Monthly Archives: January 2011

Where did the 25-man guilds go?

The current raid statistics (on sites like WoW  progress) say something about the new popularity of 10-man over 25-man raiding. While I expected there to be fewer 25-man guilds than 10-man guilds in Cataclysm, the differences in numbers of boss kills for each type of raiding is something I really thought was interesting now that we’ve had more time to see the stats emerge.

I’m in a more relaxed guild in terms of play-time, and we took a break from raiding over the Christmas/New Years holidays. We have recently gotten back into raiding, with this week being only our 2nd week of raiding 25-mans. We have 6 bosses down so far in the 10-man normals, and 2 bosses down in 25’s. Our guild is happy with our steady progress, because we made the decision together to let our real lives (instead of pushing progression) be our focus in the first couple weeks of the expansion. While it’s hard watching world-first kills finishing the content, it helps to keep a sense of perspective on how your guild is doing. When using ranking websites, our two 25-man boss kills over the last 2 weeks put us at 12th on the server for 25-man progression (but having 6 10-man boss kills still has us at 20th on the server for 10-man raids).

The bigger differences between 10 & 25-man raiding numbers seem to be with the entry normal-mode raiding (where a lot of guilds may have killed one to six 10-man bosses but haven’t pushed far into progression, and not many guilds are running 25-mans at all). For more end-bosses in normal-modes, and for hard-mode content, the spread between 25-man and 10-man is more attenuated, due to the much smaller number of guilds who have pushed further into the end-game content.

Lets look at the Wow Progress stats for 25-man raid versus 10-man raid boss kills (world-wide):

  • 4,000 Magmaw Kills in Normal 25-man, and 30,000 magmaw kills in Normal 10-man.
  • 1,000 Nefarion kills normal 25-man, and 3,000 Nefarion kills in Normal 10-man
  • (The WoW track website keeps the same trend for the intro to normal-mode encounters even if the numbers come up different)

Not that many guilds are doing hard-mode progression yet for either 10-man or 25-man, where the numbers are much more even:

  • WoW progress: 940 Halfus Hard-mode 25-man kills versus 1121 Halfus hard-mode 10-man kills
  • (The wowtrack website actually puts 25-man Hard-mode kill numbers ahead of 10-man hard-mode kills for basically every boss).
  • At the hard-mode level, there isn’t enough data for either of them to be really accurate.

So, basically, if you feel like your guild is behind the curve – you really aren’t. There are more guilds that are less than 6/12 normal-mode than there are guilds who have killed anything in hard-mode content. People getting world-first 13/13 Hard-mode kills make everyone else feel behind, but that’s more of an illusion than reality.

In addition, if your guild is still managing to pull together enough people to run 25-mans, then you are doing great – because a lot of guilds just aren’t running 25-man content anymore. It feels like 25-mans (at least at this point) are more of a dying breed, though we could see a resurgence of 25-mans come back if larger guilds only running 10’s at this point start having enough members raid-ready to get running. We are managing to keep together a “casual” 25-man raid group, which feels like it’s an endangered species in Cataclysm, and I’m so happy that we’ve been able to keep our “family” together in the larger raiding environment that I enjoy.

UPDATE: someone on twitter sent me a link to another set of stats that is traking progress of 10 & 25-man progression, that they are calling more reliable, but still shows the same trend of A LOT more 10-man than 25-man guilds overall.

Posted in Cataclysm

Pretty birdy

So, I have several big school deadlines this week, combined with a full raid schedule. I haven’t kept up with my normal schedule of blog posts.

However, we did record the third Team Waffle Podcast episode, which is up on the site. Reesi & I got new headset/microphones so that our sound quality is a bit better for the newer episode.

At this point, however, the only other thing I have to report is that playing with shadows can be fun sometimes. :)

And now it’s time to get back to work!

