Monday, February 6, 2012

My MoP Wish List - Part 3: A 10 vs 25 Fix

In part one of My MoP Wish List looked at some ways that Blizzard could improve the gem system to create greater demand for all the gem colors. Part two, primarily looked at what I would like to see changed in the Moonkin play style.

When they announced that 10mans and 25mans would share a lockout and drop the same loot almost two years ago, I got worried. As much as I liked my WotLK 10man group, I prefer the 25man format for progression raiding, and it was obvious two years ago that 25man raids would struggle under this new design. The organizational advantages of a 10man raid alone would push many guilds to the 10man format, and the predictions made of 25mans slow death are coming true. If Blizzard wants to preserve the 25man format, they are going to need to make some changes to prevent the slide into 10mans.

The Numbers:
* All WoW Progress numbers in this post were pulled as of 2/6/12.

I think it's commonly accepted that participation in 25man raiding is in decline, but wanted to look at the numbers just to see how much. And to be clear, I realize that that not all of these comparisons are Apple to Apple, but I do think it shows how dramatic the decline has been.

This isn't a fair comparison, but lets look at the ICC numbers compared to the T11 25man first. According to WoW Progress 16,103 guilds killed Heroic Marrowgar in ICC, and 4,698 guilds killed Heroic Halfus on 25man in T11. That implies a 70% decline in 25man guilds with the start of Cata. However, since 10man raiding wasn't equal to 25mans in ICC, the ICC number is obviously inflated. Also, ICC was up for a year as the main tier of content, while T11 was the main tier for only 6 months and it's impossible to say how many of the guilds in the ICC number existed at the end of WotLK. All that said I think it's fair to say that a lot of players jumped from the 25man format to the 10man format at the start of Cata for what ever reason.

However, I'm sure some of you would argue that that doesn't really show a decline in 25man raiding. It could be argued that it shows that people didn't really want to raid 25mans during ICC but had to for the greater rewards. I have to agree that is definitely part of the issue. We can debate how much that contributed to the, but it's definitely part of it and makes those numbers unreliable. Fortunately I have some better numbers that really show the decline of 25man raiding.

I've taken the easiest heroic boss from each tier and compared number of kills in 25man to the total number of kills on either mode to see what the participation in 25man is. Here are the numbers:

25man10manTotal25man %

I think these numbers point to the decline of 25man raiding very clearly. As you can see the kill rates on 25man have declined with each tier of new content going from 17.45% in T11, to 13.21% in T12, to 11.28 % in T13.

There have been some balancing issues between the 25man and 10man formats, but I don't think any of these bosses are significantly harder on 25man then they are on 10man or vice versa. If anything, I would say that these numbers underestimate the decline of 25man raid since I think it could easily be argued that 25man raiders as a whole are probably more progression focused then 10man raiders as a whole.

Cause of the Decline:

I would like to blame the decline on difficulty imbalances between 10s and 25s, but I can't do that. A lot of 25 man raiders like to claim that 10s are easier, but the numbers don't really show that. Take a look at the heroic Kill percentages:

25man Cnt25man %10man Cnt10man %

On all but one of the T13 heroic fights 25man guilds as a whole have killed these bosses more then 10man guilds. I do think that the 10man percentages are depressed a little due to the fact that "casual" raiders are more likely to raid 10mans and therefore inflate the total number of 10man guilds bringing down their percentage. However, that can't explain away all of the differences. Hagara is clearly easier on 25man with a 26.25% kill rate in 25man guilds compared to just 6.43% among 10man guilds. On the flip side Ultraxion is clearly easier in the 10man format and I would argue that Yor'sahj is probably easier on 10man as well.

Obviously Blizzards balancing hasn't been perfect when comparing 10man to 25man, but it doesn't appear to be benefiting one format over another in a significant way, and if it is it's benefiting 25man guilds. Clearly, poor balancing is not the cause of 25man's decline.

In my opinion 25man's decline is primarily due to a lack of significant rewards to make up for the 10mans organizational advantages. Yes, 25mans do have a small loot advantage, but that really isn't that significant. Here we are two months into the patch and my guild is already sharding some gear on heroic. Additional gear isn't much of a motivator because if you raid for an entire patch you are likely to get almost everything you want from the bosses you kill regularly. Additional, Valor points are an even bigger joke since they've taken Tier gear out of the Valor system making the Valor points almost valueless in terms of raiding.

Since the only real reason to continue to raid 25mans over 10mans currently is personal preference, it is clear that 25mans are going to continue to decline because of 10mans organizational advantages.

Can it be Fixed:

To honest, I would be entirely OK if Blizzard came out and said that they were eliminating 10man raids for MoP, but there isn't a snowball's chance in hell of that happening (as much as I would like it), so I hope they are looking for other solutions.

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of good ideas in this regard. I still like the suggestion I made two years ago to have gems and other raiding mats drop almost exclusively from 25man raids. After a year of Cata 25man raiding I think there are a couple of "easy" changes that think could make 25s more attractive.

