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

General Discussion
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That's silly. The same top Guilds were around in TBC for the most part as were around in Cata or at least the players. Those same players took weeks to beat Kael and Vash'j yet were dropping the Hard Mode end Bosses by the first week they were running stuff. It's on par to Nihilum beating Illidan in week 2.

40/25 man Raiding from Ulduar and earlier was Hard Mode raiding.


Lol, no. Ulduar 25 man raiding was not harder than hardmodes. Although, it had some pretty solid hardmodes itself.


I wasn't trying to say it was harder just that the time for World first kills has been pretty consistent since those things were tracked. Do you say otherwise? You can't compare encounters from one era to the next since it's not Apples to Apples and new encounter mechanics are developed all the time.

You also can't say what makes something hard. Is it a very unforgiving mechanic like Defile or a very tightly tuned Enrage timer. In the end who cares? The same top Guilds are beating 25 man Hard modes now for the most part that were beating 25 man encounters in TBC.

40/25 man Raiding from Ulduar and earlier was Hard Mode raiding.

ROFL


Seriously? There was one Raid size and one difficulty. Are you trying to say that some of the infamous encounters from Vanilla or TBC were walks in the park? I know a lot of it is because the game is old and tired but do you really think a Guild that is clearing Hard Mode content now has anywhere near the prestige of a Guild clearing BT/SWP did in TBC? Especially if it's a 10 man? Please.

This is pointless. Of course anyone playing now thinks they're playing in another league compared to how it was for the old timers and vice versa. I was responding to the inane concept that Hard Modes were one of the things to kill 25's. 25's were alive and well and doing hard modes in Wrath.
02/02/2013 07:49 PMPosted by Oakshisampoe
I am tired of raiding what's the point if NOTHING drops in the 6 weeks doing 10 and 25 man? May just stop playing wow all together people are rude anyway and I don't need my son seeing this language.


Don't raid for gear, raid for the enjoyment of the activity itself.
Seriously? There was one Raid size and one difficulty. Are you trying to say that some of the infamous encounters from Vanilla or TBC were walks in the park? I know a lot of it is because the game is old and tired but do you really think a Guild that is clearing Hard Mode content now has anywhere near the prestige of a Guild clearing BT/SWP did in TBC? Especially if it's a 10 man? Please.

This is pointless. Of course anyone playing now thinks they're playing in another league compared to how it was for the old timers and vice versa. I was responding to the inane concept that Hard Modes were one of the things to kill 25's. 25's were alive and well and doing hard modes in Wrath.

Cute. Been raiding since MC friend,. Yes, seriously. Paragon called Heroic Lich King the hardest encounter they'd ever seen and Heroic Rag was a close 2nd.

The old raids (yes, even M'uru) would get dissected and wrecked much faster. Encounters have evolved because they've had to. Analystics have improved. Information disseminates much faster.

That aside, I agree with you that hard modes have nothing to do with the decline of 25s. That suggestion is asinine. I've had the fortune or misfortune (depending on your perspective) of being involved in guild leadership coming up on 4 years and the trends and pain points are fairly clear if you're on that side of things. Earlier in this thread I linked the interview where Blizzard admitted players will always take the path of least resistance ... and that's what 10s offers. Downsizing vs. keeping up the effort of maintaining a larger organization is something that will naturally creep into the subconscious whenever a guild is faced with a solid bout of roster volatility or leadership change.

Anyways, Blizzard has painted themselves into a corner on this one. Forcing 10s as an 'equal format' in the long run is silly in a game that features 11 classes and 34 specs. The homogenization and encounter design constraints alone have made it a regretful decision for them I'm sure.
That aside, I agree with you that hard modes have nothing to do with the decline of 25s. That suggestion is asinine. I've had the fortune or misfortune (depending on your perspective) of being involved in guild leadership coming up on 4 years and the trends and pain points are fairly clear if you're on that side of things. Earlier in this thread I linked the interview where Blizzard admitted players will always take the path of least resistance ... and that's what 10s offers. Downsizing vs. keeping up the effort of maintaining a larger organization is something that will naturally creep into the subconscious whenever a guild is faced with a solid bout of roster volatility or leadership change.


It's not really a suggestion, why would I want to raid 25s and get less content progression than I would doing 10s? My guild started killing more things, faster, more reliably, and with less bad raid nights the second we stopped doing 25s. And, I don't' have to worry about the scrubs who won't show up after wipe 30 on something like heroic rag. My guild never did 200 attempts on a boss before H Al'akir, people would just stop showing up (when we were doing 25s). With 10 players, that doesn't happen.

