Monday, April 26, 2010

Cataclysm Raid Lockout Change

Oh my.

For those of you who haven't seen the news this morning, here's the meat of it:
  • 10-man and 25-man raids will share the same lockout.
  • 10-man and 25-man raids will drop the same items.
  • 10-man and 25-man raids will be tuned to as close to identical difficulty as possible.
  • To compensate for the logistical difficulties of organizing 25-man vs. 10-man raids, 25-man will drop a disproportionately high quantity of loot / badges, making it the more efficient way to gear more people faster.
  • Blizzard will be distancing themselves from the single epic 12-boss mega-raid, in favor of two or three smaller raids per tier.  More along the lines of TK and SSC, rather than the Naxx/Ulduar/ICC model featured with this expansion.
Huh.  Well, I like it overall, but I can't help but wonder how they're going to tune the specifics. 

Splitting tiers between two or more raids is certainly a welcome change. If my alt is pugging, I'd like to be able to pug more than just 1/3 of the bosses on a tier, then sitting around with a lockout that's never getting touched for the rest of the week.  On a related note, thank god I'll only have to do one raid per week per toon. TOC was horrid, four lockouts per week. Loot pinata or no, that was excessive.

How diverse of a 10-man lineup is raid difficulty going to be tuned to?  If I run three death knights, four priests, two warlocks, and a druid, will I even have a chance?  And if I bring in one of each class with every buff, debuff, and resistance available, will we destroy the content without breaking a sweat?  Not enough info here to make a judgment, but the fact that mages are getting Bloodlust implies that they're spreading the buff love around a lot more, hopefully making it easier to field an ideal 10-man raid composition.

I understand that they are going to need to offer some sort of incentive to run 25-man raids instead of the far more logistically simple 10-mans, so there would need to be a greater than 5:2 loot ratio.  An extra badge per boss almost goes without saying.  But if we end up with Legendary items only acquirable in 25-man in cataclysm, then 25-man will remain the standard for raiding guilds, and 10-man will be largely relegated to PUGs, alts, and casuals.  But hey, maybe Blizzard wants that distinction.

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