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Thread: 10 vs 20 Raiding

  1. #1
    Rift Master
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    Default 10 vs 20 Raiding

    One thing I truly dislike about Rift is the 20-man raiding standard. I feel this was/is a terrible idea that goes agains the rest of the game's (and pretty much now the genre's) general design (of being largely casual, like most modern MMORPGs).

    I still play WoW, just to raid. I'm a guild leader of a semi-casual raiding guild, and I lead the bulk of our raids. At times we've been a 25-man raiding guild too, before WoW evolved to the 10-man standard. I also have raid experience going back to EQLive. I've never been hardcore, but I've always LOVED raiding. IMO, raiding is the pinnacle of MMORPG PvE content - it is what all players should be striving to participate in.

    Me, and the rest of our guild and raid leadership, utterly despise 25/20 man raiding. It's a monumental hassle to put together the raids, it's a hassle to maintain a guild roster that can regularly field the raids, and it's a hassle to run those raids. It's magic when it all comes together and runs smoothly, but for guilds that aren't paramilitary style uber raiding guilds, that magic happens rarely and most of the time it's an ungodly hassle.

    I can tell my WoW friends about Rift and dozens of cool things about it til I'm blue in the face...and as soon as I say, but Rift has 20 man raiding, the conversation ends. They tune out. If Rift had a 10 man raid standard I could probably convince most of my WoW guild to give it a try, but none of us has any desire to every suffer thru 20/25 man raids ever again, and we all love raiding so much that there's no way most of us can play a MMORPG without raiding, they stick with WoW).

    I'm playing Rift more but doubt I'll ever raid here because 20 man raiding blows chunks. I'm also sick of expert dungeons, plaque grinds, and rep grinds (I refuse to do even one rep grind in Rift) but that's another story - there are plenty of other things I keep busy with in Rift, for ex, I love chasing invasion events and pummeling rifts, or the various smaller group activities that pop up, like spontaneous expert rift groups and such.

    Anyways...

    There are several problems with 20 man raiding (or lets say, 25 man in WoW, since both are equally sucky).

    - To regularly field a group of 20, you need a good sized guild and maintaining a suitable number of players can be challenging. Starting something like this from scratch for a game in progress is very daunting.

    - To be successful you need 20 dedicated players who can all be online at the same time and focused for your raiding times. It's very easy for RL interruptions, disconnects, AFKs, unruly behavior, and all that to derail a 20 man raid - so you need disciplined troops who stay on task and have minimal chances at out-of-game distractions interfering.

    The type of guild that does this best is the paramilitary style guild with very strict rules of conduct and attendance with authoritarian leadership. You raid, or you're gone. Period. Because it just doesn't work well any other way. This is why these types of guilds have application processes and place high demands on their members. You really need 20+ highly committed players to regularly succeed in 20-man progression or to have any decent success in 20 man at all.

    You'll find guilds that are similarly intense about 10 man but this is purely due to pushing progression very hard and seeking players of like minds to do it, not because the game demands it (20 man) and there's no other way. It becomes optionlal with 10 man, instead of mandatory.

    The problem is, the number of players who have the kind of focused time, and who have the mentality to fit into militant guild systems, is very small.

    So what you end up with is a small number of successful raiding guilds per shard and a lot of guilds that are going thru a cycle of trying, failing, falling apart, and seeing lots of player movement as fickle players bounce around trying to find a guild that can carry them to glory. A lot of guilds end up disbanding, giving up on raiding, or doing some raiding and getting very little done because you just don't get far casually doing 20 man raiding.

    What bliz did with WoW, and what Trion should've copied when copying so much of WoW, was to shift to a 10 man raiding standard, which has tons of benefits.

    With 10 man...

    - you don't need as huge of a guild, or you run multiple raid teams - easier to recruit, less turnover, less chance of raids being hosed if key people vanish, less hassle for guild leaders.

    - you don't need elaborate loot systems since you can more easily logically distribute loot in a 10

    - there are less distractions in any given raid since there are fewer people to be afk, disco, have RL stuff interject itself

    - things are less chaotic in general

    - you can form and organize raids easier because you need fewer bodies

    There are other benefits too:

    - in 10 man raiding everybody counts more, because there's less overlap in roles and duties. 20 man can be more forgiving due to having lots more duplicate coverage for roles or duties.

