The slow but inevitable death of 25 man raiding

As widely reported, yesterday Blizzard released their plans for changing the raid game in Cataclysm.

My bullet point summary:

  • They like having 10 man and 25 man versions of the same raids, so that will continue *cough* lazy *cough*
  • They like the Ulduar/ ICC scheme where raid leaders could decide whether to stick to normal or hard mode on each individual boss. (eg. take the first boss on easy mode, and then hard mode on the next one, et al.)
  • They don’t like that hardcore raiders felt forced to run 10 AND 25 man raids on their characters for optimal gearing up, so ….
  • … 10 man and 25 man raids will share the same lock. This is the big one. No more running the 25 man raids with your raid group and the 10 man raid with your friends in the same week. (Or rather, if you want to do that you’ll need separate alts.)
  • 10 man and 25 man raids will also drop the same loot. Just 25 man raids will drop more of it (more per person, I assume).
  • 10 man and 25 man raids will also be of the same difficulty (*coff* pigs, fly *coff* This is probably a subject for a different post.)
  • There will be two tiers of badges, much like at present. One tier will be available via heroics and will be unlimited, the other will be available from raids and heroic dailies.
  • These badges will also be available via PvP. So now the hardcore will have to PvP as well as PvE (or vice versa), instead of running 10 mans as well as 25.

Someone set us up the 25 man time bomb

Leading large raids is a harsh job at the best of times. It isn’t just due to making sure 25+ people each know what they are supposed to be doing and then checking that they are doing it. Nope, much of the difficulty and challenge of leading large raids is behind the scenes work, making sure that 25 people of appropriate classes and specs turn up on a weekly basis and are ready to raid.

And as if this wasn’t a harsh enough time to be a 25 man raid leader, they now are all aware that if this scheme proceeds as planned, Blizzard is setting them up to fail in Cataclysm.

The particular dilemma of rewards for different raid sizes is this:

  • for the individual raider, 10 mans are often more challenging. Each individual carries more responsibility.
  • for the group as a whole (and specifically for the leader), 25 mans are hugely more challenging. 25 people have to execute the fight correctly, as opposed to just 10. And the logistic overheads of 25 mans are a lot higher. Plus there is often more going on just due to the number of players wandering around.

But WoW is moving towards rewarding individuals for individual effort, and away from rewarding groups for group effort. If 10 and 25 man raids give the same rewards, then the 10 man raids offer by far the easiest path to getting them. At least for the stronger raiders, without whom more casual 25 man raid guilds will flounder.

So raid leaders will be asking themselves now whether enough people will still want to run 25 mans to make 25 man progression viable. To put this in context, you have to understand that for the majority of 25 man raid guilds, there will be a core of players who are more hardcore and a core who are less. It is significantly easier to put together a hardcore progression 10 man raid than a progression 25 man raid because you only have to find 9 other people (assuming that you are one of them). Any time a 25 man raid falters, or wipes more often than people would like, the temptation for the more hardcore 10 people to go it alone and ditch the guys who are holding them back will be there for the taking.

So how many of those more hardcore players will choose progression above 25 mans. The answer is … unknown at present, but never bet against people choosing progression. Or how about people ditching the 25 man because some friends just joined from another server who want to run 10s? Or ditching the 25 man because they found a 10 man group which raids on more convenient days (easier to organise when there are only 10 of you)?

In Wrath, no one had to choose. You could run 10s with your mates or hardcore set and 25s with your usual raid comm. In Cataclysm, everyone will have to choose. Some will use alts for different raids – but still, whenever the 25 man has a hiccough, the danger of people fleeing to the easier to arrange 10 mans will be there, like the elephant in the room.

And now, because hardcore raiders are unable to control their work/life balance – yeah seriously, just say no if you felt you were being ‘forced’ to raid too much —  we’re being forced to choose by being given a choice that isn’t really a choice at all.  The current setup is far better for casual raiders than what Cataclysm offers. There are plenty of PUGs (bored 25 man raiders running 10 mans for kicks or vice versa), casual 25 man raid guilds can flourish … wave goodbye to all of that.