  1. Better Rare Mount Drops: It's funny. If you kill heroic Rag on 10man you have a 100% drop chance to get one [Smoldering Egg of Millagazor]. If you kill heroic Rag on 25man you still have a 100% drop chance to get one [Smoldering Egg of Millagazor]. I don't care how they do it but this should be balanced.

  2. More Epic Gems: When I suggested two years ago that 25mans should be the only source of epic gems, many of you disagreed, and I can understand why. That said, I don't see a problem with 25man kills dropping more Motes of Darkness and Essence of Corrupted Deathwing. Why not give 25man kills two of each instead of just one?

  3. Free Flasks & Free Food: The organizational difficulties of 25man raids largely falls on the leaders of the raid. In an effort to reduce the organizational pressure on a 25man raid's leaders they could provide free food and flasks that only work in 25man raids. If the raid leaders didn't need to coordinate Cauldrons or Feasts they may be more willing to deal with the other organization issues of the 25man format.


When Blizzard announced that they were going to have 10mans and 25mans drop the same level of gear, many people (including myself) predicted this would result in the slow death of the 25man format. Unfortunately, that prediction is coming true. 25man kills as a percentage of total kills has declined with each new tier in this expansion.

The cause of this decline does not appear to be due to balancing issues, but seems to rest solely on the fact that 10mans are easier to organize especially when they are created out of the ashes of a dead 25man guild. To counter the 10man's advantage, Blizzard needs to find a way to reward 25man raiders and their leaders that doesn't give the 25man format an unfair advantage. The best solution would be one that would reduce the organizational requirements of a 25man raid like eliminating the need for cauldrons or feasts in the 25man format.


Anonymous said...

I doubt you are alone in your reasoning of doing 25man content because you simply prefer it. With that being said, there will ALWAYS be people in the same mindset as you thus preventing the end of 25man raiding. Since WoW IS a game, people who view it as such will continue to play the format they prefer. Since you're not alone in your preferences to raid 25man content, no matter what the statistics say, there will still always be 25man raiding guilds.

Graylo said...


Sorry, but that's not necessarily true.

I agree that there will aways be people that prefer 25man raids. I will even say that there will always be people that are willing to lead 25man raids. But that doesn't mean 25man raiding won't die.

First, I know quite a few people who say they prefer 25man raiding, but they raid 10s because it's easier given their situation. This is due to several things, but I have yet to hear a story of someone who plays 25s for the convenence of it but would prefer to do 10s. This is part of the decline.

Second, it takes work to create the 25man format. At some point Blizzard would stop making it if the participation got too low. 25man raiders already only make up 20%-30% of the raiding population depending on which fight you choose. I don't know what level is to low, but I wouldn't be completely surprised if Blizzard came out and said no 25s in MoP given their current participation levels.

There are plenty of things that some WoW players want that blizzard has yet to do or got rid of in the past. Just because there will aways be people who prefer 25mans doesn't mean that they will aways exist.

Ghost said...

At the moment, 25-man hands out more loot than 10s. If people were running the most loot efficient raids, they'd be doing 25s. And 25s also give more VP. I don't think tossing in free food&flasks is going to change much. From personal gain point of view, 25s are clear win.

For me personally, I think part of the appeal of 10s is a lot more personal responsibility. One person can really break the raid -- and conversely, sometimes make the raid. 25s for most fights just feel like there is so much more slop, except for the few fights where it is much harder (everyone spread out in a limited area but not closer than n yards).

Also, with 10s, I know the 13 people in my raid group pretty well. We joke around and tease and chat on vent sometimes for hours after raid is over. I never had that in 25s. The smaller group is just a lot more social and intimate. And I'd miss it if it went away.

Really, 25s are not going away. And there will always be people who prefer them. And with the addition of cross-realm raiding, I don't think you need to have any worry about not being to find a 25-man group.

Shelly said...

I think it all boils down to one side saying the other side is too small and the second side saying the first is too big. My conclusion: a 15 or 20you man size raid. I prefer the 15first myself cause lots of things are already using that model.

Anonymous said...

I'll speak from my own experience here, and the discussions that I and my other officers have had regarding this. We raided 25s in BC and Wrath (with a few 10mans on the weekends), and after the lockout change, decided to switch to 10 mans only. Not because we prefer 10s, none of us did, we all really wanted to keep with 25s. But we had to switch just to save our sanity. 25s are great at the beginning of a expansion, but as time goes by, people start disappearing. As we all know, it gets old. One night we're running a man or two short for an hour, then next week we're 4 short, and more short the next. Pretty soon, we're calling raids due to attendance issues.

But with 10s, groups tended to stick together longer, because of the intimacy. Quite a few of my guildies stuck around longer because it was more fun and loose that in 25s. I like 10s for that reason too, but I really miss 25s...hell I miss 40s! But the hassle that came with assembling 25 people and maintaining that level of attendance was just more work than fun.

