Over the weekend I had the chance to catch up with Australasia’s leading Twitch streamer Quin69, we chatted about some of the Mythic+, Mythic Dungeon Invitational, and Battle for Azeroth action we’re looking forward to in the near future.
SheepOCE: So I’m here with the man himself, Wanganui-based Twitch.TV extraordinaire, Quintin Crawford — better known as Quin69. Quin I’ll get you to quickly introduce yourself to those not familiar with your antics.
Quin69: G’day, I’m Quin69, a pretty terrible streamer on Twitch.TV mostly playing World of Warcraft, and I’m hoping over the next week to be participating in the Mythic Dungeon Invitational (MDI) and then getting knocked out in the first round.
S: Before we get into the questions around the MDI, you’ve recently beaten Mythic Argus (the hardest current content raid boss) in WoW and therefore become an in-game ‘Titanslayer’, how does it feel?
Q: First of all feels great to finally have it done, I’m not sure how to explain the emotion behind finally killing this boss after wiping over and over and over. It was also more painful because I’m used to working with more experienced guild’s and focusing on pulling my own weight, compared to this raid tier where we started a guild from scratch. As a result, we experienced all of those growing pains of recruiting, replacing, and just constantly being stuck with people who you normally wouldn’t associate with a cutting edge guild. For example, we experienced heaps of raiders starting drama, not turning up to raid on time, and overall just being toxic for the entire team environment. That being said, being able to fumble our way and somehow make our way through the entire raid is absolutely insane.
S: It’s pretty crazy that you’ve downed Argus after only a few months since forming the guild. Let’s get cracking on the MDI.
Time trials are at this point only a few days away starting from the 28th of March, so at this point how are you and your team feeling going into it, especially considering the tournament realm to practice on was only made available to you within the last 24 hours.
Q: I’ll level with you here, our team is going to do the best we can, but we’re coming against some of these guys that are practising every day for realistically all of the months leading into this week. Whereas we formed on the idea of a last-minute, ‘let’s get the boys together and give this thing a crack’ and we’re as a collective just excited to see how far we can go with whatever practice we can get in. At this stage, the plan is to get into as much time together that we can before the trials start, and make it through to the regionals on the goal of not losing at least one match there. Maybe even take a round or so, but overall we aren’t totally fussed with the number that’s going to get stuck beside our name. Even qualifying for the next stage alone would be great, and we’d be pretty happy to consider that an achievement in itself.
S: For sure, and without revealing too many of your super secret strategies, what class are you planning on taking into the competition?
Q: First and foremost I want to make it clear I’m a loyal Retribution Paladin main, I love Ret and I think they’re really cool and everything, but more recently I’ve been triggered big time that in one of my favourite things to do, Mythic+, in terms of melee DPS, Ret’s aren’t the worst, but they for sure aren’t anything to gloat about. Realistically you cannot even consider them to be on a remotely similar level as something like a Windwalker Monk or Havoc Demon Hunter.
I’ve decided to reroll Demon Hunter for the time trials, to give our team a chance really. There are so many pitfalls to having a Ret in these dungeons, mainly being the fact that they are so reliant on a two-minute cooldown to do any form of damage, that I would almost be blatantly hurting our chances of getting through.
S: Blizzard has put out for us the three dungeons that are to be completed for the time trials (check out #gotogame’s coverage here), do you think these three choices are going to represent a wide range of challenges that will really help determine the best teams from the rest of the players?
Q: It’s definitely an improvement on what the system from last year’s competition where it was all one level with just a few randomized affixes. Now you’re at least seeing the Maw of Souls which will be an absolute crazy fiesta of a speedrun, compared to the Tyrannical Upper Karazhan which is much more of a specific boss fight speed clear/obstacle course, and on top of that they’ve thrown in quite a difficult keystone in that +24 Neltharion’s Lair which will be an absolute show of stamina and focus. My favourite thing without a doubt is that variance, especially in comparison to 2017’s competition.
S: Definitely, it’s awesome to see how that variance is going to potentially magnify small weaknesses that some teams have, as it really represents most if not all of what can be expected across the board for Mythic+.
Lastly, on the topic of the MDI, I’m not sure how well known it is but, in the competitive PvE scene in World of Warcraft globally, Oceania is widely regarded as a relatively strong big hitter on that world stage. Last year’s competition saw teams Free Marsy and Honestly both make it through to the final, and there is somewhat an expectation that they’ll at least be near those heights again.
Considering the level of opposition you’re up against, how confident are you guys that you will be able to make it past the time trials and into the regionals?
Q: With the format being the top 8 teams from each region getting through, if we simply devote enough time and effort into it, we’ll make it through to qualify for the next stage. Last night when I first jumped on the tournament realm I made a quick group with some other players (not the team we’ll be playing with) and we went into the Maw of Souls which we need to get through, tried pulling everything at once, and straight away died. We ran outside, reset the instance, and jumped in and did it again. Died, reset, did it again. We did that over and over again to the point where we figured out a way to make it work.
I feel like if we manage to spend enough time and get in enough attempts and just to perfect every single key it is going to be possible for a team like ours running realistically with a sub-optimal setup we can get through. It’s almost like Mythic raiding to a certain extent that if you keep slamming your face into the boss, you’ll come across that pull where no one makes a mistake, does heaps of damage, and you kill the boss.
S: Moving to a more broader subject, we’re getting to the end of Legion as an expansion, and as a result, we’re seeing more and more top end players burn out before starting to prepare for BFA. To reflect, how do you think Legion has gone, and what would you like to see between now and BFA?
Q: I played during Warlords of Draenor (the previous expansion) and I can confidently say the launch of that was horrible. The game was essentially unplayable for the first few days with all the phasing, lag, and issues with quest givers. In a totally polar comparison, Legion was awesome and just super smooth. It happened like the flick of a switch, there was no lag, and we were off. All of the features they added in like Mythic+ and World Quests have been absolutely amazing and great.
