10 Man Tuning (part 2): Why It Matters

Hey guys, I have something more to say after Tuesday’s post. Bear with me a bit here.

I know that Tuesday’s post wasn’t really a pleasant blog post for 10 man raiders to read, and the point of it is not to sit here and berate you. I’m not trying to tell you you are lesser raiders– pretty much the opposite actually. Blizzard’s failure to tune any of their recent raids evenly is a loss for everyone, for 10s and for 25s both. I always hope that people won’t see me as an elitist just because I take the side of 25 HM raids, and that my arguments are convincing without being totally patronizing.

I truly hope that there is a way for us to coexist peacefully. Unfortunately right now that is a long way from the reality.

I’m going to start by explaining why I raged so badly on Tuesday.

I care what the devs say.

A stupidly high percentage of my like or dislike of an MMO is caught up in what I hear from devs and blue posts.  I have been to Blizzard HQ and I have seen their crazy awesome statue and their mottos engraved in stones on the ground. Every Voice Matters. I believe that they believe it. Emails, blog posts, blue posts, CM twitter feeds… these things have a huge effect on whether I see myself raiding in MOP or whether I am depressingly looking at a game with an expiration date.

And I think that is what firestormed the community after Daelo’s commentary on Cataclysm came out.  We felt like he hadn’t listened to a thing! Raiders’ voices hadn’t mattered one bit. We all know tuning is a problem even if everyone completely disagrees about where the problem is. It’s a hellish problem, and it’s also impossible to discuss without pissing everyone off. For god’s sake, I know for a fact that devs know it’s a sticky issue. For Daelo to pick, of all of the things he could have picked about Cataclysm, for him to pick with his very first comment that “tuning across multiple raid formats was a success” — it was really unpleasant to read.

We soon after got GC’s post, and that was a lot better. I know I read his post thinking, “Thank god, someone’s listening!” and imagined that he really did appreciate our thirst for difficult content. He paints a picture of a game that I see myself playing happily. Even cynical Meloree admitted to us that the kool aid sounded pretty tasty. It was a good PR ploy.

Of course, there is one thing that was conspicuously missing from GC’s post. He did not mention multiple raid sizes a single time.

…. That was definitely not an accident.

If you are a 10 man raider and you are still reading– well, thank you.

I didn’t really expect 10 man raiders to take my arguments seriously at all. It’s easy for 10 mans to be quite satisfied (just as, to be completely fair, 25 man raiders have been for the history of the game) in the revitalization and competitive nature of their content level. In fact I am generally surprised to find when 10 man raiders agree with me and I was really happy with everyone who commented on Tuesdays post. Especially the disagreement with me! That is my favorite part.

10 man raiding has it good. You guys get challenging content, and you have gotten it for the first time, and you have access to every bit of the rewards that were reserved in previous times for those of us who wanted to put up with more sheep herding logistics.  You get the full fight, not the cut down version missing mechanics, and that’s pretty freaking cool.

And so we 25 man raiders sound really petty when we whine.

I am pretty sure my attitude if I raided 10s would be like, some sympathy for the math and the logic, and then a lot of /rolleyes, and anger over the patronization, but mostly a big sense of …. “You had 7 years. GO AWAY. It’s our turn; go raid your raids and let us raid ours!”

I saw a little of this on twitter with people who did not @ me, but who commented obliquely on my post. I follow you guys, I did see it.

“Can’t we all just get along?” or “This discussion makes me sad.”

It doesn’t work like that though. We can’t just leave you alone. Because Blizzard is killing 25s, and 10s are the knife in their hands.

You can check the numbers on WOW progress. 25 mans are on the way out.

Now to be fair, this isn’t really visible at the very top. Hardmode 25 man guilds, the really serious ones, aren’t moving to 10s in droves. We are the “25 fo lyfe” type, that will raid 25s until we all burn out and retire. 25 man raiders, you know it’s true. So you will see a pretty even percentage and number of 25 man guilds that are moving through and finishing all the heroic mode content.

It’s the guilds in the middle. The ones who are raiding for fun and with friends, and who bump up against an attendance problem, or a leadership problem, or who get seriously frustrated on what the devs call a “bottleneck” fight that is just really, really unpleasant. Once they make a move to 10, even if it’s just temporary, they never go back.

Of course it’s more fun to go to 10 mans for a while, and to recover some of that raiding enjoyment that we all like. But the journey from 25 to 10 when a guild encounters a bump is a one way journey– you don’t come back up to 25, there is no point. The encounter feels different, the encounter is tuned more tightly. And what do you get? You have to herd more cats through harder content for less reward. And as more and more 25 man guilds trickle down to 10 mans, there are less and less that end up committed to the larger raid size.

So sure, there’s inertia at the top, and the HM guilds who are damn well committed to 400 pull fights will stay in 25 until the cows come home…. but there are less and less of us every day.

We believe in 25s, but I guess not everyone does.

So yeah, I care a lot about the 10 vs 25 question, and not because I just want to bitch and moan. I care because I want to see my content level survive in the face of a much more attractive, easier (I’m sorry, but it’s sometimes true) raid size option that is treated as precisely the same task by the game.

In fact, I’ve even written about this topic before. Two tasks that are completely different which are treated the same way by WOW. Remember this post on turning on or off the Dragon Soul buff?

I mean, there is one obvious solution and that’s to take 25 mans out entirely. That is frankly what a lot of my cohorts have suspected is in the works for MOP. No 25 man raids, only 10 man raids.

Please forgive me if that option horrifies me. I would hate to raid in a format that wasn’t 25 just as much as some of you would hate to raid in a format that isn’t 10. I want us both to survive.

Conclusion: We all REALLY NEED to care about this problem

I’m ranting, I know.

But my point is that 10s, please don’t hate on me. Just because I’m angry at Blizz about your tuning doesn’t mean that I am trying to patronize you. I think it’s obvious that there’s a problem, and I have tried to lay that problem out. And I think that the problem with your tuning is affecting my raid content.

Which is why I’m so very worked up about the problem. And that’s why you’ll get pages and pages of commentary from 25 man raiders who are probably a little bit more frustrated than they should be and a little bit angrier sounding than they really should be. We are seeing our chosen content level shudder to a slow but certainly-happening death and it’s really not a pleasant thing to experience.

It’s not because we’re mad at YOU — it’s because when we see a tuning problem and everyone tries to pretend like they are equal, that hurts participation in our content. It hurts 25s as a whole.

So I really hope that Blizzard has some plans for this.

What we’ve heard so far is…….. nothing. Daelo was wrong, this week, and Ghostcrawler was silent on the topic. Please Ghostcrawler, please, write us a blog on 10 and 25 man raid sizes. You’ll probably have to wear a bulletproof vest for a month and move into a bomb shelter, but we have got to hear something.

We really, really need some guidance here.

The blues have been too silent and that silence has GOT to end.

PS: You know what else we need? Or that I need? A blog design that handles long comments one hell of a lot better. I love you all. <3

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67 Responses to 10 Man Tuning (part 2): Why It Matters

  1. Tomaj says:

    All right, just read both posts.

    I was a 25-man raider for T8-9. I went back and forth between 10-man and 25-man in T10. I was a 10-man raider for T11. I quit for T12. And for T13 up until this week have been a 25-man raider again.

