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Thread: Hard modes and the problem of raid size

  1. #81
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    Few quick things that have already been addressed but deserve repeating:
    1. When comparing 10-man hard to 25-man normal, keep in mind that the gear in 10-man hard was significantly better than the equivalent gear in 25-man normal. The ilvl being the same is misleading;
    2. 25-man hard content is more difficult than 10-man hard content;
    3. While ilvl expectations in gear allow it to be tuned that way, encounters with more moving parts that still depend on individual responsibility (don't get hit by Icehowl, etc) to avoid a wipe are still exponentially more difficult for a 25-man purely based on the increased likelihood for one player to make a critical mistake;
    4. Finally, organizing and recruiting for 25-man hard-mode raids is significantly more difficult than organizing and recruiting for 10-man hard mode raids.
    I wouldn't particularly care if 10-man and 25-man loot were identical. I don't think it's realistic to expect difficulty to be identical, because the difficulty is in your players and how they perform, not in the encounters themselves.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciderhelm View Post
    Few quick things that have already been addressed but deserve repeating:
    1. When comparing 10-man hard to 25-man normal, keep in mind that the gear in 10-man hard was significantly better than the equivalent gear in 25-man normal. The ilvl being the same is misleading;

    I think this is a really important point... Heck, I'd even take the 245 ilvl 10 man Heroic shield over the 258 ilvl 25 man heroic shield.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mert View Post
    Case in point: Hodir Hard. In 25-man he has 32.5m HP and the average raid might have, at most, 21 DPS for this encounter. (32.5m / 21) / 180 seconds = 8597.88 DPS each. On 10-man he has 8.4m HP and you'd likely have 7 DPS. (8.4m / 7) / 180 seconds = 6666.66r DPS each. In terms of what's expected of your raiders, it's clear that the 25-man version represents a significant increase in DPS, even if not specifically skill. The difference in gear you get from 25-man against its 10-man equivalent does not make up for such a wide difference in the output required of your raid, so it would typically be something you completed later than the 10-man version. Thorim Normal is another fantastic example of an encounter being far harder on 25-man than 10-man.
    Your logic is flawed, however. You're comparing group composition for a 10 man (in which Blizzard admits they don't tune around every buff available) versus a 25 man (in which Blizzard admits they DO tune around every buff available). If the 10 man encounters *were* tuned around such assumptions, they would have taken much longer to be defeated than they were simply because there's not any real "bleeding edge" 10 man scene to deal with as perfect of a makeup as possible.

    Thorim 25 isn't really that much harder than Thorim 10. It's merely a weaker version of Gothik and knowing how to effectively split your raid force. The DPS needed to simply do the encounter isn't really all that impressive -- hard mode yes, normal no. Again, the "extra" DPS needed is covered by the assumption that you're going to have as many complete raid buffs as possible.

    I can guarrantee you that if the 25 man weren't tuned around that assumption, or the 10 man were, and the gear was equalized then the DPS needed would be equivalent. People seriously underestimate just how powerful full raid buffs are sometimes and forget to consider them when trying to promote the 25 > 10 viewpoint.

    NOTE: I'm speaking only about DPS in this instance. I'm more than well aware that there are other factors likes boss abilities, more adds, new abilities entirely, etc. that crop up in the 10 man. That's a choice on Blizzard's part to "ease" the burden on 10 man, and to be honest I wish they wouldn't. (i.e. put in KT's mind control for 10 man, just cap it @ 2 people; the fight's boring as hell in 25 man WITH mind control, much less in 10 man).

    I'm also not picking on you; your post was merely the largest and most eye-catching, and is indicative of some things people forget when talking about the difference between the two tiers.
    Last edited by Viertel; 10-04-2009 at 02:59 PM.

