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Posts with tag 25-man-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

Patch 5.4 PTR: Raid testing for Thursday, August 29

Patch 54 PTR Raid testing for Thursday, August 29
The flurry of heroic raid testing continues tomorrow, with more bosses scheduled for patch 5.4 PTR testing. Players looking to test their mettle against the 25-man heroic versions of the Immerseus, Iron Juggernaut and Siegecrafter Blackfuse encounters will have their chance to do so throughout the day tomorrow on the PTR servers. Remember -- if you've been testing flex or normal modes of these encounters, they may look a little different on heroic mode.

Players that wish to test out this content should log on at the appropriate times listed for each boss encounter. Don't worry too much about the gear you bring in, it will be scaled to match the difficulty of the encounter -- but bring your best game, because heroic bosses are hardly a joke. And as always, be sure to leave feedback in the appropriate threads on the official PTR forums once you're done testing content.

Read on for more details, including the full schedule of times for individual raid bosses.

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Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4 PTR: Raid testing for Wednesday, August 28

Patch 54 PTR Raid testing for Wednesday, August 28
Heroic 25-man raid testing continues tomorrow on the patch 5.4 PTR servers. For players interested in testing heroic Siege of Orgrimmar content, both the Sha of Pride and Malkorok encounters will be available over the course of tomorrow for the purposes of testing. As with all PTR raid encounters, players should leave feedback on the encounters in the appropriate threads on the official PTR forums.

If you have yet to explore the patch 5.4 PTR, you can copy a character by logging into your Battle.net account on the official website, or you can simply create a pre-made level 90 character if that sounds like a better option to you. Gear will be scaled to match the difficulty of the encounters, so don't worry about being under-geared for the content, either.

Read on for more details, including the full schedule of times for individual raid bosses.

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Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4, flexible raids, dailies and more with Tom Chilton

Patch 5.4 is nearing completion, and soon we'll see the Siege of Orgrimmar and the fate of Garrosh Hellscream on live servers. But 5.4 has much more to offer than the raid itself -- we'll have plenty of other content to play through as well. Featuring new pets, new mounts, a new raid difficulty and much, much more, patch 5.4 is shaping up to be a substantial addition to an already massive expansion.

We had the opportunity to chat with Lead Game Designer Tom Chilton regarding all of the above, as well as plenty of other topics of contention in regards to both patch 5.4 and Mists of Pandaria as an expansion. Read on to hear what he had to say about Flexible raiding, the upcoming Connected Realms feature, the future of daily quests and the challenges of creating a raid out of a capital city.

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Filed under: Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Why Flex Raiding will change everything

Why Flex Raiding is the future
Ever since 10 and 25 man raiding were both equally supported in Wrath of the Lich King it's been a struggle to balance these two sizes of raiding groups. In Wrath, the balancing act was accompanied with gear inequity - the smaller size got lesser gear. Many 10 man guilds felt marginalized, and many 25 man guilds would split up to run the 10 mans for additional loot since the two sizes did not share a lockout. We're of course all aware of how that ended up working out - people complained about feeling forced to run raids twice or even four times on certain difficulties, leading to the current system of shared lockouts and the heroic difficulty toggle.

The current system, with 10 and 25 man raids sharing a lockout and gear has endured since Cataclysm, and it's one of the contributing factors to the death of 25 man raiding. Simply put, it's easier to set up and run a 10 man. Each raid size has its own quirks of difficulty (the difficulty in setting up a proper raid comp for 10s and the feeling of added responsibility per player vs. the often grueling mechanical difficulty ramp up for 25's and the sense of having less space to use to avoid more damage) but all things being equal, a 10 man raid is a lot easier to get off of the ground. It does bring its own problems... it's easier to keep a bench going and rotate players in 25's than it can be in 10s - but a lot of players have opted for 10 man. Patch 5.4 threw a wrinkle into this whole balancing act with the introduction of flexible raiding.

And it is this which has me convinced that flex raiding will replace both 10 and 25 man sizes for raids in the expansion to come. Having a flexible raid size with scaling damage will bring its own design challenges, to be sure, but it will also mean that once your guild hits the minimum raid size (currently 10 players) until it hits the maximum, it will never have to sit a player again. And at the maximum size, it will never have to cancel a raid because 22 people showed up instead of 25. It will change raiding, it will change guilds, but it is probably inevitable and necessary change.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.3 and more with Ghostcrawler

Patch 53 and more with Ghostcrawler
In case you hadn't heard the news, patch 5.3 is set to hit live servers tomorrow. While 5.3 doesn't include a new raid, there are a host of different new activities, including four new scenarios, heroic scenarios, a ton of pet battle changes, and of course the advancement of Mists of Pandaria's storyline as the heat ramps up between Alliance, Horde, and an outlier faction of Horde rebels. It's back to the Barrens again -- and this time, Crossroads isn't the area of contention.

