Monday, January 12, 2009

Why Ten Mans Popularity Will Decline

I think that Blizzard made an acceptable decision to release raids as both ten and twenty five man versions.
Kara & ZA were a huge success in their eyes. Both were small enough for pugs to run with a strong organizer. Kara was entry level raiding that was challenging but manageable for players who ran heroics. ZA showed that ten mans could come in multiple difficulties. Therefore, they decided to continue making ten man instances that kept getting harder.

I was originally a little angry about this idea, as I felt that seeing the higher content was a reward for conquering hard encounters / progressing. But since then, considering the next point, I realize that higher end twenty-five man raiding guilds really won't have tons of general-chat company in Uludar / Icecrown / ect.

I think that 10-Mans of higher tiers will be less popular, and ultimately fail to be the Holy Grail for "Casual Players".
There were many people who, as part of small groups, beat ZA in only Heroic & 10-Man gear. These people have a ton to look forward to in Wrath. There were far, far more who screamed that it was too hard, tuned for T5/T6 gear levels, and went back to badge farming in Kara.

Naxx-10, currently, is easy. I'm not saying this from the "I roll in there with 9 other T7.5 geared players and train the entire wing's bosses together and AoE them down" stance. I'm attempting to say it from the "have raided in all three expansions, and am looking at gear requirements + encounter complexity" stance. I've gone in there with a wide mix of people, and even nights when its mostly green/blue geared players with no idea about the bosses, we can still beat the encounter with 1-2 tries. It sort of reminds me of UBRS, except that it drops epics.

I think that for a large majority of the "casual", "unenchanted greens are good enough, boss strat illiterate, lolwut's a theory craft" WoW player base, Naxx-10 is the end of the line, just as Kara was. If T8 is half as hard as I'm hoping for, the effort required will be enough to keep these players at bay - only now, they can't claim raid size as the barrier to higher content.

There will be guilds/players that go all the way only raiding ten man content, but they are a small minority. Most of these players that have the drive to conquer hard content get themselves into 25-Man raiding guilds. Only people whom have some specific preference / constraint that limits them to ten mans, and is a stronger pull then the lure of more "epic" feeling encounters and better loot, will end up in a "hardcore" ten man guild.

For the people that go this distance as a ten man guild: /salute.
For the people who can't: Do you prefer it to be called Kararamas or Naxxazan?


7echno7im said...

I agree 100%. I, too, was skeptical about the same content being offered for 10 and 25 man raids, but Blizzard actually tuned it really well as far as its rewards. Naxx 25 picks up where 10 left off. The same goes for Malygos and Sartharion. Overall, looking back, I am glad they offered the same content in both version. The 10 man just provided me a playground to get use to the encounters so we could progress quicker in 25 mans.

Veneretio said...

Kararamas is too hard to spell so clearly it should be Naxxazan.

I'm interested to see how it all plays out. I agree that it's likely to be a rude awakening for casual guilds just as ZA was too.

What I've found most interesting about this process though is that Maylgos 25 is easier than 10. Sartharion 25 is easier than 10 too. We may find that in the future, the truly hardcore guilds will be the 10-man ones if the 10-man hard-modes continue to present more challenging encounters.

Franklin said...

My guild will probably only ever do 10 mans. This is for two reasons:

1. I only really roll with enough "dedicated" raiders to fill out a 10 man. We're just not that large, but we have that baker's dozen of guys who want to progress with their friends. 10 man content is great for us.

2. I have a crap internet connection. 25 man boss fights lag me right offline. Not a good thing for your main tank.

ZA was a pain for us. Very challenging. We weren't able to do a full clear pre-nerf, and that's not a bad thing - it gave us something to work on.

At the same time, I sort of hated that instance - not because of the difficulty, but just because the whole theme and atmosphere was lousy, IMO. Troll culture and lore does nothing for me. Just a personal preference, I guess.