Thursday, April 29, 2010

Can 10mans and 25mans coexist? A Possible Solution

This is a version of the Part 2 I originally intended concerning the Cataclysm Raid Progression Changes. In this post I propose a possible solution to the 10vs25 controversy, and look at some of the other topics brought up. However, I will ignore Heroics in this post and save it for another day. If you thought my "10mans are not fun" post was controversial, wait until you see my Heroic post coming up soon.

As we've all seen over the last few days the 10man = 25man change is very controversial. The general tension between 10man raiders and 25mans raiders has boiled over into name calling even though both sides have good points. Despite all of piss and vinegar being thrown around, I think this change has been proposed with the best of intentions. From a high level it sounds like a great goal. Allow raiders to achieve a high level of progression through multiple paths. In this utopia 10man raiding and 25man raiding coexist as separate but equal paths.

Unfortunately that is not the way things work in the real world, and I think I've found a good example to show why 10man raiding and 25man raiding will have a hard time coexisting has equals. Here is a quote from a comment made by Ghostcrawler almost a year ago.
The basic design problem for Balance, as I know you know, comes down to Wrath and Stafire just being very similar spells. One is always going to win out by virtue of damage or cast time.(src)
Of course, Ghostcrawler wasn't talking about raid size in that quote, but I think the observation applies to the current situation. I think Blizzard is capable of making 10man raiding and 25man raiding very similar in quality and difficulty, but I think it is impossible for them to make the two perfectly equal. In the end one will be better then the other in the eyes of the raiding community.

I won't speculate as to which format would dominate because there are to many unknowns at this point. That said, I do think there is a high risk that one of the formats will dominate and prevent the happy 10man/25man coexisting utopia.

Why 10man could dominate raiding: Blizzard said it themselves. "We of course recognize the logistical realities of organizing larger groups of people." While I don't think 10mans will run themselves as some of the current WotLK groups do, I do think it is a reality that organizing 10 people is less difficult then organizing 25. Everything else being equal most players will choose the path of least resistance and 10mans will dominate.

Why 25mans could dominate raiding: If Blizzard truly values the 25man format then they will try and come up with away to reward the increased logistical difficulties found in 25man. In fact, Blizzard has already made a proposal to do just that. "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 problem is that for this to work, the raiders have to value the reward (more loot) more then the cost (higher logistical difficulty), and I'm not sure that more loot will do that for more then a few weeks. I went over this in some in my first post but loot is only a reward for so long. Eventually, people will gear themselves up and need fewer things from the instance. More gear will be sharded, badges will just be collecting dust, and I doubt raiding will be an efficient way to make gold. Therefore, "more loot" is unlikely to hold people to the 25man format for long.

So, once again, lets assume that Blizzard truly values the 25man format and tries to come up with a way to reward those that participate in it. They could do this by offering titles, achievements, or mounts, without offering something with game value like better loot. But this presents separate issues. Once again Blizzard would be favoring one format over the other. If 25mans have exclusive and desirable rewards then players would feel compelled to participate in 25man raids and they would become the favored format. The 10man format would not get the respect from the community that many people think it deserves and we will be in pretty much the same situation we are now.

A Possible Solution:

All that said, I think I have an interesting idea on how 10mans and 25mans could coexist peacefully. What if 25man raids were the exclusive source of raid resources like epic gems and BiS enchants?

This could be similar to what happened in TBC with Black Temple and Hyjal, but without such a restrictive attunement process. It could be a way to provide 25man raiders with better "gear" without restricting the 10mans access to it. The 25man raiders would have access to cheap resources to gem and enchant their gear when the got a new item. When they no longer need the gems and enchants they could sell them on the AH to make some gold.

In the end, I think it would be a market based way to balance the 10man and 25man raiding communities in a natural and fair way. If there were very few 25man guilds on the server, then gems and enchants would be very expensive. This would encourage people to form more 25man guilds to either get the resources or just to make gold. If there were many 25man guilds on a server then the market would be flooded with cheap raid resources. This would encourage 25man raiders to switch to the 10man format because they could get the same level of challenge, with less hassle, and the cost would be small because raid resources would be so cheap on the AH.

