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Posts with tag 10-man

Asia first Garrosh Hellscream heroic kill goes to Tianqi

Asia first 10man heroic Garrosh Hellscream kill goes to Tianqi
Congratulations to Chinese guild 天 啟 (Tianqi) for their Garrosh Hellscream kill in 10-man heroic mode! If you're wondering why this isn't visible on WoWProgress as a world first kill, it's because they have certain advantages over players in other regions.

To start, there are separate weekly lockouts for 10-man and 25-man, allowing a guild in Asia to run both in the same week. Secondly, the loot in 25-man is 8 ilevels higher and the boss health and damage is also 8% higher. This allowed Tianqi to acquire higher ilevel loot in 25-man before going into 10-man to achieve their Garrosh kill. At least one of the players participating in the kill had a average ilevel of 575 along with a ilevel 588 weapon.

These circumstances should in no way detract from their achievement, but the traditional world first race is still very much on for both 10-man and 25-man.

Filed under: Raiding

From 25 to 10, a Lodur Story

From 25 to 10, a Lodur Story
I feel like it's been a pretty big debate since the inception of the concept, whether 25-man or 10-man raiding is the end all be all. Which is "real" raiding? Which is more difficult? Which offers you the most rewards? These questions have almost been a plague on raiding discussion since the option first became available. To be honest, I've never much cared for the debate. I'm the type of person that is a live and let live when it comes to personal preferences in video games.

For me, I've always just been a raider. It has been a huge part of my enjoyment with the game, second only to the story and lore of Warcraft. I've also always been a large group raider from Classic World of Warcraft right up to Mists, but I did always run with a 10-man group right up until the point where 10 and 25 started to share a lockout, just so I could keep raiding and so I knew how to handle both situations. Recently, due to personal scheduling reasons, I've had to make some changes to my World of Warcraft playtime that has resulted in not only me re-joining the Horde, but also having shifted from 25-man raiding to full time 10-man healing on Lodur.

This post is just my opinions and observations based on my own change from 25-man raiding to 10-man raiding. Your mileage may vary.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

25-mans have higher Thunderforged drop rate than 10-mans

25mans have higher Thunderforged drop rate than 10mans
The new Thunderforged loot designation -- much like the affix Raid Finder -- was introduced into Patch 5.2 for a number of reasons by Blizzard. While the affix does stay certain pieces from disenchantable execution on farm bosses, players largely regarded Thunderforged items as another attempt to help 25-man raiding guilds stay afloat. The developers didn't want to go back to late Wrath of the Lich King model of completely higher loot in 25mans, so instead Thunderforged items can drop in both sized raids. However, the drop rate in 25-mans would be higher than that of 10-mans.

"How frequent is more frequent?" players would ask, especially when given the chance to chat with the developers about patch 5.2. Ghostcrawler deflected the question on TotemSpot's interview, preferring to let players figure out the drop rates themselves.

Fortunately for us, WoWProgress has analyzed the loot drops using its database of characters, guilds, and bosses killed this first week of Patch 5.2. Looking at loot gains from Jin'rokh the Breaker, specifically:
  • 11.7% of the 10-man loot equipped by characters was Thunderforged
  • 25.7% of the 25-man loot equipped by characters was Thunderforged
Even figuring in disenchanted items, WoWProgress figures the drop rates to be approximately 10% for 10-man and 25% for 25-man. From personal anecdote, my 25-man raiding guild saw usually one but sometimes two Thunderforged drops per boss in addition to four to five regular mode drops. Tier pieces, of course, will never drop as Thunderforged.

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

15-man raiding is the option of last resort

Blizzard has made numerous comments over the past year that 15-man raiding seems like a good size compromise between 10-man and 25-man. The 15-person raid can provide enough slots for the necessary class balance, yet let flexibility come into play in exactly how many players of each class are taken.

While some players are keen to enter the era of 15-man raiding, others loath the roster moves and guild shakeups this would cause. For those that were not around during the 40-man to 25-man transition in The Burning Crusade, many many guilds fell apart over having to make drastic cuts from their rosters. In a series of tweets, Ghostcrawler notes that the transition to 15-man raiding would cause guilds to prune 10 people from a 25-man roster, however I'd contend it'd be much more than that (around 15 people would need to be cut), due to the fact most 25-man guilds carry several more folks than necessary, which wouldn't be needed in a leaner and meaner raiding crew.

