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

General Discussion
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On paper, it's a neat start.

In practice? It's not going to be enough. You're losing 25s to 10 mans because of loot, yes, but that's only a part of it.

The major thing you guys messed up was 10 and 25 having the same realm first titles they go for. It is logistically impossible to have 10s and 25s share the same difficulty. You're going to have fights in every tier, no matter what you try, that are going to be easier for one over the other. The only thing you hope for is you don't have enough in a row that are easier so a 10 man guild doesn't take it from a 25 man, or vice versa. Look at MSV for this, in how much easier fights are in there for 10 mans as opposed to 25, some even missing mechanics!

Here's the problem. It's harder to get 15 more like minded people for a raid, harder to have them work together and stay together in a guild setting. This is a fact, and it's not up for dispute. This translates into the fights themselves too though. Any fight in the game that has mechanics that require spreading out, are always going to give the edge to the 10 man group. Unless the 25 man version had a raid with more space, and a bigger boss/everything to compensate, that's just the way things are. Having 10 people spread out over 8 yards is a lot easier to coordinate than 25, and it's easier for these people to do this if there are no-man zones in the encounter as well. I don't know if you guys are just blind to this simple fact, or you don't think it's a big enough deal, but it matters, a LOT.

This is a step in the right direction. IN reality? You need to STOP having 10s and 25s competing for the same titles if only one can get it. Have separate ones, and make sure a guild that earns a 10 man server first is incapable of earning a 25 man one, so 25 man guilds don't go for both. It really is that simple.
Coming from a 25 man perspective:

I can't say I am fond of adding another RNG element to loot. Previous tiers that dropped items with random stat rolls were annoying. The system dragon soul used for trinkets/rings was just as annoying. I can't imagine this being much different.

I really hope this means we never see VP upgrades for Throne of thunder, having to deal with thunder forged loot + upgrades will be a nightmare. I also hope this does not include weapons.

I am however happy to see an effort to encourage 25 man raiding.
This doesn't solve anything. Lack of specifics on drop rates is an issue; I'm sure it's still being determined, but some idea of what it is would be nice.

Thoughts from a pretty serious progression raid leader, guild leader, and maintainer of the EPGP loot system.

1) More RNG for progression. On top of normal randomness in drops, on top of coins, on top of BMAH, we now have Thunderforged. Get a Thunderforged weapon and you're really in a good place. If a guild gets several, it's a significant differentiator.

2) It doesn't solve 25s vs 10s. It just makes 10s annoyed they have even worse potential for bad luck in loot. 25s already have a higher chance of any specific person getting better loot, and it doesn't seem to matter. It isn't enough upward incentive to get guild leadership to try to climb the hill back up to 25s. Going from 10s to 25s, especially without compromising raider quality, is really hard. Where would a 10 man guild wanting to go to 25 even get the people? Only from the destruction of other 10 man guilds at this point; recruiting is hard and somehow adding 18 or so people to have a 25 roster from a 10 is extremely difficult. A slight *chance* for better loot won't really incentivize any individual raider. If you want to use ilvls for it, you *have* to make it guaranteed, so people know they will get better loot if they go to a 25 guild.

3) It's going to be drama when someone takes a non-TF item and then one drops shortly thereafter. People don't like feeling like they screwed up or were screwed by a loot system by taking loot. You also don't want to encourage strategizing about loot so people sandbag and don't, say, take the non-TF version of a trinket because they want to get the first TF version.

4) The loot system is already confusing. So many ilvls already (and "elite" loot already was kind of crappy).

5) More randomness in loot doesn't make farming more interesting. Want more interesting farming? Drop *less* loot. Reduce the ilvl discrepencies so there is more reason to farm old tiers. Keep old raids relevant. Farming isn't the problem; guilds do it, and it keeps people engaged. The problem is invalidating previous tiers' loot.

