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Posts with tag 25-man

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

Paragon releases heroic Ragnaros 25-man kill video

Earlier this month, Paragon earned the high honor of world-first heroic Ragnaros kill, downing the Firelord after over 400 attempts on his fight. Heroic mode encounters add something new and difficult to the mix, but it is rare that we see an entirely new phase to an encounter. Paragon's heroic Ragnaros kill video shows the final stage of the heroic fight, in which Ragnaros submerges in his lava pool and emerges at full strength on new legs allowing him movement all over the encounter room.

The final stage of the fight involves Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem, Malfurion Stormrage, and Cenarius assisting players in dealing with the entirely new mechanics this new heroic mode phase presents. If you've been trying Ragnaros or have killed him, you already have experienced the hilarious Living Meteor ability. In that new phase, meteors must be kited over patches of ice on the ground to freeze them, and then players must DPS down meteors to control the number up at any time. At that point, players are also frantically running around extinguishing ground fires and trapping Ragnaros in roots on the ground.

All in all, it looks incredibly fun and challenging, and it's very nice to see Ragnaros putting his new legs to good use kicking the crap out of guilds across the world. My favorite part of the video has to be the end, with the custom death animation for Ragnaros. Watch until the very end -- it's worth it. Congratulations again to DREAM Paragon for their heroic first kill and for this awesome video of the accomplshment.

Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm

World First: Paragon defeats heroic 25-man Ragnaros

After just a few weeks of Firelands raiding, DREAM Paragon has defeated Ragnaros on 25-man heroic mode, earning them the world first and the Firelord title. DREAM Paragon announced the news on their website, promising their kill shot and comments in the near future. Congratulations to Paragon for this world first.

The heroic version of the Ragnaros fight adds a whole new phase to the encounter in which Ragnaros regains his full Firelord strength, steps out of his swirling molten pool, and becomes mobile around the platform with his new firelegs. Cenarius, Hamuul Runetotem and Malfurion Stormrage assist the players in tackling Ragnaros' many abilities in this new phase, finally putting out the Firelord's lights for good.

Heroic modes for the Ragnaros fight and others in the Firelands were also not available on the public test realm, making it that much more difficult for these hardcore raiding guilds to get time in on these encounters.

I am excited to hear about Paragon's time with these bosses in the Firelands. At only seven bosses, the Firelands is one of the more accessible raid zones, with a time commitment that feels far smaller than the monolithic endeavors of the past, like ICC or Ulduar. Has Firelands presented enough of a challenge to the top of the top guilds? Whatever the case, congratulations again! I hope that my guild will be at heroic Rag's door in the near future.

Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm

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

Officers' Quarters: Be careful what you promise


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, available now from No Starch Press.

Promises, promises. Politicians make them all the time. In fact, many of them get elected based on those promises. No one seems surprised anymore when a politician fails to deliver on a campaign promise, yet our guild members usually expect us to do what we say we will. Could it be that guild officers are actually held to a higher standard? Let's look at this week's email to find out!
Hello I am an officer (well one of 2) in a medium sized semi raiding guild We also have a large number of "casual" players in our guild.

During LK era, we had 2 different 10 man raiding teams going on. Both groups I took the time to rotate different players out each given week so everyone had a chance to raid.The second group was also made up of some of the first group's alts. This was very stressful on me due to I would take all week to get the groups ready only to have someone say at the last minute would say oh I can't make it 5 minutes before raid started, then I would have to rework the "group composition" in a flurry to be able to start the raid on time. Well during Cata we all agreed we did not want to do rotations and only wanted to do 10 man raids and wanted two solid 10 man groups with the same people every week ( with a stand by if needed), so we could work as a "family" unit and mesh well together.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Breakfast Topic: The changing face of raid group sizes

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Sweat was beading on my face, and the pain just kept coming; it would not cease. I stood and could only gaze at my friends as they slowly fell one by one. As they dropped, that is when I snapped into action, for I was the harbinger of more repair bills. I was the out-of-combat rezzer.

This is what I imagine my priest felt as I ran him through the Molten Core. I am glad that spot went the way of the dodo. Indeed, there are a lot of things that I do not miss from raiding, and there are a lot that I do. One of the new changes, 10s and 25s sharing raid lockouts, made me think of the changes that we have seen at each expansion. As the game seems to gear itself towards the more casual raider, I find many things much more to my liking. Yet I do remember that feel of fighting a 40-man raid boss, and that is one of the epic feelings I miss.