    I wanted to make a few counter-points.

    How much DPS can a 10-man raider be expected to push in a 10-man raid? There is almost no composition that will allow for every single buff and debuff of which a 25-man raid is capable. Under most circumstances, DPS of a 10-man raider is going to be lower on the whole than a 25-man raider purely due to this. Moreover, in an encounter like Ultraxion, say that we’re throwing healers at the situation for whatever reason, and there are 6 healers in 25-man, and 3 healers in 10-man (and two tanks). 10-man actually has a higher percentage of the raid that are not DPS than 25-man (50% in this case, versus 32%). Say we cut it down to 5 or 2 healers in respective raid sizes. 25-man has 28% of the raid that is not DPS, while 10-man still has 40% of the raid that is not DPS. I imagine that because it’s unreasonable to have most guilds both single-tank and single-heal the encounter, it’s not feasible to assume more than 60% of the raid as DPS in 10-man. It’s entirely possible, but the lower requirements on the DPS check are likely in part due to the pure fact that there are less per capita DPS available.

    Going in this vein further, I have transitioned from my priest to my hunter for this tier. Every raid day, I get to ask myself, “What buffs/debuffs are we missing?” and up to this point, it was maybe physical damage taken if we were missing our rogue/DPS warrior/Frost DK, and depending on which side of H Morchok I was on, because all the other things were covered for every fight in 25s. In 10-man, I have to change my pet based on raid composition (right now it’s mostly Wind Serpent since we have more people that will benefit from 8% spell damage over 4% physical damag from my Ravager).

    “When X people have to not fuck up, even if X people is the same percent of a raid, 25s have it harder.” is true, but only to a degree. (This was from the first post.) On the other hand, 25s can also afford to fuck up more in most circumstances. 10-mans have exactly one battle resurrection plus however many shaman they have, whereas 25-mans have three plus shaman. One person dead in a 10-man is 10% of your raid. One person dead in a 25-man is 4% of your raid. On progression encounters, it hurts both sizes, but it goes a long way toward crippling the 10-man much easier than the 25-man.

    Another thing to remember is that healing distribution affects 10s and 25s differently. In 25s, you generally can (and in many cases, will) throw an extra healer at the tank. 10s have a much more difficult time being able to do this, especially if they have to cut down to two healers. In 25s, if you drop a healer down to 5 to meet DPS checks, there’s still much greater ability to cross heal.

    There is a lot that makes 25s more difficult. There is a lot that makes 10s more difficult. The difference is in what is more difficult between the two raid sizes. (And this is discounting any logistics behind the raid, such as consumables, raid leading and loot distribution.)

    • Meloree says:

      Regarding Ultraxion:
      I suggest reading the supporting link in that section from the first article, the math is laid out for you. The per-person demands on the fight are drastically lower. Your counterpoints in this paragraph have already been addressed.

      Regarding BRs:
      Consider difficult progression encounters – the sort where when one person dies at a critical moment, you wipe the encounter because the time you’ve taken to use a BR has already cost you the fight. It doesn’t matter how many BRs you can use, it just matters that someone died. It’s worth bearing in mind, because that tends to be the content level that the authors of this blog focus on.

      One dead healer in 25mans tends to mean “wipe, we just fell behind on healing and it’s can’t be recovered because the margins are too tight”. One dead DPS in 25mans may be recoverable if you’re not in a critical burn. The actual impact of losing one player tends to be similar between the two formats, because checks are pass/fail. Missing an enrage is missing an enrage, you don’t get credit for being 96% of the way there with one dead person.

      Regarding healing distribution:
      Yes. Healing between 25s and 10s is massively different, and I’m not really qualified to comment on the subtleties of it. However, as a raid leader and tank for a 25H group, I can tell you that we didn’t *ever* “throw an extra healer at the tank” beyond the absolute bare minimum amount of healing required.

      • Tomaj says:

        The per-person demands are lower, but to expect less people in 10-man to do the same amount of DPS as would be proportional in a 25-man is silly. At best, a 10-man can expect 70% of the raid to be DPS (with a one tank/two healer setup, which is fairly common), whereas even with 6 healers, a 25-man has 68% of the raid as DPS. Granted, this is under the assumption that Ultraxion is meant to be done with 5 healers in 25-man, and one tank/two healers in 10-man, which it’s probably not. More realistically, 10-man is meant to be balanced around 3 healers and 2 tanks – or only 50% of the raid being DPS, and in addition to that, not having all the raid (de)buffs available that a 25-man has.

        Re: Battle resurrections/people dying. I’m not denying that in the slightest. But “at a critical moment” also isn’t “every moment in the encounter, ever.” This is also worth bearing in mind, regardless of what level of progression you are at. Take for example our attempts on Heroic Yor’sahj last night. We had to finally make the call to break our 25-man into two 10-mans thanks to the attendance boss kicking our asses for the last month or so. I was the only pet class in the group (no warlocks or death knights, and our other hunter was in the other 10-man), so my being alive was sort of necessary for the sake of the purple ooze and lolbeacon healing. If it were 25-man, the multiple times I’d died due to not having any great means to reduce damage or self-heal as survival (Deterrence being on cooldown usually, and lacking healthstones, and lolbandagesonskittles) would not have been as great an effect as it would have been in 25-mans. Granted, if I weren’t the only pet class, it also wouldn’t have been a big deal, either, but that’s the thing with raid compositions in 10-mans, you can’t always pick and choose.

        As for healing distribution I have raid led in 10-mans and 25-mans. MY point is not that you DO throw healers at the tank. It’s that you have the OPTION to if you needed it. Still, I think this is the point of contention that a lot of 10-man raiders have against 25-man raiders: many of them DON’T have that experience as a 10-man raider. Mathematically, on paper, it SHOULD work “this way.” Realistically, it does not. The nuances of 10-man raiding greatly differ in all aspects, but they most severely affect the healing and DPS checks.

        • Meloree says:

          Sorry, I have no idea what you’re trying to say with Ultraxion. The per-person requirements are all that matters. You have 6 DPS who have to do 32k DPS each in 10man, and 18 DPS who have to do 39.5k each in 25man. It doesn’t matter what proportion of the raid they make up, it just matters what their individual output requirement is, the healers are assumed to contribute zero in 10s, and “a little bit” in 25s, the tanks are assumed to contribute 40k between them in 10s and 50k between them in 25s, for no better reason than to highlight the discrepancy better.

          BRs: I don’t know what your point is here. Critical phases are the only things that matter in progression – it’s where you spend your learning time, it’s what you set up your raid to defeat, it’s the important part of the fight. Sure, you can wipe to inattention in P1 Rag, and then you have a chat with people about focus, and move back to the important part. Are 25s more tolerant of people sleeping through farm night? Maybe. Is that material? Your anecdote largely just tells me that your healers were failing at the fight mechanics – multiple BRs wouldn’t help very much, because if they were failing like that in 25man *more people would have been dead*

          I do have experience with 10-man raiding. I’m still not really well qualified to comment on the subtleties of healing it. The point was that the option of “throwing an extra healer at the tank” generally does not exist in 25s, either. You can have an extra 10% of another healers attention, maybe, but you can’t turn another DPS into a healer, or take a healer off the raid – raid setup tends to be mathematically determined.

