The Nerub'ar Palace raid overhead view in WoW The War Within
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard to make much-needed revision to WoW’s Race to World First in The War Within

One of the most controversial recent changes to WoW's Race to World First is going away in the next expansion.

Rejoice, WoW esports fans: The most integral part of the game’s Race to World First is making a comeback in The War Within

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“Heroic Week,” the one-week period that allowed world-first raiders to farm gear on Heroic difficulty and get acclimated with a new raid before it opened up on Mythic difficulty, is making a comeback in the next expansion. Heroic Week was done away with at the back end of Shadowlands in favor of a simultaneous raid release across all of WoW’s difficulties, but after an outpouring of support for the one-week grace period from many top teams, it will make a return in The War Within

Nerubians in the Nerub'ar Palace raid in WoW The War Within
Nerub’ar Palace will be the first raid feature in The War Within. Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Part of the decision to bring back Heroic Week is related to the addition of an “early access” period for players who purchase the Epic Edition of The War Within

“That three-day early access will give folks the ability to play through the story content, level up, get to max level … then we’ll have a period where we’ll actually have access to the Mythic zero system without the season having gone live,” WoW production director Michael Bybee said in a recent interview via WoW coverage site and database Wowhead. “Then the season will start and you’ll have your Heroic Week and then you’ll have the rest of the content unlocked.” 

Before the Race to World First kicked off, players would traditionally have one week of downtime where they could play the raid on Heroic difficulty before going into Mythic. Without this week, the simultaneous release would encourage players to incessantly farm split raids at the start of the race before they’d shoot up the Mythic leaderboards, usually 48 hours into a raid cycle. 

The return of Heroic Week, however, should make the early stages of the race less gear-dependent and, honestly, less boring. Gone are the days of waiting around and speculating when Echo and Liquid will finally stop farming and enter the Mythic race. In The War Within, we should be seeing top teams start raiding Mythic the day it opens. 

“People complain now with the race that people are just watching splits for three days, this drastically reduces that,” Liquid’s raid leader Maximum said in a recent YouTube video. “When Mythic is released, we’re pretty much going to go right in, maybe a day of splits or a day and a half, because you can get most of it done in the previous week.” 

If there was any positive takeaway from the era of simultaneous raid releases, it was that the lack of a Heroic Week encouraged smaller guilds to try their hands at Mythic difficulty and attempt to snag an early-boss world first before the biggest contenders started to turn the gears. The last four raids have been famous for bringing teams like The Early Shift and Vesper to the forefront of the race, allowing them to “steal” world-first kills in the early portions of each raid away from the top teams while they were off farming gear. 

In The War Within, though, every team will start from the same block one week later at the onset of Mythic week, and they’ll be expected to do the bulk of their gear farming during the seven days in between resets.


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Author
Michael Kelly
Staff Writer covering World of Warcraft and League of Legends, among others. Mike's been with Dot since 2020, and has been covering esports since 2018.