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Cataclysm: Where Blizzard Invalidates Your Worth as a Human Being!

Rating: 4 votes, 4.00 average.
It will come as no surprise that the uproar over the upcoming Raid Progression Refinements in Cataclysm has been astronomical in volume and emotion. As of this post, the official thread alone has 5000 replies in just over 36 hours and of course countless discussions elsewhere on blogs and forums around the web.

What, then, could I possibly have to add to the conversation that hasn't already been said? Likely not much, but as a generally big fan of these ideas for a long time, I feel obligated to offer some counterpoints to many of the concerns and rage I've seen around the web.

To that end, I've highlighted and quoted a few select points and posts I've found on the big topics at hand, to respond to each in kind:

Quote Originally Posted by Nfariessence@
I think a much better solution than shared lockouts is to target the reasons why people want to run multiple formats repeatedly each week, and determine whether you need to fix those issues, then tailor your solutions to address them rather than a clumsy across the board 'solution'. Those reasons are:

~ People have to raid both 10's and 25's (and daily heroics and weekly raids and Wintergrasp [10 and 25 yo], etc.) to get enough badges to get their gear faster. Solution: Cap the badge count per week so you either get badges from a full clear of 10 or 25, plus the weekly raid, but not both. If you're clearing the zone, you don't need the daily heroic. If you're only clearing the first 2-3 bosses, you might need those badges each day.
~ People have to accumulate Achievement Points from both 10's and 25's because they are there. Solution: Unified achievement points, not separate for 10's and 25's.
~ People have to raid both 10's and 25's because BIS gear exist in 10 mans that force people to run them, week after week, hoping against hope that they drop. Solution: Make 10 man loot clearly a tier behind, with no chance of BIS items to be found (cool procs in 25 mans only, non-compatible reduced set bonuses, etc.).
This quote I split into two parts to address things appropriately. The first part of this post offers his solutions (in blue) to the common concerns of present raid mechanics. Of course, the first two things are already in Blizzard's upcoming changes proposal (Emblem weekly cap and unified achievements), so good on ya there.

The last one is the worst though. First, I acknowledge that 25-man raiders feeling required to run 10-mans every week for particular drops is probably disheartening and bad for those players, but as I've ranted about in the past, self-entitlement a valid argument does not make. What so many 25-man players fail to acknowledge or even realize, is while they may feel annoyed that they have a BiS or two piece from the 10-man version of XYZ Raid Zone, 10-man raiders DO NOT HAVE THAT LUXURY! You got one zone worth of gear, and you were fucked if your BiS piece came from 25-man (which 95% of the time, it does).

So my simple retort to this complaint is: Welcome to the jungle bitch, enjoy!

To be slightly more diplomatic though, the fact is that 25-man players have of course been indoctrinated into thinking they have the "right" to the best equipment, which as I've said many times in the past was a mistake Blizzard made very early on when the first 10-man zones were introduced (just try to imagine what raiding would be like today if Karazhan had dropped the same gear as SSC/TK, for example). The point is, you 25-manners need to get your head out of the sand and realize YOUR VISION of the game is not THE REALITY of the game -- just because you expect one thing, it doesn't mean that is the way it will be, should be, or even is best for the game overall.

Quote Originally Posted by Nfariessence@
The only thing that Blizzard's solution fixes that the above items don't fix is the equality of gear from 10's vs. 25's.But is that necessarily a good thing? I don't think so. It will likely kill off 25 man raiding for all but the most hardcore of guilds (no reward for the increased hassle). For 10 man guilds, do they need the more potent gear to deal with the (usually) easier versions of fights they choose to raid? Do you need ilevel 264 gear to meet the enrage timer on Blood Queen Lana'thel in 10 man regular like you do in 25 man? I don't think so either. So why make equal gear, when all it will accomplish is to put a nail in the coffin of 25 man raids?

No wonder I get so worked up over this shit; look at the level of intelligence representing a large portion of the "high-end" 25-man community! ASDF!

