Rescuing 25-man raiding (US thread)

90 Goblin Mage
9430
On the EU forums, there is an interesting thread:

http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/5326882850

Since I have no EU characters and cannot post there, I thought I'd start a similar thread here.

My 2 cents:

Perhaps another fix can hit this problem and a long-standing one. The long-standing one is that to have a viable raid group, most guilds have to have standby players to fill vacancies left by regular raid members unable to make a raid. The benched players are pretty unhappy with this, and I completely sympathize with both the raid leaders needing spares and benched players being grumpy.

So...

Suppose raids could be variable in size between 10 and 25. The raid leader would set the raid size before zoning in the first time. This size would be associated with the Raid ID until it is abandoned or completed. Boss HP, damage, and loot quantity would be set by the raid size. Since the loot quality now is independent of raid size, loot quality would not need to be adjusted.

I bet there are a lot of guilds that would be very happy being able to bring, say, 16 people to a raid without being nuked by a 25-man boss.

If there is a stong desire to encourage 25-man raids, have some reward for setting the raid size to 25. Achievement, vanity pet...
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90 Draenei Hunter
13795
My greatest concern regarding raiding, and where I think the reason it's most difficult to successfully field a 25-man is the stigma that's attached to taking games too seriously.

It's a psychological barrier that is much easier to bypass when everyone else is taking the game seriously. The only way everyone will take is seriously if it's presented in a serious manner, and if that seriousness is supported by Blizzard.

Guilds shouldn't have to defend their decision to require food and flask buffs, but guilds in the lower ranks very definitely have to do that because the game itself allows players to proceed without them, regardless of the extra burden they're putting on the prepared players.

The very game itself requires consumables by design, but allows players to ignore them by philosophy. Until the game, by design or expressed intent, supports and reinforces those basic requirements, some players just won't believe that taking the game seriously is necessary. It's that conflicting message that breeds different opinions of what is important and leads to players being unable to agree.

If everyone shared a clear understanding, and was in agreement of the basic requirements of raiding, it would be much easier for a GM to coach a player for not meeting expectations that EVERYone else is adhering to.

I don't think Blizzard should incentivize the guild leaders and raid leaders, etc. I think Blizzard should find a way to lend credence to the decisions made by those players by supporting, philosophically, the basic tenets of raiding.

That is to say, a guild leaders shouldn't have to justify their decision to require things like food buffs, gems and enchants, the game should make it unquestionably clear that anyone participating in those endeavors should be prepared to use those consumables.
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90 Draenei Hunter
13795
Part 2: Attendance

Attendance is probably the biggest raid killer, and again, it goes back to philsophy. Some people naturally stand by their commitments without external pressure. Others think they can raid when it's convenient by simply showing up when they can.

Players with attendance problems really don't seem to appreciate how their absence or flakey attendance effects the experience of the other raid members.

I think it might help to find a way, in-game to track and reward attendance, to reinforce to the entire playerbase just how critical it is to maintain strong attendance and that keeping commitments in the game is key to the success of a raid group.

Right now guilds struggle to impress upon players just how important their presence is, but many lower rank guilds struggle with it every day. The game doesn't really punish flakiness and so it's not seen as a bad thing by many oblivious players. If they get dropped from a raid team or guild they just float between others, bringing down their team until they move onto another.

The game needs to find a way to support an atmosphere of punctuality and commitment, not continually look for concessions in game-play that support transient or inconsistent interest in the game. It's one thing to make it easy for raiders to rejoin the game and catch up, it's another to let them do so without making a commitment to that goal.

Raid leaders shouldn't have to repeatedly remind their teams just how important it is to show up. That should be an inherently accepted fact of life with regard to this game.

I don't have any proper suggestions on how to create that atmosphere. I think part of the problem stems from the fact that many guilds stretch activities over far too long a period of time, which leads to burnout.

