Consider Reducing Design Raid Size

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by Belkar_OotS, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. Belkar_OotS Augur

    Thinking back on raids, from the days before the raid tool, to the mega 120+ people fulling out the raid tool multiple times during PoP, to Augment raids of 24 and various sizes during DoN, 36 man Hard Version of SoD and the Crushbone Hardcover Heritage and the 12 man group missions that pop up from time to time we have seen many ideas for raid content and raid size which has been cool and fun.

    Since GoD the standard raid size has been 54 players.

    On one hand the raid size limit has served us well and there are a few guilds who can maintain that number with some bench for decent portions of the year. These guild can often run dual raids to increase their loot and flag rates for a multitude of reasons.

    On the other hand many other guilds struggle to replace members and only rarely manage to get a full raid. When they do it also doesn't mean they will beat the content due to a variety of reasons be it skill or composition or just member event familiarity.

    When these guilds fail members often just quit since moving servers doesn't appeal to them for whatever reason, and breaks up what was left of their guild community between whatever guilds are left on the server. Guilds aren't able to sustain an involved buffer in these situatuons with the influx.

    I'd like to see raids designed with 42 in mind, with the option of over filling to some other cap so a guild can zerg content if they want to dilute the loot distribution.

    With a reduced force averaging 2.5 member per class is easier to balance around. The maximum synergistic potential difference is huge with 54 RoI players versus the mid 40s low end guild. We want players engaged, and rewarded with commiserate levels of effort. If a top guild wants to plow everything for server wide first then split raid after more power to them.

    Reality is I'm not really asking for a change per se, since raids are already designed to be completed with less than 54 people as evidenced by the number of players that can beat the events in top guilds.

    I just feel that getting to the 54 necessary for an average raid to make progress is becoming increasingly difficult and requires a huge effort in recruitment and training.
  2. gotwar Augur

    I don't think it's going to be the popular opinion, but I strongly support reducing the maximum raid size to 42, for a long list of reasons I won't get into here.

    I know there would be a lot of initial kickback as guilds are forced to restructure their rosters, but I do feel it would be a worthwhile change in the long run.
    Gyurika Godofwar likes this.
  3. Waring_McMarrin Augur

    Even if you where to design raids for 42 people but allow for 54 in raid you will still have guilds struggling and complaining that they can't get enough for raids as 54 will still be the perceived amount needed.
    With some of the raids these days it is less about having a full raid but the raid members being able to follow emotes as it is easy for a single person to wipe a raid due to a missed emote.
  4. IblisTheMage Augur

    If some game design innovation could drive down the cost of making formulaic items, so that a spcific item could be generated with an item level, it would be possible to develop difficulty levels for encounters (also formulaic), that would yield different rewards.

    This would enable the developent of raids, that take two parameters: number of people and level.

    The hardest combination would be a low number of people on the highest raid level available, and besides yielding the most and best loot pr player, it could give some sort of beneficial achievement... in the opposite range, a large number of players on the lowest raid level available, the drops would be weaker, and would be spread over more people.

    Maybe make it so that there is an item level bonus for taking the raid with half the nominal force?

    Maybe this could scale down to small group size?
    snailish and Aurastrider like this.
  5. Brohg Augur

    With 16 classes, 3 of each is 48 characters. In a raid of 54, you have space for all those, plus a couple extra tanks and a couple extra healers, all sorting neatly-ish into 3 groups each of tanking / melee / casters. Raids don't have to be structured in so balanced a fashion, but it's my feeling that the raid size of 54 isn't quite so arbitrary as would be amenable to "hey let's just change the number"
    Zarzac, Annastasya, Rolaque and 4 others like this.
  6. Reynen Journeyman

    Lol it's been ages since raids required 54 players to be beaten, did you even raid the last 4 expansions before making that statement?
  7. Belkar_OotS Augur

    Good try. Read the paragraph right before the one you quoted for an acknowledgment that raids are beaten with less than 54 in my admittedly awkward way.

    My contention is that such raid groups don't qualify as "average." Average guilds most definitely need high 40s for their first wins after a significant number of wipes. Below average guilds are simply not making progress.
  8. Cadira Augur

    What happens to the guilds that do maintain 54 people? They now have 12 more people than they can bring along on raids. Those people leave the guild, go to another/make a new guild. The guilds slowly dying can now raid content since numbers are adjusted for a smaller roster. But next year, the dying guild is going to be struggling to get 42 members. Then you'll be asking for 30 man raids. It just a downward spiral for a dying guild, while guild's that can muster a 54 man roster just get punished and the lower tier guild's just keep getting weaker and weaker even as you adjust the numbers in their favor either way.

    It sucks but making raids so they have a lower max is bad, and adjusting the difficulty for less than 54 people (even if you can field 54 people) just makes the content boring and trivial for those bigger guilds.

    If you can't field a "raid" maybe you aren't meant to raid.

