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1-30-2012 @ 5:11PM
It's a natural evolution. The bigger the group, the higher the stress, and you can't just divide it evenly. 40-mans were a nightmare, and when they added 20-mans, they discovered just how much easier it was. Then came Kara, and 10-man was born. And it was easier still! During BC, 40 died altogether: 10 was the "easy", and 25 was the hard. Then came Wrath, with its choice. You could see the content on either, but 25 was "harder", and rewarded better stuff. But they took it farther, and added modes - Sarth had his 3 Drakes, and Ulduar bosses all had challenges. Then came ToC, and that's when it started to go downhill, and why Ulduar is still so fondly remembered. ToC was the first to offer separate Heroic lockouts, and suddenly raiders could kill those same five bosses 4 times in a week. It was actually less bosses than two clears of Ulduar, but it was SO monotonous - two rooms, five bosses - and why would you limit yourself by NOT taking advantage of all the loot?In ICC they tried to course-correct by going back to two lockouts, and then (for whatever reason they're sticking to right now), one lockout. 25 was the only real option, since 25 still gave the best gear. And so when Cataclysm came out, and 10s and 25s shared gear pools, it was a shock. 25s WERE better, and now they were the same. Again, we had choice... And so people asked, do I really like extra work without extra reward? While 25s rewarded slightly better, people could rationalize, but once they balanced out, why bother?What we're seeing is a simple statement of fact - less work is less work. It should be no surprise to anyone that given a choice between equal reward, people will pick the easier option. It's not lazy, it's smart.With Blizzard's current philosophy, 10-man will win, and 25-man will be LFR-only. If it reaches the point that the 25-man groups are a small fraction of Normal/Heroic raiders, Blizzard will inevitably begin to ask why they're expending effort supporting the extra mode.Truly, the only way that large raids can come back is if they change their approach to it. Larger groups ARE more work (except when done easy-mode like LFR), and they need something extra to be worthwhile, whether it's unique rewards, better payout, or simply being the only option.
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