  4. #84
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    If you read through some of the other posts I've made in this thread, you'll see that we're effectively arguing the same point - 10-mans are not currently tuned around the assumption of full raid buffs so the 25-mans inherently expect a greater amount of DPS, healing output or what have you. My Hodir example you quoted was intended to demonstrate exactly that point - Hodir is harder because Blizzard reasonably expect nigh-on all buffs to be present whereas they don't in 10-man simply because that would make certain raid compositions simply inappropriate to the point of it being impossible in the gear from that instance.

    Having said that, the addition of the Leatherworking Drums, PW:F Scrolls and what have you do imply that perhaps they're moving toward parity between the tuning of the 10 and 25-man versions as they can then tune around the expectation of every buff without requiring every class to be present. However, there still remains no Bloodlust equivalent, no BoSanc equivalent and so on so we aren't there yet and I doubt we'll see equality between the raid sizes in this expansion.

    In short, I agree, Viertel, wholeheartedly. The lack of ability to tune a 10-man around all buffs being around means that the 25-man version will, from a statistical point of view, harder, even if we ignore the issue of one person out of 25 causing a critical failure being more likely than one in ten.



  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mert View Post
    In short, I agree, Viertel, wholeheartedly. The lack of ability to tune a 10-man around all buffs being around means that the 25-man version will, from a statistical point of view, harder, even if we ignore the issue of one person out of 25 causing a critical failure being more likely than one in ten.
    If all the buffs are there in the 25 man, how is it harder than if the buffs arent there in the 10 man?

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by
    I can guarrantee you that if the 25 man weren't tuned around that assumption, or the 10 man were, and the gear was equalized then the DPS needed would be equivalent. People seriously underestimate just how powerful full raid buffs are sometimes and forget to consider them when trying to promote the 25 > 10 viewpoint.
    Even if the gear was equalized the dps needed wouldn't be equivalent, in a 10 man raid you only have 2 tanks, 2 healers and 6 dps. Raid synergies wouldnt never be equal because some specs of the same class give different buffs and debuffs.

    besides, if the gear was equalized, that would make the content boring all around. anyone that does 25 man raids mainly knows that when you have full 25 man gear, the 10 man content becomes mind numbingly easy. A shield from Val'anyr can eat a whole explosion from an immortal guardian on yog phase one.

    And on the new drums comment. blizzard didnt add in the drums to push towards being able to tune 10 mans around having those buffs. they already do, they just added in a way to make it fair to guilds who dont have 2 paladins or a druid.

    Edit: why cant we have more fights like Kael'thas in TK.... please blizzard.

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by theholyfx View Post
    If all the buffs are there in the 25 man, how is it harder than if the buffs arent there in the 10 man?
    Because the fight is tuned around the lack of buffs, so for raid compositions that actually do have the majority of those buffs (it's certainly possible to at least get all the key ones in a 10-man) the fight becomes significantly easier, because the fight itself assumes that not all of those buffs are there.

    So why don't Blizzard assume the buffs are there? Because then Johnny Hunter and his merry band of Death Knights don't really have a shot at the content, because they simply don't bring any of the buffs that the fight is tuned for.

    Now I personally think it's entirely reasonable to say that the specific raid setup you bring should be a consideration and that if you're running a 10-man guild you should be mindful of what classes you recruit in order to maximise buffs etc, but Blizzard clearly doesn't agree because we're seeing fights that are tuned with no expectation of these buffs being present and the reason for that is that they do want people to be able to bring their friends to down bosses and not have to say "sorry mate, but we need a Shammy for this part so you're out".



  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by theholyfx View Post
    Or you could look at it as the 25 man version was so easy they had to add the mind control to make it as hard as the 10 man version...
    Except that the mechanic existed in the original 40-man raid encounter. It wasn't something that was added to make 25's harder when they re-tuned it, it was removed because it didn't transfer well to 10-mans. That is part of the reason why I picked that specific example.

  9. #89
    It's taken me quite a while to actually read through everyone's post. One thing that everyone is fixated on is comparing existing encounters between 10 and 25. I think we can all agree that they are not balanced between 10s and 25s. But they COULD be. That is the whole point of the OPs post. When Cataclysm hits, it COULD be even. If the difficult of the encounter was similar on an individual's level between both 10 and 25, why should the 25 reward better gear?

