Monday, June 21, 2010

10mans vs 25mans: Is Equity Needed?

Blizzards change in raid size philosophy has obviously been a big topic for me, but it has also been very controversial across the WoW raiding community. We supporters of the 25man format may be blowing the implications out of proportion to some extent, but I do think it is a very real threat to our preferred style of play. That is why I want to write on this topic once more (and hopefully for the last time). I do want to come at it from a slightly different angle. Is equity between the 10man and 25man formats really needed?

That said, I want to get one thing straight up front. I know some of you (my valued readers) prefer the 10man format. I think it's clear to everyone that I prefer the 25man format at least for progression raiding. These positions are what they are; preferences. I still think many 10man raiders aren't going to be so happy with the 10man format when it is more progression focused, but on the 10 vs 25 matter, I think we can agree to disagree. We are unlikely to change any minds as to which size is better, and it is useless for us to try.

This time, I will try to argue against the over all philosophy, rather then the strength of the formats. This time, I want to take a look at the stated reasons for the change in philosophy.

The Removal of Obligation:

In a recent forum post Ghostcrawler said:
We thought the LK design was asking raiders to raid more than they wanted to. When you see a boss twice a week, you just burn out on the fight that much faster.
To expand on that, because there were multiple raid that dropped emblems and such, Blizzard had to balance the game around the maximum possible emblems per week. As a result raiders felt obligated to run as many raids per week to get the maximum number possible to pick up gear quicker. Players have also expanded on this reasoning by saying 10man raiders feel an obligation to raid 25man raids for the better gear.

As an broad overall goal I completely agree that players shouldn't feel obligated to participate in an activity they don't enjoy. And I can see how having two versions of the same instance my cause that sense of obligation. The primary reason I've done the 10mans is for mounts and achievements, but in the early days of each raid tier I also wanted to get as many emblems as possible to get my tier sets as quick as possible. So, I can see why limiting all raid formats to a single ID is a good thing.

What I don't understand is why this sense of obligation means that the two raid formats need to be relatively equal.

Choices Reveal True Preferences:

When I posted on this subject last April one of the common responses I got was "I enjoy 10mans more but I raid 25s for the better gear." I find that statement to be nonsensical. Does this person truly prefer 10mans over 25mans? In my opinion they do not, and their actions prove it.

While this person may prefer the 10man size over the 25man size, their actions prove that they value the 25man gear more then they value the 10man size. So they are not being forced to participate in an activity that they don't enjoy. If that was the case they would stop. What they are really saying is that these raid formats don't allow them to maximize their raid enjoyment. They would be happier if they could get all the rewards of the 25man format but in 10man size.

It is a very reasonable desire to want Blizzard to design the raid structure around our own wants and desires. That is pretty much what I'm asking for here and in my other posts on the subject. I want Blizzard to design the PvE game around the 25man raid. We can disagree on which is better but we can't blame each other for wanting what we want.

In an ideal situation Blizzard would create two equal but different formats. Which is exactly what Blizzard is attempting to do. I think it is a noble desire, but ultimately impossible goal because of two key issues.

The Slippery Slope:

Assume for a second that they can make the two formats completely equal. Having a 10man format and a 25man format may be great for a lot of us, but what about the people who would really prefer a 40man format? Every couple of days a new post pops up on the forums asking when Blizzard is going to bring back the 40man raids so there is obviously interest in the size. Shouldn't the people who prefer the larger size have their preferences and desires be satisfied also?

What about the other direction? I don't have access to all the participation data that Blizzard collects, but I would bet money that more players participate in 5mans then participate in both 10mans and 25mans combined. Why should people who prefer the 5man format not be able to kill Arthas in their desired group size? You could easily argue that would make the game much more accessible.

True Equity is Impossible:

Balancing a fight around 10 people and 25 people is probably more difficult then a lot of people think in my opinion. Having more more people, less space, and more adds requires more decision making and a greater opportunity for error, but lets assume that Blizzard gets it perfectly right and tunes the 10man and 25man versions of the fight to be perfectly equal in fight difficulty.

Even if Blizzard is able to tune the fights to be perfectly equal it is impossible for them to make the formats perfectly equal. I know some of you refuse to believe it, but a 25man is more difficult to organize then a 10man, and it impacts more then just the officers or raid leader.

Unfortunately there is no way to structurally balance this additional difficulty. The only way to balance it is to provide additional rewards for the additional difficulty which creates another inequity. While I think extra emblems, boss drops, and gold are fairly limited rewards, I know that some of you disagree with them at all and given the proposed structure I think the disagreement might be loud. There is GC's comment on the topic:

We're still messing around with the numbers because we want a system that works not only at launch but once there are multiple raid tiers and perhaps weekly raid quests and the whole nine yards. A very general idea (meaning it could end up being different) is that a group that can clear a 25-player raid can earn all of their points that way, while a 10-player group may need to supplement that income with more Dungeon Finder runs.
So, if I understand this correctly by running 25mans I will get my my maximum emblems for the week, but 10man raiders will have to run something extra. Since loot is balanced around the maximum per week, Blizzard is basically forcing 10man raiders to do something extra that they may or may not enjoy. I know a lot of people do the daily 5mans for the Emblems of Frost, but that doesn't mean they want to. To me, this just looks like another form of the obligation Blizzard is trying to avoid.

Tell Players to Choose:

Since true equity is practically impossible, and they won't be able to please all of the players anyway, I don't understand why Blizzard feels the need to try. The Utopia that Blizzard is trying to create won't work. Either the rewards for 25s will be to great, and it will remain the defacto standard of raiding, or they won't be enough and the 25man format will gradually die.

In my opinion, Blizzard needs to draw a line in the sand and say "This is the game we've created. These are the ways you can play it. We hope one of these formats fits your wants, but unfortunately we can't create a customer version for every player, so you are going to have to choose the format you like most or choose not to play."

With single lockouts the player has to make a choice. They can no longer continue with this indecision of saying, I raid 10s because I like the size but I also raid 25s because I like the gear. They should choose if they like the 10man size or the 25man gear more and wear the choice as a badge of honor. If they choose the 10s they can say, "I'm a more casual player. What is important to me is seeing the content and playing with friends." If they choose the 25s they can say, "I raid for the competition and the challenge." Of course, these attributes are not unique to either format, but if one emphasizes them over the other, then players can make clearer choices without feeling like they should be doing both.

I realize that this argument might not go my way. It is quite possible that Blizzard could say "Your right Graylo, and we think 10man raids make for a better game," and get rid of 25s much in the same way they got rid of 40s. That would suck, but at least we would all know where we stood. I could choose if I wanted to try the new format or go find another game that better suited my needs. As it is I feel like I'm stuck in limbo.

A Response from Blizzard:

I made a very similar argument to the one above on the official forums, and got a response from Ghostcrawler.
We sort of tried that, Gray, and they all chose 25 (meanwhile telling us that they wanted to play 10 but felt stupid for doing so since they were missing out on gear).(src)

Yes, they have tried it to some extent WotLK and there have been some issues. However, does that mean that the entire concept is bad or that the implementation was bad?

I would argue that the real problem with the two raid formats in WotLK is that it didn't ask players to choose, or provide them with a way to show that they choose. Ten man strict guilds are constantly being devalued because many people assume that they run with some 25man gear. Well, have 10man specific achievements that will only trigger if you use only 10man gear. The 10man title achievements show that Blizzard has the technology.

It's also important to remember that people will say a lot of things, but don't always know what they are really saying or what they really mean. Actions in the end tell you a lot more about the players desires then what they tell you on a forum. If a player chooses the 25man format for 13 extra itemization points then it is obvious that the raid size really isn't that big of a deal.

TL-DR:

It seems to me that Blizzard is trying to find this Utopia where the 10mans and 25mans can co-exist equitably and in harmony, but I think it is impossible. The structural differences insure inequity on some levels, but even the balancing of two fights has proven to be difficult at times in WotLK. Since we now that Blizzard can't please everyone, why try?

Instead of trying to make the two formats more equitable, why not try and emphasize the differences, and force people to find the system that suits their needs? Maybe if Blizzard provided 10man raiders more ways to be recognized for their achievements, the 10man raiders would feel better about their accomplishments and not feel like they need to do 25mans for gear. If they still felt the need to do 25s for the improved gear then it is obvious that the raid size is really not that important to them.

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, Blizzard needs to draw a line in the sand and say "This is the game we've created. These are the ways you can play it. We hope one of these formats fits your wants, but unfortunately we can't create a customer version for every player, so you are going to have to choose the format you like most or choose not to play."

