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

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100 Blood Elf Death Knight
18075
The problem with dolling out more loot for 25s (as it was in Cataclysm, because it didn't work there, either) is the fundamental misunderstanding that 25-man raiders do it for loot.

They do not.

They want to dig into raids and push hard from normals to heroics. I won't lie, players that prefer 25s enjoy loot like everyone else, but what drives them isn't loot--they do it for prestige. They want to exclaim they beat a 25HM boss because it is a well-known, acknowledged (read: NO GRAY AREA) "most difficult thing in the game" to do. Right now, they can't do that, for multiple reasons:

1. Blizzard continues to pursue to "10/25 as close as possible" agenda: As long as Blizzard defends/continues to design raids so 10s are as close in difficulty as 25s, a 25m raider will never be able to proclaim their dominance as a raider by saying they defeated Boss XYZ. Any 10m raider will simply say: "So what, we beat Boss XYZ in 10m HM and it's 100x harder". Blizzard needs to backpedal on this agenda, and communicate to the players that 10 and 25 can never been equal in difficulty and that they fully acknowledge that 10s are easier. Any further announcements by Blizzard defending 10s in equitable difficulty will continue to muddy the waters surrounding any 25m prestige.

2. There is no Blizzard-approved acknowledgement for 25s: Relying on home-grown algorithms baked by guildox and wowprogress to try to "guesstimate" which guild is further ahead by 25s vs 10s is ludicrous. Blizzard needs to separate the achievements/titles associated with 10/25 raids, and either make it an official part of battle.net site dedicated to organizaing/listing guilds by progress, or update the Battle.net Community API to produce this information in the data dumps so 3rd party ranking sites can order them appropriately.

3. There is no LFR/10 Gate: 25-Man raiders want to push ahead before anyone else, and in a world where a 10 and a 25 can't be fairly balanced in difficulty, nothing disincentivizes a 25m raiding guild more than to put countless hours into a difficult boss, return after a night of wipes, and be greeted with countless guilds that have completed the instance and boast the gear/titles/achievements from LFR and/or 10. LFR and/or 10s need to be gated, similar to how ICC was revealed in 4-week unlocks, so that 25s have an adequate amount of time to push as hard as they need to move from normal to heroic, and even race to realm-first/world-first, without having to worry about the additional pressures of losing quality members to smaller guilds. If a team loses a player because of loot--they never wanted the player in the first place. With this structure, a 25m guild will be *unable* to lose a player to a smaller guild/LFR for prestige...it simply won't be an option for those brackets of raiders.

You'll notice in my suggestions I never once touched on changing the loot/rewards. I, as a 25m raider, felt very strongly that 25m deserved the reward of better gear and loot as an acknowledgment for the effort that goes into a 25. However, I've always been a proponent of the idea that everyone deserves a chance at experiencing the game (READ: chance to experience IS NOT THE SAME AS entitled to loot), and loot goes along with this. Not everyone can (or wants to) raid 25s, but they *do* subscribe and they *do* deserve a chance to earn those rewards. So, in order to re-incentivize 25s without touching loot--the above points need to be addressed.

In summary:

1. Blizzard, make an announcement/take an official stance on "LFR is easy, 10s are medium, 25s are hard", and design for that.

2. Separate the LFR/10/25 Achievements, and produce LFR/10/25 unique titles and or mounts as rewards. Don't touch loot; leave as is (the upgrading was actually kind of cool).

3. Open the full raid on release for 25s, gate LFR by iLvL, and gate 10s by month-by-month unlock, a la ICC.

I don't know that this will solve ALL of the 25m raiding incentive problems, but it will get you closer than "just having 25s drop more loot", while at the same time, not take anything away from LFRs or 10s.
90 Gnome Mage
18555
At this point, Blizzard cannot go back to 25's being superior after the changes in Cata making 10's and 25's equal. The 10/25 difficulty argument really needs to stop since Blizzard isn't going to change it and it's wasting everyone's time just reading those threads.

