25 man raiding – End of an Era

Last night was our last scheduled 25 man raid. Various factors have taken their toll on the raid group including (but not limited to):

  • People getting bored of Cataclysm
  • People preferring their 10 man groups to the 25 man raid
  • Difficulties in recruiting – does anyone really want to run 25 mans any more? Or is it just a general lack of interest in raiding?
  • People being inundated by work/ off to travel round the world

The end result is that it’s already a struggle to set the weekly raids up, and it’s been agreed that 25 man raiding isn’t really viable for us any more. It was a sad time, the end of an era for a raid group that got together during TBC and went on to get our Kingslayer titles together (more of a high point than any of us guessed at the time, perhaps).

And it feels strange also because we hadn’t really been blocked on progression, which is the usual reason people fail to keep signing.

I think it was the right decision but it makes me feel strangely sad. Once these 25 man raids are gone, they won’t come back. All that may happen is the occasionally 25 man PUG in old content once the new tier of raids has been patched in, but it isn’t the same thing. A lot of people had predicted the death of 25 man raiding – it has come true for us.

19 thoughts on “25 man raiding – End of an Era

  1. There’s a lot of guilds who were very successful in WotLK 25 mans but were outside the elite/hardcore band for whom this is inevitable.

    25s are still highly viable if you have a large, even team and a honed logistics/recruitment engine. Even a lot of 11/12 ICC-25 Heroic guilds don’t fit that description though.

    It’s sad. Maybe in the long run it’ll be better, but it’s hard on guilds in that upper-middle band.

  2. My old guilds 25 man raid has pretty much killed of the 10 manned runs we used to do. Now that alts are getting geared, they are slowly coming back, but I think that -overall- the reason raiding guilds become smaller has more to do with your first point, than people not wanting to do 25, when they can do 10 mans.
    Which was the reason that those lots of people, who “predicted” the death of the 25 manned raids, used.

  3. We’ve lived on the edge for quite a while now and it’s wearing us down. This week we got a blood transfusion in the form of a bunch of players from a small guild joining us. I hope it will help, but I know exactlyw where you’re coming from and it’s really, really sad. I predicted this and I wish I had been wrong.

  4. There’s no need to feel sad about that really, my guild has been running 10 man raids all expansion, and it’s much more fun than 25. I *know* everyone in raid, when someone speaks on Mumble I don’t I have to open the window to see who’s speaking, and individual performance is so much more important.

    You get the same gear from 10 man, you get the same difficulty, and you get the same fun.

    • It’s sad when it was a raiding community that had been together for years though. It’s not as though we didn’t know everyone who spoke in TS either. I never quite understood that argument, even back in the days of 40 man raids, I used to recognise the majority of voices on voice chat.

  5. I am gutted. Way more than I thought I would be, way more than I was when we were drafting the “here’s how it is” post.

    It’ll be okay. But we did some cool stuff, this group. Our mission was to get people into content that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to see. We pulled off multiple Lich King kills and even crafted Shadowmourne on a remarkably low hours-per-week and attendance requirement, and with a good, fun bunch of people. That was a pretty cool thing to do.

  6. It was bound to happen. 25man is dead. But the nastiest part is ahead: a 10man raid will form. 15 people will not be in it. I’m sure they now tell AND MEAN that they will give a chance to everyone. But sooner or later the raid will reduce to a new 10 men core.

    We’ll you be in?

    PS: if not, we had to one-tank kill Magmaw trash. hint hint

    • I’m actually taking a break from WoW at the moment and have been for a couple of weeks, just hadn’t got around to mentioning it yet.

      Since our raid is actually a raid alliance I think the individual guilds may be able to get a couple of 10 man raids together.

  7. I wonder where that leads. The current guild system shows that Blizzard thinks guild equal raid.

    On the other hand the 10 man format is the most unforgiving format for guilds.

    – It requires a higher ratio of benched people then the 25 man format.
    – An additional guild member is an additional raid member and every additional member has a much bigger impact on the “roation scheme” in a 10 man raid then in a 25 man raid.

    If the “majority of player” is in 10 man raids, the guilds will start the gravitate towards “10 man raids guilds”. Then, they will either be to small and often unable to raid or they will have enough member but many members will often be unable raid.

    This might be the end of raiding. Maybe they have to cut the size down even further and start designing 5 man content as real endgame for their next expansion.

  8. I never understood why they choose 25. It never made sense to me. In Vanilla it was 40 and 20 perfect split numbers and than instead of doing something like 10 and 20 or 15 and 30 they made 10 and 25.

