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The Queue: Shields, forums, and more on raid difficulty


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

I have an extra-special request for all of you! We've had a few people asking for recommendations on other class-specific blogs, and I think that's a good thing to light the Reader Signal for. So in addition to your questions and feedback, recommend class-centric blogs in the comments below! Personally, I read A Dwarf Priest and World of Matticus when I'm looking for something Priestly. Now, to the questions...

shadowsun asked...

I have yet to get Wrath (I know, "PRAISE BE") although I am getting it this Thursday. I was wondering about the new raiding system. Which is harder, 10-man or 25-man? For example is the 10-man easier in the point that you need less players but harder as in they need to be more well geared? Or is the 25-man harder?

You can start both 10 and 25-man raiding with the same gear. They're tuned so you don't need to run one before the other at all. The 10-man is probably easier to organize than the 25-man due to having fewer people, but as far as encounter difficulty...

In my experience, the 10-mans are slightly harder with a few exceptions where a very specific encounter is more challenging in the 25-man incarnation. Overall, the 10 is more difficult, which quite honestly boggles my mind. The 25-man is simply not tuned high enough. If you were around for Molten Core, you might remember how early 40-man raiding was. Only 15-20 of your 40-man raid was at all important. The other half of the raid could die instantly or be completely AFK and you could still kill bosses. That's current 25-man raiding. Only 10-15 of you are important. It's a huge joke.

The 10-man is tuned more or less right on. It's easy, but not so easy you can let half of your raid die. In some cases, one death spells your doom. The tuning is pretty good. Simple, but everyone needs to contribute.

I don't think it necessarily needs to be so lopsided, the 25-mans are just horribly undertuned. Some Heroics honestly pose a bigger challenge. I'd even say select encounters are overtuned for a 10-man encounter when put up against the 25s.

Biggest example is Malygos' Vortex ability in the 10-man. It's tuned to 'challenge' Circle of Healing Priests and Resto Druids in a format where you're not guaranteed to have them. If you want to challenge a specific class (or spec, actually) keep it to the 25-man where you're pretty much guaranteed to have one, eh? Keep that out of the 10-man. 10-man Naxx encounters don't require Mind Control for a reason, you know?

Feli asked a pair of questions...

How do I get all, or at least more, of my guild members to use our forum? It's full of information, raid schedules, tactics... but only announcing it in the guild topic doesn't help.

It takes some training, and if you're not in a really gung ho guild it's going to be tough to get them into a routine of checking the forums. I found that if you can harbor a social environment there as well as the raiding stuff, they'll be more likely to visit regularly. Make an area of the forum where you can just gab or post cool stuff if you haven't yet. Make it a place guildies will go if they're bored, and then it'll become routine. My guild forums has strategies and raid schedules and all of that, and I bet everyone that sees that stuff opened up the forums initially to see what crazy flash game or YouTube video was posted today.

That, and you should nag them. Nag and nag and nag. Look at your member list on the forums and the guild. Did someone fail to sign up? Whisper them about it. 'Hey, did you sign up for the forum yet? There's something I'd like you to look at.' Simple!

Our guild leader decided to quit the game, and left the guild in the hand of an officer. Are there any precautions that should be taken to make the hand-over go smooth? I mean things like: Demote all people to the lowest rank again and start from scratch?

Only if there were massive problems with how the guild was running before. GM transitions can be tough on a guild, and making massive overhauls to how the guild operates will make that worse. If changes need to be made, communicate them to your members and do it slowly so everyone is comfortable with what's going on. If some folk see the guild leadership change and suddenly everyone is being demoted into obscurity, you raise the chances of hurt feelings, shattered nerves, and /gquits.

Super Brain asked...

I'm a Prot Warrior, and I've now come across several shields such as the Icechill Buckler where it says it has both 128 Block AND upon equiping it will "increase the block value of your sheild." Which of those two numbers are what's referred to as the SBV (Sheild Block Value) and whats the difference between the two stats?

We'll use The Skull of Ruin as our example when explaining this, because it has all of the appropriate stats on it while also looking super awesome. If the mouseover tooltip doesn't work, just click through the link and take a gander at its stats, then come back.

Shield Block Value is the stat listed as "Increases the block value of your shield by ##." That means part of the item's budget was spent on additional points of block, so you add that to the number below the armor, which in the case of this shield is 211. This is how much you block for, so in other words, when you block an attack that's how much damage reduction you'll get. As a Protection Warrior, that block value also adds to your Shield Slams and all of that. Another thing that adds to your block value is Strength. Unless I'm mistaken (pretty sure I'm not in this case), you gain 1 block value for every 2 points of Strength.

The other Block stat is shield block rating. That's not how much you block for, but rather how often you'll block. I believe that at level 80, 20 block rating is equivalent to a 1% chance to block.

On your Icechill Buckler, you don't have any Shield Block Rating, so no bonus to how often you block. However, you do have block value, so it will give a boost to how much damage you block. Make sense? If not, our resident Warrior addict wrote about it awhile back if you're looking for more information on it.
Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The WoW Insider crew is here with The Queue, our daily Q&A column! Leave your questions in the comments and we'll do our best to answer 'em!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

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