All this has happened before. All this will happen again.

My first reaction to this news was one of those cold flush style flashbacks, you know where you get shivers down your spine? I’d put the trauma of the guild dramas that followed the end of 40 man raiding to the back of my mind.

And now here it is, all over again. People will be ditched from the core ‘clique’ because “sorry, you’re not one of the 10 best.” Guilds that had grown around a 25 man social dynamic slowly losing raiders, bleeding them away until there is nothing left. Drama laden guild break ups.

Will there be a typical Cataclysm guild?

Myself, I view the news with mixed reactions. I have loved running large raids, whether they be the old 40 mans, or the newer 25s. I hope that we can keep running 25 man raids into Cataclysm – however silly it is, I still think there’s a cachet to tanking 25 man raids.

And yet. And yet.

Imagine being in a small scale, tight knit guild with friends which raids together and runs rated battlegrounds together. That will be the Cataclysm model. It does sound fun. But is it worth the number of eggs that Blizzard will have to break?

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50 thoughts on “The slow but inevitable death of 25 man raiding

  1. Normally I’m reading your posts via RSS, but got onto a proper web browser today ;). It feels a bit anonymous reading that way.

    I essentially mirror your views here, and think however, that Blizzard could tip the balance towards 25-mans just with a few prestige achievements.

  2. It seems just a bit premature to call the time of death on 25man raiding guilds. Certainly there will be a demographics shuffle in Cataclysm but likely nowhere near the traumatic scale people seem to be predicting.

  3. I have no illusion that I wouldn’t be one of the cracked eggs. I would certainly not be on the 10-top list that will be recruited for a 10-man progression guild in case our guild would break down. I have to be honest with myself. If this will turn into the chaos you saw when you went from 40 to 25 mans, and I one day will find myself lost and guildless, I’m frankly not certain that I’ll have the energy to move on and start from scratch again. I don’t have that fantastic friends list to rely on. In such a situation I might as well quit the game. And the thought of this sadddens me a lot.

    Yeah and tend to fall into catastrophy thinking, I know, I know…

  4. I would agree that is premature. Like the switch from 40 to 25 there will be some damage and drama going on, but that is inevitable no matter what happens in my opinion. Don’t change up the way people do things, and they burn out. Change up the way people do things, and everyone re-evaluates what it is that they actually like doing.

  5. I had exactly the same thoughts about this leading to a slow decline of 25 man raiding in favor 10 man raiding and the possible guild drama this could cause.
    It will also make it harder to get into raids for newcomers, as raid groups will tend to be more static.

    You already did a very good summary and unlike others I would not call your summary a premature catastrophy thinking, this is exactly what will happen.

    I wonder how this fits together with their much rumored “guild reward/progression” system they planned for guilds, to bring back more “socializiation” (whatever this is in this context) to the game.

    Hard raid locks are always bad. People got used to it. Blizzard used it in WOTLK to throttle content and delay people from going through Icecrown Citadel within 3 days after release for example.

    They are mostly there to keep people subscribed, this is also why daily quests and faction rep grind tied to dailies of all kinds have become so popular with designers, and unfortunately also with players.

    (in STO, gear = regularly doing your dailies. The best gear, not only the “entry” level. Badge gear also got better and better in WoW over time)

    I think the shared lock between 10 and 25 man raids is not there to prevent hardcore no-lifer raiders from ruining their life through gaming. Quite the contrary:

    It is there to slow down the badge/token acquisition rate!
    -> I don’t think they do us a favor with this decision. They should rather re-think the BADGERISM design and loot distribution schemes.

    Guild Wars has some kind of raid, where the final area does not open up before you completed the first 4 “wings”/areas in any order. Bonus for completing them all in one run. Then you can enter the Ebon Citadel of Mallyx the Unyielding. Kill him and get RANDOM loot from the Boss Reward Chest: Everyone can open it once, and gets a random rare item plus a guaranteed drop, like a diamond, ectoplasm or obsidian shard.

