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. Wheelz's Avatar
    So you can't REALLY get saved, and you're never forced to stop a raid? Sounds like everyone is gonna be done with end game content within a month or two.
  1. Salaction160's Avatar
    So you can't REALLY get saved, and you're never forced to stop a raid? Sounds like everyone is gonna be done with end game content within a month or two.
    Unless the content is super hard???
  1. Pokchop's Avatar
    Uh... I really don't like the "if the raid already killed earlier bosses you inherit that status if you kill a boss in their raid." How is that fair. Only people who just want a particular boss in later stages of a raid will be interested. A bit too niche and ... inflexible? Couldn't they just make it so you're not illegible for loot for each boss you kill for the week? So if you join a raid that's at the lich king... you could still do marrowgar in another raid, but not be able to get loot from the lich king.

    The heroic restrictions seem more for the elitists. I guess... that's what that mode is designed for I guess. Heroic is not only harder it is now logistically harder lololololol.
  1. Xillius's Avatar
    Bye bye 25man raiding
  1. breath's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by edgeofthecosmos View Post
    If anything this is going to make it worse for pugs, since they can only beat said boss and not be completely saved to it, a lot of players will fake afk/line dead without worrying of being only saved to that instance, waste of time imo. Not that I care, I dont pug, just saying.
    Yeah, true, but on the other side, it happens a lot more often to beat 1-2 bosses and the the pug disband, and you are locked for a week, while with this system you will be able to join someone else. Anything has pro and contro.
    I Would really like to see how many 10 men raids form in a month and how many 25 men raids do the same.
  1. reve's Avatar
    People who say whis is confusing and dont understand it must be mentally challenged or really uneducated. No offence though...

    Anyway overall not much is new except the heroic version restriction. I mean... Why? Who does normals except the very first few weeks? The example with 25man guild spliting into two 10mans and then back again on 3rd raiding day sound lovely and is exactly what our guild might use from time to time but when you dont allow doing this with heroic versions? Common Blizz.
  1. tonko's Avatar
    Next best idea: bound to account raid ID ! So you don't have to raid that much with all your alts ^^
    Small new level cap: done.
    Less Raid options: done.
    Badges cap: done.
    Bioman-like t11: done.
    Well, at least there's good ideas in Cataclysm too and Heroics looks nice
  1. Mondeox's Avatar
    Holy mother of Joe... This is awesome news! I knew Blizzard would come to their senses and solve the raids! I am at a loss of words... Ty Blizzard and PLEASE RELEASE CATACLYSM ASAP!
  1. krzysko13's Avatar
    worst change blizz ever made
    It means i can farm my icc10 mount OR do icc25 for items
    It will also mean 2x less raiding in Cataclysm...
  1. nalcarya's Avatar
    So... what happens in the new system if you have already killed an encounter and join a raid which hasn't? .)
  1. Nienor's Avatar
    NONE in his right mind would ever trouble himself to organize and run a 25man raid for no other benefit than gold. Equalizing the ilvl loot of 10man with that of 25man shows their clear intention to kill all 25 raids.
  1. bregtann's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by coocoo View Post
    This is a step in the right direction, though I'd still rather see what Draticus mentions, that your save simply denotes if you can get loot (including emblems/points) from the boss fight or not.
    This new way Blizzard is going to use still means that if you try to do a 10man raid and 4 people in the group already did the first boss in a weekly pug for some dumb reason, you can only take the 6 unsaved of your people to do the first boss before the others can join. Or the 6 unsaved people are forced to skip the first boss.
    But by flagging that you've looted the boss, you could take that 10man group & go from start, the ones who are already saved get no loot, and you can all continue your merry way.

    baby steps...
    Such a system that allows someone to kill a boss multiple times (although only get loot once) would open up for many potential abuses and weird consequences. Such as, you would probably get "elite mercenaries" - members from the top guilds, who can get paid (in kind or gold) for participating in PUGs to kill harder bosses. Also, elite guilds could way more effectively than today sell loot/mounts/achievements/etc to those who want to pay for it. In the current system, yes you can bring one or two loot buyers on a run per week, but in the system you propose the guild could, for example, clear up to LK on normal 10-man, then toggle to heroic (25 or 10), bring in the guy who paid for a heroic LK kill, kill LK, then rinse and repeat for the next grouop of buyers.

    I'm not saying that exactly the scenario above would become super common, just that a system that allows you to kill the same boss infinite times each week (even if your looting rights are restricted) would have a way more massive impact on the game (guilds, PUGS, the way we think of raiding etc) than it may appear on first sight.
  1. seventhsin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by nalcarya View Post
    So... what happens in the new system if you have already killed an encounter and join a raid which hasn't? .)
    I think that still depends if you're leader then they all get saved to yours and if you're not then you'd be in a different raid lockout than them.
  1. Spifffers's Avatar
    Does this mean you can now farm earlier bosses AND continue to do progression?

    Assume a guild raids twice a week has killed 8/12 bosses. Every week they face that annoying question of wether to reset and get gear off the earlier bosses, or extend and try for progression. From the way i read these changes, they can now do both.

