Why lead a 25-man raid in Cata?

So, today Blizzard dropped a bombshell of changes to the raiding system in Cataclysm. As an officer in a 25-man raiding guild, I agree with all of them but one: 10-man raids and 25-man raids are going to share the same Raid ID lockout.

I don’t care about what kind of loot they drop. I don’t care about how much gold/badges they’ll drop. There will NOT be enough of a difference & reward for officers having to recruit & organize people for the majority of guilds who raid 25-mans right now.  The penalty of being locked out of 10-mans is just too steep of a price to pay for this in return:

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), making it a more efficient route if you’re able to gather the people. The raid designers are designing encounters with these changes in mind, and the class designers are making class changes to help make 10-person groups easier to build. Running 25-player raids will be a bit more lucrative, as should be expected, but if for a week or two you need to do 10s because half the guild is away on vacation, you can do that and not suffer a dramatic loss to your ability to get the items you want.

My response to this is quite possibly the only time I want to respond with irrational curse words: FUCK THAT SHIT. With 5 bosses and 10 players, at 2 item drops per boss, each person is likely to come out with at least one piece of loot. With 5 bosses and 25 players, it would take 5 drops per boss to hit that same person-to-drop ratio. So, they would need to be at 6 items or more for the 25-player run to be slightly above the person-to-boss loot drop ratio, but that is unlikely to even be a noticeable difference. Even at 6 items dropping per boss, it is still NOT WORTH IT to sustain a 25-man raiding guild.

They are vastly underestimating the logistical realities of the amount of time that officers put into running a 25-man raiding guild. With 10′s & 25′s dropping the same rewards, the players we would be recruiting from may find that the 10′s offer them better rewards for their time commitment overall, and thus will make it even harder for the people who run 25′s to recruit. Given how impossible recruitment is right now, even with 25′s having better rewards, I’m going to personally refuse to spend 8 to 10 hours a day recruiting to put together a 25-man raiding group in Cataclysm, to the point where the very thought of it makes me want to cry and curl up into a ball on the floor. I don’t like being in a 10-man group as much as I enjoy 25-man raiding. I like the big group feel, above any other type of reward. However, most guilds will find that without heavy recruitment, they will end up not having the players to run a 25-man raid week after week after week, and may just dissolve slowly over time into a 10-man raiding guild, even if they start out with high hopes. I may just find playing the game in Cataclysm to not be worth it for me at all, since what I love about the game is large-scale  raiding, the way that we had 40-mans back before Burning Crusade. Erosion of the 25-man raiding reward structure, and the inability to run both 10′s & 25′s on the same character may be enough to make me consider not to continue on in playing the game, in a way that absolutely no other change in the game ever has. I could handle having both 10 & 25-man versions. I handled the overall dumbing-down of raiding. I may not be able to handle the lack of reward for putting together a larger raiding guild, and that reward in Cataclysm should come from the ability to run both 10′s & 25′s even if they offer identical rewards.

This new experiment is going to fail for me, because raiding guild officers are going to be tired & burnt-out by trying to run a 25-man raiding guild, and I’ve never been happy with just 10-man raids. In Conspiracy, I have worked extremely hard to get us back into 25-man raids, because I perceived the reward to be worth the time & energy.  Right now, even with 25-man raiding offering more rewards, many of these bigger guilds are falling apart left & right, or barely struggling to hold on. Why should we even bother to fight & struggle if there is going to be an easier way out that provides basically identical reward as the hard way?

The solution I propose is to continue to allow 10′s & 25′s to be on different lockouts, so that 25-man raiding guilds can do both. At that point, they can still drop exactly identical rewards, with everything else they have set in place with the changes. This isn’t about item-level of gear. It’s about choice & flexibility of being able to run both a 10-man & 25-man on the same character, and about 25-man raiding guild officers being PUNISHED by not having the option of additional 10-man progression. The officers of 25-man raiding guilds are going to be disproportionately punished, without any of the rewards in return that they currently receive. Just being able to run both gives 25-man raiding guilds the ability to better survive, because unequal progression within the size of their raid won’t prevent them from having further boss progression overall.

If people want to run only 10′s or only 25′s, it would give them that choice & flexibility, BUT it wouldn’t completely neuter the guilds who sustain their numbers by running BOTH sized dungeons. You can’t make the raid lockout AND the rewards basically identical, and require one to be led by someone with endless hours to recruit and organize their group (while the other takes dramatically less organization, recruitment, and people-management). A couple badges or a few extra gold won’t make up for the pain & suffering that 25-man guild officers are going to endure by trying to hold together up to three times as many raiders to sustain their larger & not as rewarding raids. Our 25-man raid progresses slower (ie. kills fewer bosses) than our 25-man raid group does, and this is true for a lot of raiding guilds who do both. Why should we pick the raid size where we progress slower, have a harder time filling the group, and still have to work so much harder?

Blizzard can’t offer cake or death, and expect guild officers to choose death. One of the many benefits of guilds that run both 10′s & 25′s is that you get the experience of killing that boss multiple times in a week, you gear up faster, and you end up having more stuff to do (ie. people who want to raid more often in a week can do so on the same character). Being locked into 1 raid ID for a raid that may take an hour to clear once you’ve learned all the bosses is going to lead to long, drawn out periods of time with nothing to do. It already happened in WotLK, and it’s going to be twice as bad with half as much stuff to do. Just splitting a 10-boss raid into two 5-boss raids won’t fix the lack of content problem they are going to create by merging lockout timers. They may have to switch to a 4 day lockout timer for their raids instead of a 7 day lockout timer, so that people can clear the same content more than once a week (though that lockout timer would also cause scheduling nightmares). In the end, I predict that the 25-man guilds are going to largely be full of either bored or frustrated members, and the officers won’t be able to recruit to deal with the attrition in their guilds (as their members find out that choosing Cake 10-mans is more rewarding to them), and for all but the most cutting-edge (ie. top 10% of 25-man guilds today), the work is NOT going to be worth how little reward there will be for all that energy.

