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. Thraenduil's Avatar
    I see this as a great recruiting tool for top guilds. And also as a long awaited "Proving grounds"- like thing for new players.

    One more thing. People rooting for 25-only HM raids don't like losing to Paragon. Flex raiding on heroic will make world 1st race fair to all guilds.
  1. Woobels's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Thraenduil View Post
    I see this as a great recruiting tool for top guilds. And also as a long awaited "Proving grounds"- like thing for new players.

    One more thing. People rooting for 25-only HM raids don't like losing to Paragon. Flex raiding on heroic will make world 1st race fair to all guilds.
    There's no heroic flex raiding.
  1. Azrile's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nienor View Post
    I wonder what good this feature will do to people like me who can't even find 10 people for a raid. Unless it scales also with less than 10 people...
    Another useless feature that will take a lot of the developer´s effort and won't really offer anything. I mean, can u imagine all the effort it'll take to balance the raid and make the new items? And that is gonna keep taking precious development time in the future too.

    Instead of putting all this effort on something really useful and cool like for example total elimination of empty/imbalanced realms that will bring the words massive and multiplayer back to this sad excuse of mmo they go and spend time on so ething like that...

    I'm totally unimpressed
    But it will be like doing a world boss kinda. Say you have 6 core friends who want to raid together. You can just us /2 to add 4 other people and do a raid that probably will be about as difficult as LFR. The fact that the raid will be broken up into wings will make it even easier. You will grab those people, kill 3 bosses, and then later, or maybe the next day decide to invite them back to do another wing. the fact that loot is done like LFR means you won´t have to be overly worried if you have 4 hunters and can basically invite anyone as long as you have your 2 tanks and 2-3 healers. This system is EXACTLY perfect for your situation.. because suppose in 3-4 weeks you have done this a few times.. you now have probably a dozen names of peoplle who you have raided with when you want to start normal modes.

    And that is how Blizzard is trying to save 25M raids. imagine another month.. you have picked up 4 good raiders and are doing 10M normal modes.. maybe on your off-nights, you will still want to do Flex... guess what.. you can use /2 and add more people.. and maybe end up with 16-20 people doing your flex.. and maybe at some point you will reach 25 people.. and then you can start doing 25Mans.
  1. Thunderpants's Avatar
    Cool, Blizzard just keep making this game better and better.
  1. Ruck's Avatar
    The idea sounds ok, but i bet the execution will be awful. Sounds like just another crappy feature for people to drag their feet on till the next expansion.
  1. Teucer's Avatar
    This looks great. I see a number of people wondering why they are doing loot like LFR. My guess is a number of reasons:

    1. Varying number of people means that the number of drops would have to vary as well, should a group of 14 get less than a group of 15?
    2. No loot competition. You have 20 people and 10 dps are mages/warlocks, meaning easier to get a raid comp thats not competing for gear.
    3. You're in a 10m normal/heroic guild. Decide on the weekend that you want to run a Flex raid and invite more people from the guild, if the gear dropped in Flex like it does in normal, people would probably prioritize members of the raid team over the extra people from the guild, which I dont think is Blizz's intention with this. They want to be inclusive.
  1. Nearmyth's Avatar
    If anything, they should just make it so that 10 man is the same old normal difficulty, and just scales up with more people. Not a lower difficuly/ilvl altogether that scales up.

    But what an absolutely great and necessary addition to the game, this is amazing.
  1. SodiumChloride's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Calaba View Post
    It's a brilliant idea with 1 minor modification - share the "lock-out" with LFR. Would prevent people feeling the need to run 3 full raids each week (normal/heroic, Flex and LFR) to fill obvious gaps in their gear. Seriously hope they do this or it'll lead to burnout / people quitting because their weapon never drops / etc. Really, there should be NO NEED to do LFR with this feature.
    Or you can learn self control and stop screw other players over by demanding Blizzard "nanny" you.

    LFR will still remain the main way for raiding for causals. They can raid anytime and don't have to sit in trade to try to form a 25 man raid group. Flex would be great if they chance upon a group forming and decide to join.

