrosh was draining especially due to the fact that he has the longest average pull length.
Did you take time off work for the heroic race? How many days did you take?
Treckie: I took time off from streaming! But progress lasted 9 working days, considering we started 18:30 the last day (due to some only getting 8 days off) that's a pretty good amount of time you could take off before it gets annoyingly long.
Noxe: 2 weeks off. Timing for me was really good.
What do do you think it is about Method that has propelled them to the top of the pile this expansion?
Treckie: It's hard to pinpoint exactly what makes it work for us, but I think a friendly atmosphere, some common sense, and a common goal with people working great together with each other are very important points. I feel we all fit in.
Sparkuggz: The less guilds around, the more chance you have of getting most of the good players from EU. Instead of having 5-10 top guilds, and players being much more spread out for different reasons, we had a really strong roster through start of MoP until now. We lost a lot of players recently and Siege of Orgrimmar actually looked scary for us, because we nearly always had the same 25-27 players in our progress raids. If you compare the roster from tier to tier, you can probably count 5-10 players that quit or are gone.
The roster from Firelands days until now you might not even be able to use more then a hand or two to count the player pool. Rosters change so much in WoW, especially because of the commitment it can be, but if most of the core players stick around you can still do pretty well with additions in your roster here and there. Method's strength was that the people behind tactics and some core players were still around, despite people quitting left and right before it all started.
Leeds: Beside the fact we have really great tacticians, a great individual skill throughout nearly the whole roster, and both the motivation and the hours it required, definitely the guild climate. The atmosphere is great most of the time and this keeps everyone motivated and focused (unless we all have to laugh for like a minute straight for "some" reason) and makes sure nobody is getting too stressed by the hours we put into the game during the progression period.
Are you all still friends? Did you have any arguments or fallings out?
Treckie: There are always some small moments of rage, and arguments in the heat of the moment, but in the end we are all still friends (ending first obviously helps :P).
And while we all take the game very seriously, it's all about teamplay, and you can't teamplay that great if people can't play well with each other.
Sonie: I think Method really stands out on this. We have a really friendly and relaxed raiding environment with a lot of laughter and jokes which makes the time fly by quickly. Of course people have arguments from time to time, but at the end of the day we are all very good friends.
Leeds: Some exceptions here and there of course! :D People of course get mad at each other every now and then but I think it was a really good atmosphere once again this tier.
Gabzz: The ambiance during this tier was really good and we had a lot of fun. It's really enjoyable to be able to play at this level while laughing so much.
Were you worried at all by how far ahead the US guilds were before you guys could even start?
Treckie: Its always a bit worrying how far the US guilds get before we even get to start, we just have to wait and hope for a challenging boss in the end to try to catch up on. We know that we are great on some of the harder bosses and we just have to gear up properly and hope to do great in the end. I was a bit happy so many of the "annoying" bosses died fast and easy that could have turned out to be very nasty. In the end we still had 3 very challenging bosses that lifted the tier.
Sparkuggz: A bit yes, first you think that "wow, they really turned it on" and that they might actually just be on a level above you, but as soon as you hit the instance and see the difficulty first hand you instantly remove that fear. The only thing I was scared about, was the fact if you can streamroll through so many bosses, it's hard to motivate and catch up because you always feel a step behind. The fact we did as many bosses as Blood Legion on the first day, plus we did normal modes after killing a boss on HC, and killed Thok on top, just meant we were motivated and knew we were still in the game.
Noxe: Not really because I'm used to it, but I must admit that waking up to 9/14 felt a bit awkward at that time.
Sonie: I was a bit worried when I woke up and saw Blood Legion with 9/14HC, but I know that we always shine on the harder encounters so I could still keep my calm and focus on our stuff.
Leeds: I personally wasn't really scared or anything. I was certain that the last bosses would definitely be significantly harder than the first 11 were and that we have enough time to catch up with Blood Legion. The number of bosses they defeated by the time EU goes live just tells me how many I'm going to have dead by the end of the day as well (or even more).
Gabzz: Not really to be honest. This is acceptable as long as end fights require multiple days progressions.
What's the best raid in WoW so far? Does Siege of Orgrimmar come close?
Treckie: Siege of Orgrimmar is overall a pretty good raid, It doesn't quite outshine ToT purely raidwide, but it's for sure very fun to be killing off Garrosh, expansion endbosses are always fun (Dragon Soul doesn't count).T14 was a bit weird since it was multiple raids and gated, but overall MoP have been a great expansion for overall raiding.
Sparkuggz: Siege of Orgrimmar's last few bosses were a nice level of having to use tactics and execution above just smashing your head into the boss with a certain ilvl making you kill it. The fact you can make a big difference on pure tactics just appeals much more to me, than smashing against Patchwerk fights where you need a certain amount of gear to beat them, where the difference you can make isn't really relevant to your "skill" and is just pure numbers. ToT, SoO were the best instances of MoP for sure, but it's a different time and a different game than back in the day so I wouldn't compare them much. Was it fun progressing on? Yeah for sure, minus the bugs and lag!