My wish, is the Burning Crusade set up. Different raids, different makeups. Kara and ZA for 10s, SSC, BT, MH, TK, etc for 25s. We never had attendance issues back then. Never. And things stayed fresh longer. You weren't running Kara on 25s and 10s twice a week like we did with ICC, causing burnout twice as fast.

Nowadays, we're stuck with one place for 8 months. I know a lot of you guys run Heroic modes, and that's cool, but a lot of guilds don't care about them. Our guild for example, rarely goes for heroic modes. Adding an add or more damage in exchange for the same gear with a few more stat points is lazy design. In BC, there were 7 different 25 mans and 2 10 mans. When things started to get stale, here you go, have a new raid or two. When you cleared one raid, you moved on to the next one. Not start over on hard mode.

And then there's Raid Finder! That ruined everything, imo. Yeah, more people got to see the content. Whoop-de-doo. Now there's a army of casuals sporting the same gear I have with a different hue. Great. Raid gear used to be special, hell, Epics used to be special. When Epics flow like candy, guess what, they ain't Epic.

Ok, I'm ranting now. But my point is this, free food/flasks won't cause people to flock to 25s again (hell, food and flasks aren't difficult to supply anyway). More loot to shard won't do it either. More new, not re-hashed, content will. Put out two 25 man only raids and a Kara-like 10-man. Once it's run it's course, then throw out another two 25s and a 10, and put the old tier on Raid Finder. IMO, that will accomplish everything. 25s will run, 10s will run, and everyone will get to experience the content in time.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comment back! However, I still view your argumentation as incorrect. Sure more 10man GUILDS are downing things than 25man GUILDS. However, the thing you have forgot to account for is the people ratio. More 10man GUILDS doesn't mean there are nearly as many PEOPLE. The amount of people is what matters, not the amount of guilds. - Same Anon as the first comment.

Graylo said...


Unfortunately I did take raid size into account. The 20% to 30% numbers I quoted are based on Morchik kills on both heroic and normal mode. I multiplied the total number of 25man kills for each fight by 25, and did the same for tens but I multiplied it by 10.

25 man raiders are currently 20% to 30% of the raiding population right now. If i went just by kills the number would be even lower.

Lespaul said...

I personally enjoyed it when you could do both 10 and 25 normal and heroic back in ToC. It gave everyone a level to play at aswell a sense of progression for anyone who wanted to do all four if they were capable. I like the idea above of having both 10 and 25 man raids at the same tier level as was mentioned above, and it could be approached such that each drops different loot in the sense of looks/name but with with the same stats. I appreciate that this would be a lot of work for the devs tho.
What I don't agree with tho is that 25 mans warrant greater rewards because they're logistically harder to put together. In my experience 25 mans tend to be easier than 10s just because of sheer numbers, and I speak from experience of leading both formats in heroic modes back in ICC.
What I would like to see changed is how the LFR tool works. It would be good to see a tool that would allow casuals to pug under their terms without having to troll through trade chat for people with specific experience and gear.

Berdache said...

I prefer 10s for the same reason as Ghost, I feel I make more difference as 1 of 10 rather than 1 of 25 and its a lot more chatty and fun on vent.

Unlike most people on this thread so far I prefer how things are now rather than during LK. I felt pressured into doing some 25s just for the gear to feed the 10 man progress. And surely balancing 10 man encounters was very hard or did it assume 25 man gear?

The decision to raid 25s or 10s should be based on personal preference (and guild size) not on loot.

In LK 10 mans were a bit of a joke and people generally only raided them out of necessity (not enough people in the guild) or stubbornness (strict 10 man guilds). With Cata's shared lockouts and loot I am not surprised in the increase in representation of this format at the expense of 25's

Anonymous said...

Personally i would and the least like to see the achievment from 10 and 25 to be seperate, with a different mount or something.

Even if loot was the same, id like to have something to say, you killed it differently to a 10man raid. Regardless of how difficult the fight is, be it easier or harder. Id just like some sort of recognition that we did it on 25man.

I think alot of surviving 25man guilds are only here due to great leadership. Im not an officer in my own guild, but my rl partner is, so i do see alot that goes on behind the scenes, regarding raid planning, recruitment, aswell as general guild maintanence.

Most 25mans will hav a 30-35 player roster, just to cover absences and class balance. And trying to keep all those people happy is a task in its own.

i agree about making it easier for larger guilds to exist.

Graylo said...


The Loot advantage to 25mans really isn't much of an advantage. 10mans drop 1 item per 5 players. In 25man its 1 per 4.2. Not a huge increase. Second, it's not a persistent advantage since a lot of gear gets sharded after a month or two of a patch. Third more VP is a joke. The weekly cap is the same so more VP only means that 25man raiders don't do a LFD assuming they want the VP. In T13, VP is mostly useless since there is no tier. I got all the VP items I wanted in two weeks.

Regarding 25s not going away, how can you be sure of that? I'm sure if you asked people in Vanilla if they would ever get rid of 40mans plenty of people would have said no. At some level of paticipation the work required to create 25mans isn't worth it. I don't know what that level is, but I'm a 100% sure it exists (to be clear I'm not saying this is something blizzard already has defined). Blizzard has said many times it doesn't make sense to spend time and money developing something that only a minority of players participate in. The question is will they work to promote 25s or will they cut them. It could go either way.

