Friday, November 12, 2010

Quick thoughts on 25m vs. 10m in Cataclysm

As the Cataclysm (and "The Shattering") draw closer and people prepare themselves for what ever type of leveling they plan on doing, more and more attention is being brought to the idea of 25 man versus 10 man raiding. And for good reason..

It's a fair assumption that most 25 man guilds are anxious to see how the first tier of Cataclysm pans out. The decision needs to be made:
  • Continue to organize a 25 man raid
  • Reform/Break apart/whatever into 10 man raiding
The topic has been discussed, endlessly might I add, since Blizzard announced the changes. Which if you don't know (seriously?) here is the important parts:
"The first of the refinements being made is that we're combining all raid sizes and difficulties into a single lockout. Unlike today, 10- and 25-player modes of a single raid will share the same lockout. You can defeat each raid boss once per week per character. In other words, if you wanted to do both a 10- and 25-person raid in a single week, you’d need to do so on two different characters. Normal versus Heroic mode will be chosen on a per-boss basis in Cataclysm raids, the same way it works in Icecrown Citadel. Obviously the raid lockout change doesn't apply in pure Icecrown terms though, as this change goes hand-in-hand with a few other changes to raid progression in Cataclysm."
Rather than talk about what to do or what I think might happen or even what I want to do (which I'm not sure yet) I want to talk about something that is of a different type of concern.

For a social game all about interactions with other people and creating bonds with people you've never met face-to-face (sometimes stronger bonds than in real life), why is everyone SO concerned about logistics and efficiency? Basically the argument against 25m raiding in Cataclysm is always a rehash of the same basic thought process - Why put the time and effort into organizing and dealing with a 25 man raid if we reap the same rewards from a 10 man raid?

Does anyone find this as troubling as I do? For example, how about 25 man raiding guilds that started up in Vanilla BC, 40 man raiding it took real talent to organize that type of raiding, even 25 mans in Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King can cause any seasoned Raid Leader/Organizer headaches. Some of these guilds follow this line of though:
"We've been raiding together in a large group like this since pre-BC, and we'll likely continue to do so in Cataclysm, we have no intention's in splitting up into smaller raid groups, not at least until we see exactly what benefits 25 man raiding have over 10 man."
So even people that have enjoyed each others company and don't even WANT to switch to 10 man are considering it simply because it's more efficient and awards the same benefits? If World of Warcraft is anything, it's a game that's suppose to be incredibly fun with other people, especially other people that you've come to know, sometimes better than any person you've encountered in real life. Is it worth giving that all up? Does it really matter that 10 mans are easier to organize? Guilds and Raid Leaders that struggle to organize 25 mans might look at the Cataclysm raiding scene as a blessing, but is it, even for them?

10 people can have an extremely fun time playing this game together, it's close knit, it's a family. There is no denying that 10 mans will forever be easier to organize than 25 mans. That's now my point though. Think about the 25 man guilds and their players that are legitimately torn between easier/faster rewards and continuing to raid with the people they enjoy.

What does it say about social gaming in an MMO? A player is more likely to break off into a 10 man raid because above all else there is more success to be had individually. Everything is groovy in 25 mans until the benefit is taken out.

So instead of posing the question - "Why raid 25 mans when 10 mans will have the same rewards"? I pose a different question, maybe a better question, and one that concerns me a bit more - "If you enjoy raiding with 24 other people, are you really considering 10 man raiding because it's easier and more rewarding?"

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I believe a lot of the US and World top guilds will be continuing on with 25 man progression, but will also have a subdivision 10 man. This is what my guild is doing, so in regards to progression, we have our bases covered.

    For me, as long as I'm raiding and pushing content, I'm happy. I do find 10 mans more enjoyable from a social stand-point, but I find 25 mans to be more rewarding and satisfying when you get all those people to pull off an extremely hard kill. Those last percentages of a boss's health, you sit there and hold your breath and hope to god the other 24 people are doing what they need to, and when you see that internet bad-guy fall down... Man. I love it.