Look diptard, 264 gear is fucking FROM Heroic ICC10 ! Therefore, I'd say it's a pretty safe fucking bet that no, we do not need 264 gear to defeat "regular Blood Queen Lana'thel" like you do in 25-man. Is this where I ask if you need 277 gear to defeat normal Blood Queen in 25-man? Jesus christ...

As for the "nail in the coffin" for 25-man, as I've said in the past -- good! I love how day in and day out, these high-and-mighty 25-manners go on and on about how it's all about the epic feeling of a large raid force (just as they did when 40-man was the only choice and Blizzard announced 25-man raids, mind you), yet when asked to put their (figurative and actual) money where their mouth is, it all comes down to loot -- big fucking surprise.

As I said in the past, I'd bet good money that most intelligent players would gladly choose to raid with 9 friends rather than 9 friends & 15 acquaintances if Blizzard would only make the loot incentive the same. Low and behold, they're doing just that, and you fuckers can't whine enough.

The only question remaining is: Will you be forced to mock yourself when you find yourself raiding 10-man only in Cataclysm?!


Quote Originally Posted by Lord BEEF@
Quote Originally Posted by Alcaras@
So basically no one believes Blizzard will follow through in making 10 and 25 man "of comparable difficulty."
They'll succeed sometimes and fail others. On shit that's fairly easy on hard modes like Marrowgar nobody is going to cry about the differences. On hard content though, a magnifying glass is shown on tiny differences. If they do a really good job and get them within 5% of each other, they'll still have failed because 5% is a huge fucking difference in this game.
Another ridiculous quote and example, primarily because his point about 5% difference being "massive" is ironically exactly what changes every couple weeks in ICC right now, and guess what smart guy? 5% has been such a "huge fucking difference" that it allowed EIGHT WHOLE GUILDS to kill Heroic Lich King that couldn't do so prior to that 5%. Paragon did it at 5%, and no one else was capable and then the "huge fucking difference" of another 5% came along, and suddenly it was so easy everyone and their mother did it...

Oh wait no, only eight guilds worldwide were able to do it, even after weeks with that 5% extra.

I guess balancing 10 and 25 will be easier than you think smart guy...

Quote Originally Posted by Xi@
25mans have much higher bars in terms of logistics, managing raid group/comp and difficulty.
So we have three points here for why 25 man raids/guilds are harder, so I'll go down the list:

1. Logistics (of forming said raid/Guild)

At first, I was going to be very generous here and concede you one out of three of these arguments, regarding higher difficulty in logistics of forming a 25-man Guild/raid. But then I realized you're making the same common mistake that playing in an environment with blinders on for 5 years does to most 25-man raiders -- you're ignoring the outside influences that affect finding people for said 25-man Guild/raid.

Yes, 25 people is more than 10 people, but as many 10-man Guilds can attest (and we are no exception in Vox), the reality is the pool of potential players that are looking for a 25-man far, far outweigh those looking for a 10-man. Moreover, due to the stigma and equipment benefits of doing 25-man raiding, higher quality players tend to lean toward 25-man Guilds when deciding which format to choose.

Therefore, I emphatically disagree that logistical forming of a 25-man is inherently more difficult than a 10-man; at the least we could contend they each have their own difficulties and call it even.

Now, fast forward to post-Cataclysm and I suspect the pool of players focusing solely on 10-man will jump so dramatically that at that point, it may in fact be harder to form a 25-man than a 10-man Guild, but as the 25-man elitists so love to point out, 25-man raiding is where the men are separated from the boys, so now it's time to pay the piper and decide if that little extra effort in recruitment (if there even is one, time will tell, specifically the differences in loot/Point quantity in 10 vs. 25) is worth it. If not, good -- welcome to 10-man!

2. Management of raid & group composition

This is a retarded argument to even attempt to make and once again, your 25-man-only blinders of ignorance are preventing useful information from reaching your brain.

