Greedy Goblin

Friday, August 13, 2010

The end of 25 man raiding

When Blizzard announced that 10 men raids will give the same loot as 25 men and share lockout, people considered it that Blizzard is killing 25 men format. No. They just bury the already dead.

On Wednesday The PuG went to its first 25-men ICC. We still needed to find 4 people from trade, but it's still a huge milestone. Unfortunately in the first break 6 people had to go and we couldn't continue. So we killed only 5 bosses without any problems. We will try to continue on Monday 19:00, so if you are in The PuG and want to kill Rotface, PP, Princes, BQL, Valithrea, be there (Sindy will be attempted, but can't be guaranteed)! I'll also make adjustments to speed up the raid, namely I'll point out some assistants who will lead killing trash while I'm distributing loot. The bidding process is long. By the way we gathered 16K pot from 5 bosses only, with a Deathbringer's will providing 8K alone.

The surprise came when I checked out wowprogress, to see how much our pitiful "progress" worth. It's #23545. Our 8/12HM on 10-man it's #21529, out of 61900 guilds. It means that about 2/3 of the guilds have not progressed as much in 25-men as us. But the real surprise is that our page contains PP kill too. We did not kill PP on Wednesday, but enough of our members did it in various /trade pugs. So we are less progressed in 25 men than an average trade pug. Since we are in top 1/3, you can't say "it's because you just suck". It means that 2/3 of the guilds are worse than a trade pug in 25 men progression.

Of course claiming that trade pugs are better than 2/3 of the guilds is nonsense, since almost everyone in these pugs have guild tags. It's not about skill, it's about organization. We have 90 lvl 80-es and this was our first 25-men. Imagine the 25-men chances of a social guild with 30-50 members! A 25-men requires (intensive drumming) 25 raid-capable people to be available at the same time. In a social guild there is good chance that you find 10 able bodies (the boosting socials), but no way you can find 25, as the rest of these guilds are "freindly fun ppl". Only hardcore guilds have so many skilled members and capable to herd them into one raid.

Actually I'd turn the definition back: "if your guild is capable to run 25-men beyond the trade pug level (8/12), then you are hardcore".

Blizzard merely acknowledged the fact: most guilds are 25-incapable, and it cannot be fixed by simple nerfing. They nerfed ICC to the ground by the 30% buff and the result is: trade chat pugs progressed to 8/12 and guilds did not. To be 25 capable as a guild, you must be hardcore, or huge. So if Blizzard wants to keep the guilds meaningful (and they want as it is an important selling point to socials and boost-demanding M&S), they can't continue nerfing. They must scale down raids. Since 10-men and 25-men will give the same loot and share lockout, the raiders will have to choose. For social guilds it's unthinkable to go with a trade pug instead a guild run. This kills trade pugs since they were formed by good raiders of social guilds.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

25 mans will give more loot per raider than 10 mans, so the big 25 mans won't break up but for the 25 man guilds that didn't progress before, yeah that is the death of 25 man raiding.

Jana said...

Yes, only the top-end hardcore 25 man guilds that care for stuff like world/server 25man firsts will remain.

The main problem with 25 mans, especially pugs, is the logistics and the fact that there is simply 150% more chance that someone will "dc", go "afk", will ninja pull something and wipe raid and so on.

So unless there really is at least 100-150% more loot per player, it's not really worth to do 25 mans just because loot gained/hour per player still will be too slow if not even slower on average than in 10 mans.

Anonymous said...

as your conclusion is interesting, i don´t think your numbers are. you 1st must find out how many guilds want to raid, because many guilds aren´t interested in it (twink / pvp / bank / rpg guilds etc.).

you can approximate it, but i don´t think somebody can realy say it, so you have to prove it with (arsenal? etc) data.

perhaps a good new post?

nightgerbil said...

Nice. Very nice analysis. I fear you are right, which is a shame for me as I LOVE 25 man raids and my biggest regret so far in the game is I didnt discover it 5 years earlier so I could have enjoyed 40 mans. Still ce la vie. Reminds me, must go back and level that hunter in the pug. It got put on hold this last week (I finally saw LK25 down yey!), but its not forgotten about.

