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. Seref's Avatar
    What about raids with optional/multiple bosses? Like VoA?

    <Mod Edit: Please read. This is for ICC & RS only in patch 4.0 no other raids until Cata hits.>
  1. Mowse's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Explosion_Rex View Post
    Its for what? Like the next month or two? It's obsolete content/gear at this point anyways.
    Who cares about gear? I want my drake :3

    As main tank I can't just say "screw you" to the rest of the guild that wants to keep trudging forward in 25 man for useless gear. This is why I find it unfair. It's going to be awesome in Cata...but not for right now
  1. Puro's Avatar
    I lol'd, more carebear progress ftw.
    If we could do what we enjoy then give back 40man raids, a lot of people enjoyed it but it was removed.
    Fix what is wrong before you fix what is working, like let's say.. AB fence?
  1. Master Guns's Avatar
    Honestly, this is great. Would I rather have 2 separate instances, 10 and 25 man that I could do both per week? Sure. But that's not how Blizzard wants us to play the game, and we are going to have to accept that.
    This is a step ahead though, giving us more flexibility. It's really not that difficult to understand if you actually read the wall of text. It actually is pretty nice.
  1. furydeath's Avatar
    So wait two different raids both with different loot but you can only do one. How is that Flexible?
  1. Explosion_Rex's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by furydeath View Post
    So wait two different raids both with different loot but you can only do one. How is that Flexible?
    Old content is old.
  1. delcatty's Avatar
    the really reason they are do this now is to see how players will use it b4 cata is out and make change where needed.
  1. Rezman's Avatar
    Again this change is for the worse. My example:

    Our guild has a weekly 25man ICC. Several of the members have been working on their 10man drake achievements over the past 2-3 weeks. Because of this change they will 1) Have to abandon their 10man drake runs and wait till after Cata is out OR 2) drop out of the guild 25man which we are struggling with low attendance as it is already.
  1. Halicia's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Seref View Post
    What about raids with optional/multiple bosses? Like VoA?
    this change would have rocked for VoA, would have been able to do all the optional and/or easier bosses first with no fear of being saved to a wipe on the 'good boss'.

    I can only wonder if the raids will be substantial enough to really call for a system like this though. 5-6 bosses isnt much, with or without trash.

    I guess it should ease the worry of pugging into a bad raid that wipes on the 2nd or 3rd boss.
    The changes may also make it more 'acceptable' for raidleaders to boot low-performers one or two bosses in.
    "So what ? you can still finish the raid if you want... just not with us..."
    Especially in heroic, the person booted still has the option of completing the raid on normal mode, while you replace him and continue on hardmodes.
  1. Izenhart's Avatar
    So basically it's all useless.

    /care about you being able to freely swap raids in Normal mode, just like WotLK, normal modes will be forgotten in a matter of weeks to swap to Heroic modes, and there is where basically you'll be locked to your raid just like you're now.

    You just have the possibility to back up to a Normal mode raid pug if you weren't in the first 10/25..
  1. Razia's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rezman View Post
    Again this change is for the worse. My example:

    Our guild has a weekly 25man ICC. Several of the members have been working on their 10man drake achievements over the past 2-3 weeks. Because of this change they will 1) Have to abandon their 10man drake runs and wait till after Cata is out OR 2) drop out of the guild 25man which we are struggling with low attendance as it is already.
    Too bad the game doesn't revolve around you, sorry. Your 2) is a good example on how to take advantage of this. Break down into two 10 man raids. Continue to work on your achievements. If you get the raid size you need, reform into a 25 and continue on the same spot you stopped your 10 man.
  1. Kiro's Avatar
    MMmm. Tears of 25 players upset that they won't have better gear than better players only doing 10-man content anymore since many 25 man guilds will dissolve, thus they won't get carried to gear anymore since there's a far greater margin of error in 25mans. Enjoy your off-set pieces from grinding dailies.
  1. Rezman's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Razia View Post
    Too bad the game doesn't revolve around you, sorry. Your 2) is a good example on how to take advantage of this. Break down into two 10 man raids. Continue to work on your achievements. If you get the raid size you need, reform into a 25 and continue on the same spot you stopped your 10 man.
    I already have the achievements as does many others from the 25man. There are about 6-8 that do not and they are working on their drake achievements. This new system is doing nothing but limiting peoples choices. They can still implement part of this new system without sharing 10/25man lockouts.

