HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

The Future of Raiding

Changing Raid Sizes, from Classic through to Wrath of the Lich King

Changing Raid Sizes, from Classic through to Wrath of the Lich King... and into Cataclysm

A few days ago we got to look into the crystal ball and see the future of raiding in World of Warcraft. Developers released this announcement which outlines how they intend raids and progression to work in Cataclysm. Most of the changes left me feeling pensive about Cataclysm – I can’t help but feel that all the things I love about raiding are slipping further out of my grasp.

I was happy to hear that they intend to release a lot of raid content out of the box and include more than one, mid-size, raid instance in the first raiding tier. Finally! Perhaps this time they might get the raid length/time commitment right.

I loved running Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep in the same lockout week. Naxxaramas with a quick jaunt off to kill Sartharion in Obsidian Sanctum always felt more like a diversion and hassle than a proper change of scenery. And Naxxramas just went on forever. Especially in a PuG group.

One raid ID per guild, per week

Keeva over at Tree Bark Jacket has the unique experience of having run a 25 man guild, and then having run a 10 man guild only to return to 25s, all during Wrath of the Lich King:

Some people are upset about “missing out” – ie if you choose to do 25s, you’ll “miss out” on 10s. You’re not missing out on something that doesn’t exist anymore (a second lockout). We never had parallel 10 and 25 raids in TBC. There were 10man raids, and there were 25s. We didn’t have the same instance for both sizes.

I think at first, it seemed like a good idea to be able to choose; it seemed like it would give people the choice to be a 10 or a 25man raider.

It’s true. Wrath of the Lich King gave us the ability to choose the format – 10 or 25 man. And by choosing one, you weren’t locked out of running the other format.

Unlike many 25 man raiders I never felt obliged to run both raid formats at the same time. I think the experience you gain by wiping on new bosses in both formats does help you learn, and defeat, encounters a bit faster. But I’m concerned that the method they are choosing will force raiding guilds to have one raid ID per raid zone per week. Sounds good at first, and it may slow down progression a bit which is good news for Blizzard, the content lasts longer, and good news for us as players, more anticipation and more thrill when you get that first kill.

But I think it could backfire. I think it could backfire because they’re giving 25 man guilds the opportunity to scale down to the 10 man format mid-week.  I can’t help but wonder what will happen if only 20 players arrive for the raid on the second raid night for the week – a common occurrence in many raiding guilds when players only turn up for “farm night” and mysteriously disappear when it’s time to wipe on progression content. In the proposed Cataclysm raiding model the guild has the option to switch down to 10 man mode on that exact same raid ID. So who get picked as the lucky 10 to raid that night when the numbers are low and who gets benched? That’s potentially 10-12 upset people, all saved to that raid ID but unable to raid for the night.

Furthermore, if the guild is struggling to recruit, or going through a poor attendance phase, with 22-24 players turning up night after night I can’t see many officers willing to keep going. They can pick and choose the best 10 players and turn it into a strong 10 man raiding guild.

Losing the “epic” experience

But giving us the choice steals some of the realism from the story environment. For me it cheapens the experience – loses some of that omg feeling you’re meant to get when you first see a boss.

Beru refers to it the “grandness” of 25 man raiding. Once when you’ve experienced the pure chaos of fighting Yogg-Saron with 24 other people -  brain linked, feared to hell and back, and screaming at each other when someone steals their portal – coming back the next night with a team of 9 and succeeding seems just a little bit sad.

I’m always a little disappointed. It makes the boss less impressive in my eyes and takes away some of the satisfaction and sense of achievement.

Being able to switch your guild’s Raid ID from a 10 man one night to a 25 man the next night isn’t going to “fix” the experience. It may help with raider burnout. But it’s not going to make us believe that our enemy is all powerful, and near-impossible to defeat. And that’s how I want to approach every new boss I come across in World of Warcraft.

1 vs 25 means that the boss you’re facing is 25 times more deadly than you are as an individual. How can the Lich King triumph over the entire Argent Crusade but be defeated by 10 people? 25 mans make the bosses feel more powerful, the encounter more overwhelming and ultimately more satisfying when you triumph.