Average guilds shouldn't spend 5 days raiding. Most of that time is probably down-time, a lot of it is probably spent failing and ultimately they're just burning themselves out faster. The problem is that the game allows it -which is fine- but the community shouldn't. Sadly, that's an understanding of human nature that many leaders aren't familiar with.

The ideal atmosphere, the most successful socialogical behavior, in my opinion, is for guilds to raid infrequently for relatively short periods of time, in a focused and efficient manner. That goes for the top and the bottom, but especially the bottom. As soon as those guilds start relying on time investment rather than self-improvement (at all levels including personal and raid group) they are sunk.

Bottom line, until attendance is something everyone is willing to take seriously there will always be players that get away with being flakey and setting bad examples, which leads to unstable group dynamics and feelings of resentment and dissatisfaction.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
13990
I am pretty sure the people who want to save 25 man raiding are the one who simply show up for raiding and log off after, and don't have to deal with the logistic.

I have been an officer-then-GM of a 25 man raiding guild up until Dragon Soul, over 2 years we lost ALL our officers due to burning out, we had to constantly recruit, and the loot system is a hassle to handle, not couting many other logistic problems in 25 man. For most of us, it started to feel like a full time job, and you don't want that off your hobby.

Plus we lost a ton of our core at the beginning of Cataclysm, and the pool of talent was not what it was, lead to ton of frustration from the remaining members of the original core.

Now, I'm convinced most of the people who decided to do 10 man raids are doing it because they prefer 10 man format over 25, so putting any incentive in game to run 25 is making a huge chunk of the community angry. It's already a nightmare to gear up in 10 man, now 25s will gear even faster than they were, while in 10 man, after 28 weeks of Dragon Soul, there are some pieces we have never ever seen drop still.

So in all honesty, I think the raiding community would benefit from having only one raid format, it would remove ton of development time due to balancing 2 formats, and it would stop this "25 man are dying" thing. You know if they introduced 5 man raids, we'd have the same threads saying "10 man are dying".. it's just a normal movement, you offer a new option, it's normal a chunk of people will adopt it.

Could 15 man raids be the option? I don't know, maybe.
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100 Blood Elf Paladin
15185
Only idea I have to save it that I like is to just make 25man raiding undertuned a bit. This is how it was in Nax25. 25man was easier than 10man. Pugs organized 25man rather than 10man. Then maybe its 10man that should get the extra achievement or whatever to reward being harder.
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90 Human Priest
11030
09/19/2012 01:09 PMPosted by Zurak
Now, I'm convinced most of the people who decided to do 10 man raids are doing it because they prefer 10 man format over 25, so putting any incentive in game to run 25 is making a huge chunk of the community angry. It's already a nightmare to gear up in 10 man, now 25s will gear even faster than they were, while in 10 man, after 28 weeks of Dragon Soul, there are some pieces we have never ever seen drop still.


I've done everything in 25 man guilds from raid leading to guild leading to being your everyday raider. I have never even considered going 10 man. Its boring to me. Its easy. I do agree with the point you made where it begins to feel like a full time job. My old guild I was the GM/RL/the only person who actually cared. It was too much for one person. My new guild there are quite a few officers who all work together. It is much less stressful and a lot more fun.

As far as adding incentive to run 25 mans I think its something that needs to happen but I'm not sure how. It can't be anything massive that kills 10 man raiding over night. People generally choose the path of least resistance. IMO something to do with opening up the constraints of xrealm current tier action would go a long ways. It's much easier to convince someone to pay to transfer if they know they have a spot in the guild as opposed to xfering to trial. If they could trial before making the actual server transfer it would open up the recruitment pool a little bit. That's really all I can come up with though that helps 25 mans without hurting 10s.
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100 Dwarf Death Knight
18230
Id also suggest they pay better attention to numbers when they tune 10 and 25

