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Posts with tag raid-size

WoW Archivist: Warlords of Draenor hates The Burning Crusade

Draining a naaru
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

In many ways, The Burning Crusade was the birth of modern WoW. Most of TBC's innovations are still going strong in WoW today and have been ever since their introduction. Looking back, it's striking how many key features of WoW were absent in classic, only unveiled during the game's first expansion.

Even more striking, however, is how many of these innovations Warlords of Draenor seems poised to undo. Just as Garrosh will undo the transformation of Draenor into Outland, Warlords seeks to unravel most of what Blizzard innovated during TBC. The next expansion will take us through a portal into a very different WoW.

Archivist has now covered all the major patches of The Burning Crusade: patch 2.0.1, patch 2.0.3, patch 2.1, patch 2.2, patch 2.3, and patch 2.4. Now it's time to review the expansion as a whole -- and explore how Warlords will make most of TBC's innovations disappear into the nether.

Dawn of the quest hub

The idea seems so obvious it's hard to imagine that classic WoW actually didn't have quest hubs, at least not in the strict sense. WoW was the first MMO to promote the idea of leveling mainly through quests rather than grinding mobs. So Blizzard had no model to look at when they were designing the original quests.

In classic WoW, quests were put into the game wherever the developers thought they made sense, mostly from a lore perspective. Quests didn't necessarily guide you through a zone area by area. Quests were scattered, and their objectives were, too. They weren't breadcrumbs -- they were meant to be discovered. They didn't hold your hand -- they sent you on an adventure, like it or not.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Do we need Mythic raiding at all?

I've been talking to guild leaders getting ready for the new raiding paradigm in Warlords of Draenor, and one of the things I'm hearing is that a lot of guilds simply won't bother to do Mythic raiding. That they simply don't want to scale up. They felt that the current paradigm was perfect for them - they could raid, complete a tier on normal, then do a few heroic modes before the next tier or new expansion. This model worked in Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria for their guilds, and with it replaced by flexible normal/heroic (equivalent to current flex and normal) and 20 person mythic (replacing 10 and 25 man heroic modes) they simply have seen the end of their doing that content.

Now, I don't do a lot of 10 man raiding - I've stayed 25 pretty much since I switched guilds back in Cataclysm - but I know from experience how it feels to have that stress on your guild, and I find the idea that Mythic raiding will be out of the reach of some players not because of their skill, but because of the numbers game a little sad. To hear players that have been doing heroic content for two or three expansions now say "I guess we're done with that kind of thing" seems a bit off to me. And it dovetails into another idea I have, namely this - not all fights work as a hard mode in the first place. Some fights feel epic and really different with the addition of new elements that we see in a harder mode (Firefighter from Ulduar comes to mind) but others just feel like the same fight with more damage and health - and those fights to my mind don't need to exist.

This has me wondering - do we need Mythic raiding at all? Going into Warlords of Draenor, we're looking at LFR, Normal, Heroic and Mythic raiding. Four raid sizes, each aimed at different kinds of raiders. Yet all four of them present the same basic content, simply scaled differently - the same boss fights, just on a different scale of difficulty and (in the case of Mythic) presumably some different mechanics. What we're seeing right now in Siege of Orgrimmar is that for some players, this is contributing to burnout - saying 'hey, go do heroic if you're bored' doesn't help when heroic is the exact same content, just harder. Do we need more of this?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Officers' Quarters: A sudden tyrant

Officers' Quarters A sudden tyrant MONDAY
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.

People change. Their opinions and tastes evolve. Sometimes a guild that was right for you in the past is no longer what you want. That's all well and good, unless this person is the guild leader, and they are bringing the whole guild along for the ride.

Hi Scott,

I am writing because I really need your advice. I am at a point in my guild where I may have to leave and I do not want to.

I have been in a guild for over a year and am now the co-gl. We recently server transferred from a low pop server to a high pop server. We have always been a casual 10 man/ social guild. We did pretty well during DS, but due to some ppl leaving the guild/ raid team we had to stop at the beginning of MOP. We could not recruit on the old server and transferred... And this is when the trouble started.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Breakfast Topic: What's your ideal raid size?

Breakfast Topic What's your ideal raid size
With the advent of flex raiding, players will find it simpler than ever to gather friends or muster guildmates to experience WoW's fantastic endgame raiding content. "Having a flexible raid size with scaling damage will bring its own design challenges, to be sure," writes Matthew Rossi, "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."

For keeping up with a constant stream of new raids and an endgame whose goalposts bump forward on a regular basis, the ability to scale raid challenges seems right on target. How will flex raiding change the way your raid group approaches raiding? Do you expect it will represent mostly a convenience to cover scheduling snafus and absences, or will your group take advantage of flex raiding to customize a raid size that works better for your guild or group of friends?