The convenience of 10 mans

I do believe that handing out the same rewards, in terms of gear, will be the death of 25 man raiding. Why? The raid weekly quest. When was the last time you got 25 people together to do the raid weekly quest? Never. You always grab 10 people to do it, why not? It’s easier to organise and the loot isn’t a deciding factor.

Coordinating 25 people to all show up is one thing. Coordinating 25 people to all do the right thing at the right time, produce amazing DPS, heal and tank perfectly and run out of fire, run together for brain links/pacts is harder. It’s just plain harder.

Even though I really, really enjoy 25 mans I know that most of my team, and even myself to a certain extent, are motivated by gear. And I can’t see myself being able to convince 24 other skilled players to raid with me without the lure of loot.

The truth is, some guilds will not survive this. Sure, the more solid and well established guilds will likely continue on about their way, but for guilds that are already struggling for numbers and/or progress it’s likely the signature on their death sentence. I mean…why continue to struggle to field 25 people when you can more easily have 10? — Beru

I couldn’t agree more. I think of how many nights we struggle to get just one or two more players to round out our 25 man team. It’s almost become a joke that Vitare can only down bosses when we have 24 players in the raid – almost all our ICC progression kills seemed to be with 24 players.

I can only hope that if any 25 man raiding guilds survive in Cataclysm, it will be because the 25 people in the team truly enjoy the 25 man raiding experience like I do. And, fingers crossed, those 25 players will be as skilled as the team I currently play with.

I just hope that brand new World of Warcraft players will get the chance to experience 25 man raiding before they are drawn into a steady 10 man team. I want new players to get the chance to experience both raiding formats. I want to show new raiders the madness and awe-inspiring sight of a perfectly coordinated 25 man raiding team and the tight-knit 10 man team. Before they make up their minds and join a raiding guild.

We talk about making raiding accessible, but I think it’s important to make 25 man raiding accessible too. Is the only time I’m going to be part of a mob when we raid Crossroads? When we compete for PVP zones like Wintergrasp?

How did the default raid size shift to double that of your regular dungeon run – 2 x 5 players – away from a 40 man army?

Encounter Difficulty

Guess what people? 10 mans aren’t easy. Furthermore, I don’t believe that the reason 25 man raiding guilds snipe all the 10 man raiding achievements and realm firsts is because they have higher gear scores.

Last year Lathere and I completed A Tribute to Insanity while wearing 10 man gear. I can promise you, the reason we got that achievement without wiping had very, very little to do with our gear. We got that achievement because our 10 man team was good at working together. Most importantly, our 10 man team had an excellent group makeup, with a fantastic variation of all the classes, providing all the buffs you could want – including Heroism.

A part of why we were able to get the 10 man realm first is because we were running the instance in both 25 man and 10 man. A lot of what we’d learned about Anub’arak came from completing the encounter on 25 man, I’ll give you that. But we’d only cleared Anub’arak perhaps three or four times when we completed the 0 wipe achievement – that’s not that many attempts or wipes.

I don’t think 10 man raid teams are inferior. 10 man raiding is difficult. But from my experience most 25 man teams are run more strictly and raiders are held to higher standards than the pure 10 man guilds I’ve seen in action.

A 25 man raid has it’s own balance but because the number of spaces is bigger, you can actually get away with overlaps in the raid composition. Our current 25 man team is far from perfect: we have 2 Shadow Priests, 2 Moonkin, 3 Restoration Druids, 1 Shaman and no Feral Druid. We juggle where we can to get all the buffs – one of our Warlocks will usually volunteer to be the caster buff bot for the evening because we don’t have an Elemental Shaman.

My 10 man guild group has changed quite a lot from what it was last year in Trial of the Grand Crusader. Last week we we attempted Deathbringer Saurfang Heroic with 2 Prot Warriors, 1 DPS Warrior, 1 Rogue, 1 Enhance Shaman, 1 Warlock, 1 Shadow Priest (me), 2 Restoration Druids and 1 Discipline Priest. Certainly not an even mix of the classes!

