Friday, August 29, 2008

25 man vs 10 man raids: What's your pick?

Coming from someone who doesn't like 25 man raids (I hated 40 with a passion), I am pretty excited to see that there's going to be less emphasis on which class you actually bring, and more on letting more classes be swappable, letting you bring your friends.

A buddy of mine (Cham, who played a mage) had a big problem with class stacking issues, and was always complaining about how useless he felt compared to my warlock. He had inferior damage, no summons or health stones, mana gems can't be passed out, and my lock had curse of shadows/elements. So what was he there for, then? Food? Heh. I couldn't help but agree with him, and it (among other things, like him watching me take on 3 people at once in a BG as SL/SL) eventually led him to getting burnt out on WoW via class envy. I can't really say I blame him, either. Playing a mage has never really tickled my fancy. I played a Wizard in EQ for far too long, and downtime is something that I absolutely loathe with a passion.

But getting back to the raiding issue: I also remember a lot of times we'd have to pass up someone who was more deserving of the raid slot that night (hunter), just so we could take a class that we really needed instead (shadow priest). Now, we won't have to make that choice. I like the fact that shadow priests no longer have the monopoly on raid mana regen.

I like where they are taking things, but again (and this is key), this is coming from someone who prefers 10 mans over 25 mans. And to be honest, I think that's where the eventual focus of raiding is inevitably going to fall when wow progresses past Wrath of the Lich King. I predict a big exodus of people from 25 man raids over to 10 mans, simply because it's simply a much bigger headache to lead and organize and satisfy 25 people than it is 10.

I really, honestly believe that 10 man raiding is going to completely overshadow 25 mans, as far as popularity goes. That's what's going to please most raiding customers, and I have a feeling that Blizzard is going to cater to them even more in the future after they see just how lopsided the preferrence really is.

So for me, I couldn't be happier. I can spend equal amounts of time doing PvP and PvE, without having to worry about running out of content after we finish 10 man Naxxramas, which will be our new entry-level Karazhan. No, I won't be able to pursue the uber 25 man trinkets to supplement my arena gear, nor will I be able to seek Frostmourne, as it will surely be a 25 man drop or quest line. However, I'll be able to comfortably enjoy both aspects of the game, without worrying about having to drop Player A, for a less deserving but ultimately more needed Player B.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm really excited for this expansion to hit. I have no doubt, from what I've seen this far, that Blizzard will nail it.


Spooner said...

Had this exact conversation with my wife last night as she watched me play around Dragonblight on the Beta. (the music called her attention away from her PC)

This expansion has pretty nailed it and I hope that the 10-man raids are so popular that 25-man content is essentially scrapped in favor of 10-mans.

J. Doe said...

Like you, I hate large raids. I was a raid leader for 40 man raids in the past, and more recently 25 man raids. There is certainly an epic feel to being in a large group, but my main issue has always been taking people I do not know personally on runs.

The change from 25 down to 10 enables me as a raid leader to take my good friends who I know are skilled at their respective classes and complete a raid; without having to worry about carrying and gearing dead weight players.

I'm with you 100%, the change is for the better and I (personally) am lobbying for Frostmourne being available regardless of the size of the raid despite being almost certain they won't run with the idea.

Here's to hoping that Blizzard realises that Size =|= Difficulty

Edurol said...

You are so right about that... I remember my "beginnings" in 25 raids... horrible. The biggest problem are the people, someone has to go there, someone wants to do this, someone is complaining because he didn't get the item he wanted bla bla... maybe it's that I've never been and will be in a hardcore raiding-guilde... getting 25 people together at one time in one place was also a pain in the ass.

Finally only 10-player raids possible... YEAH!

Alrenous said...

Forty man raids where one toon could kill the rest from a little bit of inattention?

Yeah, that sounds like an awesome idea.

People don't want to coordinate that much in games. Coordination is work, and gaming is supposed to be the opposite of that.

That plus the incentive on trash is for a lot of people to go afk. For me, killing a boss in MC meant it was time to go make tea. Yet if raid leaders don't crack down on that...

Yeah. I really like ten man versions of all raids. Even if for some reason you have the people to make a 25 man (a group of at least 30, of which some won't be on) you can just run two or three groups in the ten man, for instance if people show up late to the 25 man group and so you start a ten man on time.

ronirossa said...

As a fan of 25 man raids I will have to disagree. I don't doubt that 10-man raids will become much more popular, but what I think you'll see is just another strata of raiders. You'll have your hardcore 25-manners, your not-so-hardcore 25-manners, then your 10-manners. It'll also be easier to gear up to perform in the higher-end dungeons, which I love. But I can't see 25-man raids being a thing of the past. Blizzard has always tuned its most fun encounters for large groups (40 or 25). You don't get the same kind of feel from a 10-man. You really have to run everything from Karazhan to Illidan to fully understand that, though.

Dorgol said...