At this point, Blizzard's concern is likely how to get and keep people raiding, and in the format which they most enjoy. This is a bigger problem for 25's because of the greater logistical challenges, but it's a problem for 10 man guilds too. These challenges are almost entirely handled by the Guild Leader/Raid Leader/Guild Officers ("Leaders"). The way to make more 25 man guilds (and even more 10 man guilds) is by reducing the work required to lead a guild. The proposed Thunderforged loot changes will just lead to grumbling about inequality, not to actual changes.

The main tasks of a Leader are:
1. Recruitment - Finding and maintaining a balanced roster of skilled players who are socially compatible and share a common raid schedule.

Blizzard can improve this by creating a robust, working "LF-Raiding-Guild" tool that is aimed at helping match interested raiders with recruiting guilds in a searchable/sortable fashion instead of forcing guild leaders to go through endless pages of forum threads on the WoW Raid&Dungeon/WoW Realm/MMO-Champion/etc forums all over the internet. Offering reasonably priced transfers for all toons on an account from one server/faction to another upon recruitment would also make finding a guild much easier.

2. Consumables - Gathering the required items to buff players prior to encounters. Typically this includes food, flask, potions, AND REFORGING.

Blizzard can improve this by returning Cauldrons and by making the feasts give the highest possible stat increase. This makes it so the Leader can coordinate one item per attempt (food) or per 2 hours (flask) instead of needing every member to bring their own (which almost never happens).

I consider reforging to be a raid consumable because it is often the case that hybrids need to reforge their main-spec gear to play their off-spec (shadow priest reforging into spirit to play disc, for example). Since encounter strategies require variable numbers of tanks/healers, it is non-optional to have some players switching specs between encounters. The Reins of the Grand Expedition Yak is the perfect tool for in-raid reforging... it just needs to be usable in all raid zones, not just outdoors ones. This could be accomplished by giving all zones a mountable area, or adding a profession item which allows reforging (Blacksmithing, perhaps). "Just Go Outside" isn't a viable option with the new way the instances zone you in halfway into the zone without a portal system to get you out quickly.

3. Raid Logistics - Getting everyone to all the raids, at the right time

Blizzard can improve this by re-adding Mass Summon in a limited capacity such that it can only be used inside of raid instances and requires X or more people to channel. This would help get raid groups to the instance quickly and efficiently, especially in groups without a warlock or where the warlock is the one needing to be summoned. This could also be a profession item, such as a Summoning Crystal (made with enchanting materials, for instance).

4. Leading the Raid - Coordinating the actions of the group, during raid time.

Blizzard doesn't need to fix this at all. This is what raid leaders should be doing. The Dungeon Journal already makes mechanics much easier to understand. Mods like DeathNote and combat log parsers such as World of Logs are borderline necessary tools, but they already exist as UI mods.

Edit: Turns out I didn't talk much about Thunderforged loot. Probably because it's not going to fix problems with 25 man raiding.
Edited by Minimerlinx on 1/28/2013 10:44 AM PST
90 Orc Shaman
13550
01/28/2013 10:40 AMPosted by Minimerlinx
At this point, Blizzard cannot go back to 25's being superior after the changes in Cata making 10's and 25's equal. The 10/25 difficulty argument really needs to stop since Blizzard isn't going to change it and it's wasting everyone's time just reading those threads.


Why not? Blizzard has reversed themselves often enough.
90 Troll Druid
11620
01/28/2013 10:40 AMPosted by Minimerlinx
At this point, Blizzard cannot go back to 25's being superior after the changes in Cata making 10's and 25's equal

Do you consider 10man and 25man equal in all aspects?
- If so, how are they equal?
- If not, why is Blizzard trying to make them equal?

Cannot fit the Square Block in the Circle Hole.
90 Pandaren Shaman
8455
01/28/2013 10:53 AMPosted by Hyjinx
At this point, Blizzard cannot go back to 25's being superior after the changes in Cata making 10's and 25's equal. The 10/25 difficulty argument really needs to stop since Blizzard isn't going to change it and it's wasting everyone's time just reading those threads.


Why not? Blizzard has reversed themselves often enough.


