Major Raid Changes in Cataclysm

Zoinks! In case you haven’t heard Blizzard is making significant changes to progression raiding in Cataclysm. You can read Nethaera’s full post here, but the short of it is this,

  • 10 and 25-man raids will be of similar difficulty and share the same lockout timer.
  • 10 and 25-man raids will drop the exact same loot.
  • 25-man raids will drop more gold, loot and badges.
  • There will be smaller raid instances, but more of them.

I have to say I’m somewhat surprised by these changes. This could all but mean the end of 25-man progression raiding. I was just in a guild that disbanded because they couldn’t get 25 people on. The guild I’m in now was recruiting because they were having trouble getting 25 people on.

Ten man raids are a lot easier to organize and manage. You’re less likely to have multiple players of the same class/spec in the raid so the chance of you having zero competition for your gear is high. Also, Blizzard seems to be trying to get as many, if not all, of the 25-man buff into a 10-man raid, so you might be able to better plan your 10-man team around more diverse class composition.

The key will be just how difficult 10-mans will be and how much more rewarding the 25-mans will be. Will that alt-group be able to get through the new 10-man raids, or will you need your A-team? How similar will the encounters be? Right now in ICC there are a lot of encounters that require the raid to spread out. This mechanic is trivial in 10-man, but needs to be carefully managed in 25.

25-man teams might be able to gear up faster and progress quicker, however, both 10 and 25-man will now be going from point A to point B. Will it really matter how fast you get there?

In the same expansion that Blizzard is implementing changes to make guild management and recruitment easier (guild leveling, talents and looking for guild), they are also reducing the incentive to run larger guilds and raids.

One final thought, raids are going to be smaller in scale. Instead of single 11 boss instances we’ll see multiple five boss instances. I suspect this gives raiders the option to do more things during their raid week, and it probably keeps pugs alive giving them a chance to clear an instance in one night.

Like everything else, I’ll want to see it in action before I make a final judgement, but we just might see 10-mans as the big thing in Cataclysm.


  1. As a member of a small guild just building a 10 man team, and having mixed experiences in 25 man PUGs, I'm happy about this. I find 10 man teams are more fun, easier to manage and every individual's contribution really counts. A lot of the 25 man PUGs I've been on are chaotic, to say the least.

  2. Ultimately I think this is a good change for 10-man raid teams and those 25-man raid teams that can consistently put groups together each week.

    I think there are a lot of guilds out there that will need to do some soul searching and decide why are they doing 25-mans now, and if it's worth continuing.

  3. a few things concern me
    tanking availability look at looking for dungeon for 25 mans you need 2.5 tanks (one tank with dual spec) in 10 man you will still need 2 tanks so in 25 man u get 2 tanks 18 dps and 5 heals the dps to tank so u get an 18 dps to 2 tank ratio in 10 man you will have a 5.5 dps for every tank ratio I will assume u will take 3 healers and one with a dps offspec

    The other is raid buffs heroism I know Mages now bring it in cat but what about others like Soulstone Battle Res like why take a priest when you can grab a druid and shaman heals (battle res and reincarnation)how many times has soulstone battle res or a shaman anhk saved the day

    The last concern is hybrid versatility vs pures the ability to switch to healing or tanking and the amount of buffs they bring

    the last issue is the raid lock out being weekly what happened to 3 day raid lock out concept onyixa lair zulgrub even ubrs didnt have a lock out scholo was raidable too

  4. I take your point on the ratio of tanks to other roles, kyeema. Even in the Dungeon Finder for random heroics the length of wait is determined by Tank and (to a lesser extent) healer availability. We DPS are 10 a penny 🙁

    As for Raid Buffs and Hybrid classes, that seems to be a case of wait and see as the redesign in Cata seems intent on addressing these matters too. For example, reintroducing pet choice because pets bring missing buffs now makes even more sense in light of these raid changes, don't you think? I imagine other classes will get the same kind of overhaul intended to ensure many viable (if not optimal) raid team configurations.

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