Friday, November 15, 2013

3 Reasons Mythic 20 Man Raiding is the Real Deal.

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.


  1. I too think the raiding changes are all great. Honestly the current format of raiding is not really sustainable. Practically impossible to get new raiders into the scene past a flex level.

    Just curious do you not have a 3rd tank spec on your 10 man team? We go to the 3 tank strategy for that fight even on 10 Normal, and we killed it as progression in I think 4 pulls and have 1 shot it since then, it's definitely still the better start for 10 man if you can do it.

    1. Our first kill only took us 3 to get it with the two tank method. 4 if you count the one attempt we did one night when we ended there before we downed it the next week.

      We usually end the fight with 2 or 3 people dead. I think we should have got an achievement for doing it with everyone alive. lol

      We only have one person that "could" tank but he is one of the top 50 players in the world in his spec for DPS and I would rather not lose that. It is manageable, even if annoying.

      In our 25 we three tank most of the bosses actually. It makes so many fights way easier.

    2. In term of Shamans I've never understood why a third tank would make it easier. Maybe that would be necessary on heroic? I don't know as I don't know what the differences between normal and hc are. For normal though there's no issue at all with 2 tanks. In fact I think having 3 tanks would make it harder not easier, as we need the dps to kill the things, if the things don't die that's where the problems start.

      Killed it last night with a newly recruited tank. He was useless at shamans, he admitted he'd tried it on flex and failed miserably and normal obviously hits harder. We one shot it. Yes he died twice, yes I did have both bosses for a bit, including the last 15% or so on my own, yes my frost strike stacks went quite high a couple of times. However, we have some amazing healers in the guild and I blew some cds and did some kiting and it was fine. I'm also not that great shakes at tanking. I lay all the credit for my survival at the feet of our healers. I joke sometimes that they are carrying us through the raid, I shouldn't do that but they are very good, we are lucky to have such a strong healing team.

      Now if I'm with my usual co-tank then yes the rng is frustrating with all the purple crap but aside from that the fight isn't that bad. I probably dislike Nazgrim more than shamans but a third tank isn't necessary for that either, in a pinch the ret pally or the holy pally can taunt the warshaman if a tank swap is needed. The more dps the better on both fights and having a third tank would be against that. It's dps that means those bosses die, tanks just need to move about a bit/interrupt a few things. If the tanks screw up then yeah we wipe, but that's true with anything as the boss goes round munching dps if a tank makes a mistake. 3 tanks wouldn't help matters.

      So please tell me why 3 tanks is good? All I can see is less dps and that is bad.

    3. You have 2 tanks take the boss with the taunting debuff off to their own side or into the main hut that they originally spawn in. This negates a ton of mechanics that the rest of the raid has to deal with outside in the main area.

    4. Yes, as dimli stated, when you split the bosses onto different sides Orgrimmar, each person does half as many mechanics. We even split it up ranged and melee, so the melee don't have to follow around wavebinder, since he needs to be moved pretty constantly due to all the ground effects/slimes. Not having any slimes by your melee saves lives. Also it makes the fight faceroll.

    5. As the others stated, having a third tank really negates a bunch of the mechanics that make the fight have the difficulty it does. Sure, avoiding the abilities is easy enough once you know how to do it, but not having to deal with them at all is even easier.

      If your DPS is high enough having the 3rd tank helps, not hinders, the process.

      As Del said, in 25 where it is easy to afford the 3rd tank, dividing it up with melee and ranged makes the damage dealer actually do MORE DPS which more than makes up for using a third tank.

    6. @taitrina Less movement = more dps
      But ye, only did 3 tanks on hc so not needed on norm, especially now when iLvl is probably 560+

  2. I'm not sure I should comment on this post. I typed up a really long comment and then deleted it, I then tried to write another one and deleted that too. Both of them were just moaning really as basically I'm scared. I need to have a little more faith I think but I don't see the positives in the new system, I see it's negatives and how it could all go terribly wrong.

    That's less to do with the new system and more to do with how my guild handles things. I juggle signups. I'm sure you have it too where some players are stronger than others, it's not something I like to think about and I feel mean but it's true. So when I do confirms I'm careful in my selection so that we only have a couple of the weaker players, and I try not to pick them at all on progress nights though I don't usually get my wish. It's the old problem. Halfway through Throne half a dozen raiders quit the guild as they were fed up of having to raid with others that weren't as good as them. The problem then, as now, is that we don't have 10 strong players that sign every raid, if we didn't have those weaker players then raid cancelled. We need them.

    The thing is no-one in the guild ever says not even more politely "you're not coming tonight as you're not up to it" though I'm sure they aren't stupid and have noticed their pattern of confirms. With flex I won't be able to manage who comes and when, so they'll get invited to the raid and then what happens? No-one has ever been kicked from a raid for performing badly, though I have called a raid or two early as we've been going nowhere thanks to it. Thankfully it's not very often, last incidence was 5th boss in Throne though I was tempted with Garrosh this week.

    So it's the system it's the guild, we don't have the guidelines and I don't think I'd have the backup to enforce them. I like that I won't have to bench people, I did hate doing that, but I do worry about the consequences. I like 10 man, I like the small size, I like that I can make more of a difference in it. My objections to mythic are all selfish like that. My objections to flex are more rooted in concern than selfishness but there's some of that there too. The stars aligned and I had a heroic moment on wednesday, couldn't do it again if I tried but we all like those moments don't we? When we get things right, it's egotistical but it only happens once in a blue moon. I soloed the last 10% of Galkaras, took a while and I still can't quite believe I didn't die. Healers weren't to be out done, on thursday they got to 47 stacks without hero of the adrenaline thing, I thought it had bugged out, that was truly impressive. I don't think these feats would be possible in a larger raid, as a few people wouldn't have such an impact. It's why I like 10, well I like 10 for lots of reasons but that's a big one.

    Anyway the new raid system is the new reality and we'll adjust or die. I have to say it does mean I'm not really looking forward to the expansion as much as I'd like, I've got a bit of nervous dread going on.

    1. You are most definitely not alone. Many, a great many it seems, only see the negatives of it. In all honesty I could have just as easily written a post outlining all the negatives about the new system, I just made a choice to be positive and support this system as I see the potential of it. I know, odd for the grumpy one right?

      You have to start handling flex as if it were normal, as it will soon be normal. I've regretfully needed to tell people they can not come on flex. We have 35-40 sign ups and I can only fit 25 in. So I am honest with people and tell them "we are taking some of the weaker people in part one and two but they can not come for three and four". It is not a fun place to be telling people they are not good enough for a mode that everyone is supposed to be able to do but the fact is, some just aren't good enough for it. Sad to say, but it is true. It is hard, but it is the new world. Our first time in 3 and 4 I only took 14, not even 25. Hard decisions sure, but they had to be made. Did I mention I don't like being the raid leader? This is one of the reasons I would rather not be. But I grin and bear it. You soon might be in the same place as me, telling people they can not come to flex.

      I am nervous too, you are not alone.

  3. I don't have much experience with heroic-mode raiding lately, it's been a while since I did it with any frequency, but all I'll say is that the changes they're making actually have me considering getting back into it for WoD. For those worried that the recruiting pool won't be there, it might not be that bad, just be ready to look for those people when they make themselves known. Plus, even if your server is slow and there aren't people out there NOW to recruit (although there probably are), connected realms will likely change that before WoD hits. Just be ready when the opportunities present themselves.

    1. I think that is key. The 10 mans looking to grow need to be inviting people they might not normally have and letting them grow with them. They might be surprised there are many really great player out there that just never found a place for themselves.