    On tuesday they can reset and kill early bosses. Lets say they down 5/12. Then on sunday they can reactivate their old raid id and go to work directly on boss #9.
  1. Maleficious's Avatar
    I've been thinking about this long time, I'm really happy they did it.
  1. Solfire's Avatar
    So now I can't work on HLK 10 man anymore, because it'll be using our guild's 25 man lockout and we raid on Monday's with a break for the weekend. Great.... Thanks for making sure I never get to see the final bosses HM blizz.
  1. Nitrax's Avatar
    WotLK is DEAD with 4.0.1 and you all knew it beforehand. Tell me how many people that count Sunwell after nerf? Whats the QQ about? Hell for all you know they could release Cata tomorrow would you QQ then about not getting the whatever achievement?
  1. Jaargh's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ; View Post
    Some clarification on questions being asked so far, although we're still compiling feedback and will work to answer questions and clear up any confusion we can.

    Q: How does this affect my drops in ICC and Ruby Sanctum?
    A: 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.

    Q: How does this affect achievements of ICC and Ruby Sanctum?
    A: Not at all. Again these raids will continue to function exactly as they have except for the raid lock changes.

    Q: If I've been in a normal raid can I join a Heroic raid?
    A: Yes, as long as they're further progressed than you were in your normal.

    Q: This is going to be really tough for raid leaders to manage.
    A: It shouldn't be bad at all, and our intent is to make sure it's well communicated what's going on through the UI. If they try to switch to heroic they'll be told exactly who won't allow them (because they're already locked to another heroic). If someone tries to zone in who has done more bosses than the raid they joined, it will tell them they can't enter. If they've done less, it will make sure they're aware they're forfeiting those encounters.

    Q: Why implement this now?
    A: We're implementing this now because it's a very large change to a fundamental system most everyone has come to understand very well. Because of that it's important that these changes be made before Cataclysm so there's ample time for us to ensure the system works properly, but potentially more importantly so that people use and understand the system beforehand. As we expected, and have seen in this thread, the system isn't necessarily easy to grasp by just reading about it. Imagine if it was just explained in a patch note let alone 8 paragraphs of explanation. But through using the system it's much easier to grasp. Ensuring that it's understood very well before progression plans are formed is important as guilds look toward new content in the upcoming expansion.

    Q: Why not just track boss kills per player? If I've killed a boss it just won't drop anything.
    A: We fundamentally do not agree with a system where a boss kill does not drop something (even if it's for specific people). This also has all sorts of negative side effects associated with it.
    So yes 10 man runs, yes achievements, yes different loot, yes mounts..
  1. Levva's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Elica View Post
    Seriously, are you kidding? Do you really think guilds would clear instances, without having any loot for themselves at all, not even for off-specs, just to make a tiny amount of extra gold? Raiding is not expensive, in fact it is profitable, and it will only get cheaper in Cata due to how the new guild perks work, and also due to how the Glyph system was changed.
    No what he was saying was that if you had a system where you could re-run bosses any number of times but not loot them then what guilds could do is clear it for themselves then spend the rest of the week with 22-23/25 or so guildies in a group boosting 2-3 others. They would be able to farm the boss for unlimited number of additional people and still be happy that they had cleared it for themselves.

    A loot-once per boss system CANNOT work for that reason.

    ---------- Post added 2010-10-02 at 12:59 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Elica View Post
    Players like you amaze me. Your short-sightedness does not allow you to see how quickly gold would lose its value under those circumstances. We're (or at least, I am) talking about the long term effects, and it is crystal clear to me that guilds simply wouldn't bother doing instance clears, with random drop chances AND no items for themselves, just to stockpile gold which they could never spend, all the while thousands of gold keep rolling in from BoE auctions gotten from guild raids.
    No you are still missing the obvious. If you can fight a boss unlimited number of times a week but only loot it once. Then your FIRST run that week is where you do what you do now and gear up the guild. ALL subsequent runs you are farming for profit. Yes it would devalue gold which is more likely to drive those that want to just buy their loot into the hands of the gold farmers. This would effectively be the same as buying gear from a vendor except you need to pay a player and go to a boss. So all the failures that buy their way to excellent gear would be decked out for ZERO skill. Is that really the way you want the game to go?
  1. Levva's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Laringar View Post
    The ability to continue a raid where bosses are down is nice... but applying it to 10 and 25 ICC and RS while the loot tables are still different is crap. It's going to be ridiculously hard to get the Spyglass now for my toons that still need it, because it's not worth wasting your lockout on anything short of 25 man.
    If you join a 10 man to get that trinket and they do the first 4 bosses and the raid falls apart. What is to stop you then going for the remainder of the bosses on 25 man. The only thing I can think of is that you could only go for the normal version of the trinket and not the heroic version. If that's your issue I can understand.

    However you can still get the trinket even with a 4/12 fail group the benefit is you don't then get locked to a fail 4/12 you can still continue in another raid which might be 25 man and clear the instance.

    ---------- Post added 2010-10-02 at 01:17 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by nalcarya View Post
    So... what happens in the new system if you have already killed an encounter and join a raid which hasn't? .)
    That's been asked and answered already - you won't be able to join a raid where you are further progressed than they are.

    It will be fairly simple once ppl see it in chat. LFM (tank & healer obviously no-one struggles to find dps) 25man ICC [Icecrown raid info].

    You click on the [Icecrown raid info] link and see what bosses are down. You are eligible to join as long as you haven't done a boss they are still to do. SIMPLES.

    Think of it like a [Glory of the Hero] link in chat. You can see what they haven't done. If you have killed a boss they haven't you are progressed more than they are and cannot join. If they have done some you have not killed you can still join however.

    So [Glory of the Hero] example (imagine the achievements are bosses). They are looking to do [Less-Rabi] you've done it = you can't join them. Does that help?

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