    To put it bluntly, the new shared raid lock is to combat ever faster badge gain and loot becoming more and more a guaranteed gain through badges.

    I want to play as much as I want whenever I and my buddies want. I do not want agame tell me that I ideally “regularly attend” my weekly raid and do my daily quests.

    This is funny – I thought badge gear and token systems were a blessing when they were introduced, but now I rather think they lead to detrimental and arbitrary content and loot gain throttling.

  6. I think it may have been a move forced upon them to some extent by their player base. Running a 25 man raid is horrible, especially with content troughs and holiday seasons. What’s made it really hard is that there are so many equivalent offers for raiders.

    Last time I helped run a raid guild we got stuck at around 22-23 people turning up per night. It was very frustrating. We’d work hard recruiting then someone would hop off to a better guild or stop logging in. There were two guilds ahead of us who were full and we were in the pack of also-rans, guilds who never quite made 25 per night regularly.

    It really wasn’t fun to not be able to get over that basic hurdle of having a full team. It probably applied to 8-10 guilds on our server with 2 guilds being able to be always full. If you benched someone they could just guild-hop for a regular spot.

  7. I’m quite sure that bemoaning the death of 25 mans long before Cata arrives is going to be one of the things a lot of bloggers look back on and reminisce in about a year from now, but for right now, its fairly damn annoying.

    If you have ever done a Sarth 10 3D as opposed to a Sarth 25 3D then you may have already found out that the lack of resources in a 10 man set up can be far more challenging than 25s. The fact that 25s FEEL more epic to you is a personal observation, and one that I read this blog for you to share, but it doesn’t make you a more PURE raider or a more anything really. We play the same game as the guy who rolls a hunter up to 80 and deletes it and does it again.

    I’ve been herding cats since BWL days and I’m sick of recruiting, and loot drama, and all the other crap associated with keeping the attendance of 25s going.

    Luckily our guild has a strong core of 12-13 people who know each other and like each other. We had turned into a 10 man guild during the slow times of Ulduar, and i predict it will be easier to continue raiding when people have kids sick for the night and our tank wants to visit his in-laws.

  8. This post sounds like the moaning of a nab that will be gkicked by the pros carrying her towards l33t epixx because they cba with the fail in their 25 man raids, and at the same time the bitching of a guild officer upset that in cataclysm she would have less things to manage! For crying out loud…

    The fact that 10 mans are more or less challenging than 25 mans is just a matter of TUNING. So far blizzard has tuned the game in so that 25man encounters are more tight in respect to execution. If you remember the start of wotlk, naxx10 was harder than naxx25 (no replenishment or heroism anyone?? plus naxx25 was doable with 20ppl…), or sarth3d and what not.

    So yay for me for not having to carry any more nubcakes to leet epeen gear…

    Plus, as they said, 25 man raids will drop MORE loot. What that means, oh my dear fail guild-officer, is that when you are gearing for hardmodes and realm-firsts and what not, its in your interest to do the 25 mans for a while until your guild members have a decent gear set. That means hardcore guilds going for performance raids will most likely have 25 man raids.

    As I suspect, each will they will have to arbitrate between 10 and 25. The new progression scheme might look smth like this:
    -week1: do 10 man for realm first
    -weeks2-5: with the experience gathered, carry the nublets into 25 man to gear up for hard-modes
    -week6: realm first 10 man hard
    -weeks 7-…: finish 25 normal and start 25 hardmodes

    • Gosh, I’m glad I’m not raiding with you. You sound like exactly the kind of unpleasant person I go out of my way to avoid. Have fun teaming up with all the other equally unpleasant people.

      • Yeah, you sound just like the butt maggot that left our 25man to form a 10man because he was tired of ‘carrying’ all the people who geared him with t10.5 badges.

