Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On Current 10s Difficulty

Rahana at Blueberry Totem inspired this next post. So, it's half a reply to Rahana, and half my own rambling on the general topic.

10 man raiding: then and now.

Watching the shift in opinions regarding the difficulty of ten-man content is rather amusing for a former 10-strict guild to watch. As one of the few (and I mean literally, 3) guilds in the world to have gotten a 10-strict kill on HLK in WotLK, the end boss of the expansion, Vortex has watched with some smug delight as other guilds flocked to the 10-man format out of an assumption that it would be easier, only to find it far more difficult than they had expected and watching as 25-man guilds progressed more quickly.

Could 10s have been easier in this expansion? Possibly, depending on the tuning of the bosses.

The vast majority of raiders (and I'm talking those that probably never read this blog or followed ten-strict guilds) had it stuck in their heads that 10s were easy, and had no concept of the relative difficulty. In WotLK they had higher iLevel gear, and that mana and stamina and through-put matter. They had larger raiding rosters to pull from, cherry-picking their compositions for the harder fights. They had less room to spread out, but AoE heals weren't 40 yards in range so even 10's had to cluster up and stick together to a decent extent. The easier aspect came on the management front as there were fewer people to herd in 10s, though recruitment was a PitA.

Now, there are still fewer cats to herd in Cata 10s, but normalization of difficulty levels has ironically been in favor of 25s. I have to wonder if it's intentional, in an effort to keep 25mans viable. This doesn't really bother me: 10-strict was a very difficult format, and I am proud to say my guild is stubborn enough to tackle anything Blizz throws at us, though we may not necessarily be the first to down the content. So the concept that 25s are easier difficulty doesn't really phase me except out of some irony, in the form of "told you so" to those who doubted the difficulty of tens.

The difficulty currently lays as such:
  • Composition. In spite of buff and class homogenization, there is a definite disparity in what is "needed" for a raid to excel through the current content, favoring certain mixes of classes and a LOT of interrupts. Going to Cho'Gall without a hunter? Good luck. One of your interrupters out for the evening? Scramble for Nefarian. No warrior? Add-tanking in multiple fights will be entertaining, if hell. Two resto druids out of 3 healers?, your hots won't tick up fast enough to counter a lot of raid-heal mechanics and your cooldowns don't come up fast enough, have fun wiping. No resistance aura? HAHAHAA. On a related note, I feel bad for rogues. They are the only class my guild has looked at and said "we just really don't need one."
  • Loot Drops. Most 10m guilds I have talked with or read about have complained about never seeing certain drops. For Vortex, it is the trash-drop wand and the leather caster bracers. Out of two pieces and 10 players, there is less chance of it being something useful than with 25s. Guilds will shard the same drops off a boss week after week, the two drops always seeming to land on the same pieces. If something useful drops, there's a chance the person that needs it either isn't present that day or got rotated out due to compositional issues: something for the guild to plan around, certainly, but I have seen it happen often enough to remember. I will complain less about having only seen the feral bracers/boots/staff once or twice, as it means our mainspec feral has gotten them, but looking at blues in my offspec set is getting tiresome. Granted, I find it amusing that some of my feral upgrades have been straight jumps from blues to heroic-mode epics. It would be nice if the 'randomness' of the drops was twisted to rotate through the item table a bit more reliably, ensuring a more even spread of gear: some randomness is fine, but a bit more variety is also appreciated. Loot matters in progression. The drops can easily determine the rankings: an upgrade for a raider is worth more to the next boss kill than a shard.
  • Recruitment. There are more guilds, plainly speaking. It makes looking for a guild harder, as there are more to sift through. It makes advertising for your own guild harder, as you have to shine out from the swarm. There are a lot of excellent guilds, but there are also many that a recruit may find is crumbling as soon as they join. The guild/raid leader may have expected things to be easier than they are, and are struggling to make things work. Raiders may be disillusioned by progression or loot drops, or even the lack of community as a 10-man guild is smaller than the large communities they knew in WotLK or further back. The 10m guild loosing one player--and it is bound to happen--can leave you short on raid nights, and often you may loose multiple at the same time for various reasons. A death spiral if you can't fill those spots.
  • Hybrid requirements. This is the ultimate reason why we've not considered a rogue, as melee is generally being given the middle finger by boss mechanics: any melee we do get are all hybrids that will swap either to tank or heal on a given fight (cat/bear, unholy/blood, and ret/holy are our melee dps, excluding our two main tanks. Oh, and this crazy girl who is resto/bear and sometimes moonlights as a cat). With a smaller team, flexibility is very important, and that makes hybrids quite necessary. A healer/healer spec is less flexible than a healer/dps dualspec. On top of being able to spec for it, there is also the issue of knowing how to play it: someone who is used to healing is not going to have the UI and reflexes for reliable interrupts, in most cases (I am a prime example of that on H-Halfus when they had me tanking the fight as offspec!). Where a larger guild can support players who stick to one single role, a 10m requires most of its players to fluctuate between roles as hybrids, and this shows in recruitment.
Am I happy with raiding as it currently stands? Well, I am having fun with it, and I am certainly still playing. I love my guild, and I love playing my class. There are certain fights that I wish they will retune or reconsider the mechanics of (H-Chim as a resto druid) but hey, there are changes coming down the pipe for my class that will make it more bareable. Relative difficulty of content against 25s doesn't factor into my enjoyment of my own format; I wouldn't've been playing 10-strict through the entirity of WotLK if that were the case.


