The Race to World First (RWF) is just around the corner, and the top teams are gearing up for yet another exciting race. Massive events are being planned, talent is being locked in, and players are exploring Korthia
, catching up on Renown, and Soul Ash farming. As we ramp up our work for the RWF, we decided to take a look at the rosters we’re going to see on the top teams, and see if there are any significant changes. We tend to see a few new names on the rosters before each RWF, as well as some migration of notable players. We spoke to a few players from Complexity-Limit
, and Pieces
, who are new to the RWF this tier, or who have joined a new guild this time around, to get their perspectives on what it’s like to compete with a brand new team on such a large stage! We also took the opportunity to reach out to a few players who are not necessarily new to their guilds this tier, but who raid cross-region - meaning players from North America raiding in EU guilds, and vice versa. Read on to hear what they have to say about their RWF experiences and expectations
About the GuildsComplexity-Limit
are coming into Sanctum of Domination as the returning champions, having secured the second of back-to-back World First victories when they were the first guild to defeat Sire Denathrius in Castle Nathria on Mythic difficulty. To read our interview with some of the players from Complexity-Limit after their Castle Nathria victory, click here
While they may have been victorious in the last raid, the competition has only been getting stronger. In order to maintain their competitive edge, the team at Complexity-Limit has been working diligently on improving and solidifying their roster. This has involved picking up a couple of new players, including some raiding cross-region.
The players of European powerhouse Echo
have been chomping at the bit to get back into the RWF since they narrowly lost World First to Complexity-Limit in Castle Nathria. Click here
to read our post-RWF interview with Echo from Castle Nathria.
The organization has been working hard to develop and grow, while the players have been focusing on trying to bring the World First title back to Europe in Sanctum of Domination. Part of this effort has involved bolstering their ranks with some noticeable roster additions.
World-third guild Pieces
has been a contender in the RWF scene for many years. Also hailing from Europe, the team at Pieces has been hard at work this off-season to tighten up their player roster. We are very excited to see what Pieces brings to the table for Sanctum of Domination! We got the chance to speak to a couple of new players and some old ones to talk about the upcoming RWF, and what it’s like raiding cross-region.
Table of ContentsQ: Tell us a little about yourself, both as a World of Warcraft player and as a person outside of the game.
: Hey, my name is Nick, but online I’m known as Imexile. I’m from the Eastern USA and I’ve been playing WoW seriously since the start of BFA, which was the first tier I raided Mythic and got Cutting Edge. I played very briefly when I was much much younger but I never really hit max level. I mainly just play whatever spec is needed, but my recent main was a Death Knight. To me, the spec or class that I’m playing isn’t as important as just learning and then playing each one to its maximum potential because that’s what makes them fun to me. I am unsure what class/spec I will be playing for the RWF as that will largely depend on tuning and/or gear in heroic splits. Outside of WoW, I’m a student in my 3rd year of university and a competitive Path of Exile racer. Scott
: I’m Scott from Scotland (United Kingdom), and I have been playing WoW since late WoD/Early Legion. I have mained Death Knight DPS for the majority of my time playing WoW; however, I re-rolled to tanking after The Eternal Palace because no one else would tank. Raiding is my favourite WoW content although dungeons and smaller group content is also fun. I will be tanking for Complexity-Limit again in the upcoming raid. Outside of WoW I enjoy playing League of Legends with Coodywoo from Romford. I am a graduate in Mathematics (Comp Sci Minor). I also enjoy going on nature walks early in the mornings.
