Patch 5.2 Raid Loot Changes

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Blizzard Official WoW Blog

Coming to the PTR in the near future will be a new designation of item type in Normal and Heroic raids for non-tier pieces. Each 5.2 raid boss will have a chance of dropping this new designation of a particular item that's 6 item levels higher than their counterparts. These higher quality versions will be called “Thunderforged”. This means that there will be five variations of some items. You'll now see a 5.2 raid item of LFR quality at item level 502, the same item in Normal quality at item level 522, the item in Normal Thunderforged quality at item level 528, the Heroic version of the item at level 535, and the Heroic Thunderforged version of the item at level 541.

This new item designation is being added for a couple reasons, but first and foremost to make loot drops more interesting overall, especially after you have earlier bosses in Throne of Thunder on farm. As you’re working on progression, those first few bosses can now continue to provide a chance at upgrades, making repeated kills potentially more exciting and rewarding. Those additional upgrades can then help to slowly raise power, and boost you over whatever progression roadblock you may hit.

We've also received a lot of feedback regarding 25-player raids, and have been looking for ways to address some concerns. Ever since we changed 10-player raids to drop the same item level as 25s, we've seen a steady decline in 25-player raiding. This isn't surprising. A 25-player raid takes an extra level of logistical commitment for the officers of those groups. It's unfortunately easy for a 25-player guild to collapse down into a 10-player guild, but very unlikely for the opposite to happen. However, we like 25-player raiding and don't want to see it go away. Like many players, we love the epic feeling that comes with banding together more massive groups to battle powerful foes, we love that there’s opportunity for those groups to try out new players or unusual comps without causing a huge burden, and we want to support the larger raiding guilds. That said, we're also concerned that over-rewarding the 25-player guilds—if, for example, we went back to a higher item level across the board for 25s, as was the case for Icecrown Citadel—would feel like a slap in the face to the many 10-player raiders out there, who are the majority of our Normal and Heroic raiders.

To attempt to navigate this minefield, we're going to try having Thunderforged items drop more frequently in 25-player raids. They'll be somewhat rare in both cases compared to the standard versions that’ll drop, but they'll be even rarer in 10s. Overall, a 25-player group will be more likely to end up with a slightly higher item level after several weeks of raiding.

It's important to keep in mind that this only affects 10- and 25-player Normal and Heroic raids, and tier-15 armor pieces won’t be available in Thunderforged quality at all. We’re curious to hear your thoughts about these changes, and what you think once you begin seeing them on the PTR.


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I'm a 10man Raider and totally agree with this "plus" for 25man raiders.

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Without any real benefit to 25 man raids a lot will (and do) just play 10s. I have never wanted to raid 25 man raids as I don't think I could logistically handle that many people on a regular basis. I know of a fair few guilds that were 25 man in ICC, just about managed to continue as 25 mans in Cata, and now have just formed 10 mans in MoP. I'm pretty sure on my server we had just one "competitive" 25 man raiding guild, and that since MoP has continued theyve dropped to 10s as well.

Personally I'd love to see 10 and 25 man lockouts again. I used to enjoy pugging ICC 25mans on the hope of a bit of a loot boost, or even perhaps doing a sort of "co-op" run with another 10man guild like I did back during Naxx. Doubt this will come back though.

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So you should, especially as there are more people to divide this new 'Thunderforged' items between, this will make distributing loot between 25 smoother and will encourage the skill of 25 man to come back which shouldn't take too much encouragement as after all, I feel it is easier to raid with 25 skilled people as it puts you even higher over the average as a whole. Shame I can't raid 25 man though, I lag too much on low graphics :P GL with these new loots guys!


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Personally, I absolutely agree that 25 man deserves higher gear quality, as a new incentive. It's a nightmare to organize 25 strangers, and to get commitment to regularly raid. I'm part of a flaky 10 man on my server, and our guild is shamefully behind in progression. So, I agree that 25 man needs more snazzy stuff for those people! I am actually impressed at the completeness of the current raids. Lord knows our group has the DPS, but our third healer is just about worthless. Any who, that's a whole different post. Blizz is doing something good with this.

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There already is an incentive to 25 man raiding...it's easier. In 10 man, you get 2 pieces of loot which equates to .2 pieces per person. In 25 man, you get 6 pieces for 25 people which makes it .24 pieces of loot per person. Over the course of 12 bosses (next tier), a 10 man guild will get 2.4 pieces of gear per person per lockout while a 25 man would get 2.88 pieces of loot per person. Their gear acquisition is higher as well as a higher chance to see rare items such as 1% trinket drops.