    I saw too many guilds first get gutted by the 40 to 25 and than break when we all got channeled into one 10 man instance (Kara).

    I always preferred the smaller raid but having to do Kara first, it made me even more realize that. I never had interest in larger raids again and was glad that in Cata they were finally equal.

    Still I know that there are people who liked larger ones better that’s why I think Blizz messed up in the beginning with the split. I feel that making it 15/30 or even 10/20 would have worked out a lot better.

  9. Why would 25 people who enjoyed being together and raiding together stop playing together in 25 man raids? This isn’t natural. I suspect that perhaps some of those 25 man individuals either didn’t like you as much as you thought, or perhaps they would rather raid with 10 good players instead of 10 good players + 15 mediocre players (or any variant thereof), or maybe 15 of these players find raiding boring? Or maybe playing with 10 people instead of 25 feels more friendly and playful despite the harder learning curve.

  10. Sad but true is all I’m thinking. odd how those 4 points sum up pretty much what’s going on in all 25man guilds at the moment, escept maybe a die-hard upper 0.1%.

    I wonder about the last point a little; is it that those of us who actually have been playing long enough to notice, are on average 5 years older than when we started – life moves on and many have simply reached new stages that require a new focus / less time and interest for wow?
    it’s the changed game too but there’s also something happening right now in terms of a ‘generation’ change. wow has definitely reached something like an mmo’s average lifetime by which it can appeal to the same person.

  11. I personally attribute this to overall deterioration of WoW experience. A couple of things that stand out in this regard. First, WoW rading has increasingly become about loot treadmill with storyline and epic encounters pretty much gone. Who cares about the story – let’s work getting bosses on the farm. Epic accomplishments? Well if you killed Illidan or Lich King new Cataclysm instances offer nothing new to prove for people driven by achievements. And haven’t we already killed Nefarian on 40 man? No surprise that in the loot driven game players prefer 10-mans as the most efficient way. Secondly, it is disintegration of WoW social fabric. WoW community is mean and unpleasant environment nowadays. Therefore, people tend to stick with closely knit groups and generally avoid strangers.

  12. Sorry Spinks.

    I imagine the decline of 25 man raiding will prompt a cross-server solution. That may mean you and 15 of your friends can still raid together.

  13. Your group got together and started raiding in TBC — that’s a long time ago. I wonder how many have simply decided that WoW is just not for them anymore.

  14. I know Light of Dawn guilds who voluntarily went 10 man this time around, though with the fairly equal difficulty(they did do a good job of it), most non-Paragon type guilds who can’t guarentee 25 perfect players knocked down to 10 to progression(since it’s easier to guarentee the perfect players.)

    We are still doing 25s, though I’d be lying if I haven’t seen our signs go down. We did lose some people to RL/Burnout(this expansion has really taken it’s toll already with burnout-I’m wondering if it’s residual ‘ICC for a Year’ burnout or more?) We do have of course some classes/work/vacation oriented things, but that happens each and every expansion and year.

    But you did hit a lot of those points. Another thing that might be mentioned: People progression minded might start noticing how much faster 10 mans progress. This might not be because 10 mans are totally easier(Some are, some aren’t, but 10 man heroics, as I was talking to our main tactics writeup fellow-have some STRICT raid comps, sometimes needing 3 tanks or 4 healers, and no room for error), but because it’s easier to get or maintain 10 than 25. These people, focused first on progression, might also start wanting a more 10 format for that. It’s no lie that on our Server, only a couple of guilds are left as 25 man, and they are progressing slower. (We didn’t get to start properly raiding until 3 weeks into January due to holiday, for example. We did some exploration 10 mans before that.) One of the top 3 guilds did most of the normal content as 25 but swapped to 10 for heroics, despite its more unforgiving comps, it’s simply, again, easier to get a ridiculously strong 10 man.

    Of course, you also need to keep less standby in a 10. To be a really, truely proper 25 raid guild you more or less need at least 30+ raiders. Unless the 25 have no lives, no spouses, no connections to the outside world and never get sick, you need replacements. Keeping 15 is a lot easier than 35.

    But I do feel for you guys. I have seen this happen a lot this time around. It is sad I think-I do like 10s and think there is a place for them, but I do like my larger, more epic raids.

    As for your WoW break, you certainly aren’t alone there. I never thought I’d say this but with Rift actually looking promising and more and noticing more taking WoW breaks I think Blizzard might consider looking a couple of things over here. I wonder if waiting until June-July for 4.2 is a good idea on their end or not…

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