However, it appears that a transition to 15-man raiding is essentially off the table. Ghostcrawler tweets:

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Filed under: News items, Raiding, The Burning Crusade

Patch 5.2 PTR: Thunderforged items could revitalize 25-man raiding

Patch 52 PTR Thunderforged items offer a six ilvl upgrade in all raid difficulties
Blizzard Community Manager Tyiliru has posted on the community forums with some information on new Thunderforged items, which offer increased item levels.

These Thunderforged items can drop from both Normal and Heroic mode raids, but not from the Raid Finder, and have an item level which is six higher than the standard item level of items obtained from those sources. So, item levels will be as follows:
  • Raid Finder: ilvl 502
  • Normal mode: ilvl 522
  • Normal Thunderforged: ilvl 528
  • Heroic: ilvl 535
  • Heroic Thunderforged: ilvl 541
Tyiliru also adds that these items will be more likely to drop in 25-man raiding, which will lead to 25-man raiders having a slightly increased item level compared to 10-man raiders. Tyiliru clarifies that this is definitely an attempt from Blizzard to offer greater rewards to 25-man raiders, without overly rewarding them to the extent that 10-man raids will feel undervalued.

Ghostcrawler was kind enough to clarify that this was not the unannounced feature he mentioned last night!

Hit the break for Tyiliru's full post. Will this make you more inclined to push for 25-man raiding over 10-man? Is item level inflation getting totally out of hand, and will this really make an impact, given that 25-man raiders already gear somewhat more quickly than 10man raiders?

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Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

10 and 25-man to no longer share lockouts on KR realms in patch 5.1

10 and 25man will no longer share lockouts on KR realms
The Korean World of Warcraft community site has published some interesting news regarding the future of raiding in patch 5.1. An update posted earlier today states that 10 and 25-man lockouts will not be shared. It looks like this change will apply to Korean realms only (for now). There's no mention if this change is going to affect realms in other regions. The item levels of loot in 25-man raids will be increased with this change. For example, Terrace on 10-man would drop ilevel 496 items whereas the 25-man would drop 504.

As a 25-man raider myself, I am greatly interested in this change. It's challenging to maintain a healthy 25-man raiding roster. While this change would benefit 25-man guilds, it would also have an impact on 10-man raid groups. Equal item level rewards meant that most players would choose the quickest and most efficient route.

What do you guys think of this as a possible solution to the whole 10 vs 25s issue? If you're raiding in a 10-man group right now, would this cause you to look for and apply to a 25-man guild?

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items, Raiding

The hardcore game is dead

The Hardcore is Dead
It is a concept long familiar to World of Warcraft players: the hardcore raider. The women and men who were on the cutting edge of raiding content, who had the absolutely best gear, who played the most and knew the most about the game. Back in classic WoW, I was absolutely this person. I raided. It was all I did, really. My tanking gear was so good that players would stop me in Ironforge to comment on it. We killed everything first up until a new guild came to our server, then we traded kills with them until the end of the original game and the launch of The Burning Crusade.

Cut to the hunt for BC kills. A lot of people I knew were burning out. Some of the encounters were seen as having been tuned too high, while others lamented the loss of 40-man raiding and the shift to 25s, especially with Karazhan as the 10-man raid having caused a lot of guild drama. "Raiding is too easy now. You can go with 10 people to some raids. It's lost the epic feeling of 40-man raiding. Look at how much faster raiding goes now than it did. We used to struggle to learn each boss; now the only real challenge is in end bosses like Kael and Vashj. Gimmicks like legendary weapons and orbs have replaced knowing your role and class."

What am I getting at?

Nostalgia is poisonous. The people who bemoan how easy raiding is now are the same people who defended BC raiding from the old curmudgeon MC/BWL raiders who felt like the BC raid game had dumbed down raiding. It's always better in the past, because the past has passed and become perfected by memory. At the time no one would have said it was the pinnacle of raiding -- far from it. People were still going back to Naxx-40 at level 70 and still having a hard time running it. People sang its praises as the ultimate raid right up until it was removed from the game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

Does World of Warcraft need to be more difficult?