For me, it was a choice between greater content content penetration in 10 H, along with less work and headaches, versus having all these extra people around. Seems like a no brainer, and a big part of that for me was more heroics > 15 random people.
02/03/2013 06:30 AMPosted by Firestyle
That aside, I agree with you that hard modes have nothing to do with the decline of 25s. That suggestion is asinine. I've had the fortune or misfortune (depending on your perspective) of being involved in guild leadership coming up on 4 years and the trends and pain points are fairly clear if you're on that side of things. Earlier in this thread I linked the interview where Blizzard admitted players will always take the path of least resistance ... and that's what 10s offers. Downsizing vs. keeping up the effort of maintaining a larger organization is something that will naturally creep into the subconscious whenever a guild is faced with a solid bout of roster volatility or leadership change.


It's not really a suggestion, why would I want to raid 25s and get less content progression than I would doing 10s? My guild started killing more things, faster, more reliably, and with less bad raid nights the second we stopped doing 25s. And, I don't' have to worry about the scrubs who won't show up after wipe 30 on something like heroic rag. My guild never did 200 attempts on a boss before H Al'akir, people would just stop showing up (when we were doing 25s). With 10 players, that doesn't happen.

For me, it was a choice between greater content content penetration in 10 H, along with less work and headaches, versus having all these extra people around. Seems like a no brainer, and a big part of that for me was more heroics > 15 random people.

You made my point beautifully.

It's not really about having 15 extra "scrubs". That definition varies across all guilds. Paragon dropped down because of the ongoing pain of maintaining a roster at the quality level THEY deemed worthy. They had no scrubs, they just had a higher threshold for excellence, yet they faced the exact same impetus as you did.

SOURCE: http://www.paragon.fi/news/paragon-will-be-switching-25man-10man-mop

That's the decision point 25 mans face all the way up and down the "quality" curve, whether you're gunning for world 1sts, trying to stay in the top 100 or simply trying to finish all heroics before the next patch hits.

That's the hard part. People often get into meaningless debates about which format comes with the more stringent execution requirements ... it's ridiculous, they're the same in that regard. When you're scraping for gear and in the learning phase, that part is the same at an individual level. The hard part is scaling up.

And that is why we laugh at this Thunderforged concept. *This* was the controversial feature with which they were going to introduce to acknowledge the gap? I know people exaggerate in forums but I'm being 100% truthful when I say it's a net-negative for us to have this system introduced. It doesn't alter behavior/motivation one iota but exacerbates the loot management pain introduced via coins, upgrades, world bosses and BMAH (I'm still lol'ing at progression gear available for gold -- something I never thought they'd sink to).
And that is why we laugh at this Thunderforged concept. *This* was the controversial feature with which they were going to introduce to acknowledge the gap? I know people exaggerate in forums but I'm being 100% truthful when I say it's a net-negative for us to have this system introduced. It doesn't alter behavior/motivation one iota but exacerbates the loot management pain introduced via coins, upgrades, world bosses and BMAH (I'm still lol'ing at progression gear available for gold -- something I never thought they'd sink to).


I generally agree, net negative overall. Also adding a point that it is another level of gear scaling each tier, causing even more ilvl inflation which is wrought with issues.

And if it's supposed to be an idea for content longevity, I challenge that the actual life it would provide would actually get lived before the next raid patch.
I noticed that a lot of people in this thread have responded to the fact that this is supposed to help 25 mans, but what about the other reason they are adding thunderforged loot?

Thunderforged loot is supposed to make raiding farm bosses more exciting.

Personally this kind of depresses me. One thing I really enjoy in raid design is the ability to skip a boss or bosses so that we can work on progression. For example, most people in my group do not enjoy clearing Will of the Emp. on normal, so after everyone in my group got their gear, we skipped them in order to get more time for progression bosses. I really really do not want to do some bosses that can be skipped if the only pieces they have are thunderforged which have a low probability to drop.
You made my point beautifully.

It's not really about having 15 extra "scrubs". That definition varies across all guilds. Paragon dropped down because of the ongoing pain of maintaining a roster at the quality level THEY deemed worthy. They had no scrubs, they just had a higher threshold for excellence, yet they faced the exact same impetus as you did.

