So Blizzard have released some major information about raids in Cataclysm. I have to say, I hadn’t been excited about Cataclysm until now. You may have noticed I didn’t comment on the Paladin Preview. If I had, it would have looked like this:
“How to Fail at Paladin Previews
This basically what we know about end game retribution paladins from the preview and the Twitter chat:
- Crusader Strike will be modified somehow
- We’re going to have more ‘risk’
- We’re going to use Divine Storm less
- We’re going to get another boring cooldown that increases our damage that we will save to pop with Heroism and Wings and requires us to do nothing at all
- We’re going to get an off the GCD interrupt
The last point is good. The other points are ‘meh’. I’d rather not have the preview than have this.”
So needless to say I am glad to receive some REAL news about Cataclysm that excites me. That news is the changes to raiding.
- 10 and 25 man will share the same lockout and the same loot. 25 man will drop more loot and give a few more points under the new system.
Great. I’m in a 10 man guild. I was doing a happy dance last night. I’m far from the only person who has thought this was the solution, but I did think it was the solution.
What does this mean for 10 man guilds?
It means no longer being forced to do 25 mans to gain access to loot. We have a lot of Friend rank players who PuG 25 mans, so we couldn’t keep our 10 man strict rating. So we run 25 man once a week to improve our gear. We’ve done 5 bosses. I actually will kind of miss it, but the fact is this is a rare arrangement within a guild. From now on we will have access to the same loot and the same challenges as everyone else. I, for one, am happy with this. I don’t think you’ll find a 10 man guild that isn’t.
I also feel this will let us have more fun. With less need to repeat content (my pet hate) I can see the opportunity to do more with alts and engage in some other things like the new Rated Battlegrounds which sound fun.
What does it mean for 25 man guilds?
For 25 man guilds, it means not being forced to run 10 mans. When I was raiding 25 I did so four nights a week. I then was expected to spend another 1-2 nights a week clearing 10 man content for the extra gear and badges. I hated doing that. It sucked a lot of the enjoyment out of the game for me to be forced to raid the same content more than once a week. 25 man players will be freed up to have more fun!
On the other hand, several motivations will be missing. No better gear. No unique achievements. So the question on everyones lips is why raid 25 man? Stripped down to basics, 25 man will offer a different raiding experience. In some ways its harder – coordinating 25 people is more complex. But even in WotLK, in some ways its easier. Its more forgiving. When we do 25 man we take guild Friends along. Even if they do 2k dps. Its not stopped us killing the first 5 bosses and we’ll probably take out the next one too – we were close. If a couple of players die, its not a wipe on normal modes most of the time. It is good to spend time with all of your guild, something we will lose in Cataclysm in my guild unless we come up with a different way of doing it. And there will still be server firsts to get.
Some guilds will keep raiding 25 man. Those guilds that lose a lot of players as the expansion comes (which does happen) will move to 10 mans. Some of these will go back to 25 mans later, some won’t. I think Cataclysm will see the 10 man guild become the default raiding guild. Those 25 man guilds that remain should be solid.
I’m going to follow this up with another post about my guild. Dreamstate does things a little differently and is managing to run a structure that kills many other guilds dead – that of two 10 man groups. I think that in Cataclysm this set up will work particularly well – all the benefits of a large guild with 10 man raiding – and I’ll tell you how we do it and how to make it work.
What else did they say?
There have been some other comments which sound interesting, but have, I think, less impact:
- 25 mans will still have a couple of advantages – slightly more points/loot for your effort.
- There will be two tiers of points (Honour and Valour points) roughly echoing Triumph and Frost emblems today. Points will be capped. Valour points will also have a weekly cap on how many you can get to make them less grindy. Two tiers of PvP points will work in a similar way. When a new tier/season starts all of your existing Valour level points will become Honour level points and the requirements for the previous tier/season will be downgraded.
- You might be able to change the 10/25 man setting on a per boss basis.
The points system is definitely simplified. I think all the myraid names and types of currency were confusing – I have Emblems of Honour, Valour, Conquset, Triumph, Frost. I have old Badges of Justice still. Stonekeepers Shards and Wintergrasp something-or-others. Until recently there were Battlground Emblems for each Battleground. Theres Arena Points and Honour. And gold. No wonder people were confused!