  9. I look at it this way. With shared lockout, it frees up more time to do other things in game. Right now, my wife and I raid ICC25 two nights a week, and our 10 group goes 1 night a week. Once in a blue moon we run Ulduar hard modes, but, it’s usually not an ideal group, and usually doesn’t have a lot of time, so we still need Firefighter, Saronite, and 1 light. If this was the Cataclysm setup, we could be doing that with our 10 ICC group with no problems.

    Now, that isn’t to say that I wouldn’t prefer BC style with a mix of 10 and 25 raids instead of the double dipping, but if it is going to be split, I like having a shared lockout.

    As far as progression goes, I can also see guilds turning around how they do runs. Maybe they have a vanguard who runs the progression content 2/3 nights a week on 10, and then runs 25s on the previous tier 1/2 nights a week. Remember that Cataclysm is also introducing all of the guild stuff, so there will be other incentives to stay together.

  10. I actually like these changes. As a 10 man raider, I got a little…bitter about the tuning of Naxx 10 vs Naxx 25 and the comparative quality of the loot.

    And really, for a lot of WotLK? 10 man raiding got treated as a little bit of a ghetto. Your rewards were never as cool and you got treated as a side project for REAL 25 MAN RAIDING! where REAL RAIDERS!got real rewards. So I like being on even footing with the supposed big boys.

  11. I think I commented this somewhere, but I tend to think that the 10mans will end up being harder in the long-run than the 25s. They may be more accessible (thank God!), but I think they’ll still stick with the “harder content” view that maybe Heroic modes have in some cases today.

    All things equal (difficulty-wise), 10vs25, 10man is going to be harder because of the individual accountability placed on the raid members. Right now, normal modes for 10s are scaled significantly differently than 25s. If that difficulty ramps up, I don’t see 25s dying off at all.

    • I think if it turns out that 10 mans are tuned so tight that casual but competent 10 man raids can’t complete them, then they will be nerfed until it is possible. Blizzard still wants people to be able to see the content.

      It’s just that a lot of people currently run 10 man instances with 25 man gear, so only the strict 10 man guilds really get to see the intended difficulty.

  12. I’ve been balancing 10 and 25 man raiding this expansion and while it hasnt been all smiles and free lunch its been fun gaming at least.

    I hate the idea of PvE rewards for PvP. Maybe rated BG’s will change my mind. I hope so. Although I see PvP as a time sink I’ll be hard pressed to maintain…

    Colour me uncertain on shared Raid Locks. I’m gunna try to run two mains I think…although how that will work with Reset-day congestion I have no idea. What I am sure I love raiding with 25 man raid group and if they post raids I’ll be signing if I at all can.

  13. I like the idea of equal but more loot.
    But I don’t like the idea of shared lockouts much. I’d like to see something like shared loot/badge-lockout: you can’t get loot/badges from a boss in 10 if you got some from the same in 25 and vice versa.

  14. The great thing is:

    – heroics require 1 tank, 1 healer, 3 dd
    – 10 man require 2 tanks, 2 healer, 6 dd
    – 25 man require 2 tanks, …

    Finally, there will be enough endgame spots for tanks!

    Best change ever.

  15. Right back when I first started raiding in WoW with BC we had a tight-knit guild. It had started out from RL friends and grew so we could go into Kara. This was possibly the most fun I’ve had in WoW ever, raiding with friends in this way was awesome. However, when we looked at where we went from there it was all 25 mans, we didn’t have 25 people who could raid and eventually the guild started to break up with people seeking out other guilds for progression. We got absorbed into a larger guild to try and run 25 mans but this caused a huge amount of drama and the friends who had started it all (myself included) left the game. I know for sure that this wouldn’t have happened if there was a pure 10 man progression open to us, we’d have stayed that awesome little group and had a lot more fun going through stuff. If Blizzard had implemented this at that time I hate to think of the state I’d now be in lol. I am now free and clear of WoW as are most of those friends, few still play and we do look back on those days with fond memories. It may not be great for the big guilds, but small ones like ours would have lasted longer.

