As with any Race to World First in World of Warcraft, the need for gear is indescribable. Without gear, it's difficult for any top-end guild to take down the hardest of bosses no matter how skilled they are. And for Sepulcher of the First Ones, that won't be any different.
And with gear, like anything else, competing guilds looking for the glorious World First Mythic clear of Sepulcher of the First Ones must cut all corners to achieve success.
Things like poaching each other's members, farming massive amounts of gold to always have materials and consumables, team members to make weakauras on demand, and more all take part in giving that extra inch.
Due to changes in how gear is given out and how raid lockouts now work, however, the World First race (RWF) has been dampened by an onset of crowdsourced gear from non-Mythic difficulties.
Crowdsourced gear is ruining the Mythic World First Race
Crowdsourced gear is fairly self-explanatory but in short, the term describes guilds - mostly top-end guilds - having a crowd feed their raiders gear, in this case, the crowd would be the guild's fans.
Ever since the removal of Master Loot going into the Battle for Azeroth Expansion, the guilds participating in the Race to World First have had to constantly evolve and look for different ways to gain an edge over their competition when it comes to gear. A way to do that is by performing "splits."
Splits are a way for guilds to funnel gear to specific characters, making it so come Mythic raid time most if not all of the characters in the group have the most gear possible. At first, back when Master Looter was still active, guilds would perform up to four to five runs and the groups would consist of a handful of mains and the rest of the group would be filled with alts. The purpose of this was to complete a raid in its Normal or Heroic form and handpick which characters would get the gear, in this case, the handful of mains.
However, once the removal of Master Loot came into effect this whole process got complicated. At first guilds like Echo and Liquid decided to up the ante and instead of performing just a handful of runs, they ramped that up to nearly double its amount to ensure gear went to the proper characters. But as the Race to World First has evolved so too has this method.
Adopted around the middle of Battle for Azeroth, Echo and Liquid among others have started crowdsourcing gear on top of the splits. This meant that they got a third party, in this case, their fans, to come in, loot gear for whatever boss was killed, and trade it over to the respective guild making it so they get gear in a more efficient manner... but this has become even more intense with the Sepulcher of the First Ones release.
Due to its staggered release of having the last three bosses go live alongside Mythic week and the return of tier sets, the whole process has become a logistical nightmare. As guilds are now performing runs of just one Normal boss and eventually just one Heroic boss over and over again to ensure that every member of the raid group gets their four-piece tier set.
The method is fairly simple: it requires 10-15 saved carriers, nine to 10 unsaved fans that work as the crowdsource, and one unsaved character from the guild. The carriers carry the group and the unsaved fans loot the designated drop and trade it to the unsaved main. It's also important to note, due to the current trading system in World of Warcraft, the unsaved fans must have the gear piece or slot at a current ilvl or higher to be able to trade.
The end result makes it so guilds like Liquid end up with almost all of its raiders having full tier sets before even stepping foot into a Mythic boss as evidenced by this Warcraftlogs screenshot that states that the guild has 15 members with four-piece tier sets and three members with two-piece tier sets.
Overall these changes have led to guilds paying fans to ferry items to the main members in order to cut every corner in the Race to World First. While we can't fault the guilds for working the system, it's long past the time Blizzard needs to make changes to address these problems and the worsening status of raid loot systems, and we're seeing its faults play a big part in the top end of PVE competition.