: My name is Linus and I’m from Sweden. I’ve been playing WoW since late WotLK.I am currently maining Resto shaman and the reason why I ended up here was because initially I mained Mistweaver Monk for a long period, but when I got into better guilds world-rank wise, I felt MW was lacking a lot of stuff compared to any other healer. Obviously, you can and should play whatever you like outside of RWF guilds, but I always strive to be the best for the guild and therefore I rerolled into Resto sham. Raiding is by far the best content and there is nothing better than enjoying progress with people you like to play with. Outside of the game I spend most of the time at work or at the gym.Rads
: Hi, my name is Radostin (Rads) and I’m from Bulgaria. I’ve been playing WoW since The Burning Crusade, where my first character was a Blood Elf Warlock, who couldn’t make it out of Silvermoon City, and ended up getting deleted and replaced by an Undead Rogue. My current main would probably be, just like most M+ tank players, Vengeance Demon Hunter. Mostly played it since it was too good to pass on, considering the DPS meta being very caster heavy, but I also enjoy the high mobility and control it comes with. I enjoy playing M+ the most, and you’ll find me pugging keys most of the time. I am currently a trial raider for Echo as a tank! Outside of WoW, I enjoy playing random single player story-based games, reading, and, occasionally, playing guitar. TV series are also on my list if I come across any good ones. Jeath
: I’m Jesse, I’m from the US Midwest, and I started in Warlords of Draenor. I’m known as a Holy Paladin main because that’s what I one-tricked while I was moving up guilds, but in recent RWF’s I’ve played every healer spec on progression except Restoration Druid.Miniaug
: Hi I’m Miniaug and I’ve been playing WoW since Vanilla and raiding in Europe from America since the middle of Legion with a stop back in NA for the start of BFA, then back to Europe. Ever since Death Knight has come out it has been my main despite me playing other classes for the race and I hope to play it in Classic WOTLK as well! I’ve been playing with Echo since The Eternal Palace in BFA. I always swap around what I’m playing, but this tier, it will probably be melee DPS. With last minute tuning changes though, who knows?
: My name is Max. I live in Ontario, Canada and I’ve been Mythic raiding in WoW since Legion. I played during Wrath-Cata, but I was a little kid just running around being casual. I’ve mained Warrior since I’ve been raiding, with a preference towards Fury. I just really enjoy the class fantasy of being a warrior, and also the community perception of warrior players being gorillas. The biggest and almost only reason why I played WoW is for the PvE progression, especially progression raiding. It is an experience that is so fun and unique to WoW, and I truly love it. I will Hippo
: My Name is Noah, I currently live in Oklahoma in the United States, I’ve been playing WoW for 11 years and I play a Druid. My favorite spec in the game is feral but currently I am maining balance for raid progression. My favorite thing to do in WoW besides raiding would probably be collecting stuff, such as achievements/mounts/transmog etc. But I recently came EU and all my stuff I really care about is on my NA account still so I actually still just play on the NA account to farm achievements because I feel like the progress of playing on that account for 11 years is something I didn’t want to restart on EU. I mainly just do high end M+ on EU and raid. Outside of WoW I generally don't do much, I play other games occasionally but nothing to the level of WoW, and am currently in between jobs.Bjartuur
: My name is Kevin. I’m from Houston, Texas, and I’ve been playing WoW since Cataclysm, but only raiding competitively since Legion. I main a mage because the guild I joined in Legion told me I needed to play mage if I wanted a raid spot and I’ve just kinda stuck with it for the past 5 years. My favorite content in-game is raiding. I used to enjoy M+ equally as well, but ever since BFA it just hasn’t been fun for me anymore. Outside of WoW I have a full time job as a firefighter/paramedic, and any excess time I have goes towards exercise or single player games like Skyrim. During the Sanctum of Domination RWF, I will be playing DPS for Pieces, as I did for Castle Nathria.Mythology
: My name is John and I am from Frisco, Texas. I’ve been playing WoW on and off since WotLK and have played and raided every expansion. That being said, it wasn’t until BFA that I played an entire expansion from start to finish. I main Holy Paladin. I originally started off as a Resto Druid and that is still my favorite class to this day, but when I got to a higher level of play I had to focus on more meta classes and my guild needed a Holy Paladin at the time. Since then, it’s the only thing I’ve really played outside of splits. Raiding is definitely my favorite content in the game and it’s what keeps me coming back to it. The only other aspect I really enjoy is casual Mythic+ pushing. Last tier I tanked some 20-21s and really enjoyed that process of learning an off role and doing casual keys. Outside of WoW I spend most of my time doing school work, reading, or working out.
