Thursday, February 25, 2010

10 Man Reality

We again experienced one of the realities of a 10 man guild last night. Team II's Resto Shaman announced he was leaving our guild because he had been offered a spot in a 25 man guild. 25man Raiders talk about how players MIGHT choose 10 mans over 25 mans if they didn't have the huge advantages they do. 10man Raiders experience the reality that players DO choose 25 mans over 10s because of those advantages.

This is simply a reality of being in 10 man raid guild. It is difficult to find people who are willing to stick with a 10 man guild when the deck is so heavily slanted towards the 25 mans. The Devs are really in a tough position on this issue because when it comes to the recruitment and retention of good players, one format or the other will be advantaged. It's simply a question of which one.

The Developers and 25 man raiders have taken the position that in the absence of subsidies for doing 25 mans, 10 man raids would be advantaged. Advantaged meaning that more people would choose do 10 man than 25 man. In fact, the Developers have communicated that 10 man raids would be overwhelmingly advantaged by using the hyperbole that no one would do 25 mans without the subsidies they currently have. Ironically, this argument is actually supported by the fact that guilds like mine exist. We do 10 man content in spite of the advantages of 25 mans. We actually choose to forgo the greater rewards to raid in the environment of our choosing and part of that means we will have to accept some turnover like this Shaman going to a 25 man guild.

The issue is with the difference in difficulty between 10s and 25s. The problem is it's all based on perceptions. 25 man raiders perceive 10 man as easier, 10 man raiders perceive 10 man as a challenge. You have a hard time convincing someone their point of view is wrong when they have so much experiential evidence telling them their point of view right. I find 10 man content to be a challenge. I know 25 man raiders don't. Maybe it's just that my guild mates and I are poor players, but based on our performance I find that unlikely. We are currently a top 10 guild on our server and have killed 10 of the 12 bosses in Ice Crown. That’s Top 10 among all 10 man guilds which include 10 man teams from 25 man guild because we don’t have a 10 Strict rating. We let people PuG 25 mans and enough of us have killed Lord Marrowgar on 25s (including me) that we don't qualify as a 10 Strict guild anymore.

Now I have no doubt that leading a 25 man raid is more difficult than leading a 10 man raid, but that only affects one person, the raid leader. Personally, I would like to see the playing field leveled a little bit more for Cataclysm. With the Guild Talent system, the Developers will have ways to reward 25 mans raiders that are more in line with the actual logicistical challenges of running a 25 man raid guild. I'm not after better loot. The loot dropping is sufficient to beat the content we're doing, that's all I ask for. What I'm after is a way to recruit, and more importantly, retain quality players for our guild.

So this is our reality, what do we do about it. No formal announcements have been made but what it looks like is that we added one person from Raid Team II to Raid Team I, and we folded Raid Team III into Raid Team II. Some of us, like me, are in both teams. I'm a Paladin Tank for Team I and a Hunter for Team II.


Grimadin said...

Just one slight correction on this Honors, he was elemental not resto.

As I have seen in many posts on various different Blogs, the contention between 25 man raiders and 10 mans isn't going away until some fundamental changes are made to the way the dungeon system works. I have dabbled a bit in both worlds in this current set of content and what I have seen has allowed me a bit of a perspective on both arguements.

I would agree that from a 25 man perspective, 10 man content is quite easy. This has always been the case because of the gear disparity between the tiers. The current 10 man content should be based around being cleared in 251 gear. As a raid enters with mostly 264 gear, the content becomes alot simplier. Having the ability for 25 man raiders to run both a 25 and a 10 man per week allows for alot greater abilty to collect Emblems of Frost as well, allowing them to gear up significantly faster then someone running only 10 mans. Significant upgrades can be found across both 251 and 264 levels of gear which will also help to maximize the players potential in as short an amount of time as possible.