    Not trying to be an *** or a troll in any way, I've just seen this proposed a million times and don't think people look at all angles logically.
    Allayna likes this.
  9. Nightops Augur

    Do you even play this game? It's not about 'size required to beat'.

    When was the last time a top 10 raiding guild said; "hey guys, we are going to run this next expansion with only 42 and try to compete for server & cross server first wins."

    The hardest part about this game is not raiding against the actual raid. It's raiding against the server / design issues and constant churn of losing and replacing people. Just today I checked out the roster on an elite guild; I counted 18 healers (9 clr, 5 sham, 4 dru) all are above 60% attendance (required). By the attendance I'm guessing they average 16 per raid; all mains. Small guilds who try to continue raiding even if its just the previous expansion do so with 10-12 healers and that's counting the 4-5 boxed healers. It's never as simple as recruit or box more; or just go work at it until your players don't suck and can do it with 40.

    I have been suggesting for years about making a variety of raid types in each expansion. From non-instance raids which drop items valued below the current raid instance items. These raids could have a check on the toon or agro list similar to vox/naggy. Say when more then 30 from the same raid tool get on agro, the mob goes invul, heals, or powers-up or if anyone from outside the raid tool tries to 'help'; those people get a death touch as long as the first raid tool is engaged.

    Or for making 'lite' raid version for instances with using 36 or 42. The 'lite' raids would drop only half the amount of loot but would also give a shared lockout with the normal 54 raid. Imo, it would allow for more availability to raid for those who can't make the normal east coast raid times and of course allow for smaller or open raiding to actually take place and get more new-to-game people experienced with raiding. For the top guilds, this could allow them to run their normal busy schedule on the regular 54 instance version, but if by chance some people couldn't get in the instance for a win & flagging. The guild could return on an off night and try to win with those mains without lockouts and boxes/alts.

    There are many options out there which could be tried. The point being 54 & instanced are not the only way to do things.
  10. Sancus Augur

    What are you actually asking for? As far as I can discern, allowing 54 into a raid while "tuning" it for 42 just means making raids easier.

    Changing the raid size is a completely different and fairly complicated matter that I think would be inadvisable at this point in EQ. But that's not what you're actually asking for, as far as I can tell.

    I'm not trying to be a ****, this just seems like a really roundabout way of asking for a relatively simple thing.
    Allayna and gotwar like this.
  11. Aurmoon Augur

    Going to toss out an idea:

    What if you were permitted to bring up to 72 characters on a raid, HOWEVER, if you bring more than 54 then the raid will award NO credit for progression. Strictly loot, no flags, no achievements, nada. You still need the requisite flags to participate in a raid (or 85/15 rule), so you could only really throw 54+ characters at either the first raid in the expansion or raids for which the majority of your guild is flagged. Limits zerging your way through an expansion, but offers up the opportunity for guilds or pickup raids to gear up more easily. Would also be nice for guilds that have the entire expansion on farm status to not have to run a bench OR deal with swapping in/out alts to loot gear.
  12. segap Augur

    And tune it for 42, it will be beatable by 30. That's less than 2 of each class if balanced, but there will likely be redundancy of warriors and clerics as well as stacking of Berserkers and Wizards (top dps dogs + numbers for alliances) wiping entire classes out of the realm of invitation.

    With 16 classes, it's not feasible to shrink the raid size. Unless they consolidate classes to essentially be identical only differing in button names. Which would destroy what gives the game a unique flavor.

    Reality is the game population is shrinking. People need to suck it up and consolidate guilds. Some help could come from DBG in either a few server merges or free transfers with some designating of certain servers to encourage certain groups of people to congregate (such as regional/time zone targets). Getting people with similar schedules consolidated opens the door to more people raiding that don't currently with the nearly universal Eastern US biased schedule. There's a significant untapped pool of potential raiders that just can't fit in with most guilds, but they're all spread out across all the servers. Getting those people together and engaged will keep them playing rather than shrinking raids and further thinning out the population by dumbing things down and excluding classes.
    Annastasya and Metanis like this.
  13. gotwar Augur

    Re-read OP. Designing raids for 42 while keeping the cap at 54 is a poor idea.

    I still support capping raids at 42. It would get an unbelievable amount of pushback from the community, but a brief list of reasons why I support it:

    • Reduction in server-side lag, a problem that may get worse as time goes on. Or it may clear up on the next patch. There's no way to know, but cutting two full groups out of a raid most definitely reduces the amount of lag present on events. My #1 reason for wanting this.
    • 42 person raid roster is easier to curate and maintain than 54. This is particularly relevant for keying concerns. It's easy to say "well, you'll still have the same problems with XX that you will with YY," but the reality is its far easier to get 42 people to show up consistently than 54. My #2 reason for wanting this.
    • Lower population servers, or smaller guilds, will flat out have an easier time getting up to a raid-ready level. Again, you can make the same argument here of "if you're having problems with 54 person raids, you'll have those same problems with XX person raids," but it's always going to be easier to gather 42 people than 54.
    • I guarantee every guild on the top 10 could find 12 under performers or low-attendance members to bench/remove from their roster. Nobody has a perfect, elite, S+ tier roster of 54 raiders.
    • Streamlining of raid management and guild maintenance. Again, it's just easier to herd 42 people than it is to herd 54.
    I'm sure there are many counter-arguments or reasons why point on this list aren't valid, but it's my opinion. It will also never happen, but we're all free to kill time during the workday debating it here on the forums anyway :)