Aylie said...

As for rogues in 10 mans. Surprisingly I found them quite useful/almost needed on some fights. Yes it's true that ranged are more desired than melee now, but a rogue was clutch for our heroic conclave of winds (soloing wind platform) and valiona & theralion kills (soloing twilight realm). We also had special task for heroic atramedes (kiting breath in air phase) and chimaeron (evasion tanking in last phase) kills. Combat was very goot cleaver on heroic Magmaw kill. Could these kills be achieved without rogue? Probably - but rogue made them all much easier. And if fight was really bad for a rogue - we just swapped it for another class.

I agree that rogues may not offer versatility of hybrid melee, but they have been surprisingly useful for us so far.

Kae said...

I am glad to hear that the rogue has been useful for your raids :) Though hearing the need to sometimes swap for another class is precisely what bugs me about the composition requirements. It doesn't happen with just rogues, certainly, but the whole "bring the player, not the class" only works to a certain extent. Hybrids are better able to fill multiple roles so they can swap without needing to fully sit the player, at least.

Charles said...

Great to read some of your thoughts on factors influencing 10-player difficulty in Cataclysm, I've really missed your 10s posts in the post-WotLK lull. At a slight tangent, though, I've been wondering what you think of 10-heroic modes so far, and how your group is having to adjust (or not) to achieve them. Just for example, do you use the same 10 guys for everything with dual-specs or have you been swapping in reserves, alts, etc? Vortex cemented their status as one of the few really seriously committed 10-heroic guilds in Wrath and I'm very curious as to how the changed design elements are affecting you.

Kayeri said...

We were 10 man in Wrath, although certainly not strict about it, but there are drops we arent seeing either... like the leather caster chest off Magmaw.... we've killed him a dozen times or more, and that worm will NOT drop my chest..

As for difficulty, I have no 25s to draw comparisons on, I know we work hard on what we do, though.

Anonymous said...

...just wrote a rather long comment but it disappeared :/ any chance it got stuck in spam filter or somewhere else?

Kae said...

We haven't really changed much, aside to replace those who have had to leave for various reasons: the class homogenization has still left some fights where one class is better over another. Resto druids vs. other healers is a prime example, as I excel at certain types of fights while I am hindered in others (CHIM); I've also found a prot warrior very beneficial in kiting adds around due to their multiple mass-stun and movement abilities over other tank classes (Nef, Maloriak).