IMO, this is what the 10/25 equalization and shared lockouts is doing. My experience in working at a large corporation and seeing how they craft their message leads me to this conclusion. Blizzard is reluctant to be blunt and firm with players except for the most extreme problems and positions.

I'm not a hugely experienced raider, but as a casual raider, I enjoy 10 mans more. Less drama, better focus.

(For casual raider, I mean structured raid time. RL keeps me from being in a 3 or 4 night a week raid group. I keep up with EJ and theorycrafting, read class blog/forums, and the wife and I have a sub to Tankspot - so we try to keep up with how to optimize our play.)

Mister K said...

I haven't seen a 25 man other than Voa since naxx was the only show in town, and I don't miss them. I prefer 10mans with my friends. Gear has never been my goal its a side-effect of progression. I think you make a ton of great points. An option I think they should have considered would be to have higher level of tier gear and offset gear for 25's and everything else could be the same. The reason I think most people who run 25's to get gear is because a lot of the non-standard gear(trinkets, wands, weapons...) drop so infrequently and sometimes not at all in 10's that you feel obligated to run 25's so your not stuck wearing the trinket you got in Naxx or a heroic all the way til the next expansion. I think that would be a fair way to give equality to raiders and better rewards for the more difficult to organise 25's.

Daedalus said...

With all due respect, Graylo, you're looking at this backwards. You say that 10-man raiders' choice to do both 10- and 25-man raids indicates that they don't really like 10s better. But consider this...

A 10-man raider gets worse gear than an equivalent 25-man raider, both in item level and (typically) stat distribution. A 10-man raider is barred from any shot at legendary weapons. A 10-man raider is commonly spit on by the 25-man raiding community, crying that 10s are too easy and that people who run them all bad. Yes, 10s are easier to organize than 25s, but that's only the concern of the one person in charge, not everyone in the raid.

Anything that you could get out of a 10-man raid, you could get better from a 25. We could just coast along in a 25-man raid and be done with half the time commitment. And yet, despite the inferior gear, despite the disrespect, we do it anyway. We do it because we enjoy the format.

I'm sorry that you don't like 10-man raids. I'm sorry that you feel like they're some kind of threat to your preferred format. But I believe that you're wrong, both about the raid format and about those of us that enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

I think that, right now, Blizzard is favoring the 25's with a bit more than just "13 extra itemization points." Most, if not all, of the "cool proc-y" items that Ghostcrawler said they were excited to put together for the ICC loot tables ended up in 25-man. The legendary ended up in 25-man. Also, so long as Blizzard is attempting to make 10-man slightly easier, the 10-man strict guilds feel a bit ignored and rejected, especially since a lot of the encounters aren't all that much easier (if at all) if you do them without any 25-man gear.

If the only difference between the raids was 13 itemization points (with items being the same, like hard mode/normal mode loot) and an acknowledgement of the fact that Blizzard will never be able to balance each encounter perfectly for both sizes, then sure, do two lockouts and see if those extra 13 points drawn enough attention to the 25-mans.

But otherwise, yeah, I think equity is needed. Casual raiders didn't really used to exist, and to the extent they did, they almost never saw much past Molten Core in vanilla or Kara in BC. Blizzard acknowledged that this was a problem and took great strides to fix it in WotLK. However, the 10-mans feel a bit like handmedowns, reinforced by the fact that some of the big iconic elements (like Shadowmourne) are only available in 25. This makes them a bit less fun. Blizzard is essentially saying that you simply cannot be a 10-man progression raider, because 10-man raids aren't real raids, they're just a way for "more people to see the content." The game is less fun when the stakes are artificially lowered like that.

-Wild Colors

Honors Code said...

'Even if"I know some of you refuse to believe it, but a 25man is more difficult to organize then a 10man, and it impacts more then just the officers or raid leader."

Your argument would be strengthened by qualifying this statement , rather than asking the reader to accept it as truth just because you stated it.(though perhaps you have qualified it before you shouldn't assume your reader has read everything you've written in previous articles.)

Duskstorm said...

As a 10 man raider with no interest in 25 man content, I think you've got it just right Graylo.

The rewards for 10 man strict raiding were way too low to make 10 mans really work in Wotlk, for two reasons, one you mentioned, and the other Ghostcrawler mentioned:

1. Because the game doesn't make it obvious, people assume you're outgearing 10 man content in 25 man gear.

2. Rewards are substantially better for doing 25 man content vs. 10 man.

They tried to fix this problem with brain surgery, when they just needed a bandaid.

Here's my solution to itemization:

Assuming the tier 11 content starts at ilvl 300 in 10 man normal, then itemize like this:

10 man normal, 25 man normal - ilvl 300
10 mar heroic - ilvl 313
25 man heroic - ilvl 319

Tier 12 would look like this:

10 man normal, 25 man normal - ilvl 313
10 man heroic - ilvl 326
25 man heroic - ilvl 332

This would give a nice bonus to 25 man guilds that clear heroic. It would also prevent 10 man guilds from feeling like they needed to get gear from 25 man normal content before starting on heroic.

This, plus tuning 10 man achievements to take in to account the gear would fix everything imo.

Ghost said...

I'm going to answer this first from a personal point of view.

I started out raiding in BC. I tanked all through BC as feral. We finished Black Temple and got part way through sunwell. In this expansion, I've been running a 10-man raiding guild that has been doing progression style advancement. We had been trying to be competitive with the other guilds but that was very hard when they were walking in with and obtaining 25-man loot each week. So to try to keep up some of us did some 25-man raiding. If you hung out in our guild chat, you'd just catch people grumbling and being unhappy. But if we wanted to have a hope of keeping up progression-wise it was what we had to do. Eventually we realized that this just wasn't fun -- the four of us who'd been doing 25's stopped slowly through ToC. For ICC we've been doing purely 10-man. And its been good. No loot drama. No unexplained afk's from one person while 24 people wait. No rostering drama. No elitistist attitudes. People taking responsibility when they wipe the raid -- and learning from the mistake. More personal affect on if we win or lose. But this is just my experience.


Now to turn this sideways and look at the numbers. Throughout this expansion 25-man has not been harder than 10-man*. If you went and analyzed world of logs reports before people just completely outgeared them you'd see that 10's and 25's were equally difficult assuming you can measure difficulty by the percentage chance of getting a kill**. On some fights 10's were much harder and on other fights 25's. But it was a pretty even split all through Ulduar, ToC, and ICC. Assuming they continue with current boss designs, 25-man raiding will be slightly easier than 10s because of the inherent redundancy in having 25 people except for fights where you are space constrained. For context in ICC at the moment, there are 3/11 fights on normal or 5/10 fights on heroic where 10's have a higher kill rate (aka are easier) than 25 (on heroic, I'm ignoring LK attempts since the rate is to low to compare; and I'm just ignoring gunship).

Personally I think there should be loot and badge parity. Maybe have 25's drop flasks or gems in addition to loot. Basically a pay off for dealing with the logistics and loot drama of organizing 25 people.


* - My personal experience on alts indicated it was much easier to pug on 25-man than 10. But that may have been my 25-man pugs tended to be filling in with raid guilds whereas many 10-man pugs lacked any guild/raidgroup backing.

** - Caveats of the kill rate measure:
1) Worldoflogs only includes people who upload logs. This tends to exclude most pugs. So this reflects performance of guilds and not of pug raids.
2) 10's kill rates include people in 25-man gear. So they are getting inflated by people who are 1 tier of gear higher than the instance was designed for. It is likely 10's only kill rates are lower.

Maestro said...

I had more to say than could fit in a comment so its over on my blog.

http://druidreliquary.blogspot.com/2010/06/choice-and-raid-format.html

Voink said...

I concur with anon1. I don't like having to raid a ton (I have enough trouble making my guild's raid nights as is )and just having one raid or the other would allow me to choose instead of feeling 'forced' to do both.

10 mans ftw. But I hope 25 mans don't die off.

Adgamorix said...

One of the issues was the difference in trinkets/itemization (as stated). If you look at ToC - your 10m tanking trinket was high dodge with armor on use - the 25m was high stamina with increased health on use. Much more useful IMO than the dodge. I don't think you'll find any melee DPSer who would prever the 10m trinket over Death's Verdict.

We can argue all day about the difficulty of organizing and leading a 25m vs the individual responsibility in a 10m - and which one is harder.

I would be ok with 10s offering a lower stat level (i.e. 251 vs 264), as long as it's the same item. Then I don't feel like I need to run a 25m to get the itemization I want/need. I'll settle for slightly lower stats on the same item.