    If there should be a shared lockout, it should be with normal. This way people like you can stop whining about "burn out".
  1. Fuqup's Avatar
    Item level of loot is between Raid Finder and Normal and loot is awarded with the Raid Finder style loot system.
    Lmao nvm no longer interested
  1. Ferrouswheel's Avatar
    It's funny, after this and all the Xbone announcements, it's cute watching these companies commit corporate suicide.
  1. grexly75's Avatar
    This idea will be either very successful of flop so badly that seismographs around the world will feel it flop.. The loot system chosen for this new mode may be the deciding factor as most know now how much of a pain in the rear it can be to get gear from LFR now (even with the new much touted bad luck roll system)..
  1. Xingu's Avatar
    Wait, I don't understand, separate lockout and three difficulties? Does that mean flex lfr, flex normal and flex heroic? I get the latter two but flex lfr??
  1. SodiumChloride's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Xingu View Post
    Wait, I don't understand, separate lockout and three difficulties? Does that mean flex lfr, flex normal and flex heroic? I get the latter two but flex lfr??
    It's just "LFR Plus", that you need to form your own groups to do instead of the system match-making for you.

    So if you are nuts, or just have a lot of free time, you can do LFR, then assemble a raid to do Flex, then do normal with your guild.
  1. grexly75's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    It's just "LFR Plus", that you need to form your own groups to do instead of the system match-making for you.

    So if you are nuts, or just have a lot of free time, you can do LFR, then assemble a raid to do Flex, then do normal with your guild.
    Maybe coin a new acronym LFSR = Looking For Server Raid lol.. But yeah true in having lots of free time or be a masochist to want to do LFR, LFSR and then Normal/Heroic.. Heck I can't even be bothered to queue for LFR as it is just finding WoW is becoming meh for me now, realized life is too short to worry about it..

    Not sure what it is about WoW now but yeah I am slowly going the I don't care about it anymore route..
  1. dhru's Avatar
    We want to get back Ulduar raid style 10/25 and if we want we will kill on hard mode style...
    6 raid level about the same raid? Are you on weed?
    One more lost sub! You are killing the raiding guilds... This is not on MMO nowadays...
    After the "mass summ" spell remove you are on the fuuu... wrong path...
    I have got characters on 3 realms, and only 4 25raider guilds are exists on these...
    Now 10raider guilds will be removed too...

    And yes, they are not reading forums, because they see this was a crap idea and need to rethink the whole RF/normal/hc raid system...

    My best thing what the GMs speak: "IF you haven't got enough time to play wow, don't play it."

    Is it a pain for the blizzard to nerf the normal bosses? I always check the wowprogress about the normal raiders progress... After 7 weeks in ToT only 32% of the raider guilds could reach the 3rd boss... WTF?
    Compare the boss mechanics with the BC raids and you will see why...
  1. Divinelife82's Avatar
    Yet another ilvl and mode difficulty too the same content.... yawn.
    Getting a bit like diabolo with its mutliple difficulty settings of what is essentially the same dam thing.
    If they want to bring friends family or wte ever closer together that alone should be the reason to want to do this, IF people want to.
    Why oh why add another ilvl category??
    Just make it lfr ilvl or normal and be done with it.
  1. Bellybounce's Avatar
    If we could raid with 7 or 8 people this change would have been huge - this is kinda meh.
  1. Amonthar's Avatar
    I like the idea but this is still an insult to regular raiders that struggle with regular content that should not be as difficult as it is. There is Heroic for people that want hard content.

    Blizzard has dropped the ball on this. We have LFR already. We don't need an LFR Sr. Blizzard has failed the regular raiding community that just want to do normals.
  1. Wayne25uk's Avatar
    But what if you have 27 people that want to raid,what then?
  1. Teucer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne25uk View Post
    But what if you have 27 people that want to raid,what then?
    Do 25 normal, sub 2 people where necessary
    Do 2 Flex, 13 and 14

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