6) On a selfish level, are my personal chances of getting TF loot *really* better in a 25 man raid? There will be more demand for the loot. In a 10, if something drops, fewer people will want it. Sure, it drops less, but the line is shorter. The numbers have to heavily bias towards 25s for this to make any individual raider more likely to get TF loot in a 25 because the line for the items will be 2.5-3 times longer. Lack of specifics in this post and use of vague, and use of phrases like "somewhat rare" make me suspect that the numbers won't be right.

7) Incentivizing a guild's average ilvl won't incentivize members of the guild. You have to appeal to the selfish lizard part of a person's brain to make them willing to move guilds. They have to *know* there is something for them personally. Likewise, you have to incentivize officers to put in the work to turn a 10 into a 25. This is the opposite; by adding angst and drama, you will get more frustration in 25s than 10s. In 10s, you can say "damn, blizzard, I didn't get the item" -- people blame the rng more. In 25s, they will blame their guild's loot system for giving the item to someone else. That destabilizes guilds.

Seriously, this is monumentally frustrating. This complicates loot for every guild out there, doesn't provide any incentive for guild leadership to try to turn a 10 into a 25, and just adds more rng/drama into progression situations. Such a bad, bad, bad idea.

I've maintained EPGP for years now. I've run my guild for years now. I've probably spent as much or more time thinking about loot and loot systems and progression than just about anyone else. This is startlingly bad. I love to give you guys the benefit of the doubt (I'm basically a Blizzard White Knight) but this is a shockingly, frustratingly bad idea. This fixes nothing and just adds even more drama/frustration into the game.

Yeah I want to agree with everyone who says this makes handing out loot a pain. It's just a headache for officers to hand out the bonus items. Instead give us the token that lets us upgrade an existing item, similar to the firelands item upgrades?

And also yes, please separate achievements.
Stupid imo. IF people have more fun in 10 player raids what is the point of trying to force them to run 25s? It didn't work in earlier expansions and probably won't work now.

Also adding MORE RNG to the game? That is the last thing we need. This is going to cause some guilds to get geared up much more quickly by getting lucky with the new thunderforged drops while some guilds will never see any or see very few due to bad luck. This is just like legendaries such as warglaves. Some guilds get 20 of them while others get 0 during the entire expansion........ which is not fun.
the best idea I have had about 10 man and 25 man, 25 man should have something better in addition to the amount of loot, and here you are giving a show
I only do LFR now and Thunderforged gear would be even more frustrating because it means you would have an even less of a chance to get something you wanted.
I am the raid leader of a 25 man guild and have been a raid leader since the existence of this game. This will change nothing, it will also add more pressure to my raiders to pass on gear until TF drops. This is probably the biggest let down i have had in this game since killing Death-wing Heroic, the 25 man community was excited about your announcement to add incentive to 25 man raiding all this is going to do is add even MORE logistical prolems on the Officers.
With a 20 point ilvl different between LFR drops and Normal mode drops, why not allow LFR drops the chance to be Thunderforged as well? Normal mode drops will still have a minimum of 15 extra ilvls. Provides a little extra reason to keep raiding beyond valor and that one piece that just never drops.
It would be tough for me to like this less. More randomness in loot is the last thing we need.

This is going to make the current upgrade system even more punishing if it returns in 5.3. Are you going to upgrade you current loot only to have it replaced with Thunderforged loot so you can throw that Valor away?

What are raids that use a loot system going to do about this? How awesome is it going to feel to get geared up on regular loot only to be passed over for the Thunderforged (read: real, i.e. the loot everyone actually wants) loot.

How fun is it going to be to get all your tier pieces, and then replace them with Thunderforged non-tier loot for miniscule gains because you have to lose a set bonus.

And the pure randomness of it. Guilds that are lucky, and guilds that can afford to run multiple raids and funnel real gear to mains are going to get another advantage over the groups for whom 3x Blade of the Unmaker drops every week.
What's up with the even bigger difference between normal and lfr ilvls this time around?
Guess I'll throw in my two cents about this.

