News about the changes in the raiding system came out last Monday and a lot of my guild mates started shouting, “The sky is falling!” causing a bit of uncertainty in our guild come Cataclysm.
In a nutshell, Blizzard is planning to implement the following changes to the raid system when the expansion comes along:
- 10-Man and 25-Man raids will share the same lockout.
- 10-Man and 25-Man raids difficulty will be as close as possible to each other.
- 10-Man and 25-Man raids will drop the exact same loot, but 25-man will drop a higher quantity of items.
- Normal versus Heroic mode will be chosen on a per-boss basis in Cataclysm raids, the same way it works in Icecrown Citadel
- For the first few raid tiers, our plan is to provide multiple smaller raids. Instead of one raid with eleven bosses, you might have a five-boss raid as well as a six-boss raid.
My guild is a casual raiding guild (with around 20-30 regular raiders) so news of having a single lockout for both the 10 and 25 player modes came as a shock. Even though we have regular 25-man raids during weekends, we have 2 10-man raids that are very important to our raid progression, as well.
Our 10-man raids serve as venue for us to be familiar with the fights, and of course to get gear so we can be ready for the 25 man raids. The 10 man raids definitely make our lives easier since the only thing we have to worry about is the group synergy, since we already have the gear and the experience.
Basically, with the new changes, if you want to do both 10 and 25 man raid in a single week, you will need to do so on two different toons.
And for a casual raiding guild, that definitely poses a problem as not everyone has time to actually level up and gear 2 different toons so early in the expansion.
I’m sure though that the hardcore players and guilds out there are rejoicing, like, “FINALLY, we get to be L33T again!” I have to admit, the Wrath of the Lich King expansion was definitely casual-player friendly. Too casual-friendly, I think! So even though the new Cataclysm changes are appearing to be a bit hard on casual players, I personally think Blizzard is just balancing it all out for the hard-core players, too.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned after 5 years of playing World of Warcraft, Blizzard is definitely an expert when it comes to game balance.