There are holes in my play. They would need to find a way to prevent 10mans or goblins from farming lower level instances to get the greater rewards and flooding the market. For example, I wouldn't want to see bunch of ICC geared players farming Naxx for gems, but I think those issues could be worked out. I'm sure the JC's and Enchanters out there would cry foul as well.

I think this idea has promise. Ultimately the fewer logistical issues that 10mans have would be counteracted by the greater need for gold and farming. I the end this would reduce the 10mans logistical advantage.

Other Topics from the Raid Progression Changes:

Gating: To be honest I go back and forth on this topic. I don't like being held back but I think it eases the transition from one tier of content to the next. For example, when we moved from ToC to ICC, my guild was able to burn through the first 4 bosses fairly easily. With that we were able to go back and spend a little more time in ToGC and complete Heroic Anub. If the switch had been flipped completely on the first day, we would have gone right to Festergut right after Saurfang and might have missed out on the Anub kill. On the other hand, I can see where the elite raiders are coming from. We've already done these instances for months. When new content is finally released we want to see it as soon as possible and I would hate getting it in bite size pieces as well. In the end, I favor gating for selfish reasons, but I can see where the opponents are coming from.

Limited Tries: When limited tries were first announced I had high hopes. I thought it might be a good way to balance the playing field between the guilds who raided 20 or more hours a week when instances were released and guilds like mine who only raided 9 hours a week.

In the end it didn't work out and I think most people agree that this was a failed experiment and are glad to see them gone. In ToGC 50 tries was to much and didn't limit anyone but the most elite of raiders who raided for hours on end. In my 9 hour guild I don't think we ever used more them 25 tries in a week. In ICC, 10 tries was much to little for Putricide. In the end it prompted conflict between raiders for even small mistakes, excessive discussion, and eventually the forces many guilds to practice on ten mans and with alts. Hopefully they will be gone in all forms in Cataclysm.

Badges/Emblems become Points: I think this is a natural progression of the system. The way Badges of Justice worked TBC had big issues with people farming huge amounts of badges be fore a patch was released so that they could get the rewards right away. In WotLK, having 5 different types of emblems has been confusing and annoying. Converting my Triumph emblems to Hero emblems means I have to talk to 4 different vendors just to buy a gem or a piece of BoA gear. I welcome this change.

34 comments:

GamingLifer said...

"The general tension between 10man raiders and 25mans raiders has boiled over into name calling even though both sides have good points."

Actually a lot of them don't. Most of what I've read boils down to "What I like to do is better than what you like to do."

Will said...

Blizzard has a few different outs as far as rewarding 25 man raids. The first, is to provide different items / loot in the raid such as legendaries, gems, enchants. The second option is through the guild leveling system, which would reward guilds for being 25 man guilds, by providing 25 man guilds with guild enchants, BOG (Bind on Guild) items, and other bonuses for 25 man raids. I'd guess that they will likely use that route for their reward structure, that way they are rewarding the people organizing the 25 mans, rather than specifically rewarding the people in the 25 mans. While there are a few added headaches for those in the 25 man, most of the logisitcal nightmare is handled by a select few people (the officers, raid leader, guild leader), not by the players.

Neyuna said...

Epic patterns and gems coming from 25 mans only is a good idea. I had almost forgotten about that aspect from TBC. Legendary items should only be acquired in 25 mans as well, in my opinion. Maybe if there was a quest chain involved you could do part of that in a 10 man, but I think the final product should be 25 man exclusive.


There's also the new guild leveling system to think about. http://www.wow.com/2009/08/22/blizzcon-2009-guild-leveling-and-talents/ Maybe 25 man guilds will get more points? All in all, I'm excited about Cataclysm still. I have my concerns of course but I think these are positive changes and when we get more information, the real discussion begins. :)

Nightmane said...

Firstly, nice job on posting a more objective second post and not coming across with the "my opinion is fact" vibe.