We do a loot council system in Thirteen and part of our prep for each tier is to have BiS lists ready to go so we know a piece won't be given to someone who down the road will replace the piece when it's BiS for someone else. This just complicates this to a whole nother level for us because now we have the maybe factor for each piece of gear.

The problem with this system is that it's a "roll the dice" and see if you get lucky enough to get the item. When we ran 25 firelands we didn't see the first crystallized firestone for a month yet it was supposed to drop more often in 25's. If the system is based upon RNG then like others have said you run into the problem of "luck" making the rewards better in 25 mans when the whole idea is to reward the team to begin with. What if my 25 man team clears the entire instance multiple times and doesn't see this? I'm sure the math on it is low, but there is still that chance which in my opinion is not the way to do it. You could make a guaranteed one or two pieces drop in 25's but again, the roll of the dice may mean that some players wait a long time before getting that one piece they need. I like that something is being done about the difference, but I don't think this is 100% the right way to implement this.

Last, it's a little startling to see the item levels as high as they are. Hopefully this is a work in progress as having 2/2 upgraded heroic elite gear shouldn't be barely better than normal mode gear from he next tier. I know the numbers on this are extremely small, but still just food for thought.
Asia Loot system is said to be doing so great over there, and the responses is very positive. Then why not make it happen for all regions??
I appreciate your efforts and I am happy to try this new idea. I am the the GM of a casual but active 10man raid guild and I think this is (as stated) still overall fair to guilds like mine.

I can live with the Thunderforged drop rates being more generous to 25 man guilds.

However, if in the end, doesn't feel entirely satisfying I would strongly suggest consolidating to one size for raids in an upcoming expansion. Perhaps 15 or 20 man raids but no bigger than that.

Personally, I'd favor 15 man raids with most encounters focused on 3 tanks, 3 heals, 9 dps so that the proportion between dungeon party size and raids are on par.

It seems like right now there's too many strata in all the different instance formats which creates issues w/ over and under supply of certain roles.

Though I am happy with the changes, if Blizzard goes further to the point heavily incentivizing and rewarding 25man raiding, it will really hurt the guild I built and have led for the past few years (with one hiatus).
Bring in exclusive gear or higher level items for 25-man. Make the spread apparent enough to motivate people to get back into massive raids. Lot of content keeps getting nerfed and it goes back and forth for every class so rather than dumbing down raiding and taking that whole actual RAID aspect from it, differentiate the two tiers of raiding so people would actually want to do it in a bigger group. Like you said, its easier for a 25-man group to collapse into a 10-man, but not vice-versa so make it worth it for a 25-man to stay in a group.
So let me get this straight 25 mans already outgear 10 mans in the blink of the eye..... so your thinkin to save dying 25 mans is to give them even more gear.....
I believe this is a very smart move. Many guilds still wont be in 25 man raiding but I do believe those that do should be awarded accordingly.
I understand that how raids distribute loot is their own problem, solved in many different ways, but is any developer thought put into how guild loot systems might be affected by various loot changes? Between old problems like split item levels in a tier (Firelands rag loot, Deathwing loot, MV vs HoF/Toes), to the huge disparities in loot caused when one member gets 5 things from coins, and then gets everything else she wants because she didn't spend points on those 5 things, to now this thunderforged mess, dispensing loot is getting more and more complicated.

In 10 man, loot distribution is so much less of a mess but in 25s you generally have a choice between just rolling (which is a mess), a loot council (which is probably, though not certainly a mess), and a points based system which gets to be more of a mess with each new clever looting mechanic. I can't think of the last time some new loot mechanic (other than the lfr style individual loot, which was actually great, but N/A here) like this made the game more fun. Each new wrinkle can be addressed by some change or another, but does that complexity make things more fun? In so many other aspects of the game, Blizzard has chosen that things being more and more complicated does not actually make them fun, but not loot.