For a 10 man guild, that spends very little time in 25 man pugs (because they are painful to say the least), you lose access to the weapon upgrades, tier tokens and various other upgrades which the other raiders so enjoy. As well as collect emblems of frost much slower then out counterparts. This helps to keep the level of difficulty higher for longer in the 10 man raids. I would also argue that 25 man raiding "can" be alot more forgiving then 10 man raiding. In 10 man raids, the loss of 10% or more of the raid in most fights is devastating to the attempt. If you lose 20% of the raid group, the odds are that its a wipe. I have experienced this same amount of loss, or more in 25 man raiding and we had no problems finishing the content. This will not be true of all fights I am sure, but was with the content I have experienced.

Adgamorix said...

I love my 10 mans - simply because in a 25 if someone dies there's generally someone there to pick up the slack. I don't know how Arthas is on 25s for example, but I do know that if we lose someone before P3, we just wipe it up and reset it - it's that tightly tuned.

25s are fun, and there's great gear there - but given our choice (and we certainly have one) we choose the 10s.

Nasamun said...

We just had this happen in my guild as one of our best hunters and overall a pretty funny guy has left to pursue raiding in a 25 man guild. I don't completly understand the reasoning behind it but I told him he should do what he wants and we'll adjust as we always do. We got lucky and one of our other hunters has switched work schedules and can now go, so there's not much loss in dps at least.

Bacon said...

Unfortunately, 10 mans are subsidies for 25 man guilds. It feels like we're the collegiate class fro which to draft from.

10 man raiding guilds develop and help gear players only to see them leave for the larger 25 man raids.

dario.mythago said...

Unfortunately i believe the reason for the shaman leaving was more due to the inconsistency of the second groups raids and less due to the allure of a 25 man raiding group. He was new recruit to the group and during his rather short tenure we unable to field our any of second nights of raiding. The guild he was with previously had more of the same issues which prompted him to join us.

Eric said...

Personally, I view 10 man as harder and more personally rewarding than 25 man. Ten man raiding is a lot less forgiving on group make up and player death. Choosing between a 2 and 3 healer set up is a major decision.

The benefit is that you have a tighter knit group, better communication and generally easier time executing strategies. I like the close knit feel of 10 man.

Twenty-five man raiding though is to me the complete opposite. You rarely worry about group comp. If you loose 2-3 people it generally doesn't mean a wipe, etc.

What is hard in 25 man is organizing people, its like herding cats. Trying to get 25 people to execute well, maintain spacing, etc is just a nightmare.

So in the end, 10 man to me is about the bond between the 10 raiders. Twenty-five man raiding is about the raid leader being able to herd his sheep into a semblance of execution.

Hana said...

As the guild leader of a 10-man guild, I've found the hardest thing for me has been recruitment. I make no bones about the fact that we will NEVER run 25-mans and if you're thinking about it, don't join us.

To date, the only person who's left us for a 25-man was someone who'd gotten into the guild at the member level as a friend of a friend and didn't know what raiding was until he met us.

But because most people want 25-mans the number of applicants are always slim and it's hard to replace people.

I think 10-mans are just as challenging as 25-mans when done at level though. We're 10-man strict and 8/12 in ICC. Could be better, sure, but our progress in 10-mans is still better some of the 25-man guilds on our server.

Honors Code said...


I didn't realize that was part of the issue. Best of luck to him.

Saif said...

I hear ya, man, and I was faced with this a lot when I was running a 10-man guild. I couldn't keep just one group going as attendance was getting to be an issue so we had a roster of about 18 people, but sitting a number of people each week became an issue so we started running two groups, but in order to balance out the ability to run two groups consistently we wound up splitting some of our best and brightest and that caused us to suffer as a guild and we didn't progress as quickly as we wanted.

I think it's easier in some ways to do it the 25-man way because if you have a roster of 30, you can always fill your raid and offer DKP or whatever to those you sit, and if you're ever short, there's no shortage of PuGs to fill in a DPS slot assuming the rest of your team is tight.

It's a difficult position, and since most 10-man guilds can't offer 25s and most 25-man guilds do offer 10s on off-nights, it's hard to compete...

Veneretio said...


Before I even read your comment, I had guessed right away that it was more than just "I want to do 25s". I still remember when I left my first WoW guild and told them I did it so that I could see more progression, but the reality is that wasn't the case. If anything, that was the most minor part of my decision.

