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 816 Comments
  1. Twerking As Intended's Avatar
    I can understand why it's a separate difficulty: if it was applied to normal/heroic raiding we'd eventually see an end to 25man raiding. However I don't see how it will resolve the ongoing issue of dwindling realm populations, both caused by and contributing to a lack of normal/heroic raid progression. It may actually discourage players from trying normal/heroic content.

    Also consider how it would exacerbate the current issues of:
    • balancing 10man and 25man content,
    • the gearing process aimed towards normal/heroic endgame,
    • the tedious comparisons of loot in multiple tiers/modes,
    • the challenge of finding enough healers based on the raid's size


    25man guilds could see it as an alternative in case they can't fill their rosters. On the other hand, I don't think a 10man guild, which is experienced with normal/heroic raiding and only raids 2-3 nights a week, would sacrifice a progressive raid night for a lower level of difficulty and loot just to accomodate a couple extra guildies.
  1. schmearcampain's Avatar
    I love it. What a great idea. Not sure how it will work, but my first thoughts are that this could bring smaller guilds together for some fun times.
  1. eschatological's Avatar
    I don't think they should open this up below 10 people. I think 10 people teams with constantly only 7-9 people on during raid night should expand their circle of friends a little bit. One of the main detriments of having a "bench" in friends/family type groups is you don't want anyone to feel left out. Now? Not an issue. Have 15 people in your team, say "Show up Tuesday at 9 to raid." All 15 show up? Great. 12 show up? No problem. 10 show up? Still good to go. But if you can't get 2/3rds of your group, which presumably got together with the desire to actually raid together, to show up, then yes, maybe you should cancel the raid night.

    As a heroic raider, all this means for me is we can do our meta achievements with our full roster (14 ppl) and not lose a heroic kill to guarantee the achiev on normal mode. Plus, we won't ever have to balance again for "Oh, I need in to get this achievement..." now we just need to balance our comp for gear soaking.
  1. Dreknar20's Avatar
    "Item lvl between normal and raid finder"
    Fucking serious? So now I have to run both this on top of normal/heroic progression?
    And they just fixed not being compelled to run lfr........
  1. starkey's Avatar
    Im now a flexi casual raider i love it.
  1. link_991's Avatar
    I love that they perfectly predicted everyone's reaction being either "That's it?" or "That's Fantastic!"
  1. Dreary's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Miraclemax View Post
    Interesting... although curious to see how the heck a raid leader know what roles he needs with flexible groups.

    For 10 man you need 2 tanks 3 heals and 5 dps
    What do you need for 12 man? 15 man? 20 man?

    Seems like a lot of complexity/confusion to understand how many additional healers, dps you need to be successful with flexible sizes between 10 and 25
    Actually since the difficulty scales linearly, after 10-man you would add 1 healer for every 4 non-heals. Just keep the same proportion it is in 10-man. Sooo..

    15 man = 2 tanks, 3 heals, 10 dps...
    20 man = 2 tanks, 4 heals, 14 dps...

    11 man you use 2 heals..
    12 man you use 2 heals..
    13 man you use 3 heals..
    14 man you use 3 heals..
    etc..
  1. Seefer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ishayu View Post
    This is a pretty good idea but I can't help but feel it's accomplishing what LFR tried to accomplish but in a much better way. It's a great way for the PuGs and the social players to get to see the raid content.

    However, I think 4 difficulty levels is too many. This thing is like LFR but way better in every way. It has all the strengths of the accessibility - especially with it being "flexible and cross server". However, it also doesn't let people play like utter crap and escape all social responsibility.

    This is what LFR should have been, and I applaud it for that reason alone. LFR needs to be axed, though. It was pretty bad.
    I agree with this whore heartedly.
  1. Abda's Avatar
    If you are progressing normal/heroic this thing is not for you, just move along and let casuals have their fun.
  1. Xjev's Avatar
    Awesome Idea, while keeping heroic level of difficulty for hardcore, normals for normal raiders who want progress, this mode for normal raiders who just want to down bosses, and LFR for ppl who wanna solo. Everyone should be happy now. Good job Blizzard.
  1. araine's Avatar
    This will hopefully end up being the new "normal" mode raid it looks very promising to address the issues that is hurting the average casual guild right now.
  1. VanishO2's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by adrii021 View Post
    Fair enough if LFR ruined the game that much i totally missed it, ive always had a stabile raiding envoirment. And i only do LFR on my alts, it has its place atm. I would say there are things missing more then saying lfr is a failure. But yea i think its here our thoughts are seperated.
    And yea there IS a difference about bitching (you were bitching) and giving constructive feedback.

    You dont work at blizzard, you dont know shit about how this will evolve or have an impact on the game so stop acting like it.
    The overall negative energy just makes me puke sometimes. Jesus see some positive things.

    Raiding has evovled, if its cause blizzard made normals hard ot whatever it doesnt matter. Clearly this is game changing if it ends up beeing like

    LFR
    Normal Flexible
    Heroic Flexible

    as its probably might end up in the next expansion. It will open up a whole new dynamic to raiding.

