MMO-Champion - Flexible Raid Lock System in 4.0.1
Flexible Raid Lock System in 4.0.1
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker)
Almost six months ago we announced that Cataclysm raids were being redesigned to make both raid sizes the same difficulty, drop the same quality of loot, and exist in the same lockout. This evolution in raid philosophy is built on the belief that the size of your raiding group should be a choice based solely on what's more fun and enjoyable for you, and that you should not have to complete the same raiding content twice in a week to maximize your character's progression. These systems are the culmination of a great deal of design and player feedback from the last few years. With the release of the 4.0.1 patch, the new Flexible Raid Lock system will debut in Icecrown Citadel and The Ruby Sanctum.

With the Flexible Raid Lock system, instead of being locked to a specific raid size or raid group, each character will have the opportunity to defeat each raid encounter once a week. You could kill Lord Marrowgar and Lady Deathwhisper with a 10-player raid on Wednesday, join a 25-player raid to kill Festergut and Rotface on Thursday, and then lead a completely new 10-player raid to kill The Lich King on Friday. Every raid has a list of encounters associated with the zone. For example, Icecrown Citadel has twelve encounters. After you defeat Lord Marrowgar, you can open up your character's raid information dialog and see the list of encounters in Icecrown Citadel with Marrowgar marked as defeated. You may no longer fight Lord Marrowgar with any raid size or difficulty until the weekly raid reset for your region occurs.

Another key change is that if you join someone else's raid in progress, you are no longer locked to that raid after merely zoning in. Your raid status will only change when a boss is defeated, at which point it will be updated to reflect the state of the instance in which you are currently participating. So, let's say you have killed the first four bosses of Icecrown Citadel, and you then join a raid that has defeated the first four encounters, as well as Festergut and Rotface. The dialog that displays upon entering Icecrown Citadel will show that the raid has defeated 6 of 12 encounters. If you help them defeat Professor Putricide, then you would be marked as having defeated not only Professor Putricide for the week, but also Festergut and Rotface. If instead after joining the raid you then proceeded to wipe ten times to Professor Putricide, you could leave the raid with only the first four bosses marked as completed.

To help communicate to players which bosses are dead in the raid leader's raid, there is new functionality to link in chat a list of the encounters the raid has defeated. So before you join a raid, you can see what they've already defeated. If a raid leader advertises in chat that she needs another healer for an 8/12 Icecrown Citadel run, you can see precisely which bosses are still available to fight. If you were only looking for that one item from Queen Lana'thel that never drops for you and this raid already defeated her, you will know not to join that raid.

Let's look at another example of the Flexible Raid Lock system. A guild schedules three nights for 25-player Icecrown Citadel raiding on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. On Wednesday, the raid defeats Lord Marrowgar, Lady Deathwhisper, Icecrown Gunship Battle, and Saurfang. On Thursday, five people cancel their raid attendance due to real life emergencies. The raid leader knows that if he cancels Thursday raiding, there's little chance they'll have enough time on Saturday to defeat the other eight bosses in Icecrown Citadel. So he splits the remaining 20 Thursday raiders into two 10-player raids. Each new raid enters Icecrown Citadel and defeats Rotface, Festergut, Blood Council, and Valithria Dreamwalker. The next Saturday with all 25 players online, they reform as a 25-player raid and enter Icecrown Citadel once more. Only Professor Putricide, Queen Lana'thel, Sindragosa, and The Lich King remain. After a tough fight, the Lich King falls and everybody celebrates. Without the Flexible Raid Lock system the entire raid probably would have missed out on a night of raiding, and likely would not have reached the Lich King.

While players can freely move between raids of different sizes in normal difficulty, there are some additional rules for Heroic difficulty. If a 10- or 25-player raid defeats a boss on Heroic difficulty, then those players may now only raid additional Heroic encounters with that specific raid. If your Heroic 25-player raid defeats the first four bosses of Icecrown Citadel on Heroic, then they may not split up into two 10-player raids and continue to fight in Heroic difficulty. You may also not join someone else's raid if they have defeated a Heroic encounter.

