The Karazhan Mistake

August 30, 2007 by at 6:15 am • Filed Under Etc., Noteworthy 
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(CAUTION: Before I link this interview with WoWarcraft’s Mr. Didier and Tigole (aka Mrs. Kaplan’s son) from the Games Convention in Leipzig, I’ll warn you that this site set off bells and whistles in my Firefox NoScript. So don’t click if you’re an extra cautious type. I’ve uploaded a screenshot of the page to Flickr and you can read the entire interview there.)

From an interview at the Leipzig Games Convention with WoWarcraft’s senior art director Sam Didier and lead designer Jeffrey Kaplan (Tigole) by’s Stuart Bishop — Tigole said:

The big lesson we learned from The Burning Crusade was that our ten-person instances are extremely popular. So for Wrath of the Lich King we wanted progression in the ten-person raid game for the players… who want to stick to that ten-person cap.

Well dammit boys, you learned the wrong lesson. You completely missed the most important lesson of The Burning Crusade, that is “The Karazhan Mistake”. And really, how could you miss it? I don’t know — I guess because you’re listening to the neo-uber guilds STILL, instead of the meat of the raiding bell curve.

Nevertheless. Since you all failed that portion of the final exam, let’s go over the material again (with some added explanations for the non-WoW people):

Karazhan is a 10-man instance with a reset timer of one week. It is firmly placed in the line of gear progression. Technically, you could skip Kara gear and step right into the first 25-man instances, I suppose, if you had a guild composed entirely of messiahs, prophets and gods. (Hint: none of us do.)

Therefore, since we all had to do Karazhan at some point, every guild either had to run multiple simultaneous weekly Karazhan raids with guildmembers tied to a single raid ID (no swapping of guildmates to the other guild Kara raids), OR, they ran a single Karazhan over and over and over and over many weeks to gear everyone up for the 25-man raids.

Was this fun? (Imagine I drew a huge question mark on the whiteboard at this point.) NO IT WAS NOT. I’ll pause while you take some notes. No pen or paper? Crimony. Never go into class or into the boss’s office without pens (plural) and paper. Write that down too.

We’re continuing. So here’s what happened with Karazhan. If the guild chose to run multiple simultaneous Karazhans, and if they required more than one night to clear Karazhan (typical), every once in a while some of the raiders had real life obligations and couldn’t show up that night and a replacement was needed. And so another guildmate was locked into a raid ID and was unavailable for the other Karazhans as replacements. Inevitably, one Karazhan raid would be the strongest and the others were weaker — either by way of gear or attendance or ability/knowledge of the zone.

While guilds would try to balance out the raids from week to week (to week to week to week), one set of guildmates were well prepared for the 25-mans and ready to go, and the others not so much. Mostly the geared/keyed guildmates would look for greener pastures and move on, or, maybe, wait around for what seemed like flippin-4-evah for the rest of the guild — either way, you’ve set up a pressure cooker for guild implosion.

This precarious period for guilds would last until they could step into the 25-mans (admittedly, that step was made much easier with the lifting of attunements), and continue until the guild could bid fucking adieu to the Kara trashfest.

Now write this part down: This was not lack of commitment or lack of ambition or lack of skeelz, this was poor game mechanics screwing over guilds. You can’t tell your players, ok have a raid force for 40-man gear farms, now slim down for 10-man gear farms, oops, now bulk up for 25-mans.

So here’s the deal. Either fix the fucking raid system for 10-man gear-required instances or stick to a 25-man progression model. Yes, we players love the ideal of 10-man instances, but not if we have to mess with guild numbers up, down, up again, now down … and finally back up again. (Imagine I drew alternating up and down arrows on the whiteboard.) Since, I dare say, you haven’t been active in guild recruitment and raid invites and /tells from the undergeared and the overgeared for quite some time, let me remind you, IT’S A ROYAL PAIN IN THE ASS.

Here’s an example: Poor guildmate has a hard time getting into guild raids for a while, we’re overstaffed with his class, he’s undergeared because he misses the 10-man clear, whatever. I /tell him sorry mate, maybe next run. For a few weeks I tell him this and he complains of course, I listen, but damn, I have a raid to attend. He’s fed up and moves on to another guild. I’m relieved, albeit temporarily because I can see the future. Now we’re firmly in the 25-mans FINALLY, and oops, we need more raiders.

I could ask former guildmates who moved on because they were slower than the rest of us in gearing up IF I liked being told to fuck off (which I don’t, btw), or I can look for a feeder guild, i.e. a guild behind mine in progression whose better geared people are looking for said greener pastures. And I can poach from guilds around the same progression as mine, which is poor form, I know, however, I’m already being told daily to “fuck off” by my former raiders, so being told to “fuck off” by other guild’s leaders isn’t that big of a deal.

Thank you, game mechanics.

Two ways I believe 10-man instances could still fit into a 25-man raid-gear progression model:

1. Raid IDs of 3 days for the 10-mans, similar to Zul’Grub. Dare I hope for 1-day raid IDs for 10-mans? No, I do not dare hope.
or 2. Guild-wide raid IDs. Probably the 3-day solution is much easier to implement.

(Imagine I wrote “Hope” on the whiteboard and drew a circle around it with a slash through it, cuz there’s a whole lot of shit I don’t dare hope.)

Be ignorant no more, consider yourself enlightened. Now go forth and develop.


106 Responses to “The Karazhan Mistake”

  1. ontherocks on August 30th, 2007 7:06 am

    I don’t think the problem is having more 10 man raids or even the reset timers. It’s the fact that Kara was more or less required to move into 25 mans. Whereas ZG and AQ20 weren’t in order to start into the old 40 mans.

    If they plan on still having 25 man raids in the next expansion, then make the first one the entry level one.

  2. Phil on August 30th, 2007 7:19 am

    Wow, I’m so glad I never got into raiding, this just doesn’t sound like fun at all.

  3. FreeJack on August 30th, 2007 7:48 am

    Yeah the one week raid timer on 10-mans has to go. Three days would be perfect. /agree

  4. GSH on August 30th, 2007 7:55 am

    I disagree with the 3-day timer. It screws over guilds just moving into raiding, and trying to learn the instance.

    It guarantees that you cannot have 3 standard raid days every week without the instance resetting in between them most weeks. People naturally schedule their activities around the week. I raid Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays. Lockouts that ignore that fact of human nature are a very bad idea.

  5. Lono on August 30th, 2007 9:03 am

    Yeah, I’m stuck at the lower end of the end the gear spectrum in my guild right now. They are starting SSC this week and I still need badly to do Kara and run 5 mans to gear up. And if my guild steps into Kara its to farm a few easy gold for the bank, no taking the undergeared, they want to GTFO of Kara as fast as possible.

    So I’m stuck trying to play catch up with 5mans and pugs kara or either I leave for a Kara level guild and try not to shoot myself as they attemps to clear the place and survive the drama… guess I’ll try catch up for now…

  6. Foton on August 30th, 2007 9:12 am

    I disagree with the 3-day timer. It screws over guilds just moving into raiding, and trying to learn the instance.

    That’s very true.

  7. Eridan on August 30th, 2007 9:17 am

    I’m in a small guild (about 15 lvl 70s) and we raid Karazhan Thursdays and Mondays. With the current 7 day resets, we usually manage to kill everything. But with 3 day resets we would never have gotten past the first bosses.

    I used to be in a hardcore raiding guild that’s now in BT, so I understand the pains running Karazhan and 25 man raids. But I agree with ontherocks – have entry level 25 man raids in Wrath of the Lich King so big guilds can skip 10 mans entirely. Don’t change the resets, at least if the instance is as large as Karazhan.

  8. Mena on August 30th, 2007 9:30 am

    Kara makes me cry, seriously. I almost hate to say it, but coming up a few short for a 40 man prebc did not cause nearly the frustration as the current 10-man kara and its 7-day raid id does – too many want in, so make more groups, then its balance problems – man, it’s like “The song that never ends”.

    An entry level 25-man would be great.

  9. Bitt on August 30th, 2007 9:37 am

    At BlizzCon Blizzard commented that the vast majority of raiders were in Karazhan. Blizzard took this to mean players preferred the 10-man raids and decided to build more. There didn’t seem to be any consideration for the fact that as you go higher in raid progression your population shrinks a good deal. I would also think that such numbers may indicate a problem rather than a preference, guilds getting jammed up in Karazhan perhaps?

  10. steven on August 30th, 2007 9:47 am

    you’re like in my head, reading my thoughts… =)

  11. Evil M on August 30th, 2007 10:04 am

    Amen on the freakin’ timers and lockouts. Nothing worse than our Saturday group tanks not being there, and losing out on a Kara run for the week because the other tanks are locked to th e weekday group.

