Monday, April 26, 2010

25 man raids in Cataclysm - will anyone bother?

OK I promised the other day that I would try to cut down on my question-mark titled posts. But I'm afraid that I'll have to break the oath right away. It's just a little bit too early to make the definite verdict on the announced changes to raiding in Cataclysm.

So I'll leave it with a question mark, just to make clear that I'm worried but not in the state of nerd rage when it comes to the future of 25 man raiding. Not yet. We'll have to wait and see a bit more.

10 man vs 25 man raiding
The topic of 10 man vs 25 man raiding - if it should be considered equally difficult and if they should be rewarded the same way or not has split the community for a long time. I would dare to say that which stance you take in most cases corresponds to if you're doing 10 mans or 25 mans yourself.

If you're in a 10 man raiding guild you're likely to say that 10 mans are exactly as challenging as 25 mans - if not more, since the failure of one single player will have bigger impact of the outcome in many fights.

If you're in a 25 man raiding guild you'll probably argue that getting 10 people come together and play as a team is a piece of cake comparing to the administrative nightmare of arranging 25 man runs. Apart from that it's way more likely that one out of 25 will screw up or just get dc:d in an encounter with tight margins, than that someone will fall off when you only have ten people to worry about. The effort is bigger and the risk for a wipe as well and because of this the reward should be better. Without the incentives, the 25 man raid is likely to die.

So where do I stand in this? Well, since I'm a 25 man raider myself and would like to remain so if possible, it's hardly a surprise that I look at this from the 25-mans-must-have-better-rewards perspective.

This doesn't mean that I don't like 10 man raiding or that I somehow look down to it. I enjoy 10 mans immensely - especially since they normally offer better teamwork in a more closely knit group. And I have full respect for those who prefer it to 25 mans - with special kudos to the 10-man-gear-only strict guilds.

But at the same time I believe that the law of the least resistance is what basically rules WoW and if the incentives aren't enough the 25 man raiding will die off, which I think would be a shame.

Gold and emblems don't cut it
Now to the question: will the advantages that Blizzard has announced to 25 man raids be enough to keep them going in Cataclysm?

They say that the loot table will be exactly the same. The only difference will be that 25 man raids will get more gold, more emblems and a yet-to-be-determined higher chance to drop items. This is supposed to make 25 man raiding a more "efficient route", if you manage to gather the numbers.

I have my doubts about this. I really have. Even mentioning the gold factor sounds like a joke to me. Have you ever heard of anyone raiding for the joy of gathering gold, apart from when you could solo Original Onyxia for a short period of time before she got her remake? If you play the gold game you're more likely to do it at AH than raiding.

What about badges then? Well, if they continue the path they've chosen in Cataclysm with badges dropping all over the place, from daily randoms, from weekly raid quests and from quests inside the instance, I don't think that it will have any huge impact on the motivation to arrange 25 man raids. Possibly it will feel important in the very beginning, but it doesn't take that long before people have more badges than they can use.

So the final incentive then, the increased gear drop. How attractive will that be? It remains to see. It isn't exactly like we've been starved for chances to get good gear easily in Wrath. Epics are raining from the sky and if you'll get 3 drops in a group of 25 instead of the "2,5" that it should be to be equivalent to a 10 man raid, I don't think it's enough to keep them going.

Other incentives
There are other incentives than gear and gold though, that motivate players to bother about raiding in the bigger scale, namely prestige. While not everyone cares about it, many raiding guilds will throw a glance at the progression list of their realm every now and then. It simply feels good to see that you're in a guild that is doing well compared to others. In this new situation, where Blizzard has declared that not only the loot table will be shared, but the level of difficulty will be the same in 10 man and 25 man raiding, I can't see any reason why the progression charts won't be shared between 10 man guilds and 25 man guilds. And guess what will happen in that case?

/nods

The 10 man guilds won't just get the world-firsts. They're also likely to dominate the realm ranking lists. Irrelevant? Yeah, maybe if you're already in a ten-man guild. But to the more advanced 25 man guilds I'd dare say it matters.

I'll quote a randomly picked comment at MMO- Champion:
"This means basicly get the best ppl from you 25 man raiding guild , kick out all others , and focus on 10 man raids? less troubles with organisation , less drama , more chance on raiding since you don't have to count on that many peeps."


Yeah. I think we might see those things happening. Especially if it will help your guild to climb on the ranking lists.

There are other incentives for 25 man raiding than the ones I've mentioned though. Such as the experience as such - the way you perceive the fights. There is a certain grandness of fighting a big badass dragon with 25 people in your army, which I've never seen in a 10 man fight.

I know I'm not the only one to enjoy the epic feeling (and I yes - I know it was even more epic with 40 people). Because of this I would rather keep raiding 25 mans than scale down to 10 mans, regardless of the loot. But on the other hand I'm not a raid leader or organizer. It's not my headache and it's not my decision if 25 man raiding still will be worth the effort. I really wonder what's in the minds of the guild leaders worldwide right now. How many guilds will fall apart due to this announcement?

Guild leveling incentives?
I realize that this post contains quite a bit of gloom and doom, and I suppose it reflects my gut feeling in this very moment. But my guts are wrong sometimes! Hence the question mark, right?

I haven't yet condemned all the 25 man guilds to die a horrible death. Not yet. There are still some unknown cards around. One is exactly what the increased drop rate will mean. Another card yet-to-be-seen is more precisely what the guild leveling will be about. Maybe they'll give a few more incentives for 25 man raiding that way? It could happen. We don't know yet.

And even if I'm a bit worried, there's also some really good stuff in the announcement. I love the idea of making more but smaller raid instances. This will grant more variation in the weekly raid schedule and keep players from boredom. I also approve of that 10 man and 25 man versions will share the same lockout. This will prevent players from feeling compelled to run the same instance in every possible version just to keep competitive with the gear. I suppose they learned from the ToC debacle, where some players ran the same instance four times a week and grew incredibly bored with it in a very short time. The lockouts will prevent it. And you may call it patronizing and that we should be able to make that call for ourselves, but I still think it's a wise call to help us to keep the fun in the game.

Blogosphere reactions
The first few reactions to the announcement I've seen in the blogosphere have mostly been on the positive side. Restokin is even more worried than me, but Hatch, Cold Comfort, Nibuca , Big Bear Butt and Screaming monkeys all seem to be very happy about the changes. And for good reasons, looking from their angles.