          • Tomaj says:

            As Jaelre pointed out, and as I’ve tried to say – you can’t get every buff and debuff in 10-man. It’s not possible, without a raid composition that might actually lead to lower overall raid DPS than if you went without one or two raid debuffs. My point was, I get to choose, “Do I benefit the tanks, the rogue and myself with a 4% physical damage bonus, or the casters (and to a lesser degree, the rogue and myself) with 8% magic damage?” as a hunter. Those kinds of decisions are necessary in a 10-man. Those kinds of things flat out prevent a 10-man raider from even being able to do the same amount of DPS as a 25-man raider. The fact that it’s not possible in anything but the most convoluted circumstances necessitates a lower overall DPS requirement, because there’s going to be one or three buffs or debuffs missing from your 10-man raid composition in realistic scenarios.

            BRs: You’re refusing to see my point, then. Critical phases matter in progression, but if you fuck up in a non-critical phase, it can still mess up the flow of the encounter. Almost always this leads to healers dealing with a bit more strain overall. On the encounters that your enrage timer is the healers’ mana bars, this matters, and it doesn’t change whether you raid normals or hardmodes. As for my anecdote, you as a raid leader in 25-man hardmodes should know that hunters are the least capable of self damage reduction out of any other class. Yes, Deterrence got buffed to include 30% damage reduction for the time it’s active, but it’s still a 2-minute cooldown (1:50 glyphed!), and the deflect doesn’t work on most boss mechanics. Moreover, these were our first attempts at Yor’sahj on heroic, and the first official night as 10-man rather than 25-man.

            As for healing in 25-mans. There is a difference between “generally” does not exist and “flat out does not exist in any situation, ever.” That’s where healing in 10-mans is.


            “That’s irrelevant and wrong.” No, it’s not. The more tanks and healers you bring, the less DPS you have that can provide more raid buffs and debuffs to support the rest of the raid. Say, for example (not a realistic situation, but an example), you have a shadow priest, an elemental shaman, an enhancement shaman, and two mages (both fire). Your tanks are a paladin and a death knight. Your healers are a priest, a paladin and a shaman. You are missing out on the following buffs/debuffs:

            -12% armor (Sunder Armor, Faerie Fire)
            +8% magic damage (Curse of the Elements, Ebon Plaguebringer, Master Poisoner)
            +4% physical damage (Blood Frenzy, Brittle Bones, Savage Combat)
            +30% bleed damage (Mangle, Trauma, Hemorrhage – though this isn’t relevant to this particular raid composition it still bears noting)
            +3% damage (Ferocious Inspiration, Arcane Tactics, Communion)
            Dark Intent
            Tricks of the Trade

          • Pliers says:

            Buffs certainly vary in 10m comps, but you’re cherry picking the raid comp specifically to be missing them. 3 shaman, no leather users, and 5 missing classes. Even with your rather absurd comp, you’ll only be short about 10% total damage. Having a small buffer to account for differences is not unreasonable, but being a 10m shouldn’t be a free pass to throw raid comp balance out the window either if you’re a high end progression raider (and if you’re not, 5% damage differences are minimally relevant).

            I said your point was irrelevant because you’re comparing the % of your raid that is playing a dps. That’s simply a factor of tuning boss HP to match any discrepancy, which should be incredibly easy. It will never be perfect, but it can be close. Having a few % damage advantage on one fight and a few % deficiency the next isn’t the type of issue being targeted here.

          • Tomaj says:

            Pliers, I think you missed the “just an example that isn’t realistic part.” Yeah, you can cherry pick that.

            Here was my T11 comp:

            Warrior tank
            Paladin tank
            Priest healer
            Shaman healer
            Paladin/Priest healer (depending on which was available)
            1x SV Hunter
            1x Arc Mage
            1x UH DK
            1x Fury Warrior
            1x Destro/Demo Warlock

            We were missing the following buffs/debuffs:

            30% bleeds
            4% physical
            Mana per 5/AP if only one paladin (Healing Stream > Mana Spring, no AP analogue available), and this happened fairly frequently.

            Generally, our hunter would have a cat pet, but in the event that someone was missing, they would trade out their pet if they could, and our backup would usually be another arcane mage (else we would 9-man farm content).

            And yes, we made it through the tier without a druid or rogue. And since it was T11, without a proper battle resurrection, as DKs didn’t have it yet, and you still had to predict who to put a soulstone on.

            Realistically, 10-man compositions are not going to be ideal. And chances are, if you don’t have a shaman, you’re going to be missing at least a couple of buffs.

          • Pliers says:

            “Buffs we were missing:”

            You could use might instead of MotW, and use drums of kings for 80% of the same effect, and the pet can cover almost any 1 missing thing. If the hunter has to cover for someone missing the raid, you’re short, at worst, 2% stats, 30% bleed, and 4% damage. That’s probably a 2-2.5% damage loss.

          • Tomaj says:

            Unless we were missing both mages, and that’s a 3% damage across the board we’re missing.

          • Tomaj says:

            Also, I wanted to add – I don’t necessarily think that it needs to be as low as it is – just that it must needs be a lower DPS requirement due to missing buffs/debuffs.

          • Meloree says:

            Add up all the missing damage from all those buffs – you don’t get anywhere close to bringing the RDPS potential down below 85% of perfect buffs. And that’s as close to the worst possible raid you can make as I can imagine.

            In setting up any kind of progression 10-man, I would ensure that I ticked off the “majors”. You can let minor buffs (30% bleed, for example) go by the wayside, or 4% physical damage (comp dependant) can be very small – but CoE and Sunder should never be missing.

            I can design an awful 25man, too – but I don’t have any expectation that I would succeed with it. Hell, carrying a class or two that you don’t want to *because of their buffs* is part of 25man raiding, and has been for as long as the format existed.

            10-man shouldn’t get a free pass out of needing raidbuffs to succeed, and it’s not really very hard to set up a 10-man to get 95% of potential DPS (or more). Heroic content shouldn’t get a free pass for raid setup. And normal mode already does.

          • Tomaj says:

            Meloree, I think you’re missing the point here. I’m going to reiterate:

            I don’t think that it should be as low a DPS requirement as it is. But by virtue of missing buffs in any normal composition that isn’t pulled out of my ass for the sake of an example, it has to be lower in 10-mans.

            Yes! It was a completely unrealistic example! But the key word there is: example. It’s not meant to be realistic. Pretty sure I even mentioned that it wasn’t realistic. It’s meant to emphasize that there are going to be missing buffs and debuffs, and that no matter how you slice it, they have an impact on the overall damage done in an encounter.

          • masith says:

            The problem is that if you tune encounters to assume that a 10man group is only able to take 50% of raid buffs then any 10man group that is able to take 90% of raid buffs has a massive advantage. Any 10man guild that is trying to push progression at a serious level is going to have 90% of buffs.
            Maybe they should minimise the number of buffs/debuff slots on the boss for 10man raids so they can tune around the assumption that all of them are full and it is then up to the 10man guild to decide which ones they use.
            Also I don’t think anyone has claimed that 10man raiders should be expected to do the same dps as 25mans just that the difference should be 2% not 15%

        • Pliers says:

          While a death in 10m is a 10% loss and thus more taxing than the 4% loss for a 25m, and limited more than the 3 you get in 25m, you’d need 20% of your raid to be failing to require a 2nd battle rez in a 10m. If 20% of your raid is failing mechanics in a trivial part of a fight, you don’t have much room to be complaining about not being able to rez them. Basically, the math can be applied both ways. And as has been pointed out many times, in either format, 1 death during progression is more often than not an instant call to wipe.