We're still running a 13-14 person roster and swapping around some depending on who is available or needs loot off a boss. We try to stay flexible. We rely a lot on our offspec healers, primarily an ele/resto shaman and a ret/holy pally, to get us through content that shuns the current 2-resto-druid roster; we are loosing our wonderful ret/holy pally in the next month, though and we're looking to let the other resto druid move to balance by recruiting a pally/shaman healer.

The shift in focus towards interrupts again has been interesting, as it was less of a focus through WotLK and tastes (kinda pleasantly) of Black Temple. I do like having 2-3 separate instances to bounce between during the week, as it lets us change things up for those raiders who can't make one night or another and yet need loot.

Kae said...

I'm not seeing it anywhere :( I think the interwebs have eaten it.

Rahana said...

Aight, take 2 :)

I hear you on the rogues - our recruitment officer was kinda convinced we need one... well after 2 that failed trial I had to tell him that no, we don't need more than 1 melee and we definitely don't need Rogue.

Re: Composition - I don't feel it taxing that much, at least for normal modes. Granted now that we are entering HMs we are bouncing between instances a lot more depending on the comp that night; but for normals, there isn't necessary comp for any boss, it's either harder or just needs a good "shortcut". We killed Cho'gall few times without Hunter (F-DK, E-Shaman, SPriest and Boomkin), we were running without Replenishment for a while and we are running without mage/lock almost constantly. There almost always is a way to do encounter with underdog comp, however the lack in group comp has to be compensated by player skill to great extent. As far as interrupting Nef goes... my platform has me backed by warrior tank and all we do is whack our keybinds and pray at least one of us does not miss.

Re_ Loot - yes, yes and 100x yes. Getting the same drops every week is tiresome, boring and crippling progression. By the way, we should do some roster swaps, we got 3 wands so far and we keep sharding a lot of leather gear :) Unfortunately we aren't so elite raiders to do without the gear, so... it's really stupid.

Re: Recruitment - what surprised me (guess it's because I wasn't thinking about it before) is that current recruitment is almost harder than the strict recruitment in 25M. It seems like many people are going for the "easy" content as they recall it from Wrath and wash out quite quickly, whereas in Wrath the applicants we got were actually looking for 10M strict raiding and knew what it takes. However, I believe for better times, once 4.1 saturates gear hunting and bumps more people up to raiding gear standards, makes it easier to overgear normals, most struggling guilds will start downing most bosses and around 4.2 I expect WoW to be trucking on as strong as before, quite similar to TBC model - recruiting aspiring raiders from guilds clearing a tier lower.

Kae said...

Re: Comp,
We've certainly managed to push past composition difficulties (like not having a hunter for Cho'Gall) as well, but the difference can be noticeable. Granted, we rarely run with a SPriest as she's usually healing, so I can't speak to what they offer that fight. Wiping to a fight that you thought was "farm" because of a group makeup change is frustrating, and eats into time you'd prefer to save for progression fights. Hearing that some ten-man guilds have rosters of 17 people or more is a little mind-boggling due to the swaps they will make. Some classes simply are better adapted to a certain mechanic over another. I do agree that with some gear and skilled players you can push past many of these barriers, but it can still be frustrating.

OUCH on lack of replenishment.

Re: Missing interrupts,
Our raid leader required +hit kits for a bunch of our raiders :) Similarly he's told us all to get the mastery/resist trinket from Tol Barad, but that's another story... DAMN YOU, SCYTHE, I WANTED MY MOUNT. RAWR.

Adgamorix said...

We have the same 10m composition we ended Wrath with. We use 2 melee (rogue and retadin), 3 casters (spriest/4th healer, mage, boomkin/resto), huntard, Pally MT (no OS), DK OT (has DPS OS), Disc/Holy priest (no DPS OS), and me (Holy/Holy Paladin).

We use a rogue to kite adds in P1 of Nef. We're currently 5/13 HM, with Maloriak at 45%. We don't carry a bench at all, so we never rotate, and never swap.