Secondly, I agree that 25s need to offer more loot drops and additional rewards (non-gear) to make up for the added difficulties associated with consistently forming and organizing them. I feel that a 3x rate as far as gear goes makes up for the 25 man (i.e. if a boss drops 1 item from its table on 10 it should drop 3 from its table on 25). As far as additional rewards I agree that better gems or rare enchants would be good (and perhaps unique inscription books). Basically make the professions that "enhance" a raiders gear or abilities get better things from 25s than 10s. Also, different achievements and rewards, such as mounts, would be good. I would even be ok with them making Legendary (or Artifact) items that are built by a raid group be somewhat easier to build in the 25 man environment than the 10 man. Finally, rep could build faster with a particular faction associated with that instance in 25s than 10s... going back to my 3x rate point above.

I believe all of these are possibilities that if properly balanced by Blizzard, could make it so that we see a healthy balance of pure 10 and pure 25 raid teams out there in Cata. There may even be a few that do 25s when they can, but when a few optimal players are missing break off into two 10s for that given lockout. If anything I think this is a good flexibility thing for the 25 groups out there... gives them a way for two runs of 10 to still clear content and get drops on a slow week, holiday week, etc.

Anyways, good post today as you can see I agree with your opinions/thoughts on balancing here.

Anonymous said...

I'm bothered by the fact that pro25 man people often feel that they are entitled to have something that gives them the edge (more DPS, HPS, etc). It's a shame this "I want more than my neighbor" mentality is so pervasive in society. Why not simply give 25mans different colored gear or titles (something with no impact on gameplay).

Duskstorm said...

Some perks for 25 man:

1. The 'primordial saronite' of Cataclysm can be purchased with valor points, AND they drop off bosses in 25 man.

2. The crafting patters are available to everyone, but you can only acquire the mats you need via spending valor points OR downing bosses in 25 man.

3. Free mass summoning stone inside the instance for 25 man raids.

4. Make in-raid weekly quests only show up in 25 man zones. Reward would be gluth-esque loot-from-every-boss.

5. Add herbalism/skins/mining nodes to 25 man. Or at least substantially more OF them.

6. 2-3x more epics drop from trash.

Hana said...

I like your proposed solution with the gems and BiS in enchants. They would still be available to 10-man raiders. It's just the 25-mans are the source for all of it.

My only concern with that would be that gems might be horded by the 25-man raiders at first (thereby making a sort of gear discrepancy), but anyone can gather mats for an enchant so there shouldn't be an issue for a 25-man guild allowing their enchanters to enchant for other people.

Graylo said...

@Anon1

I'm bothered by the fact that some of my commenters refuse to read my posts before commenting.

I think I illustrated pretty clearly why 25mans need greater rewards for them to remain viable in a two path system like is being proposed.

Even Blizzard has said that 25mans need additional rewards to remain viable because of the large logistical issues assocated with a larger raids.

"Why not simply give 25mans different colored gear or titles (something with no impact on gameplay)."

Well, lets go see what I said in my post.

"They could do this by offering titles, achievements, or mounts, without offering something with game value like better loot. But this presents separate issues. Once again Blizzard would be favoring one format over the other. If 25mans have exclusive and desirable rewards then players would feel compelled to participate in 25man raids and they would become the favored format. The 10man format would not get the respect from the community that many people think it deserves and we will be in pretty much the same situation we are now."

Basically, if the rewards for running 25mans were good enough then then 10man achiement or title seekers would feel compelled to raid in 25mans. If the rewards are not desireable, then they wouldn't make 25man raiding more desireable.

a2nxtcrav3r said...

if it aint broke dont fix it, blizzard loves to fix things every so often and warp the world of warcraft game.

Players who want 10 mans should get to use 10 man gear in 10 man raids, that work towards a 10 man.

the same for 25

If you want A dont choose B

Anonymous said...