          “At best, a 10-man can expect 70% of the raid to be DPS (with a one tank/two healer setup, which is fairly common), whereas even with 6 healers, a 25-man has 68% of the raid as DPS.”

          That’s irrelevant and wrong. First, the wrong. Tanks do nontrivial damage. They should regularly be doing close around half the damage of a dps. Even at significantly lower levels of tank damage, a 10m actually has a larger % of their raid dealing damage than a 25, once you include tanks. As far as irrelevant goes, the issue isn’t what % of your raid is doing damage, but rather how much damage each person has to do. If your maximum output is 5% lower, you should have a boss with ~5% less health, proportionally. This was included in the calculations in the previous post.

          Healing is frequently left out of these discussions, or not fleshed out fully, because it’s difficult to quantify the differences. There’s no much variation between tank classes, encounters, and healer classes that it is nearly impossible to properly explain in the same discussion as dps/tanking burdens between the raid sizes. I don’t think people generally disparage healers in either raid size.

          • Scott says:

            Okay, so assume that tanks do 50% of the damage of a dps. That gives you 17 100% damage dealers and 2 50% dealers for a total of 18 full damage dealers.

            In 10s, you have 5 100% damage dealers and 2 50% damage dealers for a total of 6 100% damage dealers.

            Using that as our base, 25 man encounters should require three times the total damage done, plus possibly a small margin to account for better buff coverage. Looking at heroic Ultraxion, 10 man has 85 million health and 25 man has 276 million. 85 million x 3 = 256 million. Divide by 276 million and you get 92.4%.

            Ah, but the calculation presented by the link to maintankadin (where the 10 man only needs to do 83% of the dps of the 25) assumes that the raid in both modes drops a healer in favor of a dps. Could it simply be that Blizzard tuned for the assumption of 3 healers in 10 and 6 healers in 25?

            In fact, this x3 health pool (+ some change) trend seems to hold over all of the bosses that I looked at. The encounters get tuned for 5 dps in 10s (assuming tanks contributing 1 extra effective dps) and 17 dps in 25.

            So, it seems to me that the issue with the Ultraxion fight is that the healing is too loosely-tuned in 10s relative to 25s. Make the fight unhealable with 2 healers in 10s, or allow a 25 man to get by with 3 healers, and you ensure that the dps for both modes is much closer (I think that it would be easier to tune for the former, though that would probably make the loss of a healer a guaranteed wipe in 10s).

          • Pliers says:

            You’re simply re-framing the imbalance. Obviously if you bring an extra healer in 10s, the analysis will change from “too easy for dps” to “too easy for healers.”

        • Jaelre says:

          If I may add anything to what Tomaj is saying, the point for how i see it, is not how many healers or tanks you bring about, or the total raid DPS that matters most, it’s its consistency that makes tuning 10s so troublesome. You can’t really expect to have the whole buff/debuff spread for every raid group, while it’s fairly common for 25s to cover them all. Consider that it’s not only buffs which can vary wildly, it’s the very same raid composition that can.
          This is not to say that raids do not require better tuning, but I can at the very least catch a glimpse of why devs chose not to enforce stricter checks on 10s.

          I have to say I don’t speak from a hard-core perspective, so I’m not sure how far progression guilds in 10s are willing to go in the class stacking department, alt raid groups or whetever, but I think that loot distribution is a factor that should also be taken into consideration. I’m not very good at math, but it appears to me that the possible variation of raid gearing considering 2 pieces of loot over a 10 men raid, as opposed to 5 over 25 may give a very noticeable twist to how consistent 10s can be, given a large enough number of raid groups. Not sure if I explained myself correclty, but it all comes to a matter of consistency.

          • While this is obviously exclusively anecdotal (and thus, it doesn’t bear much weight), but to support this – in a 6/8 H clear recently, we disenchanted 10 pieces of loot (10-man). That left 2 pieces of loot. For offspecs.

      • Esoth says:

        “Missing an enrage is missing an enrage, you don’t get credit for being 96% of the way there with one dead person.”
        I think the expression is, “close only counts in horseshoes and corrupting parasites on heroic madness”. I think.

  2. gronc says:

    couple of things, I want to eventually tank 25 man heroics, but right now they intimidate the crap out of me, so the tens are not quite so complicated. Its not the fight mechanics but its the confusion of so many people running around that is hard for me. Of course I am just a noob, but I think you would agree that even my thoughts matter.

    Secondly, I have just joined a group that is so happy they finally have enough people to get back to twenty five man raiding instead of one or two ten mans. I do believe your comment that once you go to ten you never come back is correct. For people who don’t have the time, or a big enough guild the tens fill in. But many people, even people like me that are just plain unqualified to do the 25’s yet, think that is the pinnacle and we want to get there.

    oh… rant on.

    reverend gronc

    • anafielle says:

      Oh my gosh, I am very happy for you and I hope that you enjoy 25 man raiding 😀 I keep hearing people tell me it’s impossible to move back up but I am quite happy to be proven wrong. Also no using the word noob– raiding is about what you enjoy and how cool you find it :) You will probably work a lot harder than me, I went DPS and now everyone in my guild gets to carry me instead of me tanking o/

      Good luck with that! I hope that more people feel like you and consider moving on up to 25s.

  3. gronc says:

    sorry, I meant that your belief that once you go ten you never go back is incorrect.


  4. trueblade says:

    You know once upon there were these things called 40 man raids, and everyone, everyone I say, was sure that when Blizzard took them out, it was end of raiding. That was what 4 or 5 years ago now?

    There will be much consternation if 25s are removed, but the net effect will probably be about the same as the removal of 40s.

    • Esoth says:

      She’s not claiming that removing 25s is the death of raiding, she’s claiming that she loves 25m raiding and 10m raiding has an adverse effect on it.

      Regardless, plenty of people DID quit because they preferred 40m, or they continued playing but still would have preferred 40m. Both 25 and 40 feel like different size orchestras to 10s small ensemble as well. The 40 is almost twice as big as the 25 orchestra, but you are fitting multiple of almost every instrument. In your small ensemble (10s) you can’t even fit in one of every instrument (class). As long as WoW has 10+ classes, the difference between 25-10 is much bigger than the difference between 40-25 even though ostensibly its the same reduction in players.

    • anafielle says:

      I know that. Oh believe me, I know. I keep thinking 25 man raids are the next to go since Blizz did remove 40 man raids long ago.

      Maybe that is the right call, maybe 25 mans are on their way out. In my post, I didn’t say that would be the wrong call– I DID say, and I’m saying with all these posts, that I would be devastated to see it. Blizz could very well take them out but i would not be raiding anymore if they did. :(

      • Pliers says:

        One of the reasons that a 25m transitions to a 10m format so nicely when it starts to run out of steam or able bodied members is that, generally, a large number of those players quit, stop raiding, or immediately leave for another 25m. From what was once a 25 person roster, you’re left with about 10-14 people.

