Why 10 = 25 should be 10 & 25

There was a short discussion on our forums regarding the difficulty between 10-man and 25-man raids a few months before Cataclysm where I posted the following:


Even though I have faith that the dev team knows how to make 10s hard, I have a feeling they don't really want to go there. The hard stuff would have to be brutally tightly tuned, limiting the experience to even fewer people than in 25s. Harder than now - definitely - but I simply don't see a lot of benefit in going all-out, and I doubt they do either.


From the looks of it, they did go there. This post isn't really about tuning per se, and I don't have enough personal experience from 10-man heroics to really comment in-depth on that anyway, but the encounters seem to pose a good challenge based on the (unreliable) rankings at wowprogress.


I won't go too much into the possible reasons why the top 25-man guilds have 11-13 bosses down and 10-man guilds only 5-6, but reading threads and discussing with people, there's one point that is interesting and very relevant for what I'm about to write.


10-man heroics are very setup-dependent, and the favorable raid composition changes between bosses.


This isn't all that surprising, really. As a response to these threads, I started thinking how I'd run a top 10-man group. I'd probably have around 15 people, running two or three characters each. Regardless of whether a top 10-man guild should be expected to do that, or how it relates to the logistics of 25-mans, I don't think there are any 10-man guilds out there that are putting that kind of effort into their raiding roster.


On the other hand, the top 25-man guilds get this flexibility essentially for free if they decide to venture into 10-mans. Logically this would mean that strict 10-man guilds will be run over in the bracket if top guilds primarily competing in the 25-man bracket start viewing 10-mans as a completely equal substitute. This would mean a replay of WotLK, where strict 10-man guilds had to deal with inferior gear and a rigid setup. This time there is less gear difference, but the flexibility in the raid setup is even more important.


Many people have interpreted Blizzard's removal of distinction between raid sizes in achievements and loot, and closeness in difficulty to mean that 10 = 25, so let's stick 'em in the same bucket. I even see people announcing their kills without specifying the raid size.


Do we really live in a wonderful world of balance where Theralion & Valiona are equal in both 10/25? How about Al'akir? I don't know how well as a whole 13/13 10-man would relate with 13/13 25-man in difficulty, but let's face it: the balance isn't there for individual encounters, and it goes both ways. Nor do I think it will ever be close enough on every single encounter. I'd feel degraded if I had killed V & T in 10-man before the fix (or hell, even after it), and no one thought it was even newsworthy because it was the "world 50th" kill. Likewise my eye twitches whenever I see comments about 10 = 25 on the subject of old Albert over the skies of Uldum.


Aside from bruised egos, is there really harm from this? I say there will be, and not for the benefit of 10-man guilds.


The fact is that if the majority of people start accepting this encounter-agnostic 10 = 25 thinking at some point, the top 25-man guilds raiding for first kills will have to incorporate raid size changes into their overall strategy. I know Ensidia explored that at the start of this tier (and probably regret it the moment they found out they couldn't change back to 25), but based on my talks with people, many of these guilds do not view it as a real alternative. Yet.


The more the raid sizes are shifted to the same mental bracket, the more of a real alternative it becomes to get the first kill in the easier difficulty setting, whichever that might be. If that's 25 - tough luck 10-man guilds. If it happens to be 10 - tough luck again, large guilds will figure out an optimal setup and pool gear. It also spells more logistics and gambling for the larger guilds, as you will have to commit yourself to that raid size for the rest of that instance for a week.


Frankly I'm surprised that the people raiding 10-man heroics haven't been louder at the fact that they're getting no recognition for their kills. Based on the pattern we're seeing, they're also unlikely to get any in a while, since every "world first" has already been taken. In another raid setting. Apples and oranges, conveniently equal - too bad for the oranges.


If people started treating 10 and 25 both equally worthy of recognition and publicity instead of jamming them in the same bucket, the raiding game would be a lot better off for guilds of both sizes. There might be the occasional invader from 25 to 10, but the motivation to do so would stay at a low level with the way lockouts work now.


I think defeating truly hard encounters will always earn recognition, regardless of raid size. Now, if only I was informed about all of those and had the means to track them...


Wall of text!

For me there is 10man "league" and there is 25man "league", and it will always be like that for me.
You just cant mix different size leagues together, those should always be seperated.

Like arx told, true 10man guilds should have more air time on mmo-champion or any other wow sites when they down hardmode bosses first.
But there is also some problems with this since 25man can go just ninja kill some encounters from true 10man guilds if they want world first 10man kills and thats not fair.

Pretty hard topic since everyone is tracking how they want, someone like mother and someone from sister or wants both same time ^^

I like to think of raiding like boxing in terms of size. Where raiding has the 10- and 25-man groups, boxing has the Lightweight and Heavyweight Championship titles. You couldn't really tell if the Heavyweight Champion or the Lightweight Champion were equally skilled at boxing, or if one were better than the other, because you can't really place them both in a fair match because the other one would just have 100 pounds of more muscle on his side. Even if they've both won the Championship you can't really tell which one had harder time getting there because they both fought against different contestants in different numbers.

