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.


Hana said...

As the GM of a strict 10-man guild I find it incredibly hard finding quality recruits who have the proper skill to allow us to do heroic modes because most people want to do 25-mans. My guild is pretty much the only 10-man Horde guild is any note on our server, and yet we're starved for recruits and constantly running leaner than I'm comfortable with.

And yet I love the 10-man format so much more than 25-man. I love that every person in the 10-man counts. I've been in 25-mans where there were five other people who culdn't dps/heal their way out of a paper bag but they still came along. 25-mans might feel more like a "raid," but 10-man feels like a crack team of experts who are going to take that boss down.

I would very much like to see something like 25-mans just get more gear rather than better gear. They already do (isn't it like 3 epics per boss instead of 2?), but maybe even more than they do now.

Wrathy said...

I agree that the mechanics and gear level that is rewarded in 25 mans makes it tough to have a strict 10 man guild, and I agree that the 25 man normal instance is disappointingly easy compared to the 10 man Hard Modes.

However, the point of the 25 man normal instance is to provide the type of gear that will allow you to even attempt to do the 25 man hard modes. There is an amazing disparity between those two, and 232 gear would make the 25 man hard modes near sunwell difficulty with dps checks and tank gear checks.

I would have to add, that there are definitely places with in the 25 man hard mode that are as unforgiving to a single death as there are in 10 man hard modes.

Dhalphir said...

I agree that the gear level of 25man is very easy, however, due to the inherent difficulty of getting 25 people together compared to getting 10 people together, it needs to reward higher rewards, or no one would do it.

Players do what gives the best rewards, not necessarily what is the most fun.

Ngita said...

Dps requirments are quite a bit higher for anub, but elsewhere your correct about normal.

I find Heroic 25 is significantly harder then 10.

Having said that this expansion has just inflated the ilvl of everything to a ridiculous level

Anonymous said...

If you run a full togc10 every week, theres almost no difference. You get 4 trophies from bosses, and then anywhere from 2 to 4 more in the tribute chest; in addition to gettting 245 "heroic" loot.

Lets do some math: if you clear togc10 with 25 attempts left, that would give you 6 trophies from the encounter. lets say you gear everyone in your 10 man with 3 pieces of 245 t9 and 1 piece of 232, which isnt unreasonable. that means it would take exactly 4 weeks to get 10 people their 4 piece bonus; not to mention this encounter has been out for at least 2 months now. Im sure some people will be saying UNPOSSIBLE, but dont forget about that guild who cleared 10 man regular ulduar in all blues and fraps the whole thing, beginning to end. This is only 1 tier above that and I guaruntee no one is going in the coliseum with blues.

Wankster of Magtheridon

Anonymous said...

I also am a member of strict 10 man guild and have been frustrated in the disparity in ilvls of gear.

Its the sentiment expressed by Dhalphir that drive me crazy in particular (not him, just the common arguments he presents).

If players are saying 25s are less fun, and reward more because of increased difficulty in setting them up rather than increased difficulty in the encounters one has to wonder why Blizzard values them so much more than 10 mans? Is it:

A) A Blizzard incentive to maintain the "true" essence of raiding, in a way similar to how Western Gov's reward farmers even though they are less efficinent then those from poorer nations?
B) A 13 ilvl sin tax on 10 mans, because like smoking and gambling, is something allowed but discouraged.

I would think if they both offered the same ilvl gear 10s would become the preferred content, and those hardcore raiders could also do 25s for more emblems and chances of gear.

lethal said...

I prefer the 10 man content, but my guild is primarily a 25 man guild, tho we do have 1 x 10 man night with 3 groups.
My guild has found 25 man to be a whole lot harder than 10 man. I wouldnt say we are all 25man geared, for the most part the majority of 245 gear is badge loot.
We spent a whole night wiping on 25man Anub, but the 10 man version is cleared in 40 minutes or so.

Can't remember exact numbers but when you say "Yes, the DPS requirements were higher, but we had twice as many DPSers and more buffs than our 10 man."
you might have 3 x more dps in 25 man, but you need 5 x the amount of damage to kill things

Joe said...

Logistics for a 25 man are certainly more complicated. Gearing can also be an issue when looking at the loot tables and drop rates. My own raid has run into problems with gearing the 1/3 to 1/2 of the players not running regularly. It takes a long time for all 20 to 40 possible raiders approach the gear level of our core.

That said, ilvl does seem to be a little out of control but the Devs are certainly tuning the encounters accordingly. ToGC25 Beasts is freakishly difficult on the few attempts we've had, and that is with 2 geared tanks (3rd halfway there) and at least 4 of the healer corps very well geared. The core of our raid is having trouble with Gormok, meanwhile they are working on Anub in GC10.

Also, any 'complicated' or busy fight (Yogg, in particular) the 10 man is a full order of magnitude easier to understand and work through when I first see it. 10man raids can also be more selective on players, particularly when the core of a geared 25 man attacks something like ToGC10.

OT: 'Western' farmers are, in fact, more efficient. But they have been subsidized (aka: paid to NOT produce) for so long they'd sooner riot than help their own countries.

Anonymous said...

I'm a co-gm of a 10 man guild and I'm with honors on this.

10 man ToC is as easy as the 25 man ToC.

And ToGC 10 is as hard if not harder than ToGC 25 according to some of the people in top guilds on our server. (with access to Ilevel 245+ gear)

Also, a lot of people prefer the 10 man raids over 25 mans but only do the 25 mans for the loot. I can't tell you how many times a possible recruit got snatched away by a 25 man raid guild because "the loot is better".

@ Wrathy: Bliz can easily reward 10's and 25's with the same loot, they just have to tune the hard modes differently

@ Dhalphir: try to recruit for a 10 man guild, even if you successfully cleared ToGC 10 several times already. The competition from 25 man guilds is very hard and thus getting 10 good people together is as hard as getting 25 good raiders together (see the loot problem)

@ Wankster of Magtheridon: your math is off, in ToGC 10, bosses don't drop trophies.

All in all, I'm a bit biased cause I love 10 mans but I'm pretty sure if they'd give the same loot as 25 mans, you'd see a ton more 10 man guilds.

Here is hoping they do it in Cataclysm

Bertman of Alosus

Ooke said...

I'm in a guild that has a very large range of people and abilities in it.

As much a guild who raids as a raiding guild if that makes any sense.

While we have yet to down Yogg on 25 man and can't get Heroic Beasts on 25 there is a select group of 15 or so who are at the required level out of the 35 or so regular attendees.

This sub-group has excelled at 10 man. ToGC 10 with 50 attempts left once while usually getting 25 or more attempts usually, unless it's an off week and we all hang our head in shame. The amount of trophies is usually 2 with sometimes 4, it seems random how many. 2 Trophies is only guaranteed with 25 attempts left and 4 Trophies is only guaranteed with 45 attempts left.

There's also been attempts at Algalon 10 and working towards Yogg+1 10.

These 10 man challenges give those who want to do better something to do. Something to achieve and strive for without trying to carry 5-10 people.

But all is not rosy though. There is a lot of resentment towards the 10 hard mode group as it tends to be the same people week in and week out. Others want to join in but for various reasons are not up to par. How do you justify the "clique" of the 10 man group who does not want to bring in new people as it becomes a learning experience all over again without there ever being a "farm" status.

I'm sure if and when people have rusted proto-drakes and starcaller titles the strife will intensify.

Honors Code said...

@ Ooke,

You want to see this:

Anonymous said...

50 chest togc 10 cleared, 4 trophies in the chest

Wankster of Magtheridon