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Thread: The Weekly Marmot - Is 25man Raiding Dying?

  1. #21
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    Perhaps it would help to get off the rather emotive and poorly defined term "dying", and instead be more specific. Allow me to propose a more accurate problem statement:

    "25 man raiding appears to be in an irreversible decline, to the extent that the vast majority of raid groups are choosing the smaller raid size because it is easier to organise and sustain a small raid group, irrespective of whether the individual players prefer the experience of large raid encounters. At the current rate of decline, 25 man progression raiding will be reduced to a niche of elite guilds".

  2. #22
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    I would accept that statement swelt.
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  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by swelt View Post
    Perhaps it would help to get off the rather emotive and poorly defined term "dying", and instead be more specific. Allow me to propose a more accurate problem statement:

    "25 man raiding appears to be in an irreversible decline, to the extent that the vast majority of raid groups are choosing the smaller raid size because it is easier to organise and sustain a small raid group, irrespective of whether the individual players prefer the experience of large raid encounters. At the current rate of decline, 25 man progression raiding will be reduced to a niche of elite guilds".
    It basically boils down to the ease of running a 10 man guild outweighs the enjoyment of running a 25 man if thats the format you prefer.

    So if you prefer 10mans you going to form a 10 man raiding guild.
    If you like 10s and 25s equally you going to form a 10 man raiding guild.
    If you only want to raid 25s you are going to form a 25 man raiding guild.

    Just on that simplistic analogy it already favours 66% towards 10man, so blizz needs to throw the proverbial bone at 25 man raiding if they plan to reverse the decline.

  4. #24
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    Watching this video made me confused a bit, and for once i dont agree with what youre saying.

    I have been raiding since wow was released and have always been in high end 25man raiding guilds.
    Currently I was in a 25man heroic DS Guild; we got to 3/8 DS heroic (cleared all old tier content also) Then guild the disbanded.

    A 10man was formed with the same people from this guild, we are now 6/8 heroic and are very close to spine and we did this progression in 2 weeks.

    So I have seen both sides of the coin.

    The simple fact is if you're not a super hardcore wow player but you want todown all current content 10man is the fastest way to do it.
    Last edited by Naught; 02-22-2012 at 09:37 PM.

  5. #25
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    On the two servers that I play on - 25man isn't dying, it's dead. Over a dozen 25man raiding guilds during wrath clearing content and now only 1 on each that has cleared normal, and has 1 H kill each. And, in those clears/kills they almost always have pugs. 10man is so much easier to schedule, much less organizing and dealing with personality conflicts that with the loot normalization, makes 10man the smart man's raiding size. I don't have a problem with 10s by themselves, but it seems that the game is again working to keep groups as small as possible (perhaps to combat perceived subscriber drops - real or imagined) so that more can see all the content.

  6. #26
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    The other "problem" 10 mans present to 25s is that really solid players hide in them. This sounds weird but hear me out. Before Cata, if you wanted to really raid... I mean... you COULD raid in 10s, but because the difficulty was purposefully tuned down and the gear wasn't as good, if you really wanted to seriously raid, you raiding 25s. So even people that might have preferred smaller friend groups went to larger guilds. It was also easier to pick up and find people that were just pugging kara but were actually usually very good.

    Now though, 10 man offers the same rewards, so people often elect to just not deal with a lot of the other drama that comes with trying to find 25 people you get along with as opposed to 10. So previously when you could make a 25 man guild that would pick up people that just wanted to raid, now 25 mans have serious recruiting problems. Unless you're a really high ranked 25 man guild on a really solid server, it's SOOOOO HARD to recruit to 25s now. It's ridiculous.
    [Today 09:38 AM] Reev: The older I get, the more I think those Greek philosophers were just annoying hipsters.
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by swelt View Post
    Perhaps it would help to get off the rather emotive and poorly defined term "dying", and instead be more specific. Allow me to propose a more accurate problem statement:

    "25 man raiding appears to be in an irreversible decline, to the extent that the vast majority of raid groups are choosing the smaller raid size because it is easier to organise and sustain a small raid group, irrespective of whether the individual players prefer the experience of large raid encounters. At the current rate of decline, 25 man progression raiding will be reduced to a niche of elite guilds".
    I don't think the 'niche of elite guilds' is necessarily true. On my server, the better progressed guilds are 10 mans. There's 1 25man on both horde and alliance so it's possible to raid that format but since the better guilds are 10 man there is a trade off.