First, start with group composition. How many abilities/buffs are party-only these days? Mana Tide and Tranquility? Nearly everything is raid-wide these days, and group composition is largely ignored, especially since you set it once at the start of the raid and basically ignore it the rest of the raid (save swapping a person or two to get into the Mana Tide group in a given fight). Hell, you can't even swap in combat which basically made group composition swaps a thing of the past for most raid leaders.

Moreover, it's a fairly safe assumption the last few remnants of party-only buffs will be going away in favor of raid-wide versions when Cataclysm hits anyway, so it's all moot.

Raid management is more difficult only if your Guild chooses to micromanage like douchenozzle raiders -- if you are so concerned swapping particular people in and out for each individual boss fight (which I think is fairly uncommon these days for most raids, 25-man or otherwise), then you're either A) Retarded because it won't help in the slightest compared to sticking with solid people every attempt or B) You're a Paragon-esque top 0.5% Guild and thus the "raid management" issues are irrelevant because you'll be doing everything in your power to get an edge (which means getting loot faster from 25-man is a no brainer anyway).

3. Encounter difficulty

This is the big one that everyone is harping on. The argument is simple: By the very nature of more moving parts (players), a 25-man encounter will always be more difficult than the 10-man version in spite of Blizzard's best efforts.

I've seen so many ridiculous quotes on the topic I can't begin to list them all, but some of my favorite:

Quote Originally Posted by Xi@
Let's say you had to put your life on the line in a test. Choice 1, 10 people press a button, if they do it correctly you live, otherwise you die. Choice 2, same task, 25 people. Which would you choose?
Obviously the point trying to be made here is that in reality, 25 is a larger number than 10, thus making 25 people do the same action properly at the same time is inherently more difficult than making 10 people do the same.

Faaaantastic point! You've proved that in a glass-bubble, made up, useless real-world example, a number 2.5 times larger than another number is... well, larger! Genius!

To most people with a functioning cerebellum, this illustration would need to be altered to fit the real-world example we might see from Blizzard -- within the smaller group, 2 people must hit the button, and in the larger group, 5 people must do so. Thus in both cases, the group must elect 20% of it's members who are best at button pressing to perform the task.

Or even a step further, as is often the case, the numbers are identical, not percentages, so in the smaller group, 2 people must hit the button, and likewise in the larger group, still only 2 people (think tanking, kiting, misc. roles during many boss encounters).

In either case, the point is Blizzard will decide which factors of the fight make it challenging and scale those appropriately. Obviously there is almost never a situation where the entire raid must perform the same action at the same time at present, and certainly those situations will be even more rare when Blizzard has created encounters specifically designed to have matching difficulties across both raid sizes.

Quote Originally Posted by Xi@
Two points, one [...], can you honestly tell me with a straight face you expect them to properly design and implement encounter changes like this, and second, how precisely would you change HLK10 to make it as difficult as HLK25 without resorting to something ridiculous like defile casts in .5s or defile is now 60y instead of 20y (or whatever the radius is).
I've seen this (and similar comparisons) often, where the basic argument is that Blizzard cannot possibly balance 3-spawning Val'kyr (as seen in 25-man HLK) in a 10-player environment. The implied reasoning is that in 25-man, the Val'kyr must be forced to move the same direction so AE damage will hit all three in order to kill them in time, therefore the entire raid of 25 people must stack together to force the spawns in the same place.

Ironically, this is one example where the entire raid does have to perform the same action (ignoring Warlocks of course) to win. So as per the above point, the argument is that getting 25 people to do this is more difficult than 10 people. However, I think ignoring the actual "action" we are discussing in these debates is a fatal flaw. In this case, the 'difficult action' is what exactly? 25 people have to be able to run to melee range of the Lich King every 60 seconds when their boss mod pings them and/or the raid leader says something in Vent? That is the best real-world example you could come up with of an "impossible to tune" mechanic between 10 and 25-man?

Well so be it, I'll take the bait and go a few steps further. For now, we'll assume this process IS insanely challenging and thus getting a larger group of people to perform it is a huge leap in difficulty. Therefore, the challenge from this poster is: "How would [I] change HLK 10-man to be as difficult as HLK 25-man?"