We couldn’t get it. Oh we did very, very well considering. The Warlock and I both had our own fiends to kill and we juggled threat with our tanks, kiting them back and forth until they died. If we got hit once – if a tank’s taunt missed, or the Warlock’s Demonic Circle expired – we wiped. We tried all kinds of things and to the best of our ability, came up with a bit of a stun rotation to bring them down to nearly half health before they got out of melee distance. It wasn’t an ideal strategy, but it was all we had, and we pretty much perfected it. On our best attempt I think we got him down to perhaps 10% or 15%. We had a lot of blood power accumulating and several Marks of the Fallen Champion.

I spent the entire time wishing for a Death Knight’s Death Grip or a Hunter and their Distracting Shot and slowing traps. Or I would have happily traded in my Shadow Priest’s slow and steady DPS for a bit of Mage burst DPS. I know that our healers were crying out, wishing they could heal both tanks at once.

A well meaning guild member came on Vent to ask us how we were going. When we tried to explain how we were managing the adds they sounded bewildered “oh in our 10 man kill last week we just used Hand of Freedom and Blessing of Protection on the ranged DPS”. Yeah thanks for reminding us that we don’t have a Paladin either.

However, I’ve read a lot of comments on various blogs and the general consensus seems to be that 25 man aren’t difficult to play, they’re only difficult to organise. I disagree.

25 mans are difficult because 1 person in a 25 man can ruin things for the other 24 people. It’s harder to get 25 people working together, focused, playing perfectly as one cohesive whole. Even excellent players have off nights, or trouble with certain boss encounters. If 5 players are making mistakes in any given attempt it just means that killing the boss as a team is more difficult and challenging. You have to consider the group as a whole, as one entity.

25 mans are difficult because you don’t have as much room to maneuver. Positioning in 25 mans is often very strict because standing a couple yards away from the ideal spot can get both yourself and your friends killed. 10 mans are much more forgiving.

25 mans are difficult because you often have to share duties – you might have 4 people in charge of keeping Kinetic Bombs in the air and you need to coordinate and check with those other players throughout the fight – not stepping on toes, but coming forward and taking control if they’re struggling.

25 mans are difficult because it’s nearly impossible to improvise over Vent. Conversation between 25 people would be a nightmare. It’s nearly impossible to ask questions like “which Empowered Fanatic should we kill first?” in a 25 man raid. You usually just end up guessing, because you’d be talking over someone else coordinating a battle resurrection, or calling out a phase change. Yet in a 10 man I’d be much more likely to ask, or request that the priority target is marked. Improvisation can wrangle a successful kill out of what looks like a wipe in 10 man, improvisation hardly ever works in a 25 man.

Raid Composition Min/Maxing meet 10 Mans

I think we’re going to see a min/max attitude applied to 10 mans. I don’t believe in “Bring the Player, not the Class”. Yes, you want 10 equally skilled raiders in your team, but beyond that only through variety can you bring all the buffs and utility stuff to your group. That doesn’t change, no matter how much they like to share the buffs around between classes.

I think we’re going to see very specific recruiting as serious 10 man raiders build their raid teams with progression in mind: “Recruiting 1 Survival/MM Hunter for serious 10 man progression raiding”. I think we’re going to see every class – pure DPS too – really use their dual specialisation in order to approach each new boss fight with the strongest team they can muster.

I think variety is the key. I don’t believe that you’ll be able to waltz into a Cataclysm 10 man raid with the kind of group make up that we had for our 10 man – heavy on just a couple of the classes – and expect to defeat all the bosses. I think progression teams will be more likely to keep people in the wings to swap in and out per fight.

10 mans are made even harder if you’re trying to accommodate friends, letting them play whatever class/spec they desire, instead of playing with a group composition that really works well.

Incentives for 25 Man Teams

At the moment Blizzard are planning to entice raiders to run 25 mans instead of 10 man by offering up more Emblems and Gold to compensate them for the effort to coordinate the damn thing. Not going to work.

Unless the Emblem system changes dramatically you only need Emblems at the start of a raiding tier when new items are released. Even if you only earn Emblems of Frost by running a 10 man each week… well you’re going to get all the items you want sooner or later anyway. Being ahead of the curve by a week or two doesn’t really mean much to me. But I don’t like gear from Emblems anyway – I have no sentimentality or attachment to the item itself.