Maybe they're right. Maybe I'm just a protective, insecure little gnome, worrying more than necessary about where she'll end up in the mighty tides of the change?

Deep inside I think we're all wondering a bit: Will there be a raid spot for me when the dust has settled and the new raiding landscape has been shaped after the cataclysm?

We won't know anything for sure. The question mark is hanging over us. And the discussion has only begun.

59 comments:

Grimmtooth said...

All the arguments against this seem to stem from the argument "if the gear isn't better, nobody will want to 25-man raid any more."

To me, this seems like the improved gear is an artificial prop - that it's needed as an incentive.

My natural assumption then is that it's the gear that matters, not the kind of raid, and if the gear were available elsewhere, that's where they'd go.

So, now, the gear's in both places.

The prestige factor is all that's left, and I'm fine with that. Have a feather for your hat, and I will cheer from the cheap seats :)

In BC I tried 25-mans just to see the content locked behind that wall. In Wrath I don't have to deal with that. And in Cata, at least, I won't feel marginalized because of it.

So, yeah, "yay" from my corner of the universe too :)

It's a good question - will the prestige be enough? I hope so. See people with feathers in their hats every now and then is a good reminder that there are still challenges out there if we want to face them.

Klepsacovic said...

We don't know that badges and epics will be raining from the sky come Cataclysm. I doubt we'll see a dramatic reversal, but I suspect they've learned a bit about gear inflation and generally throwing loot at people for no clear reason. So it is possible that more badges or loot would be a big reward. Perhaps the same for gold, though I imagine that is mostly there as an extra bonus, not intended to be what draws people in.

Think of it this way: you do your 25s with the guild and do 10s for extra chances at loot. What if you had those extra chances within the 25 itself? It's not killing 25 man raiding; it's sparing people the repetition of 10-mans when what they really want to do is 25 with their guild.

When you say "bother" that suggests to me that a lot of people don't actually like 25 man raiding, or people in 25s don't like downgrading to 10 man; they did it for the loot. This spares everyone the pressure of doing the 'wrong' path.

Spinks said...

I don't think it's the end of 25 mans. People who like both will just do one set of raids on alts (which will probably be co-mains).

But it will create the most colossal raid drama, no doubt. And there will be fewer PUGs (many of which are run by bored 25 man raiders).

I feel vaguely gloomy because my friends ditched me for a more hardcore 10 man raid, so for me it's 25 man or nothing. And if that means nothing ... there are always other games.

Anonymous said...

I'm beginning to feel that if this truly is the death of 25 mans, you have to wonder if 25 mans was a good design decision.

I've read quite a few posts lamenting "the death of 25 mans and here's why." The why seems to be that 25 mans are no fun to organize and are less fun to run. In fact they make it sound like it's not worth running now, which makes me wonder: "Why play if you're not having fun."

Pumpkin_King said...

I honestly think that the increased drop rate will make 25s still worthwhile. Say you go into a 10-man, and one piece of gear drops off each boss, and two off the last boss. In a five-boss raid, that's six pieces of gear, and 60% of the raid members have a chance of grabbing an upgrade (this is assuming the best possible scenario.)

Then you go into a 25. Each boss drops two pieces, and the last boss drops five, and whatever emblems Cata uses for tier upgrades (vanquisher's mark of whatever.) That's 13 pieces, and if my math is correct, the percentage is still a bit more than 50%, PLUS the upgrade from the mark(s).

Askevar said...

I'm one of our guild's raid leaders - one of the only ones that offered to step up. I help my hubby organize our 10 man, as well as the guild 25 mans.

Organizing guild 25 mans are a major headache and one I'd actually be able to live without. Don't get me wrong, I very much enjoy 25 man content.

But we're a casual raiding guild in ICC. We have no attendance requirements. Saturday I struggled to fill a raid with 27 signups due to no shows. Sunday I quickly filled a raid with only 17 signups. The week before I had 30 signups and all 30 show up [even the ones I can usually count on to sign up and not show] and of course had people upset when they weren't chosen to go [we have people take turns rotating out if needed].

We have 3 10 man teams going solidly right now, and only occasionally pulling alts into them to cover no-shows or people who couldn't make it. People seem to be more willing to communicate with us as a 10 man raid leader than as a 25 man raid leader.

I've already had it suggested that hubby and I take alts to run a 4th ten man in Cata to drum up interest because no one wants to raid lead. The other 2 10 man raid leaders don't want to raid lead but did it because no one else would.

Our schedule for the weekend evenings is locked [by our choice, granted] because no one else will take the job. So, there is a lot of appeal in having that time back and maybe running a second night of our 10 man instead. Much lower stress, much better communciation.

Same gear, same fights, and a lot less headache that everyone else refuses to take? Much appeal in that. No need to leave 5 people out, or hunt for 5 more... Most everyone fits in a 10 man currently.

Again, we'll have to see - but that is one raid leader's [somewhat jumbled] thoughts. Because otherwise people are going to have to grow up and take some responsibility or we'll have to look at some attendance requirements/tracking to make sure raids do happen [which probably would mean more work for me :P].

Kae said...

Ironically, the first blog post I saw on the matter was a doom-and-gloom "world is ending for 25s" post based on not being able to a) run both as a guild to help swap players in each week who get rotated out of the 25, or b) have something easy to fall back on (due to overgearing the content) when they're undermanned or need a morale boost.

Reading your disclaimer about your stance with 10s was, as you can imagine, amusing for me after reading the doom-and-gloom post ;)

As a ten-strict officer and former 25/40-man officer, I can fully agree that 25s require more logistical planning on the part of the leadership. Unfortunately, the many raiders that follow them are more likely to shirk in their duties as raiders: their is less burden on their shoulders to perform, since the death of a rogue in a 25 is less of a problem than the death of a rogue in a ten (are they interrupts? are they the highest dps? what was their job? who can take over that job?).

It's not fair to the leadership of those 25s, certainly. Many 10-strict raiders are burnt-out 25-man officers. But is it fair to give the best loot and rewards to the person that is being hand-held by their officers? How is the game even to determine who to reward in that 25-man guild outside of the guild's own loot distribution, when the pions are squawking after those fancy rewards, too? The GM or labeled officers don't always earn them. Meters don't track everything. The guy laying dead in a lava pool certainly didn't earn it.