Anonymous said...

Well, Blizzard offered 10 men mode for every raid in Wotlk so i think a lot of skilled players are using this feature because its easier to get a group of 10 together without M&S than 25.

For me, 10 men raiding has been more fun than 25. I can choose 9 people that know how to play and are pleasant people. I know this sounds social but having 2 people doing exactly the same dps I think most of us will choose the one where the personal connection fits.

Another advantage is doing 10m with 10m-gear makes the game a little more challenging ;)

Nees said...

It's a commitment problem, and it exists ever since the game was released. Blizzard soon realized 40m is way too much, so reduced it to 25. Problem persisted, so they tried to make everything puggable and less time consuming. And now the problem still persists.
Most people (I wonder what percentage, but I'm sure it's most - and they're the ones Blizzard wants as their customers) just want to login to have some fun, and not depend on 9, 24, or 39 other people to do so. If they commit to something in their free time, it's going to be a sports team, some other "real life" activity.

nehunter said...

I'm sorry but i have to say you're few of a guild is extremely childish.

Do you actually think a guild is trying Blood Queen since february and still failing ??

A : it broke (countless reasons , one of those CAN be bad progression at some point)
B : it's full of people doing pugs (on some servers average pug does 4-6 bosses and breaks due to loot, afk, DC and doesn't come for a 2nd day)

KhasDylar said...

Dear Gevlongoblin!

Again and again you are touching sensitive, but for the most people important topics.
For me, 10men raiding has always been just "toying around" and the "real challenge" is 25men. Of course I must admit, this is mostly 'cause I see everywhere "10manz lol iz easy".
I don't think 25men raiding will die or is dying currently. As you can see all over the internet (just check Paragon for 10menHC and 25menHC first LK kill), 10men doesn't have that prestige ("omg how social") as 25men in the eyes of most people (including me) - why would this change with the new expansion? E-peening will always be a great weapon for the top 1-5% of the raiders and you can tell them "Hey! My guild killed Deathwing 10menHC just at the same time as you killed DW25HC!" - and the e-peeners will respond: "Who cares? It's just 10men.".

You are more than true, when you say: "most guilds are 25-incapable, and it cannot be fixed by simple nerfing".
Me myself, just as you in some Hungarian guilds during BC, has gone through some interesting guilds with social behaviour in their mind. One of my former guild had raided ICC25men before summer and in May we finally managed to kill Professor Putricide - and the progression was stopped almost right after this, 'cause summer hit.
Social guilds, as this one mentioned was, is 25men incapable, 'cause they cannot demand their members to show up at raidtime (and can't punish them if they sign up and don't come). I'm quite sure, that this guild won't do any serious 25men raiding in Cataclysm, just because the simple reason loot (=progression, =e-peen) will be more guarantied in 10mens - even if there will be less items per player.
My current guild is a "bit more hardcore". We have not even the slightest intention to stop 25men raiding during Cataclysm, even we are going to start alt-25mens, where our raiders can try out new classes if they want. We are doing this to avoid burning out and ensure that the people in the guild will have a constant challenge, something to "fight for".

Those guilds, who are social from hearth, will most surely stop 25men raids. They would like to do it, but they can't. The solution would be easy for them and almost obvious: some smaller social guilds should merge. This way they would have around 50-60 active accounts, instead of 20-25, where 5 are leveling alts, 3 are helping some other 4 M&S slackers, etc. Of course they won't do this, because they won't let any outsider into their "friendly domain of friends". I think this could be worth a sole post, why social guilds don't want to do what's the best for them and good for their survival.

Talderas said...

Gevlon,

My 10 man guild organizes a "PUG" GDKP run of 25 man ICC. Granted it's not a true PUG, as we frequently get the same people and we generally have a core of 7-8 people from our guild every run.

