Since Blizzard implemented the 10 man raid I’ve been hearing debates between players on which is the better raid format, 10 or 25 man raids. I find myself drawing parallels between the debate of 25 v 40 raids. Lets look at some of the virtues of both shall we?
10 Man Raid
Easier to organize
Easier to coordinate raider movement
Less vent / teamspeak chatter
Easier to spot problems
More individual responsibility
Less margin for error
Lower gear leve than25 man
Allows smaller guilds and pugs to experience end game content
25 Man raid
More room for error
Higher Gear level than10 man
More drops per boss and zone than 10 man
Less people have to be “benched”
Bigger sense of accomplishment after defeating a boss
Looking at the points in both I see a lot of the same arguments from 40 man raids to 25 man raids. I’ve had the fortune to experience 40 man, 25 man, 20 man and 10 man raiding and I’d like to offer up my opinion on it. They are all fun.
40 man raids were a pain in the rear to organize and in many cases required you to carry a certain number of a class in order to succeed (Princess huhuran needed at least 4 hunters for tranqshot rotation and such). It was a pain in the ass that required a good hierarchy in order to do successfully. This involved raid leaders, officers, class leaders and such. In a 40 man raid it was very possible for five people to hold a raid hostage and cause all sorts of mayhem.
With that said I loved the content of the 40 player raids, they felt epic. Zones like Molten Core, Black Wing Lair and AQ40 were large and just amazingly well done. Problem was you needed a full group or mostly full group to do these end game raids. Many smaller guilds would form raid alliances and venture forth into the end game content.
20 man raids were introduced with the instance Zul’Gurub. It was a well designed zone and forced you to pick a smaller team to proceed. There was less margin for error but it was easier to grab 19 other players and go in rather than hunting down enough players for Molten Core. The zone was smaller thanÂ other end game raids at the time, but offered an opportunity for greater emphasis on fight mechanics thanÂ 40 man raiding did. It was a wildly popular raid and showed that the smaller format could be successful.
25 man raids made things a lot easier. Guilds would have a better time getting together enough raiders and wouldn’t have to enter as frequently into raid alliances in order to see the end game content. This was partially helped along by the success of ZG. At this point players for the most part had embraced the smaller format. It offered greater raid accountability on the raiders and easier coordination of the group for the raid leaders. One person could wrangle 24 others without the aid of officers and class leaders if they needed to. Fights could be explained faster thanÂ 40 man and it was easier to spot mistakes. This was hailed as a large success on the raiding scene. In 25 man raids though it was still easy to hide behind the skirts of a better healer or DPS just like in the old 40 man raids
When 25 man raids were new and successful, Blizzard also introduced the 10 man raid. Karazhan was for many people their first full raid. It was big and epic in both zone size and scope of what it set out to do. Fight mechanics were interesting and fresh and easier to implement thanÂ they were in 25 man. Fights like Netherspite lended itself well to the 10 man raid size as it was much easier to coordinate, but still gave players jobs to do other thanÂ just sit and dps or sit and heal. With 25 man raiding though there was still the problem of smaller guilds still needing to enter into raid alliances or pug raider spots if they couldn’t show up with 25 people ready to go see the endgame.
After a full expansion of 25 man raids, Blizzard announced that in Wrath of the Lich King you’d be able to toggle difficulty on all raids between 10 and 25 man. This news sent waves throughout the community. People called it both genius and folly. It allowed you to really take your raid and simplify it. You could take 10 raiders and do all the same raids that the 25 player content was providing and it allowed content to be more accessible to a wider variety of players. Allowing raids to be done at a 10 man level also allowed for greater accountability. If you messed up in kara back in the day, you noticed. It was a lot easier to see what you were doing wrong. It’s much much harder to look at 24 other people and catch problems before they cause wipes. You have much more personal responsibility in a 10 man thanÂ you do in a 25 and as a result you are a more integral part of the team. Some fights are inherently harder in 10 man version thanÂ they are in 25 man, and some vice verse. You have options now to be able to see all of the games content.
Personally I like both formats a lot. I love 25 man raids because at the end of the night I feel accomplished. Being able to help lead 24 other people to a successful boss kill and hear the screams of joy when we get through a particularly hard boss(vent the night of the first Yogg kill was electrifying awesome) is priceless to me. At the same token herding 24 other players even with assistance is grueling and can wear you down. In 25 mans I find myself constantly watching the raid trying to find and stop problems quickly before they cause wipes. I love being able to take the vast majority of my raiders into a zone as well so not everyone is sitting idle.
I love 10 mans because of the intimacy of them. Recently due to some raiders being out, my guild split into two 10 man groups for the night. We ran ToC 10. I lead one group, the GM lead another. I had with me some very good people and a rather nice setup. I also had two people that have had problems in the past staying focused or people I like to refer to as “Fire Huggers”. I was able to coach those two players and get an absolutely phenomenal performance out of them on the fly. Especially when we got to the Faction Champions (pre nerf). This fight was the hardest in the zone (IMO) and lots of people were caught cutting their teeth on it for a while. We wiped once, I saw what was going wrong pretty quickly and was able to change tactics and issue commands on the fly much easier thanÂ in 25 man raids and we were able to adapt and overcome the encounter quickly. 10 mans are much easier to coordinate and I didn’t feel nearly the same pressure that I do when I’m thrust into leading a 25 man.
Bottom line, I love both formats just for different reasons. I think they are both solid and offer everything raiders could want.Â I also think there shouldn’t be a debate between which format is better. They both work, and they both work pretty damn well (loot distribution aside *shakes fist at blizzard for putting all the good spell shields in 10 man hard modes*).
So how about you? What do you prefer 10 or 25? Why do you like that format?
Well that is all I have for today. Until next time, Happy Healing!
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