    The OP makes a good point on outside game influences not being a good reason to reward players players with better loot. You can go and read about people with debilitating ailments playing WoW against all odds, and being successful at it. Should blizzard give the person who lost an arm better loot? It's no question it's way more difficult for them, but there's no way that could really be implemented. Apply that same thinking to trying to organize 25s vs 10s. No question it's more difficult. But because one guy (or two or three) does all that work, does it entitle the 24 other people to get better loot?

    I see alot of people arguing that 25s are only doing it for the loot, that people want 10s to have better loot for their e-peen... We're all in the same boat. We all want to have the best gear possible. You don't see anyone doing raids that passes every item because they're just there for the fun. You can say you don't care about loot till your blue in the face, but the fact is WoW is a character advancement game. You advance in the game how you choose. If they don't want better gear, then I doubt that person is raiding, or even reading this website.

    The whole thing comes down to this. 10s want loot to equal 25s because their individual level of raid performance is (or could be with the coming expasion) equal to their 25s counterpart. The 25s want to keep their better loot because they don't agree that this is the case (generally it's not right now).

    A final point I'll make is about choice. Sure, you may choose to only do 10s if the gear was similar. Lots of guilds did decide to split to smaller guilds for wrath, but are now since dissolved due to the fact that they want to be the best they can be within the limits of the game. That's not possible in a 10s only guild. There is no way to say otherwise. Sure there may be rewards that are superior in 10s, but the 25s have access to those as well. The 10s do not have access to the 25s loot table. So it is down to a simple fact that 10s can raid their 10 man raid, then they're done. 25s can raid their 25 man then split to do separate 10 man raids. Effectively doubling the amount of raiding they do, but doubling the loot. Whether they want to double that or not is their choice. Is the increased management that a few people shoulder worth the massive increase in choices available to their guild?

    Cataclysm is the chance to start with a clean slate. To make things even. Or not.
    "Ultimately, making the blanket statement '25m content is harder, period' is at best an overstatement and at worst ignorant drivel." Garrek

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astemus View Post
    One thing that everyone is fixated on is comparing existing encounters between 10 and 25. I think we can all agree that they are not balanced between 10s and 25s. But they COULD be.
    No, that's not what everyone is fixated, and no, that's not the logical conclusion.

    10-mans cannot be made as hard as 25-mans unless the 25-mans are intentionally made easier. This isn't really a point for debate. Any tightly tuned 25-man encounter that requires individual responsibility to prevent a raid-wide wipe will absolutely be more difficult than a tightly tuned 10-man encounter of the same. It's a matter of the increased likelihood of a mistake because of the larger number of players.

    Raiding is not about personal skill (although incredible personal skill is required if you're in the top 0.1% of raiding guilds). It's about the combined skill and attention of your raid. Mistakes are exponentially more likely to occur in a 25-man setting than a 10-man setting, both from the wider pool of players but also from the wider number of actions occurring simultaneously.

    Sure, loot can be equal. That's most of what you're focused on in your post.

  11. #91
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    I think the view that 25man Hardmode > 25 man normal = 10man hardmode > 10 man normal works best. I actually don't think anyone would really argue if loot was equalized in this fashion (it already is to a large extent).

    The problem is when 10-man raiders want 10-man raids (regardless of hard or normal) to be treated the same as 25-man raids (regardless of hard or normal) in terms of loot. That's where the logic breaks down.

    And, as always, there's the whole "But it's possible for 10-mans to be as hard as 25-mans! Really! The game just needs to be incredibly organic to cater to every possible class combination and gear level" ... this is an incredibly tall order. Honestly, once we go down this route, the next step will be for people to complain that 10-men raids are too hard to manage and we need smaller raid sizes. It's not as if that didn't happen before.

    In fact, with the rumour of ilevel 232 gear coming out in 3.3 5-man instances, this whole gear inequality is becoming more and more nonsense.

