My Take on the 10/25 Thing

It’s fitting that Naithin guest posted about 10s vs 25s on Thursday. After all, I’m a die hard 25 man raider. A die hard 25 man raider who just joined a 10 man guild.

Bit of background, differences of opinion with (some of) the leadership (understatement) and inconvenient raid times brought me to leave my 25 man guild. Instead of craving a rebound guild, my gquit actually triggered cravings to spend time around people I can get touchy-feeling with. But I didn’t want to lose my skills, or fall too far behind on gear, or to become too out of the loop for paladin blogging (contrarily to popular belief, you don’t have to play at Paragon’s level to read and translate EJ into plain English, but it does helps to step into a raid once in awhile).

That’s when my old healing lead, Vik, put me in touch with Thespius. Remember what Naithin said about backup players being hard to find for 10 man guilds? Well, it was a perfect match. Team Sport gained a backup healer and I got 6 hours a week of scheduled WoW time, which occasionally included raiding.

My first impression of 10 man raiding: Dude, where’s my mana?

Before anything else, there’s one thing I need to come clear on. I know I’m always going on about how us pallies have too much mana. Well, if that had anything to do with tomorrow’s patch changes, I’m sorry. I really am.

In 25 man raids, I finished most fights at 80% mana. During my 10 man raid, I was completely out of mana before the boss was at 80% health.

Kurn had warned me that 10 man raiding was a bit rougher on the mana, but I assumed it was a gear thing. Apparently, it’s not a gear thing. This upcoming patch now makes me want to sob hysterically.

Dealing with the missing mana
To make this post educational, here’s my plan to cope with my new found mana issues:
– Trade in my Pursuit of Justice spec for an Eternal Glory spec (maybe go 3/3 on PotI depending on how the nerf to PotI turns out)
– Check my reforging for more spirit opportunities
– Keep working on Archeology for Tyrande’s Favorite Doll
– Go over the logs of my beaconing experiments to figure out the most efficient beacon positioning.

Of Bodies and Strategy

I commonly hear that the challenge of 10s over 25s is that 10 leave less room for error. During Wrath, that wasn’t exactly true: errors that would instakill you on 25 were survivable on 10 man. Though deaths on 10 man represented a bigger loss, it was much harder to die.

I don’t have enough 10 man experience in Cataclysm to know if that carried onto the expansion, but I was quick to notice is that 10 mans don’t allow as many strategy possibilities. Take a look at the comments on my Beacon Strategies post: “Seems like good ideas, but, um, not going to work on 10 man.”

If you want to argue about difficulty, the limitations on strategies imposed by 10 man can either increase or decrease the challenge, all based on circumstance. The lack of bodies needed for fine tuning fights limits the class interaction techniques you can use, but it also makes coordination so much simpler.

10 mans, the good and the bad

The fast wipe recoveries and quick loot distribution of 10 mans are nice. You can get a lot more attempts in. That takes a huge chunk out of progression time. But I miss the strategy, the class interactions. I miss the chaos that are “spreading out” fights on 25. I miss the complex log parsing. I miss having a team of 6 or 7 to heal with.

Maybe 10 man raiding will grow on me like they did for Janyaa and Naithin, but my loves are strategy and complexity and 10 mans just don’t seem to deliver.

It’s not that I don’t like 10s. 10s have their advantages too. The more accurate statement is this: I hate this 10/25 lockout system

I know “hate” is a strong term, but it’s the only one that fits. I hate the lockout system, I really do.

Being a 25 man raider at heart, my focus and energy were on my 25 mans. Offnight 10 mans, however, were how we got to know our teamates. They were how we filled the holes in our gear. When we lost the ability to run both, moral in the guild went downhill. It was like raiding with strangers. And gearing was near impossible. I raided full time for a month and half during Cataclysm. I didn’t see a single piece of healing plate drop. Not one. With the exception of a neckpiece and a ring, I’m wearing heroics gear exclusively. Had I been able to redo the fights on 10 man, I would have more chance to keep up gear-wise, or at least get some extra valor points.