    A guild-based lockout could be bad (1/2 the lootz because everyone is saved to the same instance)

    Seriously though, if you can’t clear Kara in 3 days, your gear or raid experience level just isn’t there yet. I would imagine most can get at down tOpera or Curator in a single night.

  12. Taiza on August 30th, 2007 10:16 am

    O-M-G! you are soooooooo right.. that’s exactly why my guild broke up. :(

  13. steven on August 30th, 2007 10:21 am

    @ Foton,
    Foton, can I reference your post above on a topic I would create in the WOW boards?
    I totally feel the same way you do in regards to 10 mans. It is to the point where I only go to Kara when my GM personally invites me and asks that I go. I hate that place.

    Blizz needs to be called out on their bullshit about the popularity of the 10 raids.

  14. Laura on August 30th, 2007 10:26 am

    If you can’t learn through Curator using a 3 day timer over a few weeks or months, then maybe you need to change something.

  15. steven on August 30th, 2007 10:31 am

    @ Laura and Evil M

    Please remember that there is a new player base that is entering into WOW that never had the opportunity to learn how to raid in 40 person runs (or even the 20 person run in classic WOW).
    This newer group of WOW player are facing raiding for the first time and killing murlocs off some coast does not compare to killing elites, even if they are Kara elites.
    It will take some players a longer amount of time to learn how a multi-person raid is supposed to work.
    There is that possibility that a 3 day timer would grossly affect a newer guilds progress.

  16. DGM on August 30th, 2007 10:40 am

    I disagree, if you have the opportunity to kill the first few kara bosses every 3 days, then you’ll get more experience doing just that and you’ll get through them faster each time until you’re able to take more and more in the 3 day window.

    Having said that, I’d love them to allow you to set when the raid ID expires, either 3 or 7 days, etc. That would be sweet.

  17. steven on August 30th, 2007 10:41 am

    self-expiring IDs would be sweet.

  18. Laura on August 30th, 2007 11:05 am

    Actually, I don’t have preTBC raiding experience. Although I’ve been playing since 2005. With my limited experience, I say raiding comes down to the following:

    1. Either people can listen to instructions or they can’t.
    2. Either people are willing to show up with gear and consumables or they aren’t.

    If a guild can’t get those two things going, the reset timer could be 2 months and it wouldn’t matter.

  19. Jim on August 30th, 2007 12:14 pm

    I co lead a guild, we started doing Gruul, Mag, and three kara runs 4 nights a week.

    Once they dropped the SSC and Eye Attunement we do Gruul, Mag, Loot Reaver, and SSC three nights a week. We still run Kara on offnights with three groups but it is mostly alts.

  20. stark on August 30th, 2007 1:55 pm

    not-so-novel idea #1: Get rid of raid IDs entirely. What? You’re progressing too fast? You mean, you actually play the game all the time, with 1 ‘main’ toon? HOW DARE YOU! I PUNISH YOU FOR FINISHING THE DUNGEON (by forcing raid id’s and cool-downs).

    not-so-novel idea #2: Move to more of a ‘Scarlet Monestary’ instance that has 4 wings (yes, each with it’s own raid id, and a 3 day cooldown if you ‘must‘. /sigh), ensure it only takes 1-2 hours per wing (with a wipe or two). (I’d almost re-subscribe).

    Maybe I’m just bitter.

  21. Foton on August 30th, 2007 3:05 pm

    I’ll vote for either idea, 1 or 2

  22. Krakatoa on August 30th, 2007 3:21 pm

    I do not agree with this post.

    Were the previous raiding mechanics better? Hell, no!
    Your argument is that a 10-man cap will lead to part of the guild being very strong and the rest very weak? And what happened before? Could you really handle a raiding schedule with enough raids to fully equip 40 people?
    Maybe if you were a member of those über-guilds you claim Blizzard is still listening to…

    The most common end-result of 40-man raids was to have 9 or 10 people with maybe one or two pieces of epic gear, not 40 complete epic sets!

    The raiding mechanics have definitely improved for the better and I’m glad there are more 10-man dungeons forthcoming.

  23. tatsujin on August 30th, 2007 3:55 pm

    i totally agree with you on having fixed members with their ID’s to a 10 man. i could be wrong, blizzard doesn’t want that same character that killed a boss (moroes, for example) to go to another raid within that same week and kill the same boss. so far they probably thought that system was the best — but i totally disagree with that. honestly, our guild is a raiding core guild and we are focusing on core members to be there when we need them. of course, some odd-sh!t happens and one or two members in your kara-team doesn’t show up … so take another member from the guild to balance it out? eh …. they need to come up with a new system that can allow any member to go to any raid with no restrictions. i could say, if you kill nightbane, for example, on that one week then what loot drops there is the “only” time you would be able to bid/roll for the epics, and if you go in again within that same week ( or period of time before reset ) then you will not be able to get loot from that boss. it might suck cu’z you may want a piece that may not drop for you, but drops in the 2nd+ raid. but i believe that system should work well. i tossed my two cents, don’t flame me please :)

  24. Jim K on August 30th, 2007 4:03 pm

    I don’t think Foton has ever argued in favor of a 40 person raid system. Think you misread that. He’s sayign fix the raid id system for that one 10 person raid in the gear cycle or go with 25 person raids all the way thru. Our guild had same issues with karazan and moving to 25 raids.

  25. Andrew Breese on August 30th, 2007 4:44 pm

    I don’t like the suggested idea that a guild is tagged with an instance ID, as some guilds (like mine) run two kara groups per week.

    The problem seems that we want to have short timers for when we’re learning, and slightly longer timers when doing them on farm.

    @Stark above – totally agree. Wing these instances with 3 day timers, and we can choose which bits we do when.

    The instances could be split into two parts based on difficulty, rather than totally separate wings with scaled bosses (like SM). So instead of doing the graveyard, then armoury, you’d do the Kara servants areas, then the Kara upper levels.

    BTW the best instance so far IMHO for my casual playstyle was Zul’Grub. Good base loot, it rewarded many return trips with good gear, and bosses were strategic. And you could pug replacements, and take Alts without much drama.

  26. stark on August 30th, 2007 6:01 pm

    @Andrew Breese: ZG and upper brs(when it was 15) were some of the funnest instance runs I had. Once you learned ’em, you got to enjoy the chatter.

    MC / Onyx / BWL / Naxx always ended up turning into either an easy run, or a “-50 DKP!” for the mage who was always standing (AFK) on the respawn spots for 20 minutes.

  27. Saylah on August 30th, 2007 6:38 pm

    I’ll skip by the fact that the writing and expression of thoughts was fun as usual. Kara has been one of the worst hamster wheels they’ve dumped into the raid scene in quite some time. I cringe at the thought that they actually think they’re helping casual guilds.

    By the time a small guild makes it thru Kara and gears up the regulars, their numbers aren’t large enough to ratchet up to 25-man content. To do 25-man regularly, probably requires upwards of 40 geared members, which you probably don’t have after crawling on glass thru Kara.

    What I see happen is small guild gets 20 something thru Kara then they have to start spamming the Trade channel for more people, who are ALREADY geared from Kara so they can advance. This should be telling someone at Blizz that they whole start at 10 crap isn’t working.

  28. Raziel on August 30th, 2007 9:06 pm

    @britt I think blizz thinks that too. lots of numbers in kara = people love kara. But god that zone sucks. Good suggestions here in this thread.

    great post btw, foton.

  29. Byron Ellacott on August 30th, 2007 9:37 pm

    I personally blame the difficulty of Gruul’s Lair. If Gruul himself wasn’t such a min-max driven fight, you could handle having 5 or even 10 under-geared people who got screwed by KZ’s bullshit, but as it stands you need everyone in the Gruul fight to be largely KZ geared.

    Alternatively, Gruul and Magtheridon should have been T5 bosses, with SSC relegated as the first 25-man raid, allowing a number of loot pinata kills early on to overcome the same basic problem: it’s a logistic nightmare to gear 25 people in a 10-man raid zone.

  30. Byron Ellacott on August 30th, 2007 9:42 pm

    Oh yeah, and the reason we apparently love KZ is as others have said: we can’t get the fuck out of it because we don’t have enough geared (and motivated, after having tried to move up several times now) players to get into GL properly.

    Still… providing a 10-man progression chain would work out just as well. Giving us Zul’aman means we can just give up on the 25-man game altogether raid ZA until WotLK. If, of course, the guild holds together that long.

  31. Jarnis on August 30th, 2007 10:54 pm

    While Karazhan was originally very difficult and called for 7 day timer simply because it was pain to clear in less than 4-5 days, it’s no longer true.