This post reminds me a lot of a female gamer post where they blame lack of trust/respect on being female without recognizing that lack of trust/respect is something that everyone faces. The reason it reminds me of this especially is that there's no denying that being female or being in a 10 man guild is just 1 more little thing that can put someone over the edge and make them want to leave, but it's never the sole reason and rarely the biggest reason.

(And I truly hope no one takes offense to my comparison above. It's simply used because it's a strikingly similar where both parties face additional obstacles. I'm not saying that 10 man players are like girls and I'm not saying girls only do 10 mans.)

The Renaissance Man said...

As someone who does 25 man raids, and 10 man raids, I can tell you that, in addition to being exponentially more of a pain logistically, 25 mans are tuned to be harder. The enrages are tighter, mechanics are more complex, and bosses are more unforgiving. And I say this from the perspective of someone who has done 10 mans at the intended gear level. I led the server first Tribute to Dedicated Insanity on Destromath.

Look at a fight like festergut. Assuming 2 tanks each doing 4k, and three healers, each DPSer on Festergut ten must be capable of putting out 4,676 DPS to beat the enrage timer. On 25 man, assuming two tanks doing 5k each, and scraping by with 4 healers, then each DPSer is responsible for doing 6,568 DPS. That's the comparison that makes 10 mans look best, most guilds I know run with 2 healers on fester 10 and 5 healers on fester 25, changing the requirements to 3,836 and 6,933 respectively. Even factoring in the difference between 10 man gear and 25 man gear and going from no raid buffs to full raid buffs isn't going to make up a 2k-3k DPS gap, personal skill is going to be the deciding factor.

Look at fights like Deathbringer Saurfang, where the nature of the mechanics automatically makes the fight much easier on ten man. Saurfang has a baseline blood power gain due to boiling blood. In ten man, he applies it to one person at a time, meaning, if all is handled perfectly, then he gains 1 BP per second, giving you 100 seconds before the first mark, more if you've got priests. In 25 man, boiling blood hits 3 people at a time, meaning the first mark goes out 3 times as fast as it does on ten man.

Mind Control is left out in ten mans. This makes fights like Kel'Thuzad and Lady Deathwhisper a new level of complexity on 25 man.

There are some fights that are more difficult in 10 man. The morst famous being Sarth+3, and more recently, Rotface, but those fights are the exception, not the rule.

In a progression setting, one player making a mistake will wipe the raid in both 10 and 25 man. However, on 25 man, by dint of there being more people, you're much more likely to have someone make that one mistake.

Honors Code said...

@The Renaissance Man,

First, where did I say that 10mans or 25mans were harder. All I said is that 25man raiders perceive them as easy and I perceive them as a challenge.

But the arguments you've brought to the discussion are just the same tired old arguments 25m raiders have been spouting this whole expansion, and most of them are dead wrong.

The number of fights were one death in a 25 man are about the same as the number of fights where it's actually harder as a 10 man guild. For most fights, 25s can lose a couple of DPS and not bat an eyelash. You lose 1 person in a 10 man in nearly every fight you're sunk.

And Raid Buffs and gear make a HUGE difference. Check out this research by Frosthiem :

This shows that raid buffs and gear EASILY account 2k to 3k dps difference.

I realize I won't convince you or anyone else, but that's really not my goal.

Lakini said...

I'm not sure how much the difficulty increases doing 25 man content instead of 10 man in intended gear. I do know that using the dps requirement difference as a reason is a joke. If you aren't doing that much more dps with full raid buffs and with a full tier better gear you are failing.

I am pretty confident that doing ten man heroic is going to be more difficult than 25 man regular and them dropping the same level gear needs to be looked at.

Mark said...

Sorry about the situation Honors and I can sympathize. I prefer 10 man raiding for various personal reasons but it will be an ongoing balance issue for Blizz. I talk about an idea to help over in the thread in maintankadin (post as Beornus) which I won't clutter your site with.

I hope your team consolidation works out and that the resulting 2 teams are more effective than the 3teams though I have to imagine there is someone, probably a new recruit or alt, on the outside looking in now. Always a tough situation.