The problem I have found with casuals, whether we were running 10/20s or alliance-guild 25s/40s: We almost always came up too crowded or short-handed, depending on the week. Either people had to be cut, or people had to be pugged. This also got me thinking, why not 15s? If we had too many for a 25, we could get two 15s; too few, one 15. Then I thought, why not just have instances scale? The more folks, the more gear, the tougher the fights -- from eight to 40 and anything between. It probably is too complicated for the programmers, but fun to think about nonetheless.

What do you miss and what don't you miss about the older raid group sizes? If you could have one WoW raid group size wish come true, what would it be?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Raiding, Guest Posts

Officers' Quarters: The great raid-size debate, part 3


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, available now from No Starch Press.

Welcome to the third and final column exploring the various pros and cons of raid size in WoW's upcoming Cataclysm expansion. Before we talk about the final category, let's recap.

In part 1, I examined the various gameplay considerations that come along with the different sizes.

Gameplay
  • We can only speculate about relative difficulty.
  • 10-man raids offer fewer options for dealing with specific boss abilities and/or adds.
  • Position-based abilities are easier to deal with in 10s.
  • Player deaths are not as crippling in 25-mans.
  • It's easier to cover for someone else's mistake with 25 players.
In part 2, I talked about the logistics involved in running each size and the rewards you can obtain from them.

Logistics
  • A 25-man raid requires an intense recruiting effort.
  • "Cat herding" is flat-out easier in 10-man raids.
  • More raiders mean more attendance issues and technical issues.
  • Subbing is easier in a larger raid.
  • Scheduling difficulties are easier to manage with more players.
  • Loot is easier to distribute in 10-man.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: The great raid size debate, part 2


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, available now from No Starch Press.

Last week, I received an email asking me for my thoughts on raid size in Cataclysm. As it turns out, I have quite a few thoughts -- three columns' worth, in fact, covering four different categories: gameplay, logistics, rewards and intangibles. My goal is to help officers and their guild members to choose which raid size is best suited for their guild. A week ago, I wrote about the gameplay category.

This week's column will cover two topics that have been linked together throughout the history of the game. From the very beginning of WoW, Blizzard has made a connection between more difficult logistics and greater rewards. Molten Core, Onyxia, and later 40-man raids rewarded the best available gear in their respective heydays. Throughout The Burning Crusade and Wrath, 25-man content yielded the best items. For Cataclysm, this paradigm is shifting.

Let's take a look at the logistics involved with the two raid sizes and the rewards that each size offers.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: The great raid size debate


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, available now from No Starch Press.

Cataclysm, as you are probably already aware, brings with it massive changes to the raiding scene in World of Warcraft. Certainly the most controversial change is Blizzard's desire, announced in April, to balance and separate 10- and 25-man raids -- namely, both sizes will share the same lockout and loot tables. The 10-man scene, widely regarded as inferior throughout WoW's history, will be designed to have approximately the same difficulty as its 25-man counterpart. Reports from the beta dungeon forums indicate that 10-man bosses are currently much easier to bring down than their 25-man versions, but we can only assume that Blizzard will take steps to even out the difficulty according to its stated goal.

In the weeks following the expansion's launch, it will be extremely interesting to see how this whole situation shakes out. These changes will force most guilds to choose one size or the other as their primary raiding focus. As I've previously stated, this is a good thing. Many officers right now, including the one who wrote this week's email, are wondering which size to choose. Officers' Quarters is here to help!
Hail Scott,

What is your take on 10-man versus 25-man raiding in Cataclysm? Our guild would like to continue raiding 25-mans, but several of the other raid guilds on our server have apparently decided to switch to 10s. Are they jumping to conclusions, or are they on to something? Is this the end of 25-man raiding, and are we in for a repeat of the guild implosions and massive raider unemployment we saw when 40s were dropped to 25s?

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Cataclysm Beta: Select guild raid achievement requirements reduced

I admit it. I'm an achievement-holic. I'll repeat the most idiotic, mind-numbing task for hours on end just to earn a handful of achievement points. It doesn't matter that I can't do anything with those points. I want them. I need them. And I know I'm not alone in my obsession -- some people play World of Warcraft just for the achievements. (You know who you are.)

Once Cataclysm launches, there will be a whole new set of achievements just for guilds, only compounding my poor, crippling obsession. A metric ton of them are for completing old instances and raids as a guild, and grabbing those points requires 80 percent guild participation. Under the guidelines laid out earlier in September, that meant you'd need to take along at least 20 guildies to conquer Serpentshrine Cavern (a BC 25-man), even if you could easily complete it with fewer.

