Cataclysm raid redoubt

Well, I think everyone caught the news by now – the raiding world is going to look a bit differently. Blizzard announced that they are planning to make 10 and 25 man raids share the same lockout and loot. To balance it, the 25man raids are to drop more items per boss, and have comparable difficulty to the 10man version. This has a couple of implications, both good and bad for the raiding scene.

Shared lockout, single raid guild

Let’s face it, many people join both 25 and 10man raiding guilds or communities, or even pugs. This is because some loot can only be had in one or the other, and to make the most out of your characters, you’d have to raid both. Add to this the opportunity to gain double the badges in a week (2 raids, and 2 raid weekly quests) and it really adds up. The people who benefit from this change will be the people who did not have the time or inclination to complete 2 raids, as they won’t run far behind from those who raid ICC twice a week hardcore. Those who draw the short end are those who love the fact that they are in two communities, or who love pugging on the side. It also means that you can put less effort into your offspec kit, because all your focus will be going into your main spec longer, considering your resources are less.

Same loot, different hairstyle

Having the same loot in each type of raid does mean you can enter any and get what you want – you are no longer obliged to run the 10man just for the spyglass. However, unless the 10 and 25man raids are as comparable in difficulty as is advertized, or the 25man does not drop 2.5 times the number of loot items the 10man does, you will see 25man communities bust up in favor of smaller 10man teams. In the end, it’s all about the gain.

Right in one go

One of the things that was nice of the 10man raids, was that you could use them to practice in, so you knew what to do when you faced a boss in the 25man version. This facility will be gone, so you actually will need to do your practicing in the raid you are signing up for. This means raids will take longer, and the time required to kill a boss is longer, comparitively. This can be a good thing, because it does make raid content last longer.

Conclusion

This system is designed so that those who run both versions of a raid no longer have such a tremendous advantage over those who can do only one of the two. It is also designed so that the raid as a whole drops one kind of loot (and its heroic version). All this is meant to slow down raids, and lesser the difference between casual and hardcore raiders. Nothing wrong with that, per se, but unless Blizzard makes sure that the rewards are comparable, I expect one of the two raid types to die off until the scales are balanced.

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14 Responses to “Cataclysm raid redoubt”

  1. “The people who benefit from this change will be the people who did not have the time or inclination to complete 2 raids, as they won’t run far behind from those who raid ICC twice a week hardcore.”

    EXACTLY! This is why I love the change.

    • As with more recent changes, World of Warcraft is attempting to shed its hardcore image, and become more mainstream, more accessible. This is a good thing. However, Blizzard should not underestimate the ability for people to do more than basic maths and find out exactly what benefits them most.

      • “shed its hardcore image”

        Never in the history of WoW has it had a ‘hardcore’ image. WoW has been pretty casual and mainstream since launch (as far as MMOs go), and consistently make the game more casual and mainstream to attract more revenue. With the new badge system, this isn’t really WoW anymore, it’s Farmcraft. Farm badges, buy gear. Rinse and repeat when new content comes out.

    • “The people who benefit from this change will be the people who did not have the time or inclination to complete 2 raids, as they won’t run far behind from those who raid ICC twice a week hardcore.”

      EXACTLY! This is why I love the change.

      ———

      This is why I hate the change. The loot change is good and neccessary in my opinion. The lockout change just means I don’t get to enjoy a raid more than once a week anymore. It means I don’t get to pug raids anymore.

      Doing a 10 man should get the same reward as doing the 25 man, YES I agree. If you want to raid twice though, can’t you do that? Why not? Because someone that doesn’t want to raid 2 times will feel better? I am so casual it’s ridiculous, if I can keep up better with people that put time and effort in and see that I’m snapping at their heals in terms of character progression then where’s the incentive to put more effort in?

      I just don’t get the mentality of people that don’t enjoy raiding enough to want to do a raid twice a week. If you don’t then fine, but why should someone that does be prevented from doing so?

