The Lich King aside, there has rarely been a final boss in WoW that so many players have looked forward to as Sylvanas Windrunner, the final antagonist in the Sanctum of Domination. Anticipation was also heightened by Blizzard's developers stressing at every opportunity how epic and extraordinary the fight against the Banshee will be. Whether or not that's actually true is, of course, up to each player to decide for themselves. But one thing is for sure: the last fight of the current raid is very long and hard. You'll need about 15 minutes to defeat the Banshee. And that's only if you can win the final stage's DpS race.

Fewer kills than ever

Of course, how easy or hard a fight is depends largely on your party and their strengths and weaknesses. Some guilds find bosses with a lot of mechanics fairly easy, while others have their advantages in tight DpS checks. In the case of Sylvanas, however, there seem to be few groups that are comfortable with the long and complex combat. At least that's what the Banshee's kill numbers show. No other end boss in the mid-range past was killed as infrequently as the Forsaken in the early days and first week. It must be said that all these numbers are not one hundred percent reliable. Especially Asian guilds often fall through the roster, because they are not tracked on wowprogress for example.
The guys at wowhead dug deep into the numbers in this regard and looked at how many times Sylvanas has been defeated and how often, in comparison, the previous final bosses were killed after exactly the same amount of time.

Caution: These numbers are from the night of Sunday to Monday in the first ID and are therefore not the current state. However, they paint a pretty good picture.

  • Heroic G'huun in Uldir: over 400
  • Heroic Jaina in Dazar'alor: over 450
  • Heroic Azshara in the Eternal Palace: over 400
  • Heroic N'Zoth in Ny'alotha: over 600
  • Heroic Denathrius in Castle Nathria: 98

By comparison:

  • Heroic Sylvanas in Sanctum: 33

By now, a few more guilds have been able to defeat Sylvanas - but the ratio to the other bosses remains about the same.
If you look at the very early bosses, they were of course killed much less frequently. WoW (buy now 14,99 € ) Classic and BC Classic clearly show, however, that this was not due to the difficulty of the bosses at that time, but to the different attitude and preparation with which was raided at that time.

Bugs and long combat

But why does Sylvanas resist so steadfastly? For one thing, bugs make it difficult to fight in the early days. While this has been the case in the past, it seems to be more prevalent this time around. Players report Anduin jumping around and killing players, missing air bridges that cause raids to fall to their deaths, or area effects that players can't place in the third phase. Some of these have since been fixed, but others continue to persist.
In addition, there is the hard berserk timer, which has been adjusted in the meantime. However, this resulted in a complete shift of all timings, which caused all WeakAuras and BossMods to display incorrectly, which may have confused some players even more.

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The third point that needs to be addressed here is the length of the fight. Sylvanas doesn't really become dangerous to the raid until the final stages. By then, however, easily around ten minutes have already been played. So it takes an enormous amount of time to practice the final stage, and guilds get far fewer attempts at the boss on a typical raid night than they have in the past. And fewer attempts usually means fewer kills.

Less guilds = less kills?

Another argument often heard is that the long 9.0 patch simply caused a lot of players to quit, and there are simply fewer groups currently going out to beat up bosses. That may also play into the issue. However, the kill numbers on the front bosses or in normal mode have not dropped significantly. So it's possible that there are less hardcore players, because many have switched down a gear and play a bit more relaxed - but that's hard to prove.

How about you guys? Have you been able to defeat Sylvanas yet, or are you still nibbling away at one of the front bosses - such as the Roadblock Sufferer Raznal?

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