It's not an easy situation, but as you've said, not all of the details have been released yet. Personally, I'm happy to see the gear levels evened out, as item level wasn't a real indicator of a player's skill or dedication... but the question remains, what is?

Hatch said...

@Pumpkin: My reading of the changes was more like:

2 drops off every 10 man boss

6-7 drops off every 25 man boss

So you would get significantly more drops per person in 25s. To put it in the terms you did: in a 5-boss dungeon, 10s get 10 items and 25s get about 32 items. That's 100% for 10s and 128% for 25s.

Spinks said...

I'm not sure that more drops per head is really a great incentive for 25 mans. All it means is that you gear up and then get bored more quickly.

Erinys said...

I'm really curious as to how they will balance 10 and 25 mans in terms of equal difficulty. I can't help thinking one version will always work out as being slightly easier and people may gravitate towards that.

I'm really happy about the one lockout though. I still have nightmares about doing ToC 9 times one week in different modes and on different characters.

As for equal loot, I much prefer both sets of instances dropping the same stuff over being pushed into doing the same instance twice per week.

However I prefer 25 mans, for some reason I've always found them much more relaxing and fun even though they tend to be far more annoying than 10 mans. Finding 10 good players in my guild has always been a lot easier than finding 25. Which leads me to be a little worried, I can quite easily see a lot of people just taking those 10 good players and running 10 mans over struggling onwards with 25.

So on reading this, at the moment I'm a little worried I'm going to be pushed into raiding 10 mans come Cataclysm.

Chelm said...

"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."

It sounds to me like 25 mans will gear you up quicker so hardcore guilds will still be going this route.

Mycroft said...

My initial thought, in answer to your title question, is that I don't think many will bother. It just doesn't sound like it would be worth the extra effort to try to maintain a 25-man raid progression.

I kind of hate to see the "epic" raids go, from 40's down to 25's and now I expect raiding will pretty much mainly be 10's since they will share lockouts and loot, but I gather Blizz's data shows the shorter raids with fewer folks are such a better fit for so many people.

Reminiscing a bit, I recall coming over from Dark Age of Camelot to WoW that it seemed like coming from DAoC's group size of 8 to WoW's group size of 5 that some friends got turned away due to stricter class restrictions in a group of five. Then, with the 10's and the "bring the player not the class", we had more flexibility in grouping up with friends. Perhaps Blizz feels that this is indeed the sweet spot where they want the game to be?

iamapaladin said...

I think people will still bother with 25 man raids but I have to admit, the "epic" feeling is one of the few things 25 man raids have going.

Firespirit said...

Larisa, as long as I have been pulling up a chair and having a nice stout with you in the inn, you and I have disagreed about the 10/25 man loot disparity.

I think the only thing I have to add to my previous entries is the following:

If you are only in 25 man raiding for the loot, and you would *rather* be doing something else (I personally can't stand 25's and have the utmost respect for the people that do them), is that really a good reason to keep doing them? A tad self destructive if you ask me.

And finally:

Should, simply by the virtue that you have to "heard more cats" entitle you to better loot than the 10 man raiders? I would argue that through all of Lich king 10 man content is HARDER than 25 man, if you remove the "heard the cats" section. Much less wiggle room for screwups, as you mention.

10 man raids are all about individual responsibility - one mistake can wipe the raid. 25 mans are all about hearding and administration. And you know what? I resent that just because you can heard 25 cattle you get the best gear in the game. My experience says there is very little personal responsibility in 25 man.

Stabs said...

Thumbs up from me for this change.

Running a raid with me, 5 mates and 4 random recruits is so much more enjoyable than running a raid with me, 5 mates and 19 random recruits.

If I never join a 25 man raid ever again I'll be fine with that.

As for everyone else there will be plenty of people wanting to join 25 man raids but a real lack of quality leaders.

Anonymous said...

One of the things I haven't seen mentioned is the impact 25 mans will have on drops. With current loot tables - assuming about 15 items per boss and assuming that once an item drops, it will not be duplicated - that axe that drops every week is a lot less of a problem on 25 mans than it is on 10. In other words, not only will 25 man raiders be richer, get more items, and more badges they will also get more of the "unusual" items like trinkets. - Want rare drops off of a boss? Run 25s. Want a small core to learn fights - run 10's.

kamiken1 said...

This announcement seems a bit incomplete if you ask me. I can see how 25 man raiders feel slighted by this and how 10 man raiders feel ecstatic. I think the major piece of the puzzle that may be missing is the guild leveling system and how it will function in terms of this announcement.

We already know that by getting achievements and leveling you will get the added bonus of leveling the guild as well. I think the 25 man guilds will keep the advantages over the smaller guilds because they can still field the more people and level their guild faster to provide better benefits overall t hen the smaller 10 man guilds. I honestly think this will be the major benefit for the larger guilds to stay intact over the small 10 man guilds. The other benefit is being able to get gear faster then the smaller groups and move through content at a brisker pace due to all of these advantages.

I guess overall we will have to play the wait and see card on this change to see what the majority of the WOW population does.

Erinys said...

@Kamiken1: Larger guilds could stay intact and run multiple 10 man raids just as easily.

Gronthe said...

I think an important strategy that Blizzard is following for Cataclysm is Consolidation. They will consolidate the stats, that we know. Now we know they will consolidate the gear in 10/25-mans as well as lockouts. One of the important things this does is free up time.

If I need to run normal 10 & 25 then heroic 10 & 25, that's a lot of TIME invested in the game, and there's a good chance that I will burn out if I have to do the exact same thing with all of my toons and all my playtime.

So, what can Blizzard do to help me stay fresh and remain a paying customer? How about consolidating the raid gear drops and raid lockouts? This frees up time for people to engage in other activities than just raiding the same place XX times every week, with little time for much else.

For someone like me this is nice, I only run 25's on occaision for a chance at a gear upgrade, I just don't have the time. In Cataclysm I'll have more time to do more things I enjoy, keeping the game fresher for me...and for Blizzard that's good business.

Ratshag said...

Show me an example where, given two paths of equal skill/gear requirements, raiders choose the one with less reward. Maybes then I'll think 25s is gonna suffer. The way I sees it, is gonna boost the demand fer 25-man guilds since instead of doin' the same raid twice a week (10 and 25, and bitchin' the whole dang time), the way they can gets just as many shinies in Cata is by only doin' the 25.