    From my experience, there may be some people who want to raid 25 and are forced to run 10 mans as a matter of circumstance. I think you could argue that is one of the problems with the current system. However, in wotlk far more people were forced to run 25 man because it offered more competitive gear. It's just bad design for people to be forced to run content because they have to rather than why they want to. The incentive for running 25 man should be because that is the format you want to run.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by fengosa View Post
    I don't think the 'niche of elite guilds' is necessarily true. On my server, the better progressed guilds are 10 mans. There's 1 25man on both horde and alliance so it's possible to raid that format but since the better guilds are 10 man there is a trade off.

    From my experience, there may be some people who want to raid 25 and are forced to run 10 mans as a matter of circumstance. I think you could argue that is one of the problems with the current system. However, in wotlk far more people were forced to run 25 man because it offered more competitive gear. It's just bad design for people to be forced to run content because they have to rather than why they want to. The incentive for running 25 man should be because that is the format you want to run.
    Thats the biggest issue currently with most 25 man guilds. Forced to lower standards on recruitment for raiding. This lowering effects progression, and the quality of recruits you get to replace the normal loss of players. This then drives away people wanting to progress from your raid roster, or from even wanting to apply to your guild. Its currently a self feeding cycle for a lot of 25 man guilds. It may be a slow burn, but it is happening.

    Does that mean 25 man raiding is going to die out? No, it won't happen, there will always be 25 man guilds as long as blizzard support it. But as fewer and fewer guilds are willing to run 25 mans. The bar for entry into the remaining progression 25 man guilds will continue to rise. Because the middle of the road progression 25 mans will cease to exists, or reform into 10 mans.

    With all that said, I don't see how anyone can say that we don't have an issue currently with 25 mans.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zalra View Post
    Thats the biggest issue currently with most 25 man guilds. Forced to lower standards on recruitment for raiding. This lowering effects progression, and the quality of recruits you get to replace the normal loss of players. This then drives away people wanting to progress from your raid roster, or from even wanting to apply to your guild. Its currently a self feeding cycle for a lot of 25 man guilds. It may be a slow burn, but it is happening.

    Does that mean 25 man raiding is going to die out? No, it won't happen, there will always be 25 man guilds as long as blizzard support it. But as fewer and fewer guilds are willing to run 25 mans. The bar for entry into the remaining progression 25 man guilds will continue to rise. Because the middle of the road progression 25 mans will cease to exists, or reform into 10 mans.

    With all that said, I don't see how anyone can say that we don't have an issue currently with 25 mans.
    Oh man Quoted For Truth. That's exactly what happened to GNB. Or sometimes even IF you find high caliber players, their raiding philosophies are so different and just end up pissing people off.
    [Today 09:38 AM] Reev: The older I get, the more I think those Greek philosophers were just annoying hipsters.
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  10. #30
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    All I can say for certain is that 25 man is not well. I see a lot of arguments here over the semantics of the term "dying" ... but in the end many servers are now totally barren of 25 man options which means players have to either choose to stay with their friends/community and raid 10 man or leave it all behind to raid 25 man with strangers on a new server. That's a fallacious choice, or a philosophical fallacy of choice argument ... or rather for those people there is no choice.

    Ultimately there has to be some minimum critical mass of 25 man raids on a server for it to survive at all as an option so saying that there's still 2000 hardcore 25 man raids is useless if that averages out to 2 per server ... that's just not enough. Yes some servers will be healthy with 5-10 of those 2000 but others will be (and in fact are) completely devoid of 25 man health.