I know, we probably could have run 10 mans on offnights anyway (it’s not like we were clearing all the bosses during the raid week), but for whatever reason we didn’t. And the difference was noticeable. It’s like offnight 10 mans are the glue that hold 25 man raids together.

Conclusion: An informed opinion from me is yet to come

I am giving 10s a chance. Until my real life slows down, I’m just a back up healer anyway. Since I’m only playing a handful of hours a week, 10 mans, with their impeccable efficiency, offer more to me right now than 25s would.

I’m still skeptical though. 10 mans alone don’t seem to offer enough mental exercise for a passionate strategist, but we’ll see. We’ll see.

ps. Check out my guest post for Naithin!

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29 Comments on “My Take on the 10/25 Thing”

  1. Grimmtooth Says:

    I’ll be watching for your conclusions RE: 10/25. Most opinions that I have seen come from the viewpoint of someone that is strict 10 or 25, and rarely from someone that does both regularly.

    Zelmaru (Murloc Parliment) mentions that for Holy priests, at least, there seems to be a “spirit threshold”, which, after you cross it, mana is no longer an issue. I wonder if the Pally engine runs the same way in this regard.

    • Rhii Says:

      I wouldn’t be particularly surprised if it does, as I seem to have a similar threshold on my shammy.

    • Ophelie Says:

      I haven’t seen any theorycrafting that suggests that for pallies. The pally approach is as much spirit as you like, as long as it doesn’t interfere with your int. Until now, mana hasn’t been an issue so I’ve been focusing on other stats. But I’m always open to adapting to the type of raiding I’m doing.

      I wouldn’t say I do both regularly. I was a 25 man raider, then I ran a 10 man raid ^_^. I used to do both regularly, but I think most 25 man raiders did before the lockout changes.

  2. Janyaa Says:

    Oh gosh, Ophelia, I agree with you about this statement, “I HATE this 10/25 lockout system.”

    That’s it in a nutshell. I have grown to love my 10man raiding, but if I had the choice, I would do both in a heart beat. The fact is, we only raid two nights a week; which leaves entirely too much time without any raiding.

    On the off nights, I log on, do my fishing and cooking dailies, do my Tol Barad dailies, do my random heroic and then log off. Maybe I’ll do some farming if I’m feeling particularly bored.

    It’s so boring and dissatisfying. I’m a RAIDER, dammit. I wish Blizzard would just let me raid and be happy.

    (And, to all the people that say, well, just roll another alt. Yes, I have another level 85, and hopefully I will get them geared out and raid ready. But, making me level an entirely different toon, go through the same storyline of quests and then do the grind to re-gear and deck out my alt is frustrating. I chose my main because that’s what I want to play. I hate that I’m not getting the opportunity to do so as much as I would like.)

    In a perfect Janyaa world, I would be able to run my 10man raids progressively during the week and run a 25man raid casually during the weekend.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Yeah, a perfect world would be the same for me, except I’d run the 25s progressively and the 10s casually. I don’t have time to play more than twice a week anyway these days, but, if I did, that’s how I’d do it.

  3. Janyaa Says:

    PS. You know what’s so funny? I predicted that this would be the case in two posts long before the changes occurred.

    This post discussed my love of both 10/ 25m formats and my dismay at making them mutually exclusive.

    And this one talked about my concern for the continued viability of 25man raiding.

    Talk about one time I wish I had been wrong. 😦

    • Ophelie Says:

      Aww. 😦 Yeah, I had the same thoughts as well. I wasn’t too worried on a personal level about the viability of 25 man raiding since I wasn’t expecting to have to leave Conquest and 25 mans are very established there but I was very annoyed at the lockout changes.

  4. ithilyn Says:

    Do you make your WoL posts public? I’d love to look over them if so, it’s very educational.

    • Ophelie Says:

      I don’t think I have any 25 man logs floating around. My last 25 man raid was a few weeks ago. I haven’t been in my 10 man guild long enough to flaunt their logs on my blog, but I can email you the logs of my recent 10 man raid.