We know they can limit achievments and such based on gear, they have them already. Add those in so that players who complete a raid without using anything higher than x ilvl get their own titles/skins on mounts/etc. Don't make me feel like a 2nd class citizen just because I don't want to raid with 24 other folks.

CANUUK said...

I prefer 25 mans format... feeling forced to raid the other format works both ways... i keep hearing that raiders feel forced to raid the 25 man because of the better gear... What about I felt forced to raid 10 man for a better trinket (wihout an equivalent in the 25 man format...)

Anonymous said...

I think are underestimating the value of gear for the average raider and the perfectionists. Not being able to get your BiS because you like the wrong raid Format just sucks.

Aron Elvis said...

The difference is if you're a 25 man raider and you've got 25m gear, pugging into a viable 10 man raid is relatively easy, the reverse is much more difficult.

Duskstorm said...

@Aron Evis

On my server at least, someone with 10+/12 exeprience in ICC10 will get in a group easier than someone with 6/12 ICC25 experience.

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to the good old days of 1 raid size? Things were simpler when there wasn't a choice, and it seems like the instances were much fuller and well designed. Imagine how fun ICC could have been if blizzard had spent the same amount of time making 12 really cool encounters, instead of 4 versions of 12 lazy BS encounters.

Maestro said...

I actually think that's probably the best way to go (1 raid format) but since that's not what Blizzard has put forward today, that's not what I'm able to embrace.

Hana said...

I think there are a significant number of people who don't care about the raid size. They just want the best epics and will take it in any size raid they can.

I'm a little skeptical about anyone who says they prefer 10s but says they raid 25s for the gear. I don't consider that person a real 10-man raider. If they like 10s they should just raid 10s. The 25-man gear is unnecessary. If they raid the 25-mans for the gear to enjoy their 10-mans what it really means is they just like to overgear things.

I find 10-man strict raiding incredibly fulfilling and it's unfortunate that there isn't a title for us. I would love that. My guild got Kingslayer early enough on our server that we beat several 25-man guilds and got a lot of congrats from folks who knew we were 10-strict, but now that Kingslayer is more common there's no way for us to really stand out (at least not until we get to frostwyrm territory).

Adgamorix brings up a very valid point with itemization that I wish Blizzard had gone with. The stuff we miss the most are generally the trinkets and the legendaries. If the 25-man version of the loot drops was just a slightly better version of the 10-man (like the tier pieces already are) then it would go a long way towards making 10-man raiders feel on par with the 25-man group.

I mean, we run 10s because we want to run 10s, even under the current system, but it doesn't mean we don't want to feel legitimized.

Keeva said...

Hana -

"I'm a little skeptical about anyone who says they prefer 10s but says they raid 25s for the gear. I don't consider that person a real 10-man raider. If they like 10s they should just raid 10s. The 25-man gear is unnecessary. If they raid the 25-mans for the gear to enjoy their 10-mans what it really means is they just like to overgear things."

I fit into this category. But I don't raid 25s for gear *to do 10s*. I want the 25man gear so that I can feel that my character is "complete". As a strict raider, you are aiming for your BiS list out of 10mans, obviously, but for a 10man non-strict raider, our BiS list is still from 25s, and it can be very hard to settle for non-BiS gear in a game where progressing and building on your character is what keeps many of us going.

When I was a 10man raider, it just felt wrong to stay at the 10man gear level. Not because I needed more gear, or to overgear stuff, but because I knew it wasn't the best my character could be.

I'm not insulting strict raiders here, or saying that you are settling for second best gear - your gear is actually BiS for you because you have committed to being strict. But for many non-strict 10man raiders, we're left feeling like we've stopped short of the mark. Y'know?

Keeva said...

Losing that feeling of stopping short of the mark is one of the big reasons why I am looking forward to it being 10 or 25, not both.

I'm sure a lot of people think I want 25man equivalent gear so I can show it off on the bank steps. Once upon a time that would have been true, I think. But these days I have lost a lot of my competitive spirit - I just want to play with friends and improve my character.

I'd prefer to do that in a 10man raid size, but currently, "settling" for 10 man gear makes me all fidgety.

Having my cake and eating it too is something I'm very much looking forward to. Like many people though, I'm just hoping that Blizzard gets the balancing right, so that the 10man progression raiders don't feel like runners up again.

Russell Andes said...

"Instead of trying to make the two formats more equitable, why not try and emphasize the differences, and force people to find the system that suits their needs? Maybe if Blizzard provided 25man raiders more ways to be recognized for their achievements, the 25man raiders would feel better about their accomplishments and not feel like they need to do 10mans for gear. If they still felt the need to do 10s for the improved gear then it is obvious that the raid size is really not that important to them."

Do you agree with this altered version of your closing statement? Because if not, you're completely undermining your argument.

25s may be more difficult to organize, but that's only one element of the difficulty of a raid. What if 10 mans were as difficult in comparison to 25s as 10 man 3D Sarth was to 25? What if 25s were the default "easy" mode to compensate for the difficulty of scheduling, while 10s gave better gear? Would you still want to raid 25?

I'm glad you appreciate that neither side is going to convince the other of what's better, but your ensuing equality argument REALLY boils down to "I like getting the better gear and am willing to go to the difficulty of organizing a 25 for it". Why do you assume 25s should get better gear as compensation for the organizational difficulty? Why not give you a title like "Master Organizer" if you're able to put a 25 together to kill the Lich King, while giving equal gear to both sizes? Based on your argument, that should be sufficient to keep 25s alive.

Unless you would be willing to accept non-gear rewards for 25 man difficulty, you're exactly the same as those of us who say we prefer to raid 10 man but raided 25 for the gear--except that right now, you don't have to raid in a way you don't like to get what you want. At least we 10 man raiders are honest about what we want out of raiding. :)

Also:

You say: "If they choose the 10s they can say, "I'm a more casual player. What is important to me is seeing the content and playing with friends." If they choose the 25s they can say, "I raid for the competition and the challenge.""

You set up an ugly straw man here, suggesting the only reason someone would choose 10s over 25s is because they are casuals who don't want any difficulty. There are many more reasons to choose 10s over 25s: some people have computers that can't easily handle the load of a 25 man raid's effects. Some people prefer to experience a raid in a situation where each individual's contributions are more important (which sound suspiciously like a competitive atmosphere with increased challenge!).

Anonymous said...

One thing no one has mentioned is that on a lot of computers, namely mine and several friends, 25 man raids put a lot more stress and strain on them than 10 man raids do. I struggle with lag in 25 man raids that is not a problem in 10's. I had to bench myself on Sindragosa 25 because every time I got "sucked in" my frame rate went to unplayable and I was hurting the raid by not being able to move properly.I never have a problem in a 10 man raid and have my settings set considerably higher.I do raid both for all of the reasons that Blizzard has stated, but mostly I only raid 25's now to get my last token and hopefully DFO. I understand the argument that I am choosing 25 man gear over 10 man raiding, but it just doesn't really ring true for me. I raid for gear because i want to make my character as strong as I can, I want to make him better, I want to be able to out dps that other Boomkin from 25 man raiding guild X in a pug VoA. Partly, I can do that from gear decisions, gemming choices and knowing when to cast what, where and how far to move and other tests of "skill", but at a certain point the math is gonna win out if that other Boomkin is playing at the same level or even a little below what I am and has an average item level 13 points more than I do. So, I choose to raid 25's as well as 10's and make my character as strong as I can, even though I prefer 10 man raiding, mostly because of my computer, but also because it's much harder to carry anyone, and each individual has a greater responsibility to the group as a whole. Being 10% of a team is always stronger than being 4%, regardless of your role. I do agree with a 25 man being harder to coordinate and harder to organize, especially in terms of spacial arrangements and group movement. I also agree that there should be rewards for that kind of achievement.

I am going to do what ever I have to do to make my Character as strong as I can. That is my main motivation. If I can achieve that through running 10 man raids where I can keep my settings up, my sound on and my addons running then I would definitely enjoy the game more. I will gladly run some heroics dungeons or do some daily quests to help get the gear I want if it keeps me from having to run a 25 man raid.

For me, my wife and most of the friends that I usually play with, it seems like Blizzard is catering to us, and helping us to enjoy the game more. The issue that worries me, is the resources that I may lose. I definitely think that the 25 man raiding crowd consists of more serious and better players. People like Graylo.People who are probably in the minority of subscribers by a long way, but they are the people that fuel my character too. They do the research, they do the math, the explain it, they blog about it, and most do it for free. So, when I am out geared by that other critchicken and I get little whispers asking what I am doing that is pushing my dps above theirs, I may not have anywhere to send them. I might end up being the one asking the other guy questions because I can't figure it out on my own. I really hope that Blizzard pulls this off, I want 25 man raids to go on, I just don't want to have to do them.