    Many changes and nerfs along the way have turned Kara into the Kwik-e-Mart for epix, and in my guild of about 100 players (yes, big guild), even the most moronic newbies recruited last week manage to scrape together rag-tag croups that clear the place in two evenings (about 5-6 hours total), with the odd wipe-giveup on prince or nightbane. Even without full clears, their gear is progressing rapidly. More skilled groups clear it these days in 3-4 hours (one go). I think my personal record for a full clear is 2 hours 51 minutes. It *is* the new URBS, except that it still has a 7 day lockout timer.

    So, my vote would definitely be on 3-day reset, or alternatively 7 day reset, with the option of manually resetting once 3 days has passed from saving to the instance – kinda best of both worlds.

    I agree with a couple of earlier posters that if you can’t clear Karazhan in 3 days after a few weeks of practice, you are pretty much hopeless and simply Suck At WoW.

    I can’t see how it could be breaking up guilds, unless you already have too few people to actually raid. When the raid cap dropped to 25, it didn’t change the fact that you really need 60-70 active players to staff raids without problems. You can turn that into 5-6 weekly Karazhans, two runs on each 25-man and plenty of ‘room’ for RL emergencies and class imbalances. Yes, it requires mature class leaders juggling who gets to go where etc, but in our example everyone who wants to, gets to raid 3-4 evenings a week, with the option of picking Kara, Gruul/Mag, SSC, TK, Hyjal or BT based on their gear level and attunements/progression.

    Only guilds that stop their recruitment after they can safely staff one Karazhan run into these problems. Grow bigger. The only issue with growing bigger is that you need mature players who can look beyond ‘me, need, give, now, must-be-in-every-raid’. I can see how it might be a problem for a pile of pre-teens with attention disorders, but in my opinion there is no real reason to develop a game based on their Special Needs.

  32. kendall on August 30th, 2007 11:05 pm

    When the raid cap dropped to 25, it didn’t change the fact that you really need 60-70 active players to staff raids without problems. You can turn that into 5-6 weekly Karazhans, two runs on each 25-man and plenty of ‘room’ for RL emergencies and class imbalances.

    god, and you dont see that as a problem??!

    o wait. You’re the .5 % that’s in BT. and the rest of us have “special needs” like a family and a job.

  33. Jarnis on August 31st, 2007 2:15 am

    When the raid cap dropped to 25, it didn’t change the fact that you really need 60-70 active players to staff raids without problems. You can turn that into 5-6 weekly Karazhans, two runs on each 25-man and plenty of ‘room’ for RL emergencies and class imbalances.

    god, and you dont see that as a problem??!

    o wait. You’re the .5 % that’s in BT. and the rest of us have “special needs” like a family and a job.

    It might be a problem to some, but it’s a statement of fact on the current situation.

    Many high-end raid encounters call for specific raid builds – “you need X tanks to kill this boss, you need X shadowpriests here” etc. To have the necessary buffer for RL emergencies (yes, we BT raiders tend to have a life as well, I for example usually raid only 3 nights a week), class imbalances and other things, the bare minimum is two extra characters for each possible character class/spec “slot” to rotate players (yes, we have that life, so we can’t raid 5-6 days a week – so we rotate people around). So for a raid of 25, you need 25 + another 20 or so as buffer/replacement/rotation or you will end up with nights when you can’t raid because you don’t have enough people online. Then, the step to actually supporting multi-tiered raiding (some in kara, some in T5 instances, some in T6) you need again bit more depth in the roster… the end result is that a guild should have around 60 players to comfortably be able to do all things TBC offers. Merge with someone, organize raid alliances… fix it.

    Raiding does *not* require you to do it 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. I have full-time day job, and I very rarely play on both days of the weekend – most weeks I raid two weeknights and longer one sunday afternoon, and perhaps spend another night or two (3-4 hours a night) farming some consumables or playing a random alt. Same is true for most of our guild’s players as our average age is around 25-26. All it requires is maturity, ability to organize large groups effectively (delegate, be dependable, be capable of sticking to pre-agreed schedules) and some L33t PlaySkillz(tm).

  34. aaron on August 31st, 2007 6:04 am

    If your guild is in SSC, the only reason to do karazhan is to gear up new apps, the undergeared, or alts. You make more money doing dailies.

  35. Lono on August 31st, 2007 7:38 am


    I had a talk with the GL yesterday and decided to quit the guild for an less advanced one but one at my level. I’d rather wipe in Kara than bench for a few months and hope to grab some loot when the leaders feel like giving some. I don’t like feeling like a beggar.

    I find that Kara in itself is not bad or horrible. In fact I find it rather fun. What’s not fun is the incredible amount of time you have to spend in there in hope your guild eventually pulls through. I mean right now on my server we have two sort of end game guilds. The raiding guilds who are on the 25 mans and the “Kara-feeders” guilds which are stuck in kara because once the members are geared they leave for more advanced guilds because they are tired of waiting around. And that’s probably what I will do too. I’ll gear up in kara and once I’m done with it I’ll have to shop for another guild who needs me to progress in gruul/mag/ssc. Blizz made the game that way and I suppose I’ll have to play by these rules.

    I don’t think blizzard ever intented guild loyalty or progress as part of their endgame plan. Rather they must think guild jumping is a perfect way of playing the game.

  36. Sam on August 31st, 2007 1:34 pm

    I’ll definitely agree that it was a mistake to skip around from ten to 25 mans in terms of progression, they should’ve picked one model and stuck with it the whole way through, with a few off set numbers for screwing around. (MC,BWL VS ZG,AQ20)

    However, I will say this for them: You see a lot more people in Kara due to needing it to progress to the 25 mans, but what you may not be considering and what their internal numbers may be alerting them to, is the astounding number of people who don’t want to be in larger guilds, or guilds who seem to be nothing but loot whores, etc, in order to do the larger instances. I’m willing to bet there’s a lot of players who’re infinitely more likely to find nine friends to go raid with, as opposed to the ones who might be of the same mindset, and refuse to deal with the extra fifteen jackasses. To sum up; there’s probably a lot of people who will be able to do ten mans, who never do the larger raids. Not for lack of skill, but out of want to avoid the big guild drama/greed.

  37. Kadaan on August 31st, 2007 3:21 pm


    I felt like slapping someone when I read “The big lesson we learned from The Burning Crusade was that our ten-person instances are extremely popular.” The #1 biggest gripe I have with BC is the one thing they think they LIKE! ARGHGHHGGGGHDfdfhaldfghasildfuhlasdf

  38. Heartless on September 1st, 2007 10:33 pm

    It’s sad that it took 35 comments before someone even mentioned the possibility that people may just be enjoying the smaller 10 man dungeon without the idea of progressing forward. Every single player I know that raids Kara, has NO plans to progress past that. Kara is their new UBRS/ZG. Everything above that is for that magic 1% of players.

    Blizzard knows one thing for usre; hardcore raiders will do anything to progress. It may just be that Blizzard doesn’t care any longer and finally are focusing on what the majority is out there enjoying.

    So, if Kara is a true speed bump for raid progression, it can take a firm last place in the “fix me” line behind many other issues affecting far more players.

  39. “The Karazhan mistake” | on September 3rd, 2007 10:19 am

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  40. World of Warcraft Gold, WoW Gold, Accounts & Powerleveling » “The Karazhan mistake” on September 3rd, 2007 10:30 am

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  41. Dominik Gabler on September 3rd, 2007 1:08 pm

    kara is perfect for the crowd that enjoyed running ZG AQ20 only. Meaning the guilds which neither wanted or could progress into the 40man arena.
    For the high end raiders kara is and has always been a nightmare, since it was REQUIRED for progression, but had a different size than the following instances.
    The second mistake of kara was that it was not designed properly… There is too much trash and a too linear instance for it to be truly fun.
    I honestly thought after Nax that blizz had learned to design a proper winged instance (actually i thought that after SM but was promptly proven wrong), but every single instance in BC i entered was back to the old design (one long instance instead of completly seperated wings).
    Honestly, i wonder what feedback blizz is reading, since quite honestly they keep going backwards instead of forwards.

  42. Glim on September 3rd, 2007 3:27 pm

    One point is forgotten, kara drops mutch more epic loot than ZG did. A 7 day timer makes that possible for game balance. Its about half the raidnights and twice the loot. So maby its a a ratwheel but not as mutch as the old instances.

    But I agree that the jump between 10 and 25 is a bit problematic.