SOURCE: http://www.paragon.fi/news/paragon-will-be-switching-25man-10man-mop

That's the decision point 25 mans face all the way up and down the "quality" curve, whether you're gunning for world 1sts, trying to stay in the top 100 or simply trying to finish all heroics before the next patch hits.

That's the hard part. People often get into meaningless debates about which format comes with the more stringent execution requirements ... it's ridiculous, they're the same in that regard. When you're scraping for gear and in the learning phase, that part is the same at an individual level. The hard part is scaling up.

And that is why we laugh at this Thunderforged concept. *This* was the controversial feature with which they were going to introduce to acknowledge the gap? I know people exaggerate in forums but I'm being 100% truthful when I say it's a net-negative for us to have this system introduced. It doesn't alter behavior/motivation one iota but exacerbates the loot management pain introduced via coins, upgrades, world bosses and BMAH (I'm still lol'ing at progression gear available for gold -- something I never thought they'd sink to).


Your two post were really beautifully written, english is not my first language but I sincerely wish I could express all the subttle issues from leading a 25man to Blizzard in a way you just did.
01/23/2013 09:10 AMPosted by Anysia
This will not help bring back 25s.
Do you have a better solution?


Yes. Bring back two-tiered raidnig. Removing it is what kiilled 25 man raiding, which I never thought was broken to begin with. Keep the shared lockout.
I've been following this thread and taking notes since page 1, and have read every post up to this point. For others who are not similarly procrastinating at work, I thought it might be helpful to recap.

Responses to the Thunderforged proposal are mixed, with most appearing to be negative. (I add a cautionary note about selection bias here.) Specific concerns with the proposal seem to take the following general forms.

Thunderforged RNG will complicate loot distribution, increase potential waste:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=6#103
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=8#152

Thunderforged RNG will complicate farm night / bench rotations:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=6#118
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=28#554
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=31#619

Thunderforged increases loss of sunk costs when upgrading:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=13#252

The prevailing opinion seems to be that Thunderforged will not address the current problems leading to a decline in casual 25-man raiding. These problems are identified as:

The Ambershaper argument: scaling up personal accountability slows 25-man progression
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=19#368
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=24#471
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=76#1512
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=77#1526

Repeatability of kills and bench, rotation concerns: a corollary of the Ambershaper argument
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=42#836
(guild bench conversation that starts around post #1103)
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=59#1176

Slower 25-mans due to additional hurdles in failure diagnosis, mechanics communication
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=65#1298

Significant barrier to entry for 25-mans leads to erosion at the bottom
(lots of discussion prior to these posts: I was not tracking this particular theme at first)
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=75#1494
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=74#1471
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=75#1497
Several solutions to the problem of declining casual 25-man guilds have been proposed. These also generally follow a few themes, though I have to confess here that I tended not to write down proposals that I thought were non-starters (e.g., kill 10-man raiding).

Split raid lockouts / split raid lockouts with a shared gear lockout.
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=8#246
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=24#466*
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=74#1462

Track boss kills / achievements separately for 10 and 25 mans.
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=14#274
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=17#334
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=26#506
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=39#767
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=42#825
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=66#1307

Quality of life improvements. These took on a number of forms, but essentially they called for reducing time spent on responsibilities outside of the raid. Some popular suggestions were to increase the valor points dropped by 25-man bosses, bring back guild-level consumables like cauldrons and max feasts, drop lesser charms in raids, and allow people to summon raid groups via stone/warlock portals.
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=24#466
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=28#546
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=32#634
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=34#662*
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=40#786
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=42#828*
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=66#1320

Update recruitment tools and resolve issues with server populations. These suggestions included to merge realms, offer money back guarantees on server transfers, or reducing the costs of transfers/faction changes. Essentially, changes to facilitate recruitment, including reducing the risk (financial and otherwise) for players who transfer.
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=24#480
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=63#1255

Implement UI tools to let raid leaders engage people on the bench.
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=24#466
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7709282055?page=42#828

I wanted to highlight some specific small ("low-hanging fruit") QoL changes that I saw suggested, with credit.
  • keep party grenades from interrupting eating or disallow them in raids (Rollee)
  • allow us to rearrange groups in non-boss combat (Rollee)
  • allow us to reforge indoors via mounts / Jeeves (Rollee)
  • fix the glyph/talent change UI bugs (Rollee)
  • allow mass rez for those who have released (Rollee)
  • scale guild challenge rewards with raid size (Bactide)


edit: typos and punctuation
Finally, to add our own anecdote to this thread, we're a casual 25-man guild that has been raiding since Gruul's Lair. Like many posters, to assess the effectiveness of the proposed Thunderforged solution I started by trying to identify the problem.