Oh they are fixing broke things, they are just going to far each time. Sunwell was too hard, Naxx was too easy. To fix that they added hard modes, then a whole heroic lockout. With TOC we had too many raids, too much this and that, so ICC get rid of heroic mode, and if plans goes through as is, they'll be down to 1 raid per week from 4. The pendulum swings back and forth from one extreme to too far on another extreme.

IMO Make 10s as hard as 25, same loot but leave the lockouts separate and use caps on badges and maybe on 'token drops' per week to make to limit how fast players can get gears. I would think weekly limits totals should be near 25+10 or 25+heroic dailies or 10+heroic dailies. Then people can still choose to do both 10 and 25 or 10/25 plus heroic dailies but not all three.

Cain said...

I will have to disagree with you on your possible solution. Because then we will be back to where we are of feeling forced to raid one way over the other. If you are a JC or enchanter you will feel forced to raid 25 mans to get those things.

Honestly, I think what you quoted about wrath vs starfire will end up being true anyways in that one will be greater than the other and that's where the very hard core will go. The problem arises if it's not just the very hard core that feel there is no option.

I think if they do legendaries, gems, enchants, or any type of reward only in 25's then we'll end up right where we were in wotlk with the pressure to do that one. In order for them to be equal they must not have anything exclusive.

Graylo said...

@Hana

If they followed my my suggestion to the letter then hording would definately occure and it would proabably take atleast a few weeks for 10man guilds to pick them up.

I've had another thought. If I remember correctly at Blizzcon them mentioned allowing guilds to have a "guild currancy" that allowed them to buy reagents and mats like frost lotuses and such. They could manipulate that system to heavily favor 25man raiders, but I'm not sure it would have a significant impact.

@Cain

In my vision JCs and Enchanters wouldn't feel forced to run 25mans because the mats would be owned by the guild, not rolled on by the members. The JCs and Enchanters would just have to farm the AH like many do now.

That said, I know there would be some people that feel forced to run 25mans under my suggestion. The beauty of my suggestion though is that it places a value on that need. If your fine playing 500g for a gem then 10mans are great for you. If Gems are 50g then you won't feel forced to raid 25mans. Basically it puts a value on your extra effort. You are rewarded for making a sacrifice or pay for the added convenience.

The really problem with the two path system blizzard is proposing is they can't fix the fact that 25mans are logistically harder. They can't make them easier.

From that perspective there is only two ways to fix it. 1. Provide 25mans with greater rewards, which would cause the current situation. or 2. Make 10mans logistically harder. My solution does a little of both.

Anonymous said...

Good suggestions Graylo. One thing though:

"Converting my Triumph emblems to Hero emblems means I have to talk to 4 different vendors..."

There's a goblin in the sewer that changes currency. Still annoying but at least it's 1 dude instead of 4.

AM1 said...

It just seems like there is an inherent issue here that Blizzard can’t fix.

Organizing large raids is a fairly thankless task. No matter what Blizzard does to raids, the costs of organizing 25man raids fall disproportionately on an informal institutional structure—guilds and their leadership. In any guild, the mass of players who are simply raiders, while they are contributing, really aren’t bearing the brunt of the costs unless the leadership is not managing the guild effectively. In cases of poor management (or, situations where recruiting is difficult), the costs begin to shift onto the players—cancelled raids, unfair loot distribution, unpleasant guild atmosphere, etc—and then guilds die.

A lot of the worries about this change seem to focus on the loss of better loot as an incentive to overcome the organizational issues. The better loot, and more opportunities for loot through running 10s and 25s, added in an incentive for both leadership and raiders to deal with the organizational costs.

So, I’m not opposed to your suggestion to add some kind of incentives into the new system to outweigh the costs of running a 25man guild. But, I don’t know that it addresses the essential issue at the core—one that I’m not sure Blizzard can fix.

Just from informal observation over time, I think the average raider really just wants a stable guild they are happy in to get nice shinies and see neat stuff. But, 25man guilds, at least on my server are extremely unstable. I’ve not thought this entirely through—but I’ve wondered before if they could increase the incentives for guild leaderships to organize 25mans and reward longevity if you’d just see people going to 10s or 25s based on a preference for raid type—versus now, where if a player’s incentive structure prioritizes the best loot they really have no choice. Maybe the new additions to the guild system will do this?