We've not found an encounter yet where composition makes the difference for us. Sure it might be 'easier', but we're not rushing for world first kills - it's more important that we all raid together.

Oh, and if I never see another 25m raid - it'll be too soon.

As far as loot goes - Cho'gall still has my bracers, and we get more War/Hun/Sham tokens than we know what to do with (esp since we have one person on that token).

Kae said...

Interesting on the raid comp, Adgamorix. We haven't touched Heroic Magmaw or Heroic Atrimedes yet; we lost a lot of time (and sanity) with Chim, and just got H-Maloriak this past Sunday for the first time (repeated the kill Tues, fortunately). You seem to have a pretty good balance on your raid roster, though.

Our ret pally handles P1 Nef adds :) Or the feral druid. It's more the P3 adds that are noticeably easier in my experience with a warrior due to their maneuverability and stuns, allowing a chasing healer to stop more often to cast on them. How do you typically handle the adds in P3 of Nef?

Scythe said...

@Aylie - some good suggestions for rogue usage, thanks ;) We're still a bit saturated on the melee side atm, but you've given me some ideas to think about when we're not

@Kae - be sure to get a bucket for those tears! There's a tiny violin playing just for you... =)

@Adgamorix - glad to hear you guys have had a lot of success with your set up (and it sounds like you've got a good distribution of classes), but I'd also point you to this post:

Good commentary from a well-respected 10-strict guild in WotLK who went with a static roster with no rotation.

Kae said...


Yay! I get music! *dance*

Also, I put my tears in the bank as mats for the lobster-tank fish feasts.

Theladas said...

Interrupt availability in 10's was probably the most unbalanced thing in early Cata; with so few melee DPS, and most ranged DPS having long-cooldown interrupts (counterspell, felhunter), the tanks needed to get those hit-kits together immediately for progression to continue. Meanwhile, 25's had enough additional DPS (and no additional tanking requirement) that they could forgo the hit gear, instead continuing to stack relevant stats.

This issue has been addressed by increasing boss cast-times in 10-man content, but my hit kit still gets used on a nightly basis. I can't wait for 4.1 to finally remove the need for stacking such a garbage stat, instead of vitally important survival stats, on tanks.

The other main shift I see is in the number of tanks needed. So far the balance has been okay, but needing three tank classes for H Halfus felt like a high opportunity cost at first: 30% of the raid in survival gear? Yeesh. H Chim can be bugged to need only two survival gear tanks, but many 10-man strategies still used three to be on the safe side. Meanwhile, 25man needs exactly the same number of tanks, but 12% of the raid in survival gear doesn't sound unreasonable at all: even normal 5-mans expect 20% of the group to be in survival gear.

The fights are balanced in terms of damage output, sure: we got H Halfus quite quickly with only 4 DPS, and repeat it weekly. The expertise requirement of having three geared and ready tanks each week is the source of imbalance. Vortex has some very talented, very flexible players; if we didn't have this flexible nature, where we can convince our resto druid that getting hit in the face is okay once in a while (necessary, even!), H Halfus would place far stricter requisites on our roster and attendance.

This is also another point for our feral druid, who fails so bad that he should be sat in favor of a rogue, EXCEPT that he can be a bear too, which was critical in downing H Chimaeron. <3 Scythe!

Beruthiel said...

I guess what I'm having a bit of a struggle with is the blanket statement that "25s are easier" - largely because I don't really think it's as black and white as that. I know full well that 25s are "easier" on some encounters, but it's certainly not true for all of them - just take a look at how many 10s guilds have killed heroic Al'Akir compared to 25s guilds, for example.

I think many of the 10s were overtuned in their heroic modes, and I've also spent some time pondering if this was intentional or not - but my thoughts were more Blizzard trying to say "10s are also serious and competitive raiding" in an effort to take away the stigma that 10s seemed to have recieved in their WotLK interation. I didn't really see it done to "keep 25s more viable".

I guess the other thing is that a lot of the "problems" or "issues" that you listed out are largely applicable to any guild right now, regardless of size.

