Normally a debacle that lasts just over a week, World of Warcraft's Race to World First tends to be short and to the point.
The event is usually spearheaded by Europe's Echo and North America's Liquid as the two best guilds in the world dating back to the release of Battle For Azeroth.
However, this time around, for WoW Shadowlands 9.2's race, no guild has been able to completely finish Mythic Sepulcher of the First Ones even two weeks after its launch. Here's why.
How long does the Race to World First usually take?
Before we can explain why the Sepulcher of the First Ones' Race to World First has taken longer than usual we first have to put into perspective how long the race usually lasts.
Dating back to when the Race to World First event began at the start of Battle for Azeroth the two main competitors of the race, Echo and Liquid, have taken no longer than just over a week to complete a raid.
The races usually follow a formulaic structure. To start, Liquid steps foot in the Mythic version of the raid first due to differing maintenance and content release schedules, taking down a handful of bosses. They are later followed up by Echo the next day who either catch up to them or slightly surpass them.
After that, it becomes a slingshot in between the two guilds in which, due to different timezones, one takes the lead and the other catches up or, in some cases, one guild completely dominates the other. This goes on until a victor is crowned.
For Shadowlands 9.2 and Sepulcher of the First Ones, however, things have changed.
Shadowlands 9.2 Race to World First shakes things up
So far, the Race to World First for Shadowlands 9.2 has been a very different one. Not only have the guilds done a ton of extra raids and bosses in order to get tier sets and specific items such as the two-handed melee weapon from The Jailer, but there's also been one change that threw everything out of whack - the Sepulcher of the First Ones' staggered release schedule.
Sepulcher of the First Ones' staggered release schedule
For 9.2, Blizzard took on a different approach when it came to releasing the new raid. Normally, new raids release on the patch's second week with both Normal and Heroic versions. This leaves the third week as the official release period for Mythic.
However, this time around, instead of Normal and Heroic releasing with all of its bosses, Sepulcher of the First Ones released with the first eight, leaving the final three to release alongside Mythic. Additionally, those last three bosses were not testable in the Public Test Realms (PTR), meaning that all of the top guilds went into them completely blind, making it so they first had to defeat Heroic bosses for gear before taking a look at their Mythic versions - a first in the RWF.
Why is the Shadowlands 9.2 Race to World First taking so long?
In short, the reason why this Race to World First has taken so long can be attributed to different factors such as a staggered raid release schedule leading to guilds stepping foot into Mythic a day later and the overall difficulties of bosses such as Halondrus, and later on, Lords of Dread and Rygelon.
The race first started out with a non-Race to World First contender, Early Shift, taking down the first boss, The Vigilant Guardian on Wednesday, March 9th. This was after no guild had claimed him to start the week. It was later followed up by Liquid taking down five bosses in a row and Echo catching up in the following days.
After that, the race took a bit of a pause as even though both Echo and Liquid were able to defeat the raid's sixth boss, Lihivum, Principal Architect with relative ease, the following boss, Halondrus, the Reclaimer proved to be the most difficult non-end boss in the game's history as it took them each over 300 pulls to defeat. This was done nearly a week after Mythic release on March 14th.
Once on Anduin, the gap in the race began to close as Liquid was able to take down the Boy King in nail-biting fashion on March 18th, but they were outstrategized for the next two bosses, and Echo took the lead.
This put both Echo and Liquid both on the raid's final boss, The Jailer, since March 21st.
As it stands, the North Americans hold a slight lead over the Europeans in terms of the best attempt on The Jailer, but that gap is rapidly closing.
Now that we're in the final stretch, it's the perfect time to tune in and see who finally comes out on the longest streamed World First Race in the game's history with Mythic Sepulcher of the First Ones in Shadowlands 9.2 - so don't miss out!