So, it seems that Blizzard’s goal is to kill 25-man raiding by killing off people willing to lead 25-man raiding guilds. It sucks for people who actually enjoyed the challenge of trying to put together those larger raid groups, and I hope some still survive. However, the reward to punishment ratio is likely going to make it too hard for people like me to keep 25-man raids going. I just don’t have the time for raid recruitment to be a full time job through all of Cataclysm.  Blizzard needs to re-think some of these decisions if they want to make 25-man raiding guilds worth the work, because under their new plan, most 25-man guild officers will find running one 10-man group to be much more rewarding, even if we’ll miss the larger 25-man runs and the history of what raiding used to be before Blizzard decided to cut 25-mans off at their knees.

I could be wrong, but my skill has always been to predict what are Blizzard’s good & bad ideas, with high accuracy of results. I’m usually also the one who comes out more level-headed, thinking that the world is going to be all puppies & rainbows. This is one place, however, where my eternal optimism has totally broken down, and I can’t see past the big “DOOM & GLOOM” sign in our future.

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91 Comments

  1. Ben
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    “So, they would need to be at 6 items or more for the 25-player run to be slightly above the person-to-boss loot drop ratio, but that is unlikely to even be a noticeable difference. Even at 6 items dropping per boss, it is still NOT WORTH IT to sustain a 25-man raiding guild.”

    You are assuming here that they can’t go past 6. What stops them? I think that if 25man completely dies, they can just majorly crank up the number of drops to compensate. You are saying that no one would run 25s for 6 drops per boss, but if every boss dropped 20 items, while in 10s every boss dropped only 2, I don’t think you would have trouble finding people to run 25s. Obviously thats pretty extreme, but I think they will be able to find a middle ground that gets a good balance. Is 7 enough? 8? 9? 10? Eventually they will find a sweet spot. The people running 25s will be happy with their phat lewtz, and the ones running 10 will just be glad to get gear thats just as good.

  2. Posted April 26, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    In the end, it may just depend on what kind of guild you are in. I have no doubt that 25m guilds will still exist, because you aren’t as alone regarding how you feel about raiding as you might think.

    But it may mean that you have to /gquit to find the group of people that are like-minded.

  3. Argon
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I agree that the biggest problem with this plan is that it is going to be hard to find people willing to go through the extra headache of organizing 25 mans purely for more loot.

    That said, I don’t think that a 10 man group will progress faster than a 25 man group. 10 mans are easier for 25 man raiders nowadays because they outgear the content. 25 man raids will probably progress faster than 10s in Cataclysm, because they are getting more gear, and the fights are supposed to be of similar difficulty. 10 man raids will have to spend more time farming to get the same level of gear that 25 raiders have.

  4. Lissanna
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    At this point, I don’t see how there could possibly be any casual 25-man raiding guilds that raid on a schedule I can actually make, while I also work on my dissertation next year. The kind of guild that I’m in now just won’t exist anymore. We’ll end up being forced into either becoming more hard-core or dropping down to 10-man. So, my option will be 10-man casual, or quitting the game while I finish grad school.

    I’ve already spent up to 8 hours a day over the last month or two recruiting for my guild. If recruiting is going to be even more difficult in Cata, I’m not going to have the time, resources, or energy to keep it going – and no one else in casual 25-man guilds are going to be willing to do that either.

  5. Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Now, we are a casual hardcore guild. We have 11/12 down in ICC 25 HC, yet we only raid 25 man three times a week. We like it this way, and we can certainly manage to keep up with progression. But as it is at the moment, we also have to do 10 man Icecrown, because it helps with the fights, gives us some gear, and more emblems. That’s an extra raid day that we have to do at least once in a while, to keep up with whats going on.

    Imagine if we couldn’t. If we only did 25 man. How much bigger a benefit would a guild have over us, if they killed LK HC on 10 man before they did him on 25 man?

    I get it, you are concerned about item drops. But thats not really any different from what we see now. Currently, you can do both 10 and 25 man each week, and you get more emblems and gear. In Cataclysm, you can do 10 man and get x items, or you can do 25 man and get x+y items. Furthermore, a lot of people like to raid to get the better items – myself included – so while we, in short term, might see more loot-per-player in a 10 man raid, on a long term basis the 25 man raiding guild will still be stronger due to the gear.

    And even if Cataclysm bosses wont drop five items each time they are killed, they will still drop more emblems, allowing us to purchase tier pieces and other items and a faster rate than those doing 10 mans. There might not be a piece of gear dropping for every player in a 25 man raid, but the pieces will be stronger and further give people a headstart in future raid instances.

    I don’t think that it will have a big impact on most 25 man guilds. People will still want to raid for the best loot they can get, and we do like to get down those 25 man heroic encounters. I think the biggest change we will see is more people managing to coordinate 10 man guilds, without a huge diminish in 25 man guilds.