  12. #92
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    Let's see if I can maybe steer this conversation a different way.

    Assume for a second that 10m and 25m variants drop the same ilvl gear (perhaps even the exact same loot table) and that the difficulty of encounters are based on the 10m variant. Obviously there are some minor details that would have to be addressed before that could be the case, such as more buffs being handed out to more classes so that developers could have realistic expectations on what buffs are available for 10m variants and/or reduce the total number of buffs/debuffs available. HP levels and damage levels of the 25s would obviously have to be reduced considerably to account for the reduction in gear ilvl (again, basing the equivalence on the 10m variant). Regardless of what needs to happen to get there, it is possible to achieve this base state.

    Question 1: Does the 25m variant need to inject an artificial change in difficulty in order to counter the effects of attrition, or are the tactical difficulties inherent of a larger group enough to naturally offset the attrition?

    I think this really comes down to a fight by fight thing.

    A fight like Patchwerk which has very little in the way of tactical complexity will exhibit attrition being a much larger component of the raid's success compared to it's tactical acuity. To equalize the difficulties, simply artificially increasing patch's healthpool or shortening his enrage timer would be sufficient.

    On the other hand, a fight like Yogg which is significantly more technical in nature is going to have less of an attrition component to it. It is even entirely possible to imagine that such a fight is so much more tactically difficult in the 25m variant that one might actually have to *ease* it's difficulty compared to the 10m variant (again in terms of health pools, enrage timers, incoming raid damage, etc...).

    In any case, there *are* ways in which the encounters can be equalized to account for the attrition and technical differences between the modes even if it may change from one encounter to the next. Most importantly, it is entirely possible that this is already occurring to one degree or another.

    To what degree has Blizz increased the difficulty of any given 25m encounter in order to offset attrition vs. justifying it's increased reward quality? So far I think most proponents of 25mH>25m=10mH>10m mostly assume that the difficulty is arbitrarily increased or simply inherent of being 25m format and thus justify better reward.

    Question 2: Assuming encounter difficulties between 10m and 25m variants can be adequately equalized as a function of encounter design, what incentives exist or could exist for tackling the 25m variant *other* than quality of gear?

    There have been a few suggestions that increased quantity of gear would be suitable (though I'd argue that this would simply be another equalizing measure to make sure loot distribution is close to the same pace as 10m), but what others rewards might be suitable? Is increased ilvl (and thus theoretically increased quality) gear really the only acceptable incentive/justification for doing a larger raid?

    Again, this is all hypothetical in nature since the current slate of raid content doesn't really cater to this "different, but equivalent" standpoint. I'm just trying to get at the core of the justifications of raid rewards. I buy that increasing difficulty (such as hardmodes, or from tier to tier) should result in better rewards, however what I believe the OP is suggesting (and I mostly agree with) is that the raid format shouldn't.

  13. #93
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    So just to summarize: All raids should be balanced around 10-man difficulty. Yes / no?

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by law90026 View Post
    So just to summarize: All raids should be balanced around 10-man difficulty. Yes / no?
    That's hardly a summary, in fact i don't think that's the argument at all.

    As far a i see it the only problem lies in the crossover between 10m hard and 25m normal. As raid leader for my 10man guild i can claim with some authority that organising and completeing a 25man pug is far easier than doing 10man totgc in similar levels of gear.

    In response to Cider's comment about 25mans being harder thatn 10s simply due to increased lilelyhood of a mistake, i disagree.

    A prime example would be Northrend Beasts. In both 10 and 25man modes gormok the impaler has 4 snowbolds. Even with the increase in snowbold HP in 25man the reduced likelyhood that a healer will get snowbolded makes this encounter easier in 25m. In 10man you have a 10% chance of a healer getting snowbolded that may reduce your healing output by 50%, in 25man the chance is 4% and the healing output reduced by 20%.

