In a somewhat controversial move, Blizzard opted to activate the new Ruby Sanctum raid yesterday afternoon for North American realms. Not only was this before EU realms received patch 3.3.5, it was also during a 24-hour maintenance period for 74 North American realms. This act was somewhat contrary to an earlier announcement that seemed to express the desire by Blizzard for more parity when it comes to world and region availability of new end-game encounters. It also allowed guilds on roughly one-third of worldwide servers to have a head start on defeating Halion, both normal and heroic, before the other two-thirds of the servers were even accessible.
Premonition of Sen’jin-US, the guild that happened to be featured at the Live Raid event during 2009’s BlizzCon, managed to get the first kill of heroic Halion in both the 10- and 25-man versions last night. Since then, according to wowprogress.com, there have still only been a few guilds that have downed either version of the heroic mode.
While it’s easy to claim that this kill is not a major deal due to the short instance length and relatively low difficulty when compared to Heroic Lich King, Cataclysm’s trend towards shorter and more accessible raids, along with the combining of 10- and 25-man lockouts, may end up stopping EU realms from garnering as many world-first boss kills as they have in the past. In addition, there are some players who are extremely upset with Blizzard for releasing the new raid during the 24-hour maintenance period, effectively blocking that large handful of realms from even attempting the instance.
I heard from a few players who were on the realms that were down during last night’s Ruby Sanctum Heroic 10-man stream, but I want to hear from more of you. Are you upset about how Blizzard handled Ruby Sanctum? Do you pay attention to world firsts? Do you think it’s all just a bunch of QQ? I really believe all of this will blow over pretty quickly, but I also hope dropping short instances for North American realms to get world firsts doesn’t become a habit for Blizzard.