  5. Zahraah Says:

    I get the need for the touchy feely.. just had wake up call about the dangers of playing with kids.. and need to be reminded about nice people again – 10’s was more something I did with friends 25’s was for raiding – but I like the idea of a reliable set of 10’s then a 25 mess now

    • Ophelie Says:

      I hear ya! I’d gotten so used to the flashbacks of my elementary school days bus rides that I forgot what adults sound like. A few friends of mine have recommended 25 man guilds who cater to an older yet still serious about progression crowd, but I don’t plan on getting back into full time raiding until I finish this semester and start working a normal schedule.

  6. Apple Says:

    I am in full agreement on the hating the shared lockout. It’s mostly a theoretical hatred on my part, as I have no raiding characters at the moment, but I can’t imagine how frustrating it is for people who run 25m and can’t run those 10m on off weeks, or when they’re a bit bored, or if they want to try to fill some gear holes. I know I personally would be wanting to do a 10m once in a while with my little Ulduar crew. :/ And, on the off chance I get myself geared well enough for raiding any time soon, my guild doesn’t really NEED any more Healadins at the moment, to my knowledge, so I probably wouldn’t be on the roster. Being able to find nine guildies who might run a raid once a week with me would give me a chance to experience stuff that I wouldn’t be seeing otherwise. Not to mention that when we’re a tier or two ahead, people won’t be able to PUG older content of a larger/smaller size than their guild runs if their guild farms at all, just on the off chance that they have an unexpected farm night.

    Just… bah. Frustrating.

    • Ophelie Says:

      I agree that the social members of raiding guilds tend to be the most penalized by this system, at least until we’re far enough in the expansion for most people to have raiding alts.

  7. Imakulata Says:

    Regarding mana, the nerfs are needed since we are more effective than other healers. I’m sorry it made you unhappy. Personally, I’m specced Eternal glory because LoD might be better if people happen to be stacked at one place but this does not happen all the time.

    Regarding the shared lockout, I suspect they did so because many people do not understand what “optional” means. (They either consider it mandatory if it gives them an advantage or pointless if it doesn’t.) Of course, 25-man are not dropping heroic gear as they used in Wrath but it would double the number of drops you get anyway.

    At first, I was quite surprised at needing 10-man raids to keep your 25-man together but I guess it’s important for any guild to have an off-night activity people can do together so they don’t feel like strangers who only meet a couple of hours a week for raids and 5-mans or 10-mans (for 25-man guilds) were just something everyone was familiar with and a lot of people actually wanted to do.

    • Ophelie Says:

      The nerf part was a joke. (Generally, anything I say that mentions crying and/or gross exaggerations is poking at fun at something. Actually, most of what I say is poking fun at something.) Since I’m constantly writing about how us pallies are downing in our own mana, I had to laugh at the fact that joke was on me during my 10 man raid.

      10 mans help 25 man guilds a lot because 25 man raids are really impersonal. You have to keep vent clear and be concise during strat discussions. 5 mans are too small a group for teambuilding and, besides, most raiders know the 5 man instances like the back of their hand, they don’t have to focus on teamwork to get through them. 10 mans are just perfect.

  8. Rhii Says:

    I’ve always loved 10s myself. Possibly it’s because my first few raids were Kara and ZA, but in 10s I always feel vital, necessary, integral to team success. In 25s I always feel confused, lost in the crowd, like an interchangeable cog in the wheel. I am SO happy that 10s and 25s now drop the same loot. I hated feeling like I put forward more effort and had a greater impact on success in the raid where I was rewarded with subpar gear, and being rewarded with the “real” epics only when I blundered around feeling useless and extraneous. It always felt backwards to me.

    That’s just me though. I hope you come to see the fun of 10s, since that’s what you’re doing right now. 🙂

    • Ophelie Says:

      I actually kind of like that the loot is the same for both raid sizes now too. I’ve never been one to care about loot, but whenever I ran 10 mans during Wrath, I felt like I was cheating by wearing my 25 man gear. I like that I don’t have worry about that anymore.

