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. Alayea's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Korthas View Post
    I was with them until they said it would drop a different iLvl gear than Normal.
    Same here. I want to get the same item level rewards from Normal so much, but when Blizzard used Looking For Retard as an excuse to up Normal to "where it should've been" (or so it's claimed), guess what? That really laid the hurt on raiding in general, even more so than the Cataclysm changes had. And this is their solution? To add yet another difficulty tier with sub-par gear as usual?

    Thanks for nothing, Blizzard.
  1. Animaneth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dakara View Post
    My only critique, (since I love this feature) is why bother to keep Normal mode now?

    The Hardcore raiders clear normal anywhere inside the first month (many in the first week) and then move onto Heroic. May aswell just have LFR > Flexi(normal) > Heroic. Normal just feel redundant now imo.
    The solution you propose is totally correct. However, you would end up removing something from your customer. And at the same time you would end up with the failing-elitists crying because "blizz only nerfs content".

    Don't let that sentence misguide you I agree with you.

    Also, I can't help but think that this is something expected to bring back that "niche" that was 10man in WotLK, the expansion with the biggest number of subs, even thought I dont think that people is a "niche", niche refers to a small ammount of elements in the sample, and I don't think that group was so small...
  1. tangers58's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mormolyce View Post
    If you're clearing HM bosses what the hell would you want LFR and Flex gear for?

    But of course, your "further dumbed down" comment tells me you don't do HM anyway :P
    Somehow I suspect that the only way you see hard mode is if you pay someone to carry you kid.
  1. xerus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by adrii021 View Post
    worst idea ever, there are ppl like me that want the challenge in heroic mode.

    Dont be such a ego.
    Or you could try again and learn to read.
  1. Camo's Avatar
    just looking at a friends guild.
    they have 1/12 normal, because they cannot get the members to do it and theyre all quite casual family people
    This looks a great solution for these people who want to raid as a group, outside of LFR........ and have fun whilst progressing

    Bravo
  1. SodiumChloride's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by VanishO2 View Post
    It's a real concern since they alread messed with LFR ilvl because of that. This will be required to run for normal/heroic raiders as LFR used to be.

    More of the same, faster burn-out. Wotlk taught that for everyone.

    And, will fragment even more the raiding comunity. Is it hard now to get ppl into 10/25? Guess what will happen?
    LFR isn't required.

    If you can't beat normal mode, tuned for normal mode gear, without "help" from LFR. Maybe the problem is between the chair and the keyboard.

    You should consider "downgrading" to flex when it comes out if you find normal "too difficult". One shouldn't tap talents they don't have.
  1. ImpTaimer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by xerus View Post
    Worst idea ever.

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

    Screw 3 ilvl tiers, 3 lockouts and 3 difficulties.
    Yup we have a winner here.

    10s, while fun and a proper raid size, are less cared about because they aren't 25, a raid size that never should've existed and only exists to enforce vanity and prestige, as does ilvl discrepancy based on raid size and not content.
  1. lokithor's Avatar
    what the hell...we cant even get a 10 man together lol. Looks like content I wont see (although it's the same, I would like to try it lol)
  1. VanishO2's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Arothand View Post
    I wonder if it will be something you queue for like LFR or if its a difficulty you can select like Heroic. In other words, if you're struggling on a boss on Normal 10M, could you drop to Flexible 10M and down it, then switch back to Normal 10M for the next boss?
    Nope since it's not the same raid lockout.

    It would be really stupid if they did it like that considering that they're designing linear raids.

    Can't wait to see the kind of mess it will be when they think about the mechanics and all the balance thing. They'll probably have to abandon some encounter mechanic ideas for example.

    And the fact that you can do glory of the raider achievements in it... not looking good. Totally stupid achievements since by default this new setting is easier than normal or even extra achievements... great :P
  1. Treesus's Avatar
    I think implementing and refining this will be difficult, but I think its amazing, and should IMO shut up those trying to kill LFR.
  1. Joeygiggles's Avatar
    I mainly like this just for the fact I can raid with friends who have set raids with their guilds, now we can actually raid together again
  1. bregtann's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vuhdoo View Post
    I hope this isnt the new feature they were going on and on about.
    THEY weren't going on and on about it. The community was. Blizzard only mentioned, once or twice that there would be an unannounced new feature, and then the community went ballistic in ridiculous speculations and Blizz had to come say "calm down guys, it's not that big of a deal, we never said it was a big deal". And you say Blizzard was "going on an on about" it?

    Always funny how the community can find ways of blaming Blizzard for it's own stupidity.
  1. Animaneth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by VanishO2 View Post
    And the fact that you can do glory of the raider achievements in it... not looking good. Totally stupid achievements since by default this new setting is easier than normal or even extra achievements... great :P
    well it says part of your glory achievements, and those (since the introduction of hard modes / heroic modes) require heroic kills. So still you might manage to get some of those achievements but probably not all.
  1. Woakerio's Avatar
    I suppose I'm a raiding noob, but what is the point of this exactly? Why can't people go from LFR to normal raids? If its because normal's difficulty is too hard, couldn't it be tuned down a little? If someone could explain this a bit I'd be grateful.
  1. xerus's Avatar
    My ideal would be:

    LFR that awards last tiers iLvL
    Flex sized normal.
    Flex sized heroic.

    Good luck tuning those though.
  1. Luccas's Avatar
    I can't see how they plan on balancing something like that between all possible sizes.
  1. Srg56's Avatar
    I say, welcome back WotlK PuG raids! This is AMAZING! I won't bother with LFR after this, unless i need quest items.
  1. mikeakanice's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bregtann View Post
    THEY weren't going on and on about it. The community was. Blizzard only mentioned, once or twice that there would be an unannounced new feature, and then the community went ballistic in ridiculous speculations and Blizz had to come say "calm down guys, it's not that big of a deal, we never said it was a big deal". And you say Blizzard was "going on an on about" it?

    Always funny how the community can find ways of blaming Blizzard for it's own stupidity.
    Actually ghostcrawler said a while back it would be game changing. I'll find the quote.

    Edit: Meh, I can't find it. I could have sworn GC said it though. I must be wrong
  1. bregtann's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by lokithor View Post
    what the hell...we cant even get a 10 man together lol. Looks like content I wont see (although it's the same, I would like to try it lol)
    if you can't even get 10 man together, then it is not raiding you want, but challenge mode dungeons. That's why they added them.

    Sheesh. Soon people will start demanding solo "raiding" so they won't have to ever talk to anyone.
  1. VanishO2's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    LFR isn't required.

    If you can't beat normal mode, tuned for normal mode gear, without "help" from LFR. Maybe the problem is between the chair and the keyboard.

    You should consider "downgrading" to flex when it comes out if you find normal "too difficult". One shouldn't tap talents they don't have.
    Lame excuse for the lack of argument. Sry.

    When you're talking about defeating a boss, even gear matters. Sry.

    Any gear upgrade is welcome, anytime.

    Again, gap between LFR and Normal gear was increased for a reason. They didn't come with that out of nowhere (like your argument).

    Even the best guilds in the world, that you for sure can't even get closer in "talents" did runs of LFR to get any kind of advantage they could.

    Will you say that they don't have talent?

    Anyway, try again later troll.

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