    And realisticly, when you have access to both 10 and 25 man loot in WOTLK, how many 10 man items are you really going for? There are some perfectly fine 251 and 264 spellpower/crit/haste items in ICC10 for me, but I would obviously want to go for equal items with more stats when I can. There is not a single piece from ICC 10 that I want now, and I am swimming in emblems of all kinds. I don’t think its a bad thing that they can last a little longer.

    I know, I know, sometimes I like doing a lol-10 man with my guild on offdays. I will miss that. But I am willing to stay on the positive side of this until we get some more comments and answers rolling in from Blizzard. It doesn’t have to be the end of the world :)

  6. Lissanna
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    It is going to be the end of MY world, in a guild that hasn’t even killed the Lich King on 25-man at all. We survive by being able to be further progressed in 10-man, because our 25-man progression is so slow. I don’t see how our slow 25-man progression is going to be sustainable, when we can just take the 10 best people and clear the 10-man with ease instead. The difficulty of keeping our 25-man raid group together has turned recruitment into my part-time job, which I really can’t even afford to do, because I’m already risking failing out of my grad program because of the amount of hours I’m spending on recruitment. I just personally can’t sustain this amount of work on recruitment for a 25-man raiding guild in Cata.

    I’m not excited for Cata anymore. I just want to cut my losses, shut down the blog, & run screaming away from the game. I may get over this feeling, but I’m just not sure. I kinda feel like Blizzard took my puppy & kicked it repeatedly, and then told me it looked better broken.

  7. Myze
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    As the former GM of a 10-man strict guild, I find this change to be very encouraging. It was already the case that 10-man strict raiding was harder than 25-man raiding (and I know this having been in both styles of guild during Wrath.) Now 10-man strict guilds will have nearly the same credibility as 25-man guilds, and that’s great on servers where recruitment is a problem. Yes, there will be fewer 25-man guilds, but that’s not a bad thing. You will know everyone there wants to do that format for the format, and not just for the rewards.

  8. Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    But you are going to have to recruit anyways. You can’t just take 10 people and expect to raid every week with the same people. I ran a 10 man guild last year, with 12 active raiding members, and if just a few of them were late of AFK, we couldn’t raid. Even in a 10 man, you are going to have to expect at least a few more of each role, and then you are looking at 6-8 extra raiders on sitout. This is more or less what my guild has now on 25 man. Once you get to this point, though, with active people and a handful on backup, its very easy to keep the flow going.

    Perhaps you need to motivate your current members to do more, or even consider merging with another guild? Where are you finding your members and how? There are a lot more things to it than just getting people in, as i’m sure you know, but there are ways you could tweak the process a bit. You are certainly not the first guild to struggle with filling a 25 man raid near the end of an expansion ;)

    The problems you are having right now is not related to Cataclysm. Who knows how it looks for your guild in 3 months? Maybe the problem is sorted itself – maybe not. But at the very least, having the option to go back to 10 man, and then – should you reach that amount of members again – go back to 25 man, should not be a bad thing. And in Cataclysm, you will be gunning for the same items, not a whole different loot table.

    My plan with the 10 man guild back then, was to build up the guild and, if we ever got enough members, start doing 25 mans. It never worked out like that, because we were pretty damn comfortable doing 10 mans at the time, but theres no stopping you from doing 2x 10 mans if you find yourself lacking members, gain a ton of items, and then progress to 25 once you fill up the ranks.

  9. Jardal
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, Lissana, I think part of the reason for this change is for people in your position.

    You’re struggling to keep your numbers for a 25 man raid. You may want to go because of the large group, but I’d wager most people are going for the loot and / or difficulty.

    So Blizz said, “Look, it’s ok if you can’t get 25 people. Here’s the same loot at the same relative difficulty, you just won’t gear up the entire raid as fast.”

    I doubt you’d be able to just take your 10 best people and clear 10 man with ease (assuming they keep today’s raid difficulty, which isn’t likely for the first tier of raid) as now those 10 people would be facing the same difficulty your 25 man is.

    I’d wager it would actually benefit your 25 man. With more gear per boss you gear up more equally and more quickly. This should allow you to go through the raid at a steadier pace. Instead you have to go down to 10 to try and gear up quicker, but not evenly. Thus the “stagnation” in 25 man.

  10. Lissanna
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    with the option to do both 10 & 25 in the same guild, you can cycle people between who may be able to do 1 or the other in a week, without being able to do both, so the people you “bench” in your 10-night can still have a shot at doing the 25-man that week, and vice versa. It’s a more sustainable model for keeping people happy & rotated into the group.

    This past month, I’ve had to recruit at 8 hours a day, and I’ve risked not making any progress in my grad program this month, all because I’ve tried to keep our 25-man group together. I was hoping that it would be better when Cata hit, but this new announcement means it’s just going to be SO MUCH HARDER to sustain things than it already is, and the heaviness of that thought really makes me want to give up & quit entirely. It makes everything I worked & sacrificed for this last month absolutely meaningless. I just can’t see past having to drop out of grad school to have the endless hours that I see recruitment being in Cata. If I have to choose between WoW & grad school, then grad school is going to win & I’ll just give up on WoW. I just don’t have the time, resources, & energy to sustain a massive guild when there won’t be a difference between 10 & 25-man running besides the amount of work it will be for me.

  11. Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Alright, a guildie just pointed out that 10 man and 25 man items will in fact have the same STATS as well. I wasn’t expecting that.

    Hmm.. well.. hmm.. err..

    I need to brood a little bit on this. There is still the added benefit from more emblems, which means faster tier pieces and emblem gear, and with bosses *currently* dropping 3-4 items in ICC25, it might not be unrealistic to see 5 or even 6 drops per boss. I mean, if they do this, it would be acceptable.