Texian
Spinebreaker - US

Anonymous said...

Gear matters. It's why people all use epic gems despite the 100g per point premium over the rare version. And it is almost the only difference of substance between 25 mans and 10s.

And as already stated, when 25s have better gear, people feel obliged to raid 25s to get it, as "sticking to 10s" feels like an arbitrary stopping point.

Blizzard have the data and know this.

All of the other arguments are a matter of taste. Most work in reverse. Organisational difficulty is an exception, but also I think a poor basis for a boosted reward.

So the line in the sand is just arbitrary. They can as easily say that about the game they have created.

One comment I would add is that the task of balancing 10 vs 25 difficulty should be simpler with a single layer of gear.

Under the current system, Blizzard has an impossible task in seeking to make a challenging but not impossible 10 man progression path, when also catering to overgeared 25 man players. At least the Cataclysm system will allow them to tune from a more uniform assumed gear level.

Keeva said...

"arbitrary stopping point" sums it up perfectly for me. That's exactly how I feel. Thanks, anon.

Andy Ng said...

There is a distinction between what people feel (attitude), what they think (cognitive) and what they do (behaviour).

Blizzard's statement that many people prefer raiding 10 man but do 25 mans for gear rings very true for me. I enjoy the close relationships from raiding with my friends in 10 man, in 25 man, it feels like a business raiding relationship and considerably more distant.

From this, what I feel (I like 10 mans) and what I do (raid 25 mans for loot) are completely apart. Hence, it is not totally correct to point at behaviour and say that is what people truly feel.

For example, I don't like my job very much, but I still go to work with a smile because it pays the bills. From psychology teaches us, the link between attitude and behaviour is not strong at all.

Anonymous said...

Good article, Grey.

IMO we should just go back to the BC style raid. Kara, ZA were 10m, and that's it. The rest were 25m, and that's it. That way you don't have the complication of tuning the same fight two different ways with hit/miss results because of things like space (i.e. princes/BQL/sarufang one of the limiting factors is space on 25, but not on 10).

Jormundgard said...

I agree with your assessment that this will kill 25 man raiding, I won't try to rehase your arguments in the comments. Instead, I would like to suggest this decision may not be a rational one, but rather a compromise of a fractured development team.

The decision is, at the least, a volatile one. Nothing may change, but there is a very serious possibility that players will choose the simplest route and abandon 25 man raiding en masse. If that happens, then there won't be a player base to support 25 man raids on individual servers, and therefore no financial incentive to support it.

Perhaps half of the team would like to see 25 man raiding gone. 10 mans are probably more popular among the player base at large, and are easier to develop and maintain. Other developers may want to continue support of 25 mans, due to a presumed epic feel or simply out of tradition. Maybe this is an experiment within the development team to see if enough players actually do support 25 man raiding. If the answer is no, then it will go.

I prefer 10 man to 25 man, so I prefer their decision, but I don't think they are being honest about the risk to 25 man raids, and I think you are doing right by addressing this. I hope you won't abandon it.

If the development team does have the players' best interests in mind, they should come clean about their latest social experiment.

Aeiedil said...

I am currently fond of 10m, but I can't really say outright how much of that is because I outgear it (considering I'm mostly decked out in ICC25 HC gear now)

I enjoy being able to hop into an ICC10 group with a few other main chars, and a few guild alts, and be able to clear it. Maybe not on heroic mode across the board, but at least clear it.

I also enjoy that the heroic mode is easier than the 25m, which gives a place to try out things + to make sure you're on the right tracks coordinating with 9 other people rather than getting initial tactic sanity checks done on 25m raids

If the difficulty becomes more equal, then that logic is removed from the equation, and it comes more down to what the guilds focus is, in this case 25m

The big negative for me, is that I won't be able to say "Oh yes I can bring Aeiedil because I'm not needed in ICC10 this week" when someone is trying to put together a 10m alt run, because I'll need to save that lockout for the guilds main run. This means that my only option there is to level and gear up an alt druid, which is something I've already started for other reasons.

CBGstylee said...

Let us not forget how much more inclusive 25 man raiding is. more opportunity for inclusion of all classes/specs, more room for bring the player not the spec. i dont know about you guys but if 10 man difficulty became the same as 25 then raid comp would play a very large part. it would become that much more important to have 1 of this and 1 of that and 2 paladins and blah blah. face it guys 10 man is for "fun" and "friends" and ALTS. 25 man is for the serious raider.

i do believe there should be restrictions on 10 man achievements similar to "herald of the titans" to give the 10 man ppl some love. but this is a MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER game and 10 ppl really just isnt that massive.

perhaps they should make it so u just get a lockout on every boss every week. so you can kill him as many times in as many raids as you want but you can only get loot/emblems from him the first time you kill him.

Callyx said...

I think it's extremely presumptuous to think that you're aware of the needs or wants of the average 10 man raider when you're so obviously polarized towards 25 man. This post looks like the usual exclusionary QQ dressed up in a weak cloak of flawed logic.

The best raiding gear in the game is currently in 25 mans. Raiders raid for different reasons, but I think it can be divided into three main reasons: To see content, to get better gear, and to be challenged. Content can be seen in either 10 or 25. You can be challenged by doing heroic versions of either. The only reason left of these three is loot. By equalizing loot quality (but not quantity) they remove the last physical barrier from raid size becoming personal choice.

I'm surprised people organizing 25's aren't more excited about this. Replacing 2 asshats is a hell of a lot easier than replacing 8.

dpoyesac said...

"Choices Reveal True Preferences"

But only when all things are equal. (Ceteris Paribus, for you econ majors out there.) If you say you prefer apples to oranges and yet you always grab the orange... you are fibbing right?

Well, no -- the apples may be moldy. And, sorry to say, the 10m apples in Wrath have been pretty moldy. I've been in four 10m guilds this expansion, and they have all crashed and burned. A guild that made of half dedicated, loyal raiders and half who just want the achieves and some gear so they can start apping to 25m guilds cannot survive... and they don't.

"[T]heir actions prove that they value the 25man gear more then they value the 10man size."

Well, no... The 10m guilds I've been in? Of the dedicated raiders and leaders, over half no longer even log in, and many of the others just do arenas. The fact that 10mans aren't viable doesn't drive them to 25m guilds. It's driven many of them out of the game.

"True Equity is Impossible"

This is true, but it is also a bit specious. Organizing and leading 25m raids will always be tougher, yes -- which is why they get better rewards (Conquest points). But for the fights themselves, each raid has a 'dial' that Blizz can turn. For 25s you have to coordinate and move more people -- that's your 'dial'. For 10s, though, there is the amount of work to be done per person -- that's our dial.

Think about Sarth 3D before people over-geared it enough to zerg -- the 10-man version was tougher than the 25 just because there was so much to do and not enough people to do it. Or take Lady D -- if the 10m normal version had one mind control instead of none, it would have been a tougher fight than the 25m version. And it would have been a lot more fun.

"Either the rewards for 25s will be to great, and it will remain the defacto standard of raiding, or they won't be enough and the 25man format will gradually die."

If you stop thinking 'either/or' and start thinking 'how much' you'll see things aren't quite this scary. The rewards for 25s should be great, and 25s should remain the defacto standard.

But the rewards for the 25s shouldn't be so great that 10man guilds can't survive.

It's OK for the oranges to be bigger than the apples -- I'll still take the apple. But when the oranges are nice, ripe and juicy and the apples are small, mealy and rotten?

That's just bad game design.

Hobert said...

You're right, 25-man's are inherently more difficult to run than 10 mans. That's why I like 10 mans more- less stress with regards to raid organization.

I PUG all my raids, so I always end up doing both 10s and 25s because I have one 80 and I get bored. Still, I have the MOST fun in 10s (25's are just okay). However, I always feel like I'm losing badges if I don't hit up every single lockout. Badges that could get me more offspec pieces (<3 druids) or Primordial Saronite.

I only have one goal in wow, and it's to get myself in all 251 gear for balance, resto, and feral. MOAR Frost badges, ya know? That's what it's really about. I think that's where most of the feeling of obligation comes from. If Blizz decides that 25 man raiders should get better gear in Cata, who cares, so long as the badge costs don't imply the developer's expectation that people while raid a dozen times a week.

Graylo said...

There are a couple of common themes in these comments that I would like to address. I’ll try and make more specific comments later, but I think this should cover most of what I want to say.

“25mans have better gear that goes beyond ilevel.”