    - there's more likelihood of PUG raids occuring since assembling 10 people is about 100x easier than assembling 20

    - 10 man is more intimate - you feel like you're part of a group instead of one of many of a zerg

    The biggest thing though is that you no longer need a paramilitary style guild to raid - just about any decent sized guild can assemble teams of 10 people regularly to raid without needing application processes, scheduling demands, and all of that. Your success is still tied to the quality of your players and leadership, but it's far less demanding to run 10 man teams vs 20 man teams. You don't need to be as hardcore.

    I think this is especially critical for Rift where shard populations aren't exactly off the charts.

    In my experience so far, there are only ever a handful of guilds doing any significant raiding per shard, and only maybe half of those are really getting anything of note done. There's always guilds recruiting in hopes of getting raiding rolling but it's so unlikely that those guilds will pull together 20 people, mash them into a guild, with a raid cycle/progression well in progress, and somehow succeed. You don't just spontaneously hop into 20 man raiding. Rift doesn't have enough endgame population to support the spontaneous forming of new raid guilds that can get stuff done - there aren't enough existing successful raiding guilds to shed players or collapse to yield new raiding guilds that way (something you see happen in WoW often enough...maybe see it on the few most populous servers/factions in Rift...but I've yet to see it once).

    I think many players would like the opportunity to raid, but can't in Rift, because 20 man just doesn't work for a lot of people. They can't commit to a paramilitary style guild that's getting it done being the main reason. The more casual guilds that have tons of players just can't get it done due to the mess that is 20 man unless you're hardcore.

    10 man raiding allows more people to get involved. It takes a ton of effort to design raiding content. Isn't it better if that content is enjoyed by MORE people? Designing content for an extreme minority is illogical!

    The other thing bliz did that helps this whole thing is to have normal and expert modes for raids. They didn't really make normal mode easier, it's just that with 10 man raiding as the standard, it's easier to field raids and more people are raiding, but more importantly, those hardcore guilds that busted tail to field 20 people who raided intensely can now field groups of 10 and raid even more intensely, and they need a challenge due to how fast they can digest raid content. Since hardcores raid more then get thru normal raid content far quicker than more casual raiders, and the hard modes give them something to chew on during the eternities it takes for new content to get pushed out.

    The benifit to two different types of modes is that it allows all types of raiders, from the hardcore to the more casual, to have raiding content suitable to their abilities and time constraints.

    Anyways, I think one of Trion's biggest mistakes was setting 20 as the standard raid size for PvE raids. Works great for public raids for invasions and such...but it's something that will always limit how many people can do instance-based PvE raiding.

    So I guess since this is a suggestion forum, I'll go ahead and suggest that Trion ditch 20 man raiding entirely, since having both 10 and 20 (as bliz has both 10 and 25) is kind of lame in WoW (25 man usually actually easier as far as content goes although the administrative headaches are still there) kinda sucks. Go with the PvE instance raid size that lets MORE people get involved and raid. Fun for all, vs fun for few. Let more people enjoy this potentially awesome endgame content.

  2. #2
    Shield of Telara KnirpsLyn's Avatar
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    You know, I don't recall Trion EVER saying that the main point of the game is to be able to hit 50 quickly, then solo raids. I don't. I don't recall causal being their main announced game-play style, either.

    If anything, they have an INSANE amount (especially with the new additions) of accessable content for EVERY playstyle, and I feel that dumbing down current content for 10s and 20s isn't the way to make more content for soloers and small groups. They are creating content specifically for that, and doing it well, imo.

  3. #3
    RIFT Community Ambassador Morvick's Avatar
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    Keep in mind, there /are/ 10-man raids. More with every patch.

    And if you think the prospect of doing a 20-man is tough for a veteran, imagine how it feels coming from someone who's never had a chance to raid before? I honestly don't think the stars will line up for me to kill Greenscale any sooner than 1 year; however, I do plan on eventually doing it.

    But I will certainly agree that 20m raiding is, at least from the outside, a herculean hassle. Most of us who want to raid or complete the content will never get the chance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zinbik View Post
    I also made other enhancements to certain aspects of the game for various reasons.

  4. #4
    Ascendant TheDrizzle404's Avatar
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    i always thought a raid was a large group of people and a party was a small group.

    id also like to point out that 10 man raids were a terrible idea in WoW, and i played it from 2005-2010.
    Last edited by TheDrizzle404; 08-05-2011 at 07:01 PM.

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