  12. Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Nice response, Lissanna.

    Qieth – the thing is that recruiting is difficult for 25s, not 10s. With Cataclysm, there’s going to be a TON more people who don’t want to raid with 5-10 windowlickers and want to do progression. So as hard as it’s going to be to recruit people in 25s, it’s going to be that much easier to recruit in 10s. There will be plenty of folks that would jump at the opportunity to progress more in 10s vs hang out in 25s if they have the choice. Would you rather be 6/6 in T11 in 10 man or 3/6 in T11 in 25? It’s not a hard question.

    Now, there will be guilds that will be awesome and be able to do it in 25man, but the number of people who will want to and be good? It’s going to be limited.

    I personally am really excited about the shared lockout. I’m very happy to not have to do both 10 and 25s to get gear for what I want (25man progression). 10 mans were a horrible stress in every single 25-man guild I’ve been a part of. Not having to do them will rock. But I’m very skeptical they’ll be able to balance things right at all, I think that the vast majority of players will go where the easier loot is, and I suspect strongly that will be in 10 man.

  13. Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    8 hours a day seems a bit steep. What on earth are you doing for 8 hours recruiting? I can’t believe it can take up so much of your time :S

  14. Lissanna
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Even if bosses drop 6 items per kill on 25′s, it’s still just going to break-even for rewards compared to 10′s, even with 25′s being exponentially more work for the officers. The rewards may be there for the players who just want to show up for raid night & have fun, but it’s going to be absolute hell for the people who have to find those members & get them to join their guild.

    They already made raids so PUG-able that it’s hard to convince people they want to be in guilds. Make 10-man guilds & PUGs more rewarding than 25-man guilds (as they plan to do in Cata), and very few 25-man raiding guilds (and absolutely no 25-man PUGs) will exist.

    Okay, I should say up to 8 hours, as some days I’ve slept. Recruitment involves: posting threads, editing threads, bumping threads, posting on various websites, being online all hours of the day for interested people to come talk to me in-game, talking to people in-game. I’ve pulled in probably 15 to 20 members to keep my guild going when we lost a lot of people due to RL & boredom. It’s just been absolute hell on me, and the timing of this announcement is like salt on the wound, because I would have just let us become a 10-man guild if they had made this announcement 2 months ago.

    The option to do both 10 & 25-man on the same lockout period is the only thing that has kept 25-mans alive on my guild, because we can do 1 day of 25′s (and get to putricide) on bad weeks, and still have the ability to see Sindragosa on at least one of the two 10-man groups. If I had to choose between seeing Putricide & seeing Sindragosa, I will choose to see Sindragosa, regardless of that meaning that I’d have to give up my true love (25-man raids).

  15. Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Ya and the real solution is just let the players play the game.

    Forget 1 Raid ID/Character/Instance

    Just let us choose when, where and with who we raid/play with at any point. Let the lemmings burn themselves out for server first if they don’t have self control to maintain a healthy in and out of game life.

  16. Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I have yet to see a pug on my server go for either Putricide, Blood Council or Dreamwalker, so they are still not as accessable as casuals would want them to be.

    Again, I feel that your recruitment situation might be unique to you, because I don’t ever recall having to recruit for that much each and every day. Its tough to establish a strong roster, but once you do, you can usually keep it going. I don’t feel that it is going to be a problem for my guild at the moment, and I sure would want to do 25 mans over 10 mans.

  17. Chipster
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Did you ever consider that it may make 25s more attractive? With the Heroic, much stock is placed in the most “efficient” means to gain badges (gear). If the loot rewards are proportionally greater for 25-man, that could push people the other way.

    As with most changes announced in WoW over the last 5 years, there is probably a lot of overreaction which will seem silly when people look back on it in the next year or so

  18. Lissanna
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    It’s not going to make 25′s more attractive for officers. Not having 10′s in the first place is the best way to make 25′s attractive. Having equal 10-man progression will prevent me from being able to do 25′s with my current guild unless Blizzard changes their mind about something between now & Cata.

  19. Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    So many seem to think that 10man will be easier. It won’t be, unless they screw up the balance. The only reason 10s are viewed as “easy” now is due to the different gear level that they are balanced towards: in Cataclysm, I fully expect that to change, especially as Nethaera points out that 10s and 25s will have the same difficulty level as each other.

    If I’m understanding Lissanna correctly, it would seem her problem lies in the removal of that easy raiding alternative: kind of an ‘if we can’t find 25 raiders this week, or if we’re wiping a lot and need to go make ourselves feel better smacking the bosses around on an easier level, then we can split up the raid and do 10s.’ While it would be possible to split up and do 10s that week, it won’t be easier like with the WotLK iLevel differences, and that means they loose that morale booster.

    Am I interpreting it right, Liss?

    (btw, 5 drops in 25 would be the breakeven with 2 in 10; I’m expecting it to be 7 or more though for 25s).

  20. Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    More loot isn’t really a selling feature exactly though. It’s more efficient in that you’re likely to get faster badges and whatnot, but again, it’s only efficient if you’re actually downing bosses.

    It’s much more efficient for 10 players to kill twice as many bosses, for instance than it is for 25 players to kill half as many for those 10 players. And yes, the 25-man might get more loot for everyone, but it gets potentially less loot for you.

    So where’s the motivation to do 25 mans? Because you’re feeling charitable and want to help someone else out? Please.