I didn’t in the post say it in the post, but I think there should be three levels of each items as Adqamorix also suggested. That way no one feels they need to run ICC10 for Muradin’s Spyglass. As far as legendarys go I don’t think 10mans or 25mans should have assess to them, but that is another post for another day.

“I don’t prefer gear. I like my toon to “be the best it can be”, “complete”, or what ever else you want to call it.”

You can dress it up however you like, but all of these arguments are the same thing. You are basically saying, I do 25mans for the gear. Right now, you can do both 25mans and 10mans so you don’t have to choose between the 10man size or the 25man gear, because you can do both, even though neither is ideal for you.

If you were forced to choose between 25 with better gear or 10s with lesser gear, and you choose 25s, then gear is more important to you then raid size and it doesn’t matter if you call it being the best you can be or being complete. It’s all the same thing.

“Graylo, you only want 25mans to have better gear because you prefer 25man raids.”

Wrong. While it is always fun to get a shiny new staff or an awesome trinket gear is a pretty dumb reason to do a raid. Think about it for a second. Every 4 or 5 months a new instance comes out, and that shiny new staff you got now sucks. No one is going to care that you had a Staff of Endless Winter or a Reign of Undead a year from now. Gear is just tool to do the things that do matter in my opinion.

I raid 25s for the competition. I like to compare my progress against that of other guilds on my server, and I’m sure I would love competing for world rankings if I had the time to raid that much. I like being able to say I completed the meta achievement before it was face roll. I do 25s because it is the hardest form of raiding available and I like to stand up and be measured.

Some of you are probably thinking, why does this mean 25s need better gear. Well, having equal 10s and 25s clouds that competition. Which is the better guild? The guild who kills LK on 10s or the guild who kills LK on 25s? What happens if one version is clearly easier then the other? Then if I kill a boss on the harder mode its grouped in with the people who did it on the easier mode. My achievement is watered down then.

I think there needs to be a dominate format to make these comparisons easier, and that dominate format needs better tools other wise people would gear up in the easier format and undermine the dominate format.

Graylo said...

“10man raiders shouldn’t feel like runners up”

(I am a big soccer fan and I am going to try and use a soccer analogy. Hopefully you get it, and the US better win tomorrow.)

The big problem I see with 10s right now is that there are few ways to recognize 10man achievement. Therefore the people who do want to progress in the 10man format feel like runners up because their bracket is so watered down with people in 25man gear and such. I think that should be fixed by having ilevel achievement triggers or at least monitor if gear used can be obtained obtained in a 10man. If that can be fixed I don’t see a problem with 10s being a little easier or having slightly lower gear. Here comes the soccer analogy.

The English Premier League is considered to be one of the best in the world. The French league is also very good, but not on the same level. No one thinks the winner of the French league is a runner up because they compete in a different bracket. Everyone knows that the French league has very good players and very good teams. They are different competetions, and this is how the 10man format should be viewed. There are very good raiders who prefer not to compete in the 25man format. Their accomplishments shouldn’t be diminished, because they choose not to compete at the most competitive level. (Sorry if I offended any French people.)

“What if the situation was reversed? What if 10s were dominant and 25s were the more casual format?”

That would be fine, but it’s an illogical situation. Lets look at the 25man format on its own for a second. I think most of you would agree that having more people means having more complexity. There are more people to avoid, more people to tell what to do, more people that have to do things right. I would think most of you would also agree that more complexity means also means more difficulty. For example is generally easier to repair and maintain a simpler machine then it is to repair and maintain a more complex machine. So while it is possible to make a 10man raid more difficult then a 25man raid by increasing things like hit points, it doesn’t make sense to since 25mans are naturally more difficult due to complexity.

I also want to make one other point that I think a few if you missed. I am perfectly aware that Blizzard could draw a line in the sand as I have requested and it not be the line I want drawn. The game would not be ideal for me, but I would have to decide if I want to try the new format or quit the game. It may suck but I don’t see that as a horrible choice. As it is I think Blizzard is setting up 25s to die slowly. If I am correct one of two things will happen. Either Blizzard will let it die and in which case I think they should have just killed it from the start, or Blizzard will rescue it and all you 10 supporters are likely to be pissed by the way they do it.

Graylo said...

@Daedalus

No, what I'm saying is that if players are forced to choose between 10s and 25s and they continue to do 25s for the gear then clearly gear is more important then raid size.

However, if you want to put it intodays terms, the fact that they do both 10s and 25s shows that getting gear is more important to them then anything else they could be spending their time doing. Otherwise they wouldn't do it.

@Ghost

Sorry, but as a whole 25s are not easier then 10s. There are exceptions like Sarth 3D, but those are few. I would also recommend you not read to much into WoL parces, remember those are user submitted, and don't represent the entire population.

It's not just pugs that don't use WoL. Many casual guilds don't as well, and I know of a lot of 25guilds that turn it off for their 10man groups.

Look at Wow Progress, 3 times as may guilds have killed LK on 10s as have killed it on 25s. And blizzard has even said they design 10s to be easier.

@Russell Andes

No, what I'm saying is that Blizzard should set up two paths. Path A is the competative path, and Path B is the more casual and accessable path. That way players have a choice. Players can still be competetive in the casual path, but server firsts on the casual path wouldn't be viewed as highly as server firsts on the competetive path. If the competition is what they really wanted though then they should choose the competetive path.

@Anon6

Of course the line in the sand is aritrary, but where that line is drawn has an impact on how we play and enjoy the game. If blizzard draws the line in a way I don't like that sucks for me and I will deal with it, but that is not what they are doing. They are throwing to formats in to a ring to see if they can coexist or if one of them will die.

Also, I don't think balancing will be any easier with one level of gear. The real balancing nightmare for 10s vs 25s is the fewer people. How do you account for room size? How do you account for some buffs are less likely to be available? You can make some assumptions in 25s that you can't in 10s. Therefore if you toon the fight for the ideal comp the the fight becomes to hard for those without that comp. If you tune it for a less then ideal comp it be comes to easy. This isn't as big of a problem in 25s because the raid comp is more diverse in general.

@Andy Ng

I'm assuming that WoW is a free time activity. Getting 25man loot doesn't mean the difference between food on the table or going hungry. Attitude and Behavior may not have a link when there is a Need involved, but there is no Need to play WoW. If someone's Attitude and Behavior don't match up in terms of WoW then their an idiot.

@Aeiedil

I think this is a much bigger risk then a lot of people let on. They like 10s now when they are designed to be a little easier and people over gear them. What happens if they are put on the same level as 25s in terms of difficulty?

I think quite a few won't enjoy raiding quite as much and will drop out, if 10s isn't considered more casual. In the end I think it will me fewer people participate in raiding.

@Callyx

I don't assume that I understand the needs and wants of the average 10man raider, but I do assume that they understand their own wants and needs and act accordingly. If they choose to raid for gear then I assume that the gear is more important then the size if they are made to choose.

@dpoyesac

You are miss understanding me.

There is a difference between the 10man size and the 10man format. Many people say I prefer the 10man format, but feel obligated to run the 25man format for the gear. That isn't true. They may prefer the 10man size, but prefer the 25man format because gear is more important than size.

To use your example a lot of people are saying I prefer the moldy apple but feel obligated to pick the orange.

Callyx said...

Actually, you do presume to know the wants and needs of a 10m raider.

You just said: "No, what I'm saying is that if players are forced to choose between 10s and 25s and they continue to do 25s for the gear then clearly gear is more important then raid size."

Like the basic choice of doing 25s is some kind of polarizing force that puts them on your side? No.

That's the whole point of my comment. Right now, we have to choose between preferable size, and available gear. Blizz is making that choice easier. Right now, I raid 10's and not 25's. I don't like them. Trying to find 10 competent people that won't wipe a raid is challenge enough. I also despise the idea that you need to 'apply' to a guild in order to 'raid seriously.' This is supposed to be a game, not a career. We should be able to meet a bunch of appropriately geared people and go raid. That should be the extent of the 'organization'. The very idea that you should be given a bigger cookie because you're the equivalent of a video game human resources makes me violently ill.

Graylo said...

@Callyx

Please point to the place where I say that because someone raids 25s means they agree with me or are on my side.

I'll save you some time. Its not there. Clearly there are plent of people who raid 25s like Keeva who disagree with me. And clearly Blizzards new design makes the game better for her type of player. So please read my arguement instead of putting words in my mouth.

It's also very clear to me that WoW is not the game for you, and that if it ever becomes the game for you it is not the game for me.

First you complain about how hard it is to find 10 competent people that won't wipe a raid and then complain that people have to apply to be in a serious raiding guild. How do you think the serious raiding guilds find the competent raiders? The answer is easy. They Make them apply.