Gazimoff said...

I think that you'll see the following happen:

Strict 10-man guilds continue as they are now, smiling all the way.

10-man guilds that "buddy up" for 25-man stuff will stop doing 25-man stuff and purely focus on 10-man. Raid alliances will fracture along these lines.

Weak 25-man guilds will end up forming 2 10-man raids (A and B teams), purely because they're wasier to organise. Those in the B team will raid less often, leave and form their own 10-man guild. The old guild becomes a 10-man raiding guild

The hardcore 25-man raiding guilds become strict 25-man guilds and carry on as they are now. The only change will be that their members will not be able to join loose 10man raids or pugs for badges or "filler" gear.

Groups and guilds at either end of the spectrum will be unaffected by the change. it's those guilds in the middle that will be most impacted by this, and who are most likely concerned by the changes. This is amplified by the effect that the pre-expansion lull has on most guilds, stripping them of players and making it hard to form raids.

I think it's interesting news, but I think it could have been timed better. By announcing it now, when the expansion is likely in November, it will mean that many struggling 25-man guilds will probably collapse, where they may have hung on until the expansion's release.

Jesse said...

Don't forget that 10 and 25 will share lockouts. This means that to maximize badges/gear per lockout guilds will have to do 25's. I think we will see an increase in the number of people doing 25 man raids over 10's.

kamiken1 said...

@Erinys My guild already does this. We run 3 10 man raids a week and do not officially sponsor any 25 man raids though some of us do team up with another guild and some other friends to mess around in the current 25 man raids.

My guild also has over 100 members and probably could field a solid 25 man team a week of just guild members if we were motivated to do so but logistics make that difficult with differing time zones.

Anonymous said...

Here's how it's going to play out:

RAID LEADER: "Okay we're up to the last boss. Thanks for coming guys, but we can't trust about 5 of you to not stand in fire... so me and 9 of my officers are gonna take it from here. Once all 10 of us have all the loot we need, we'll start running 25-mans so you guys can get some End-boss loot. Thanks for coming, see you next week.

/KICK Player 11
/KICK Player 12
...etc.

Perdissa said...

"The 10 man guilds won't just get the world-firsts. They're also likely to dominate the realm ranking lists. Irrelevant? Yeah, maybe if you're already in a ten-man guild. But to the more advanced 25 man guilds I'd dare say it matters."

I'm not entirely sure that 10-mans will get steamrolled the same way that they are now. One reason why 10-man raids seems easier now is that it is easy to outgear them by doing the same 25-man content. For instance, my guild is doing ICC10 now wearing mostly 264 gear from ICC25. We're currently working on LK, but I'm pretty sure we might be back at Prof Putricide or Sindy if we were only decked out in 251 gear like we would be if the 25man version didn't give out gear a tier higher. It might still happen, but probably not to the same extent that it is happening now.

Another thing I think might work for the good of the game is that this may help alleviate the tank shortage. Bear with me a moment=>

In most 25man raids, we have 2-3 tanks for 25 people. Whereas 10man raids have 2 tanks for 10 people. If 10man raids become more prevalent, we will have more tanks per capita. Probably unintended, but you heard it here first.

Fitz said...

I quoted you wise Larisa, so here's the link for that.

http://healertrek.blogspot.com/2010/04/raiding-game-changes-forever.html

The upshot? I'm in favor of this change and I think they should go farther. Let's not lose the epic feel of the game. Let's bring back 40 man raids if you can equally tune 10 and 25 versions as well. I want to see the most epic guilds in the game (or groups of top guilds on a server) come together to really do something unique once in a while.

Maybe I'm crazy, and yes I know the herding cats argument.

Grimmtooth said...

@Fitz

Oh, well said!

Koch (Aszune) said...

And one other note that has not been brought up in the comments here (might be covered in one of the linked posts - but the day is still young!):

It'll immensely help all those guilds that are doing great on 25 man content when an "expansion" (and that includes a content patch) is new and shiny and who drop down to 21 participants when it gets older. One or two 10-man runs with identical difficulty (yeah right, but let's believe that for the moment) and reward will mean that the people willing to "stick it out" actually benefit.

Walgierz said...

From my perspective, this change fixes so many issues, its almost like Christmas!

Today's PUG culture driven by bored 25 man raiders is horrible for me and I won't mourn it. Small guilds won't have to try to expand to 25 man raiding at cost of guild integrity to keep competitive people playing with them. Gear inflation will be much smaller.

Give me heroic 5-mans with CC and less badge-loot dependency, and I am in love again.

Spinks said...

"One or two 10-man runs with identical difficulty (yeah right, but let's believe that for the moment) and reward will mean that the people willing to "stick it out" actually benefit."

Nah, more likely there will be an A team and a B team and the B team will eventually disband out of frustration (or the A team will leave to form its own 10 man guild) and the 25 man raid guild will effectively become a 10 man one.

Dwism said...

Whoa, I've never disagreed more with you than on this one Lar.
- 25 manned, do get less rotations simply because you dont need as large a % of players that suit each specc in order to get a raid viable with replacements.

- 10 manned raiding will suffer a lot over this. There will be no more gearing up in 10's before you can get to the real raiding. you chose now. People will chose 25 manned raids, because their raidleaders will chose the 25 manned raids.
Loot will be harder to come by in 10 manned raids, since there will be no gear alternative any longer.

Emblems will be easy to come by? Have you read the other tread about emblems? They won't any longer. plus you can't supply your emblems via the 10 manned raids any longer, remember?

10 manned raiding will be for alts, mains will do 25.

Monsieur said...

Do I want to be engulfed in a stream of butter and cupcakes? No, I want to fight a dragon that NEED at least 25 people to kill it. Or 10, or 40. What I don't want, is a dragon that will pull it's punches on 10 man, be him/herself on 25 man, and pumped on steroids on heroic.

It seems people in the blogosphere are pretty happy overall with this change. Why do they think this is freedom of choice? If choice is having everything available to you, what is the value of that? It just pisses me of to see people actually being happy that what they used to call achievements and goals are being watered out and thrown on the altar of accessibility. It even pisses me off that when I write achievements, a lot of people will think of those little boxes that pop up, not the actual meaning of the word.