Enrage timers shouldn't be "skin of teeth" on 25, and "lol 3 healed" on 10 man, like original Ultraxion.
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90 Orc Warlock
5950
zurak im having a blast recruiting for my 25m come mist. Ive gone thru so many people running 10m I could see the stress of doing 25m. But when recruitment/raiders get low switch to multi 10m tell you can get the roster back up so gear and progress is still happening keep moral up.Ive been clearing DS since week 5 of release and have not seen normal/heroic cruel of the cunning it happens to 25m and 10m alike yes you have a greater chance at it dropping in 25m but that doesnt mean you will win the bid/roll on it. I feel to save 25m there needs to be some type of incentive for raiders to keep up their solid attendance/performance ie charms of good fortune only usable the lock out you receive them in and clear the following week this would make people want to show to use said item other wise their work thru the week was wasted
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100 Blood Elf Paladin
15185

So in all honesty, I think the raiding community would benefit from having only one raid format, it would remove ton of development time due to balancing 2 formats,


On one hand I'd agree with you that if we only had one raid format, maybe we'd see more raid content like what we had in tBC per tier. But on the other I think killing off 25s for good would kill a large social aspect of the mmo.

Back in the day of 40man raiding + bench + non raid members, we'd have 60 people online in guild at a time. Always something spontaneous to do with people, or to help out on something out in the world, or pvp with, always chat going on. It was very lively! These days of 10man raiding, in my guild, my alt's guilds, my friends guilds...I hardly ever see more than 3-4 online at a time. But hey, maybe most people are ok with that?
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90 Orc Warlock
5950
I personally don't like not having lots of people online I love the friendships and seeing people have a blast and I don't about the rest of you but my moto is the more the merrier
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100 Blood Elf Death Knight
15320
I am confused to be honest why people think it is easier to run a 10 man guild over a 25 man guild.

Instead of me writing an entire essay, I'll bring up a point I have not seen many people bring up.

People are always saying it's 2.5x the work to logistically put a 25 man raid together. As a GM and a known social butterfly I disagree whole heartedly.

In 10m, one person's actions hold significantly more power over the other 90% of the raiders.

If that one person doesn't show up - it is on the raid leader to find another person to replace that important role (whatever it is) and the other raiders need to explain to the replacement the part of the encounter that the "no show" was doing.

If that one person is truly messing up every attempt or simply isn't that good it is significantly more difficult to find a replacement for YOUR 10 man guild over the other 150+ on your server.

Also on 25 man, using DS as an example, the rings, trinkets, and off pieces drop every time.

Almost EVERYBODY benefits from a boss kill.

On 10m you might not have a shaman in your group, but 1 of the 2 pieces that drops in a mail resto piece. Making that boss kill's loot 50% useless.

Also in 25 mans there are more tasks that can be delegated out by the leader effectively, and I'm not even getting started on how much more community there is.

As a Raid Leader of both and the only guild, on at least my server, to transition from 10 -> 25: The stress level and amount of work each night is DRASTICALLY reduced with 24 other people than with 9 others. And to me the fights and sense of accomplishment are FAR more epic.

Maybe I am the only one that sees it this way though.
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85 Human Paladin
11570
I am confused to be honest why people think it is easier to run a 10 man guild over a 25 man guild.


because that's the universal truth. despite your 'inividual responsibility' rambling, raiding is a multiplayer activity. That's why massive-multiplayer is harder to run than micro-multiplayer.

what you're hinting at, however is a legit 10man problem: critical mass. some, myself included claim 10mans are too small to be self-sustainable. because 1 guy is so much of the group.

I'm not denying your format faces this problem but you can't deny the logistics problem of 25mans. after nearly 4 years of recruiting for one daily...trust me, i know well the 25man problems.

When you have to split your dps evenly and position such that cleaves are effective for heroic lich king valkir in 25man...and you see the ONE valkir in 10man...you quickly realise why one's a bit more logistically intensive.

perhaps 'holding hands" on hagara or the utraxion achievemen should be mentioned...
Edited by Robokapp on 9/19/2012 3:44 PM PDT
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85 Draenei Priest
11360
09/19/2012 03:23 PMPosted by Vinceypoo
I am confused to be honest why people think it is easier to run a 10 man guild over a 25 man guild.