    I relaise the above example isn't classified as a mistake, but equally it shows that somtimes in 25man raid the number sowrk in your favour.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Winkle View Post
    In response to Cider's comment about 25mans being harder thatn 10s simply due to increased lilelyhood of a mistake, i disagree.

    A prime example would be Northrend Beasts. In both 10 and 25man modes gormok the impaler has 4 snowbolds. Even with the increase in snowbold HP in 25man the reduced likelyhood that a healer will get snowbolded makes this encounter easier in 25m. In 10man you have a 10% chance of a healer getting snowbolded that may reduce your healing output by 50%, in 25man the chance is 4% and the healing output reduced by 20%.

    I relaise the above example isn't classified as a mistake, but equally it shows that somtimes in 25man raid the number sowrk in your favour.
    Yeh, it's swings an roundabouts as far as i've seen since it's inception: In a fight like archimonde (for example) with 25 people you're got 25 opportunities to pretty much wipe from one mistake, so therefore you could say 25 man would be harder than 10 man. then you have your example, where a locked out healer (or even a healer mistake, like flame jets) can = 50% less healing, whereas in 25 man if that mistake is made and a healer is locked out you still have cover.

    In a more generic sense, a key factor of 25 mans is tanks getting hit really hard. Realistically, a one shot would be a full HP death within a fraction of a second. In 10 mans a one shot is generally a death between the casts of your single MT healer. It is a big difference in the way that it is played out so it's not exactly straight out comparable - some would say 25 mans are harder cause tanks get hit harder, but you've got say 3 healers staggering their heals which means you're most likely to be getting a heal regularly if you lose health, whereas without a paladin your next big heal could be 2 seconds away in 10 man.

  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xianth View Post
    In a more generic sense, a key factor of 25 mans is tanks getting hit really hard. Realistically, a one shot would be a full HP death within a fraction of a second. In 10 mans a one shot is generally a death between the casts of your single MT healer. It is a big difference in the way that it is played out so it's not exactly straight out comparable - some would say 25 mans are harder cause tanks get hit harder, but you've got say 3 healers staggering their heals which means you're most likely to be getting a heal regularly if you lose health, whereas without a paladin your next big heal could be 2 seconds away in 10 man.
    You forgot to mention that there's also the given assumption that the 25m tank is using the defacto higher quality gear giving him a considerably larger health pool. They *have* to hit harder just to compensate for the assumed gear level. Then you add your own argument on top of that and you really do have to ponder whether that aspect of the encounter is really any harder, or perhaps considerably easier, than the 10m variant.

    Ultimately, making the blanket statement "25m content is harder, period" is at best an overstatement and at worst ignorant drivel. It also doesn't address why better gear is needed for, or justified as reward by, changing the format of the raid. The 25m format will still have the same sets of advantages and disadvantages from encounter to encounter compared to the 10m format regardless what gear level the encounters are tuned to.

    So again I ask, is the higher ilvl of gear the only real incentive for doing 25m content?

  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrek View Post
    So again I ask, is the higher ilvl of gear the only real incentive for doing 25m content?
    Occasionally I am able to pull together a 25-man group of guildies (I don't like pugging spots, and have had some bad experiences with joint raids, so usually we stick to 10's)

    There is something more...epic...about having 24 other people around you instead of the "usual" 9. I'd still prefer to do 10's most of the time, but I find the occasional 25 to be an exciting change of pace.

  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrek View Post
    So again I ask, is the higher ilvl of gear the only real incentive for doing 25m content?
    At the moment, generally yes with a little extra incentive in the form of patterns and orbs. The "kudos factor" plays a part of course, but that's entirely subjective and individual compared to higher iLevel, for example.

    If the 25-man version dropped 2.5x the amount of loot per boss (probably 5 items in 25-man; 2 items in 10-man) of the exact same iLevel then we may go some way to reaching parity, however the gear that drops from both would have to be of sufficient quality that it can handle the 25-man version's Hard Mode, which is tuned to assuming all raid buffs. If the 10-man drops are the same as the 25-man drops (which are tuned for a boss that assumes all raid buffs) then the 10-man version will then have gear that's tuned to a harder boss than would be encountered in 10-man (because it assumes many buffs could be missing).