Clearly your strictly-inside-the-box thinking is ignoring the fact you're looking at encounters designed prior to Cataclysm, but I'll go through the changes to keep it as similar to current HLK as possible:

1. Phase 1 - Nothing changes; common tactic is to stack the raid in 1 or 2 clumps and everyone move. Also note the tanking highly favors 25-man as only 2 out of 25 people do it (as is commonly the case in tanking/healing situations). To that end, one could argue that matching difficulties would require upping the tank requirements higher for 25-man versions, but that's overly complex for this example, so we'll keep them both at 2.
2. Val'kyr - Three spawns for both 10- and 25-man with HP adjusted for 10-player DPS of course. Since current Val'kyr lockout a player, and 3 people out of 10 would be much harder, instead do percentages of the raid -- when Val'kyr spawn, 20% of the raid is given a debuff that stuns them or silences/roots or whatever. Therefore 2 players in 10-man and 5 players in 25-man, but still 20% of the players, thus the chance of it "getting all the healers" is the same in either case. Balanced.
3. Defile - Defile growth rate capped at certain amount of players (say 5), growth rate slightly increased for 10-man. Therefore, if a 10-man raid fucks up and stands in Defile, the growth rate increases for each person standing in it up to a maximum of 5 and same with 25-man. As with now, if more than 1 or 2 people stay in it for a couple ticks, becomes too large. However, 25-man version growth rate (per person/tick) is slightly lower, which allows for a larger percentage of the raid to screw up without making it innately harder since more people are involved.
4. Soul Reaper - Not much to change; damage still slightly higher for 25-man since higher healer output. Arguably harder for 10-man innately due to cooldown availability with fewer people, so 10-man version may need a longer cooldown (though probably not since it's fine in current form for the most part).
5. Infest - No change needed; both raid sizes handle this the same way.
6. Vile Spirits - Dumb mechanic which wouldn't be present (hopefully) in future designed raid content (that favors such heavy ranged stacking). In this example, similar to Soul Reaper, maybe longer spawn cooldown for 10-man version due to cooldown limitation, but in practice it seems fine in both 10 and 25 so no change really needed.
7. Harvest Soul/Frostmourne Room - No change needed, same in both formats.

Voilą! I've done the IMPOSSIBLE in a matter of 15 minutes, and I don't even have the experience or skills of raid design and balancing that Blizzard developers do, so obviously they'll be more than capable of creating fairly close balance when they are designing NEW FUCKING ENCOUNTERS! Christ.

I know it may seem like I'm picking on these two posters (Xi and Nfariessence), but the truth is there are many similar posts and complaints, these two just stood out and got my attention. The really fucking ironic thing in all this is, given their above views and quotes, looking at the armory it turns out neither of them are at the top of the pile or even close to it. Nfariessence's Guild is 9/12 in Heroic ICC25 and Xi, who is the guild leader of his guild (must be so awesome for those people...), is only 4/12 in Heroic ICC25. To top it off, neither one has even killed Heroic LK10!

Just so I'm clear, the same guys who are bitching about how 10-man is a joke of a raiding environment and asking if 264 gear is needed for Normal difficulty ICC10 -- those same fucking people haven't even killed that "easy 10-man content" themselves, let alone the majority of their own 25-man content? Good game asshats... good game.

Ultimately, I'm going to be so giddy I'll be giggling like a hyena when we're a tier or two into Cataclysm raiding and the then 10-man progress percentages basically mimic the current progress percentages of 25-man, because low and behold, it's just as hard in the 10-man version as the 25 and all the retards that spew bile from their mouths all day will be stuck wondering what went wrong with their pigeon-holed vision of the game.

Seriously though, when does Hello Kitty Online come out again?
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  1. Khrash's Avatar
    As always a good read. What more can I say? .... Well let me at least say this, "HAHAHAHAHA" to all you 25m Elitist Turds.
  2. Critgasm's Avatar
    You like to write eh Kull
    I enjoyed this.
  3. Venelar's Avatar
    Great read. 10man is definitely where it's at.


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