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

General Discussion
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Interesting idea from a friend, if you have to give people incentives to save something from dying, isn't it time to consider letting it die/making a drastic change (one raid size)?
If I am penalized for being in 10 man then I think my days of playing are over. 10's are so much more enjoyable. I am running with friends. Back in 25 man days I ran with a few friends and 15 window lickers. There is no closeness in 25. So people that were stuck on the whole 25 man is the only way(huge mob=raid) win. Have fun.

Why does it matter?

Of course it does! Just need an explanation from blizzard please. Thanks

I'm not from Blizzard, but I think the reason is item upgrades in 5.1.

The LFR item level is at the high end of what I expected, but the normal and heroic item level is higher still.

Apparently, the designers want the following conditions to be true:

(1) New LFR gear <= old heroic gear. The item level of drops from Heroic Will of the Emperor is 503. It would seem cheap for the new LFR to grant a higher item level. Even granting the same item level as Heroic Will of the Emperor is sketchy.

(2) New normal gear >= all gear from previous tier. This is so that people who can kill new 5.2 normals, but not heroics, won't complain that removing item upgrades prevents them from having access to gear as good as people who have 517 items from patch 5.1.

I think 502 for new LFR gear is a good choice, but I'm surprised at 522 for new normals. I think 515-516 would have been fine, with 528-529 for heroics. I'm disappointed that my upgraded items will be outdated so fast.

As a 25-man raider right now, my guild has to run both 10-man and 25-man raid nights. As a 25-man raider, I am essentially forced to play a type of content I don't like (10-mans). If you actually look at the vast majority of 25-man guilds (other than say the top 5% of 25-man guilds), we've killed stuff on 10-man content first.

So, the fallacy about being forced to do content is actually ironic because people who want to run 25's don't get to run 25's anymore. With only 1 or 2 guilds on a server that run 25-man content, you don't have a choice of what guild you are in if you want to run 25-man content. They haven't created a system of "seperate but equal", they've created a system of "just run 10-man if you want to actually progress because you don't have any competition to compare yourself to if you are a 25-man guild anyway".

By collapsing across achievements and preventing sites like wowprogress from actually being able to track 25 vs 10-man progress in any real meaningful way, all they've managed to do is destroy the 25-man raiding environment even for people who would rather quit the game than run 10s (those people for the most part have already quit and moved on from WOW meaning that their voices are already gone and replaced with the vocal minority of people who are already getting what they want).

There will always be guilds that have leadership burnout and collapse. The important part of a healthy game is that new guilds should pop up in their place. Both 10-man and 25-man guilds eventually burn out and stop running. However, Instead of being able to choose between creating a 25-man and a 10-man guild, the only option is to create a new 10-man guild.

Thus, all the 10s and 25s fold and are just replaced by new 10s. At the current rate of entropy, there won't be any 25-man guilds left by the time that the next expansion launches unless something gets done that makes it easier to choose to be a newly formed 25-man guild. The fact that it's easier to just stop recruiting when you hit enough people to run 10s, and you have zero incentive to take the extra effort to find the additional 20 people you need to run a full 25-man guild means that people are just going to let 25s attrition and die out from the game completely.

Is this new system going to fix that problem? Absolutely not. It's a nice handout to those of us who are currently raiding 25s, and may have a few more people post applications on our forums. However, when my guild's officers burn out and my 25-man guild dies (lets say 3 years from now, if we're able to hold out that long), there won't be any other 25-man guild on my server that I could join to run 25s that fits my playstyle, schedule, and general interests - because we were the only guild on our server who was raiding 25-man heroic modes at the end of Dragon Soul. The other dozen 25-man guilds were either gone or only running 10s. Instead, I'd have the option of finding a 10-man or quitting the game entirely. For people who love 25-mans, we unfortunately aren't given the same luxury of choice that people who love 10-mans are given.

In the end, I would have preferred that we just had one raid size that everyone ran, rather than the untrue illusion of choice we're being offered right now. As someone who hates 10-man raids and only wants to run 25-mans, I really wish that the "separate but equal" 25 vs 10 was actually a real thing.


Every server right now except for high-pop servers is a disaster. You're lying if you say it isn't. You have maybe 3 ~ 4 raids of 10-mans that are good and can clear content. Then all the "rejects" form dozens upon dozens of little 10-mans that can't even clear Normal modes. The 10-man system was just a way for little cliques of friends to form a guild and never have to deal with teaching a new player how to play.

So now, you have all these new, inexperience, or just "regular" players, who are getting screwed over instead of helped. If you wanted to clear a raid in the past, you actually had to be a community and help people. Yes, part of being a 25 man is teaching your weakest player how to play. In a 10? You just cut them and replace them with someone "better", and leave anyone behind who isn't already an expert at the game.


This isn't enough. Blizzard should make all 25 gear "Thunderforged", and give 10s a tiny, tiny chance at it (10% or less). Then, all those people who are running cliquish little guilds would suddenly need to open the doors and recruit, or get run out of town by the people who learn how to form actual communities in their raids. People act like 10s are making raiding accessible... but in truth, they destroy raiding, and allow the elitists to never have to interact with the general population.