  43. lsickler on September 4th, 2007 9:27 am

    I have to disagree with this post, Karazhan has provided our guild and me specifically with great content. With previous 40 man raids and now 25 man raids most guilds schedule them during prime time to attract the most available people thus catering to the ‘Raiding Crowd’ (i.e. people that play mainly from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM nightly). By providing a 10 man raiding instance this has opened up the window of raiding from those prime time hours to a vastly broader audience.

    For example our guild mostly made up of adults with children, single working adults and college students etc. We typically have real life stuff going on during prime time and our world does not revolve around WoW. So we have people going to 3 different Karazhan Raids one being more traditional (6:00 PM server time, one late night 9:00 PM server time and one very early in the morning 4:00 AM or some crazy time.) If the 40/25 man raiding requirement had been kept in place we would have fewer people raiding and our only raid would be a more traditional time.

    Additionally they did some other stuff really well in Karazhan. The way they have attached the trash in each area to a certain boss is good. This allows raids to go for 2-3 hours and not have to reclear trash etc (Much better then say Molten Core). Vendors that can repair in the instance, oh you have to love that. Also they make very good use of each class, some fights a caster heavy group is good and some fights more melee DPS is good. Thus there is no optimal group to take into Karazhan overall.

    So I don’t think it can be argued that moving to 10 man’s is not a good thing for the game as it opens up raiding style content to more casual guild and players.

    This is not to say that there are not specific problems which Karazhan has introduced, which I have outlined as follows:

    1) Karazhan is a LONG linear instance. It would be nice if you could skip bosses etc. similar to the way you could in ZG. Although if you could run right up to the Prince it would seem this would diminish the accomplishment of the instance. Thus I think this is a balancing act. Reducing some of the trash would be nice especially between the Curator and Aran.

    2) 10 Man raids should have their own progression and in no way be tied to 25 man raids for gear progression or attunement. Although they should have progression.

    3) Early when we where raiding Karazhan the seven day lockout period was a big problem because when someone was out replacements where tough to come by. Now that people have had a lot of time to level alts etc it’s not very difficult to fill a spot or two from our friends list or guild. It would be nice to have a better mechanic to manage this but keep in mind there is a real need to throttle back a guilds ability to acquire epic loot other wise you’re going to have raiding guilds running raid instances (24×7) and then bitching that there is no content. You might not like this but it’s a fact of the current system.

    Lastly I think Karazhan and Molten Core get ripped on a bit because they are the first real raiding instances for their respective levels. So we have all seen them a lot and are tired of them, really tired of them. Anyway it sounds like they are going to have both a 10 man raiding track and a 25 man raiding track in Wrath of the Lich King which I think is good.

  44. Pebbleminder on September 4th, 2007 10:20 am

    Blizzard Screwed the Pooch from the very start of BC In my opinion. This would have made more scense Using Helfire as an example.

    5 Man Regular leveling ( Ramparts )
    5 Man Heroic 70 ( Blood Furnace )
    10 Man 68-70( Shattered Halls )

    In the end 4-5 leveling instances, 4-5 Heroic Instances and 3-4 10 Man RAid instances ( not 1 )

    Karazhan has to many mobs, is class restrictive, Doesn’t leave any “Doh” room for people who are average players. As a beginning instance it sucks!

  45. Abalieno on September 4th, 2007 11:32 am

    I’m in a small guild (about 15 lvl 70s) and we raid Karazhan Thursdays and Mondays. With the current 7 day resets, we usually manage to kill everything. But with 3 day resets we would never have gotten past the first bosses.

    The solution is quite simple, set a minimum limit for reset (if you really need one) and then let guild leaders manually reset when they want, up to a month if necessary.

  46. blachawk on September 5th, 2007 1:58 am

    “Karazhan is a LONG linear instance. It would be nice if you could skip bosses etc.”

    Uhh.. you can.

  47. Kheldul on September 5th, 2007 6:19 am

    The raid leader or promoted assistant(s) should be able to reset the instance. Bing-bang-boom. You get what you want.

  48. Relmstein on September 5th, 2007 7:44 am

    I think Karazhan always requires a very specific class balance which can make it hard for guilds to form multiple raids for doing it weekly. Usually what happens is that the primary Kara raid group locks out the needed classes for each fight.

    I have to agree that the reason so many guilds are still in Karazhan is because its a roadblock for the 25-man raids. Small guilds love Karazhan simply because its the perfect size for them. Large guilds trying to get into SSC/EYE hate it since they need 25 decently geared people from Karazhan before they can proceed.

  49. John on September 5th, 2007 10:32 am

    They should look to move back to the ZG style instance for entry level 10-man content.

    When I say that I mean “non-linear” where the guild can decide which boss they want to aim for. This combined with a shorter reset is really all that is needed to alleviate a lot problems IMO.

    The inherit problem with Karazhan from my perspective is that it is incredibly large, is very linear, and has a lot of trash. I feel this style of instance would perhaps be better suited for an end-game 10-man dungeon supported by several entry level 10-man’s ZG style.

  50. Kage on September 6th, 2007 6:31 pm

    My favorite response is always the one that says “pfft well just get more guild members, merge, or ally”, always from the bigger guilds that don’t have the issues to begin with.

    That is what we call a disconnect.

  51. Mike on September 7th, 2007 1:49 am

    All i can say is Kara brought our server together, We ALWAYS pug it, same with gruels. So if you guys are still having problems with those instances, i just feel bad for you.

  52. Dustomatic on September 7th, 2007 3:22 am

    wooboy…another poorly written qq blog where the authors opinion is fact, blames game mechanics for his guilds lack of organization and throws in a few curses to sound cool.

    Everyone has had to make an adjustment at some point during the games lifespan. Blizzard is going to do whats best for everyone, not whats specifically tailored to your guilds shortcomings. I suppose a ‘Lrn2MMO’ is in order

  53. Fred on September 7th, 2007 6:22 am

    I could be wrong but this is my opinion from a casual raider point of view.

    Ever wonder why so much of the population is in Kara and not beyond? It’s because it’s easier to organize a run for a 10 man instance and non-hardcore raiders (due to RL commitments) can be included. Now Blizzard may have finally realized that is how it’s going to retain a majority of it’s casual gamers who would have left out of lack of progression for them. So I can see why they would want continue 10 man instances.

    Now to satisfy both the regular gamers and hard-core raiders they should create a separate progression lines.
    10 mans for the casual gamers who get the chance at seeing new content, epics and obtaining tier sets (lets say 5 or 6).
    25 mans that don’t require you to farm a 10 man but do provide higher end epics/pattern/recipes (of course lets say tier 7 & 8).

    Of course the ones in the 25 mans would see more content and get the better loot just like now, as those that are on Gruuls and beyond are the “hardcore raiders”, while a good portion of the paying population will never get past Kara until they free up time to be a hardcore raider.

    I’m assuming a lot are like myself who just can’t commit the time to spend to raid more than 3 times a week (don’t forget I’d have to farm for mats for pots too) because if I did that I’d be neglecting something in RL….like family, friends or work. 10 mans I can do with my guild, 25 mans…I don’t think we’ll be there. RL schedules make it hard for 25 of us on at the same time.

    Anyway I thought I’d lay it out there from a casual point of view.

  54. BobRM on September 7th, 2007 7:25 am

    Casual raider, mostly ungeared, in a guild that’s cleared Kara with one team (multiple times) and is trying to grow in size to do 25-man, and I can see the logistics nightmare that it’s going to be.

    Not having grown sick of it yet, the zone seems nice, the fights are fun, and the gear drops are plenty and varied (you can get T4 with the tokens, OR a completely drop-based equivalent). It will, however, burn out our raid organizers and leaders, and our well-geared people could leave, of course.

    Instead of one timer, or 3-day timers, what I would like to see is a guild-based pool of instance ID’s: if you have 40 L70’s in your guild, you could theoretically do 4 parallel Kara raids, and thus use up 4 instance ID’s. Your members should be allowed to enter any of these 4 instances as needed, but not any others. In effect, instead of each individual being locked into one instance, they could be locked in a pool of 4 (or 3 or 2 or however many Blizzard deems balanced, but more than 1!!).

    It would make things easier to organize when the regulars can’t come.

  55. normalice on September 7th, 2007 7:38 am

    if you had enough for the 40 mans, how did you not have enough for the 25 mans?

    did you trim down your numbers by getting rid of people? well, then you have no idea how to run a guild, so it is actually a good thing if you never progress.

    what you should have done, and it’s very simple: you have 40 guys, presumably, at the launch of tbc. you do kara with 3 groups of 10. In the unlikely event that everyone shows up, do 4 groups of 10.

    the first 25 to be geared run the 25 man instance, and the rest continue to run kara.

    of course, ideally, a guild of 50 is the better number, if everything works how it should, but that isn’t likely. you have to depend on some guys not showing up.

