Well, Blizzard finally listened to me. I don’t know if I’ve posted it somewhere in this blog, but I have never liked that, in Wrath, 10s and 25s have different lockouts. Do you know how much healing that is for someone? For TOC, check it out:

Trial of the Crusader (10), Trial of the Grand Crusader (10), Trial of the Crusader (25) and Trial of the Grand Crusader (25). That is a chance to go through the same instance four times, killing (or trying) to kill each boss up to 4 times each, in 2 different configurations.

Ridiculous.

So today’s MMO-Champion news about lockouts is amazing to hear, for me. No longer will I need to “worry” about not doing a 10-man on my paladin. The pally is for 25s. Period. No longer will I have to listen to morons talk about “but we have to do 10 in order to gear for 25!!!”. Honestly, anyone who thought they needed to do Naxx 10 before they did Naxx 25 is a moron. Anyone who thought they needed to do Ulduar 10 before Ulduar 25 is an idiot.

The progression route has been, as far as I can tell, pretty nicely balanced:

10s: Heroics – 10m T7 – 10m T8 – 10m T9/badge loot – 10m heroic T9 – 10m T10

25s: Heroics – 25m-T7 – 25m T8 – 25m T9 – 25m heroic T9 – 25m T10

But even then, even without 25m T9/heroic T9 gear, you can augment your gear to 10m T10 or 25m (through VOA) and get into 25m T10 content.

What a lot of people NEVER realized in this expansion is that you were able to go from heroic gear to 10s OR 25s. They were both at the same point of difficulty. The “gear reset” given us by Emblems of Triumph and T9 gear coming from Emblems and Emblems of Frost and T10 gear coming from those means simply that guilds don’t have to gear people up in T8, then T9, then T10.

Back in BC, I had a rogue in my guild who we brought in for T5 content. He was primarily geared in T4. He wasn’t able to compete (or really hold his own) in T6. So we brought him in for T5 and a couple easier T6 fights and he ragequit the guild one night because he didn’t win loot off Supremus, losing to a more regular raider, even though it was a bigger upgrade for him.

My own brother couldn’t come in to T6 fights because he didn’t have the gear. We brought him to a couple SSCs and a couple TKs just because we flat-out needed the body and we knew he could do the damage required despite being in T4, but he couldn’t have done a lot in T6 fights in T4 gear.

The Emblems have changed that. Now, you CAN take someone in T9 232 gear to T10 251 fights. They won’t be your best players until they get some more Emblems of Frost, but they aren’t COMPLETELY outclassed. Plus, they have a bunch of 245 off-set gear from Emblems, if you’re at all lucky or maybe a couple tier pieces from 25m Koralon.

So what the hell does any of this have to do with raid lockouts?

Everything, actually. They are going to design the 10 and 25 entry raids with the assumption that you are wearing quest rewards, heroic gear and crafted gear.

And since both raids will drop identical gear (25s just dropping more of it, more emblems and more gold, apparently), they don’t need to worry about people falling behind the gear curve or being ahead of the gear curve or any of that crap, at least when switching from 10 to 25 or 25 to 10.

10s should no longer be “the EZ mode” raids. They SHOULD be just as (perhaps if not more) challenging as the 25s. Where the 25s are more difficult is the herding of cats and organization required to have the people necessary to down something with more health in the same amount of time, for instance.

The trouble though, is that lots of people don’t want to deal with the herding of the cats. A lot of people will say “screw that”, because loot is their primary motivator and they’ll do 10s.

My big worry has to do with how Blizzard will incent us to do 25s instead of 10s without making 10s obsolete. With the same loot and the same lockout, I’m not sure they’ll be able to. I know that I won’t go do 10s instead of 25s, because I LIKE 25s better… but if I don’t have a group who wants to do 25s, what the hell am I going to do?