Xaktsaroth said...

I have been raiding since Vanilla and experienced all the formats blizzard has tried so far.
Raided with both guilds mostly raiding as a hobby and guilds doing more hardcore progression.
From my experience and the direction the game is taking now I would prefer to have just 1 raid size again.
Now I don´t sit at the blizz HQ but I would imagine that would free up A LOT of developer time to make the raid areas more fun and interesting then some/most of the current raids.
Anyone that has been in MH and Bt remembers how much more epic feeling the entire environment had. The zones had a feeling of being a lot more alive with trash and critters and stuff.
I always had a small sense of expectation that I would find something interesting in the next room while exploring bt and was hoping to find optional paths to take just cause the raid layout was giving a feel you could wander around as you wish.
Current raids are just a "tunnel" that has some shiny decorations on the wall but most of the time is empty on life until you walk into the next boss office.
Now many people complain about trash and it´s boring to clear etc but I can´t really remember seeing any massive criticism against the trash we had in tbc era. Since the trash was hard and required brain work they made the overall dungeon/Raid experience more interesting.
This post is getting a little long now for being a blog comment reply so will try sum it up.
Solution to me is to make 15 man raids, you get the best of 2 worlds in my opinion.
A lot easier management then 25 man guilds but still big enough to make it a little bit more social and keep a bit of mmo feeling.
Have blizzard put back the focus on making the game interesting again overall, not just focus on the boss fight and let the rest be something you simply pass while taking a walk in the park.

Tj said...

Special snowflake syndrome? "I want to matter!!", 10's are easier, logistically, dps/hps requirements, all around easier. They have to be right now with current setup of buffs, you would have to spent an inordinate amount of time to get full buff coverage in 10. I'm not saying I want fewer buffs, the opposite actually, but 10's are easier.

People like the intimate feel of 10's? Why can't you do that in a 25M? Sure there are/will be raiders who log on raid times only, but a lot of people are on and off throughout the day. People can dress up 10's all they want, but other than 1 maybe 2 fights per tier (MAYBE), they are easier. They can keep believing in the delusion.

Wish there was a list to distinguish between the 1-2 day a week 10's and the more serious, I bet the difference is enormous between 25's and 10's.

Gevlon said...

At first I'd argue with the loot issue: in 10-man much loot is lost simply because no one is there to pick it. A 10 man raid can very easily be without anyone who would need agi mail or int leather. We sharded our very first heroic drop: a spirit cloth chest as we had no priest (actually no mage or warlock either, and obviously we were a "proper" raid, as we could kill the boss). If we consider sharded or offspec loot lost, 25-man format can get near 2x more loot easily.

Secondly you did not answer a rather obvious question: why is the decline of 25 man a problem at all that has to be fixed? Do you have any reason for this format besides personal attitude?

Tinderhoof said...

I have experienced 10 man and 25 man raids this whole expantion. Mostly this was because it is harder to put together 25 mans. Tier 12 was really hard as I had 4 different 25 man guilds fold on me. All 4 folded because the RL/GM decided for different reasons that running a 25 man progression guild wasn't possible anymore and a move to 10 mans would be required. Now I know this is only personal experience so it can't apply to all situations.

The thing I think most people are missing is that, "The greater personal accountablity" that I keep seeing people point to in 10 mans actually makes them easier.
- Yes if someone dies in 10 man there is a more noticable impact. However it is also much easier to fix.
- If you only need to have 6 people perform flawlessly at a mechanic it's pretty easy to find the weak link if there is one.
- It's much easier to find issues in logs when it's only 10 people.
- Setting up positioning is quicker with less chance of error when you have fewer people to be accountable for.
- As 10 mans have a much higher pool of interested raiders to draw from finding replacements is also easier.

I know 10 mans have their own challanges and I am not trying to say they are facerolled vs 25s. But there just arn't any disadvantages to raiding 10's. With the extra tier drop chances this tier it really comes out better for raiding 10's.

Anonymous said...

Good topic and discussion. The two points I've been feeling I'd like to bring up are just ones I haven't seen called out. First is 25man is the chosen LFR model and is going over great with non-raiders and accomplishing what Blizz wanted. That creates an even bigger gap between casual raiders and progression raiders. However, this also impacts the potential for 25man to go away as well as they will need to continue this model for LFR as 10 balance is too hard as Blizz has discussed. The second point is the overall feel of decline in raiders available. Since lightsabers came out, we have seen a large amount of lower population though the Blizz numbers are not showing any drop off. This is likely due to sign-up for next year being picked up to get Diablo skewing what is actually happening to play time. Will cross realm raiding allow for cross-realm 25man teams to help those willing to coordinate 25's with dropping populations on servers. May just be my server but we are seeing this issue all over our forums the last couple months. Think this is contributing to decline of 25mans.