    Also we are getting the people for 25man. It's just borderline. We often run 1-2 short for an hour till more are able to get online.
  1. Sparkymisslecat's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Chareoss View Post
    Does anyone else see this getting slightly complicated when recruiting people for raids? especially people who didn't bother to understand it?
    Yes. This change simultaneously makes things simpler, yet somehow more complicated at the same time. The link feature will be useful, but I can see a lot of people not understanding it.
  1. PetersenIII's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by draticus View Post
    I wish I worked at Bliz. The simple version of this would be "Each player can only loot each boss once per week regardless of raid size or difficulty." That is the solution I've been suggesting since day 1. This would allow people to raid with whatever friends they want, whenever they want. And never HAVE to raid more than once for the sake of min/maxing progression. They're half way there. Maybe someday they'll figure it out.
    Wow. That's a brilliant idea, but I would guess it is 'too hard' to implement.
  1. Elephants's Avatar
    YES! Good job Blizzard! Looking forward to this!
  1. Wizball's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by PetersenIII View Post
    Wow. That's a brilliant idea, but I would guess it is 'too hard' to implement.
    It's a useless idea, because that would mean a good group could farm a boss endlessly, selling the 10th spot and all loot to baddies. Do we want that?
  1. Jasyn's Avatar
    Viva la 10mans!
  1. Cirque's Avatar
    It's a useless idea, because that would mean a good group could farm a boss endlessly, selling the 10th spot and all loot to baddies. Do we want that?
    Why? There's ways to avoid that. My question specifically is, how will this Flexible Raid System work when you want to join a raid that's doing a boss you've already done that week. Wouldn't you be able to? I don't think we are - correct me if wrong. The way to fix this is to indeed allow a player to do a boss more times a week without it having drop loot for you, if, and only if, the group leader's raid you joined does not have the same raid ID as yours (even if that actual ID becomes invisible to players), and if there are no more than 3 out of 10 players or 7 out of 25 players (random numbers are completely random) in that same group with the same raid ID as yours. In this case your raid log would still say, for example, "Saurfang killed", even though the pug you just joined is still at gunship. You'd do gunship and saurfang again but receive no loot or points from it, but then be able to proceed to fester with that pug.

    That said, guilds have always sold spots and they will continue to do so. Do you honestly think good guilds right now are still after the loot? Of course not, they're taking advantage of the current status of WOW and the possible hibernating status of their guild and just selling spots (and thus heroic loot). I know on my old server, when WOTLK was released, our server's top guild was selling undying runs and the like, too.
  1. Jasyn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Cirque View Post
    Why? There's ways to avoid that. My question specifically is, how will this Flexible Raid System work when you want to join a raid that's doing a boss you've already done that week. Wouldn't you be able to? I don't think we are - correct me if wrong. The way to fix this is to indeed allow a player to do a boss more times a week without it having drop loot for you, if, and only if, the group leader's raid you joined does not have the same raid ID as yours (even if that actual ID becomes invisible to players), and if there are no more than 3 out of 10 players or 7 out of 25 players (random numbers are completely random) in that same group with the same raid ID as yours. In this case your raid log would still say, for example, "Saurfang killed", even though the pug you just joined is still at gunship. You'd do gunship and saurfang again but receive no loot or points from it, but then be able to proceed to fester with that pug.

    That said, guilds have always sold spots and they will continue to do so. Do you honestly think good guilds right now are still after the loot? Of course not, they're taking advantage of the current status of WOW and the possible hibernating status of their guild and just selling spots (and thus heroic loot). I know on my old server, when WOTLK was released, our server's top guild was selling undying runs and the like, too.

    I was kind of thinking of it working like this too, but it seems too much like a band-aid. Good thought, but it would be tricky to implement fairly.

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