View RSS Feed


Mythic 20-man Raiding

Rate this Entry
For me, this single change puts a huge damper on the entire expansion as a whole and dramatically reduces my ability to get excited about any of the other features/changes, because this 20-man restriction looms over it all in the back of my mind.

The reasoning given by Blizzard that it "makes balancing easier" and "allows for more mechanics that don't need to scale across raid sizes" sounds like complete horseshit and simply an excuse to make the design process easier for the development team rather than do what is best for the community and players!

I personally was really hoping to see Flexible raid size scaling introduced in all difficulties (Heroic/Mythic included) since the only groups that truly care about those insanely sharp razor's edge situations are the bleeding edge 0.1% groups that race for world firsts and all that. As we all know from stats or second-hand information, and certainly as Blizzard knows with their actual in-game statistics, the vast majority of Heroic raiders are 10-man players. Even with combined rankings of 10- and 25-man groups together, within the top 100 guilds worldwide according to GuildOx, 46 guilds are 25-man and 54 guilds are 10-man. Even within the actual bleeding edge communities, the majority are 10-man!

The discrepancy becomes far worse the lower down you get of course, again as we all basically know. Clicking through the list on WoWProgress of the 25- and 10-man groups that are separated out, you can get a good sense of the number of guilds within each category. I can't link directly to the list results, but at present there are 774 25-man guilds with 2/14+ Heroic progression this tier. By contrast, I had to click through 195 pages of the 10-man list to find the equivalent progression groups for 10-man, as there are currently 3909 10-man groups with 2/14+ Heroic progression, or over five times as many! (Click here and here to see the lowest-ranked 2/14+ Heroic 10- & 25-man, respectively.)

If the difference in the top 100 guilds is 17% more 10-mans than 25-mans, and the difference of 2/14+ Heroic is 500% more 10-mans, the discrepancy will only be larger the lower down the progression chain you go. Even if we account for the player counts involved, since it takes 25 people for a 25-man obviously compared to 10 people for 10-man, the breaking point where 10-man players at the top end outnumber the 25-man players would come pretty quickly. Again using the GuildOx combined list, we can see that while there are only 17% more 10-man guilds than 25-man in the top 100, the cutoff where 10-man becomes more prevalent actually occurs well within that top 100 chart. Of the last 50 guilds on the top 100 list (guilds 51 through 100), 34 of them are 10-man compared to 16 that are 25-man, or 212.5% more 10-man guilds within the 51-100 worldwide guilds than 25-man.

It gets even worse the further you go: The last 25 guilds (76 through 100) consist of 6 25-man guilds and 19 10-man guilds, or a 1:3.167 ratio of 25-man to 10-man. Even IF we extrapolate that percentage further down the list and assume the next 100 guilds are 1:3.167 ratio (which is unlikely but the best data available), that means we can easily determine when the break point of number of players involved in 25-man Heroic raiding becomes overwhelmed by the number of players in 10-man Heroic raiding:

There are 1150 people doing 25-man raiding and 540 doing 10-man raiding in the top 100 guilds worldwide. At a ratio of 1:3.167 guilds, we can determine when 10-man players overtake 25-man players as follows:

1150 + (25 * 1 * x) = 540 + (10 * 3.167 * x)

Solving for X shows X is approximately 91.45. Therefore, since our initial sums of 1150 and 540 account for the top 100 rankings, we add the 91.45 rankings/groups onto that and we get an approximate break point of 191.45. This means, again assuming the ratio of 25- to 10-man is sustained going into the next guilds (which is unlikely but cannot be proven with our own data at present), that at worldwide rank 191 or 192, the sheer number of people doing 10-man Heroic progression raiding begins to outweigh the number of people doing 25-man Heroic progression raiding.

No matter which way you slice it, whether looking at number of groups/guilds affected or actual number of players, a single raid size of 20 dramatically impacts more people and more groups from 10-man environments than it does 25-man. Unless the goal is to cater specifically to the literal top 1.7% of people (approximately 96 guilds in the top 192 are 25-man before the 10-man player ratio outweighs the 25-man, of approximately 5461 total heroic guilds = 96 / 5461 = 1.7%) or literal top 0.78% of guilds (43 guilds in the top 86 are 25-man before 10-mans become more common, of approximately 5461 total heroic guilds = 43 / 5461 = 0.78%), then what the fuck else could this be doing except making it easier on Blizzard and worse for the community as a whole?!