But let's say you are a member of a Heroic raid in Icecrown Citadel, and after killing Lord Marrowgar on Heroic you have Internet connection issues that prevent you from raiding for two nights. During those two nights, the rest of the raid kills everything. Without the Flexible Raid Lock system, you would be done with raiding Icecrown Citadel for the week. Ouch. With the Flexible Raid Lock system, you can join someone else's raid as long as they are doing Normal difficulty. This would at least give you the opportunity to earn your Justice Points for the week. If this raid attempted to switch to Heroic difficulty for Icecrown Gunship Battle with you in the raid, the raid leader would receive an error message stating that she cannot change to Heroic, because someone in the raid (i.e., you) is already locked to a different Heroic instance.

All of the new Cataclysm raids will feature the Flexible Raid Lock and Dynamic Difficulty systems, and when the Cataclysm occurs the other Wrath of the Lich King raids will also have these features. It's important to note that this system doesn't affect Heroic dungeons, they will work as they always have. We look forward to feedback for this new system after 4.0.1 is released. As a reminder, Icecrown Citadel and The Ruby Sanctum are the only two raids that support the Flexible Raid Lock until the Cataclysm occurs.

Update
One piece of clarification on questions being asked so far, although we're still compiling feedback and will work to answer some of the questions and clear up any confusion we can.

The loot system in Icecrown and Ruby Sanctum is not changing. This implementation of the new flex raid lock is only that, a new implementation of the raid lockout system we'll be using in Cataclysm. This does not change the separation of 10 and 25 in ICC, and does not change the item drops or achievements.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Flexible Raid Lock System in 4.0.1 started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 365 Comments
  1. 312guiltyspark's Avatar
    this is a terrible idea in my opinion. content is overplayed but this sucks
  1. Elica's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Leonora View Post
    You lost what the discussion is about. This all is *not* possible because Blizzard did *not* implement it that way.
    It seems to be you who has no idea what this discussion is about. I'm defending an idea, because I think the current implementation is far from flexible (albeit more flexible than the current model).

    Quote Originally Posted by Levva View Post
    No you are still missing the obvious. If you can fight a boss unlimited number of times a week but only loot it once. Then your FIRST run that week is where you do what you do now and gear up the guild. ALL subsequent runs you are farming for profit. Yes it would devalue gold which is more likely to drive those that want to just buy their loot into the hands of the gold farmers. This would effectively be the same as buying gear from a vendor except you need to pay a player and go to a boss. So all the failures that buy their way to excellent gear would be decked out for ZERO skill. Is that really the way you want the game to go?
    I'm not missing anything, we just have extremely different views on certain things. 1. I do not believe you could orchestrate an entire raidgroup to repeatedly clear instances, for something as abundant as gold. 2. Even if someone decided to pay the obscene amount of gold required to pay a raidgroup, (which in essence would be a payment for ALL loot in the instance, since the raiders wouldn't have access to any items) you'd completely devalue gold, which we agree on. So gold has lost its value. Why on earth do you think people would continue to stockpile it? As I said, there simply aren't enough gold sinks in this game to make such a scenario likely. It's not like the real world, where people would start buying property or buy shares of companies. 3. In my opinion, you're relying too much on the stereotypical image of a no-life gamer to make sense of your arguments. Not only would they have to be no-lifers, but they'd also have to be oblivious to the fact that they could never possibly spend the amount of gold they'd have to charge for their time.

    I also feel a need to repeat a previous argument; guilds are going to make much more gold, just by raiding, than they are now due to how the new guild perks work and due to how Glyphs were changed. This and the fact that there aren't enough gold sinks in the game. I also believe that a lot of "pug" raiders will feel drawn toward joining guilds now, due to the guild perks. In a guild, they're much less likely to join pugs or pay for items.

    Your main argument seems to be the "boosting" would be for profit. Where is the profit in stockpiling a completely abundant resource, a resource which you simply can't spend?
  1. Mem's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Odexy View Post
    I think the soulstone would go away once the lock in question logs off. But if that isn't the case, what exactly stops them from doing this already?
    Okay, checked and verified all buffs are removed if the character is removed from the game and/or from the raid. It used to be just removed from the raid, not game. Can't believe I didn't notice that had changed. Pretty big change not having buffs after you leave an instance
  1. Elica's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Leonora View Post
    Yes, and the reason your wanted flexibility is not added is because then there are unwanted consequnces - consequences you seem to deny for some reason.

    [...]

    No, the argument he used was why Blizzard does not allow the flexibility you say you wish. He points out that such a flexibility easily leads to abuse, and that this is most likely why Blizzard wont do what you prefer. You wishing different does not invalidate the argument.
    It is extremely arrogant of you to believe that Blizzard automatically agrees with your argumentation, just because they didn't decide on the model I'm defending. It is a poor argument to hold such a huge assumption up to strengthen your case.