There's a social aspect to this issue that I hope the developers will not miss. You touched on it in your post. So, QFT.
I find this to be a terrible idea on several fronts, and it ignores the actual solution of finding some way to merge servers (even if it forces renames on people!) since the majority of servers simply don't have the population to support multiple 25m guilds. But assuming it does go in, can weapons at least be excluded from it? For every class and every spec (including healers), weapons are the single biggest upgrade you can get. A few item levels here and there on other pieces of gear won't be a big deal, but giving someone an extra half tier on their weapon is significant and shouldn't happen.
I think this is a terrible idea, and here is why:

You are dramatically increasing how much effect RNG has on raid strength. RNG has always played a part in raiding loot, because you may get items that are desperately needed, or items that wind up being disenchanted. However what you've done here, is add an entirely different layer of RNG to that equation. Now it isn't just a question of if the loot drops, but what quality it will be when it DOES drop. While it may cause a little additional excitement when a thunderforged item drops, I think far more common will be a collective sigh of disappointment when no thunderforged items drop. And since it's just another random chance, unlike the heroic version of items, the raid's performance won't have any bearing on the result.

Additionally, I don't think this particular incentive for 25-man raiding is going to have much effect on the state of 25 man raiding. The simple fact is that 25-man raiding has been all but destroyed, and you can't just put the genie back in the bottle by offering an increased chance at better mid-level (but not top level) gear. It's simply a case of too little, and too late. It's just so much easier to manage a 10 man raiding team, and with a 10 man team you are that much less likely to have a single player either screw up badly or have a connection issue and wipe the raid. I'm not suggesting that you should go back to a '25 man groups get the best gear' system because that time has passed, and I don't think that's a viable option either. But this isn't going to be your answer.

Really, I don't think you can do much to save 25 man raiding at this point unless you re-tune the difficulty to make the instances puggable by most groups after a month or so of LFR upgrades. That too is not a perfect solution because LFR is already the beginner's faceroll and you don't really need another one. So as long as you have a puggable 25 man system, the 10 and 25 man raids share a lockout, and top level 10 man gear matches top level 25 man gear, there's not going to be the incentive needed for groups to go through the incredible amount of management required to maintain such a group in a 10 man world (of Warcraft).
Logistics is a very abused word. Its seems blizzard only find it logical to implement artificial rng ilvl inflation. While many real gm of 25 man raids are like wtf we don't need an ilvl boost to get people who only care about their ilvl applying, we need quality of life changes. They need a better way to find and recruit people not try to make 25 man raiding just an bigger gear incentive, and more confusing to manage loot distribution. Tell me blizzard wheres the long term logistics in this design decision? hmm
Why not just design it properly.

Make the reward currency (a pool for attempts (less) and kill) only so you get rewarded for contribution and have all the gear at a vendor. This removes dkp, rng, need for rotations etc.

Make raids scalable - you can form any group size and SELECT any scalable difficulty. Currency pool scales with difficulty setting. You can raid with not enough (dial down) and strive even harder (dial up) if you have more while being rewarded appropriately. This removes roster headaches and is more inclusive.

Make titles or achieves based on the difficulty setting for recognition. e.g Firelord 80% or something a bit prettier for sensitive types.

If other games can do scalable I'm sure you guys can.
Additionally I think everytime you equip these new items for the first time a rallying cry from the heavens yells

"You've Been.. THUNDERFORGED!"
ridiculous idea
keep thunderforged purely in 25m (ie 10% or whatever rate for i541)
completely out of 10m (ie 100% i535 only)
use your item scaling mechanic from challenge modes to keep the 10m playing field level (any thunderforged i541 --> i535 when stepping into a 10m instance)
can't wait for the complete revamp of raiding to 15m only
01/23/2013 03:04 PMPosted by Ariktu

Yes, bonus rolls in 10- and 25-player raids will also afford you a chance to receive a Thunderforged item.

Hypothetically, yes, all 13 of those non-tier items would have a chance to be Thunderforged.

Getting better loot has always been a part of this game and in Patch 5.2 the variety is being increased. We think this is a good thing. However, calling 25-player raids less favorable in unfounded and an unfair assessment. Tons of players would love to do 25s, but the coordination and effort to do so is more difficult with very little additional reward. 10s aren't more popular because the entire community agreed they're more fun, it's just a simple case of effort versus reward.

There are two main points we're trying to address with this change:
  • Raiding in 10- and 25-player dungeons already provides the same item level rewards for everyone. Engaging in the logistics of the larger raid format, however, we feel should be rewarded and the slight increase in chances to receive a Thunderforged item in 25-player is our effort to strike a better balance between both raid sizes.
  • The addition of Thunderforged items also have benefits for both 10- and 25-player raids. For instance, if a raid group is stuck on boss #5 and their members have all the viable upgrades from previous bosses, going through those bosses again to work on #5 can now bring added bonuses. We think this makes these efforts much more fun and rewarding.

