10- & 25-Player Raid Loot Changes – Patch 5.2

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Community Manager
#1 - Jan. 23, 2013, 5 p.m.
Blizzard Post
Coming to the PTR in the near future will be a new designation of item type in Normal and Heroic raids for non-tier pieces. Each 5.2 raid boss will have a chance of dropping this new designation of a particular item that’s 6 item levels higher than their counterparts. These higher quality versions will be called “Thunderforged”. This means that there will be five variations of some items. You’ll now see a 5.2 raid item of LFR quality at item level 502, the same item in Normal quality at item level 522, the item in Normal Thunderforged quality at item level 528, the Heroic version of the item at level 535, and the Heroic Thunderforged version of the item at level 541.

This new item designation is being added for a couple reasons, but first and foremost to make loot drops more interesting overall, especially after you have earlier bosses in Throne of Thunder on farm. As you’re working on progression, those first few bosses can now continue to provide a chance at upgrades, making repeated kills potentially more exciting and rewarding. Those additional upgrades can then help to slowly raise power, and boost you over whatever progression roadblock you may hit.

We’ve also received a lot of feedback regarding 25-player raids, and have been looking for ways to address some concerns. Ever since we changed 10-player raids to drop the same item level as 25s, we’ve seen a steady decline in 25-player raiding. This isn’t surprising. A 25-player raid takes an extra level of logistical commitment for the officers of those groups. It’s unfortunately easy for a 25-player guild to collapse down into a 10-player guild, but very unlikely for the opposite to happen. However, we like 25-player raiding and don’t want to see it go away. Like many players, we love the epic feeling that comes with banding together more massive groups to battle powerful foes, we love that there’s opportunity for those groups to try out new players or unusual comps without causing a huge burden, and we want to support the larger raiding guilds. That said, we’re also concerned that over-rewarding the 25-player guilds—if, for example, we went back to a higher item level across the board for 25s, as was the case for Icecrown Citadel—would feel like a slap in the face to the many 10-player raiders out there, who are the majority of our Normal and Heroic raiders.

To attempt to navigate this minefield, we’re going to try having Thunderforged items drop more frequently in 25-player raids. They’ll be somewhat rare in both cases compared to the standard versions that’ll drop, but they’ll be even rarer in 10s. Overall, a 25-player group will be more likely to end up with a slightly higher item level after several weeks of raiding.

It’s important to keep in mind that this only affects 10- and 25-player Normal and Heroic raids, and tier-15 armor pieces won’t be available in Thunderforged quality at all. We’re curious to hear your thoughts about these changes, and what you think once you begin seeing them on the PTR.
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Community Manager
#507 - Jan. 23, 2013, 10:55 p.m.
Blizzard Post
01/23/2013 09:10 AMPosted by Magdalena
Crithto, will using the 5.2 equivalent of Elder Charms grant a chance at Thunderforged Loot or will it be exclusively limited to drops?

Yes, bonus rolls in 10- and 25-player raids will also afford you a chance to receive a Thunderforged item.

01/23/2013 09:24 AMPosted by Delritha
Hypothetically speaking, say a boss had 13 items that can drop from him. He doesn't drop any tier. How many of those 13 items would be marked that they can be thunderforged? All 13? only 4 of those 13? etc.

Hypothetically, yes, all 13 of those non-tier items would have a chance to be Thunderforged.

01/23/2013 09:48 AMPosted by Scathbais
Why must you introduce an artificial incentive that promotes a less favorable format for the majority of players? And by less favorable, I mean by simply looking at how many guilds raid 10 vs 25.

Getting better loot has always been a part of this game and in Patch 5.2 the variety is being increased. We think this is a good thing. However, calling 25-player raids less favorable in unfounded and an unfair assessment. Tons of players would love to do 25s, but the coordination and effort to do so is more difficult with very little additional reward. 10s aren't more popular because the entire community agreed they're more fun, it's just a simple case of effort versus reward.

There are two main points we're trying to address with this change:
  • Raiding in 10- and 25-player dungeons already provides the same item level rewards for everyone. Engaging in the logistics of the larger raid format, however, we feel should be rewarded and the slight increase in chances to receive a Thunderforged item in 25-player is our effort to strike a better balance between both raid sizes.
  • The addition of Thunderforged items also have benefits for both 10- and 25-player raids. For instance, if a raid group is stuck on boss #5 and their members have all the viable upgrades from previous bosses, going through those bosses again to work on #5 can now bring added bonuses. We think this makes these efforts much more fun and rewarding.
    From Twitter:
    Will there be a visual to indicate you're wearing Thunderforged gear or just the iLvl difference?

    There won't be any visual effects, Thunderforged is a tag much like "Heroic" and indicates that the item is slightly better than its Normal/Heroic counterpart.

    We're still going through your feedback and really do appreciate the things you've shared. Please keep it coming.