Or regarding the "balance" and stacking issues, does Blizzard honestly expect us to believe that they themselves think the vast majority of Heroic raiders will go out of their way to stack their raid group size if Heroic raiding was suddenly flexible in size? That's truly absurd; again only the top-end worry about class swapping right now, so only the very top-end will worry about both class and group size swapping then if Heroic difficulty was also flexible in size and dynamic in difficulty. A static 20-man raid size doesn't stop any of the class stacking bullshit that already exists, nor does it greatly hinder 25-man heroic groups.

I will grant that it would truly suck to drop 5 players out of your roster, but this isn't some dramatic change mid-patch cycle; this is occurring at the outset of an expansion. Any 25-man player (or especially leader/officer) that is bitching on the forums right now because of how dramatic/sad it will be to lose 5 people is lying through their teeth -- by the very nature of an expansion cycle, their group is almost certain to lose at least 5 players from their current roster naturally, so there is no "choosing who to let go" from the current group in the slightest. In fact, arguably depending on the over-sized roster that a 25-man group currently carries, they may not even have to make any changes at all: if they have 28-30 people on roster, they let natural turnover take it's course when the expansion hits and stick with whatever is remaining without having to actually purposely drop anyone or recruit any replacements in the slightest.

Meanwhile, you've got the VAST FUCKING MAJORITY of Heroic raiders/guilds that have to MORE THAN FUCKING DOUBLE the number of people in their guild/raid. And the worst part is those that act as if it's just a "matter of numbers", that you just need to double your roster size and call it a day, as if that's a simple proposal even on the verge of an expansion cycle. Ignoring for a moment the huge social dynamics and impact (I don't LIKE that many people and finding 10 more that I like let alone tolerate is a nightmare), the fact of the matter is recruitment is not some magical, simple switch that you can just flip on as Blizzard is pretending it is with this change. Many (maybe even most) raid groups already have a difficult time finding members during recruitment, so much so that most of them have recruitment open at all times, even if they don't actively need players. The act of DOUBLING the roster for the majority of guilds is beyond daunting and will have an insanely catastrophic effect on existing 10-man guilds (whereas 25-man just sit there and laugh along the way).

The long and short of it simple: Downgrading a raid size has far less impact than upgrading, because of how turnover works at the cycle of an expansion. Going from 40- to 25-man (or 25-to 15-man or 15- to 10-man) is a much easier transition for everyone involved but this is the first time ever that Blizzard has forced an entire raiding subset to revert and go back up in size, and it's going to be disastrous. All I keep seeing with this change is a solution that suits the developers and screws over the community.

If nothing else, this sole change means that well over 2,500 Heroic guilds and well over 25,000 Heroic players will have to disband/find another fucking guild purely because of the release of an expansion (based on 4915 known 1/14+ Heroic 10-man guilds). During panels and presentations at Blizzcon that are so focused on delivering bullshit lines like "WoW is more fun with friends", this single change/requirement undermines all that horseshit PR-speak and shows what truly seems to matter: That the developers don't have to think too hard and tweak numbers for Heroic encounter design more than once.

Fuck everything about this change. Not having Flexible size for Heroic is disappointing, but this requirement is a game-breaker for me and soils the entirety of the expansion in my own eyes. They need to simply revert it and keep the split until they come up with a more elegant solution that doesn't screw over some 69% of their Heroic raiding player base (4914 1/14+ Heroic 10-mans versus 877 1/14+ Heroic 25-mans, or 49,140 10-man Heroic raiders out of 71,065 total Heroic raiders).


  1. Aerro's Avatar
    I happened to come across this blog post, as I've been frequenting the forums I'm able to see and it made me laugh (but in a good way).

    (I don't LIKE that many people and finding 10 more that I like let alone tolerate is a nightmare)
    My old GM said the same exact thing, which is what got me. I was interested on the stance of what Vox thought of the looming massive change so this definitely helped me get some idea!
  2. Klik's Avatar
    We've discussed the changes much more thoroughly in our members-only forums, which, should you pass your trial, will be available to you. We can, however, assure you we plan to raid 20-player mythics.


Total Trackbacks 0
Trackback URL: