Thursday, October 25, 2012

10 vs 25: The Korean Test

In case you haven't seen it yet, here is the news from Korea.
We received several feedbacks regarding raid instance lockouts and 10/25 rewards, and we appreciate your opinions and deep interests. We thought that Korean players wish to enjoy the most hardcore contents more flexibly and according to their play styles. Therefore, from the upcoming patch we decided to change the raid instance lockout rules for all KR servers. Raids, as usual, will be reset every 7 days following maintainance checks. However, after 5.1 patch 10 man and 25 man raids will have seperate lockouts.

From now on, players could play raid instances, such as Mogu-Shan Vaults, in both 10 man and 25 man difficulty. Normal and Heroic difficulty raid of same instance will share same lockout as usual. Furthermore, the loots of 25 man raids has been buffed, and will offer higher iLV compared to same 10 man instance. For example, Terrace of the Endless Spring in 25 man difficulty will drop loots with iLV of 504, wile 10 man will drop 496.

We wish that players will further enjoy the contents and gain satisfactory rewards, and decided to offer the system that suits most well with the KR players. -- From MMO Champion. Translation by 
Here is the TL:DR version.
  • 10s and 25s will be separate lockouts in Korea. Meaning that one took can run both a 10man raid and a 25man raid every week
  • The 25man loot is being buffed to a slightly higher ilevel then 10man loot.
Let me get three things out of the way before I talk about this more.
  1. At this point this is only happening in Korea, and there is no indication that it will eventually come to US or EU servers. Some of you probably remember that the Korean servers had two lookouts per week for Firelands and Dragon Soul during Cataclysm, and that change never came to the other game regions. So this could be a way to test the change in a relatively small region before exposing it to the wider population, or it could just be an adaptation for marketing purposes. I'm going to assume for this post that it's a test.
  2. We know VERY little information about this change. As far as I know Blizzard hasn't said anything about what is intended or how this will affect other systems.
  3. There is NOTHING Blizzard can do that will make everyone happy. Just looking at the MMO Champion thread there are a lot of people that like the change a lot. There are others that are threatening to quit the game over it. In short some people will love this. Others will hate it. Just keep it civil.
This Seems a Little Strange

It's not surprising that Blizzard might be testing a new way to differentiate 10 and 25 man raiding. Over the past couple of months many of the big wigs at Blizzard have said that they aren't pleased with how 25man raiding has declined since WotLK. I also don't think it would surprise anyone to know that I personally wouldn't mind if the system reverted back to WotLK standard for all regions. However, given what we know I do find this change a little strange.

Though I personally didn't have a big problem with it, I do agree that there were some problems with the WotLK model that Blizzard needs to address one way or the other. For example, 10 man strict raiders were not recognized appropriately in WotLK. With that in mind, I can't recall any instance where Blizzard revert a large change back to an early version. Usually they try and create a new system that address all of the issues. For example, look at the Moonkin rotation during the MoP Beta. When many people complained that the Moonkin rotation was to boring and simple they added Fae Empowerment. When Fae Empowerment didn't work out they didn't revert back to the old rotation. They came up with a new one.

That's why this is a little strange. Given the little information we have, this Korean format sounds like a reversion to the old WotLK format. While I wouldn't have a problem with that personally, I have never thought that was a realistic possibility and still don't. If history is any guide Blizzard would at least try to address the WotLK issues, and that is why I think there is more to this change then we currently know.

How this Might Work

Interestingly, there is a way for 10mans to receive inferior gear from bosses, but still have gear that is equal to 25mans in the long run. For the record, this idea came to me while I was reading through the MMO Champion thread, but I can't find the post that caused it. As a result I don't know if this idea is a moment of inspiration or plagiarism on my part. Either way I think it's an interesting idea.

As you may remember, Blizzard planned to revamp the Valor system in MoP. Instead of allowing players to buy gear with Valor points, players would be allowed to upgrade their gear with Valor points. Obviously this change didn't make it into the release patch, but Blizzard does plan to included in patch 5.1 before the next tier.

What if the 25man gear was already upgraded when it dropped but couldn't be upgraded again with Valor points?

I can see pluses and minuses to this idea, but I must admit that it sounds like a great idea to me.

  • Differentiates the 10 and 25 man formats without completely delegitimizing the 10 man raiding.
  • Lessens the burden of Valor farming on 25man raiders and raid leaders, making the format more attractive.
  • Encourages pugging for people that want an extra shot at loot.

  • It will probably make it harder for 10man raiders to gear up, and be a bit of a disadvantage in the overall progression race.
  • The 25 man raiders will need some way to spend their valor points, if they don't need it to upgrade their gear.

As I said before, Overall I like this idea and would like to see it implemented in the US realms. Let me know what you think.


Rohan said...

The question that immediately springs to mind is the tuning of 10-mans under your scenario. Are they tuned expecting that players will have upgraded their gear or not?

Like, let's say that Blizz offers some cosmetic items for Valor, so the 25-man raiders can spend Valor. What happens if 10-man players don't upgrade their gear, but buy the cosmetic items instead?

Anonymous said...

In any situation, I hope they realize that seperate raid lockouts is not the way to go. In order to stay competitive with gear, it pretty much forces 10man raiders to pug a 25m group every week, and 25man raiders to split into 10m every week.

It just is not fun to feel forced to do a raid instance twice each week (3 if you count LFR) and that's what will happen if you want to keep your spot in a progression oriented guild.

Tagartou said...

I hope that this actually does come back. 25 mans are simply harder for various reasons than 10s. Ask any 25 raider and they will tell you that, while you don't find many 10 raiders saying the opposite. On top of maintaining 15 more people, and requiring them to play correctly, boss mechanics just get much harder with more people. Whether its due to positioning(spreading out 25 people in range is very crowded and precise) or just dealing with extra mechanics(no, having more people doesn't make that equal; 2 things spawning near a group is worse than only 1), 25 mans have a harder time.

Honestly, it feels like a joke doing a 10 man raid when you're used to 25s. It would be nice for them to be rewarded and would save the 25 format. Honestly if you need proof that 25s are harder look at their decline since wrath. All other things equal most people follow the path of least resistance, which is 10 mans.

On the seperate lock outs, I'm torn. I liked beig able to pug a 10 man as a tank in addition to dpsing 25 man with my guild, but I also don't want a raid schedule change where we feel we need to do both formats every week.

Cobane said...

Here's my understanding of the 25 vs 10 issue.

1) Many people say they are enamored by the 25 format because it feels more epic. Often it's cited that it seems more real to assault a fortress with more people. It's also mentioned that people enjoy the large community that a 25 man must maintain to be successful. These communities often engage in many other games outside WoW as a group.

2) Conversely, the 10 man format is loved by many for it's more concise community structure. You are often closer friends with the entire team than you are with all 25 raiders. 10 mans are definitely less of a hassle to maintain from an officer perspective. There is much less loot drama. And ultimately you have some that think 10 man is more epic because fewer people raiding impossible odds makes you feel like a badass.

3) Tagartou mentioned in his post that he thinks 10s are proven easier mechanically because of the rule of least resistance. However, my observation is that as the original WoW community continues to age into their late 20s and 30s, the lives of those players require more attention outside the game. 10 mans often accommodate this with shorter weekly raid schedules and less upkeep by officers. Many of these older players are still exceptional at the game and used to raid in notable 25 man guilds. Whereas 25s are now often full of teenagers and early to mid 20s players.

In short, I think that the 10 vs 25 difficulty debate is rather childish. Both formats have valid reasons to exist and be equally challenging. If Paragon gets world first zone clears in 10 man format, the first reaction ought to be, "Congrats. Well earned," instead of, "Pffffh. It's only 10 man. Nobody cares." Same with any success in a 10 man in general. The typical players in 10s put as much love and care into their toons and their play as a typical 25 man player. Usually 25s just devote more time per week to it.

P.S. - I'd love to see everything condensed into a 15 player format.

Unknown said...

Why not create something more flexible? I've been in both 10 and 25m guilds and often, we have more than 10 raiders online or the opposite, we lack a few in 25. Why not make it scale? Boss difficulty / hp / dmg dealt everything fight related, so I could go with any number between 10 and 25.

Xaktsaroth said...

Sorry for offensive language, but what a load of crap.
25 man guilds doing 10 man raids with their core team will never realise the differences between the formats. To me it sounds like you only been training through 10 mans with the best people in your guild and with quite well geared toons.

I seen over the years plenty of raiders doing both formats state that some fights are harder on 10 and some are harder on 25, even blizz stated this.

Take a look on your example of spawning stuff. Plenty of bosses over the years had stuff that needs kiting. Kiting 1 or 2 packs with a slow trap is not a major difference.
Kiting 1 pack without a slow trap is a BIG difference.
I really hope you can see the flaws in your badly written post by this simple example I gave. Strict 10 man guilds often don´t have 1-2 people of each class and we can´t even fit all classes into the raid.
I´m not trying to say 10 mans are harder then 25.s. I just find the debate silly when viewed like that since it all depends on the fight mechanics.

Fully agree with making just 1 raid format instead of either 15 or 20 people instead of keeping up loads of resources on 2 raid sizes.

@Stayko Nedeff
It will extremely hard, if not impossible, to program such advanced encounters, as raids is, to adjust difficulty depending on the amount of people around.
Say for example you run with 16dps , 1 tank, 5 healers 1 night on the boss. Then the next you have 13 dps 4 tanks and 4 healers, that would need a complete overhaul since raid/tank dmg needs to be loosed up a bit, you need more things to tank or debuffs from boss flying around faster to not just have the other tanks /afk for the fight etc etc.

Unknown said...

I'm thinking more of tuning boss fights for the amount of players involved and designing them so each encounter would require atleast(and not need more than), say 2 tanks. How the raid and its leaders will distribute the rest of the roles between players will be their own concern.

Say you take 10 players first night of raiding, 2 tanks(always), 2 healers and 6 dps. On the next night you have 13 players. Now, whether or not you decide to have an extra healer or hybrids throwing heals casually would be totally up to you. I think a system of that kind would add a lot of flexibility, more brainstorming about how to approach fight X with Y number of players. It would fix a lot of the "oh i have to bench 2 ppl tonight" or "damn, what am i supposed to do now that im missing 3 players". It would also be the end of 10 vs 25 nonsense :P Just an idea :))

Anonymous said...

Your lack of articles graylo make a boomiin sad:(

Anonymous said...

In Korea you pay for the time you play by the hour, not by the month like in the US. This puts more pressure on Blizzard to offer more raiding opportunities in a week as Koreans log on to raid due to paying by the hour.

Anonymous said...

Did the blog die? Or just lazyness? lol

jyothi said...

Good blog

Anonymous said...

Genaro said...

Graylo, where are you?!

The Boomkin community misses you...

Tagartou said...

@ Xaktsaroth Doubt you will ever see this, but I finally checked back here and feel the need to clarify.

No, these were not 10 mans with our 25s geared players, they were our alts who were in mostly blues/LFR gear and mostly in positions we weren't playing in main raid. We knew our 25 man strats but thats about it. Everything, with the exception of heroic hagara, felt substantially easier than in 25 man. I will admit that there are fights that are harder in 10, but there seems to be many more that are harder on 25 man.