  21. Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    So many seem to think that 10man will be easier. It won’t be, unless they screw up the balance. The only reason 10s are viewed as “easy” now is due to the different gear level that they are balanced towards: in Cataclysm, I fully expect that to change, especially as Nethaera points out that 10s and 25s will have the same difficulty level as each other.

    There’s no indicator that they won’t screw up the balance, and every indicator that they will; they have yet to ever get it right in 25 man, and it’s much harder to balance 10 vs 25 than it is 25 vs 25.

    Furthermore, let’s assume that 10 and 25 man are balanced. Now you have the issue of someone messing up. On easier stuff, 25 man will always be ‘better’ as you can more easily absorb a mistake; this is the everquest 72-man model. In harder fights, 25 man will always be more difficult because it’s more likely that one of the 25 people will screw up vs. one of the 10; since the result of a screwup by anyone is a wipe regardless of raid size, 25 man is harder.

    And that ignores things like raid comp, geometry of the room (it’s a lot easier to spread out in 10 man), # of healers and healer granularity, flexibility of tanks, etc.

    It’s a logistical nightmare. And there’s every reason to be pessimistic that Blizzard will not get it right the first time.

    Regardless, from an officer standpoint it is orders of magnitudes easier to deal with 10 people than 25. And for that – what reward do you get out of it?

  22. Lissanna
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    If 10/25 have equal gear & boss difficulty, and you ALSO can’t do both of those sizes, but 25′s are SO MUCH harder to recruit for and harder to manage in Cata… who in their right mind would be an officer of a 25-man raiding guild?

  23. Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    They’ve said they intend to balance it, so they will try. I’d rather not be the super-pessimist that assumes they won’t try to stay to their word.

    I’m not saying it won’t be hard for them, but I don’t think they would release news like this without believing they can do it.

  24. Posted April 26, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    They’ve said they intend to balance it, so they will try. I’d rather not be the super-pessimist that assumes they won’t try to stay to their word.

    I’m not saying it won’t be hard for them, but I don’t think they would release news like this without believing they can do it.

    Oh, I’m sure they’ll try. But I know what their development model is for balance and…well, how bad they are at it. Just taking WotLK tanking (which was a goal to ‘keep balanced’, we have:

    DKs overpowered in 3.0, revamped for 3.1
    DKs and druids overpowered in 3.1, revamped during 3.1. Paladins way underpowered.
    3.2: Paladins way overpowered, warriors have bizarre underpower/overpower thing depending on fight
    3.3: druids way overpowered. Warriors still underpowered. DKs almost forgotten about.

    Each patch had a rebalancing, and each one was wrong in some way. And that’s just tanking – which is pretty simple to balance. Now, instead of tanking they have to balance all the various comps, classes, and raid buffs/debuffs together such that nothing is overwhelmingly awesome or sucktastic. They have to make sure that any 2 tanks, 2-3 healers and 5-6 DPS can do an encounter – and that no matter who you bring it will be reasonably close to the same difficulty as a 25-man.

    It’s just an amazingly ambitious design. Given that they’re also massively changing character classes at the same time, it is unlikely that it will succeed. That’s not pessimism; that’s simply pointing out the magnitude of the problem.

    But again – let’s say they do succeed and that 10 and 25 mans are perfectly balanced. It is still harder for the 25-man officer than it is the 10-man officer. It is still going to be easier to find 10 good players than 25 good ones. So even in the best scenario, why does an officer want to run a 25-man guild?

  25. Posted April 26, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I think if there was flexibility of moving from 25 to 10 on the same raid lockout (assuming blizzard can get over the logistical nightmare of normalizing the difficulty of 10 vs 25) then it provide flexibility to guilds who run a lean 25 raiders and if something comes up it won’t stop progression cold.

    Also I think that if 2 items drop in 10 man, thats 1 item per 5 man, which means at minimum 5 items need to drop to match the % distribution ratio in 25s.

    Now if you can’t move interchangeably from 10 to 25 and back, I agree they need to put 10 and 25s on separate raid lockouts, but I do like the fact that you don’t need to run an instance 4 times (assuming unlocking heroics) to keep up with the Jones’. That’s one of the leading causes of burnout at the moment for many guilds on my server and think this will help with that.

  26. Posted April 26, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Yes, but as a guildie pointed out, there are already 3-4 items dropping from ICC 25 bosses. 5 items isn’t far away.

    Not to mention that we might see some special stuff in the guild talents that could have an impact on drops. “Increases the amount of items dropping in 10 man by 1 and 25 man by 3″.

    Im just saying, there is still a lot they could do to fix it, and a lot that we don’t know :)

  27. Posted April 26, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Why lead a 25-man raid NOW? The officers aren’t the only ones getting a tier higher reward, yet they are the only ones putting in more work. I agree the officers should be rewarded, but they aren’t really rewarded right now, either.

    You will *not* have to recruit 8-10 hours a day. You know this.

    There are other people who “just love large scale raiding” who will want to do 25s with you.

    At similar difficulty, the 25-man raid will *not* progress more slowly than the 10. In fact, it will progress faster because of more emblems and gear per capita.

    And again – how come a tier of gear is enough reward for a 25-man leader, but more loot to give out per person isn’t? Especially when the entire 25-man raid, including the non-leaders, gets the same benefit the leaders get?

  28. Posted April 26, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    “It is going to be the end of MY world, in a guild that hasn’t even killed the Lich King on 25-man at all. We survive by being able to be further progressed in 10-man, because our 25-man progression is so slow.”

    This is my worry also. Ten of our more hardcore guys have already gone off and made their own fixed group. Why would they ever come back?