As the leader of an 8 year old 40/25 man raiding guild, I very much understand the concept of "A 25-player raid takes an extra level of logistical commitment for the officers of those groups" and how that is one of the biggest things causing the decline of 25 player raids. I understand how Blizzard has struggled to come up with a way to incentivize 25 mans that doesn't make them feel mandatory, but makes it feel like the logistical burden shared by really only a couple people per guild worth it. All this change makes me think is how many "But I can't sit out, what if the thunderforged version of my loot drops" I'm going to get, and how often it's going to be a choice between the better X getting the TF thing or the X where it's actually a bigger upgrade because they weren't around to get the HM-nonTF item.

I know for our guild, we're sort of still clinging onto a points system that frankly hasn't done that great of a job addressing things like the split item levels or coins, because increasing it's complexity is just too much of a headache. Many people have suggested moving to a loot council, but that's just another step towards organizing 25 mans being an even bigger headache. With this change, there's even more pressure to have a more human element in the loot where that TF item you are fairly likely to only see once or twice in a tier goes to the people who most deserve it.

I imagine that the top guilds in the world are just a little happy to have some slight edge over 10 mans. I would guess the 25 Normals level guilds are saying "oh neat" but with what I assume is either a very limited raid schedule, or a chaos of revolving people, it's probably not a big issue. But for the 800 or so guilds that are doing hard modes, but aren't exactly checking their world rank each week, this doesn't really seem like it's going to address anything.

It certainly increases the incentive to do 25s a little (though so did dropping 6 items to the 2 that drop in 10 man, which hasn't convinced anyone). The real problem is that it's just another thing that makes leading a 25 man raid even more of a headache than it was. Loot is 5% better than it was, but it's 10% more of a PITA to organize (numbers obviously completely contrived) which makes the bonus loot per officer tear ratio worse, not better.
I gotta be honest, I feel like ilvl tiers are getting out of hand this expansion. I liked that each tier of progression had two tiers of item levels, a normal and a heroic. It was simple, it was easy. To do Z you need Y, and to get Y, you complete X. In Cata this was especially nice because the progression path had a "catch up" mechanism, via valour points.

This expansion we've got so may item level tiers that I find it very confusing. You have the same tiers that dropped before, but now you have LFR variants that are slightly lower ilvl. But this tier of progression is split... MV drops one ilvl, while HoF and Terrace drops another, which are also shifted for LFR. Then you have two levels of upgrade, which also shift the item level.

Now you're throwing on a random chance at an even higher ilvl? I dunno, it just feels really clunky and confusing. What's going to happen when the next tier of MoP content comes out? It feels a bit like you're muddying up the waters of the very clean and simple Cata progression model*.

One other thing that comes to mind is that I recently read the PvP changes. There's work being done to smooth the gaps between tiers in PvP, but there was a comment that they had to be in line with the PvE tiers. How will this change have an impact on PvP and will that get even more confusing too?

* Just want to take this opportunity to say that, despite the fact that everything I read says that Blizzard feels players were unhappy with how things went down in Cata, I thought that was a really well done expansion from the perspective of a casual player. From a progression and gear standpoint, everything was nice and clean, and it was an expansion that I really enjoyed. I just felt I should point that out :)
Someone else brought up the point, and it does bear repeating: Punishing players for taking loot in a loot system is a bad system.

It's already kind of wonky when you kill a fight on normal one week, then kill it on heroic the next week and get similar loot, and know the person who got the normal one last week probably won't get it this week, but it's something we can deal with. To then have someone get their BiS, be happy about it, and next week see a new version of it drop that's better and knowing it HAS to go to someone else who's using something worse is demoralizing.

The system you had in Firelands in this case is far superior, where you have a random item that can sometimes appear off a boss that lets you upgrade an existing piece. Maybe even have normal and heroic versions of these random items so people can't hoard the items themselves for upgrading heroic pieces when they first start getting them?

All in all, this still won't help 10 vs 25, but at least you should come up with a system that doesn't have such obvious pratfalls like how you explained it does.

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