I will be playing in Pieces for Sanctum of Domination. I primarily play healer and specifically Holy Paladin as previously mentioned. Outside of the game, I work a lot with the officers on healer comps and planning healer cooldowns for the upcoming tier.Q: Did you compete in the RWF for Castle Nathria? If yes, for what guild and what role did you play? What kind of event did your guild hold for the Castle Nathria RWF and what was that experience like?
: No, in Castle Nathria I raided with Hard in the Paint on Mal’Ganis, which I believe is around US 20th. I played with this guild for 3 patches as a Rogue in The Eternal Palace, a Demon Hunter in Ny’alotha, and as a Death Knight in Castle Nathria.
: I did not compete in the RWF for Castle Nathria.Rads
: I did not compete in the RWF during Castle Nathria unfortunately, though I still played the tank role.
: In Castle Nathria I played DPS warrior in BDGG. BDGG held a well produced stream event, and it was pretty cool to see how much effort went into it. It didn’t really have much effect on me as a raider though. For Sanctum of Domination I will be raiding as a DPS warrior in Pieces.Hippo
: Yes, I competed with BDGG as a Balance Druid DPS. We held a Race to World first event, with a bit heavier community involvement, and it was fun!Q: How has the preparation for Sanctum of Domination differed from Castle Nathria preparation with your last guild?
: It’s definitely a lot more raiding per week during Farm but it’s also WAY more efficient. This guild probably finishes 2 farm raids in the time it takes past guilds I’ve been in to clear one. Other than raiding, renown farm on a couple more characters takes a lot more time than what I did at the start of Castle Nathria. I was always up for spam farming hundreds of islands or doing whatever grind it took in previous patches to have my characters ready even though I was in lower ranked guilds.
: I did expect a lot of prep from a RWF guild, but now after seeing most of it I cannot describe how big the difference was from my last guild. I am coming from a top 10 guild where there was basically zero preparation done, to Echo where we do everything possible to win the next RWF.Rads
: There’s been a lot of work done in terms of strats and preparation when it comes to boss mechanics and different timings to look out for, which, obviously, involved a lot more work from everyone, and ironing out any potential issues with each individual boss fight. All-in-all, it is on a whole different scale compared to that of my old guild, which is understandable, considering the goal we’re all working towards is much more different, compared to that of my old guild.
: I think the preparation in Pieces feels more experienced and calculated, which does make sense due to how new BDGG was to the full time race. Hippo
: The preparation with Pieces is way more in-depth and involved, way harder prep pretty much.Q: What was the motivation behind your change in guild for this tier?
: Honestly, I was not planning on leaving my previous guild after Castle Nathria until I was given the opportunity to play here. I had aspirations to join Complexity-Limit at some point, but the grind to get to a top guild in a game like WoW is very long and involves leaving a lot of very close friends I made in previous guilds behind, which is the sad reality. You have to truly be set on the goal to raid at this level, at least if you haven’t been playing the game for a long time, and aggressively hop guilds in order to get to top 20 world eventually. You always meet new people and make new friends in new guilds but it still hurts to leave others.
: Since I began taking raiding more seriously at the start of Legion, my goal was always to one day play in the top guilds and compete for RWF. I saw the chance and went for it!Rads
: I wanted to broaden my own horizons in the game, as, up till now, I’ve been playing M+ exclusively, with a little bit of raiding sprinkled in. Whereas now, I wanted to get more out of the game in general.