    That said as has been pointed out the rate of "newly formed guilds choosing to form 25 man raids" is near-zero. I would honestly be amazed if it was above 5% even with no numbers to back it up. This means the problem will never self-correct. Natural attrition is currently MUCH higher than new 25 man guild formation. I am fortunate to be in a solid 25 man guild on a server with 2-3 other 25 man guild options (for now) so I suspect we are stable enough ... however the situation can change quickly. When any of those other guilds falls apart our guild is also significantly affected. If/when my 25 man guild falls apart ... I am basically SoL.

    Argue over the semantics of "dying" all you want ... I will put good money that without a change or stimulus to do 25 mans, MoP will certainly field a continually declining number of 25 mans (by percentage, of course) which is the precise trend we've witnessed since the beginning of cataclysm.

    Lore's point was entirely valid to address the significant initial drop when Cataclysm landed ... but it completely fails to address the continual decline beyond that which is indeed indicative of a serious issue that can currently only end in ruin.
    Last edited by feralminded; 02-22-2012 at 09:12 AM.
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  11. #31
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    I will concede that 25man's aren't dying. But they do have a terminal illness. And I think that's an accurate analogy when it comes to human health.
    [Today 06:48 PM] Ion:swimming in a natural body of water ISN'T acceptable...it's momentarily tolerable

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by feralminded View Post

    Lore's point was entirely valid to address the significant initial drop when Cataclysm landed ... but it completely fails to address the continual decline beyond that which is indeed indicative of a serious issue that can currently only end in ruin.
    I don’t think he discusses it, because he doesn’t believe it’s a real issue. Just even based off his responses to a few posts in this thread. Its just people doing what they “really” want to, and not 25 mans are “dying”.

    The fact is though, that this won’t affect him the same way it will affect the normal 25 man raider. He’s a well known individual in wow, and a lot of people like him. His guild gets a lot of exposure when you compare to the average 25 man raiding guild, because of him. I’m not saying people are knocking down the door to get into Months Behind(or are they? =P ). But just by the nature of what he does, causes it. I watch his stream a lot, and see plenty of inquiries on how to join his guild. Your average 25 man doesn’t have this luxury of inadvertent recruitment. Mean it’s just the simple fact that lore will most likely never have to deal with the issue. He’ll almost assuredly never be forced to run 10 man, when he wants to run 25 man progression, due to a lack of quality recruits killing off his guild. Which is what’s happening to so many people.

    Mean in this ONE xpac, I have been in 3 25 man guilds. All of which have died off because of a lack of recruitment. I've been in more guilds this xpac, then the entirety of my time in wow.

  13. #33
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    There is a social psychology element involved. For people that usually do not know each other in real life it's hard for them to make a real connection with people and players they never physically meet. This does happen in MMO's to a certain degree. There is also the idea that these people group for and like to complete common goals. In Wow the two main goals(at least for raiders) have always been to kill the toughest bosses and obtain the BIS loot. Once Blizz decided to make the 10 and 25 mans "equal" in terms of toughness and drop exactly the same loot subscribers did exactly what you would predict. They grouped with people they felt a genuine connection with in order to acheive common goals. In a 25 man raiding guild you typically have 25-30 active raiders. It' much less likely that you connect with all of them then you would in a smaller group, plain and simple. I don't think 25 man's are dead, but they are certainly less appealing.

  14. #34
    It's psychology, yes...but it's probably simpler than that.

    Getting fewer players together is - by any reasonable measure - easier than getting more players together. Thus if forced to choose between 10-man and 25-man, people will declare 25-mans to just be dreadfully impossible and move to 10-mans. (Of course, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy because as more and more people flock to 10-mans, the 25-mans really DO become harder to fill, but that's another issue.)