*Composition - while I agree that it's a trickier problem in 10 mans, it's still an issue in 25s as well. Granted you may have a larger roster to pull from, but the underlying issues are still there andd the weaknesses found in certain classes are still apparant. We healed Heroic ODS this past week with 3 resto druids, 3 resto shaman, 1 disc priest and 1 holy priest (and no prot paladin). Believe me, we felt it - just the same as you mmight, that we didn't have raid cooldowns for the raid. And since our roster regularly raids with 3 resto druids (and heals H Chim with 3 resto druids), believe me when I tell you our lack of utility on certain fights is just as frustrating regardless of raid size!

*Recruitment - I speak from experience when I sayt that it is no easier to recruit for a 7/13 HM 25 man guild than I imagine it is for anyone else right now. The over-saturation of guilds, the lower quality of many players, the attitude towards raiding actually requiring effort - those are all issues that I think will be faced anywhere, regardles of what size raid you have.

*Loot Drops - I know that 25 mans got more items per player, per boss. But that doesn't mean that we don't face the same problems you are seeing with the randomness of drops. I'm pretty sure I did our first 3 or 4 heroic Chim kills in blue bracers. We've not seen a Vanquisher token in the two or three raid resets...from any boss. And I can't tell you how many pairs of Brackish Gloves we've sharded. Sure the extra loot is great - unless you see 2-3 of the same item drop from a boss week after week after week. I know the standard argument is that 25s "have more people that can potentially use the items" - but honestly, that's not always the casee - and we are also affected with crap loot RNG.

*Hybrid requirements - I will say that hybrids probably do offer more value in a 10 man setting, but there are plenty of times you need to call on a hybrid in a 25 man as well.

I guess if I'm being completely and totally honest, what frustrated me most about both this post - and the Rahanna's - is that I always recognized during WotLK that 10 strict guilds were accomplishing amazing things. I always supported the struggles that they faced and I feel that I always offered recognition for their accomplishments - something many people did not do.

I've always respected you immensely. I've always respected what Vortex stood for, and recognized their accomplishements for what they were. So to now see you basically say (and maybe I'm just reading it wrong? I read through it three times before posting) "25s have it easier" really just bothers me a bit, perhaps because I just don't think that's entirely true. Perhaps it's just me, I don't know.

And this is now long enough that I should probably have just turned it into a response post =P

Kae said...

I base my opinion on the relative rankings: 25s have overall progressed faster than 10s, in spite of the proliferation of 25s splitting into 10 man guilds and there being more 10s now. I certainly don't intend to knock the accomplishments of 25 man guilds: they were still achieved through dedicated raiders, strong leadership (you know I respect those who can put up with herding that many cats!), and perseverance. I apologize if it came across that way.

You do have a valid point in regards to recruitment: it seems to be something everyone is struggling with due to the glut of guilds as the shininess of the new expansion wears off. As far as composition goes, I find that interesting that your roster would be so heavily sided away from healers who have raid cooldowns, but that would play back into recruitment and taking what you can get, wouldn't it?

Anonymous said...

While certainly there are guilds who switched from 25's to 10's due to expected difficulty in Cata, I know many more guilds who switched because they wanted to raid in smaller groups. Our guild, for example, dropped to 10's because a large portion of our 25-man team preferred 10's to 25's. We didn't want to recruit, so we have multiple 10-man teams. Expected difficulty had nothing to do with it. In fact, we figured 10's would be harder if only because Blizzard wanted to smack those who you smugly down upon. "Think 10's are easy? Think again!" You can belittle a lot of guilds for choosing the "easier" path, but, in my experience, the vast majority of guilds did not switch because they wanted the easier path.

hercdeisel said...

Re: healing chim with 3 resto druids on 25:
It seems reasonable to think that this fight is easier to heal with 3 resto druids on 25 than even with 1 on 10. The reason is that you can only put so much healing into the tank. 2-3 healers can 'max out' the healing a tank takes.