In my opinion, this game is already too streamlined. Killing Onyxia was epic once, I'm not kidding. She was a great and scary dragon, not just the next stop on the loot train.

This is the captain signing of the imperial rantlog.

Gevlon said...

Larísa, don't worry!

As long as there are 25 people in the EU realms who want to do 25 mans, there will be a 25 mans guild.

It is possible that your guild falls into 2 10-mans + shards.

But unless you are alone with your wish to raid with 24 others, you will find people!

Just look at Undergeared! There are absolutely no rewards for doing it. Yet it goes, exactly because we want it to go!

Dominus said...

Food for thought:

How do you think the random raid tool will relate to these announcements?

I might be mistaken, but wasn't blizzard planning to release that tool before Cataclysm comes out.

Campitor said...

Personally I'm glad to see this change. On certain servers there is an abundance of talent and on others lets just say there are a lot of people who die in fires. I have raided 40/25/10 man raids and by far the 40 and 25 are the worst to organize, keep focused, prevent afk's, and keep people from standing in a fire. I'm sure there are a lot of 25 man guilds where the aforementioned isn't a problem and I'm sure they will continue to run 25 man raids.

However, the 25 man raiders who have to suffer the idiots to just get loot or hard mode achievements no longer have to worry - they can kick the poor player and now run 10 man mode and get the same exact loot with the same exact difficulty.

Lets be honest, how many players can get carried in a 25 man raid and still get the boss down? How many players have gone afk or dc'd and the boss still dies? And when the loot is being handed out those bozos who died in fires or dc'd for 90% of the fight still get to role on those epics just because they had a higher attendance or *insert justification here* ?

For those 25 man guilds who were carrying/boosting idiots or putting up with jerks just to progress this is a dream come true.

Jb said...

I think there is no doubt that these changes will kill the 25 man runs. Very few guilds will continue to do them. It has always been about the loot for 99% of the players. Just look at the trade channel in Dalaran - all about gs when asking for people. So setting the drops in 10 and 25 mans to the same IL will kill 25 man runs for a huge pool of players. There is no doubt alot more hassle to organise 25 man runs due to logistics, dc`s, no showers, M&S sneaking in with badge gear but low rading skills etc. I remember in the old days when we did MC, BWL and ZG. Many of us found ZG to be most fun and alot smoother runs. The 40 mans where a nigtmare at times with 6-8 hours of wiping, resrunning, people leaving, going afk etc and raid leaders burnt out quickly. I think 10 mans is the future.

Jim said...

A couple of quick thoughts: The shared lockout seems to force you to choose 25 or 10, which seems unfortunate to me since I sometimes moonlight on 10 mans, so now I would not be able to do that.

I think IF the only change was just more loot for 25 mans then the assumption that it will denude 25 man raids would be correct. I do agree as a Pally healer 10mans have always been as or more challenging to me. However I think that these changes must be tied to the new guild system somehow. Otherwise it would be limiting choices really.
Since they are streamlining everything badges and raids, I think the Guild Progression system is somehow going to be the badge of prestige. This makes sense to me since Blizzard announced that everyone will be much more interested in being in a guild for Cataclysm.

Anonymous said...

The death of 25s is imminent!
(How's that for a non-question?)

And, it will not be caused by gear, nor loot, nor gold, nor vanity, nor any other reason other than the combined lockout approach. Quite frankly, the current bifurcated lockouts (10 and 25) work perfectly in my opinion. Take, for instance, the following all-too-common example and apply the new lockout approach.

The regular Friday 25-man group does their weekly raid; however, content is difficult and the group is unable to complete the wing/boss, whatever. So, it's late and we decide that we will all meet tomorrow at 7 server and finish up. Everybody, being flushed with excitement from that night's raiding says, "WOOT! We pwn tomorrow at 7, see you then, kthxbai!" Logout.

Fast forward 24 hours. 7 server comes and, of your original 25 raiders you have 9 that show up from the previous night (4 of which are officers and 3 more of which are class leaders). Now, I, as RL, can say, "WTF! This sucks balls, but let's see if we can get 16 guildies to join us to finish up." Even assuming that I could get 16 more guildies (now requiring 41 guildies total to lock themselves out), I know full well that we are now in content that is very difficult for even our most progressed raiders and we have, quite frankly, very little shot of progressing with bringing in others (elitist, but being pragmatic).

So, instead of the foregoing, I change tack and say, "This sucks balls, but, rather than locking out 41 people let’s see if we can get 1 guildie to join us and run it 10-man so we can better prepare for 25s and I can check out if player “x” has the ability/talent/stamina/desire to move up to our 25 group." Everybody happy right?

Nope, sorry! See, my fearless officers and class leaders will then inform me that, "We no can-do, oh, great and powerful Potentate, we have now been locked-out from 10's in this instance for the week." So, instead of raiding with my guildies, instead of checking out my newest raiders to see if they are ready for 25s, and instead of seeing further content, we all loiter around Dalaran doing squat. Now, multiply that scenario by about a factor of 20 and you're going to have a lot of squatters. And, trust me, by definition, 12-year olds standing around with too much time on their hands doesn't bode well for raiding and really doesn't bode well for \tradechat

However, on the bright side, this will satisfy Blizzard's desire to slow progression - only at the cost of killing 25s.

SpiritusRex

Larísa said...

@Grimmtooth @Klepsacovic @Anonymous: I’ve seen a few people arguing that gear shouldn’t be necessary as an incentive, that the raids should be enjoyable enough as it is and else there’s something wrong in the size as it is. But bear in mind that the ones who need incentives are the ones leading and organizing the 25 man raids. I would love to keep doing 25 mans regardless if the loot is the same. I’m not capable of running one of my own – I lack the skill it takes. It’s not that there won’t be willing raiders. What I’m afraid of is that the competent leaders will stick to 10 mans because it’s less work and the reward is exactly the same.

@Spinks: Yeah, I’m gloomy too. Somehow I felt even gloomier after reading your post, reinforcing my fears. I’m afraid I will end up as a broken egg as you say.

@Pumpkin King: There will also be more players of the same class as you around in the raid. I’m sceptic that the drop rate will be such a big incentive.

