On Dungeon Changes

First off, I’ll just throw out that on the whole, I’m happy with the currently proposed changes to Cataclysm dungeons.  Secondly, I’m going to reiterate my stance of: until I see it, I don’t believe it.  This is not going to be a cheerleader fest for the changes, nor a massive rant on how the changes will ruin the game.  Everyone just needs to take an upper OR downer, and relax until shizz go live.  Until then, it’s nothing but speculation.

That being said, there’s a few things I wanted to address to stretch out some comments I’ve made (Especially on Twitter–OMG, don’t ever make a comment on a hot-topic something or other then walk away from Twitter–it melts the system into a wall of crap you can’t read later).

Why Run 25’s?

In essence, I wonder why I would want to run 25 man dungeons.  I understand why OTHER people might want to run them, but having moved to a 25-man raiding guild, I can say, they’re not my favorite raid size.

I loved 40-man raiding, primarily because they had teams built right in.  As an officer, you coordinated with other officers and your small team.  We’re talking 10-12 people for the most part.

When 25-man raiding came out in BC, I was a tank.  I coordinated with the healing team, and my fellow tanks.  Again, 10-12 people for the most part.

With WotLK, I was involved in a 10-man progression guild.  As the GM, I dealt with approximately 10-15 people on a consistent basis, and the rest was guild chat.

Then I joined a 25-man raiding guild again.  I’m a healer.  I’m not an officer.  I deal with 5-8 people on a good day.

So, for most of my WoW career, I have dealt with and coordinated between 5-15 people for raiding environments.  Anything larger than that starts to feel unwieldy.  Add on top of that I am not currently an officer.  My voice is not very large when it comes to choosing who I work with.  I don’t like/respect some of the people in my raid on whom I am currently forced to rely.  If I was an officer, I would be required to coordinate larger groups of people than I’m comfortable with: 25-35 at a minimum.  See where I’m going with this?  My natural environment, the one where I think people actual work best together is a small 10-15 person group.  25 isn’t quite big enough to break into smaller groups, or if you do, they seem to small.  10 isn’t quite as big as I’d like, but it’s more comfortable for me as a raider.

Add on top of that the feel between a 10 and 25 man raid.  Every 10-man I’ve run has been focused, surgical, and easy to manage.  You wanna know the even better part.  There’s more time for fun!  Because the group is smaller, the roles are more clearly defined, and everyone can keep an eye on everyone, there is more time to goof off, talk, laugh and joke without stepping on anyone’s toes.  My experience in 25 man raids is just the opposite.  You have the spokesman “fun” people–if you had more than a few, the raid would never get anywhere.  Stragglers abound.  There always seems to be the one guy who can’t seem to learn the steps to the fight, and no one is really watching him despite his repeated failures, because there are too many other bars/toons/effects to watch.  This likely is largely determined by my guild choices, but I am a firm believer in being good at the game, experiencing the content, and not having a 2nd or 3rd job.

I Don’t Care What Bonzo Runs

You wanna know something else: I don’t keep up with the Jones’.  When I was running a 10-man strict guild, I was thrilled at our progress, and didn’t ever boo-hoo at my gear.  It wasn’t important.  I didn’t need that gear for my content so who cares. Obviously, a lot of players do care.  If it’s not enough fun for you to run content your way, in your preferred guild style, size, and still see the same content.  I don’t get that, but ok, I hear you.  What I don’t get is current 25-man guilds basically pulling the same story different day complaining of 10-man raiders gaining the same gear.  It doesn’t affect you, why do you care?  Weren’t you running 25-man dungeons already?  Are you competing here?  Loot tables don’t change from week to week, and that is really the only “tangible” reward we gain from raiding.  Keep your nose in your own raids, and worry about your own problems.

Like recruitment.  That I imagine is going to be a headache.  Without the people interested solely in the better iLevels, I do imagine that maintaining mid-level 25-man raiding guilds will be difficult.  People will still flock to established server-1st guilds, because, well there’s prestige in being a “top” guild, right?  I sympathize with people who honestly enjoy the biggest raid they can get their hands on, because, well its epic.  If 40-man raiding came back, I’d be their in an instant, because I definitely understand the feeling of epicness.  If you watched an AQ gate open: now that was epic–an entire server working together to change the game-world.

Shared Lockouts

Yay, I don’t have to run 10 and 25 man versions every week.  Oh wait, I’m benched.  Do I get to run tomorrow?  Maybe.  Hmmm, I’ll just go run this 10-man *doh*  Monday morning rolls around, I’m without any new dungeon experience, which snowballs into me being the odd-man out again next week, but I keep waiting, and I keep getting put on the back burner.  Most people seem pretty happy with this one, but I’m… undecided.  If dungeons release in Cata like they did in Wrath, I’m not sure I’ll like it.  BC dungeons gave you several options to choose from every week.  Wrath dungeons came in stages, leaving less desire to run “older” raids once the new ones came out.  And let’s not even discuss heroics, the bastard dungeons.  I have a main because I like to play my main.  If I’m in an unsure status on my sign-ups of weekly runs, I’d like the flexibility to run something else when I have committed time to being in a raid; however, pulling teeth to get a group together for no reward–no useful badges, no useful gear–makes it all seem pointless.  I’ll reserve judgement on this, but I am a little apprehensive to see how the raids form up before I decide yay or nay.

