Raid Difficulty

Sunday night, in about three hours, we knocked out Vault-25, OS-25 and two wings of Naxx-25. We were not moving terribly quickly – in fact, at times we were downright crawling along. Nothing major, but just the typical “15 extra people make things harder” problems.

These Heroic Raids are run by our guild, but we only bring about half the group on most nights. Another guild (basically a sister guild, both having apparently been spawned in the same guild-split ) bring several, and we have been mostly filling things out with a few others.

A negative here is that at least 5 people had to sit out of one fight or another because they had gotten themselves locked earlier in the week. As this was a scheduled event, this is crap. We may not need everyone for each zone (heck, we did the Vault with only 19) but it isn’t to much to ask that everyone be able to at least zone in. An appropriate amount of frustration was put forth, and I think all parties understand that going forward the raids are an ‘all or nothing’ event.

So, How are 25’s different?

In Tier 7, there isn’t really any difference in raid difficultly – in fact in a lot of ways the 10-man content is harder due to the increased importance of every single raider.  Loosing one dps in a 10-man hurts more than loosing two or three in a 25.  So the content isn’t harder, why do 25-mans give better loot?

The 25-man Tax.

The leap from Karazhan/ZA to Gruul/Mag/SSC taught me this lesson. Those 10-mans weren’t without drama and hurt feelings, but every 25-man run was a stress inducing slog. Back then content *was* tougher, but the real problem was the people management, the loot, and the coordination. These days, on Heroic Raid night when an officer growls ‘just a sec’ on Vent (accompanied by the background tap-tap-tap-tappity-tap a “/o WTF!”), and I know I that have a moment to stretch, or grab another tasty beverage,  I try to remember to say a prayer of thanks that I’m ‘just a raider’ &  ‘just a tank’.

Perhaps a recent example is in order: We have successfully been using a simple loot system in 10-mans – everyone pass on everything, we’ll /roll (or whatever) and then each person gets their item. Simple enough, but it has always made me nervous. Last night it burnt us. After Sartharion went down a Rogue rolled need on two epics. He wasn’t from our guild, or our sister guild – just a friend of a friend.

He correctly played the “$#!@- oops!” in raid chat.
Our raid leader correctly booted him.
His friend, playing the well known role, testified that “it must have been a mistake.. he didn’t understand the loot rules.. known him for years..”

In the end, he was offline within moments (guilt or embarrassment? Don’t know, don’t care) and within a few more moments we continued on as well. Everyone handled it calmly. No shouting or threats. There will be more loot, lets all get to Naxx. Oh.. and make sure to set Master Looter, right?

Did he intentionally ninja? is he just that stupid? Hard to say, and I’d really put it at even odds either way. I chalk this up to the 25-man tax. You bring 15 more people, the chances of this type of things happening goes way up.

This is the worst we’ve seen, and for that I should be thankful.  Truth is, we have a solid group of people, and more often than not have to force people to take items over objections of “It isn’t a huge upgrade for me.. let someone else take it!”

Starting next week we will be doing two nights of 25’s each reset, which should be plently of time to at least work on everything available.  I am actually looking forward to it, but only partly because “it is a challenge we haven’t conquered”,  and largely because there is better gear.  I do want to see the fights on both modes, but gear aside, I’d rather be farming with just 9 others every week..

A few days a youngish rogue said “Boy, I really miss 40-mans” in guild chat.  The immediate reply was “..then you never organized one!”.

True fact : that reply wasn’t from me, but from one of our current raid leaders

Another true fact : only because I was the slower typist

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