    And as if running 25 mans wasn’t hard enough on it’s own, you now have to deal with the constant issue of ‘well, if we don’t progress fast enough for the core of the guild, they’ll just piss off and do 10 mans instead’

  29. Lauraya
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    10 Mans are easier because of the quality of players you can take with you. For the casual 25 Man guilds, it’s usually half the raiders who end up in large part carrying the raid and the guild.

    Lissanna is right. If your goal is to experience content, the most sensible way is the path of least resistance. Even if it takes your 10 Man group another month to gear up than a 25 man, most groups facing adversity will choose 10 Mans as opposed to the crazy amount of effort it takes to maintain a steady 25 Man group.

    I too have always enjoyed the larger, more epic raid sizes, but in truth that enjoyment is starting to wane if for no other reason than the revolving door or raiders in a more casual guild such as ours. I think I may welcome 10 Mans as the standard. Even if we do have the players to pull off 25 Mans in Cata, why not divide the raiders, make 2 or 3 10 Man groups and have them be more intimate.

    I think if they’re going this route it will be helpful for many people (especially for those in smaller guilds), but 25 Mans will likely only be done for the sake of prestige in Cataclysm. At this point they should cast out 25 and 10 Mans and just do one raid size: 15. I think it’d feel just right, not too big, not too small.

  30. Dost
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Liss-
    I agree with you. I do. But one thing to factor in for 25 mans and guilds, the guild reward system. I am not saying it is a save all. But it might be one of the ways they are trying to convince people to join guilds instead of PUG every week. I would think 25 mans would get those unlocked faster. Again, maybe something they were trying to factor in? I dunno.

  31. Neyuna
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    I feel for you Lissanna, but I should hope you have other officers that help you with recruiting too. It hurts your guild to just dump all that responsibility onto one person. If everybody, or most officers help than that’s more people you can potentially recruit.

    I will miss being able to see an encounter for the first time in 10 man and make my mistakes there before doing it “for real” in a 25 man.

    It’s hard for me to visualize a 10 man raid with the same difficulty level as a 25 man, only because it hasn’t been done before.

    When they introduced “Potion Sickness” in WoTLK beta, where you could only use one potion per fight, so many people were outraged. Myself included since I chugged mana pots constantly as a moonkin. But, they introduced replenishment and it didn’t matter. Same thing with breaking Powershifting for ferals. I know these hardly relate to raiding as a whole but those things were better off being changed.

    I’m not sure raiding as it is needs to be changed. I’m okay with gating and normal/heroic versions. Limited attempts are annoying. My 25 man raiding guild usually only has enough people for 1 serious 10 man a week and the rest are SoL. I can imagine a lot of mid-sized guilds dumping the more casual players and only having 10-20 core raiders in a guild instead of carrying more people and trying to recruit for 25s.

    For now, I’m trying to stay neutral until I know more.

  32. Lissanna
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    the reward for officers to lead 25-man raiding guilds now is for: A) Better loot, B) Better prestige of being able to kill the harder bosses, and C) The fact that people want to join their guild because of A or B. That’s all. When you take away A & B, there’s absolutely no motivation for people to join a 25-man guild over a 10-man guild. “Fun” will never be a deciding factor between the 2 raid sizes, because leading a bigger group of people is never “fun” unless the benefits outweigh the costs.

  33. Posted April 26, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    There are other reasons people run and lead 25-man raids. We have (A) Better loot, (B) More prestige, (C) More epic feel, (D) Enjoy the challenge of coordinating with and/or managing a larger number of people, and (E) any other reasons people may have…

    “Fun” will be the deciding factor between the two raid sizes.

    There are people for whom the only reason they raid 25-man is the better loot. They won’t raid or lead 25-man teams anymore.

    There are people who only raid 25-man now for the prestige. Depending on how Blizzard handles the achievements and the mount rewards, they may stop raiding or leading 25-man teams. (Note that there are three aspects to this prestige. The first is “look, I have the best gear available.” This is going away in Cata. The second is “look, I killed the hardest mode of the boss.” This is partially going away in Cata, since the difficulty of the boss also depends on the difficulty of organizing the group of players. The third is “look, I organized the largest herd of cats and kept them together long enough to down the boss.” This one isn’t going anywhere.)

    There are people who raid and lead 25-man teams now because the 25-man encounters feel more epic to them. (If you’ve never experienced this, try doing 10- and 25-man Siege of Ulduar back-to-back.) They’ll probably still try to put together 25-man raids. It may be more difficult than before, depending on how many people were only raiding 25-man for the loot or the prestige, but they’ll still give it a try.

    There are people who genuinely like the challenge of organizing groups of people. Yes, many of us think these people are a bit odd, but they exist. They’ll probably still stick with 25-man teams where they can.

    In short, I think that this change will get rid of the people who are raiding 25-man content for the “wrong reasons,” and may not even be enjoying it all that much (since they’re doing it completely for the end result – gear and prestige – rather than because they actually like it or feel drawn to it more than the 10-man stuff). The people still doing 25s will be doing it because they enjoy the epic feel and the fact that they’re working with a big team of people.

    Just my take. I’d hesitate to be too concerned about the sky falling just yet.

  34. Posted April 26, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Well if they insist on keeping the system like the posted then they had better remove the cost for realm transfers.

    It is total BS that we have to pay extra to fix the game for Blizzard because they design a system the fragments groups so much.

  35. Ixi
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Here is something everyone’s forgetting.

    In Lissanna’s example, they can’t do 25. They’re already locked to the raid ID in 10. It doesn’t matter at that point that they have the gear – they’re already locked and can’t do the 25m.