Our success is undeniable. We've killed Lich King on normal. We've done Marrowgar, Lootship, Saurfang, Rotface, Blood Princes, Blood Queen, and Dreamwalker on heroic. I think you need to alter your rules for GDKP on 25 man. Divide the pot when the raid ends. If people leave early, they don't get a share of the pot. Anyone that joins late still gets a full share of the pot. That lets you continue running the raid, serves as a dissuasion from leaving early, and pretty much guarantees that you can get replacements for those that leave.

Leifo of Kargath said...

"To be 25 capable as a guild, you must be hardcore, or huge."

Even with your retrofitting definition of hardcore being "anyone who has progressed past 8/12 25-man is in a hardcore guild," I still think your statement here is based on poor conclusions. Two data points:

1) Our guild on Kargath is 11/12 on heroic 25-man. But we have official raids only 3 times/week for 3 hours. We probably have about 30-40 active raiders (somewhere between 0-10 people are sat every night, and 5-10 people don't sign up). There are no forced raiding specs, no "teams," and we try to rotate in players so no one sits two raids in a row if they sign up for both raids. It works because our raid time is very focused: starts on time, ends on time, no smoke afk's or other nonsense, everyone needs to do their homework, read our boss guides, be vocal on vent, be properly gemmed and enchanted... and we are careful who we admit, with a probationary period before accepting someone. People signup for a raid, spots are given out 24-48 hours in advance, if you no-show without warning or too frequently you'll be benched for a few raids. This is not a hardcore commitment. This is simply a larger organizational puzzle, and a selectivity to screen out the lol-plz-hlp players who cannot take enough responsibility to be a raider. Which brings me to my second data point...

2) Your PUG guild. It is a fine, fine way to organize a guild, and not that different from what we do. The main differences are that it doesn't have a DKP-like system and it doesn't have pre-raid signups/commitments. You may call it a PUG, but you've hit upon a successful formula for any guild to achieve decent raiding progression in a 25-man environment: get enough dedicated people, allow competition for top spots, keep raid times focused, warn and then gkick people who are disruptive or can't keep up. That's not hardcore. That's intelligent organization, and any guild that wants to be more than a bunch of friends online together can do it.

We are hoping against hope that 25-man raiding will still have some value in Cataclysm beyond extra loot drops, or else we're not really sure why we'll stick around as a guild.

Anonymous said...

"To be 25 capable as a guild, you must be hardcore, or huge."

Even with your retrofitting definition of hardcore being "anyone who has progressed past 8/12 25-man is in a hardcore guild," I still think your statement here is based on poor conclusions. Two data points:

1) Our guild on Kargath is 11/12 on heroic 25-man. But we have official raids only 3 times/week for 3 hours. We probably have about 30-40 active raiders (somewhere between 0-10 people are sat every night, and 5-10 people don't sign up). There are no forced raiding specs, no "teams," and we try to rotate in players so no one sits two raids in a row if they sign up for both raids. It works because our raid time is very focused: starts on time, ends on time, no smoke afk's or other nonsense, everyone needs to do their homework, read our boss guides, be vocal on vent, be properly gemmed and enchanted... and we are careful who we admit, with a probationary period before accepting someone. People signup for a raid, spots are given out 24-48 hours in advance, if you no-show without warning or too frequently you'll be benched for a few raids. This is not a hardcore commitment. This is simply a larger organizational puzzle, and a selectivity to screen out the lol-plz-hlp players who cannot take enough responsibility to be a raider. Which brings me to my second data point...

2) Your PUG guild. It is a fine, fine way to organize a guild, and not that different from what we do. The main differences are that it doesn't have a DKP-like system and it doesn't have pre-raid signups/commitments. You may call it a PUG, but you've hit upon a successful formula for any guild to achieve decent raiding progression in a 25-man environment: get enough dedicated people, allow competition for top spots, keep raid times focused, warn and then gkick people who are disruptive or can't keep up. That's not hardcore. That's intelligent organization, and any guild that wants to be more than a bunch of friends online together can do it.

We are hoping against hope that 25-man raiding will still have some value in Cataclysm beyond extra loot drops, or else we're not really sure why we'll stick around as a guild.

Anonymous said...