  56. RevanAD on September 7th, 2007 8:08 am

    I don’t think they’re wrong in saying that 10-mans are quite popular… many smaller, more casual guilds are able to do them and it does give a raiding feel and help them feel a bit less like they’re stagnating. I and my guild certainly enjoyed Karazhan for the most part, though you’re right about all the headaches implicit with having people within the guild locked on seperate ID’s and with the frustrations of doing invites for 10-mans (I hated that, the tells wondering why someone didn’t get an invite).

    What they’ve said so far about WotLK raiding hasn’t made it clear one way or the other, but I think it’s entirely possible that they will do some things to help this situation.

    For one thing, I get the feeling (though this could just be wishful thinking I suppose) that Naxxramas is going to be entry-level raid content. That is, there may be both a 10-man and 25-man raid that can be tackled in level 80 blues. For guilds with the numbers for 25-mans, this would mean less worry about some of the 10-man problems… more people can be invited to a 25-man raid, obviously. They could focus on the 25-man for gearing up for the next tier of raids, and maybe have the 10-man content as something they do as less of a focus, for fun and additional gear. For guilds that can’t generally scrape together enough people for 25-mans, they still have a 10-man in which to work on gear in order to progress to the second tier 10-man (no more “progression = 25-man only”?) or until they have the numbers to try a 25-man.

    As far as raid IDs go, I’d love to see some thought put in to some improvements for that system. At the very least, I’d like the guild panel to be able to display more information, including possibly the raid ID’s members are saved to for various raids (not heroics though). Would make it easier to see who is and isn’t available as a replacement or for forming another group. The idea of guild-wide raid IDs is easier said than done. Given the current raid ID system, this would mean only one 10-man instance clear per reset, which wouldn’t make much sense.

  57. Pik on September 7th, 2007 8:13 am

    Guilds imploded when BC came out.

    The problem I have is that it’s intellectually dishonest to assume that Kara is automatically popular because of the numbers of people in it when it is the forced progression path. People who don’t want to be there or hate to be there have to go too, which skews the results.

    Bottom line, Kara should have been parallel to the first 25 man instance. It should have been an either/or situation much like ZG/MC or AQ20/BWL turned out to be.

  58. Darian on September 7th, 2007 8:16 am

    This isn’t a problem of game mechanics, it’s a problem of guild mechanics. Lets look at your example.

    Here’s an example: Poor guildmate has a hard time getting into guild raids for a while, we’re overstaffed with his class, he’s undergeared because he misses the 10-man clear, whatever. I /tell him sorry mate, maybe next run. For a few weeks I tell him this and he complains of course, I listen, but damn, I have a raid to attend. He’s fed up and moves on to another guild. I’m relieved, albeit temporarily because I can see the future. Now we’re firmly in the 25-mans FINALLY, and oops, we need more raiders.

    I can’t help but get the feeling that your guild isn’t being managed properly. As you yourself note, the choice to neglect the undergeared players makes the current raid easier but causes bigger problems down the line.

    It might make things more difficult for now, but in the long run it pays to invest in your guild members. Treat them right, and they’ll turn down cherry picking guilds without a second thought.

    I do, however, like the idea of guild wide Raid IDs. That’s an actual game mechanics issue.

  59. CashewalRayder on September 7th, 2007 8:17 am

    Here’s an example: Poor guildmate has a hard time getting into guild raids for a while, we’re overstaffed with his class, he’s undergeared because he misses the 10-man clear, whatever. I /tell him sorry mate, maybe next run. For a few weeks I tell him this and he complains of course, I listen, but damn, I have a raid to attend. He’s fed up and moves on to another guild. I’m relieved, albeit temporarily because I can see the future. Now we’re firmly in the 25-mans FINALLY, and oops, we need more raiders.

    Tell him to run 5-man heroics for badges while he waits. The epic gear from the last boss, along with badge rewards are on par with Kara gear. Get over yourself.

  60. Memnoc on September 7th, 2007 8:50 am

    ABSOLUTELY! There are plenty of opportunities for those that are under geared for even Kara, to get geared. Those guilds that are under-staffed for the 25-man content but over-staffed for the 10-man content should focus on gearing their characters not only with Kara gear but with gear available from other outlets, i.e. reputation/faction rewards, 5-man heroics, profession builds. The content is their and the gear available, just exploit it better.

  61. kaid23 on September 7th, 2007 8:58 am

    I think they have learned their lesson. The big problem was not so much the 10 mans as you HAD to do kara to gear up for the 25 mans. They have already mentioned that they plan to rework nax as an entry level 25 man raid aka something akin to molten core. Where you are expected to be able to enter with your 5 man blue gear.

    Add something like this and the 25 mans who want to raid with the full crew can do so. And maybe 10 man groups of them could moonlight in the 10 mans for more gear to get you geared up even faster than currently. And still have the 10 mans for those who like working with small raids but either cannot devote the time needed for a 25 man run or just like their small family guilds like I do.

  62. Sigh on September 7th, 2007 9:00 am

    Someone had to be replaced for Maiden and is pissed off.

    /sigh it’s fine.

  63. Astronaut on September 7th, 2007 9:05 am

    ….couple these opinions with the reality of merging a couple small guilds to field 25. What I mean by small guilds are guilds that would struggle with a 3 day reset on a 10. Often small guilds don’t have the necessary class balance even for 10 AND tend to focus on DPS classes and specs. So what just happened with a merge? Now there is a bigger problem with class balance and an abundance of DPS classes. Add on to that, the reluctance to give up a DPS spec because “now I can’t solo fast” or because they won’t have fun playing a non-DPS spec (which I’m guilty of).


  64. RevanAD on September 7th, 2007 9:12 am

    Has anyone actually bothered to think about the actual issues with this vague idea of “guild wide raid IDs” or do you just think it sounds nice and say you like it?

    The idea is fundamentally flawed from what I can see, and I’d imagine that’s why Blizzard hasn’t indicated any thought of such a thing.

    Raid IDs are for a specific purpose: Maximum one kill of a given raid boss per player per reset period. (Plus saving progress, but that has little to do with this discussion.) It’s very specific. Guild wide raid IDs cannot hold to that requirement. Group A kills all bosses, group B kills 1. Later some of Group A are needed to sub in to B, and they kill most of the bosses twice during that reset period. This is a very lenient example, as the idea is open to such massive abuse that you may as well have no raid IDs at all. Run the raid with one group, have another player or players form a new ID and run it again. Repeat. Some things could be done to make open abuse a bit harder, but then it becomes more convoluted and more problems arise, and it still doesn’t change the fact that the system doesn’t do what raid IDs are meant to do in the first place.

  65. Rachel on September 7th, 2007 9:27 am

    Another problem is that there is SO much gear in Karazhan and SO much of it isn’t replaced until deep SSC or TK! OH and wait each boss drops many things! So the chance of the item you need is so slim you could get really lucky or be like me and be waiting for 3 things for feasibly 3 or 4 months with either no kill or no drop since “X” time. Zul’Aman may help this a bit but I don’t know if I want to start this cycle again. Give me my drape of the dark reavers, spite blade, and rings!!!! *sigh*

  66. Sixsal on September 7th, 2007 9:37 am

    What I am thinking is that you have a ID that last 7 days, but the raid leader can reset the ID after a full day. There are some guild that can clear kara in one day no problem, that way both uber reaching guild and the guild that need 7 days needs are both met.

  67. stavmar on September 7th, 2007 10:07 am

    I wonder if instead of a 25 man dungeoun progression they should have made it 20 or 30 man. I think an issue I really see is that the uneven size differential for larger guilds where 5 people will be left out due to the weird 25-man size really poses a problem. If a 20-man size existed then two Kara runs could have leveled at the same pace and then merged equally in the 20-man content, if it existed. BUT NO, you need 3 Kara runs going and then you must leave 5 players behind or whichever situation may be the issue in your own guild.

    I do think the game mechanic is an issue, make the raids 20 man or 30 man so each of the raiders in your guild know there will be a spot for them if they attend every week.

    The three 3-day timer will be nice if implemented, it will decrease the wait time between getting your raid geared, but it does not help guilds who still are casual enough to not engage in enough practice.

    Great post and excellent commentary by most.

  68. Sham on September 7th, 2007 12:08 pm

    How about a week-long lockout timer that has the option to reset itself ater 3 days? Meaning that, the base lock out time is still 7 days starting Tuesday mornings, but if you’ve been saved to the instance for at least 3 days, you have the option to reset and start clean, up until the following Tuesday?

  69. Zearth on September 7th, 2007 3:47 pm

    Strangely i have not see this idea floated:

    The zone auto resets every 7 days from your first entry OR 24 hours from dropping of the Prince (so called last boss).

