Lathere wrote a post a while back comparing the two raiding formats available in Wrath these days: 10 mans or 25 mans. She can see all the advantages of running 10s (small group of good players, more personal contribution to success) and is forgetting all the great things about 25s – and it’s not just the gear.
In January our Burning Crusade raiding guild disbanded. We had about 15 people who turned up at raid time – too many to do a 10 man, so some missed out each week, and not nearly enough to do a 25 man. We had at least 10 players who hadn’t reached level 80 yet. And about 5 players who decided to stop raiding with Wrath of the Lich King. And we had lost about 10 players who defected to raiding guilds that were already doing 25 man raids.
We considered scaling down and becoming a 10 man raiding guild. And we decided to consider our options and regroup at the end of the week to decide. I had about 4 days to consider:
- (a) staying with my friends and raiding 10 mans casually (2 nights per week) or
- (b) striking out on my own in a brand new guild and raiding 25s seriously (more than 3 nights)
I made my decision on this topic back then in January. I decided that, sure, I’d keep a character in the guild to raid with my friends, but I was taking Cassandri out to a 25 man raiding guild. I didn’t care if I got put on a “casual” rank, or didn’t get the best gear, I wanted to be part of something much bigger than me and a few mates.
I never doubted my decision.
I love 25 mans. I love that 25 mans are so big that you feel insignificant. I’ll never forget the first time we went into Gruul’s Lair, a group of 25 people who had little to no raiding experience, and just threw ourselves, en masse, at these giant, supremely pissed off ogres. I loved standing shoulder to shoulder with my fellow rogues (there were three of us playing rogues at the time, and a Ret Pally that would have been included in our little club if he would only ditch the axe for a couple of swords and, well, stop glowing) hacking away at Gruul’s hoof even though I was skeptical that Gruul would even feel my Sinister Strike crits.
I love that now when my brother asks me “how do you do this boss?” I can’t give him an answer. I can tell him how I do it, as a caster, but I have no freaking idea how it’s tanked, healed or even what the melee have to do. I love that in a 25 man there is friendly competition between the DPS – because there are so many of us. I love party chat in a 25 man raid. The team within the team. You don’t get that in a 10 man.
I love that in a 25 man there’s just not enough room to spread out without tripping over someone else. If you’re trying to avoid any chain lightning ability the boss has you have to strategically group up in pairs or threes and move as one entity.
I love 25s. If I could raid 40 mans, I would.
I’ve never participated in an world raid boss but I once read a strategy for Doomwalker – the giant Fel Reaver dude that patrols around the Black Temple in Shadowmoon Valley. They recommended having, at a set point, a “calvary” – several groups of people who have been waiting out of combat – to ride in and take over. This idea just enthralled me. The strategies for defeating a boss that has no locked door, no instance portal, were so different to anything I had experienced. You need a giant army – every man and his dog – to fight Doomwalker.
I love the amount of strategy and coordination that is required by large raid teams. This is the part of me that actually finds battlegrounds interesting, the (small, small) part of me that actually enjoyed Skirmish. I love that it can fall to pieces so quickly, and I love when everyone stands in the exact right place at the exact right time – it’s beautiful.
So in my mind, while getting to meet Algalon was special (and definately more accessible on 10 mans), I’ll always think of myself as marking time when I’m in a 10 man. I do think of 10 mans as practise for the real thing: a chance to perfect your strategy and try things you might not get away with in a 25 man encounter.
That’s the way I’m wired I guess. I’m grateful that I was forced to make this decision back in January. I not conflicted over my play time like many other raiders currently juggling both 10 and 25 man raiding.