    Raiding 7 days a week, doing dailies and grinding through tiers of gear sets all offer multiple rewards, and not just gold. What you are suggesting is that, not just one person, but a whole raidgroup can be convinced to raid ONLY for gold, while they'll already be making more than enough gold from the normal raid schedule.

    I never said people wouldn't accept huge bribes for boosting. I said that they'd lose any reason to do so, because they'd have to charge so obscene amounts of gold that they'd lose any reason to keep doing it more than once or twice. See my gold sink argument.

    His, and your argument is in fact that people would abuse such a system to make a profit. My counter argument is that any "profit" they'd make, would be useless because of the lack of gold sinks in the game.

    Sorting your posts for subtle but childish attempts at insults shouldn't be necessary. If you chose to use belittlement and loudmouthing as part of your argumentation, then I'll simply label you a troll and ignore your posts.
  1. Elica's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Leonora View Post
    Funny enough, I feel you are the one being insulting, by accusing me of arrogance where the only thing I do is battling you with logic. Seems to me you cant deal with my arguments and thus try to win by other means. But I dont like the direction you take, so imo we reached 'agree to disagree' point. Byebye little subthread .
    Well wouldn't you agree that it's quite arrogant to blindly assume that Blizzard, the makers of WoW, agree with your argumentation just because they chose a model different to the one I'm supporting? I'm curious to know what else you'd call it.
  1. Pisholina's Avatar
    I heart these changes, they are very nice indeed.
  1. Masterpd85's Avatar
    that wolf mount looks like a shaman class mount.... me likie
  1. Phaidrae's Avatar
    Aboslutely TERRIBLE. Terrible and sad. I loooooooved doing a separate 10man group from my guild's 25man. It gave me the chance to do a small, personal raid with my friends - while still being able to raid on the big scale with my guild.

    I don't see how there are SO MANY NEW OPTIONS with this flexible stuff. For me, all it's doing is saying "HEY! You're not allowed to rain 10mans on your main toon anymore coz your guild won't be happy with you!" TOTAL BS, man. The separation in the two was what kept me going.

    I don't want to quit my guild - but I also don't want to give up my 10mans, nor do I want to have to just resort to an alt to do said 10mans. I'm sorry but most guilds won't go along this merry line of "well, we did plague wing last night, oh snap, 5 ppl cancelled today so we'll just break into 2 10mans of which each group will complete blood+dream...and then we'll regroup as a 25man in 2 days to finish sind and LK." SORRY but that isn't going to happen. From what I've seen in every guild I've ever been in on ANY of my toons - lack of signups for a good raid usually just resulted in the guild's raid night being CANCELLED...plus, sign ups for a 25man don't always reflect a perfect world for simply splitting up into 2 10mans for a night. At most you only need 3 tanks for ICC25...if you split up into 2 groups that leaves one group short a tank...and w/o having to rely on someone's offspec or alt - doesn't work out.

    This system is relying too much on people being so holly-jolly and open to always just dropping their love of their main spec to fulfill a role that maybe they don't want to take on at that moment in time.
  1. ContentsMayVary's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Leonora View Post
    While I agree that this chance is forced upon us rather soon without warning,
    Just curious, but since this change hasn't occured yet, and isn't likely to for at two weeks or so, I'm wondering what your definition of "without warning" is.
  1. ICEBERG's Avatar
    So the Glory of the Icecrown Raider 10/25P will still exist? Even though they're on the same lockout? Isn't that like super retarded?
  1. Kisko's Avatar
    Very sad news.

    Merged 10/25 lockouts and absence of per boss difficulty setting should never hit live WoTLK realms. These changes are tuned for Cataclysm raids, not for ICC.

    Please, leave as alone for another 2 months and don't force us to beta test 4.0 on live, there is a PTR realms for that.
  1. draticus's Avatar
    I think the people who argue against my idea of being locked out of loot rather than locked out of participation are the same people that are opposed to every idea. They think that if you can't fix something 100% with a perfect solution that makes everyone happy and has no imaginable downside then you should just leave it in its current broken state.

    If you're afraid people will farm raids for gold... well despite being silly this is easily fixed by tuning the amount of gold you get in a run. Just make the trash drop 0 gold, bosses drop a lot of gold, and previously looted bosses don't give you gold a second time. Problem gone.