Duskstorm said...

As longs as it's OK to dream whimsically about what Blizzard might do to improve raiding for everyone, what do you guys think about this:

ALL equipment for a certain tier drops from raid bosses (10 or 25 man mode).

Downing a boss (possibly more than once) opens up that boss' loot table to be purchased with valor points. It could theoretically take 10-15 boss kills to acquire enough points to purchase an item.

25 man content grants you valor points at a moderately faster pace than 10 man content. The beauty of this scheme is that that pace can be controlled easily by Blizzard and fine tuned so that the "payoff" for 25 man content can be adjusted until there is a reasonable equilibrium between 10 and 25 man guilds.

Essentially valor points would be used as a way to acquire pieces of gear you have not been lucky enough to see drop or win a roll on. The excitement of downing a new boss would increase, and they could also reduce the number of drops that a given boss yields. Also, the thrill of "winning" a new piece would still be there.

Azzur said...

Firstly, authors are responsible for communicating their ideas well. A poorly written title will naturally make people jump to conclusions. The key to effective communication is stating your main points up-front and not in the end.

Reading through your 2 posts, I still have the impression that you believe 25-man raiding is the pinnacle of raiding. From this post, I see that you want to protect this interest. For the record, I'm a 10-man raider but I believe 25-mans deserve a higher prestige.

In the end, why not let the community decide which form of raiding is superior? If top-guilds such as Paragorn / For the Horde / Ensidia continue along the path of 25-man progression then I'm sure the community will value 25-man progression more. Why give 25-mans an artificial crutch on which to stand on? Why force guilds who may prefer 10-man raiding to do 25s?

Come Cataclysm, I believe that 10-man raiding will be more popular than 25-man raiding since it is easier to organise. But 25-man raiders will then know that their fellow guild-mates are now doing 25-man raiding not for the loot but due to the fact that 25-mans is their preferred format. And I believe this is the better way.

Shantaram (EU K'T) said...

Hello, interesting post, again.

Honestly, I think that if (hard mode only) encounters are tuned so that the 10-man allows for less mistakes than the 25-man, all of the problems are solved.

You trade easier logistics in 10 for a slightly easier margin of error in 25 and everyone is happy.

It happened before, by the way. Sartharion 3D 10 was harder than the 25 version (I mean before speed kills).

Your idea of BoE stuff from 25 is sound enough, mind you. The only argument that I would oppose is that it would affect the economy pretty in a significant way, since 25-guilds would essentially be sellers, and 10-guilds, buyers (so, farmers, too). I'm not sure what kind of consequences that may have, but I'm pretty sure that if the only advantage 25-guilds have is "you make more gold", it may be a bit "meh" for them.

Dàchéng said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dàchéng said...

I'm sorry, Graylo, but I have to agree with Anonymous@1.53pm:

Blizzard wants to give 10 man raiding guilds the same opportunities as 25 man raiding guilds. By requesting "perks" for 25-man guilds, such as exclusive drops of BoE gems or enchants, you seek to keep 10-man guilds behind 25-man guilds in the race to the endgame, so that 25-man guilds (who will be fully gemmed before the 10-man guilds get much access to these exclusive gems) will still be ahead of 10-man guilds in the race to the final boss. This isn't equality at all; you still want more than your 10-man brethren.

I must question your premise that this is natural and fair. Your assumption is that 25-man guilds deserve something that 10-man guilds don't deserve, and this is exactly the attitude that Blizzard are trying to get away from in Cataclysm.

Anonymous said...

@dacheng

Actually blizz is in favor of giving perks to 25 man raiders and they have said so. Graylo even quoted them saying so.

Fact of the matter is it is harder to oragnize 25 man raids, they should get higher rewards.

Graylo I love your idea of epic gems, more BoE, patterns dropping in 25 mans.

Okrane S. said...