@Askevar: I think many, many “want to do 25 mans but end up doing 10 mans” guilds will turn into pure 10 man raiding in Cata. For exactly the reasons you mention.
April 26, 2010 9:24 PM

@Kae: honestly I think the pressure in a 25 man environment is bigger. But that probably depends most on the character of the guild you’re in. I definitely DON’T want to be the one idiot who wipes a 25 man raid for putting a defile in the wrong place… Or failing with tears at Archimonde… The pressure is huge. But maybe that’s just me.

@Hatch: yeah, and I don’t think that’s enough to motivate people to keep running 25 mans.

@Erinys: I have no idea where my guild will end up. But of course I hope we’ll keep doing 25 mans. However if they’d suddenly decide to take the top-10 players into a 10 man elite squad I have no illusions of that I’d be picked. And I guess that insight hurts a little.

@Chelm: I read the same information, but I don’t think it’s convincing.

@Mycroft: Yeah… I see the trend too. I’ve even heard people joking about the next step: scaling down from 10 to 5 man “raiding”…

@Iamapaladin: yeah, the epic feeling is nice and of course there will be a few 25 man guilds around. But far from the quantity of today, I’d dare say.

@Firespirit: yeah, nothing like a good old argument with someone you know by heart…
 As I’ve mentioned to other commenters, what worries me isn’t most of all the lack of wiling raiders but the lack of willing raidleaders for 25 mans. About the lack of responsibility I beg to defer. Wiping a 25 man raid due to a silly mistake (which I very well may do – like placing an icetomb in the wrong spot at Sindragosa or messing up with a defile at LK) is very embarrassing in a 25 man context compared to when you’re raiding with 9 close buddies.

@Stabs: Exactly my opinion. With the difference that I’m afraid that I might end up on the losing side, not having those close buddies and any granted place in a 10 man progression guild. So I’m more doom and gloom about it.

@Anonymous: well, the competition for those unusual items normally is huge, with many more to roll/bid against in a 25 man team. So I’m not so sure if that’s valid.

@Kamiken1: yeah, I think I mentioned it too. The guild levelling system is an unknown factor in this that might help up the situation a bit for the 25 mans.

Barrista said...

I think this show that Blizz recognizes that their subscriptions are declining and are just trying to hold on to what is left.

But honestly, if the difficulty is reduced is 25 mans and the loot is the same, there will likely be little incentive to do 25 mans, especially by those who's first concern is loot. You can roll against 1 or 2 other people in a ten man or about 7 people in a 25 man. Which do you think people are going to opt for?
Extra badges are nice, but loot you don't have to save for is even better.

Personally, I like the challenge, but not many do.

Larísa said...

@Gronthe: Yeah, I don’t deny that this will be a popular change for players who don’t spend their online time on 25 mans (which not necessarily takes more time tbh, but more planning and discipline). But for me it’s not an improvement.

@Ratshag: You have to take in the aspect of how much badges/drops per hour you get. Making a 25 man take off is like trying to start a jumbo jet from the ground. It’s sooo slow in the beginning, compared to a helicopter that can lift instantly. We could run 10 man-runs up to Sindragosa in one night months ago, while we still won’t clear up to sindragosa in one single night in 25 man. We oneshot things alright, but it just takes more time to cater to 25 people. I’m not sure the reward of slightly more gear makes it worthwhile.

@Gazimoff: Good point about the timing. I too think that we might see a lot of guild breakdowns and giving up on 25 man raiding very quickly now. And I think you’re right about your categorizing of guilds as well. I hope I’m in a hardcore one that will remain solid. But it remains to see. It will put a strain on all 25 man guilds.

@Jesse: … and I just don’t agree. Possibly there might be a slighter bigger interest for 25 mans in the beginning of a new tier. But soon enough people will get their badges and go back to 10 mans. Which I think will be the dominating way of raiding in Cata.

@Anonymous: yeah. Something along those line might happen in many guilds. Possibly not quite as outspoken but…

@Fitz: cheers for quoting! Being a TBC player I’m a bit envious of those 40 man raids and I’d really like to see it “for real” and not just overgeared for achiemvents. But I’m afraid they’ve made very clear that it’s dead and forgotten. And tbh for pretty good reasons. I just have to live with that I was late for the party.

@Koch: yeah, I can see the point in what the Blizzard post says: that you won’t have to cancel your raid when you’re down to 22 in the holiday season, just break it up in two and still get good rewards… but this argumentation still takes for granted that the 25 man ambition will still exist. The question is: will it?

@Walgierz. I suppose you’re in a 10 man guild.

@Dwism: I don’t follow your argument about rotations. Considering how popular paladins and druids are and will be in cataclysm, and the existence of dual specs, you have plenty of options for offspecs and flexibility in either raid size.

You’re definitely the first one I’ve seen claiming that 10 man raiding will suffer! You’re original in this, but tbh not really convincing. But you ARE a bit biased aren’t you? Being in a highly successful, hardcore 10 man raiding guild. You’re certainly a winner in this cataclystic change to the game.

Larísa said...

@Monsieur: yeah, the label ”achievement” is honestly a bit weird. It’s more like “activities in the game that you’ve kept book for”. I never was around for Onyxia for real, so I can’t say anything about the vanilla epicness. But the 25 man raiding has been fine for me – and challenging. But that maybe says more about my level of skill than the actual difficulties… however… I’m not really a fan of the upcoming changes. As shown in this post.

@Gevlon: the problem isn’t the lack of willing raiders. It’s the lack of willing leaders. Which leads us back to one of your old suggestions where you made models where the raid leaders actually was paid for his job, taking fees from the participants and such… Maybe it’s time to dust it off?

There might still be 25 man guilds like the one I have now around in cataclysm. But I’d dare say they’ll be much more rare. Undergeared isn’t exactly a common thing, is it? There’s only one at this side of the atlantic, as far as I know, and it has raiding times that won’t work for me….

@Dominus: actually I think this might have a pretty negative impact on pugging overall. People will be more protective about their lockouts and who would risk using it in a crap cross-server raid? Players who saved their 25 man lockouts for their guilds but happily ran 10 man pugs won’t do that anymore. I foresee a decline in the quality and interest for pugs tbh. That’s at least my first, very rough thoughts on this. Might be worth pondering about more.