This means that the three resto druids can each watch one group during non-feud periods and then dump tons of healing on the group during feuds with pre-hotting, tree, and tranq (actually, with three restos you practically have a resto-powered tranq for every feud which helps immensely).

By comparison, on a 10man, all three healers need to heal the raid and the tank. this means that the resto druids are stuck between needing to dump big heals into the tank AND quick heals on the group. Our toolkit for that is quite limited. We can do one or the other, but can't really alternate easily given the setup time needed for hots.

Obviously it isn't impossible to do H-Chim with a resto druid as it's been done many times over. The point is just that it's more complicated at the 10man level because healers can't be as specialized and narrow in their focus.

hercdeisel said...

Re: raid difficulty (only applies to heroics)

the point that seems to keep being missed is that fights on 10man difficulty don't have to be harder in absolute terms in order for 10man raiding to be more difficult (ie for there to be more wipes, slower gearing, slower progress). By being equal in absolute terms, I mean that mechanic execution, damage and healing requirements are equal. Even if fights are equal in these terms, if fights tend to take more wipes and more weeks to progress, people will call fights 'harder' on 10man than on 25. This is really best understood as a claim about 10man raiding as opposed to a claim about absolute level of difficulty.

here are the conditions that impact 10 mans disproportionately in comparison to 25s and make them easier:
1. interrupts. (interrupt requirements actually affect 10mans more on two fronts: first, obviously, the composition issue. second, the plentitude of interrupts in 25s means that every interrupt can be assigned to 2 interrupters, therefore creating a failsafe system. If a fight has a lot of interrupts 10s can't safely implement a failsafe whereas 25s will almost always be able to do so. of course, this is not to say that the fight is difficult in absolute, quantitative terms. if the interrupts succeed, they succeed. the point is that progress, and psychological morale, will be easier and faster in 25s because you can instal failsafes that are not available to 10s.)

2. healing 'gimmicks' that favor a certain kind of healing delivery (recently this has been mitigation and/or quick group healing, but of course, constant aura fights with spreading requirements would favor druids. obviously it is possible to run into these issues in a 25man but it is far less likely and easier to overcome...and as noted this is a list of conditions that disproportionately impacts 10s).

here is a list of design elements that can disproportionately impact 25s over 10:
1. fights that require spreading out (given a fixed, constrained space, obviously it is easier to maintain appropriate spacing with 10 people rather than 25)

In this tier, the dominant theme of raiding seems to me, anyway, to have been the extreme need for lots of interrupts on every fight. Spreading type fights have been far more rare.

None of this ON ITS OWN, of course, makes a fight harder in absolute terms. These are just mechanics that can typically be overcome purely through execution. Flawless interrupt execution makes a 10 go smoothly on an interrupt based fight. Flawless spacing execution will make a 25 go smoothly on a spreading fight. Like the failsafe point above, these factors increase the likelihood of a wipe greater for 10s or 25s (depending on the hard-making mechanic) and as such impede progress. One contribution to the perception of greater difficulty in 10 man raiding is that there have been more interrupt and healing gimmick responsive fights this tier than spreading type mechanics, 10s progress has suffered and perceived difficulty of 10s is more than for 25s.

I think it is clear that 10man raiding is harder than 25man raiding right now (for a variety of the reasons listed), even if the fights are equal in absolute levels of difficulty.

hercdeisel said...

Re: gear
This is a tricky point. On the one hand, Even if loot per person is equal between 10s and 25s, there is a greater chance during the gearing phases of progression for any given piece of loot to be used in a 25 than in a 10 because of the greater number and diversity of specs (and offspecs) in the raid. As a result, 25man raids will have loot use (more items equipped/boss). Since gear contributes to progress, 25mans progress more quickly (they will wipe less per new boss killed, and so be called 'easier'). On the other hand, upgrading one person has less impact on a 25man than on a 10. The key number that needs to be looked at (and this can only be done empirically) is gearing efficiency (raid ilvl increase / boss kill). I'm not sure how this shakes out across all of WoW raids.