If Blizzard created a game where you could take 10 random but reasonably well geared players into an instance and clear it, then this game wouldn't have a million players let alone 11 million and I would have quit a long time ago because I would have been out of content in February.

lovesmydruid said...

I think the fact that a lot of people pick the moldy apple over the orange says a lot. And if you're interested in customer service, wouldn't you rather give those people a good apple instead of a moldy one? Giving equal gear to either size raid does that. Then people can choose whichever flavor they like best.

10 man strict guilds still haven't beaten Lich King on Heroic. They've shown they can make 10 mans just as hard if not harder than 25 mans. It's really not fair to 10 man strict guilds to even let people with 25 man gear into a 10 man instance. They like their competition just like you do. They should either stop people with 25 man gear from even entering a 10 man, or make the gear equal.

loveandwarinazeroth said...

What is frustrating me about your opinion on 10s vs 25s is the feeling that 10 man raids are somehow going to make it so you will no longer be able to raid 25s.

Just as you say you feel that the people who say they prefer 10s but still raid 25s for gear are "nonsensical." I would turn it back around to you. If you really want to continue doing 25s as many people do, then you will, regardless of the carrot at the end of the stick.

Yes, gear matters. Gear is the reason the majority of the guilds on my server are primarily 25 man guilds. All of these 25 man guilds also run 10 mans. Not everyone gets to attend these 10 mans.

Who is getting hurt by 10 mans having lesser gear? Surely it's not the 25 mans. So by balancing the gear (making it equal) that therefore puts the two raid types on an even footing (regardless of how much more difficult it is to herd 25 vs 10 cats).

I haven't raided seriously since ToC came out. I was in a 25 man guild. It was too much for me.

So I didn't start WotLK as a strict 10 man raider. I didn't realize that was my preference until I'd been in a 25 man raiding guild for some time. Does that make everything I say "nonsensical?"

I guess I'm just a bit confused by your angst with the changes. I seriously doubt that by making the gear equal it is going to kill 25 man raiding. Really, at the end of the day, it feels like what you are asking for is for there no longer to be 10 man raids because they don't matter anyway.

Well, you know what, they matter to some of us, and Blizzard seems to agree, since they haven't abandoned 10 mans.

Get over it.

Mushu said...

25's will be going away sooner rather than later unless Blizz changes their direction.

CBG stated several good points above, also.

Something people are forgetting is the physics of the whole thing: the rooms for boss fights are the same for 10 and 25. This means 25's have a harder time to spread out faster and more accurately than 10's. This makes 25's a bit harder to raid.

Raid bosses do more and extra in 25's than 10's. That makes 25's harder to raid. Assume equal raiding skill for 10-man players and 25-man players: the 10-man raids will be easier down the line, even with level-appropriate gear.

25's (as stated over and over) are harder to organize than 10's. That makes 25's harder to raid.

Epicness of raiding? Give me a break...10 people killing Arthas? Really?? ggblizz

Why didn't they take 40-man to an even 20-man? Then we could at least have two equal 10-mans instead of sitting out or rotating (yeah, right) 5 guildies. ggblizz

Blizz has *never* been able to balance things tight enough to make it work for oppposing sides and won't be able to for this grand experiment either.

I don't raid for the social aspect of the game. RealID? Yeah, right...I'm way against it and won't be using it for sure. I don't have any RL friends in the game. I'm in a guild only because I can't do all the content solo. I raid to make my toon the best it can be and to be the best player I can be and to see everything the game has to offer. 10's don't and won't cut it for me, and I'm pissed that blizz is doing everything it can to get them to die off.

I'm in Graylo's court when I say that I may just not play any more after this change. And what's sad is that I've heard the same thing from many other players on many other forum posts. Blizz won't care as long as they keep making the almighty dollar. ggblizz

Callyx said...

>>Please point to the place where I say that because someone raids 25s means they agree with me or are on my side.<<

Here:
"When I posted on this subject last April one of the common responses I got was "I enjoy 10mans more but I raid 25s for the better gear." I find that statement to be nonsensical. Does this person truly prefer 10mans over 25mans? In my opinion they do not, and their actions prove it."

By stating that players who raid 25's in the place of 10's don't actually prefer 10's, you're making the secondary argument that anyone who raids 25's enjoys raiding 25's and should be in favor of 25's unless they're of course being nonsensical.

I never said, "Clear it". Raids should be difficult. I'm not saying that every raid should be one massive loot pinata. I'm saying that if you can pull together 10 people that can agree on a consistent raid time, and are competent.. that should be enough. They should be able to gather the same loot as anyone else and eventually clear a raid. Applications are just not the only way to find competent people and their excessive formality and exclusively turns me off.

In regards to guilds, my comment is merely meant to say that while there will always be some guilds who choose to organize and restrict, other guilds will form from casual contact. I greatly prefer the latter and obviously, you prefer the former. I just feel that raiding isn't a life calling. It's about seeing in-game content and improving your character.

The 11 million or so people that you mention aren't primarily hard core raiders. It's a very small percentage. Entire servers are devoted to Roleplay and PvP, and much of this commonly takes place on PvE servers. So, in regard to WoW 'not being the game for me', I'm not sure where you're going with it. If challenge is the only thing you want from a 25.. they didn't remove that challenge. So why do you care if they buff 10 man gear?

Graylo said...

To everyone. Please read what I say and not what you think I said. Anymore comments that put words in my mouth will get deleted. I don't mind debate, but if you refuse to read what I say then your comment has no value to the debate.

@Loveandwarinazeroth

First its not "nonsensical" for people who prefer the 10man size to run the 25man size for the gear. It just shows that they prefer the 25man gear over the 10man size. Doing something in the game you don't enjoy is clearly illogical unless it supports something you enjoy. This doesn't mean you like everything about it. It just means the positives out weight the negatives.

As to the death of 25s the path is pretty clear.

People choose the path of least resistance. If you can get the same rewards for less work then you do the less work. This is basic psychology.

If they make everything equal between 10mans and 25mans but the size then 10s have a clear advantage because 10mans have a clear organizational advantage. People will gradually shift from 25s to 10s, because the organizational advantage means more 10s will form out of the death of 25s then 25s will. I'm not saying it will happen over night, but gradually it will.

In cataclysm you will see a lot more 25man guilds convert into 10 man guilds because of the organizational advantage, but you will see few 10s convert to 25s if there isn't a good reason forthem to convert up. Why deal with the extra work? This is just one of the ways, 25mans won't be able to compete with 10s if everything is equal.

So, Blizzard is talking about giving 25mans extra rewards like extra loot and more badges, which I've already been told by commentors numerous times is unfair.

Here are the three ways this could pan out.

1. The increased rewards for the increased organizational difficulty of 25s isn't great enough and 25man guilds eventually die out.

2. The increased rewards for the 25man raids are to great, and 25s remains the prefered format and all you 10man supporters are still unsatisfied.

3. Blizzard finds the right balance and both formats coexist.

I would love 3 to happen, I think it is avery difficult if not impossible task, and blizzard has shown that they don't get raid balancing perfect. I just don't see 3 as a likely occurance.

@Callyx

Again, Point to where I say if someone raids 25man raids they agree with my point of view or on my side as you call it? No where in the comments you quoted do I say that the people who raid 25mans agree with me. All I say is that value the current form of 25s over the current form of 10s otherwise they wouldn't do the 25s if they had to choose one over the other.

loveandwarinazeroth said...

I apologize if I put words in your mouth. My concern is that we are all getting up in arms before anything has even changed. There are a lot of 25 man guilds out there that have been around for a long time. If these guilds can continue to raid 25 mans don't you think they will stay that way, rather than split?

Maybe you're right. Maybe 25 man raiding will die. Maybe it won't. A lot of people really like the epic feel of 25 mans, just as a lot of people really like 10 man strict raiding. There have been 10 man strict guilds throughout Wrath, albeit hard to come by. There will still be 25 man guilds in Cata, regardless of the loot/lockout changes. Maybe 25 man raiding just won't be as prevalent as it once was or currently is. Is that really such a bad thing?

I think we all really like WoW and we all really just want to enjoy the game. It hurts that we have to argue about this, and I don't think it is helping anything. More likely than not, the discussion is likely confusing the heck out of Blizz trying to figure out what the player base really wants.

Can't we all just get along? ~giggle~

Daan said...