  16. Pingback: Tales of the Aggronaut » Archive » Death of the Casual Raid

  17. 1) Way too early to call the death. Especially considering how many people are saying what you are saying, Spinks: “I prefer big 25 man raids”. And I’m *SURE* that Blizzard’s intent is *not* to *kill* 25-man raiding. So if we are making assumptions like “BLizz will balance 10 mans a certain way until it is where they want it” then we also have to accept the assumption that Blizz will balance the rewards in 25-man until those raids are desirable enough. The entire point is that people shouldn’t be penalized for the raid size they pick.

    2) “the temptation for the more hardcore 10 people to go it alone and ditch the guys who are holding them back will be there for the taking.”

    GOOD. A 25-man guild will have to actually be good rather than the current model where 15 good players can carry 10 slackers to the best items in the game, while if those 10 best went alone, currently they’d be left with what amounts to table scraps. Play with friends, or play with people of your own skill level. We do *not* *need* a model where the *intended* design is that a strong core *has* to carry a bunch of inferior players on their backs like pack animals just to get access to the current tier of gear *at all*.

    3) There is absolutely no way this will come close to the drama when 40-mans went away, because 25s will still be in the game, regardless of how many people you think will be doing them.

    4) So if the only people who have to work harder on a 25-man are the leaders/organizers, how come the entire guild gets a massive reward (exclusive access to the highest current tier of gear)? The blogosphere is so obsessed with whether 25-mans will see a reduction in players that they don’t stop to think whether the current system is *fair* or not.

    5) You know why the numbers of 25-man players will go down? Because they are artificially inflated by the rewards. Most of the people doing 25s would *rather* do 10s, but feel compelled to get access to a relevent tier of gear instead of joke consolation prize gear. It is *exactly* like arenas were in TBC. Everyone did arenas back then because the rewards were so good, and many people hated or disliked them, but did them anyway. Now people are having less fun in a raid they don’t like because it’s the only source or real gear.

    Was the game overall better back when everyone was doing arena, even though the majority of those people didn’t enjoy it and were just there for the rewards? Or is the game better now that only people who like arena do arena?

    • “Play with friends, or play with people of your own skill level. ”

      Which of those would you like me to do? Play with friends, or play only with people of the same skill level who need a class/spec I want to play?

      Point is, I made my friends in the guild which we formed to handle large scale raids. I don’t mind if we have a few weaker players in my raid, I don’t mind ‘carrying’ them, so why should you care? It’s just that in order to make that work, we need a range of skills in the raid including others who are stronger players (which is probably where I am). But I know I’m unusual in that I don’t mind slower progression. I just don’t think there will be enough other people who feel the same way to make it viable.

      “So if the only people who have to work harder on a 25-man are the leaders/organizers, how come the entire guild gets a massive reward.”

      The gear looks the same. Yes, there are a few iLvl tweaks but mobs in 25 man raid hit harder too. I don’t really feel that a few bonuses to stats is worth fretting about. The main value is that some players think it’s a really big deal and will be more encouraged to face the more difficult social challenge of 25 man.

      • @ Spinks: 1) Then play with a guild that feels the same way as you do. If 25-mans are so bad that you are sure the 10 best players in your guild will want to bail out, then why do you feel the need to bribe them to stay when you clearly think they don’t want to?

        2) They actually don’t look the same, not that that’s what matters to me. My tier 10 is purple while the DKs in your guild get blue tier 10. My GM plays a shaman and doesn’t get icicles on her shoulders like shaman in your guild. My 10-man trinket doesn’t turn me into a vykrul/iron dwarf/taunka like Deathbringer’s Will does. Our staves don’t proc angels, or proc at all.