        25m raiding is bleeding out, and it’s incredibly painful for fans of the format, past and present, to be powerless to stop it.

    • flosch says:

      It’s interesting, really. I’m not 100% sure why Blizzard took out 40mans after Vanilla. I guess they considered the organization overhead too high? Those raids felt a lot more… raid-y, in retrospect. I wonder whether with that reasoning, plus “it’s a hassle to balance 10 and 25, and nobody is playing 25 any more anyway!”, they might kill off 25s too… we’ll have to wait and see.

      Speaking of 40mans, I just looked at old videos the other week, and there was a lot more leeway in those days. I’m not sure how high Curse Guild ranked in Naxx days, but they weren’t exactly bad. On their Four Horsemen kill, they had several people dead almost from the get-go, and almost half the raid dead towards the end. That’s almost unimaginable today for a progression kill. And still, Four Horsemen stood longer than probably any other boss without a being patched to kill. Has the top become so much better that design like that just wouldn’t fly any more these days?

  5. Dan Paladin says:

    I think this entire avenue of thinking (and blogging) is silly.

    I want to preface my argument by letting you know I raid 10 man, only.

    Regardless of the arguments that are put forth, there is no doubt that the difference in difficulty between 10 and 25 exists. 25 will have stricter requirements regarding dps and healing. The reason for this is because the best guilds in the world, the ones that people “watch for” are all 25s. Blizz can only do 1 of 2 things: make 10s harder or make 25s easier. If they make 25s easier, than the “watched” guilds will write that this tier was ridiculously easy compared to past ones. If the 10s are brought up to the level of the 25s, then the thousands of guilds doing 10 man heroic content will QQ until their tears cause their keyboards to malfunction. Neither of these solutions are good for Blizz, so they go ahead and make 10mans have less stringent requirements than the 25s.

    The truth is that the best 25 guilds in the world are significantly better than the best 10 guilds in the world. They will put in more hours, will go to greater lengths to min/max and some will have endorsements from major gaming/computer companies.

    Whether 10 guilds want to admit that they are going against bosses that are “easier” than their 25 counterparts, does not matter, to anyone, except of course a few 25 man guilds (and their bloggers) that will rage about this fact. The truth of the matter is that it should not have ANY impact on your raiding whether 10 mans are easier or harder. Raid whatever you want to raid. If your guild is not good enough to beat a certain boss on 25 man, but they can beat the boss by splitting into 10s teams, GREAT! You found another avenue of progression that will allow your guild (who is not good enough to beat something on 25 man) the ability to get more heroic gear and then try again next week. There is nothing wrong with the idea that the difficulty level for raids in WoW goes:

    LFR <<<<<<< 10 = 25 <<<<<< 10H < 25H

    Unless you are making the "special snowflake" argument that you should get better gear or better achievements, then I don't see the issue. If Blizz doesn't want to admit this, who cares? I make the conscious decision raiding in a 10 man guild that does heroic content as opposed to a 25 man guild (for many reasons), being fully aware that I am not beating the highest level of difficult WoW has to offer. The same is true though when I don't click off the raid debuff every week, as I am sure you don't either.

    Just live and let live. Blizz's hands are tied because they can't make 10s harder or 25s easier. Sure they can give 25 mans better gear, but this will cause players who would much rather do 10s to do 25s, rage because of the difficulty, the logistics, or their computer's inability to keep up with 25s graphics needs, and finally quit.

    P.S. In regards to the whole "I care what the devs say." Blizz is a for-profit company. The statue at their headquarters is there because someone decided that the morale boost to their employees and the love of their fans for the statue was worth the investment made when they built it. The reason why Daelo wrote what he wrote was because the tuning of 25s and 10s are where they should be to allow Blizz to retain the most # of subscriptions — "watched" guilds say it was a good tier, 10 mans don't rage at the difficulty — not because 10 difficulty is equal to 25 difficulty.

    P.P.S. I love this blog, and appreciate all you guys write. I love having respected voices in the paladin community that I enjoy reading. :-)

    • anafielle says:

      For god’s sake commenters, let ME respond to this one before you all respond. I’m still at work here and I can’t give Dan’s response the time it deserves for a couple hours. Anyone who beats me to the punch in replying is getting (lovingly) banned (with love and affection).

    • Theck says:

      Since Ana can’t ban me, I’m going to pull rank and comment. 😛

      Dan: Actually, I’d say it’s not silly at all. I’ve seen just as many 10-man raiders that are vehement about the equality of 10- and 25-man difficulty levels, despite the fact that most sensible people recognize that there are pretty severe discrepancies (in both directions, depending on encounter, but generally skewed towards 10-man being easier). So it’s not just the 25-mans being loud and obnoxious about it.

      The difference, in my mind, is that 10-man is not in any danger of dying out. The differences in logistical difficulty will always mean that 10’s are more accessible and easier to organize.

      25’s, on the other hand, are an endangered species. There have been a lot of serious 25H guilds that have broken up over the course of this expansion, including quite a few relatively famous ones that many people know by name. How many serious 10H guilds have you heard about breaking up, or building up to “focus on 25-mans?” Nowhere near as many – in fact, it’s probably several orders of magnitude fewer.

      So while you may find it silly to complain about this issue, it’s of critical importance to players that like 25-man raiding. I’d like to think we would be equally vocal if Blizzard were doing things that threatened to kill 10-man raiding.

      • Sahiel says:

        Anecdotal, but on my server, Medivh, we’re down to two 25 man Horde guilds. My own guild ended up dropping from 25s to 10s at the end of Wrath due to people leaving the game, we tried SO hard to get back into 25s but if you don’t have the people to run 25s very few people are willing to join you and wait until the full amount is recruited regardless how progressed you are.

        The suggestion 10s are killing 25s is undoubtedly accurate, as a former 25M H raider now doing 10M H it’s a very sad state of play for me, I would far prefer to be doing 25s but my choice is a) leave the server and my friends of 6 years to find a new guild, b) stay and run 10s, neither of which is something that makes me happy.

        Without the existence and relative ease of 10s compared to 25s there would be a far greater pool of people to recruit from to keep the 25s going, which for me would be great obviously. Yet all the people who prefer 10s would then be screwed so… it’s tough. I don’t think there really is an easy solution to keep us all happy and I don’t think Blizzard really wants to in all honesty, they want their game to have as healthy and large a raiding population of guilds as possible and in their view, that leads inevitably to 10 mans.

  6. Rohan says:

    I think you are right in that the tuning between 10s and 25s is significantly different. However, I think you are wrong in asserting that this difference is important.

    The relative difficulty between 10s and 25s back in T11 was very different. Yet the same problems existed.

    25s are dying because new 25-man guilds are not forming. To quote myself:

    “Where would new 25-man guilds come from? A guild new to raiding would start raiding with their first 10 raiders. There’s no need to move up to 25s. Maybe a large guild with multiple raid teams might merge some, but then you have issues where Team A is several bosses ahead of Team B, or too many raid leaders, or conflicting schedules or loot rules. Why break up three functioning teams to create one team which may or may not be successful?”