But on top of all of the new content comes a ton of different class and content changes as well. We sat down to chat with Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street about patch 5.3's changes, as well as some upcoming changes for patch 5.4, response to subscription losses, Vengeance changes, that big unannounced feature we've all been dying to hear more about, and much more.

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Filed under: Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Ghostcrawler on Vengeance and patch 5.4

Ghostcrawler on Vengeance and patch 54
Yes, patch 5.3 isn't even out yet, and we're already looking towards patch 5.4. Thanks to Ghostcrawler, we have this to think about for the future, namely that Vengeance is getting capped at a significantly lower threshold in raids in the future. If you remember back at August of last year, Vengeance saw some significant changes that increased how fast it could ramp up in raids and also gave it a far larger maximum potential. It's been adjusted over time, but in general what GC said back last August has held true -- tank DPS in raiding really did go up. To the point where on some pulls it's not unusual to see tanks leading the DPS, sometimes by extremely large numbers.

Since this is a big change that will drastically lower tank damage output (25-man tanks with their 600,000 or more health buffed will lose roughly 300,000 AP on fights where Vengeance was capping at 100% of their health) I'm not surprise it won't be coming in 5.3 -- I am a little surprised it's happening at all, because we all knew Vengeance and tank damage would do exactly what it has done when it was changed. Still, I wait to observe if it has much practical difference since aside from AoE tanking where a multitude of hits can roll in a short window of time (that 20 second ramp up period) and the tanks can make effective use of all that AP I'm not sure it will matter. 5-mans and scenarios were not mentioned, so for now I'm assuming this is only for the raids mentioned.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

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

Officers' Quarters: Thundering up to 25

Throne of thunder
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

Lately Blizzard has been moving toward making 25-man raids more rewarding again. They've already done so in Asia. Elsewhere, they are trying something new with Thunderforged items, which will drop more frequently in larger raids. Time will tell if this is enough to save 25s. In the meantime, some guilds, like the one in the email below, are thinking about making the leap from 10s.

Hello Scott!

Very long time reader - first time writer! I love this blog - you have given some really awesome advice, and now I'm looking for some myself, oh wise one!

I'm a GL of a 10 man raiding guild. I've seen guilds fall apart around me, and I've seen guilds hold strong through the past 6 months. I'm proud to say that my 2 year old guild is doing fantastic.

So, what's the problem? We're doing perhaps a little *too* well. We've been getting applicants without having been actively recruiting. We've brought in some great members. We rarely turn applicants away - if they seem like a great fit, we work with them to give them the opportunity to raid with us. We run two 10-man groups, but with new members coming in that want to raid, we're having to sit people.

Now there are rumblings and whispers about running 25s.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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

The Illusion of Logistics: Elitist Jerks' Hamlet on 10 vs. 25 man raiding

You may remember Hamlet from Elitist Jerks, or you may not. Whether or not you do, he's written an interesting post over on his personal blog discussing the 10 man vs. 25 man raiding issue. I addressed my own thoughts on this issue this week, but Hamlet's take is far more analytical (which is to be expected) and also somewhat epistolary, taking the form of feedback on the issue and expanding from there.

Frankly, I'd do the post a disservice by attempting to summarize it, but I'd also be doing it a disservice by carving it up piecemeal here and commenting on it. One aspect of the post of note, that I really found both interesting and a trifle challenging to my own preconceptions, is his deconstruction of the notion that 25 man raiding is logistically harder than 10 man raiding. His points about how 10 man raids can often be far more difficult to run if even one player misses a night is valid, and he goes through all the ways 10 mans are limited by their smaller pool of players in a thorough and convincing manner.

This is in service of the main point of the piece, which again I think deserves your full attention. He makes the case that the problem isn't logistics at all, but rather that due to group composition constraints 10 man raiding simply can't be as complex, strategic or difficult as 25 man raiding, and so it's not an issue of logistical difficulty, but rather purely inequality of design. In other words, 25 man raids are generally harder than 10 man raids because they can be, they don't have to be designed to be completed with limited group compositions. There are 34 specs in the game, and 25 mans have more room for more options than 10.

Again, this is summarizing a really well thought out piece. You may or may not agree with it, but please go read his argument and don't just rely on my brief on it -- by necessity I'm missing a lot of subtleties here.


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

25 man raiding and the tolling of the bell

It is time to kill 25 man raiding
I have primarily run in 25 man raiding for the entirety of Cataclysm, and I raided all through Wrath of the Lich King and even Burning Crusade in 25 man raids. 25 man raiding is where I have the most fun. I like it for a variety of reasons. I enjoy having a wider selection of classes and specs available, I generally feel like a larger raid makes a fight feel more dramatic, I dislike how empty some raids feel with a smaller group. To me, a 10 man feels like a UBRS run. These are all personal reasons, I accept that they're not universal. I also wasn't impressed the few times I went into 10 man raids this expansion - the fights always seemed much easier, we blew through bosses we struggled with on 25, clearing 10 with undergeared alts due to the extremely forgiving space mechanics of raids like Firelands and Dragon Soul on 10 man.

