MMO-Champion - Patch 5.4 - Flexible Raid Preview
Patch 5.4 - Flexible Raid Preview
Patch 5.4 will add a a new raid difficulty:

  • Bring anywhere from 10 to 25 people to your raid and the difficulty will automatically scale.
  • Works with battletags, so you can bring friends from other realms.
  • Item level of loot is between Raid Finder and Normal and loot is awarded with the Raid Finder style loot system.
  • Separate lockout from Raid Finder and Normal, allowing you to do all three difficulties.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Raids in World of Warcraft have a long history of not just challenging players, but changing and evolving as the years and expansions go by. As with everything in the game, we’re always thinking about what more we can bring to raiding to improve the experience for an even wider range of players. While Normal and Heroic Raids are a great fit for many, we feel there’s another gap worth filling—and to that end, we’re currently working on the development of a new type of Raid for the next major content update: Flexible Raiding.

One Size Does Not Fit All
While it’s impossible to fit every player into a neat, tidy archetype, we recognize that we could be providing a better experience to one broad category of raider: social groups comprised predominantly of friends and family, and smaller guilds that do their best to include as many members in their Raid outings possible.

During the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, the 10-player Normal difficulty served these groups of players pretty well, but the unification of 10-player and 25-player into a single difficulty effectively eliminated that niche. While Raid Finder mode is extremely accessible, it doesn’t provide smaller groups with a tight-knit social experience while progressing through the content. In Patch 5.4, we’re planning to introduce a new mode of raiding that allows us to deliver the sort of experience that we think these players are looking for.

/Flex
To fill this void, we’re in the process of developing a new Flexible Raid system, which includes a new difficulty that sits between Raid Finder and Normal difficulty, while still allowing friends, family, or pick-up groups to play together. This difficulty will be available for premade groups of 10–25 players, including any number in between. That means whether you have 11, 14, or 23 friends available for a Raid, they’ll all be able to participate.

The Flexible Raid system is designed so that the challenge level will scale depending on how many players you have in the Raid. So if you switch between 14 players one week and 22 the next, the difficulty will adjust automatically. Keep in mind that unlike Raid Finder, no matchmaking is available, so you’ll need to make sure you invite people to attend—but if some can’t make it, it’s not the end of the world (or the Raid). You’ll also still be able to invite Real ID or Battle.net friends cross-realm. Who you choose to bring and what Item Level gear they’ll need to join your merry band is up to you, too—there’s no Item Level requirement for this Raid difficulty.

Dressed to Kill
A new Raid difficulty also means a new Item Level. Flexible mode will award loot with an Item Level that falls between Raid Finder and Normal quality, and will use the Raid Finder’s “per person” loot system, specialization choices, and bonus rolls, so you won’t need to worry about bringing the “wrong” person and having them win that piece of gear you’ve long been waiting for.

You Have the Keys
We plan to unlock the Flexible Raid difficulty in wings, similar to Raid Finder, but on an accelerated timetable. This new difficulty also has a separate Raid lockout from Raid Finder and Normal difficulty, allowing you to take part in all three if you so desire. You’ll also be able to complete portions of your “Glory of the Orgrimmar Raider” raid meta- achievement in Flexible mode as well as in Normal or Heroic to earn cosmetic rewards such as an epic mount. This will allow Raid groups the opportunity to switch off nights between raids to complete achievements. Finally, taking part in Flexible, Normal, or Heroic difficulty will provide access to additional rewards that won’t be available in Raid Finder.

Getting Down to Brass Tacks
As with any in-development feature, we’re continuing to refine how the Flexible Raid system will work, and we look forward to hearing your constructive feedback from your experiences on the Public Test Realm when the new system goes live.
This article was originally published in forum thread: A Raid for All Seasons: Flexible Raid Preview started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 817 Comments
  1. yunito's Avatar
    if this the new feature that was somewhat talk about..im a bit disappointing
  1. heartless8604's Avatar
    “Glory of the Orgrimmar Raider”

    woah woah woah, whats this?!
  1. sergel02's Avatar
    Interested to see how this will change come the next xpac. I feel like this is a sort of balance between normal and LFR (okay it is) but there's something about it I can't put my finger on. Like they should have done this from the start, or at least for LFR. the main benefit of LFR is that you can find other folks, so people without a guild can still raid.

