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Cataclysm Lockouts and Twisting Nether

April 26, 2010

The latest Cataclysm news from Blizzard: 10 & 25 raids will share lockouts and loot tables.

While the WoW community recoils and tries to wrap its collective mind around the idea, I’m feeling dizzy and delirious the more I think about it. This is going to change Twisting Nether in subtle, hopefully beneficial ways.

From the Blues: (clarifications)

  • 10- and 25- man raids in Cataclysm will share the same lockout
  • Normal versus Heroic mode will be chosen on a per-boss basis in Cataclysm raids, the same way it works in Icecrown Citadel
  • 10- and 25- man bosses will be close in difficulty
  • 10- and 25- man bosses will drop the exact same items
  • 25-man bosses will drop a higher quantity of loot, but not quality
  • 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.
  • Content will continue to be gated
  • First Cataclysm raids will be tuned for players in dungeons blues and crafted items
  • 25-man raids may be downsized into 10-man raids during a lockout

What does it all mean?

25 Man Raiding Guilds

Top guilds will continue running 25-man content and will gear faster with access to a larger percentage of loot drops, tokens, and badges

  • Larger rosters will not be crippled by attendance issues as they can still progress by downsizing to 10-mans later in the week (An amazing feature!)
  • Standby raiders will be able to raid in smaller guild groups (which are guaranteed to be offered if the guilds want to keep their members) and keep pace with the core raiders
  • Rosters might shrink with time because players can get the gear from 10man guilds and the guilds are less dependent on overbooking
  • Hopefully, these top raiders will be locked into guild raids and will plague the community less with their presence
  • Social 25 man guilds might have more opportunities for raiding as well, as icbleu points out

10 Man Raiding Guilds

Current and new 10man guilds will be strengthened by having access to the same tier gear and fulfilling the desired level of difficulty in raiding

  • New guild advancement tools give incentives for keeping raids in-guild
  • Players will be more dedicated and focused since they only have one raid for the week and are raiding for the top tier of gear
  • Raids will gear slower since there’s only one raid lockout a week, as opposed to two now, but will have equal access to top tier gear
  • Unique player abilities, often overshadowed in 25s, will become significant as 10s become more competitive
  • Players with computer limitations unable to run 25s won’t be left behind
  • Attendance will be crucial as it will be harder to find PuGs willing to give up their lockout

RP/PvP Guilds

So long kept out of the raiding scene, RP/PvP guilds will have a unique chance to provide raiding opportunities without sacrificing the spirit of their guild.

  • Equal access to top tier gear will help clear the gap between PvP/PvE gear
  • Gathering 10 members for a guild raid will be feasible
  • Only one raid per week, leaving time for other activities and priorities
  • Players within the guild who raided independently may struggle to find raid placement with others

Raiding Coalitions

  • Dead. (Okay, maybe not completely, but it’s going to hurt.)
  • Interaction between guilds may be limited due to a single raid lockout and guild advancement incentives

The Guildless and Alts

  • PuGs will become rarer occurrences, limiting the raiding opportunities for guildless players and alts
  • Players will migrate to guilds out of necessity
  • GDKP raids should still be running 25s

Implications for TN?

Twisting Nether is an RP/PvP server that is heavily populated by small 10-man guilds and features five-to-eight large, recognized 25-man guilds.

The raid changes proposed for Cataclysm could have dramatic effects on the server community. The most significant of which is that gearscore is dead! PuGs might be too. I think trade, general, and LFG might be a little quieter and tidier.

Guild Priority

What I foresee is a powerful emphasis on guild interaction. I think that will require effort on both the part of the guild and the player. Guilds will have to provide stronger organization and incentives for members to stay because other guilds will have access to the same gear. At the same time, players will have to work harder to keep their raid spots. The alternatives will be limited if you miss the guild raid night, are put on standby, or have to leave early.

Personally, Domni’s way of life will be obliterated. A persistent raiding group of people from multiple guilds will no longer be an option, because players will be obligated to save their lockout for the guild raid.

PuGs: 10 or 25?

It’s no question that 10man raids will overshadow 25man raids on Twisting Nether, at first. But that’s the way that our server is now. Most 25man raids are PuGs unless you are a member of a large guild. Combined lockouts present an interesting dilemma for PuGs.

Lockouts are more valuable. That in itself makes pugging daunting.