Yeah you never know. Anything is possible in this game.

For example-
Allowing players to roll a toon of the opposing faction to your main on a PVP server.
Allowing players to transfer to PVP servers from PVE.
Allowing players to change factions and races.
Allowing name changes.
Hybrid classes performing as well as Pures.

etc. etc.

All sacred cows at one time or another and people threatened to quit the game with each change.

They changed things up in Korea and for all the chatter about different markets it doesn't seem far fetched for them to do something like that here if they think it's good for the game.
90 Night Elf Druid
CFT
10670
The problem with dolling out more loot for 25s (as it was in Cataclysm, because it didn't work there, either) is the fundamental misunderstanding that 25-man raiders do it for loot.
There's a bit of a misconception here. There's a huge portion of the playerbase that will go where the pixels are. Those are the players that do it for the loot. These people used to do 25s (or 40s in Vanilla) because that's where the loot was. It's no longer there. That means there's no reason for these people to waste their time in 25m trying to get pixels they could obtain with much less logistical effort in 10m.

1. Blizzard continues to pursue to "10/25 as close as possible" agenda: As long as Blizzard defends/continues to design raids so 10s are as close in difficulty as 25s, a 25m raider will never be able to proclaim their dominance as a raider by saying they defeated Boss XYZ. Any 10m raider will simply say: "So what, we beat Boss XYZ in 10m HM and it's 100x harder". Blizzard needs to backpedal on this agenda, and communicate to the players that 10 and 25 can never been equal in difficulty and that they fully acknowledge that 10s are easier. Any further announcements by Blizzard defending 10s in equitable difficulty will continue to muddy the waters surrounding any 25m prestige.
"Equitable" is a matter of perception. Separate legitimate progression paths through the same content existed in Wrath. From a player standpoint there's no reason to not go back to that model.

2. There is no Blizzard-approved acknowledgement for 25s: Relying on home-grown algorithms baked by guildox and wowprogress to try to "guesstimate" which guild is further ahead by 25s vs 10s is ludicrous. Blizzard needs to separate the achievements/titles associated with 10/25 raids, and either make it an official part of battle.net site dedicated to organizaing/listing guilds by progress, or update the Battle.net Community API to produce this information in the data dumps so 3rd party ranking sites can order them appropriately.
Totally agree here.

3. There is no LFR/10 Gate: 25-Man raiders want to push ahead before anyone else, and in a world where a 10 and a 25 can't be fairly balanced in difficulty, nothing disincentivizes a 25m raiding guild more than to put countless hours into a difficult boss, return after a night of wipes, and be greeted with countless guilds that have completed the instance and boast the gear/titles/achievements from LFR and/or 10. LFR and/or 10s need to be gated, similar to how ICC was revealed in 4-week unlocks, so that 25s have an adequate amount of time to push as hard as they need to move from normal to heroic, and even race to realm-first/world-first, without having to worry about the additional pressures of losing quality members to smaller guilds. If a team loses a player because of loot--they never wanted the player in the first place. With this structure, a 25m guild will be *unable* to lose a player to a smaller guild/LFR for prestige...it simply won't be an option for those brackets of raiders.
LFR already is gated, and doesn't give any RF awards. Simply splitting RF into 10 and 25 solves this problem with a better solution anyway.

01/28/2013 09:53 AMPosted by Mature
and gate 10s by month-by-month unlock, a la ICC.

HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. No.
100 Blood Elf Death Knight
18075
HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. No.


There needs to be an implicit "guardrail" in place in order to keep 25m players accountable. Both Blizz and the community has stated multiple times that it can't be loot--everyone deserves a shot at the gear. Ok. So, picture this scenario:

Imagine you are leading a 25m guild/raid. You are struggling on progression. You know why it's a struggle: you have a few folks that suck--they need to step up their game. You tell them they need to improve their dps or hps by X or they'll be cut.

What system currently exists behind-the-scenes that keeps that player from giving you the middle finger, and exiting stage-right to join a 10m team to acquire everything they were already going to acquire in your 25m guild? Nothing.