I am actually lol-ing my ass off at all the e-peeners moaning at the new announced changes, all demanding extra perks for their overinflated egos or running 25 mans.

My subjective reason for not liking 25 mans: Framerate (got 5 in ICC25 and ~30 in ICC10). But this is besides the point.

The point is, that if you like doing 25 mans you will still do them

if you think 25 mans are more epic, you will run 25 mans for the reward of feeling this epicness

if a raidleader likes the feeling of 25 mans he will work for it.

but at the end of the day, when the shit comes to shove, 25 man raiders are just lootwhoring e-peeners who liked the feeling of superiority towards the rest of the world.

You say that you prefer doing 25 mans because it feels epic and you like it more. This reward should be enough. Dont start asking for extra loot. It just proves how shallow you are.

man... this blog had only professional and objective analisys so far... great way yo spoil it.

Dawni said...

Okrane

So basically you make your point about 25's being about "feeling superior" by acting as though your admittedly preferred way is superior. Sterotypes and broad generalizations are usually the signs of stupidity and ignorance, so way to go there.

If you took any time at all to think past your prejudices you might see that what the post stated is in fact accurate quite often, in many aspects of life people feel like the work invovled should corralate to the reward. Beyond "epeen" factor, 25m raids are more complex....thats not even disputed by rational people on either side....it just IS, so the people running them obviously would feel like they should be equally rewarded. That was pretty much the driving point behind the entire post.

If you can't wrap you head around that then really there is no point in arguing with you because thats the crux of the matter. Hopefully you and other prejudices parties like yourself can look past your own biases and have reasonable discourse on the matter in the future.

Okrane S. said...

@Dawni (and everyone else)

Dude. Yes, 25 mans are harder (to organize - not to execute - keep that in mind. A fight being easier or harder in 10 or 25 is just a matter of tuning (boss health, dmg, etc))

So, if they are only harder to organize, then I believe the only people who get to have a say in this, are raid leaders. The ones that do the fucking work, you know.

I haven't seen one raid leader complaining so far. All I see is people bitching that "the raid leaders wont have any incentives to run the raid". Well guess what? This sounds like e-peen moaning to me... (omg, that loser GM will choose to do what's fun for him for a while and I'll lose the leet epixx to afk in.)

10 mans are easier to organize. Blizzard's stated policy is to prevent players from inflicting unhappiness upon themselves by over-playing the game. That's why weekly lockouts, scarce frost emblems, and gating existed. To save players from themselves. To stop that irresponsible nerd from killing himself while farming ICC for 23 hours a day, every day. To prevent burnout.

So this change helps the leaders. Less hassle, and more importantly with the equality of loot, they won't "feel" that they "have" to run a 25 man, because that's where the serious raiding is. Equal chances mean, each leader gets to choose what type of raiding setting he prefers. And I repeat, the only ones that have a say in this that matters are the fucking raid-leaders.

Those who lead 25 mans because they like the "epicness" of it, they will still do. And they will find sufficient adepts to follow because extra loot is a big motivator.

Those who were doing it before because they were "forced" to do it because that was the path to success, will stop. Heaven forbid everyone does what they think its fun in this game.

Exclusive rewards to 25 man raids will simply mean that it is still the "real" raiding.

Plus. I dont believe this will even scratch 25 man raiding at the highest of levels. I believe that the progression model will combine 10 and 25 man raiding. More loot from 25 mans will mean faster gearing, so a quicker path to that [Realm First 10man Heroic]

Ephemeron said...

There's no need to reinvent the bicycle, IMO.

If you want an example of two play formats that have a different size (and thus organizational/logistical difficulty), a reward system that varies only in quantity and not quality, and yet where both formats are alive and flourishing... look no further than 3v3 and 5v5 arena teams.

Cain said...

graylo when you say enchants do you mean scrolls or patterns? I was thinking how the patterns for some enchants only dropped in certain instances on certain difficulties (bladeward etc). So you had to run that if you wanted to be able to craft that enchant.

