Flexible Raid Lock System in 4.0.1
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker)
Almost six months ago we announced that Cataclysm raids were being redesigned to make both raid sizes the same difficulty, drop the same quality of loot, and exist in the same lockout. This evolution in raid philosophy is built on the belief that the size of your raiding group should be a choice based solely on what's more fun and enjoyable for you, and that you should not have to complete the same raiding content twice in a week to maximize your character's progression. These systems are the culmination of a great deal of design and player feedback from the last few years. With the release of the 4.0.1 patch, the new Flexible Raid Lock system will debut in Icecrown Citadel and The Ruby Sanctum.

With the Flexible Raid Lock system, instead of being locked to a specific raid size or raid group, each character will have the opportunity to defeat each raid encounter once a week. You could kill Lord Marrowgar and Lady Deathwhisper with a 10-player raid on Wednesday, join a 25-player raid to kill Festergut and Rotface on Thursday, and then lead a completely new 10-player raid to kill The Lich King on Friday. Every raid has a list of encounters associated with the zone. For example, Icecrown Citadel has twelve encounters. After you defeat Lord Marrowgar, you can open up your character's raid information dialog and see the list of encounters in Icecrown Citadel with Marrowgar marked as defeated. You may no longer fight Lord Marrowgar with any raid size or difficulty until the weekly raid reset for your region occurs.

Another key change is that if you join someone else's raid in progress, you are no longer locked to that raid after merely zoning in. Your raid status will only change when a boss is defeated, at which point it will be updated to reflect the state of the instance in which you are currently participating. So, let's say you have killed the first four bosses of Icecrown Citadel, and you then join a raid that has defeated the first four encounters, as well as Festergut and Rotface. The dialog that displays upon entering Icecrown Citadel will show that the raid has defeated 6 of 12 encounters. If you help them defeat Professor Putricide, then you would be marked as having defeated not only Professor Putricide for the week, but also Festergut and Rotface. If instead after joining the raid you then proceeded to wipe ten times to Professor Putricide, you could leave the raid with only the first four bosses marked as completed.

To help communicate to players which bosses are dead in the raid leader's raid, there is new functionality to link in chat a list of the encounters the raid has defeated. So before you join a raid, you can see what they've already defeated. If a raid leader advertises in chat that she needs another healer for an 8/12 Icecrown Citadel run, you can see precisely which bosses are still available to fight. If you were only looking for that one item from Queen Lana'thel that never drops for you and this raid already defeated her, you will know not to join that raid.

Let's look at another example of the Flexible Raid Lock system. A guild schedules three nights for 25-player Icecrown Citadel raiding on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. On Wednesday, the raid defeats Lord Marrowgar, Lady Deathwhisper, Icecrown Gunship Battle, and Saurfang. On Thursday, five people cancel their raid attendance due to real life emergencies. The raid leader knows that if he cancels Thursday raiding, there's little chance they'll have enough time on Saturday to defeat the other eight bosses in Icecrown Citadel. So he splits the remaining 20 Thursday raiders into two 10-player raids. Each new raid enters Icecrown Citadel and defeats Rotface, Festergut, Blood Council, and Valithria Dreamwalker. The next Saturday with all 25 players online, they reform as a 25-player raid and enter Icecrown Citadel once more. Only Professor Putricide, Queen Lana'thel, Sindragosa, and The Lich King remain. After a tough fight, the Lich King falls and everybody celebrates. Without the Flexible Raid Lock system the entire raid probably would have missed out on a night of raiding, and likely would not have reached the Lich King.

While players can freely move between raids of different sizes in normal difficulty, there are some additional rules for Heroic difficulty. If a 10- or 25-player raid defeats a boss on Heroic difficulty, then those players may now only raid additional Heroic encounters with that specific raid. If your Heroic 25-player raid defeats the first four bosses of Icecrown Citadel on Heroic, then they may not split up into two 10-player raids and continue to fight in Heroic difficulty. You may also not join someone else's raid if they have defeated a Heroic encounter.

But let's say you are a member of a Heroic raid in Icecrown Citadel, and after killing Lord Marrowgar on Heroic you have Internet connection issues that prevent you from raiding for two nights. During those two nights, the rest of the raid kills everything. Without the Flexible Raid Lock system, you would be done with raiding Icecrown Citadel for the week. Ouch. With the Flexible Raid Lock system, you can join someone else's raid as long as they are doing Normal difficulty. This would at least give you the opportunity to earn your Justice Points for the week. If this raid attempted to switch to Heroic difficulty for Icecrown Gunship Battle with you in the raid, the raid leader would receive an error message stating that she cannot change to Heroic, because someone in the raid (i.e., you) is already locked to a different Heroic instance.

All of the new Cataclysm raids will feature the Flexible Raid Lock and Dynamic Difficulty systems, and when the Cataclysm occurs the other Wrath of the Lich King raids will also have these features. It's important to note that this system doesn't affect Heroic dungeons, they will work as they always have. We look forward to feedback for this new system after 4.0.1 is released. As a reminder, Icecrown Citadel and The Ruby Sanctum are the only two raids that support the Flexible Raid Lock until the Cataclysm occurs.