You can argue about it all you want, but in the end we all agree on the fact that for 99% of the raiding player base, gear is one of the most important, if not THE most important aspect of raid progression.
You're making it sound as if it's a shameful thing for fans of the 10-man format to choose 25-mans anyways because of the better gear. But I'm 100% sure that if 10-mans would drop better gear than 25-mans, and you'd be forced to choose, you'd be running 10-mans instead of 25-mans, because of the better gear.

I'll tell you what's really going on here. Your only decent and genuine argument against Blizzard's plans is that 25-mans are going to die out because of the changes. The mistake you're making however, is that you're assuming that you are unique in your wish to keep the 25-mans raids going. But "You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake". If there's one person (you) who'd pick 25-mans over 10-mans, given the choice, there are surely a lot more people who'd make the same choice.
The other motivation for your fears may be this: you'd actually choose 10-mans yourself, given the choice and equal gear, because it's much easier to organize, and more convenient, and you're afraid to admit it to a community of people who respect you for the 25-man progression raider you are.
It's a kind of "don't lead me into temptation" situation where you fear your own choice if 25-mans suddenly aren't obligatory anymore for gearing up your char as best as you can.

Anonymous said...

Skipped over a bit but I have not seen anyone point out that 10 man can not be on the same scale of difficulty as 25 because of one thing. Death. The margin for error is NIL if you make 10 = 25 in difficulty. Where in 25 dps is calculated as about 6%, 10 it is 18%.... one death and the whole fight is shot.

Mix in with other things that Gray has said such as positioning and you have major problems. It is impossible to make 10 man as hard as 25 without it surpassing 25 and then wouldn't 10 man gear need to be better.

Some people mistake "less drama, better focus" for "ratio or aholes to non, much easier." It is nearly impossible to make a 25 raid roster without ATLEAST 1-2 bad apples, where as a 10 man you can literally run with your best friends and if that is the case go on a private server and stop complaining. The difficulty in getting 25, for the most part, random people together is part of the fun. If you really have that big of a problem meeting and talking or ignoring a person than a MMO is prob not your game.

If blizzard does not make it so 25 do drop more loot than we will see a lot, I mean a lot, of the better players leave. It will create a disenfranchisement of the players because 5 players that had a set roster spot are now gone creating a lot of anger.

Something where you can realistically get your close friends, go to a gaming cafe and raid should not ever be the model for progression.

Lakini said...

Interesting read and debate. I am a ten man raider and have avoided most 25 man content other than voa. I did a icc 25 pug last week hoping to get a second dps trinket. Blizzard only put in one ten man content past Ulduar and I have two trinket slots.

It blew my mind how easy it was compared to heroic 10 man while dropping the same level loot. Despite how easy it was I won't be going back. I don't need it, I can just put some duct tape over screen where my second trinket slot is.

The best part of the change in my mind is not having incomplete loot tables. Going an entire content patch with nothing itemized for you in certain gear slots at your preferred raid size sucks. You either use something from the previous raid, something designed for another spec/class or run something you'd rather not hoping what you want drops.

Having the gear be the same ilevel isn't important to me. I just want to be able to complete my gear set with without using a healing trinket.

P.S. When Blizzard designs encounters where players need to spread out they can tune the range requirements for the different raid sizes. It's not rocket science.

Lespaul said...

Part of the reason there seems to be such debate on this subject imo, is the notion that '10 man raids are easy' or '25 man raids are a greater achievement than 10 mans because they're harder to organise'.
Let's psychoanalyse the issue for a sec:
Does equality in terms of loot make 25 man raids easier to clear? no.
Does equality in terms of loot make 10 man raids more difficult to organise? no.
So what is the problem? I believe it is this:
Given that the gear you wear is the chief measure of worth in the eyes of the masses, (also given that the average player doesnt care where your mount/pet/title came from or ever bothers to look at your achievements, but can tell straight away by looking at your gearscore, average ilvl or by the shiny green 'heroic' in the top left corner of the tooltip, what level of raiding you've achieved), 25 man raiders are feeling that giving 10 man only raiders the same loot, will somewhat undermine their achievements, as they feel 25 man raids are more difficult and harder to organise. They seem to be scared that they will become more 'average', and cease to stand out from the crowd.
Having organised and led raids of both formats, I totally understand the point of view that 25 mans are harder to organise. Chiefly this is simply because people in their nature are unreliable and unpredictable, and the more people you are bringing together, the greater the frequency of these two traits is likely to be. I don't think tactically 25 mans are more difficult than 10 mans, infact personally I would say that given a standard quality of raider, theres no difference. The only reason imo that 10 mans are easier is because you can outgear them with 25 man content.
A good raid leader, given attentive, experienced raiders, (which you would expect in a serious 25 man raiding guild), should have no more problem explaining the logistics of tactics to 24 people than to 10. If the raiders don't know how to play their class or understand basic game mechanics, then the job becomes a lot more difficult. Hence why guilds ask players to apply and go through a trial process. It simply saves time wiping in progress raids.
It is because the average raider isn't reliable or predictable that I fear Graylo is correct in assuming that many will turn to 10 man raids for ease of coordination. What I hope equalising won't do is make 10 man raids easier. There needs to be parity in difficulty if there is going to be parity in gearing rewards.
Whichever format you prefer playing, you should be able to feel that the rewards are befitting; not undermined because the other gets better rewards, or because you feel the other is too easy. There is no reason why 10 and 25 man raids can't co-habitate with equal loot, it really just comes down to the mentality of the individual and how much effort they are willing to put in.

Anonymous said...

WoW! Touchy subject :P

At the moment I beilve 10 mans are designed to be easier than 25 mans (hense the loot difference). If the difficulty is the same for both I think many will prefer 25 mans. The reason for this is percentage contribution of each player. In 25 mans you can afford to have someone who has low DPS (or healing) since there are many other players who cover for him/her. In 10 mans that person will prevent the group from downing a boss since his DPS contributes a larger percentage of the overall DPS. Also 25 mans allow for a few deaths, this isn't the case in 10 mans. So by default 25 mans have benefits which will make some people want to run them. Many guilds may be able to kill bosses in 25 man and not in 10 man for these reasons once the difficulty levels are the same. Think of it this way. Not many people could do TOTC 10 heroic, but they could do TOTC 25 even though the gear drops where the same Item level.

Anyway I like both 10 and 25 mans and will be running both in Cataclysm.

Moonlyt

Okrane S. said...

Here's my 2c on the matter.

I prefer 10 mans. Why? Because of my crappy computer who can't really handle 25 man raids. but that's just besides the point.

I agree with you. Cataclysm will kill 25 man. And good riddance I say. Blizzard has slowly diminished the size of raids for good reason.

More people will lead to extra frustrations and tensions. There's more guild drama, loot drama, ninja-ing and all that jazz in 25 man content. They are realizing that players are going to have more fun in more controlled environment where a few people can just carry the rest. 3 decent players can carry a 10 man raid. They cannot carry a 25 man. And blizzard realized a long time ago that their players are actually pretty bad in average. (as a proof, we're already at 20% buff and pugs still fail after Saurfang).

My second point is to why INEQUITY CANNOT EXIST.

In a perfect world, where only raiding would exist it can work. Thus 10 man raiders will raid their 10 mans, 25man ppl will do the same and they will never meet.

Enter PvP. PvE gear is used in PvP. Thus, 25 man raiders will have access to those shiny trinkets and weapons, while the 10 man players will get owned.

Switching between the two. If a 25man raider decides to switch to 10man he will be the new star of the guild. If a 10 man raider tries to do the same, the only answer he'll get will be: "lol get som gear nub"

Pugs and Gearscore. No matter if you are a 10 or 25 man raider it will come a time where you will need to pug. If your guild breaks up or if u are left behind for a week you will have to do it. And because of your lower gearscore you will be rejected if you are a 10 man raider.

Social Status. If 25 mans give better gear no matter what those players will be l33t and the rest will be scrubs.

It just can't work. Players will just go for the best gear. Actually the raids dropping equal gear is the best choice you get for making players choose what they like.

However as 25 mans are harder to organize and handle (you get more retards that can wipe ur raid) people will just do 10 mans. Looks like people shall always optimize... but that's not news is it?

JM said...

"I would think most of you would also agree that more complexity means also means more difficulty."

Well yes, it goes without saying that more complexity means more difficulty but you seem pretty biased in how you define complexity. I could just as easily say being 50% of the healing force in a raid is more complex than being 20% of the healing force. I mean, that statement makes sense right? So, at least in that regard, healing 10 mans is more difficult than 25 mans. Yes 25 mans are harder in some regards, but it seems remiss not to consider areas where 10 mans are more complex than 25 mans.

Taylor said...

