- Each raid instance will have a 10-man version and a 25-man version.
- 25-man raids will drop loot one tier higher than 10-mans.
- No attunements or keys for any raids.
I must confess that when I first saw this, my immediate thought was, "Wow, that's going to create a lot of work for me." I maintain the Guild Progress thread on the Skywall forums, which lists the raiding guilds, their website, and what bosses they've killed, ordered roughly by how far each guild has gotten in endgame.
With two separate progressions, how would this thread be ordered? Should I have two lists, one for each raid size? Should guilds be classed as 25-man guilds or 10-man guilds, or listed in both lists? I expect the 25-man guilds to do the 10-man instances, and is it really worth cluttering up the list with the same Nexus-25 and Nexus-10 bosses?
Of course, these concerns are pretty trivial. In pretty much all other respects, these changes to raiding are an unambiguous win. Content creation is expensive, and I think that this will allow a lot more people to see the raid dungeons.
I think that 25-mans are pretty clearly pitched as the hardcore option, and probably will be tuned very tightly. The 10-mans will still be complex, but will definitely be tuned lower than the equivalent 25-man. Arthas-10 will be easier than Arthas-25. The loot structure is set up for that. Remember that for raiding, the quality of loot should depend on the difficulty of the encounter. Better loot equals higher difficulty.
Various other people are debating if 10-man encounters can be as epic as 25-man encounters. I'm not really sure I know that answer. Epic has a lot to do with lore and the archetypes of the adversaries, not just the complexity or difficulty of the fight. But really, the difference in "epicness" doesn't matter:
Is it better for Arthas to be an epic 25-man fight you never see, or for Arthas to be a less epic 10-man that you get to participate in?
I think Blizzard's plan strikes the best balance. As long as Arthas-10 is harder then the 10-man bosses that come before him, that there is an actual difficulty progression in 10-man raiding, I think everything will be fine.
The interesting questions will be how guilds react to the changed situation. Will the 25-man guilds do the 10-man raids? Will they recruit from the 10-man guilds? What will happen when someone burns out of 25-man raiding? Will they quit the game, or will they see 10-man raiding as a good alternative (huge wins for Blizzard if people take this path)? Will "softcore" guilds--who work on 25-mans at a slower pace--continue to exist, or will the only 25-man guilds be ones that raid 5 or more days in the week?
Exciting times ahead.