    If you're afraid that people will pay guilds to run them through raids they would have to pay a LOT of gold for this. Think about how many people they'd have to pay and figure the amount of time those people would be wasting and don't forget my fix of having the bosses not drop gold twice. You'd have to pay at least 400g per person just to have them break even for their time. To make them actually willing you're probably looking at 1000g per person. So 24k gold for a 25 man run through. Do you really think this is going to be an issue? Is it an issue now? There are already plenty of guilds that don't need anything from reg mode. Are they running people through for 24k gold and letting them have the loot?

    I just want to be able to play with whomever I want, whenever I want. This fix is a social fix. It still takes away the incentive for running more than once that makes raiding a chore. So people are free to play however they want to, without ever NEEDING to raid more than once in order to max. Isn't this Blizzards objective?
  1. Nitrax's Avatar
    Regarding the loot once idea: Even forgetting "gold runs" it cannot work because, normally you have a overstocked raid team, imagine when you cleared a boss, then that raid group can bring in the sitouts and alts, and kill the boss several times. For example you could bring 1 caster and 1 melee alt/sitout and there would be no contest about the loot. You could also farm badges for the entire guild. So just drop the idea now.
  1. Whyt's Avatar
    Sounds good. I understand the heroic raid restrictions. On some realms they pug anything, but on most realms heroic raids are progression fights, and you need a cohesive team. Otherwise you'll speand half your time re-explaining the fight or at least your team's approach to it.

    If you are worried about losing your spot on a raid team, then start another raid team. A guild with more than one viable raid team would be all the richer for it.

    ---------- Post added 2010-10-03 at 12:20 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Negai View Post
    More like R.I.P. 25 man raiding, since 10 and 25 man loot will be identical in cataclysm. I welcome this change.
    I agree, 25's might drop, but then again they are more forgiving to the occassional freeloader or toon death.
    In 10's one death can be a wipe. All Blizz is saying is they aren't going to force your hand in organizing a 25 man raid anymore. If you think they're more fun, or if your guild is big enough that you need all 25 player spots, go for it.

    ---------- Post added 2010-10-03 at 02:05 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowdream View Post
    To be honest, this is the kinda shit they should limit to PTRs. I'm wholly on board with this change for cataclysm as all loot tables will be the same, but they're not the same in ICC, so you're kinda forcing people to raid one way or the other for the time being.
    So Blizz has a choice. They can have a little confusion now on how the flexible raid lockout works, whilst people understand the content, OR they can have a whole lot of confusion later when people try to understand the lockout AND focus on new content.

    I know which one I would choose.
    Yes, they are forcing you to raid one way or another BUT on content that's been around for a long time. I feel your pain. I don't have an armani war bear; I will never have an armani war bear. I will get over it....someday (*cries* damn you Blizz!).
  1. Zyborg's Avatar
    Im not sure if its been said already. I sorta read through the 18 pages kinda fast but as this is being implemented in 4.0.1 and the loot won't change, it means that you must choose if you want 25 man gear or 10 man but you can only do one per week. Meaning that if you go ICC 10 and get all your gear that you needed to go 25 man with you can't go 25 man for the week. I duno if I'm just impatient but it seems a bit wierd not to change the loot aswell as it's part of the whole change. Again sorry if it was posted previously.
  1. Yeba's Avatar
    Why they just dont disable 25 man raiding?! at first it was 40...now it used to be 25..which they r trying to bury..

    I dont really see a point in doing 25 man raid anymore with this change..

    In 10 man u have less ppl to screw up, its easier to coordinate group of 10 ppl and u can get the best of best (skilled, focused fast-learners)..

    I know that many ppl will be inveted to guilds in the intention to lvl up the guild fast..and then just keep tight rooster of best ppl and do 10mans, possibly 2 raids ...thats atleast how i see it..

    i dont really see a point even trying to form and lead 25 man raid .. if u dont get anything special... i like 25 man raiding, but there is always some leecher or basicly people who r not so skilled but u can manage it if some pro will cover healing or stuff..
    why would i want to do 25 raid with this knowledge if i can just go 10 man with the best and clear it without a struggle and got the same purples? same joy of boss fights or even bigger due to fact i dont wipe..

    someone also mentioned that if u loose a man in 25 raid it doesnt necessarily means a wipe... well i highly disagree with this, there should not be such a thing.. remember professor putricide without the zone buff? u just couldnt afford to loose anyone, same with archimond, BQs enrage timer was also pretty tight..now with 30% zone buff in almost end-game gear i think u can do it without bites..so at first, fights r set to be hard and actually loosing a person could lead to wipe (and usually does when u r not overgearing the boss + zone buff) so it does in 10man..i dont rly see a difference between this.