    This way you have the time to learn it, but once you have it on farm you can reset faster and cycle in your other guild mates and gear up for the 25s?

    p.s. I personally would prefer them to have it more like 10 man progression and a seperate 30 progression(so some other multipule of 10), and neither so fine tuned that you had to swap classes in and out for each boss.

  70. Tuna Sammich on September 7th, 2007 6:16 pm

    There are a lot of people who just flat out would prefer to have 10 or 15 person raids and never raid 25 mans. I like the idea of being able to choose which raid instances the guild can do. Perhaps it’s true that most raiders were messed up by Karazhan, but it also gave an opportunity for smaller, more tight-knit guilds to successfully raid.

  71. Karahater on September 8th, 2007 2:42 am

    Look, to those who are complaining about not having enough time to clear Kara in 3 days… How about this:

    Instead of Karazhan being auto-cleared in 3 days. Have it so you can reset it if needed after 3 days (only resets your own ID, not the entire raid), but it auto-resets weekly. That way, some people can get in 2 times the kara runs per week, while others can take their time.. And no one can reset an entire raid’s ID.

  72. Vereku on September 8th, 2007 2:33 pm

    This is true. I’ve been apart of a guild almost collapsing because of it. Well geared players know there is better things out there and with the WOTLK coming sometime we want to see all that TBC has to offer and so we left…it didn’t leave our Kara-centered guild in a very good spot.

  73. tardsftl on September 8th, 2007 6:03 pm

    The mistake is your guild. We did kara easily and moved on to 25 rather smooth. YOU DONT NEED 25 DECKED OUT PPL TO KILL HIGH KING/GRUUL/MAG. You need 2 well geared tanks(2 groups or both are in the A team), all your casters have tailoring gear that beats anything in kara, maybe some rogue/dps warr weaps? your shamans may need some help. HONESTLY, you have the tanks in decent gear you can beat 25 man content with ease in blue 5-man gear.

    When we killed gruul/magtheridon we had ONE team that could clear kara…we had to wait 2 weeks and farm them b/c the other team sucked so bad they couldnt kill nightbane. Honestly it has nothing to do with gear for the most part. Learn to find committed ppl…kick the scrubs and progres, good Lord.

  74. Foton on September 8th, 2007 6:39 pm


    Lots of great thoughts, ideas, strats in the comments here. Even the detractors who never had any issues whatsoever with Karazhan. :)

    My two, rather flip, ideas to solve the raid ID problem with a gear-required 10-man instance in the line of 25-mans probably wouldn’t work very well, although what care I for raid ID/boss loot abuse? I care not at all, cuz I’m a player, not a dev. I am a gaming liberal, a player only. I remain staunchly opposed to game obstacles.

    Thank you for sharing your stories and ideas. (Lurkers, I’d like to hear your experiences and ideas, too.)

  75. Tom on September 8th, 2007 10:57 pm

    long lurker here. Karazhan was a big problem for us too we had the same problems as others said. I wish there was 10 and 25 intances. My casual guild would stick with the 10mans. Maybe that’s what they are planning for next expansion. NOT!!!

  76. somerandomguildmaster on September 9th, 2007 12:26 pm

    Here is the solution:
    On heroic mode Kara is a 3 day instance… none of the bosses or mobs are any different, it just changes the lockout timer.
    On regular mode it is a 7 day instance.
    Now tell some Blizz dev to implement this for kara and future 10 mans.

  77. Balerion on September 9th, 2007 8:30 pm

    My guild just imploded largely because of the Karazhan factor. We were running three solid instances weekly with a fourth used for alts and slackers.

    Beyond having a core group of players (i.e. the longer running Kara groups) get bored or impatient over time, we ran into another problem. Splitting up your guild into 3+ distinct raids caused a rift in leadership. Each Kara group wanted different loot rules, had different strats, meshed differently, etc etc. It was just more guild drama to contend with and as Foton often illustrates, there’s already enough of that to go around.

    I think a shorter lockout timer is necessary, though it should optionally reset at 3 days but the raidleader should have an option to keep it “open” for 7 days.

    Another idea is to allow a limited number of runs within a 7 day period. I.E. Instead of one run a week, allow a raidleader to manually reset an instance up to three times within 7 days. This benefits the guilds that can only get down a boss or two by letting them get more shots each week, and benefits the high ends guilds who clear Kara in a night by letting them gear up faster (and giving them something to do in between Gruul runs, etc.). This is likely a little overpowering though, but wishful thinking is fun…

  78. JazzEJayJoJo on September 10th, 2007 7:01 am

    For me, Foton nails the issue with current BC end-game design.

    Our guild, of which I’m one of the officers and founding members from the day the server went live at WoW launch, has been plagued with player attrition and burn-out and Karazhan/Gruul/Magtheridon roadblocks. I am also a raid leader and speak from experience.

    Our guild is incredibly well managed and we have a really great core of members. The issue is the linear progression within Kara and Gruul/Magtheridon.

    As it stands right now we have 1 tanked geared enough to tank prince/nightbane because the others left to join a more hardcore guild. We’ve been struggling ever since because needed gear just isn’t dropping and some players, despite them being totally good people, aren’t the best players, a couple are even disabled (1 with limited use of his left arm and another that is deaf).

    So for now we have 1 group that can clear Kara while 2 others continually struggle, and spreading the geared players out amongst the other groups doesn’t help and causes undue stress on everyone. Scheduling raids and picking class mix is a HUGE PITA. Don’t have the right class mix of people with adequate gear and it means a hard night in Karazhan. Forget 25 man “entry” raid like Mags or Gruul because you need everyone in mostly Kara gear. For example, our execution on Gruul is right but we run low on mana for healers or our DPS gets killed by Cave-ins. Most of our rogues are pushing 625 DPS in mostly blues with some Kara epics, but we are lacking depth in other areas because of the 10 man linear progression of Karazhan.

  79. Ehre on September 10th, 2007 12:25 pm

    I don’t understand what the Kara -> High King progression issue has to do with the fact that they want to expand upon 10 person raid content for people who don’t want to do 25 person instances.

    I think you misread that article big time. It has not one thing to do with anything involved with a 25 person instance. They just said they’d focus on making more 10 person instances.

    That seems to be exactly what you want, yes?

  80. John on September 10th, 2007 6:01 pm

    Honestly, my guild has been raiding for a LOOOOOONG time. We still have a hard time on certain bosses, I believe karazhan should be on a timer in relation to your guild. E.G. If your guild finished Kara in 7 days- the timer is now 8 days; if you finished it in 3 days- the timer is now 4 days, catch my drift? it’s in relation to your guild the only raids exempt to this would be raids such as Gruul and Magtheridon. Seeing as you would be able to farm that on a 2 day basis. that’s just my 2 cents ^.^

  81. Ailetha on September 11th, 2007 7:13 am

    you serious? is this article a joke? I disagree with nearly every point of this article.

    You can skip Karazhan gear pretty easily. It’s not difficult and it doesn’t take a genius, messiah, or prophet. The gear you can get from badges, heroic drops, and crafted gear is on par with t4 level gear, and sometimes it’s even on par with t5 level gear.

    Yes, you have to run Karazhan over and over again. Like every other raiding instance in the World of Warcraft. It is absolutely no different than every other instance, which you get stuck running over and over and over again.

    Is it fun? If you find it to not be fun, then maybe you should reconsider the time you are spending raiding because you will be running the same instances over and over again; and that is what raiding IS at its core.

    Weaker groups will always happen. However, you can walk into Gruuls & Mag in mostly or nearly all blues. That ‘precarious period’ you are referring to never ends. You never bid adieu to the Karazhan trashfest because someone is always going to want something out of it.

    It’s a four to five hour instance.

    Put those two kara groups you’ve been running together and you have six healers, but probably seven to nine since you always have to have back ups; plus a minimum of four tanks, probably one or two again as back ups, and a 99% chance of having more than enough DPS. Which is the right group makeup for any 25-man instance.

    Sitting out is an inevitable part of raiding and people who cry about it shouldn’t be raiding. Everyone sits out from time to time. If you play an overplayed class, you should expect it and not whine or moan about it. It’s not anyone’s fault but your own that you chose a class that’s 2 to 1 over every other class. This is the way of the world of warcraft. NOT specific to Karazhan or the 10 to 25 man transition.

    The poaching issue comes down to ethics. My guild has a strict rule about recruitment ethics and we have a good solid reputation on our server. If your GM doesn’t have these same ethical standards, well, whose problem is that? Ya, it’s yours.

    The one thing I do agree with you on, though, is a three day raid timer.

