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. Sai978's Avatar
    Will you be able to get quest items from 10m icc? Shadowfrost shards?
  1. ordhor's Avatar
    For those that see this as being complicated, for example, when stats rating was first introduced in pre-TBC patch (before that we had stats in % ) people were finding it hard to do its math.... does anyone even talk about that anymore?

    Just like all other changes that will come with 4.0.1 people will adapt and move on. It's that simple.

    Oh, and loved the fact that this info was first released Europe side
  1. Sulika's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ramennoodleking View Post
    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
    I suspect that is highly unlikely. They would also have to rebalance all the ICC 10 fights to be equal difficulty with the 25 man ones which I suspect they are not going to do.
  1. Imhullu's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Genju View Post
    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.
    We are still talking WOTLK here bud, we know they were answered for cataclysm, but this post is saying the changes will be implemented for the last patch of WOTLK, when there still are separate 10/25 achievements, there are still separate 10/25 gear and many people do care about mounts and titles.

    Some guilds can only raid some of the 25 man on heroic, so of course they will want to do that, but then also later in the week go back and will raid the 10 man and get many more bosses down on heroic. With this system it seems you can only choose to do one version on heroic, and get "locked out" of the rest of the bosses on heroic if you have to do one normal.
  1. Nij's Avatar
    TLDR Version:

    Normal: you get locked per boss

    Heroic: Same old way. with option to downgrade your lockout to normal
  1. Ferledon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Genju View Post
    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 *uck cares about stupid mounts/titels.
    Unlike gear, our mounts titles stay w/us.

    Back on topic, Love this change
  1. tusker's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Spotnick View Post
    My head is hurting.

    Geez, can they make this more complicated or what?
    Specifically what was complicated about the post? It seems rather straightforward to me. There's a few questions left unanswered, but other than that examples are given to help illustrate what they're doing. If you had specific questions about what they're doing someone here might be able to answer
  1. Failmuffins's Avatar
    Not sure if I like the heroic restrictions... looks great for normal modes though.
  1. Bucky Mclachlan's Avatar
    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....
  1. Spotnick's Avatar
    Hey wait a minute, this goes live with 4.0.1? meaning I can't work on my 10 man drake and do my 25 alt run anymore on my alt? WTF.
  1. Dreadnor's Avatar
    One reason i find the Heroic Restriction suitable is because of the implications behind Flexible Raid Lock System and Server Firsts. In Cataclysm, the achievements of Server First: SO-and-SO are on the HEROIC versions of that boss. Not only that, but the achievement is shared between both 10 man heroic version of boss X and 25 man heroic version of boss X.

    so if a guild does heroic bosses 25 man, then they stop at the last guy cause they cant down it, they break the raid up into 2 10 mans, but cant do the 10 man heroic mode of the remaining boss. The Heroic Restriction forces that the achievement for Server First: SO-and-SO be done within the same lockout, and not by means of any group-merging or group-breakdowns.

    im pretty sure this is why they are enforcing the Heroic Restriction, and their logic is sound to be. It hurts the puggers out there a little, but keeps the hardcore guilds in check so that the achievement is given properly to one, single, lockout.
  1. Chronoless's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Genju View Post
    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.

    I think he is wondering about RS and ICC, i know in Cata the loot for 10/25 will be the same, but like me i want to know if they are doing this with ICC and RS, or they are keeping the loot as it is but with the new Flexible Raid? most likely it look like this. Which i do think it is still a good idea, for now, because if blizzard made the loot the same for RS and ICC, what level would it be? 251 or 264? and if they take one out, what would happen to the people who have the others?
  1. Alianthos's Avatar
    I am ABSOLUTLY sure gear will stay the same as it is now, in ICC 10 / 25.
    The equalization of gear will only happen in Cataclysm.

    There's gonna be toooooo many QQ if Arthas only drops 251 weapons while killed in 25's. Unless they put all 25 loot in 10m raid, but that would be BEYOND stupid.

    All in all, I like it.
  1. xnickybx's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Skulver View Post
    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.
    Man, I can't believe blizzard wasn't thinking of your guild's ICC run when designing this system.

    You're guild has had almost a year to do whatever it is you are trying to do in ICC. Suck it up.
  1. Tsudots's Avatar
    So if I understand this correctly as soon as 4.0.1 hits my Sunday 10 man hard mode group is going to be finished because everyone will be locked to 25 during the guild's normal Tues-Thurs raids?

    If thats the case then I'm glad I already got my 10 man drake lol
  1. Nikboss's Avatar
    I'm pretty sure loots will remain separate from 10 to 25 so the achis.
    @Genju: go find a good doctor.
  1. Baeki's Avatar
    Great changes
  1. Sellest's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by antifreeze View Post
    bb my spot in raid, and think bb my guild. Now the friends from guild will be playing 10 men only and good players but not real life friends of guild leader will be left behind.

    BB having to raid 25 with bunch of morons just because you want best possible gear, now I can have fun with friends in smaller size to achieve same rewards

    just pointing out different view
  1. Nikboss's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sellest View Post
    BB having to raid 25 with bunch of morons just because you want best possible gear, now I can have fun with friends in smaller size to achieve same rewards

    just pointing out different view
    I think u missed the fact that loots will still be different in 10 and 25 men (ICC and RS).
  1. ro9ue's Avatar
    So basically if you are in a raiding guild doing heroic content and you leave after Marrowgar or LDW, don't even bother trying to pug the rest because when they try to switch it to hard mode for lootship they won't be able to.

    I like the above poster's idea who suggested only being able to loot from a boss once per week, regardless of difficulty mode.

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