Changes to Raiding in Cataclysm

Blizzard today announced a big, big change to the way that raid lockouts will be managed in the future.  The full link is here, but the TL;DR version is:

  • The 10 and 25 man versions of an instance will share a lockout.  In a given week you can do the 10-man or 25-man raid, but not both.
  • The 10 and 25 man versions of an instance will drop the exact same loot.  The 25 man will drop more of it, and possibly more Emblems as well.  25-man raids will still be the most efficient way to gear people up, if you have the numbers for it.
  • The 10 and 25-man versions of an instance will be tuned to be very comparable to another in difficulty.
  • The first few raid tiers will have multiple smaller raids rather than one huge (Naxx) raid.  You can hit all of them each week, or alternate to vary your raiding experience.

When you read the comments about this, the change is largely applauded by the community.  Sure, there are varying opinions and there are some who think that this is the end of raiding as we know it.  I think the same things were said when we went from 40 to 25 man raids in BC, and then from 25 to 10/25 in Wrath.

Here’s the point of view from me – the GM of a casual raiding guild that struggles to get 25 every week.

On one hand, for our core members, its great.  If we do 10-man raids, we don’t have to fret that we’re a half-tier of gear behind players who are doing 25-man raids.  We’ll all have access to the same loot.  Sure, the guilds that run heroic versions will have better gear, but that’s not a problematic issue.

On the other hand, its going to force me to make a decision.  Currently, we walk the line between 10 and 25 man content.  We run 10-man ICC with our core group on weeknights, and then desperately try to get a 25-man raid together with the whole guild on weekends.  We can do this because 10 and 25 man raids are on separate lockouts.

This change is going to force me to pick a direction.  Either we’ll focus on 10-mans every week or 25-mans every week.  Since we currently have trouble getting 25 regularly, it would seem logical to focus on 10-mans.  Ideally we’ll be able to field two 10-man teams every week.  If not, though, then there are a lot of guildies who will be left out in the cold.

Right now, when we fail to field a 25-man team, and our core group runs 10-man, it excludes a lot of players.  We hate to do it, but its the bind we’re in.  Fortunately, those players can usually PuG ICC 10 or 25 and get some rep and maybe some loot and still be satisifed.  Under this new system, I think PuGs will be harder to come by.

The only people who will PuG will be players who do not run 10 OR 25 man raids with their guild.  Running either one gets you saved to both.  So who will be in PuGs?  Players who are guildless?  Alts?  Players who are not good enough to be included in their guild runs?  That doesn’t sound like a healthy PuG culture.

So, if we focus on 10-mans, I worry that our membership will dwindle as the players outside the core group will leave to go to guilds where they are included in raids and are not dependent on PuGs.  That would make me sad.

My hope is that we get a burst of player activity when Cataclysm drops, and we’ll have enough to do 25 mans and it won’t be a problem.  Fingers crossed!


2 Responses to “Changes to Raiding in Cataclysm”

  1. 1 Mardith
    April 27, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I don’t see this to be an issue. It sounds like you have around 25 players, but not very often. So why not just have 2 runs scheduled for 2 different groups and alternate the people in each group on a weekly basis? We do that currently when we don’t have all 25 and it works great. We make it a “friendly”, by friendly I mean everyone puts up 100g, competition on which group can down the most bosses in a given raid lock-out. The winning group takes the pot 🙂

  2. 2 Hamacus
    April 27, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I for one hate sitting around waiting to raid. Been there done that. Do I like pugs? An emphatic no but it is a necessary evil in order to get badges and gear. For the most part pugs are currently good enough to clear enough 10 and 25 man content to be tolerable. As a person that has three raid capable characters I like that the gear will be the same for 10 and 25 man raids but hate the lockout.

    As pointed out the pug situation is probably going to get a lot worse due to this because people are going to want to make sure they make good progress per each lockout and not get saved to one or two bosses. That means you probably want to get in a set group each week and if your guild is fielding two teams is it fair to expect two toons for one person to go? I’d say no.

    So that said what is the answer? Joining multiple guilds for those with multiple characters? What about the “Core” group that gets chosen what is the incentive for those on the out but still want to raid? Oh and don’t forget the changes to guild rewards in Cataclysm as well. Yes it is a nice but that too will need to be managed. Looks like small 10 man guilds have a lot to look forward to but guild leaders have a lot of tough choices ahead….GL 🙂

    A few lines from one of my favs…thought it fit the bill.

    Them that’s got shall get
    Them that’s not shall lose
    So the Bible said and it still is news
    Mama may have, Papa may have
    But God bless the child
    that’s got his own
    That’s got his own

    Yes, the strong gets more
    While the weak ones fade
    Empty pockets don’t ever make the grade
    Mama may have, Papa may have
    But God bless the child
    that’s got his own
    That’s got his own

    Looks like small 10 man guilds have a lot to look forward to but guild leaders have a lot of tough choices ahead….GL 🙂

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