    Ultimately, the issue of tuning fights based on available buffs will still rear its head and either ensure the 10-man is seen as the easier version or that the 10-man version is tuned in such a way that it excludes certain raid compositions.

    I don't personally like over-homoginisation of the classes and like the fact that we all bring something unique to a raid but whether the loot is the same or 13 iLevels apart, you won't get equal difficulty between the two until the issue of tuning 10-mans is addressed.

    But going back to your question, I'd suggest that 2.5% the drops in 25-man (currently it's 1.5x drops, plus 13 iLevels) and maybe a 2:1 ratio of badge drops in favour of 25-man would provide a suitable incentive without needing an iLevel disparity.



  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mert View Post
    Ultimately, the issue of tuning fights based on available buffs will still rear its head and either ensure the 10-man is seen as the easier version or that the 10-man version is tuned in such a way that it excludes certain raid compositions.
    There are some buffs that are overly exclusive to classes/specs (Bloodlust/Heroism comes to mind, as do Paladin blessings), which significantly augment the strength of the raid.

    If these buffs were shared with other classes, you could raise the expected bar of 10man buffing. For example: now that multiple classes have access to a Replenishment-style buff, the devs expect this to be in play for 10m content.

    So, with a little better sharing of powerful buffs, you could have a 10m raid that is nearly as optimized as its 25m counterpart. And then you could have a more level playing field for challenges as well as rewards.

    Shuffling around which classes get which buff abilities would allow the buff toolbox to be spread around, while preventing the classes from becoming copies of each other (as you say, over-homogenizing is not the goal).

    But going back to your question, I'd suggest that 2.5x the drops in 25-man (currently it's 1.5x drops, plus 13 iLevels) and maybe a 2:1 ratio of badge drops in favour of 25-man would provide a suitable incentive without needing an iLevel disparity.
    Yeah, that makes good sense to me. The organizational hurdle for 25m raiding is rewarded via faster acquisition of items, while the 10m raiding is allowed to strengthen over time to be just as ready for the release of later raid content.

  20. #100
    Quote Originally Posted by Garrek View Post
    So again I ask, is the higher ilvl of gear the only real incentive for doing 25m content?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mert View Post
    At the moment, generally yes with a little extra incentive in the form of patterns and orbs. The "kudos factor" plays a part of course, but that's entirely subjective and individual compared to higher iLevel, for example.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bashal View Post
    There is something more...epic...about having 24 other people around you instead of the "usual" 9.

    Also, the fact that you get gear quality a tier above 10s means that you can do 25 normal clears for a while and then go do hard mode 10s with little problems because you out-gear them. Which means you have access to the raid mounts and titles. I think this gives the illusion to many people that 10s are easymode because the 25s guild can steamroll it. People who have the 25 man titles/mounts are truly looked at in awe, because it takes genuine skill to get them. The 10 man titles/mounts? People are selling them because they can carry those extra people.

    Not to say that the HM achievements are easy, but alot of the difficulty can be augmented when you outgear the content.

    This would be eliminated by making gear equal between raid sizes. The only thing you'd be left with, assuming equal difficulty, would be the items that are exclusive to 25s right now (Legendaries, recipies, orbs) though there is a small chance of getting these items from hard mode 10s.

    I agree with the previous posts saying that an increase in gear and/or badge acquisition might be enough to make it worth running 25s over 10s given the management overhead, along with the epic feeling that having more people present gives. Though this might have the effect of turning 25 man guilds into the lesser "zerg it for quick gear" type where you gear up then leave for a 10 man guild for more serious progression work.
    Last edited by Astemus; 10-07-2009 at 10:25 AM.
    "Ultimately, making the blanket statement '25m content is harder, period' is at best an overstatement and at worst ignorant drivel." Garrek

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