Ending our Radio Silence (temporarily)

We’re making progress on heroic Ragnaros, and things are looking and feeling pretty good. We’re pretty engaged by how challenging this fight is, but it’s never felt overwhelming and out of reach. From a pacing standpoint that’s the absolute sweet spot of game design, right? Cool.

Having spent some time now on the fight, Paragon’s observations make a little more sense. That doesn’t mean I agree with them, because the notion that a 10 man raid is going to have 2 or more raid-geared subs of each class is fucking silly, but if you *can* stack your raid to a ridiculous degree, then you can make your life a lot easier. Frost DKs, Hunters, Warlocks, and Boomkin are phenomenal on this fight. Why? High ranged AOE along with very competitive single-target DPS. You can do P2 without an AOE-stacked raid, but you’re going to push your healers’ mana to the limits as everyone single-targets their add down from 100-0, and the longer you spend doing that, the less damage you’re putting on Rag between seeds. So if you can stack the everloving shit out of your ranged AOE, you can save yourself a ton of work.

But that’s the problem, isn’t it? The people who run and join 10-man raids tend to do so because the logistics of running a 25-man guild aren’t particularly “fun” to them. As someone who really never wants to go back to 25s, I prefer the smaller, more intimate group size. I have personal interactions with pretty much everyone in our raid, and I know each of them better than I knew just about anyone in any of the 25-man raids I’ve ever been a part of. We don’t have to deal with people getting angry over being benched. Loot drama is a rare footnote, and we don’t need a DKP database+web app to work around it.

But all of these things go away when you start carrying a massive roster of subs. In fact, it’s much worse. Each sub wants to improve his or her own viability by getting more gear, they want to play more – they want someone else to eventually be subbing for them, and if that doesn’t happen they’ll go someplace else. Who can blame them? Top 10 mans don’t have anywhere *near* the turnover that 25s do, so you could be waiting multiple tiers of content before a spot opens up.

So ultimately, the analysis of 10s vs 25s is more complicated than simply taking your 25 man roster and paring it down to which classes you need. If Dominion XTREME wanted to run itself like a top 25-man guild, we’d probably burn out more quickly, generating the turnover necessary to justify a roster of subs and geared alts, and so on. But like I said, the urge to do so runs contrary to why we’re doing 10-man raids in the first place, and I guarantee you if you walk down the list of all the US 10-man guilds above us, you’ll find very few that are trying to run themselves like a pared down 25-man raid factory. Yes, it’s a choice, but when it’s a nearly unanimous choice it has to be treated as something more than just incidental and uniquely personal.

With all that said, I have a lot of respect for all of the bullshit, the time investment, the extra-curriculur effort, the patience, and the stress of running a 25-man raid. It’s never been about the pissing contest, for us, because we’ve all been in 25-man raids, and even running our own low-maintenance 10-man is a strain at times. Sometimes just getting everyone on and ready and on time is the hardest part. Honestly, it’s because we know how much work that is that we do 10s.

But Paragon has a huge bully pulpit. In fact, just this week, I’ve heard several people unironically talk about how they “heard somewhere” that “resto druids can solo-heal Firelands”. A lot of people will see Paragon’s post, skip to the last paragraph or two, and forego any chance to think critically about how they reached their conclusion about 10-man content.  So it’s important to offer a counterpoint from time to time.

Next post will either be something completely inane and funny only to us, or a screenshot of a bunch of us with Firelord titles.

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