11 Reasons to Run Ten Mans

One of the quirky tweaks/ features about raiding in Wrath is that every raid instance now has both a 25 man version (heroic mode) and a 10 man version (normal mode), and the raid leader picks a mode before anyone zones in.

There has been some debate about whether 10 mans are easier than 25 mans. Some encounters scale better than others, and the hardest raid encounter currently in game (Sarth+3) is hardest in 10 man mode precisely because it doesn’t scale down well.

Blizzard’s original goal was that they should be of similar difficulty, but the 10 mans would be more accessible because of it being easier to get 10 people together than 25.

What this means is that if you have the time and the raid group available, you can run all the raid content twice every week. You could argue that this is a cheap way to make an additional 10 man track — in TBC Blizzard created 10 man raid instances that were designed from the start for 10 man groups. You could also argue that the requirement that every encounter needs to scale for both 10 and 25 man groups puts too many restrictions on encounter designers; some of the intricate 25 man raid encounters from TBC might never have been invented if designers had to make them scale down.

But I have a lot of fun in our 10 man raids. I think it’s been a boon for the 25 man raid group also. Oddly enough, even though I’m kind of bored of the current raid content, I don’t think having run it in 10 mans as well as 25 mans made that boredom happen faster.

I’m looking forwards to running more 10 man nights in Ulduar, and here are 11 reasons why.

1. Keep the keener raiders busy on off-nights. Some people just like the game and want to play more often than their raid group’s 25 man schedule.

2. Learn the encounters more quickly. Especially for a technical encounter, it can take a few attempts before people really ‘get’ it. If you have the opportunity to run 10 mans alongside 25 man progression raids, you get twice the chance every week to learn the raids.

It means that everyone has more chances to practice taking different tanking/healing/dps roles in an encounter that provides them (eg. tanking adds vs tanking the boss, healing the tank vs special healing assignments, kiting/ crowd control vs killing adds vs any special role).

I know our 10 man raid killed both Kel’Thuzad and Malygos before the 25 man raid did. And as a result of that, at least 10 people in the 25 man raid knew those encounters well before we got to them.

It also means that people get a chance to practice other raid roles, like raid leading and tank/healer assignments. Both of those are easier to practice  in 10 man raids, especially if you are with friends and in a less stressful atmosphere.

3. Get to see different encounters. This is probably more applicable to casual raid groups like mine but in any fixed schedule, some people can’t make some days. For example, I don’t raid on Thursdays because I meet some friends at a pub quiz.

Via 10 man raids, people get a chance to see and learn content they might miss on 25 man raids. And vice versa.

4. Quicker Gearing. On first stepping into a new tier, raiders who run both 10 and 25 man every week will be able to gear up more quickly. It’s not guaranteed that 10 man Ulduar loot will be any better than 25 man Naxx loot – in fact it probably won’t. But if people do have any gaps in gearing, they’ll fill them faster if they have the option of using either.

From what we have seen of the loot tables, it looks as though drops from hardmode 10 man Ulduar encounters will be superior to non-hardmode 25 man. This is another reason to encourage the 10 mans to go gear themselves up and learn those hard mode fights.

5. Gearing for off-specs. Because of all the extra loot that you can get from running the instances on both 10 and 25 mode, it’s likely that people will be able to snag 10 man loot for their off-specs. This is more of a perk for hybrids, but it is good for everyone if raids never stall for lack of geared tanks or healers.

6. People can bring alts. 10 man raids very quickly shift to ‘alt nights’ after people’s main characters have all the loot that they wanted.

7. More accessible for smaller guilds or groups of friends. Not everyone has a 25 man raid group to hand, and it is easier to get a 10 man group together. Assuming you have a few friends who raid, it’s very quick and easy to get the core of a 10 man group together.

8. Profit! There’s cash, badges, and maybe even rare crafting recipes in them thar 10 mans. Once the raid is on farm (ie. lower repair costs), a weekly 10 man run can be a fun way to earn gold to cover 25 man raiding expenses.

