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. Zinnin's Avatar
    It doesn't sound like a terrible thing, except for the Heroic restrictions...I don't see why they keep putting limits on Heroic raiders
  1. Ankzu's Avatar
    Will ICC 10 and 25 be dropping the same loot now? Will the infusions and shards be available in 10 now?
  1. Vasz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lathi View Post
    Nice, this might actually open up a few people who were opposed to pugging before. Even though my reason is because I like raiding with my friends, I can still see where some people might give pugging a chance. Blizz gets 2 interwebz for this.
    It will also open up a lot of people who did a pug on Wednesday, killed one boss and was locked into that raid ID all week.

    I think it is a great idea.
  1. Mandible's Avatar
    All I would like to know is this - Is the loot set to one instance only, and in the case is it 10 or 25 man...

    If split I can only say OMFG NOOOOOO!!!!
  1. Salicylic's Avatar
    are the loots going to be share or still be the same?
  1. Parhadox's Avatar
    TL;DR.. nah! jk! Very informative wall of text, all of it is relevant so it was a good chunk of knowledge.
  1. Xentropy's Avatar
    I love that they went back on their original plan to only allow raids to "downgrade" from 25 to 10 and will also allow movement back from 10's to a 25.

    I hate that they basically flipped off anyone doing heroics and said you're still stuck with the old rigid system, deal with it. What POSSIBLE reason is there to ignore this change for anyone raiding Heroic modes? Protip: Guilds doing Heroics have attendance issues sometimes too.
  1. Sulika's Avatar
    This does have some downsides.

    My own guild has has a 25 man raid during the week and runs two 10 man groups on the weekends. One of the 10 man groups has killed LK10HC, the other is still working on it. Now we are basically going to be screwed. If we want to continue with our regular 25 man raids then it means half the guild will never be able to get a LK 10 HC kill. They will always be saved to the 25 man raid. After a lot of time and effort this leaves a lot of our guild members in an awful position. Either give up on the LK10 title altogether or bring a bunch of alts into the 25 man raid and gimp our potential for progression there.

    This is pretty much a lose lose situation for us. "Flexible" indeed.
  1. GrieverXIII's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ranor View Post
    tl;dr - R.I.P. 10man raiding unless all you do is do 10mans or alt runs.
    Considering in Cataclysm both 10man and 25 drop the same thing, are suposed to be just as hard and both permits realm firsts and such. I really don't see how 10man guilds are penalised.

    At the moment, yeah it sucks since you can't do bosses twice to get 10/25man loots, but honestly, WOLTK is finished, they are using ICC just to test the feature.

    I really don't see why people QQ about the heroic restriction either. Lets keep ICC as an example and say that a guild utterly fail at Sindragosa 25man heroic, but they killed everything else and want to work on the Lich King cause nobody else killed it on their crappy server, its to prevent that this guild, switch Sindragosa heroic to 10man and kill her with their 10 decent raiders, so they can continue their 25man progression while skipping a boss.
  1. Chareoss's Avatar
    Does anyone else see this getting slightly complicated when recruiting people for raids? especially people who didn't bother to understand it?
  1. Rurikar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by draticus View Post
    I wish I worked at Bliz. The simple version of this would be "Each player can only loot each boss once per week regardless of raid size or difficulty." That is the solution I've been suggesting since day 1. This would allow people to raid with whatever friends they want, whenever they want. And never HAVE to raid more than once for the sake of min/maxing progression. They're half way there. Maybe someday they'll figure it out.
    Except for the fact then I could then raid a 25 man raid and swap people in feed them loot. Kill marrowgarr, give loot to people. Redo instance, swap three new people in. Those three people have all the loot that drops for them. They thought of your idea and thats the issue with it. You are not as smart as you think you are.
  1. Asherett's Avatar
    How the heck are they trying to pass this off as a "nice thing". The whole thing might just have read
    "LOL you may no longer raid both 10 and 25man in one week. And LOL since we know perfectly well heroic mode is the only relevant raiding, we'll completeley lock you out of that instance if you do a single boss on heroic. GLHF."

    Fair enough that they want to do changes, but this is a major nerf and insult to any raiding guild currently doing 10 and 25man heroic content.
  1. Genju's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Alarsen View Post
    What about the gear that drops?
    What about the raid achievements?
    Bane of the Fallen, Light of Dawn?
    10man vs. 25man difficulty?

    Hard to believe that with such a huge post, neither of these were even remotely answered.
    Just fyi, all these Questions were already answered.
    There are no separate 10/25 Achievements, just one version.
    10 man difficulty = 25 man = Same gear
    and who the fuck cares about stupid mounts/titels.
  1. tusker's Avatar
    Only issue I can maybe see with only being locked to badges/loot per boss, rather than being locked out of the boss encounter itself, is that you could technically have a group of people carry others through boss fights. And they could it as many times as they want.

    You could have a group of five "awesome" people in your guild, group them with five not-so-great people, and effectively run them through some bosses. You could then swap the five not-so-great people for five others, and do the exact same thing. Each time only the five "new" people would be able to loot. I'm guessing this is the reason this isn't implemented.

    Regardless, I do wish being locked out of gear/badges rather than bosses as draticus notes was something Blizzard added in. It was definitely something they mentioned doing in the past.

    edit: What Rurikar said above, but he did it in less words than me
  1. Dyra's Avatar
    Hmmm shame about you being unable to continue in heroic 10 if you lose people for late week raiding. I'ld have liked to be able to convert down to a 10 man raid in heroic but there you go. It's also going to kill my chances of getting Bane of the Fallen King in 10 man unless we kill him and we kill him soon.

    I'm assuming that the loot lists also won't be combined. So even if we can convert it down to a 10 man raid we probably won't bother since a) it will be the 10 man loot list and b) we can only get the normal version of the loot so it really will not be worth our time.

    On the other hand ICC raiding will soon be over and this will be an amazing change for Cata raiding (since I doubt I'll be seeing any heroic content, save dungeons, for some time :3).
  1. Spotnick's Avatar
    My head is hurting.

    Geez, can they make this more complicated or what?
  1. derphurrdurr's Avatar
  1. ramennoodleking's Avatar
    Here's the big question they didn't address:

    Are they normalizing loot as well? It would only make sense considering they are locking you to both 10 and 25? It almost eliminates the desire to go to pug 10s if a persons only chance at marks is in 25 man
  1. 1GoodReasonY's Avatar
    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Bliz is not going to merge the loot tables and whatnot for ICC and RS since they already went through all the work of designing and itemizing the gear.
  1. Argroth's Avatar
    I forgot that they are getting super lazy (same loot, same lockout) and lame with the raid system in Cataclysm. Now it seems like they are introducing a system that should have been implemented from the start, are we supposed to be ecstatic about this?

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