Gold is an even worse incentive. I can’t think of anyone in my guild who cuts corners (skipping Flasks, refusing to buy epic gems or the most expensive enchants) or worries about running out of gold. We even ask, as part of the recruitment process, if an applicant has a healthy gold balance and most applicants scoff at the question – they have more than enough gold to keep raiding.

What is a good incentive? I don’t know. I think the player to loot ratio needs to be higher. If 10 mans offer 1 piece of loot per 5 players for each boss kill, 25 mans need to offer about 1 piece of loot per 4 players. Perhaps even if only 1 Tier Token dropped in a 10 man and 3 dropped in a 25 man raid, that alone would be enough.

I think the only real incentive is to make sure that 25 mans are just a bit easier than 10 mans.

Read that again. I think 25 man boss kills should be easier for your average player. I think we’re going to lose so many players to 10 mans in Cataclysm – out of convenience, not because they prefer the experience – that the quality of players applying for 25 man guilds will be lower and I think the pool of applicants will be much smaller. Give us a chance: make the encounter more forgiving, just a bit easier, on 25 man setting. Tune it assuming only 20-23 players will be present.

The Dream

What I’d like to see is multiple raids – some only for 10 people, some only for 25 people, different content filling the same tier gear.

I’d like the content to dictate how many players you need to defeat the boss in question. Cataclysm Nasty Boss #1 should requite 25 people, Cataclysm Nasty Bosses #2-#5 should require 10 people – but all bosses 1-5 should drop the same item level gear. Why can’t there by a 25 man that drops Tier 11 that’s totally different content to a 10 man instance that drops the same Tier 11? Hell, let them drop the exact same Tier Tokens.

I want to see less flexibility – I don’t want to be able to change the raid size mid-week. I want to walk up to Deathwing and need the best 10, 20, 25, 40 … whatever… players I know to defeat him.

I hope that they give guilds flexibility by offering multiple raid lockouts per week by offering multiple raid instances per tier. I think that they’re trying to do this and I applaud them. Yes, this takes more time and effort to produce, but I’m not adverse to revisiting an existing zone in a later patch to take on a new “wing”.

For example, imagine that Ulduar – the zone in the north of Storm Peaks, not the raid instance – comprised of 3 raid instances. Halls of Stone (10 man, Tier 7) would contain 6 bosses and be released with Wrath of the Lich King, Ulduar (25 man, Tier 8 ) would contain 13 bosses and be released sometime later then perhaps we’d skip a whole patch cycle and eventually return for Halls of Lightning (10 man, Tier 10) to kill just 4 bosses. Remember that at each Tier level they would be other raids – a 25 man Tier 7, a 10 man Tier 8 and a 25 man Tier 10.

And, finally, I hope they bring back a 40 man world boss! Let’s not lose the Massively in MMORPG.

21 Responses to “The Future of Raiding”

  1. LenNo Gravatar says

    I agree that multiple raid instances at the same level requiring different numbers of raiders seems like a good solution. But requiring people to go from 25 back to 10 up to 25 again to see different raids is complicated. Guilds that are already running 25 mans would be able to see everything as you have 2-3 potential 10 man teams within your guild. Large guilds would get the best of everything.

    What about smaller guilds that run 10 mans exclusively? They’d miss out on half the content unless they pugged or ran with a coalition, and blizzard seems to be trying to move away from ‘pugging’ with all the guild rewards in cataclysm. Not to mention their clear aim that everyone can see all the content available in the option that suits them best. Sure if there were multiple raids at each tier, 10 and 25 man raiders could be similarly geared assuming the same ilevel of drops at each instance. But they wouldn’t be able to SEE half of the raid content because of the guild they have chosen or the raid style they prefer – this seems to be what Blizzard are moving away from rather than towards.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      I know that Blizzard are moving towards a “you and your mates form a 10 man thus you can attend any raid you like” but I don’t agree with that. I’ve been in a guild with 15 players trying to run 25s – you pug. Or you have an extensive friends list. You network, you interact with other players and try and make connections with other guilds in the same position in order for things to work.

      I spent more time in Karazhan and Zul’Aman than I did 25 mans in the Burning Crusade – and I knew that Black Temple and Sunwell were out of my reach. I didn’t feel ripped off that I had paid for a game and didn’t get to experience every single thing it in.