Noxe: Sadly, 25man combat lag is killing game experience so I really doubt there is anyone who can say that SoO was the best raid in WoW so far. If lag wasn't the case then I think that I'd easily consider SoO as one of the best raids in game so far... if not the best. But given all circumstances, I really miss old times prior to 5.2 when game was still smooth. :(
Gabzz: Always hard to answer this, but Siege of Orgrimmar is in the top 3 in my opinion.
What has Blizzard done right or wrong in Mists raiding in your opinion? What would you like to see change from a hardcore raider's perspective in 6.0?
Treckie: I think t14-16 have had pretty good lengths in terms of overall raiding, T14 was special with long time between beginning and end, but at the same time it was smaller races and made us able to keep doing whatever we were doing between the races, so while they tried something new that sort of worked (ish), I hope they don't do it again.
Noxe: There is one thing that I would like to bring up again. I'm aware that it's not really something Blizzard did 'wrong' because it was obviously not intended but yeah, nevertheless... 25 man combat lag. I really hope this issue will be resolved in 6.0.
Leeds: I think overall it was a really sick raiding expansion. They experimented a lot with upgrades/warforged and stuff which made their tuning a bit off here and there. I think they will stick to these two features for sure which is "okaaaaay..." for me. I would like them to put more effort into testing bosses before the release and make sure they react to massive bugs even quicker. No one likes a race when you have to hold here and there because "the street is currently blocked by a tree"... of heavy bugs.
Gabzz: They are on the right track in my opinion regarding rhythm, content etc. The only bad point of this expansion is the lag, getting worse each tier and that really need to be fixed as soon as possible.
Which fight was the most challenging, and which the most enjoyable?
Treckie: Most challenging in SoO was definitely Garrosh, but personally Siegecrafter was more enjoyable to progress on do to the vast difference from normal mode.
Noxe: Siegecrafter and Siegecrafter :)
Gabzz: Definitely [Siegecrafter] Blackfuse. One of the best fights ever created
Leeds: Definitely Siegecrafter. You were able to adjust the strategy completely to your guild's/raid's strength, setup and potential. Once we knew which strategy we would go for and had to execute it perfectly, it just felt sooo good.
What do you think was your most creative strategy or tactic?
Sonie: It wasn't very creative but definitely a highlight, our first Thok strategy (video above)! We brought 10 healers and stayed in phase 1 forever, we managed to bring him to 20% on our 3rd attempt and that's when Blizzard decided that it wasn't fun anymore so they hotfixed it so that you got one-shotted if you went above 30 stacks(we were at 100 stacks at that point).
Treckie: Most creative strategy/tactic was probably us trying to 10heal Thok without ever pushing it into phase two, that interestingly enough got hotfixed mid pull to one-shot us at 20%. We also had pretty interesting strategies trying to cope with Paragons and Siegecrafter just due to the fact that it's doable in so many different ways.
Noxe: Figuring out the right order for Klaxxi was probably the most creative thing we had to come up with given the dps/hps requirements (keeping Ka'roz alive for pretty much entire fight). On top of that dealing with Siegecrafter's weapons and predicting Garrosh p4 course of action.
Gabzz: Blackfuse and Klaxxi were both fights where you create the strategy entirely, and multiple options are viable.
Any close calls? Or attempts where only a few people survived to kill the boss?
Treckie: All you need is one person alive when the boss dies, more than one is to many anyway, as long as its me as the sole survivor its all good! :P
Leeds: Didn't have too many people alive when we killed Garrosh that's for sure! :D
Noxe: Garrosh -- 1 player alive :)
Sparkuggz: Garrosh we wiped on 0,7% a few hours before killing it, that was pretty breath taking but we knew we could kill it so we just had to go again!
Gabzz: Garrosh, one man standing!
Sonie: 3-4 attempts before our Garrosh kill we brought him to 0.6%, that was very frustrating! And on top of that, after that pull when everyone was so hyped Treckie's internet decided to die so we had to sit and wait for 50 minutes.
Are there any boss fights that you never want to do ever again?
Treckie: Any fight with lag! Also, Malkorok isnt a very enjoyable boss either, in my opinion, too much personal responsibility! Or rather, a bit too easy to have to sit on the edge of your seat at all times, but still very easy to wipe if someone doesn't focus for a bit.
Noxe: At first I really hated Paragons of the Klaxxi but eventually it turned out to be a really nice encounter which is going to be really easy to farm. If we stay on the farm raids subject then I'm really not looking forward to Malkorok wipes.
Gabzz: The first 100 pulls of Klaxxi were really a pain due to multiple bugs. But overall, all fights of this tier were enjoyable. The only thing I never want to see again is this lag :)
Thanks so much to Method for answering our questions. We linked to everyone's twitter at the top of the article, but you can also check out Twitch streams from Treckie and Leeds, and find Method on their site, Twitter and Facebook.