Aside from following the thread, I started with our data. I looked over the attendance information we have for the previous two expansions to try to get a sense of how MoP is shaping up in terms of people attending our raids. In the first 20 raids of each expansion, we've seen about the same number of players, but the distribution has changed considerably.

Mists of Pandaria: November 6 - January 8
38 people across 20 raids
5-20% attendance: 11
21-59% attendance: 4
60-100% attendance: 23

Cataclysm: February 8 - March 24
43 people across 20 raids
5-20% attendance: 7
21%-59% attendance: 13
60%-100% attendance: 23

Wrath of the Lich King: January 7 - February 27
42 people + 4 pugs
5-20% attendance: 10
21-59% attendance: 10
60-100% attendance: 22

This seems to indicate to us a sort of "hollowing out" of players in the middle tier of commitment. Across expansions we have about the same number of players meeting or exceeding our raider commitment, and similar numbers of people who pop into a raid and then disappear for a while. What we're noticing is that while we used to be able to bring in a solid group of people at 30-50% attendance, these players are no longer signing up to participate in the 25-man scene.

Our raid leader put it this way:
I think the root cause, though, is probably the reality of how much commitment it takes to make a real go of raiding at the moment. I think people look at that and either think "OK, I'm doing this" or just kind of peter out.

This assessment is subjective, but it matches with the general complaints of our regular 25-man raiders. The joint burdens of lesser coin collection and VP capping present a commitment that didn't exist in previous expansions. In Cata or Wrath, VP gear would be obsolete relatively early in a tier, so the ongoing pressure of continually capping VP was negligible. With upgrades (current, and later in 5.3), this is no longer the case.

I think it's probably good for the health of the game to keep VP relevant, but it is having a significant demoralizing effect on our low-time availability raiders. Lesser charms are a similar situation, though this is somewhat mitigated by the "bonus" aspect of this loot accumulation.

I see the Thunderforged idea trying to address this issue. In practice it seems to work like the "pre-upgraded" pieces we hear about in the Korean system, and in a sense it would be reducing some of the VP burden. I also see it attempting to mitigate some of the issues with the overall ilvl of a 25-man raid rising more slowly than the overall ilvl of its 10-man counterpart. I get where it's coming from, and I appreciate the thought.

However, like others before me, I can't help but feel that is an inelegant way to go about resolving these issues. The VP token system that's been suggested would more directly ameliorate the difficulties we're seeing, and would reduce some of the implementation problems that have already been identified (particularly re: farm bosses). Increasing the VP awarded by 25-man bosses, so that by the time people are halfway through a tier they're capping or nearly capping, would also make a drastic difference.

The problem of the casual-25 decline is manifold, and this is only a small piece of it. The increasing difficulty of raiding in general, among other issues discussed already, is also having its effect. But the reality is that (non-hardcore) progression in a 25-man format takes longer than progression in its 10-man counterpart, for all of these reasons. Compensating for this by reducing some of the time required outside of the raid is, I think, an essential element of keeping the larger format viable among the less-progression focused player base.

edited to add: Reducing the amount of raid time spent not-raiding (i.e., "quality of life" updates) would also have a big impact, arguably an outsized one for their scope. But I thought that had already been pretty well covered among the suggested improvements. :)
I've been following this thread and taking notes since page 1, and have read every post up to this point. For others who are not similarly procrastinating at work, I thought it might be helpful to recap.


You also missed noting the other option that everyone is ignoring which is fine. Get rid of both raid sizes. Pick 1 new size and then make all levels of content that new raid size.

Done move on to encounter complexity in general and forget this entire argument over raid size.
I've been following this thread and taking notes since page 1, and have read every post up to this point. For others who are not similarly procrastinating at work, I thought it might be helpful to recap.


You also missed noting the other option that everyone is ignoring which is fine. Get rid of both raid sizes. Pick 1 new size and then make all levels of content that new raid size.

Done move on to encounter complexity in general and forget this entire argument over raid size.


Yeah lets just goto 1 raid size. Lets pick a random number and say 25.