    The other part to the dissolution of 25s is that it seems to be a real temptation to guild officers to say “Let’s take our 10 best players and knock-out a few hard-modes”, especially in the Aristocracy and Gentry tiers. Pretty much regardless of tuning, taking the 10 best players from a group of 25 is going to yield better results. But do that often enough, and there’s no 25-man guild left.

    • anafielle says:

      I absolutely think you’re right, it’s tough to get a new 25 man started, but that isn’t necessarily my point. I’m talking in part about the SPEED at which current 25 man guilds turn to 10 when they get into trouble. That speed is faster depending on how widely different the tuning is. The movement from 25 to 10 was actually much less fast in T11. Obviously a lot of guilds moved to 10 before T11, but less 25 man guilds broke up into 10s in T11 — because 10 was a very difficult option, about as hard as 25. A lot more moved in T12, and now the movement is quite fast. As the tuning difference has gotten worse, more and more guilds have switched to 10. So yeah, it certainly is relevant to the speed of our death.

      The tuning problem makes it ever-more-likely for a 25 to turn to 10 as a more attractive option. It affects the speed of our death.

      But you are asserting that that death is inevitable anyways. :(

      I cannot accept that argument. You might be right, but that sucks to hear. That cannot be true, people must make it happen because people do like 25s and want to do them. New people as well as the old guard. It’s tough, but it’s not impossible to do. It can’t be, or 25s are doomed. I don’t know. All I can say is that I refuse to accept that, people love 25s and I sincerely hope that people — NEW people! — will come into MOP wanting to do 25s too.

      Otherwise we are all doomed.

  7. Ghostcrawler doesn’t do raid design. He does class balance and spell interaction. Asking him to comment on 10 vs 25 man raid balance will be about as effective as asking Chris Metzen. The best you could hope for would be a rundown on what buffs are being anticipated in raid comps.

    • As Lead Systems Designer, I’m pretty sure GC has a finger or two in the mix when it comes to raid design.

      • When it comes to the interaction of certain abilities, GC has some input, for example, weather or not Impale should be blockable. Things like that he has input in. Things like double healer cutters on Sinestra 10, or phase 3 ascendant council 25 are pretty much strictly the domain of Mercer’s team.

    • anafielle says:

      “Ghostcrawler doesn’t do raid design.” As someone who has actually met him and spoken to him (a lot) about what he does, I also would like to assert that this is incorrect :) I am pretty sure that when someone speaks up about this topic — and they will — it will be him.

  8. Borsk says:

    “I think you are wrong in asserting that this difference is important. The relative difficulty between 10s and 25s back in T11 was very different. Yet the same problems existed. 25s are dying because new 25-man guilds are not forming.”

    There is a disconnect here I think. Would it be fair to say that new 25 man guilds aren’t forming because of said difference?

    • Rohan says:

      No. New 25s are not forming because of logistics, not tuning differences. Once you have a steady group of 10 raiders, it’s a ton of work (recruitment, juggling raiding time, etc.) to move up to the 25-man level, regardless of how easy or difficult the actual content is. It’s much easier to stay at the 10-man level.

      Just pretend your a guild leader with say 5 people in your guild. What’s your path to a 25-man guild? Now imagine that you have no experience raiding what-so-ever. How much harder is the process?

  9. Zey says:

    Blarg, I finally get around to commenting on the first thread and you go and create a new one.

    Let me start out by saying that I believe 25 mans are harder than 10
    mans and that this is intentional (I hope, given the alternative) on
    Blizzard’s part. There, now that this is out of the way…

    I think a lot of the strife between the two raiding populations comes
    down to a problem of perspective. Both sides get through content,
    look at the things they are having a hard time with and imagine how it
    might be easier for the other format. For 10 man players, this seems
    to usually revolve around how having more flexibility/buffs/bodies would
    make things easier. For 25 man players, this seems to come down to
    mechanical differences (I don’t see a whole lot of people complaining
    about positioning constraints, for instance). It is much much harder
    for people to step back and imagine (much less appreciate) how things
    that did not pose a challenge for them might be harder in the other

    As an example, 10 man players often sight Hagara. As a 25 man player,
    I can’t really appreciate how the lightening phase is that much harder
    because I’ve never experienced a lightning phase that poses a
    significant risk. Given my 25 man reference point with lightning
    phases, hearing about longer 10 man lightning phases doesn’t impress

    For the counter example, 25 man players are likely to point out the
    increased grip frequency on spine compared to 10 mans. This probably
    doesn’t impress 10 man players because they have never experienced
    grips in a way that makes them problematic. They are less likely to
    consider that this may lead to having two amalgamations up at once, or
    that it means there will always being a grip during the tendon burn.
    You get grips twice as often? Big deal, grips are easy…

    Even for people like Esoth who raid both formats, it isn’t easy to
    avoid bias. Any fight on format A will seem easier after having
    killed it on format B than it would have had you killed it on format A
    first. We spent weeks working on our first spine kill. We one-shot
    our second spine kill. Experience makes things easier, and this
    probably adds to the bias of people who raid both formats.

    I appreciate that 10 man raiding is difficult, and acknowledge (even
    in the midst of my belief in the superior challenge of 25 mans) that I
    probably don’t fully appreciate all the ways in which it is difficult.
    If we could all acknowledge the shortcomings of our own perspective,
    things might get less personal.

    At issue in the end is not differences in difficulty, it is a denial
    of differences. If Blizzard would just give separate realm first
    achievements, and separate titles, it would go most of the way to
    making people happy. Each format provides unique experiences and
    challenges, and while they may provide identical gear, they ought to
    provide unique acknowledgments that do honor to those differences. 10
    man players ought to be able to display a title that tells the world
    they conquered 10 man Sindragosa, and 25 man players ought to be able
    to sport a title that proclaims that they overcame 25H Ragnaros. This
    was the state of things in WotLK, and nobody seemed nearly as angry
    about differences in difficulty. I don’t think it is the removal of
    the gear disparity that has made everyone this upset.

    Separate achievements and titles and such is the best I think we can hope for, since I don’t believe Blizzard can be convinced to actually balance the two formats. There just doesn’t seem to be any incentive for them to do so. I don’t know, maybe you have more faith in their ideals than I do.

  10. sunnierbear says:

    First off, I want to thank you for attempting to respect and understand the logistics of 10 mans. However, this discussion will always make me sad. No, I know there’s an obvious imbalance for most encounters, but even Blizzard knows about that, and they’re either incapable of fixing it or actively ignoring it. These discussions make me sad because they always devolve into “reward my chosen raid size more”, “reward those other guys less”, or “that other raid size is so easy and you are bad for finding it difficult.” You manage to skirt the majority of these arguments, but that doesn’t mean this discussion won’t (or hasn’t already, especially in the comments of the last post) devolved into a near-religious craze. A ten manner can’t completely understand the difficulty presented to a 25 manner, and 25 manner can’t understand the challenges of a 10 manner. But people like to think they do.

    I think arguments over the impending death of 25s because of 10s would mean a lot more if people focused on what they liked about their chosen raid size, justifying to Blizzard why it was worth supporting, instead of stating than that there’s an obvious imbalance. I think that would also go a long way for discovering why exactly 25s are disappearing, but that’s just me.

