Big changes announced today. Decent changes in my eyes, but not totally understood as to why they were made. Here’s a short and sweet.
10-Man and 25-Man raids will share the same lockout. 10-Man and 25-Man raids difficulty will be as close as possible to each other. 10-Man and 25-Man raids will drop the exact same loot, but 25-man will drop a higher quantity of items. Normal versus Heroic mode will be chosen on a per-boss basis in Cataclysm raids, the same way it works in Icecrown Citadel For the first few raid tiers, our plan is to provide multiple smaller raids. Instead of one raid with eleven bosses, you might have a five-boss raid as well as a six-boss raid.
Interesting changes, great for folks like me, but not so great for those who have been doing 25 mans since they were released.
I’m not totally sure why they would lock 1-Man and 25-Man raids together, meaning that they share the same lockout. I assume this would be to lessen the ability for 25 man raiders to go back and do 10 man raids to practice a fight. I could also see this as a way for 25 man raids from absolutely overcoming the 10 man strict raids by obtaining nearly twice as many emblems and gear chances. I understand how this would require more coordination and learning for the 25 man raids, not always a bad thing.
Next up, 10 and 25 man raids would be nearly identical in difficulty. I’m assuming that this means that if it was easy as a 10 man group, it should be just as easy as a 25 man group, no special gimmick changes, etc. Kind of a lackluster change, as I don’t see it being a problem that 25man raids are a bit harder then 10 man raids.
Now for a topic of great interest to me. 10-Man and 25-Man raids will drop the exact same loot, but 25-man will drop a higher quantity of items. This is a big change. I see how logistically this is an efficiency change for Blizzard. It will allow them to focus more on the items themselves, then trying to balance them for each group size. However, it will also make it a bit more difficult to differenciate between 10 man and 25 man raiders. This does mean, though, that us casual raiders have a much bigger chance at grabbing the same gear that 25 man raiders have. I remember, even back in Naxx, I always looked at the Voice of Reason, hoping to someday get my chance to get it, but was not likely to, as I only raided with 10 man groups for the most part. With this major change, there will be no difference between the gear. As they stated, there will not be a difference in quaLITY but quaNTITY.
Next is having all raids available to have Heroic modes turned on and off on a boss by boss method, much like ICC today. I think this is a good change, to allow a change in difficulty in case some raids get stuck on one boss. Getting stuck can cause burnout, and frusteration. Allowing the raid to pass the HEROIC version of a boss, and clear him out on normal, but then hit the next boss on Heroic allows for some relief from the frustration.
Lastly, there is a change in the size of some raids. From the announcement, the first few tiers of raids will be much smaller than the later raid experiences. At first this looks like a bad idea; however, the fact that from current knowledge of the expansion, there will already be multiple raids early on, and each of those raids should have 5-6 bosses. I like this more than a single massive (multi-day) raid and a few single boss raids (Malygos, Sartharion, etc.) It will also allow smaller raid groups to gear up a bit quicker once the level cap is reached. They compared it to raiding Tempest Keep and Serpentshrine Caverns separately, but attaining mostly the same level of gear, while having two completely different environments to raid in.
I do feel that there will be a good bit of QQ from the hardcore folks though, as 25 man raids and 10 man raids aren’t going to be that different besides the number of raid members. There will still be progression gating, and Heroic modes, but it will definately point towards casual raiding more. The gear level is supposed to be set up for blue gear from Dungeons, crafted, and apparently more powerful quest obtained gear. As Naxx (WotLK version) was cleared still using some T6 gear from BC, it will be interesting how they will force raids to start using these gear levels instead of just reusing older Tier 10 items. Interesting decision, and I’m really excited to see what they come up with.
Personally, I’m sort of happy of the changes that were made, but amd not totally sure as to why some of the decisions were maade.