Originally posted on May 9, 2008.
News about the next expansion to World of Warcraft (titled “Wrath of the Lich King”) broke last night: Details on Death Knights, videos of the new zones, and the continuation of the token reward system. One particular item has my appetite for the expansion completely wet though: all raids in the expansion will be tuned and made available to both groups of 10 and 25 players. Worldofwar.net reported about this after their presentation at Blizzard headquarters with Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan:
At this point, Kaplan revealed the massive news that Blizzard are changing the way raids are done in Northrend, and making them similar to the 5 man instances, whereby they can be played on two levels of difficulty. All 25 man raids will also be available as 10 man raids. The loot tables will be completely different, the 25 man raids will have better and/or more loot, but this means that most players will get to see the end game content in the 10 man version, if not the 25 man one. He went on to explain the reasons behind this; Karazhan, the 10 man instance in the Burning Crusade, was the most popular instance in the game by far. The 10 man dungeons are obviously popular due to the fewer amount of players needed, and the easier difficulty level. Secondly, a lot of 25 man raiding guilds did not like to have to go through the 10 man raids to get access to the 25 man raids. This new system should please everybody (but I’m certain there will be the usual QQers!). Another interesting fact is that the 10 man raids and the 25 man raids will be on totally separate cool downs. This means that once a guild has completed the 25 man Naxxramas for example, they could go back and complete the 10 man version of it on the same day if they wish.
Hearing this has totally enhanced my anticipation for the expansion! How cool will it be to be able to experience all the game has to offer with groups of 5 (quests/dungeons/heroics) and 10 people (raids)? I’ve been reading about the arguments for “epic” raids, where certain bosses (like the Lich King) shouldn’t be made available for only 10 people. My thoughts are just the opposite: defeating a boss or completing a difficult quest chain with a smaller group feels more epic to me.
In a group of 25 (or think back to 40-person groups), your role and class is one of many. There are typically 2-4 tanks, 5-6 healers, many DPSers, etc. Yes, what you are attempting to defeat has a higher number of HPs, but it doesn’t feel more difficult or epic than a challenging objective with fewer people.
I’m so excited after reading this! It’s a great solution that caters to people that want to group up in large numbers or small. Great job, Blizzard!