  82. Foton on September 11th, 2007 9:39 am

    Please don’t mistake the hard work of your guild leader and officers, and others like them, for anything spectacular that you’ve done.

    If you’ve been shielded from the guild and raiding BS that goes on in every guild, they’ve done you a great favor: you should be more respectful of their efforts.

  83. Ailetha on September 11th, 2007 9:49 am

    I am a spouse of a GM. So I’ve heard it all. However, that is totally beside the issue. You’re not addressing my points.

    The entire point of my post is that there are easy ways around the things you say ‘are necessary’ or ‘are dragging all guilds down’ or make ‘Karazhan a mistake.’

    When you hit BT, the problem becomes attunement & an entire group running SSC/TK for one-two peoples’ attunements. Totally reversed problem, but it is the individual’s fault still. Do they put the blame on BT/Hyjal as just being faulty as a whole? No, they don’t. Because it isn’t the instances’ mechanics’ fault that people want to be run through raids on easy mode and get decked out in EPIX within a week or two.

    You are blaming issues on Karazhan that are really the responsibility of the players in general. Bad raiders make those things happen. Not karazhan. Those things are not in any way exclusive to karazhan. It’s easier to put the blame on karazhan, though, I’m sure.

  84. Ailetha on September 11th, 2007 10:02 am

    Also, as an afterthought; there are no management experience requirements to starting guilds. Any moron can call himself a GM and pay X number of people to sign his charter.

    This is one source of some of the problems you are complaining about. Most GMs have no idea what they’re doing and are amateurs in the management field. They have no idea how to manage people; no idea how to recruit successfully; no idea how to create successful internal policies, no idea how to motivate their raiders, they don’t do the legwork; or they aren’t interested in doing the admin stuff, the research, PR. They usually leave two to three sections totally unnoticed and don’t pay attention to those two/three departments whatsoever.

    Then, when things go badly, they sit and wonder why Azeroth and the Burning Crusade (aka Karazhan) is out to get them, rather than looking at how they could have managed their guild better. People who manage their guilds well, don’t have these problems. People who do, those who dot all their I’s and cross all their T’s, are the ones who continue forward.

    Bad raiders are more noticable now than ever before, because of the reduced raid size. However, as I said, nearly everything you’re talking about is a symptom of a bad raider; not of Karazhan.

  85. Milude on September 14th, 2007 7:37 am

    wow, quit bitching man, so what if you have to do a 10 man and there are these implications, you should be glad that they put all the gear you need for 25 mans in one dungeon. bye bye

  86. Milude on September 14th, 2007 7:43 am

    the above is not directed to ailetha (who pwned this article btw) but is directed to the article’s author….you suck hahaha

  87. Derex on September 17th, 2007 3:25 pm

    I think the whole point is being missed.

    For those who like or want 10 man progression (smaller guilds), we shouldn’t be screwing with the 10 man mechanic. It can take guilds 7 days to get through Kara, call them what you will, but this is a fact of life. 7 Days means more learning time for 15 man guilds…and there’s ALOT of those out there.

    The FAILURE on Blizard’s part is the point above about raid size. You CANNOT tell a guild “You need to drop from 40 man raids to run in 5 man groups for equipment, to get to 10 man raids to run 25 man raids.” This is ASSANINE. Pick a raidforce size and stick with it.

    IF 25 man is the max raid force side you create entry level raid zones at that size. If players CHOOSE to progress in a 10 man fashion then they can do so, but no guild, geared and speced for 25 man content should be FORCED through 10 man zones…it creates, as the original article says, a pressure cooker for the guild.

    Blizard’s mistake is forcing large guilds through small man content. Each expansion should have entry level zones of max size for starting gear at max level. This way you create progression for EVERYONE: The PVPers progress through the unlimited PVP content, small guilds progress through 5 and 10 man content, large guilds progress through 25 man content. Small guilds and PVPers can progress through large guild content by banding together in loose ties.

    Don’t force big guilds through small man content and it’s a win win win situation for EVERYONE involved.

    That kind of flexibility is what made WOW the best game of it’s time and drew EQ folks away from EverQuest in droves. The sad fact is they’re making some of the SAME mistakes SOE did after the introduction of Gates of Dischord. You’d think the industry would learn from it’s own mistakes.

    –Derex Roycroft
    Assistant Guild Leader – Tenebrae Cor
    Raid Leader – Tenebrae Cor.

  88. Derex on September 17th, 2007 3:36 pm


    I respectfully disagree. You cannot skip Karazhan and NO badges and faction do NOT give you equivalent gear. If you are a caster, maybe, but casters are not the raid force, a significant part of it yes, but not the whole force.

    From a single rogue perspective, the best dagger I can attain without walking into Karazhan is ~83 DPS. Walk into Karazhan and the ENTRY level dagger is 87. The TOP dagger is 92. That is a HUGE difference to my DPS. 5 damage points on a dagger equates to 10 – 20 DPS, adding 5 DPS to the dagger creates a night and day situation. ~450 – 500 DPS pre kara with the absolute best you can attain in badge/faction gear and about 650 dps now in kara gear…that’s nothing to sneeze at.

    There’s a reason why Gruul’s Lair is a gear check fight. It’s FORCING you through Karazhan. No, you CANNOT go through BC to L70, run Heroics and Faction and Badges and buy your way into Gruul with any HOPE of success.


  89. DUNCAN Farstriders on September 18th, 2007 12:27 pm

    I see this busting up guilds all the time.

  90. Balerion on September 22nd, 2007 8:10 pm

    Derex makes a great point. In EQ, anyone who spent 4 hours in KodTaz waiting to join an Ikkinz raid had to be asking themself “I pay 12 bucks a month for this?”. There was a lesson to be learned there…

  91. gingerboy on September 25th, 2007 4:42 am

    why is this game turning into a fasion show? eveyone wanting the best best armor the best weapons ect ect its really starting to make the game so boring with everyone wanting the same thing? what happend to just having fun helping guilds out pissing arounds with friends you have made while playing and either way WHY get epic lvl 70 armor due to when the new exp pack comes out u will have to get more?


    i just think that the one goal of peeps now is to get the best of everything and thats fine but they are fogeting to have fun

  92. Corpse Pit on September 28th, 2007 6:35 am

    I think, idealy, the game should be able to cater to both casual gamers/guilds, and hardcore gamers/guilds.

    As a part of a small guild, We’ve only just reached 30 level 70 chars, 10 man raiding was a god-send. We could get an adequate level of gear, without having to leech off a larger guild or pvp for hours on end.

    The biggest problem we now face, is that we only have the barest minimum number of players to be able to run a 25 man, and those players have been unable to get the necessary gear from Kara.

    I am a living example of the warped loot tables in kara.

    I joined our guild’s weekly Kara raid after about 5 months of the guild running. After 3 weeks, I was the most kara geared guild member, for simple merit of having the only shaman in the guild.

    At current point, only rogues, shamans, warlocks and paladins in our guild have more than 1 piece of T4, and those players have as many pieces as they are capable of having. (I should note, we don’t have hunters in our kara raid due to a drought of hunters.)

    I have 2 Karazan raiding characters, and both of them are geared enough to go to 25 mans simply from a month or two of kara. BUT, our guild ‘main’ healer, a priest, still doesn’t have half of the gear needed from kara, only one of our tanks is geared.

    Basically, our guild isn’t bothered by having to run Kara before we’re geared to run the 25 mans, (though we do feel it’s a bit of a jump, numbers wise.) Our problem is that Kara is a massive grind, and it’s a continuous grind. Our guild enchanter has a disgusting amount of Void crystals, and we have taken to rolling on the Rogue/warlock/shaman T4 to see who gets the honor of destroying it.

    Ok, now that that’s down, what to do about it?

    Personally, I’d like to see 2-3 entry level 10 mans, and 2-3 entry level 25 mans. Naturally, this is an enormous number of instances for end game raiding so I doubt this will ever happen, but being able to get enough gear across a number of instances as opposed to having to gear up in a single instance would give people a bit more moving room.

    I’ve noticed there’s a raiding culture that prefers 25-40 man raids, so I don’t think there will be much of an issue with people refusing to raid the 25-40 dungeons, and the 10 mans give casual gamers the ability to ‘gear up’ without 25-40 raiding.

    Unfortunately, the issue arises whereby players will object to certain gear dropping in 25 mans instead of 10 mans, and vice-versa, and everything will be unfair, and we’ll all go and quit wow.
    As hard as you try, you can’t please everyone and in most cases, you can’t even come close. As long as Blizzard keeps adding content, then people will keep playing it, and they’re going to complain long and loud about everything.

    -end rant.

