10- & 25-Player Raid Loot Changes – Patch 5.2

General Discussion
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Coming to the PTR in the near future will be a new designation of item type in Normal and Heroic raids for non-tier pieces. Each 5.2 raid boss will have a chance of dropping this new designation of a particular item that’s 6 item levels higher than their counterparts. These higher quality versions will be called “Thunderforged”. This means that there will be five variations of some items. You’ll now see a 5.2 raid item of LFR quality at item level 502, the same item in Normal quality at item level 522, the item in Normal Thunderforged quality at item level 528, the Heroic version of the item at level 535, and the Heroic Thunderforged version of the item at level 541.

This new item designation is being added for a couple reasons, but first and foremost to make loot drops more interesting overall, especially after you have earlier bosses in Throne of Thunder on farm. As you’re working on progression, those first few bosses can now continue to provide a chance at upgrades, making repeated kills potentially more exciting and rewarding. Those additional upgrades can then help to slowly raise power, and boost you over whatever progression roadblock you may hit.

We’ve also received a lot of feedback regarding 25-player raids, and have been looking for ways to address some concerns. Ever since we changed 10-player raids to drop the same item level as 25s, we’ve seen a steady decline in 25-player raiding. This isn’t surprising. A 25-player raid takes an extra level of logistical commitment for the officers of those groups. It’s unfortunately easy for a 25-player guild to collapse down into a 10-player guild, but very unlikely for the opposite to happen. However, we like 25-player raiding and don’t want to see it go away. Like many players, we love the epic feeling that comes with banding together more massive groups to battle powerful foes, we love that there’s opportunity for those groups to try out new players or unusual comps without causing a huge burden, and we want to support the larger raiding guilds. That said, we’re also concerned that over-rewarding the 25-player guilds—if, for example, we went back to a higher item level across the board for 25s, as was the case for Icecrown Citadel—would feel like a slap in the face to the many 10-player raiders out there, who are the majority of our Normal and Heroic raiders.

To attempt to navigate this minefield, we’re going to try having Thunderforged items drop more frequently in 25-player raids. They’ll be somewhat rare in both cases compared to the standard versions that’ll drop, but they’ll be even rarer in 10s. Overall, a 25-player group will be more likely to end up with a slightly higher item level after several weeks of raiding.

It’s important to keep in mind that this only affects 10- and 25-player Normal and Heroic raids, and tier-15 armor pieces won’t be available in Thunderforged quality at all. We’re curious to hear your thoughts about these changes, and what you think once you begin seeing them on the PTR.
Sounds good! Great idea.
Thumbs up. Just keep Thunderforged OUT OF LFR!
This is actually a very nice idea. I was extremely curious how you were going to go about the 10/25 things, and this is a very nice way to do so.
I like it, throw in some thunderforged LFR pieces in - why not it'll be lower ilevel than normal anyways.
This seems like a good change. I like it.
This will not help bring back 25s.
I'll withhold judgement on the system until we see how long we have this raid tier. Eventually, the 10-mans will catch up in item levels to the 25-mans and all will be good. If the drops are even slightly out of sync though, we could be looking at weeks/months of 25-man guilds being far better geared than 10-mans.

I like where your intentions are, as there is a catch-up mechanic for 10-mans now so they aren't permanently behind. I just hope the drops rates are tuned properly.
I don't see myself going back to 25s, but I can get behind this.

I was reading the post here wondering if a conclusion on how to handle it was reached and a bit apprehensive of it being too over-rewarding. Keeping the RNG factor in there is a nice twist to increase incentive while keeping the possibility there for all raid types.
01/23/2013 09:04 AMPosted by Nightsbane
I like it, throw in some thunderforged LFR pieces in - why not it'll be lower ilevel than normal anyways.


No. Please no. LFR is a way to see content, not get geared.
Reminds me too much of Firelands and waiting for a Crystallized Firestone to drop in order to upgrade a piece, only now its a single item vs upgrading any of the available upgradable items that you wanted to.
01/23/2013 09:07 AMPosted by Daerioz
This will not help bring back 25s.
Do you have a better solution?

I think it's a great idea. It's infinitely better than what they HAVE been doing to address it (ie NOTHING) so this, even if it fails miserably, is a step in the right direction.
Crithto, will using the 5.2 equivalent of Elder Charms grant a chance at Thunderforged Loot or will it be exclusively limited to drops?
Interesting solution. Much more acceptable than directly raising the ilvl of 25s, for sure.
I'm not sure how I feel about even more rng being added to loot tables. I already haven't seen a weapon from empress or tsulong in 9 kills/coins, but now I have to hope the item to drop and for it to be thunderforgerd?
I like it ... but RNG being what it is, I think 25 man raids should have a quantity guaranteed to drop vs 10 man with no change.

That is - the unluckiest 25 man raid should do as well at least as the average 10 man raid in drops of the higher end gear.

e.g. if the chance to drop thunderforged is 1% per boss in 10 man, and 5% per boss in 25 man - then maybe the 25 man raid should get a 5% increase in chance per boss in the instance for each boss that doesn't drop. Or just always put ONE thunderforged item on the last boss in 25 man runs (if none dropped earlier) or something.

PS: I am a 10 man raider.
This will not help bring back 25s.
Do you have a better solution?

I think it's a great idea. It's infinitely better than what they HAVE been doing to address it (ie NOTHING) so this, even if it fails miserably, is a step in the right direction.
Fixing realm pop issues would be a start.
01/23/2013 09:09 AMPosted by Hoveround
I like it, throw in some thunderforged LFR pieces in - why not it'll be lower ilevel than normal anyways.


No. Please no. LFR is a way to see content, not get geared.


Part of the content is the gear - do sheep think for themselves or do they say this every time like a broken record.
A concern I have though: What will this do to item inflation over the course of the rest of the expansion? Or over the course of the game?

Will Tier 16's iLvl be balanced around Normal / Heroic with the upgradable vendor in 5.3?, or will it be balanced around Normal-TF and Heroic-TF?

Tier 16 normal gear would have to be slightly higher ilvl than Tier15 Heroic-TF. At this point, you're making T16 normal gear at least 542.

Tier 14 normal: 496
Tier 15 normal: 522
Tier 16 normal: 548

This seems fine until you factor in Heroics with VP upgrade)

Tier 14 Heroic: 509 (+8, 517)

Even with the +8, a Heroic T14 item will be lower ilvl of Normal TF (522). This is good. However..

A Heroic Thunderforged item that is upgraded via VP in 5.3 will reach 549. This is higher than T16's normal ilvl.

I talked myself into a circle, but I hope my concern was clear.
01/23/2013 09:10 AMPosted by Tanore
I'm not sure how I feel about even more rng being added to loot tables. I already haven't seen a weapon from empress or tsulong in 9 kills/coins, but now I have to hope the item to drop and for it to be thunderforgerd?


I'm still waiting for a sha touched weapon after 36 rolls in ToES (2 bosses, 2 chances per boss per week, 8 weeks).

RNG is RNG, but jeez it sucks.

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