    Rather then people raiding more..it’s people raiding less.

  36. Posted April 26, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Blizzard has stated that part of the plan is to permit you to switch between 10- and 25-man on each boss. You just can’t personally kill a boss more than once per lock out.

    Exactly how that will work, given that raid IDs are now given per raid group, not per character, remains to be seen…

  37. Posted April 26, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    I can’t say I’m unsympathetic, particularly since I’ve been both an officer in a second tier 25-man guild and am currently an officer in a 10-man strict. Recruitment is hard for both. Currently worse for 10-man strict, I think, because you have to turn people down if they’ve pugged ICC 25.

    But if you love the 25-man raids, chances are there are people who do as well. The fact there is an uproar at all shows that there are a good number of people who feel passionate about maintaining that particular raid size (though for different reasons I’m sure).

    What I’m surprised the most about is the sharing the same lockout is what bothers you. When I was in my “casual” three nights a week 25-man guild, I actually raided four or five nights a week, because we would always have a night or two for 10s!

    I figured that if anything, having shared lockouts would be a blessing since there would no longer need a need to run 10s for extra gear or emblems, no pressure to raid more just to keep up with everyone else.

    I think it would be too much work, but if Blizzard had something like you could only receive loot off one version of a boss each week it would be better? That way if you wanted to join others in a 10 after running 25 you could still have fun with them without double-dipping into two loot pools.

  38. Posted April 26, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    I have sympathy to your situation Lissanna, but it totally ignores that 10 man Guilds are little more than farm teams for the 25 mans. New players come in, gear up, and snatched up by 25 mans almost immediately. We’ve gotten very, very selective on who joins our guild now after being burned more than once in Wrath.

  39. Treeboi
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    I wrote this in my guild’s forums and my thoughts are….

    10 man guilds always fall apart.

    The reason is that there are not enough geared backups to replace core players who cannot raid that night, for whatever the reason.

    I’ve learned that from hard experience. 10 man guilds are literally just 2 vacations away from implosion. Aka, if 2 core players just happen to take long vacations, back to back, your 10 man guild will implode.

    The reason why there are no backups for core spots, is because there’s not enough room in the raid to bring backups and gear them out. And if you sit out a tank or a healer, that tank or healer can easily just leave for another guild, who will give them a core spot. Which means you never have extra tanks or healers on the sidelines.

    A 25 man raid is a whole different story. Now you have enough room to gear up 1-2 dps with a tank offset. You have enough room to gear up 2-3 dps with a healer offset.

    10 man guilds tend to survive about 6 months, a year at most, before they completely stop raiding.

  40. Posted April 27, 2010 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    Look, I read you every week, and I generally respect what you have to say, so please take my comments with that understanding. My reply is that this is a big load of QQ.

    You don’t know what their raids are going to be like (except that they’re going to be initially locked down). You don’t know what Heroic is going to be like. You don’t know how many raids will be available when, other than their nebulous “more small ones first”, and you don’t know what other features might occupy your time, even in a raiding guild – particularly the guild bonuses coming up.

    I agree with Honorshammer that 10-man guilds are constantly cannibalized by 25′s. This will prevent that, and prevent people doing 10-man content from feeling like they are given the short end of the shaft, especially when some 25-man instances were markedly easier.

    I want loot to be valuable again. Right now, everything’s a pinata, and if I’m not getting anywhere in my 25 group, I can always fly through an ICC10 and get yet more gear.

    Additionally, frankly, is there a hardcore raider on this planet who doesn’t have a high-level alt? If you want to run 10′s and 25′s, use an alt for the one you like least. You’re the one who wants to spend 5 nights a week raiding.

    On my end, I enjoy our 10-man runs and I enjoy our 25′s. We haven’t had quite as much success on 25s yet, but we are making our way to Arthas.

    If we had to choose between them, I think our raid leaders (of which we never have enough) wouldn’t feel so burned out right now.

  41. Posted April 27, 2010 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    I can’t believe Blizzard got finally got to you, I have never see you get upset about anything even the evil known as eclipse. During BC I was in a guild trying to do 25 mans, carrying bad players and losing recruits to better guilds. Once wrath introduced a ten man raiding model none of us looked back. 25 man guilds being carried by half the raid will die. Good 25 man raiders will still do it. If you have a passion for 25 man raiding find others who do. No one can recruit right and It’s going to be okay :)

  42. D
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 3:21 am | Permalink

    I get what Lissianna is saying, recruiting is hellish when your members decide they can’t be bothered putting in the effort any more. My 25man guild goes through cycles, where once the content gets a bit tough, we have 15 ppl show up consistently and the rest can’t be bothered putting in the effort. Recruitment tends to go in waves, and it’s horrible and frustrating as hell to have in theory 35 raiders and in practice only 18 of them show up 2 nights out of 3.

    I can’t say Iv’e ever spent that much time on recruitment per day in my 3 years as an officer, so I think you should sit down with the rest of the officers and sort out some kind of other arrangements, especially if you have studies that are being affected.

    I’m glad they share the same lock out. Having to sort out 10mans and 25mans, with saved ids meaning the 10mans don’t go ahead anyway cos the wrong ids are avaiable was my personal hell in BC. The officers stopped organising 10mans in Wrath. I think this change will see pugging reduced, pugging VoA10 for example will lock you out of a 25man VoA. It seems to be4 a way of having ppl look for a guild rather than farm bosses in pugs. Unless the content is extremely easy, to get through to the final bosses will need a guild.