One piece of clarification on questions being asked so far, although we're still compiling feedback and will work to answer some of the questions and clear up any confusion we can.

The loot system in Icecrown and Ruby Sanctum is not changing. This implementation of the new flex raid lock is only that, a new implementation of the raid lockout system we'll be using in Cataclysm. This does not change the separation of 10 and 25 in ICC, and does not change the item drops or achievements.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Flexible Raid Lock System in 4.0.1 started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 365 Comments
  1. VanishO2's Avatar
    How exactly ppl get confused with this?

    How do you have access to Lich King heroic encounter? By defeating Putricide, Blood Queen and Sindragosa in heroic mode of the same size (10 or 25).

    That answers why they have a restriction for heroic version. On cataclysm, heroic raids can have extra bosses and events (one of the new raids will have extra lore/content if you beat it in heroic mode). So, doesn't make sense to let ppl skip hard (and necessary) bosses to get directly to the extra "heroic only" boss, event, etc.

    That also answers the achievement questions. Want Bane of the Fallen King? Deal with it in 10man heroic. Want Light of Dawn? Deal with it in 25man heroic as it should be (for now, while in Cataclsym, it will be one achievement for both).

    To be honest, the real deal now (since WotLK hardmodes were created) is the heroic mode, Blizz couldn't care less for normal mode. That's why they're kinda of protecting it.

    And no, they're not forcing you to raid only heroic ICC if you do one heroic boss. They're forcing you to only raid with that raid lock if you do one heroic boss, you can't do a raid hopping to get heroic kills here and there. You won't be able to do something like "deal with Putricide and Blood Queen 25 heroic with my group, then I'll join that other raid for Sindragosa 25 heroic since my group sucks and then another one for LK 25 Heroic since the former raid sucked at him." You can bring non-saved ppl to your 25 heroic raid, but you can't get saved and join another heroic group that is ahead of your former group on their 25 heroic raid lock.

    And forget about DBW in Saurfang 10 ppl, don't confuse flexible raid system with new loot tables for cataclysm.

    The only question I have is about not getting saved... if players join a raid to help kill a specific boss... and leave the raid (and probably hearth) with, let's say, 2%, 1% boss health, do they get saved or they just helped the raid to kill the boss? LoL.
  1. cerbdog's Avatar
    Wow, this is really exciting to me. Big thanks to Boub for keeping us up to date, and a bigger thanks to Blizzard for making this awesome change!
  1. Phive's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by netwar_ View Post
    I agree with this changes. One of the best things in Cataclysm for sure.
    sounds good to me except for the loss of badges

    i think it will suck for guilds trying to recruit for 25s for their dkp systems since so many will pug often
  1. Mandible's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky Mclachlan View Post
    Waitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwait.....wtf is this?

    Does this mean I won't be able to finish my Glory of the Icecrown Radier (10-Player) now? Or will all of these achievements be merged?

    My meta was going to be completed next reset. : \

    Also if 10 and 25 share the same lock out, does this mean that my raid will get Light of Dawn for killing heroic LK in 10 player? Because my guild has had that one farm for some time....
    Stuff will most likely still be seperate in that area, but you can´t do both in one week.
  1. videotape's Avatar
    Pretty good decisions on Blizzard's part. There are perhaps alternative solutions to the various lockout problems, but this is still a step in the right direction.

    Some people are incapable of seeing past themselves.
  1. Chronoless's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ery View Post
    I dont get it.. what happens If I have killed all bosses except for the first boss and I join a raid where they are doing all bosses..
    Will i be kicked when they go at boss 2?
    Or can i stay and help but not loot?
    you will not be able to join. you have to join a run with the same amount of boss down or more, you can't join one with less bosses.

    example, you down 4/12 bosses (don't matter if 10/25), a pug down 4+/12 boss (don't matter if 10/25) you can join them

    don't work his way
    you down 10/12 and a pug down 4/12 and is looking for people to finish, you will not be able to join them until they down 10/12 or more.
  1. Waterisbest's Avatar
    Love this change. Always wanted a shared lockout system.

    The normal version of raids will allow the casuals (yes the casuals will raid the normal version). It will give them a chance to PuG. While the heroic version is strictly for hardcore raiders, promoting the need for a guild.

    I don't understand the people whining about ICC loot and achievements. First you whine about how ICC has lasted too long, a huge failure on Blizzard's part. And now you whine that you didn't get enough time to kill the bosses/get the loot, also a huge failure on Blizzard's part. Make up your minds seriously. It looks like some people just need a reason to bash Blizzard for whatever they do. Yes they made mistakes in the past (or showed how retarded they are in some cases), but this is not one of them.
  1. ledger's Avatar
    Mixed feelings about this, seems pretty awesome on paper and the Heroic lockout seems to favor people who does guildruns a lot (which I dig, PuGs are horrible). But I'm also afraid that if your guild is struggling with a boss, and one guildmember sees another awesome guild that is looking for one random guy to join them - I am afraid he would leave to their run just for the kill, locking him out of the guildraid till the guild has killed him. That would of course be a matter between that member and the guild, but it would kind of feel like a kick in the balls.
  1. WaitingforSWTOR's Avatar

