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. shippyxHivltg3's Avatar
    the main problem i see with this is what if your in a 25m heroic run clear say 9/12 bosses on heroic before calling it a night. the next night 2 people dont show and you want to continue with heroic but cant 23 man heroics like LK and have no need for normal bosses then you would be screwed. also means trying to sub people in and out to get specific gear is gone should fix this one part imo
  1. Smoopie's Avatar
    thanks blizz for taking away my 10 man experince in wotlk
  1. Arrowstormen's Avatar
    this is great, both Casuals and Hardcores, Guilds and PuGs have it good with this.
  1. Wiimage's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Varthan View Post
    So Awesome.
    No more fail pugs and your locked for the week
    If you have downed 4 bosses and your friend have downed 4 bosses in another raid you two can make a new raid group and continue from boss 5. Unlike before when every group member needed to have the same raid id.
  1. hulkgor's Avatar

    What happens if you want loot from both a 25 and a 10man version of a boss? GG?
  1. Kiro's Avatar
    This was one of the smartest things Blizzard ever did, and we all saw it coming from the shifts starting in TBC. It's nice to see that Blizzard now knows that 10-mans have a far less margin of error, and that the only thing more difficult about 25-man raids than 10-mans is getting 25 players together. Look how many people can afk in ICC, look how many can die in encounters. Hell, the old strat for Saurfang was to let the first two people with marks die, you couldn't do that in 10-man off the bat. Finally 10-man guilds will get the same gear as they deserve.

    Plus, things are going to be far more competitive. Unless you're a top 10 guild in the world, it's more probable to have 10 great players in your guild, and then cut-off the fat. Those that weren't up to snuff and couldn't follow directions, those that afk'd mid fight in raids. Good job on this one Blizzard, no sarcasm from me. Honestly, I applaud this.
  1. Chronoless's Avatar
    Great change for me, don't know about anyone else, but this gives me more time to. I hate raiding 25 man and 10 man all in one week. I love to raid but just seeing the same boss 2x a week is starting burn me down.
  1. Kiro's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by hulkgor View Post

    What happens if you want loot from both a 25 and a 10man version of a boss? GG?
    There's no difference in 10 and 25 man loot. GG.
  1. netwar_'s Avatar
    I agree with this changes. One of the best things in Cataclysm for sure.
  1. CaspianRoach's Avatar
    Heroic/Normal division makes zero sense.

    "Here, have this awesome system and no, you can't use it if you're good enough to do heroics"

  1. Orlandopr's Avatar
    i like this change, expecially the one where the gear will be the same in each. gives the people who pug a chance to actually get somewhere.
  1. Naylol's Avatar
    So will ICC25 loot drop in ICC10 when 4.01 hits?

    The flexible raidlock sounds like a bad idea to me. So you have killed the first 3 bosses in a bad pug, then you need to find a raid that has killed exactly those 3 bosses? How is that helpful.
  1. rushm0r3's Avatar
    "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."

    Meaning that if yr 25-man raid has 11/12 HM down for the week but has never and will never kill LK HM there is no opportunity to do the 10-man version!? Bummer.
  1. Nuchaleft's Avatar
    It's not too bad a system. It could be worse.
  1. Nikboss's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kiro View Post
    There's no difference in 10 and 25 man loot. GG.
    Ofc, talking about ICC and RS, there will still be differences in loots and achis. And fail pugs will remain as fail as now are: if u switch to heroic only for lootship u are bound to that raid.
  1. ItachiZaku'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.
    More like RIP 25 man raiding.

    I like this update.
  1. Mowse's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kiro View Post
    There's no difference in 10 and 25 man loot. GG.
    Except there still is for ICC which is what he was talking about..gg?
  1. Nikboss's Avatar
    25 men Raid won't die until Cata will arrive simply because 25 men still drop higher level items than 10 men (talking about ICC and RS). For all the ppl that hoped to get 264 ilevel gears from 10 men i'm sorry for you.
  1. Rezzyk's Avatar
    I love how some people are jumping on those asking about the loot and achievements.

    They are talking about ICC/RS loot - not Cata! We all know Cata look will be the same!

    I honestly wouldn't be surprised if ICC/RS10 start dropping 25man gear. Blizzard really could care less at this point since it's all going to be replaced by the end of the year. The question is if they would spend the time to program it or not. Achievements will stay separate because ugh, what a mess that would be to combine them.

    This change is good.. The timing is awful. This patch is hitting in a week or two, right? My guild still does 25man ICC Tues-Thurs, and 10man ICC for drakes/heroic LK on weekends. We knew this changing was coming for Cata, and were planning for it then - but now everything has changed, and now the officers in my guild have a big mess to sort out in less than two weeks.
  1. Mabel's Avatar
    Once again another awful change to cater to casuals that complain. Thanks for ruining the game even more blizzard.

    Actually, thank you ACTIVISION. I knew you would ruin this game even worse.

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