  93. CoX Guilds at Kill Ten Rats on October 16th, 2007 10:03 pm

    […] has been thinking about how game design affects guild life. Foton already explained this one pretty well with respect to how WoW raiding has killed […]

  94. Damien on October 24th, 2007 11:48 am

    So why can’t guilds rotate members who are getting left behind? What would be the problem with the Regular Kara raiders bringing in newly keyeds and left behinds to rotate in just two spots? Dps, an off-tank spot, or third healer spot? It wouldn’t devistate the group and it would allow the left-behinds to at least & practice something. And yes, they should work on Heroics while they wait but being included occasionally might keep them in the guild and leave them maybe quite not so far behind.
    Our guild’s problem right now is we are trying to find a fine line between casual and progression. We have enough 70’s to go but some aren’t keyed yet, some are aggravated with the focus on Kara and are refusing to go, some have their ass’s chapped because they were left out once and are purposely not participating in retaliation. I have a job and a family but I enjoy the game and want to progress and I can commit to a couple nights/week raiding. It’s just frustrating because it seems you have to be on one side of the line or the other. Casual means no one signs up, people are never on time and seldom come prepared and we end up having to fill with pug eventually after trying to get it together for two hours. Hardcore means PIA rules and restrictions and if you have to take a couple weeks off or make a few mistakes (we all do), you may get booted and noone will give the tiniest shit. Although now I do see the need for some of those rules and regulations as after two hours of waiting around for the group to get together and spending tons of G on potions, flasks so I can bring extras for the non-prepareds (and who take such flasks and then drop group 30 min later without ever stepping foot in the actual instance!)….I no longer kinda want to go myself. The cherry is the pug member who breaks your shackles 7, yes 7…times all the while your raid leader is screaming at you to ‘Keep it shackled! Keep it shackled!’
    Ahh well, I’m sure this doesn’t belong here but I need to vent, hehe.

  95. Closing the 2007 Welfare Epics Debate with a Look at PvE | Altitis on December 30th, 2007 6:32 am

    […] 10/25 is actually better than (10)/20/40 is open to to interpretation. I would rather rejoin Foton’s opinion on the matter though. Had they made TBC 10 /20, the first 6-8 months would have sported a lot less guild drama […]

  96. Meh on January 5th, 2008 11:43 pm

    The way I see it, assuming commensurately structured raids, a three-day raid timer won’t “screw over” casual raiders. As the guild progresses, perfects encounters, and streamlines the raid, the amount of time required for each clear diminishes significantly. Perhaps guilds only clear two bosses the first rotation, three the second, five the third, and so on, but in a few weeks the guild’s clearing most or all of the raid.

    Alternatively, what about multiple, shorter 10-man raids retaining the conventional reset? Enough time to learn encounters leisurely, but with enough content to host multiple inter-guild raids.

  97. aveiceae on January 24th, 2008 12:34 pm

    my guild is just about dead due to karazhan; the few of us that remain drag on in hope that someday we’ll see a 25 man raid but it’s an endless cycle of older, geared members moving on for greener pastures (or getting poached by guilds above us) and recruiting new noobs that need gear, which means we have to gear them up, and older members move on, wash rinse repeat. Kara should have been more like UBRS and a 25-man zone should have been the first raid-guild-oriented instance in the expansion. Totally agree with the article.

  98. Astra on February 25th, 2008 7:53 am


  99. squirly on February 27th, 2008 2:59 am

    once you hit lvl 70 and you get some half decent gear be it all blues or a mixture of blues and greens however it may be. it doesn’t make an ounce of difference whether you do karazhan or not imho if you really want to then go for it if not, don’t, simple. The thing you need to think about here is that you make your own decisions blizzard aren’t forcing us to go to kara/gruuls/mag/ssc/tk or bt they are there if you want to do them you could always just wait for wotlk enter northrend in your mishmosh of green/blue attire hit the lvl 80 cap and think well now i’ve done that i might try kara to see what everyone was moaning/raving about it will give us the the in game feeling of actually doing it but without the oh no i’ve got to wait 7 days now our guild have cleared it the first night. if you go there at lvl80 and clear it in 20 minutes (lol) then go for some of the 25 man ones (and i must stress this “if you want to”) none of the dungeons or instances or even pvp for that matter unless on a pvp server is compulsary. you can /logout whenever you feel like it. So in short why is everyone moaning about it and trying to make out that blizzard is wrong and that they should be doing this, that and the other, if you know better then you go write the storyline/script for a game and you sell it to over 6 million ppl, all i say is if you do good luck to you. Just one last thing before i finish if you don’t like what blizzard do, why oh why do you keep paying them a subscription fee every month. have a good day all and for those enjoying lvl 1 starting areas , all the way to kara and beyond fair play to you. just remember to play how you want to play and the main thing is to have fun. /kiss

  100. squirly on February 27th, 2008 3:03 am

    P.S. plz ignore grammar and such in my previous post was never very good spent too much time playing video games rather than homework etc.

  101. nene on April 16th, 2008 6:01 am

    think outside the box.
    how about keeping the 7 day dungeon ID, and at the same time you can run multiple ID. Once you zone in, you can pick which game you want to run.

    So if a hardcore players want to run 5 different kara in a week, s/he can pick which to go into. it is no different than having a multiple “saved” games in a nintendo.

  102. Shyron on June 17th, 2008 7:25 am

    Technically, Blizzard DID learn from the Karazhan mistake. The mistake was making guilds change raid sizes. They’re not making us do that again. We get to pick one size and stick with it, plus there will be separate timers for both versions. 10 mans are popular because they’re puggable. We’re actually getting the best of both worlds in WotLK. We’re getting a great intro 25 man raid, and we won’t be forced to change between raid sizes. Plus we can still pug the 10 mans on our alts, or for off gear, or for fun, or whatever.

    The mistake has been learned from.

  103. Corey on July 3rd, 2008 12:51 pm

    The biggest problem I’ve noticed with the 10 vs 25 man raids isn’t so much that groups get left behind. It’s the fact that if you have enough players in guild to do 3 full Kara raids, you have too many dedicated players to enter 25-man raids. Think about it. Even in an ideal world, it’s flawed. 30 people sign in to do 3 kara groups. These groups stay together and gear together. If we assume that the three groups finish their gear grind and complete Kara at the same time (ideal world), you now have 30 players trying to run a 25 player instance. What happens to those other 5 players? Either they’re redundant classes who get put in the back seat until another member can’t attend, or they are left to find another group to run with. If these 5 are rotated with another 5 players (say for example, it’s 10 rogues… I’m vastly oversimplifying), and each group alternates raid slots weekly, then suddenly your entire rogue force is crippled compared to the other players who have had the opportunity to run every raid.

    My proposal: either remove 10-mans alltogether (don’t like this idea, as 10-man groups are much easier to organize for small guilds), or bump the next level of raid up to 30 players.

    I realize that Blizz has stated that WotLK will have 10/25 versions of each dungeon, but that still hurts the entire group dynamic.

    For the record, this is all speculation and theory, as I have never actually raided. I’m greatly looking forward to my first Kara run. I just see obvious flaws in the system.

  104. Rakemu, Moonrunner on July 25th, 2008 3:28 am

    Many of the points brought up in this article were things that my last guild suffered through. I can say that the system is flawed and will never be perfect, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement for both sides of the coin. I personally would love to see Gruul’s as a 10 man, Mag as well, it WILL happen when people are level 80 (probably even soloed) but the focus of the article is a little skewed to the perspective that everyone wants to do 25 man content, which is simply not true. I like Kara, it’s an instance that takes thought and requires people to practice skills that arent always put into place (shackle, multi-mob tanking, running around so as not to be sucked up into a torandoe) and offers variations as to how each event can be done (opera being the most obvious). That being said, I do agree that the main focus of the article is valid. The issue of having a 10 man instance being forced for progression for 25 man instances is at the least problematic and at most cataclysmic to guilds. The article does overlook one key factor here, and that is that essentially 25 man raids will be optional for progression, yes there will be differences in experience and loot (one can only hope amount of loot dropped not amount of loot available to drop) but the content is still there for those that are not able to hang with the big boys. having both 10 and 25 man versions of raids is the best of both worlds and will allow a lot of guilds, that would otherwise crumble, to stick together and build through WotLK like they have before.

    P.S. put in a 3 day reset timer on Kara already!FFS!!!

  105. Colette on August 2nd, 2008 7:42 am

    What if they gave everyone a personal raid reset option. so if u ran Kara with 1 guild group and next day you were needed to help another group you could jsut reset yourself.

  106. hickinthewoods on September 25th, 2008 3:07 pm

    for those of us that cannot do higher than 10 man raids (see dial-up) we could care less.

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