    Dynamic is usually good when a game is dropping in subs.
    Sorry, it wasn't bitching, because if it was, it would be no more, no less than you. Were you bitching?

    Unfortunatelly, this isn't the right place for constructive feedback, since this isn't Blizzard foruns, so yes... it's just discussing about it.

    I also do LFR on my alts since I don't want to bother with pugging things just for an alt (I don't get pissed because another guy has better gear on his, let's say, monk, than I have on my monk alt, but clearly tons of players do get), but unfortunatelly had to run LFR on my main a few times for the extra legendary quest item drops (and thankfully they made it shared drop later. And you can bet some ppl complained that they now don't have the freedom of choice to run both LFR and Normal/Heroic for extra quest items) or the final set piece for a stupid OP set bonus because everyone else asked for it "dude, that set bonus could really help, it's OP and it would be one less rolling on it when it drops, could you try to get it from LFR please?". Sure I could just go asshole mode "no, screw you all". But... anyway.

    The game now is even faster than before. So you can't just sit there waiting for a drop in normal/heroic if the next content is almost out there. And if you don't care about killing boss X or Y before it's over, then why even care about after finishing the story in LFR or anything else? You're lying to yourself if you're stepping into normals or even heroics and saying you have the same mentality of a guy who just log, do a few pew pew here and there between dailies, random bgs and lfr and logoff.

    The game is old. Ppl do get tired after 7 years. MMO genre as a whole is going down. Trying any crazy idea isn't going to bring players back to gold times. One thing that wotlk taught us and you can be damn sure it's right is that getting burn out is one of the fastest ways to get ppl leaving the game.
  1. PenguinChan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Abda View Post
    If you are progressing normal/heroic this thing is not for you, just move along and let casuals have their fun.
    Why does a player who is progressing through normal or heroic need not apply to these raids?
  1. Fleugen'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.
    Lower difficulty than normal, lower ilevel. Get over it.

    I'm still upset they're even adding another difficulty. I miss the days where if you weren't good enough, you either GOT good enough, or you sucked it up. Wonder how long it'll be until new-difficulty is too hard now. :/
  1. WeaponXAnimosity's Avatar
    Here comes the raging from people who for some odd reason suffer from an imaginary OCD that feel pressured to do all raid difficulties on one toon. It's a game. Not a job. Got enough complaints from players who feel they have to constantly grind dailies because of an imaginary gun to their heads.
  1. araine's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Wiredmana View Post
    I don't understand how this even serves a purpose. Adding one more member to the group causing a sacrifice of several ilvls isn't really worth it. People will just bring 10 or 25 anyway.
    Not among those guilds that are brickwalled and stuck in ToT right now.
  1. Vlarkin's Avatar
    See I HATE this. Because even though it does not force people to do both, it mentally causes people to think they have to do both 10m and 25m to contend. I will not be returning for 5.4
  1. VanishO2's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Abda View Post
    If you are progressing normal/heroic this thing is not for you, just move along and let casuals have their fun.
    But normal/heroic ppl saying for casuals (let's be fair, baddies, because casual ppl can do a lot, causal is about time avaiable, not lack of skill) to move along from normal/raid because it's not for them was "OMG YOU !%$%$% ELITISTS!!""

    Sry, but this can involve normal/heroic players in so many ways that you can't imagine. Blizzard messed with LFR more than once because it interfered with normal/heroic raiding even on a world 1st competition level (to the point of guilds getting caught exploiting it), why would something still way easier than normal, totally flexible (rá! lol) and with better loot than LFR (and their share of afkraiders and determination stacks) wouldn't interfere???

    ---------- Post added 2013-06-07 at 03:34 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by WeaponXAnimosity View Post
    Here comes the raging from people who for some odd reason suffer from an imaginary OCD that feel pressured to do all raid difficulties on one toon. It's a game. Not a job. Got enough complaints from players who feel they have to constantly grind dailies because of an imaginary gun to their heads.
    And the rage from ppl for some odd reason suffer from an imaginary OCD that feel pressured to get more and more ilvl instead of being happy with their share of the game...

    See... any trolling can go both ways...
  1. Xjev's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreary View Post
    Actually since the difficulty scales linearly, after 10-man you would add 1 healer for every 4 non-heals. Just keep the same proportion it is in 10-man. Sooo..

    15 man = 2 tanks, 3 heals, 10 dps...
    20 man = 2 tanks, 4 heals, 14 dps...

    11 man you use 2 heals..
    12 man you use 2 heals..
    13 man you use 3 heals..
    14 man you use 3 heals..
    etc..
    Well since difficulty is gonna be almost faceroll, it wont really matter, bring on whatever you have lol
  1. Eurytos's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreknar20 View Post
    "Item lvl between normal and raid finder"
    Fucking serious? So now I have to run both this on top of normal/heroic progression?
    And they just fixed not being compelled to run lfr........

    why would you have to?

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