    Thanks for writing this, and thanks for the mentions in the last one. It made me feel pretty important. :)

    • Pliers says:

      It’s worth supporting because a large number of people prefer it. For many, it isn’t a choice to go to 10m, but rather a forced inevitability. There’s no mystery behind why they’re disappearing.

  11. Dominis says:

    According to wowprogress, the first two clears of heroic DS were by 25 man guilds not 10 mans yet you claim that 25H is exponentially harder than 10H. If it were truly exponentially harder the 25H probably wouldn’t even be in the top 10.

    Personally, I think you’re being a bit self-righteous about this 10H vs. 25H debate. They are very close to equal encounter-wise and if you want to do 25 man you have to do the logistics; the logistics can delegated to more people in 25 man.

    I don’t think it’s fair to claim “Blizzard is killing 25s, and 10s are the knife in their hands.” In reality, the players are killing 25s not Blizzard. Blizzard sometimes listens to the community, but they, no doubt, observe what players are doing. If players want to do 10 man content with the same difficulty and gear as 25 man then they’ll continue enabling them. It’s good for business.

    • Zey says:

      It is also being claimed that the best players in the world are raiding 25H, and thus it is not at all surprising to see them at the top of the progression list.

      As has been said already, the players at the cutting edge are (mostly) prepared to deal with the discrepancy between 10 and 25 difficulty. You need to look further down the progression ladder to see the sweeping consequences of the difference come into play.

      This is not to say that it doesn’t matter at the top. I watched a top 50 US 25 man on my server fall apart into a 10 man on H-Ragnaros because it was that much easier on 10 man. The differences don’t have to be present on every encounter matter, it is enough that they are there on the encounters that matter.

      • Zey says:

        P.S. – this place really needs an edit feature.

      • Dominis says:

        There isn’t a huge skill gap between the first group to get clear heroic DS and the third (or even farther down the ladder). If 25H was truly harder the 10H would’ve been first.The point is, it’s not any harder.

        Correlation != Causation.

        As far as your anecdotal experience, a couple guilds did that on my server too. Both 25H took the top players from both and made a 10H. By their own admission, they had a core group of about 10 players with the other 15 or so simply bodies to fill roles.

        • Pliers says:

          “There isn’t a huge skill gap between the first group to get clear heroic DS and the third. If 25H was truly harder the 10H would’ve been first.”

          That is such a ridiculous statement. It hurt to read. It’s so very wrong.

          And obviously in a group of 25 people, you have some people who are more talented than others. You could almost certainly drop down to 10 and have a better quality group overall. If you could go from 10 to 5, you’d see the same result.

          • Dominis says:

            “This is wrong” doesn’t prove or disprove anything.

            You can take this all the way down to one, but raiding is designed for teams. My point was just because people went from 25H to 10H doesn’t mean 10H is significantly easier. It could simply mean the 25 man didn’t have enough skilled players to clear 25H. It’s much harder getting 25 equally (or roughly equal) skilled players than 10. However, this doesn’t mean 25H > 10H.

          • Pliers says:

            100 or so replies on the subject have said everything I could and more. It’s not worth rehashing to someone who so rigidly disagrees with what most 25m progression raiders have seen and experienced first hand. We’re looking at the top few % of raiders, not the top few guilds. Outliers make for poor analysis.

          • Dominis says:

            For some reason I was unable to “reply” to your “March 11, 2012 at 2:19 pm” comment.

            Not all “100 or so replies” agree with 25H>10H. I don’t rigidly disagree. I’m just asking for hard evidence for 25H>10H.

            I’m not examining outliers. This is real-world data relevant to the discussion. 12 of the top 20 guilds cleared H DS on 25H while the other 8 were 10H.

            Let’s continue this to top 40.

            17 10H 23 25H

            Let’s continue this to top 60.

            30 10H 30 25H

            Let’s continue this to top 80.

            42 10H 38 25H

            Let’s finish with top 100.

            55 10H 45 25H

            More top 100 guilds cleared DS 10H than 25H. This is to be expected since 10 man runs take less players (so there are more). I’d expect far more 10H clears if 25H was exponentially harder (in fact these are pretty close to equal).

  12. Pallais says:

    I agree with you about the difference in tuning for 10s vs 25.

    I think 10s are tuned for the (hypothetical/mythical) average 10 man raiding group. I think HM 25s are tuned for world first guilds, not the average 25 man guilds. I have no idea how you would do this, but yet another difficulty level is what is really needed: World-Firsts, Hard Mode, Normal, and Raid Finder. Let the World First (Nightmare?) mode be the one where you wipe 300 or 500 times to get that perfect execution for a world and/or realm first end boss kill. Then you could tune hard modes for 25s to be more in line with the difficulty that 10s face.

    I know, it is a pie-in-the-sky idea, but I don’t see how else to balance the two parts of 25 man raiding, the world first chasers and the ones that just like that raid size.

    • Theck says:

      I don’t think a new difficulty level is necessary. T11 was pretty well-balanced in difficulty. If T12 and T13 10-man hard modes had been tuned to be a little more difficult, we may not even be having this discussion. And as I pointed out earlier, in most cases the problem isn’t mechanics, it’s simply the absence of equivalent DPS checks in 10-mans.

      Instead of tuning for the “average” 10-man group that’s missing a lot of buffs (which is unreasonable to begin with – a 10-man progression group should have to put at least a little thought into group composition), they need to tune it for a strong 10-man heroic group, just like they do for 25’s. The progressive nerfs will eventually make sure that the content is accessible to everyone anyway.

  13. “Also I don’t think anyone has claimed that 10man raiders should be expected to do the same dps as 25mans just that the difference should be 2% not 15%”

    This may very well be the goal, although knowing how the Developers have talked about similar issues, my guess would be their goal is no more than a 5% difference. But just like class balance, or PvP balance or a host of other issues we’ve seen in the development of WoW, what the Developers goal is and what reality are two different things.

    To confirm that we need Developer commentary. I think what Ana, and really all of us concerned about the discussion are hoping to see is developer commentary. Simple state that the goal is for the difference in DPS requirements between 10s and 25s is for it to be around 5% and that they hit it pretty well with Firelands, and didn’t hit it as well with Deathwing.

    That would help us understand what the “working as intended” state is.

    Full disclosure, I raid 10s and only 10s, and I want to see 25s kept viable and vibrant without forcing people who don’t want to run them to run them simply for a carrot.

    (as an aside, I seem unable to reply to a comment, only leave a new one. If someone could tell me what I’m doing wrong, I’d appreciate it.)

  14. Dan Paladin says:

    I just want to quickly bud in and say how wonderful it is to see a comment thread this long on a blog that specifically caters to protection paladins. Genuine, respectful debates on the internetz, on any topic, let alone gaming, are few and far between.

    Just goes to show the coolest people play prot pally! 😀

  15. Windsoar says:

    Although I don’t like the topic causes between 10 & 25-man raiders (you’re killing my raid content!) I do understand and sympathize with the issues faced by larger raid teams. I am actually rather neutral in my preferred raid size; however, I doubt that I’ll have join another 25-man guild again. 25’s seem to be split into very exclusive or inclusive raid teams. There’s just less of them. It makes finding a good fit difficult for the applicant AND the recruiter.

