When warlords comes out heroic raiding with no longer be 10 or 25 man, it will be 20 and it will be called mythic. One single format instead of two. For the 10 man heroic guild they face an uphill battle to get more members and for the 25 man heroic guild they face the unenviable task of deciding which 5 excellent players you will have to leave on the bench and hope you do not lose.
I would be willing to guess that adding 10 quality players that fit with your team will be harder for the majority of 10 man guilds moving onward than choosing which 5 to lose will be for a 25 man team. Just expansion turn over alone will likely settle which 5 will not be coming for a fair but of the 25 man guilds as 5 people will just disappear but for a 10 man there will not be 10 people just magically appearing to fill their needs. But it will still be something both teams need to look forward on and start making some hard decisions.
This change has made for a hot bed of conversation on the forums including many people making threads how to "fix" mythic. As if something someone knows absolutely nothing about could be considered broken. I understand their issues but you can not say something is broken without first using it. Just my opinion of course for whatever little it is worth.
I know my guild is one of those 10 man guilds that is in a fair position if we can keep everyone going into warlords. As we have a fledgling 25 man that is not very good and a few 10 man teams, we have a wealth of players to choose from, even if our over all ability is not exactly heroic level. But most guilds small and large and worried about mythic. Even mine and the seemingly good position we are in.
I will make no guaranteed prediction on if this will succeed or not except to say I think it will, in time. I will however share three reasons I think that moving to a single raid size of 20 for heroic raiding is the real deal and a great change for the heroic raiding scene.
1) 10 vs 25:
The 10 vs 25 argument is as old as the day you could start doing raids in 2 different sizes in wrath. Even when 10s offered lesser gear and were considered lesser by everyone the merits and / or difficulties of 10 vs 25 have always been a hot topic.
When the raids were equalized in cataclysm in terms of gear the hot topic got even hotter. If you wanted to start a "fight" in any thread about raiding all you ever needed to do is add one small line such as "it was in 10 man so it doesn't count" or "25s are easier because there is less individual responsibility". No matter what side you took you could be sure that any such comment calling the other side easier would avalanche into a name calling flame fest in a matter of no time.
I like to argue the points myself because I find it fun. I could present you with a dozen facts that prove 10s are harder and another dozens facts that prove 25s are harder. In the end there is no real answer if you just want to throw around the facts. There is proof that you could read to mean either.
Do you want to know which is harder? I'll give you a hint. The hardest one is the one you do first. I do 10s first so I blow through 25s and they seem like a joke. If you did 25s first you would blow through 10s like they are a joke. So there you go, the last fact of 10 vs 25 there will ever be. Whichever you learn the fight on will be harder because that is where you do all your wiping, the other one you already know when you do it and if everyone else knows it like you do, it will be easy.
Lets forget the opinions of it, lets look at what those opinions do. They divide the community. This community is in a bad place to begin with, the last thing it needs is more dotted lines to separate us. Every time a 10 vs 25 thread starts it becomes people insulting others for their preferred mode of progression on heroic content. One size now fits all. A mythic raider will be a mythic raider. They will not be the "lowly 10 man raider" or the "easy mode 25 man raider". They will just be the mythic raider.
This is something that can only be a good step forward for the community. Something that brings us together, not drags us apart.
No more will we need 10 man and 25 man guides, we will just need mythic guides. There will no longer be a need for knowing what works in one format and what does in another. There will be no more "oh crap I forgot there are 2 adds in 25 man" moments like the first time we did sha in 25. Sorry guys.
The top tier will be one single tier where everyone is playing on equal footing and the community can work together to conquer it instead of against each other saying one is better than the other.
2) Ease of Entry:
While I can not comment on the difficulty of mythic right now, no one really can, I can tell you that making the step up to mythic raiding will be a lot easier now. How can I make such a bold statement you might ask and because this is my blog I might just tell you. Okay, not might, I will.
Even if you are a strict 10 man guild right now you most likely have a few back ups sitting around. I know we have 1 spare tank waiting to fill in and 1 spare healer waiting to fill in as well as three capable damage dealers. That means my main 10 man team is really a 15 man team.
While right now that means nothing except I need to juggle people around it means a lot come warlords. A hell of a lot. Because my main 10 man team is already 15 strong. 15 people that have been working together for a while. And guess what, we can raid heroic (old normal) together instead of making 5 people rotate. Being heroic (old normal) is going to be using the new flexible technology we can effectively move into it with 15 capable people.
In doing that we can also grow, we can test out 10 new people each week while clearing heroic (old normal). So we can build up to our mythic team without having to rotate anyone in and out. This means all 15 get a chance at gear each week instead of trying to gear up 15 people 10 at a time.
The entry level to mythic will be the best it has ever been to enter top tier raiding before. I am not talking about difficulty here, I am talking about building the team to do it.
Being heroic and mythic will be on separate lock outs (I believe) that means you can work on your mythic progress with those people you do have sitting on the side lines still getting a heroic clear each week, with the mains and not trying to have to do alt runs or with lesser skilled fill ins.
As it stands now, when my 10 man is doing heroics that means they can not help in the 25 that is doing normals. When those main 10 people from the heroic team are not in the 25, the 25 suffers a great deal. Just as an idea, the one week the mains from the 10 all sat out, the 25 man could only get 2 bosses down. Yeah, ouch. You can say that again.
The fact you can run heroic and mythic side by side and heroic will be using the flex mode you can test new players out, help other players get gear, and keep those that are sitting out of the mythic that week still feel as if they are part of the bigger picture instead of being stuck in a group that will only get 2 bosses down because it is their week to ride the bench.
