Keeping 25s Alive

I was reading this post at Unwavering Sentinel with different ideas on how to keep 25 man raiding alive. It’s something I’ve been thinking on and off about both from the perspective of a GM and as a normal player.

At the heart of, we should first analyze what makes a 25s player want to raid 25s. 10s is easier to manage. It’s difficulty varies from 25 from encounter to encounter. And you’re not as likely to cancel raids because you can usually rock 10 players (although 25s is more forgiving in this regard since running shorthanded a player on 25s isn’t going to be crushing as down 1 on 10).

For me, more is fun. I love large scale engagements. I prefer working with the army as opposed to the special forces group. More macro than micro. Maybe I really like raiding with 24 friends because I don’t want to leave 15 people I know out in the dust.

I get that players like the closeness and intimacy that 10s offer. Personally, I’m not looking for nor am I really interested in that type of stuff. I figure if you get too close to someone and know them too well, you’ll get irritated or annoyed at something. More players means you don’t get personnel fatigue from being with the same select group of people over and over. But that’s not a raid size matter (it’s more leaning towards guild size anyway).

The developers have recognized that they haven’t done enough to inject enthusiasm for 25s. One of the solutions that have been implemented for Mists is that even though the loot between 10s and 25s will remain the same, 25s will gear out faster. Instead of 5 drops per boss, we’re getting 6. All things considered equal, a 25s group would theoretically have a decked out raid faster.

We’re going to examine the solutions presented by Zellviren.

Solution 1: Make 25-man have specific rewards

This is singlehandedly the absolute best solution to revitalize 25 man raiding bar none. By making 25s the main route for the best loot, those players motivated by the flashiest and most powerful gear would have no choice but to enlist in a 25s guild.

But we all know that’s not an option on the table. This was something that was done during Wrath. Separate item levels between 10 and 25.

Solution 2: Make 25-man have specific achievements.

One could take this a step further and maybe add a guild achievement for a clear on 25 in addition to a 10. Of course, the unfortunate part of this is that it wouldn’t be possible at all for a guild to obtain every guild achievement. Maybe make it an either/or thing. If you clear it on 10, you get the toast for a 10 man raid. If you clear it on 25, you get the 25 one instead. But once you get one, maybe have it set that it’s not possible to get the other.

Solution 3: Creating “guild alliances”

I don’t know about this method. From a technical stand point, it wouldn’t be difficult to modify at all. But as a GM, it can be politically difficult to entertain the idea of cross raiding with a different guild. Who gets to quarterback the raid? How is loot going to be handled? If all hell breaks loose, it’s not uncommon for fingers to start pointing at each other on blame. It’s a solid idea but my guess is that human nature would work against it.

On the other hand, I’m a cynic.

Solution 4: The 25-man raiding “pool”.

A queue of raiders presents an interesting tool for GMs and raid leaders. It helps resolve calling raids based on attendance. In addition, it gives free agents out there a chance to throw themselves out in the world and see what else is out there. Maybe their server has limited progression or there aren’t many large guilds around. It’s like a match making service that’s one grade higher than LFR. However, I feel that this is more of a bandaid solution than one that would truly revitalize 25s.

What about removing the lockout?

One thing I want to propose with regards to lockouts is to remove them entirely. Instead, use the raid finder style of loot lockouts to limit gear acquisition.

Give players the ability to run as many bosses as they want in whatever raid size they want, but limit item rewards to their first kill of that week.

Say I’m on a weekend 10 man group. We clear out all of heroic Dragon Soul. The 25s group runs during the weekday and Monday rolls around. They find out that Peter Lafleur, one of the healing priests in that group, has national dodgeball championships that Monday and isn’t able to come in. Instead of resorting to a pug or a possibly undergeared alt, I can offer up my main priest instead. I’ve cleared out all of the bosses in Dragon Soul rendering me completely ineligible for any loot but that’s okay because I can still help out my fellow guild members.

Actually, some additional icing on the cake would be to allow gold drops to keep recurring. I wouldn’t mind raiding and farming bosses as an income stream.

The possible counterpoint to this is how would achievements be handled? The achievement with the 4 platforms on Deathwing normally takes guilds 4 weeks to get. Being able to reset and re-engage Deathwing anytime means they’d be able to nail that achievement inside a day. I’m not sure how to reconcile something like that because it gives raid groups the ability to re-attempt achievements anytime they want instead of waiting out a week for everything to reset.

