Thursday, October 25, 2012

10 vs 25: The Korean Test

In case you haven't seen it yet, here is the news from Korea.
We received several feedbacks regarding raid instance lockouts and 10/25 rewards, and we appreciate your opinions and deep interests. We thought that Korean players wish to enjoy the most hardcore contents more flexibly and according to their play styles. Therefore, from the upcoming patch we decided to change the raid instance lockout rules for all KR servers. Raids, as usual, will be reset every 7 days following maintainance checks. However, after 5.1 patch 10 man and 25 man raids will have seperate lockouts.

From now on, players could play raid instances, such as Mogu-Shan Vaults, in both 10 man and 25 man difficulty. Normal and Heroic difficulty raid of same instance will share same lockout as usual. Furthermore, the loots of 25 man raids has been buffed, and will offer higher iLV compared to same 10 man instance. For example, Terrace of the Endless Spring in 25 man difficulty will drop loots with iLV of 504, wile 10 man will drop 496.

We wish that players will further enjoy the contents and gain satisfactory rewards, and decided to offer the system that suits most well with the KR players. -- From MMO Champion. Translation by 
Here is the TL:DR version.
  • 10s and 25s will be separate lockouts in Korea. Meaning that one took can run both a 10man raid and a 25man raid every week
  • The 25man loot is being buffed to a slightly higher ilevel then 10man loot.
Let me get three things out of the way before I talk about this more.
  1. At this point this is only happening in Korea, and there is no indication that it will eventually come to US or EU servers. Some of you probably remember that the Korean servers had two lookouts per week for Firelands and Dragon Soul during Cataclysm, and that change never came to the other game regions. So this could be a way to test the change in a relatively small region before exposing it to the wider population, or it could just be an adaptation for marketing purposes. I'm going to assume for this post that it's a test.
  2. We know VERY little information about this change. As far as I know Blizzard hasn't said anything about what is intended or how this will affect other systems.
  3. There is NOTHING Blizzard can do that will make everyone happy. Just looking at the MMO Champion thread there are a lot of people that like the change a lot. There are others that are threatening to quit the game over it. In short some people will love this. Others will hate it. Just keep it civil.
This Seems a Little Strange

It's not surprising that Blizzard might be testing a new way to differentiate 10 and 25 man raiding. Over the past couple of months many of the big wigs at Blizzard have said that they aren't pleased with how 25man raiding has declined since WotLK. I also don't think it would surprise anyone to know that I personally wouldn't mind if the system reverted back to WotLK standard for all regions. However, given what we know I do find this change a little strange.

Though I personally didn't have a big problem with it, I do agree that there were some problems with the WotLK model that Blizzard needs to address one way or the other. For example, 10 man strict raiders were not recognized appropriately in WotLK. With that in mind, I can't recall any instance where Blizzard revert a large change back to an early version. Usually they try and create a new system that address all of the issues. For example, look at the Moonkin rotation during the MoP Beta. When many people complained that the Moonkin rotation was to boring and simple they added Fae Empowerment. When Fae Empowerment didn't work out they didn't revert back to the old rotation. They came up with a new one.

That's why this is a little strange. Given the little information we have, this Korean format sounds like a reversion to the old WotLK format. While I wouldn't have a problem with that personally, I have never thought that was a realistic possibility and still don't. If history is any guide Blizzard would at least try to address the WotLK issues, and that is why I think there is more to this change then we currently know.

How this Might Work

Interestingly, there is a way for 10mans to receive inferior gear from bosses, but still have gear that is equal to 25mans in the long run. For the record, this idea came to me while I was reading through the MMO Champion thread, but I can't find the post that caused it. As a result I don't know if this idea is a moment of inspiration or plagiarism on my part. Either way I think it's an interesting idea.

As you may remember, Blizzard planned to revamp the Valor system in MoP. Instead of allowing players to buy gear with Valor points, players would be allowed to upgrade their gear with Valor points. Obviously this change didn't make it into the release patch, but Blizzard does plan to included in patch 5.1 before the next tier.

What if the 25man gear was already upgraded when it dropped but couldn't be upgraded again with Valor points?

I can see pluses and minuses to this idea, but I must admit that it sounds like a great idea to me.

  • Differentiates the 10 and 25 man formats without completely delegitimizing the 10 man raiding.
  • Lessens the burden of Valor farming on 25man raiders and raid leaders, making the format more attractive.
  • Encourages pugging for people that want an extra shot at loot.

  • It will probably make it harder for 10man raiders to gear up, and be a bit of a disadvantage in the overall progression race.
  • The 25 man raiders will need some way to spend their valor points, if they don't need it to upgrade their gear.

As I said before, Overall I like this idea and would like to see it implemented in the US realms. Let me know what you think.