Tinderhoof said...

I would agree with your assertion for loot if all 4 gear drops in 25 man were different. Because you can get 3-4 of the same thing 25's can end up in the same position as 10's. Sharding loot that no one needs on the first kill. Example our first Heroic Hagara kill dropped 2 worthless Agi Daggers that were sharded/taken for transmog. That same dagger has dropped every kill since, some times in pairs.

As for saving 25's it's pretty much saving customers. Making a single raid format (what ever that would be) will lose customers. Sure if they removed 10's and only had 25's they would lose a lot more customers as more people play 10's. However removing 25's in favor of 10's would not add any new customers, just lose fewer.

In the end a majority of paying WoW customers don't even raid at all. That was the reason for LFR and that is the group they are most interested in pleasing.

Graylo said...


First, regarding the loot issue: Several people were commentted on 25mans loot advantage. My arguement is that it's not much of an advantage. Any gain 25mans do get lasts only a couple of weeks before things get sharded, and as Tinderhoof said, we've sharded things on the first heroic kill as well. I realize that loot isn't all candy and roses on 10mans, but my point is that isn't not easy on 25s either.

Regarding the second question: Where did I say it had to be fixed? The title of the post is "MY MoP Wish List," meaning that these are things I want. Maybe I slipped somewhere in the post that I couldn't find, but I don't think I said anywhere this was something Blizzard had to do. I said it's something I want them to do, because I fear for the future of the 25man format if they don't do something.

sam said...

sorry its not that. It's LFR. People can do the content and see the end of the game without putting up with all the angst and stress of being in a raiding guild. That reduces the pool of appplicants. Same number of guild less applicants means 25 mans suffer more than 10 mans.

It's simple supply and demand.

Its been pointed out several times on several blogs 40 mans are easier for players than 25 mans are easier for player than 10 mans. LFR is easier than all of them.

Guild leadership always takes the brunt of anything that causes a shortage of good players.

Graylo said...


I disagree about LFR. Though I don't have any data to back it up, I am positive that LFR is more harmful to 10mans then it is to 25mans. Anyone who quits a raiding group because LFR has made the content more available is obviously fairly casual to begin with, and as I've said before I am sure that "Casual" players tend to be 10man raiders because the format is easier to organize.

I also disagree that 40s were easier then 25s and 25s are easier then 10s. Sure, it's easier for a player to hide when there's more people involve but that doesn't mean the content is easier. As Tinderhoof said having more people makes it more difficult to identify where the failure is and holds the raid back to some extent.

Evesath said...

This is a very 25-man oriented wish, not very objective tbh. 10mans are pita as well as 25. Progress is hard and unforgiving. Loosing one person often means a wipe.
Yes, a lot of guild switched from 25man to 10 man, but that doesn't mean is THAT easier to progress in. From organization POV yes, it requires a bit less effort, but that's a very, very minor problem in this case. You're getting rewarded with more loot and more VPs after all. Even if, free food and flasks is not only unfair, but wouldn't change a thing. I can't imagine folks saying "lets get 25, for free food and flask". Then, if you get more gear and VPs, why would you get free buffs as well? Nah, too many issues are awaken here to resolve it in such 'easy' way.

There's a huge "WTF" in 25vs10 balance which I think is totally unfair -- getting legendary weapons. We still have a bunch of guild farming 10man to get one, single staff, while 25mans already got few. Now this should be balanced, as amount of time spent in 10man to get just one staff is few times higher than in 25m.

Other than that, lets assume 25man is dying and barely played anymore... yeah, so what?
If recent 10man popularity is born on the lack of effort needed to organize the run (as I'm sure 10man ain't easier at all, so it cant be a reason) then what's the problem? If people wanna play 10man and are fine with it, having fun there, why would blizzard rush themselves in keeping 25man up?
Still, at the other hand, if we have folks that prefer playing in a 25man party, then this whole issue is simply invalid. They will still play, no matter how popular 10man will be, and blizz will keep making raids for them as well. 25m would not die then, just being less popular (which I dont think it's an issue at all... (sic!)).

TL DR: Balance between 10/25 should be addressed and somewhat adjusted. But the popularity between one and the other shouldn't be the reason to boost one setup over another.

Graylo said...


Clearly you like to respond with out reading and/or thinking, so please pardon my rudeness.

First of all, this is a blog. Not NPR, the WSJ, or CNN, and the title of the post is "MY MoP Wish List," notice the MY. This is MY opinion, and was never meant to be objective.

Second, you seem to think that I said 10mans are easier by saying "10mans ar pita as well" and "lot of guild switched from 25man to 10 man, but that doesn't mean is THAT easier to progress in." I think if you go back and read my post, you will see that I went out of my way to say that 10mans as a whole are not easier then 25mans. Some fights are easier on 10s, but some fights are easier on 25s. There's not a clear advantage for either format.