  2. As an update, there are also proposed changes on how emblems will be earned. The lower tier hero points (with a cap on how many you can own, but not how many you can earn) and the raiding/daily heroic valor points (cap on how many you can own as well as can earn per week).

    This is another way of curbing people who spend every waking hour raiding and running heroics to squeeze out the maximum amount of tokens. It does have consequences however. People are less likely to join raids with pugs or friendly groups if they are at their token limit for the week, even if they had a raid lockout available. Also, it means that once you have bought all the gear you need (assuming that you also don’t need gems, BoA gear or whatever is available) those points will rot and be lost beyond the cap.

    While this system, together with the raid lockout changes, benefits casuals greatly, I think that in combination it might prove to be a bit heavy-handed.

    Being a casual-friendly game is one thing, but hitting a point where you (economically) should do nothing because there is no benefit is another entirely.

  3. MajinBlayze Says:

    IIRC, they said that the 25 man version will drop “more loot per player” ergo, it will drop more than 2.5x the amount that 10 man does.

    • Well, they would have to keep it at least equal – in a perfect world, raiding 10 or 25man dungeons would be the choice between which group you prefer to raid with. The downside of the 25mans dropping more loot per players is that now the balance shifted to the 25man raids again…

  4. […] Twisted Faith predicts the death of one of the raid types. […]

  5. There have been some interesting data points released over the last 2-3 years that suggest Blizzard is aware that most of the player base has alts. These changes are very supportive of having more than one character be able to fully experience raiding each week by sharing the lockouts and curbing the number of points that can be accrued.

    I believe one of the underlying points Blizzard has made is that it will be more loot/time efficient to raid the 25-man versions over the 10-man versions for those guilds that can achieve that from a staffing and organizing perspective. So we should expect to see more than just 2.5x the loot from same bosses in 25-man version vs 10-man versions of the bosses.

    Obviously, the loot/time efficiency of 25-man versions will have a lot to do with which versions the hard core guilds chase first to gear faster; however, for most guilds, they have traditionally done the 10-man versions out of both pure staffing issues and gearing curve – and this change could greatly alter that.

    The average guild is likely to have a chance to “inherit” a lot of alts from guilds with established 25-man teams and thus become 25-man guilds and if the loot/time efficiencies are truly better (say a 3x in 25m over 1x in 10m), we might actually see far more 25-man raids — it will boil down to whether the human beings behind the characters can be marshaled to show up for their signed up raids!

    Great post!

    cheers,

    Iron

  6. Well, that is all very nice of Blizzard, but only shifts their current problem. You see, the current changes are probably meant to counter the fact that people are obliged to run 10 and 25man raids, do daily heroics and weekly quests just to keep their main up to snuff.

    Now this simply shifts this to the alts. Instead of one, you now would need to do the same for 2 or 3 alts? No thanks, that’s even worse.

  7. […] Twisted Faith predicts the death of one of the raid types. […]

  8. @Jojo

    The hardcore image is something that remained from the Classic and early TBC days – being one of the first and certainly the biggest Western MMO, World of Warcraft used to be quite different from today.

    Despite content having been made more accessible to casuals and many options coming into existence to play “catch up”, the image is still that the game is “grindy” and you need to be “hardcore” to be successful.

    Like any social environment, WoW has its “haves and have-nots”; being a successful raider or PvP player holds a bit of an iconic status. This leads to a bifurbication between those who extoll the virtuals of casual gaming versus “those hardcore nolifers”. The more hardcore players retort with “casuals can’t play the game at this level”.

    These discussions, while fun in a way to watch from a distance, present to the outside world the idea that unless you are hardcore, you are a casual and cannot enjoy a large part of the game.

    The turnaround has come in Wrath, but Cataclysm wipes the slate clean. This means that it is a chance to get rid of old “superstitions” and ideas concerning how much effort it actually takes to play the game.

    That is, exactly as much as you are willing to invest in it.

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