  • From Twitter:

    There won't be any visual effects, Thunderforged is a tag much like "Heroic" and indicates that the item is slightly better than its Normal/Heroic counterpart.

    We're still going through your feedback and really do appreciate the things you've shared. Please keep it coming.

    What I fail to understand is why so many 25 man raiders ask or imply they need something to help with this format due to the logistical issues in running a 25 man raiding guild.

    Yet it always falls to give us more loot or better loot.

    Why not give them something that helps with the... logistical issues like cross server raiding or cross server guilds or I do not know maybe a specific amount of free faction or server transfers.

    Or maybe free elder tokens for a certain number of officers or free mats or something that frees up time.

    Why all this begging for higher ilevel or more loot?


    gear should not be a compensation for logistical problems.
    So you've made it so killing farm bosses is more enjoyable. When will we see actual 25-man incentives?
    I know that korea has its 25 and 10 lock outs separate I would be OK with this if they dumped the coin system for something else. I just don't feel like anyone has time for 2 raiding schedules on one toon with the way the dailies, & lfr are eating up time. LFR doesn't even feel casual to me from a purely amount of time spent point of view.
    Loot needed more RNG. Great idea.
    So now, you have all these new, inexperience, or just "regular" players, who are getting screwed over instead of helped. If you wanted to clear a raid in the past, you actually had to be a community and help people. Yes, part of being a 25 man is teaching your weakest player how to play. In a 10? You just cut them and replace them with someone "better", and leave anyone behind who isn't already an expert at the game.

    I disagree with your assumptions, and therefore with your conclusions.

    In our 3 year WoW experience, my wife and I have progressed from newbies who didn't know how to use WowHead, to members of the most accomplished guild on our (small) server.

    In these 3 years, I was only once, perhaps for a month, a member of a 25-man guild. I only got to raid with them a handful of times, and did not enjoy the experience. My wife didn't get to raid with them at all.

    This leads me to my point #1, which is:

    You don't need a 25-man raid community in order to learn how to WoW.

    Secondly, in my 3 years of WoW, I have seen people try to educate players who were underperforming, and help them perform better.

    Without a single exception known to me, efforts to teach people did not bear fruit, and turned out to be a poor investment.

    This leads me to my point #2, which is:

    You can't teach people skills they can't learn on their own.

    Microsoft was built on the hypothesis that class B programmers cannot be taught to become class A programmers. The founders' idea was that great programmers either are, or aren't, and so you better hire those who are. If you start hiring those who aren't, then those will hire people who are still worse, leading to mediocrity and ruin.

    I find that it is so with raiding. Creating more incentives for people to maintain "25-man communities" will not improve the skill set of "rejects".

    The people you describe as "rejects" are simply people with a different skill level. The game has various levels of difficulty so they can progress, as well.
    01/23/2013 09:00 AMPosted by Crithto
    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.

    So your solution to avoiding the community reaction to going back to 25's dropping better ilvl gear than 10's, and thus making 25's the de facto and only real progression content for progression minded raiders, is to have 25's drop higher ilvl gear?

    Are your developers really so out of ideas that only way they can think of to address the community's lack of desire to raid in a 25 man format, which GC has admitted is the development team's preferred raid format in his twitter remarks, is to just manhandle us into it?
    My opinion on a solution Blizzard: go to 15 man raiding.

    Want to raid? Find 14 players and raid.

    Artificial incentives on perceived opinion on what is "harder" or more "difficult" is poor design. How can you equate personal feelings and personal opinions about an experience into facts?

    Just have us bite the bullet, make the change and say X amount of people is a raid. Stick to that X number. You won't have this 10 v 25 thing any more. It will be easier on your design team (maybe save money due to less amount of people needed on your staff). In the end it will mean more content with less time. Win win for the consumer.
    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.

    25's already have an enormous benefit over 10's when it comes to gear acquisition rates. The average 25m gears up almost twice as fast as the average 10 because of the larger amount of loot that drops and the lack of waste that occurs.

    On top of this, they're artificially jumping up the ilvl on items again for no reason which is just going to drive all the people who whinge about "excessive numbers" into an even bigger frenzy than before. The upgrade system would have been perfectly fine for getting people that "extra boost" that Crithto mentions in his follow up post, without the damage of overly ramping up base ilevels to the same degree as what happened in Wrath with the introduction of the normal/heroic mode system, but that is being removed just because they don't want people ignoring the new daily hub (or as GC would say, they don't want it to be "too optional").

    I have a lot of respect for what Blizzard does and the job that the dev team has in regards to making so many disparate groups happy, but sometimes I have to wonder if they're just needing fresh blood in there to get new solutions into the mix because they just can't seem to get anything in that isn't just a bandaid fix based off of a solution that either didn't work in the past or wound up causing more harm than good.
    01/23/2013 06:40 PMPosted by Thoridin
    Just have us bite the bullet, make the change and say X amount of people is a raid. Stick to that X number.

    I would love that, but now they are committed to double lockouts in Asia. I foresee no migration to 15.

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