There are sure to still be 10 man PuGs. Everyone has alts, and not everyone has a guild or wants a guild. It won’t be an easy task though. The raid will be more difficult and one incompetent player will bring down the entire group. It will be harder than ever to find replacements halfway through.

It will be difficult to find 25 people with free lockouts and near impossible to find replacements if anyone leaves. However, the players will be similarly geared. They will also be accustomed to the level of difficulty and better able to adapt to the 25 man. The raid can be downsized if needed, but that may require extra players being kicked.

GDKP raids will still prevail in 25 man form

They haven’t found a strong footing Alliance-side on TN, but they are popular Horde-side. The Cataclysm raids might be a perfect setting for strong GDKP raids with experienced raiders, similar difficulty level, and solid gear. The new 25 man setup provides more loot items and gold rewards, meaning that players have a greater chance at getting the item they want and of making a profit just by attending.

Gold might be stronger than guild incentives and GDKP raids might be a great way for alts and guildless players to continue to raid and sustain themselves solo.

Community Fragmentation

One lingering concern is what issues will arise when the community is further divided into niches. Simply put, guilds won’t be talking as much. This is partially a good thing. If you like your guild and your playing community is limited to those people, WoW might be a lot more fun. Guilds might be stronger for this. To hell with the fools outside of your bubble.

On the other hand, you might not know what’s out there and won’t have the same opportunities to meet some of the fantastic raiders and players on your server. Sister guilds will have fewer opportunities to cooperate. Granted, guilds that really want to could still team up once a month or so for a grand 25 man loot pinata.

That said…with only one raid lockout per character, maybe we’ll find time to do other things within the community?

Personal Thoughts

This is more something that affects people like me. I float around. I don’t desire a big guild or a tight-knit small guild. I just want to be part of the community in general.

I am at least hopeful that healing 10mans will be less painful with the proposed changes to healing. Emmet loves 10mans and is excited about the changes.

Personally, I’ll be sad to see my 25man group go. It’s not that I wouldn’t lead them. I’m willing to do the work. But the audience won’t be there. My raid caters to members of 10man guilds that don’t have an alternative for 25man raids.

I might consider running a GDKP raid. It isn’t ideal, but I like the power and oomph of 25man raids. I love knowing that my contribution is vital, but that it isn’t all on my shoulders and I have other healers and dps and tanks beside me. Unfortunately, I’m not very motivated by in-game gold. But Emmet is. There could be potential?

Only time will tell!

  1. Khamrin permalink

    A few points I disagree with.

    I haven’t read any WoW community response to the proposed changes but I can’t imagine why there would be much fuss. The changes Blizzard may implement will make raiding similar to what it was in Burning Crusade. There were many raids available and they were either 10 man or 25 man. Kara loot was Kara loot. TK loot was TK loot. Pugging was much less prevalent than it is now.

    My experience within the in-game community across four servers (2 RP-PVP, PVE, and PVP) was not radically different than it is now. It’s just easier to PUG now. Granted you might fill in for a guild then, but generally you had to know someone that could vouch for your performance. With one lockout, there was little room for screwing around if a guild was focused on seeing all the content.

    Community fragmentation? Not likely to happen. If anything, the new LFG tool for running heroics has been more harmful to a given server’s community. You can run heroics all day long now and rarely encounter someone from your own server. This diminishes the likelihood of meeting like-minded people on your own server to pursue other activities with.

    Not sure what “so long kept out of the raiding scene” in reference to RP/PVP guilds means. Based on my time in Fordragon Imports when it existed on TN, most of those people either loathed raiding, were bad at PVE, or had never put in the effort to be competent at it. They kept themselves out. All your bullet points for RP/PVP guilds apply now.

    In any case, I’m looking forward to the new content and all the mechanics changes. The game has become stale and it’s time for a refresh.

  2. I should have linked some of the blog posts. There’s been a flurry of people responding with their thoughts on it throughout the day.

    I like your insight on BC raids. My experience is with Wrath – so I haven’t been through that type of raiding and I’ve survived on PuGs. I agree that one lockout might mean less screwing around. That would be nice.

    You’re right about the RP/PvP overall. I think that in Cataclysm it might be worthwhile for them to do the 10man raid if it’s harder for the people to get into PuGs. It might also help them with some of the guild advancement perks.

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