: I had joined BDGG during Antorus farm, so at my time of leaving I had been in BDGG for a long while. Although I had plenty of people in the guild that I genuinely love hanging out with and talking to, and still do, over the past two tiers I just did not enjoy progression raiding there. Between that and some disagreements over some decisions, I figured that maybe it was time for me to try somewhere new. I had an offer from Pieces, and decided to take it.Hippo
: I actually was removed from BDGG’s raiding roster and was just going to stream and do casual raiding while pushing high M+ this tier, but Pieces offered me a raid spot so I swapped regions to do it all again.Q: Is there anybody on your new team that you’ve really been looking forward to raiding with and why?
: I’m looking forward to playing with pretty much every single one of them. I always spent hours and hours watching the RWF and to be able to play with the people I’d been watching the last two years is extremely exciting. Notably Shakib and Imfiredup are the funniest dudes to play this game with so they’re always fun to be around, even when doing repetitive tasks like farming Plaguefall renown for hours!
: Not anyone specifically, I’m looking forward to gaming with everyone!Rads
: Both Meeres and Naowh - I think they’re both amazing players and people, and there’s a lot I’ve been trying to pick up from them, and apply to my own playstyle as a tank.
: Too many to name honestly. If Fallu was raiding, he would be my answer though. I’ve known him since Legion when we were both Fury one-tricks in Tomb of Sargeras, so it’s cool to be in the same guild as him even if he isn’t able to raid this tier.Hippo
: Not Necessarily, I usually just focus on my own performance in raid nowadays and attempt to not be hyper critical of others because it usually just causes issues.Q: Is the RWF event plan for Sanctum of Domination much different from that of your last guild? How do you think this is going to affect your experience?
: I believe the plans for this one are similar to the last, however I will not be attending on location. My main reason for not wanting to go is that I do not want to play in an uncomfortable environment with different equipment during my first tier doing RWF as I believe it will affect my play.
: I don’t know any of our event plans at the moment, but it shouldn’t be too different. I was raiding from home last tier and this tier as well.Q: What is it like raiding at such a high level cross-region? Is it hard to maintain the schedule? What kind of preparation do you do ahead of time? Any issues with latency or ping?
: I joined Complexity-Limit over a year ago now and have had to go from a workable UK schedule to an NA schedule in a short period of time. However, I am a person that can easily do a 4 hour sleep night to flip my schedule between these two. Ahead of progress I slowly adjust my schedule to be a 3-4pm wake up and 6-8am sleep as these align with the NA server reset hours. The biggest issue with ping is during PTR testing as the servers are west coast so I get around 150 ping which doesn’t feel great to play on. My ping to illidan is only 100ms which doesn’t feel much different to the 15ms I was getting on EU. The hardest part of raiding US times is the 2 raids of Shadowlands have dropped at pretty bad times: Castle Natria was during the winter and 4pm-6am led to me seeing very little sunlight, and sleeping during the Sanctum of Domination will likely be harder due to the heat and sunlight.
: I play 7 hours behind server time. Farm raiding in EU from NA is frankly perfect. Farm raids begin around noon my time and end around 5pm, so I can structure my day as a “normal” 9-5 working day and have evenings to myself.
During progression, I have to get used to waking up around 2am. Of course, simultaneously, all the degenerates in my guild that were waking up at the exact same time I was (except for them it was getting up sometime between noon and 4pm) also need to shift their schedule so it’s always a group effort to get sleep ready for progression, complete with humble brags about who’s gonna pull an all nighter to “reset” their sleep.
Most people overestimate the effects of ping playing cross-region. I play with about 80 ping more than most of my EU friends, which is a 0.08 second tax on my reaction time. Rounding up that means I need to move out of the ground effect 0.1 seconds before it looks like I need to, kick 0.1 seconds early, etc. So it really has very little effect. The biggest impact is on moving mechanics. A moving ball of death will be .1 seconds ahead of where it appears, which can be deadly unless you’re super aware of that and play around it. Looking forward to Painsmith :)Miniaug
: When I started raiding cross-region in Legion with ScrubBusters it was quite easy as I only had to raid 5 hours a day during progression and only had to wake up by about 10:30 AM so I could be awake for raid at 11.