      Players should be encouraged to build alliances and make connections with players outside their own guild – especially if they’re in a friends and family guild. That’s what makes World of Warcraft special.

      I think players are now approaching Cataclysm from a Wrath of the Lich King mindset – that every raid should be open to every raiding player the moment it is released onto live servers. I don’t agree with that mentality either.

      • LenNo Gravatar says

        I see your point but I guess we just have differing views. To me guilds are ever changing, expanding social networks of people. The people in my guild are the ones that I have formed bonds with and have things in common with – in short, people I want to spend my time with when indulging in my favourite R&R activity. I have got to know them through WoW, and developed this social network through interacting. Of course I interact with people outside my own guild but for me personally, raiding is something I do as a social activity with friends.

        For those who raid purely for the rewards (e.g. gear, prestige, reputation, achievement) I can see this being different. In this way guilds are a means to an end and primarily afford you the opportunity to raid for whatever reason you have. You might not even know anything about a proportion of your raid group, just turn up and do your jobs. The same with pugging. (Granted there’s probably a ton of people floating somewhere inbetween the ‘social’ and ‘reward driven’ motivations for raiding…) That’s fine – but not the way I play. And I don’t think that content should be out of reach because I prefer to play with friends than strangers.

        I share your hope that 25 mans won’t fall by the wayside in preference of 10 mans as there are a lot of benefits to seeing raid content in that way and it would be a shame for people to lose the ability to do what they love. Hopefully there will be enough ‘reward’ in the higher efficiency of gearing to keep guilds who want to run 25 mans going.

        My problem with ‘not every raid should be available to every raider’ (assuming you mean having separate 25 and 10 man raids) is that they would be available to every 25 man raider, just not every 10 man raider. I can’t see a logical reason for that to happen.

  2. VokNo Gravatar says

    I disagree with the points on difficulty in regards to 25s. I think it is much more difficult to get a consistent and skilled raid group together for 25s, however I think the encounters are equal difficulty.

    Sure, you have less room to move – but you have twice as many healers to deal with the damage.

    Sure, you have more people to organize – but there is more room to hide. If one person is 15% below the DPS required for a timer, you need 15 dps to find 1% to cover it. In 10s, you have 4-5 looking for 3-4% each.

    Sure, you might have four dps looking after obs – but in tens you have one dps and one healer doing it.

    I think for ever argument that states 25s is harder, then is one that says they aren’t. I bet your tanks get an MD or Tricks every fight in 25s, our tanks have forgotten what they are.

    25s ARE however, much more difficult to organize. Much. And there definitely needs to be an incentive for people to run them over 10s. Not a big one – and not improved gear – but something needs to be there. The people putting the effort into getting those 25 people in the door need to be able to show that they’ve done it.

  3. GarethNo Gravatar says

    Woah there … deep breath in, deep breath out. Lets read that announcement carefully before we jump to conclusions:

    “We of course recognize the logistical realities of organizing larger groups of people, so while the loot quality will not change, 25-player versions will drop a higher quantity of loot per player (items, but also badges, and even gold)…”

    So they recognise the fact that organising 25′s is tougher than 10′s and they have stated they are making provision for it. In other words, its not likely to be a 1 to 1 relationship between 10 and 25 man loot quantity. What I mean is, if 2 loot items drop per boss in 10′s (1 item per 5 players), there aren’t going to be 5 items in 25′s (also 1 item per 5 players). They have quite clearly said that, so there is no need to speculate. What they have also quite clearly said is that:

    “… making it a more efficient route if you’re able to gather the people. ”

    In other words, more efficient would mean that you would have 6, 7, 8 or whatever items drop per 5 players. What this means is that 25′s will be the preferred way for groups or guilds or coalitions, etc to gear up their raiders as fast as possible since more people at a time can get gear. This will of course be a balancing act at the start to get the correct ratios of time taken to gather 10 vs time taken to gather 25 people etc. But Blizzard are NOT idiots and I sincerely doubt that they will destroy 25-man raids.
    .-= Gareth’s last blog: Healer compliments. A rarity =-.