25 mans also get 3 battle ressurections per lockout and have an easier flexibility to bring an additional healer or swap someone to have a 3rd tank to trivialize an encounter's mechanics that is not available to 10 man raiding. DPS requirements are not as high and you can complete encounters with multiple people making mistakes. The argument that it is difficult to get 25 people in the same place at the same time is invalid as many of these guilds have 40-50 raiders that they can easily swap in and out if someone has something come up.

I agree with a higher chance for an increased item level to drop out of 25 man while still retaining that chance, albeit a bit lower, in 10 man. However, giving 25 man raids a separate lockout would force 10 man guilds to team up or pug 15 players to remain competitive in keeping up in gear, but they would fall behind as pugging 15 people has never been a pleasant experience (Festergut -_-). Personally, I would never raid 25 man raids again because you simply cannot have 24 good friendships in this game. There is a higher chance for drama, stupid things, bad players, and time management issues.

There should never be an incentive to play 25 man raiding over 10 man raiding. As this game ages, so does its population. 10 man groups have the flexibility to find 10 adults who can work a schedule in to have fun and enjoy playing with each other. This does NOT provide a counter argument as to why 25 man should have better loot in that they deal with logistical issues. You shouldn't be rewarded just because you collect more people to raid with than others who prefer a more intimate raid situation.

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I personally enjoy 25 man raiding much more. Having the coordination to work with 24 other people IMO is harder then most boss mechanics. People are going to be stupid, just a fact. (including me sometimes).

I kinda wish that they would have separated the lockout's instead, but have you saved to loot for which ever version you did first so some don't feel they have to run both for loot purposes.

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I've raided casual and semi hardcore since mid-TBC and no guild I've been in has had a roster of "core" raiders of more than 30-32. My current guild is the first 10 person raid group I've ever been in and the difference between this and a 25 is tremendous. The AVERAGE 25 person raiding guild hardly ever sees more then 40 people online at any time. In 2-4 days of raiding it's not unusual to have to "pug" your socials to fill a spot or two or to offer them a shot at gear upgrades. Many 25 person raid guilds will not pug trade, if someone can't vouch for someone then the raid gets called off. Even though it's "only" 150% more people, the amount of raid leader/officer effort required to make the raiding successful is about double the 10s, as those that have performed raid leader duties in a 25 person raid can attest to. The current setup is not working, 25 person raiding guilds are going extinct. There is no doubt they must do something to keep the 25s alive, I'm just not sure (convinced) that this will be enough. We'll see when 5.2 comes out if everyone jumps ship to raid 25s than Zagam must be right it must be so much easier, if it only changes slightly well then maybe Bliz will have to sweeten the pot a little more, just a little.

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Blizzard is losing the fight to keep 25-man raiding alive after their choice to merge the lockouts at the start of Cataclysm. This much is clear. And it's also clear that they had to do something to motivate people to raid 25-man. I think that their choice with these items is an elegant one, and one that may well do the trick.

Zagam, with all due respect (which I mean quite literally), I think you are overestimating the impact of the increased loot drops per person in 25-man. It is barely noticeable. You really can't tell, and it's been further rendered kind of moot with the introduction of the Elder Charms.

More loot is all well and good, but players want proper, tangible things. And there is nothing more tangible to a raider than higher item level. I would have understood even if Blizzard had opted to just bump the gear levels of 25-mans up by 13 levels or so, so it should come as no surprise that I also don't find anything wrong with their actual choice. I'm only worried that it won't be enough, but that remains to be seen.

Lastly, while I don't mean to go into a 10 vs 25-man argument, I feel that I need to mention that it's not a very tenable position to claim that 25-man is easier than 10-man (this is also in reply mostly to Zagam). I think each size has advantages and disadvantages, and these can be further exacerbated by particular elements such as the fight, your raid group composition or the strengths and weaknesses of your individual players. Factually, I believe you are incorrect in saying that the DPS requirements are higher in 10-man than they are in 25-man. I've always found it to be quite the opposite, generally speaking. It seems that Blizzard balances the 10-man numbers in such a way as not to assume that the raid group benefits from any buffs that there's a chance they won't have, so having any of those buffs makes the DPS requirements quite trivial. In 25-man, on the other hand, it's quite tight, since it's more or less assumed you have every possible DPS boost covered. Mind you, I scored kills of most bosses in this expansion in both 10 and 25-man, with some going down in one size first, while others went down in the other. So I've got a pretty good perspective of it, I'd say.

I would certainly not go so far as to say that 10-man is easier than 25-man - hardly. I think that they're just different.

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