    But EverQuest had a much lower population - and the server I played on was the lowest population server of all. But somehow we had THREE guilds that fielded ~72 man raids. If we could manage it there, how is 25-man just horribly impossible in WoW? It's not, of course.

    Years ago 40-man raids were the new hotness, and people who came from other games raved at how much easier it was to get "only" 40 people together. But then along came 20-man raids! Ah, now there's this much smaller raid size that everyone declared was easier to handle and - even though they were on separate progression paths from the 40 man raids - people still loved the simpler 20-man format and labeled 40-man as this huge, clunky, difficult-to-organize format.

    So then we move to TBC. Now the 40-mans are gone and we have nice, small 25-man raids. But wait!! There were also these nice, small 10-man raids. Once again, people declared that 10-man was easier to handle and organize and 25-mans were big and clunky, but people were still forced to do them for the real content/loot.

    So now we come to the WotLK/Cata era where 10 and 25 slowly began to converge until finally in Cata their content and loot were - at least in theory - equal. Naturally people flocked to the easier format and 25-mans have been declared this huge, clunky, unwieldy raid format that no one wants to touch.

    The natural progression, of course, is that eventually we'll have even smaller raid formats and people will declare 10-mans to be the big, clunky, archiaic format that no one wants to touch anymore. Hell, SWTOR already pared it down to 8-man raids. How long before WoW has "5-man raids"?

    The moral of the story is that people will tend toward the path of least resistance, and if you keep offering them new paths with lesser resistance, they'll keep flocking toward them and expecting even lesser resistant paths in the future. Not to mention that paring down the number of people needed to do things in an MMO eventually (Well, it already is) results in a game that's hardly an MMO at all.
    Last edited by Bovinity; 02-22-2012 at 10:23 AM.

  15. #35
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    I actually miss the days of 40-man raids. They were a serious pain the ass to organize and even more troublesome to keep everyone there and paying attention (pretty sure that our first C'thun kill only had about 35 people present because of AFK's). But, the size of the raids and having that many people fighting a single boss, just felt epic.

    The above, is why I prefer 25-man raids now days (I'd still do 40's if it were an option). The feel of a 25-man raid is much more "epic" than a 10-man. Maybe it's in my head, but that doesn't matter, I enjoy it more. Right now, if I want to be a part of any raiding guild on my realm and I mean ANY raiding guild, I have to do 10's. There are a couple of 25-man groups, but their progress is lacking and the 2 that remain seem to be struggling to raid consistently. Leaving the realm is not an option for me, because I have quite a few real life friends there. So, what have I done for raiding? I occasionally PuG a 10-man with people I know. But, otherwise I haven't raided anything significant in Cataclysm. 10-mans feel too much like the old UBRS, Strat or Scholo PuGs. I'm not saying that clearing 10-man content isn't an accomplishment, it just doesn't interest me because I don't have fun doing it.

    That being said -- The majority of people don't feel the way I do and, as Bov said, will choose the path of least resistance. At the given moment, 10-mans are the easiest way to raid and provide the same gear as 25-mans. It's an obvious choice to the majority of people.