    Anyway, seems like a good idea. Interested to see how it pans out.
  1. Asheriah's Avatar
    ANOTHER difficulty level ... ?

    I always thought these were the origins of the problem. Ulduar was fun. No LFR, no Heroic, only adjustable difficulty via special mechanics or achievements.

    Honestly, I don't know if that new flexible thing is needed. People will also complain that they "need" to do everything in order to get the best gear they can for progression.
  1. Kelmart's Avatar
    "will use the Raid Finder’s “per person” loot system, specialization choices, and bonus rolls"

    NOPE. Instantly not interested in it at all. A terrible and flawed system that needs to be abolished, not encouraged.
  1. greg098's Avatar
    Is this the big 5.4 feature? I don't really like this feature. It will make the game even more confusing for new players. LFR, Flex, Normal or heroic mode. 4 modes of every raid... Wont this increase developing time by a lot?

    They should remove 25 man raiding and make all raiding 10 man except for LFR.

    Normal mode should be like flex, allowing you to invite friends and scaling to how many people you have. Limit is 10 people.
  1. Lornd's Avatar
    gonna be awesome for alts and more casual players, i approve of this
  1. jason1975's Avatar
    This is sooooo awesome!!!

    Remember when people used to run 25m PUGs on your server in Wrath? Remember when servers had a real community other than "in my guild vs. random cross server people IDC about"?

    Really hoping this brings it back!!! Great idea Blizz!
  1. Baphomette's Avatar
    Of course this is "the feature." They outright said some people wouldn't give a damn about the feature.

    As for wanting it to scale below 10, there are probably logistical considerations -- fights still needing two tanks etc -- that make it easier to set that as the lower bound. The whole point of this is to pug a bunch of people from trade and get better stuff than LFR.
  1. balir's Avatar
    If they could work it to scale with 7,8,9 players that would be great. We have a tight raiding group, but if one or 2 are away - we're screwed. I like the idea.
  1. Brolyowns's Avatar
    the idea is good -

    but some some reason a find this feature extremely lame - This feature would be best if it could be engraved into heroic/normals instead of an entire new difficulty
  1. Vuhdoo's Avatar
    I hope this isnt the new feature they were going on and on about.
  1. Mildennais's Avatar
    Best thing I'm seeing is this helps out guilds that have too many for 10-man, but not enough for 25-man. No more having to sit people out.
  1. yunito's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by greg098 View Post
    Is this the big 5.4 feature? I don't really like this feature. It will make the game even more confusing for new players. LFR, Flex, Normal or heroic mode. 4 modes of every raid... Wont this increase developing time by a lot?

    They should remove 25 man raiding and make all raiding 10 man except for LFR.

    Normal mode should be like flex, allowing you to invite friends and scaling to how many people you have. Limit is 10 people.
    remove 25 man???ur kidding right???
    must be on a low/dead realm cause on high/med realm there bunch 25 raiding guild doing fined.
  1. Euerfeldi's Avatar
    looks promising
  1. xerus's Avatar
    Worst idea ever.

    Here's how to improve it: remove 10 man normal, remove 25man normal, add flex size normal. Done.

    Screw 4 ilvl tiers, 3 lockouts and 4 difficulties.
  1. F-Minus's Avatar
    In before: "But now we have to do LFR + Flex Raids + Normal if we want to gear for heroic!" whine, which will spawn just in about 5 minutes.

    I don't mind it, I think it's a welcome feature, I however am scared how the balancing of raids will go.
  1. Magemaer's Avatar
    MAJOR QUESTION: shared id or not with normal/heroics? That's missing.
    And i really hope that's not the 5.4 feature they've been talking about. I expect something better, like old raids timed runs with adjusted ilvl and such
  1. TrollShaman's Avatar
    Interesting implementation. It's only too bad that I can't normally round up more than 8 friends/family to a raid.
  1. Coloredtoad's Avatar
    Sadly my guild would need it to go fewer then 10. Dead servers suck and if 1-2 people have to afk or leave early raid is called.

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