On the topic of the burnout, it’s definitely happening especially with heaps of players in our guild who are feeling like they’re done with the expansion after getting through Argus and definitely hold the viewpoint of why should we be farming this content because it’s going to get replaced by quest rewards as we level to 120, and at this point the only real content is to push higher Mythic+ keys for “fun” etc. I really hope that Blizzard puts something like a pre-patch or gives us a beta because I’m definitely starting to feel the burnout myself and am almost at the point of starting to play some new games.
S: Looking further towards BFA, there was a WoW Developer Q&A the other day where there was mention of master loot potentially being replaced permanently by personal loot in an attempt to combat split runs. As someone who is now a guild leader in a high-end guild, what are your thoughts on this and how do you see it hurting high-end guilds like yours?
Q: I mean there’s always going to be workarounds and such and assuming you can still trade loot, you can just force anyone who is eligible to trade loot to give it to one loot master who then distributes it. Obviously, there are some limitations such that if it titanforges you cannot trade it etc. In its current state, I don’t see master looting been an issue anywhere. You have to have something like 80% of the group in your guild and no one outside of top end guilds is using it. Now that Blizzard has also seen the backlash, I don’t see any situation in which Blizzard goes through with it.
I also don’t see how it tackles split running as there’s workarounds to it that are so easy and are even used to this day. I mean I myself use it on my stream where I make raid teams that are completely full with leather wearers and then I get people to feed me the gear. You can at that point just apply the exact same logic to split runs where you split the raid into groups sorted by armour class and go from there.
S: You’ve had the chance to look at the Battle for Azeroth Alpha, and you’ve given us a couple of insights into Ret Paladins, the new expeditions mode, and somewhat of a full overview. How excited are you for the new expansion and any changes you’ve seen so far for Ret Paladin?
Q: The new expansion is very promising, for starters, the island expeditions have the potential to create a new end game. While right now you have raiding, Mythic+, and PVP as you endgame content, with expeditions it seems like they’re trying to bring in some replayable content that not just the same thing that we’ve seen in Legion. It’s super promising and I hope they make it really sick.
Overall I’m a big fan of the current direction of Ret Paladins. I do like that they’re giving us more buttons and Hammer of Wrath back, at this stage I don’t necessarily agree with how it’s balanced. For example, Hammer of Wrath really feels like a watered down version of what we currently have in Legion, and doesn’t feel like fun button to press. I really do want Blizzard to change it to operate more like an execute rather than it’s current form as a generator, and increase the cooldown while giving it a bigger hit. All in all, though, headed very much in the right direction.
S: Agreed, I think everyone (including myself) is super exciting for the expansion to hit, especially considering the awesome quality increase in both the launch and gameplay between Warlords and Legion, and if they can take another step up in that direction, you’ve got a really awesome game on your hands from a really small indie company like Blizzard.
As we move into BFA, we’ve briefly touched on how your new guild (Unbiased) was formed from the dust to killing Mythic end game bosses in no time. Speaking more around the guild, how has your experience going from a ‘min-maxer’ DPS player that turns up and does their job differed most from your new role as a guild and raid leader?
Q: It’s made me turn around and appreciate really how much goes on in the background of the guild to make it operate. I used to think it was like organizing some dudes to turn up and kill some bosses and you’ve got yourself a raiding guild. I was very much given a rude awakening to how much administration and work behind the scenes that goes on to operate a WoW guild. It’s almost like operating a small business where you have to micromanage all of these people and all of these problems. I’m not sure if it’s just my guild or it’s a regional problem, but damn there is so much drama that goes on for seemingly no reason all the time. It will feel like everything is all good and then out of nowhere in the middle of the raid someone will just start going off on someone else. It’s like this tension that you didn’t even know existed just blows up and then someone rages out, someone leaves the guild, and someone refuses to raid etc.
To a certain extent, it honestly reminds me of high school, added on with the fact that you have to manage these kids. You’re just constantly making decisions to try and keep that utilitarian approach to keeping everyone happy and just running around putting all fires all day every day. I think a big part in that though is the age of the guild where you’re comparing a lot of these other top end guilds that are super old and have a really solid core foundation to build on. The most important things are often the ones that come plain and simple with time where you learn how to criticize people and you build a system then add to it over time. We were the polar opposite where I had a couple of friends and then all of these randoms that potentially didn’t like each other, then forcing them to spend 16 hours a week with each other.
S: Sounds like a recipe for disaster that you expertly managed to navigate your way through to success.
Last but not least on the topic of your guild, where do you see Unbiased placing in that progression race headed into BFA? Are you again aiming for another top 10 regional finish, or are you really looking to face off against OCE top dogs Honestly and challenge for those top end world ranking?
Q: It totally depends. Over the next weeks, we’re going to have a lot of people dropping out from the game like we said because of burnout and they want to go casual. We’ve already lost 5-6 people and it’s taken a huge hit on the raid team. We have to restart the recruitment process, and if Unbiased survives until BFA, we’re going to go as hard as the people in the guild can. I’m on the lookout for like-minded players that they just want to go as hard and far as they can. The main obstacle is can we find 20 – 23 people with that mindset that are ready to turn up and give it their all. It’s always going to be a struggle to find those numbers that for when a new raid comes out they’re prepared to give 9-10 hours a day, 6 days a week for that first few weeks a new raid tier drops. I’m definitely hoping so, but I’m not 100% sure we can pull it off.
S: Well here’s hoping.
That’s all I’ve got for you, huge thanks for dropping in and catching, we’ll have to meet again in the next 6 months to see how you’re getting on.
Q: Always a pleasure, looking forward to it.