Reflecting on this 10/25 debate

As you can imagine, I've been thinking about the whole 10/25 debate. It's come up many community sites and we appear to get our knickers in a twist pretty fast about it. What's 'Better', what's 'Easier', what's proof of 'Awesomeness'? I've done both raid sizes and liked them both for different reasons. Difficulty seemed to be a less straightforward issue for me as it partly depended on my experience with that fight and my role in the fight. For me personally, I'll consider a fight where I have lots of jobs to do more difficult for me in comparison to one where I just have to DPS a single target for the whole 3 minutes. So while I find the difficulty debate fascinating, I also find it problematic. Arx pointed out the whole 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' issue, which of course is generally very true but also, scientists are finding, that we apparently do have some beauty benchmarks that we turn to. There have been some studies done on what general facial features, for example, make someone more beautiful--symmetry, for example. (Rhodes et al, 1998) But then there's also been work done on the varying forms and perceptions of beauty from differing cultural standpoints. (Cunningham et al, 1995) And never mind the individual level. I often have a good laugh with a dear friend of mine when we both identify (yes, women do this too, guys!) what guy we think is physically attractive and we completely disagree with each other. I suppose the same can be said for raiding: there may be some more general ideas of what makes something more difficult or challenging, but we may also differ quite distinctively based on various factors.


So at the end of the day I think--and I think many agree with me--that this debate will always be a subjective more than objective issue. I don't care how many 10,000 word posts I or anyone else may write about the issue, we may never be able to perfectly resolve it. Blizzard may have intended to design these fights do be the same, but that does not mean they achieve that goal. It's one thing to design something to be a certain way, it doesn't mean it's actually experienced or perceived as such. They also want the experience and benefits to feel the same, too, of course, but that doesn't mean we'll all share that point of view. You could call this sagacious on their part when you look at the cost savings and potential draw for a wider range of raiders and raiding groups, but it's problematic for all of us if we want to pursue this ideal of a fair and well measured competition between the top end raiding guilds.

We may never answer these questions, but I know that back in January 2011 I had a poll up on my site where I asked voters what they felt the general opinion was about the 10/25 'validity' question. The results do say a lot:


Do you think there exists a general opinion among raiders that kills in a 25-man raid are more "valid" than those in a 10-man raid?

  • Yes. I think it's a common opinion among many raiders. (76%, 110 Votes)
  • I don't know. I think there are opinions on either side. (14%, 20 Votes)
  • No. I've not seen any opinion that suggests that. (10%, 14 Votes)


Yes, apparently 76% of respondents in the poll felt that the general opinion is that 25-man raiding achievements are more 'valid.' That's quite a significant percentage. Does not mean it's the reality, of course, but it's certainly our perception of how things are regarded. Considering how much more time we spend dissecting (and trolling) Paragon, Method, For the Horde, Ensidia (have they disbanded again?) as compared to the top ten 10-man raiding guilds, I think that clearly indicates our collective regard for the bigger raid size.

I guess in this case size really does seem to matter.


Anyway! I did put a new (and much much longer, sorry!) blog post on my site about the 10/25 debate and have a new poll going. Please check it out! :)



Rhodes, G.,  Proffitt, F., Grady, J.,  and Sumich, A. (1998) "Facial symmetry and the perception of beauty." Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, Vol 5(4), 659-669.

Cunningham, MR., Roberts, AR., Barbee, AP., Druen, PB., and Wu, CH. (1995) "Their ideas of beauty are, on the whole, the same as ours": Consistency and variability in the cross-cultural perception of female physical attractiveness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 68(2), 261-279.


I think the comparison to, who we find beautiful and ugly might be a bit misplaced in this case but I do agree that perception plays a part in assessing difficulty. I would rather compare the 10 & 25 debate to a sport. There are sports like the 100, 200 and 400m dash where there will never be much speculations to whom was the winner or the best, but on the other hand there are sports like Formula 1 and Figure Skating. During the late 90's I was rooting for Micheal Shumacher instead of Mikä Häkkinen because I thought Schumi was a better driver (I am Finnish so no bias there, except maybe some sort behavioural tendency to disagreeing with people since everyone in Finland was rooting for Mika). While Shumacher won seven F1 world championships and Mika won only 2 (and went on to marry a German stripper). I can't really for sure say that Shumi was a better driver than Mika, maybe he was just more lucky with the cars he drove or maybe he was just more driven, which would make him a better racer over all, wouldn't it.

I think someone from Paragon or one of the commentators compared raiding to Golf. Golf at it's essence is an very easy game, you get the ball from the tee to the cup in the least amount strokes possible. I've been playing Golf on and off for about 20 years and my home course in Kokkola, Finland is a highly respected course among tourists and amateurs. The par on the Kokkola Golf course is 72 (ideal result) and when I was playing golf more actively, I managed 80-85 strokes per round (record being 79). Now I can't remember on the top of my head what the record round on my home course is, but I think it's somewhere around 64. Now I am pretty sure that if we invited Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods to play on my home course they would manage sub 60 stroke results and I wouldn't be surprised to see rounds close to 50 strokes after getting some experience with the course.

If I where to comment, on these amazing golfers results with the same attitude as people are commenting on the world first kills and the 10/25 comparison, my first reaction would be that Tiger's clubs are way better than mine. He's probably spent million's on his clubs while I only spent about 5000 euros (through my whole golf career, I'm not rich). Next I would probably point out that Tiger's clubs are way to expensive and effective to be used on my home course and that's the reason he won. If people at the club house still weren't laughing hard enough, I would point out that he spends 24/7, 365 days a year thinking and training Golf (except when cheating his wife but everyone needs a vacation) while I only play about 12 hours per week during the 4 months of summer we have in Finland.

When you run 100 meters in 15 plus seconds, you don't blame your shoes for not beating Usain Bolts world record, you don't blame the surface, the wind, the rain or anything else. You accept that you can't compete with the fastest runner in the world. Why is accepting this so hard in the MMO community?