Probably as old as when Burning Crusade launched is the discussion of 10man vs 25man. The jump from 40man to 25man jolted a lot of raiders and caused the collapse of several teams. Raid teams started out in 10-man Karazhan, which geared them to enter the 25-mans until the end of the expansion (Gruul’s Lair, Magtheridon’s Lair, Serpentshrine Cavern, Tempest Keep, Black Temple, Sunwell Plateau), with a 10man Zul’Aman thrown in for flavor.
From what I saw, there was a stigma that 10mans were inferior to 25man. 25man Raid Leaders were thought of as more commanding and needed more control over their team, whereas 10man Raid Leaders didn’t have as much responsibility. The only way to get any decent gear in Burning Crusade was to run 25man raids. Legendaries were obtained only in the greater of the two. The end result was people preferring 25mans over 10mans, even lasting into Wrath of the Lich King. Anyone else remember needing to get into 25-man Trial of the Crusader to get a decent trinket at the time?
However, with Cataclysm, the tables have shifted toward more balance. With the changes that Blizzard implemented, there is less pressure on needing to raid a certain size. Let’s take a look at the pro’s and con’s (as I’ve seen it).
- More likely to have every raid buff due to a larger raid.
- Raiders of the same class can feel more free to tweak their specs.
- More forgiving to players that may be a little “sub-par”.
- Battles have a more “epic” feel with a bigger raid.
- More players = wealth of opinions in strategizing fights.
- Three in-combat resurrections allowed per fight.
- Raid competition may not be as crucial (melee vs ranged).
- Maintaining control over a bigger group.
- More standby’s may be needed.
- More people may equal conflicting egos/personalities.
- Possible to run into scheduling difficulties.
- Harder to start up from scratch.
- Easier for people to slightly slack at times.
- More officers may be needed.
- Usually tighter-knit group.
- Easier to start up from scratch.
- More responsibility on each player.
- Possible to have one of each class (very little gear competition).
- Fewer standby’s may be needed.
- Fewer officers or leaders needed.
- Less input for fight strategies.
- With fewer people, the fights may feel “less epic”.
- More responsibility on each player.
- Less room for error.
- One in-combat resurrection available per fight.
- Possible to miss certain raid buffs because of limited raiders.
- Less room for error because of fewer players.
- Raid composition may matter more (melee vs ranged).
The Choice is Yours
When you’re deciding on which side to go with, keep all of these things in mind. Some of the pro’s and con’s are the same. “More responsibility for each player” may be a good thing for your team or it may not be. You and your team are going to weigh these points differently, and that’s perfectly fine. It all goes back to what you want out of your team. Maybe you want the “epic feel” of 25man and don’t mind dealing with more people/schedules. Perhaps you like less gear competition but don’t mind putting more responsibility on each individual raider.
Remember, the same ilevel gear drops off of 10man vs 25man, so that’s no longer a factor. More gear drops on 25-man than on 10-man to even the scale. Also, Blizzard is still working on balancing the difficulty of the raid sizes, so one doesn’t feel noticeably harder than the other. Personally, I feel this is hard to achieve, but I’m fine with them getting it as close as they can.
As for me, we’ve decided on 10-man since the beginning. I don’t want to put in the extra effort needed to wrangle 24 other players, and we like the greater responsibility placed on each raider. We may not have that “epic” feel because we prefer a more intimate raiding environment. It’s not that I don’t enjoy 25man raiding, but I prefer 10man.
What about you and your team? Have you already made a decision? Are you split? What other pro’s and con’s can you add to the above list?