Third, I've already addressed how minor the 25man loot advantage is several times. Also, I didn't suggest free flasks and food to encourage people to raid 25s. I made that suggestion as a way to lessen the organizational needs of the 25man raid making life a little easier for it's leaders. I realize it would benefit individual players as well, but it was suggested purely to lessen 25s organizational disadvantage.

Fourth, I will address legendaries in Part 4 of MY MoP Wish, but I have to question you legendary comment. Did you do the math on how long it takes to get a legendary staff in each format? I'm going to assume not, since if you had you would already know what an idiotic comment that is. So, let’s do the math.

For a heroic 10man guild (assuming full clears) it takes on average 4.46 weeks to get the embers, 5.83 weeks to get cinders, and 5.95 weeks to get the essences for a grand total of 16.25 weeks. On 25man, it takes on average 1.79 weeks for embers, 2.36 weeks for cinders, and 4.17 weeks for essences for a grand total of 8.31 weeks.

So yes, 25man raids can create a new staff about twice as fast a 10man raid, but correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there are 2.5 more people in a 25man raid then there are in a 10man raid. So shouldn't the 25man raid be able to acquire a staff 2.5 times as quickly instead of just 1.95 times as quickly.

Clearly, 10mans are being treated unfairly, with regards to legendaries.

Finally, I really don't care if you agree with me or disagree with me. Just as I am entitled to my opinion you are entitled to yours, and you are free to express it in the comments of one of my blog posts if you like. However, in the future please have a little respect in the future by responding to what I wrote and not what you want to think I wrote.

Evesath said...


I'm sorry if you feel offended by my comment. Wasn't my intention to do so. My apologies.

Tinderhoof said...

I wanted to look deeper into the legendary argument between 10's vs 25's. Yes the 25 man raid groups can get 1 faster than a 10 man can. Yet the 10 man group gets way more out of that single legendary then the 25 man group gets out of 2.

The general split for 10 man groups is 2 tanks, 5 dps and 3 healers. Now for some fights we see 1 tank, 6 dps and 3 healers, or 2 healers 2 tanks and 6 dps. When that group gets a single legendary suddenly 20% of their dps just got a 10% boost (post nerf). When they have to do 6 dps 16% of their dps is still getting a 10% boost.

For 25's the general split is 2 tanks 7 healers and 16 dps. Sometimes we see 5 healers 2 tanks and 18 dps, or 2 tanks 4 healers and 19 dps. With 16 dps and 2 legendry’s only 12% of their dps is getting that 10% boost. It gets worse going up to 18 oro 19 dps (11%, 10%). Even when the 25 group has 3 legendry’s to the 10 man’s group it's still less benefit. 16 dps = 18%, 18 dps = 16%, 19 dps = 15%.

The only time the 25's have an advantage of legendry’s is when they get the first one. Like the loot advantage for having to deal with all of the disadvantages of 25 raiding, it comes down to a 10% boost of 6% of total dps. That isn't much of an advantage and it is only for a limited time.

Tinderhoof said...

<"Still, at the other hand, if we have folks that prefer playing in a 25man party, then this whole issue is simply invalid. They will still play, no matter how popular 10man will be, and blizz will keep making raids for them as well. 25m would not die then, just being less popular (which I dont think it's an issue at all... (sic!)).">

I speak from personal experience here and this just isn't true. When I had 4 guilds fold on me this summer and fall finding a new 25 man guild is VERY difficult to do. My wife and I raid together and we had way more 10 man options, we just don't like raiding 10 mans.

The issue with 10s is they are the path of least resistance. There are folks who perfer raiding 25's that are raiding 10's cause they would rather raid then not, but they still don't like it. But that doesn't go both ways. Folks who perfer 10's are going to have a lot easier time finding a 10 man. You just won't see someone putting up with the extra hassle to raid 25's if they perfer 10's.

Berdache said...

10v25 legendary is a bit more complicated than you suggest because the three stages are done parallel.

So by the time the 10m heroic guild creates 1 staff the 25 man will be getting its third. From this point on the 10 man will start catching up though.

I suppose the real question is how long did guilds continue to clear heroic firelands?

Heezashee said...

several things pop to mind, maybe not super well thought out, but ideas nonetheless....

the trend seems to clearly be that 25 man raiding has worse logistical issues than 10 man raiding, so naturally the format is waning and i believe the only solition that makes sense is to let it die. having said this, they could reduce it to 20 man raids and see how that plays out.

reducing to 20 man might not seem like a huge deal or much of a difference, but it plays into the whole 10 man easier-to-organize idea. it's way easier to get two 10 man groups to band together than three 10 mans and sit out 5 people. i think changing 25 to 20 is worth a try.

another option would be to drop from 25 all the way to 15. my only reason for this is that many 10 man guilds are in a situation where they have 15 to 20 people but only 10 people that can raid with several people sitting out. That could shore up those people that have to sit every week and/or rotate out. and it could also help those 25 man guilds that actually have like 40 people but 5-10 have to sit out or rotate out, they could have two 15 man groups easily while staying a larger guild and having a much easier time coordinating people in each group.

i still maintain that the same gear should drop no matter the raid size, but do think different but equally cool rewards should drop for both formats. that way, since the formats are on lockouts with one another, it would foster trying both formats and be easier for both formats to succeed at both.

i would definitely like to see some optional bosses that would still require some guilds to band together, like a 40 man raid boss that drops like 15 peices of special loot found nowhere else in the game and a requirement that one guild can not run it by themselces with 20 man per guild limit to foster working together with other guilds. it should feel epic and special and give lots of rewards, but only one per raiding tier, just like the pvp bosses work.

my personal opinion based on experiences and the facts are that definitely 25 man is receding, but its not gonna die as quickly as some might feel it will, but will die out eventually. it needs to die so that something better can take it's place. that's wow after all.