Alyae said...

Honestly, the difficulty of 10 man raiding in comparison to 25 mans has more to do with raid size issues then it has to do with mechanics.

As mentioned by many people prior to me on this topic here....

Blizzard has already seen imbalance in 10's vs. 25's and has been addressing them. Does this not already give people a clue that 10's are over tuned due to everything people have suggested?

What makes you think there still are not problems?

DK's are getting a battle rez. So are warlocks. Druids are getting buffs since their lack of direct healing is gimping some fights. This is compounded when that druid is 1/3 of your raid healing output! (In our case at times 2/3)

Reliable interrupts. Healing Mechanics of certain classes.
Slowing mechanics. Mob Immobilize mechanics.

On Chogall, even on normal, we used to have two warlock shadowfuries to get rid of worship.

When we lost one of our locks, I had to step in with my avengers shield, and single target interrupters got the rest that I missed or could not reach when it was my turn to tank the boss.

When I am not in the raid, is cho'gall impossible to do? No. Did they wipe a few extra times because of it?

The time wasted wiping due to a lack of something that makes fights easier is PRECICELY why 10's can be harder.

Some days we have everything we need, and plow through everything like it's a hot knife in butter.

When we miss one or two key people, we waste time, wipe more, and loose progression time.

When your raid has to resort to tanks putting on hit kits to get Nef kills, Maloriak kills, Omitron Kills, chogall kills (adds) etc etc.. you see the difference in healer mana.

That puts stress on your tanks (blowing cool downs earlier, and more often) and on your healers.

When my combat table coverage drops from about 90% to just over 80% in a hit kit, you feel the pain.

But look, blizzard is also fixing that in the next patch? Why... Imbalance.

Don’t get me wrong, I love 10 man raiding, and I LIKE how hard it is. But when people ignore the reality of imbalance, that blizzard is slowly realizing and addressing, that irks me.

Take the head out the sand people. Blizzard patch notes do not lie.

I look forward to seeing the other fixes. We’re already starting to see the 10’s catch up to the 25’s and it can only get better from here as they fix more of these class stacking problems for 10’s.

Theladas said...

I mean, hey, don't take my word for it; Paragon commented on this very issue months ago:

Ensidia was in direct agreement with them, given the commentary provided in that post. If these top-tier guilds feel that they were having an easier time in 25's than in 10's, that means a lot.

Al'akir stands as the single glaring exception to the balance issue, because of crowding on the platform.

Kae simply chose to expand on some of the potential causes of imbalance, and we've added our additional thoughts. It isn't meant to call out 25's as taking the easier path (because whatever in-combat imbalances there are, there are many other out-of-combat imbalances that complicate both sides), or to say that these issues don't ever manifest in a 25-man guild. Rather, these issues do - almost invariably - manifest in 10-man guilds, and they can be crippling. Then, when that part of the world watching raiding progression gets the sense that "10s = 25s"... well, yeah, we end up at Paragon's post again.

Then, there are two key finishers. First, I don't think 25's have it easier, as I've been down that road before and know full-well all the difficulties 25's have. Second, I wouldn't mind even if 25's had it easier, because I enjoy what I'm doing. Difficult or not, unforgiving or not, undervalued or not, 10's are where I have fun. I don't need some third party to recognize me; simply remembering that "10 =/= 25" will make all the difference.

Beranabus said...

I think we can all agree that we're all incredibly biased based on the raid size that we raid/raided with. 10's and 25's are both harder than the other in different aspects. There's not true winner for overall hardest.

As far as Paragon goes, I believe they were doing a lot of their progression in 10 man prior to 25, and were running into the raid comp issue that plagues 10's so often, thus making it seem harder.

Let's all hold hands, and sing campfire songs. C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E song.

Beruthiel said...

To some of the commenters I've read so far:

I guess what I ultimately don't understand in these arguments is why everyone always reverts to the comparison of the two types of raids - especially when in most circumastances (at least for this expansion, anyhow) it's unlikely that people have direct experience with the other.