The above video is a bit lengthy, but it's well worth the watch simply because it does raise a few valid points along the line. And lest you think this is yet another player whining about the endless hardcore vs. casual debate, it's not -- this is simply a player who is incredibly passionate about the game we all play. In that passion, he's decided to talk about the direction that raiding in WoW has taken and how it has gone downhill, in his opinion.

On the one hand, he has a point. There is a stark difference between the feel of raiding back in the days of vanilla, The Burning Crusade, and now. There's a stark difference in numbers, which any graph can illustrate. More and more people can complete raids now from one degree or another, which leaves people barreling through content at light speed and doesn't really give that same feeling that raiding had in years past.

On the other, is changing the difficulty in WoW really the way to accomplish that goal? I don't think so.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Does WoW need variable raid scaling?

If you've ever played a game of Diablo III and had a friend join you, you've heard the message "The minions of hell grow stronger." When you play DIII in a group, the monsters you're stepping on either grow in number or power and sometimes both. When you or your friends leave, the game tunes itself back downwards, so that while there are fewer of you, there are also fewer of the monsters or they have less punishing abilities.

I bring this up because I wonder if just such a system would help address or perhaps even destroy the 10/25-man raid debate in World of Warcraft. What is there was no fixed raid size? What if raids were any group up to 25 players, and the trash and bosses simply scaled themselves for the size of the group?

You see threads on the forums constantly debating the back and forth on 10- vs. 25-man raiding, exclaiming how 25-man raids are dying out, which I find undeniably true purely based on the logistics of each size of raid, and so on. I'm sure we've all been in a situation where we wanted to raid but we were a few short. Now, imagine if you could always raid, as long as you had the two tanks and three or four healers ready to go, because the raid would scale itself based on how many people you brought.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Cataclysm, Diablo 3

Raiding: Weighing the benefits of 25-man raids vs. 10-man raids

25s 10s raiding graph
According to Wowtrack.com, the number of 25-man raiding guilds is several orders of magnitude smaller than the number of 10-man raiding guilds. Why is Blizzard spending so much effort balancing both the 10- and 25-man raid formats when the 25-man raiding community contains an incredibly low percentage of the raiding population?

Blizzard Community Manager Zarhym recently posted this on a forum thread about the subject:

Zarhym
We'll continue making adjustments as necessary to keep 10- and 25-player raids within a relative alignment, in terms of time investment, difficulty and rewards. It may never be perfect, but we still see interest in both raid sizes for different reasons. And ultimately we'll continue designing 25-player raids as long as there are a decent number of guilds interested in the format. We've seen no evidence as of yet that such interest is waning to any degree that should cause us great concern.

We tend to begin raid design around 25 players anyway before tuning for the various sizes and difficulties. That, when combined with our intent to carry on with 25-player Raid Finder group sizes, makes it very much worth our time to continue designing 25-player raids.

Regardless of what players' personal preferences or opinions are regarding the varied raid formats in World of Warcraft, we don't see removing options as a smart choice in the foreseeable future.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding

The missed opportunity of 20-man raiding

With the release of the Raid Finder and the recent changes to valor points, the debate about 10- vs. 25-man raiding, which is harder to run, and which is harder to balance rages on. I have friends on both sides of the 10/25 debate. I understand both points of view, and I think both are utterly wrong. Completely, absolutely wrong. The issue to me is when we went from 40-man raids down to the current raid sizes, the decision to offer 25-man raids didn't really work. I think we should have gone to 10- and 20-man raiding at the dawn of The Burning Crusade, and I still think we should.

We had 20-man raids back in classic WoW -- two of them, in fact, Zul'Gurub and Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj. Neither exists as a 20-man raid any more, so this may seem odd to players who didn't raid then, but these were considered the small raids. People who had just spent hours raiding in Molten Core, Blackwing Lair or AQ40 would put together these runs on the fly to gear their alts or get a shot at off-spec loot, while other guilds that didn't have the numbers for 40-man raids would spend their time raiding these while trying to build up their numbers.

