EverQuest developer Clint Worley announced on his blog that in the upcoming EverQuest expansion, raid sizes will be cut from the current level of 54 characters -- 9 groups -- to 42 characters -- 7 groups. No changes will be made to existing raids, which means raids currently doing 54 character raids on current content will have two extra groups when doing the newest content. Since instituting the formal raid system with the Planes of Power expansion, raid sizes have dropped consistently from a high of 72 characters to its current level. While perhaps responding to lower overall numbers in SOE's oldest MMO, player reaction to this change on Worley's blog has, as of this writing, been uniformly negative.
Players fear the EverQuest developers are reducing raid size to be more inline with other games -- SOE's own EverQuest II has had a maximum raid size of 24 characters since launch, and with Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard will allow all new raid content to be done with either ten or twenty-five character teams. Others worry that smaller raid sizes will push out the casual raider, who cannot perhaps carry their full weight but is still a valued member of the guild. Similar arguments have been levied against World of Warcraft as Blizzard has consistently lowered their raid sizes from 40 to the current 10/25.