        3) “a few ilevel tweaks”. What? Look, I get that you have no reason to pay much attention to 10-man itemization when you have access to 25-man stuff (hm that in itself kinda proves my point), but it’s an *entire tier* of difference. Uniformly. Every piece is 13 ilevels higher. On top of that, they are better itemized. Did you look at how terrible the trinkets were in ToC 10? Do you realize that 10-man-only players basically went an entire tier with *no viable trinkets* while the trinkets that dropped in ToC 25 are still BiS for many classes even with ilevel 264 and 277 trinkets available? The itemization is uniformly worse. Look at the icc 10 strength gear and tell me how 10-man-strict raiders are supposed to balance all that expertise that throws them far over cap with no available alternatives while 25-man raiders get all the juicy armor pen they could ever ask for?

        25-man gear has been treated by developers as a “real tier” in more ways than just ilevel, and 10-man gear has been treated like an afterthought, or as a bonus for 25-man raids, with no thought to 10-man-only raiders.

        And for emphasis:

        I don’t get how out of one side of your mouth you try to minimize the value of the 25-man gear (“a few ilevel tweaks”) and then out of the other side of your mouth you say 25-mans are *DEAD* because those *ilevel tweaks* are going away?

        Are they important, or not?

        It looks like you try to say they aren’t important to you, but are important to others, and that’s where their value lies for you. So it sounds like, regardless of how you personally feel about a few ilevels, the bottom line is that you know it’s a big deal to the overall playerbase.

      • What I’m saying is that if people are able to do 25 mans with the casual group and 10 mans with their more hardcore group, then they’re happy right now. It’s only when you force them to choose one or the other that they’ll be pressured into progression. It’s having the 25s and 10s on the same lock that is the issue, not the gear or rewards.

        And I said that iLvls are not important to ME. They may be important to other people in my raid. All I care about is whether I have gear that will let me beat the bosses we are fighting in our 25 man raids.

        Also, if 10 man gear is an afterthought, why are there no decent tanking swords in 25 man? ;/

      • No need to apologise. These changes could have a big effect on something we all care about. I wouldn’t write a blog if I wasn’t up for some animated debate 🙂

      • I dunno…I find it hard to see it as a problem when players can only run the same instance once a week instead of twice. I get that there are benefits to having two raid groups on your main at once. Hell, I experience them myself . . . do 25s with a casual big group of friends and do progression 10s with the guild.

        Hopefully Blizz has a solution for that. If it were me, I’d stagger the raid tiers like Rohan suggested so that running the previous tier on hard mode still gives valuable gear. That way you can do your progression raid on the new tier, and still have a good reason to go do the casual raid in the old tier during the same week.

        You can also do the casual run with alts. To me the loss of the 2nd raid lockout on the same instance in the same week is a small price to pay for all of the benefits the new system brings, and that loss is easily circumvented with alts, as you mentioned in your post.

    • > So if we are making assumptions like “BLizz will
      > balance 10 mans a certain way until it is where they
      > want it” then we also have to accept the assumption
      > that Blizz will balance the rewards in 25-man until
      > those raids are desirable enough.


      > The entire point is that people shouldn’t be
      > penalized for the raid size they pick.

      Actually, when you assume that they make 25-man “desirable enough”, they penalize people who want to do 10 mans. One format will be advantageous.

      And even if 10 man drop 2 items per boss and 25 man drop 3 you have the advantage of sharding 1-2 in 10 man and not sharding anything in 25 (unless it’s spell power plate) because of the bigger variety.

  18. I am see’ing an opposite scenario. Because Blizz is making 10 mans as hard 25’s (I am not sure how they will do that), players may have the incentive to skip 10’s when the same loot is more accessible in 25’s. That is, if the margin of error is small now in 10’s, it will be even more so in Cat – making it in many minds not worth the bother now with the tied lock-outs. Hense, it’s the 10’s that may go the way of the dodo, not the 25’s.

  19. Well, you also have to remember that they are also trying to add multiple smaller raids instead of 1 large raid. So even if you raid one with your 10-man crew, you can always raid another with the 25-man crew.

    All and all, I’m pretty excited about this.

    ❤ Fuu

  20. There will be drama over guilds splitting or not having spots for folks anymore.

    However, think about how much easier it will be to form a guild and start raiding. It will be MUCH easier to get started.