There needs to be something that keeps 25m players accountable, and it can't be (better quality/larger volume of) loot. So...what then? Access the entire raid first? Separate, more prestigious achievements/titles/mounts?

If you can't answer this question--then, there *is* no other way to re-incentivize 25s.

It can be answered. The problem is: 10s aren't going to like the answer, no matter how you spin it.
90 Gnome Mage
18555
At this point, Blizzard cannot go back to 25's being superior after the changes in Cata making 10's and 25's equal

Do you consider 10man and 25man equal in all aspects?
- If so, how are they equal?
- If not, why is Blizzard trying to make them equal?

Cannot fit the Square Block in the Circle Hole.


When I say "equal", I mean "both are premier raiding formats" which implies that they are designed to be equal in reward (as gauged by ilvl of loot) and difficulty (in that Blizz at least tries to make them equally hard). In my opinion, the two formats are currently equal and even the Thunderforged loot won't change that unless the drop chance is drastically higher in 25s.

The reason they cannot go back to having 25s as the only premier raiding format is because tons of 25 mans have broken into 10 mans because it gives the same loot with less logistical burden. Now that the damage is done, it would make many people very angry if they undo the change and "force" people back into doing 25 mans to do the most challenging/rewarding content when they are happier doing 10's. IMO they should facilitate 25 mans (by reducing the leadership burdens, as I discussed above) for those who prefer that format without changing the current structure of "equal" 10/25 player raids.
Edited by Minimerlinx on 1/28/2013 12:32 PM PST
90 Tauren Warrior
9160
I think the majority of the issues this proposal will cause is not even the fact that 25-man guilds are receiving compensation; I think that's fine, and I raid competitively in 10 man. The biggest problem the majority of people have with this is the RNG element. If your goal is to make people more satisfied by having a bonus chance at better loot just via reward dopamine mechanisms, think of how blunted your happiness will be when you receive the item you want, but non-Thunderforged. Everyone will just think, "Gee, it's great this dropped, but I don't want to spend my DKP/suicide etc. on this marginal upgrade when I could get a better one at any given moment even if we don't progress." That just leaves the player screwed for when they want that loot when it is Thunderforged depending on the guild's loot system, and ironically, this actually shafts players in 25-man more than in 10-man because they have extra competition for that item later on, and they are almost guaranteed not to get the Thunderforged version when it drops, because they got the regular version.

Having higher ilvl drops is not a bad idea per se; it is the random element that is a huge turnoff. It would be much better if you could tie the Thunderforged concept into something with achievement rather than randomness, not only from a player's perspective, but also psychologically. The player will feel that they earned those extra item levels rather than their item levels being attributed to sheer luck. If you want to implement a non-random method, I would suggest something along the lines of the Ulduar hard-modes (which were extremely popular, and were personally my favorite part of Ulduar).

I can't stress enough that it is the random nature of these drops that will make people unhappy, rather than the fact that 25-mans get a slight advantage. Why implement what sounds like an extraordinarily unpopular decision to mitigate a problem that most people don't even really notice or consider an issue? I've really only heard this problem coming from Blizzard's end. Yes, 25 mans in BC and WotLK were great (and so were 40 mans in Vanilla), but recall that it was not the sheer number of players that made it great, it was the dungeon and raid design itself that was stellar. A lot of people didn't like Cataclysm because the raids were pretty poor and not very fun, not because 25 mans started going on the decline. Would I like to raid 25? I'd love to. But raiding in a 25-man guild is not so inherently better that I would ditch what I consider a great raid environment to do so. The real reason people prefer 10s due to raiding environment is merely an issue of sample size; the larger the group, the more likely you are to have unsavory people. That's not to say that great 25 man environments don't exist; on the contrary. I raided with plenty in my time and some of my fondest WoW memories are from 25-man raiding environments. Just remember that it is merely the probability of finding the right atmosphere is higher in a 10 man, and that
is why they are thriving. It really has little to do with 25 mans being "harder" or a "effort/reward" ratio; just take heroic Sha of Fear. The 10-man version appears to be almost twice as hard, because nearly twice as many 25 man guilds have downed it compared to 10 man guilds, mostly because of how crippling Huddle in Terror is on a 10-man group, whereas it can be trivialized in 25 man with cooldowns.