    Personally, I think the focus should be less on relative difficulties: these will shift over time, and will never be equal. Overall, the design team seems to have given up this expansion on challenging 10’s, and just decided to tone down requirements. Our raid team didn’t meet an enrage timer issue for the entire expansion. I’d like to see that adjusted so that there is a more challenging 10 man environment.

    However, I don’t think 10-man environments are in and of themselves the death of 25-man raiding. Our raid team has spent months this expansion looking for particular class/roles that we needed to fill out our roster. The more exclusive your raid team, the more difficult getting new members is and will be. I suppose I’m more curious how many 25-man raiders are bleeding out to smaller teams as opposed to leaving the game all together. Without knowing who’s leaving, who’s just not raiding, and who’s going to a smaller raid size, it’s difficult to say that 10’s are the root cause of 25 mans difficulties.

  16. Thromean says:

    “You have to herd more cats through harder content for less reward.”

    Whenever I see a comment like this, i just shake my head. If 25’s are more fun because of the epic feel of them, or you prefer that group size, is that not reward enough? Why must you have more exclusive pixels with which to equip your character?

    The best analogy I can think of is this: a marathoner vs the 1/2 marathoner. Assuming that we are not talking about the .05% of professionals who make a living off of competitive running, rather we are discussing the guy who does the marathon in 3.5-4 hours or the guy who comes in comfortably in the top quarter of the half. Both know that they can do and have done what the other does. One is simply willing to commit more time to training and effort for the enjoyment.r The enjoyment is intrinsic to the feat itself. Neither is more or less valid than the other. The challenge is what you make of it.

  17. Nazaniel says:

    I am sick to death of 25 man raiders claiming that their fights are harder and their lives are so tough and it sucks that they can’t recruit more people without the additional bribe of better gear. The things that you so kindly claim that you’ll let us have (comp, harder tuning on fights with fixed mechanics) are not “less painful” than your experiences. You do sound patronising – in fact, you all sound like a bunch of entitled children whining about someone else getting chocolate.

    We can’t stack teams with particular classes because we have 12 people on our roster. Most of the time we are melee heavy. We don’t have a DK tank. Half of the time we use a hunter pet for bloodlust. We don’t have the luxury of recruiting certain people to fill buff holes – that is why our DPS requirement is lower.

    And on top of that, we *still* have 25 man raiders consistently complaining about how 10s are easier. If 10s are easier, then why are the world first guilds not clearing content on 10s first to get that world first kill? You can’t tell me that those teams will go to the lengths that they go to to gain an advantage, but not switch to 10s if that would net them faster progression.

    I am not claiming that 25s are easier than 10s – I think both have their challenges. I do wish that 25 man raiders would quit trying to belittle 10 man raiders though. It isn’t our fault that your raid size is dying.

  18. Sil says:

    To me the problem is scalability.

    We need a system where all formats can coexist.

    1 tank
    1 heal
    3 dps

    2 tanks
    2 heals
    6 dps

    In most cases a roster that do 10-man can easily also do 2 5-man optimally.

    Now 25-man
    2 tanks
    4-6 healers
    19-17 dps

    Here we seen this isn’t working. A 25-man roster will have troubles doing 2 10-man (not enough tanks) and some people will be left on the side. In fact this is exactly what happened at the end of wrath to my guild.

    Conversely if you have 2 10-man uniting to do 25-man they will have too many tanks.

    So basically there should be a way to use all the raiders of the 2 10 man to form a bigger group.
    Perhaps it should be 20-man instead of 25-man.
    Perhaps it should be a 4-tank encounter in 25-man.

    Perhaps the solution would be to kick pure dps classes out of the game and give them another spec to maximize flexibility. Warlocks ands rogues for example would be perfect for tanking for example – and they did in the past even if it was borderline.

    Perhaps it would be to have the tank stuff be exactly the same for tanking and dps, as it is for bear-cat today.

    • Dross says:

      Hi all, Long time reader first time poster here..

      Just to throw my 2 cents into the mix as a 10 man raider, While I agree with the tuning problem of some of the dps checks from the last 2 blog posts, I gotta say that while you may not have wanted to have been patronizing to 10 man raiders but IMO you failed horribly simply by bitching so hard that the content is easier etc etc..

      I agree Ultraxion was too easy for 10 man.. We killed it 3rd or 4th on the list cos once people learned to click a cube it was just a case of nuke.. And tank damage on many fights is stupidly low..

      However saying a fight is HARDER because more people have to do a mechanic that is identical in both levels is (in my opinion) stupid.. Does it mean you have more chance of failure.. Of course.. but not harder.

      I think a bigger problem to the disappearance of 25 man guilds is simply a lack of players.. On a smaller server I see I think *1* 25 man guild left where it used to be many, many more in TBC and Wrath..

      The population base is getting smaller and to be quite honest it’s extremely hard to find replacements even in a 10 man guild that are of sufficient quality to continue progressing unless you get someone from a guild that has disbanded..

      My point being that 10 mans may be doing much better than 25’s in survival stakes but it’s (IMO again) a symptom of a bigger problem thats getting worse in wow..
      25’s may go the way of the dodo but I have to say that from what I can see it’s less 10 mans fault and more a case of when 25’s eventually fall the people who want to keep going form a 10 man and some fill spots in the few 25’s out there that are surviving and need a spot filled.

      • Theck says:

        What, exactly, is your definition of “harder” then? The mechanic is the same on an individual level, certainly. But If the probability of success goes down distinctly simply due to statistics, how is that not the same as being more difficult? What other objective measure of difficulty could you use other than the probability of killing the boss?

        • Dross says:

          Most raiders think of what they have to do and how much help they have at a particular task (ie, burning adds, keeping x amount of people up in a high damage situation etc)

          I agree that the dps check on some bosses are tuned too low and indeed with many of the other points raised, as I said in my other post, but mechanics wise the fights are the same. Burn this do this to survive, etc etc etc. Although more people have to do the right thing in 25 man to 10 man, all an individual sees is that I have to do this the same as they have to (10 to 25 man).

          Granted 10 mans have an easier time of positioning due to space but both formats have their pro’s and cons as pointed out by soo many people.

          So when someone says x is harder than y then the people doing x are going to be a bit peeved that they are doing the same thing but being looked down on.

          My wording may have been a bit… on the offended side but I do see the points both side of this are making and agree with allot of whats being said all round.

          Generally casual raiding guilds are 10 man and not 25 due to the amount of effort required to put a 25 man together and keep it together. So 10 man should be a bit easier.. BUT also there are many many very good 10 mans out there that want the challenge to be the same as 25 man without the extra logistics of having a team of that size.

          What really failed for me this patch was the silly silly level at which normal mode and LFR were brought in. I’m in a raiding guild, we are competitive in that we like to get up the rankings but are by no means hard-core but we still blew through an entire new raid tier (normal modes) in a single lock-out. (2 nights I think).. This then puts all the pressure on hard-modes to cover all the raiders from the decent to the top progression guilds and not piss any of them off. It was obviously always gonna fail at that.

          Then there is the main point of my post.. Which was not to really comment on which is harder or anything like that.. The gradual disappearance of 25 man raiding.. I’d much rather your thoughts on that than anything to do with difficulty.

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