    Valhallah has been running with 54+ a large bench all summer, and I'd be intimately involved with any roster analysis related to cutting two full groups out of our lineup, for what it's worth.
  14. Intenso Augur

    Or stop the dps check / time limits they prob hurt low tier guild the most ?
    Yinla likes this.
  15. Metanis Augur

    I don't think 42 is a bad number, or even 48. But I don't think there is enough 'extra capacity' in the Dev crew to make it happen. I mean when you've been creating content for 54 for 10 years then trying to re-jigger that for some other arbitrary number is going to be hard. So we would end up with raid content that doesn't work properly and would take years to get fixed if ever.
  16. Belkar_OotS Augur

    This is much more in line with my actual thoughts without my poor attempt at being diplomatic.

    A guild that has 54 just needs to stop recruiting for a few months and they will attrition to 42 I can almost guarantee it.

    Classes are supposed to be interchangeable already and only the top guilds even start to look like they have balance. Lower end guilds always have a flood of a class or 2 and basically none of 3-4 classes.

    The big issue is there isn't enough content for behind the curve guilds (or any really but that's a different argument).

    Raids are tuned on what the beta guilds class balance looks like anyway, the design isn't approximating the optimal and suboptimal contributions of each class in a vacuum.
  17. Millianna Augur

    Most raids are already optimized for smaller raid forces than 54. The 54 limit gives a raid the opportunity to use numbers to make up for any discrepancies. Lowering the raid size will make raids harder, but give smaller raid force the opportunity to try something instead of calling it.
  18. Atvar Augur

    I know a lot has changed, but do any of you even remember when this was attempted in Seeds of Destruction beta? Lets look at what happened in the past:

    Sony announced a 42 person raid limit (I believe). A HUGE push back occurred on the forums with 50+ page threads. They changed their mind and decided to go with the standard 54 man raids. SoD ends up being the easiest expansion in years, yet some servers top guilds still never defeat it while current (looking at you Druzzil Ro, and maybe others). After SoD launch (what exact timing?), they release hard mode 36 man raids with slightly better stats. Again, most top guilds plow through the 36 man raids without even missing those extra 18 people.

    Next expansion, Underfoot, all those guilds that reached the endgame made a huge outcry when 54 man raids actually took 54 people again.

    My own perspective of going through the above proposed changes on the progression server with RoI are below.

    Sony never did re-tune Seeds of Discord. They weren't expecting the huge outcry and by then they didn't have the resources to go and redo every event, and the result was cakewalk. We were told we'd never beat T2, T3, Zek brothers with the 40 person roster we were running. We ended up beating Zek Brothers with 43 people in raid. One tank had to leave partway through the event (Atnuob) to pick up his sister and managed to tank for minutes before dying just by using /autorun. A few failed apps were invited for this event only to give an expansion high raid force of 43 players. We went on to farm this raid weekly, while a lot of guilds never beat it and used flagged server transfer players to skip it and finish the rest of the expansion. I saw a lot of arguments and players banned from server forums when guilds would claim to have "beat SoD expansion", and said players would ask "oh, when did you beat Zek Brothers?" /banned. LOL....

    Fast forward to today, RoI still regularly raids with mid 40's when people don't log in over holidays etc. and still finishes in one night. During progression, its not uncommon for serverwide first kills to have only high 40's or low 50's in the raid due to flagging issues. While other guilds wait to flag an entire force, RoI will plow through if enough back flags will drop to quickly fix the issue. With gear, the current expansion can already be beaten with 42 people.

    If Daybreak were to actually tune raids to 42 people, we would either end up with an Underfoot like expansion where only the very top guilds remain successful, or an unprecedented expansion where a solid 30 person raid would be capable of defeating everything. It is hard to contemplate just how drastic an overall change this would be to the raiding game, better or worse.
    Spellfire and Sancus like this.
  19. Cicelee Augur

    Issues described in this thread feel more like player issues and not developer/game issues...
    Genoane and Allayna like this.
  20. Mehdisin Mahn Augur

    I'm a fan of reintroducing non-progression related raids. either as 1-offs in the various tiers of progression or just as standalone raid zones/events that don't have separate flagging requirements. main progression could continue to utilize the current structure and 2 or 3 events could be added and tuned to lower numbers or skillsets with an appropriate adjustment to the reward. no need to add any complicated achievements to them either.

    High end guilds would beat them once and move on (or farm them on/for alts), where lower end guilds could use them to gear up until they can beat the "progression" related content. my opinion, everyone wins.... or at least nobody loses.
    snailish, Belchere and Daedly like this.

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