Comparing that with Echo, I have to be on my current sleep schedule for progression for about a week before the patch, this time 2 weeks before since there’s only 1 week before the raid opens. Currently I wake up around 12 AM as the raid opens at 1 AM. It’s really not easy or natural to fall asleep at around 4-5 PM, especially while there is still stuff going on in your house for multiple hours, so you have to train your body to be on this schedule for a prolonged period of time. It is by far the hardest part of raiding cross-region from America.
As for the ping issue, WoW isn’t really a game that depends on your ping. There are certain mechanics that have issues with ping (looking at you Maiden of Vigilance orbs), but overall it’s a non-factor and you don’t notice or think about it after playing with it for a few weeks.
: The schedule is definitely the hardest part to adapt to. I’ve bought a new alarm that shakes my bed to help make sure I am waking up at like 2 AM. It’s also just hard to change to such a different schedule, because if I want to do anything on an NA timezone it screws the sleep schedule pretty hard. The latency isn’t really a concern. Hippo
: Getting on a sleeping schedule has been rough, I had some practice due to The Great Push where I was waking up at 5 am to practice for 10-12 hours. My progression schedule would be to go to bed at around 5-6 pm my time and wake up at 1 am, which would be around 8 am Paris time which is around when we get ready to start raiding. Sleeping schedules are something i've struggled with all my life so hopefully I can get it right this time. I haven't noticed much with latency, I had some weird spell queuing issues that I had to get around with spell queue windows but it’s fixed. Elemental shaman in particular has some finicky stuff with high ms but nothing i couldn't manage to play around.Bjartuur
: I have a weird work schedule that means no matter what days or hours I raid I will miss the same % of raid time on farm, so world 1000 or world 1 makes no difference to me. When it comes to the RWF I make sure I take time off for at least 2 weeks of mythic progression. Ping sits around 130ms for me and while it’s far from ideal I can still play effectively.Mythology
: The ping has been no issue for me and I have never really felt it, I can’t even notice the difference in ping at all. In other games like League of Legends and CSGO the ping would be unbearable. But in WoW, I cannot notice the ping difference at all. The hardest part about raiding cross region is without a doubt the sleep schedule. Last tier I had a lot of trouble going to bed after the raid which would’ve been around 5 or 6pm in the evening for me. Because it was so early and my body wasn’t used to it, I found myself staying up really late until 7, 8 or 9pm and then having to wake up every morning at 2 or 3am. For the first day or two I didn’t really feel the lack of sleep, but it eventually caught up to me and I found myself struggling to stay awake and concentrate during the raid because of the lack of sleep. My play suffered a lot in the last tier and I was very disappointed in my performance overall. I think the lack of sleep was a big reason for that. For Sanctum, I’ve started prepping my sleep schedule weeks in advance and have become very used to waking up as early as even 1am at this point.
Q: Have you come across any big cultural differences that have made raiding difficult or fun/interesting?
: The UK and US have a lot of differences in pronunciations, spellings and dialect which so far has created quite a few fun moments. The UK and US are still pretty similar culture wise though we both like to have a laugh and generally don’t take things too seriously.
: It took me a long time to easily understand all of the different accents. Also I don’t know if it’s Europeans or just my guild, but good lord they love talking about pooping. Miniaug
: At first the accents were hard to understand and it took awhile to get used to, but now it’s business as usual.
