Tag Archives: 25-man

Chi Cerca Trova & Siege of Orgrimmar Heroic: 10 vs 25

After 2 months of being unable to progress because we couldn’t recruit faster than we were losing people to burn-out and real life, the decision was made this week to go to 10-man Heroic. Our goal? Get through the content as quickly as possible and then get everyone subbed in to get the Heroic Garrosh kill they’ve earned.

As it turns out, though; there are some things about 10m that required some adjusting on our part. If you find yourself in a similar situation, dropping from 25 to 10, let me share with you the lessons we learned our first night in 10s!

ImageImmerseus: Ow, That Hurts

First lesson we learned is that the Swelling Corruption stacking DoT really matters on 10m (REALLY matters).

On 25m, with so many DPS splitting the stacks (and usually running with an extra healer), we basically ignored the DoT. No one usually got more than 2-3, maybe 4 stacks, and since we were all in the same small piece of real estate anyway, healing through it was no big deal.

In 10m, though, we had a few wipes because people were dying with ticks between 600k and 800k–ouch! So, we had to do what the Pandaren have been telling us to do all along: S l o w  D o w n. We had to watch our stacks and not go above 5. Once we did that, the fight was a lot easier, if still a little annoying.

Protectors: Just Go Ahead and Stack Everything

Protectors was actually way, way easier on 10 than 25. Ranged stacked up and got healed, we took a few steps out for Corrupted Brew and Sha Sear, but other than that we just executed the fight normally from our spots.

Much to everyone’s (okay, well, half the raid, at least) delight, we stacked the bosses very, very tightly, making for a quick, mostly clean kill. No melee were (significantly) harmed in the killing of this boss.

Norushen: Oh, Hey, Adds.

On 25m, we always had 2-3 DPS that never had their corruption cleared and focused on adds so that those who were at 0 corruption could focus entirely on the boss. In 10m, we sent all of our DPS in, and that meant that everyone needed to be more attentive on adds, something we almost failed at.

Thankfully, we cleared it up pretty quickly, and since we had all of the DPS in and out so quickly, once the little adds were dead, the fight was a cake walk. In fact, we beat our 25m time by almost a minute!

Sha of Pride: Heroic LFR

Compared to 25m, 10m Sha of Pride was much, much less chaotic. We stacked up like you do on LFR, focused on rifts closest to our stacked group, and executed everything else normally. Except for a couple of “whoops” deaths, Sha went down pretty easily.

Galakras, Iron Juggernaut, & Dark Shaman: Business as Usual

Except for some positioning adjustments on Juggernaut and me still learning to tank Shaman (and a few would-be Storm Chasers), these three bosses remained largely unchanged. We used identical strats to our 25m, just pared down to fit the group.

Nazgrim: On Your Toes

Biggest difference for Nazgrim (besides getting distracted and standing in Aftershock–oh, no, wait, that’s not that different) is that we have fewer people covering interrupts and stuns, so we had some deaths to Ironblades, especially combined with Bonecracker or War Song.

We stopped at Nazgrim for the night, but we’re going back in there Monday, and we can’t wait to kill Thok, at last.



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I Told You So: The Decay of the 25-man, Part 2

Yesterday I explained the reasons I believe 25-mans are harder than 10s. To quickly recap:

  1. It’s harder to get 25 people together in the same place at the same time.
  2. 25 raiders means there are more opportunities for someone to fail.
  3. It takes longer to get 25 people on the same page (this was stated in the comments much more clearly than I said it in my post; thank you Emmalise, for describing the collective aha! moment!)

Some of the more aggressive people on either side of the 10- and 25-man issue would use this either to attack: “25’s don’t take any additional skill; it’s just people-wrangling;” or defend: “25-mans are harder for lots of reasons, and you’re just trying to make excuses why you can’t do it.”  (Yes, I actually have heard both of those come from real players). The point I’m making is that yes, 25-mans are harder, and yes, largely because there is some “people-wrangling” involved, but that doesn’t make that aspect of it wrong or right–it’s still just a matter of preference. [Insert diatribe about learning to respectfully disagree here.]

