We’ve talked to Gamko and Deepshades from Serenity about their recent Mythic Keystone world record (EoA +21!) and a possible future for WoW PvE esports.
World Record: Eye of Azshara Mythic Keystone +21 completed in time
As there is no raid content to be progressed at the moment, a group of players from the top guilds Serenity and FatSharkYes recently searched new challenges in real high Mythic Keystone Dungeons. Their best beaten one: Eye of Azshara +21, which means a new world record for the highest ever completed-in-time Mythic Keystone dungeon.
We have talked to two of them: Gamko (playing Restoration Druid Mandrai) and Deepshades (Enhancement Shaman Baeshades).
NPC Health and DPS increased by 366%
Both are well known faces in the hardcore PvE scene. Deepshades (formerly Method) joined Serenity at the very beginning, Gamko joined shortly after, leaving Pwnanza. Before we jump right into the interview, let’s have a look at what they actually dealt with (besides the seagulls):
The beaten Keystone
- Eye of Azshara Level 21
- Affixes were: Fortified, Volcanic and Sanguine
- NPC health and DPS increased by 366%
- Total time needed: 34 minutes, 33 seconds
- Lázel, Protection Paladin of FatSharkYes
- Gamko / Mandrai, Restoration Druid of Serenity
- Gìngí, Marksman of Serenity
- Sicklikeme, Havoc Demon Hunter of Serenity
- Deepshades / Baeshades, Enhancement Shaman of Serenity
Last week you managed to set a new “world record” and beat a +20 Keystone and later even a +21 Keystone for the first time. Both looked quite easy in the end, with Deepshades down for half of the Shade of Xavius fight on your +20 and still plenty of time left! Was it that easy as it looked?
Gamko: After we did our first test run in which we tried to see if all bosses were possible it was just down to execute all parts of the dungeons correctly. The completion of the 21 took us roughly 4-5 hours. Time wise it was not that much time spent compared to a raid boss that you progress but it’s still rather demanding on everyone in the group. A single missed interrupt meant death for one of the party members. One fuck up on an ability as well. Every small mistake was punished with the death of a player. Everyone had to stay focused for 35 min and do their job properly. It’s definitely nothing that is “easy”.
Deepshades: That last fight in Darkheart Thicket, where we completed our +20 Keystone is definitely hard but most of the damage incoming is spike damage. For the majority of the fight not much is happening but as soon as Shade of Xavius is using his ability “Feed of the Weak”, one player in the group takes heavy damage. Thanks to our group lineup with a Paladin Tank we were able to work pretty well around that ability. Blizzard also recently nerfed the “Nightmare Bolt” so it does not one-shot us.
The timer for the dungeon itself is kinda lenient so you just have to make sure you do not wipe and also do not lose too many people throughout the dungeon.
Was +21 with the given Affixes the current limit? Do you think under the given circumstances a +22 would already have been possible?
Gamko: M+ 21 definitely isn’t the limit. With the current affixes (Sanguine / Volcanic / Fortified), Vault of the Wardens and perhaps a few other dungeons should be doable with some practice.
Deepshades: With the bespoken affixes, Vault of the Wardens and perhaps a few other dungeons are at least possible up to M+ 23.
The VOD: +21 Eye of Azshara completed in time
You did several high keystones this week (+19 Court of Stars, +20 Darkheart Thicket). Do you enjoy Mythic+ now, after the grind that came alongside with the progress-preparations? Do you feel like the scaling difficulty keeps it challenging and ejoyable for hardcore raiders like you, once the raidcontent is cleared?
Gamko: I actually love the new M+ system compared to the old one which basically was just grinding out a dungeon until you get good rng on trinkets, dodges, etc. In general I don’t like doing the same stuff over and over just with more damage and healthpoints. It is definitely providing an appropriate challenge but I personally would prefer new affixes / custom affixes instead of just a plain ramp up on damage and health. At some point you need certain classes to survive abilities or you just can’t survive at all which makes a lot of stuff impossible with the Tyranncial affix. As we learned from The Great Collegiate Dungeon Challenge earlier this month, Blizzard has their ways to customize affixes already, so I think there could be a great future ahead of us with M+ Dungeons.
Deepshades: I definitely enjoy M+ but not the grinding that comes with it. Scaling difficulty makes it interesting and you can push yourself to your limits, but most often you just get blocked by one-shot abilities, especially with the affix “Tyrannical”. At some point it is not skill that decides whether you live or not, it is the gear and the traits (more Stamina per trait).
The Rise of WoW PVE Esports?
Blizzard recently gave out a prize money of $20.000 USD for The Great Collegiate Dungeon Race – the first time in WoW’s history that a large pile of money could be won in a PvE competition. Do you think there lies enough potential within the Keystone system to play out bigger tournaments? Maybe with finals on the gamescom or BlizzCon stage?
Gamko: I think there is a future for the M+ system – if it’s done correctly. The Collegiate Dungeon Race showed us a nice possibility. In regard to how they are doing it currently with Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch, they could do a leaderboard and contract the best teams to play in tournaments or something similar. Regarding the tournaments itself it makes sense to let 2 teams to compete in a dungeon and see who could do it faster.
Deepshades: I think there definitely lies potential in the entire M+ system. I think for tournaments it would be the best to make speed races with several teams. Blizzard also could do seasonal leaderboards and the highest M+ dungeons would perhaps get awarded with Titles, Mounts or Money.
The Great Collegiate Dungeon Race
ICYMI: We did a recap on the Great Collegiate Dungeon Race. UC Irvine finished first and took home $10.000 USD with a 4 DPS setup. Go read our recap here!
What would it need from your perspective to make such tournaments work? Maybe even evolve into WoW PvE esports? And what would that mean for highend-raiding?
Gamko: The most important factor is Blizzard’s support of it. They would need to provide some kind of price pool either in-game stuff/contracts or just money prices. People need to have an incentive to invest the time and push themselfs to their personal limit in those dungeons.
For High End raiding it would probably mean that it gets more focused on and maybe more people are willing to compete again in the race (there are less and less guilds raiding hardcore every tier). It could eventually even become a Blizzard sponsored race for the public where the guilds actually compete live for the world first or something similar.
Deepshades: The biggest factor would be that Blizzard is willing to give prize money out. If people don’t have an incentive, they won’t do it. If there would be money for Tier races, there would be a chance that more people would be attracted to hardcore-raiding.
Thank you and good luck in the Nighthold!