The problem is the gems and what not will not filter down most likely. At least the guild I ran BT with at the time never really sold any gems. They just stockpiled them in the guild bank in case they were needed later. If they got an excess of any time they just relaxed the rules for getting them from the guild. The main filtering of epic gems at that time onto the AH was from one very resourceful hunter that could solo the trash before teron and would farm there to make gold.

If the future implementation of emblems/points is at all similar to the current ICC one where you need as many as possible to get geared faster I would think that will push a lot of the most hard core guilds towards 25 anyways. I don't feel that there needs to be anything exclusive. More of the same things should be the incentive. I know in my guild we had everyone farming frost emblems to get the max amount possible every week when ICC was released. That meant everone doing heroic daily every day, 25 mans, 10 mans, weekly, VoA. If you really want to be first you'll take any small advantage.

Graylo said...

@Ephemeron

You don't know how much I love your example.

Yes, both the 3v3 and 5v5 formats of Arena are active. I never said that no one would do 25man pve. However you are ignoring some key facts.

1. There used to be a third format (2v2) that was dropped because it was to difficult to balance in competetive Arena.

2. There is nothing preventing a PvPer from participating in both 3v3 and 5v5.

3. Competition PvP is done in the 3v3 format. Even Blizzards 2010 Arena Tournament is done only in the 3v3 format.

So while both formats are active and available there is clearly a favored format.

Okrane S. said...

and still 5v5 offers the same loot, and more arena points.

even more, ppl call the 5v5 bracket "the free glad. bracket"

Dawni said...

@Okrane

I don't think you are seeing my meaning of complexity in a broad enough context. I wasnt meaning organization in just a numeric sense, as in getting people to fill a raid or bring x,y,z classes. Its that the entire encounter has to be scaled up which adds more variables, more considerations, and distributes the responsibility to a greater number of people at the same time. All these things will often make things more difficult. Obviously this can be balanced around over tuning like Sarth3D but that brings back the original problem of limiting what content the majority will be able to see.

From what it looks like blizzard plans to scale the encounter difficulty(hp,dps,etc) to be generally equivalent across the zones, but in doing so they can't counter the inherent added complexity of additional people being factors in the 25m raids. At some point something has to give either blizzard has to admit a new favoritism towards 10's and basically kill off 25's in the process, or they will have to continue(as they have stated - and gray quoted) that 25's are in fact deserving of some kind of additional compensation due to the added difficulty/complexity.

I appreciate the more well thought out response though.

Okrane S. said...

@Dawni

Not necessarily. 25 mans were more complex simply because they were tuned that way. The fact that there are more people inside the raid only meant tighter executions of boss fights because the fights were designed for 25 mans and then made easier for 10 mans.

but this isnt the only philosophy of creating an encounter. There are only 2 reccurent difficulties which make 10 mans fundamentally easier than 25 mans.

1) Human Error: i.e. more people who can screw up in 25 mans. (as in 1 guy can wipe the raid in both cases - not death and loss of his dps etc)

2) Positioning Factor: more room to spread in 10 mans. Which can be easily tuned by giving AOE spells a larger radius in 10man.

Lets take a couple of fights and explain in particular what I mean.

Deathbringer is exactly the same fight in 10 and 25 man, no big differences there(except maybe some positioning factor, but its not a big issue).

Blood Queen: beyond a tighter enrage timer in 25 man, the parts that make 10 man easier are the positioning aspect (all must be spread on her blood bolt part) and the biting aspect (finding your target among 24 more people)

Sindragosa, again, not too much of a difference between 10 and 25, except that 25 man means more ppl who can screw up and block the whole raid.

Putricide, again, identical fights, except more room to maneuver in 10 man.

So in all these fights, I really cant see the extra complexity you are talking about. So for me, the only fight mechanics that are harder in 25 mans beyond those 2 elements I explained (human factor and positioning), is the Blood Queen Fight, where you virtually have to interract with other raid members. You give me other examples if you think of any!

Shelly said...

"What if 25man raids were the exclusive source of raid resources like epic gems and BiS enchants?"