    I think this could be damaging for 25man guilds, because there seems no obvious benefits to being in a 25man over a 10man. I want to raid 25mans, so I’ll stay hopefully for now.

  43. Riccah
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Remember that not everything has been revealed yet. You don’t know what the new guild-structures and leveling-system is going to be like. There might be better rewards for 25-man guilds then there are for 10-man guilds, just the rewards in de raids will be the same. There will probabaly still be different achievements for both modes, with possible end-rewards such as mounts. All they have said is that the loot inside the instance will be the same. They can factor in many other rewards for people to want to do 25-mans. Let’s wait and see.

  44. Nimizar
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Lissana, like a lot of other complaints I have seen about this change, yours seems to stem primarily from the raid lockout implementation rather than the 10/25 split as such.

    How would you feel about a system where a character could be saved to up to 3 different raid IDs for each raid each week, but were only eligible for dropped loot the first time they killed a given boss?

    The weekly cap on valor point earnings would still apply, so the main benefit of this would be helping other people out, seeing more content, getting some gold, and hopefully having fun in the process.

  45. Nimizar
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I’ve been trawling through the mega-thread on the Blizzard forums, and one interesting idea I saw there had to do with the question: what if hard mode of the previous tier offered gear and valor points equivalent to normal mode of the current tier?

    Obviously, this wouldn’t help 25 man hard mode guilds that do 10 man hard modes in their non-raid hours, but 25 man normal mode guilds could easily take the option of doing previous tier hard modes instead of 10 man normal on the current tier.

    In other words, is there a possibility that shared lockouts in the current tier will just increase the number of raids farming the previous tier (or stepping up to hard modes) rather than abandoning those raids as soon as a new tier arrives?

    (With heroic dungeons taking the “previous tier” role when the expansion launches)

  46. Nimizar
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    To those that can’t imagine a 10 man fight being more difficult than a 25-man, you only have to cast your mind back to the launch of Wrath when 10 man Sarth 3D was the hardest fight in the game (and hence the last Tier 7 world first to be achieved).

    Another thing to keep in mind is that everything in Wrath was deliberately tuned to be easier in 10 man, since it was designed to be done with worse gear. Is it any wonder that people running that content with gear up to a full tier higher in quality than the gear the fights were tuned around found it trivial?

    Once the gear disparity is removed, Blizzard will be able to tune things accordingly. For movement/spacing fights, expect to see either larger areas of effect in 10 man, or the introduction of obstructions that reduce the available floor area in the 10 man version. With healer mana being a limiting factor in tank survival, I expect bosses will actually hit harder in 25s (despite the tanks being in comparable gear), to the point where you need two healers on a tank in a 25 man to avoid running a single healer out of mana (whereas a single healer should be able to handle a tank on their own in a 10 man). Big hits will still happen (such that if they aren’t covered with a CD the tank is in serious danger of dying, and will severely impact their healer’s mana pool even if they don’t die) but will likely be spaced further apart to lessen the impact on the healer’s mana pool and to reflect the fact that there are fewer healer CDs available for use in CD rotations. The increased number of players will generally scale things up nicely for the burden on raid healers, and the DPS side of things can largely be covered just by bigger mob health pools and/or more adds (where appropriate).

  47. Lissanna
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I don’t have a problem with Blizzard wanting to support 10-mans, which is why I actually didn’t say anything bad about gear equality or boss difficulty changes. These new changes will make it easy to recruit for & maintain a 10-man guild. It improves the quality of life for 10-man guilds.

    I just don’t want them to kill off 25′s either, and I’m pretty sure these changes swing the pendulum too far the other way. It’s going to make 25′s worse off than 10′s if there’s no point in running a 25-man guild.

  48. Chi
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    How many loots, badges and gold, or item levels, I really don’t care. I just want to have 2 raids, why can’t I raid both 10 and 25?

  49. Chipster
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    @Chi

    Lots of people complain that it currently feels like you HAVE to raid both in order to get competitive gear.

    While many people seem to dislike this change (and as many people that do like it) I think there is no reason to overreact at this point.

    Realistically, how many past changes have actually ruined the game? I could probably list 20 or 30 that people claimed would ruin the game, but WoW continues forward, rarely looking back.

  50. Lissanna
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    WoW was ruined for me when they switched from 40-man to 25-man raids. This new change feels like history repeating. The game as a whole survived that last change, but it took me years to get back on track. I kept playing, but the last huge raid change eventually caused me to server transfer twice, and stop playing my druid for about 8 months (in favor of my shaman that could get raid spots easier in Burning Crusade). I’ve only been in a guild I really loved for about a year, and now it’s time for Blizzard to ruin it all again. I just am really, really frustrated because they won’t just pick a raid model and stick with it, and instead, I have to keep dealing with their indecision.

    WotLK’s raid changes made raiding less rewarding for me overall, because even when I kill bosses, I don’t feel like those kills have any real meaning anymore. I just kinda go through the motions.

    It’s the out of game time that managing a large guild comes with that is going to bring down most CASUAL 25-man guilds. I’m still betting that there will be a super hard core (ie. must have 3 characters to raid with, so you can do 10′s as practice for the 25 night) that will keep going with 25′s.

    My fear is that WoW will keep “moving forward”, but that I won’t be able to enjoy what it turns into. I would honestly be happier if Blizzard gave us only one raid size (even if that was 10-mans), and just stuck with it. Separate but equal is not going to work for the game at all, because it goes against basic human psychology.

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