Well, for those of us who are obsessed with collecting achievement points, there's good news -- Blizzard just cut the required participation rate for all the old school Burning Crusade raids. On the official forums, blue poster Mumper confirmed that they're treating all old 25-man raids as 10-mans -- instead of needing 20 guildies to take on Lady Vashj and Kil'jaeden, you will now only need 8.

The full blue post is after the break.

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Filed under: Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Cataclysm

The shape of raids to come: Guild leaders look ahead

Now that we're past the initial shock of Blizzard's revelations about the balance and progression path of 10-man and 25-man raids in Cataclysm, it's time to saddle up and move forward again. We may not know exactly where the guild progression path ultimately leads -- but experienced guild leaders are already moving into position, planning for the journey ahead with insight and a steady hand. We tested the temperature of guild and raid leaders in guilds across Azeroth as they look ahead to the shape of guilds (and raids) to come.

Competition: A good thing

The issue my guild will be facing will be the unified lockout each week. While it makes sense to only kill each boss once per lockout, regardless of raid size, my guild has been running two or three 10-man raids in addition to our 25-man raid group. This allowed a higher flow of gear and emblems and allowed the 25-man raid group to gear up at a considerably faster rate than if we could only run one size of the raid each week.

This will most likely make us require our raiders to "put up or shut up," letting only the top 25 performers into the 25-man lockout for increased valor points and more chances at loot. The remaining raiders will be designated to the 10-man version, where they will most likely have to run more daily heroics in order to gear up at the same rate as the rest of the guild. Each week the rosters will churn a little bit, allowing players to experience both versions of the encounters amd also creating some healthy competition for the "more valuable" 25-man spots. -- Scott Carson

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Filed under: Guilds, Raiding, Cataclysm, Guest Posts

Call for submissions: The shape of guilds to come

How will Cataclysm's evolving raid progression plans shape your guild? We're betting that many of you raid leaders, guild officers and GMs are already making plans for what's ahead -- growing to accommodate an additional 10-man team, stretching to resize or reschedule your existing groups, maybe even shrinking down to become that tight-knit squad you've always dreamed of. Now's the time to begin considering the possibilities.

WoW.com is looking for submissions for a roundup article on how the changing face of raid progression will be affecting your guild. We're looking for thoughtful reflections, between 50 and 200 words, on the road that lies ahead for your particular guild or raiding group. Preferably, you're the GM or an officer of a guild or the leader of a regular raiding group (although we won't discount submissions from other types of players). No Chicken Little or QQ submissions, please; our comments runneth over with delicious tears already, thanks. As with all guest post call-outs, only the best submissions will be accepted.

Here's what to do: read up about the Seed program, sign up and then submit your article (you can't see the article page unless you have a Seed account). Unfortunately, we are currently only able to take submissions from individuals living in the United States; we hope to be able to accept international submissions in the future. We'll accept submissions for this call-out until 11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday, April 29 -- that's right, just a couple of days away. Good luck!

Filed under: WoW Insider Business, Guilds, Raiding, Cataclysm

Phat Loot Phriday: Sharpened Obsidian Edged Blade

Taveena recommended this one in last week's comments, so here you go. A big, bad sword.

Name: Sharpened Obsidian Edged Blade (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic Two-hand sword
Damage/Speed: 715 - 1074 / 3.50 (255.6 DPS)
Attributes:
  • +146 Strength, +179 Stamina
  • Improves critical strike rating by 69 and expertise by 103

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Raiding, Phat Loot Phriday

Jeff Kaplan on WoW development: "We debate like crazy"

Our buddy Phil Kollar of Game Informer (who was on the podcast recently) got a chance to talk to Jeff Kaplan about the World of Warcraft, and while Kaplan repeats a lot of what he's said before, the interview is worth a read for a look inside Blizzard's design process. What's probably most interesting is that it's very fluid and very dynamic -- just as much as we're arguing on this site and on the forums about how Blizzard should do things, they're also arguing and going back and forth behind the scenes.

He does talk specifically about cutscenes, saying that the Wrathgate scene was an experiment that paid off well, and we should expect some more of that kind of storytelling even as soon as in patch 3.3 (you may have seen it before if you're checking spoilers). And he does talk about raiding sizes and accessibility -- Blizzard has always wanted to do smaller raids, both for the feel of them and for the tuning, but it apparently took them a while to bring 40 down to 25 and then down to 10 correctly. Finally, he doesn't reveal anything about the new MMO, but he does say that singleplayer gaming will always have a place at Blizzard's core -- even when you're playing a multiplayer game, the singleplayer experience should still feel right. True enough, good interview.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Quests, Raiding, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

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