In what has become a tradition, the World of Warcraft Live Raid makes a return to the Main stage on Saturday, October 22 at 10:00 a.m. PDT. While each year has had its surprises, this year we’ll be kicking things up a notch with not one, but two of the world’s best raiding guilds. Representing the bold and brave Alliance from Alterac Mountain will be vodka, and representing the mighty Horde from Illidan will be Blood Legion. What they’ll be doing is anyone’s guess and solidly in the deviously calculating hands of the World of Warcraft development team, which has proven that it’s not shy about throwing a few curve balls to keep even the most battle-hardened guild on their toes.
Watch the action live at BlizzCon or via the Virtual Ticket!
To help you get to know these guilds a little better, we asked them a few questions.
Q. What was the catalyst for creating your guild?
A. vodka: The catalyst for vodka can be seen in the long standing ideals with which the guild was built upon during the classic era of World of Warcraft. vodka aims to be a guild that is not only comprised of talented players that hope to be successful in raiding in World of Warcraft but a place for friends to gather and call home. We foster an environment where players not only grow and develop but become a part of a tight-knit guild community that enjoys playing together. While success and excellence are what we pride ourselves on it is the fun and shared experience that keep us playing together.
Blood Legion: Blood Legion started out as a guild (clan) in Diablo and Diablo II. Our leader at the time, Zxtreme, got into the World of Warcraft alpha test and started the guild there as well. There wasn’t a real catalyst for its formation other than expanding the guild to a new game. This endeavor, however, amounted to starting from scratch since most members from Diablo didn't share the same talent and motivations in WoW or couldn’t commit the time necessary. After release, as our guild grew on Illidan, we became increasingly competitive. We eventually swallowed up the leadership and core members of several other raiding guilds on the server in order to play with like-minded, quality players.
Q. What drives your guild to stay ahead of the curve?
A. vodka: vodka is just comprised of many likeminded individuals with a passion for the game and a desire to be the best. Every member is not only skilled as a player but also highly motivated. We set goals and work hard to accomplish them and I think all the members of the guild push each other to become better players in the process.
Blood Legion: This definitely differs from person to person. We have some people that simply enjoy playing the game and others that enjoy raiding at a high level. One thing that is universal, however, is that everyone wants to be the best at what they do.
Q. Does your guild have a favorite raiding moment? What was it?
A. vodka: There have been a lot of special moments for vodka in raiding. It is not our accomplishments that are at the top, but rather the silly moments that stand out to us. Every guild has them and can relate. Most recently, it was during our Heroic Ragnaros progression. During phase 2 of the encounter, we had designated one person to direct the raid when to move from Molten Seeds so we could do so in sync. We all stand stacked tightly together anxiously waiting for the call every wave. After doing so countless times you almost know instinctually when to move, and more importantly, that something doesn’t feel right when you are standing around for too long. There really is not anything more comical then that person forgetting to yell "MOVE!!" as you find yourself and the entire raid flattened in a blink of an eye because no one moved despite knowing better. You can’t help but just laugh.
Blood Legion: It's difficult to choose one specific moment, since there have been so many great moments shared over the years. Here are some of the more memorable raiding moments that we've had:
In vanilla, at the end of Naxxramas, the spot for the top horde guild in the US was up for grabs with about four guilds working on the last boss, Kel'Thuzad. We had heard that one of the other guilds had wiped at 5% the night before, and we didn't have much exposure to the last phase of the fight, so we all figured we were going to lose the race. Our guildmaster made the call to get world buffs and just see how far into that last phase we could get for experience, and we just happened to stumble our way through and managed to kill it before any of the other guilds in the race.
At the end of the Burning Crusade expansion, when Patch 3.0 came out, we decided to have a little fun and kill the Alliance faction leaders for the new achievements. With Illidan being a very high population server, we ended up having to organize three other raiding guilds, which totaled about 110 players, to come along to Ironforge to take out King Magni Bronzebeard. The sheer magnitude of the battle nearly brought down the server, but after about 40 minutes we finally killed him.
In Wrath of the Lich King, our most memorable moment would definitely be our world-first dethroning of the Lich King 10-player encounter. The amount of publicity we received for this feat was astounding.
Most recently, in Cataclysm, our most memorable achievement so far was our US first Nefarian kill, since it marked the end of the incredibly long raiding marathon that was Tier 11 and made us the first US guild to clear all 13 bosses on Heroic difficulty.
Q. What advice would you give to guilds who are trying to conquer current and future Raiding content?
A. vodka: I think the best advice we can give would be to just keep raiding and have fun with it. With enough practice and patience, any obstacle can be overcome. In the end, no matter the difficulty, sharing that experience and accomplishment with friends is the true reward. So find the right place to play and enjoy the game with them, all the while pushing yourself and those around you to be better every day.
Blood Legion: The single most important piece of advice is to find a group of people that share the same goals and desires for what they want to accomplish within the game. Do not settle for anything less. Also, make sure you're playing the game for the right reasons - enjoying what you do goes a long way towards being successful.
Q. Do you have any last words to share before you face the World of Warcraft Live Raid at BlizzCon?
A. vodka: We would just like to thank Blizzard for providing us with this opportunity and all their hard work in developing the game we all love. In addition, thanks to all the vodka fans out there. It is our hopes to represent the US on a worldwide scale in World of Warcraft as a guild that is not only talented and accomplished but has a positive impact on the raiding community. Hopefully, you enjoy watching us.
Blood Legion: Talk is cheap. Can we raid yet?