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World of Warcraft and the race for world first
Although I haven't been playing WoW for a long time, sometimes I miss the good old days, when I wasn't sitting at my computer on Facebook, forums or blog, but in Auction House or instances. So today I'm going to tell you about the crazy race to so-called world firsts, which means getting the first kill on a boss right after the release of a patch with new content.
Well, most of you will shrug your shoulders, who cares if you kill a boss as the first, eighth, or fifteenth guild in the world.
Well, as it turns out, the masses of people care, and they care like hell. Guilds do everything - and I mean really EVERYTHING - to make world first. It works like this - when you start plowing through some dungeon with, say, eight bosses (that's how it is in the new patch), your character gets a number, based on which the server determines what stage of the dungeon you're at. Let's say it's a cloud safe. The number resets every week during so-called server maintenance, which is when Blizzard temporarily disconnects the servers and lurks over them with some kind of database-cleaning tool and probably a million other things.
When a new dungeon appears - like now - you first have to plough through it in normal mode to get to hard mode, which is where world first matters most. But - we have this stupid number after all, so it's impossible to clear a dungeon on normal and hard in the first week after the patch's release.
Unless you do like one of the guilds - you pay for the transfer of the character to another server (and you pay a lot, several if not twenty euros per character). There you get a new id number, but the dungeon on normal is already passed, purple pants are on - and you can attack hard. Blizzard realized that there is a hole in the system and punished clever raiders by taking away their new, beautiful equipment (and not passing the world first of course).
In the meantime, however, another trick appeared, this time with a raid mode for noobs - the so-called LFR (Looking For Raid). It's a new thing in WoW - it's like a very easy difficulty level, where you beat the same bosses as in the "serious" raids, but first of all the bosses are terribly simplified, and secondly, once you win a boss, you can't do anything else, then you can't roll for anything (there is a system of determining who wins the loot, everyone rolls a dice, it's called a roll), and thirdly - you can enter the LFR not once a week, but as many times as you want.
It turned out - and the news spread quickly - that this can be exploited. If our character already got something from the boss in some run, it's enough for the rest of the raid (the ones who haven't taken anything yet in a given week) to fold (that is, not roll a dice), and we log out and log in - so we can roll again.
The effect? The best guilds in the world purged the entire LFR content tens of TIMES in the last few days just to get everyone to wear what they wanted. They were quietly hoping to be ready for the hardcore in the coming week by claiming real piles of epic items. They were wrong - today Blizzard banned everyone who used the system for eight days. The number of days was chosen so that hardcore raiders couldn't attack hardcore content for two weeks. Here's the sad email everyone got.
Of course raiders everywhere are crying and sobbing. Meanwhile the rest of the world is knocking their heads together or giving a shit, but I throw this story in as local folklore. And to demonstrate that real hardcore knows absolutely no boundaries.