Looking forward to more 10 man content. I've only managed to do Gruul / Mag / and part of a TK pug due to my time constraints. On the other hand, I've done Kara on 3 and ZA on 2 different characters.

Oh, and class envy hits me hard right now. Trying to compete with a resto Druid as a Holy Paladin in PvP healing is depressing in the extreme.

Oscabo said...

Nice post, and you put exactly the conversation my wife and I had last night (we've played since 11/23/04, have 4 70's each) about raiding. Smaller groups, more flexibility-we can't wait

Brian said...

I think smaller is better when it comes to raids, so 10 man would be my pick.

As raids get larger, you essentially get more time wasted, more scheduling difficulty, more political drama, and a general bias toward elitists with too much free time.

The buff stacking and composition changes are great in my opinion.

Xathras said...

I agree completely. I'm in a small, casual guild and I fall more on the casual end of the play spectrum. It's rather frustrating that once we have Kara on farm that there really isn't much else to raid. Sure there's ZA but you really need better than Kara gear to progress through that. And once you do get through ZA there's nothing left. I look forward to stopping Arthas with 9 of my closest friends.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more.

The guild I play in now is a tight knit group of in-game friends who grew tired of guild politics and favoritism in the 25-man environment so we left our old guilds to form the one we're in now. We only focus on the two 10-man raids and the new 10-man raid options in WOTLK has us all hyped up.

I'm sure we'll be missing out on some of the uber 25-man drops but we'll all (hopefully) have our sanity sticking with what we feel comfortable with - 10-man raiding.

Chris said...

I have to fully agree here. I started raiding back when MC was first released. I played a hunter from MC through AQ40, was a raid leader on my Rogue through Naxx, did some tanking in TBC on my Warrior and finished BT/MhJ on my SPriest.

I hated it when in a 40 slot raid people just afked because no one would notice them gone. Then in 25's that was limited to a degree, but people can still get carried along (outside of progression that is).

I really hope blizz pulls this off and can make some really tuned 10's that require everyone to be accountable for their play. I'd love nothing more than to lead some 10's through new content that is actually a rewarding experience at the end (not just another "easy" Kara).

thesleepinglotus said...

I am really excited about the raids being 10 man. It is far easier to get together 10 people than 25, or god forbid 40. It also makes raid content available to smaller guilds who were having to rely on alliances with raiding guilds (been there done that in my guild) in order to see raid content.

To Dorogol -
"Oh, and class envy hits me hard right now. Trying to compete with a resto Druid as a Holy Paladin in PvP healing is depressing in the extreme."

It's not just pvp, the way the tuned Magister's Terrace made me want to cry as a Holy Pally.

Monte said...

I'm going to play devil's advocate here: (see for complete buff/debuff stacking info)

I, for one, am completely terrified of this change. Being a hardcore raider since release (all classic and TBC content downed). What reason am I going to have to bring a DPS Deathknight for Imp. Icy Talons or Abom's might when I can bring an enhance shammy who can both drop windfury totem and have Unleashed Rage up 100%. Why should I bring a moonkin to a raid when Elemental Oath provides a far greater benefit and they drop Totem or Wrath and Wrath of Air (effectively freeing up a spot for a class that could provide much greater DPS). The way I see it is that raid stacking is going to be even more prominent now. Except now we are going to be stacking to get to get all the buff/debuff categories covered by the classes who can do them best and provide the highest DPS. Guilds that are going to mix/max raids are still going to mix/max raids. It doesn't matter that Jim the Moonkin can now provide this debuff if Joe the Warlock can provide the same debuff AND 150 dps. Joe gets invited every time and Jim goes to work on his warlock alt.

Mike said...

What monte said is definetly true, and it's going to happen. But not only that, now that everything stacks with the raid, you can basically get all of the buffs/debuffs you need with 6-7 people. Now that you have them all, just get tanks healers and the best dps you can find. Oh your a mage, well we already have arcane intelect and manna biscuits so lets just get a warlock who can do more damage. Shadow Priest I know you've raided with us for awhile, but the Survival hunter does more DPS and can throw on IMP Hunters mark for our melee, sorry. It's going to be a slaughter, for 25 mans.

Like jayde said however, 10 mans are going to be a lot better and smoother with this change.
In my opinion a classes dps should reflect the skill and gear the person has. Spamming shadow bolts does not require any skill, and can easily out dps a mage who has slightly better gear.

QRio said...

While a lot of these changes seem that they will destroy the need for a particular class/spec, don't forget that these are not final as Blizzard stated, and adjustments will be made if they see that something is going terribly wrong for a particular class/spec.

I like the changes so far, raid stacking to a degree will be limited, and now you won't have to take a player Y that doesn't perform well, but you need him to boost other players' dps/healing/tanking whatever.

