As most readers of my small blog know I am raiding with a strict (ish) 10 man guild of old friends at the moment. So far we have done Champion of Ulduar and made good inroads into ICC while playing about in TOGC 10 man.
My old guild who I still play with on occasions is heading down the 25 man route and recruiting for such raids. There have been various posts on the forum about it including some interesting comments as to why some of the guildies want to go 25 man.
One that caught my eye and also the eye of Tessy from Reflections from the Pond was that 25 mans are better because they require more skill and are a lot harder because more mechanics can be put into the fight that you simply cant do in 10 man due to the limited number of classes and buffs that can be bought to the raid. This seem to be reflected in a lot of general discussion on the O boards as well with 10 man being seen as “trivial” content and “something to do on off days”. Also Blizzard to an extent place 25 mans higher with such epics as Shadowmourn not being available to 10 man guilds.
This got me to thinking is this view of 10 mans justified? I have raid lead 10 man and 25 man raids in both BC and WOTLK. The major difference (and part of the reason I dropped 25 man raid leading) I found with 25 mans was the prep reparation work I had to do for the fights especially in BC when you had to work about which group the mana battery (err I mean shadow priest was in) to get the benefit of this class to the right people. In 10 mans this is less of an issue as mostly the raid is very tight and gets to know how each other plays very well so allocation of roles is not needed as people know how to support each other if they are clued up on the tactics.
But as far as fight difficulty goes I don’t think it is grossly different apart from you need 25 people who know what they are doing rather than 10 and getting 25 people who know what they are doing together is more difficult than getting 10. If 10 man raids were so facerolling easy why on my server have so few guilds got the protodrake from Ulduar 10 man admittedly more have than have the 25 man protodrake but consider the number of 25 man guilds on the server you would have expected most of these guilds to have got it. Especially as 25 man content is soooo much harder than 10 man they should in their 25 man gear have been able to face roll their way to a drake when they had a spare Saturday as the fights are that much less complex.
Most of the people who have the 10 man drakes tend to be the harder core 25man guilds and sometimes I bet their 10 man teams are probably the best of the best from a professional guild so it’s almost the cream of the cream going for the 10 man achievements no wonder they do these first before the 25 man hard modes.
I know this probably wont be agreed with by everyone and I don’t subscribe to the view that 10 mans should drop the same loot as 25 mans. But I do feel that 10 man guilds tend to be seen as subclass when compared to 25 man guilds and I feel this to be unjustified at times especially as if you want to make progress in 10 man you can afford to carry no one in the raid especially on harder modes where as from personal experience in 25 mans you can have a few people who shall we say aren’t optimal player and still make good progress. You probably aren’t going to be super hard mode number one guild on the server but I bet you can still clean all of ICC 25 man eventually while still having people doing sub par dps ect. In a 10 man guild this is more noticeable than 25 man and I have seen this back in BC where 25 man was the only game in town and tended to be more difficult.
One thing that would be interesting from Blizzard is if they set the 25 mans and 10 man raid lockouts the same so if you did 25 man you were locked out of 10 mans and vica versa. It will probably never happen as there would be an outcry that you were “depriving” people of badges and some BIS gear. It would be interesting to see if more of the “strict” 10 man guilds got some realm first kills ect rather than the usual 25 man suspects on off days.