Perfect equivalence only exists in mathematics. You can't balance the muscle mass of competitors in powerlifting contests and you can't balance the difficulty of different raids, and I don't understand why people on all these forums filled with "QQ imba OP nerf buff plz" suddenly believe Blizzard pulled off this little magic trick.

That's actually a pretty good analogy.

I think the analogy works quite well, too, because in the sport of boxing I think the "heavyweight" title seems to get more attention than the lightweight one, which may help explain why we still tend to be more oriented toward following the 25-man progress or may believe (whether true or not) that it's more "important." I put things in quotes because this is something we're still debating or coming to terms with as a community.

You couldn't really tell if the Heavyweight Champion or the Lightweight Champion were equally skilled at boxing

Well its not just skill(i notice pretty easy who is more skilled). Its more of strategy, heart, dedication, wanting to win etc..

Personally i would not compare boxing to wow 25 or 10 raiding(as boxing is 1 vs 1).. and in boxing there is best of all system(pound for pound) and its widely accepted. LIke Floyd Mayweather Jr who prolly knoced out majority of heavyweights if he wanted :)

You don't need to be too strict with the analogy, and truth be told, I don't really follow boxing at all.

I'm suprised Blizzard didn't realize the negative effect removing separate achievements would have on 10 man guilds. Then again, neither did I.

arx, really well written! like

I have to agree, some encounters are just so overtuned for the ten man setup that even to cover the encounter mechanics you have to have certain classes over others. One that jumps out at me is Nefarion in 10 vs 25. tanking is possible for the adds on Nefarion P! in 25 also during P2 you don't have to stack certain classes to have interupts down and healing is less of an issue as well as ranged dps. It seems like certain encounters were designed for ten and tuned to 25 and vice versa.

guildox.com is a very amazing site that tracks 10vs25man kills very well. You should check it out.

Just look at a certain realm or overall, then click 10 or 25 along the left side.

I agree with you. There is little point in directly comparing 10-man and 25-man, and both raid formats deserve recognition of their own.

In the spirit of tracking both raid sizes, I have created the klickers tracker:

This tracker achieves what I believe is a very good separation of both raid formats and as a deliberate choice does not provide a combined ranking, but rather provides rankings for both raid formats side-by-side.

After looking at your site(http:/www.wowtrack.org/) it appears to have some wrong information / buggy. It claims that there are 3 guilds higher then mine in 25man and several below on my realm, but there are actually only 3 25man guilds on it at the moment. 10man guilds are appearing in the 25man list. This is the reason I gave up on wowprogress.com, it was just too buggy and mixed information.

Thanks for your feedback. This is difficult to comment on without knowing the region and name of the realm in question. Generally speaking, you can always append ?analyze to a guild URL to gain more insight into why the tracker engine assigns a guild to a specific raid bracket.

Torchia @ Blood Legacy - US
Hi, I'm Torchia the rogue from Blood Legacy guild raid. At this time, we're ranked #1 10-men raid on guildox, wowprogress and wowtrack. If this is really the case I don't know. Thanks for this post, really. We have a lot of 25-men material out there to compare with what we are doing now and it is clear: 10-men hard-mode content is unfinished, untested and was abandoned untill people started closing 25-men content. 2 months running and maloriak's adds untill 2 weeks ago had the same HP as 25. As of today aegis of flame has half HP of 25. I won't even start on V&T, and the list goes on.
Unfortunately, our reality won't allow us to do what you said about having 15 raiders (it was unbelievably hard finding 10 hardcore good brazilian players) and 4 alts geared each (most of us work/go to college/go to the gym or all of it) so we use the time we have to focus on what we can. On top of that, we raid with 250-300ms on good days.
I really wanted to say that it was refreshing to read this post and know that 10-men raiders are not forgotten and under appreciated by the whole WOW community. Thanks a lot.

Hey Torchia

That's so awesome, hearing about an all Brazilian raiding guild! And one that's doing so well. :) I may have to pester you to talk to you all for my research.

The ms issue is a really crucial one for people to consider, as some regions of the world don't have the same infrastructure or they have to access servers from farflung locations. I imagine you've had to do some particular work arounds to handle the lag, as compared to players with lower ms.

The issue of "unfinished" work is particularly germane here. Makes you wonder a bit about priorities... particularly in the midst of a lot of players feeling like 10-man raiding is not as "valid" as the 25-man content.

No one seems to care much about 10-men. The community, the blizzard staff, the news sites... At least we have some ranking pages to make us feel good. After all, when you assemble a hardcore team to battle for kills, you want at least some recognition.

So pester us all you want. We will be glad to be of assistance for your research.

I think I understand perfectly! :)

I've sent you a PM, looking forward to being in touch!