    My problem is that they’re watering it down again so that no one gets their feelings hurt. What is wrong with saying that 25-man content is harder than 10-man and having the rewards be better?!?!? It is becoming a game where the definition between highly-skilled players and mediocre-skilled players is barely distinguishable because the content is so watered down.

    Granted, I’ve been at this much longer than much of the WoW population today. I remember 70-man raids in EQ and when WoW started, I remember thinking to myself how much easier it was going to be to only need 40 people for a raid.

    The problem is that they’re going to end up losing the leading edge players because there isn’t going to be anything to distinguish the top 5% of guilds from the top 30% of guilds. I want the game to be challenging and want my triumphs to distinguish me from the rest of the population. I want cool titles, new mounts, completely different loot (not just the same piece with better stats) and the fun that comes from the competition of being in one of the best guilds I can be in.

  21. A little anecdote, talked with a guildie about those changes and he started to talk about “ye olde vanilla times”, and it came to:

    “We had THAT guy, we were on Geddon now suddenly everyone explodes! Who did that? Oh yeah, that guy. ‘Sorry GF wanted something from me, had to afk a bit.’ So okay, next try, pay attention now. What happens? Same issue, same guy. ‘Sorry GF was talking to me again.'”
    “What have you done to him after he did it again?”
    “We told him to stand in a far away corner and killed the boss.”

    So basically that’s it. The bigger the raid, the more fluff. In smaller group people are more meaningful.

    Just to say in fantasy books or movies or in RPG games you’d rarely see 10+ teams, people would lose their individuality. So please don’t tell me “10 mans have no heroic feeling.”

    Note on the “playing with friends vs. playing with the similar skilled”. I’d rather do progress raids with similar skilled. Friends on totally different skill level? It would clash, make someone bored or annoyed or stressed. How to have fun with friends then? Rp is one way, another is running old school raids, so what if Zul’Gurub can be soloed, the point is to have some fun without big danger. 5 mans would be a good place as well if they weren’t so overused in the game progress ladder everyone is fed up with them. I know some people who are great to “have fun with”, chat and fool around, but if wouldn’t take them to the hardest raid if their gear looks like “I wear what I found at random” and they “hate to run around the room”. Some people don’t want to play the reflexes-game of dodging fires, it would only hurt them to bring them to a cutting-edge raid. Maybe they play wow to collect pets, do quests and play with their professions, doesn’t mean I can only be friends with raiders.

    • “So please don’t tell me “10 mans have no heroic feeling.” ”

      I don’t think I said that 😛 And a really good solo questline will feel more heroic than a raid too (I’m thinking of the Drakuru chain, or some of the Icecrown ones.)

      “Friends on totally different skill level? It would clash, make someone bored or annoyed or stressed. ”

      I think my point is that it is working fine right now. You can’t take someone on a 25 man who really can’t play or can’t learn. But there’s still scope for some players to be better than others. And if you want to raid 10 mans with very similarly skilled players, then you can do that too (or instead). In future, you will have to choose one or the other, or raid on alts.

  22. Here is what Satorri said about the relative difficulty of 10s and 25s over at

    “10s require you to do fairly simple tasks flawlessly. 25s require you to do slightly more complex situations with some margin for error.”

    This makes sense to me.

  23. I think inevitably there will be drama and pain in the 25 man raiding world as a result of this but in the long run it might be better.

    People who enjoy 25 man raiding can do it. For that matter once it is only a matter of tuning maybe they can bring back 40 mans for those who really want the ‘epic’ feeling. People who don’t enjoy 25 man won’t have to. This may mean a smaller number of non committed people.

    From everything I’ve read in the last couple of days 25 man raiders are sad that they may lose their sport. It seems unlikely they will stop unless they don’t have opportunities anymore. The chief concern appears to be that Raid Leaders will give up. In which case the incentives should go to them. Maybe Blizz should give prestige points for being the raid leader (difficult to implement) or maybe guilds will have to do something to incentivise this. But from having seen the work a raid leader puts in to little acclaim (not me I hasten to add) I think that this is not a bad idea. If raiders can’t be bothered to turn up on time and ready then they will have to put up with being told “sorry, you were not here so we split into two 10 mans”.