Anonymous said...

I am a little surprised that no one brought up the compositional requirements of 10 man raiding vs 25 man raiding. As a progression raider since Vanilla I was disappointed last month when I had to go on the hunt for a new guild on a new realm because my current guild was dieing from attrition (and server, we were the only 25 man guild). When the time came to search for a new guild I thought to myself, "Hey maybe now is a great time to go from 25's down to 10's." As a balance druid with a legendary I started the search and was disappointed to see that balance druids just couldn't be balance druids in 10 man progression raid groups. Sure, I could have easily found a 10 man group that did normal modes and the occasional heroic, but I wanted a group that would kill Madness on heroic before the 50% debuff kicks in months from now. Every 10 man progression guild I looked into needed me to play off spec healing or feral, if I wasn't willing to do that I would look at significant bench time for fights that weren't optimal for balance druids. This was not ok for me, if I'm going to raid a tier I want to be in each and every fight with my preferred spec, not just some of it. This revelation made it clear to me that only by sticking with the 25 man raid format would I be able to play my character in the spec I prefer.

With that being said, the search for a new 25 man guild wasn't easy, I had to go through a couple of guilds before I found a good fit on a high population server (currently 6/8 heroic). During that journey I came to another revelation, Blizzard has FAR TOO MANY servers out there. Some are just ghost lands and others are on the other end of the spectrum with capital cities looking like parking lots. Do we really need the declining game population spread out over so many servers. For smaller servers recruiting new members is hell, that was the reason for my original guild's decline. We just couldn't get people over to our small server. If there were fewer servers and the population more condensed there should theoretically be more people to fuel the membership requirements of the larger raiding format.

Some people have mentioned the cross-realm raid idea coming soon and I do not like this idea at all. This to me sounds like a group of people getting together to hop aboard the loot train. Having cross-realm raids will also greatly reduce the accountability of the players. We all see what happens in trade chat when the anonymity of the web makes saying stupid shit so attractive, what will happen when you join a raid group from another realm where no one knows who you are. I can already start to imagine some of the stories. Also, server transferring to a new realm to join a guild is a solid commitment, with that commitment you are more likely to hang around and work through the rough spots of joining a new guild/raid. True progression raiding requires commitment from the raid group, there's no way you'll see that with the cross-realm raid idea, the first night of bad attempts on a new boss and people will be out the door looking for a new more "competent" cross-realm group. The only real benefit I can see to cross-realm raids is for casual raiders on small pop realms being able to tap into some of the benefits of larger realms pugging ability.

Lastly, in terms of the loot advantages of 25 vs 10 man, the one thing that sticks out for me is the advantage of having more shots at getting the gear you actually want to drop. In 10 mans with fewer loot drops your chances of seeing the gear you actually want to see drop is that much lower. I've got friends in 10 man groups where the Conq players are in 5/5 410 gear while the Vanqu players are in 1/5 410 gear. In my 25 man runs I've had terrible luck seeing wrists off Morchock, belt off Hagara, and boots off Ultraxion, I can't imagine how much worse it could be on 10 man with the lower number of items dropping in general, my chances would be that much lower.

Masith said...

I know that if any 10man raiders read this I will get told how wrong I am but as the raid leader of a 25man heroic guild I feel the biggest issue is the difficulty balance issues in the game atm.

I am worried that Blizzard sees the same numbers you posted of % of guilds that managed to kill heroic bosses and comes to the same conclusions you seem to of done about difficulty. On my server there are only 3 25man guilds left. 2 of them were the top 2 guilds on the server in wrath. This pattern is the same on all the servers I have any knowledge of. The 25man guilds that managed to survive were the top guilds so of course the % of 25man guilds killing heroic bosses is higher.

I maintain that apart from a couple of fights 10man is just easier. It has lower dps/hps requirements of its raiders to make it possible with bad setups. The issue is that at my relatively modest progression level (5/8 heroic) no guild has particularly bad setups. To 10man raiders who say that one dead is a wipe on 10man I promise you that on ultraxion heroic, yorsahj heroic and Zon'ozz heroic one dead was a wipe for us as well considering our first kill on all these bosses was inside/at enrage with all the raid alive.