The people wanting to goto one raid size are the 10 man players. They are thinking that if they mention just one raid size that they are compromising with 25 mans. While they actually are hoping that the size they pick is 10 man since its just getting rid of one size and not creating another.

Plus no matter how many players it is it will still be easier than 25 mans since if balanced, then the less people the easier it is.

No matter what the size is (unless its 10) they will come onto the forums and complain that its unfair to them.
You also missed noting the other option that everyone is ignoring which is fine. Get rid of both raid sizes. Pick 1 new size and then make all levels of content that new raid size.


Thing is, you have 11 classes and 34 different specs within those 11 classes. Smaller raid sizes means less chances for some specs to be taken. That is why 25 man must continue to exist and not LFR quality. Going smaller means that more and more choices are left by the roadside.

Just look at the general 10 man progression guild. 2 tanks, 1 melee, 4 ranged and 3 healers (with 1 having a dps offspec usually a ranged one). You might get by with 2 melee but in most cases ranged heavy is the way to go. There's very little real diversity in a 10 man, unlike 25... and with the onset of new raiding specs and classes anything smaller than 25 means less chances for some of them.
02/05/2013 07:28 AMPosted by Waraila
You also missed noting the other option that everyone is ignoring which is fine. Get rid of both raid sizes. Pick 1 new size and then make all levels of content that new raid size.


Thing is, you have 11 classes and 34 different specs within those 11 classes. Smaller raid sizes means less chances for some specs to be taken. That is why 25 man must continue to exist and not LFR quality. Going smaller means that more and more choices are left by the roadside.

Just look at the general 10 man progression guild. 2 tanks, 1 melee, 4 ranged and 3 healers (with 1 having a dps offspec usually a ranged one). You might get by with 2 melee but in most cases ranged heavy is the way to go. There's very little real diversity in a 10 man, unlike 25... and with the onset of new raiding specs and classes anything smaller than 25 means less chances for some of them.


Yep, 15 man is the minimum that should be implemented for raiding and still being able to maintain some amount of diversity. They unfortunately already solved this in the V-> tBC transition by going from 40 -> 25. Kara was the F'up in the mix. Kara should have been 25 man from the start and then we would never have had this argument in the first place. Everyone would have then be 25 mans and there would have been no need for ZA and all of the past several years of grief among the player-base as to raid size as there would have been 1 size and been done with that.

I was unfortunately pushing for more 10s in tBC and then we got wrath and while the iLvl difference was annoying it was bearable. Now the problem is iLvl and raid lockout stupidity in the name of protecting some mythical progression competition, that is meaningless since the actual information about kills can not be translated to ranking sites accurately due to more Blizzard shortsightedness.

If you are going to do iterative improvements then do iterative updated across patches and expansions so that there is a gradual adjustment period. However an actually plan would also be nice to have so that 3,6,12 months plans can be made in successful guilds.
There is 1 25 man guild on are server. I imagine most Low-Mid populated servers have about the same. If they think this will do anything they are mistaken. If they truely care about 25 mans and don't want to see them die they have to do dramatic changes by either changing it back to wrath or Bc model. People may say exclusive titles/Vanity items may help recruit 25 mans but out of all the people ive played with in the past 7 years only a small fraction would care.

Bc system was pretty great and if they continued to add as much 10 man content as they did for 25s I would of said it was perfect. Wrath was decent but like they said it did feel like a job and have tons of burnout. If they went back to either of these models they would have to do it vary carefully and would have to give a ample notice to give guilds time to adjust.

I cant see anything happening anytime soon maybe next expansion but this "Controversial change" is anything but and is just a slap in the face to both 25 man guilds and people who want to see them return.
You want to bring back 25's ? Then stop F#$#ing around and changing stuff ! IT was fine back in the day where we could do a 10 player raid on one day of the week without a fear to being saved to anything. Then later on we could band together that same week and do a 25m. Now days we are forced to lvl alts up if we want to raid more .

Further QQ

Why did you make us work our butts off leveling our guild for perks and rewards to rob us of what we worked for? Is it really hard to implement new guild cauldrons to match current tier raiding ? Being able to just throw out a cauldron was so nice !

Furthermore you take away our ability to mass summon? Why even bother to give it to us if your just gonna take it away?

They say change is good, and it can be! However not everything has to change. You don't have to always keep thinking of ways to make the game less enjoyable for your players.

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