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!