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.
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