Heroic Northrend Beasts vs. M’uru

I read an interesting post on Blessing of Kings (which you are now required to read in order to contextualize this post) earlier today that got me thinking about where my guild is and about WoW difficulty. Rohan basically stratifies the skill levels of WoW players and guilds and explains each strata’s access to content. As an individual player I consider myself either on the low end of the Royalty or on the upper end of the Aristoracy (as far as PvE is concerned. I’m still looking up at the Gentry with envy in a PvP setting). My guild, at least the 10man group I run with consistently in my guild, is definitely in the mid-upper Aristocracy. We’re currently working on 10Heroic Faction Champions but we don’t get a lot of time to spend on them because it’s more important to us to go back and finish off Glory of the Ulduar Raider to get our Rusted Proto Drakes before they are removed and to finally topple Algalon. In 25mans however, we are firmly in the Gentry. We finally downed the Twin Val’kyr last week in 25man because we now have two, relatively stable, 10man groups who can clear ToC10 so people have now seen the encounter and gotten comfortable with the mechanics. I still see some people running around like chickens with their heads cut off when it’s time to switch portal colors, but, hey, we’ve killed twins 2 weeks in a row now, so I guess we’re ok. Anub’arak we have yet to get many solid attempts on as we only got to try twice last week before the lockout expired. Hopefully we’ll get him down this week. But we are FAR away from clearing the Beasts in 25H (which is pretty much the entrance requirement to 25man Aristocracy). The highest-ranked Horde guild on our server still has not even downed the Beasts on 25H and their raid-total DPS is significantly above ours.

I know there are some people who completely devalue any accomplishments made in 10man because “25man is harder” but I can’t agree with that. While it is true, the more people who are in a raid, the more of them that can potentially screw up, there feels like less margin for error in 10mans. Back when I used to heal, I loved healing in 25mans because there were so many other people to pick up my slack. I hates 10mans and 5man heroics because I was much more responsible for the success and survivability of the group. When I see a DPS or a healer die in our 10man hard mode attempts (or even on Yogg+4), I die a little inside because I know our chances of success just dropped by 30%. In 25mans if 1 DPS or 1 Healer dies, we lose between 5-10% chance of success. While the 25man content is tuned to be difficult when there are 25people available to deal with it (be it more boss health or more healing available so more damage to tanks is required) thus making it technically “harder” than 10mans, I can’t help but feeling that 10mans will always be harder than 25s because each person is far more responsible for the success of the group on an individual basis than they are on 25s.

I would love to be in a guild where our 25 was as strong, or stronger, than our 10man is. I hate 10mans because there are only 10 slots and I have 15-20 people I like to play with (and the Ironbound Proto-Drake is sooooo much cooler than the Rusted) yet I also like the intimacy of a 10man group. I know I’m not the first person to ask why Blizz made it 10/25 instead of 10/20 (when it used to be 20/40 in Vanilla). I don’t think WoW is “too easy” and I’m happy that Blizzard decided to make as much raid content as possible accessible to a majority of people. I guess in BC, what we consider Hard Modes here in Northrend was the only mode. I sometimes wish I was a raider back in the guild-shattering M’uru days, or pre-nerf Illidan, just to see if I would have been able to do it. Then I remember, I’m a tank, I can’t solo these things, and my raid accomplishments are only as good as my raid group. If I can’t do hard modes now, I wouldn’t have been able to do content then. Rohan suggests a more smooth gradient of difficulty progression into hardmodes, and in a sequential dungeon like Trial of the Grand Crusader I can certainly agree, but somewhere like Ulduar where you could pick and choose not only your boss order, but who was hardmode and who was not, I see no point. My guild has IC-Steelbreaker on faceroll farm, but if we had to do Flame Leviathan 4Towers before we could get there, we’d still be stuck in our Siege tanks… In 10man heroic we could very likely defeat the twins, and maybe even Anub’arak, but those damn Faction Champs man… loll (much hate @ them for being immune to taunt making me useless that fight)

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