Didnt they implement this to come extent in the current content (ulduar) with enchanting. I hate that they hide these much sought after recipes behind a raid wall. Put them in 10 mans and let everyone get them, or have two versions, like the buff foods, only X difference in stats but you know that if you could, you would get the better one but you dont feel like crap if you dont have it at all.

Kihara said...

As others have said before me, whilst the system you propose is definitely a workable one (in theory at least, which is all we can do at this stage...namely speculate), essentially it still gives the 25-man raids something the 10-man raids cannot get.

Yes, enchants and gems would sift from 25's to 10's via the AH and general trade, however if you are an enchanter who only raids 10-mans then you are not able to get the recipes, which leaves you out in the cold. In other words, those who would wish to remain cutting edge would again be forced to raid 25-mans. Status quo present day.

Blizzard have stated several times that the choice between a 25-man raid and a 10-man should be a choice based on personal preference and NOT gear or loot.

I do believe that some 25-man guilds may fold due to this. But they will be the ones who do it mainly for loot and epics. If you truly like 25-mans, then you will continue doing them. If you don't like them, then you'll do what you enjoy instead. Which essentially is the purpose of a game, is it not?

Cevan said...

Nice read Graylo. I think this is one of those issue where there is no right/wrong answer. You can't please all the people all the time and Blizzard knows that.

heezashee said...

I think Graylo's proposal to give exclusive gems or enchants is contrary to what Blizzard is shooting for in Cataclysm and raidiing in general. They don't want exclusives for 25 man over 10 man anymore because it just makes people still feel obligated to run 25s for stuff they want even if they don't like the 25 man format. So the proposal is just an overt wish to keep things the way they are now, which doesn't really fix anything.

I think the only way to have exclusives in 25 man is to also give exclusives to 10 man as well. Separate but different exclusives for 10 and 25. Make it so you can't have both exclusives, if you run 10 mans and get an exclusive, then you run 25 mans, you should have to turn in that exclusive to get the other one. You'd have to make a choice from the two exclusives and can't have both.

For example, let's say that an exclusive mount drops from a 25 man raid in Cataclysm. Then say the following week that guild doesn't have the people to run 25 but instead decides to run 10 instead. The 10 man exclusive mount drops and the persona who wins it doesn't have the mount, then they can get it without any loss. But say they already have the 25 man exclusive mount, now they have to choose if they want to keep it, or trade it in for the 10 man version.

This is just a general example that would keep both sides happy. Both get cool exclusive items, but can't have both exclusives and would make it so you wouldn't feel obligated to run either one and would have no better stats or advantage in battle (pve or pvp).

I still personally think, and I've mentioned this several times although no one ever comments on it, that I really feel like the problem is in the fact that there are two raiding paths to begin with that are on different levels of difficultly, 10 and 25 man. I really believe the way to fix this is to make all "guilds" only 10 man raid capable by themselves, but create in the game a way to have 3 or more guilds create an Allegience and only the Allegience can do the 25 man raids. Mind you, loot still the same as 10 mans, just separate but exclusive rewards for 10s and 25s with no advantadge in numbers of achvmnts or loot quality or mounts etc, just different by looks.

The thing that many many people still are forgetting in all of this speculation and argument, is that the new guild acheivement system and perks are where Blizz is going to try to make up for the lack of better loots for 25 mans. So overall, the fixes many people are suggesting are meaningless in the face of the looming changes to guilds and raiding in general.

Julian said...

Yeah...the attempt system caused my guild leader/officer/guywe'repuggingwithwho'sovergearedandacompletejackass to blow up at offtanks/maintanks/healers/reeeeeeeallystupiddps even more than usual.

I like the concept behind what Blizzard is doing with the 10 man and 25 man loot, but it's going to create people that complain about 25 getting more loot, even though Blizzard SAID that's what was happening. Short memories. WoW players have them.

All I know is, if I can get a legendary weapon doing 10 mans-even if it takes a bit longer- that will be ultimate proof that Blizzard wants to equalize it.