@Campitor: Yeah, if you’re a veteran godlike skilled player I guess you welcome this. If you’re a serious, struggling not-quite-as-skilled player like me you might be more worried. But you don’t care, really, do you? You’re on the safe side. I’m not.
/shrug

@Jb: Yeah. I suspect this. Still trying to be openminded and hope for the best though.

@Jim: well, I suppose you can always run 10 mans on an alt if you still want to do 25 mans on your main… I personally have no big objection against that change, even though I don’t have any raid-worthy alt. I guess I’ll just cut down on my gaming time, and my family will be very happy about that.

@Spiritus Rex: no questionmark there. You’re more doomish and gloomish than I am. What a nightmare with all those bored 12 year olds… *shiver*

@Barrista: yeah, it’s definitely an adjustment to what they think is the most profitable audience. 25 man raids are somewhat intimidating to many new and casual players so they put the emphasis on 10 mans now. As simple as that.

Kae said...

"honestly I think the pressure in a 25 man environment is bigger. But that probably depends most on the character of the guild you’re in. I definitely DON’T want to be the one idiot who wipes a 25 man raid for putting a defile in the wrong place… Or failing with tears at Archimonde… The pressure is huge. But maybe that’s just me."

That is more dependent upon the person and their guild social expectations than on the raid size. There are plenty enough raiders in 10-man guilds who feel that same pressure to not be the one person that wipes the raid: I for one have felt the same pressure be it in 40s, 25s, or 10s. I don't like being the scrub who's holding up the guild's progression due to an avoidable raid-wipe mechanic, no matter the size. A 25-man raider might feel less stressed with a 10m raid because it doesn't matter as much to the guild, but a 10-man raider might be very stressed because that IS the guild's progression.

While some players will dust themselves off and happily bang their heads against a wall again, others have panic attacks and cry in shame. That's where the individual players' care comes in, and that comes down to personality-based recruitment and guild expectations.

KiwiRed said...

I wonder if, once the dust has settled, we'll see 25-mans having become the new strict-10-man raids, and casual raiders moving more into 10s?

It's going to be interesting to see what effect guild advancement will have on the new raids, and if it favours one or the other.

And it'll be a bad time to be one of the underskilled, at least once people move past the initial tier of raid content (which is apparently designed based on the expectation that raiders will be wearing questing blues).

Tomasz said...

Ok, way back I complained about small guilds being unable to compete with larger ones due to worse gear and their target content trivialized by 25 man drops and badge loot. All I heard was "you are overreacting, players who REALLY care will stay in 10 man raiding guild, and you can always opt to not use higher ilevel items".

Now I bite my tongue, but can't help but to say: ladies and gentlemen, you are overreacting. Players who REALLY want to play 25 mans will stay and gear doesn't matter does it?

Hugmenot said...

Oh noes, they moved my cheese!

I don't understand the motivation behind the shared lockouts but I assume Blizzard has discovered some interesting tidbits while data mining which motivates this new reality.

The shared loot is a good thing in my opinion. Players who want to raid 25-man raids because of its epicness will continue to do so. Players who want to raid 10-man raid because of its real or perceived higher personal accountability will continue to do so.

Players who were running 25-man primarily for the loot will have to decide what they want to do in Cataclysm. I expect they will be happier with their decision than forcing themselves to run larger raids just to keep their Gear Score on par with their friends.

I expect some players who were carried in 25-man raids will have trouble finding a raid spot on a stable 10-man raid. I expect others will rise to the challenge and will feel better about their contribution to the raid. Others will experience something different.

@Larissa
Please have more faith in raid organizers. Those who want to organize 25-man raids because of its epicness will continue to do so. Those who organized 25-man raid because they offered better loot will now have to determine which raid size they enjoy. As the decision will no longer revolve around articial rewards (iLevel), they stand a good chance of being happier with their decision and not burn out so often.

As to your fear there will not enough 25-man raid leaders, that is a possibility. My question to you is if no one wants the job, how can one claim the demise of the 25-man raids to be a bad thing?

You can always use your website to recruit a raid leader if needed. Your popularity and the general tone of your posts are surely guarantees you will be able to start a 25-man raiding guild of good people without having officer duties.

Ratshag said...

"Making a 25 man take off is like trying to start a jumbo jet from the ground"

Fair point. But if yer 25-man raiders is getting loots faster, then that could lead ta fewer wipes and faster kills, and then yer balanced out again.

Chelm said...

Maybe I'm missing something, but the facts as I understand them:

-As an individual, you will be more likely to obtain gear in a 25 man.
-As a guild, you will gear your entire guild up more quickly in the 25 man raids.

Considering the aim is to make both raids equivalent in difficulty, why would the majority of successful 25 man guilds break up into 2-3 10 man groups?

It seems to me things won't change. Particularly for those guilds pushing content and going for firsts.

Campitor said...

Larisa said :@Campitor: Yeah, if you’re a veteran godlike skilled player I guess you welcome this. If you’re a serious, struggling not-quite-as-skilled player like me you might be more worried. But you don’t care, really, do you? You’re on the safe side. I’m not.
/shrug


I don't consider myself a godlike player. My main role was a paladin healer and I was good at my job - but not godlike. But I have seen too many players just sit in fire, afk, dc, etc. For the rest of us that actually want to spend our time being constructive in a raid, this is a teeth grinding experience. If you see flames at your feet or big bright green goo - that means move. If you can't play without going afk multiple times which in turn causes 24 other people to sit around - well that is just plain rude. But you have to put up with that because you need that counterspell/kick or that buff/proc, etc. And piss poor dps/healing is better than zero dps/healing. But not anymore - you can hope to raid now with 10 people who are courteous, play decently, don't stand in fire, and don't constantly dc/go afk. If your only reason to raid 25 man players was to hang out with 25 friends, and the other 24 feel the same, then this won't affect you at all. But if you are one of those players that is subpar, rude, and inconsiderate of other people's time, then your jig is up and it's time to pay the piper. If you are decent and play well and not necessarily god like - then there will be plenty of 25man raid guilds for you. Most guilds are casual raiders and I'm sure you will find a home that is perfect for you.

I have done my share of raid leading, been a guild leader, and done plenty of 10 man and 25 man raids. I have always found the 25 man raids to be cumbersome and full of slackers. The 10 man raids always seem to be more focused and easier to put together and to raid lead. If anyone is complaining about this change and hasn't ever led a raid for a significant amount of time - I think they really don't understand why so many are happy about this. Or is it that they could care less of how much of drag it is to herd 25 cats/raiders, and the work involved.