And while we're at it, what would you consider your ideal raid group size?

What's your ideal raid size?
Fewer than 10 players816 (16.3%)
10 players975 (19.5%)
10-15 players1115 (22.3%)
15 players523 (10.4%)
15-25 players365 (7.3%)
25 players421 (8.4%)
25-40 players150 (3.0%)
40 players353 (7.1%)
More than 40 players288 (5.8%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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)

Officers' Quarters: Guilds struggled after Cataclysm's raid changes

bastion of twilight
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.

As predicted, Cataclysm has had a massive impact on guilds and guild leadership. The changes to guilds in this expansion will continue to have consequences throughout the lifetime of the game. Of all those changes, none have affected PvE guilds more than Cataclysm's new raiding systems and philosophy.

The new endgame

In April 2010, Blizzard announced a major shift in its design philosophy for raiding: The company intended to combine lockouts for 10- and 25-man raid sizes, while placing the exact same items in both. When the changes were first announced, the community -- including part of WoW Insider's own staff -- unleashed an understandable outcry. Memories of the transition from vanilla's 40-man to The Burning Crusade's 25-man cap haunted us. We worried whether our guilds could survive another monumental change.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Ready Check: Cleaning up issues with Raid Finder

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop. Questions, comments, or something you would like to see? Email me at tyler@wowinsider or message me on Twitter @murmursofadruid.

Last week, we talked about a few of the issues that are currently speculated for Blizzard's new Raid Finder tool that is being released within the next patch. Specifically, that discussion was about raid size and raid leadership; however, these are not the only concerns that people have. The Raid Finder is a rather charged topic within the community, for a wide variety of reasons, all depending on whom you ask.

This week, we will be wrapping up the discussion as best can be done as I attempt to address the remaining issues that people have put forward. Before we begin, let me say that, until this all goes live, we cannot accurately judge the success or failure of the tool. The Dungeon Finder, similarly, had a significant amount of backlash and down talk before it was released, yet most people now wouldn't play without it -- just to put everything in perspective.

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

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 benefits of Cataclysm raiding

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 this spring from No Starch Press.

If you've read's reaction to the new Cataclysm raiding paradigm, you already know that I'm a bit biased about this whole situation. I can't deny that this announcement had me cheering. On the other hand, I'm hearing a lot of doom and gloom from around the WoW community. Few people seem to embrace these changes wholeheartedly, and that's all right. There's quite a bit of uncertainty -- even fear -- about how it will all play out. I understand that. All raiding guilds will be affected one way or the other, and it could be that your guild will have a hard time adjusting to the expansion's raiding environment.

As officers, however, we can't give in to negativity. No matter how you might feel about these changes, they are happening, so let's move the conversation into a more productive area. Let's examine how Cataclysm raiding could help us as officers and how we can take advantage of these changes to help our guilds thrive.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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. 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

Keeping perspective

It's sometimes astonishing to me how passionate World of Warcraft players can be about the game. This includes myself: I have hot-button topics that absolutely flood me with adrenaline and cause me to rant (just ask my coworkers here at all about that some time), and later I'll sit back and be amazed. I'm still amazed I managed to put out a thousand-word column about Sentry Totem. (You have no idea how sad it was for me to not be working on shaman content the day they announced they were going to take Sentry Totem out. Lost a chance for a thousand-word eulogy.)

But as passionate and involved as we can get, and as excited about upcoming patches and new expansions and even sparkly ponies, sometimes we lose perspective. The infamous "slap in the face" forum ranting is based on a real mentality that X (fill in whatever you want) is the absolute ruination of the game. Downsizing raids to 25-man max is ruining the game. Arenas are ruining the game. The badge system is ruining the game, hybrids are ruining the game, pures are ruining the game, 10/25 variable raids are ruining the game, micro transactions, dual specs, what have you. The game has been constantly in a state of ruination since early 2005 when some realms were undergoing severe latency on peak nights and it was, you guessed it, ruining the game.

Frankly, sometimes rather than posting that comment, forum post, or what have you, we as involved, passionate people need to take a couple of deep breaths and chill out.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Ready Check: Super (raid) size me!

Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Kara or BT, everyone can get in on the action and down them some bosses. Srsly, that punk took my pink Huffy 10 speed.

It never fails. Every time I say something about raiding, I get comments about how people miss the old 40-mans, how the 10-man to 25-man transition doesn't even make mathematical sense, or even how everything should just be 5-mans. (Is that even technically a raid?) So today we're going to chat a bit about raid size and what it really means.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

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