    • LathereNo Gravatar says

      I think you will find that this is Cass’s reaction after calming down, sleeping on it and then writing about it :)

      • GarethNo Gravatar says

        I know, reply to a reply, to my comment but couldn’t help myself.

        After chatting to a co-worker about these changes, there is one impact it will probably have on raids and raiding guilds.

        The top 10 raiders in a guild will go off to clear a raid in 10 man mode. Once the guild has that progression under the belt, that raid will then be farmed in 25 man mode to allow other guild members to gear up for the next level of raids since 25 mans will give raiders a greater chance at getting gear than 10′s.

        In other words, 10′s will be the progression group, 25′s will be the farm group to have more raiders available for class depth for the next raid to come along which will be progressed by the 10 strongest.

        I don’t know if that’s what Blizzard really wants though :/
        .-= Gareth’s last blog: Healer compliments. A rarity =-.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      This is me “calm”. I disagree. I don’t think Blizzard have any desire to keep 2 raiding formats in the game. They have one objective: to keep as many of their customers happy as possible.

      I don’t believe that I am in the majority here. I believe the majority of World of Warcraft players would love nothing more than to spend Friday nights with a few friends and a couple people they met in the game killing a couple bosses in the latest raid zone.

      I knew that by writing this 10 man raiders would disagree with me. That said, I don’t believe the part of the game they enjoy is currently under threat. So I think we’re justified in being a little be upset and worried.

  4. KaeNo Gravatar says

    “I don’t think 10 man raid teams are inferior. 10 man raiding is difficult. But from my experience most 25 man teams are run more strictly and raiders are held to higher standards than the pure 10 man guilds I’ve seen in action.”

    You’re contradicting yourself somewhat with this :( IMO, those players who are not held to a higher standard are inferior.

    I do want to reassure you, though, that your experience with “low standard” 10-man guilds is just to do with those individual guilds, and not the 10-man format. There are a good number of 10-man guilds who hold their players to very high standards, and there are a VERY large number of 25-man guilds who hold their players to far lesser standards. It is not the raid size that impacts this, just the guild’s community as to whether they want to be hard-core or not. I was in two low-standard 40/25-man guilds, one high-standard 25, and now in a high-standard 10. There are low-standard 10′s out there, certainly, but please do not assume that all are!

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Let me give you more background and clarify what I meant. What I mean is, just because there is no Raid Leader calling out “stop being shit, you’re moving too slow” (that’s pretty strict and demanding imo), 10 man raid teams are no less inferior. They are certainly just as well skilled.

      The 10 man guild in question that I refer to is the only guild I know of that only runs 10 man raids in their guild, does not run 25 man raid content at all, and progression means everything to them. However, they continue to raid with the same 10 players no matter what – even when someone decides to swap mains, or they end up with a terrible healer combination for Lich King etc. I think that’s very dedicated, and very serious, but it’s not strict.

      That 10 man guild and my 25 man guild are equally serious about progression. I’m not talking about casual guilds – 10 or 25 – here at all. I’ve been in 25 man casual guilds that let people slide through, show up late you name it. I’m talking only about guilds that define themselves by their progression.

      I can’t imagine any 10 man raid leader saying to their Rogue (or whatever) “you need to pick up the DPS, the trial rogue is putting you to shame”. But that’s not uncommon in a 25 man raiding guild.

      I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t know of any 10 man raiding guild that puts raid progression as a higher priority than the people in the raid. But that is a commonly accepted stance in 25 man guilds where every player is replaceable.

      • KaeNo Gravatar says

        I think I understand now what you mean, thanks for the clarification! I figured it wasn’t meant to be a slight, and I take no offense :) It is true that the vast majority of ten-man raids are built on the premise that you actually like the people you’re raiding with, so making decisions about replacing them (be it class or performance) are more difficult than in many 25s.

        However… I’m gonna go on a limb and guess that guilds like Vox Immortalis do actually view their 10-strict raiders as replaceable. That’s strictness in a non-friendly sort of way, where the guild is only there for the sake of getting content quickly, rather than their like of each other. The pinnacle of hard-core guilds.