Try leading a 25m guild or 25m pug sometime, you'll see what they mean. First you have to get 15 people in addition to the 10 you would normally get for a 10m. Next you have to get all of these players to the raid you're attempting. You then have to make sure everyone is on the same page, work out positioning and placement and coordinate with 25 players, not 10, to figure out how you will handle the mechanics. Once the dust settles you now get the wonderful task of managing loot distribution amongst 25 players instead of 10 players. And, the entire time you have to deal with any drama that may ensue because where there are more people there is often more potential for that short of thing.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily believe encounters are anymore difficult on a personal level in 25 man or 10 man for the most part (there are exceptions). This is primarily because good players will be good and bad players will be bad, regardless of format. Good players will execute their responsibilities properly. Bad players will fumble and die. I just think 25 mans unquestionably have more logistics involved. The setup time and pre and post encounter coordination is significantly more involved.

Also, much of these tasks are distributed amongst more than a single player in any well run 25 man guild (they would have to be....). The point still stands it involves more logistics.

Oh, and for the record I GM a 10 man guild so my view isn't exactly slated toward the 25 man side of things :). And, I do think there are people with their head up their !@# on both sides of the 25 v 10 dead horse argument, many of them frequent this forum.

To the OP, I somehow doubt the technology exists to do what you are asking. Although it would be nice to see Blizzard find a way to increase the number of healthy 25 mans in the game.
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90 Worgen Mage
15160
09/19/2012 03:23 PMPosted by Vinceypoo
As a Raid Leader of both and the only guild, on at least my server, to transition from 10 -> 25: The stress level and amount of work each night is DRASTICALLY reduced with 24 other people than with 9 others. And to me the fights and sense of accomplishment are FAR more epic.


I am the raid leader and strategy creator for my guild and have been for several years - right back to BC. I even write guides for internal members which when complete I usually make public - such as http://enigma-nagrand.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=82&t=3545 so that others can benefit from our experiences.

I can only make that comment make sense if you are not doing progression in that 25 man raid setting. When I hold that statement up to our 300 wipes on Yogg Saron, 400 wipes on Lich King Heroic and then compare that to the encounters mechanics as they weere designed for 10...... Well as Robokapp said above, there are worlds in between. And I am not talking just about tuning.

Additionally, I share the burden of running this guild with another GL whom we have equal responsibility but different tasks. He is the recruitment specialist. Without having the two of us together we would have collapsed months and months ago and no longer exist because the combination of pressure and stress in keeping this format alive does not hold a candle to the 10 man format.

We choose to do it because both of us are of the same opinion - that it is 25 mans or we quit. In fact we have so little interest in raiding 10 mans that should 25 mans ever end, our guild would end right there. Most of our players in guild are of the same opinion.

I recently pointed out that using the only numbers we as players have to estimate - which of course have to be taken somewhat skeptically - show an approx 30% increase in end game raiding numbers from BC > WotLK. The transition from WotLK > Cataclysm saw an approx 50% reduction in end game raiding numbers.

We are at present, in Normal and Heroic content at a lower participation level than BC - and it boggles my mind that people seem to think this is a good thing.

I just recently had an argument on this topic in our internal forums with a member who actually likes the strength of the choice in 10 mans being there and disagrees with me so I do understand why people are so passionate about the 10 man format. What I still cannot get over, no matter how many times people state that having 10 man as an option is a good thing is when looking at total raiding attendence and seeing what that transition cost the game.

Remember this is a game therefore it is designed to facilitate fun in whatever way that means to people. Bringing the 10 mans up to equal par was an attempt by Blizzard to be fair and to give unprecedented access to top level raiding by allow smaller formats to compete "Equally". Retrospectively however, this idea turned out to cause half a million players to leave raiding entirely - not go 10 man, just stop.