For guilds like mine, the casual guild of average ability, this is a huge bonus. More so than it will be to the guilds that are normally pressing heroic (soon to be mythic). When the time does come for us to move to mythic we will have been dragging more and more people with us in heroic and testing them out to see who can come because they are ready for it.
Recruiting is going to even easier too. When I want to recruit and see how someone does I have to ask someone to sit out or ask them to come to the 25 or one of the other 10s. But if I want to see them while getting a lot of bosses down to see a full range of their ability, one of the main team need to sit out. No one likes riding the bench. But with the flex heroic I can ask them to sit if we are full, as they will be raiding the mythic the next day, and they will not mind at all because they are not missing anything. I can test 2, 5, maybe even 10 players at the same time. I can't do that now. I will not need to bring them to mythic to test them out. I can bring them on heroic, and still be able to raid mythic with them later that week if I do want them along. How is that for being great for recruitment? Tell someone impress me tonight and we might have a spot for you in mythic tomorrow. Oh yeah.
I can use heroic flex to build my mythic team, whereas now, I need to hope and pray that people are willing to sit on the bench waiting. I need to hope and pray that when I ask someone to sit to squeeze in another person they do not get upset. I have to hope and pray that I do not lose my best people because they want to move to a 25 heroic team instead of being on a 10 heroic one. I have to hope and pray that they will not leave for a place where they can raid every week and not be asked to rotate.
Flex heroic leading into mythic just makes things so much easier to build up a team and so much easier to keep a team happy. The entry level to mythic, as far as building the team, will be easier than it has ever been.
3) Difficulty of Content:
Like anything else pertaining to the new mythic raiding I can not comment on the actual content, but I can comment on the "theory" of what it can become. Having a single raid size means a lot for development in terms of time spent and involvement as well as difficulty.
Having to only design one tier of the absolute top level of raiding will be a lot quicker than having to design it for two different raid sizes. It is no secret that balancing the top end bosses is a task and a half and it takes a great deal of time to find those correct numbers where something is not too easy, or not as hard as they intended it to be. Having to do that twice meant it took twice as long. Unless you really think they have 2 different teams working on 10 and 25. Just no.
When they will only need to work on balancing one size of the top tier of raiding it will mean that they will finish with it sooner than they normally do. The sooner they finish the sooner they can start on the next tier of raiding. You see where this is going right?
Then we have to look at the raid itself and the difficulty of it. Like I said, I can not comment on the difficulty as I do not know, but I can comment on the theory of it. As one of the developers said at blizzcon, paraphrasing of course, one size will allow them to do things they could have never done before.
What exactly did he mean by that? I will gladly tell you.
There were some mechanics that would work fine in 25 man that could not be tuned down to work in 10 man. It would either end up too easy or too hard, so the idea was dropped. With one size this means those such things would now be capable of being included. It works both ways as well. Some things would have been perfect for a smaller group but they could not figure out a way to make it for a larger one.
Then there are little things like I have heard others mention. A fight like the four horseman which needed four tanks is a lot easier to design for a group that you could see 4 tanks fitting in. It would allow for more fights of the sort. Or how about something more recent for an example, if any of you raid both 10 and 25 like I do.
Dark shaman. 25 man, easy as cake, the fight is a push over because we use three tanks. In 10 man, this week was the first time we ever downed it without at least 1 death because it is just chaotic with 2 tanks. The fight was designed for 25 man, it is easy on 25 man. It did not translate well to 10 man. In my humble opinion, dark shaman is the hardest fight in all of SoO for a 10 man team.
Being they will not be limited by concepts they can make work in 2 formats and can instead concentrate on the one size fits all raid that is mythic 20 and because of that we will see a plethora of new types of mechanics and fights. Just a guess, but I believe this is a pretty solid guess, we are going to see stuff at the mythic level that we would have never seen in a 10 man or a 25 man. Developing for one size only opens the doors to so many more things that can be done. Open doors are a good thing, don't you think. Or as Betty from Dead Like Me said, "an open door is an invitation." Don't know why I thought of that quote, just happened to pop into my head.
But speaking of invitations, the one size fits all mythic option in an invitation to make the top tier of raiding more difficult. How so you might ask? Heroic being flex. Yes, the heroic (old normal) being flex mode will open the doors to the ability to make mythic harder for those that really seek the challenge.
Being heroic will use the flex technology that means you can run it a second time and just not get loot. So this will allow you to run it multiple times to find new players that are better that can join your mythic team. By using your mains that can blow through normal fast and you can kill two birds with one stone. Even if you had done heroic already that week you can bring some trials in to test them out and run it with them. You can see how they do and funnel them all the gear at the same time so they can catch up, if need be. Not to mention you get to see how they can interact and work with the actual main raid team on their real characters, not alts.
Being you can do things like that, the bar of entry into mythic, difficulty wise, can be raised to a higher point, perhaps even a point no one has ever seen before. If you get stuck on a boss you can go back and do it in heroic (old normal) over and over again. You can do a heroic run for more gear, to test some players, to get some practice. You can now go clear heroic (old normal) and not have to wait until next week to continue your mythic (old heroic) progression. This can only mean that mythic actually HAS to be harder because there are so many other things you can do.
So while for someone like me that never has finished a tier where I killed the last boss on heroic, this might be a bad thing because it will make even the first boss harder, for those that seek the ultimate gaming challenge it allows the designers to come ever so closer to actually giving it to them. How can anyone see that as a bad thing? I can't, and if anything I am one of the people that would be hurt by it. So if I do not see it as a bad thing, I don't think it is. Bring on the real hard bosses. It will be great for the game and mythic 20 can make that possible.