If the idea of unlimited lockouts is too extreme, perhaps the moderate idea of one 10 man and one 25 man would suffice. During Wrath, we ran both 10s and 25s to maximize gear drops for our characters. But if it’s restricted to only one chance on obtaining loot, we’d be able to pick and choose a raid size at our discretion.

It’s just something to think about. For you who raid 25s, what is it that motivates you to do that? Why do you think you haven’t switched or would never consider shifting down a size to 10?

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

13 comments
george3k
george3k

A couple of thoughts. First, what if 25man raids were able to start ahead of 10man raids? For example, on Tuesday, the lock on 25's would reset and allow 25man raids to start raiding that week, and then on Friday, the 10man raid locks would reset, allowing them to restart their raiding week. This would give a major incentive for individuals who want to be bleeding edge to jump into a 25man raiding guild to get the first crack at content. Second, I think without having a way to do cross-realm guilds, recruiting for 25mans are going to continue being a problem. With the changes that have been made to CRZ's, it seems that this may be possible going forward. This would allow a larger pool of individuals who don't have to pay to transfer their toons from realm to realm in order to meet their changing requirements for raiding. Third, GM's should be given tools that help incentive, such as allowing an individual to transfer their current guild standing, i.e. guild reputation etc, to the new guild. But also it could be other ways to incentive, such as providing new guild members with special limited time mounts, buff abilities that make their quality of life better in MoP such as increased XP while questing, or increased gold on quest turnins, etc. 

Lastly, something needs to be done to address the lingering issue of organizing 25 people and "bringing the player and not the class". For example, raid strategy's should be tuned differently so that Blizzard can make sure in their QA testing that any combination of melee/ranged will be feasible to achieve a victory. For 10mans, nothing would change in terms of the raid mechanics, but 25's should have more give given the challenges that GM's have in maintaining a 25 man roster and motivating continued raiding.

MalchomeMoG
MalchomeMoG

The alternative that Matt suggests at the end is the best solution that I have seen so far.

Honestly if a guild has the number of members and alts and organizational skills to whore out the 1 loot per week per boss kill, so be it.  I am tired of Blizzard trying to ration out content for the sake of those that either do not have the will power to go slower, or have to stroke their e-peen the most just to be the best of the best gear wise for 1 raid tier before the cycle begins again.

mattuzzi
mattuzzi moderator

@MalchomeMoG It ain't perfect and it certainly isn't the most elegant. But it's something. 

yamael
yamael

The problem with no lockouts is that you would end up with things like what happened with Raid Finder in DS, where a guild would run 24 alts and 1 main again and again to fuel him all the loot from bosses. You would need to change completely how loot works to make the system non-abusable.

mattuzzi
mattuzzi moderator

@yamael I addressed that though. Loot would be completely ineligible for players _after_ their first boss kill of that week. That means they can't receive any loot, they can't be traded stuff, etc. 

mescyn
mescyn

@mattuzzi @yamael How do you prevent abuse with extreme numbers of alts, though? As in 25 raids, each one filled with 24 unique alts to feed gear to the 1 main (obviously tuned to the number of alts your guild has available).

mattuzzi
mattuzzi moderator

@mescyn @mattuzzi @yamael Yup, you're absolutely right. During the initial weeks of the LFR, loot was shoveled directly into the hands of a select few. I'd say it was more like 20 alts, and 5 mains of varying armor types and roles. It's a tough situation because you don't want to encourage guilds to do stuff like that. But you still want to find a way to stimulate 25s. 

Another option is to give people the rights to do one 10 man and one 25 man per wee (But limit loot to the first kill). 

mescyn
mescyn

@mattuzzi @mescyn @yamael Didn't the people who didn't exploit lfr do basically that in lfr, though, basically just trying to maximize 4pc bonuses. Perhaps not to the extreme I described, admittedly.

mattuzzi
mattuzzi moderator

@mescyn @mattuzzi @yamael I wonder how many people out there have the time/energy to run 7 different alts and get them up to the minimum ilevel needed to run raids 7 different times to feed 7 different mains. That would be quite the operation. 

mescyn
mescyn

What about option 1, but rather than providing character power, make it cosmetic only to maintain 10m viability while still providing some 25m perks.

The whole more loot per player/more vp/more gold thing isn't going to be too effective, I don't believe.

mattuzzi
mattuzzi moderator

@mescyn Mmm, I think we're going to run into that argument of "But I don't want to do 25s to get access to <cosmetic perks>! I should be able to get it on 10!" or some argument thats similar. 10s raiders don't really want to be left out.