Why? Because of a critical lack of consideration for plain old human nature. That is, if you provide two "fun" options where the rewards are the same, but the challenge to get them is skewed in one direction then we as human beings will gravitate to the easier of the two paths. And that is exactly what happened.

I suppose one of the reasons I get so irritated is that equalizing 10 mans caused 90% of the 25 man population to disperse but for 10 man raiders this apparently is acceptable - but any effort to put 25 man back on equal footing is bad because - oh the horror - some 10 man raiders may go back to 25 man.... There is a great big whopping double standard coming from some 10 man raiders here.

Also, much of these tasks are distributed amongst more than a single player in any well run 25 man guild (they would have to be....). The point still stands it involves more logistics.


Just on this topic, we tried having officers and each and every time we had issues with them. It didn't matter if we had been playing for months together, they became an officer and suddenly they changed. We decided some time ago now - like 12 months or so - that we would no longer have any officers. My Co-GL and I run all aspects of the guild together as ironically, it is less stress and drama doing so.
Edited by Virtutis on 9/19/2012 5:01 PM PDT
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90 Draenei Hunter
13795
I definitely agree 25-man recruiting is more demanding, and I certainly agree it's harder to get 25 good players than it is 10, I think the source of the problem is the same at both levels: a lack of good players.

If 25-mans had a ready source of good players to select from it can maintain a healthy roster, otherwise it's a welfare system with more recipients than benefactors. It cannot support itself without a surplus of quality raiders/

The only way to achieve that is to somehow help the less skilled players raise their game and improve their attitudes and attendance, or to artificially create a surplus of through some radical means such as scrapping 10-man or driving everyone into 25s with extreme rewards.

I think the truth is that right now 25s exist as an exception to the norm as a result of natural selection. I don't think there's anyway for the two sizes to co-exist in harmony and that the best course of action would probably be to go back to 25s only. That's coming from someone who prefers 10s.
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90 Draenei Hunter
13795
09/19/2012 03:23 PMPosted by Vinceypoo
I am confused to be honest why people think it is easier to run a 10 man guild over a 25 man guild.


I sum it up like so:

Forming a group on raid night is like playing the lottery. Both formats get to pick 100 numbers but in order to raid, 10-man guilds only need to match 10 numbers, while 25-man guilds need to match 25. I use that analogy because people showing up to raid is so hit or miss. Some numbers you can count on, but in 25-man the penalty for making bad choices is more holes to fill.
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09/19/2012 05:27 PMPosted by Karamok
I definitely agree 25-man recruiting is more demanding, and I certainly agree it's harder to get 25 good players than it is 10, I think the source of the problem is the same at both levels: a lack of good players.

One of the things that few people mention is that when you have a raiding group, it is not merely a coordinated team with the sole purpose of killing bosses. Very often, it is a social gathering consisting of friendships. Getting 25 players to meld together is comparatively more difficult than getting 10 players to do so, given the variety in personalities and interests.

It is unfortunate that 25-player raiding has more logistical difficulties, but alas that is an integral part of the format itself. The best solution is one that tries to ease those difficulties and burdens as much as possible, not to "incentivize" 25-player raiding because the balance between the difficulties is already a serious mess -- although, frankly, I would much prefer if the difficulties were divided into completely separated but parallel paths.
Edited by Ruzkelt on 9/19/2012 6:04 PM PDT
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100 Blood Elf Death Knight
15320
09/19/2012 04:36 PMPosted by Volios
Try leading a 25m guild or 25m pug sometime, you'll see what they mean. First you have to get 15 people in addition to the 10 you would normally get for a 10m. Next you have to get all of these players to the raid you're attempting. You then have to make sure everyone is on the same page, work out positioning and placement and coordinate with 25 players, not 10, to figure out how you will handle the mechanics. Once the dust settles you now get the wonderful task of managing loot distribution amongst 25 players instead of 10 players. And, the entire time you have to deal with any drama that may ensue because where there are more people there is often more potential for that short of thing.


