Guest Post: Raid Size ~ Two Months On
Editor’s note: Naithin from Fun in Games was kind enough to write a guest post for me, and on a very current topic at that! (Someone’s got to write about current topics ‘cos the light knows I sure don’t.) It’s a fantastic post and he sets the bar high for when I finish my post for him. Enjoy!
How do you feel about Blizzard’s decision to, for all intents and purposes, merge 10 and 25 man raids? Is it different to how you thought you’d feel about it when you first heard?
When I first heard of the plans to make 10 and 25m share a lockout my response was immediate dismay. I liked doing both. I did 25-man ‘serious’ raiding with Surreality, and 10-man ‘funsies’ raiding with a bunch of friends scattered across a few guilds on the server.
It was our way to relax and unwind and how dare blizzard take it away!
I read further, and found out they also intended to give equal loot to 10 and 25 man raids. I didn’t particularly have any problem with this; it was about time so far as I was concerned. I mean, I only got into 25m raiding in the first place because you couldn’t finish gearing in 10s alone and I was tired of fail pugging 25s . . . Oh.
Sure, I can write this as one continuous thought now but to think it actually occurred to me with such clarity would be to assume a degree of cleverness and self-awareness that, in reality, I didn’t possess. I’d done a pretty good job of tricking myself into believing 25-man raiding was what I wanted and the most fun and that it was the ‘real’ version of raiding.
Where that idea comes from I really don’t know. I’d seen first hand that in many cases the 10m content was legitimately more difficult and less forgiving of error than 25m, but nonetheless, it was how I and many others felt.
In actual fact, reaching the epiphany at the end of that thought process took me at least a month as I alternated between being pleased with how they’d handled the loot distribution between the raid sizes and mad at the loss of choice of doing both 10 and 25m if I wanted to.
The provided reasoning was sound, I could admit, but that didn’t mean I had to like it. The provided reasoning for multi-variable calculus problems are also often sound, and I certainly don’t like those.
In any case, eventually I did come to the end of that thought process, and realised that for me, 10m content was where it was at. This is pretty much in direct contrast with both Ophelie of- well; here, and Larisa over at The Pink Pigtail Inn, who strongly believe it is 25m or go home.
Larisa is a bit concerned that these changes spell the demise of 25m raiding. I’d be lying if I said the thought didn’t cross my mind once or twice after the news, but . . .
Does this Spell the Demise of 25m Raiding?
Does this Spell the Demise of more Casual 25m Raiding?
All I have is purely anecdotal, but I’ll try not to let that get in the way of forming an opinion anyway.
You have likely seen the cry Larisa has put out to preserve 25m raiding within her guild. You’ve possibly heard about other guilds going through similar experiences, or, have had your own guild go through it.
Surreality – my guild – was a 25m raiding guild throughout BC and Wrath; we had a friends before progress stance yet did pretty well nonetheless. Most of us ended up with the 25m Glory of the Icecrown Raider drake before the expansion was over, for instance.
Yet during our raiding lull – we stopped a few weeks out from Cataclysm’s release – there was a discussion on the forums about what people wanted to do and while it was fairly balanced, the decision to split off into multiple 10m groups ultimately prevailed.
So that’s what happened.
Now however there is a movement in some of the other 10m groups to get together as a 25m raiding force. It might even happen, but I have seen that it’s been quite a struggle to get the people together for it when the option to do 10m with a tighter crew but for the same rewards (even if the drop ratio is somewhat reduced) is present.
What I’m seeing and hearing and ultimately thinking is that the 25m raid format isn’t dying, but guilds have to really want it. There needs to be a lot more effort put into recruitment, and standards might need to be lowered to meet initial numbers with the hope that these people can be trained.
I think the reason recruitment is proving so much more difficult now is not that there are any less players about – despite the doom calls about the place – but more so that with 10m now being such an attractive option, and so, much easier to form, people who perhaps used to float free and get by on pugs have joined with friends to raid as a set group; removing them from the potential candidate pool.
10m Raids can’t be all Sunshine… Can They?
Nope. The biggest issue is the bench.
You probably won’t have one.
This can then result in calling a whole raid night for one person missing. With 25m Raids, having a reasonable sized on-call bench was expected and rotation happened naturally.
Out of 25 players, you could always count on one or another having to miss a raid session here and there for whatever reason.
With a 10 player group it’s not nearly so simple. Why would a tank or healer or anyone opt to bench on a regular basis when they could just as easily form the core of another 10m and get to raid far more often?
This is not a completely insurmountable issue; I’m sure we could all think of more fair rotation cycles to keep people in play and the like. It’s just that you can’t expect a bench as a given.
If you want one – much like with 25m raids at the moment – you have to really want it and be willing to work at it.
Goodness Nait, you Ramble.
I know. I’m sorry!
Getting to the point again and to answer my own question from the beginning?
I like the change. I like not feeling pressured to run 25m content just so I won’t feel my character isn’t complete. I like being able to run with 9 closer friends and face stricter challenges and overcome them.
That is different to what I first anticipated I would feel for sure.
Every decision has some benefits and negatives and this one is no different. Both from Blizzard’s end granting us the choice of engaging in the size we truly feel to be more fun, at the cost of removing the choice to do both; and from our ends. Do we want to work extra hard to maintain a viable 25m raiding roster, or are we content with running smaller and tighter yet have to work harder on keeping a viable bench (or accept that some nights are just going to be called) as a 10m group?
I’m happy with the choices made by both parties for the moment. What about everyone else?