New Raid tier, new race to world first! Here are all the details if you plan to participate or just enjoy the action.
The new Raid tier Abyssos dropped on August 23, with the 6.2 Patch Buried Memory. And unlike previous post-expansion patches, this time around the entry to the new Savage tier has been delayed by an entire week.
Here be Lions
To the uninitiated, this might not seem like a big deal but with the introduction of another Extreme trial that rewards a slightly better weapon and the option to quickly grind out tomestones for a gear upgrade Savage Raiders are now pressed for choice. Get a head start or spend 1-2 hours to cap their weekly currency to get an upgrade that can significantly impact the later fights.
So you see, this time around a tough DPS check might not be an issue, but it comes with a time commitment that might cost them the race. In the past, like 5.2 for example teams taking the time grinding out Ruby Weapon Extreme which was introduced in the same fight managed to gain a substantial advantage in the later stages of the race. Maybe it'll be like that this time as well.
But if you want to catch the action in all its glory, all your favorite Final Fantasy XIV twitch streamers will probably participate to some degree. But don't expect any of the top groups to stream their progression. That happens mostly to keep the race interesting.
If this is your first Final Fantasy XIV race to world first, maybe you're joining us from World of Warcraft or other MMOs and are interested in the spectacle.
Here's what you can expect. The race to world first for a Savage tier usually takes around a day. This usually includes 4 fights that are vastly different from the normal difficulty of the same raid tier. They might look the same but their mechanics come in an expanded version that's barely even comparable to the normal raids.
The final fight of the tier has also usually a second phase with a checkpoint — meaning there are technically 5 fights. Each fight can be tackled separately but they have to be done in order to progress the tier. All teams will go in with the same baseline equipment, but both equipment and party makeup are not as important to a fight as you might expect. Many teams purposefully sacrifice damage over having recovery options in order to progress fights faster. In Final Fantasy XIV, fights tend to be tight 10 to 15-minute dances that players have to figure out and solve while optimizing their damage around mechanics.
Unlike the infamous Ultimates, these fights tend to revolve around one or two mechanics that get supplemented by all kinds of other mechanics. And it's a battle of endurance more than quick reaction times. And director and producer Naoki Yoshida vowed in the most recent live letter that this might be the hardest tier they've had in a while. But these Savage Raids in Final Fantasy XIV tend to be hard, but still fun to progress instead of frustrating.
And in Final Fantasy XIV, everyone gets to start the Raid Tier at the same time. So it's truly worldwide competition with the entire community coming together for bants and some insane gameplay.
How to Watch/Participate
While the race to world first is not supported by Square Enix, it is a huge event within the Final Fantasy XIV community. Organized is the whole ordeal by the one and only Frosty and his helpful Moogle helpers. You can sign up for the race here if you're planning to participate and stream, otherwise you can also report your kill time to end up on the leaderboard.
If you just want to watch the action, you can hop on over to Twitch to watch either the perspectives of your favorite streamers or head on over and watch MogTalk for expert analyzing and casting. As they flip in between perspectives and also run their usual program of raffles for prizes sponsored by sponsors or members of the community. MogTalk's show is also a charity drive so all donations and subscriptions go to a good cause. During the race to world first for the Dragonsong's Reprise Ultimate, the community came together and raised 31,254.69$ USD for Médecins Sans Frontières Ukraine in just four days.
This time, all donations will go towards the charity Direct Relief which has been involved in countless humanitarian relief efforts all across the globe by supplying people in need with medical supplies. So if you plan to watch the spectacle please consider leaving a small donation for a good cause.
The race starts as soon as the patch goes live, August 23, at 10 AM (GMT) / 3:00 AM (PDT).
We'll of course keep you posted on everything that happens during the race to world first and inform you should anything come up. If you want to keep the good vibes going, go visit us at ESTNN for all your gaming and esports needs.