Did you even read my post?

Not only do I currently lead a 25 man guild but I have gone through and successfully transitioned from 10 -> 25 on an almost dead server. I've recruited for both. I literally initially posted saying I did yet the two major responses are approaching me as if I'm un aware of the "challenges"

--------

So all of your "experience" in raiding for so long almost might equate to my Vanilla -> Now "Wiping on Muru for hours on end, not having the DPS for Brutallus. Struggling with the Tainted Core, People standing in Defile" Experience to realize that it's just your opinion.

But please do not down play that the screw up of 10% of the raid is NOT easier to deal with than 4%.

Also, since there are less 25 man guilds, why should someone join YOUR 10 man guild? Over the other plethora of 10 man guilds available?

With 25 man recruiting, it's prestigious almost for some.

Everyone in this game wants to be the "special snowflake"

I find it ridiculous that you think that people would rather join some random common 10 man guild when they could be part of the 1-10 25 man guilds on their server.

----

From my experience at the beginning of Cata - If I cared enough about this point I'd find actual threads, but there was SOOOO much QQ about how 10 man guilds would spawn and fall apart within 3 months of their start up because there were TOO MANY 10 man guilds.

In addition, stop bringing up attendance, it has nothing to do with your raid size - Only the hours you raid.

TL;DR - It is much easier (with my experience and the experience of others that I know) to recruit and switch people in and out for a 25 man because people feel more special being in a 25 man guild over just being one of PLENTY of 10 man guilds they can choose from.
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90 Draenei Hunter
13795
The problem...with the problem, is that it's rooted in human behavior, not in the design of the instances and raiding in general. Players playing poorly, or exhibiting poor attendance are not the result of the game directly. What kind of changes can the game make to encourage players to show up when they say they will?

Traditionally guilds have done that by monitoring attendance and rewarding or punishing where appropriate. From my experience however, most average guilds aren't up to the task of cutting slackers. They are left to fester and infect the raid and guild atmosphere for too long until the damage becomes irreversible. How does the game fix that?

The 25 to 10 split has become a mechanic that the dedicated playerbase has organically used to separate itself from the hangers-on. Not all dedicated players have left 25s but the number of players willing to raid 25s AND put up with the extra social interference is much smaller now. What can the game do to lure raiders away from the comfort of 10-man raiding and deliver an experience that isn't sabotaged by rude, inconsiderate, pre-occupied, afk, no-shows?

Make the game just so much fun that people can't resist being part of it? Hmmm...
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100 Human Paladin
aus
20635
09/19/2012 01:09 PMPosted by Zurak
Now, I'm convinced most of the people who decided to do 10 man raids are doing it because they prefer 10 man format over 25, so putting any incentive in game to run 25 is making a huge chunk of the community angry. It's already a nightmare to gear up in 10 man, now 25s will gear even faster than they were, while in 10 man, after 28 weeks of Dragon Soul, there are some pieces we have never ever seen drop still.


No most in our 10 man raid team prefer 25 to 10, but nobody is willing to put in the huge recruitment effort it would take to get back to 25 and I doubt it could be done without just grabbing newbs from trade chat, goodbye any progression

Mid 4.0 we filled the raid and indeed had 31 people before we selected the 25,We where heading off to bwd with the intention that Nef would die and he did that reset. Within 4 weeks 6 healers had left the raid. 5 of them to quit wow, one to server transfer because she was getting married and could no longer make our raid times. Goodbye 25 man raiding:(

The problem is your average player recruitment these days is not some new player looking to get into raiding, its much more likely to be someone kicked from their current raid or someone that has lost interest in raiding and has now come back and in a few months they will lose interest again and stop logging in.
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