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

Patch 4.3 PTR: Valor and conquest point changes

Bashiok has just announced new valor point and conquest point changes coming with patch 4.3 that aim to de-emphasize the collection of valor points as a primary way to gear up for content. Both 10- and 25-man versions of the Dragon Soul raid will give 100 VPs per boss, down from 115 and 135, and Firelands bosses will only give 50 points each. The changes are intended to encourage killing bosses for loot rather than killing bosses for valor points to purchase loot. One can also surmise that the change is being introduced to give players more of a reason to try the new Raid Finder feature, where bosses drop loot with a unique power level.

On the PvP side of the equation, the number of conquest points received for the first daily Battleground is increasing to 100 up from 25, allowing players to work toward their conquest point caps quicker while not feeling like they have to run Rated Battlegrounds or Arenas. Both Rated Battlegrounds and Arenas will still earn players points more quickly, but this change should allow those players who prefer regular Battlegrounds to not be left in the dust.

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Zarhym muses about 15-man raids

Recently, a player on the official forums asked about the potential for 15-man raids in World of Warcraft. Zarhym responded to the post, stating that he believes that 15-man raiding numbers are a "pretty optimal number of raiders" since class representation is easier to deal with. However, there is no plan in the near future for Blizzard to implement three different raid sizes in the near future, which most likely means 10- and 25-man raiding is here to stay. But what if we lived in a world of 15-man raiding?

There are many benefits to 15-man raids that work around the scaling problems of 25-mans and the tuning issues of 10-mans. The big issues with 25-man raids include scaling and filling out the roster. Many guilds cannot field 25 people for their weekly raid and usually have to resort to pugging a few stragglers who aren't in tune with the group. Other guilds who cannot field 25 players choose to do two 10-man raids, but the issue of group composition takes center stage; where two 10-mans require a total of four tanks and five to six healers, the 25-man requires two tanks and six to eight healers. You can get a nasty split if you don't have just the right number of specific classes.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Race to World First documentary releasing soon

Looking for Group Productions has been hard at work on its documentary Race to World First for a good long while now, capturing many top-tier World of Warcraft guilds' attempts at claiming coveted world firsts in the raiding game as well as following Blood Legion's race to a top spot. Set to release in a few weeks, Race to World First looks like it's going to be an introspective look at the time and energy that many of these guilds put into the raiding game, as well as an examination of the multicultural nature of the game and the general excitement that goes along with MMO accomplishments.

Each week, Race to World First looks at clips from players in guilds that have been fighting for or actually achieved world firsts. Looking back a bit, this clip with Narilka of Ensidia chronicles her time spent with the guild downing Kil'jaeden at the end of The Burning Crusade when she was still just 16 years old.

We loved having the Race to World First production team at the WoW Insider reader meetup at BlizzCon in 2010 -- they were some of the nicest guys and had a blast talking to real players and real fans. I am excited to see this documentary. Check out the trailer -- you might even see some familiar faces!

Filed under: Raiding

Ask the Devs Round 8 answers your Firelands questions

The Ask the Devs question and answer series continues with Round 8, where Blizzard devs answered user-submitted questions about patch 4.2's raid content, the Firelands. Players are anxiously awaiting the next tier of raid content, and Blizzard has had a lot to answer for due to the changing nature of patches in the months to come.

Blizzard answers some pretty good questions this time around and even addresses the melee DPS problem in many of the tier 11 raid fights. Some answers are a bit cryptic, however. When discussing the planned Abyssal Maw dungeon (we thought it would be a 5-man, but apparently, raid fights would have taken place there as well), Blizzard says that it believes that the Neptulon story is wrapped up fine with Throne of the Tides but doesn't make mention of the Abyssal Maw dungeons making a return. They only mention "for now," so hopefully the complete Neptulon story will be told in the depths of Vashj'ir.

Another interesting point that the devs make is that they don't really understand the complaint that some aspects of the raid game are too easy, when they look at the number of people who have completed the 25-man heroic encounters in relation to the normal content modes. Also, the devs wanted to stress that they were not trying to turn 25-man raiding guilds into 10-man raiding guilds and actively tried to make the 10- and 25-man versions of encounters similar in order to stress that point.

I am very excited for a new Lady Vashj bridge in the Firelands, though. WoW always has the coolest bridges. Read the full Q&A after the jump.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Raiding, Cataclysm

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