I had a long post halfway written about my thoughts regarding the state of raid progression with regards to Blizzard’s philosophy towards content accessibility, and how it has changed over the course of wrath. However, the more I thought about what I wanted to write, the more I kept hitting on certain points that I felt strongly about. As such, I deleted pretty much everything, and settled for a singular angle.
TL;DR, I hate 25-man raiding, I love 10-man raiding, and 25’ers should stay the hell away from my 10-man dungeons.
Back in BC, my first raiding guild was <Ironwill Mercenaries> on US Arygos. We were a nice little group that, despite our recruitment shortcomings, had Kara and ZA on farm status, but nothing else. Because of our inability to field 25, all that we did week in and week out was Kara and Zul’Aman. We’d clear both with reasonable success, and I loved the intimacy of 10’s for our guild.
Then Wrath was looming, and in preparation, our guild expanded into 25, and when the expansion hit, it was uncomfortable, and the guild had troubles on naxx. Then it crumbled and fell apart.
Likewise, <Exiled Legion>, my current guild, experienced a reverse of that situation, starting off as a 25-man when I frst joined, but got downgraded to a 10 when a bunch of people left that team. Again, I liked the intimacy of 10 compared to the morning raid team, which had 25.
Here’s why I don’t like 25’s.
This past week, our guild celebrated our first rotface kill on 10-man mode. The only thing was, it was with the 25-man team. Compared to the evening 10’s team, they are far more geared, and have a wider variety of players to choose from to optimize the group performance. It only makes sense that in a 10’s setting, they would be the first to conquer particular content. They’ve done so with various Ulduar bosses, and pretty much all of ToC.
I can’t help but feel a little jaded about the whole thing, that the 25’s take credit for kills in modes that should be trivial to them. I’m not trying to knock my guild in particular, but I tend to think it’s the same thing with all 25-man guilds. Their main goal is to do 25-man progression, but they only use 10’s as a means to an end.
Granted, my 10-man team isn’t even supposed to be a 10-man team. It’s supposed to be a 25, but due to struggling to recruit for 25s, the evening team is stuck gearing out on 10-man content, and as such, underperform compared to the morning 25s. As such, our kills in 10 are as meaningful to the 25’s kills in 25-man mode. But when 25’s step into 10 territory? Where’s the satisfaction in that?
This isn’t just a local guild thing. How many of you remember the world’s first Lich King-10 kill? Was it done by a 10-man guild? I dont’ think so. Does it even matter now that the Lich King-25 world-first has come around? Not a single bit.
This is where Blizzard screwed up. By having both 10 and 25 modes available, dedicated 25-mode guilds are making 10-mode progression trivial, and not only are 10-man guilds suffering as a result, they are simply being wiped out of existence. People gravitate more towards the 25-man because the loot is better.
An argument here is that 25-man is harder to organize, and as such rewards adequately. However, due to the sudden trend of epeen and the emergence of gearscore, “phatter lootz” has become the de facto incentive for choosing 25 over 10. Likewise, gear progression for 25-man guilds are spread all over the place because of itemization issues leaning towards jumping back and forth between content and 25/10 modes just to get specific gear. As a result, 10-man mode is merely a stepping stone instead of an actual viable means of progression for guilds.
While dedicated 10-man raiding guilds do exist, they are few and far in between, and many of them still rely on 25-man gear to clear 10-man content. It’s a bit of a shame, really, since the availability of 10’s has made seeing raid content much easier, but instead has turned 10’s itself into a red-headed stepchild in progression guilds.
Frankly, while 25 is now the be-all end-all of raiding, I lament in my corner, yearning for the days when I could rofflestomp kara on a weekly basis with a bunch of people I immensely like, instead of a LARGE bunch of people I hardly know. I lament for the amounts of effort I put into ensuring that my 10-man team succeeds, all the while the 10 best members of a 25-man team takes the glory.
The phrase I hate most when heard in chatter in guilds everywhere? “We can’t do 25, so we’ll have to settle for 10.” I don’t want to settle for 10. I want to DO 10. If this is the attitude that 25-raiders take when it comes to 10-modes, then frankly, they don’t deserve the accolades for clearing 10-man content.
I’m not exactly sure of what can be done to remedy this, but all I know is that the 10-man guild is a dying species, and it’s because they’re getting cannibalized by 25’s. It depresses me, as I am forced to say goodbye to days past, and to say goodbye to guild intimacy.