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. Zypherz's Avatar
    LAMMEEEEE, hell the one change I was waiting for raiding was the removal of LFR, fucking hell -.- Just make normal slightly easier and it's set.
  1. Arbs's Avatar
    Very interesting for sure, we will have to see how it pans out. But that meanswe can have 15 man raids aswell.
  1. XingoJenkins's Avatar
    Pull the trigger Blizzard. Do it!
  1. SodiumChloride's Avatar
    This is probably the feature they talked about ...

    This will be great. Tons of people have been asking for a beer league raid difficulty.

    Those people complaining about raid PUGs going extinct should now be happy too, since this raid difficulty should suit minimally coordinated PUGs just fine.
  1. Rorschachs's Avatar
    Finally something else to do on our mains. This is great.
  1. Raeion's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zypherz View Post
    LAMMEEEEE, hell the one change I was waiting for raiding was the removal of LFR, fucking hell -.- Just make normal slightly easier and it's set.
    you are kidding me right? how about they just make heroics a bit easier too?
  1. Durandro's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Asrialol View Post
    People complaining about this feature because it doesn't impact them. Worthless people.

    This is actually pretty huge. People can bring 15 people to a raid instead of 25 and instead of 10. Imagine if they later add this mode to normal and heroic. No more benching of players. This can be game changing.
    Indeed! Its a great concept, and a good way to test it out on live servers. If its not balanced properly then oh well it only drops sub-normal gear.

    And hey, if it works out then its a step in the right direction for old raid challenge modes. So be positive and quit your whinings!

    Or better yet, lodge your protests by not using it when it goes live. I dare you. And stop using LFR as well. Infact stop being a wimp and just do nothing bar heroic once you unlock it after week one. Play the game hardcore, don't farm normal modes if you get stuck on a hard boss, or stop your bellyaching!
  1. Siq1ne's Avatar
    This is pretty amazing considering how many times the following has happened:
    A) Somebody was left out because we only had 11-12 people and only 10 could come
    B) We could only get 16 people on and decided to call a 25-man raid.

    Also, it gives yet another raid to run per week for those who wish to do so.
  1. HellShogun's Avatar
    This is a great addition, I used to play with a group that just hasn't been able to keep up with normals ever since Cata hit, while some members could certainly have gone on to a regular (and even heroic groups in some case) we weren't willing to abandon our friends who just couldn't cope with the increased number of mechanics. We tried LFR as a group, but it just doesn't feel the same. Honestly, this is something that might make me start raiding semi-regularly again.
  1. Harmzuay's Avatar
    You don't have to run this, you don't have to run LFR now if you do 10 or 25 man Normals. I'm in a 10 man guild, no one in our guild EVER runs LFR and we're doing Heroics now. I really don't understand this idea that you omfg have to do everything in the whole game to be competitive. Play like you want to play and shut up about being "forced" to do things that you're choosing to do yourself.
  1. Flixy's Avatar
    This is a great idea but really needs to work for under 10 players too, say 8 or 9 for those nights where you lack a player or two for your 10 man.
  1. Durandro's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by R0ninX3ph View Post
    I would be more interested in this if it weren't limited to just this new difficulty level. My guild is a 10 man guild with 2x 10 man raid teams. We often have one missing from each time on any given night, so we are unable to field a full 25man raid. If this system were available in normal mode, we could merge our two ten man groups into a anywhere between 18-22 man raid each week.
    Hopefully by next expansion! Because honestly that would be fantastic. Can't tell you the number of times I had to cut a raid in half because only 20 people showed up, and force a bunch of people to use offspecs.
  1. paralleluniverse's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by F-Minus View Post
    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.
    You pretend that this isn't a legitimate concern. It is a legitimate concern.
  1. Raugnaut'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.

    Considering that it will be EASIER then Normal, it should also drop lower ilvl then normal.

    It wasn't answered, so I'm wondering- will it share a lockout with LFR, with Normal/Heroic, or seperate lockout? with Normal/Heroic, then I don't care about it for mains, but great for alts. With LFR, then its pretty good all-round. Seperate lockout entirely, and it becomes another timesink for gearing up for the first few weeks
  1. Chronalis's Avatar
    I think it's a decent idea. I can't tell you how many raids in Wrath we had to cancel because of lack of people. Eventually we had to downsize to 10-man only, and eventually we had to merge with a larger guild. My question is whether or not they'll allow it to scale below 10 players, either in the future or upon release. I'd personally love to see flex work down to 5-man level or even allow solo content (but scale the items down to way below LFR - perhaps by as much as 20 points), but I imagine they won't allow that.
  1. Sialanne's Avatar
    Very interesting concept. I'm excited to see how it pans out.
  1. Nichodemus's Avatar
    I fail to see how this really will have big impact on the community to be honest I mean why add something between LFR and Normal Raiding? The gap is so tiny anyhow.

    Ah well as long as this is just one of few features I am all cool with it I mean more options = more ways to please people but if this is the ''Huge'' feature they've spoken about I will be disappointed.
  1. Sigmar's Avatar
    Needs to start at 5 players, not 10. Otherwise not a bad idea.
  1. Stormdash's Avatar
    This may not "remove" LFR, but I think it will actually render LFR kind of moot. I think it's a decent idea, actually. Agree that this should actually work down to a group of eight, but no smaller (8 is a decent number with some MMO pedigree for group play -- task force/strike force size for CoX, an Op difficulty in TOR).
  1. Gray_Matter's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    This is a great idea but really needs to work for under 10 players too, say 8 or 9 for those nights where you lack a player or two for your 10 man.
    I don't think it does. You can have 12 in your normal raid and that will cover you as missing a couple of people wouldn't mess up raiding night.

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