    Using gear to reward people for organisation was problematic. This might mean that the incentives are a little better aimed at the right end.


  24. I’m thrilled with the change – then again, I really enjoy raiding 10s with my core group of friends rather than expanding to 25 and including some lesser-known folks. I also relish in the idea of actually being able to play my alt in raids rather than having to play my main through all iterations of the new raids.

  25. I’m torn by this as it seems you are. On the one hand, I swing well above my weight for both my guild and low progress server. While I could be just another very competent player in a top 100 guild, I can say with some justification that I’m the highest performing Affliction Lock on my server. The prospect of being in a 10 man group of me time I’m an officer of skilled players on my server, pushing content withe big boys elsewhere, is very appealing.

    At the same time I’m an officer in casual 25man raiding guild that is struggling to field 25 man raids every week even in the current environment. While at times it makes herding cats look like a simple operation (I’ve tried both for the record), the sense of scale and accomplishment when we finally succeed can’t be matched by the smaller 10 man raids.

    If the Cataclsym raid changes are the death of anything, they are the death of the casual 25 man guild. I hope they aren’t also the death of the semi-hardcore 10 man. If most players, particularly casual ones, migrate to 10 man content, how do you think Blizzard will tune it? In such a way as to alienate the majority of their customer base? Not likely. Meanwhile the heroic modes will lie at the other extreme, so difficult as to frustrate all but the most devoted. I hope I can round up 9 patient people come Cataclysm.

    • Arrrg wtb an edit button and a better browser. The unintelligible above should read:

      The prospect of being in a 10 man group of 9 similarly skilled players, pushing content with the big boys elsewhere, is very appealing.

  26. Eh, I raid 25s, have iLevel 277 gear and personally am looking forward to rerolling and doing only 10s. So far 25s have burned me out with having to carry people who don’t care so each kill takes an extra attempt when you know you can steamroll it.

    25s won’t die if Blizz gives them special rewards, like mounts and legendaries as they do now. I’m sure they’ll have that stuff in 10s in Cata now, but they’ll give the 25s something to brag about. The gear / difficulty being the same for 10s/25s is a good thing. Now you really have the option of just doing what you like instead of what you feel you have to in order to be the best.

  27. In your examples, the player was able to choose and still remain competitive. She could play how she wants without feeling forced to also group with 24 others to obtain the best gear. Perhaps this player would rather test her personal abilities rather than test her raid leader’s. I understand completely. If anything, Wrath had NO choice if you wanted to remain competitive. Even those that preferred only 25s felt forced to do 10s.

    In the end, if these players would prefer to test their mettle in 10s, which is what your examples suggested, then they shouldn’t be penalized for doing so…this is the current Blizzard philosophy also evident in the upcoming rated battlegrounds. We can see this same distress mirrored in that heated discussion as well.

    All the sky is falling rhetoric is wasted until we see all the very specific details related to rewards. For example, should 25 mans drop two and a half to three times more loot, badges, AND gold, then I feel it will still remain a worthwhile way to spend your time and your guild’s time, while still rewarding you for group effort not through better loot but through faster acquisition of said loot.

  28. Pingback: Gaming News: Bungie signs up with Activision, EQ2 removes starting zones, Fallen Earth Dev cuts staff, and Vote Norman! « Welcome to Spinksville!

  29. Pingback: Cataclysm Raid Shakedown and Predictions « Mordiceius' Gaming Blog

  30. There’s not going to be guilds splitting apart, if anything they’ll be made of several 10 mans.

    There’s going to be some benefit to belonging in to a large guild with the guild achievements.

  31. Pingback: Raiding in Cataclysm | Cannot be Tamed

  32. Pingback: Raiding in Cataclysm | Cannot be Tamed

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