9. Challenge. Usually the 25 man raids are harder than the 10 man equivalents. But that doesn’t mean that 10 man raids don’t pose a challenge, and the hard modes are likely to give even progression guilds a run for their money.

10. Practice playing off-specs. In the new dual spec world, 10 mans offer an opportunity to practice playing different specs.

11. Friendlier environment. A 10 man raid will usually be a lot less regimented than the 25 man equivalent. People tend to be chattier on voice chat because there are fewer people to interrupt. It’s a smaller group, and that usually means a friendlier, more relaxed feel. For some people, that’s just more fun!

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11 thoughts on “11 Reasons to Run Ten Mans

  1. Some good points, but I don’t agree with all of them. For example your last point I experienced just the reverse: 25-man raids being a friendlier environment, because of encounters than can effectively be done with 20 people, and 5 friends tagging along.

    I do like that there are both versions, but I think what annoys most people is that the loot in the 25-man version is better, without that version being harder. Naxxramas would be better if the 10-man and 25-man version would have different loot, but of the same item level.

    • I think from a raid leader’s point of view, 25 man is harder, just because you need to get 25 people together. But you’re right, from a raider’s point of view that may not be the case. It kind of varies from fight to fight and role to role.

      That is the reason though why Blizzard didn’t give both raids the same item level of gear, they felt it would make it even more difficult for raid leaders to entice people to 25 man raids.

      I think the surprising thing for me about 10 mans is that I really didn’t get bored more quickly from running raids twice a week — I don’t know if I was expecting that.

  2. I like 10 man raiding, but the gear i want is from 25s :( I will be getting some friends together for 10 man Ulduar who used to raid all the time together back in BC. If there were and Undying title for kara, we would have had it….even if it included all trash.

  3. While I certainly agree with everything you’re say, I must say that the fact that alts can go to 10 mans is the best part of the new change. I don’t have nearly as much alt hassling going on this time around as I did last time. I never let them into 25s before regardless, but at least now they don’t complain as much ;)

    • Our 25 man raid has the same rule about no alts :)

      But it is definitely a nice bonus for people who get bored if they play the same character all the time, or like to level and gear up alts as a hobby.

      When I’m running 10 mans, any warm bodies who know the fights and are vaguely geared for it are more than welcome. Really, the more geared alts the better, since I never know when someone might not be able to make it.

  4. Personally, I think the smaller raids have invariably been harder whether it’s Zul’Aman or Sarth 3D. They’re certainly harder on consumables – I go through far more potions on 10 man content.

    • One thing I have noticed is that it’s easier to make them harder if you don’t have all the buffs etc in the raid.

      Frex, we had a rough Naxx10 last weekend, and part of that was no priest buffs, no BoK, no replenishment. It was like dropping a tier of gear in terms of how much more difficult it was.

      • No replenishment is the one that is really easy to notice. I watch healer mana like a hawk and the difference is really noticeable.

        On that note, the insights into the design process of raid encounters that have happened since Ulduar testing have been just fascinating. What they assume you have is extra-ordinarily revealing. It makes me wonder about the sort of things they assumed we had for previous raids.

  5. I’ve also found 10mans a bit harder as there is less margin for error.

    You make a wrong move/turn/whatever in a 10 man and you die, then your raid may end up not making that enrage timer. Lose one in a 25 man raid and it’s no biggie. Using my own dps numbers as a point of reference, losing 1800-2000 in 10 man is much more detrimental to losing 2800-3000 in 25.

    As I’m in a guild with mostly real-life friends, we’re small… so the 10man versions have allowed us to see content that would have been previously unavailable to us. And we still have the chance to pug 25 mans should the opportunity arise.

  6. Also, getting a balanced 10man group going is tougher than a 25man, you don’t always get varied healers, you gotta go for who’s available since (at least in my guild) people are more willing to go with 25mans than 10mans which means not always having a priest a shaman and a druid. Also you reach the dilemma of choosing which classes to come, sometimes you have to choose between mage decursing or warlock summons/HS/soulstone.

  7. Pingback: A holiday, a holiday, the first one of the year! Best of 2009. « Welcome to Spinksville!

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