  9. adgamorix Says:

    I couldn’t disagree more. I hated feeling like I ‘had’ to run the same instance 2 or 4 times a week (ToC anyone?) just to get a properly itemized piece of gear. I also don’t want to raid 5x night a week. Two or three nights suits me just fine. Gives me time to hang out with my wife and do other hobbies I enjoy.

    • Ophelie Says:

      To someone who runs only 10s, the change in lockout is probably a relief. But to a 25 man guild, the lack of 10s is noticeable on guild moral. Even when you never did the 10s, the fact that NO ONE does 10s gets in the way team building.

  10. slice213 Says:

    10 vs 25 the eternal debate 😛

    I personally could go either way. 25 member raids can be fun in their own way, as you mentioned – trying to find a spot in the room lol.

    But 10 member raids are a hella easier to get people together for.

    As far as the difficulty, to me at least, losing a healer in a 10 man fight is almost insta wipe, while in 10 man you still quite a few healers to carrier thru hopefully. Even losing a DPS in a 10 man, means the others have to DPS that much more to perhaps beat a timer. Also losing an interrupter in a 10s raid is very painful. Losing a DPS in a 25 man…really seems like it is ok. 25 man seems like you can carry some people, while in a 10 man format, one does not have that luxury.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Like I said in the post, losing a player in 10s is a bigger loss, but it balances out by being much harder to die on 10.

      I’ve never found the “you can carry players more on 25” excuse to be true, even when I was running both. In Wrath, both raid sizes allowed for carrying and in Cata, neither raid size allows for carrying.

  11. slice213 Says:

    lol btw enjoyed the guest post a lot. It made my Civ V bug re-awaeken…and i did get my tax refund….must resist!

  12. Maoridin Says:

    I like the majority am looking forward to your next 10/25 post. Im in a ten man guild purely because i dont have the time to dedicate myself to the work of a 25 guild. I do however like the simplicity of my team man… we are all very close much like a family and are all in a similar situation of gametime vs RL time. I was in quite a good 25 guild and liked it but life moves on and with that i went to ten. The challenges i face are indeed mana control as we try to run only two healers.
    Another great post and awesome guest post to.

    ps – its a little of topic but if you get a chance google “new zealand wellington Sevens” its a awesome time and people dress up and what not… Next year im going as a paladin!!! /inv Ophelie hahahaha

    • Ophelie Says:

      The New Zealand International Sevens looks like a time! I wasn’t able to figure out exactly what sport it was… the ball looked like a rugby ball? But it sure looked like one heck of a party!

      Running with two healers is pretty brutal! Is there a reason you run with two? None of the bosses have harsh enrage timers that I’m aware of… healer shortage?

      • Maoridin Says:

        The party is massive and your right its rugby all be it a smaller version of the games. Awesome games awesome costumes and the street party on the last night EPIC…. there a 5 of us looking to goes as paladins…. was 6 but she wants to go as silvanis (she is kinda a skank so it makes sense OMG she is gonna read this) Any ideas of which paladin in particular i should go as… i was think uther?

        Ah we have a 3rd and foruth healer but they like to dps its brutal but a challenge so we stick it and run three if it just aint coming together….

  13. Viktory Says:

    I can NOT believe that such a hardcore raider is in 10-man now.

    What is the world coming to?!?!

    Kidding, hope you have a blast. Thes owes me a beer now.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Die hard. Die hard, not hardcore! (Although my temper tantrums at pulling any second after the scheduled raid start time have to be worth something.)

      I do miss raiding regularly a lot (but I’ve been lucky so far, with getting in on one raid a week) and I’m not converted to 10s yet, but it’s been a nice way to keep in touch with WoW during my clerkship. I really like Team Sport and Thespius has been lovely.

      Thes isn’t the only one to owe you a beer ;D (I guess that means I have to go to Blizzcon now…)

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