    Seriously Blizzard, Raiding survived as it is now for 6 years... leave it that way

    Baddies without guild deserve to be locked at 6/12
  1. Chronoless's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ledger View Post
    Mixed feelings about this, seems pretty awesome on paper and the Heroic lockout seems to favor people who does guildruns a lot (which I dig, PuGs are horrible). But I'm also afraid that if your guild is struggling with a boss, and one guildmember sees another awesome guild that is looking for one random guy to join them - I am afraid he would leave to their run just for the kill, locking him out of the guildraid till the guild has killed him. That would of course be a matter between that member and the guild, but it would kind of feel like a kick in the balls.
    if your guild master does that to you, he isn't guild master material, most guild masters think of the guild more then themselves. "It is their Guild anyways"
  1. Turbo_ski's Avatar
    Dear lord I absolutely LOVE this change. My guild can only do 25 man once a week and we can usually get 10 mans rolling easily rest of the week, this will let us at least put some attempts in for Sindy and LK in our 25 man run.
  1. Nate1493's Avatar
    Normal dungeon changes, fine.

    Heroic dungeon changes, terrible.

    If you want certain bosses to not be doable on heroic without downing other bosses on heroic, that's another story (Like killing 4 wing bosses for LK heroic).

    But making the "flexible" dungeon system not "flexible" it is terrible.
  1. ledger's Avatar
    if your guild master does that to you, he isn't guild master material, most guild masters think of the guild more then themselves. "It is their Guild anyways"
    I said a guildmember ^^ Not the guildmaster, but you still more or less got the hang of what I tried to say though. :P
  1. sidebar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Scripts View Post
    But the ID is created when the first boss is downed,so you weren't there for the creation of the "Second" ID. The RL has the ID created from the regular Marrowgar kill, and you are tagged to an id with a heroic marrowgar kill, so your heroic id trumps any other IDs you join.
    Correct, my ID (Heroic) trumps the The RL's ID (Not Heroic)

    If your heroic ID and your RL's ID doesn't match up, then no heroic modes for the group you joined.
    I am not sure what your basing this on. Let's run it down.

    A) You are now the RL, and you have a 25 Man Heroic ID.
    B) For that Heroic ID, that Boss is not Dead.
    C) Nobody in the raid has a Heroic ID.

    I don't see a problem with you setting it to Heroic at that point, provided all of the aforementioned is true. Should be that simple.

    Remember, the idea of this is to allow "non-heroic-saved" players to join your raid. There is not any real difference between going 3/12Heroic, then filling a spot with a 3/12Normal versus a 3/12Normal filling with a 3/12Heroic player.

    As long as the Heroic ID is not cleared, you should be able to "upgrade" the normal players to your heroic. Of course, if your Heroic IC was cleared, your SoL and so is the new group you joined.

    In the present, there was always a danger of somebody *stealing* your raid id if the group stopped for the day. In the future, you should only have to worry about somebody *stealing* your Heroic ID, as normal won't work that way anymore.

    Sound right?
  1. Creed86's Avatar
    I like the change, personally i've always been in favour of such a move.

    However with it coming into ICC it does leave me with questions that i cannot ask since i can't access the american forums.

    1) What happens to loot: Do 10 / 25 drop the same items now?
    2) What about the frost wyrms: I have the 10 man but what happens with the 25 one.

    Still in all i welcome this change it allows me to start planning for cata even earlier than i was expecting to, hooray!
  1. clayvox21's Avatar
    the two questions i have that were not answered

    is 10 man loot being scaled to 264 with this patch AND can you complete the shadowmourne quest on 10 man with these changes

    <Mod Edit: That question WAS answered. For patch 4.0 before Cata if you are in a 10 man the loot is 10 man loot, if you are in a 25 man its 25 man loot, SERIOUSLY what is complicated about that???>
  1. Ulgrim's Avatar
    This seems kind of pointless, with out one single loot table for both 10 and 25 man ICC.
  1. swills's Avatar
    Loot questions have been answered multiple times now.

    Loot is not changing. 10m kills will drop 10m loot still. 25m kills will drop 25m loot still.
    Achievements are not changing. 10m kills will give 10m achievs still. Ditto 25m.

    All it basically means is that you can PuG more easily, but you can't kill any ICC boss more than once in a week. Heroic modes are basically unaffected.
  1. khh's Avatar
    hmm... awesome great... on the pratical side... not much difference at all

    why the guy who had connection problems in the middle of a raid go and redo the raid but without loot for the bosses he already is locked on?

    because being 3/13 is virtually the same as being locked since every group starts from 0/13 and likely will go to the end

    sure this makes easy for the % of the wow population that hops in "need one dps for X done Y wings" raids but how many times you actually did that?
  1. sidebar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by clayvox21 View Post
    the two questions i have that were not answered

    is 10 man loot being scaled to 264 with this patch
    No ... and this was answered with a follow up by the blue.

    AND can you complete the shadowmourne quest on 10 man with these changes
    To the best of my knowledge, they are not changing any quest mechanics, just how raid lock out work.

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