So please understand, I am not a partisan of 10 man raiding. I don't like 10 mans. I find that their elevation to the top form of raiding was destructive to the game, to guilds, and to raiding itself. But they are and have been for some time the primary way that people raid. I hate 10 man raids. But the time has come to accept that we have killed the 25 man raid in all but name. It's not a question of should they be removed. They effectively have been removed. You see a lot of debate on what can be done to save the 25 man raid, and the developers have addressed the issue repeatedly in the Reddit AMA and Best Buy Q&A. But you'll notice that they address the issue by acknowledging it and highlighting the issues facing 25 man raids (difficulty of logistics, higher churn rates, higher recruitment needs, difficulty of encounter movement) but that no solutions are forthcoming.

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Filed under: Guilds, Raiding, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Paragon switching to 10 man raiding in Mists of Pandaria

Even the mightiest among us are not immune to the decline of 25 man raiding. Paragon, who you may remember as one of the world's leading 25 man raiding guilds, is switching to a 10 man raid with the release of Mists of Pandaria. Reasons given include raider burnout during Dragon Soul, difficulty of recruiting players to fill those gaps (and I can attest to that one in a general sense, even far less progression oriented 25 mans are struggling to recruit right now) and player schedules changing.

It should be interesting to see how Paragon does as a 10 man in Mists of Pandaria. Some guilds thrive after the switch, others rebuild and re-enter 25 mans. I personally can't help but think this is a symptom of the gradual erosion of 25 man raiding, myself, but we'll see.


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Guilds, News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Would playing on sheer vanity work as raiding incentive?

I have a confession to make. There were a few reason why, back in vanilla, I decided to get into raiding. First, I discovered after hitting 60 on my druid that there was really very, very little to do once you'd hit level 60. Second, I had some friends who told me I would have a spot in their raids if I managed to get a Horde alt to 60. But the third reason was the secret reason, one I kept to myself and didn't tell anyone, even though it was pretty much the most important reason of all, to me.

I really, really, really wanted the pretty gear.

I didn't really like the look of the Devout set; I thought it was kind of boring. I didn't really care for most of the green gear while leveling. But the first time I saw a priest running around in full Prophecy, I knew that I wanted that because it was pretty. The first time I saw Benediction, I wanted it more than anything else in the world -- not because of the stats, not because of the set bonuses, not because it would make me super-powerful, but because it would make my character look really neat.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Transmogrification

Mists of Pandaria Beta: 25-man raid testing starts tomorrow

Mists of Pandaria beta 25man raid testing today and tomorrow
10-man raid testing on the Mists of Pandaria beta has been under way for quite some time now, but if you've been wanting to give 25-man testing a try, it starts tomorrow. Watcher made the following scheduling post late last weekend.

Raid Testing Schedule - July 30-31
After the weekend, we will be testing a number of raid encounters, including 25-player encounters. The testing schedule for remaining Normal modes will be somewhat accelerated, since the encounters are already familiar to many testers and we are just verifying functionality and tuning.

Each encounter should be available at approximately the listed times below for all Beta Test Realms, regardless of suggested geographical region.

Monday, July 30th

Blade Lord Ta'yak (Heart of Fear) - 10 Player Heroic
10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)

Gara'jal the Spiritbinder (Mogu'shan Vaults) - 10 Player Normal
16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

Tuesday, July 31st

Stone Guard (Mogu'shan Vaults) - 25 Player Normal
10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)

Imperial Vizier Zor'lok (Heart of Fear) - 25 Player Normal
12:00 PDT (15:00 EDT, 21:00 CEST)

Protectors of the Endless (Terrace of Endless Spring) - 25 Player Normal
13:30 PDT (16:30 EDT, 22:30 CEST)

Feng the Accursed (Mogu'shan Vaults) - 25 Player Normal
15:00 PDT (18:00 EDT, 24:00 CEST)

Blade Lord Ta'yak (Heart of Fear) - 25 Player Normal
16:30 PDT (19:30 EDT, 01:30 CEST)

Tsulong (Terrace of Endless Spring) - 25 Player Normal
18:00 PDT (21:00 EDT, 03:00 CEST)

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a beta environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session or cancel it entirely, due to bugs, builds, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.


As you can see, there is still some 10-man testing left, but it's going on right now, so log onto beta servers quickly if you want to participate.

If you're wondering how on earth you'll be able to get a group together on beta tomorrow to do a 25-man raid, I can assure you there have been plenty of trade chat groups thus far that you can join. Many of the groups are guilds who don't have their entire roster on beta, so they have to pug additional players to fill their raid groups.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

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