I am in a very tiny guild. We only have 6 people at level 80, and only 8 individuals total. I have had friends ask to join our tiny little guild from time to time, but it's not going to happen. We are unlikely to ever grow, because our roster is limited to a gang of friends who hang out together on friday and saturday nights around a table full of minis. Many of them even went to high school together (a concept completely foreign to me, for the record - I moved way too much for that!)
So how is it that we are able to raid at all? Well, those among us who have larger social networks (and if you hadn't noticed I am one of those - thus the Circle of Healers project) have put forth a lot of effort into building alliances with other individuals we know, as well as guilds. These alliances have enabled us to see quite a bit of 25 man content on a fairly regular basis.
But somehow, Ulduar just burnt me out.
Maybe it was the officeering duties that dragged me down, or the state of the leadership. I'm not sure, but those are all good topics for another day.
Today, however, one of our guildies sent an email to the other 5 of us asking if any of us were planning on participating in the 25 man raid currently scheduled by the greater alliance for tonight.
And not a single person was interested.
Half of us are ex-raiders from the Vanilla WoW days, and when they came over to my server and made alliance toons, they had no real interest in raiding anymore. But Kara and a good group of friendly alliance members warmed us all up to it, and for quite some time, we were all back into raiding.
Yet now, the majority of us have no interest in running the 25 man content anymore. Now that Blizz has enabled us to see everything we'd want to see on 10 man mode, we just can't see the point.
Back when I was new to raiding, there was something truly epic about 25 folks all packed together, trying to take down a boss. I'm sure the 40 man versions were even more impressive (as long as your computer could handle it!)
But that sense of "epicness" has long since worn off for me, replaced by the dull boredom that comes with the vast amount of organization needed to get a 25 man off the ground. The strange thing is, I normally love organizing things. I love the attention to detail, and group dynamics. Perhaps if I were in a raiding guild with enough members that I had choices for people to fill in various slots, it would be different. But instead I'm always in a situation where I simply have to take what I can get to fill out a 25 man - and it's not fun.
From a non-leader's perspective, there's the issue of individual accountability. Look, let's face it - people like to be singled out for praise, and there's nothing intrinsically wrong with that (unless you ask Gevlon). It's a lot more difficult to note individual strengths in a 25 man group as opposed to a 10 man group.
Personally, all organization efforts put aside, I find 10 man content to be more challenging. You can lose a few people in 25 man and still be okay - the same cannot be said for 10 man. Unless you are overgeared for the location, quite a bit of precision in execution is needed for ten man, arguably moreso than the 25 man equivalent. 25 mans need to have a bit more leeway and tend to be a bit sloppier (at least, the non-hard modes), and I would argue this is partially due to connection and system requirements. We always had people disconnecting during the Heigan dance in 25 man naxx.
Regardless, I haven't sworn off 25 mans completely... I'm just struggling to see the point anymore. None of us are trying to compete with others progression wise, we just want to have fun.
Here are some of Gordin's thoughts as to why 10 mans are better than 25 mans:
"when you do your job well, there are more chances for people to ruin progress because they can’t do theirs
there is a lot going on
your character is less unique and feels like less of a contribution
it might be too easy (??, like naxx??)
someone is prob going to rub you the wrong way
feels like work
with that many, at least a few wont like the pace
rather just hang with friends that won’t care when you swear and you can talk openly about other stuff too
loot is faster
I like pie
Feels a little more like home
Doesn’t feel forced"
So what do you think? How much do you think quality leadership affects your choice? If you prefer 25 man content, what are your reasons? If you prefer 10 mans, share yours! I'd love to hear some thoughts from others.