: Nothing to make raiding difficult, no. It is very interesting how different the culture is, both in terms of guild culture but also just EU culture vs NA culture. The best part is I’m from Canada so when they start to bully US healthcare I can also join in.Hippo
: Cultural difference for sure, just the way people act and mess around is way different on EU than NABjartuur
: For the most part players across both regions are the same. Sometimes it is difficult for people to get a thought across quickly when English isn’t their first language, but by and large there are no problems at all.Mythology
: The only difference I’ve personally noticed in my time on NA vs. EU is how much more blunt and how much more “toxic” the environment can be. In most of my NA guilds you couldn’t even criticize people without the fear of coming off as toxic. The EU is the complete opposite from my experiences with a lot more people being comfortable just being completely blunt and saying what is on their mind. You are going to get yelled at, you are going to get flamed on occasion, and people are going to criticize you very bluntly. In America many of the guilds I was in would find this behavior unacceptable and it would generally be a big deal for the guild’s social structure if anything along those lines were to occur. It's been very interesting to see the difference in how people handle themselves and talk to each other in that regard. While it might appear toxic to some, I’ve never been in a guild that's been as critical as Pieces has on its players and I think it has a lot of benefit in really pushing players to improve and not ever get complacent in their play.
Q: What’s the one thing about the Sanctum of Domination RWF that you’re the most excited for?
: Just waking up and raiding with like-minded individuals who you are confident in both skill-wise and prep-wise. Raiding for 10+ hours a day sounds like a blast too, especially because I’ll get to experience bosses firsthand. Hopefully the satisfaction of achieving a WF feels as good as it looks on stream.Scott
: Winning again.
: Taking the W back to EU! =)Jeath
: Well, hopefully winning. This time the end of the race falls right around my birthday, so there’s a chance it will be a really good end to the race….or a very depressing one.Rads
: The preparation -- I find that to be a very exciting part, even though most people look forward to the actual raid, and may not be considered part of the RWF per se. I enjoy the strict planning and min-maxing of one’s time, when it comes to farming either gear or reputation and both M+ and PvP rating.
: Literally everything about it. I found most of the bosses super fun in testing (not you Sylvanas), and I always enjoy just progression raiding in a new tier with new bosses to slay.Hippo
: Just progression raiding in general, it is by far my most favorite thing about WoW and it doesn't even come close.Bjartuur
: I’m mostly eager to play something other than fire mage for the first time in a long time, but also there are more guilds stepping up and trying to go hard for WF so the increased competition is exciting.Mythology
: I’m personally just excited for a new race. It’s been a while now since the last tier and given the fact that I was really unhappy with how I played near the end of Castle Nathria, I’ve become really motivated in redeeming myself and playing to the level that I know I am capable of. I also think this race should be a lot closer on all fronts. Limit and Echo were significantly ahead of everyone in the last tier and I believe we are in a really good spot to compete with them. I also think some of the other World First guilds like Method and BDGG have improved quite a lot and I fully expect them to do significantly better this time around. It should be a much tighter race in Sanctum and I imagine that we could see a lot of surprises and shifts in the ranks this time around.Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
: Good luck to the other guilds playing in the RWF! buff melee pls thx
: Global release, bring back Necrotic Plague, remove the AoE cap, remove conduit energy, and again….global release. Maybe another global release as well...please?Rads
: Looking forward to seeing how each guild has prepared, and I hope it’ll be a close, but exciting, race!
: Remove conduit energy!Hippo
: Buff feral druid!Bjartuur
: From Cataclysm to now, what a long strange journey it has been.
About the Author
has been playing WoW since Vanilla. If she’s not leading her Mythic Progression guild TBD
through raids, she’s probably practicing for the MDI with her team Angry Toast
. Hulahoops is a Holy Paladin in every sense of the term: she moderates the Hammer of Wrath
Paladin Class Discord, and she was a practicing Lawyer for the last 7 years. Judgment
isn’t just a spell! Hulahoops recently decided to put the law books away and follow her passion for esports by joining the team at RaiderIO and is now working as the Production Manager. She is also passionate about making Azeroth an inclusive, welcoming space for all gamers and is a proud co-founder of the Defias Sisterhood