        Even my guild, who puts a high priority on personality-fit when recruiting, will step back and look at a fellow raider and say, “hey, your performance is drooping. We can’t support this. How can we fix it?” While it is rare that we can compare ourselves to someone of the same class (two warlocks in a ten-man? wut?), we still question and push each other based on meters. If a raider does not seem to be doing their job, we question it: is it a bad night for them? A class mechanic change they missed, maybe a glyph or needed change in rotations or spec? Their computer dieing? …and then if it can’t be immediately fixed, they may find themselves benched on the real progression stuff in favor of raiders with higher performance, until it IS fixed. Thus far we haven’t had to drop someone completely to non-raider-rank based on degrading performance, however.

        I guess the best example to explain it is this: we’ve turned down friends’ applications to join our raider rank based on performance. We hate to do it, but we do, and we did the same thing when we (the officers) were running 25s together.

        Maybe you just need to meet my raid leader, hehe. His response to the “I can’t imagine any 10 man raid leader saying to their Rogue (or whatever) “you need to pick up the DPS, the trial rogue is putting you to shame”.” was “Hey, I’m an equal-opportunity asshole!”

        So, yes, some 25s will be run more strictly than 10s, but some 10s are run more strictly than a lot of 25s: it’s not the raid size, but how the guild and its raiders prefer to balance friends vs progression. Those tens are a much smaller voice, but we are out there :)

  5. VidyalaNo Gravatar says

    Yes, please – what Kae said. Standards are a question of guild. The part I hate about all this is its polarizing effect – I don’t WANT to get into arguments with my respected and liked blogging friends. I want 25s people to be able to have their fun and keep raiding the way they like, but I also feel obligated to stand up for raiding the way that I like – which is presently a greatly inferior model, in terms of rewards.

    With reference to a few key points regarding ten mans in your post; my guild, for one, already recruits very, very specifically with key classes and specs in mind. We just recruited a shadow priest – we would have also considered a warlock or DPS death knight. We turned down a resto druid because we already have 2.5 of them (I go off-spec resto when needed and moonkin otherwise). Each and every one of our raiders is expected to have two viable PvE specs, gear them and know how to play them. Our mage goes Frost to tank Keleseth and his nuclei. I had a Mimiron spec for when we were doing Firefighter. We did heroic Blood Princes last night and we also had four people coordinating Kinetic Bomb duty, one in each quadrant of the room communicating with the others. Tonight we’ll go to tackle heroic Putricide, with a maximum of ranged DPS because they’re faster to pick up the orange oozes and it’s easier to coordinate passing the disease from one to another without it bouncing around in melee.

    I guess my position about all of this is a weak one, simply because the future you’re seeing is my current reality, and my guild stands only to gain from these changes in every way. Recruiting? Will become easier because more people will be interested in tens in general, giving us a larger pool of people to draw on. We’ll be able to obtain rewards we couldn’t otherwise. We’ll no longer be the red-headed stepchildren of the raid scene.

    I’m only sorry, and I mean it very sincerely, that the changes I stand to benefit from are seen as a detriment by those who are more interested in twenty-fives. I hope they make sure that you aren’t punished and can still raid the way you like to.
    .-= Vidyala’s last blog: Still Very Important =-.

  6. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    I can see I’m going to be punished because I used the word “standards” and “10 mans” in the same post.

    Perhaps in a few months you’ll forgive me for using the wrong word. “Standards” “Hardcore” “Serious” “Progression” these things mean something different to everyone. No disrespect was intended, I assure you all.

  7. CodiNo Gravatar says

    You know I agree with you. :) When they did away with 40-man raids, I was sad but I knew that for a lot of guild that just meant “trimming the fat.” Organizing 25 people was still a feat and still had some of that epic feel without bringing people to do highly specific things. (Paladin Cleanse-bots? Warlock Summon-bots?) Blizzard was very straight-forward about the change and didn’t beat around the bush. This time, they are obviously trying to get rid of 25-mans, but are trying to do it under the guise of “choice.”

    The average player isn’t going to want to put the time and effort into raiding 25-mans. Even if the loot drops at a 1/4 ratio in 25-mans, rather than a 1/5 ratio in 10-mans, the logistical and “RL work” elements are going to make the slightly higher ratio more trouble than it’s worth to them. This change isn’t about the raiders who currently love 25-man raids; this is about -recruitment- to replace those people who stop raiding due to getting married or moving or a new job. These changes are going to make attrition the killing blow to 25-man raiding guilds.

