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Posts with tag raiding-sizes

Officers' Quarters: Revisiting my Mists wish list

Fish shrine under a willow tree
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.

In January 2012, I wrote up a wish list of improvements to the guild experience that I wanted in Mists of Pandaria. We're at the point now in the expansion's life cycle where all major features have been revealed. The next big additions to WoW will come in patch 6.0. So let's look back at what we got in Mists and what we're still waiting for.

Wish 1: Treat legendary items as guild rewards, not player rewards.
Status: Granted, in a way

In my original list, I wrote about the drama that legendaries created in guilds and wished for a way to reduce that drama. I suggested that a legendary item should be bound to the guild that helped a player to earn it, rather than the player.

Instead, Blizzard took legendaries in a direction that no one expected: they created a quest line that anyone could complete. In doing so, they took away the drama factor. They released officers from the burden of deciding who would receive a legendary and who wouldn't. For most guilds, this has been a welcome change.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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

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

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