So if it’s not an issue of right and wrong, and it’s all about preference, shouldn’t the ability to choose between 10- and 25-man raids without being penalized for picking 10-mans be awesome? In theory, yes. I think raiders should absolutely be able to choose between 10- and 25-man raids based on what suits their motivation for raiding. Unfortunately, theories tend to be difficult to pull off in practice, and the problem with pulling this one off is, as I said at the end of my last post, that choosing to do a 25-man raid is becoming more and more difficult.

Previously, if you wanted to be taken seriously in overall progression, you were expected to do 25-mans. 10-mans were in their own sort of bracket, which actually would be perfect IF there wasn’t such a stigma attached, and in Wrath, there absolutely was a feeling of 10-mans being “lesser progression” in guilds that were unable to successfully complete 25-mans, although I hardly thing that should be the case.

Those who wanted to be taken seriously in progression raided in 25-mans, and even though they hated waiting for the people who were slower to learn or just bad performers to step up and execute boss fights correctly, they accepted that if they wanted the shiny(er) epics and they wanted to be able to boast about their raiding progression, they would have to put up with it. If not handled well by a guild’s leadership, this could lead to some serious burnout. This was the problem of Wrath: this dynamic coupled with months and months (and months) of the same content caused widespread burnout among raiders.

Enter Cataclysm, and we run into a new problem: the slow decline of 25-mans. I’m not sure how true this next statement is, but it seems reasonable that this decline has started mostly on servers not well-known for their progression because the pool of competitive raiders is smaller, and the raiders in the above scenario, who do everything right and want to progress and are tired of waiting for the stragglers suddenly have a new option: 10-man progression.

With the achievements and the gear being identical regardless of which type of raid you run, there’s much less stigma attached to 10-man guilds, and running with a smaller roster means you have very detailed control over who’s in and who isn’t. You don’t have to put up with players who don’t perform up to your standards if you really don’t want to. You don’t have to take anyone just to fill up your raid; if you want to be picky, there’s room to do that, whereas a 25-man raid on a server with fewer committed raiders often finds itself taking people who either aren’t as good or aren’t as committed just to have enough people to raid.

Understandably, the people who suffered from burn out last time either went straight into 10-mans this time or have found themselves having much less patience as their 25-man raids start hitting the wall.

As those in this second group realize that the 10-man option is available, this leaves them in a place to take one of two steps: either they can leave their guild and find a 10-man raid group, or they can try to push their guild to either improve or move to a 10-man format. When you go to your guild master or raid leader, who is no doubt as frustrated as you are, and say, “I’m sick of this. Why am I trying so hard when these people aren’t? We really need to do something about this, or I’m going to have to go somewhere else and raid,” you put your leadership in a tough predicament.

Maybe they’ll try first to help the poor players improve, but you can only do so much–part of raiding is individual accountability. When that doesn’t work well enough, perhaps they’ll try to recruit and phase out the people who still aren’t performing. This might actually work, but if you’re on a server with a low raider base and an even lower rate of raider transfers, it might be difficult if not downright impossible to find raiders who fit what you’re looking for.

The next step is to consider 10-man progression, but then there’s a whole host of questions that come with that: one 10-man, or two? If we opt for one, what will the people who aren’t invited to the 10-man do? If we opt for two, will we end up with an A-team/B-team dynamic, and do we want that?  (From where I sit as a raider, two 10-mans will always lead to an A/B team type situation, so you might as well be upfront about it). If your guild decides to stay 25-man and try to cover for the weaker players, those people who originally came to your raid leader and said they were sick of it will leave, and often; these people are some of your best performers. If your guild goes 10-man, there are going to be people who are left out and feel that distinctly enough to leave. This is not a good situation for a guild to be in, but it is one that’s appearing more and more often.

Once a guild chooses to go to a 10-man format and chooses its raiders, those who either aren’t interested in 10-mans or have been left out of the groups are going to move on, especially the good ones who just couldn’t be fit into the roster for one reason or another. And if these people leave, there’s likely to be a transfer to a server where 25-mans are running more consistently, depleting the original server’s raider pool even more.

According to WoWProgress.com, there are now only 7 guilds on my server who have stepped into 25-mans at all, and one of them (my guild) just became a 10-man guild. Of those 7, only two have progressed beyond 6 boss kills. The 10-man progression list, on the other hand, has 17 guilds who are at 6 boss kills or above.