If you are worried about 25 man raids dying, poney up, put a raid leader tag up, and start organizing 25 man raids. Can't expect to get what you want without working for it.

Larísa said...

@Kae: I think most people would consider it more scary to mess up in front of 24 other persons causeing them a repair bill thant o do it to 9.

@KiwiRed: I guess Blizzard out of business reasons will try to somehow cater to the unskilled people as well... It remains to see how though.

@Hugmenot: Of course I might think that the decrease of 25 man raiding is a bad thing regardless of the reason for the decrease. It makes the game smaller and less varied.

If something happened to my guild I'd be more likely to stop playing than to start one of my own. To be honest.

@Chelm: because it's less of a headache to lead a 10 man group. And you'll gear up and get progression easier for that reason - even if the encounter as such isn't easier.

@Campitor: I don't know what to say. I don't think I'm capable of evaluating myself in a fair manner, to make a judgement if I'm pulling my weight or not, if I'm one of those players you'd hate. No idea.

I'm not godlike, that is for sure. I do silly mistakes sometimes, that's true as well. But the harshest criticism always comes from myself. More than once have I cried over my own incompetence in pure frustration. And then I've pulled myself together and got back to the dummies, practicing over again... I've written about it before at PPI.

Personally I think that just as in real life it varies who is a carrier and who gets carried in a guild. Over time. If you carry someone one day you might find yourself carried further on, under different circumstances (on an alt if nothing else :)). And what carries a guild forward isn't only what happens in the raid. There's so much else in it. I try to contribute with a good spirit, un-whiny attitude and that kind of stuff. Not draining the guild from energy, but rather providing. And being completely reliable, sticking to my commitments no matter what, hopefully adding a bit of stability. Supporting the leaders when they need moral support. How do you value those things? Is the dps meter all that counts in your world?

There is something in the tone of your comment that makes me wonder if you're suffering from burnout.

Campitor said...

@Larissa,

The DPS meter hasn't never been a significant factor in my personal view of who is a good raider or not. Its the death meter and the dmg taken meter that mean more to me. And going afk multiple times in a raid and being rude isn't about the meter either. Am I burnt out? For sure! I don't raid anymore because I was tired of all the drama created by the poor performance and the constant afk's. None of which I ever participated in - I kept quiet and always stayed postive because adding more drama never helps.

Having 25 different personalities in a raid is a sure fire recipe for drama. But a 10 player raid always seemed to find the perfect balance between having fun and focusing when needed, something that always seems to be harder to achieve with 25 people.

Are there 25 man raiding guilds that don't suffer from this drama? I'm very sure they exist and those guilds will be the ones to keep raiding as a 25 man unit; this change will affect them not in the slightest. They were successful as a 25 man raid and have fun raiding as a 25 man unit - no need to change.

The fact that you are analysing your game play and support your guild leader makes it highly unlikely you fit into the bad player category. No one is perfect and certainly everyone has died in a fire at least once. But if a player is constantly dying in fires and going afk - how supportive is that?

Pumpkin_King said...

@Hatch:

Shows how much I read. I didn't know that they'd given actual stats for the number of boss drops. I was just giving an example. Thanks for correcting my ignorance! :P

Stabs said...

If you do end up left out I'm sure you could translate your blog popularity into a raid spot.

Just blog saying you're looking, you'll be swamped with offers.

Of course that may not be ideal, especially if you have good friends you've raided with for years.

Chelm said...

So causal 25-man guilds who never really liked 25-man raids in the first place will get to do 10-man raids. Progression guilds and those at the top tier are still forced to stay doing 25-man raids to attempt to shine.

I'll just about guarantee you the first many guilds to clear raids will do so in 25-man runs because they will gear up faster.

Corwyn said...

If Blizzard gets good at tuning content based on 10 or 25 man, maybe they will be able to drop the artificiality of sizes altogether. Got 56 people? Go into a 56 person dungeon.

That would be cool, and, presumably make it much less hassle to organize a group.

Ironshield said...

I think we have to see "by how much" 25-man version of the bosses drop more gear. Also, we need to see just how much that guild talent system is going to affect all the alts that are sitting in guilds with established raid groups that currently pug.

We will likely see many of those alts depart for new or old guilds and create new 25-man raids just to benefit from both the new talent system and the increased loot efficiencies -- that is unless we suddenly expect 25-man raiding guilds to have multiples of 25-man raid groups despite not being able to coordinate that now. Doubtful I says.

Blizzard will play this one smart and keep the 25-man raiding scene interesting by making the loot quantity appealing. This will make more people more interested in getting a piece of that efficiency action for their alts and those loyalty ties of the alts will thin quickly to their current homes and lie more strongly with their established 'pugs' = new guilds.

My thoughts.

Dwism said...

@ Lar: I'll elaborate on this in my next post.

Asklepius said...

While I love 25-man raids, I really hate the administrative side of it, recruiting for 25-man guilds, synchronizing schedules, dealing the endless problems. I find that I spend much more time time dealing with administrative issues than playing. Therefore I think that the proposed change is a step in the right direction for people who love the game but have a job and a family and find it hard to spend most of their time online dealing with problems of others.

Anonymous said...

I might be a little late to the party, but I still wanted to chime in.

I currently lead a guild 25 raid, play on a set 10, and attempt to pug both 25 and 10 on an alt.

My first thought when I read the single lockout for 10's and 25? Thank God, I never have to administer another 25 raid once Cata hits.

See, we're a casual progression guild. 3 nights a weeks, no sign ups needed. If you show, you show. As the RL, I pick and choose who gets to come from everyone available. Consistent attendance and better performance generally lead to regular invites. No matter how many people I recruit, I have about 18-20 people who I can generally count on. that means I'm looking for 5-7 people every night to step in. Can you say head ache?

With the changes, I can lead (or even just attend) a 10, have someone else lead a 10, and viola, we get gear. Maybe not as quick as in the new 25 w/ the extra loot, but we also didn't have 5 extra people to gear out.

I have the feeling that unless there is a really big carrot for doing 25s, very few guilds will be bothered to run them. There just won't be enough raid leaders willing to take on the extra headache.