Excuse my digression. The main point here is that if an unfavorable loot system is put into place, it may ruin the reception and legacy of Throne of Thunder as a raid. You are putting a band-aid on a very minor issue that actually opens up more problems than the rather niche issue that it was intended to fix. The repercussions of this system will be felt by both 25 and 10 mans. But what can be done to fix it?

My thoughts would combine the challenge element of hard modes (which I would love to see be implemented) with the stability of regular loot methods. Let's say completing a hard mode gives you one extra item, and all your loot is Thunderforged/Elite or what have you. How about having one extra item (or more fairly, a chance at one) that is NOT a higher ilvl drop for 25 mans. At the end of progression, this may not seem great, but it could be very beneficial when you start clearing heroic progression. If you want to reward 25 mans, give them an extra item, not a better item or some tangled and randomized system that jeopardizes loot for the entire tier for both 25s and 10s.
In essence, I appreciate the thought you have put into into rewarding 25 mans; however, this is by no means a good system to do it with.
94 Gnome Warlock
1960
01/28/2013 11:13 AMPosted by Arielle
Separate legitimate progression paths through the same content existed in Wrath.


Do you consider LFR a legitimate form of raiding that is equal to the current 10/25 normals or heroics? Because claiming that 10's were "progression" back in Wrath is exactly the same as claiming that killing something in LFR is equal to downing the boss on normal+.
90 Night Elf Druid
CFT
10670
01/28/2013 12:25 PMPosted by Mature
There needs to be something that keeps 25m players accountable, and it can't be (better quality/larger volume of) loot.
It can be loot, if implemented in the correct fashion.

Blizzard just doesn't want to spend the required resources to do it properly.

If you're going to implement a solution to a problem, you implement the right solution instead of going for a hack job you're going to have the replace later.

It can be answered. The problem is: 10s aren't going to like the answer, no matter how you spin it.
I've already said how to fix the problem. Multiple times. Gating 10m for no real reason is the quickest way to kill WoW.

Do you consider LFR a legitimate form of raiding that is equal to the current 10/25 normals or heroics? Because claiming that 10's were "progression" back in Wrath is exactly the same as claiming that killing something in LFR is equal to downing the boss on normal+.
Did you do 10-strict in Ulduar? That is what I'm referring to, specifically.
Edited by Arielle on 1/28/2013 12:57 PM PST
94 Gnome Warlock
1960
01/28/2013 12:25 PMPosted by Mature
If you can't answer this question--then, there *is* no other way to re-incentivize 25s.


Not everyone thinks 25's deserve a handout just because they aren't as popular as they were back when they were, quite literally, the only choice available to the playerbase when it came to progressive raid content.

25's definitely need a massive QoL overhaul in order to lower their logistical burdens and overhead, absolutely do I think they need that, but punishing 10m raiders just because people don't feel like they're Johnny Awesome solely based on their raid size anymore shouldn't be one of the ways to address those problems.
94 Gnome Warlock
1960
01/28/2013 12:56 PMPosted by Arielle
Did you do 10-strict in Ulduar? That is what I'm referring to, specifically.


This ignores my question, or rather the point of my question. 10m raiding in Wrath was the LFR of its day. Citing it as progressive raiding denies the reality of what 10m was meant to be, and how it was treated by the community. Personally? I would like to avoid going back to 25's with 1 normal mode boss kill being considered better progressed than guilds that have full cleared heroic 10s.
90 Night Elf Druid
CFT
10670
This ignores my question, or rather the point of my question. 10m raiding in Wrath was the LFR of its day. Citing it as progressive raiding denies the reality of what 10m was meant to be, and how it was treated by the community. Personally? I would like to avoid going back to 25's with 1 normal mode boss kill being considered better progressed than guilds that have full cleared heroic 10s.