  8. lissannaNo Gravatar says

    Well, your post is so much less inflammatory than mine. People are really just polarized on the topic (ie. you either think the change was the best thing in the world, or the worst).

  9. EristhanNo Gravatar says

    It’s a little heart-breaking to see so many people zoning in on (subjective) word choices instead of the issue at hand.

    My issue is, this is actually going to be going against Blizzard’s philosophy of easily accessible raids and getting people to what they like. 10′s in Cata strike me as convenient, not enjoyable. And all this talk of accessibility to raids… what about accessibility to 25′s?

    I’m sure I make no sense. /shutsup

  10. ErinysNo Gravatar says

    As someone who has had the pleasure of organising 40 mans, 25 mans, 20 mans and 10 mans but much prefers the larger scale I too am concerned with this change. I know deep down that the smaller formats took a lot less stress and strain to organise, although I always hated having to leave people out and that since this is a game, going down that route would probably cut away a lot of the negativity I’ve experienced over 5 years of playing and raiding.

    However I was under the impression that those Ms in MMORPG stood for massively multiplayer. 10 people is not massive, it’s how many drunks I usually end up with lounging around my kitchen on a Saturday night. I don’t just want to play WoW with people I know in real life, we play other stuff on LANs when we want to play together. Part of the reason I keep playing WoW is the scale, I like meeting new people from all over the place and working on making a coherent team out of that.

    I’m not convinced about any of the “incentives” that I’ve seen mentioned so far. Gold is quite frankly insulting, badges tend either swiftly become useless or indeed start out fairly limited in the number of items you want. Extra loot? Well I dislike this one too. In order to make it worthwhile, you would either end up starving 10 mans or making 25 mans drop a ridiculous amount. Neither is a good solution.

    I have to say I don’t like the idea of making 25 mans easier either. I raid for a challenge (that’s possibly why I like larger raids, getting 25 people to work in harmony without vent was amazing). I don’t want my preferred content to be easier because we are either trying to run it with 20 people or our pool of recruits is so dire we are playing with one hand behind our backs. Might as well just downsize anyway.

    The only thing that is giving me hope that I won’t have to do 10 mans in order to experience raid content come Cataclysm is the fact that I’ve seen plenty of people passionately argue the case for 25 mans in the last few days. Even if the worse comes to worse, we should be able to scrap a couple of 25 man guilds together.
    .-= Erinys’s last blog: On Golden Pond =-.

    • KaeNo Gravatar says

      Just to spiral off of one part of your comment:

      200-player raids on Hamidon in the original City of Heroes, with a party limit of 8… now THAT was some massively multiplayer :) I’ve heard tell of similar situations in Everquest! Maybe Blizz should look at throwing a boss like that in, randomly spawning to munch on a city somewhere, requiring the horde or alliance to kill it off together in massive cross-guild coordination. Bwahah. The PvE version of Wintergrasp :) Guess it’d be sorta like the Eranikus summon in Moonglade, from back in the AQ days?

  11. ShivaNo Gravatar says

    I miss 40 man raids…

  12. cubzNo Gravatar says

    10 man and 25man will never drop the same items because its so much easier to form a 10man raid than a 25. plus and there will be less fkups.

    40 man raid was fun but it takes alot out of the officers / gm. just think the amount of recruitment and organization you have to do. the only way thats ever going to be possible is cross realm raids or no small raid contents so if you want raid/good gear you have to join a 40man raiding guild. but this wont happen cause blizzard want make $$$ not lose $$$

  13. BruceNo Gravatar says

    10 man and 25man will never drop the same items because its so much easier to form a 10man raid than a 25. plus and there will be less fkups.

    40 man raid was fun but it takes alot out of the officers / gm. just think the amount of recruitment and organization you have to do. the only way thats ever going to be possible is cross realm raids or no small raid contents so if you want raid/good gear you have to join a 40man raiding guild. but this wont happen cause blizzard want make $$$ not lose $$$


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