I think that the lack of 25 level gear for M&S to do 10 man on might also make the amount of people who complete raids less or make the raids easier for the top guilds.

Alex Cresswell said...

If Blizzard would design the guild perks to draw the best raiders out of their social guilds and into dedicated raiding guilds then I think 25 mans will continue on a larger scale. That is what I'm hoping for at least. We'll all see where it ends up.

Anonymous said...

@15:38 Anon

You pretty much described a HC guild - 9h/week raiding, probational periods, gkicks for under performers, being active in ventrillo required, and plenty of pre-raid organization.

The only difference from most HC guilds - No forced class roles or forced attendance - is because you got a surplus of players willing to sit out. The PuG will go with new players with whatever class configuration cared to appear at that very moment, and also without Vent...

Anonymous said...

If Blizzard would design the guild perks to draw the best raiders out of their social guilds and into dedicated raiding guilds then I think 25 mans will continue on a larger scale. That is what I'm hoping for at least. We'll all see where it ends up.

Good grief, why would Blizzard want that? Their jobs is easier if the good players are mixed in with the bad players. Segregation by skill increases the spread of guild performance and makes it harder for them to make content that satisfies everyone.

Duskstorm said...

I say good riddance. 25 man content sucks for a variety of reasons.

1. You end up carrying more people.
2. It sucks your computer's resources dry.
3. Mechanics where one person can cause a wipe require 25 people to get on the same page, instead of 10.
4. More loot drama.
5. For those of us who are good players, the amount our skill contributes to the success of the group is substantially less. In other words, you make less of a difference.

10 man content has the same amount of tactics, but less redundancy. Conversely, 5 man content has simpler tactics than ten man. Having two tanks versus one opens up way more possibilities for the encounters team than having three tanks versus two.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if my guild is just an anomaly or something, but we manage to do 25 man raids without being at all hardcore or having a giant guild roster. We have about 45 accounts and manage two set 25 man raids per week, I can't even recall a day we had to cancel.

The way we did it is to only invite people who meet two criteria. First, that they're usually available to raid on our 25 man days, and second that they get tested in heroics by a few of our officers.

We're always open to new recruits and manage enough to cover people as they leave or go on break. We don't use any DKP system, it's all free roll with priority to higher ranked players. I don't think any of this qualifies us as 'hardcore' especially since we're not even in the top ten guilds on our server in progression.

Anonymous said...

My main is in an "Alt Guild". The world-firsters want to gear up their many, many alts... and are willing to take decent Pugs.

Every week we do 25 man ICC 9/12 Hard modes. 10/12 (HM Putricide) if the Pugs are decent. 12 friends from 3 guilds on their alts; the rest are Trade Chat Pugs.

They promised in Trade advertisements that this weekly PuG raid would go farther than most guilds on the server. THEY WERE RIGHT.

Big B said...

There was a time when raids required 40 players!!!

TBC had 10s and 25s.

WotLK had all raids available in 10s & 25s

Cataclysm will make 10s & 25s have the same loot except different quantity of loot.

Honestly who will do 25 in Cata when the same gear can be obtained in 10?

The next thing will probably be 5 man raids

Stumblebeard said...

I think the 25 man raid was due to be gotten rid of. It's biggest problem is I can't get a chance to run it with the toon I want.

The biggest issue is simple. How many tanks does it take to run a 5 man? 1 - or 20% of the group. 10 man? 2 - 20 % of the group. 25 man? 2 - 8%.

The hardest class to find is needed only 50% as much in 25 man.

That will never work. Why would you want to make a tank if you may not get in 25 man?

Going pure 10 is the answer.

Leifo of Kargath said...

"You pretty much described a HC guild - 9h/week raiding, probational periods, gkicks for under performers, being active in ventrillo required, and plenty of pre-raid organization."

That means we're a hardcore guild? When I think "hardcore guild," I think 4+ nights/week raiding with a dedicated 25-man team (maybe a few substitutes at the ready) who spend maybe 15-20 hours/week raiding.

I think we have hardcore players, the ones who make it to every raid and drive the strategy and top the dps charts. I don't think of us as a hardcore guild.