10s in Wrath didn't really care about 25s, no matter how much players tried to make us care. We only cared about competing with each other, and steadfastly ignored 25m completely.
90 Pandaren Shaman
8455

The reason they cannot go back to having 25s as the only premier raiding format is because tons of 25 mans have broken into 10 mans because it gives the same loot with less logistical burden. Now that the damage is done, it would make many people very angry if they undo the change and "force" people back into doing 25 mans to do the most challenging/rewarding content when they are happier doing 10's. IMO they should facilitate 25 mans (by reducing the leadership burdens, as I discussed above) for those who prefer that format without changing the current structure of "equal" 10/25 player raids.


I think your over stating the effect if the devs brought the Korean model here.

There would be the inevitable forum storm but we also had one prior to Cata when the merging of the iLevel was announced. In the end it we'd see Darwinism at work. The Guilds with the strongest leadership and best Raid Leader would switch to 25's to be at the forefront of progression.

iLevel is not content. It's epeen and I'm not using the term in a derogatory way. These games are all about how far you want to take your epeen. This is not TBC where the content is gated behind a single Raid size and skill level.

If the difficulty curve was LFR>10 Norm>25 Norm>10 Heroic>25 Heroic you'd not only incentivize the best Raid leaders to do 25's and keep the format thriving (which is good for the game) you'd also have Normal 10's as a natural stepping stone from LFR.

If your primarily driven by your in game status then you take on the added logistical challenges of a 25 man progression Guild. If your driven to play with friends and beat hard content but don't want the headaches associated with 25's then you run a 10 man Heroic Guild and so on down the epeen ladder like it's always been in MMO's.
100 Night Elf Warrior
11375
I think your over stating the effect if the devs brought the Korean model here.

There would be the inevitable forum storm but we also had one prior to Cata when the merging of the iLevel was announced. In the end it we'd see Darwinism at work. The Guilds with the strongest leadership and best Raid Leader would switch to 25's to be at the forefront of progression.


Either do the Korean model, or kill 25man, stop slowly burning us little by little. If you think 10man is heatlhy as the sole mode of a raiding (10man, with 11 classes lol...) Kill 25man and be done with it.

But For all thats holy, please stop walking around the pot and make a godamn decision, weve been losing blood for 2 years.
100 Human Warrior
8835
01/28/2013 12:53 PMPosted by Bomdanil
Separate legitimate progression paths through the same content existed in Wrath.


Do you consider LFR a legitimate form of raiding that is equal to the current 10/25 normals or heroics? Because claiming that 10's were "progression" back in Wrath is exactly the same as claiming that killing something in LFR is equal to downing the boss on normal+.


For some players yet is it legitimate progression.
100 Human Warrior
8835
I think your over stating the effect if the devs brought the Korean model here.

There would be the inevitable forum storm but we also had one prior to Cata when the merging of the iLevel was announced. In the end it we'd see Darwinism at work. The Guilds with the strongest leadership and best Raid Leader would switch to 25's to be at the forefront of progression.


Either do the Korean model, or kill 25man, stop slowly burning us little by little. If you think 10man is heatlhy as the sole mode of a raiding (10man, with 11 classes lol...) Kill 25man and be done with it.

But For all thats holy, please stop walking around the pot and make a godamn decision, weve been losing blood for 2 years.


Or grow a real set and go with 15 or 20 mans as the only raid format for all levels of difficulty and be done with it.
90 Pandaren Shaman
8455


Either do the Korean model, or kill 25man, stop slowly burning us little by little. If you think 10man is heatlhy as the sole mode of a raiding (10man, with 11 classes lol...) Kill 25man and be done with it.

But For all thats holy, please stop walking around the pot and make a godamn decision, weve been losing blood for 2 years.


Or grow a real set and go with 15 or 20 mans as the only raid format for all levels of difficulty and be done with it.


Maybe they'll do that in the next x-pac. If they do I hope it's 20 since that size still allows for a nice class spread.
100 Night Elf Warrior
11375
Maybe they'll do that in the next x-pac. If they do I hope it's 20 since that size still allows for a nice class spread.


I really just dont see whatsoever why they would slam the door on both formats at the same time ?
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