  16. #36
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    The difference with EQ had nothing to do with raiding being the 'new hotness'. EQ raids weren't balanced around always having the maximum number of players the raid will allow. Tuning was nowhere close to as tight as in WoW and thats been a difference in fundamental game design philosophy. The fact that the raids weren't tuned tightly to the maximum number of players combined with the fact that loot was so much less common that you had to farm multiple tiers of content made it so that you could accomodate variations in attendance. In WoW the only outlet for accomodating attendance variation is pugging (which was non-existent in EQ). You can't progress your raid by e.g. going back to firelands with 22 people to farm gear whereas in EQ thats exactly what you would do on a low attendance day since there would always be people who needed gear from the previous tier or even further back than that. WoW raiding has evolved around low duration (compared to EQ where guilds would often raid for 30 hours a week) but extremely high attendance (even top EQ guilds had very few peole who made > 90% of the raid times) raiding because of this desire to have tightly tuned raids. WoW raid design philosophy really embraced the short-duration competitive aspect from RTS's more than EQ which was more focused on the continuous guild/character progression model of MUDs.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bovinity View Post
    It's psychology, yes...but it's probably simpler than that.
    I think there's a fair bit of psychology involved beyond even the simple organization of 25 people. I mean, look at the amount of drama that is involved in it. Just going off of Lore's original post .... I'm somewhat disinclined to even WANT to do 25 man raiding. Or raiding period anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bovinity View Post
    The moral of the story is that people will tend toward the path of least resistance, and if you keep offering them new paths with lesser resistance, they'll keep flocking toward them and expecting even lesser resistant paths in the future. Not to mention that paring down the number of people needed to do things in an MMO eventually (Well, it already is) results in a game that's hardly an MMO at all.
    I agree Bov. You make some damn good points, particularly with the EQ thing. At the same time though..... when you were playing EQ assembling 72 player raids.... what were the gear requirements? What was the min-maxing like? I would argue that it was probably more inclusive because you just wanted to get as many as you could. In some ways, the server density of WoW works against it. I'm not struggling just to find bodies.... there are plenty out there. The struggle is finding that perfect player that already has it all. The raider wants the "perfect wife" but in reality.... they're probably passing up good candidates, but are too closed-minded to see it.

    And I do agree. If you keep sliding the bar down, people will take the path of least resistance. And then apply a path of greater resistance to all who follow.

    If you want to see who's killing of 25 man raiding Lore...... go look in the mirror.

    If you want to see who's killing the community...... check the mirror again.

    No one tanks in a void.........

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bovinity View Post
    Not to mention that paring down the number of people needed to do things in an MMO eventually (Well, it already is) results in a game that's hardly an MMO at all.
    Well this is the real logical conclusion I personally fear. I'd rather play skyrim or mass effect or some other single player game that actually has a compelling story than play an MMO with 4 other people who matter to me. In the end I spent a good chunk of 2011 in a guild fielding 2-4 10 man raids and it really sucked. Outside of the 11 people in my raid, the other ~30 people in the guild really didn't matter to me in any way because I had no real reason to interact with them. Sure I sometimes dungeoned with them (although this happened far less over time), sometimes chatted with them, but largely they were strangers to me. I managed to get back into my previous 25 man guild for Dragonsoul and now there's ~30 people I regularly interact with and it's a much better social experience because I am in fact interacting with most of the people in my guild and therefore care more if they ask for help outside of raids and get their humor/jokes or whatever. I don't feel like half (or more) of my guild are strangers I just happen to share a green chat with ... and that has improved my own personal experience in game. The shared objective of raiding goes a long ways to forging real human connections.
    Last edited by feralminded; 02-22-2012 at 11:46 AM.
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  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aggathon View Post
    Unless you're a really high ranked 25 man guild on a really solid server, it's SOOOOO HARD to recruit to 25s now. It's ridiculous.
    So you're saying that since 10-man is now an equal or at least extremely good option, you no longer 'own' the recruiting like you once did, because some good players would rather run 10, *and can now do so?* I don't see a problem with that. 25-man shouldn't have a divine right to recruiting good players.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by mavfin View Post
    So you're saying that since 10-man is now an equal or at least extremely good option, you no longer 'own' the recruiting like you once did, because some good players would rather run 10, *and can now do so?* I don't see a problem with that. 25-man shouldn't have a divine right to recruiting good players.
    This seems unnecessarily caustic and reeks of personal investment. In the end if blizzard wants both formats to exist they need to put systems in place that encourage/discourage them such that they can both survive ... otherwise they might as well completely do away with one or the other ... in the end this is the entire point of this discussion. Obviously you have a strong dislike for either 25mans, Aggathon, or both ... but keep it impersonal if you want to be taken seriously.
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