Anyone who has led a heroic guild knows that progression makes an absolutely huge difference to numbers/quality of recruits. Therefore harder progression makes it much harder to keep a guild running. Once a 25man guild downsizes to 10man during a difficult period it is incredibly difficult to scale back up to 25man

At this point I am sick of tiptoeing around the issue of difficulty. Until Blizzard realises that 25man raids can't put out significantly more dps per player and that the same amount of incoming damage kills a player on 25man as does on 10man 25man raids are doomed to a gradual agonising death.

Anonymous said...

25 man is better than 10 man because 10 man raiders are all whiny bitches.


Graylo said...


lol, Are you trying to start a fight?

Anonymous said...

I've always done 25man raiding so I guess I'm a bit biased in thinking that it's more of a challenge. But really, I can't understand many of the points made by 10 man raiders trying to say that 10 man is harder or just as hard. First, on the issue of someone dying. At least on this tier one death on progression normally means a wipe. On Morchok it means harder hits DI healing gets behind, on Hagara it means a chain won't be able to be finished, on ultra and other fights it means the dps check won't be met. Its just as disasterous for one person to die in 25 as it is in 10 so I don't see why this is even brought up, especially since getting 10 people to execute things right is a lot easier than getting 25 people to do something right. The other discussion I see brought up is comp problems. Gee, I wish that 25 mans spacing issues could be solved by simply rerolling alts. If you're biggest issue is that you migh have to play another toon to progress efficiently, well then I'd greatly prefer that to having to rely on everyone else to be in exactly the perfect place or you die or lose uptime and hit enrage. Not to mention that the fact that some specs are preferred by certain fights hurts 25s as well in terms of comp issues.

But more relevant to the topic, I wish they reintroduced 25 man achievements. It's still viewed by many members as the harder difficulty, if only because of organization and I think that if 25 mans were recognized in achieves again that might provide more of the reason to do them.

Berdache said...


In my experience 25 man raiders seem to complain more in this tier ...

Berdache said...

There are a couple of obvious generic areas where 10m is easier than 25m, keeping a raiding guild together, bosses where space is at a premium and where whole raid coordination is required.

But there are also clearly places where 25m is easier than 10m:
Redundancy, if a raid kills the boss on the enrage timer than obviously a single death would have caused a wipe in either format but as gear and skill improve if you kill a boss before the timer then 25m can more afford to lose 1 in 17 dps than 10m 1 in 5.
Buffs: the sharing of buffs between classes certainly helped 10 man a lot but it is more than possible to be missing one or more buffs that the enrage timer has been set to include.
Roles: Some encounters are easier with a specific class / spec (eg SP and heroic Baleroc). 25m there is a good chance of having it available, 10m a lot less so.
Spec Variation: some fights have harsh enrage times and 25m have greater selection in choosing how many healers to take (4-7) whereas 10m tends to be a bit more all of nothing (2-3). Similarly if a fight is easier with 3 or 4 tanks its a more viable option for 25m.

Of course all this variation is in the hands of the encounter writers so even is a fight looks easier for one format the boss may just have 10% extra hp to take this into account.

Merk said...

Having seen the decline of many 25man Guilds this expansion, the reason almost always given by the leadership of those Guilds is Recruitment. Its simply exhausting. The other logistical issues aren't much of an issue. Additionally, Blizzard has simplified those logistical issues though Feasts, Cauldrons, Mass Rez, Mass Summon, etc.

However, nothing Blizzard has done has simplified Recruitment.

To my mind, two ways for Recruitment to be easier exist:
1) Make it easier for 25man Guilds to retain players.
2) Make it easier for 25man Guilds to recruit players.

Providing greater incentives for the rank and file to prefer 25mans would help. That could be superior gear, superior non-combat stuff (mounts, pets), superior cosmetic gear, or superior Achievements. Players need a reason beyond "I like it more". Its just human nature.

Blizzard could also provide 25mans with a limited number of "Incoming to your Server Free Character Transfers". Allow 25man guilds to grant 2-3 Free Server & Faction Changes per month.

Anonymous said...


So I would have to say the only thing that is throwing off your stats under the "cause of decline" is that the numbers of 10 man guilds greatly outweigh 25 man guilds (The ratio on a site like wow progress is 5 to 1). I liked how you looked at the stats prior comparing 10 and 25 to a combined total. I believe you would have to do that in this case again to get some numbers that would make more sense. I am a data analyst and have been for about 10 years. I think this is the only site I have seen where data was % to a combined total and I highly agree that this is more accurate a listing. Also because there are so many casual guilds in the 10 man sector (in relation to 25 mans) it throws off "totals" of 10 man making it look like their %'s are smaller.

thanks :)

Anonymous said...

sadly 25 man is going to die...this is the exact same crap blizzard did with 40 mans before ultimately they got rid of them (god i miss 40 mans so much ><) blizzard wants everyone to have every achievement at this point and everyone to have the best gear so they arent going to give 25 mans better gear because then people will QQ its not fair that their guild isnt a 25 man guild and they want a chance at that gear too...dont believe just look at the fact that blizzard is now nerfing heroic modes to "allow more people to experience a higher level of content"