Apr 272010

Well, I was considering writing a post about soloing one boss in ZA this weekend, and picking up Mojo (sadly, bears don’t do well solo against bleeds or magic damage). I also considering writing a post about how our 25-man LK raid successfully killed the first Val’kyr spawn and dodged the first Defile with no deaths…once. (Now we’ve got to figure out how to handle healer positioning for Infest.) However, the raiding world changed today, as Blizzard announced dramatic new plans for raid structuring in Cataclysm. In brief:

  • 10’s and 25’s will share a lockout and drop the exact same gear. It may be possible for raidleaders to switch between 25-man and 10-man modes for different bosses.
  • 25’s will drop a higher proportion of gear to compensate for the logistical difficulties of forming them. Other 25-specific rewards are still TBD.
  • Achievements will be independent of raid size.
  • 10’s and 25’s will be much closer in difficulty.

Wow. Just wow. Blizz’s stated goal is they want people to go where they enjoy- they want people who like 10’s to do 10’s, they want people who like 25’s to do 25’s, and not feel shoehorned into the other type because of progression demands. Hypothetically, this will reduce burnout (less raiding + slower progression). So, what happens when they do this? Let’s look at some different player perspectives.

  • Casual-Raiding Carl will struggle at first, as there will be very few raiding PUG’s. (No more bored guild raiders pugging the opposite size.) However, he’ll probably be occupied in 5-man content for a while; and once he’s ready to raid, there should be many more earlier-tier PUG’s as people gear alts. These PUG’s will almost uniformly be 10-man; nobody will want to spend the extra time and effort for the same return.
  • Hardcore Harry will stick to 25’s at first, for the extra gear potential. If 10’s turn out easier, though? /wave.
  • Ten-Strict Tom will be ecstatic. Hopefully, his guild’s efforts will finally be seen as worthy.
  • Average 25=Man Raider Annie will stick it out for a while; however, when progression becomes difficult, and all the normal raider issues crop up (RL, Internet problems, etc.)…she’ll be mighty tempted to listen to calls to split the guild into two 10-man teams.
  • Officer Olivia will ask, seriously, if it’s worth the effort to field a full 25-man roster every raid night, when 2×10 offers much more flexibility. The temptation will be very strong to field a top 10 “A-Team” and a lesser “B-Team.”

Having raided (and recruited for) both 10 and 25-man, if you take the gear advantage away, I don’t see what 25-man has to offer. Is the “epic” feeling worth the logistical headaches, the multiplied organizational time, the reduced FPS, etc? It’s up to you.

That said, I HIGHLY doubt that Blizzard will be able to balance the difficulty of the two, without overly homogenizing classes or encounters. Void zones mechanics favor 10’s (more space to move…see Defile.) Raid composition mechanics can cause vast swings in difficulty (some mechanics become much easier with certain classes…see Disc Priests and Infest.)

Overall, though, I’m largely in favor of this change. Combined with the info about a new weekly cap on top-tier “badges” (points), this shows that Bliz is really trying to slow down content and reduce burnout…which is great in my book.

  7 Responses to “Reshaping the raiding landscape”

  1. One of my big concerns is for us people who like to dps, especially the pure dps clases. (As of today) 10mans raid composition consists of 2 tanks, 2-3 healers, 1 shaman, 4 dps. Where as a 25man raid composition is, 2-3 tanks, 5-6 healers, 15-17 dpsers. I think the general consensus is most people are going to aim for 10mans come cataclysm. Take your current 25man raid(for example) and turn it into a 10man. Which 10 dps do you tell “sorry you didn’t make the cut”? The hybrids that dps will probably just change their offspec to main and find a new guild to run with. What do our warlock,mage,hunter,rogue friends do? Why take a rogue when you can take a feral druid, they can kick now, they can tank if one of your main tanks can’t make the raid that evening? Sure mages get a heroism/bloodlust now, but a shaman can ranged/melee dps as well as heal, plus their totem buffs are awesome. Just a few examples.

    Look how long a tank or healer has to wait in the random-dungeon queue compared to a dps class. I think in the end things will balance, and people will just re-roll to a class to be able to fit into a raid. I’m not sure if that’s right, shouldn’t we play a class we “want” to play and not “forced” to play just to find a raid? I’m just a little upset that I probably won’t be able to cat dps come cataclysm and will be forced to tank do to 25mans becoming a rarity and there will be a much higher demand for tanks and healers to fill the new 10man raid guilds. Maybe I’m thinking too deep into the raid composition. Maybe the new raids will be dumbed down to the point where almost any 10 people can go in and clear. I really hope that is not the case, which is why I fear for our dps buddies.

  2. There is still a place for 25 man raiding, just as an example right now, we are on Sindragosa.

    If one of the 2 tanks die, its a wipe.

    If the one druid dies we loose the oh $hit card.

    I also think progression is going to be slower in 10 man, they said its the same loot table, however 25 man is going to drop more loot.

    So the 25 man groups will progress faster through content. More badges and more loot = faster gearing out.

    The 25 man will have more versatility to recover from what would be a wipe in a 10 man.

    With all the glazing that Blizzard has put on this, my bet is they are doing this for more RL restrictions, with things as they are now it takes longer to create 4 set’s of gear for raiders. they will reduce manpower costs by making 2 sets and therefore be able to push manpower onto other projects that are being delayed because of the shortage of staffing. Not to mention balancing is easier with less items in the pool.

  3. I’ve found that swapping out the trusty Austere Earthsiege Diamond for an Effulgent Skyflare Diamond helps with spell survival… especially with older content where your armor is already more than sufficient.

  4. Disastrous for big guilds like ours. At The European Treaty on Aman’Thul we cater to those who raid european times but play on usa or oceanic servers, so we’ve grown in that niche to having 35 raiders online every night. That’s three 10 man teams that run on different days between fri-mon. Currently, it’s run as an after-though to our 25 man days ; but after much discussion we’re conceding that 25 man raids will cease to exist, and in talking with other leaders from similarly sized guilds, they too acknowledge that the consent is 25’s will no longer exist.

    When you have 2 ten man teams, or 3 like us, it’s very hard to tell them to dissolve their little community of friends for a bigger 25 man shared raid ID. Additionally, breaking up 3 teams ..30 players (about 35 when you add in subs) to run a 25 man raid ID means leaving 10 to 15 people not making the cut and nothing to raid for the week. Those we cannot invite to the 25 man raids currently can be heartened that they’ll be able to have fun in their 10 man team later in the week.

    What do we forsee as the new raiding landscape? Shockingly, a revert to tbc days of elitism. 25 man raids will be greatly confined to hard core progression guilds with strict entry applications. The majority of guilds that have enough for 25 man farm day, but struggle to get enough on for harder follow up days will surrender 25’s for 10 man teams.

    Finally, with the staggered release of content, and only 1 raid ID…and given the relative ease of 10’s compared to 25’s….most players will find themselves with nothing to raid on their mains 24 hours after shutdown ends. Enter the era of full blown alt runs, perhaps 2 to 3 levels deep, two days for each alt.

    In conclusion, my prognostication for Cataclysm, once the dust settles 3 months in, will be the virtual end of 25 man raiding save the occasional “closed to the public” hard core guild. Like the death of 40 man raids, 25’s will be reminisced over, but life will continue in WoW in 10’s.

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