Instead of saying "10s have it harder than 25s because...." why not just make a list of challenges that 10 man raids face and how they could be fixed? Why does there have to be a comparison between two differnt types of raids? And if you wanted to make a comparison - why does there have to be a "we sow the hard row, and you have a tractor do your work" type statement?

As a 25 man raider, I'm certainly not so blind that I don't recognize that there challenges that are unique to 10 man raiding that I may not face in my raid setting - I guess I don't understand why that is frequently not reciprocated?

I'm almost at the point where I just don't even comment on this topic, because regardless of what insights I may offer as a 25 man raider - which is generally "hey 25s aren't exactly a walk in the park either" - I basically get ostracized for my views. And in all honesty, it's disheartening, ecspecially because I've never failed to recognize the challenges BOTH raid groups face.

To Kae -

It's not our first option to raid druid/shaman heavy - it's just what we had available for us that night. And like many raid teams, you do what you can with your team. While pure brute force healing can yeild success - in my mind our struggles with the fight are a solid argument for why restos (of both natures) need a valid mitigation cooldown.

Scythe said...


Well said. I think we've been conditioned to be defensive of 10-man raiding as a result of WotLK. While some of us have been parts of 25-man guilds in the past, we obviously have a preference for which we prefer now and, I think, are somewhat guilty of (overly) self-reinforcing our choices at times. Please don't take that as any attack on you or the raid format you've chosen though.

10's are difficult. 25's are difficult. Anytime you have a group of people from a variety of backgrounds, motivations and interest/skill levels, things will not go smoothly 100% of the time. I think the one thing that I can say safely is that it's cool (and to some degree ridiculous!) that we're all so passionate and opinionated about what, at the end of the day, is a game that we all enjoy. As long as we're all having fun (most of the time at least), it's all good and we're definitely pulling for you and Monolith =) (although, if at some point you decide that you might desire a change, I think all our posters here would be disappointed if you didn't at least look in our direction!)

The other thing that I can conclude is that these people are assholes. Wordy ones at that (cough, cough, HERC).


Punching Bag, Cat Wrangler and eternal Devil's Advocate.

(no sarcasm intended or implied. I'm just in it for the lols and the warm fuzzies!)

Scythe said...

Can I also mention how I dislike the fact that Blogspot strips the brackets or whatever they're called around Guild names? How am I supposed to make fun of my guild if I can't even reference them by name!


Saif said...

Great post - and it touches something very close to my heart. We started off raiding with a healer comp of Holy Priest, Druid and Shaman. After a few weeks, the Holy Priest hated raiding with the priest changes and swapped to her hunter, and the only healer we rotated through a roster of PuG/friend healers of various classes until we finally snagged a full-time healer.

Another resto druid. At this point, we've managed to get to 9/12 with this comp after 8 weeks of raids and are frustrated with trying to two-druid heal Cho'gall.

After wiping again and again last week to massive AoE on transition, we made a decision to have one of the tanks swap to holy and one of the druids to swap to bear and try that healing comp. 3 healing was just gimping our DPS way too much (Affliction 'lock AoE isn't exactly wonderful, don't you know...)

Anyway. Point being that, yes, we never worried about comp in Wrath and got up to 11/12 HM in ICC pre 4.0 buffs, we are seeing a lot of fenagling of specs and one of our resto druids - who leveld a worgen druid from 1 - 85 specifically to raid on her - is considering swapping to her holy paladin just to improve our healing comp.

And I hate that she is seriously leveling up her paladin already.

Kayeri said...

Kae, just wanted to note you are still missed and so is your puppy! He is probably not such a puppy anymore... ;)


Zanafarr said...

Apologies to contact so abruptly. I've recently started by own World of Warcraft blog, and was wondering if you might like to share links between our blogs. Mine tends to focus on a humorous in-character viewpoint of the game world. I've only just started, it is over on and if you are willing to link, it would seriously help me increase traffic and get some viewers.
Thank you.