I am currently an officer of a 25 man raiding guild. We are having the inevitable struggles with being missing around 3-5 people as the summer draws in. In fact we’re taking a break for a week to give the officers chance to de-stress. It doesn’t help that I am on an enforced raid break due to RL.
The changes to 10/25 man lockouts were announced last night, and I ended up with a couple of thoughts running through my mind. I’m not panicking or predicting doom and gloom. I also suspect there will be some changes to the system before it goes live.
- People have more than 10 friends
- Benefits for the casual player
- The rise of the alt
- Being on Backup won’t suck quite as much
People have more than 10 friends
When the announcement first happened, I didn’t have time to read the whole thing, so I ruminated on the basics as I left work for the day. I tried to imagine our guild pairing down to 10 man raiding. It would certainly be so intimate, but how could I chose who to have in the raiding teams? I would have to chose between raiding with people. I’m good friends with my guild leader, but with 14 players of ranged DPS characters in the guild, getting a spot in his raid would be difficult.
It would also mean I would miss out on raiding with K, D, A, E and a lot of other mysterious initials.
Yes, 25 man raids are more difficult to organise. Blizzard have a difficult task ahead of them, making 25 mans ‘worthwhile’ without reducing 10 mans to badge farms and time fillers for 25 man raiders. I suspect, at the end of the day, there will be some slight edge for raiding 25man, and much of it will come down to whether you can give up raiding regularly with the 15 people who wouldn’t be in your 10 man.
If you don’t enjoy 25 man raiding then you shouldn’t be ‘forced’ into it because it is the supposed nadir of progression, difficulty and gear.
Benefits for the casual player
I can’t tell you how happy this made me. I won’t have to run the sodding 10 mans on my main in order to gear up quicker. Running ICC in 10 and 25 was somewhat soul destroying for me. I don’t enjoy 10 mans so much, because I go in there ‘overgeared’, they aren’t a challenge – they’re a chore. This is exacerbated by the amount of drama trying to fit 25-35 people into 2x10man ICC per week and still have a team pushing towards a 10 man. I am flat out tired of ICC10 drama.
The casual player with the hardcore mindset can do 10 mans now, without worrying about access to the shiniest purples. Blizzard doesn’t have to spend so much time on balancing the gear, so it can spend those resources elsewhere! The additional changes – different instances, more varied ‘mid length’ content means that the raids won’t seem unbelievably long (Naxx) or stupidly boringly short and trashless (toc). The casual 25 man raider can do 25 mans, without having to find another night in their week for 10 man.
The Rise of the Alt
I can get a character to 85, and take it along to 10 mans for fun and relaxation without screwing my main out of loot. This does beg the question of how to handle loot distribution in a DKP system when the loot tables are the same from 10 and 25, but I don’t particularly care about that right now. I can have a second character, and raid on it without being questioned over not paying full attention to my main.
This also means that 25 mans will have a bigger pool of ‘characters’ to draw from in order to balance raids. No 25 man tank signed up? No problem, the 10man tank is just as well geared and can take over for a week. The 25 man tank can do it in 10 man this week. Short a healer? No problem, one of the overbooked DPS can switch to their 10man healer.
Yes. I realise that creates it’s own problems for 10man progression. It is just an example of the sort of flexibility it gives you. I tend to be a one character girl. I have an alt at 80, but she is my old main. She was abandoned in T7 gear and some how I never have the time, money or energy to enchant and gem her ICC5 gear.
Being on Backup won’t suck too much.
I can see a new raid pattern emerging. 10 mans will be run the night before reset. 25 mans will be run throughout the rest of the week. If your main character doesn’t get saved to the 25 man, you’ll still get a chance at the tastiest loot that week in the end of week 10 man. Having these separate lockouts enables the 25 man raiders to run with a larger raiding pool, without leaving backups with completely no options. You can organise a 10 man run for your leftover 5-8 people, ensuring that they don’t get left behind on loot.
Or not. Again there are issues with that. 1 night only for what will be relatively more difficult content could screw with a guild’s 10 man progression. Plus the ‘main’ will have to compete with pure 10 man characters for spots. If 10 mans are earlier in the week, then you lose the backup because they’ll be locked out. Right now, at least, they can run 10 mans for emblems and gear without losing their potential for the weekly 25 man.
This change will knock down perceptions of 10 man as easy mode. Personally I enjoy 25 man raiding – 15 or 20 man would be perfect for me but that is not going to happen. I think we will see 10 man raiding grow in popularity, and 25 man will be left to those who really enjoy the larger team atmosphere.