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WoWDec 13, 2022 1:00 pm CT

What’s new with the Vault of the Incarnates Race to World First

Guilds all around the world are about to be storming the gates of the Vault of the Incarnates for the Race to World First. This is the ninth Race to World First that is going to be broadcast for the viewers at home to follow along with. The first was Uldir — all the way back at the start of Battle for Azeroth. Along the way, the race has been evolving. We’ve seen things like guilds moving to have a dedicated shot-caller outside of the raid or the ludicrous amounts of gold that have been spent on each race. There are going to be a few changes this time around too that promise to shake things up a little.

Don’t worry though, this will still be mostly the same race you’re used to. The guilds will all be creating memes on the fly and casting every step of the way on Twitch. Plus I’m sure that there will be at least a fight or two that proves to be enough of a challenge that it lives on in infamy — like our favorite robot crab Halondrus.

So what exactly has changed for Vault of Incarnates World First — and are the changes good for the race? From what the raiders in the race are saying, that yeah they’re pretty happy with how the latest World First race is set up.

No more selling Bind on Equip Mythic items right away

In the past few Race to World First events, the amount of gold being thrown around to buy items was through the roof. Guilds would spend hundreds of millions of gold on getting certain Mythic quality Bind on Equip items. Especially as Mythic opened and groups were able to get into the raid, we would see people constantly farm the raid looking to get the BOE drops so they could have a chance to sell them.

Now those Mythic difficulty items will start as Bind on Pickup loot — meaning whoever gets it is stuck with it. That will drrastically cutting down the amount of gold being spent on drops. You’ll still be able to sell the Heroic and Normal quality BOE items from the raid, but those will command much lower prices to these top guilds.

This isn’t a permanent change either, after a couple of weeks Warcraft developers will change Mythic items to be BOE again. Letting people sell newly dropped Mythic items at the auction house similar to the items from the other difficulties.

This doesn’t mean that there will be no gold at all spent on the race — but it will be much less. Guilds will still be paying for characters who can trade their gear in Heroic and maybe even Normal difficulty to ensure that their raiders can get set bonuses. PVP carriers will likely still be hired as well to continue to help fill out the Great Vault slots with potential upgrades for raiders.

All of the raid difficulties open the first week

In the past, Mythic difficulty would open a week later than Normal and Heroic, which gave World First guilds an extra week to build up their gear before the race began. We’d see guilds kill hundreds of bosses between all of their different characters to try and get the best possible upgrades on the right characters. This also helped to build some familiarity with the fights on the live servers which could make the difference between a wipe and a kill as players are somewhat used to how the raid bosses will behave.

Now everything opens for business that first day. Guilds will have to balance their time between clearing the raid on lower difficulties for the loot and pushing on Mythic for the glory. In the past, we’ve seen that the first handful of bosses will fall quickly to guilds who left their characters logged out right at the raid entrance… but now those guilds will be going in vastly undergeared compared to the raid and won’t be able to brute force things quite as much. I’m still not sure that the first boss Eranog will live much past fifteen minutes, but I expect he won’t quite be the pushover that players are used to.

As another change, Warcraft developers aren’t capping the maximum item level on the end of dungeon loot in Mythic Keystone dungeons. It used to be capped at the same item level as Heroic so that players who ran a bunch of Keystones the first week weren’t extremely powerful, but now it’ll be another source of high-level gear for these raiders. If  they take the time to go and run the dungeons, the Race to World First could look more like the Mythic Dungeon International if the guilds all hit a roadblock boss.

Twitch drop viewer reward!

This time around Blizzard is working with Twitch to provide a reward for players who watch the Race to World First too! If you spend at least two hours watching the race on Twitch between December 13 and December 28, 2022, you’ll get the Perpetual Purple Firework toy. You’ll be able to have your tiny New Years’ eve celebration a little early!

There are specific streams you’ll have to watch in order to get it, namely anyone in the big five streaming guilds — Blizzard has a full list of the names for you to choose from. You’ll need to ensure that your Twitch account is linked to your Battle.net account just like the Nether Drake and Windsteed promotions.

Another change that I didn’t see coming in this Race to World First. Method’s long-time tank and leader Sco is stepping down from being one of the main tanks for their raid. He’ll still support the group from outside of the raid, but he’s hung up his shield.

I think that these are some pretty great changes overall for the health of the raiders involved in the race. The changes all seem geared around trying to cut down on the amount of farming that they do outside of raid. There’s still plenty for them to do in order to get an edge, like maxing out reputations to ensure the highest quality of crafted gear and feasts possible, but hopefully, this helps to cut down on the burnout that players have faced in the past. The race is more fun when everyone is having fun.

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