- 10 and 25-man raids will drop the same loot
- 10 and 25-man raids will share the same lockout
- 10 and 25-man raids will share the same difficulty
While I'm sure there are some 25-man raiders who are no doubt concerned about this, as a 10-man raider I'm extraordinarily pleased, and overall I think this is a good thing, even for the 25-man raider.
When I was a 25-man raider, we officially raided three nights a week. We considered ourselves casual. But we liked running 10-mans too. So our casual three nights a week often turned into five nights a week. Not so casual anymore, was it?
Some people in the guild really only wanted the 25-man raids so they never went to 10-mans, but were they gimping themselves by doing so? Sometimes key trinkets only dropped in 10-mans, and to say nothing of the extra emblems that could be earned by regularly doing 10-mans once ToC and ICC became regular content! ToC was the worst for 25-man raiders who might end up doing the same instance four times a week for normal and heroic, 10 and 25-man.
Blizzard admitted that the ridiculous number of emblems for the ToC/ICC gear is because they expected top level raiders would be running both raid sizes, collecting emblems from both, and they needed to make sure they didn't get gear too fast. But the bad part about planning for the gearing of the hardcore is that raiders who only do one size raid have to scrimp for weeks to get a single piece gear that costs 60-95 emblems.
It's really not too bad for a decent group that only does one size raid. I have my four piece of T10 now, and emblems leftover, but I can see how 25-man raiders can feel compelled to run both raid sizes if they want to stay on top. The perception is there that they have to do.
I know if I was still in my 25-man guild I would be running both 10 and 25-mans on a regular basis. As an officer it would have been derelict for me to do otherwise. Sharing the same lockout is a good thing, in my opinion. It prevents player burnout.
It's primarily the same loot that I think most 25-man raiders would have an issue with. Never mind that under the new system they'll get more loot per boss drop and therefore be gearing up faster than a 10-man raider. They'll still be better geared than us; just in a different way.
Personally, I know a couple guildies who have had enough of 25-man raiders waving Shadow's Edge in their faces and our DK has expressed a disappointment that there's no similar epic quest for him as a 10-man raider.
I think this will also be good from Blizzard from a design standpoint since they'll have less item levels of gear to worry about and we might not see something like Chill of the Throne or Sunwell Radiance in our final raid of Cataclysm to accommodate unexpected gear inflation.
I'm actually not entirely sure what to make of the same difficulty for both raid sizes since I think that's something Blizzard has been striving for anyway, but it'll be good to know it's still a concern for them.
Overall, I'm really happy with this. I think it legitimizes 10-man raiding, because we won't have 25-man raiders doing "easy" 10-mans on the side. If they do them, it'll be because they're short too many people on a particular night. And as a bright side for them even if they end up short people a particular night they can still get the same ilvl loot they would have otherwise.
Even when I was in a 25-man guild I've always been happier with the 10-man raid. Everyone is more accountable for their performance. It's a more intimate environment where you're more likely to know the extended group you're playing with. I love that I know what each of my fellow raiders does for a living, that we can joke around and we don't have moments where we've just never talked to a particular person in-guild.
I'll be honest. I was thinking of retiring from WoW after beating the Lich King. It was a thought I had at the beginning of the expansion, and one that returned when my 25-man guild died at the start of ToC. I formed my 10-man guild because dammit I wanted to see Arthas and none of the 25-man guilds that I'd be interested in joining on my server ran at suitable timeframes for me.
I wasn't sure I would be taking my guild into Cataclysm. But I admit, I've gotten attached to my guildies, a few of whom even transferred to join us because they wanted the 10-man style. Listening to my guildies talk about what they're looking forward to, and now, knowing that the raid size I prefer will be supported even more, makes me more comfortable with the idea of sticking around. I'm not really thinking of retiring anymore.
Besides, in the meantime, there's still Arthas. It might not mean much, with many guilds having downed him already, but no 10-man guild has done it on my laid back server yet (not even those that moonlight 25s), and my scrubby little guild still has an eye on being the first to do so. We've had some attendance issues lately with a couple folks having late shifts at work, but those have cleared up now, and we finally got to Phase 3 the last time we fought him.
I'm pegging Arthas's demise for next Monday. Then I'm gonna want me some hard modes.