Raiding in WoTLK will be quite different from what we're used to, and I can't understand people whining before they even try it out. WoW is not a static game, it evolves, and if that is what Blizzard decided to guide the game to - we will have to get used to it. Just like we got used to the "nerf" to elixirs, just like we will get used to the "nerf" to potion usage as well, and so on and so on.

Personally, I welcome the idea of introducing more 10 man raids, although I'm a big fan of 25man dungeons. I like the challenge of coordinating with other people, however I don't like the fact that we have to tolerate someone who is under-performing, just because we need him/her. More 10man raids will mean more raids with people I can fully trust.

I'm equally excited as Jayde here, simply because I saw what Blizzard achieved in the beta so far. WoTLK is by far better expansion in my opinion, with some great zones, fun (and plenty!) quests, and nice dungeons so far. I can't wait for it to hit live!

Okages said...

This reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend of mine a bit back.

I was mentioning how awesome 10 and 25 man versions of the raids is going to be. How I can play with my friends in the game and raid with them. Not have to raid with them (and in most cases not with all of them) and 15 other people I really don't know.

My friend responded that this change sucks and it is taking the epic out of raiding. He loves the old 40 mans and says going down to 25 was a bad decision too. He thinks that the 10 man is going to be ezmode, but Blizzard has said it will be challenging. So the few raids above Naxx will be harder then it, in both the 25 and 10 man versions.

I think that is a huge misconception of the 10 and 25 man raiding change. People think 10 man versions are just going to be extremely watered down Karazhan level raids, which they won't.

On a final note, while having a lot of people is cool and epic, I personally feel that boss encounters need to be epic in themselves. It can't be a tank and spank like Rag anymore. While it was fun with the 39 other people and the giant Rag standing there, personally I can see 10 players fighting a boss with a much more interesting encounter, where all 10 players have to be doing their best, not where half can be AFK.

So yea, I like the 10 and 25 man idea. I hope it works well. Now I can join a guild of my friends, not just random people from the game who fill a role of some sort. I wont need join a guild of 50+ to see the stuff I want to see.

Gary said...

I'd have to say 10-man for the enjoyability factor. Even in one of the top raiding guilds in the world, 25-mans feel like they take far too much time. I don't enjoy a raid that takes a substantial amount of time. It's worse when the instance has an excessive amount of trash.

By nature, 10-mans will take less time due to having less people. Less time spent buffing, less people to come back on a corpse run (so less chance of a straggler). Less people needing to go afk, less people who can go afk on trash (so a reduced Group Think factor).

Zachary said...

I think the best part about this is that the original friends I had and I can go back to playing together while not missing out on lore/story. Gear has never really been my motivating factor (don't get me wrong it is definitely cool getting the sets and SOMETIMES looking cool heh). I would have loved to have stuck it out for the last 4 years with said friends but none of them were ever hardcore enough to want to raid seriously (especially for 40-mans back in the day). But now we can all raid as hardcore as we want and still make it through the story and content. So as I see a lot of people saying...GO GO 10-MAN POWER!

Oh and since I have neglected to post on here in the past (sorry) thanks for the great DK info. It makes me look forward to the expansion and playing a fun class:).

Scallyphant said...

I'm definitely looking forward to the 10/25 setup.

I've raided with quite a number of guilds, some pretty determined and some pretty casual and I think what a lot of the 25 man raid fans don't appreciate is how onerous 25 man raiding is at the low end.

If you have 22-23 people who pick flowers, read and listen carefully on Vent you have a completely different experience to what those of us playing at the low end of 25 man raiding see.

Today we had two players log off during our first Lurker attempt because we were wiping. Recently someone wiped us in Kara because he listens to music, not voice comms. In fact he moved on flame wreath, we discussed it on voice, went back and tried again and he wiped us again because he hadn't been listening.

People not signing if they think a raid might be progress rather than farm is endemic. People who never talk on voice, people who never respond to tells, etc etc add to the frustration.

I've been in several guilds that have made the transition from kara to ssc/tk and there's always a huge amount of stumbling around the fact that some players simply aren't really 25 man raiders at all. The level of commitment, skill and endurance simply isn't there. They joined a raid guild to tag along to farm raids.

You don't see this at the top because after the best players in the low end guild get fed up they join the higher end guilds and those guilds concentrate the committed and skilled people.

Had 10 mans been in force in TBC we would never have stooped to trade channel recruiting but would simply have moved to SSC10, TK10, BT10 and MH 10 once we had done what we can in Kara and Zul Aman

I really think less than 5% of the level 80 raid population will be in guilds that are focussed on 25 man raids. There's no incentive for low end guilds to go through the hell of 10 > 25 transition if you can simply step up to a better 10. So there will be high end 25s, say the top 3-5 raid guilds on your server but all the other 25 man guilds will simply disband or shrink to 10s

Scallyphant said...

PS I forgot to mention that one of our tanks (who we needed) refused to join our first SSC raid today because he was running a friend through Shattered Halls!