I don't understand why blizzard couldn't just design 10-mans to be slightly more difficult to make up for the lesser organizational difficulty. Honestly, back in early WotLK I wouldn't have had a problem with Sarth 3-drake dropping the same loot on 10 and 25 man difficulties.

Cain said...

You say that people that prefer 10 mans but run 25 mans must not care about the raid size. At the same time you admit that you ran 10 mans in order to feed your emblems for tier gear, so the same argument could be said of you that you must not care about raid size because you ran 10 mans to get gear.

Graylo said...

@Cain

"You say that people that prefer 10 mans but run 25 mans must not care about the raid size."

That is not what I said, go back and try reading it again.

Anonymous said...

@Daan - Bravo! I think you've cut the Gordian Knot with your last point. It does make a lot of sense. If 10 and 25 continue to blend together, then all the die-hard 25 man raiders who profess utter distaste for 10 man raids will have a harder and harder time clinging to their position. Right now the argument is that the 10 raiders are saying one thing (they prefer the 10 man size) but doing another (raiding in 25 mans for gear). But in the future it may be the 25 man raiders saying one thing (they prefer the 25 man size) but doing another (raiding 10 mans because the compensation is not great enough in 25 mans). Graylo sums it up quite well himself -

"People choose the path of least resistance. If you can get the same rewards for less work then you do the less work. This is basic psychology."


One additional point - a big argument about 10 v 25 difficulty equality seems to be size of the room, ie 25s will have less area per person, etc. I think Blizzard has a lot of tools at their disposal to address this, one that jumps immediately to mind is the Heigan mechanic. Want the same area/person but don't want to redesign a different room for 10 and 25? Make a chunk of the room inaccessible via threat of death in 10 mans once the encounter is started. There are a lot of creative solutions for balancing. Do I think they can get it perfect? Doubtful. But if they really are serious about it I think they can get a lot closer than most are giving them credit for.

Anonymous said...

It seems like there is way too much emphasis being put on the 10 v 25 choice being some sort of ultimate decider. Something being brought up a lot is that a person saying they prefer 10 man raids but also raiding 25s is showing their true preference by not sticking strictly to 10 mans. To me this doesn't ring true.

It's like if you have an apple and an orange that are both good pieces of fruit, but you happen to like oranges more. So you eat the orange first. But now you're hungry again, so you eat the apple too. Did you commit some deep betrayal of your orange preference by also eating the apple? Or maybe you were lying about preferring oranges over apples in the first place? Nothing so dramatic or overblown... I think a lot of people choose to eat the apple after the orange because they get hungry again and there's nothing else to eat until next week when they get their next apple and orange.

If throughout WotLK there was only a choice of an apple OR and orange, ie 10 mans OR 25 mans, and never both together, then maybe some of the conclusions drawn here would be valid. If Cataclysm had split loot tables instead of equal tables in addition to the ability to only to 10 or 25 and not both then maybe we would get some good data about which raid size people really prefer.

Anonymous said...

I much prefer 10-man raiding over 25-man raiding. I'm guild master and almost always raid leader, and I prefer the less drama, quicker organization, etc, more "band of friends" feel of 10-mans. I also like that in 10-mans, *everyone* is important. In 25-mans, you can lose a healer, a couple dps, and it probably doesn't matter so much. Also, in 10-mans, if someone is being carried, it is a much higher liability for the group. I used to run in a 25 ICC pug that killed Festergut and Rotface regularly (with only 15% buff or so), and even blood princes. The bottom 10 people in that raid would not have been able to kill Saurfang if they were split off into their own 10-man raid. That's how much carrying can be done in 25s at this point.


The main thing I didn't like about the loot disparity of 10 vs 25-man is the holes in itemization, trinkets in particular. In mostly 10-man gear, I've been able to step into many 25-man raids and hold my own in dps. The 13 ilevels aren't that important to me. It does mean I won't generally be *top* dps, but I can still make a strong performance. In fact, in most 25-mans our 10-man raiders pug into, we're close to the top in dps or healing in mostly 10-man gear. However, 25-man raiders having to raid 10-man for Whispering Fanged Skull, and 10-man raiders not having anything like Death's Choice or Death's Verdict available to them was a bigger issue in my opinion. So the shared loot tables are what I'm most happy about. I'd be fine if they bring back the half-tier ilvl difference in loot.

I don't think 25-man raiding will die. What I do think will happen is that non-progression 25-man guilds will raid 25-man for the easier bosses, then ditch the non-progression part of their group and finish the raid in 10-man mode. So in the end, There will still be a lot of people progressing in 10-man raids with 25-man gear. The difference is now that everything is the same ilevel, they won't outgear the instance to the extent they do now. I believe that might be one of the reasons Blizzard decided to make all the gear the same ilevel, even more so than to keep people from feeling they "have to raid 25s for the +13 ilevels".

Anyway, as someone who prefers 10-man raiding and only occasionally dabbles in 25-mans, I'm happy with the changes. I think the doom and gloom predicted for 25-man raids is a bunch of nonsense. There are plenty of people who would rather do 25s because there is less stress for them as a dps or healer, because a lower individual performance doesn't have so much effect in 25-man. And since the stronger portion of the 25-man can just continue the next night as a 10-man, they won't have to feel limited by the underperforming portion of the raid.

Time will tell, but so far I think it will turn out to work pretty well.

Peter said...

Here's the problem they're trying to fix. Go back to Naxx being "done" for most people, and Ulduar releasing. I was in a situation where all we could do was 10man Naxx up to that point. That's what we all had gear from. We couldn't do 25man, because we weren't geared enough and noone would bring us along. We also didn't have time / enough people. Pugging was a nightmare and not worth it if you could even get it off the ground. So we had a small raid group in our guild of ~10 people who had 10man Naxx gear, and some stuff from Ony/Maly10. Then we walked into Ulduar10, figuring, "Ok, we have 10man gear to the teeth, this is where we belong." Guess what? IT WASN'T. We got SLAUGHTERED. There was absolutely zero way that our gear would get us through FLAME LEVIATHAN. After about 30 tries on him, we got to the trash after him. Guess what? The TRASH slaughtered us. After that we were all done due to pure frustration. And I mean done like logout > cancel subscription > quit the game for 9 months. We had hit a hard brick wall that there was no way for us to get past. THAT is unbalanced. After coming back twice from afk, I still haven't cleared Ulduar, in either difficulty.

What they're trying to fix is that there are severe roadblocks that have been in place for people who cannot for whatever reason ( schedule, gear, guild, video hardware <<< Yes that's a limiter to 25man raids ) get into 25mans regularly enough / at all to even complete 10mans with 10man gear. Not everyone CAN do 25man content, whether they think it's a decent format or not. I've never met anyone in fact who said "Oh, well I _could_ do 25man but I just don't like to."

I will say that ICC and the new badge system has improved this greatly. Almost all of my ICC hours are in 10man difficulty. I'm a tank for my guild's 10man grp 1, and every once in a while I can make the 25man night. When I do, I can walk in with my mostly 251 set and tank 25man. That's how it should work imo. Not doing 25man content should not make people toss their keyboard through a window later down the progression road.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog gray since the first day you started it, I understand that your goal is to be competitive at the game you play. But I think the world around you is changing and you are not happy about it, like my grandparents who don't like the way things are done today. Not because their way was better or worse it was just "their" way.

The way the MMO market is going is smaller raids. not just WOW. I started looking around at different MMOS the older ones BIG raids the newer ones are all moving towards raid size. Just compare EQ1 to EQ2 1 raid size 18-54 2 raid size 12-24

Warhammer 24 Conan 24 (we can see how well those games did)D&D online what has now become the #2 MMO raid size...8-10 notice a trend of those MMOS the ones with BIG raids not doing as well as those with small raids..D&D and WOW

You say if ten mans are the way blizzard goes with raiding you will have to look at what you want to play...I say where will you go??

Check this poll that Star Wars the New republic did asking players what raid size they wanted

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?p=3249743#post3249743

A small polling yes but telling, 63% of respondents want less than 15 in their raids.

As to the argument of what raid type is harder go look at Guild OX at how many strict 10 man guilds have beaten heroic lich king BTW the number is 0. Compared to hundreds of guilds that have done it on 25 man....if you ask me the best players in the world should be trying for THAT title.... since no one has it. Seems to me if a player want to be "competitive" and prov they are one of the best players in the world....10 Strict is the hardest thing to achieve in the game right now....and yet according to "everyone" its' easy... but I guess proving you're best is not the real motivation...it's the cool toys and titles that can be lorded over other players cause if a player were to do lich king hard mode in strict 10 man gear there is nothing to "show" for it.