Final Word

So, my couple of copper on the dungeon system.  Like always, I want more information before I give a solid thumbs up or down, but these are my initial thoughts.  If I had my preference, I would run a 10-man group in my current guild: I like the epic big chat, and the interaction with a ton of folks, but I don’t like the impersonal and unwieldy 25-man groups that we generally field.  I think the gear issue is irrelevant on either side of the fence, but I’m hoping this means that 10-man raiders will have a chance to score some of the “special” mounts and things that were locked into 25-man dungeons.  Stats, meh, but fun items being restricted always seemed unfair!  However, with the new tuning they’re talking about, having comparable stats sounds like a very, very good thing.  Until we see how the dungeons are released, and the difficulty and fun of the new heroics, shared lockouts could be good or bad in my opinion.  I don’t know why I worry–there have been very few times in my entire WoW career that I’ve been benched–but I can’t help but feel for the “new guy” who is left at the end of the week without any raiding done because he was “taking one for the team.”  All in all, I’m hopeful it’ll turn out how I want it to be, and y’all will just have to live with it ^^

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10 thoughts on “On Dungeon Changes

  1. on the point about shared lockouts, how would you feel if half of a raid tier was in one instance, while the other half would be in another? That way, although you might be benched for one, you could then have priority for the other. You'd get at least one raid a week, possibly two on lucky weeks.

    Would that seem a fair way of doing things?

    • I guess I'm curious because the current content has been either massive mutli-boss dungeons that take 2 raid nights minimum, or laughing jokes like ToC that was the ONLY tier content at the time. However, there are some small blue posts about 3-4 boss dungeons, which are single night raids. If they offered several of those and some big ones, if I missed the night for Onyxia let's say, I know I'd be free to run that on my own. However, on dungeons like Naxx, Ulduar, and ICC, I wouldn't want to save my lockout to another group if there is a potential that I'm needed for the guild run. And what about 25-man guilds that may have to pare down to a 10-man raid one night because of attendance? I ran Tuesday and got locked on boss 1 & 2. They ran Thursday as a 10-man (where I didn't make the cut) and downed bosses 3 & 4. I'm stuck twiddling my thumbs because there's nothing comparable at current tier level. QQ moar!

      Having each wing as a separate lockout would take care of my biggest concern there. If guild cleared wing 2 without me, I could pug it, while allowing me to come back for wing 3 when the guild needed me. An intriguing solution ^^

      • I think that's how I would see it working best. Two or three wings or dungeons (classic example is SSC and TK from TBC), each containing five bosses plus trash. At the start it takes two nights per instance to clear, but once you're proficient you can do them in a night each.

        It's better than Ony scale bosses because you go through the same level of set-up and logisitics for an Ony as you do an ICC, except that you're left thinking "now what" when you're done and the night is still young.

        Have short instances with enough meat on them to be satisfying, instead of one-shots that leave you feeling unsatisfied.

        • I'm actually personally awful about pugging content, but that's not the point–I want the option, and I think this would satisfy that. I agree that single boss dungeons often feel… lacking, and I'd much prefer a wing. Having a short 3-4 boss dungeon actually gives me a lot of hope for people who prefer to pug, or have incompatible guild schedules, because that is generally the best a pug can offer on a given night.

  2. I’m not sure what I think yet. 10-mans are more fun for all the reasons you listed as well as the fact that it would be much easier to build a team and learn the fights on regular well enough to actually be able to do them on hard. Unfortunately, I have more than 10 friends and I hate having to bench people (including myself).

    I agree that in lots of ways 40-mans felt less chaotic than 25-mans because of the team within the team aspect. Leading 40-mans was easier too because you could explain the basics and leave the details to the class/role leads. I have learned to really dislike raid leading and I know it has made me into a bad raid leader in the process (I swear, I was good before, really!). WTB good, calm, even-handed raid leader for 25-man raids so I don’t have to lead. 🙂

    WTH do we do about loot? Right now 10-mans are free roll, but if the gear is the same and we’re doing them instead of 25-mans rather than in addition to 25-mans, it seems like we’re going to need a loot system to accommodate.

    Can’t make decisions without more solid info, but definitely need to start discussing options.

    • Loot systems will have several issues, not the least of which is the problem of having not enough for 25-man and forming a 10-man team from the remainder. With this system, if you have 20 people, you won't be able to split into 2 ten man groups and then reform into a single entity later in the week, but will cause an irrevocable break for the cycle (assuming you didn't start at 25, and then pare down to 10).

      Definitely worth starting the conversation NOAH with your officers since Blizzard is proposing straight entry into raids at 85, instead of the heroics, grinding, crafting approach.

      And I'm all for sedition in the ranks and forming a few 10-man raiding teams so we can all hang in guild chat, but get some progression done in dungeons as well. Am I an elitist jerk, or what? 🙂

        • I'm still thinking I'm going to be leveling a tank first. It's going to be confusing changing my main and having all this Windsoar crap plastered everywhere ^^

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