    /discuss
  1. Argroth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by draynay View Post
    when they first talked about this I thought it was a terrible idea

    now that they've said a bit more, I still think its a terrible idea, what happens in the scenario they describe where your 25man guild is short a couple people, oops, sorry we're gonna swap to 10man and continue, have fun 8-13 people who don't get to go along, if you're not in the top 10 of your 25man guild now, you're gquitting and moving on

    for somebody like me, who plays a ton of alts and prefers 10mans anyways, this actually works in my favor a bit, but I don't think the reality of 25man raiding is anything like what blizzard is imagining it is
    ^This. medium guild: "Ok ICC raid on friday show up and we'll go" Hmmm only 18 showed up... well All of the best of us will go in one group the rest of you will have to pug 2 other people if you want a chance with your slightly worse crew. Sensible 5 stay for a chance to work at it and get better (since its the only way now because other guildies can't help because they are locked out of both 10 and 25 in one go) 3 quit because they don't see the point, those 5 people are screwed now.

    Thanks blizz Make the elitest more elite and snub the rest because you were too lazy to make 2 loot tables (or even separate raid lockouts for no reason) and gave people less to do in the week
  1. Elrina's Avatar
    /
    Why they just dont disable 25 man raiding?! at first it was 40...now it used to be 25..which they r trying to bury..

    I dont really see a point in doing 25 man raid anymore with this change..

    In 10 man u have less ppl to screw up, its easier to coordinate group of 10 ppl and u can get the best of best (skilled, focused fast-learners)..

    I know that many ppl will be inveted to guilds in the intention to lvl up the guild fast..and then just keep tight rooster of best ppl and do 10mans, possibly 2 raids ...thats atleast how i see it..

    i dont really see a point even trying to form and lead 25 man raid .. if u dont get anything special... i like 25 man raiding, but there is always some leecher or basicly people who r not so skilled but u can manage it if some pro will cover healing or stuff..
    why would i want to do 25 raid with this knowledge if i can just go 10 man with the best and clear it without a struggle and got the same purples? same joy of boss fights or even bigger due to fact i dont wipe..

    someone also mentioned that if u loose a man in 25 raid it doesnt necessarily means a wipe... well i highly disagree with this, there should not be such a thing.. remember professor putricide without the zone buff? u just couldnt afford to loose anyone, same with archimond, BQs enrage timer was also pretty tight..now with 30% zone buff in almost end-game gear i think u can do it without bites..so at first, fights r set to be hard and actually loosing a person could lead to wipe (and usually does when u r not overgearing the boss + zone buff) so it does in 10man..i dont rly see a difference between this.

    /discuss
    I agree 100%, Blizzard are living in a dream world if they think they can make 10 man raiding = 25 man raiding. It's a no brainer, even if they managed to get it exactly the perfect balance
    10 man raiding guilds will progress faster due to less RL inteference with 10 players, easier to get 10 skilled players then 25, easier to get 10 players to raid for 6 hours straight to get realm 1st... I can carry on all day with the advantages 10 man raiding will have over 25 man raiding before even looking if the bosses will be equal in challenge.

    Seriously just remove 25 man raids and make it fair for everyone OR have seperate achievements for completing it in different raid size and server 1sts for each form. Who cares about the gear but at least give 25 man raiding something to make it worth the effort.
  1. Thorfisnson's Avatar
    However, this does not fix the ongoig issue of instance locks. This has been highlighted again during Brewfest where I can zone in quickly using LFG farm mounts on 8 toons and then go to a raid. Oh wait I can't.. I am locked out for an hour to help load balancing.. how exactly having just been in an instance 8 times within 30 minutes and yet could enter another over and over using LFG.

    This fundamental flaw imo (which is working as expected, form a GM yesterday) needs to be resolved as Blizz have created this situation which is extremely annoying.
  1. Gaelen's Avatar
    I'm still holding out hope for 4.0.1 tomorrow. The build on PTR is VERY stable.

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