I don’t know what the solution to this is, but even if there is one, it’s probably too late to implement it, at least for this raiding tier. And perhaps there just aren’t enough people out there who think a solution is necessary to warrant figuring one out. I don’t really know what’s coming next for me in my guild situation, either; the next month or so will determine that. What I do know is that the WoW raiding scene is changing, and I feel like I’ve lost my place in it. A lot of us saw this coming when the announcements were made; we just weren’t sure what form it would take.

25-mans, at least on some servers, are dying; and I don’t think there’s any shame in saying: “we told you so.”


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I Told You So: The Decay of 25-mans, Part 1

On the day Blizzard announced that 10- and 25-man raids would share the same lockout, I looked at my husband and said, “I don’t like the sound of that.” When they announced that the raids would share the same loot, I said flat out, “That will be the death of 25-man raids.”

"Trade Chat" by Neko-samma

For the next several months, the discussion about the two popped up in a lot of places: my guild forums, the official forums, Twitter, blogs; heck, even Trade chat took a break from linking things inappropriately to talk about the change. Some people were really heated on one side or the other (which I think is pretty silly; it’s not about which one is better, it’s a matter of preference and opinion), while some didn’t care. Most sat in the middle, reserving their full opinion for when we actually saw how this would work out exactly.

Well, I’ve seen it. And my opinion remains unchanged.

I prefer 25-man raids. People tend to say, “The only thing that makes 25-mans harder than 10-mans is organizing it all.” That’s neither true nor false; it’s just an incomplete picture.

Yes, 25-mans are harder to organize. It is a million times easier to organize a 10-man if that’s your plan from the beginning. Finding 10-15 semi-reliable people who can make up a pretty decent composition is a cake walk for an experienced raid leader, and not too complicated for an inexperienced one, either. Wipe recovery takes less time because there are fewer people to recover, and having one hybrid dps/healer in your raid makes it a versatile environment for moving through bosses with different mechanics. Getting 25 people together at the same time and keeping them invested in a raid for a few hours is certainly a challenge.

But there’s so much more to it than that. The reason 25-mans are harder, all raid-forming considerations aside, is because there are 25 people. No, I’m not being stupid; follow along with me. In a 10-man raid, if one person fails to perform either in the meters or in raid awareness, it’s darn easy to spot: they’ll be the one whose dps is consistently holding you back during burn fights, or whose target continually dies, or whose mobs always go awry. Out of 10 people, one bad egg is going to shine like a glowing, shimmering Star of Fail.

In a 25-man, that person isn’t necessarily going to stand out as being consistently bad unless they’re either really dreadful or you’ve been alerted to the issue. You could have someone who is inconsistent in their performance but does just enough better than a couple of other people to keep their inconsistency hidden for a while.

This matters because having 25 people also means that there are more opportunities to wipe. This seems common sense, but really think about it for a minute: if you have 10 people, there are only 10 people who can wipe you. Even if you can only get 7 or 8 solid, consistent people in your raid, the odds are in your favor. In a 25-man, however; you’re going to reasonably have more lower- to marginally-performing raiders, so the pool of likely wipers goes from 2-3 to 5-6, not counting bad luck or a moment of indiscretion from one of your good raiders. Even if Blizzard really has tuned every raid to be the same level of mechanical difficulty for both raids, I think they are hard pressed to account for this difference.

If a 10-man raid and a 25-man raid go up against the same boss with relatively the same ratio of good to mediocre players (and luck not included), I think it’s fair to believe the 25-man will wipe more times than the 10-man raid in conquering that boss. Here’s the kicker: I don’t have any problem with that. For me, that level of difficulty is what makes raiding a challenge, and therefore, makes boss kills feel like achievements.

I know everyone doesn’t share that opinion, and I wouldn’t expect them to. Some people hate that aspect of 25-man raids, and for them, 10-mans are certainly the way to go. It doesn’t make them less accomplished in my eyes; they just like different aspects of raiding than I do, and I think having a choice to raid the way you want to is phenomenal.

However, while I’m not ready to say 25-mans are dead (not by a long shot; I know lots of 25-man guilds who are raiding and succeeding!), the ability to choose to raid in a 25-man setting is getting harder. This post is already longer than I intended, though; so I’m going to slap a part 1 sticker on it and explain why I say that tomorrow.

Continue on to I Told You So: The Decay of 25-mans, Part 2.


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