I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder. It's like driving -- everyone going faster than you is crazy, everyone going slower than you is an idiot. If a guild is raiding more hours and more organized than yours, it's too hardcore. If not, it's too casual.

If being organized = hardcore, then guilty. I joined this guild precisely after being in a guild where raids started an hour late because two people didn't show and didn't tell anyone and we couldn't find an in-guild replacement, and then every other pull was interrupted with smoke breaks or people just not ready.

Brian said...

I think 25-man raiding is alive and well right now, plenty of guilds have made significant progress through ICC-25, and about 14% have killed the Lich King (according to wowprogress.com). That might sound relatively low, but that's almost 10 thousand guilds and at least 220,000 actual players. For a game with so much else to do in it, I don't really consider those numbers to suggest 25-man raiding is dead.

The problem, I think, is that people consider it a problem that EVERYONE hasn't killed Lich King 25-man. 25-man raiding is considered the most "elite" part of the game, which oddly enough means that the most people think they should do well at it, rather than treating it as a part of the game their group isn't skilled, organized or dedicated enough to complete.

Raiding has improved a lot since the bad old days, where only a few percent ever got to do any raiding at all...but 25-man raiding is still very much an organized group activity. And that's fun for those of us who enjoy that aspect of an MMO. But because raiding is cool, the "afk, smoking" groups want in too. But the only way for THAT to work is to make raiding so easy that you don't need 25 people with skill, or any sort of organization, to do it.

OR you can do what Blizzard did, which is really quite smart if you ask me. By making the 10-man gear the same as 25-man, the people who want to raid without doing any work will be able to get the same status symbols as everyone else, which is all they wanted in the first place. And since 25-man will drop more loot, 25-man guilds that don't suck can continue doing 25-mans. At least that seems to be the plan, we'll see what happens...

Anonymous said...

Is there any particular reason to expect that you're less likely to be carried in a trade chat pug than a guild run? A pug generally knows even less about your capabilities than guildmates and under the current system it's near impossible to replace someone after downing a few of the easier bosses since people don't want to lose those easy badges that week. It mostly randomizes the people you're playing with and a lot of raid leaders don't bother trying to filter 25 people by individual inspections beyond gear score or achievement links. Progression is a fairly useless term for a pug since the people change every week, downing putricide one week doesn't mean an expectation of downing him the next and what's considered average for pugs varies wildly from server to server.

My guild only does 10-mans but we've been inappropriately flagged as a 25 man guild due to members pugging. We're listed as downing 25 man festergut, but most pugs on our server end after saurfang. Putricide may or may not be typical on your server, but certainly isn't on ours.

I think pugs will be diminished but not dead. Some irregular raiders will opt to pug if they can't conform to a set schedule and there will be people playing alts after their mains are saved for the week.

Something to consider is that they're also changing lock outs from strictly separate 25 and 10 man versions into one that allows you to start a raid as 25 man then break it up into separate 10 man raids after. That could be huge for pugging. My guild normally runs two raid nights a week, one for obliterating farm content for the handful of drops we still want and another for actual progression. We could bring pug players on the first night to boost our odds of whatever rare drops we still want, then continue with actual progression in 10-man. Full pugs rarely survive a few people leaving or continuation nights, but being able to shrink or split the raid means that my become an option.

Anonymous said...

The success of the guild I think also depends on the relative level of the server. My guild hasn't been able to raid 25 since May, so we're kinda stuck at 5/12 on 25-man. (Though we've pugged - 7 ppl from guild - a 6/12 run, but that doesn't count really.)

So what does this have to do with the server? Well, the server we're on, most pugs can only do maybe 4 or if they're extremely lucky and the RL is not a ninja (they often are) 6/12. 8/12 would require a guild-organised group and the guild had to be one of the server top 50. I doubt very much they'd organise such a pug.

So maybe it's the whole server that's not too hardcore, or maybe the progression and divide to hardcore/casual fluctuates on server basis.

Even though I do not completely agree to your deductions, a good post.