Today we got some news about Cataclysm Raid Progression Refinement, in which 10 and 25 man raids are going to share the same lockout for each character, and loot rewards will be the same in 10 vs 25 as far as which items and item levels drop but with a larger quantity of it dropping in 25-man.
Let me start off with a simple statement of my opinion: This is not the death of 25 man raiding.
There’s a bit more in that link that what I’ve already mentioned, but those two points I made up there are the only ones I’m going to talk about. First up, the good:
10 vs 25: Same Loot Rewards
The thing I love about this change is that we will not be forced to either recruit more people or PUG empty spaces in order to participate in 25 man raids just to get better gear; now we’ll be able to do it with the 10 man groups that we already have running. It does sort of encourage people to do several 10′s and ignore the 25′s at first glance since there’s not really any major difference between the two, but there’s more to it than that.
It also means that being a very alt-heavy guild as we are we can get more of our alts geared up more easily and that we will no longer be forced to PUG 25′s on all of them in order to get gear upgrades in addition to running the 10′s with the guild. It will be easier to gear up several alts in that you can get better gear from only 10 people showing up rather than getting 25. Yet at the same time, if a larger quantity of that gear is dropping in 25′s then you likely have better odds of getting what you want in the 25′s since more gear will drop.
We also know that guilds are going to have a guild version of leveling up, or gaining experience, or whatever you want to call it. That’s the part that people seem to be missing when we hear about “The Death of 25 Man Raiding”. If you want your guild to “level up” faster, then you’ll want the increased rewards from running the 25 man raids instead of 10s. It’s going to be a matter of choice that each guild will need to make. Do we go for the more easily organized 10-mans, or the more guild-rewarding 25-mans?
One thing you need to keep in mind about this also is something mentioned at WoW.com today, Pre-Expansion Doldrums. Guilds tend to thin out before expansions get released and people take breaks for various reasons or call it quits after the current expansion feeling that their characters’ journeys have come to an end and move on to other games or other things in life to focus on. Guilds will begin to shrink in size, we’ve seen it in ours already, and 25′s are going to be out of reach for some guilds. Rather than being forced to recruit more they can instead drop down to 10′s and still get the same rewards they otherwise would have, but without all the same number of people required.
I see this change as being a very good one that I appreciate. The players that like to stand out by having the highest item levels in the game won’t like it much, but I’m not one of them so I can’t say that I really care to be quite honest.
10 vs 25: Shared Raid Lockout
I think Blizzard made a slight logistics goof when they printed their changes with this one at the top. As people try to process these changes, they like to break them down individually to try to understand them. At first glance you think Hello Casuals, and you might have to ponder why in the world we’re going to share raid locks now.
The reason why we’re sharing raid locks is because of the change I talked about first – same loot. Why can’t you run a 25 and then break the group into two or three 10′s? Because they don’t want you doubling up on attempts at the top gear. You need to look at this not as 25′s getting nerfed to rewarding only 10-valued gear, this is a buff to 10′s now getting 25-value gear. Not having them share a lock would be the same as allowing you to reset the raid once per week to take another shot at the same bosses for the same loot.
Rather than being able to stand out yourself as having the top level of year, you’re now going to be rewarded from doing 25′s by having a guild that’s above and beyond others who are only doing 10′s. The big epeen rewards won’t be for individuals now, it will be for the guilds themselves.
And now for the “bad”:
My original purpose in posting this was to talk about how this particular change screws guilds like my own which are largely made up of alts. When I think of my guild, I think of how we were a couple of months ago when I was getting into raiding. At that time we had about 25 active people in the guild (not on the same schedules though), with most of us having additional alts at level 80 as well. When the weekly raid came up we would form a 25 group of however many people we had and knock out the weekly, then we would break up into alt groups to pick up the stragglers. People would be on their mains from the 25-man to help the alts in the 10-man versions. So everyone’s main would get the weekly done in 25 and then we’d break off into other groups of main-alt-combos to get the weekly raid done for as many alts as we could as well.
As far as that goes, this change does still screw us a bit because we will no longer be able to use our mains to help other guild members on their alts. In doing that, many of our alts will go stale because we don’t have enough people in the guild to run with us and not everyone has the luck I generally do with PUGs and therefore refuse to PUG anything at all. As far as that goes, this does hurt my particular guild. But, that is for the weekly raid quest, not necessarily progressive raiding.
However, there are some solutions to this particular problem. First, we could roll more alts. Who doesn’t like having alts? *ignores the many hands raised* Exactly, we all love leveling alts! This gives us an easier method of gearing up our alts without having to join increasingly larger guilds, recruiting more members to fill up extra slots in our guild, or resorting to PUGs.
As I think of our guild as we are right now I have to remember the people we’ve recently had who’ve transferred to the server or who were solid friends of current guild members who are leaving their old guilds for the more relaxed and friendly atmosphere of ours. We don’t see twelve or fourteen people logged in on an average day anymore, now we’re seeing closer to twenty-four. Not all of them are level 80, but the ones that aren’t are either pushing for 80 or are just leveling yet another alt much like I am.
Now that I’ve rambled on aimlessly for a bit, let me sum all of that up for you in a method that actually makes more sense.
Same Loot in 10 & 25: Awesome (sowwy speshul snowfwakes)
Same Lockout in 10 & 25: At first glance this sucks. As I sat down and put thoughts into words and continued to expand on thoughts though, it’s really not that big of a problem. Some guilds will be impacted by it in a negative way, like those who relied on being able to do both 25 and 10 on their main to help the members of the guild. At the same time, it does encourage growth within the guild by offering the same rewards with fewer people, and I think that’s a praise worthy accomplishment on Blizzard’s part. The more I think about it, the more I realize that the only people being hurt by this in any way are those getting kicked right square in the epeen.