Posted in podcast

The one with more rejuv spam

In my last post, I posed a question about which log was from ICC and which was from my Cataclysm raiding. The correct answer is that the first log (with actually a little less spell selection variety) was my Cataclysm healing done in my first 25-man. The point I was trying to make is that rejuv/WG spam is really the primary AOE healing strategy for druids in Cataclysm, even though Blizzard seemingly made all these changes to reduce our reliance on Rejuv/WG spam.

For the 4.0.6 patch, Blizzard seems to be throwing in the towel with their design for Cataclysm by reducing the mana cost of rejuv (making it easier to spam) and reducing the cooldown on wild growth (along with buffing the healing it does). They seem to have backed themselves into a corner, where the only “fix” for keeping resto druids viable right now is to buff rejuv/WG spam, since they never provided an alternative healing strategy (despite my cries for a new AOE healing spell such as a Healing Shroom ability to supplement Rejuv & WG for AOE healing). I think that they really should have buffed Living Seed and/or Efflorescence to make that talent selection more worthwhile for AOE/Raid healing, with Efflorescence just not holding up in terms of the amount of healing it does.  Maybe they should move efflorescence to the newly redesigned Wild Mushrooms (and then put in a Prime glyph to drop 3 shrooms at once), so that we can leave Swiftmend as the emergency tank heal cooldown, and have the ability to mix up our 25-man healing rotation into something that requires a little more skill to do well.

Now, my spell variety in 5-mans and 10-mans is much higher, where most things don’t account for more than 30% of my overall healing done. However, one of the reasons why my spell selection is better is because I end up spending a lot of time tank healing in 5’s and 10’s (which is actually something I enjoy doing, because I feel like I’m using my brain). A really fun healing style is blending tank & raid healing, to be able to make real judgments about spell selection and triage.

After 4.0.6, I think that a more dynamic healing style for 25-mans would be to put up rejuvs on 3 people (to get hasted Nourishes), and then otherwise focus on tank healing (with occasional WG’s on the raid to help out). That’s probably the best alternative for resto druids who are sick of being rejuv-bots on 25-man raids (so, let your druids tank heal if they don’t like the rejuv-spam AOE healing style).  The 4.0.6 changes have the possibility of making resto druid healing more fun/dynamic. However, unless we’re primarily tank healing, I’m not sure the AOE/raid healing strategies will be much more fun than what we were doing all of WotLK. The good news is that if you enjoy rejuv/WG raid healing spam, you should keep having fun in Cata as a 25-man healer.

Nerfing rejuv & WG spam before Cata went live just had the consequence of making us not very viable for healing at the higher-end of raiding content. So, to keep us viable, the 4.0.6 patch is basically putting us back to where we started in WotLK (before 4.0 even hit), where we either have to rejuv/WG-spam our way to victory, or just not be assigned to raid healing. I suppose that being deemed as viable should make us happy, and mostly this post is just nit-picking.

In the end, it’s going to be a constant battle of buffs and nerfs to rejuv & WG every patch between now and when they give us another AOE healing spell (even if that isn’t until 5.0). At least in 4.0.6, we’re on the up-swing of having viable raid heals with the number of buffs we’re getting, so we should be viable for either tank or raid healing at any level of content in 4.0.6. My recommendation at this point would be to buckle-up and enjoy the roller-coaster, since Cataclysm is going to feel like history repeating.

Posted in Restoration Healing Trees

A fun game I like to call…

Which of these WOL healing breakdowns is from a fight from my last ICC raid that I healed before we leveled up to 85, and which one is from our first Magmaw kill in 25-man Blackwing Descent?

Is the Blackwing descent Raid Healing Log 1?:

Or is  it  Raid Healing Log 2?:

I’ll post the answer tomorrow with more of a discussion of how I feel about 25-man healing for druids in Cataclysm. Until then, vote on which WoL you think came from which instance! There’s no prize for winning… Also, with both log breakdowns, I was at or near the top of the “healing done” meters, so either way, I rejuv/WG spammed my way to victory!

Edit: I need to work on the 4.0.6 Healing Guide version over the weekend. There are already a handful of things that are out of date that I need to work on for the guide….

Posted in Restoration Healing Trees


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