Friday, November 6, 2009

Trial fo the Crusader 25

We combined our 10 mans once again and attacked the 25 man version of Trial of the Crusader.
The difficulty difference between 10 and 25 gets debated often and with great passion. I’m going to do my best to lay out my position as a 10 man Raider. I’m also (again to the best of my limited ability) going to try to understand the position of the 25 man raider.
Let me tell you where I’m coming from, my context if you will. Devolve is made up of two 10 man raid teams. The teams are not set in stone but pretty much the same people run together. Occasionally we’ll have some overlap, especially when we try to put together our 3rd ‘alt’ team, which I can’t join unless I’m going to pony up and spend 25 bucks to bring the Hunter over or finally get the Druid to 80.
Now, by this point we've gotten some 245 badge gear but for the most part our team is 219 to 232 geared.
Last week, we 19 manned Northrend Beasts and 20 manned Jarraxxus. This week, with a full compliment, we defeated Faction Champions and then put down the Twin Valkyrs. We had a frustrating 1% wipe on Anub'arak but never got him down before we ran out of time.
We had 4 tank capable players in the raid, as well as a couple of offspec tanks. We had two Paladins, Grimadin and your humble author. We had a Death Knight in our Raid Leader Death Knight Boston and a Druid named Phills.
Let me add in a little side story about Grimadin and I. We are both Blood Elves and look very similar. After the raid we co-tanked VoA. On Flame Watcher, I got confused and thought he was me. I was moving my toon and saying “Where are you going Grim”. Dang near got him killed from Meteor Fist.
Annnnnnnnnnnnnyway, back to TotC25. Boston did a really good job rotating people through the tanking roles. Most every fight was done with 2 tanks, although Phills saved the day on Northrend Beasts. We had people mess up the Icehowl charge twice, each time costing us a Tank. Philss popped into Bear form and tanked the last couple of percent of Icehowls life. Well done, oh furry one.
I didn't manage to win any Trophies, and there was only one Tank drop, Armguards of the Shieldmaiden. I have the bracers from Heroic Beasts and Grim had the Blacksmith ones, so those went to Blueshield, one of our Warrior offspec tanks.
We went from being 2/5 in 25 man TotC to 4/5, and we danged near cleared the place.
We didn't find the 25 man to be any more difficult than the 10 man. The real difficulty of the night was finding 25 people who could log into the game at the same time. Why again, did this instance drop a full tier better gear than the 10 man?
Yes, the Bosses hit harder, but we had 3 times as many healers to heal that damage.
Yes, the DPS requirements were higher, but we had twice as many DPSers and more buffs than our 10 man.
I realize that it is statistically more likely that 1 person in 25 makes a mistake than 1 person in 10. Nothing we experienced in TotC25 was tuned that tightly. We had people mess up a critical part of Northrend Beasts (Icehowl charge), not once, but twice, and still finished the encounter.
If there are fights that are tuned that so tightly that one person’s death means it’s a wipe, then maybe THOSE fights should award higher gear.
I realize that 25 man guilds that raid 10-man content find it easier to do. I think some of that has to do with the superior gear they are wearing. While our team is 219 to 232 geared, the 25 man guild is probably 232 to 258 geared. That’s a guess though.
This isn't an 'epeen' thing as much as I hate the word. My issue is the pressure the disparity in iLevles puts on 10 man guilds.
I understand that 25 man guilds feel pressured to run 10 mans and 10 man Heroics to give them every shot at the gear upgrades they feel like they need to clear the 25 man modes. I understand some of them don't like that. But I hope 25 man raiders understand the pressure the higher level loot puts on 10 man guilds.
It is extremely difficult to recruit and retain players for a 10 man strict guild. Those players realize that they could have access to higher iLevel gear by joining a 25 man guild.
So as a 10 man guild, we are pressured to combine our teams and run 25 mans. It's easier to recruit and retain for a guild that runs primarily 10 mans but does the occasional 25 man than it is to recruit and retain for a strict 10 man guild.
That's why I don't like the iLevel difference between TotC10 and TotC25.
We've been very fortunate in devolve and the number of people jumping ship to 25 man guilds has been minimal. I don't expect all the 10 man guilds have been as fortunate.
I know 25 man raiders worry that if 10 mans dropped equivalent loot, it would hurt their recruitment efforts, and they are probably right.
Maybe it would make sense to match the reward to the challenge. If the challenge of 25 mans is logistical in nature, make the reward should be logistical in nature as well. What I mean is this. If the 10 man Boss drops 2 epics, the 25 man Boss drops 5 epics, but all of the same iLevel.
The other idea would be to make the 10 and 25 man share a lockout, but I'm not sure if that would help or hurt either or both situation as far as the acquisition and retention of recruits.
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